MAPEI Co-Sponsors Robby Gordon in Dakar Rally

The custom-built Dakar HUMMER driven by Robby Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch tackled more than 4,970 miles (7,998 km) of exciting and adventurous terrain from Peru MAP GORthrough Argentina and all the way to Santiago, Chile, in the ultimate off-road adventure – the 35th Annual Dakar Rally. MAPEI Corporation, a global manufacturer of adhesives, grouts and chemicals for the construction industry, was a name sponsor on Gordon’s HUMMER as he completed the grueling race.

Gordon completed the 2013 Dakar Rally 14th  overall, battling more than 450 other competitors to capture eight podiums and two stage wins in the world’s toughest off-road race. “We gave it our best shot once again at an overall victory,” Gordon said. “Obviously, our cars are good enough to compete for the win. I’m extremely proud of my team. We had zero mechanical issues and zero flats. I want to say thanks for all the support from MAPEI, 4 Wheel Parts, Traxxas and SPEED Energy.”

For the first time in its history, the Dakar Rally started in Lima, Peru, sending upwards of 460 vehicles from 53 countries on a two-week, 14-stage endurance race through three western South American countries, ultimately finishing in the Chilean capital of Santiago. This year’s Dakar Rally began on January 5 and travelled on a new course featuring sections not seen to racing since the moving of the Rally to South America in 2009, marking the most difficult course to date.

magoronThe various aspects of Peru’s natural features presented a real test for the SPEED Energy/ Toyo Tires/MAPEI Dakar HUMMER in the early stages of the rally as Gordon faced gigantic dunes and rugged terrain, requiring precise focus and skill to gain an early advantage. Entering Chile set the stage for a fast-paced duel through the desert before crossing the Andes Mountains into Argentina, where record altitude and temperature became a crucial factor for driver and navigator.

After a much-needed day of rest on the eighth day, the SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires/MAPEI team set out for the longest and most technical stage of the Rally, navigating through the narrow twists and turns of the forest. The rapid-assistance vehicles did not have access to this stage, making precise driving a critical dynamic in the race. Entering Chile for the final stages of the Rally  once again brought dunes into the equation, testing the driver’s fatigue and equipment to the finish in Santiago.

“We are excited to be associated with Robby Gordon and his attempt in the 35th Dakar Rally,” said Steven Day, Operational Marketing Manager for MAPEI Americas. “MAPEI is known for its innovative approach to developing new products for construction, and we think Robby shows this same intrepid spirit in his off-road racing.”

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MAPEI Group, with 65 subsidiaries including 62 plants in 30 countries, is today the world leader in the manufacturing of adhesives and complementary products for the installation of all types of floor and wall coverings. The company also specializes in manufacturing other chemical products for building, including waterproofing products, special mortars and admixtures for concrete, products for the restoration of ancient buildings, and special decorative and protective coatings for walls.

Eighteen MAPEI manufacturing facilities are located in the Americas, with headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Florida. MAPEI is an environmentally conscious manufacturer – the company has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2001 and a member of the Canadian Green Building Council since 2008. MAPEI Americas is a registered provider to the AIA/CES program and also offers training related to ceramic and stone tile, floor coverings and concrete repair through the MAPEI Technical Institute. The Quality Management Systems of the majority of MAPEI Americas facilities are ISO 9001 certified. Visit for technical data or call 1-800-42-MAPEI (1-800-426-2734) for the nearest location.

Upcoming NTCA Workshop Events

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February 5th

Emser Tile – Las Vegas, NV
3655 West Sunset Road
Suite A
David Hille
[email protected]

February 26th

D & B Tile – Doral, FL
8369 N.W. 36th Street
Maddy Diaz
[email protected]
Rudy Llerna
[email protected]

February 27th

D & B Tile – Pompano Beach, FL1551 N. Powerline Road
Marlene Koszo
[email protected]
George Apakian
[email protected]

February 28th
D & B Tile – Port St. Lucie, FL
321 N.W. Peacock Blvd.
Paul Lucas
[email protected]
Richard Favreau
[email protected]

March 5th

Daltile – Ventura, CA
4840 Market St., Suite A
Marty Lambert
[email protected]

March 5th

Daltile – Tampa, FL
8508 Benjamin Rd., Suite A
Lenny Gonzalez
[email protected]

March 6th–Architects & Designers

Daltile – Orlando, FL
2515 Shader Road
Kevin LaBonte
[email protected]

March 7th–Architects & Designers

Daltile – Jacksonville, FL
9446 Phillips Hwy., Suite 10
Robert Vogt
[email protected]

May 7th

Daltile – Evansville, IN
1425 N. Cullen Avenue
John Proctor
[email protected]

May 8th

Daltile – Blue Ash, OH
4650 Lake Forest Drive, Suite 540
Missy Stanfield
[email protected]

January 2013 Letter from the President Dan Welch

Thank you for the opportunity to serve the tile industry for the next two years!

dan welch imageMy name is Daniel J. Welch of Welch Tile & Marble Inc. ( It has been my pleasure to work with many of you, either through the NTCA Board of Directors, or on the Technical Committee. Wow, have we made great progress in the past few years! For those whom I have not met, I look forward to serving you as the first NTCA president from the great state of Michigan!

I am a second-generation tile contractor who learned the trade from my father, Richard Welch. During long days at his side with bucket and trowel in hand, he taught me the value of strong ethics, family-first leadership, and time-tested hard work. My father  provided me with the knowledge and leadership I need to survive and prosper in today’s tile industry, along with my family at Welch Tile: Aaron (field supervisor), Rick (estimator), Jennell and Marnie (office). I owe my success to their support.

Welch Tile & Marble is a specialty tile, terrazzo and stone contractor, installing both commercial and residential projects guided by our mission statement “People, Creating Change.” To me, our People are the most valuable resource we have. I believe we must Create relationships of trust, and embrace Change throughout all aspects of our daily lives, professionally and personally.

Over the next 25 issues I hope to provide common-sense articles focused on the relevant issues tile contractors face today. Welch Tile has been in business for 25 years and I assure you we have made our fair share of mistakes. Although this may not be the cheapest way to learn, mistakes are lessons you don’t forget. Along with our success stories, I will offer experience from the many business decisions that we have made – good and bad – to form what I think is a clear vision of the tile industry today. I believe that if we understand our past, and stay aware of our business climate, we can work together to provide a better future.

I want to thank our past president and my friend, Nyle Wadford for his past term and new responsibility as our Chairman of the Board. Nyle has provided strength in turmoil as this industry has adapted to great change. I also want to thank John Cox as he steps down as our Chairman of the Board. John, you have been a great resource and a beacon of leadership for our great organization.

Daniel J. Welch
President NTCA,
Welch Tile & Marble Inc.

Marazzi launches new “Marazzi Your Space” blog

Marazzi Your Space ( is a space on the web to share the latest news from Marazzi and provide updates and suggestions about ceramic and porcelain stoneware products that have made Marazzi famous all over the world.

The new Marazzi blog is dedicated to ceramics, design and architecture. It provides information about references, competitions, events and special collaborations. Here is an online forum where designers and architects, retailers and customers can share ideas, projects, suggestions and comments with Marazzi, each other — and you!

All entries are presented in both Italian and English. The Dialoghi/Dialogues section is designed for professionals, clients, colleagues, friends and partners to upload and publish their profiles, ideas, comments and significant projects, as well as offer ideas for collaborations.

Online right now are posts about the new Marazzi sun screen system in porcelain stoneware, the DB Hotel Verona Airport and Congress – a new structure for the business travel-and interviews with the architects Ariberto Colombo and Marcello Bozzarelli.


Florim’s “Jewel” is a true gem of glazed porcelain tile. It is 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.”

About Florim USA

Florim USA is one of the largest and most technologically advanced porcelain tile manufacturing facilities in all of North America. The company is a subsidiary of the Florim Group, which is located in the heart of Italy’s Sassuolo industrial district. To find out more about Florim USA, visit the website: or call 1.877-FLORIM 1.

MIA Hires Aaron Dahnke as Education Manager

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.

hiebHieb 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.

“I am excited to bring my nearly 10 years of training and education experience to the Marble Institute of America and look forward to further strengthening an already superb curriculum for our members,” said Dahnke. He added, “It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with an institution as revered as the MIA. The team and membership of the MIA have been very welcoming and this camaraderie will help us produce great things for the industry.”

A native of Sandusky, OH, joining the MIA team in Cleveland will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for Danhke, “the opportunity at the MIA is enhanced given that I’ll be moving back to northern Ohio. I am excited to reconnect with friends and family, while building new relationships in the natural stone industry.”

Dahnke has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University, as well as a Certificate in Fundraising from the University of Richmond.

Please join us in welcoming Aaron to the stone industry! Aaron may be reached at [email protected].

About the Marble Institute of America

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has served as the authoritative source of information on standards of natural stone workmanship and practice and the application of natural stone products for over 65 years.

Membership in the association is worldwide and includes nearly 1,500 natural stone producers, exporters/importers, distributors/wholesalers, fabricators, finishers, installers and industry suppliers committed to the highest standards of workmanship and ethics.

Crossville’s Bluestone Collection Featured on ‘Designing Spaces™’ Airing on the Lifetime Network starting this Thursday, January 10

CROSSVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 8, 2013 – Tune in to Designing Spaces™ airing on Lifetime this week to see the national home improvement show give the McKamey Animal Shelter in Chattanooga, Tennessee a makeover. Crossville donated tile from its Bluestone Collection for
this extensive renovation project.

The Crossville tile is featured in the reception areas of the 26,087 square foot facility, which has space capacity to provide shelter for up to 500 animals at any given time. This project was completed as a community effort, with the help of local, regional and national participants.

What: Designing Spaces – Pet Spaces of Hope on the Lifetime Network
When: Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. (ET/CT/MT/PT) – Part One
Jan. 17, 2013 at 7:30 a.m. (ET/CT/MT/PT) – Part Two
The episodes will air again in March. Check local listings for details.

Entering its 10th year Designing Spaces™ continues to be one of America’s favorite home improvement shows. The show inspires viewers on decorating ideas, do-it-yourself projects and step by step home improvements to help make every space count and provide solutions to help you enjoy the space you live, work and play in. Designing Spaces™ Family of Spaces includes Think Green Spaces, Kids Space, Pet Spaces and it’s widely popular Spaces of Hope which prides itself on assisting people and places in dire need of a makeover including children’s shelters, animal shelters, military families and more. Designing Spaces™ airs at 7:30am (ET/PT) on Lifetime. For more information and to view the episodes visit

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About Crossville, Inc.
Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications. An industry innovator, Crossville is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following:

· produce large format tile on site,
· manufacture tile with certified recycled content,
· develop the Tile Take-Back™ Program for recycling fired porcelain tile
· achieve certification of its waste recycling programs
· achieve TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines,
· distribute a complete line of large format, 3mm-thin porcelain panels (Laminam by Crossville)
· become a net consumer of waste.
For more information on Crossville, visit