From the Editor’s Desk: Remodeling today is as much about leveraging the best of technology as it is about changing the tile in the bathroom
July 1st, 2005


by Janet Arden, Editor
July-August 2005

You only need to stop at the newsstand and review the growing number of shelter magazines or cruise the cable TV listings noting the variety of design and remodeling shows to realize how big remodeling and renovating are to today’s homeowners.

In this issue’s One-on-One with Don Novak, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodelers Council, he points out that this year’s remodeling budget is expected to be $235 billion, a whopping 15-percent jump from last year. Whether they are doing it themselves or having professionals tackle the job, whether the budget is in the tens of thousands of dollars or $1,000, remodeling and renovating are big business—and good business—for this industry.

After talking to exhibitors and buyers at Coverings, after listening to the seminars and reading up on the trends, I think one of the most exciting aspects of today’s remodeling and renovating is the opportunity it offers to invest in new technology for our homes and offices. I am more than old enough to remember the early seventies, when the goal of many home improvements was to save energy. Some of them weren’t terribly attractive—insulation-wrapped water heaters, for example—and I’m not sure how much energy some efforts even saved, but they certainly created a marketplace.

Technology in this industry has taken some exciting turns—mold resistant materials that block growth before it starts, underfloor heating systems, harder, more wear-resistant tiles with more exciting finishes than ever. Today’s remodeled baths and kitchens often sport a glamorous mix of ceramic, metal and glass tiles. Substrates and installation techniques continue to benefit from technology.

Remodeling today is as much about leveraging the best of technology as it is about changing the tile in the bathroom.

And, just as importantly, remodeling today is also about upgrading. Homeowners aren’t just replacing old, cracked bathroom tiles, they’re opting for a spa look that mixes stone-look porcelain with glass mosaics. They’re replacing sheet flooring with large-format porcelain. They’re tiling beyond the kitchen and bath to include the sunroom, family room, hot tub or pool surround.

This kind of remodeling is very good business for tile dealers. It brings to your door the customers who want good products and are willing to pay for them and their professional installation.

How do you fit in this remodeling boom? Does your showroom feature the products remodelers are looking for? Are you connected with designers and contractors who manage these jobs? Perhaps the most important question is, how do you want to fit in this marketplace?


For all of you who asked about the glass tile on last month’s cover, it is from Crossville.

Ryan Roth of International Wholesale Tile called to say that the company provided 100% of the tile for a complete bathroom and shower install in the St. Petersburg, Florida, Extreme Home Makeover episode profiled in the May/June issue of TileDealer. The tile came from International Wholesale Tile dealer Leverette Tile of Port Richey, FL. “This included tumbled marble from our Tesoro brand and travertine for the floor. The retail value of the donation was almost $3,000,” said Roth.

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