Industry Insights
September 1st, 2005

September-October 2005

Palmer new V-P at Mid-America Tile

Thomas J. Kotel, President of Mid-America Tile announced the appointment of Jim Palmer to the newly created position of Vice President, Sales & Marketing. Palmer, an industry veteran of over 20 years comes to Mid-America Tile from Florida Tile where he served as Midwest Regional Manager. Prior to that Palmer was the Vice President, Colorado Operations for Hughes Western Sales. According to Kotel, “Jim’s extensive management background with ceramic tile and commercial resilient products was exactly what we were looking for to help take Mid-America Tile to the next level.” Mid-America Tile, a wholesale flooring importer/distributor founded in 1961 serves the greater Chicagoland area from its headquarters in Elk Grove Village and its branches in Romeoville and Mundelein, Illinois.

Ammons joins Bostik

Randy Ammons has joined Bostik Inc.’s Flooring Group as Territory Manager, overseeing Hydroment® ceramic and DURABOND® ceramic, carpet, vinyl, and patch product accounts in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Ammons is adept at managing strategic accounts and servicing distributors and retail centers, and their contractor customers. “Through the years, I’ve had to sell against several Bostik Flooring solutions in the field,” Ammons said. “While I had my share of successes, there’s no doubt that Bostik Flooring is unmatched in this industry in terms of breadth of product, and the superior performance that its people and proven products consistently deliver. I grew to respect Bostik Flooring so much that I simply couldn’t pass up this tremendous opportunity to join them.” Robert McNamara, National Sales & Marketing Manager for Bostik Flooring, said, “Randy is a determined, successful contributor who takes the time necessary to truly listen to clients and follow through on their needs.”

Interceramic opens new plant in Chihuahua, Mexico

Interceramic announced the opening of its newest manufacturing facility, Plant 8, in Chihuahua, Mexico. After more than 26 years as a manufacturer in the ceramic tile industry, the company now has eight manufacturing facilities in four different complexes; three located in Chihuahua, Mexico and one in Garland, TX U.S.A. This new facility increases capacity by 25%, bringing current total manufacturing capacity to 400 million square feet.

This new project started last year and represents an investment of $30 million. This plant, which was designed by Interceramic’s engineers in collaboration with Sacmi, the world leader in the manufacturing of machinery for the manufacturing of ceramic tile, is the most sophisticated in the world to date. The company’s mission has been to stay at the forefront of technology to better compete in North America and world wide.

In keeping with this philosophy, the new plant includes the most advanced glazing equipment to accomplish the newest looks in demand in the market, and the finished product is handled entirely by automation and utilizes robots operated by lasers. Interceramic’s products are distributed in Mexico through a unique system of more than 200 franchised galleries. In the US and Canada, Interceramic is available through a network of over 100 independent distributors as well as 23 distribution centers/store galleries, which are all owned and operated by Interceramic USA.

Raish Joins Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants

Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, LLC (CTaSC) announced that Steve A. Raish has joined the company as a forensic consultant investigator and a ceramic tile and stone installation trainer. Raish will be in charge of the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (U of CTS) hands-on installation programs where he will develop and teach installation training programs. Raish will also manage forensic installation failure investigations and will perform some inspections himself. Raish is a California licensed installer of ceramic tile and stone and is considered an expert craftsman. He started Steve Raish Tile Company in 1985 and spent 15 years specializing in custom installations of ceramic tile and stone to include slab stone installations. In 2000 Raish went to work for Laticrete International, a manufacturer of installation products for ceramic tile and stone, and he worked there until joining CTaSC. At Laticrete, Raish assisted architects in writing ceramic tile and stone installation specifications and performed “live” hands-on demonstrations for training programs. He also provided on-site assistance to installers and investigated job problems. Raish was honored with the special H.T. Swanson Award in his first year of employment at Laticrete.

Louisville Tile celebrates 50 years

Louisville Tile Distributors celebrated its 50th year in business with simultaneous “birthday” parties at each of the company’s eight locations. “We have enjoyed 50 years of success thanks to the dedication of our people,” explains Jud Wilcox, Founder and CEO of Louisville Tile Distributors, Inc. “The Louisville Tile family has reached this half-century mark together.” Louisville Tile currently has eight locations, employing 140 people, throughout the mid-east region. The multi-million dollar company has diverse product offerings, longstanding customer relationships and the buying power of eight branches. Today, Louisville Tile is poised for additional expansion, having proven to be an evolutionary distributor able to change and grow with the times for long-term success.

Laticrete: Supplier of the Year

LATICRETE International, Inc., a global leader in the manufacture of tile and stone installation systems, received the prestigious title of TileAmerica! “Supplier of the Year.” The award, presented annually at the Coverings exhibition, recognizes the TileAmerica! supplier who has provided “outstanding support and superior service throughout the year.” TileAmerica!, a multi-location tile and stone retailer/wholesaler headquartered in New Haven, CT, chose LATICRETE as “Supplier of the Year” out of TileAmerica!’s multitude of suppliers world-wide, and in the first full year after taking on the LATICRETE product line. “We have suppliers all over the globe, but this year’s best in products and services happened to be right here in our own backyard,” said Brian Knies, TileAmerica! President. “This award is presented on behalf of TileAmerica!’s associates and recognizes the LATICRETE team for its outstanding supplier efforts. LATICRETE has proved to be very customer focused and has definitely contributed to TileAmerica!’s success.”

Mer-Krete Maxxon Alliance

Mer-Krete Systems announced a strategic partnership with Maxxon Corporation, in which Maxxon will recommend the exclusive use of an anti-fracture membrane from Mer-Krete, to meet new TCA guidelines F-180-05 and F-200-05. The guidelines recommend crack isolation membranes to be placed over poured gypsum underlayments prior to adhering to tile or stone. The alliance also enables Maxxon to offer improved customer service with Mer-Krete’s 15-year warranty. Products endorsed include Mer-Krete’s anti-fracture membrane Fracture-Guard 5000 and the waterproofing membrane Hydro-Guard 2000. Mer-Krete will recommend Maxxon’s industry renowned gypsum underlayments as products of choice, making the 15-year warranty proprietary with all Maxxon underlayments. “Maxxon is clearly the best at what they do, so we’re very pleased that a company of this caliber recognizes what we have to offer,” said Tim McDonald, CEO of Mer-Krete Systems. “Just as sand and cement complement one another to create an enhanced all-purpose substance, we believe our two companies shared strengths will provide many additional customer benefits.”

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