GEOS Sustainable Surfaces

GEOS Sustainable Surfaces blends a mixture of post-consumer and industrial glass into a dense, durable surface for countertops and surfaces in residential and commercial settings. This low-VOC product contributes to LEED-NC, LEED-CI and LEED-CS points. GEOS offers a 10-year warranty and 13-color palette in a durable, scratch, stain- and heat-resistant, easy-to-maintain surface. 800-719-3671;

Mediterranea USA

Mediterranea’s Precious Stones collection uses Dynamic HD Imaging to replicate the look of premium stones in the world’s most exclusive quarries with colors, veining and color consistency never before seen in a manufactured product. In five sizes and four palettes, with 2”x2” mosaics and 3”x12” bullnose trim. 305-718-5091;

Fireclay Tile

Fireclay Tile launches Glazed Thin Brick, its first artistic brick collection. It features rich, organic texture, up to 100% recycled local content, American craftsmanship and a selection of nine VOC-free natural glazes manufactured from oxides and raw earth materials.  100% of glaze overspray is collected and recycled. Standard size Glazed Thin Brick is 8-1/8” x 2-7/16” with corners, caps and glazed edges available. Utility and Modular sizes and other finishes including Sandmolded are also available by custom order. In keeping with Fireclay’s community efforts, Fireclay recycles  1% of all Glazed Thin Brick sales to a local charity, selected quarterly. 408-275-1182;

DAC announces 18th Annual Multiple Sclerosis Golf Outing

David Allen Company (DAC) has announced it 18th annual Multiple Sclerosis Golf Outing for Friday, October 5, 2012, at the Heritage Hunt Golf and Country Club in Gainesville, Va. The outing supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

For the last 18 years, DAC has donated over $431,000 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This year, the Raleigh, N.C.- based tile contracting company aims to reach the half-million mark.

The schedule includes registration and lunch at 10 a.m. and tee off at 11 a.m. Auctions, awards and raffle drawing will be held in the ballroom immediately after golf. They include a putting challenge on the practice green, a closest-to-the-pin challenge on holes 6 and 9, and double-your-money or raffle tickets on holes 11 and 18.

To obtain a registration form with details, email Susan Allen at [email protected] All registrations must be received by September 26, 2012.

Tile setter’s family awarded $2.4M in asbestos claim

The family of a Connecticut  man who spent some of his career as a tile setter and died from asbestos-related cancer was awarded $2.4 million in its lawsuit against the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The family of Hannibal Saldibar, 84, who died from mesothelioma, claimed TCNA was responsible for the asbestos-containing mortar that Saldibar worked with when he was a tile setter. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer linked directly to asbestos exposure but does not manifest itself until many years after exposure. Saldibar contracted and died from mesothelioma in 2010.

Court documents indicate Saldibar had significant exposure to asbestos through his time in the Navy and various years when he installed asbestos insulation in boilers. Of the original 55 defendants, all except TCNA settled or were dismissed before the trial began.

The jury awarded Saldibar’s family $1.6 million, finding TCNA liable for Saldibar’s mesothelioma and death. The judge added an additional $800,000 in punitive damages.

Eric Astrachan, the executive director of TCNA, stated that he was surprised and disappointed by the jury’s decision to hold it responsible for a product it never made. TCNA has asked the Connecticut Court to set aside the jury’s verdict. TCNA is a non-profit trade association responsible for the development of national and international product and installation standards. It is not a product manufacturer or distributor.

Cersaie set for September in Bologna

Cersaie, the International Exposition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, held at the Bologna Exhibition Centre in Bologna, Italy, is set for September 25-29, 2012.

This year marks the 30th year of the show, with an exhibition space of 176,000 square meters, hosting a projected 972 exhibitors from 31 countries.

Register at and receive free registration – view details of the show and plan your trip to view technological innovations, global fashion trends. A cultural/educational program and series of “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” events feature world class speakers such as Mario Botta, Cameron Sinclair, Karim Rashid, Renzo Piano, David Childs, Patricia Urquiola, Kazuyo Sejima, and Alessandro Medini, exploring the growing presence of ceramic tile in architecture and interior design.

HTA member installation featured in cultural center

The American Swedish Institute (ASI)  in Minneapolis recently commissioned North Prairie Tileworks, a member of the Handmade Tile Association (HTA), to create a stunning tile piece for ASI’s Nelson Cultural Center (NCC). The NCC celebrated its grand opening on June 30.

The ASI commissioned North Prairie Tileworks to create the tiles using their famed Turnblad mansion Swedish wood stoves as inspiration.

“There is a wealth of classic design features displayed on the Swedish stoves,” said North Prairie’s Roger Mayland, “but the challenge for Charlie Henriksen, as the primary designer on this project, was to bring out the few key elements that unite the past with the new tiles.”

Henriksen hand-sculpted each of the designs in clay, created the molds and oversaw the precise and potentially temperamental firing and glazing processes. The tile installation is an ideal representation of the unique artistry and creativity present throughout the HTA’s membership.

The Minneapolis-based Hand-made Tile Association (HTA) is one of the nation’s premiere tile artist collectives, with a membership of 100 tile makers nationwide, with about half the membership working locally. The association’s 11th Annual Minnesota Tile Festival will be held at the ASI on September 15, 2012. It is one of largest tile festivals in the country, attracting tile artists from all over the United States.

For information on HTA, visit

Custom plant named “Energy Project of the Year”

Custom Building Products’ state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Bell, Calif., has been named “Energy Project of the Year” by the Southern California Chapter of the Association for Energy Engineers. The award is the result of a new system, designed and installed in partnership with Honeywell, that provides Custom with precise control over how the facility uses energy, enabling it to automatically respond to changing peak electricity prices and trim utility bills.

The award recognizes Custom’s system for its high level of substantiated savings, which will allow the project to pay for itself within an estimated five-month timeframe. Custom offset the total project cost via rebates from Southern California Edison (SCE) and support from a Smart Grid Investment Grant that Honeywell received from the United States Department of Energy.

For the project, Custom enrolled its 142,000-square-foot facility in Honeywell’s automated demand response program (Auto DR), to control how facility equipment responds to SCE’s dynamic pricing structure. This pricing structure bases electrical rates for commercial and industrial customers on consumption levels and generation costs, meaning that prices rise significantly during periods of peak demand.

New smart-grid software technology allows Custom’s existing automation system to receive and respond to price signals sent by SCE. When pre-programmed loadshedding measures are triggered, the system makes adjustments that may include safely shutting down all but two manufacturing lines during a peak pricing event in order to save energy and costs while maintaining adequate production levels.

“This project enabled us to optimize our production lines to react to dynamic pricing, and maximize our energy savings,” said Jim Bell, facilities and maintenance manager for Custom Building Products. “While helping implement our complex automation strategies, Honeywell also identified energy-efficient opportunities, which will lead to both short-term and permanent cost savings.”

As a result of this project, Custom Building Products can shed more than 330 kilowatts of the company’s typical 520-kilowatt load during peak pricing events and realize significant savings. The new system also centralized energy management at the facility, for better monitoring and management of automated load reductions, and is helping Custom meet Air Quality Management District (AQMD) standards in Southern California.

Crossville products honored with Green GOOD DESIGN Award

Crossville’s Bluestone and Mixology tile collections have been named winners of 2012 Green GOOD DESIGNTM Awards bestowed by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. The annual awards recognize 120 products from across the globe that are leading examples of sustainable design.

The European Center’s International Advisory Committee selects products based on design processes that emphasize overall environmental responsibility. The GOOD DESIGN awards date to 1950; this is the fourth year for the sustainable design award category.

Bluestone is a popular porcelain tile collection manufactured at Crossville’s U.S. manufacturing facilities through processes certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS). The line holds Green Squared® certification and contains a minimum of 20% recycled content. Mixology, designed by Mikeal Jensen, residential design director for Crossville, replicates cast metal with 50% SCS-certified, post-consumer recycled content.

Jury members of The European Center’s International Advisory Committee are design industry leaders from across the globe who review products, programs, people, government, environmental planning and architecture to determine the outstanding achievers. The European Centre and Chicago Athenaeum’s environmental conference will exhibit the 2012 Green GOOD DESIGN products throughout the U.S. for a year, beginning at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana in September 2012.

For more information about Crossville’s green initiatives, visit

Five Star Contractor Spotlight – August 2012

F.D. Berardino Tile Inc.
Eastpointe, Mich.
Since: 1927
Specialty: Ceramic and stone tile contractor
Employees: 10

Felice, Crescenzo (Chris) and Francesco (Frank) are the three men who played a key role in turning a small tile business into one of the most well-known and respected tile contractors in southeastern Michigan. In bustling Detroit in 1927, an Italian immigrant, striving for a better life for his family, set out on his own to service the quality ceramic tile work needs of the growing metropolitan area.  With hard work, perseverance and complete dedication to meeting and exceeding the needs of his customers, Felice DiBerardino laid the foundation for the success of one of the oldest tile contracting firms in southeastern Michigan.

Building upon his old-world work ethic and craftsmanship, the business thrived. His son-in-law, Chris Fazi, began working for him in the early ‘50s, eventually succeeding him in 1960. Chris instilled an even greater intensity for taking care of the customer through his hard work and passion. Continuing this tradition and legacy, Frank Fazi took over for his father in the early ‘80s.

Business practices have changed a lot over the years, but Frank has followed his grandfather’s philosophy in his business: “Take care of the customer, and the customer will take care of you.” With these watchwords, Frank has transformed the business from primarily residential contracting to full-service tile contracting, performing both residential and commercial work as well as new and renovation projects of all sizes.

As an 85-year-old, three-generation, family-owned company, these pillars have remained vital and prominent in the way Berardino Tile conducts business. “Our focus remains on the customer, as we aim to provide them with quality craftsmanship, innovative design, and timely execution of every project in a professional, conscientious, and collaborative manner,” said Frank Fazi. This work ethic builds lasting trusted relationships, enabling Berardino Tile to work with customers (general contractors, builders, architects, designers and owners) throughout the construction process, assisting them in determining proper tile installation methods, product selection, problem solving, and value engineering of their project.

F.D. Berardino Tile is committed to the advancement of the tile industry as members of the Construction Association of Michigan, the Building Industry Association of Southeastern Michigan, the Great Lakes Ceramic Tile Council (trustee), the Detroit Ceramic Tile Contractor’s Association (board member), the local Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (trustee), and is one of the first Five-Star Contractor members of National Tile Contractors Association.

Featured Project: Greenleaf Trust Building, Birmingham, Mich.
Construction Manager: CSM Group, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Owner: Catalyst Development, L.L.C.
Architect: Eckert Wordell, LLC, Kalamazoo, Mich., and Mark Johnson & Associates, Pleasant Ridge, Mich.

From February to June 2010, F.D. Berardino Tile furnished and installed 9,000 square feet of 24”x24”, 12”x24”, and 5/8”x5/8” Atlas Concorde porcelain floor tile and wall tile, stair tread and riser tile, and Hirsch Glass Mosaic tile for three lobbies, elevator cabs, the main stairway from the basement to fifth floor, and four toilet rooms.

The job posed many obstacles.  Located on a tight urban site with no onsite parking and no room for onsite material staging, planning for production became a priority. The large-format floor tile required extensive floor prep with many of the floors requiring a full mud-bed installation. All the stair-riser heights had to be adjusted before tile, thereby requiring that the treads and landings be mudded, feathered or ground down to meet the required elevation. The three-color pattern of the 5/8” mosaics was not available factory-mounted, and the pattern had to be installed individually onsite.

Since completion of the base building, Berardino Tile has been contracted for all of the office space build-outs, incorporating the installation of 12”x24” marble floor tile, 12”x24” porcelain floor tile and glass mosaic tile.

Since February, Berardino Tile has been tiling the floors and walls for the five luxury apartment units in the building, as well as the lobby and public corridors for the residential units. The design is based on timeless luxury involving custom installation of 9,000 sq. ft. of ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles and ceramic and glass mosaic tiles. This has required close collaboration with the construction manager, owner, architect, and design architect.

1 71 72 73 74 75