As much as we love tile, without tile installation systems such as those manufactured by Merkrete, we would have difficulty making dreams become complete reality. That's why when you visit Tile Outlets of America in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Tampa you'll find materials and tools available for installing tile and stone.
That's also why we've invited Merkrete Sales Representative Gary Powell to introduce himself in this article. That's in anticipation of conducting a special product knowledge training event about large format tiles - such as 32x32, 18x36, 24x48 and 48x48 which have become increasingly popular as a result of new technology - and how to install them properly, using the right tools, materials and techniques.
Merkrete has been a great supplier to Tile Outlets, as well as a reliable source of information and education when installers have questions about odd installations or need extra advice. Plus, their conveniently located manufacturing facility in Haines City, Florida, means that Merkrete is wonderfully responsive and attuned to the needs of the market.
Meet Gary Powell, Sales Representative for Merkrete
TOA: Gary, what is your background?
GP: After college I started a resinous flooring, moisture vapor sealer/self-leveling topping and mechanical surface preparation company which I ran for approximately 18 years. I then went to work for Parex USA, a major international construction materials company that manufactures concrete restoration products as well as tile and stone setting materials.
I have been in this industry my entire professional career starting at age 19. My background is technical, sales and specification. I have been involved with distributors, installers, general contractors, owners and architects during all of my entire time in the industry.
TOA: How did you get involved with tile?
GP I was offered an opportunity with an international manufacturer of tile and stone setting materials after my first professional effort with my own company. This was a great opportunity to add to my education.
TOA: What is your role with Merkrete?
GP: I am a sales representative for Merkrete covering the Florida market.
Merkrete is owned by Parex USA, Inc., a California Corporation, which is a subsidiary of the ParexGroup, one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals and ready-to-use mortars for the construction industry. Parex USA is the parent company of leading building material brands - Parex, Teifs, LaHabra, El Rey and Merkrete.
Since 1971 Merkrete has successfully provided over one billion square feet of tile and stone installation systems. Merkrete has become one of the tile market’s most respected brands for innovation, technical knowledge and unique products for commercial and residential installations. From underlayment material, to grouts, thin sets, waterproofing and crack isolation material, Merkrete offers one of the most diversified product lines in the industry.
Behind every Merkrete product is revolutionary research, groundbreaking development and unsurpassed commitment to quality, customer service and green innovations.
TOA: What do you love most about your products and tile?
GP: I appreciate the never-ending aesthetic move forward in decor as well as the hundreds of years of history in tile.
Tile's success is based on crack isolation/waterproofing, setting materials and grout technology. What I respect most about Merkrete is technological advancement in a word. Service and Quality in another. Merkrete is one of the oldest manufacturers for tile and stone setting materials and an ultimate pioneer in waterproofing and crack isolation. The research and development is ongoing.
TOA: How do your products – and specifically 720 Marble Set and 820 Merlite – differ from other products available?
GP: Our products focus on innovation and on the customer’s needs.
720 Marble Pro from Merkrete
720 Marble Pro is a premium grade medium bed set for installing large format tile, porcelain gauged and irregular thickness stone tile applications.
720 Marble Pro may be used for interior or exterior walls and floors on either residential or commercial projects, and exceeds ANSI A118.4 standards.
820 Merlite from Merkrete
820 Merlite is a superior grade light weight flexible thin set mortar with excellent non-slump and non-sag performance when used for installing ceramic tile and stone on walls or floors.
820 Merlite contributes to LEED projects and exceeds ANSI A118.4 and A118.11 standards
TOA: What’s most important for success with these products?
GP: The most important for success with these products is the great support from all departments within our organization. You'll find information in the Support section of the Merkrete website about continuing education, educational installation videos, specifications and more.
TOA: Any parting words of wisdom?
GP: Always do the job only once. Make sure you install with quality materials and within TCNA and ANSI standards; this eliminates liability and sells the next job by recommendation and reputation.
TOA: Thank you, Gary.
If you're looking to learn more about how to install large format tile and which are the right tile and stone installation systems, tools and techniques to use, be sure to stop by Tile Outlets in Fort Myers, Tampa and Sarasota to speak with our store representatives.