By Megan Salzano
The tile category has had its fair share of challenges of late, and perhaps none bigger than the industry’s struggle to find qualified labor. While the issue is being tackled by the industry as a whole, one tile supplier has stepped up and made tremendous strides to address the challenge head on.
Officially launched Jan. 1, 2020, Daltile’s new RevoTile is billed as a game-changer for the tile industry, a patented floating floor system of genuine porcelain tile that can be installed in one day—two times faster than traditional tile—and with twice the ease, the company said.
Flooring retailers and contractors who took on the new product at its launch have already seen positive results. “We’ve done very well with [RevoTile],” Jerry Hosko, president and COO of RediCarpet, told FCNews. “We sell a lot of it right here in Houston. We’re using it in some of our other cities as well. It has really proven itself—installation is great, it’s well designed and it’s dimensionally stable. We offer it as an upgrade because of the dimensional stability.”
Erin Albrecht, executive vice president, J&R Tile, San Antonio, Texas, agreed, noting the company’s high success rates due to its ease of installation. “We like to use innovation in our projects to show the value of our company,” she explained. “We can turn over jobs more quickly [with RevoTile] because our labor is more efficient, and the customer is getting a cost savings on the labor because these installs go down more quickly. It’s half the time, half the labor—it’s incredible.”
Installation is a snap
RevoTile installs in three steps. The first step is to place the underlayment: RapidPrep. It is designed as a fast, simple, fan-fold underlayment that is easy to cover the floor with and easy to cut. It replaces mortar, thereby eliminating setting time, and it also serves as a moisture barrier and shock-absorber. RapidPrep is also designed to improve comfort underfoot while providing optimal compression strength as well as thermal insulation.
Furthermore, it is compatible with many types of underfloor heating and reduces sound trans- mission to the room below, thereby eliminating some traditional disadvantages of floating floors.
The next step is to click the tiles together utilizing RevoCore with patented ClicFit technology, which fosters consistent alignment and no lippage. The third and final step is to grout the product with RapidGrout, a premium, pre-mixed, water-based grout specifically designed for tile that features ClicFit technology. The quick-setting formulation is said to install up to 50% faster than traditional grout and never needs to be sealed.
J&R Tile’s Albrecht said the company’s installation crew highly regards the new product’s ease of use while the company itself finds value in its installer-first setting products. “Our installers love it because it means less time on their hands and knees—and anything we can do to save the guys on their hands and knees, we do it,” she explained. “We value our installers; they are full-time employees. You have to maintain them and be aware of their health. This product can also be used in our Air Quality Control and OSHA Silica reduction plan due to the one-component grouting system and deletion of a thin-bed adhesive. If our installers are mixing an adhesive, they are breathing in dust. This saves them that, especially in remodels where the sites are dusty already.”
Another perk on the installation side is the new floating porcelain’s ability to be installed over many existing floors—saving valuable time and, subsequently, money. Also, because mortar is not used, a RevoTile floor is easy to remove when style preferences change.
These benefits, according to Albrecht, are invaluable to any retail or contract operation. “If the beginning of a project falls behind—and we’re always the last ones in—we are accelerated. Then, when you have these setting adhesives and cure times and things you can’t skip, it’s a risk. For any business you have to weigh your risk, and this product takes away an extreme amount of risk. Once it’s clicked into place, you don’t have to worry about anything.”
RevoTile also expands the applicable professional installation labor pool to any of a retailer’s or contractor’s available installers: LVF, laminate, tile and hardwood installers. For J&R Tile, Albrecht said the click feature created a learning curve for her installation crew that was easily overcome, and others should be keen on the product’s functionality. “We just do tile; we do not do vinyl, hardwood or click lock. So that was the biggest learning curve for us. The first project there is always a learning curve, but there is a lot of really great instructional videos and Daltile does a great job supporting you with education. But for other flooring contractors, it’s already a really easy hybrid crossover. They’re familiar with the click lock already, it’s just a different material.”
Looks good, too
In terms of aesthetics, the new line of snap-together tile flooring is offered in 26 looks—marble, wood, stone and concrete. The assortment of design-driven styles is made to reflect today’s most popular colors, textures, finishes and sizes. To achieve these visuals, RevoTile features Daltile’s state-of-the-art digital printing technology, Reveal Imaging. This proprietary technology produces realistic color, detail and veining to help achieve a look that is said to be virtually indistinguishable from the material being emulated.
For RediCarpet, Hosko said RevoTile’s design aesthetics meet his customers’ needs. “Wood-look designs are driving all of our markets right now,” he said. “This product speaks to that. And so far, the customer is very happy.”
The completed RevoTile floor is waterproof, stain-proof, scratch-resistant, dent-proof, fire-resistant and easy to clean. For retailers and contractors, that makes it an easy sell to the consumer. “[We’ve had] absolutely no trouble convincing the consumer,” Albrecht said. “We are planning on renovating our spaces here with RevoTile. So that shows you how much we believe in it. We want people to walk in and see the options in the space. It’s a great product for both a one-man owner/operator and for a larger commercial application business like ours that does both commercial and residential.”
Hosko agreed, adding, “We think it has a real place in our industry. I would recommend it to others because it’s really performing, and we have a track record of that.”