NTCA attends Gary Sinise Foundation “Walls of Honor” event that recognizes U.S. Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell in San Diego

NTCA attended the Walls of Honor event in San Diego, Monday, June 19.

On Monday morning, June 19, the Gary Sinise Foundation held a “Walls of Honor” event to support U.S. Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell. The event invites family, friends, veterans, community leaders and Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program donors and supporters to write inspirational messages of gratitude on the walls of the new specially-adapted smart home for the family, prior to construction of the home. The “Walls of Honor” event is the midpoint marker for this Smart Home Build.


Mark Roberts (l.) and Bob Shuford of Arizona Tile write messages of gratitude on the wall of the specially-adapted smart home being build through the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program.

Through the R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), specially-adapted smart homes are being constructed for severely-wounded veterans nationwide, to create greater mobility and ease for the wounded veteran and their families.

(l. to r.) Andrew Bottrell, his wife Lindsey and daughter Jessa, with NTCA’s Amber Fox at the Walls of Honor event in San Diego.

Amber Fox, NTCA Five Star Program coordinator, was honored to attend the event. NTCA, along with other industry supporters, donate time, materials and/or labor to these smart homes across the country.

“Growing up in the construction industry, it is in our nature to give back with our talents, and this program is an amazing vehicle for that,” Fox said.  It was so nice to see all the support from our industry. MAPEI, Crossville, and Arizona Tile all donated for this project.

“Getting the opportunity to meet Andrew and his strong spirit, confirms what an amazing program that the Gary Sinise Foundation is,” she added.  “If you are an installer and want to give back I strongly encourage you to go to the foundation website at www.garysinisefoundtion.org and reach out to see how you can help.  I know many in our community already have, you will no doubt get back more than you give.”

Donor reps at the Walls of Honor event are (l to r): Bob Shuford (Arizona Tile), Kikmet Pauls and Alfanso Gonzales of Marjan Stone, fabricator of stone that Arizona Tile is donating to the home; Andrew Bottrell; and Mark Roberts and John Culver of Arizona Tile.

US Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell attended EOD school in 2008.  A year later Andrew reported to EOD mobile unit 3. He was deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011 with Seal Team 10. In Afghanistan, on October 1, 2011, while conducting combat operations Andrew was in a vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). He suffered extreme injuries which led to a double leg amputation and a left arm amputation.

Andrew shared, “Always push yourself no matter what life brings your way. If you do not like your situation, change it. Do not blame somebody else for it and do not wait for somebody else to do something about it. You are not entitled to anything, only what you make your own. Take control of your own life, because life is what you make of it, so make the best of it.”

The R.I.S.E. foundation provides specially-adapted smart homes, home modifications, mobility devices, and adapted vehicles to America’s most severely-wounded heroes and their families. By the end of 2017, 59 specially-adapted smart homes will have been built or are underway.

For more coverage of this story, please visit the link below:


To learn more about the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program, visit this link: https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/programs/rise





Olympia Tile+ Stone celebrates 90 years in business

Olympia Tile + stone celebrated its 90th anniversary with a spectacular event held at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto, Canada on May 4th.  The 125-year-old restored brickworks was the perfect setting for this grand event.

Over 3,000 people attended the extravaganza to view products and partake in the “passport-themed” event. Attendees were furnished with “passports” that traced their travels through the world of tile with over 40 vendor booths and food from 15 different countries.  “Flight attendants” mingled through the crowd and a flight simulator let everyone take their chance at being the next “Sully.”

Olympia Tile Group president Ralph Reichmann playing “Sully” on the flight simulator at the company’s 90th anniversary celebration.

The ‘mini-Cersaie’ event gave everyone an opportunity to see what the next new look would be.  Sizes, textures and colors reflecting the fashion trends in tile, from 1” x 1” mosaics to 60” x 120” panels were on display.

The accolades were plentiful from attendees. “What a fabulous night,” said Ruth Lynch, Byron Patton Associates, Toronto.  “Olympia went above and beyond…the venue, the food and the presentations were all spectacular.” Lawrence Beveridge, of Toronto’s LDB Associates, added, “The evening was perfect. I really enjoyed going from booth to booth to learn more about the products.  All the vendors were concise, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.  It was a perfect venue, and the food was fabulous.”

The great reviews continued the following day with a tour of the 35,000 sq. ft. Toronto showroom and the one million sq.ft. break-bulk facility in Vaughn , Ontario.  This main staging area for Olympia Tile+ Stone houses over 140,000 pallets of tile and 30,000 slabs of marble, granite, limestone, quartz and porcelain panels.

Over 3,000 people attended the extravaganza to view products and partake in the “passport-themed” event. Attendees were furnished with “passports” that traced their travels through the world of tile with over 40 vendor booths and food from 15 different countries.

“I truly enjoyed touring the showroom, and was blown away by the size of the inventory in the Vaughn warehouse,” said Patricia McClintock of Patricia McClintock Associates, Montreal. “I had no idea of the scope of Olympia Tile,” said Robert Irvine, Irvine Carpet & Tile, of Grand Rapids, Mich. “I have been to multiple factories around the world and have never seen an inventory this large.”

This event provided hats-off congratulations to Ralph Reichmann, president of Olympia Tile Group, and the 900 employees from Olympia Tile+ Stone that go above and beyond everyday for their customers.

“Many thanks to the esteemed customers and manufacturers, who have come from near and far to our Event from many parts of Canada, the United States and overseas,” Reichmann said. “The staff of Olympia Tile Group, who have organized this event, and myself are expressing our deepest appreciation, and trust you had an informative and pleasant experience.”






Arizona Tile kicks off 40th anniversary celebration events in San Diego

Arizona Tile celebrated its 40th anniversary with an event on June 15, 2017 commemorating its first branch and first lease in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Arizona Tile is hosting celebrations for employees and customers at all of its locations this year in celebration of its 40th anniversary. On June 15th 2017, the company hosted an event for its San Diego branch. This branch is the  company’s first location, and the location where its first lease was signed, so this event represented a milestone for the company. Originally the party was scheduled to take place at the company location on Morena Blvd, but the response was so outstanding that it outgrew the venue and the celebration was moved  to Town and Country Resort.


John Wirtz of Wirtz Quality Installations (l. to r.); Mark Huarte, Arizona Tile (son of founders John and Eileen Huarte) and George Gasaway of Custom Building Products.

Jack Penny on the drums!












Several of the company’s former employees were in attendance at this event, including Jack Penny. Jack Penny was a branch manager and outside sales rep at the San Diego location for over 20 years and retired a few years ago. Not only did he attend the party, but his band, The Shenanigans, provided musical entertainment at the event.


Arizona Tile executive team members were also in attendance including:

  • John and Eileen Huarte (founders)
  • Bob Traxler (President)
  • Gary Skarsten (Executive Vice President and CFO)
  • Beth Gaughan (VP of Sales)
  • Don Kesteloot (Vice President of Finance)

Founders John and Eileen Huarte outside the San Diego branch store.

The company was thrilled to see so many team members, former team members, and customers at the event. Many of the customers in attendance of this specific event have been shopping with Arizona Tile since the company began in 1977.

As part of the celebration, Arizona Tile raffled off a steak dinner as well as a Notre Dame football signed by owner and founder, John Huarte, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1964 while playing for Notre Dame.

Following is a schedule of remaining 40th Anniversary events this year:

June 15th, 2017 – San Diego CA

June 22, 2017 – Dallas TX

July 11, 2017 – Rancho Cordova, CA

Aug 25, 2017 – Albuquerque, NM

September 14, 2017 – Salt Lake City, UT

September 21, 2017 – Houston, TX

October 12, 2017 – Livermore, CA

October 19, 2017 – Denver, CO

October 25, 2017 – Roseville, CA

November 2, 2017 – Tucson, AZ

December 6, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV

December 7, 2017 – Anaheim CA

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LATICRETE Celebrates 70,000-Square Foot Grand Prairie Plant Expansion


Henry Rothberg, LATICRETE co-owner and vp of training cuts the ribbon celebrating the expansion, flanked by LATICRETE personnel and dignitaries.

June 14, Grand Prairie, Texas — LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has completed a 70,000-square foot (6,503-square meter) plant expansion here– nearly doubling the existing 100,000-square foot (9,290-square meter) facility, making it the company’s largest manufacturing and distribution center outside of the LATICRETE headquarters in Bethany. It will serve as a national distribution hub for the company and will deliver Texas-region LATICRETE customers with high-volume items and other specialty products. With operations in more than 100 countries, the Grand Prairie manufacturing plant is one of eight in the United States and 21 worldwide.

Ed Metcalf, LATICRETE president and COO, North America thanked employees and Pistola Construction for their contributions to the expansion. Metcalf said to expect expansion of training facilities in the beginning of 2018.

 “Our investment in Texas, driven by rapidly increasing demand, will positively impact the local community, provide a better work environment for our team and allow us to provide even higher service levels to our clients across the region,” Ed Metcalf, LATICRETE President and COO, North America. “We look forward to the next phase of our expansion here which will include new manufacturing lines, a world class technical training center and expanded facilities for our sales and customer service functions.”

 At an all-day celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony, District 1 City Council Member Jorja Clemson representing Mayor Ron Jensen and the City Council, spoke at the ceremony in support of the company’s contributions to the region’s pro-business environment. Additionally, Greg Cashman of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce presented LATICRETE with a membership plaque on behalf of the Board of Directors and committee members in attendance. District Director Murphy Simpson presented a certificate on behalf of State Representative Jonathan Stickland.

 “We began as, and remain, a family business,” said LATICRETE co-owner and Senior Vice President of Training Henry B. Rothberg who spoke at the event on behalf of the company. “This celebration was not only about our business development and expansion into new markets, but our growing family in Texas. We were honored to have so many esteemed guests commemorate with


NTCA Five Star Contractor Kemna Tile installed large format porcelain tile and glass mosaic in the locker rooms/hallways, using LATICRETE setting materials, of course!

Henry Rothberg (l) LATICRETE co-owner and senior vice president of training with a plaque presented by Greg Cashman (r), from the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce.

The celebration included family activities including games, balloon sculpting, face painting, Texas BBQ and live music.

The Supercap pump truck was on hand, and LATICRETE’s Ron Nash explained how this technology increases the speed, cleanliness and accuracy of applying large volumes of self levelers in buildings up to 70 stories tall.

Plant employees Doug Carabo (l.) and Stacy Gardner toured groups through the racks and staging area, explaining there are 7,500 rack locations for the plant. The question of the day? How many Rubik Cubes will fill up the 70,000 sq. ft. expansion? Stay tuned for the story in the print TileLetter for the answer!

Help NTCA member family get back on its feet after a fire: Chris Abouarrage

At Coverings ’17 in April, Abouarrage (r.) assisted NTCA technical trainers Robb Roderick (l.) and Mark Heinlein on the TCNA Live Demonstration stage.

On May 4, a tragedy ripped through the life of NTCA Oklahoma State Ambassador Chris Abouarrage and his family. An electrical fire in the family’s home decimated the house. The family – Chris, wife Jennifer, and their 8- and 5-year old sons — had to flee with only the clothes on their backs – and the family dog.

Right now, the family is living in a hotel and is seeking help with clothes and food while the home is rebuilt, with no return date in sight. Chris, owner of Tile & Design by Chris LLC in Yukon, Okla., is heading into his third year of NTCA membership.

A You Caring Compassionate Crowdfunding  site has been set up at https://www.youcaring.com/chrisjenniferabouarrage-816271.

Chris and Jennifer say, “If you’re able to help us, we appreciate it. Anything helps. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”



Tile goes to the dogs at Coverings’ TCNA Art Tile Courtyard

(Orlando, FL) – At Coverings 2017, eighteen beautiful doghouses tiled by TCNA members were on display in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard. These unique works of art were installed over custom-made Wedi doghouse forms donated by TCNA and Wedi.
After the show these doghouses were donated to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando to assist them in their goal to provide compassionate and knowledgeable services for pets.
The following descriptions were provided by the companies/artists who tiled the dog houses.

AlysEdwards Tile & Stone
AlysEdwards hopes the pup getting this home can feel the love in this timeless and fundoghouse. This great little shelter is sealed with AlysEdward’s signature kiss, and features tile from AlysEdwards Feel, Gigi’s Groovy Glass, and Wanderlust Collections. It was designed by Kevin Sanchez from AlysEdwards and installed by the AlysEdwardsTile &  Stone sample department.




Bon Ton

Casa Ceramica

Cider Press Tile










Appomattox Tile Art
Appomattox’s doghouse features its new “Barre Banc” pattern introduced at Coverings

Created by artist Mary Anderson, owner of BonTon Designs, “Rescue Haven” has been fully encrusted in custom handmade tile exclusive to BonTon Designs. The petals and swirls were all hand-cut from wet clay and fired to their brilliant colors. The plaque that adorns the front door is from BonTon’s “TEXTiles”collection. The white and platinum field tile is all hand-rolled, fired, and broken to create this mosaic design.

Casa Ceramica
Casa Ceramica’s doghouse was designed and installed by its in-house design and installation team. The tiles and trim pieces are from their Mediterranean Tile Collection and are installed in a patchwork motif. The bones are made locally in Florida by an artist who produces Casa Ceramica’s custom tiles.

Cider Press Tile
Cider Press Tile’s doghouse features a whimsical fan-cut tile roof with pencil trim, brick style siding, and window shutters from its “Iron Age” collection. The tile colors showcased are Pecan, Indigo, New Moss, and Root Beer. The dog bowl is in Pecan and Root Beer, and dog bones are in Ivory. The doghouse was designed by Kenneth Walsh from Cider Press Tile and installed by Al Dibiccari from AD Tile in Marlborough NH.

Crossville, Inc.

Del Conca USA

Iconic Design Concepts

Lunada Bay Tile










Crossville, Inc.
Crossville’s doghouse design, “Ruffin’ It in Florida”, is the creation of interior designer Mickey Searcy, founder/owner of Interiors by Lawrence David of Sanford, FL. Searcy envisioned this pooch palace in beachy colors that are bright, yet earthy – a nod to the natural inspiration that abounds in the Sunshine State. Crossville’s colorful collections are an ideal covering for the doghouse, as tile is so popular and widely specified in FL residences.

Del Conca USA
Del Conca USA is proud to present its doghouse made with its new porcelain tile products. The bottom is made from their CANTINA series, which simulates rustic brick, and the corners are made with its special pieces of in and out corners. The roof features Del Conca’s wood look, Providence 8″ x 32″ Dark Wood.

Florim USA
Florim USA’s doghouse features Charleston Timber on the sides and back, Modern Stone Sand on the roof, and Galaxy Grigio Mosaic at the entry. The doghouse was tiled by Dave “Bear” Taylor at Bear Builds.

Iconic Design Concepts
Iconic Design Concepts used its 8″ x 8″ Silver Diamond Dust wall tiles for the doghouse sides. The roof features fiberglass/foam, walnut faux wood 18″ x 24″ wall panels and a custom-designed arch doorway in the shape of dog bones finished in Gold Diamond Dust. The concept and installation are by Lorne and Lynda Progosh, owners of Iconic Design Concepts.

Lunada Bay Tile
This pooch-friendly palace is clad in Tomei glass tiles etched with a custom design of tiny paw prints. The roof showcases a combination of Shinju Zen Garden ceramic and Lacquer ceramic mosaics. The eaves are illuminated with all-weather LEDs, lighting the way for four-legged friends come nightfall.


Shenfeld Studios


Syzygy Tile










Marazzi’s tile doghouse was inspired by its new Urban District™ collection. Influenced by the revitalization of downtown warehouse districts, the Urban District collection combines textures and colors to add bold character to any design style. A combination of wood, brick and concrete-look tile in light and neutral hues gives this doghouse a contemporary look with rustic charm. Featured products include Urban District MIX, a distressed 4″ x 28″ wood-look tile in Uptown white and Urban District BRX, a 4″ x 8″ realistic brick tile in Garden Cotto. The doghouse is trimmed in Marazzi’s new concrete-look series, Block in Beige.

Shenfeld Studio
Shenfeld Studio’s Craftsman Doghouse showcases its mosaic tiles used in various subway stations throughout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The field tiles are from the various colors used in the production of Stickley tabletops. The designer and installer is Shenfeld Studio’s Tara Darjee.

StonePeak Ceramics
StonePeak decided on a “classic” doghouse look, using its Adamas collection in the color
Ruber. The Adamas series is a 4″ x 12″ wall tile that comes in 8 colors.

For Stonexchange, a thresholds, window sills and baseboards manufacturer, this was a
challenging but fun project to provide a future roof for a puppy. Stonexchange used its 5″ x 36″ Black Absolute double Hollywood bevel thresholds for the roof, 2″ x 36″ Crema Sahara Marfil thresholds for the walls, and 2″ x 36″ Pure White engineered stone thresholds for the nametag area. The doghouse was designed by Stonexchange’s Volkan Okay Yazici and installed by its warehouse team.

Syzygy Tile
Designed by New Mexico-based Syzygy’s staff, Syzygy’s doghouse was created to be a small space that is colorful, fun – whimsical.The roof features its 2″ Koi tiles, glazed in Reef, to create a shingled-roof effect. Small details like the simulated windows were added to give the doghouse a decidedly home-like feel.The walls of the house are Syzygy’s 1″ hexagons in a custom textured white glaze. The trim pieces are glazed in Mandarin Orange.

Florim USA

StonePeak Ceramics







Vitromex’s doghouse features a very simple but creative design that combines key products in their ceramic and porcelain portfolio. It consists of its Brooklyn ceramic series and Brenta porcelain series combined to create a modern, sophisticated look.

Wizard Enterprise

Wizard Enterprise
Wizard Enterprise’s doghouse features glazed thin brick tile from its Bison Brick series in
Glaze Matador. The doghouse was designed by Michael Meagher and installed by Lucio Mancia.

Wonder Porcelain

Wonder Porcelain
American Wonder Porcelain’s doghouse features an eclectic mix of the following products:
Arcadia waterjet mosaic in Taupe, Light Gray and Greige; Ranch Wood 6″ x 24″ matte in Warm Brown and Light Gray; Carrington 8″ x 8″ lappato in Ivory Blend and Blue Gray; and Mars Stone 3″x 6″ matte in Black. The doghouse was designed and installed by Haley Brandeberry and Robert Provin.

Winner of “Design ’N Gather” (DNG) Mosaic Competition Unveiled at “Hyde Bellagio Selfie Studio”

At Design ‘N Gather (http://designngather.com), the much-heralded, annual global tile mosaic design competition created by Artaic – Innovative Mosaic (artaic.com) and sponsored by Bostik, the contest’s Grand Prize Winning Project was made public at a lavish and exclusive VIP event hosted at Hyde Bellagio in Las Vegas on May 4th.

Architectural Designer Lisa Darroh-Pouls of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Pouls Hospitality Design was announced as the Grand Prize Winner.

More than 600 amped-up guests/partiers including top hospitality architects and designers were in attendance, as co-emcees Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development and Dr. Ted Acworth, CEO/Founder of Artaic, brought the late-night soiree to its crescendo. Finally, Architectural Designer Lisa Darroh-Pouls of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Pouls Hospitality Design was announced as the Grand Prize Winner. Lisa’s creation, “Champagne Wishes,” was revealed to the crowd as the larger-than-life glass mosaic backdrop for what is now referred to as the “World’s Most Focal Selfie Studio.” Joyen Vakil, Senior Vice President of Design & Development for MGM Resorts International, one of the ten DNG judges stated, “This project was ideal for Hyde. Clearly, it was beautifully designed and perfectly themed for the environment of our nightclub.”

Lisa’s creation, “Champagne Wishes,” was revealed to the crowd as the larger-than-life glass mosaic backdrop for what is now referred to as the “World’s Most Focal Selfie Studio.”

According to Darroh-Pouls, “’Champagne Wishes’ is a genesis of an alluring mythological goddess. She rules over the world of decadent, sparkling, golden libations. Her actions are playfully calculated as she inspires each fortunate guest by blowing a mesmerizing kiss ensuring ecstasy and pageantry befitting the Hyde Lounge. The Selfie Studio provides the perfect venue for guests to flirt with Hyde’s goddess while capturing her enticing beauty in a photograph preserving memories.”

The walls of the Selfie Studio are clad with Crossville’s Laminam thin porcelain tile panels, which were installed using Bostik’s Bosti-Set™, a premium adhesive and sound reduction membrane. Bosti-Set is a proprietary, new-to-world technology specifically created for installation of thin porcelain tile panels that was recently launched at Coverings. And, the flooring selected for this one-of-a-kind venue was “The Allways Collection,” an exquisite “wood-look” porcelain tile in the color “Bench” from Bedrosians Tile & Stone. The studio served as a showcase for over nine Bostik installation innovations for commercial construction.

Ted Acworth stated, “And now, mosaic murals such as Lisa Darroh-Poul’s ‘Champagne Wishes’ can be produced right here in America, by simply taking creative designs… and perfectly assembling them using cutting-edge, computer-driven, robotic technology. Together with Bostik, we’re letting the world know that ancient mosaic design production has morphed into becoming a space-age process.”

“Bostik, Artaic and MGM Resorts International worked extremely close together, focused on taking Design ‘N Gather 2017 to an even higher, more globally promoted level,” declared an exuberant Scott Banda. “MGM graciously provided DNG with one of their most prestigious, globally-recognized resorts to permanently showcase the 2017 winning design. Together with our strategic partner, Artaic, we intend to resurrect the excitement of using mosaics for architectural applications, a time-honored design treatment, which has faded over the years. We are accomplishing our goal worldwide. And, without question, are having lots of fun in doing so!”


The Stephens Group Purchases Pearl Abrasive

Pearl Abrasive, producer of high-quality abrasives, diamond cutting tools, and equipment for welding, construction, tile and rental industries across the U.S. and Canada has been acquired by The Stephens Group, a private, family-held investment firm based in Little Rock, Ark. The deal was finalized on May 5th, and will allow Pearl to maintain its reputation as a trusted partner to the industries it serves while expanding its offerings and services.
For over 80 years, The Stephens Group has partnered with companies to help them
grow and achieve their strategic and long-term objectives. Recognizing the great potential of Pearl, as well as the strong leadership team in place, they acquired all of Pearl and
its subsidiaries.
Clay Hunter, managing director at The Stephens Group , knows the business well having
worked with Pearl for nearly a decade. “I’ve seen first-hand the Pearl team’s relentless
focus on providing innovative, high quality tools and equipment. We are committed to
supporting Pearl as they continue to meet the needs of their various segment customers
and continue to introduce new products, including unique one-of-a-kind items that help
customers save time and money.”
From its start in the 1960’s Pearl has continuously identified and introduced key new products that improve efficiency and effectiveness in a variety of end markets. These
products include the versatile Hexpin® surface preparation system, the extremely popular Tuscan® tile leveling system and a full range of abrasives and diamond blades.
“The Stephens Group is an excellent fit for our organization,” said Rich Berry, Pearl
Abrasive president. “They truly understand Pearl’s unique position in the market and
will give us the support we need to further grow our business and exceed the needs and
expectations of our customers.”

Florida Tile christens San Antonio showroom

San Antonio warmly welcomed Florida Tile and its new showroom to its city.

Florida Tile held a grand opening celebration of its new San Antonio showroom on Thursday, April 27. The showroom is located at 7007 fairgrounds parkway, Suite 117 in San Antonio. NTCA Five Star Contractor J&R Tile performed the installation of the showroom.


“Our showroom encompasses approximately 4,000 sq.ft, “ said Bonnie Bennett-Smith general manager for Florida Tile.  “With numerous ‘book’ displays and vignettes, we’ve tried to make the designer’s job easier. Having customers get a better visual impression of what a finished job might look like takes away the ‘unknown factor’ when creating a look for a homeowner or commercial project.

The “bling” display in Florida Tile’s San Antonio Showroom shows Glamour and Precious, two new tiles introduced at Coverings 2017.

“We’ve featured a media wall showcasing a truly unique 3D-look using porcelain tile!” Bennett-Smith continued. “The concept always gets the attention of anyone walking into the showroom.

Celebrating the new space are (l. to r.): Darren Clark, branch operations manager; Sonny Cantus, J&R Tile; CTI Adam Arellano of J&R Tile (foreman on the showroom installation); Florida/Panaria’s Luca Setti, chief sales and marketing officer; Erin Albrecht, J&R Tile; CTI Triniti Vigil; J&R Tile (also CTEF evaluator); Bonnie Bennett-Smith, Florida Tile general manager; Anne Galmor, Florida Tile commercial rep; and Kyle Raymond, warehouse/customer service.

Another feature is a section showcasing Florida Tile’s ‘Thinner’ tile. Although primarily thought of for commercial applications, there are definitely areas well-suited residentially as well.

The 4,000 sq. ft. Florida Tile showroom in San Antonio has many unique aspects that help customers “get a better visual impression of what a finished job might look like,” said Florida Tile’s general manager, Bonnie Bennett-Smith.

“San Antonio has warmly welcomed Florida Tile,” she concluded. “We look forward to being a great partner to a wonderful city and its people!”

Florida Tile personnel at the event and ribbon cutting included Ric Cornwell, Midwest/Southwest regional manager; Michael Franceschelli, CEO; Luca Setti, chief sales and marketing officer; Bonnie Bennett-Smith,general manager;  Anne Galmor, branch commercial sales specialist; Doug Hayes, director of business development; Sean Cilona, strategic marketing/brand management/advertising/social and creative; and Kristie Rymiszewski, national operations manager. Ambassador Phong Duc Pham and Rick Mireles from the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce also attended.

(A special thanks to Erin Albrecht of J&R Tile for many of the photos in this story.)

Many Florida Tile staff were present for the San Antonio showroom ribbon cutting, including Michael Franceschelli (4th from left), Florida Tile CEO.


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