The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone’s (UofCTS) Online, “Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile” Course is Updated
 
May 20th, 2016

The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone’s (UofCTS) Online
“Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile” Course is Updated

UofCTS also releases CTDA Certified Ceramic Tile Specialist (CCTS) Study Guide online course

Education is the fastest and easiest way to increase sales and profits!
San Diego, CA, May 19, 2016 – The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) just released an updated version of the popular Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile online technical and sales training course.  Both the USA version and the Canadian version of this course were updated.

The updated course offers a comprehensive look at ceramic tile uses, including industry standards, installation methods, avoiding problems, sales training, and how to work effectively with clients.

The updated course has an expanded section on glass tile and mosaics.  There are new sections on Thin Porcelain Tile Panels, tools, tile patterns, tile layout process and options, steam rooms and curbless showers; including updates to important industry standards.  The updated course was created with the latest HTML5 technology that allows students to access the courses with mobile devices such as smart phones and ipads.

UofCTS created and recently released a new online course for the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA).  The online course is called the CTDA Certified Ceramic Tile Specialist (CCTS) Study Guide.  This course is for those who are planning on taking the CCTS test.  It gives them all of the information they need to know for the CCTS test, and the student gets access to the course up until the time they pass the test.

UofCTS is currently in the process of updating the UofCTS Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification online course.  Due to the high demand for this ITS course, the updated course will have additional sections on how to install Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels (thin porcelain tile panels), how to grout with cementitious and epoxy grouts, how to installed shower receptors, steam showers and curbless showers, and how to layout your tile work.  There will be an expanded section on installing glass tile and mosaics, and most important all of the relevant industry standards will be updated or added.  Both the USA version and the Canadian version of this course are being updated.  Also both the English version of this course and the Spanish version will be updated.  The updated ITS courses should be ready for release by the end of June.

UofCTS is currently in the process of developing a new UofCTS online course.  Due to many requests from architects and architectural sales representatives, UofCTS is developing an online course called “Tile and Stone Specifications and Working with Architects”.  The objective of this course is to teach how to write quality tile and stone architectural installation specifications, and to teach sales reps how to work with architects to generate specifications for their products.  This course is designed both for the architect and arch rep to teach them how to write a proper tile and stone specification. It is also designed to teach the sales representative how to develop what we call a “bullet proof spec”, and how to track and protect that spec in order to turn it into an order.   We expect this course to be released in late summer.  This course will be part of the requirements for those who want to become a Certified Tile Specialist (CTS) or a Certified Stone Specialist (CSS) through the UofCTS.

UofCTS Online courses are available through many key organizations in the tile and stone industry, where members receive special discounts.  Courses can be purchased through CTDA at www.ctdahome.org, through Fuse Alliance at www.fusealliance.com, through Local 18 Tile Union at www.tileunion.org, through NTCA at www.tile-assn.com, through TTMAC at www.ttmac.com, through WWCA at www.wfca.org for member rebates, or at the UofCTS website at www.uofcts.org.

As is clearly understood by successful businesses, the fastest way to increase sales and profit is through education. Once employees and customers are trained they will become more confident, credible, and effective in their jobs, and there will be less costly failures and problems, resulting in more sales and profit.

To see video previews of each of the courses visit the www.UofCTS.org website at https://uofcts.org/online-courses/.

Tuition is only $150 per person and once registered, students have 14 days to complete the course which is accessible online, 24/7. Students can print a personalized certificate when they have passed all lesson assessments with a score of 80% or better.  Upon passing the course the student is provided a link to download a student reference guide that contains all of the key information from that respective course.  Volume discounts are available.

The UofCTS is the training division of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants (CTaSC) and is committed to developing training programs for the ceramic tile and stone industry utilizing the latest and most effective technology and learning methodologies. Launched in 2003, UofCTS has enjoyed many years of success with trade and design professionals and is the leading online training University for the Tile and Stone Industry.

For more information please contact:

Tricia Pompo
Marketing Director
University of Ceramic Tile and Stone
Tel. 866/669-1550; Email: info@uofcts.org
Website: www.UofCTS.org


NAW Update on Overtime Regulations
 
May 5th, 2016

CTDA Wants You To Know

 

 

Wants You To Know
TO:

CTDA Members

FROM:

Jade West, Senior Vice President-Government Relations

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

As we reported last month, the Department of Labor (DoL) is moving forward with its proposed changes to the Wage & Hour Division’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.

As you know, in mid-March the Department sent its draft of a final rule to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for their required review. This was the next step toward promulgation of a final rule.

For the last 6 weeks, OIRA has been reviewing comment letters and meeting with stakeholders on the rule’s real world effects.   A number of members of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO), the business coalition NAW helps manage which is leading the effort in opposition to the proposed regulations, have met with OIRA (and the representatives of other federal agencies including the White House’s Domestic Policy Council, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and DoL) to explain in oftentimes granular detail, the impact of the rule.

While most of the PPWO member meetings have involved businesses or business associations, a number of the meetings were requested by individuals representing the non-profit community, higher education, local governments, etc.   We are hopeful that these non-traditional allies will be effective in persuading OMB that the proposed rule will cause harm to a broad cross section of employers and employees.

All meetings with OIRA in the regulatory review process are a made a part of the public record.  If you are interested, you can see a list of the meetings and participants on the regulations.gov website (please note that they are now more than two weeks behind in posting the meetings): http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eom12866SearchResults?view=yes&pagenum=0

NAW requested a meeting with OIRA, and on April 22nd four NAW member company executives met for 45 minutes with officials from OMB/OIRA and the Department of Labor.  This meeting gave us a great opportunity to give the government officials real-life and real-time information on the distribution industry and the negative impact of the Wage & Hour Division’s proposal not just on wholesale-distribution companies, but on the workers you employ and whom DoL claims to be helping.

CURRENT STATE OF PLAY:

Timing:

As of this writing, the last date on which OMB has scheduled a meeting is May 10th, and we know they have declined a request for a meeting on May 17th.   Based on those dates, we believe that a final rule could be released as early May 15th.  (The just-released Fiduciary rule was released only 3 days after OMB completed its review, and Labor Secretary Perez is scheduled to make a speech at the National Press Club on May 16th.)

Content:

Late last week, Politico reported that DoL has moved to a slightly lower threshold salary in the final rule ($47,000) than was set forth in the proposed rule (50,400).   The slightly-lower proposed salary threshold is the only change we know of in the rule DoL sent to OMB.

We do not know what action OMB will take – whether they will approve the rule now before them or instead recommend changes in the rule in response to the extensive comments they have received and meetings they have had in recent weeks.

We remain hopeful that the salary threshold will be further reduced, regional economic differences taken into consideration, the increase phased in rather than immediate, and a longer time allowed for initial implementation.   In light of the President’s personal interest in this matter, we see no possibility that the rule will not move forward.

Legislation has been introduced in Congress calling on DoL to withdraw the rule and do more extensive and credible studies of the economic impact of their proposal, and several Members of Congress have contacted DoL making the same request.   Unfortunately, we are not optimistic that these Congressional initiatives will influence upcoming DoL action.

We will continue to keep you apprised of the situation as this rule moves forward.

 


CTDA is excited to announce the Distribution Performance Project, free of charge to CTDA members!
 
May 4th, 2016

 

Wants You To Know

 



CTDA is excited to announce the Distribution Performance Project, free of charge to CTDA members!

A note from DPP Principal, Albert D. Bates:

The Distribution Performance Project is a new think tank devoted to providing associations and their members with a wide array of tactical and strategic information free of charge. I believe your members will find it invaluable in managing their businesses.

At this early stage (the group is about one-month old), the website features:

  • A business valuation tool.
  • A financial planning tool.
  • A ten-part video program to bring key managers up to speed on financial issues. The program allows firms to use their own numbers in the training.
  • Articles that I have written over the past few years.

During the remainder of 2016, we will be preparing three white papers:

  • Financial Benchmarking – Guidelines for associations on how to reverse the trend of declining participation for this key service.
  • GMROI – An analysis of why GMROI, which is widely used in distribution, actually causes firms to make poor inventory-utilization decisions.
  • Customer Profitability – A discussion of how to measure the profitability of customers as well as a tool for actually conduction the measurement process.

We are planning a number of equally-exciting projects for next year. To restate what was said in paragraph one – these services are free. Similar services are provided by industry consultants at prices ranging up o $25,000. It is a great deal for your members.

I am providing these services for free because I have had a very enjoyable Thirty-year career working with distributors in a wide range of industries. It is a way to pay back those firms that have helped me enjoy a modicum of success in life.

Sincerely,

Albert D. Bates

Principal

 

 

 

 

 


If You Don’t Know Your Numbers, You Don’t Know Your Business
 
April 26th, 2016

CTDA Wants You To Know

 

 

Wants You To Know

If You Don’t Know Your Numbers,

You Don’t Know Your Business

As of today, PPG has not received the CTDA PROFIT Survey from your company.

The due date for the CTDA PROFIT Survey has been extended to April 30. Don’t miss out on this valuable CTDA member benefit!

The 2016 CTDA PROFIT Survey provides two key sets of numbers that you can’t get anywhere else:

1. Performance Guidelines – The industry-overview report provides detailed information on what influences profitability performance in the industry. It emphasizes the key performance metrics such as sales size and gross margin. It identifies very clearly where firms should focus their attention.

2. Performance Comparisons – This confidential, personalized report evaluates your firm’s results relative to firms of similar size and operating characteristics. It lays out a road map for profit improvement.

Along with your Profit Improvement Profile, you will receive access to Profit Toolkit Online, a spreadsheet designed to help you plan critical financial improvements for your company.

What does it cost?

The fee to participate is only $100.

What’s the Value?

There is no other source for this information. If this personalized report was available from a CPA firm it could require an investment of $1,500 or more.

Is My Information Confidential?

Absolutely! Profit Planning Group independently conducts this survey for CTDA. You send your questionnaire directly to Profit Planning Group and they return your Profit Improvement Profile directly to you.

It’s Easy to Participate – Most firms can complete the questionnaire in 30 minutes or less!

The Deadline is April 30, 2016! To access the survey, click here.

When you have completed your survey submit it by email to surveys@profitplanningroup.com or by fax to: 303-444-9245.

If you don’t want to take the 30 Minutes to complete the survey, you may send your P&L and Balance Sheet to Profit Planning Group and they will handle the rest!

 


COVERINGS 2016 CONFERENCE PROGRAMMING PROVIDES COMPETITIVE EDGE THROUGH LEADING INDUSTRY SPEAKERS
 
April 7th, 2016

(ALEXANDRIA, VA— March 31, 2016) Coverings, the largest global tile & stone exposition in North America, has scheduled an exceptionally comprehensive conference program of notable and respected speakers to present on a number of topics at the forefront of industry conversation. The 2016 conference program will be comprised of more than 70sessions, addressing a broad range of crucial topics facing the tile and stone industry, when the show takes place April 18-21, 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The show curates its educational sessions into tailored tracks for each segment of attendees – distributors, retailers, architects, designers, fabricators, installers, builders/remodelers, and professionals seeking green education – though every course is made available to all attendees and exhibitors. The Coverings conference component has been continuously ranked as one of the show’s most valuable features and has been a critical element since its inception in 1990, as the robust schedule of programs yields unparalleled education and, in most cases, the benefit of highly valuable CEU credits.

Keynote Sessions

The foundation of the 2016 conference program rests on four outstanding keynote sessions by the following influencers and experts representing a diverse cross-section of industries: Shawn McCadden, remodeling industry specialist; Edie Cohen, Deputy Editor of Interior Design Magazine; Andrew Fay, President of The Gettys Group; and Bart Bettiga, of the National Tile Contractors Association.

Shawn McCadden will discuss “Industry Challenges into Opportunities and Opportunities Into Profits.” In this session, the remodeling industry specialist will explore how industry professionals can differentiate their businesses in today’s fast changing and demanding marketplace. Attendees will learn the challenges and opportunities that arise while creating a profitable future for their businesses.

Monday, April 18, 8:00 – 9:15a.m.

Edie Cohen will host “Interior Design Magazine’s Power Panel – Exploring the Cross-Market Pollination of Design” – which will showcase top designers from all sectors of interior design including residential, hospitality, workplace and health care. Through the sharing of case studies and industry knowledge, conversation will focus on the cross-pollination of design and particularly focus on innovations and trends in tile and stone today. Panelists include David Grout (Gary Lee Partners), Todd Heiser (Gensler), Eileen Jones (Perkins + Will), Jordan Mozer (Jordan Mozer & Associates), Neil Schneider (IA Interior Architects).

Tuesday, April 19, 8:00 – 9:15a.m.

In his keynote, sponsored by Contract Magazine, Andrew Fay will present on “The Future of Hospitality Design” and outline how The Getty’s Group examines global trends and design’s impact on guest experiences. Fay will explore how the use of tile and stone can be featured to express highly individualized, branded design “stories.”

Tuesday, April 19, 12:00 – 1:00p.m.

Bart Bettiga of the National Tile Contractors Association will sit down with three of the tile and stone industry’s leading consultants for “From the Field: A Perspective and Industry Update from Recognized Consultants.” Dave Gobis of TileLetter, Richard Goldberg of PROCON, and Donato Pompo, a ceramic tile and stone consultant, will engage in an open conversation exploring the state of the industry as it relates to the field. Discussions will center on specifications, quality control and overall quality of installations in the commercial and residential spaces.

Wednesday, April 20, 8:00 – 9:30a.m.

Space at each 2016 keynote session is limited, so to ensure a seat and meal service interested attendees must register in advance and secure their attendance with a nominal registration payment.

Featured Sessions

Additionally, during the 2016 show, Coverings will present eight featured sessions that provide additional insights into the tile and stone industry:

  • “Color/Design at a Crossroads: Finding the Most Directional Trends” – Leatrice Eisemen, Pantone Color Institute; Monday, April 18, 10:45 – 11:45a.m.
  • “Getting Published: Hot Off the Press” – Paul Makovsky, Editorial Director of Metropolis, will moderate a panel of editors from Dwell, K+BB, Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago and Architectural Record; Monday, April 18, 1:30 – 2:30p.m.

  • “Rethinking Retail: 10 Ways to Ignite Your Business in Today’s Modern Retail World” – Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Retail Minded; Monday, April 18, 2:45 – 3:45p.m.

  • “Economic Outlook for Interior Design – Leveraging a Growing Marketplace” – Randy Fiser, CEO of the American Society of Interior Designers; Tuesday, April 19, 9:15 – 10:15a.m.

  • “Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)” – Wayne Kurzen, The Kurzen Group; Tuesday, April 19, 10:30 – 11:30a.m.

  • “Ceramic Material Systems” – Julie Taraska, Products Editor of Architectural Record, and Martin Bechthold of the Harvard Graduate School of Design; Tuesday, April 19, 1:30 – 2:30p.m.

  • “Stone Trends 2016” – Vincent Marazita, Marazita & Associates; Wednesday, April 20, 9:15 – 11:15a.m.

  • “Management of Delay and Disruption and Proactive Strategies for Tile Contractors” – Tommy A. Conner, Superior Tile & Stone, and Tim Fitzgerald, Construction Industry Professional; Wednesday, April 20, 10:30a.m. – 12:00p.m.

For the 2016 show, Coverings has incorporated conference program sessions into its show floor activities, including live guided tours; curated presentations in the Social Media Lounge (Booth 4031), including a first-time Software Showcase which will feature demonstrations of technology and software solutions; and segment-focused roundtable conversations in the Appreciation Lounge (Booth 4448) and Contractor Lounge (Booth 8539).

Learn more about the keynote and featured sessions and explore the comprehensive Coverings conference program schedule by clicking here. Secure attendance at keynote sessions while registering to attend Coverings, for free, at coverings.com.

Coverings Social Media

Facebook: facebook.com/CoveringsShow

Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2016

Pinterest: pinterest.com/Coverings

Instagram: instagram.com/CoveringsShow

YouTube: youtube.com/TheCoveringsShow

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1693367

Google +: google.com/+Coverings
Blog: coverings.com/blog

About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.

Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER),Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by National Trade Productions.

Coverings 2016 takes place April 18-21 in McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-706-8257.

###

Press Contacts:

                                             Josh Schoenfelder

           JS@sharpthink.com

                   Kate Harrington

         KH@sharpthink.com

Sharp Communications

212-829-0002


Experience Coverings 2016 With Unique Programs from Local Chicago Partners
 
March 29th, 2016

This year, Coverings is excited to feature a couple of unique programs that showcase tile as a medium for creative design.

SAIC Tiled Bench Exhibit

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) will exhibit tiled benches designed by their students, and the Chicago Mosaic School will provide interactive educational classes.

Over the course of a three-week program, SAIC students studying Architecture, Interior Architecture and Fine Arts, will learn about the process of selecting tile materials, creating construction/installation drawings, and installing the product to perform optimally. During the course, the National Tile Contractors Association will provide instruction on installation techniques, methods, and standards. Teams of students will then collaborate to create benches that incorporate tile and stone as the primary construction material.

You can check out the final products at Coverings 2016, where the benches will be on display for attendees to view. The benches will be up for critique by a panel of judges, who will be looking at overall design and installation. Stop by the ceremony on Monday, April 18th at 4:30pm to see this up-and-coming talent!

Workshops with the Chicago Mosaic School

Through the partnership with the Chicago Mosaic School, Coverings attendees will have an opportunity to interact with tile as a creative medium during workshops at the show.

During these sessions, Chicago Mosaic School instructors will educate attendees on how the different tools and materials can create various mosaic effects, while the interactive workshops will provide hands-on introductions to materials best suited to mosaic applications.

Two workshops and two demonstrations will be held each day from April 18 to 20, with limited capacity for each session. Advanced registration for the workshops and demonstrations is required and can be completed during general show registration.

Hope to see you there!

Joining in on the fun? Be sure to register for FREE.


COVERINGS WELCOMES CHICAGO-AREA PARTNERS TO EXPAND CREATIVE PROGRAM
 
March 23rd, 2016

COVERINGS WELCOMES CHICAGO-AREA PARTNERS TO EXPAND CREATIVE PROGRAM

(ALEXANDRIA, VA— February 18, 2016) Coverings, the largest global tile & stone exposition in North America, has partnered with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Chicago Mosaic School to develop unique programs that investigate the use of tile as a medium for creative design. Coverings attendees will have the opportunity to view an exhibition of tiled benches, designed and built by students from SAIC, and participate in interactive educational classes presented by the Chicago Mosaic School, when the show takes place April 18–21 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“Partnerships with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Mosaic School not only allow Coverings to support the dynamic creative landscape in Chicago, but also provide opportunities for Coverings attendees to think about tile and stone materials in unexpected ways,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “These programs challenge both future and current tile and stone industry professionals to truly understand just what these materials are capable of producing for design projects and how their qualities are best utilized from a technical standpoint.”

Over the course of a three-week workshop, SAIC students studying Architecture, Interior Architecture and Fine Arts, will learn about the process of selecting tile materials, creating construction and installation drawings, and fabricating and installing the product to look and perform optimally. During the course the National Tile Contractors Association will provide instruction on installation techniques, methods, and standards. Teams of students will then collaborate to create benches that incorporate tile and stone as the primary construction material. These benches will be on display for Coverings attendees to enjoy, and a panel will judge the benches for the most creative design and exceptional technical execution during a special ceremony held Monday, April 18 at 4:30 p.m.

“The creation of this workshop course with Coverings gives SAIC students the means to explore materials and techniques in collaborative and engaging ways while establishing connections with the professional world,” said Guinevere Johnson, course director and lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “It also will expose this student group to not only the many ways in which tile can be used, but the wide range of professional opportunities available in this international industry – ranging from highly technical skilled work to creative product design.”

Through the partnership with the Chicago Mosaic School, Coverings attendees will have an opportunity to interact with tile as a creative medium during workshop and demonstration sessions held at the show. During the demonstration sessions, Chicago Mosaic School instructors will educate attendees on how the different tools and materials can create various mosaic effects, while the interactive workshops will provide hands-on introductions to materials best suited to mosaic applications and the techniques required for handling and application during a mosaic project.

“There is an extraordinarily vast opportunity to use tile in creative and artistic expressions,” said Karen Ami, Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Mosaic School. “Holding these sessions at Coverings creates an opportunity for trade professionals, whether designers or contractors, to interact with tile in an imaginative way that allows them to expand their material vocabulary.”

Two workshops and two demonstrations will be held each day on April 18 – 20, with limited capacity for each session. Advanced registration for the workshops and demonstrations is required and can be completed during general show registration.

Learn more about the SAIC Student Bench Exhibit and the Chicago Mosaic School sessions, and register to attend Coverings for free, at coverings.com.

Coverings Social Media
Facebook: facebook.com/CoveringsShow
Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2016
Pinterest: pinterest.com/Coverings
Instagram: instagram.com/CoveringsShow
YouTube: youtube.com/TheCoveringsShow
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1693367
Google +: google.com/+Coverings
Blog: coverings.com/blog

About Coverings
Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.

Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by National Trade Productions.

Coverings 2016 takes place April 18-21 in McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-706-8257.

Press Contacts:
Josh Schoenfelder
JS@sharpthink.com
Kate Harrington
KH@sharpthink.com
Sharp Communications
212-829-0002


COVERINGS WELCOMES CHICAGO-AREA PARTNERS TO EXPAND CREATIVE PROGRAM
 
March 4th, 2016

(ALEXANDRIA, VA— February 18, 2016) Coverings, the largest global tile & stone exposition in North America, has partnered with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Chicago Mosaic School to develop unique programs that investigate the use of tile as a medium for creative design. Coverings attendees will have the opportunity to view an exhibition of tiled benches, designed and built by students from SAIC, and participate in interactive educational classes presented by the Chicago Mosaic School, when the show takes place April 18–21 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

“Partnerships with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Mosaic School not only allow Coverings to support the dynamic creative landscape in Chicago, but also provide opportunities for Coverings attendees to think about tile and stone materials in unexpected ways,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “These programs challenge both future and current tile and stone industry professionals to truly understand just what these materials are capable of producing for design projects and how their qualities are best utilized from a technical standpoint.”

Over the course of a three-week workshop, SAIC students studying Architecture, Interior Architecture and Fine Arts, will learn about the process of selecting tile materials, creating construction and installation drawings, and fabricating and installing the product to look and perform optimally. During the course the National Tile Contractors Association will provide instruction on installation techniques, methods, and standards. Teams of students will then collaborate to create benches that incorporate tile and stone as the primary construction material. These benches will be on display for Coverings attendees to enjoy, and a panel will judge the benches for the most creative design and exceptional technical execution during a special ceremony held Monday, April 18 at 4:30 p.m.

“The creation of this workshop course with Coverings gives SAIC students the means to explore materials and techniques in collaborative and engaging ways while establishing connections with the professional world,” said Guinevere Johnson, course director and lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “It also will expose this student group to not only the many ways in which tile can be used, but the wide range of professional opportunities available in this international industry – ranging from highly technical skilled work to creative product design.”

Through the partnership with the Chicago Mosaic School, Coverings attendees will have an opportunity to interact with tile as a creative medium during workshop and demonstration sessions held at the show. During the demonstration sessions, Chicago Mosaic School instructors will educate attendees on how the different tools and materials can create various mosaic effects, while the interactive workshops will provide hands-on introductions to materials best suited to mosaic applications and the techniques required for handling and application during a mosaic project.

“There is an extraordinarily vast opportunity to use tile in creative and artistic expressions,” said Karen Ami, Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Mosaic School. “Holding these sessions at Coverings creates an opportunity for trade professionals, whether designers or contractors, to interact with tile in an imaginative way that allows them to expand their material vocabulary.”

Two workshops and two demonstrations will be held each day on April 18 – 20, with limited capacity for each session. Advanced registration for the workshops and demonstrations is required and can be completed during general show registration.

Learn more about the SAIC Student Bench Exhibit and the Chicago Mosaic School sessions, and register to attend Coverings for free, at coverings.com.

Coverings Social Media
Facebook: facebook.com/CoveringsShow
Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2016
Pinterest: pinterest.com/Coverings
Instagram: instagram.com/CoveringsShow
YouTube: youtube.com/TheCoveringsShow
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1693367
Google +: google.com/+Coverings
Blog: coverings.com/blog

About Coverings
Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.

Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by National Trade Productions.

Coverings 2016 takes place April 18-21 in McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-706-8257.

For More information Contact:
Press Contacts:
Josh Schoenfelder
JS@sharpthink.com
Kate Harrington
KH@sharpthink.com
Sharp Communications
212-829-0002


Don’t Miss Your Chance to Shine at Coverings 2016!
 
January 7th, 2016

Want to be recognized by the tile and stone industry for outstanding projects and rising all stars? Well, good news! Coverings is currently accepting submissions for two separate award programs designed to recognized the best talent in the tile and stone industry.

1. The Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards seek the finest expertise in craftsmanship, creativity and innovative use of materials in tile and stone projects for its. The CID Awards, sponsored by TileLetter and Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, honor projects that showcase exceptionally creative designs and demonstrate technical mastery in the use of tile and stone in residential, commercial, international and sustainable projects. The free submission process is open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers and other professionals who embody excellence in design and installation skills. New to the CID Awards program for 2016 is the “Scouting Shot” category, which offers outstanding projects with amateur photography the opportunity to be professionally photographed. Installers and designers of the Grand Prize winning projects will each receive $2,000 and a one-night hotel stay in Chicago. Additional cash prizes will be awarded in 12 other categories. For examples of wining projects, click here. To submit a project to be considered for the CID Awards, please visit the Coverings’ online portal.

2. Coverings’ Rock Stars – An Emerging Leaders Program is on the hunt for nominations for the best and the brightest young professionals in the tile and stone industry. A panel of industry professionals will determine the 2016 cohort—each winner is selected based on the individual’s contributions to the tile and stone industry, as well as previous industry recognition. To be eligible, Rock Star nominees must be 35 or younger, and must be currently employed by/or as an architect, designer, distributor, retailer, contractor/ installer, fabricator, specifier, trade association, or manufacturer in the tile or stone industry. The selected Rock Stars will each receive a one-night hotel stay in Chicago to attend Coverings, and along with their nominators, the Rock Stars will also be honored at the Awards Breakfast at the show on Tuesday, April 19, where they can network, share insight from their experiences and discuss their shared passion of the tile and stone industry. To see how being recognized as a Rock Star changed someone’s life – read 2015 Rock Star Phillip Belloff’s story. To nominate a qualified individual, or to nominate yourself, complete a submission form at coverings.com/RockStars.

Both the Rock Stars and the CID Award winners will be recognized at the CID Awards & Opening Night Celebration on Monday, April 18. The celebration will include a presentation of the winners with an interactive showcase and a Taste of Chicago themed reception. The CID Awards & Opening Night Celebration is free and open to all attendees.
Don’t miss your opportunity to shine – the deadline for all nominations is Monday, January 18, 2016. For questions or inquiries, please contact info@coverings.com.


Get lost in the maze with Refin’s new collection: Labyrinth
 
December 7th, 2015

refin-labyrinth-pavimento-1
Labyrinth is the new collection by Giulio Iacchetti for Refin that transcends traditional square tiles, catapulting people into geometric patterns that create endless mazes.

The Cersaie Tile Fair 2015 concluded at the end of September in Bologna, Italy, bringing together some of the top tile producers and designers in the world, among them, Italian ceramic tile designer, Ceramiche Refin. This year brought the unveiling of their most innovative design yet: Labyrinth, created by Italian industrial designer, Giulio Iacchetti for Refin’s DesignTaleStudio. The new, innovative collection is a creative expression playing with geometrical patterns and 3D effects, with intricate zigzag, mirror-like and symmetrical effects for unlimited graphic possibilities.

Challenging the classic square tile and overthrowing boring standardized solutions, the Labyrinth Collection is divided into two families: Mirror and Angle. Mirror features a series of L-shaped patterns, while Angle expresses a multi-layered graphic concept, with a textured look that creates a 3-D effect. One of the most innovative concepts of the Labyrinth collection is that both the Angle and Mirror tile designs can be laid and arranged in a variety of different ways to create your own personal “labyrinth” and, therefore, your own unique design.

“For me, the concept is to conceive and design an element that is repeated all over the pattern, forming traces that wind around each other, marking patterns that are alternatively regular and complex,” explains Giulio Iacchetti. “In this way, it’s able to evoke a sense of depth, creating an authentic, three-dimensional, graphic labyrinth.”

The project derives from an original geometric construction generated within a square; lines that join mid-points to the opposite vertices until they form two opposing L-shaped elements, which– depending on the direction the tile is turned in- make it possible to draw orderly lines of squares, segmented zigzag lines, or never-ending graphic perimeters. “The idea of this collection was not just simply tiles,” says Iacchetti, “but rather to tell a story, while at the same time losing this idea of time and design.” Labyrinth was designed by industrial designer, Giulio Iacchetti, for Ceramiche Refin’s DesignTaleStudio, a team of professionals dedicated to innovations in state-of-the-art ceramic tile design. The creation of the Labyrinth Collection further experiments with new ceramic solutions, combining industrial manufacturing and artisan expertise and creativity with production. For more information click here.

Ceramiche Refin
Ceramiche Refin was founded in 1962 and over the years has become a point of reference for the ceramic trade both in Italy and abroad. In 1998 it became part of the Concorde Group. The mission of Refin is to create ceramic tiles for use in commercial areas subject to lighter loads and modern residential areas, and high-tech (furnishing?) flooring solutions with designs created in Italy. All this is achieved with the company’s ethical values and environmental commitment in mind. Cutting-edge technology and a large production capacity: Ceramiche Refin blends beauty with technology and creative design with tradition. Without compromising on the quality of its raw materials, the company has expanded its range to offer products that meet the most varied needs in homes and more modern tastes.
In 2005 Refin set up its own design laboratory DTS (DesignTaleStudio), an innovative, very unique project which brings together craftsmanship and art, innovation and experiments, to create artisan ceramic products that are truly unique.

CTDA - CCTS
CTDA - Online Education
CTDA - Membership