Vitromex USA Relaunch; Lakes, City Soul, States and Brooklyn!

Vitromex USA proudly re-introduces Lakes, a slate inspired collection available within our complete full-line of ceramic offerings. Lakes is a classic, elegant yet rustic design with modern surface clefts. As Lakes is offered in multiple formats, this allows easy-to-pair designs and installations of today’s transitional to traditional living spaces. Lakes’ natural, dimensional graphic accentuates a color palette to be specified with any interior decor. Its matte finish coordinates beautifully to relate to continuous design themes throughout a broad range of spaces. Lakes glazed ceramic floor and wall tile is appropriate for all residential and commercial wall, countertop and backsplash applications as well as all residential and most commercial floor applications. This entire series is manufactured in a GreenSquared certified facility, which utilizes pre-consumer recycled content. Vitromex USA continues to be a participating member of the TCNA (Tile Council of North America).

Vitromex USA relaunches City Soul, a porcelain collection that takes its cues from finished concrete, replicating the distinctions with a subtle linear glaze. Its smooth natural surface creates its unique, organic characteristics. In a soft palette, City Soul includes four options; Gray, Black, Taupe, and Brown. This collection has a natural, flat structure with the strength and durability that continues to make porcelain a savy choice for commercial and residential installations.

City Soul glazed porcelain floor and wall tile is appropriate for countertop and backsplash applications as well as all residential and most commercial floor applications. This entire series is manufactured in a GreenSquared certified facility, which utilizes pre-consumer recycled content. Vitromex USA continues to be a participating member of the TCNA (Tile Council of North America).

Vitromex USA relaunches States, a travertine stone fashion designed on a porcelain body. The inspiration comes from stone which is often visibly porous, giving it a more natural, textured look. Natural travertine is smooth and suitable for flooring or as shower tiles and is relatively soft and absorbent. Although naturally beautiful, typically this stone requires several coats of sealant to prevent debris from penetrating through the body. States porcelain emulates a classic travertine stone thus removing all the labor intensive costs from maintenance. States’ colors are warm and range from the lightest white or cream to beige, and gold to brown. Slight color and pattern variations between tiles assure a natural tone-on-tone fashion. States glazed porcelain floor and wall tile is appropriate for countertop and backsplash applications as well as all residential and most commercial floor applications. This entire collection is manufactured in a GreenSquared certified facility, which utilizes pre-consumer recycled content. Vitromex USA continues to be a participating member of the TCNA (Tile Council of North America).

Vitromex USA pushes the capacity of its popular Brooklyn ceramic wall tile series with the best features of glossy subway tiles in a 3” x 10” format. And don’t forget the 3” x 10” surface bullnose offered in each color to complete the installation.

A true classic that is anything but ordinary, Brooklyn subway tiles are a building block for endless patterns, arrangements, and design choices. Uniquely iconic, each piece within Brooklyn is manufactured using an undulated punch, giving it unmatched depth, variation, and subtle texture, as well as a high gloss glaze finish.

This tile can be used for various install projects in bathrooms, kitchens and other residential or commercial wallcoverings. Brooklyn tiles make it easy to add a splash of traditional styling to your interior décor and is offered in multiple color options; Bianco (classic all-time white), Hueso (off white), Gris (timeless gray), Moka (light brown), Carmin (a whole-hearted red), Olivo (a natural green), Mostaza (an earnest yellow), and Azul (an archetypal blue). Mix together or individually to style your space and take your upcoming projects to the next level.

 

USG CORPORATION SEEKS TO GROW ITS LEADERSHIP IN POURED FLOORING BY FURTHER BOLSTERING ITS SALES FORCE

USG Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement with Alcorp Marketing through which Alcorp employees will join USG as full-time USG sales representatives as of July 1, 2018.

USG and Alcorp have worked as strategic partners since the release of Levelrock, and together they have grown the business into a leader in the performance flooring market. The decision to bring Alcorp employees to USG full-time underscores USG’s commitment to the Performance Flooring market and its belief in the future potential of the business. USG fully expects that all of the employees currently with Alcorp will transition seamlessly to USG and continue to support our customers.

Now Trending: Notable Looks from Tile of Spain Manufacturers at Coverings 2018

This year, tens of thousands of attendees from every facet of the design community happened upon the Spain Pavilion at Coverings 2018, where the term eye candy took on a whole new meaning.

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), exhibited a wide variety of new product innovations and trends from 85 Spanish tile manufacturers. Architects, designers and contractors alike emerged from Coverings equipped with a fresh take on what’s new in ceramics. As in years past, new tile trends emerged while others maintain their position in the arena.
Notable trends by Tile of Spain manufactures include:
Geometric Shapes. From hexagons to herringbone, geometric shapes are still going strong. Fading, by Harmony, is a comprehensive 20x20cm collection with interplay between overlapping patterns and finishes.
Intriguing geometric patterns awaken the senses with Oset’s Andorra Collection. This stone-inspired fish scale pattern design is frost resistant and ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
Mosaics are still a highly sought after format. The Allure Collection by Onix is a prime example of how combining sophisticated palettes with refined finishes creates design perfection.
One of the more prominent trends on the heels of Coverings is marble. Museum’snew Santana Collection exhibits a strong veined pattern on a restful background that lends surfaces a bold personality. Similarly, Inalco’s Azalai Collection emulates fine marble whose powerful intensity exudes elegance.
Natural looks are in abundance. Fanal’s Fusta series mimics the look of pressed wood chips; bringing a raw and natural look to floors and walls. The polished glazed porcelain is available in a 45x118cm format.
Maintaining its position in the arena is the wood look. Fine examples of trending wood looks can be seen in the Ceiba Collection from Cicogres as well as the Sonoma Collection from Pamesa. The beauty of wood reflected in ceramic tiles has a timeless prevalence.
The D’Anticatto Collection by Natucer brings a modern twist to old world charm. The warmth and comfort of each piece adds value to the highest standards of quality and its distinguished, enduring aesthetic. The rustic and slightly aged look gives depth and character to any space.
Finally, the Resort Collection by Vives solidifies that the cement look is here to stay. A perfect combination of industrial and refined, cement tiles have evolved to create more sophisticated visuals in both indoor and outdoor settings.
For press information and high-resolution images visit: http://bit.ly/TOSCoverings18
The 2018 Spanish Pavilion wass organized and sponsored by ASCER, the Professional Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers from Spain, and ICEX Spain Trade and Investment. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit tileofspainusa.com.
Connect with Tile of Spain on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram at TileofSpainUSA; and on Twitter and Pinterest at TileofSpain.

ARLEY TO HOST 16TH ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC AND TILE & STONE EXPO

Arley Wholesale, Inc., the family-owned, third generation wholesale supplier of ceramic tile, natural stone, glass mosaics and sundry materials, is once again primed to host its 16th Annual Golf Classic and Tile & Stone Expo on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This will conclude the annual three day celebration, which includes the highly popular Arley Golf Classic on Monday, June 11th.

“Our event is really the only show of its type on the East Coast,” stated Arley’s President, Scott Levy. “Its main focus is designed around the needs of the retailer. We have over 30 major suppliers in our exhibit hall all three days, offering attendees a personal opportunity to meet with each of them firsthand. This way, they can see the actual displays and samples they will be able to sell from, talk to the factory representatives on a personal level and discuss real-time solutions while getting excited about all the new products.”

This event will entertain and educate over 250 guests. Arley will be bringing in not only new and innovative products, but will focus on existing value-added products and marketing opportunities they offer.  “We want to be their partner in business, helping them to grow and profit. We even offer website creation for all of our retail partners who are competing against the big box stores.” Levy commented. “Buyers are young and digitally connected. If you are not online, you are not going to get these people into your showroom. Our customers need to stay relevant in the digital age. Our website program offers a ‘click and tile’ program, which lets one design room scenes with a desired Arley product, and customize bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms… and, commercial office spaces, by combining products and thus, achieving a realistic room design.”

Arley will be discussing its private labeling program, Qualis Ceramica, which protects their retail partners against price competition from internet retailers.  They will also show how their B2B solution allows customers to see real time inventory and place orders directly with Arley. Arley representatives will demonstrate how the Arley App is constantly updated and can offer innovative selling solutions to help close sales more quickly and more profitably.  

Levy concluded, “Every year, the Arley event grows… just as our company grows. We are bringing in new manufacturers, and we’ve expanded our warehouses to accommodate intensive inventory. We can successfully provide for the commercial markets as well as for the residential sector. We invite our customers and prospects to attend on June 12th and see the “Arley Advantage” for themselves.

Family-owned for three generations, Arley Wholesale remains the tile and stone supplier of choice by providing exceptional customer service, selection and stability to its customers. Arley Wholesale, Inc. 700 North South Road, Scranton, PA 18504. Call: 800.233.4107. www.arleywholesale.com

Construction employment rises in most states through April; reports on starts diverge 

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 38 states and the District of Columbia year-over-year (y/y) from April 2017 to April 2018, declined in 11 states and was unchanged in Montana, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released on Friday showed. The largest percentage gains again were in West Virginia (12%, 3,500 jobs) and Nevada (9.8%, 8,200), followed by Arizona (8.2%, 11,700), Utah (8.1%, 7,700) and Idaho (7.9%, 3,500). As in March, the most jobs were added in California (59,500, 7.4%), Texas (40,600, 5.7%) and Florida (34,900, 7.0%). The steepest percentage losses again occurred in North Dakota (-17%, -4,900), followed by South Dakota (-3.3%, -800), Iowa (-3.2%, -2,500 jobs) and Nebraska (-2.1%, -1,100). North Dakota lost the most construction jobs, followed by Iowa, Missouri (-1,500, -1.2%), South Carolina (-1,400, -1.4%) and Nebraska. For the month, employment rose in 29 states, fell in 19, and was flat in Mississippi, Montana and D.C. Texas was the only state to set a new record for construction employment. (AGC’s rankings are based on seasonally adjusted data, which in D.C, Nebraska, South Dakota and four other states is available only for construction, mining and logging combined.)

Two firms that track construction starts reported divergent results for April last week. The value of new construction starts in April tumbled 13% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, reversing an 11% jump in March, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Thursday. “Nonbuilding construction (public works and electric utilities/gas plants) plunged 22% after its 74% hike in March that featured the start of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline expansion in West Virginia and Virginia, as well as several large highway projects. Nonresidential building retreated 12% due to a slower pace by its institutional and manufacturing segments. Residential building dropped 9% with reduced activity for both single-family and multifamily housing. During the first four months of 2018, total [year-to-date] construction starts on an unadjusted basis were…down 7% from the same period of 2017 (which included very strong amounts for airport terminals and natural gas pipelines).” Residential building starts increased 4% year-to-date, nonresidential building starts plunged 18%, and nonbuilding starts fell 10%. On a 12-month moving total basis, total construction starts for the 12 months ending April 2018 matched the dollar amount that was reported for the 12 months ending April 2017.” ConstructConnect reported on Tuesday that year-to-date starts in January-April 2018 combined were down 15% from the same months of 2017, with residential building starts down 15% (single-family, +4%; multifamily -42%); nonresidential building starts down 27% (commercial, -33%; institutional, -13%; and industrial (manufacturing), -60%); and heavy engineering (civil) starts up 9%. The 12-month average through April 2018 was flat (residential, +4%; nonresidential building, -9%; civil, +13%).

Housing starts in April decreased 3.7% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from the March rate and 13% from the April 2017 rate, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday. Single-family starts inched up 0.1% for the month and 7.2% y/y. Multifamily starts (in buildings with five or more units), which are often volatile, slid 13% for the month, following a 15% leap in March, and jumped 19% y/y. Starts increased 9.1% year-to-date (8.3% for single-family and 10% for multifamily). Building permits, a fairly reliable indicator of near-term starts, declined 1.8% for the month but rose 7.7% y/y. Single-family permits gained 0.9% and 7.9%, respectively. Multifamily permits fell 7.4% for the month but increased 6.4% y/y. Permits increased 8.8% year-to-date (single-family, 8.6%; multifamily, 8.1%).

Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (real GDP) increased in 47 states and D.C. in the fourth quarter of 2017, decreased in North and South Dakota and was flat in New York, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on May 4. “Mining and construction were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP in Texas, the fastest-growing state.” Construction contributed 0.77 percentage points of the 5.2% increase in Texas’s state GDP. “Construction increased 8.4% nationally and contributed to growth in 49 states and [D.C.]. In addition to Texas, this industry also made a notable contribution to the increase in real GDP in Florida” (0.59 percentage points of a 3.7% growth in state GDP). Nationally, construction contributed 0.35 points out of GDP growth of 2.7%. The largest construction contributions were in Colorado (0.88 points of 3.2% growth in state GDP) and West Virginia (0.81 points of 1.0% growth in state GDP). Construction shrank only in North Dakota (-0.33 points out of a 1.3% decline in state GDP).

BLS issued a report on characteristics of the foreign-born workforce in 2017 on Thursday. Foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in construction and extraction occupations (9.3% of foreign-born workers vs. 4.4% of native-born workers). The employment disparity was especially great for men: 15.6% of foreign-born men vs. 8.2% of native-born men were employed in construction and extraction occupations.

The Census Bureau sent letters on May 1 with instructions for online response to the Economic Census (Census of Construction for construction firms). Companies who receive the census are required by law to respond. Due date is June 12.

Trend-setting tiles, award-winning projects & more from Ceramics of Italy at Coverings + ICFF

Ceramics of Italy just wrapped up another successful edition of Coverings (May 8-11 in Atlanta) with a dynamic, tile-clad exhibit designed by e+i studio and hundreds of new tile and setting products from over 120 brands.
In case you missed the action, here are a few highlights:

If you have ICFF on your calendar this week, make sure to stop by the Ceramics of Italy Pavilion (booths 2219-2319) where 15 brands will showcase the latest trends in tile – from porcelain emulating terrazzo, marble and eucalyptus wood to new designer collections and outdoor tile.

FCLC’S INSTALLATION RESEARCH PROJECT IS PRODUCING VALUABLE INSIGHTS

Members of the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) united on April 13, 2018, in Tampa, Florida, to hear preliminary results of the FCLC installation labor force research initiative currently being conducted by The Blackstone Group Inc., a Chicago-based research firm.  The initiative will provide an in-depth look at the current and future state of the flooring covering installation labor force. 

The FCLC initiative has three primary objectives:

  1. Estimating the size of the gaps between the supply of and the demand for floor covering installers, now and in five and ten years.
  2. Quantifying the financial impact of the installer shortage up the supply chain.
  3. Identifying the key drivers of the installer shortage as well as potential solutions.

Work is complete on the initiative’s first three tasks: resource identification, preliminary analysis of labor force issues, and in-depth telephone interviews with industry stakeholders.

The preliminary analysis of installer labor issues delivered a profile of the floor covering installation labor force; an examination of the gaps between supply and demand; estimates of the size of the gaps now and in five and ten years; and approaches to analyzing the financial impacts of installer shortages on the supply chain.

In-depth telephone interviews targeted qualified stakeholders from key segments of the industry, including floor covering installers, builders, unions, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. These interviews gathered insights on the drivers of shortages, the importance of training and certification, barriers to recruiting installers, the upstream financial impacts of installer shortages, and potential solutions to the shortages. Participants were asked to comment on the impacts that immigration, globalization, automation, regulatory changes, labor unions, product mix changes, and competition have had on flooring installation in the past five to ten years. 

The fourth phase of the research is an online assessment being sent to a pool of industry stakeholders compiled by the members of the FCLC. The assessment has launched and will conclude by June. All who receive invitations to the assessment are strongly encouraged to respond.

The next meeting of the FCLC Communications Committee is scheduled for July 20, 2018, in Chicago.  Final results of the floor covering installation labor force research are scheduled to be delivered to the FCLC membership on August 15, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.

THE BELKNAP WHITE GROUP’S SPRING SHOWCASE A SUCCESS

The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, recently hosted its Annual Spring Showcase Convention in Uncasville, Connecticut​ at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort. More than 50 key BWG suppliers were there to showcase their latest products and sales offerings to over 250 of BWG’s customers. 

BWG’s President, Paul Castagliuolo had this to say about the Spring Showcase, “This was one of our best events we’ve ever staged. We have not hosted this in a few years​,​ and we were thrilled with the result of bringing it back. We tweaked the format to allow more time for the reps, dealers and guests to spend together​… ​​and,​ it really paid off. The enthusiasm was incredible,​ and​ throughout its entirety,​ the show had a really positive vibe to it.”

“We were excited to re-introduce our annual Spring Showcase,” said BWG’s Executive Vice President of ​Sales​,​ Bill Prescott.  “The event was well received by all of our customers and we want to thank our vendor partners for their support. Frankly speaking, without them, this event would not have been a success. Plans are already in the works for 2019 to make it​ even​ bigger and better.”

The Lightweight Variable Speed Polisher

Sanding and polishing applications are time consuming tough work. In order to reduce the fatigue of the polishing professional, we ergonomically designed the VDP-700. This lightweight polisher is comfortable to hold and easy to control during the entire operation. This is done with one of two handle designs that come with the unit (C-Handle & Side Handle). The VDP-700 offers the variable speed range from 700 to 3,500 rpm.

The Unit was built with a 1250w (Rated) and 1900w (Maximum) motor along with heavy-duty precision gear system for the most demanding polishing tasks, to ensure reliability and high performance. With a 25ft, 14 AWG electrical power cord, you can cover large work areas without connecting to an extension cord. This feature assures maximum power from the electrical circuit and avoids overheating of the motor.

We also offer variety of accessories for this polisher such as a rotary back pads, diamond face foam pads, wool pads, microfiber pads, and other abrasive products.

For more information, visit our website at www.alpha-tools.comor contact us at 800-648-7229.

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