“Even the highest quality ceramic tile will not perform properly if it is not perfectly laid by well-trained and experienced tile installers”, says Mr Roman Pommer, President of the Czech Tile Guild. He was addressing this year’s meeting of the European Union of National Tile Installer Associations (EUF). The EUF held its Annual General Meeting & Tile Convention at the RAKO Headquarters in Pilsen.
Every three years national tile installer associations and supporting EUF members, who are also involved in the tile industry, meet to elect the EUF President, the board and the heads of its various working groups. Their role is to define the Federation’s strategy for the coming period and also to disseminate the latest information concerning ISO and EN standards, and in particular national standards regarding the production and the installation of ceramic tiles to EUF members.
This year Professor Maria Chiara Bignozzi, Assistant Professor at Bologna University and Director of the city’s well-known Centro Ceramico provided the keynote address on the subject of current trends in tile formats. She covered the wide array of different tile thicknesses that are available on the market today, ranging from 3mm up to 30mm and also the large number of different surfaces that ceramic products feature nowadays.
With regard to standards, a major problem which the industry currently faces is the number and variety of different test methods used by different test centres. It would be highly desirable for these test methods to be harmonised, so that, as long as the test centre is certificated, it will not matter where the tests have been carried out – the results will have European and international validity. It was stated that this would provide significant assistance to the global ceramics Industry.
After three years as President, Robert Howard MBE, Director of The Tile Association (TTA) stood down from the role and handed over to the newly elected President, Karl-Hans Körner, President of the German Tile and Natural Stone Association (Fachverband Fliesen und Natursteinverband – FFN) for the next presidential term (2019 – 2022). The retiring President was honoured in the fashion which has been traditional since 1958, by being presented with an EUF ‘Golden Lapel Pin’.
New Vice-Presidents were also elected at the meeting. They are Silvio Boschian, former President of the Swiss Tile Association (Schweizerischer Plattenverband) and Paolo Colombo, President of the Italian Tile Association (ASSOPOSA).
In addition Marc F. Decker, member of the Tile Guild of Luxembourg was re-elected as Treasurer; Peter Goegebeur, member of the Belgian Tile Association (FECAMO) was re-elected as President of the Technical Committee; and Andreas Furgler, General Secretary of the Swiss Tile Association (Schweizerischer Plattenverband) was re-elected as Head of the Educational Working Group and also as General Secretary of the EUF.
The AGM discussed the ‘EUF-Vision 2025’ and agreed the following objectives would be actively pursued:
- To strengthen the relationship with the EUF’s manufacturing partners and especially with the tile producers and the producers’ associations;
- To increase the dissemination of technical information within the national member associations, by putting this information on the EUF website and by publishing at least one ‘EUF Technical Statement’;
- To organise one educational and one technical symposium each year;
- To establish training activities for the benefit of members;
- To have permanent representation within the retail and distribution sector;
- To increase the number of members from 12 to 20;
- To increase the number of associate members from 25 to 35;
- To work consistently to develop more effective communication, both within the EUF and externally;
- To work to sharpen the profile of EUF.