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: contact us directly at Bellavita Tile is also active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

November 3rd, 2014

E. CANTON, OH (October 20, 2014) – David Allen Company, a leading installer of tile, marble, granite and terrazzo, donated six trucks of flooring to Tile Partners for Humanity (TPFH) from its Washington, D.C., facility in September.

TPFH represents the partnership of tile industry members working to support nonprofit partners like Habitat for Humanity and community outreach centers through donations of tile materials and labor. The flooring donations benefitted Dry Ridge ReUse Center in Dry Ridge, Ky., and Operation Compassion in Cleveland, Tenn. TPFH coordinated the donations on behalf of the organizations, which both serve multiple communities in and around the Appalachian Mountains.

David Allen Company is a Five-Star contractor member of the National Tile Contractors Association, a longtime supporter of TPFH. David Allen Company is also a member of the Marble Institute of America and the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association. The company is headquartered in Raleigh, NC, and has locations in South Florida, Washington, DC, Birmingham, AL, and Lexington, SC. David Allen Company has also donated truckloads of excess product to TPFH several times over the past three years.

Herb Miller, executive director of Tile Partners for Humanity and its parent organization, Mountain Re-Source Center, thanked David Allen Company for its ongoing partnership.

“It’s awesome that partners like David Allen Company realize the importance of supporting the work of local nonprofits through the donation of good material that they no longer need. Through this incredible donation, two organizations that each serve multiple communities will be able to use tile to rebuild and improve the lives of several families. Thank you!”

About Tile Partners for Humanity/Mountain Re-Source Center

Tile Partners for Humanity represents a partnership of tile industry members supporting Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations. TPFH is part of Mountain Re-Source Center, which welcomes donations of all types of building materials as well as disaster relief supplies, educational resources, household necessities, and medical supplies. To donate or for more information on MRC or TPFH, contact MRC Executive Director Herb Miller at 304-678-4229/ or Networking Director Ally Venugopal at 425-429-6188/ MRC provides a donation receipt for tax purposes. For more information, visit or



Arizona Tile Offers Eco-Friendly Option with Curava Glass from Italy
August 25th, 2014

The newest products in the stone and tile industry can be found at Arizona Tile. From the latest innovations using digital printing, to recycled products, to glass murals as pieces of art, to Curava Recycled Glass countertops from Italy.

Second Chances

Curava recycled glass countertops are an eco-friendlyoptionwith60%recycled glass; these products save bottles, windshields and windows from landfills. Given its environmentally-friendly attributes, it can contribute LEED points to a project.Once the glass is collected, it is ground into small chips and combined with quartz and resin, as well as shells in two of the colors, to form beautiful slabs that are stain and heat-resistant. Curava recycled glass requires very little maintenance, is non-porous and is offered in five colors. This product is the only recycled glass slab on the market available in2cm(3/4”), as wellasthetypical3cm(1-1/4”)thickness.

AT148_Samsung Radianz Quartz Brochure

To see the five amazing colors available in recycled glass at Arizona Tile, just navigate the new Arizona

Tile app now available for free through the App Store and Google Play.

With this app, you will find:

  • All Arizona Tile Products, and you can create a list of your Favorites!
  • Product Finder, another way to easily find what you are looking for
  • All Arizona Tile Locations
  • Galleryof100’s of photos for design inspiration
  • Links to your favorite Arizona Tile tools: Just Imagine Visualizer, Social Media sites& more!

This app was designed to offer a simple, fast and intuitive way to browse the various tile and countertop slab products available, including Curava Recycled Glass, at Arizona Tile’s 25locations.

About Arizona Tile

Founded in 1977in San Diego, California, Arizona Tile has grown into a nationally recognized commercial and residential distributorwithmorethan25showrooms throughout seven Western states. Arizona Tile is one of the largest independently-owned importers of stone in the United States, offering more than 230varietiesof 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.

July 30th, 2014

E. CANTON, OH (July 28, 2014) – Three members of the tile industry donated tile and installation materials to tile eight Habitat for Humanity homes in Norlina, North Carolina, in April.

Best Tile of Raleigh donated floor and wall tile and Neuse Tile Service of Youngsville donated thinset mortar and grout. USG Corporation, which distributes USG Durock® Brand Cement Board through Best Tile, donated USG Durock cement board for the full project.

Habitat for Humanity of Warren County has tiled two bathrooms in the first of the eight homes, which are in the Northwoods neighborhood of Norlina, about an hour north of Raleigh. Local volunteers handled the tile installation.

TPFH represents the partnership of tile industry members working to support nonprofit partners like Habitat for Humanity and community outreach centers through donations of tile materials and labor. TPFH coordinated the donations on behalf of Habitat in Warren County.

The donors included members of longtime TPFH supporters Ceramic Tile Distributors Association and National Tile Contractors Association. Frank Donahue, owner of Best Tile, is the president of CTDA and Nyle Wadford, president of Neuse Tile, is the chairman of the board of NTCA. USG is a member of both CTDA and NTCA.

Donahue said he was happy to be part of the project in Norlina. “We are proud to support local organizations like Habitat for Humanity and to know that the through the tile we donated, eight families will have modern and durable bathrooms in their new homes.”

Paige W. Smith, Vice President of Neuse Tile Service, said, “We appreciate being included in the project in Norlina and are glad to support efforts that provide outreach and help meet the housing needs of some members of our community.”

For USG Sales Representative Willie Phares, it was an easy decision to participate. “USG believes it’s important to support the communities where we live and work and where we know our products will be able to support the good work of organizations like Habitat for Humanity. We’re proud to be part of this project!”

Herb Miller, Executive Director of TPFH and its parent organization, Mountain Re-Source Center, thanked the industry members for their donations. “Thanks to Best Tile, Neuse Tile Service, and USG, eight families will know the value and beauty of tile in their new homes! We couldn’t do it without their enthusiasm and support!”

Completed Habitat home in Norlina, NC, June2014

About Tile Partners for Humanity/Mountain Re-Source Center

Tile Partners for Humanity represents a partnership of tile industry members supporting Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations. TPFH is part of MRC, which welcomes donations of all types of building materials as well as disaster relief supplies, educational resources, household necessities, and medical supplies. To donate or for more information on MRC or TPFH, contact MRC Executive Director Herb Miller at 304-678-4229/ or Networking Director Ally Venugopal at 425-429-6188/ MRC provides a donation receipt for tax purposes. For more information, visit or


July 29th, 2014

E. CANTON, OH (July 21, 2014) – Two members of the tile industry donated tile and installation materials for three Habitat for Humanity homes in Escondido, California, in June.

Daltile donated a 12×12 floor tile and LATICRETE donated thinset mortar and grout.

San Diego Habitat for Humanity tiled the entire first level and one additional bathroom in each of the three homes, which are part of a larger 11-home project in the Escondido community north of San Diego. The build was part of the national Habitat for Humanity Builders’ Blitz initiative, in which local builders sponsored homes and completed all of the work on their own.

TPFH represents the partnership of tile industry members working to support nonprofit partners like Habitat for Humanity and community outreach centers through donations of tile materials and labor. TPFH coordinated the donations on behalf of Habitat in San Diego County.

The donors included members of longtime TPFH supporters Tile Council of North America, Ceramic Tile Distributors Association and National Tile Contractors Association. Both Daltile and LATICRETE are members of all three organizations. Daltile is also a national corporate sponsor of Habitat for Humanity.

Lori Holt Pfeiler, executive director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity, thanked the donors for their support.

“Habitat’s programs help those who need a ‘hand up’ to overcome the challenges they face with regard to decent, affordable housing. Working alongside partners like Daltile and LATICRETE, we are able to offer hope by making homeownership a reality for families in Escondido, and throughout San Diego County.  We are so grateful for their generous support. ”

“LATICRETE very much supports the efforts of Tile Partners for Humanity. We firmly believe in the mission of the organization and are proud to be a part of it,” said Maria Oliveira, LATICRETE Corporate Marketing Manager.

Herb Miller, executive director of TPFH and its parent organization, Mountain Re-Source Center, thanked the tile industry for its ongoing support. “It’s only through generous donations from partners like Daltile and LATICRETE that we’re able to support the work of our nonprofit partners. These families in Escondido have beautiful floors – thank you so much!”

Daltile and Laticrete donated materials to tile three Habitat for Humanity homes in Escondido, CA, in June.

About Tile Partners for Humanity/Mountain Re-Source Center

Tile Partners for Humanity represents a partnership of tile industry members supporting Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofit organizations. TPFH is part of MRC, which welcomes donations of all types of building materials as well as disaster relief supplies, educational resources, household necessities, and medical supplies. To donate or for more information on MRC or TPFH, contact MRC Executive Director Herb Miller at 304-678-4229/ or Networking Director Ally Venugopal at 425-429-6188/ MRC provides a donation receipt for tax purposes. For more information, visit or

About Daltile

Daltile is an industry-leading brand of ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, manufactured stone and natural stone tile products. Daltile products are distributed through over 250 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards and gallery design centers that service a robust network of trade customers. Dedicated to innovative product development and distinguished style, Daltile provides a rich palette of quality products created to inspire residential and commercial designs. For more information, visit and follow Daltile on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About LATICRETE International, Inc.

LATICRETE is a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry. LATICRETE offers a broad range of products and systems covering substrate preparation, tile and stone installation, concrete construction chemicals, and decorative flooring. For nearly 60 years, LATICRETE has been committed to research and development of innovative installation products, building a reputation for superior quality, performance and customer service. LATICRETE methods, materials and technology have been field and laboratory proven by Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Owners. Offering an array of low VOC and sustainable products, LATICRETE products contribute to LEED certification, exceed commercial/residential VOC building requirements, and are backed by the most comprehensive warranties in the industry. LATICRETE®, LATAPOXY®, SPECTRALOCK®, HYDRO BAN®, PERMACOLOR®, and DRYTEK® are registered brands of LATICRETE International, Inc.



The Right Angle on Sustainability: Green Squared by Jeffrey Steele – Part One
March 19th, 2012

Everyone knows tile is green. So why is the new Green Squared standard and certification program launching at Coverings so important to the industry? How did it come together, who took part in the development process, and what is likely to be its impact over time? TileDealer is excited to preview this new program and share some important basics with you.

Why it’s important

The tile industry has long recognized that its products are inherently sustainable, says Bill Griese, manager of standards development and green initiatives for the Anderson, SC-based Tile Council of North America (TCNA). Tile is selected in building and remodeling projects because it endures and is made from natural materials, which is “the very definition of green,” he asserts.

“But we wanted to take it to the next level, and continue to improve from a manufacturing standpoint, a material and resource standpoint, and an energy standpoint,” he adds. “We also wanted to look beyond the environment and focus on social issues. What it came down to is we are really an industry rooted in standards. That’s how we set expectations for ourselves. We have a long history of very good standards for both products and installation.”

There were other reasons for pursuing the establishment of a standard, says Tom Bruursema, sustainability director for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based NSF International, one of three certifying bodies for the standard. “This initiative around building materials and sustainability has been ongoing for a number of years,” he says. “Standards for flooring materials like carpet and resilient flooring have been around for some time, so it’s only natural for the tile industry to have its own standard . . . You often hear sustainability referred to as the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. These standards are comprehensive in that sense. They look at product and corporate initiatives as well.”

Dan Marvin, director of quality assurance and technical service at Florida Tile in Lexington, Ky., who served as the chairman of the Green Initiative Committee, worked closely with Griese to put together the standard and ensure stakeholders from architects, manufacturers and the green community would be represented. Creating a standard was essential to give tile a voice, he says.

“There were a number of single-attribute green accreditations, such as GreenGuard, but none that addressed manufacturing or corporate governance or some of the other big picture aspects,” Marvin reports.

The multi-attribute quality of Green Squared is also emphasized by Noah Chitty, the Crossville, Tenn.-based technical services director for StonePeak Ceramics. “The standard was important for the tile industry to undertake,” he says. “It’s clear green rating systems in the U.S. are going away from a single-attribute criterion and toward multi-attribute criteria. We’ve put together a pretty comprehensive standard for the industry that goes beyond just criteria of products, and also addresses corporate strategies and facility strategies.”

In addition, it’s important to understand that had the tile industry not created Green Squared, two things would have likely occurred, Chitty adds. One is that some certifying company would have written a standard for green tile, without seeking the input of the tile industry. Second, in the absence of a standard set forth by the tile industry, other industries that did have standards would look increasingly enticing to those involved in green building projects.

Asked if the standard and Green Squared certification will most impress architects and the U.S. Green Building Council, Atlanta-based U.S. Gypsum field marketing and technical services manager Steve Rausch responded in the negative. “Absolutely not,” says Rausch, who sat on the TCNA Green Initiative Committee. “You have stakeholders, people who need to understand how to interpret and validate products. You have consumers demanding that, home builders, remodelers, as well as the architectural community.”

Creating the standard

The first meetings concerning what would result in the standard’s creation and the Green Squared program were convened in 2008, and grew exceptionally intensive in 2011 as efforts were made to “get people to buy in,” says Marvin, who adds “Florida Tile is the first to go through the process.“

Industry representatives were assembled to discuss and define what it meant to be a green product, Griese adds. The result was the establishment of the standard, ANSI A138.1 American National Standard Specifications for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles and Tile Installation Materials, covering not just tile, but everything in a tiling system. That includes mortars and grouts, liquids and paste goods, sheet goods like membranes and panel goods like backer boards, as well as tile. The consensus-based standard requires an evaluation of products in five performance categories: Product characteristics, manufacturing, corporate governance, innovation and end-of-life.

The standard was created by the ANSI ASCA 108 committee, comprised of representatives from manufacturers, designers, the green building community, architects, and distributors. “It was a consensus process that included all stakeholders, and was approved unanimously,” Griese says.

*To Be Continued in March/April TileDealer Issue

Leadership Letter: Green Goes Mainstream
May 3rd, 2011

Ryan Calkins

In the heady days before the Great Recession, the subject of “going green” was about as popular as an aardvark at an ant convention. It seemed like an unnecessary impediment to sales. Why make the buying process even more complicated for the consumer? And, anyway, the thinking went, give it a couple of years and this fad will go the way of acid-washed jeans.

Fast-forward to 2011. The only construction segment to grow through the recession was green building. At Coverings, every booth focused at least some attention on sustainability and entire seminars were devoted to the subject. So let’s take stock. How does the tile industry stack up on green? There’s good news and there’s bad news.

First the bad news. Competitive goods like carpets and hardwoods got a head start on going green. They were the early target of criticism by green advocates (rightfully) for an utter lack of sustainability, while tile did not receive much criticism. As a result, their industry leaders responded quickly and decisively, rolling out recycling programs, retooling factories, and ramping up major green marketing and PR efforts. Meanwhile only a few tile industry leaders were examining the question of sustainability. This shortsightedness gave our competitors a head start, and, although great strides have been made over the last couple of years, we are still playing catch up.

Now the good news. We may have come late to the green game, but we’re fi elding an all-star team. From production to usage to disposal— throughout the entire product life cycle—tile matches or exceeds the performance of every other fl oor or wallcovering category. Our factory partners have invested in closed loop technologies to reduce waste, energy consumption, and pollution at the point of production. As an example of how effective these closed loop factories are, one of my suppliers reports that the single greatest source of wastewater coming out of its factory (one of the largest in Italy) is the employee restroom.

Even more important than green production methods is tile’s performance when installed. Tile requires no harsh cleansers or periodic refinishes, can last hundreds of years, and contributes to healthy indoor air quality. And when it comes time for disposal, tile is inert, creating no danger of toxins leaching into the local groundwater. In addition, tile can be recycled which keeps it from reaching the landfill in the first place.

The task that remains is to educate the consumer on why tile is the best choice for the green-conscious. Start by educating yourself. Read through the green resources on the CTDA and TCNA websites. Make sure to attend one of Bill Griese’s seminars during the next trade show or management conference. Highlight the green efforts of our factory partners such as participation in Greenguard or other third party certifications. Create a page on your website that outlines what makes tile green. Finally, and most importantly, get your employees on board too—especially the sales staff—so that being green becomes a part of your organizational DNA.

Ryan Calkins
CTDA President

Eye on the Environment: Distinguish Your Business By Going Green
May 3rd, 2011

by Kathleen Furore

There’s a lot of “green” in the tile world these days. There’s “green” manufacturing, “green” home improvements, and “green” buildings that get “green” LEED certification. There is also a green impact beyond selling green products. First, green businesses save energy and other valuable resources and this adds up to real dollars saved on the bottom line. Green businesses are mindful of the waste they generate, recycle as many materials as possible, and focus on creating a healthy environment for employees and customers. Along with saving resources and money, they are demonstrating an increasingly important environmentally responsible attitude. In today’s competitive marketplace, there are benefits to maintaining a green business. As more and more consumers patronize environmentally friendly businesses, crafting a green business plan, then promoting it to the marketplace, can distinguish you from your competitors.

“There are plenty of reasons for tile dealers and distributors to make an effort to ‘green’ their businesses, but the most important may be that it can save them money,” says Mark Newberg, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, US Small Business Administration. “Whether it’s sealing leaky windows or ductwork in their shops, or installing energy efficient lighting in their showrooms, combining energy efficiency upgrades with regularlyscheduled maintenance cycles can help reduce the time and effort associated with making these money-saving improvements.”

Taking the first green steps for your business.

Do your green research.
Use the resources here and elsewhere on the web to identify where your business has the most impact on the environment and human health. Are you using toxin-free raw materials where possible? Are you recycling or reusing applicable products? Is your office energy and resource efficient? Are you providing your staff with safe working conditions? Recruit a “green team.” Implementing green practices takes time and commitment. It’s not a one-person job and you may find that “buy-in” from employees will lead to greater success. Look for green leaders among your employees and ask if they would like to lead and/or participate in your greening efforts. Work with them to develop a company green mission statement and list of your top five green initiatives.

Benchmark and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
Many of the choices we make as individuals and as organizations have both direct and indirect impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. For example, driving a car directly impacts emissions, releasing CO2 into the air. Purchasing 100% post-consumer content recycled paper has an indirect impact on emissions by helping to preserve virgin forests, which process CO2 in the atmosphere. (EPA’s Climate Leaders Program and Carbon Disclosure Project offer additional resources.)

Saving Energy = Saving Dollars
Volatile energy costs – like current gasoline prices – have a significant impact on businesses. The impact is even more significant at times like the present, when the economy is limping out of a recession. Right now, energy conservation is one of the most significant ways businesses can save money, combat climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a number of valuable tips to saving energy and your bottom line.

Heating and Air Conditioning.
Tune up HVAC systems before each cooling and heating season. Change (or clean if reusable) HVAC filters as prescribed by manufacturer. Install ENERGY STAR programmable thermostats to optimize your HVAC system based on your schedule. Control the amount of direct sun coming through your building’s glass windows. Use fans to maintain comfortable temperature, humidity and air movement, and save energy year round. Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking.

Turn off lights and equipment when not in use. Adjust lighting to your actual needs; use free “daylight” during the day. Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), wherever appropriate. Install switch plate occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting when no one is present and back on when people return. Install ENERGY STAR qualified exit signs and save up to $10 dollars per sign annually in electricity costs while preventing up to 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Upgrade to T8 (1-inch diameter) fluorescent lamp tubes with solid-state electronic ballasts.

Green Business Resources
The resources below are a good starting point for tile dealers and distributors interested in creating and promoting an environmentally friendly “green” business.

The SBA’s Green Business Guide.
Offers information on topics including Green Marketing, Green Business Case Studies, Green Business Practices, Green Certification and Ecolabeling, Green Marketing Regulations, America’s Green Cities, Environmental Grants and Loans, Green Commuting and Green Product Development. For more information, visit managing-business/managing-business/runningbusiness/ green-business-guide

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Business Initiative is a group of projects specifically aimed at helping small to medium enterprises (SME’s) save money and reduce their environmental impacts. The projects aim to actively help SME’s to become more “resource efficient.” This means that they will use less energy, less water and fewer raw materials, in turn producing less waste and costing the business less money. The program even offers an opportunity to meet a Greenbusiness Advisor who can visit your business and identify money-saving steps you can take. To register and use the online audit tools that can help your business begin measuring resource use and identify where savings can be made, visit

EPA’s Quick Start to Green Programs ( quick_start) can direct visitors to resources such as™, Business Voice of the Green Economy ( It is the leading source for news, opinion, best practices, and other resources on the greening of mainstream business. Launched in 2000, its mission is to provide clear, concise, accurate, and balanced information, resources, and learning opportunities to help companies of all sizes and sectors integrate environmental responsibility into their operations in a manner that supports profitable business practices.

Office Equipment
Turn off machines, including computers, when they are not in use. Unplug appliances, or use a power strip and the strip’s on/ off switch to cut all power to the appliance when not in use. Many appliances draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances including VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. Unplug battery chargers when batteries are fully charged or chargers are not in use. Use rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs.

Water Savings.
Fix leaks. Use water-saving faucets, showerheads and urinals. Buy the most efficient water heater possible. Consider “tankless” water heaters to reduce “standby” storage costs and waste. Set water temperature only as hot as needed (110-120 degrees). Landscape using plants native to your climate that require minimal watering and possess better pest resistance. Consider “gray water” for irrigation.

Waste Management.
Examine all waste streams—process wastes, hazardous wastes, non-hazardous wastes, solid wastes, and office waste. Look in trashcans and dumpsters to see what materials are being discarded and consider wastes poured down the drain such as rinse waters and process waters. Examine your energy and water consumption and look for high and low usage trends in your utility bills.

  • Characterize each waste stream. Determine where the waste comes from, what processes generate it, and how much is being discarded.
  • Evaluate all wastes for possible reduction. Determine how you can reduce each waste, evaluate your purchasing policies, and determine what you can reuse.
  • Identify potential production changes that would improve efficiency, including process, equipment, piping, and layout changes.
  • Investigate opportunities for new products or ingredients that prevent waste generation.
  • Identify resources that will help  you conduct a waste reduction assessment. Trade associations and regulatory agencies might be able to provide technical assistance, and your equipment vendor might have suggestions. Also consider hiring a consultant who specializes in identifying potential waste prevention measures.

Tile Products Go Greener
May 3rd, 2011

The tile industry may be thousands of years old, but it enthusiastically embraces new technologies with each new collection and introduction. For the last several years, green building and sustainability have been among the most significant technology drivers. As a result, the industry is offering cutting-edge solutions to environmental challenges.

Custom® Building Products has adopted one of the most innovative approaches by taking its longstanding Build Green® program to the next level with its new Emerald System™ of products. All Emerald system products comply with the standards of all five emerging green building agencies. Emerald system products have recycled material content and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content. These products are manufactured to reduce their energy footprint and comply with all major green building initiatives, including ANSI (American National Standards Institute), CALGreen (California Green Building Standards Code) and USGBC (United States Green Building Council). Emerald products are also eligible for Custom’s System Warranties, including its Lifetime Warranty. In addition to simplifying compliance standards, Emerald Systems also offers an industry first — Carbon Offset Credits. During the manufacturing of Portland cement, which is used in many construction products including tile installation products, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions are believed to be a major contributor to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. When a project using Emerald System Products is registered for a warranty, Custom Building Products will purchase Carbon Credits to offset the amount of CO2 created from the cement used in its products. Custom has partnered with TerraPass®, a leading social enterprise to obtain the carbon offset credits that Custom will then issue to the project owner. TerraPass then uses the funds to support projects that reduce CO2 emissions.

Custom has been using pre- and post-consumer recycled materials in manufacturing its tile and stone installation products, all of which carry Custom’s Build Green® logo, for almost a decade. As a result, more than 100 Custom products help contribute to LEED® certification in at least one of three categories. “Custom Building Products is continually searching for ways to minimize our environmental impact. With the introduction of the Emerald System, we are taking action today to made green compliance easier and move forward on reducing CO2 emissions,” said Steve Taylor, Director of Technical Marketing, Custom Building Products.

New entries to the category EcoSpec Tile LLC was launched in February of this year by a group of experienced, time-tested tile professionals who feel a strong responsibility to their industry and to their planet. The initial product offering includes sustainable tile material composed of 50% pre-consumer waste, 20% post-consumer waste and 30% new material recycled contents, all obtained in the Southern California area. Tile formats range from mosaic tile sized 2” x 2” up to 12” x 12” field tile. “Brick sizes” from 1” x 8” to 4” x 8” are available, as well. The company is also adept at producing custom colors and a choice of matte, gloss or crackle finishes. Ecospec expects to continue to launch additions, all meeting or exceeding its current recycled content, to its product line throughout the year. According to Kathy Stoffer of EcoSpec Tile’s sales and marketing department, “EcoSpec Tile has been strategically developed to make customers’ projects sustainable without sacrificing control or expense. We intend to not only meet, but clearly exceed, clients’ expectations within the green arena. “ Prior to its product launch, the EcoSpec team was determined to develop products which were LEED-certified.

Crossville®Tile has moved beyond traditional recycled products with Mixology, a new metal line crafted to replicate cast metal sculptural pieces as affordable and earth-friendly tile. Each tile in the collection contains a minimum of 50 percent post-consumer recycled content, making the line not only an attractive choice, but the responsible choice for our environment. Seven field tile designs in two sizes – 4” x 4” and 6” x 6”, plus 10 trim options and two random mosaics are available in four distinctive finishes, providing 98 pieces to “mix” and match for commercial or residential installations. All tile and trim in the Mixology line are given a protective, clear coating to ensure a durable, virtually maintenance-free finish. Mixology is just a fraction of the weight of solid metal and considerably more affordable; the series also cuts and installs as easily as porcelain or ceramic tile. “Mixology was designed for interior, vertical applications,” states Frank Douglas, Crossville’s vice president of business development; “the tile and trim are especially suitable for accent walls and molding, ceiling trim, chair rails, window and door borders, countertop edging, backsplashes, showers and other wet interior wall areas, fireplace surrounds… and the list goes on.

Marazzi’s Essentials’ sophisticated colors like taupe, smoke, coffee and gray are not just skin-deep. This strong glazed porcelain is designed to out-perform expectations. Indoors and out, commercial and residential, the broad palette of eight neutral-to-bold choices become either subtle backdrops or dramatic accents, solely based on individual preference. The duo of large sizes plus cove base and single bullnose trim only add to the versatility of the line. Create a stunning hotel lobby that is accessed from an outdoor valet area; or a family living area that transitions to a beautifully landscaped outdoor pool/spa/ dining space; or a formal restaurant that fosters a more casual feel for customers who want just a drink and appetizers on the outdoor terrace. Essentials meets current green qualifications with recycled content, no VOCs and domestic production that can contribute to LEED credits, making “eco-friendly” not only achievable, but also very exciting from a project design perspective.

Slimmer is greener

Ultra-thin tiles, like Nanotech from Apavisa, offer a host of green benefits. A product with the technical and static advantages of porcelain tiles but with just 4,8 mm. nominal thickness, Nanotech is easier to ship and install, especially the bigger sizes. It’s easier to cut and drill which also makes installation easier. Nanotech has the technical characteristics of porcelain tiles, having an excellent resistance to abrasion, an almost zero water absorption value (+/- 0,1 %), frost proof, chemical and stain resistance properties.

Lea Ceramiche offers an even thinner product in Slimtech, the ultra-thin 3mm laminated porcelain that comes in extremely large formats. The collection has a total of 23 colors presented in 7 product series: Lines and Waves designed by Patrick Norguet; Mauk and Gouache.10 designed by Diego Grandi; Slimtech Basaltina, Slimtech Arenaria and Slimtech Shade. Thanks to the innovative porcelain compaction technology that revolutionized the traditional production process, Slimtech is produced in full slabs of 3×1 meter without using any mold. Starting with an accurate selection of raw materials wetgrinded and made into an atomized powder, manufacturing proceeds with compaction and pressing with a strength of 15,000 tons. The slabs are then sintered at 1200 Celsius through firing in kilns, reducing the CO2 emissions and the dispersion of think powders. It is available in a number of options: Slimtech 3 mm for wall covering only; Slimtech Plus 3.5 mm reinforced with fiberglass backing for both floors and walls; Slimtech Twin 7 mm with a double layer of material and fiberglass in the middle for extremely heavy traffic areas.

Slimtech and Nanotech both offer the option of installation on top of an old surface, avoiding demolition and resulting waste. This drastically reduces installation time and the existing doors don’t need to be cut or filed. They are easy to cut, shape, perforate and install, thanks to reduced thickness. Large sheets mean fewer joints less joints, reducing the problems linked to maintenance and sanitation, particularly in public areas.

Editor’s Desk: Tile Did Not Have To Reinvent Itself To Be Green
May 3rd, 2011

Janet Arden

Ceramic tile has always been green. It comes from the earth, is combined using age-old techniques, lasts indefinitely, and can be recycled into more tile. Long before it was stylish to do so, tile manufacturers had learned to recycle water and other byproducts. In fact, some industry leaders might say other construction materials have been playing catch-up to compete with tile’s green qualities.

As green building and sustainability became more important, tile reached farther to better meet green demands. Many tiles meet a number of the United States Green Building Council’s LEED point requirements, such as Recycled Materials Content, Regional Materials, Low-Emitting Materials, and Heat Island Effect. Depending on the project and the materials choice, there is potential for even more valuable LEED points to help achieve the desired LEED rating.

This issue features a look at some of the most recent green innovations in the tile industry, including new materials and Carbon Offsets. Stylistically, some of the most popular green innovations, like super slim tiles and those made from recycled materials, continue to morph with newer, more appealing colors, textures and finishes.

Going greener.

Environmental awareness goes well beyond the choice of an environmentally preferable tile. It increasingly means making conscious choices to reduce our carbon footprint and save energy, including in your business. Operating a greener showroom and/or warehouse is a money-saving proposition in the long-run (though it may require some initial investment). More importantly, however, it delivers a green message to the consumer choosing to do business with green companies.

According to the U.S. EPA, a green business holds a marketing edge over its non-green competition, is recognized as an environmental leader, and improves its bottom line with operating efficiencies that result from energy and waste savings. Employees benefit from improved health and morale. All of that sounds great in today’s marketplace where you need every advantage to distinguish yourself from the competition. But, greening your business is not a simple task. It’s a process, and we give you some tips to get started in our feature on Eye on the environment: Distinguish your business by going green.”

Greening your bottom line.

Finally, we have all had experience with the “tire kickers” who stop by our showrooms, drink our coffee and generally take up valuable time comparing and pricing products, only to leave and order from an Internet e-tailer who offers a seemingly lower price per foot (if you don’t count their delivery, handling and stocking charges) and no customer service. This issue’s Sales & Marketing feature, “Converting Bait and Switch Customers,” offers some practical insight on meeting – and beating — this competition.

Wishing you a very green season!

Janet Arden

Foster and Clark Real Estate
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