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.

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.”


Garden State Tile to Hold Laminam By Crossville Launch Event on Thurs., Oct. 11th

Unveiling of Innovative Large Format Porcelain Panels for A&D Community
— Open House & Presentation Part of DESIGNPHILADELPHIA Festival —

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Regional tile distributor Garden State Tile (GST) will host the Laminam by Crossville Launch Event at its new, state-of-the-art Architectural & Design Center in Philadelphia in conjunction with the DesignPhiladelphia festival. The event will take place on Thursday, October 11th, with an open house from 5 – 8 p.m. and a presentation at 6 p.m. GST’s Architectural & Design Center is located at 2401 Walnut Street. The event is free and open to the public.
Billed as “large format porcelain panels,” Laminam by Crossville products are just 3mm thick with outer dimensions of 1m x 3m. The lean profile combined with generously sized panels creates a versatile surface skin ideal for giving walls, doors, counters and cabinetry a nearly seamless appearance. Lightweight yet very durable, these porcelain panels expand the possibilities for tile applications for both commercial and residential use. Garden State Tile is the exclusive source for Laminam by Crossville in the metro Philadelphia area.
The Laminam by Crossville event is being held as part of the annual DesignPhiladelphia, a four-day festival celebrating the region’s design industries at work and the city’s contemporary significance as a center for creative innovation and advancement.
For more details on Garden State Tile’s Laminam by Crossville Launch Event or any DesignPhiladelphia festival activities, visit
Members of the media are invited to attend and may request interviews and showroom tours by contacting Irene Williams at [email protected].
About Garden State Tile
Garden State Tile (GST) is a tile distributor with 10 design centers located throughout the eastern U.S. The company is built on the idea that people make all the difference, and its service and design expertise has defined its reputation since GST first opened for business more than 50 years ago. Grounded in a long tradition of supplying the highest quality tile products and service, Garden State Tile offers guidance, education and consultation to its customers, including interior designers, architects, retailers and product specifiers for national accounts.
In 2011, GST opened its 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Architectural & Design Center located at 2401 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, PA, giving a spatial showcasing of premium porcelain, stone, ceramic, glass tile and much more.
For more details, visit
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. The company is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following: – production of large format tile on site, – manufacturing tile with certified recycled content, – development of the Tile Take-Back® Program for recycling fired porcelain tile – certification of its waste recycling programs – TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines, – become a net consumer of waste.
For more information on Crossville, visit
About Laminam by Crossville
Laminam by Crossville is Crossville, Inc.‘s exclusive U.S. distributorship of select thin panel porcelain products manufactured by Laminam S.p.A., the world leader in the production of large format, lean profile ceramic surfacing products. A consolidated division of Systems Group, Laminam S.p.A. utilizes an advanced, fully automated production process to create large and lean profile ceramic and porcelain slab products available worldwide.
For more details, visit

USG Facebook Photo Contest Supports “Strength Beneath the Surface™” Campaign

CHICAGO, September 13, 2012- USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), a leading building products company, is offering their Facebook fans a chance to win up to $500 through their Strength Beneath the Surface™ Contest which requires contestants to submit an on the job picture of themselves and USG Tile and Flooring products.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a $500 gift card, and the four runners-up winners will each receive a $100 gift card. All entrants will receive a free t-shirt.

This contest is open to professional contractors, subcontractors, do-it-yourselfers and others who are engaged in the construction or remodeling industry. In order to participate, entrants must be a legal resident of the United States and 18 years of age and older.

The Strength Beneath the Surface photo must show the participant and USG Tile and Flooring products on the job. Products can include: DUROCK® Cement Board, FIBEROCK® Tile Backerboard, FIBEROCK® Underlayment, DUROCK™ Tile Membrane, DUROCK™ Tile Membrane Adhesive, FIBEROCK™ Floor Protector Paper, Builder Paper, DUROCK™ Multi-Use Self-Leveling Underlayment, DUROCK™ Quick-Dry-Self-Leveling Underlayment, DUROCK™ Floor Patch, DUROCK™ Primer-Sealer, DUROCK™ Tile Backer Tape and DUROCK™ Tile Backer Screws.

Judging will take place October 22 through October 26, 2012, with a judging panel consisting of marketing and product managers from USG Tile and Flooring Installations. Finalists will be selected based on craftsmanship, creativity and use of USG Tile and Flooring Installation Products. Voting will then be turned over to the public on October 29-November 11, 2012, when each person can vote once a day for their favorite picture. Judges will announce the final winner on or by November 16, 2012.

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

USG Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance building systems through its United States Gypsum Company, USG Interiors, LLC, L&W Supply Corporation and other subsidiaries. Headquartered in Chicago, USG’s worldwide operations serve the commercial, residential, and repair and remodel construction markets. USG’s wall, ceiling, flooring and roofing products provide leading-edge building solutions for customers, while L&W Supply branch locations efficiently stock and deliver building materials nationwide. For additional information, visit the USG website at

Editor’s Letter – September 2012

Last month, much of this column was devoted to the online version of TileLetter, which allows you to read current or past TileLetter content in digital-page turner form or in an ongoing, frequently-updated list of articles, stories and announcements, organized by category. Just go to from your computer, phone or mobile device and the wealth of information you read each month in this printed magazine (and more!) is there at your disposal.

The digital versions of TileLetter, and sister publication TADA: Tile for Architects, Designers and Affiliates ( aren’t where the NTCA online presence ends. In this world where e-reporters and video are as close as your phone, NTCA has joined the fray with a YouTube channel of its very own. Visit for 79 videos (at press time) on a range of subjects from NTCA itself to Tile Tips, Coverings, The Installation Design Showcase, Tile-TV, “What Went Wrong” segments which examine specific aspects of a tile job, what went wrong and how to prevent it; spotlights on industry members who are excelling in their field, and technology segments that present emerging technologies that can help you in your business and more.

These videos are available 24/7 for personal use, but that’s not all. You can also employ them as training tools and as part of weekly or monthly meetings, free of charge. Keep checking back for updates and additions or hit the subscribe button and be notified of new segments on the National Tile Contractors Association channel automatically. And for up-to-the-minute Tile-TV content, subscribe to for this monthly internet industry news program delivered to thousands in the tile and stone industry.

As for THIS issue of TileLetter, it’s been designed to make a grand entrance. Because EVERY residential or commercial building has an entryway – and many of them are tile or stone – much of our content in our September issue is devoted to how to have a flawless entry or foyer installation. Check out our cover story by Schluter Systems, our technical story by Michael Whistler and our case study on the installation of the Town Center in Virginia Beach for insights on how to make YOUR next entryway or foyer installation run smoothly.

Happy reading!

Motawi Tileworks: hit us with your best shot

Motawi Tileworks is holding a contest for the best  Motawi installation of the last 20 years. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate for Motawi products and services. To enter, send the following items to [email protected]:

  • At least one 8×10 color digital photo of the installation with a minimum resolution of 300dpi in TIFF or JPEG format
  • Your full name and contact information, the name of your company (if applicable), the name of the photographer, and the month/year of the installation
  • The category under which you’re entering (professional for showroom reps, architects, builders, or designers; hobbyist for do-it-yourselfers)
  • A signed photo release form, obtainable at this site:

Entries must be received by midnight on 9/7/12. Visit for the full rules.

Editor’s Letter – August 2012

Here’s a common scenario: you are traveling, and want to reference a story in your recent copy of TileLetter. The only problem is that you left the magazine at the office. Never fear – now your TileLetter is only as far as your laptop, tablet or mobile device. Back by popular demand is the TileLetter digital page turner at

The TileLetter website originally featured a digital page turner, which is basically an online representation of the actual magazine, page by page. Then we decided to update the website to the WordPress format so we could more easily and quickly bring you immediate news online. In the process we did away with our original digital page turner, which was a bit cumbersome and slow.

But amidst public outcry for the feature, a new easy-access format is back for your reading pleasure. Just visit the website above to read the most current issue of TileLetter. For timely news posted as it is available, you can always visit

TileLetter isn’t NTCA’s only digital page turner – you can also view the current issue of TADA: Tile for Architects, Designers and Affiliates at the TADA website: Launched at Coverings, the first two issues of this quarterly publication have been enthusiastically snapped up at trade shows. Visit the website to view stories from those first two issues or to read the magazine via digital page turner. You can also subscribe to TADA there too.

I don’t want to be remiss in pointing to several of our features in THIS issue of TileLetter, however – starting with the awe-inspiring cover story about NTCA member Port Morris Tile & Marble’s role in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. I read this story with reverence and awe for the monumental task it is and the significance it holds for giving new life to this very sacred ground, remembrance for lives lost there that day, and a symbol of renewal, recovery and strength to the entire nation.

The overall theme of our August issue is green and sustainability, and you will find stories and articles throughout that reflect developments in this sector of our industry. Notable is the case study of The First State Bank & Trust of Skokie, Ill., that features a ventilated facade and the green benefits therein, as well as numerous other sustainable aspects of the building. DTI of Illinois – who installed the tile for Chicago’s Monroe Building restoration and was a special recognition winner in the Coverings Installation Design Awards – installed this project: their first ventilated facade job. As a result, they are pursuing several other ventilated facade projects.

Enjoy this issue – whether you are reading it in paper, hard-copy format or online.


Editor’s Letter – July 2012

If you read last month’s Business Tip, you’ll remember that it was written by Steve Rausch who represents the Substrates and Specialty Products Division of USG Corporation out of Alpharetta, Ga. You’ll also remember that he’s  the author of the Rausch Ravings blog (

On Monday, June 25, I read his blog on “How to Handle Stress.” It contains some balancing wisdom I thought was essential.

We all work hard. There never seems to be a lack of opportunities to do a little more or work a little harder at your business. And doing so is often part of the formula that distinguishes a successful business from a floundering one.

But there’s insight in the saying about “all work and no play.” And since it’s summertime, and vacations are on people’s minds and calendars, I wanted to pass on this story from Steve’s blog for your reading pleasure:

I did not write this story, just received it from a friend and thought it worthy to pass along to everyone reading my blog. I had intended on writing about vacations; seems like many are interested in that subject right now, but my take was going to be on those who avoid vacations and seem to wear that like a badge of honor – that they don’t take a vacation. Well, it just isn’t healthy and it is really not good for your company! They provide vacation time for a reason. I believe this below story very well points out that exact reason!

A young lady confidently walked around the room while explaining stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone was sure she was going to ask the ultimate question: “Half empty or half full?” However, she fooled them all. 

“How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. 

Answers called out ranged from 8 ounces to 20 ounces. 

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” 

She continued, “That’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.” 

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… Pick them up tomorrow.

“Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax; pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now ‘supposed’ stress that you’ve conquered!” 

Relax today – stop and smell the roses and other flowers you pass so often without notice. — Steve

Thanks, Steve for the reminder. Happy flower smelling, everyone!


2012 Coverings Review

Though the economy may have a ways to go, if Coverings was any indication, a sense of optimism and substantial recovery is starting to creep back into the tile industry.

Attendance at Coverings was up by 19 percent over last year’s show, with registration totaling over 22,000, signaling a halt to a decline in attendance over the last three years. Architects and designers attended the Orlando-based event in droves – attendance among that sector jumped 84 percent over 2011 figures. Strong A&D attendance is expected to continue next year, when Coverings debuts in Atlanta amidst a robust regional community of architects and designers.

Other market segments saw a rise at Coverings 2012, as well, with fabricator attendance up 69 percent from last year, distributor attendance up 16 percent and the installer/contractor presence up 26 percent.

“These numbers are valid indicators that the tile and stone industry is in a recovery mode,” said Karen Fendrich, show director of Coverings. “No way has the dust fully settled from the economic turmoil, but there are decided improvements in business, with building projects re-booted and remodeling on the upswing – all good signs for anyone involved in this product category.”

An aggressive marketing campaign, fueled by embrace of social media, helped boost attendance figures. On the show floor, the Coverings Central area allowed attendees to digitally interact, network with one another, and get digital-networking tips in 15-minute seminars throughout the show.

Contractor tours: a hit

More than 160 contractors took advantage of a specially-guided tour of top setting material and tool resources on the show floor as part of the new Contractor Days. This program, in collaboration with the NTCA, helped contractors and installers maximize their time at Coverings without second-guessing which of the 800-plus exhibitors to see. Contractors also got to personally meet and hear from company executives during booth visits, direct access they might not ordinarily have experienced on their own. Tours included lunch, and a happy hour on the show floor in the Contractor Lounge, which afforded additional networking opportunities.

Designers + contractors = stunning projects

Another growing attraction for attendees was the Installation Design Showcase. The 2012 project was a tour-de-force of three room settings starring tile. Three renowned designers partnered with three NTCA Five Star Contractors, who brought the vignettes to life in full view of attendees over the course of the show.

Nationally-known Florida-based kitchen designer Joan DesCombes created a pampering patio setting with magnificent materials sponsored by Tile Council of North America and provided by Florida Tile and Metropolitan Ceramics. She was teamed with Cox Tile of San Antonio, Texas, which faithfully translated her vision, including construction of a working tiled fountain.

Orlando native Grant Gribble, ASID, IIDA, partnered with Collins Tile and Stone of Aldie, Va., in a 70s-inspired bath that emphasized wall art formed from colorful Crossville porcelain.

Foreman Rogers, ASID, a senior designer with tvsdesign, Atlanta, created a boutique hotel guest room. Practiced in hospitality design — having recently completed the Gaylord Palms in Orlando — Rogers was paired with David Allen Company, Raleigh, N.C. This team met the design challenges, creating a visual treat of unorthodox cuts and skilled applications with materials sponsored by Ceramics of Italy, promoted by Confindustria Ceramica, tile provided by Ceramiche Coem, Emil Ceramica, LEA Ceramiche, Architectural Tile Solutions /Marazzi, Naxos Ceramiche and Sicis, and a special thanks to Ceramic Technics. Other sponsors included MAPEI, H.B. Fuller, TOTO, USG Corporation, RUBI Tools, European Tile Masters and QEP.

Green Squared products debut at Coverings

The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) announced the inaugural class of Green SquaredSM Certified products ( Green Squared (ANSI A138.1) is the multi-attribute industry standard for sustainable tile and tile installation products that establishes criteria for environmental and social issues alike, and subjects products to third-party certification through NSF International, Scientific Certification Systems, and UL Environment.

The eight manufacturers with Green Squared Certified products at Coverings included: Crossville, Ironrock, and Porcelanite Lamosa. Daltile, Interceramic, Laticrete International, Mapei, and Marazzi are awaiting certification, and Bonsal American, Florida Tile, Quarry Tile Company, StonePeak, TEC, and Vitromex expect to have Green Squared Certified products by year end.

New developments from TCNA

In addition to Green Squared, TCNA announced a new testing method and standard for dynamic co-efficient of friction (DCOF) to replace the familiar static co-efficient of friction (SCOF) tests and measurements. The new version of ANSI A137.1 Specifications for Ceramic Tile will include the new DCOF AcuTest method, which uses the more accurate BOT 3000 portable testing device. Additionally, for the first time there will be a minimum COF requirement of 0.42 for level interior tile surfaces expected to be walked upon when wet, compared to the old .60 SCOF (static coefficient of friction) wet measurement. For information, see the May issue of TileLetter, page 70, visit or contact TCNA at 864-646-8453.

TCNA announced the availability of the world’s first standard for glass tile, ANSI A137.2 American National Standard Specifications for Glass Tile, which categorizes and defines types of glass tiles and establishes aesthetic and performance standards within each category. This standard criteria establishes a consensus baseline for manufacturing quality and a valuable tool which can aid in the development of new installation standards and in the general specification of glass tile. Contact TCNA at 864-646-8453 for more information.

The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA), launched in 2008 by TCNA and the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), establishes a 0.5% water absorption criteria for porcelain tile. The following companies have PTCA certified products with a total of 367 product lines qualifying for certification since the start of the program: American Marazzi, Bedrosians Tile & Stone, Ceramica del Conca, Crossville, Inc., Daltile, Emser Tile, Exceptional Surfaces, Florida Tile, Inc., Florim USA, GranitiFiandre USA, Interceramic, Mannington, Ragno USA, Royal Mosa, StonePeak Ceramics, The Tile Company, Tile Optima, and Vitromex.

A new program now allows tile retailers and distributors to use the PTCA logo if they first register with PTCA and sell PTCA certified tile.  Lowe’s is the first retailer to take advantage of this program.

Since its establishment with five founding members in 2005 to today, TCNA – Mexico’s membership has grown to 36 companies supporting Tile Council projects in Mexico. This total includes 11 tile manufacturers (representing 98% of the tile manufactured in Mexico), 11 associate installation materials members, and 14 associate raw material supplier members. For complete information on TCNA-Mexico activities, visit

New developments from CTEF

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) announced the total number of CTEF Certified Tile Installers (CTIs) has grown to 752, with certified installers now in 27 states. The goal is to have a total of 1000 installers certified by the end of 2012. The new one-day test format and online written test have contributed significantly to the growth of the program.

The online test has also allowed CTEF ( to launch the Fundamentals of Thin Bed Knowledge (FTBK) exam for non-installers such as sales staff, technical staff, estimators and superintendents who want to boost their knowledge of product and installation standards and best practices. Those who receive an 85% or higher score are recognized by CTEF as FTBK professionals. The FTBK credential is valid for three years; re-testing is required to maintain the credential. A valuable Field Manual is provided as a study guide, “which explains how to use the TCNA Handbook and ANSI standards,” said Scott Carothers, CTEF executive director. “The Field Manual is something you keep and can refer back to over and over again.”

NTCA demos, seminars and awards abound

NTCA training director Gerald Sloan and NTCA Tile & Stone Symposium presenter Michael Whistler had a robust schedule of demonstrations ongoing at the TCNA Installation Stage throughout the show.

In addition, NTCA members and staff participated in a number of seminars and workshops as part of the Coverings Conference Program.


NTCA celebrated 65 years as an association. NTCA president Nyle Wadford and NTCA executive director emeritus Joe Tarver recounted NTCA history and accomplishments over the last 65 years and vision for the future.

NTCA’s TileLetter and TADA co-sponsored the Coverings Installation Design Awards, a celebration of synergy between the A&D community and tile/stone installers and contractors, exhibited in stunning projects. See more detailed information on this award ceremony on page 26 in this issue.

Exhibitors applaud Coverings ROI

Exhibitors expressed their satisfaction with the ROI delivered by Coverings 2012, and expect more of the same in the Atlanta edition in 2013.

“We’ve exhibited for eight years now, and are happy to report another very busy and successful show,” said Darren Caraway of Vidrepur, a Spanish producer of glass tile that uses 100% recycled content. “We saw a variety of attendees. Most strongly represented were distributors. It’s great to see distributors you currently work with, and, of course, show product to those who are learning about your company. We look forward to exhibiting next year, for sure.”

Esther Halferty of Lilywork – a handmade tile producer from Quakertown, Pa. – was pleased with this year’s show. “We did have good foot traffic this year, and are looking forward to exhibiting next year in Atlanta, which we know is rich with architecture and design professionals.”

“We will definitely be back next year,” said Enrico Guazzi, area manager of Italian tile producer LEA Ceramiche. “We had a very good show this year, with great response to the very design-oriented products.”

Next year Coverings is scheduled for April 29 to May 2, 2013, in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center.

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