Facebook Updates for Businesses
April 15th, 2015

This year, Facebook grew to a mind-boggling 3 billion views per day, and 53% of these views came from posts that were shared by users. But as the platform constantly adjusts to this growth, it can be difficult to keep up with the changes and updates.

Facebook’s developer conference took place recently and included several big announcements. These announcements included future improvements to existing applications and exciting new features inside of Facebook. Do you know about all of them?

Facebook Messenger is a text feature used inside of Facebook or as a separate application, and is available on mobile devices. Messenger will be updated with the following:
* Payments can now be sent and accepted through Messenger.
* This application can now be embedded on any website and used as a chat feature.
* Individuals can contact a business through Messenger and the experience will be the same as contacting a friend through the application.
* Customers can track interactions with business such as delivery date, package location or customer service updates.
* Interactions through Messenger will result in the company’s posts listing higher up in the customer’s Facebook feed.
* Greater amounts of data will be available for the company if a customer contacts them through Messenger (for example, past orders, age, gender, FB preferences…)

Currently, video posts are the best way to communicate with fans on Facebook. These posts receive the most views, shares and feedback rates along with the highest preference from Facebook’s algorithms to place higher on the feed of individual fans. The changes to Facebook Video include:
* Facebook videos can now be embedded on websites, whether they belong to the
* Any videos can be embedded by anyone – whether they own the video or not.
* Videos on Facebook now have a size limit of 1.5Gb.
* Videos can be scheduled to go live at specific times and be taken down at specific future dates.
* Video data is still accessible when taken off of live feed (accessible by owner).
* Video can be restricted to certain groups (divided by age, gender, location…).
* A Call-to-Action can be added to the end of a video that will pull the user to any page, even one not connected to Facebook.
* Uploads can now be resumed if cut off during the upload process.
* Bulk uploading is now available even if all videos will not be published simultaneously.
* Live feeds can be published on Facebook feeds.

Facebook is constantly changing. Keeping up with all of these modifications can be a tough job, but hopefully the items listed above will help!

Special thanks to Creating Your Space for this informative guest blog. Shannon Vogel of Creating Your Space is a tile industry staple and has presented well received webinars for CTDA and sessions at TSP. Visit their website for more information about marketing and social media in the tile industry: www.creatingyourspace.com

Passing of John Ames
April 13th, 2015
John Ames

John Ames

It is with profound sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of John Christopher Ames on April 6 after a brief struggle with leukemia. After earning an MBA from the University of British Columbia, John went on to become the third generation CEO of Ames Tile and Stone, founded in 1912. Under his passionate guidance, Ames Tile and Stone achieved the Gold Standard status with Canada’s Best Managed Companies and for the seventh consecutive year was named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces. John was committed to helping others. He founded the Ames Foundation to provide financial support to at-risk youth. He had a special interest in the Boys and Girls Club. Among many charitable activities, the Ride for Cancer was close to his heart. John’s energy knew no limits. He travelled the world and was fascinated in learning about other people and their cultures. He was always ready for a new challenge: backpacking in the Grand Canyon, bicycling in Italy, hiking the Cotswold Walk in England, and waterskiing on his beloved Sakinaw Lake. Apart from all these adventures, what John loved most was being with his family and friends. Son, brother, husband, Dad, partner, uncle, friend – he did it all with style. His incomparable zest for life and loyalty to family and friends will never be replaced in the lives of all who knew him.

Choosing the Best Countertop for Your Kitchen
April 2nd, 2015

When remodeling or upgrading your kitchen, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is choosing a
countertop material. With so many choices available, it can be a daunting task!
With some materials being nearly maintenance-free and others requiring a lot of care, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each material in order to determine the best choice for your lifestyle. Below is some information on five great options for kitchen countertops to help you select one that’s right for you.

Granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops. With its great combination of style and durability, it’s easy to understand why! It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, is stain-resistant and stands up well against the normal kitchen-related wear and tear, such as heat and knife nicks. Although granite doesn’t require much maintenance on a daily basis, it does need to be sealed once in a while in order to maintain its stain resistance. And since it’s heavy, sturdy cabinets are necessary to support the weight.

Alaska Granite slab
Calacatta Gold Bartop
Pictured: Alaska granite; Calacatta Gold marble

Marble is one of the most elegant and sophisticated looking natural stones, making it another frequently chosen material for kitchen countertops. After several years, marble takes on a patina, a look that many people love. It’s also highly resistant to heat and breakage. With monthly cleaning and sealing, marble can be very resilient.

Quartz countertops, made in a vast amount of colors, are aesthetically pleasing while being highly durable. And since they’re nonporous, you don’t need to worry about sealing them!
Unlike natural-stone slabs, which are mined, quartz slabs are engineered in a factory. A good alternative to stone, they provide the beauty of stone without the maintenance requirements.

Soapstone is becoming a more popular choice for kitchen countertops, likely due to the subtle beauty and simple feel it provides as compared to other materials. Similar to marble, it acquires a patina over time. One of the more high-maintenance materials, it needs to be oiled regularly. And, since it doesn’t fare so well against knife scratches and nicks, it can crack, resulting in an expensive fix. A large benefit, however, is soapstone’s resistance to stains. If you’re a coffee lover or wine aficionado, this is definitely a material you’ll want to consider!

Both ceramic and porcelain tile are inexpensive, easy to install and clean, and come in seemingly endless color and design options, making them suitable for just about any kitchen style. Tile is sturdy and does well with heat, sharp knives and stains. One of the greatest advantages of tile is that it’s fairly easy to replace in the event some tiles chip or crack.

Lyskamm Quartz Slab

Grey Soapstone Honed Slab Pictured: Lyskamm Italian-made quartz; Grey Soapstone Honed

About Arizona Tile
Founded in 1977 in San Diego, California, Arizona Tile has grown into a nationally recognized commercial and residential distributor with more than 25 showrooms throughout seven Western states. Arizona Tile is one of the largest independently-owned importers of stone in the United States, offering more than 230 varieties of granite, travertine, onyx, slate, marble, limestone and quartz, plus medallions, porcelain tile and other design creations. Founded by John Huarte, former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner, the company is still family-owned after more than 35 years.

Countdown to Coverings
March 27th, 2015

CTDA is excited to be a part of Coverings’15. This is a great opportunity for members to reconnect, share ideas, learn from industry experts and gain knowledge in a variety of fields. CTDA will be in booth #3015. We are showcasing our Supplier of the Year Award presentation at the Live Installation Demonstration Stage (booth # 3639) at 5:30pm on Tuesday, April 14. You can learn more about Coverings by following their blog or exploring their website.

See you in Orlando!

Travel to Turkey with CTDA
March 4th, 2015

The Turkish Ceramic Manufacturers Association is organizing a trade mission for CTDA distributor members. The trade mission will take place on June 3, 4 and 5. The Turkish manufacturers association will pay for up to two employees of a CTDA distributor to fly to Turkey and stay in a five star hotel in Istanbul on June 3, 4 and 5. Attendees will tour several Turkish manufacturer plants, enjoy Turkish hospitality and culture. Space is limited to the first 100 attendees to sign up.

To indicate your interest, please click on the link here and complete the form.

2015 Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends
February 27th, 2015

Every year brings along exciting new design trends and, with so much time being spent in the kitchen, they are one of the best rooms to update with some new features, whether large or small. Let’s look at four kitchen design trends that are going to be big in 2015.

One of the kitchen trends this year will be to add more color and liveliness with cheerful backsplashes, lighting and appliances. Mosaics will be popular for backsplash design, providing beautiful, eye-catching details that add elegance to an otherwise ordinary kitchen.
In 2015, stone and glass mosaics will be trendy, offering alternatives to the usual and expected mosaic designs. Stone mosaics will feature specialty shaped tiles such as ovals, triangles, and hexagons, with glass mosaics displaying rectangular tiles, among other shapes.

Arizona Tile Links Custom Backsplash

Arizona Tile Links Custom Backsplash

Arizona Tile Baroque Paradiso Glass & Sandalus Satin Granite

Arizona Tile Baroque Paradiso Glass & Sandalus Satin Granite

Gray and Neutral Combinations

Gray will continue to be in demand this year, along with neutrals such as taupe and beige. The combination of these colors, such as gray and beige, is going to be a color scheme frequently used in 2015 kitchen designs. Think of mixing these colors for countertops, walls and cabinets to create a light, spacious atmosphere.

Black is going to be on of 2015’s go-to colors in kitchen design. Black is an elegant, sleek choice, especially for those who may be looking to break away from the more traditional brightly colored kitchens.

Selecting black cabinetry or countertops is an easy and simple way to incorporate this classic, sophisticated color into your kitchen.

Textured Materials

Kitchens in 2015 will feature more textured and tactile materials. Natural marble and granite with honed finishes, along with fabricated stones made to replicate raw finishes, will be seen again and again. Incorporating these materials, similar to the Ivory Split 3D Stack Travertine, adds a touch of luxury to any kitchen.

To learn more about kitchen design and how you can incorporate some of these 2015 trends into your kitchen, stop by any of our Arizona Tile locations to speak with one of our professionally trained consultants.

Arizona Tile 3-D Ivory Split Mesh Mount Stack

Arizona Tile 3-D Ivory Split Mesh Mount Stack

2015 Bathroom Design Trends

Along with kitchens, bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in a home and are important to keep up-to-date for both for practicality and style. Here are four bathroom design trends that will be popular in 2015.

Shades of Gray

Yes, white will remain an extremely popular bathroom color choice. However, different shades of gray will be rivaling white this year. The National Kitchen and Bath Association found gray to be the fastest-growing shade for the bathroom.

Gray provides simplicity in a clean, yet more contemporary way, offering more modern appeal.

Arizona Tile Cementine Black and White Porcelain Decos

Arizona Tile Cementine Black and White Porcelain Decos

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are going to be big in 2015, being known for having low maintenance, great durability and a large selection of style options. If you’re in the market for a new countertop and thinking of something other than granite, quartz may be just the way to go this year.
If you’re in the market for a new countertop and thinking of something other than granite, quartz may be just the way to go this year.

Arizona Tile Islandia Barbados Chevron Glass & Lyskamm Quartz

Arizona Tile Islandia Barbados Chevron Glass & Lyskamm Quartz

Black Tile

Sleek black tiles will be in demand for those looking to create a bolder look in the bathroom and attain a more minimalist, modern vibe.

Black tile provides a dark, rich ambiance that could be a refreshing change to the more standard light and crisp bathroom décor.

Matte and Semi-Gloss Tiles

Although polished tiles will retain their popularity, bathroom design will move toward using matte and semi-gloss finished tiles this year. Softer, cozier spaces are trending in 2015 and these tiles are the perfect way to add this look and feel to a bathroom.
To learn more about bathroom design and how you can incorporate some of these 2015 trends into your bathroom, stop by any of our Arizona Tile locations to speak with one of our professionally trained consultants.

About Arizona Tile

Arizona Tile was founded in 1977, and is the largest independently owned importer of ceramic and porcelain tile, as well as natural stone slabs and tiles in the U.S. We are also proud to offer quartz and recycled glass slabs.

Still family-owned and serving customers for more than 35 years at 25 locations in 7 states, Arizona Tile imports more than 250 varieties of granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate and onyx. Not only do we stock over 40 series of porcelain and ceramic tile, our relationships with manufacturers allow us to develop new ceramic, porcelain and glass tile lines that are only available at Arizona Tile. Additionally, we offer over 30 colors in quartz and recycled glass slabs.

Statements Tile and Stone Announces the Retirement of Steve Calkins Founder of Statements Tile Retires After More than Four Decades in the Industry
February 26th, 2015

Statements Tile and Stone announces the retirement of Steve Calkins, its founder, original president and CEO. Calkins spent his entire career—over forty years—in the tile and floorcovering business. From 1972 to 1995, Calkins led Uniq Distributing, a family-owned distribution company with locations in Seattle, Spokane, Portland and Honolulu.
Steve Calkins founded Statements Tile and Stone in 1997 and quickly grew the company into one of the preeminent tile and stone distribution companies in the Pacific Northwest.
His retirement comes after a successful transition to new ownership under Renato Baldo and Joe Giusti, owners of Vancouver, BC-based Julian Tile. Ryan Calkins will continue to serve as the General Manager and US officer for Statements Tile and Stone. Ryan Calkins notes, “My father is known for his integrity, affability, and devotion to his staff. He is irreplaceable for us, but the foundations he built for this company ensure that we are on solid footing moving forward.”
In retirement, Steve Calkins plans to shave a few strokes off of his handicap, spend a lot more time with his grandchildren, and to stay involved in the industry as the principal owner of Status Ceramics, an artisan tile studio also based in Seattle.

Florida Tile complements Maltese porcelain floor tile with ceramic for walls
February 25th, 2015

LEXINGTON, KY – Florida Tile has “turned another corner” with the introduction of MalteseDP ceramic wall tile. The wall tile complements last year’s introduction of MalteseDP Digital Porcelain floor tile, its popularity based on the ability to differentiate from traditional limestone looks via the use of contemporary colors.

According to Marketing Director Sean Cilona, “Through the use of Florida Tile’s proprietary DP-Digital Printing, the entire MalteseDP line presents a superior natural stone look with the high shade variation and graphic resolution in superior-performing tile, both porcelain for floors and ceramic for walls.”

Initially introduced late last spring, MalteseDP porcelain floor tile was inspired by traditional limestone with small characteristic pits and slight veining. “Now,” says Cilona, “we have added the complementary wall tile to complete the line. Effective with this announcement, both products are in stock.”

“From the start, we wanted this MalteseDP to be a nod to the modernist style of mid-century American designers like Phillip Johnson and Charles Eames. The minimalist, yet warm aesthetics of MalteseDP make it the perfect backdrop for the style conscious. A versatile line, at home in a Midwestern suburb, bank lobby, or boutique hotel, the elegant look of limestone coordinates so well with any décor.”

Three earthy colors, Palma Brown, Porto Cream and Roman Grey, are presented in a smooth natural finish for both porcelain floor tiles and ceramic wall tile. Sizes are 12×12, 12×24, 18×18, and 10×13. Decorative accents include a geometric-styled listello, M12 mosaic and full floor and wall bullnose package.

With the exception of select trim, decorative and ceramic pieces, this product line is Made in the USA of at least 40% pre-consumer recycled content, is GREENGUARD Certified and Porcelain Tile Certified, and meets the new DCOF AcuTest requirements to be installed in wet areas.
Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panariagroup, a publicly owned company traded on the Milan Stock Exchange (MILAN: PAN IM). Panariagroup is a leading manufacturer and distributor in over 60 countries around the world with six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA and eight brands positioned in the high-end of the market.

What’s next for Spanish tile? Trends to watch for at CEVISAMA 2015.
February 2nd, 2015

During CEVISAMA 2015 we will get a close look at the new styles and innovations proposed by Tile of Spain ceramic tile manufacturers. The floor and wall ceramic collections exhibited at the show will mark the trends this year.

The broad themes that marked the design of ceramic tiles in recent years remain in 2015, but with upgrades imposed by the decorative demands of the times: innovative formats in size and thickness, more sober and essential colors, rustic-elegant combinations, mix designs, and a resurgence of classical pieces. Ultimately a whole spectrum of trends that run from rustic to refined.

What will we see in CEVISAMA 2015?

Use of color as an element of continuity between walls and floors, able to create a homogeneous scenario that helps to highlight the presence of other elements of decor and furnishings. Essential, sober and stone pieces in dark tones, usually with a subtle matte finish and discolorations provide a sense of time and naturalness.

Subtle Decorations and Accents
Following the same theme of monochromatic looks, ceramic tile collections introduced are subtly decorated, without great contrasts, to break the uniformity between floor and wall tile. The details, almost blurred, appear randomly placed, to create a harmonious rhythm and a personal touch.

Interpretations of nature
Ceramic tiles reinterpret nature faithfully and offer the largest collections of contemporary wood like materials. Tile leaves the original wood to mutate in a multitude of colors in various graphics which are able to convey the feeling of living space, with all the advantages of the durability of ceramics.

Superbright tiles that make spaces look sophisticated and elegant, while amplifying the space with light.

Endless decorations
The wide range of decorations and accent pieces featuring Spanish tiles makes it almost impossible to catalog them all! There are so many choices and personalities. 2015 will once again see delicate florals, abstract patterns and geometric motifs.

Square Mosaics
A lot of small pieces of mosaic tile in different shades of the same color range and finished in gloss and matte finishes join to form waves that create a wonderful optical illusion. This tendency to give extra volume to mosaics results in luxurious pieces that enrich the outcome of any project.

Mix & Match
This technique remains a must in 2015! The most traditional ceramic tiles, usually soft and delicate colors, are mixed in the most original way (materials, textures, colors, shapes, or graphic patterns) without losing their natural appeal.

Unicer - Serie Globe. Coating decorated pieces. Set of two pieces Maison Decor Brown (23.5 x 58 cm)

Unicer – Serie Globe. Coating decorated pieces. Set of two pieces Maison Decor Brown (23.5 x 58 cm)

El Molino - Nora Plus Series. Porcelain tile flooring. High brightness (16 x 65 cm)

El Molino – Nora Plus Series. Porcelain tile flooring. High brightness (16 x 65 cm)

Dune Ceramics - Salsa Groove-Series. Mosaic tiles in shades of brown gloss and matte (11.93 x 13.39 cm)

Dune Ceramics – Salsa Groove-Series. Mosaic tiles in shades of brown gloss and matte (11.93 x 13.39 cm)

Cristacer - Serie Violette. Coating decorated pieces. Violette Gray Decor (25 x 40 cm)

Cristacer – Serie Violette. Coating decorated pieces. Violette Gray Decor (25 x 40 cm)

Bestile - Serie Urals. Porcelain tile flooring. Ideas multicolored wood (15 x 60 cm)

Bestile – Serie Urals. Porcelain tile flooring. Ideas multicolored wood (15 x 60 cm)

Azuliber - Serie Soula. Paved stoneware porcelánico. Soula gray (50 x 50 cm). Decor Soula gray (50 x 50 cm)

Azuliber – Serie Soula. Paved stoneware porcelánico. Soula gray (50 x 50 cm). Decor Soula gray (50 x 50 cm)

For more information about Spanish tile, and Tile of Spain manufacturers, follow the blog at tileofspainusa.com.

Bellavita’s Wall Tile Factory Becomes First Chinese Manufacturer to Acheive Green Squared Certification
January 8th, 2015

Bellavita Tile, a leader in design and innovation for the North American tile industry, proudly announces status as the first manufacturer with production facilities in China to achieve Green SquaredTM certification under ANSI standard A 138.1. Certified by UL Environment, this is an incredibly grand achievement for the company and the entire industry in China.

Green SquaredTM is North America’s in-depth multi-attribute standard for the tile industry and  as such applies directly for compliance to many materials credits in the newly revised LEED v4 building certification program and other green building platforms.

“One of our core strategies has been to marry the key strengths of Chinese manufacturing practices with top european machinery and operations,” says Mike Ward, VP of Sales for Bellavita, “achieving this certification goes a long way towards proving that Bellavita is a leader not just among Chinese manufacturers but on a global scale. We are very proud.”

Currently applying to all 4×16” (100x400mm) material and 3×6” (76x152mm) material, this certification covers a large majority of the product assortment of the factory and plans are in place to certify the remaining balance of production formats.


About Bellavita Tile

Bellavita Tile offers an amazing array of glass, ceramic and porcelain mosaics and tiles aggressively positioned for all price points. From residential to commercial projects, the company provides timeless solutions for nearly any style or budget. All of the products are produced in China using the most state-of-the-art technologies and innovative designs developed in Europe. For more Bellavita Tile information, visit the web: www.bellavitatile.com.or contact us directly at project-info@bellavitatile.com. Bellavita Tile is also active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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