Marazzi Group mourns the death of its Chairman Filippo Marazzi

Chairman of the Board and President of Marazzi Group Filippo Marazzi died on Tuesday night of natural causes.

Filippo Marazzi, born in Sassuolo in 1949, has been responsible for the growth of the company founded by his grandfather in 1935.

If Marazzi today is one of the few true Italian multinationals, a brand and a business model renowned around the world, it is thanks to its Chairman Filippo Marazzi, his entrepreneurial spirit, the novelty of his ideas and his humanity, which have always been recognized within and outside the company.

Filippo Marazzi led this important ceramic company from the ceramics district of Sassuolo to the top of the industry at an international level.

Since the early 80s, after taking control of the company following the death of his father Pietro in 1978, Filippo Marazzi began the Group’s internationalization process  with the establishment of production facilities in Spain and in the United States by Marazzi Iberia S.A. and American Marazzi Tile Inc.

In February 1992, he was awarded the first honorary degree in chemistry granted by the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences of the University of Modena (Italy), for his “pioneering work in promoting the study and application of avant-garde ceramic materials and for his important scientific contribution to the development of a very important sector in solid-state chemistry”.

In June 1995, Filippo Marazzi was given the honorary title of “Cavaliere del Lavoro” by the then President of the Italian Republic, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

In 2002, he received the Pico della Mirandola Prize in “recognition of one who, with passion, conviction and spirit of self-sacrifice, throughout his business dealings supported an enterprise culture which promoted and consolidated the ‘Made in Italy’ label worldwide”.

Marazzi Group is today a world leader in the design, manufacture and sales of ceramic tiles and porcelain floor and wall tiles, with production plants in Italy, France, Spain, Russia and the United States, with over 6000 employees, an overall production of over 100 million square meters of ceramic tiles, and over 14,500 points of sale in more than 130 countries.


Daltile to be Featured in Four Holiday-Themed Specials of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on ABC

Dallas, November 27, 2012 – Daltile is pleased announce its continued participation in the hit show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which returns to ABC with four special episodes this holiday season. Daltile product was donated for each new episode, which will feature celebrity guests, hosts and performances. The first episode premiered on Monday, November 26 at 9:00p.m. EST. The remaining three episodes will air on the following three Mondays, December 3, December 10 and December 17.

“For nine years we worked side by side with ABC and ‘Extreme Makeover’ to help transform the lives of well-deserving families across the country,” said Lori Kirk-Rolley, senior marketing director for Dal-Tile. “We are thrilled to have been able to extend our support once again to honor and support families and communities during the holidays.”

The show’s designers used a variety of stylish Daltile products throughout the episodes, including Rittenhouse Square, Octagon & Dot, Metal Fusion, Saltillo, Reflective Elements, City View, Union Square, Keystone Elements, Colour Schemes, Stone Radiance and Ayers Rock.

Daltile has served as a tile provider to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” for nine consecutive seasons and supplied tile for every single episode of the show, including the pilot filmed in September 2003.

The 13th QUALICER event will take place in February 2014

The XIIIth World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality will be held at the Chamber of Commerce in Castellón, Spain

The Organising Committee is launching the new edition of the congress and is currently preparing the call for presentations

The Castellón Chamber of Commerce and the College of Industrial Engineers, who have organised QUALICER from the outset in 1990, are already preparing a new call for the conference devoted to the ceramic sector, which brought together over 600 of the industry’s professionals from 24 countries at the foregoing event in Castellón.

QUALICER 2014 will take place in the course of two days of work at the Chamber of Commerce. At present, the organisation work is focused on promoting the forum on an international level, in order to attract the greatest number of delegates as well as to seek out eminent specialists and professionals to deliver invited lectures.

QUALICER, the World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality, always features an outstanding programme of invited speakers and oral and poster presentations of great technical expertise. The Congress Technical Committee, made up of leading experts, ensures that the communications presented at the conference meet the required standards of quality. In addition, the conference is backed by the technical support of the Instituto de Tecnología Cerámica (ITC).

The QUALICER Management Committee, consisting of representatives of both organisations, including Salvador Martí Huguet and Carlos Fabra, President and Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce, respectively, and Javier Rodríguez Zunzarren, President of the College of Industrial Engineers, is working out the details of the 2014 event, and has also launched the new website and Call For Papers. A time frame will open at the end of the year till May 2013 for authors to submit the summaries of the works that they wish to present at QUALICER 2014.

The new technical secretary of the Congress, Javier Rodríguez Ejerique, noted in this regard: ‘As at the foregoing QUALICER meetings, the subjects dealt with will be divided into three blocks: BLOCK A: CERAMIC COMPANY AND MARKETS; BLOCK B: CERAMIC TILE AND CONSTRUCTION; and BLOCK C: CERAMIC TILE MANUFACTURE. We are convinced that the excellent technical level of blocks B and C will be maintained, attracting technicians from all over the world. We also aim to further develop block A, addressing issues of regional industrial growth by innovation and competitiveness and the interrelationship between developed and emerging areas. In addition, we shall again be showcasing the QUALICER ZOOM feature, devoting one of these spaces to digital printing, which was highly valued by the meeting attendees in February 2012’.

QUALICER is sponsored by official bodies and organisations, town councils, Cevisama, the County Council, and private companies from the sector, whose collaboration enables this forum to continue to grow and, every two years, makes Castellón the global capital of ceramic tile quality.

USG Announces Winner of Facebook Photo Contest

USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), a leading building products company, is pleased to announce the winner of its Facebook Strength Beneath the Surface Photo Contest which required contestants to submit an “on-the-job” picture of themselves and USG Tile and Flooring products.

Chad Nickless, of Signature Tile in Renton, WA, is the Grand Prize winner of a $500 gift card with his entry titled, “Not Afraid of the Big Tiles.” The four runner-ups will each receive a $100 gift card, and all the entrants received a free t-shirt.

“Our first ever Facebook Photo Contest was a big hit both internally and externally,” said Steve Bjorklund, Director, Tile and Flooring Installation Solutions.“It was especially inspiring to see a wide range of USG Tile and Flooring products being used on the job. At USG, we like nothing better than seeing our products put to work.”

The contest was open to professional contractors, subcontractors, do-it-yourselfers and others who are engaged in the construction or remodeling industry. The five finalists were selected from more than 25 entries based on craftsmanship, creativity and use of USG Tile and Flooring Installation Products.

For more information about the Strength Beneath the Surface Contest, please visit


At the end of September, thousands of visitors – including a record number of international attendees – descended upon Bologna to see the latest designs and technical innovations from ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings manufacturers from around the world. The 30th edition of Cersaie served up a visual feast of pattern and color with geometric graphics, intentionally random patterns, and encaustic-inspired tiles filling the aisles. In terms of shapes, hexagons, squares and planks were popular while super slim (3-4mm) and thick (20mm) were also in. LEED-compliant and Ecolabel certified tiles were on the rise in addition to new sustainable initiatives such as antibacterial, anti-pollution and self-cleaning ceramics.

Mix & Match

Giving designers an opportunity for increased self-expression and creative freedom, many companies introduced patchwork tiles and compositions of varying color, size and material in one collection.

“Minoo” is Marcel Wander’s third decorative tile collection for Bardelli that was intentionally designed for patchwork. The ornate 8”x8” porcelain floor tiles are available in five silkscreen patterns reminiscent of Persian rugs and a range of four neutral and rich colors.The company also launched two new lines by Davide Pizzigoni designed to be mixed and matched. “Orchestra” is a set of 15 4”x4” glossy white wall tiles, each with a different musical instrument, while “Ventagli” features a colorful array of fans on 16”x16” glossy white wall tiles.

For Mosaico+, renowned mosaic artist (and former creative director of Bisazza), Carlo Dal Bianco, used mosaics from the company’s various lines to create a series of new decorations. For “Lacquer” and Inlay”, he used iridescent mosaics from the Perle collection and square glass chips from Concerto to invoke ancient Chinese dynasties. Also of note is “Cloud” designed by Aki Motoyama for Brix, consisting of square tiles in five different sizes that appear to float on the surface.

Casamood offers a rich palette of mixable colors and surfaces with “Materia Project.” Inspired by everything from rough cement walls to irregular panes of glass, the collection features eight colors and six surfaces with matching grout that can be coordinated or mixed and matched. Provenza “Inessence” looks like a collection of different recycled materials from recycled oak to a stone-cement mix while Fioranese “Blend” melds the look of concrete, colored wood and even cardboard. Viva “Statale 9” also offers a full package of urban looks – from square tiles that look like stone-cement to ceramic planks inspired by water stained and stripped wood. In addition, Ariana “Convivium” is freely inspired by different natural surfaces from the timeworn artisanal appeal of terracotta to the modern character of concrete.

In terms of stone looks, Cerdisa “Archistone”, Ceramiche Campogalliano “Rox” and Floor Gres “Floortech 1.0” offer a wide range of stones to choose from. LaFaenzaCeramica “Pretiosa” is a glazed porcelain tile collection featuring a mix of natural stone looks tied together by a single chromatic range while the design of Marca Corona’s “Planet” tiles are inspired by a mixture of stones. With “Stonebox”, Emilceramica gives designers two options to choose from: 36 different types of marbles and natural stones (“Stonebox Concept”) or 40 different graphic variations of the grey tau stone (“Stonebox Basic”). Ergon goes a step further by presenting both sides of the cut stone in one collection. “Back2Back” features both the rich and elegant front side and the rough and minimal backside, available in three colors and three formats.

For a mixed color palette, Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s“Abita” collection of 8”x24” white body wall tiles are available in a diamond effect version in three chromatic mixes of beige, lilla and menta. Ceramica Vogue alsolaunched two innovative collections focused on color: “Transparenze Mix” with a glossy surface and 17 color options; and “Interni Mix”, available in a range of 21 colors, each containing a random patchwork of three shades of color.

To create a mixed wood effect, Impronta’s “Listone D” collection comes in an 18”x36” Patchwork module. Meanwhile, Emilceramica uses HD technology to transform photographs of 50 fossilized wood blocks into the “Petrified Tree” collection. “Bark” reproduces the bark of fossilized wood with a rough-hewn, anti-slip finish while “Core” (in a natural or polished finish) reinterprets the petrified core of wood.

Industry First: Philippe Starck plays with the idea of joints for his first-ever ceramic tile collection for the Italian manufacturer Ceramica Sant’Agostino. The joint, which is typically minimalized or hidden entirely, becomes a central feature and decorative modular element for “Flexible Architecture.” It can be specified on one to four sides of the tile or on no sides at all to create an endless array of architectural compositions. A variety of thicknesses (7mm and 12mm), surfaces (matte and glossy) and colors (white, yellow, grey and greige) also add to the product’s flexibility.

Antibacterial & Self-Cleaning

Ceramic tile is naturally hygienic and contains no VOCs that release gas prior to, during, or after installation. On top of that, Italian manufacturers continue to innovate and partner with biotech companies to offer products that actively contribute to a person’s health. Demonstrating this trend was the presence of many antibacterial, antipollution and self-cleaning ceramics at the show.

Fincibec announced the launch of “Antibact” – a proprietary antibacterial technology that significantly enhances the sanitizing effects during cleaning and does not require sunlight to be activated. “Technica” by Century is the first tile collection from the Fincibec Group that features this technology. The LEED-compliant porcelain tiles are available in six colors, three modular rectified formats and four different finishes.

As part of the company’s “CaesarTech” division focused on innovative solutions for the building industry, Ceramiche Caesar introduced a new triple-action antibacterial treatment for its ceramic tiles called “Care24”. It can be used on outdoor walls and floors and for various indoor uses. Meanwhile, Refin announced that its “Cromie” collection is now available with a special Ecosan24 treatment. Using titanium dioxide charged with active metallic elements, the tiles are anti-polluting, self-cleaning on ventilated wall facades, and sanitizing even without light.

Mirage launched a new tile collection especially useful for the residential sector that provides “zero maintenance decking.” Treated with a special Hy-Pro24 process, the 24”x24”x¾” porcelain “Sundeck” tiles have antibacterial and antipollution properties equal to a medium-sized tree for every square meter of tile. Panaria, Lea Ceramiche and Cotto d’Este, all part of the Panaria Group, also offer antibacterial floor and wall tiles for residential and commercial applications.

Industry First: Casalgrande Padana unveiled “Bios Self Cleaning Ceramics” that uses HYDROTECT technology from the Japanese brand, TOTO, to create self-cleaning, anti-bacterial and pollution-reducing tiles. The HYDROTECT coating contains two active agents: titanium dioxide, which is photo-catalytic; and a well-balanced formulation of metals that offer antibacterial and antivirus properties. The technology is especially useful for exterior cladding and can be applied to all Casalgrande Padana products.

Encaustic & Majolica Looks

Square ceramic tiles with bold, solid colors and mesmerizing patterns could be seen in every corner of the show. Some companies introduced traditional majolica motifs in new blown-out sizes and patchwork effects while others were inspired by vintage encaustic tiles with a timeworn appearance. In either case, Italian companies are using high-tech printing to put a contemporary spin on a handcrafted process, invoking the character and old world charm of these historic tiles.

One of the collections that embody this trend is “Azulej” – the latest porcelain tiles designed by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina. Inspired by ancient handcrafted majolica made of hydraulic cement, the 8”x8” glazed porcelain tiles are available in three neutral base colors (white, light grey and dark grey) in a choice of nine patterns or as a combination of 27 different designs. The result is a deliberately random patchwork of tiles for floors and walls, both indoors and out. Another avant-garde example is the Majolica pattern of Refin’s “Frame” collection. Designed by graphic design firm Studio FM, the large 30”x30” square tiles feature traditional decors from majolica tiles of the 19th and 20th centuries but presented in a more graphic light.

Fap Ceramiche also offers a colorful Maiolica décor as part of its “Base” collection while Ceramiche Supergres completes its “Smart Town” line of porcelain tiles with a Marmette décor. Viva’s“Statale 9” Pittura tiles and a few of ImolaCeramica’s “Habitat” decors look like decorative cement tiles while “Docks Combi” by ABK features a patchwork composition of 16 8”x8” tiles with an encaustic look. Similarly, “Amarcord” by Ceramica Faetano is a collection of 8”x8” ceramic tiles that reinterprets antique encaustic floors with an invigorating mix of 12 patterns in various shades of white, brown and blue. “Vintage” by Cerim, “Cotto Vogue” by Cir and “Concept” by Ragno are a few other collections featuring this unique look.


As the market moves towards longer slabs, tile companies are responding with a range of plank-sized tiles – some as long as six feet! Though wood is still a popular design choice, manufacturers are also offering these new plank sizes with their stone and concrete inspired collections as well.

“Sunrock” by Atlas Concorde, a doppelganger for Travertine, is available in a range of formats including 6”x36” and 9”x36” while Coem’s “Pietra del Friuli”, inspired by stones found in the northeast of Italy, also comes in a 6”x36” plank size. ImolaCeramica’s“Vein” collection, that looks like vein-cut or cross-cut marble, is also offered in a trendy 6”x36” plank size.

ABK “Soleras” is a collection of porcelain tiles inspired by the wooden staves from barrels used for “Criaderas y Soleras” – a technique for aging prestigious wines and spirits such as sherry, madeira and brandy. With a beautiful patina, the tiles are available in two plank sizes with a hand-planed appearance. Other porcelain planks with a hand-planed effect include: “Root” by Ceramiche Caesar; “Planks” by Ascot; “Silvis” by Cotto d’Este; and “AllWays” by Mirage.

For Roberto Cavalli’s newest collection for Ricchetti, he reinterpreted the wood planks from his Florentine home into a series of 39” long porcelain tiles in six different wood looks. “Nuances” from Fap Ceramiche is also offered in a range of six wood designs and is the first time the company is producing a porcelain tile collection intended for floors and walls.

Lea Ceramiche uses sophisticated digital printing techniques to reproduce the knots and grain of various woods for its new “Bio Plank”collection. Available as 48” long (and 6” or 8” wide) planks, the tiles are available with antibacterial protection for indoor environments and a special anti-slip deck finish for outdoors. “Atelier” by Marca Corona, “Newood” by Casalgrande Padana and “Plank” by LeonardoCeramica are a few other plank sized tiles that come in a special grip finish for outdoor installations.

Lighter-colored wood such as oak was another popular trend at Cersaie and served as the basis of many ceramic plank collections. Ceramiche Caesar “Wabi” is inspired by oak and offered in three 48” long plank sizes with a matte, textured, or saw-cut finish. Refin “Trail” also recalls the look of oak in eight shades and comes in plank sizes as long as five feet. “Tree” by Ceramica Sant’Agostino and “Signum” by Coem are other collections featuring an elegant oak option.

Additional tile collections offered in plank sizes include: “Vintage” by Settecento; “Seasons” by Serenissima; “Mywood” by Cisa Ceramiche; “Cottage Wood” by Fioranese; “Listone D” by Impronta; “Woodstyle” by Ragno; “Treverkatelier” by Marazzi; “Echo” by Monocibec; and “La Premiere” by Ceramiche Supergres.

Industry First: Floor Gres and Rex introduced impressive six-foot long ceramic planks with the formwork cement-inspired “Reverse” and oak-inspired “Selection Oak” collections, respectively.

Ceramic Fabric

The influence of fashion on the world of interiors could be seen in this year’s influx of tactile collections. From the femininity of lace to the luxurious sheen of silk, many ceramic tile manufacturers launched new collections inspired by the texture or appearance of a variety of fabrics.

Raw Edge’s second collection for Mutina called “Tex” is a rich, three-dimensional and multi-colored collection of 4.5”x8” rhombus-shaped glazed porcelain tiles. Each of the eight available colors is made up of three shades and a range of textures taken from textiles that are randomly mixed. “I Tessuti” is another designer collection, created by Elena Strafella for Cottoveneto, which features an interesting fabric-inspired composition of micromosaics. The range of decors includes: Scottish; Tweed; Shantung; Tartan; and Twill.

From the pizzo décor of Cerdisa’s “Archistone” tiles to the new “Décor Lace Flowers” composition from Mosaico+, lace is still a fashionable muse for designers. Novabell also pays homage to the material with its “Rainbow” and “Ravello” white body ceramic wall tiles while the Canapa décor of its new “Energy” collection is an interesting rendition of a 1970s textile print.

Other fabric-inspired products getting rave reviews include Marazzi’s “Silkstone” line whose decorative ceramic wall tiles are inspired by Indian saris, Japanese kimonos, tulle and silk and the knit pattern of “Studies in Gouache” by Lea Ceramiche whose repetitive weave is intoxicating. In addition, Fap Ceramiche’s “Supernatural” Charme décor recalls the look of quilted fabrics, creating elegant and luxurious surfaces.

Installation Made Easy

From 2cm thick porcelain tiles to clip systems and quick laying floors, Italian companies offer a variety of products that make the installation process easier than ever. Monolithic porcelain slabs were especially popular at this year’s show with a large number of tile producers adding a 20mm option to their collections. Twice as thick as most tiles, they have the same benefits as regular porcelain tiles but with an incredibly high breakage load (up to 2,000 pounds) and can be dry laid on grass, gravel, dirt, and cement without grout or adhesives.

One of the first companies to introduce ¾” thick porcelain tiles with its Compact 20 range, Tagina now offers five tile collections in this monolithic size. Novabell’s “Avant” collection is also available in a heavy-duty 20mm paving version in a 24”x24” format and special R12 anti-slip finish while Ceramiche Keope’s “Pecorsi SMART” tiles are available in five stone looks and a 24”x24”x¾” size. Available in large modular formats, Pastorelli’s new “Quartz Design” series is 2cm thick and features the same sparkling reflections as quartz flecks. “Sunrock” from Atlas Concorde, based on the look of Travertine stone, is the newest addition to the company’s “Lastra 20mm” line while Marca Corona “Stone Line” and Cerdisa “T20 Project” are both available in a 2cm thickness and grip finish for outdoors.

In addition to monolithic porcelain slabs that look like stone, Mirage offers two wood-look collections – “AllWays” and “Sundeck” – that come in a 2cm outdoor version while Floor Gres’ new cement-inspired “Industrial” line is available in three thicknesses including a 20mm bush hammered edition.

Offering another veritable revolution for the building and construction industry, “Del Conca Fast” is a new, patented system for quick laying ceramic floors. Suitable for residential and light commercial projects, the system creates a new floor in a matter of hours without joints, adhesives or grout. It is currently available with Del Conca’s “Monte Napoleone” collection that mimics wood in two planks sizes (6”x48” and 8”x48”) and four colors.

For tiles that do require grout, MAPEI introduced a revolutionary new epoxy grout that makes installation cleanup trouble-free. Available in eight colors, “Kerapoxy CQ” contains quartz that makes it easier for installers to remove grout from the surface of tile during application. Another timesaving product from the company is “Mapesonic 2.” The patent-pending design for the sound-reduction and crack-isolation sheet membrane is lighter and thinner and allows installers to just prime, peel and stick before installing the tile.

Industry First: Searching for new ways to solve installation problems, Trend introduced a prototype of a new quick laying system called “Clip To Go.” Part of the company’s “Advanced Rapid System”, it features glass tiles preinstalled onto a dense foam support, which provides insulation, sound proofing and water proofing. “Smart To Go” is a similar product from the company specifically made for mosaics.

Size Matters

Super thin tiles and giant slabs are two innovations pioneered by Italian manufacturers whose popularity continues to grow. While thin tile provides a versatile covering solution for nearly every surface, large format tiles are typically easier to maintain and allow designers to concentrate on the lines and flow of a space.

The newest addition to Cotto d’Este’s super thin (3mm) and large (1mx3m) Kerlite series, “Exedra” offers six types of marble looks and three finishes (natural, soft and lux). Because Kerlite is durable, light, and easy to cut, the thin tiles can also be used for kitchen counter tops, basins, doors and other furnishings. Similarly, “Lightquarz” is the fourth collection of large and super thin laminated porcelain stoneware tiles from Panaria that are extremely versatile. Part of the company’s ZER0.3 line, the 3mm tiles can be used for an infinite number of custom solutions for the bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room.

“Micron 2.0” by ImolaCeramica is a new series of full body porcelain tiles up to 4’x4’ in a palette of eight colors and three finishes (natural, polished and bush-hammered). “Gli Alabastri di Rex” by Rex is inspired by alabaster, with its natural luxury and symmetrical geometries, and is available in large 31.5”x71” slabs. Also from the Florim Group, “Industrial” by Floor Gres reinterprets cement in porcelain slabs as large as 1.2m x 3m.

Industry First: “Studies in Gouache” – the latest innovative product designed by Diego Grandi for Lea Ceramiche – is the first slim tile with a contemporary bas-relief design. The four decors (grid, scratch, weave and moire b) feature geometric and abstract patterns engraved and sanded into the 3mm tiles. They are offered in the same chromatic range as the company’s “Gouache.10” collection.

Wake Med Heart Patient Tower and Children’s Hospital

Wake Med gets new “heart” with expansion

David Allen Company tackles complicated challenges to bring beauty and functionality to project














Wake Med’s expansion into its new Heart Tower and Children’s Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., incorporated 87 patient rooms, six gang restrooms, and lobby for a total of 37,204 square feet of tile in 15 different tile colors and sizes. The project provided a number of challenges for locally-based NTCA Five Star Contractor David Allen Company (DAC), including adapting tile installation to out-of-level vinyl floors, and a complex grid of tile color and orientation changes in the main lobby.

The patient toilets in the Children’s wing had 12”x24” wall tile with a 1”x2” custom glass accent and vinyl flooring. The general contractor had an issue on a previous project where the vinyl flooring was not cut nicely to the ceramic tile base. To remedy this, the GC scheduled the wall tile installation after the vinyl floor. However, upon inspection after the vinyl floor installation, DAC discovered that almost half of the rooms had floors that were 1/4” to 1/2” out of level. To correct this problem, DAC needed to level the walls by scribing the cove base. This totaled about 2,100 linear feet. This adjustment caused issues with all of the switch plates, which were designed to be installed in the 6” bullnose above the glass accent. The condition in every restroom was different, thus requiring coordination with the electrician for all rooms.

From east to west, the main lobby is 388’ long. It is divided into three areas and consisted of three different 12”x24” tile colors. Every time the tile color changed, the orientation of the tile was rotated ninety degrees but the grout joints still had to align. Plus, every color change was either on a non-parallel line or a radius.


The three lobby sections had to be installed separately with the center section as the last to receive tile. Control lines were critical and difficult to obtain, since the tile contractor didn’t have a clear line of sight from one end to the other. DAC started its control line in the area with the public restrooms that were completed in phase I, on the west side of the building.

Control lines were created heading east down the north and south corridors. When the installation moved into the center section where the building wasn’t parallel, DAC had to transpose the control line into segments. Then the control line was continued in the east section, which is where the installation began. DAC moved west installing tile in the north and south corridors simultaneously. The north and south corridors’ pattern joined on the east side of the building to meet the public toilet tile.

The steel staircase had a 12”x48” step tread, with the 12”x24” tile brick pattern continued from the main floor on the risers and stringer. In combination with the difficulty of the brick pattern on a small stringer, it also had 2” steel glass supports that had to be core drilled through the tile. Precision was crucial in drilling because there was less than 1/8” overlap of the cover plate for the hole. DAC did a couple of field mock-ups for the owner and architect to see how the holes and the pattern looked together on the small stringer. Some of these areas were installed from a lift 15’ high.

Even with the difficulties, DAC often finished tile areas with days left on the schedule.

Crossville Launches “Limestone” Porcelain Tile Collection

Crossville, Inc. has announced the introduction of Limestone, a new porcelain tile collection that captures the appearance of the natural stone from which it borrows its name. The product takes inspiration from samplings of limestone mined from quarries across the globe—echoing the soft, Old World elegance that has made the stone’s look popular for generations.

According to Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s Vice President of Marketing, Limestone was developed with an array of design elements to offer targeted appeal to commercial and residential markets.

“Limestone is a hybrid product line. We were intentional in the development of colors and sizes so this line is well-suited for commercial and residential applications—for floors and walls,” she explains.

The line comes in a spectrum of five earthen hues ranging from light to dark—Sant Andrea, Lipika, Camel, Pierre Brune and Midnight. Gently punctuated with genuine stone detailing, the colors can serve as subdued, sophisticated backdrops of singular tone or may be mingled to create focal points and striking design elements on interior floors and walls, as well as vertical surfaces outside.

Field tiles are available in a broad range of sizes: 8″x8”, 8”x16”, 16”x16” and 16″x24″ with 4″x24″ bullnose trim. Coordinating accent pieces, available in all colorways, include 2”x4” tumbled mosaics, 3”x6” tumbled subway tiles and 2”x2” diamonds. As part of Crossville’s “Get Planked” program, Limestone may be cut into custom plank sizes with no minimum order requirements. With this thorough selection of sizes, Limestone is suited for floor-to-wall installations that provide a coordinated, seamless look.

Manufactured in the U.S. with Crossville’s EcoCycle Tile ProcessTM, Limestone contains a minimum of 20% pre-consumer recycled content and is Green Squared certified through the Tile Council of North America for its proven standards of sustainability.

“This collection is low maintenance without sacrificing aesthetics and stays true to our commitment to sustainability. We know these are key points for commercial and residential customers alike,” Waldrep says.

She also reports that Limestone is the first product to be launched under Crossville’s new strategy for in-field samples and marketing materials. All Limestone materials feature updated visual branding in keeping with new campaigns, and the sample book for Limestone is designed in a streamlined size format in response to feedback from the market.

“We trimmed the sample book in width and height so it takes less space in an A&D library yet doesn’t skimp on showing the product or sharing pertinent details. In its design and marketing, Limestone is a reflection of our knowledge and responsiveness to the marketplace.”

For more information on Limestone or to learn about Crossville’s product marketing solutions, visit


Five manufacturers and contractors in the tile industry banded together to tile the kitchen, bathrooms and basement in Sasha Bruce Youthwork’s RE*Generation House, which will provide transitional housing for at-risk youth in Washington, DC who might otherwise be homeless.

Sasha Bruce Youthwork welcomed donations of tile from Dal-Tile, setting and floor preparation materials from MAPEI, and Ditra underlayment and floor edging strips from Schluter Systems. NTCA Five-Star Contractors Collins Tile & Stone and David Allen Company completed the installation in the kitchen and three bathrooms. Sasha Bruce Youthwork is a well-recognized nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that provides shelter and needed support for vulnerable youth. (

MAPEI invited Tile Partners for Humanity, 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, to coordinate the project.

The RE*Generation House was also part of an outreach program by ProjectAEC Cares, a group of architects, engineers and contractors working in partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) annual meeting as well as Reed Construction Data and Hanley Wood. Project AEC Cares coordinated a one-day service project in May to bring donors, volunteers, and media representatives together to work on the home renovation. Representatives of Collins Tile & Stone, David Allen Company, MAPEI, Schluter Systems, and TPFH were on hand to participate. Collins Tile & Stone and David Allen Company finished the installation in October once the house renovation was complete.

Larry Fullerton, Board Member of the Sasha Bruce Youthwork, thanked the industry donors for the beautiful finished product.

“We’re so grateful for the installation expertise and material donations from the tile industry. Not only is the finished product stunning, but in a house filled with kids it’s crucial to have floors that will stand up to heavy foot traffic. We also appreciate the time that everyone spent on site completing the project. It was great to meet the donors who made it possible!”

This marked the second year that MAPEI has contributed to the ProjectAEC Cares program and Michael Granatowski, MAPEI’s National Manager of Architectural and Commercial Projects, recently joined the program’s Advisory Board as a representative of the manufacturing community. Granatowski and Steven Day, Marketing Manager for MAPEI, participated in the service event in May.

“MAPEI finds that the Project AEC Cares program is an exciting and uplifting way to become a part of the communities where the AIA convention takes place each year. Our Sales, Technical and Marketing people who get a chance to participate in the renovations look forward to the next city and the next opportunity to help improve buildings for groups like Sasha Bruce Youthwork.”

Joey Miles, Territory Manager for Schluter Systems, also spent time volunteering at the service day event in May along with representatives of Collins Tile & Stone and David Allen Company.

“It was such an enormous pleasure to be part of the housing project at Sasha Bruce,” said Miles. “This was an opportunity for us to get involved in something we feel passionately about. Through this project we were able to take a hands-on approach in helping to create reliable housing for youth who may otherwise be homeless, and use our products and experience towards creating a home that we know will last, and will make a continuing impact on this community.”

Lori Kirk-Rolley, Senior Marketing Director for Dal-Tile Corporation, said that Dal-Tile was proud to participate in the project.

“At Dal-Tile, we strive to enrich the lives of others and positively impact our communities when we can. We’re pleased to be able to extend our support to the Sasha Bruce RE*Generation House and the well-deserving children they serve.”

Herb Miller, Executive Director of TPFH and its parent organization, Mountain Re-Source Center, echoed Fullerton’s gratitude. “It’s only through generous partners like Dal-Tile, MAPEI, Schluter Systems, Collins Tile & Stone and David Allen Company that we’re able to support important projects like the RE*Generation House. We had the best of the best – great materials and installation by two NTCA Five-Star Contractors. We truly appreciate their partnership and support!”

About Mountain Re-Source Center

MRC 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 Tile Partners for Humanity, contact MRC Executive Director Herb Miller at 304-678-4229/ [email protected] or Networking Director Ally Venugopal at 425-429-6188/ [email protected]. MRC provides a donation receipt for tax purposes. For more information, visit or

LATICRETE Spins and Delivers at Total Solutions PLUS 2012

LATICRETE, a manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, participated in Total Solutions Plus 2012, held October 27 – 30 in Rancho Mirage, California, where the LATICRETE®Hydro BanPreformed Shower System and Drains were showcased along with a spinning wheel promotion.

During the conference, one of the most highly entertaining and closely followed events was the LATICRETE “Spin to Win” Prize Wheel. Any attendee could spin

Lesley Goddin, Editor of Tile Letter receives Apple® iPad from Ron Nash, LATICRETE Director of Sales, USA & Canada APD

for a chance to win one of several prizes instantly.  For the 10 attendees who landed on a new Apple® iPad, their name was individually mounted on the Prize Wheel for a final round spin where one lucky winner was chosen. Lesley Goddin, Editor of Tile Letter magazine, the official publication of the National Tile Contractors Association, graciously accepted winning her new Apple iPad.

“Total Solutions Plus 2012 was a great success, the personification of an integrated industry event,” beamed Goddin. “Not only because I won an iPad, but every possible facet of it seemed to work at optimal levels! There was clearly more attendance than in past years, sessions (i.e. the one on today’s thin tile material) were packed, and many of our industry veterans stated this seemed to be ‘a more intimate event’ than what they’ve become accustomed to within the tile and stone sectors. Everyone seemed to be on the same page relative to bringing our industry to the next level.”

Maria Oliveira, LATICRETE Corporate Marketing Manager added, “One of our main motives at Total Solutions was to showcase and explain the many attributes of our Hydro Ban Preformed Shower System. We wanted to educate all those who attended on just how easy the system is to install… and, how it works in conjunction with our other products for a complete warranted installation from the substrate up.”

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:

NABE: Superstorm Sandy generates $30-$50 billion loss

Storm rebuilding may encounter delays, but will fuel construction for next 12-18 months

The “Impact of SuperStorm Sandy on the Regional and Macro Economy,” a webinar hosted by the National Association for Business Economics today, estimated a total storm-related loss of $30-$50 billion, centering on casino revenue, damage and destruction of rental properties along the New Jersey shoreline, and travel disruptions resulting from the tropical storm.

The effect on construction is mixed, with some estimates of robust construction activity in the next 12-18 months to rebuild properties, and other projections citing delays in insurance funds to spur construction and folding of business operating on the brink of solvency.

Gregory Daco, senior principal US economist, IHS Global Insight, estimated insured infrastructure losses at $10-$20 billion, noting that total losses are usually equal to twice the insured totals. Total infrastructure losses and disruptions to business activity may climb beyond the estimated $30-$50 billion, but the impact may not be discernible in final GDP figures for the year. About 70 percent of oil refining capacity in the Northeast was idled, but measures such as gasoline rationing in New Jersey and tankers bringing additional oil to the region is speeding recovery.

Charlie Steindel, chief economist, New Jersey Department of the Treasury, reported that as of November 6, less than 20 percent of New Jersey utility customers are without power down from nearly three-quarters of customers without power in the early days of the storm. He noted a flare in auto sales to replace vehicles destroyed in the storm. New Jersey governor Chris Christie has temporarily repealed Blue Laws in mall-centric Bergen County, which will allow extra shopping time for residents affected by the storm and recouping of income for stores which had to close due to the storm.

Ken McGill, managing director for Rockport Analytics noted that travel was significantly affected with about 20,000 canceled flights and 2 million total air-and-ground trips lost during a four-day period. This represents $1-$2 billion lost in leisure and business travel mainly to suppliers of food, lodging and air travel. However, he predicted only about 25 percent will be permanent losses, with the majority of trips expected to be rescheduled. Steindel added that workaround measures allowed business to be conducted remotely, online or from home or public libraries with power.

The major impact of the storm is on New Jersey tourism in the areas north of Atlantic City, such as hard-hit Long Beach Island, communities of Brigantine and Beach Haven and the Tuckerton retirement community, Steindel said. The goal is to rebuild in time for the summer tourist season, which begins Memorial Day 2013. The challenge is that many of the accommodations are individual rental homes, not hotels which are simpler to rebuild. A quarter of the $12 billion accommodations spending in New Jersey is rental homes across the state, said McGill. On Long Beach Island alone, $300 million is hotel revenue, and $900 million is rental homes.

According to Kemm Farney, manager, economics and forecasting, PEPCO Holdings, Inc., most of the state’s largest commercial customers and flooded casinos never lost power and have reopened. However, the cancellation of the Hard Rock Casino project and the lackluster performance of the new Revel casino, which opened in April and brought 5500 new jobs to the area, “leave casinos in a continuing-to-struggle environment,” Farney said. He added that small businesses in the area that are dependent on credit cards and second mortgages for credit are struggling, and slightly larger small businesses need sales to fuel reconstruction. He struck a optimistic tone that once insurance monies start flowing, “it will keep South Jersey tradesmen very busy for the next 12-18 months, which is a very good thing.”

Ken Simonson, NABE president and chief economist, Associated General Contractors of America, was more reserved about construction opportunities, citing delays in the infusion of insurance funds and support from the federal government for repairs on highways and roads and a lengthened time frame for procurements of equipment and materials.

“Some businesses will not reopen,” Simonson said, “Some who were ready to expand will cancel those plans.”  As for homeowners, Simonson said new homes won’t “translate into one for one replacement. The net impact on construction industry will be small and a negative over a period of time. We will see a slowing down of economic activity and with it construction activity.”

Simonson predicted that longer hours for existing workers will ensue and despite an ample number of construction workers, “additional employment will be modest and gradual aside from immediate crews for cleanup stabilization and emergency repairs.” Capacity is plentiful — 12,000 construction payroll jobs were lost in New York and New Jersey last year, so labor shortages are not expected. However, since the beginning of 2011, he said, construction spending has risen 13% but employment only represents a fraction of a percent.

Similarly, capacity is plentiful for materials and equipment – it’s only currently at 30 percent of the peak levels of six years ago, Simonson continued. Wallboard and lumber prices rose pre-storm, but production is expected to be ramped up quickly to meet new demand. Some work may be hampered due to flooded equipment or sites where workers don’t yet have access.

Simonson also does not expect much investment in storm protection construction. “We don’t have a history of the U.S. engaging in protective investment. I’m not optimistic for a big uptick in this kind of construction spending.”


1 2