Florida Tile Presented National Safety Council’s PERFECT SAFETY AWARD For Incident-Free Year
June 24th, 2013

By: Richard Howland & Associates

The US National Safety Council recently presented Florida Tile with its Perfect Record Award recognizing at least 12 consecutive months without incurring a company-wide occupational injury or illness that resulted in days away from work or death.

According to Darin Dillow, Florida Tile’s Safety and Environmental Manager, to meet “The criteria of the award requires that a company, unit and/or facility or an individual must have continued without the occurrence of an occupational injury or job-related illness involving days away from work or death for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, and be accordance with the OSHA record keeping requirements.”

“Eligibility is determined based on self-reported data submitted by the participant, which must be submitted within 60 days from the date the total hours were reached. Any organization recording a fatality will be disqualified,” Dillow added.

Dillow also noted that the company also was cited separately by the National Safety Council with its Occupational Excellence Achievement Award for an overall job-related incident rate of half the Department of Labor’s established minimum standards.

Florida Tile is headquartered in Lexington, KY, employs 375 workers and operates its porcelain and ceramic tile manufacturing facility in nearby Lawrenceburg.


Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panariagroup, a publicly owned company traded on the Milan Stock Exchange (MILAN: PAN IM). Panariagroup is a leading manufacturer and distributor in over 60 countries around the world with six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA and eight brands positioned in the high-end of the market. 

Benefits of Being a CTDA Member
June 17th, 2013

Steve Vogel of Conestoga Tile talks about the benefits of being a Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) member at Coverings 2013 in Atlanta. Click the image below to view the video.

Benefits of CTDA Membership

Manhattan Collection
June 14th, 2013

Imagine Tile is introducing their first ever New York City-inspired product line. The Manhattan

Collection features six geometric and eye-catching patterns, ranging from Old World Moroccan to Sixties Mod, all similar in their entrancing graphic affect. Each pattern is named after and reflects the personality of a distinct neighborhood: SoHo, Chelsea, Gramercy, Flatiron, NoMad, and Nolita. For example, the Gramercy pattern was influenced by the flooring found at Gramercy Park Hotel; known for its geometric flooring and contrasting, colorful decor. Another pattern SoHo, fashioned after the popular

chevron print, is trendy and timeless just like the must-see shopping district.Beyond the character found in each of the areas around New York City, Imagine Tile was also inspired by the graphic prints traditionally used in cement tile. However, the Manhattan Collection differs as it provides lower maintenance without compromising artistic integrity. “Geometric patterns are trending in flooring, however, standard concrete tiles require a lot of upkeep, are much thicker than regular flooring, and more expensive to ship and install,” explains Christian McAuley, owner of Imagine Tile. “Our new collection is the perfect solution to add both edge and flow to any space with sustainable ceramic tiles.”


June 14th, 2013

LATICRETE® SUPERCAP®, LLC, manufacturer of the revolutionary self-leveling SUPERCAP® System, launches a new LEED Project Certification Assistant, making the specification of “The Next Generation Slab™” for projects quick and easy. The LATICRETE SUPERCAP LEED Project Certification Assistant is an innovative online tool which automatically generates the necessary data for submittals for a LEED project. This handy online tool quickly produces a PDF file with details on the LATICRETE SUPERCAP products being used in the project, including the VOC content, recycled content, manufacturing location, raw material sources and GREENGUARD certification. Technical data sheets, and a map showing the location of the upcoming project with a 500-mile radius circle depicting its relation to LATICRETE SUPERCAP manufacturing facilities, are also provided. With just a click of the mouse, the LATICRETE SUPERCAP LEED Project Certification Assistant produces detailed and accurate information regarding LEED-compliant installation materials, eliminating a time-consuming process which could take weeks. To utilize this online tool, visit www.laticretesupercap.com. “We strive to continually provide a high level of service to our customers,” said John Sacco, Managing Director LATICRETE SUPERCAP, LLC, “this online tool cuts out all the research and gathering of information; in less than a minute, all the documentation is there and ready to print.”

supercap leed assistant

Florida Tile’s Streamline
June 14th, 2013

Florida Tile’s versatile Streamline combines the best features of the former Bright and Matte programs and the existing Streamline series with upgrades in formats and the hottest new colors for inspired interior design.  From a clean, crisp Arctic white to the dark, gunmetal gray, the 10-color palette is contemporary with matte & gloss finishes. Available formats are 3×6, 4×4 and 4×16 along with necessary trim shapes to complete any commercial or residential installation. This includes cove bases, cove base corners, quarter rounds, and quarter round corners.  The 4×4 and 4×16 are modular* to each other and the 3×6 and 4×4 sizes now coordinate with our glass and stone items. The bold statement of the 4×16 pushes the envelope with an eye on future trends. While larger rectangle shapes can be challenging to install with a full 50% offset, the new Streamline is compatible with popular brick patterns. Equally exciting is the immense decorative offering selected to inspire any space. Keeping the best-selling, existing Ivy and Jewel listellos in an expanded color offering, we then added trims like Pencils but kicked them up a notch with bold new colors. We have also added mixed glass mosaics and 3 dimensional listellos.


Universal Design: More than a Boomer Benefit
June 3rd, 2013

By Kathleen Furore

For many people—tile dealers and contractors included—the term ‘universal design’ brings to mind ‘Baby Boomers’ or ‘aging population.’ But while the concept does include features appealing to older adults, members of that demographic group aren’t the only ones who enjoy the benefits universal design brings.

“Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design,” according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), an organization that offers a Universal Design/Build course.

“The principles of universal design can apply to anyone—not only Baby Boomers!” stresses Dan Taddei, director of education and certification at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The Association offers a Universal Remodeling course designed to help participants sell and conduct remodeling projects based on Universal Design principles. “Universal design is attractive not only to those who wish to age in place but also to families with special needs and those that are simply forward thinking.”

As the NAHB says, “Everyone can use universal design! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old. You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You might have a disability. Or you may be a prize-winning athlete. Because of universal design, people who are very different can all enjoy the same home. And that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.”


Interest on the Upswing

According to the NAHB, universal design it is a trend showing promise for 2013 and beyond.

“Universal design is becoming stylish through open floor plans and curbless showers. Additionally, remodeling projects are including design elements that allow for home owners to age in place,” information from NAHB says, noting that emphasis is shifting “from 50+ housing to more integrated communities with universal design features.”

Manufacturers agree that consumers are becoming more aware of and interested in universal design.

“We have definitely seen an increased interest in universal design principles,” reports Earl Maicus, architectural services manager at the Plattsburg, N.Y.-based offices of Schluter- Systems L.P., a company that offers innovative installation systems for tile and stone. “One of the main factors has been the economy and its effect on the reduction of new home construction. This has increased the desire for current homeowners to remodel their existing homes to the greatest extent possible, without the need for future adaptation or specialization for longer ownership.”

That concept, Maicus explains, is called “aging in place” and involves remodeling with future needs in mind.

“So a barrier-free bathroom may be designed today for its design attributions, with the idea that later it will be convenient because it enables more freedom and independence,” Maicus says. “This concept I believe has also caused a ripple effect into other market segments causing them to incorporate these universal design principals into their building design standards.”

Farrell Gerber, executive vice president of Tile Redi in Coral Gables, Fla.—maker of Redi Free™ barrier-free shower pans—concurs.

“Universal design is a major trend in both residential and commercial design,” Gerber says. “It is creating environments that are inherently accessible to people both with and without disabilities.”

Tie-in with Tile

The tile industry is an important player in any discussion of universal design.

“Tile has many attributes that make it the ideal finish for universal design. Tile is durable, hygienic, versatile, and has high-end appeal, which will add to the longevity of applications such as floors, walls, counter tops and shower or wet areas,” Maicus says.  “With aging in place being a common reason behind remodeling, the durability of the material and installation systems become paramount since the homeowner may be designing for his needs that may be many years in the future.”

Gerber adds that universal design allows for barrier-free showers to be designed with tile instead of acrylic or cultured marble shower bases, bringing “an upscale flush tile look into the bathroom floor.”

Schluter Systems and Tile Redi are two of myriad companies that offer products easily incorporated into projects employing universal design principles.

The Schluter-Shower System, for example, includes the Schluter-KERDI-LINE drain, Schluter-KERDI pre-sloped shower tray and the Schluter-KERDI waterproofing membrane “that together allow tile dealers to provide a complete solution for home owners looking for a more universal design option to shower areas,” Maicus says of the company’s barrier-free shower installation.

Tile Redi offers Redi Free™ barrier-free shower pans designed without a curb to provide accessibility into the shower, appropriate whether a client is removing a bathtub and replacing it with a handicapped shower, or doing a complete bathroom renovation, Gerber says.

And while Maicus notes that additional design considerations must be addressed when incorporating universal design features, the cost usually doesn’t rise.

“If I build a barrier-free shower and there is no shower curb to stop the water, then I must continue the waterproofing into the drying area of the bathroom so that the substrate does not get negatively affected by the water that will transfer onto the tiled bathroom floor,” he says. “This being said, the tile and products such as Schluter-Systems, would not be more expensive.”

Taddei agrees that adding most universal design features typically doesn’t impact price. “It often involves just a slight change in how you design [a room] so it usually doesn’t cost more money. The only cost might be something like getting less space in a room because you’ve made the hallways wider,” he says.

Selling Clients on Universal Design

Helping clients understand how they can benefit from universal design features is key to selling the concept.

“Remodelers should frame it as a full-faceted concept that adapts a home or a space in the home to all its occupants,” Taddei says. “You should do a needs assessment when you speak to clients, and explain that [universal design] modifications can be something as simple as widening halls and doorways, installing upper and lower cabinets based on a client’s height, or adding door levers instead of round handles—it is about make adjustments based on clients’ needs.”

Taddei uses his own situation as an example. “I built a ranch house with three bedrooms upstairs and a bedroom and master downstairs so when the kids moved out we could live on the first floor. We also have laundry on the first floor and easy access to the outside—our family situation changed but our living style has not,” he says. “My wife and I have bad knees and I have back problems, so we recognized the need.”

Maicus suggests letting clients know universal design is worthwhile from multiple perspectives.

“From a design concept, customers can achieve beautiful open spaces that make for attractive homes. Universal design is really not only about needing barrier-free spaces, although the nice thing about creating these spaces is that if you do happen to need this in the future, the remodeling is already conducive to your needs,” he says.

There is also an often-overlooked plus. “If you don’t need this accommodation, and decide to leave your home, then you’ve added value to your home from a resale perspective,” Maicus concludes.

Industry Resources

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Association offers several educational options including the new Universal Design/Build course and The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation program. For more information about NAHB’s educational programs, visit www.nahb.org/page.aspx/landing/sectionID=1 or call 800-368-5242.

National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The Association offers classes including the Universal Remodeling Education Program, which provide the tools needed to sell and conduct remodeling projects based on universal design principles. This course also serves as a prep course for the Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) designation. For more information, visit www.nari.org/education/universal_remodeling.asp or call 847-298-9200.






New from Tile of Spain, Florida Tile and Ann Sacks
May 28th, 2013

Tile Of Spain Launches Quick Ship Collection

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER), announces the launch of the Tile of Spain Quick Ship Collection, a select group of tile products that are available for immediate purchase in the U.S. Available online at www.tileofspainusa.com/quickship, the Quick Ship Collection is presented in a sleek, 68-page color online catalogue that highlights products from Spanish ceramic tile manufacturers that are in stock and available within 4 to 8 weeks. It serves as an inspiration piece and simplifies the purchasing experience for consumers, retailers and design professionals alike by putting customers in direct contact with tile distributors. “The new Tile of Spain Quick Ship Collection is a tremendous resource for sourcing the distinctive and limitless world of Spanish ceramic tile,” states Rocamador Rubio, Director, Tile of Spain. “It provides product and where to buy information for design professionals and consumers enabling them to make the perfect choice in selecting interior or exterior tile.” Each dynamically structured page in the Quick Ship Collection online catalog includes the tile series name, color image, detailed description of each pattern, available sizes and uses, and contact information to make purchasing easy. The program will be an ongoing platform for Tile of Spain, and will continue to expand as more innovative new Spanish ceramic products are added. To view the Quick Ship Collection, visit www.tileofspainusa.com/quickship/

Ann Sacks introductions at KBIS

ANN SACKS introduced five new collections to its vast product portfolio.  Scribe is a new mosaic program unlike any other at ANN SACKS, featuring carved-in-relief tiles that offer 20 patterns and 53 stones from which to choose – or can be custom designed to create a one-of-a-kind work of art. Versailles Mesh is a security glass transformed by employing 18th century mirror-making techniques for a tile that imparts an acquired, just found appeal, made modern with the graphic grid-like component of security glass. Yet another introduction, Lath is an organic-inspired porcelain tile by renowned architect and designer, Rodolfo Dordoni, resembling the impression made when poured cement is removed from a wood cast and softly worn over time. Tidewater is a large format porcelain tile also by Rodolfo Dordoni, featuring a delicate rippling effect that creates its distinctive, textural surface.  Finally, the Ann Sacks Collection Modern is a line of stoneware tiles, made in Portland, OR,  that incorporates crisp geometry and simple, fluid details.


Florida Tile introduces Aventis

Inspired by the gritty urban landscape, Aventis defines contemporary design. With a 6 color palette of strong Grey and Olive tones, these colors will bring a cool minimal look to your modern space. This Through Body Floor and Wall Tile is a concrete look that both looks the part and performs to the highest industrial standard of this ages old building material.  Created with the latest technology in technical porcelain production, the minimalist nature of the look enhances the complexity of its design. Each of the six colors is a unique blending of base color with a stain that adds contrast by using an application that allows the slightest shimmer of reflection. Monochromatic in their overall tone, the colors range from a Creamy Beige (Cotton) to a Dark Black (Eclipse). The smooth surface combined with the soft but tactile touch creates a harmonious texture that will engage any designer yet allow for easy routine cleaning. With the large scale commercial or contemporary residential installations in mind, sizes available are 12×24 and 24×24 all rectified. Trim is available in 3×12 bullnose and decorative mosaics come in an M12, in all colors. Aventis is composed of 40% post-industrial recycled content as well as Porcelain Tile and Greenguard certified and recommended for all residential and commercial floor wall and countertop installations. www.floridatile.com


More news from Coverings
May 9th, 2013

Florida Tile introduces Cliffside

Florida Tile has taken the look of early Americana and its own Made-In-The-USA initiative a few steps further with the release of Cliffside HDP High Definition Porcelain™ wall and floor tile, inspired by traditional Vermont slate.“As an American manufacturer, we love to promote anything American,” says Marketing Director Sean Cilona. “That is especially true in the design of our newest color body porcelain floor and wall tile line, Cliffside. This material has been used as a building material since the founding of this great country.” Florida Tile’s Cliffside takes those traditional benefits and delivers a product that is better. Porcelain. Cliffside can be used in both commercial and residential applications. According to Cilona, “Available in pressed, 12×12, 12×24 and 18×18 formats, Cliffside will outperform real slate in durability, ease of maintenance, price and color offering.  Cliffside is offered in the deep monochromatic blue and gray tones of Vermont slate, right down to the classic clefted slate surface.”

“We began with three colors that represent traditional slate… light gray, deep blue and dark gray/black, named by Florida tile as Light Grotto, Blue Oasis and Gorge Dark Gray, respectively. Then we introduced a fourth color that combines the look of slate with a traditional sandstone color called Beige Bluff,” Cilona says. “With Cliffside, design opportunities in this stone are endless, regardless of where you are in America.” Designed using Florida Tile’s HDP-High Definition Porcelain technology, the company combines it with a very sophisticated series of five different punches or textures per color, creating a surface that’s truly remarkable. “From strong cleft to slight texture, the variation of the physical punches combined with the graphic, visual representation of texture makes this a look that you can’t keep your hands off of,” Cilona notes.

Accompanying the field tile is an M12 mosaic, 6×12 cove base and corners as well as a 3×12 bullnose all offered in 4 colors. Decorative listellos are 2×12 and created in a warm and cool version. The surface has strong linear crosshatch of raised forms that are accented by a heavy gloss glaze application which draws a strong contrast to the matte base. Cliffside is made in the USA of 40% post-industrial recycled content. It is Greenguard and Porcelain Tile Certified, and meets the new DCOF Accutest requirements to be installed in wet areas. An all new tile category, HDP High Definition Porcelain™ is a Florida Tile 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.

Reception at the Chiswick Moran Hotel. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.

ClearPath from FinPan

New from Fin Pan, the ClearPath  Curbless Shower Pan System uses TI-ProBoard® and the ClearPath ® Drain Plate. TI-ProBoard® is a composite structural underlayment that readily installs directly on floor joists, eliminating costly structural concerns modifying jo8ists to achieve level entry designs. TI-ProBoard® offers a Commercial Floor Rating and can be cut to size and installed with standard tools. The ClearPath® Drain Plate comes with integrated drain assembly and offers flexibility in positioning plumbing. The drain plate is pre-pitched and serves as a template for p-roper sloping of the thin bed. ClearPath® is available in three shower kits which include drain plate with integrated drain assembly, TI-ProBoard®, L-angle, fasteners, and CPE waterproofing membrane. When used in conjunction with Util-A-Crete® or ProTEC™ Cement Backer Board or ProPanel® Lightweight Waterproof Backer Board, FinPan offers a Lifetime Limited Warranty. www.finpan.com

New from Crossville

Crossville has introduced Virtue, a new porcelain tile line that replicates the look and finish of marble. The collection captures the aesthetic qualities of the world’s purest marbles—Carrara, Calacatta and Statuario—blended in a single shade of subtly veined white interpreted in two authentic finishes:  unpolished and satin.  “Virtue makes it possible to enjoy the look of marble in places where the use of the real stone would not be feasible,” explains Lindsey Waldrep, Vice President of Marketing for Crossville, Inc. “Actual marble is tender and may stain, wear or chip in certain environments where Virtue’s porcelain body will perform beautifully. It’s an ideal option for designers looking for porcelain tile’s performance characteristics and marble’s classic, elegant appearance.” To create the authentic satin finish for the collection, Crossville’s product development team reworked existing technology. The result is a finish that effectively replicates the feel and luster of gently sculpted, timeworn marble—a subdued luminosity without high gloss. “This finish is reminiscent of the smooth texture of a marble statue,” Waldrep describes. “We took painstaking measures in the manufacturing process to ensure the luster was accurate…a unique feat for our industry.”Waldrep also reports that Virtue’s size offerings make the collection highly customizable. The line comes in modular field tile sizes of 3″x6″, 3″x6″ picket, 6″x6″, 6″x24″, 12″x12″, 12″x24″, 24″x24″ with mosaics available in 2″x2″ hex and 3″x3″. Trim options, including chair rail, crown molding, base molding, single bullnose, cove base, inside and outside corners, are also available to add finishing touches to installations. The range of sizes, interplayed with the two finishes, offers ultimate versatility and flexibility in creating custom patterns to enhance the dimension and texture of the line’s singular hue. Virtue is suited for interior floors, walls, countertops, and exterior walls in both residential and commercial applications (The satin tile is not recommended for wet areas where standing water may occur).  Manufactured in the U.S., Virtue contains a 4% pre-consumer recycled content and is Green Squared certified through the Tile Council of North America for its proven standards of sustainability. For more information on Virtue, visit www.crossvilleinc.com.

In other show news, Crossville announced that it will introduce Hydrotect as an optional treatment for most of its porcelain tile collections beginning in June 2013. Hydrotect is a coating applied to tile during a second firing process that occurs after the tile is traditionally glazed and fired. This treatment is comprised of a triple silver-copper-titanium dioxide mixture that makes the tile to which it is fired have antimicrobial effects* and be self-cleaning and air purifying. With its hydrophilic and photocatalytic properties, Hydrotect effectively kills odor causing bacteria*, significantly reduces dirt and oil accumulation and rids the air of odors and nitrous oxide. Because Hydrotect is fired on to the tile separately from the glaze, it will not wash or wear off over time. It is not visible and, thus, does not alter the appearance of the tile. Hydrotect nanotechnology was developed by the TOTO Corporation to improve the healthful properties of man-made surfaces by replicating the way by which plants harness light for photosynthesis to improve the healthful properties of man-made surfaces. Crossville has entered a partnership with TOTO to attain this technology for its tile lines. Beginning in June 2013, customers may specify Hydrotect for their tile orders at an additional cost. More information will be available on Crossville’s website in June. www.crossvilleinc.com

NAC Products Celebrates 30 Years
May 1st, 2013


Congratulations NAC Products on 30 years of industry service! (Photo above, Tom Duve of NAC Products, cuts cake and serves champagne at Coverings)

Awards at Coverings
April 30th, 2013

The Ceramic Tile Distributors Association presented its first Supplier of the Year Award to Florida Tile. The winner is selected by CTDA members who ranked candidates in ten criteria categories.


In another presentation, the Clear family,owners of Fin Pan, accepted the Giving Green Award from Tile Partners for Humanity for their commitment to the organization. FinPan has donated more than 100 truckloads of backer board and related materials oner the last two years.

Foster and Clark Real Estate
CTDA - Membership
CTDA - Online Education