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 www.CTaSC.com.

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 www.tecspecialty.com/imagineachieve 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 www.tecspecialty.com/imagineachieve 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 www.hbfuller-cp.com

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 (www.gregglevoy.com), 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]

Communities Across the U.S. Benefit from Daltile’s Legacy of Giving

Dallas, TX (May 6, 2013) – For more than 65 years, Daltile has helped homeowners, contractors and design professionals bring their visions to life with the widest range of quality tile and stone. But, leading the industry with best-in-class products isn’t enough.

“It’s important to not only to be leaders in our industry, but also in every aspect of our business,” says Jim Fanning, senior vice president, Marketing, Dal-Tile. “It is important to our team members and our culture that we give back to the communities that support us.”

With 2,000 employees in over 260 locations, Daltile’s touch can be felt across North America. And through its Legacy of Giving, the company is touching more people, more communities, and more organizations in need than ever before.

“Through our Legacy of Giving initiatives we support the worthwhile efforts of organizations like the ASID Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and many local organizations,” continues Fanning. “We’re committed to leaving a legacy of giving back to those who give so much to us.”

Recently Daltile’s Legacy of Giving has focused on two major programs:  becoming a national corporate partner for Habitat for Humanity, and a company-wide contribution to military members and their families.

As a national corporate partner of Habitat for Humanity, Daltile will support the organization’s mission with monetary donations, products and the time and talent of employees by hosting housing builds in major metropolitan markets across the U.S.

“Daltile is helping those in need by creating beautiful spaces and affordable housing through donations of time, talent, tile, and funding to Habitat for Humanity,” said Lori Kirk-Rolley, senior marketing director, Dal-Tile. “We’re thrilled to align with such a giving organization in the communities we’ve worked for many years.”

“Thanks to corporate partners, like Daltile, we’re able to continue to grow and meet our mission, and provide safe, affordable housing for families across the U.S. and around the world,” says Lysa Ratliff, senior director of Corporate Programs for Habitat for Humanity International.  With this assistance from Daltile, and its employees we’ll be adding to the more than 600,000 houses we’ve built and repaired and serve more than 3 million people worldwide.”

The Habitat for Humanity partnership kicked off on May 7 with the first housing build taking place in Houston, Texas. Following the Houston build, will be Phoenix on May 11, and then builds in major cities including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

In addition to working with Habitat for Humanity, employees recently honored U.S. and Canada military members and their families as part of Daltile’s Legacy of Giving. The passion to say “thank you” and to give back came across loud and clear at the company’s recent National Sales Conference.

“When it comes to giving, there is no greater example than our military,” said John Cousins, vice president, Daltile. “Every day, brave service men, women and their families make tremendous sacrifices to preserve our freedoms.” During the conference in Orlando, Florida, employees honored U.S. and Canadian military and their families. Events included assembly of 900 care packages and the hosting of three special Marine families for a much-deserved vacation.

Cousins continued, “Our efforts at the National Sales Conference are a small token of appreciation for the sacrifices made by our military families each and every day.”

“We all know the pressures working families face, and typically there’s little time for rest and relaxation,” said Cousins. “The pressures and stress are compounded for a military family when its father, mother, son or daughter is away for extended periods of time. To express our deep appreciation for their sacrifices, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to give a few families the gift of time to spend together.”

During the conference, two medically retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeants, a Marine Gunner CWO-3 on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, and their wives and children enjoyed a four day vacation and their first trip to Disney World, courtesy of Daltile. The families were also honored during a special presentation, along with Daltile’s own employees who have served, or currently serve their country in the military.

Additionally at the conference, Daltile employees assembled care packages for American and Canadian active military members, wounded veterans and military families. Packages included necessities such as toiletries, as well as fun items like gift cards, headphones and playing cards. At the conclusion of the conference, Daltile employees loaded the care packages onto military trucks with the help of local Army and Navy Reservists for a grand send off.

“We are so thankful for the leadership position we have in our industry, and are thrilled to be sharing our success with the communities, and people, who’ve supported us,” says Fanning.  “Our legacy will be one of leadership, and giving back, for years to come.”


About Daltile

Daltile is an industry-leading brand of ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, manufactured stone and natural stone tile products.  Daltile products are distributed through over 250 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards and gallery design centers that service a robust network of trade customers.  Dedicated to innovative product development and distinguished style, Daltile provides a rich palette of quality products created to inspire residential and commercial designs. For more information, visit www.daltile.com and follow Daltile on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit Habitat.org, follow us at facebook.com/habitat or at twitter.com/habitat.org or join Habitat’s blog community at habitat.org/blog.



CoI_COV13_300x250(Atlanta, GA – April 2013) Ceramics of Italy is pleased to announce a new program targeted at the architectural and design community in the Southeast. In conjunction with the first Coverings show to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, from April 29–May 2, 2013, Ceramics of Italy has created an interactive A&D VIP program to supercharge the design industry show experience. In addition to a
pavilion packed with the newest tiles from nearly 80 different tile brands, the Italian tile industry will offer their architect and design guests daily guided trend tours and a traditional Italian lunch. VIP attendees will also receive a special A&D Goody Bag – filled with helpful information and some fun treats from Italy – and be entered to receive a free trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie 2013 (the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings) from September 23-27, 2013. www.cersaie.it

After registering for attendance at Coverings, interested designers and architects can register at bit.ly/coveringsvip and select their lunch and tour dates. Upon arrival in the Italian Pavilion, they should check in at the Ceramics of Italy Info Desk in Piazza Ceramica (Booth #2231). Located in the heart of the Italian Pavilion, Piazza Ceramica, designed by NY-based architectural firm e+i studio, will feature a large open gathering space, piazza-like steps, and a dedicated Italian culinary team in the popular café and coffee bar. It will also include an interactive exhibit for the 20th Anniversary of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition.

For more information, interested and qualified attendees can contact the Italian Ceramic Tile Industry through Novita` Communications at 212.528.3160 or [email protected]

Editor’s Letter March 2013

Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other. — Bill Gates

LesleyHow nice it would be if the magazine that you hold in your hands right now was 400 pages long every month. Then I could include every single nuance and event and product that comes my way, whether it be by snail mail, email, story pitch, or  trade show discovery.

For instance, I could include more information about the Crossville promotion at SURFACES with architect and HGTV Curb Appeal: The Block host John Gidding. I could go into much more detail about the useful, stunning and innovative products that launched at the show or even about cool things to see in Las Vegas.

Alas, at present, TileLetter has to contain all this information, like the synopsis of the Surfaces show and some of the products seen there, on 92 jam-packed pages.

That’s one reason why we started www.tileletter.com a couple of years ago. In addition to giving you breaking news on industry events, it also gives us a chance to expand some of the information that we just can’t fit on the pages of TileLetter right now – and still have type that is large enough for you to read!

In recent months, we’ve expanded some of the information in the printed version of Tools of the Trade at www.tileletter.com, and done the same for our New Products. We also may print a concise version of a story in your monthly TileLetter, and then present the story in its entirety online at www.tileletter.com — such as we’re doing with the “Best of Everything” interview with Rick Baldini in this issue. Look for  a note on the page that directs you to www.tileletter.com for extended information.

So please do check the pages of www.tileletter.com. You’ll also find archives there of our feature and technical stories as well as the current issue in digital page-turner format – which is handy for reference if you are out on a job with only your phone or tablet, but your printed TileLetter is still back at the office.

So until TileLetter is a 400-page veritable catalog, please keep reading, and check the www.tileletter.com website from time to time for more information about the great goings-on in our industry!

TCNA Product Performance Testing Laboratory Welcomes Joe Lundgren as Laboratory Sales Representative

joe lundgren 7 resizeThe Tile Council of North America (TCNA) is pleased to announce that Joe Lundgren, of Joseph Lundgren Consulting (JLC), has joined the TCNA team to advance TCNA’s laboratory services. Mr. Lundgren’s extensive experience in the tile industry makes him uniquely well-suited to
connect his customers with TCNA lab services that can help build their businesses. Marketplace requirements, conformance to standards, and product research are all areas where the customer benefits from the synergy between JLC and TCNA lab services.

Mr. Lundgren began his career in tile in 1984 with American Olean and went on to ascend the ranks of management at Dal-Tile, becoming their Vice President of Marketing.

While with Dal-Tile, he represented the company on TCNA’s Board of Directors and played a key part in TCNA initiatives aimed at growing the tile industry and the organization. “We are excited to have Joe working directly with our laboratory,” says TCNA Executive Director
Eric Astrachan. “He has a great relationship with many of the top manufacturers and importers from around the world. Joe knows tile and the tile marketplace. We value his advice and know his insight into standards and quality will be invaluable to his customers. It is also personally
gratifying that his consulting company is a supporter of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation that TCNA and so many in the installation community have worked to advance.”

Mr. Lundgren will work closely with Claudio Bizzaglia, TCNA’s Director of Laboratory Services. “I always valued the work the TCNA did for the ceramic and stone industry while I was on their Board of Directors,” says Mr. Lundgren. “I look forward to promoting their testing
services, including the new glass tile standard [ANSI A137.2] to ensure our industry continues to grow with the same quality TCNA has driven since 1945.”

For more information about TCNA laboratory testing, contact Claudio Bizzaglia at [email protected] or (864) 646-8453. Mr. Lundgren can be reached at [email protected] and at (214) 641-7773.


SEAL BEACH, Calif. – April 5, 2013 – Custom® Building Products (http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/) announces the promotion of Don Devine to the role of president and CEO. With this change, Tom Peck moves into the role of chairman and will focus his energies on CUSTOM’s long-term strategic plans.

“As our organization continues to grow and evolve, we’ve made meaningful additions to our team, invested in technology and systems, and developed an even greater depth of resources internally to ensure we continue as the leading manufacturer of flooring preparation and installation products,” said Chairman Tom Peck. “This change is another step in Custom Building Products’ evolution. Don has already made important leadership contributions in a short time and we share a mutual excitement about the future. I will be able to focus on longer-term strategic growth plans that will ensure CUSTOM is positioned for success over the next half century.”

“This is a great time to be at Custom Building Products,” noted Don Devine. “The company is well positioned with a strong product lineup, genuine customer relationships and an impressive team. My challenge is to make a great company even better while adding value for our customers, employees and shareholders.”

Prior to joining Custom Building Products in July 2012, when he was initially named executive vice president and COO, Mr. Devine held the position of president and CEO at American Standard Brands, a manufacturer of high-quality kitchen and bath fixtures. He held that position since 2007.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Darden Business School Executive Program at the University of Virginia, Mr. Devine brings more than 25 years of experience with leading industrial and building products brands. Prior to his tenure at American Standard Brands, Mr. Devine was president and COO of Jacuzzi Brands.

 About Custom Building Products

Custom® Building Products, based in Seal Beach, Calif., is North America’s leader in flooring preparation products and tile and stone installation systems for residential and commercial projects. The company’s product brands, including WonderBoard® Lite backerboards, Fusion Pro™, Prism® SureColor®, CEG-Lite® and Polyblend® grouts, a comprehensive line of lightweight mortars, TileLab® and AquaMix® maintenance products, and SuperiorBilt® tools, are considered among the most popular and most trusted by industry professionals. Custom Building Products continually raises standards for the flooring, tile and stone industry through its commitment to provide performance-driven installation systems and support.

CUSTOM’s website offers comprehensive resources including product and warranty information, installation specifications and technical support. For more information on the company’s broad family of quality tile and stone installation products, please call (800) 272-8786 or visit www.custombuildingproducts.com.

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