CHICAGO, IL -- The International Masonry Institute (IMI) recently hosted the 2024 Chicago Tile Expo at the District Council Training Center (DCTC), attracting roughly 100 architects, designers and contractors. One of the highlights was a panel discussion moderated by IMI, featuring representatives from Power Construction and Diverzify, the team behind the impressive Life Time Fitness facility in Chicago. This project showcased 75,000 square feet of tile within a new residential high-rise, involving over 50 types of tile with various sizes, applications and setting methods.

The panelists delved into the project's unique challenges, such as managing owner-supplied tile, adhering to a tight installation schedule, coordinating with other trades and addressing complex swimming pool and wet area drainage requirements. Following the discussion, architects enjoyed a guided tour of ceramic tile mockups led by BAC’s apprentice instructors and skilled journey-level tile installers. These demonstrations highlighted the best design and installation practices for various assemblies, including large-format tile, gauged porcelain tile panels, shower assemblies and waterproof membranes.

After the IMI event, TCAA hosted a networking social for local union tile contractors at the DCTC. During this gathering, representatives from TCAA and IMI presented programs aimed at advancing the market for union-installed tile and fostering a collaborative environment to support the industry's growth.

This event not only provided valuable insights into complex tile installations but also emphasized the importance of collaboration and education in advancing the tile industry's standards and practices.