November 2nd, 2007

November-December 2007

Q.E.P. Co., Inc. introduced the Brutus 10059, a 13⁄8" porcelain diamond hole saw, designed for cutting through porcelain, ceramic, glass, marble and granite tile. Mark Deutsch, Product Manager, explains, “The Brutus 10059 is ideal for faucet, pipe and showerhead installations, since the diamond grit edge offers the ability to easily cut holes in the hardest tile currently sold in the market today.” The Brutus 10059 offers consistent performance with a low wear rate, since the gulleted edge results in faster cuts, less dust and less chance of chipping. The patented water dispersion system that is included helps in extending the life of the hole saw by cooling it with water during drilling. It also acts as a drill guide, securing the saw’s position for quick and accurate cutting. In other news, the company has also introduced the Black Widow diamond blade, especially designed for very fast, chip- and wobble-free cutting of hard tiles such as porcelain, marble and granite. The unique diamond cuts around its perimeter keep the blade cooler for superior performance and a longer life. Independent tests have shown that the total average cut speed for the 10" Black Widow blade on 12"x12" grade 5 porcelain is 17.14 seconds, faster than other porcelain cutting blades in its class. Available in 4", 7", 8" and 10" blade sizes.

Activant Solutions Inc. announces the availability of Activant Prophet 21 version 11.5. Based on industry trends and customer requests, the latest version of the Windows-based solution features new lost sales reason codes, improved profit margin tracking, and more. “The release of Prophet 21 version 11.5 reaffirms Activant’s commitment to providing distributors with the best enterprise software solution available,” said Steve McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager of Activant’s wholesale distribution group. “Prophet 21 version 11.5 offers a host of new features, including enhanced commission functionality and the new portal view, all designed to help distributors streamline processes and run their businesses more efficiently.” Prophet 21 launches a portal view each time a new module is opened, which, when enabled, populates with role- and module-specific information that allows users to quickly view their open tasks and activities, as well as open quotes and open orders. Enhanced commission module functionality allows commissions to be calculated based on the order type, adjustments to be made for terms and late payments, and includes support for commission splits. The capability to Modify Existing Financial Statements Integration between Prophet 21 and Microsoft Excel has been enhanced to improve auditing accuracy by offering the freedom to insert, remove, or reposition lines on any Excel spreadsheet associated with a financial statement. Calculate Pricing by Product Group Profit Margin to ensure that all items within a given product group continue to yield the desired profit margin and to specify a gross profit percentage and cost source at the product group level. The solution then recalculates the price of each item within the product group, and when updated, displays the new sales price on all order lines. Lost Sales Reason Codes allow users to track if a sale was lost due to a data entry error, an inventory deficiency, or more, and provide insight into how inventory forecasting or internal processes must be altered to improve sale completion. Margin of Last Sale helps to keep margins and profit percentages predictable.

Esquire, a Florim brand, has launched Hampton, a new line of glazed porcelain tile. Each of Hampton’s three earthen colors—Rockland, Stone Creek and Sea Cliff—feature slight shade variations from tile to tile to create the look of natural stone. The authentic colors interplay beautifully, offering opportunity for unique installations and patterns. Additionally, the line’s two multi-color 12"x12" mosaic tile options enhance the versatility of the product. All colors are available in 12"x12" and 18"x18" field tiles with accompanying 3"x12" bullnose trims. Hampton’s palette of stone colors and convincing detailing give the line an air of casual sophistication. Hampton’s Stone Creek and Sea Cliff colors PEI class IV products, and the Rockland colorway is a PEI III. Its adaptable styling, superior performance and slip resistance are excellent for wet areas and locations with high traffic—from kitchens and baths to entryways and waiting rooms. Hampton may be used on floors and walls. Esquire is manufactured domestically by Florim of Clarksville, Tenn. and is part of the family of brands of The Florim Group of Italy.

Mer-Krete Systems introduced revolutionary and proven Dust-Less Thin-Set Mortar with its 7d10 Dust-Less Thin-Set. Featuring 80% less dust than ordinary thin-sets, this innovative product is remarkable for improved air quality, healthier working conditions, reduced mess and faster cleanup, thereby lowering total application costs. By eliminating most of the airborne dust, this new, groundbreaking product leads to a better quality installation. Mer-Krete 7d10 Dust-Less Thin-Set mixes just like ordinary thin-sets and spreads easily and evenly, with great workability. The product cures quickly and provides outstanding bond strength. The 7d10 Dust-Less Thin-Set is the first low-dust technology in the U.S. combining innovation and proven efficiency. Mer-Krete brings to the U.S. customers its group experience in Europe, where its Dust-Less technology has been successfully marketed under the brand Lanko. Over 50 million square feet of tiles were installed using the product within the past 18 months, providing extraordinary results to the great satisfaction of its users.

Diteq’s new Rocket is specially designed to handle the larger tiles and stone slabs commonly used in commercial and upper scale residential jobs. It cuts very accurately—to within five thousandths of an inch—making it excellent for jobs where an out-of-aligned cut becomes painfully obvious; where few or no grout lines are specified; or whenever expensive materials are being used and waste must be minimized. The Rocket’s 24-inch square cutting cart has an extension that accommodates slabs up to 24 inches by 36 inches. It permits rip cuts up to 38 inches and rotates up to 90 degrees for precise angle cuts. The cart rides on six roller bearings located inside a rigid extruded aluminum track for smooth, precise cuts. The cutting head pivots, or “rocks,” to enable plunge cuts and accommodate operator comfort. The powerful 1.5 horsepower Leeson motor is located below the table for smoother, quieter operation. All this capacity and precision comes in a portable saw that is easy to set up, tear down and move around the job site. Dan Steiner, president of DITEQ, explains who the Rocket is for. “With the growing use of large tile and more expensive stone materials, the time for a saw like the Rocket has come. It’s not for everyone, but contractors who get into these larger jobs absolutely love the combination of precision, capacity and portability the Rocket delivers.”

Specialty Construction Brands, Inc. announced the launch of its TEC family of lightweight mortars: SturdiLight™, FullLight™ and IsoLight™. The new mortars will join TEC 3N1™ lightweight performance mortar to provide the only complete family of lightweight mortars for virtually every application. The new products weigh 25 lbs or 30 lbs per bag compared to 50 lbs for conventional mortars, yet provide the same coverage rates as a 50 lb bag. They also provide excellent bond performance, superior handling characteristics and important environmental benefits with a minimum of 10% recycled materials. “Our lightweight mortars offer up to twice the coverage per pound,” says Rachel Gibbons, brand manager for TEC. “Installers have the benefit of smaller, lighter bags to carry. And once mixed, the product is also lighter to spread—reducing the physical stress associated with tile installation. Lighter mortar also means reduced construction dead load weight—very important for architects and specifiers.” In addition to the efficiencies of lighter weight bags, the new TEC mortars are notably easier to use. The formulation includes smooth-surface “microspheres” that provide a ball bearing effect during troweling. Therefore, the mortars spread very easily, resulting in less arm fatigue for installers. The advanced formulation sets a new standard in the lightweight category and provides clear advantages over other lightweight and standard mortars. TEC lightweight mortars do not ‘skin over’ as rapidly as traditional products. Installers can distribute mortar over a larger surface area before setting tile, leading to enhanced efficiency and productivity overall. Finally, because TEC lightweight mortars are formulated with a minimum of 10% recycled materials, they help contribute to LEED certification. The four products in the line are created to address virtually every application need in the market.

Hakatai Enterprises Inc. introduced a new, stylish collection of twenty-six hand-cut, hand-crafted glass mosaic repeating patterns. All twenty-six patterns can be customized using Hakatai’s vast color selection of fashionable glass tiles from the Classic, Luster, Aventurine and Fantastix series. Each repeating pattern is hand assembled based on customer color choices. Hakatai’s new hand-cut custom repeating patterns gallery is available for browsing in the “Mosaic Murals and Design” section of Gallery images feature each of the twenty-six patterns in full detail as well as installation illustrations. Hakatai also provides links to mechanical drawings that specify tile sizes, colors shown and options for pattern variations when applicable.

DuPont™ StoneTech® Professional is introducing two new professional grade water-based stone sealers and a new water-based heavy duty coating stripper. DuPont™ StoneTech® Professional High Gloss Finishing Sealer provides a brilliant shine and enhances color while StoneTech® Semi Gloss Finishing Sealer provides subtle shine and color enhancement. Both products are ideal for use on natural stone surfaces including slate, Saltillo, limestone and travertine and will be available in 1-quart, 1-gallon, 5-gallon, and 55-gallon sizes. “These new water-based sealers and coating stripper represent some of the most effective and best performing products on the market today—solvent- or water-based,” Cathy Hampton, general manager—DuPont™ StoneTech®, said. “The sealers are perfect to protect a wide variety of natural stone surfaces and the coating stripper is effective on a variety of finishes that may be on the surface of stones.” StoneTech® Professional High Gloss Finishing Sealer and Semi Gloss Finishing Sealer offer numerous benefits, including water-based formulas, easy to use, low odor, resistance to oil and water-based stains, and durable finishes. DuPont™ StoneTech® Heavy Duty Coating Stripper removes coatings, lacquers, varnishes and epoxy grout haze and may be used on many natural stone surfaces including slate, Saltillo and marble. StoneTech® Heavy Duty Coating Stripper will be available in 1-quart, 1-gallon and 5 gallon sizes. Additional benefits include water-based formula, easy to use, low odor, non-flammable, high viscosity, allowing better user control. “DuPont is committed to continuously improving our products and raising the performance bar in the industry,” Hampton said. “Every day, we are working hard to provide customized solutions needed to solve problems, create new opportunities and give our customers the freedom to innovate.”

The Marble & Granite Gallery is marketing an exciting new and rare Fossil Fish limestone. The limestone contains fossils of the fish species Knightia Eoceania from the Green River Formation of Southwestern Wyoming deposited 50 million years ago. These specimens, found in light colored limestone, measure 5" from head to tail and are similar to today’s herring. The Green River system was composed of three lakes: Lake Ulinta, Lake Gosiute and Fossil Lake. These Eocene lakes lay in a series of intermountain basins formed by geological events that uplifted the Rocky Mountains during the early Tertiary time. The climate was much different from the desert-like climate of this area today. Both the fauna (crocodiles, alligators, boa constrictors and some subtropical fish families) and the flora (such as large palm trees) indicate a climate much like that found along the Gulf Coast today. Large amounts of ash found in the sediments indicate that volcanoes were particularly active at this time. The fossils of the Green River Formation—each one unique—are some of nature’s finest. They are highly valued by collectors the world over. This new limestone is on display to builders, developers, contractors, architects, designers and individuals in metropolitan Detroit who want to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen, countertop, bathroom, fireplace, floor or patio.

Questech has introduced elegant cast stone switch plate designs that beautifully coordinate with natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tile. Questech’s switch plates not only meet consumer demand for matching and coordinated finishing touches, but also add timeless style that lasts a lifetime. Crafted with natural stone, the switch plates are virtually indestructible and easy to install. All are available with Questech’s revolutionary Q-Seal™, a factory-applied sealant that is guaranteed for life, protecting the plates from fingerprints, smudges and stains. “Use with a stone backsplash and they appear part of the design,” said Gary Marmer, vice president of Marketing for Questech. “Put them against a painted wall and they pull the room together.” Questech’s cast stone switch plates are available in nine configurations, from singles to triples, toggles to decora-styles. Coordinate or contrast with your décor—the switch plates are offered in natural travertine or a darker noche finish and can accommodate fan controls, sliding dimmers and phone and cable jacks. The switch plates come with coordinating mounting hardware and are recessed in back to fit perfectly on the wall for a seamless, custom look. Questech’s cast stone switch plates were recently honored with Design Journal’s 2007 Gold ADEX (Awards for Design Excellence). The coveted Awards for Design Excellence are bestowed annually and constitute the largest and most prestigious awards program for product design of furniture, fixtures and finishes marketed to the design trade.

MAPEI Ultraflex™ 2 mortar with Dust-Free Technology
MAPEI Global Research & Development has engineered an innovative new technology that significantly reduces dust generation from MAPEI products used on tile and stone installation jobsites. Performance testing has recorded a 90% reduction in the amount of dust released during production, pouring, mixing and use of products containing Dust-Free Technology. Lower amounts of dust being released from the product on the jobsite leads to a cleaner workplace environment. To view a video demonstration of Dust-Free Technology, please visit the following URL:

The technology will be applied to a wide range of cement-based products as part of MAPEI’s long-range operations strategy. Management selected Ultraflex 2 professional-grade, polymer-modified mortar as the first product implementing the new technology because it is the most widely used MAPEI tile installation product in the Americas. “Dust-Free Technology does not affect Ultraflex 2’s excellent setting characteristics, and it has tremendous benefits,” said Jeff Leone, Director of Strategic Marketing. “The only change installers will notice is the much clearer air and easier jobsite cleanup.” Rainer Blair, President and CEO of MAPEI Americas, considers Dust-Free Technology another example of the company’s “continuous innovation” strategy that has made it a technological leader over the past 70 years. “We feel that Dust-Free Technology will enable us to provide our extended family of customers with a cleaner jobsite environment,” Blair said. “MAPEI always supplies ‘Technology You Can Build On.’”

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