Smaller Partnerships Lead to Grander Plans
 
February 28th, 2013

A few years ago, CTDA, along with NTCA and TCNA blended their annual meetings into a single, industry-wide event, Total Solutions Plus (TSP). Although many participants initially viewed TSP as more efficient way to meet (and it is), by combining travel, time away from one’s own business and even the financial obligations that go along with attending major industry events, into a single meeting, the result has quickly become greater than the sum of its parts.

Today TSP is the most comprehensive industry event, offering networking across the supply chain, a broader variety of seminar opportunities, more dynamic keynote presentations, and a table top show to introduce the latest products to those professionals who really make the decisions.  This year, the Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA) has joined the CTDA, NTCA, and TCNA to jointly host the 2013 Total Solutions Plus October 26-29 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Those of us who have been involved with TSP from the beginning realize that this growth underscores that what we are doing at TSP and in CTDA is moving the tile business forward in ways we’ve never seen before.TSP_new_logo


The Word is Commitment.
 
February 25th, 2013

Frank Donahue, CTDA president

Donahue

Last week, members of the Board of Directors  and all Committee Chairperson of the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) took time from their busy schedules to travel to the association office just outside Chicago to meet and plan for activities in 2013 and beyond.  (You read this correctly: they traveled to Chicago in February; no golf, no poolside reception.) What drives this kind of commitment?

The first driver is leadership. These individuals are leaders. They are the industry leaders in ceramic tile distribution and manufacturing, many of them representing the second generation in the industry and in CTDA. They understand the power of face-to-face meetings and the energy they generate.

Involvement offers rewards. CTDA leaders and members alike have built their businesses and their reputations on contributing to the greater good of the industry, the power of networking and of industry education. They understand that although it’s not always easy to leave the business for even a day or two, they always return a little smarter for the effort.

 


Industry News
 
February 21st, 2013

Tile Redi® wins new product award

Tile Redi®, world-leading manufacturer and marketer of pre-formed, one-piece shower pans and related accessories, received the award for “Surfaces 2013 Best New Product” sponsored by Floor Tends and Tile magazines. The winning product, Redi Trench™, is an incredibly exciting marriage of design and function. Farrell Gerber, Executive VP Sales of Tile Redi® stated, “Redi-Trench™ is the only linear drain system completely integrated into a leak-proof, mold-free shower pan. Designers have the choice of selecting either tile-in-grate or non-tile-able versions. We know this product meets the needs of so many shower applications, and is an ideal item to be specified for hotels with a sizable number of guestrooms.” Redi Trench™ features offer endless design flexibility as  it can be used with any size Redi Base (30″–72”), plank pitched, molded-in trench. The Redi Trench™ is plank pitched with a  molded-in trench that will accept any tile size. Additionally, it can be put in any trench location or any drain location with the option of specifying a tile-able or grate top. The product is offered in 40 popular models.  “Winning this award means a lot for the entire Tile Redi organization,” added Farrell Gerber,. “We spend countless hours in R&D with our design team to make sure we offer the market the maximum quality, highest performing products… all offered with the easiest installation. We are extremely proud that Redi Trench™ has received this honor.” www.tileredi.com

IndNews-redi-trench

Bellavita expansion

Bellavita Tile has announced the completion of its new office and warehouse complex in Vancouver, BC. The expansion is a result of a detailed, long-term plan by Bellavita to assure continued growth and ongoing support to the firm’s distribution network. Located three short blocks from the company’s old headquarters, the new facility includes 1,750 square-feet of offices and over 8,000 square-feet of warehouse. Plans for new production schedules and stocking programs have resulted from the expansion that will continue to evolve throughout 2013. The new space showcases several installed tile products manufactured by Bellavita. Most significant can be found on the office floors, which feature the Rivergrass collection in the Papyrus color, utilizing a 24×24″ (60x60cm) format.  Ames Tile & Stone, in Vancouver provided slab isolation membrane and the NuHeat radiant heating system to enhance the performance of the floors. The installation was completed by Bridgewater Tile, Ltd. Bellavita is especially proud of the energy-savings features implemented at the new facility. Mike Ward, U.S. Director of Sales explained, “To keep our burden on the environment as low as possible, we contacted our friends at NuHeat to help us with an electric radiant heat solution for the office space. Working with Anthony Celio, we settled upon their prefabricated mats, both standard and custom for the entire space, all of which is now controlled by their SOLO thermostats. The high thermal mass of our porcelain, paired with the efficient heating of NuHeat’s mats, provides the only heat-source required for the entire space with minimal energy input. But the SOLO thermostats are the clincher- they make sure the office is toasty only during business hours without need for any direction after the initial setup.”“ Bellavita Tile also moved its U.S. offices from California to Carrollton, Texas in 2012.

IndNews-Bellavita-Warehouse

QEP Named as Exclusive Distributor of Homelux Products

Q.E.P. Co., Inc. has been named as the exclusive authorized distributor of Homelux Products in North America. QEP will be representing the full line of Homelux-branded products and accessories throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean region. Homelux is a leading international brand of tile trims, tile accessories and tiling tools based in Ashbourne, United Kingdom. They boast a large sku assortment across multiple categories including Tile Trims and Seals, Under Tile Heating, Waterproof Matting, Crack Suppression, Wet Rooms and Glass Mosaics. They have market penetration in the UK and European Professional outlets as well as the major retailers throughout these regions.  “We are excited to partner with a dynamic company such as Homelux. The superior collection of the Homelux range of products combined with the strength of QEP’s existing product lines and market penetration is a combination for success for both companies,” said Jamie Clingan, Sr. VP Marketing.

Garry joins LATICRETE

LATICRETE announced that T.J. Garry has joined the firm as its new Architectural Products Division (APD) Technical Sales Representative, covering Southern Florida. Garry will be reporting to LATICRETE Regional Sales Manager, Greg Braswell, who stated, “T.J. comes to LATICRETE after working the past 11 years with our distributor, Specialty Tile Products.  During five of those years, he was their marketing manager, focusing on the commercial and A&D community.  T.J.’s last four years have been spent handling commercial sales in the Florida market.  Prior to his time with Specialty Tile, he worked as a residential tile installer. Clearly, our newest hire knows the tile industry!”

“I feel very fortunate to be with such a solid company,” Garry commented. “By far, LATICRETE has the best product lines in the business. In particular, I like the family-owned aspect of my new firm. LATICRETE has quality people and unmatched products… I’m really excited about being onboard!”

www.laticrete.com


Product Innovations
 
February 18th, 2013

Florim’s new Urban Wood

Urban Wood is a beautiful new porcelain tile ideal for any application, especially for creative projects where the “look of wood” is typically not specified, in particular, for hospitality suites’ kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, it offers exquisite natural visuals when installed on patios and other outdoor areas.  End-users will enjoy the look of real wood while  benefiting from the ease of maintenance inherent only to porcelain tile material. Urban Wood is characterized by its through-color porcelain body combined with an incredibly realistic wood-look surface, created by cutting-edge High Definition Graphic (HDG) Technology.  A soft to the touch, contemporary, rectified tile, Urban Wood enables the installer to use smaller grout joints which not only give the new tiled area a more monolithic appearance… the smaller the grout joint, the lesser the time and expense for future cleaning. Available in six wood-look colors (Ash, Honey, Oak, Walnut, Wenge and White Birch), three rectified tile are available: 4”x24,” 6”x24” (in either the Natural or Grip finish) and 6”x36,” which is a new size format offered by Florim USA. For safety purposes in outdoor applications, it is recommended that Urban Wood tiles with the non-slip, high coefficient of friction “Grip Finish,” are specified. Stefano Rabaioli, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Florim USA stated,  “We believe Urban Wood is the ideal choice for commercial applications where the look of natural wood has been selected, but the durability and ease of maintenance offered by porcelain tile material is a necessity. Our Tennessee manufacturing facility, which is one of the most comprehensive in all of America, has the capacity to produce large amounts of this product range. We also have the warehousing capability to store material we manufacture, which makes products such as Urban Wood ideal for architectural specifications that include future roll-outs and other commercial expansions dependent upon using the same material installed in project number one.” Made in the USA, Urban Wood has a Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) rating of > 0.42 and a >0.50 DCOF for its Grip Finish materials, making it an ideal choice for nearly any application (residential/commercial and indoor/outdoor). Additionally, all Urban Wood materials contain 10% recycled content. Projects designed with Urban Wood being specified are eligible for LEED points.

Inno_urban wood series wenge

www.florim.com

Additions to LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® Dazzle

LATICRETE has added eight bright and exhilarating additive colors to its LATICRETE® SPECTRALOCK® Dazzle line. “Blue Hawaii,” “Tangerine Orange,” “Limeade,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Lemonade,” “Ruby Slippers,” “Candied Apple” and “Purple Haze” will continue to add unique design enhancements to LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Premium Grout and LATICRETE SPECTRALOCK PRO Grout applications.

“These new colors bring contemporary, high-end design image ‘looks’, especially to glass tile installations,” stated Ryan Blair, LATICRETE Channel Manager. “Dazzle was a big hit when it was introduced ten years ago. Now, with these bold and cheerful new colors, it adds even more to one’s creative arsenal. Designers’ imaginations can run wild with the limitless artistic potential Dazzle now offers.” Appropriate for both walls and floors, Dazzle can enhance plain tile and stone installations with a metallic look. It adds visual “kick” by accentuating metallic tiles, glass tiles, mosaics and natural stone with its various color combinations. Dazzle brings sparkle to pools and spas, and its Glow-In-The-Dark design brings a safety component to bathrooms, hallways and entryways.

Inno-Laticrete-dazzle

www.laticrete.com

LATICRETE Expands the HYDRO BAN Shower System Line

January 21, 2013. LATICRETE, a manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, announced today the expansion of its LATICRETE HYDRO BAN line of products, including a pre-sloped linear shower pan, preformed benches and shelves, and new drain finishes. Launching to the market at the Surfaces trade show January 29th – 31st at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the HYDRO BAN Shower System provides the installer a high quality rapid shower installation with unique design possibilities.

According to LATICRETE Product Manager, Jay Conrod, “At Surfaces, we’ll be debuting four new SKUs of our pre-sloped linear shower pans as well as new sizes of pre-formed benches and shelves. All of these products are constructed of lightweight high-density polystyrene and are 100% waterproof. Once set in place, they function as substrates onto which tile can immediately be adhered.”

Conrod went on to state that new drain finishes will be unveiled as well. “These include brushed, polished, oil-rubbed bronze and tile-in-grate versions. A 42-inch linear drain will be added to the sizes offered,” he said.

All these new “Made-in-America” products pass ANSI 818.10 standards and offer the LATICRETE Lifetime Warranty/Single Source Responsibility which ensures total confidence for re-sellers, installers and end-users.

LATICRETE International, Inc. provides globally proven construction solutions for the building industry.  LATICRETE® products are manufactured and distributed worldwide in the commercial and consumer channels. The company’s philosophy of innovation and technical expertise has led to an unparalleled reputation and commitment to superior quality, performance and customer service. Engineered and produced in state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2008 certified facilities, LATICRETE offers a broad product portfolio including an extensive line of independently certified low VOC sustainable products. LATICRETE®, LATAPOXY®, SPECTRALOCK®, HYDRO BAN® and DRYTEK® are registered brands of LATICRETE International, Inc. Corporate Website: www.laticrete.com


Meanwhile, what’s new on the show floor at Surfaces?
 
January 31st, 2013

Custom Building Products (http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/) enhances its overall product offering with the launch of a complete line of high-quality profile and transition finishing strips and edge trim. Available in a variety of popular styles, designs and finishes, CUSTOM’s new Profiles and Transitions create smooth transitions between rooms, bridge gaps between different types of flooring or tile materials and protect the edges of ceramic tile and natural stone for an even, professional finish.

The line includes four families of beautiful, durable trim and edge pieces, suitable for floors, steps and walls: Square-edged Profiles, Decorative Profiles, Step Profiles and Transition and Compensator Profiles. These are available in a variety of durable, popular materials including anodized, chrome-plated or coated aluminum, stainless steel, solid brass and PVC. Finishes and colors are designer-inspired to complement today’s most popular looks. Stronger than typical alternatives, CUSTOM’s profiles and transitions resist dings, dents, bending and twisting. Square-edged profiles are ideal for protecting tile edges and are among the most commonly used transitions because they complement a wide range of installations. ProFloor™ is an “L channel,” designed for installations where tile meets carpet, or where tile ends, in order to protect tile from damage and create a beautiful, clean finish. It is also ideal for use on walls, countertops, steps, expansion joints and decorative edging. ProCurve™ is CUSTOM’s flexible square-edged profile designed to bend, twist and curve for wavy, curved or irregular edges.  Decorative Profiles are designed for finishing corners and bridging potentially hazardous and unsightly gaps. ProRound™ is a durable and cost-effective alternative to bullnose tile, creating an attractive corner finish for floors, walls and countertops. ProDecor™ Q is a square profile designed to protect edges and outside corners from damage, and it is an excellent choice as an end-cover for outer edges of tile and stone surfaces. It can be used to create an aesthetically-pleasing decorative accent along the edges of floors, walls and counters. Matching corner pieces are available with ProDecor Q and ProRound transitions. ProDecor™ T is an attractive and functional solution to conceal inconsistent joints, or to bridge gaps between floor treatments of the same height, such as tile, stone, laminate, parquet and wood. Stair installations present specific challenges and CUSTOM’s ProBasic Step Profiles protect stair edges with an attractive, slip-free stair nose. ProBasic is very effective in commercial, high-traffic areas.

The ProNivo™ transition and compensator profile family protects tile edges while providing smooth, attractive transitions between floor coverings of varying heights through reducers and carpet tuck channels.

LATICRETE  announced today the expansion of its LATICRETE HYDRO BAN line of products, including a pre-sloped linear shower pan, preformed benches and shelves, and new drain finishes. The HYDRO BAN Shower System provides the installer a high quality rapid shower installation with unique design possibilities. According to LATICRETE Product Manager, Jay Conrod, “At Surfaces, we’ll be debuting four new SKUs of our pre-sloped linear shower pans as well as new sizes of pre-formed benches and shelves. All of these products are constructed of lightweight high-density polystyrene and are 100% waterproof. Once set in place, they function as substrates onto which tile can immediately be adhered.”

Conrod went on to state that new drain finishes will be unveiled as well. “These include brushed, polished, oil-rubbed bronze and tile-in-grate versions. A 42-inch linear drain will be added to the sizes offered,” he said. All these new “Made-in-America” products pass ANSI 818.10 standards and offer the LATICRETE Lifetime Warranty/Single Source Responsibility which ensures total confidence for re-sellers, installers and end-users.

 


Surfaces attendees are optimistic about 2013
 
January 31st, 2013

CTDA has been hearing positive reports from the show floor at Surfaces. Steve Cameron, Director of Sales, Northern Area, for MAPEI, reports that “we had some quality customers stop in and discuss with us there early optimism about 2013. So far, two large distributors both said that their year over year January sales were about 30%, better than last January…I would say if that pattern holds true, then 2013 looks to be a much improved year for overall tile and sundry supply sales and good reason for the optimistic feel here at the show…”

Tom Carr, President, Pan American Ceramics, Inc., sent this picture, adding: “An unnamed booth attracts a lot of attention from the fashion crowd. Exhibitors and attendees express optimism about 2013.”

Surfaces-Carr-photo


Report: Ceramic tile leading recovery in U.S. floor coverings sales.
 
January 28th, 2013

According to the latest Catalina Report on Ceramic Tile released by Catalina Research and Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants (CTaSC), ceramic tile has led the recovery in U.S. floor coverings sales.  During 2013, dollar and square feet sales are estimated to increase by 7.0% to 7.5% rising to $2.5 billion and 2.4 billion square feet.

Catalina estimates that ceramic tile will increase its share of overall floor coverings sales in square feet and dollars and its share of hard surface flooring.  The builder market is estimated to lead growth during 2013 due to a projected 29.0% increase in housing starts.  Growth in the residential replacement market could also accelerate as existing home sales increase by double digit rates.  Consumers are expected to push average selling prices upwards as demand shifts to higher priced products as the economy rebounds, home prices increase, and household finances improve.  Consumers are also responding positively to the introduction of larger-sized porcelain tile with stone and wood looks, as manufacturers increase their reliance on digital printing and other technologies.  In addition, the use of traditional ceramic tile is being enhanced with glass and glass-hybrid tiles to create custom designs.

The new 196-page Product Industry Report dated December 2012 provides up-to-date information on North American and world markets, and ceramic tile’s position in the U.S. floor coverings, hard surface flooring, and combined ceramic/stone/glass tile markets.

In addition, the report takes an in-depth look at the current state of U.S. construction activity and analyzes the market potential for ceramic tile. The timely data allows users to evaluate market size, growth potential, end-use markets, profitability, market share, and the competitive environment.  Each section delivers meaningful data that will allow ceramic tile industry executives to intelligently take advantage of opportunities and to avoid potential threats so they can grow their businesses and plan for 2013 and beyond.  Catalina Reports have been relied upon by the ceramic tile, stone, and floor covering industries to provide up-to-date and valuable industry information for many years.

Catalina Research added new features to the latest edition including a breakdown of porcelain and ceramic tiles, floor and wall tiles, and an analysis of the glass tile market. In addition, Catalina provides data on retail ceramic tile sales by channel and customer type, and calculated retail market shares for the leading retailers and manufacturer sales networks.

This in-depth report covers pertinent data and information by providing ceramic tile sales for residential and non-residential markets and for new construction and remodeling markets.  End-use market trends are correlated with U.S. housing demand, homeowner hard surface replacement projects and spending, characteristics of new homes, non-residential construction spending, mortgage interest rates, and other economic indicators to uncover the factors driving demand and provide insights into the direction of domestic demand in 2013 and beyond. For companies who do not need the full Ceramic Tile report covering North America and World markets, Catalina Research also provides custom local reports that analyze local market conditions at the state, city and county level at a lower cost.

Visit www.CTaSC.com to obtain copies of the report brochure, abstract and table of contents.  Pricing and order forms are available at www.CTaSC.com.


High definition porcelain tiles making a significant design statement at Surfaces.
 
January 22nd, 2013

“TidesHDP” is latest addition to Florida Tile’s expanding line

Florida_Tile_TIDES

Florida Tile has introduced a stylized interpretation of vein-cut stone called TidesHDP, a glazed porcelain and wall tile line for both commercial and residential use. It is the latest addition to the company’s family of ever-expanding HDP High Definition Porcelain® Products. “Specifically,” says Sean Cilona, Florida Tile’s Marketing Director, “the look of TidesHDP is that of a linear-cut Travertine or Limestone known as Georgette. In its natural form this look is a stunning linear play of tone-on-tone colors which creates the contemporary appearance.”

“As a Florida Tile porcelain product, TidesHDP is far stronger, more versatile, and easier to maintain than stone, meaning that the look can go virtually anywhere,” he adds. “By using Florida Tile’s HDP-High Definition Porcelain® technology, we not only reproduce this stone look, we also are able to set loose our imaginations with bold color combinations that can’t be found in nature.”

The new TidesHDP collection ranges from bold Blues to Steel Gray and Dark Brown.  “We created contemporary colors that can be specified in any commercial space. Each color has a unique blend of complimentary colors within its veining to add interest and depth, as well as pair beautifully with other design finishes.” (The larger-format TidesHDP can also make a statement in residential settings.)

TidesHDP glazed porcelain floor and wall is available in pressed 12×24 along with a 3×24 bullnose for each color.  Cilona also says “We have also added a unique patterned M12 mosaic that rotates each chip 90 degrees, to create a wonderful checkerboard pattern. From a design perspective, the result is that TidesHDP presents countless opportunities for creative expression, far beyond that of natural stone.”

TidesHDP  is made in the USA of 40% post-industrial recycled content. It is Greenguard and Porcelain Tile Certified and meets the new DCOF Acutest requirements to be installed in wet areas. An all new tile category, HDP High Definition Porcelain® is a Florida Tile registered trademarked brand. HDP High Definition Porcelain® is the most technically advanced glazing system available today delivering the most realistic image possible in stone or wood and also allowing for the creation low relief patterns, handmade effects, fabric looks and mosaics.

 

Florim introduces Jewel

JEWEL by Florim

Florim’s “Jewel” is a true gem of glazed porcelain tile, produced with cutting-edge High Definition Graphic (HDG) Technology which results in a natural stone look so real, seasoned geologists will be taking second and third glances to believe this is a man-made material! Available in five unique colors (Petrolio, Noce, Beige, Grigio, and Silver), Jewel is presented in five size formats, all available with coordinating trim pieces.  The 18”x18” and 12”x24” sizes are available either as pressed format with a natural finish… or, a rectified format with a semi-polished finish.  The 18”x36” rectified size represents a new large format produced by Florim USA. Made in America by American workers, Jewel tiles with a natural finish have a Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) rating of >0.42, which makes the range an ideal choice for nearly any application (residential/commercial and indoor/outdoor). Jewel also contains 40% recycled content; therefore projects specified with this exquisite new tile are eligible for LEED points. Stefano Rabaioli, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Florim USA stated,  “People in the United States are big fans of having natural stone installed in bathrooms, both commercial and residential. Many of the beautiful stones in demand are really not suitable for these projects, as they are too soft and have a high porosity level, which means they become water-absorbent and soon will deteriorate. Jewel tiles are as durable as the strongest granite… and, they are even more non-porous. When selected, the result is a beautiful installation with a stone look as realistic as can be found, that is strong enough to endure the rigors of time. And unlike natural stone, porcelain tile never needs sealing. We feel this is an ideal product for any kind of ‘wet area’ tile installation.”

www.florimusa.com


Dahnke joins Marble Institute
 
January 16th, 2013

The Marble Institute of America has announced the hiring of Aaron Dahnke to fill the vacated role of Education Manager. Aaron joins the MIA after 9 years of non-profit management experience, most recently serving as Education and Partnerships Manager at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement in Washington, D.C. Dahnke fills the role vacated by Jim Hieb when he accepted the position of MIA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. Hieb had this to say of the hiring, “We asked Aaron to join our team primarily because of his association experience and understanding of education/curriculum development. We are excited to have Aaron join the team just prior to StonExpo, so he can meet face-to-face many of the industry leaders he will be working with to advance the stone industry’s education program.” In his role with the MIA, Aaron will initially be responsible for: oversight of the Regional Education Program (in partnership with Stone World magazine); launching the Chapter Development pilot program; and assisting the MIA Safety Committee with the development a turn-key safety manual and additional online safety training courses. Dahnke has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University, as well as a Certificate in Fundraising from the University of Richmond.

adahnke@marble-institute.com.


Mediterranea features state-of-the-art technology at Surfaces 2013
 
January 16th, 2013

Mediterranea has created a truly interactive experience for attendees at the annual Surfaces exhibition, running January 29-31 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Visitors to Mediterranea’s booth #B3127 will experience the very latest in touchscreen computer technology, displaying the company’s product data, installation photographs and e-brochures all at the touch of a finger. “We wanted to give Surfaces attendees a way to quickly and easily browse our product lines, without having to request paper copies of product specifications and marketing data”, said Mediterranea marketing VP Don Mariutto.  “At the touch of a button, complete information on any of Mediterranea’s 25 series can be emailed to an interested customer.” Mediterranea’s display showcases the company’s state-of-the-art porcelain tile series in stunning high definition on a 23” touchscreen.  A swipe of the finger allows attendees to zoom in on installation photographs to get an up-close look on the realistic designs provided by Mediterranea’s Dynamic HD Imaging™ technology. Mediterranea will feature its new Juliet’s Courtyard series installed on the floor.  The series comes in two color blends, creating a stunningly vintage look in a product manufactured to the highest technical specifications.

 

www.mediterranea-usa.com.

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