Vittorio Borelli elected Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica for the two-year period 2013 – 2015

The Confindustria Ceramica Members’ Meeting –held today at the association’s offices in Sassuolo, Italy — elected Vittorio Borelli as chairman of the Italian ceramic manufacturers’ association for the two-year period 2013-2015 with 100% of the votes. This is a followup to the May 14 meeting of the Board of Directors where his designation as chairman of Confindustria Ceramica was approved unanimously to enthusiastic applause.

Vittorio Borelli

Vittorio Borelli

Borelli, 42, graduated from the University of Bologna in 1995 with a degree in Political Science with a specialisation in history and politics. After an internship at American International in Chicago, Ill., — a company operating in the field of ceramic product distribution — he joined Fincibec in April 1996 as area manager for overseas markets. In 2000 he was appointed general manager for the Century brand and in 2008, he became managing director of Fincibec spa.

Borelli has many years of experience within the Association. He has been a member of the Promotional and Exhibitions Committee since 1999 and chairman of the Committee since 2007. From June 2005 to May 2011 he was a member of the Board of Directors of Confindustria Ceramica.

Fincibec Group, a ceramic sector company founded 50 years ago, has three factories in the Sassuolo area with a production capacity of 10 million square metres and 500 employees. Over the years the group has focused special attention on quality certification (UNI EN ISO 9001) and on environmental issues, gaining ANAB-ICEA certification and certification relating to the use of “40% recycled materials”. Fincibec serves 3,000 customers worldwide with its three brand names Monocibec, Century and Naxos.

“First of all I would like to thank my colleagues for their confidence in nominating me to the leadership of the association,” said chairman designate Vittorio Borelli. “Working together within a representative and cohesive association is the best way to address the current difficult situation. For this reason, I hope to see the greatest involvement on the part of all member companies.”


MT. PROSPECT, Ill. — RotoZip®, a brand known for simplifying tough cutting jobs, stands behind its reputation so much that today, the pioneers of Spiral Saw™ technology are advising professionals to simply “Zip It.”

RotoZip is removing barriers to powerful cutting by showing drywallers, tile installers, remodelers, electricians, plumbers – anyone in the construction trades – that its product line makes no excuses. No matter what the material, RotoZip is challenging users to Zip It by putting its tools to the test and demonstrating how a better, faster cut is the first step to job-site success.

RotoZip is encouraging professionals and skilled DIYers to visit to learn more about the product line and its many cutting applications. On the site, visitors will find how-to videos, side-by-side tool comparisons and recommended cutting bits for construction professionals. visitors who sign up to receive the RotoZip eNewsletter between June 1 and June 30 will be entered in an online sweepstakes for a chance to win a RotoZip SS560VSC-50 120-Volt RotoSaw+ Variable Speed Spiral Saw Kit. Details and the complete rules can be found at

By telling today’s building and remodeling pros to Zip It, RotoZip seeks to prove that saving time on the job should never mean sacrificing results. Time is money and speed is critical. Fast, efficient cuts in multiple construction materials mean less time per job – and more jobs per day. Dedicated cutting tools, with specialized cutting accessories, replace single-use alternatives, decreasing job-site clutter and eliminating downtime. In addition to speed, power and durability are key features of every RotoZip tool.

“For 40 years, RotoZip has committed itself to engineering durable, dedicated products that simplify cuts in a variety of building materials. Yet, we’re still largely regarded as a drywall tool,” said Ed Pchola, product management  director for RotoZip. “Zip It isn’t about abandoning our drywall roots, but rather showing just how far we’ve come. With dozens of specialized accessories and infinite cutting potential in tile, metal and wood, we know our tools are up to any task.”




Boca Raton, FL – June 12, 2013 – Q.E.P. Co., Inc. has unveiled a new brand identity for its QEP-branded products. This new brand identity is the first time the brand logo has been modified since its inception in 1979.

qep logo 2013 (2)

In 2009  new corporate identity was launched for QEP, which represents QEP the company and all the brands and subsidiaries that operate under the large corporate structure, including the new QEP-branded products.

“As all great brands undergo transformation throughout their lifetime, it is now time to give a facelift to one of our most treasured assets” said Jamie Clingan, senior vice president of marketing, QEP. “After careful research and many months of work attached to it, a decision was made to retain the legacy of QEP by keeping the yellow and blue that has become synonymous with the QEP brand.  We have modified the diamond shape and brought the overall look into the current time frame while enhancing the readability of our brand, QEP.”

Part of the logo transition included a new look and feel for the QEP-branded products and the packaging they get wrapped up in.  Clean designs, strong colors and simplifying the packaging to make it prominent at the retail level were all goals for this project.  Smaller packaging cards and no plastic allows the customer to touch and feel prior to purchasing as well as offers a more environmentally friendly method of packaging.

Over the course of this redesign, QEP worked closely with a team of contractors to receive a range of professional feedback to better assist in implementing new products and improving the current ones.

“In the course of this we recognize that comfort is much more than a soft handle, it’s one of the greatest aspects of a design’s effectiveness” Clingan said. “Comfort plays right into efficiency, reducing the time and effort needed to perform at the same level.  Therefore, we have made improvements to select products focusing mainly on the ergonomics of the handles.”

Many of the  newest QEP products launched this year have already been packaged with this new look and will begin to be seen in the marketplace as early as this month.  A phase-out stage of old packaging to the new look is underway, so  a mix of old and new QEP logos in store for a period of time may ensue.

“Currently our websites and social media platforms all reflect this change and going forward we are working with many of our various media outlets to ensure all updates of our logo and look is being perceived correctly through the industry and tradeshows,” Clingan concluded.

Crossville Returns to Its Colorful Roots with the Launch of Argent Porcelain Tile Collection

Crossville, Tenn.Crossville Inc. has announced the introduction of Argent, a 20-color, porcelain tile collection inspired by the rich look of argent stone and suitable for commercial and residential applications. With Argent’s launch, Crossville is returning to its roots in offering vast, colorful collections. Previous multi-color lines—Cross-Colors, Color Blox and Color Blox Too—earned the company the reputation as a resource for broad palettes in porcelain tile for commercial and residential designers alike.

Renowned color expert and Crossville consultant Barbara Schirmeister, ASID, CAUS, DC developed Argent’s palette with awareness of trends in contract and residential design and as the next phase in Crossville’s production of colorful lines.

“Today’s colors are confident, optimistic and youthful, a reflection of the market being ready for a return to color in a bold, adventurous way—and that’s what Argent is all about,” Schirmeister explains.

According to Schirmeister, Crossville is introducing a bold, new approach to color with the launch of Argent. “The line was developed with a blended method that marries stone detailing and pure color interpretation. This approach results in hues with an entirely new visual, a new texture—a take on color unlike we’ve seen before.”

The Argent color palette is comprised 12 saturated, vibrant tones including striking red, blue, yellow, purple and more as well as 8 neutral tones for contrast. The total combination offers a vast, versatile spectrum ideal for customizing patterns and focal points or creating sophisticated backdrops of singular tone. Schirmeister makes the point that Argent’s 20 options enable contract designers to select coordinating colors for corporate projects without having to order custom hues—”a real advantage for the line.”

All colors are available in both unpolished and honed finishes. Crossville’s Vice President of Marketing Lindsey Waldrep shares that the colors really come to life in the honed finish.

“The effect of the honed finish is spectacular. It gives the colors immense depth with even more visual texture,” she describes.

Argent’s rectilinear tiles are suitable for use on interior floors, walls and countertops, as well as exterior vertical surfaces, in both commercial and residential settings. Field tiles come in 6”x6”, 6”x24”, 12”x12” and 12”x24” with 4”x24” bullnose trim and 6”x12” cove base. As part of Crossville’s “Get Planked” program, Argent may be cut into custom plank sizes with no minimum order requirements. With this thorough selection of sizes, Argent is suited for floor-to-wall installations that provide a dramatic design look.

“From a residential standpoint, I love that our Get Planked program provides even more versatility for homeowners,” Waldrep says.

Manufactured in the U.S. with Crossville’s EcoCycle Tile ProcessTM, Argent contains a minimum of 4% pre-consumer recycled content and is Green Squared certified through the Tile Council of North America for its proven standards of sustainability.

About Crossville Inc.
Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning porcelain, glass and stone 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

TEC® Hosts Contractor Council in Southern California

AURORA, IL… TEC® hosted a Contractor Council in April at the Palomar Hotel in San Diego. Top tile contractors throughout the United States attended the three-day event, which focused on industry-leading TEC® tile setting products.

Attendees were able to network with TEC® representatives from its Research and Development, Technical Support, Sales, Marketing and Business Development departments, as well as fellow contractors. Day seminars included guest speaker, Stephanie Samulski from the TCNA, hands-on installation demonstrations and previews of new TEC® product innovations to come.

“The Contractor Council is an important event that allows us to connect with leading contractors in the industry and showcase our latest innovations. Not only does the event provide these premier contractors with education and information to help advance their businesses, it also offers us the opportunity to hear their feedback and insights on how we can continue to best meet their needs,” stated Rose Mary Clyburn, president of H.B. Fuller Construction Products.

In addition to the learning opportunities offered throughout the event, TEC® representatives shared best practices, which allowed all attendees to benefit from the collective knowledge and experiences of other top-performing professionals. Attendee Tom Fischer of Pierce Flooring and Design, West Billings, MT, said he was “very impressed with the level of knowledge of all participants,” while Paul Hoover of Hoover Tile Construction, San Diego, CA, enjoyed the “friendly, open environment.”

For more information about TEC® products, visit

The TEC® brand is offered by H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc. – a leading provider of technologically advanced construction materials and solutions to the commercial, industrial and residential construction industry. Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, the company’s recognized and trusted brands – TEC®, CHAPCO®, Grout Boost®, Foster®, AIM™ and others – are available through an extensive network of distributors and dealers, as well as home improvement retailers. For more information, visit

TEC® is a trademark of H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc.

Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants (CTaSC) Announces Winner of CTaSC 2013 Stone Survey Contest

SAN DIEGO (June 05, 2013) — Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants, Inc. (CTaSC), a national company providing marketing research and business planning services, announced today that Tom Kotel, owner of Mid-America Tile, a major distributor and importer located in Chicago, IL, is the raffle winner of a $600 Apple Gift Certificate that can be used towards the purchase of an iPad, iPhone or any other Apple product.  Kotel was one of many participants who were part of the raffle for their participation and completion of the recent CTaSC 2013 Stone Survey.

The winner was randomly chosen from a record number of industry members that completed the 2013 Stone Survey conducted in February 2013 by CTaSC.  Over 782 manufacturers, quarries, importers, distributors, and fabricators were invited to take the stone survey.  The survey was developed by CTaSC using progressive online technology that ensured the confidentiality of all participants by compiling data anonymously.  Each person who completed the survey received a FREE summary of the survey results.

Participants answered a series of questions based on their business category.  Importers and distributors were quizzed on the types of stone they buy and sell, slab and tile sizes, sales by type of customers, and sales by types of applications.  Fabricators were asked to answer questions about their fabrication business, including equipment and tool brands, purchase and selling price of stone, annual sales, and types of finished products and stone types that are fabricated.

The 2013 Stone Survey results will be included in the upcoming Catalina 2013 Natural and Manufactured Stone Products Report prepared by Catalina Research, a prominent research firm, and Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants (CTaSC).  It will be published approximately June 17th, 2013.

The survey results will be further elaborated upon and integrated into the 2013 Natural and Manufactured Stone Product Report.  This comprehensive publication, which is being updated from 2010, will provide an in-depth analysis of the U.S. and Canadian stone industry based on U.S. government statistics and market resources.  Some of the topics that are covered include Trends and Forecasts for the stone industry and the current state of the economy, Sales by Type of Stone, Engineered/Quartz Stone, Manufactured Stone (made of concrete), End-use Markets Trends and Demographics, Economic Factors Effecting Demand for Stone, Imports and Exports, Installers, Retailers, Home Centers, Floor Covering Channels, and Internet Sales Channels.  It will also have sections on Quarries, Processing Plants, Fabricators Operation Costs and Profitability, Stone Industry Cost Structure and Competitive Environment, Industry Capital Expenditures and Machinery Costs.

Donato Pompo, president of CTaSC, underscored the importance of the information gathered from the survey by stating, “In-depth information about the stone industry is very hard to come by.”  He added, “It’s vital for all of us to know what’s going on in the market and understand how the current state of the economy will affect our business and our future opportunities.”

This is the fifth time CTaSC has conducted a stone survey (the first was in 2003).  For more information and pricing on the 2013 Natural and Manufactured Stone Product Report that will be released on June 17, 2013 contact CTaSC at 866-669-1550 or visit the website

Ceramic Tile Education Foundation Announces Leadership Expansion Plans

Bart Bettiga, CTEF executive director

In an effort to expand certification and training efforts in the tile and stone industry, the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Board of Directors recently appointed Bart Bettiga as its Executive Director.  Bettiga, who is also the Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), will work to synergize the two organization’s programs, and will spearhead marketing efforts to promote certification and training to the trade and in the building and design community.

Scott Carothers will continue his leading role with CTEF as the Director of Certification and Training.  In this role, Carothers will continue to expand on the Certified Tile Installer Program (CTI), which will soon announce reaching the milestone of 1,000 professional certifications.  In addition, Carothers will work closely with other leaders of tile installer organizations to develop and implement the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers Program (ACT), which takes certification to the next level and focuses on specific installation skills in unique applications.

“The effort to certify tile installers and improve the quality of our trade and the confidence to use our products, has been identified by NTCA leaders as our most important objective,” said Bettiga. “I am pleased to assist CTEF and work closely with Scott and the Board of Directors to accomplish this important goal.”

Carothers, who is a former president of the NTCA and was the chairman of NTCA’s prestigious Technical Committee prior to joining CTEF, knows first-hand the impact of the association and the positive effect this will have on CTEF objectives.

“CTEF has built the CTI program methodically, encountering many growing pains along the way and overcoming objections in the field;” said Carothers.  “With the development of the ACT program, and the need to expand the CTI program as the feeder to ACT, we welcome the support of Bart, the NTCA staff and the Board of Directors.  We realize these programs will take time to develop, and we anticipate the steps we are taking today will impact the tile trade in a positive way for years to come.”

Bettiga has been the NTCA Executive Director since 2002.  He has been actively involved in the development of certification on CTEF for many years, and has been instrumental in developing the ACT program to expand certification. Under his leadership, the NTCA has grown its membership over 100% in the past ten years.

(ACT) is a collaborative taskforce representing tile installation contractors and installation materials manufacturers jointly supported by the National Tile Contractors Association, Tile Contractors’ Association of America, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and the International Masonry Institute.  Its mission is to promote the use of tile in construction by ensuring that tile installers possess the knowledge and skills required to achieve superior results in installation areas identified by the taskforce.  Its purpose is to provide a means by which installers can acquire that advanced knowledge and skill set and consumers can identify installers who possess that advanced knowledge and skill set.

ACT will certify installers in four categories: Large Format Tile and Substrate Preparation, Mudwork, Shower Pans, and Membranes.  The taskforce plans to market these certifications to project owners, architects, builders and general contractors, designers and specifiers, and consumers.  An on-line study guide and test covering the installation standards associated with these skills is another key component of the certification.

CTEF provides local, regional and national educational programs for industry professionals, consumers, building and design professionals, and more.  The CTI Certification is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge.  “It is a difficult and fair certification, that can be completed in one day, and incorporates many of the skills necessary for competency in the field,” said Bettiga.  “The ACT Program will allow us to go to the next level; where we focus on specific installation skills, and we begin to make concentrated efforts to have these skills cited as requirements in specifications.”

For more information about the CTEF or ACT Programs, contact Bart Bettiga at [email protected] or Scott Carothers at [email protected].


International Wholesale Tile, LLC restructures director’s team of industry veterans; expands flagship brand: Tesoro, The Collection™

Palm City, Fla. – May 28, 2012 – International Wholesale Tile, LLC (IWT), a value-added provider of premium ceramic, porcelain, natural stone and a variety of decorative glass, pool and mosaic tile products that are available in a wide variety of retail floor covering stores, design centers and specialty tile and stone shops, has repositioned select executive responsibilities throughout the company to promote its immediate and longterm development requirements.

Grey Perna, previously the Senior Director of Marketing and 18-year veteran at IWT, now occupies the lead role within the company as builder program manager.

Grey Perna

Grey Perna

“As the housing sector within the Southeast United States and throughout continues its healthy expansion, it is vital that we engage the housing market with the foremost preparedness. And, as we expand our product offering in this program, including our renewed emphasis on sustainable inventory levels, I am tremendously excited about the company’s prospects for many years to come in this segment,” said Perna.

Formally with IWT from 2002 to 2007, Ken Baker has recently returned to IWT as Director of Customer Relations. With accountabilities including: marketing, sample department and overseeing the company’s Dancik Enterprise System (DES) implementation, Baker carries with him a wealth of knowledge in brand management, strategic sales & marketing and team development resources.

Ken Baker

Ken Baker

Paul Boucher, President of IWT, said of Baker, “Ken brings with him a unique, valued skill-set and a renewed sense of evolution for the company. We look forward to utilizing him in numerous capacities within IWT to emphasize culture, value and growth.”

Baker added, “The reason for these calculated positioning decisions are to strategically prepare us for several new product launches in the future, as well as to improve our efforts in deepening our inventory with select product lines. Having grown roughly 35% in the last three years, these changes are to ensure that this trend stays positive.”

Included in IWT’s new product offerings is the brand new series, Timberland, a Tesoro porcelain. This contemporary style multi-width wood-look line includes 3 widths: 3”, 5” & 8” x 36” long. The lightly textured wood grain plank design is offered in a range of five colors : Ash, Beech, Maple, Oak and Mahogany. The series has a moderate V3 shade range, a PEI rating of IV. It can be installed by alternating the three widths and staggering the grout joints randomly like those used in multiple-width real wood installations.

Tesoro Timberland Series

Tesoro Timberland Series

TEC® Announces “Imagine Achieve” Photo and Video Contest

AURORA, IL… The TEC® brand announces its “Imagine Achieve” customer contest – allowing professional contractors to enter their TEC® tile, wood, carpet or vinyl installation projects to win $5,000.

Contractors nationwide are encouraged to submit photos or video of residential and commercial spaces that they envisioned and brought to reality using TEC® products. Projects must be 500 square feet or larger. Multiple entries (up to five entries per person) are allowed, and may include installations completed January 1, 2011 to August 31, 2013. Project entries must have two pictures or one video and a 100-word project description. Submissions are accepted at now through August 31.

Industry expert judges will evaluate project submissions and select winners that best practiced imagination, craftsmanship and excellent use of TEC® products to overcome installation challenges. Judges include: Rose Mary Clyburn, president of H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc.; Dan Welch, president of Welch Tile; Jennifer Panning, president of Artisan Tile, Inc; and Michael Ansari, president of AIC Contracting, Inc. The judges will announce a first-place winner and five runner-ups on or about September 16.

 The winning contractor receives a $5,000 cash prize, and their business will be featured on the TEC® website and in TEC® advertising. In addition, 20 TEC® t-shirts are supplied to the staff of the distributor or retailer that sold the contractor their winning TEC® products.

Five runner-ups each receive a $500 cash prize. All contest participants get a free TEC® t-shirt and mention of their project on the TEC® website.

 Visit for complete contest rules and criteria.

 The TEC® brand is offered by H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc. – a leading provider of technologically advanced construction materials and solutions to the commercial, industrial and residential construction industry. Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, the company’s recognized and trusted brands – TEC®, CHAPCO®, Grout Boost®, Foster®, AIM™ and others – are available through an extensive network of distributors and dealers, as well as home improvement retailers. For more information, visit

Editor’s Letter April 2013

In stone sculpting, an artist taps a stone lightly with a hammer to see if it’s “true.” If it emits a dull tone, it has faults running through it that will crack it apart when you work on it. A clear ring, one that hangs in the air for a moment, means it’s true, has integrity, and, most importantly, will hold up under repeated blows. This is the same information we seek about our callings, and we need to be continually “tapping in” to discern their truth.
– Gregg Levoy,
Callings: Finding and
Following an Authentic Life

Recently I attended a workshop by Gregg Levoy (, author of the book Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, on the subject of the same name.

Part of the workshop involved a process of brainstorming. Actually it was more of a brainstorming barrage. A volunteer who was trying to expand a dressmaking business sat on stage – and once the purpose and target of her business was clarified – we all bombarded her with ideas in answer to the question: “In how many ways can I expand and promote my dressmaking business?”

In 12 minutes, we had 75 ideas. Levoy encouraged us to think outside the box and toss as many ideas as possible into the fray – no matter how outrageous. Of the gathered list, he encouraged asking four questions of each idea:

1. What’s good about this idea?

2. What are its problems?

3. How can they be overcome?

4. What new ideas does this one suggest?

This process seemed like a great one to share with TileLetter readers. How often do you brainstorm with your staff, workers, contacts, vendors, customers, clients about an issue you are trying to resolve? What would happen if you gathered a group of people together (either live or via Skype, email or social media) in a brainstorming session to generate new ideas, actions, contact, solutions, etc., in response to the question, “In how many ways can we __________________?” What untapped reservoirs of creativity might you unleash? What kind of enthusiasm might you generate? What kinds of novel and inspired solutions might result from unexpected sources? If you are feeling stuck concerning a problem or issue facing your business, why not try this approach and run each idea through the gauntlet of questions above to hone your solution to perfectly fit your business?

In the meantime, scour the pages of this issue of TileLetter for inspiration, solutions and suggestions that can enrich your business and make it more professional and profitable. Do you have an idea for a story or do you have one to contribute? Share it with me at [email protected]

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