Innovations & Insights
July 1st, 2011

New Products and Insights From the Tiling Industry


Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell

“Total Solutions Plus was the best business investment I made in 2010. I made several great contacts at the Table Top event, learned some valuable lessons from the seminar program and came away totally energized for the New Year. I am taking additional staff this year so they get the same educational advantage and we can cover more seminars!” – Harold Yarborough Total Solutions Plus offers you education, new markets, and nonstop networking with industry leaders. Don’t miss this opportunity to join the members of CTDA, TCNA and NTCA when they convene November 7-11, at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Chandler, Arizona, for a tile industry event unlike any other. Participate in a fi rst-class seminar program that includes Donato Grosser on “The U.S. Economy and Changes in Ceramic Tile Distribution” and David Parker on “It’s Not Up-Selling, It’s Selling Right.” Learn how to deal with the current challenges in Customs and other import issues. Share your story and learn from other attendees at Distributors and Contractor forums. See the latest products at the Table Top Showcase. In a very special closing keynote on Veterans Day, November 11, hear retired Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Lone Survivor, tell the harrowing story of four Navy SEALs who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Operation Redwing.

Noble Company announced the official release of BIM (Building Information Modeling) objects covering the company’s most popular new product line, the FreeStyle Linear Drain. Working in conjunction with SMARTBIM, a leader in development of BIM objects, Noble Company provides these models for the growing number of architects using BIM’s drag-and-drop capability as their design tools of choice. The FreeStyle Linear Drain’s library of BIM objects is fully compatible with Autodesk® Revit®. These objects are located on the Noble Company website. The FreeStyle Linear Drain is ideal for curbless, barrier-free and handicapped showers in new construction or renovation. It is constructed of one-piece, seamless PVC or ABS with no manufacturing seams or weldments. The drain is engineered with an exclusive membrane clamping mechanism to ensure a completely watertight connection with the waterproofi ng membrane of the shower base. FreeStyle Linear Drains are available in six lengths and four brushed stainless strainer styles. Custom sizes are available for quantity orders.

Nuheat logoThe Harmony, exclusively manufactured for Nuheat by Honeywell, is a single thermostat compatible with both 120V& 240V floor heating systems. The 7-day programmable thermostat continues to boast its designer inspired aesthetics, mounting flush into a standard doublegang electrical receptacle (behind any decora-style faceplate). Nuheat’s Harmony thermostat remains the only one of its kind in the floor heating industry. Offering a fusion between form and function, it has become a popular item with many designers and renovators. The enhanced dualvoltage feature now streamlines the purchasing process. Dual-Voltage Harmony: Increases energy effi ciency of any electric floor heating system; Has built-in G.F.C.I protection; and Boasts a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

GFCI EQUIPPED THERMOSTATS FROM EASYHEATTo give an added level of personal protection, EasyHeat has upgraded its entire line of floorwarming thermostats to include built-in Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter safety (GFCI). Dubbed the G Series, the new thermostats are identical in size, functionality, use of the floor temperature sensor, and mounting configuration to existing EasyHeat thermostats, making installation in new and retrofit applications simple. GFCI protection minimizes the risk of electrical shock and short outs. In fact, it is required by the NEC (US National Electric Code) for floorwarming systems installed in bathrooms. Incorporating a GFCI into the thermostat also saves the expense of purchasing separate Ground Fault Interrupter. EasyHeat G Series thermostats are available in 120V and 240V, in programmable or nonprogrammable designs.

The Grandeur series is the latest High Definition Porcelain introduction from Florida Tile. Created with the newest digital printing technology, this Breccia Marble has been the staple floor and wall covering for centuries. From the civic buildings that lined Palatine Hill and the palatial villas of roman emperors to the modern steel and glass high-rises of our global cityscapes, Marble is a timeless, classic look. A natural color palette offers 5 traditional colors, all inclusive of the strong, multichromatic veining that makes this look a style icon. This glazed porcelain is available in a natural and polished finished, a first for Florida Tile. The company is the first domestic manufacturer to offer a digitally printed product with a polished finish. Made possible through painstaking R&D, the finish will not harbor dirt and other debris. Sizes include 12×12, 18×18 and 9×18 in natural as well as 17×17 and 8.5×17 in polished and rectified. Floor and wall bullnose, chair rails, stops, listellos, decorative accents and mosaics are included.

Rovin Ceramics, a supplier of moist clay, raw materials, and other pottery supplies, will be moving to Ann Arbor and coming under the wing of Motawi Tileworks. After owning Rovin Ceramics for 27 years, and managing the company with Stephanie Keene, Ron, and Barbara Ruth, and Stephanie decided it was time to move on and pursue other venues. Rovin has been making the Tileworks’ special blend clay for more than a decade, since their orders got too big for legendary Ann Arbor potter J.T. Abernathy, to handle. Rovin Ceramics supplies schools, colleges and professional artists all over Michigan and Northern Ohio, as well as throughout the country. Nawal Motawi says “A lot of clay people rely on Rovin. And it has definitely served the Tileworks well. I think it’s a good business and I believe that my staff and I can carry it forward, continuing to provide Rovin’s customers with the kind of great service they are used to.” Motawi will continue the business without drastic changes except to move it to 253 Dino Drive, off Jackson Road, just west of Baker Road. Signature products Rovin Moist Clays, Bright Ice glaze and Soft Touch underglaze can all be produced on-site, as before. Heather Kitson will run Rovin Ceramics in it’s Ann Arbor incarnation. She has most recently been the manager of Motawi’s Wholesale Gift Tile department. According to Nawal Motawi: “Ms. Kitson is an inveterate planner, quite exacting and personable, a great person to run the new Rovin Ceramics.“ Ryanne Arecheja, Andy Bell, and Dave Beyer, all from Motawi Tileworks, will round out the Rovin staff. Former Rovin manager, Stephanie Keene has agreed to help with the transition.


David Getty

Activant Solutions Inc. announces that David Getty has been named vice president of product development for its Wholesale Distribution Division. Since 2007, Getty has been Activant’s senior director of product engineering and development. He joined Activant in 1992 following graduation from college, and was an original member of the development team for Activant’s industry-leading Prophet 21® ERP platform. According to Kevin Roach, executive vice president and general manager of Activant’s Wholesale Distribution Division, “Over the last several years, Dave has led the division’s product development team through several major strategic initiatives, including a transformation to Scrum agile development, the integration of our Prophet 21 software with our B2B Seller™ and Trading Partner Connect™ products, the creation of important extensibility tools like DynaChange™ Portals and Rules, and the introduction of a suite of tools to track project development and quality metrics. We look forward to his continued direction in the development of our planned next generation products.”

From celebrities to soccer moms, every woman wants that perfect Hollywood smoky eye effect. Bellavita Tile has translated that makeup trend to tile with the H Line of mosaic tiles that offer an ever-so-slight smoky look for designing with tile. Offering a softly blended mix to upscale interiors, the H Line series subtly accents the features of the home in several different sizes and color styles. Choose from 4” x 16” and 3” x 6” formats or 1” x 1” mosaics. The collection has a glossy finish and comes in seven colors. The mosaics are available in seven solid colors plus three blends. A full collection of trims is also available.

Parex USA, Inc. announced the launch of Burst, an add-a-pack accelerator additive for portland cement mortars. Burst is a powerful additive accelerant used to give portland cement products a “burst” of energy for faster setting times. It can be used to help speed up work times in most any portland cement mortar such as mud beds, masonry mortars, underlayments, thin sets and grouts. Burst: Accelerates set times for cement based products; Is handy and easy to use; Does not impede mortar attributes; Has a minimal effect to color of grouts; Eliminates the need for Rapid-set SKU’s; and Is excellent for repair work. “We are very excited by the introduction of Burst into the market,” said Luciano Tavares, Brand Manager for Merkrete. “Burst is the first product of its kind in our industry. We have received an overwhelming response in the field and we are confident that Burst will be a welcome tool in the tile setting industry.”

Mediterranea has announced the launch of the Exotica collection of plank-sized, exotic hardwoodlook glazed porcelain tiles in colors and surface textures that reflect the uniqueness of the prized exotic rainforests species. Exotica from Mediterranea allows flooring dealers and distributors the luxury of offering a vibrant, true-to-life exotic woodlook glazed porcelain collection with consistent, timely delivery for increased inventory turns and profits. The Exotica series from Mediterranea has been made available for architects, interior designers and private homeowners in one standard, 6” x 24” plank-style format and five rich exotic hardwood color styles. Mediterranea has designed the Exotica series to feature the true hand-scraped or hand-brushed, aged-worn surface texture and shade variations that only exotic specietypes can provide. Exotica is now available in Oak, Chestnut, Cherry, Walnut and Espresso. Exotica is ideal for fast-paced, high-traffic commercial applications, mainstreet retail projects or upscale private residential settings.

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