BIANCO: Combining award-worthy design with the taste of Italy

In this space, the marble serves as artwork for the “wall art.”

Bianco is a gorgeous restaurant serving mouthwatering Italian cuisine in the heart of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Natural lighting shines in from floor-to-ceiling windows, industrial touches play off the concrete flooring, and stunning Daltile Carrara Gioia marble slabs create a seamless and uniquely elegant experience as the dressing for an exquisite dining experience.

A new addition to the downtown Edmonton scene, Bianco is nothing short than a labor of love. Every detail in the beautiful, Italian eatery is part of its thoughtful and intentional design. Every countertop, table top and wall serving area features beautiful Carrara Gioia marble slabs from Daltile.

Sid Assaf of OCI Architecture, part of the design and architecture team behind Bianco, custom designed every aspect of the space from the windows, to the lighting, as well as suggestions for space utilization. “Bianco is one of the two newest and nicest spaces in Edmonton,” Assaf said. “Literally everything from A to Z was customized. I didn’t want someone to get cheated from seeing the room, so every single seat in the restaurant has a unique view and a different experience. I didn’t want the eating experience to be repetitive and for a patron to experience everything in one visit.”

Assaf was also in charge of the renovation of the tower that Bianco is in and his firm has moved its office to the tower as well. “People are going to start accusing me of building this tower for myself, with all the beautiful features and delicious food nearby.”

The tabletops featured here were custom made with Daltile marble slabs.

Joe Viana, one of the co-owners of Bianco, knows a thing or two about good food and beautiful design. He has exclusively used Daltile products in his restaurants for the last 25 years. Bianco, sister restaurant to the acclaimed Rosso Pizzeria, has a special personality from his other establishments.

“When my brother first came to me, we initially talked about using a marbleized quartz, but when we talked application and where the product was going to be used, we decided to go with natural stone,” said Roy Viana, Joe’s brother and director of the slab division for Daltile. “I’ve been in the natural stone/countertop business for more than 25 years. I essentially live and breathe countertop products.”

“My brother is very particular and has owned a few restaurants,” Roy continued, “but I knew this restaurant was going to be different just due to the number of questions he asked me relating to stone and countertops. In this particular case, the white Carrara Gioia was not just the best choice, but also the better cost option – although cost didn’t play a role in the decision. My brother was looking for a certain look and feel. All I did was walk him through certain products and how they perform. When he told me that some of the application areas would be interior and exterior walls and feature areas, that’s when I suggested Carrara Gioia and he decided to use the marble from Italy.”

From wallcoverings to tabletops, Daltile’s natural stone slabs in Carrara Gioia fill the space in Bianco’s dining area.

“Obviously it’s an Italian restaurant and we wanted to make it feel very Italian, in addition to functional and clean. That’s why we used the Carrara Gioia,” Joe added. “The stone is really good for restaurants and we used it for every countertop – from the bar and pasta station to all the tables. In restaurants, three marble slabs count as a lot. We used 26 slabs in the restaurant. Filippo Maiorana, who did the installation and has been working in the industry for 35 years, told me that this is the most marble he’s ever used in one fitting.”

Maiorana Stone manages delivery and installation challenges for slabs

Every slab was consistent in hone and veining, which made the finished installation look like it was all cut from one block of marble.

Maiorana describes himself as a stone purist in the sense that he loves natural material – especially marble. “Marble is delicate and there is a different scope of parameters when working with such a beautiful, soft stone. In general, marble is tougher to install because it is more fragile and therefore likely to break.”

“This was one of the more detailed and difficult projects undertaken by Maiorana Stone Inc.,” Maiorana said. “It happened in the dead of winter in -31°C, and Joe and Dave (Manna, co-owner of Bianco) had requested some of the slabs to be cut with sharp mitered corners so the pieces would fit together seamlessly. You have to have a lot of patience to complete a delivery like that without damaging any of the materials. The hardest part was preparing the slabs for the main feature bar, which is U-shaped, and has this waterfall detail that wraps all the way around. It was an extensive process because there were so many pieces to line up and fit together,” Maiorana explained.

“However, once we got the marble onsite, the installation process was a lot easier,” Maiorana continued. “The quality was excellent and very consistent. Every slab was consistent in hone and veining. It made the finished installations seamless and look like it was all cut from one block of marble. It looks very natural and planned. This is not always the case with Carrara, as it can vary from slab to slab. This product was excellent.”

Twenty-six marble slabs were used throughout the restaurant.

Captivating Carrara

“Have you ever been to Italy and seen the Statue of David?” Joe Viana asked. “That’s Carrara. Carrara is something that is exclusive to Italy. You can’t get white marble with that same look from anywhere else. When you see it, you know it’s Italian.”

Natural stone slabs were the perfect choice for the wall and counter applications of the pasta-making station since they involve an easy clean-up process.

“I had two goals in mind when designing this space,” said Assaf, who was part of the design and architectural team working on Bianco’s renovation. “First, when I went into the space, I was struck by how stark and how prevalent concrete was. This space had belonged to another restaurant that had been demolished 10 years prior and had concrete ceilings, walls, and flooring. Nobody had used this space in 10 years. Now, I love concrete, but I wanted to make the concrete feel warm, while keeping the renovation cost-effective. My second goal was to create not just a warm space, but also make it inviting enough to make patrons want to stay a long time.”

Daltile has had a similar effect on Joe. “Twenty-five years ago, I started using Daltile products in my restaurants. Those products are still there today, even in the ones I no longer own. My first experience was very good, and the service from the people at the warehouse in Edmonton kept me coming back. Whenever I need help, I can just call the manager and say ‘Hey Tasha, I need 40 more square feet of the octagonal tile’ and she will quickly order it in from Calgary and it will be here in Edmonton just a few days later. It’s wonderful that Daltile has its very own stone division because I don’t have to deal with multiple suppliers, I can deal with just one person for the different areas and products I need in my restaurant.”

Feast your eyes on this gorgeous waterfall slab installation within the restaurant’s bar area and enjoy your Italian meal at the bar countertop, as it sits on pure elegance straight out of Italy.

Giving Tuesday: ALMA raffle and fundraiser

A raffle and fundraiser that begins today and extends through December 18 will support ALMA (Apprenticeships for Leaders in Mosaic Arts)  Summer Institute in Albuquerque, N.M.

ALMA was initially established in 1999 as part of the Mayor’s Art Institute, under Mayor Jim Baca. It affords young people aged 16-25 from high schools, college and the community the opportunity to conceptualize, design, plan, hand make and glaze tiles, and install them in various sites around town as part of a paid summer apprenticeship.

ALMA (which means “soul” in Spanish) is operated by a handful of lead artists and three co-directors: Cassandra Reid (, Executive Director; Vanessa Alvarado (, Outreach Director; and Margarita Paz-Pedro(, Operations Director. It has evolved into a 501 (c)3 non-profit , with the majority of its funding coming from grants.

Due to COVID, funding is even more precarious.  ALMA is having an online Raffle and Fundraiser to help it to continue to provide programming for youth in the arts, and to raise $4,000.00 for its own kiln.

ALMA apprentices and Outreach Director Vanessa Alvarado (far left) working on the butterfly mosaic on the wall of the Albuquerque Convention Center in August 2020.

ALMA will announce the winner on Monday, Dec. 21st.  There are four amazingly creative items to raffle off.  Check it out and please share with everyone you know! Find out more here: ALMA Raffle 

Win this butterfly in the raffle. This beauty is about 2ft wide by 1.5ft in height.  If you are the winner, ALMA will come and install and grout it in the place of your choosing in NM or ship it to you with installation and grouting instructions out of state.

These native New Mexican flowers beautify any space they are located. This sunflower is about 2.25ft in height by 16 inches wide and in bloom all year long. The winner may choose a location and it will be installed and grouted in NM or it will be shipped to out-of-state winners with installation and grouting instructions.
Local metal sculpture artist Mike Mulvey created the form and apprentice Jacquelyn Yepa tiled a lovely color combination and fade using butterflies from this summer’s mural. It measures at 8.5”h x 6”w x 5”d — and the box opens!
This ALMA tote was screen printed in-house, using ALMA’s 20th-year logo design, “Mosaics for the Soul.” There is also an 8.5”x 11” high-quality art print of the spring 2011 project “Winds of Change” and a tile magnet with one of ALMA’s signature glazes.

Interested in simply making a donation? Follow this link to see ways you can support ALMA. Donations of $50 or more will receive a tax-deduction letter.

crowd of people at unveiling of a mosaic mural
One of the murals created by ALMA on the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Locating and interviewing a tile contractor


I’m a homeowner looking to have tile work done on my new home. I’ve had bad experiences with poor tile installations on my last house. We had a shower that leaked and caused an extensive amount of damage. How can I know if the contractor I hire this time is qualified and will do a good job?


Begin by locating a National Tile Contractors Association Member contractor. Through their professional association, these companies are connected to the highest levels of the tile industry and own the recognized tile industry standards, methods and best practices that guide their installations to success. Then require a Ceramic Tile Education Foundation Certified Tile Installer (CTI) to perform the installation. These persons are known to the tile industry as Qualified Labor and have proven their ability to understand and apply tile industry methods, standards and best practices through an aggressive written and hands-on certification process. They can be located in your area by exploring these links:

When you interview any tile contractor:

  1. Ask them if they own and use the TCNA Handbook and ANSI Standards. Ask them which Handbook method they will use to construct your project. This will help you determine if the contractor you are interviewing owns and uses the recognized industry standards that will produce a great-looking and long-lasting installation for you.
  2. Ask them if they are a CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) or if they hold Advanced Certifications for tile installations (ACT). Tile installers have been critically examined by the only nationally-recognized, third-party training and certification foundation on their knowledge of the recognized methods and best practices, and their ability to use them to produce a great-looking and long-lasting installation. A CTI will have a unique number assigned by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.
  3. Ask them if they are a member of their professional association. For tile contractors, it is the National Tile Contractors Association. Detailed technical support based on tile industry standards is a hallmark benefit of contractor membership.
  4. Ask them if they are licensed to work as a tile contractor by their state’s licensing board. (Not all states require licensing.)
  5. Ask them for references and a portfolio of work. Call their references. Review their portfolio. Preparation is everything. Ask them what type of prep work they will do before installing the tile.

Following this process should help you locate and employ a contractor that will perform the best installation for you.

Nonresidential construction spending remains flat in October while residential construction expands; many commercial projects languish

logo for AGC

Demand for most types of nonresidential projects remains flat amid COVID-10 uncertainty, dwindling state and local budgets and the lack of new federal coronavirus relief measures which put jobs at risk.

The construction industry’s fortunes continued to diverge in October, as residential construction expanded again while nonresidential construction remained largely unchanged from a month ago and is down compared to last year, according to an analysis of new federal construction spending data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that demand for nonresidential construction is being hit by private sector worries about the coronavirus, tighter state and local budgets and the lack of new federal pandemic relief measures.

“The October spending report shows private nonresidential construction is continuing to slide,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Public construction spending has fluctuated in recent months but both types of nonresidential spending have fallen significantly from recent peaks this year and appear to be heading even lower.”

Construction spending in October totaled $1.44 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, an increase of 1.3 percent from the pace in September and 3.7 percent higher than in October 2019. But the gains were limited to residential construction, which increased 2.9 percent for the month and 14.6 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, private and public nonresidential spending was virtually unchanged from September and declined 3.7 percent from a year earlier.

Private nonresidential construction spending declined for the fourth month in a row, slipping 0.7 percent from September to October, with decreases in nine out of 11 categories. The October total was 8.2 percent lower than in October 2019. The largest private nonresidential segment, power construction, declined 0.8 percent for the month. Among the other large private nonresidential project types, commercial construction—comprising retail, warehouse and farm structures—slid 1.0 percent, manufacturing construction declined 0.8 percent, and office construction dipped 0.2 percent.

Public construction spending increased 1.0 percent in October and 3.7 percent year-over-year. The largest public category, highway and street construction, gained 1.6 percent for the month. Among other large public segments, educational construction increased 1.1 percent for the month and transportation construction rose 1.0 percent.

Private residential construction spending increased for the fifth consecutive month, rising 2.9 percent in October. Single-family homebuilding jumped 5.6 percent for the month, while multifamily construction spending rose 1.2 percent and residential improvements spending was flat.

Association officials said demand for nonresidential construction was unlikely to rebound in the near-term without new federal relief measures, putting additional construction careers at risk. These should include new investments in infrastructure, to improve aging roads and bridges, public buildings and water utility networks. Federal officials should refrain from taxing Paycheck Protection Program loans as it would undermine the benefits of that program. And Congress and the administration should work together to enact liability reforms to protect honest firms from frivolous coronavirus lawsuits.

“As long as the coronavirus undermines private sector confidence and public sector budgets, the only way to save good-paying construction careers is through new federal relief measures,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Fixing the nation’s infrastructure, preserving the benefits of the PPP program and protecting honest employers will give the economy a much-needed short-term boost.”

Kitchen & Bath Market Index at highest point this year, suggests strong 2021 for remodeling

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — (December 1, 2020) — Today, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) released their Q3 2020 Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI). For the first time this year, the KBMI is above 50 — at 61.9 — up from 44.2 in Q2 and 41 in Q1. Scores of 50 indicate expansion and scores below indicate contraction.

NKBA members rank the overall health of the industry at 6.9 (on a scale of one to 10), just below the 7.2 reported in pre-COVID Q4 2019. While confident about current business conditions at 56.5, industry members are even more optimistic about future conditions, which they set at 66.9 as 2020 draws to a close.

“As we approach the end of an unprecedented year, the industry outlook is promising,” said NKBA CEO Bill Darcy. “While COVID-19 will continue to present challenges to the supply chain, labor and spending, we’re grateful to be one of a few industries that has actually seen growth in response to consumers spending more time at home and looking to make their spaces more functional in this new normal. Kitchen and bath professionals are well-positioned for continued success into the coming year.”

“Consumers have undertaken a lot of remodeling in 2020, but significant opportunity remains, especially for the kitchen and bath market, going into 2021,” notes Todd Tomalak, Principal at  JBREC. “Much of the already completed renovation work has focused outside the home — redoing decks, gardens and outdoor entertaining spaces — in response to COVID-19 restrictions. For many families working and schooling from home, 2020 wasn’t the ideal time to redo a space as essential as the kitchen or bathroom. As such, we anticipate continued activity for kitchen and bath remodeling next year.”

In the first half of 2020, NKBA members predicted negative sales for the year, but Q3 brought better news for the industry, which now expects a 1.1% increase in YOY sales compared to 2019. In fact, Q3 sales in 2020 were up 2.1% from 2019, and sales grew 5.9% since last quarter overall — ranging from designers, who saw a smaller 3.2% increase, to manufacturers, who experienced a significant 9.6% rise.

More than half (62%) of all companies surveyed report COVID-19 drove higher demand to their business in Q3. While the crisis continues to have some adverse effect on the industry, with 29% reporting the pandemic has led to lower demand, its negative impact has lessened each quarter and, at 5.9 (on a scale of one to 10), is nearly 30% lower than the Q1 rating of 8.1. Among those industry professionals who haven’t seen demand return to normal levels, 29% expect it to do so in 2021.

KBMI executive summary chart

The following trends are expected to impact homeowners and the industry into 2021:

  • For the first time, supply chain disruption is reported as the industry’s greatest challenge, beating out economic uncertainty and recession and further hinting at an optimistic outlook for 2021 as manufacturers ramp up production in response to demand. Appliances and cabinets are most impacted, while other luxury products, particularly from Europe, are facing delays in lead times and backorders as well.
  • Increased pipeline demand is another promising indicator for 2021, with 53% seeing larger pipelines of projects or project orders in Q3 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Still, uncertainty remains. When asked if they think COVID-19 will “shut down” the economy again in Q4, 39% of NKBA members are unsure. Almost the same percentage (37%) do not expect another shutdown, but 24% do anticipate shutdowns as infection rates climb.
  • Despite strong remodeling interest, consumers are still more price-conscious than they were pre-COVID, with designers especially noting smaller budgets. Customers are leaning toward smaller-scale remodels and temporary solutions that are low-cost and largely DIY.

Each sector of the kitchen and bath market faces unique challenges and opportunities:

  • Perhaps unexpectedly given COVID-19 restrictions, retail sales foot traffic rose 8% in 2020 over 2019. With much of the foot traffic driven by DIY’ers, the increase in foot traffic has not necessarily led to increased revenue.
  • In response to a heightened demand for products, especially appliances, manufacturing sales increased 5.8% YOY in Q3, despite some COVID-19-related disruptions and difficulties finding qualified labor to meet ramped-up production needs. Manufacturers also rated the KBMI highest of any sector, at 67.7. The majority (55%) of manufacturers are back to operating at 100% or more of their normal workforce, with 14% employing more workers than pre-COVID.
  • Lower price points and cutbacks in discretionary design services have propelled homeowners to DIY projects – but designers are seeing marked improvement in Q3, with more than half (57%) reporting higher bids in the last quarter than Q1 and Q2. Additionally, 39% reported no canceled or postponed projects in Q3.
  • Building and construction companies also continue to see fewer postponements and cancellations, with 49% reporting zero of either in Q3. More than half (54%) of companies with postponed jobs expect those to resume in 2021.

AlysEdwards Tile & Stone: Falling For Fall

Designers at AlysEdwards are falling for fall and gathering all the colors to make home design warm and cozy. 

fall tones mood board by AlysEdwards
AlysEdwards Fall Mood Board with a warm and cozy color scheme.

Inspire. Create. Design Something Fabulous. Warm tones are back, and what better time to celebrate a cozy color scheme than the Fall season. Pairing lighter warm tones that compliment each other like Cut Me Some Flax from Tongue in Chic and Coalino from Abitare La Terra creates a more open space, but still with a welcoming vibe. 

Falling for Beige? The Fleece color from the new Blendables collection is the perfect warm neutral. Orange, yellow, and brown are all classic warms tones. Using Golden Slumber from Haute Glass allows your design to incorporate the colors of fall. The process of mixing colors through a poured glass creates soft muted striations through the mosaic in earthy warm hues. A pattern like the Porto-guese Flor tile in Moorish Red offers a pleasant pop of color that is cheerful and bright. Including metals like the Sassy Brassy Liner as an accent adds simmering warmth. Round out your space with natural textures such as woods or fall foliage to make your design toasty and snug. What will you fall for?

Like what you see? Request free samples from this board here.

Infinity Drain is a Product Innovation Award (PIA) winner for its revolutionary Stainless Steel Shower Base

Amityville, NY, November 2020 – Infinity Drain, leading the industry in decorative shower and wet area drain solutions, won a PIA award from Architectural Products magazine for its Stainless Steel Shower Base. The new shower base dramatically reduces the amount of time required to install a new bathroom shower and decreases the need for trade coordination because it is ready to tile, pre-sloped and does not require additional waterproofing on the walls. The game-changing Infinity Drain Stainless Steel Shower Base is guaranteed for life against waterproofing failure.   

SS shower base and installed image
Infinity Drain won a Product Innovation Award for its Stainless Steel Shower Base

“Our dedication to innovation continues to keep Infinity Drain top of mind among designers, builders and discerning consumers around the world,” noted Jonathan Brill, President of Infinity Drain. “We’re thrilled to have won this prestigious honor for our patent-pending Stainless Steel Shower Base.”  

“Building on the success of past programs, the tenth edition of the PIA awards proves commercial building manufacturers are committed to, and are working arduously toward, delivering products that deliver better performance, life and affordability, that keep pace with ever-shifting market requirements,” stated Jim Crockett, Editorial Director for Architectural Products magazine. With judging and evaluation of products and systems from a distinguished panel of 22 designers and product specialists skilled in product evaluation, the PIA program awards manufacturers based on attributes, qualities, functionality and/or performance beyond industry standards.

About the Infinity Drain Stainless Steel Shower Base

Patent-pending waterproof design saves time as it’s ready to tile and pre-sloped. Available sizes include a 60″ x 30″ option as well as custom sizing for quantities of 10 or more. Additional features of the Shower Base include a curb or curbless option and the ability to use any grate style or tile insert. If the product should develop a leak, Infinity Drain will bear the cost of labor, removal, replacement, and will restore the installation with the same ‘like and kind” materials originally used.      

Infinity Drain® Custom Stainless Steel Shower Base Features  

  • Available sizes:  60″ x 30″ or custom sizes (minimum quantity 10)
  • Stainless steel shower base is completely waterproof
  • Additional waterproofing on wall is optional
  • Ready to tile 
  • Available with any grate style or tile insert
  • Curb or curbless option
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Plumbing code compliant for use as prefabricated shower receptor
  • IAPMO tested to IAPMO PS-106-2015 standard 
  • Integrated linear drain or center drain options
  • With a 6″ sleeve on foundation, the 2″ no hub connection through slab allows for 2″ variance in any direction
  • Shower base sets shower framing for exact wall to wall installation
  • Factory flood tested as per UPC and IPC standards  

Belknap White Group showcases Marazzi’s latest tiles

Mansfield, Massachusetts. The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors is pleased to announce Marazzi’s newest product collections are now available at the company’s nine East Coast locations. Offering innovative, on-trend looks, these five new collections will be available via BWG throughout all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and parts of upstate New York.

“Marazzi’s latest collections not only offer the strength and durability characteristic of this manufacturer,” stated Dave Godlewski, Belknap White’s Vice President/Ceramic Division. “They also offer capabilities which create on-trend, bold, innovative and captivating designs today’s customers demand.”

terra cotta look hex
Moroccan Concrete, in Terra Cotta.

Moroccan Concrete™ – This series offers a variety of shapes, patterns, colors and sizes including popular mosaic and hexagon tiles. Combining the rugged look of concrete with Moroccan design, these tiles are available in eight colors and are suited for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Artezen™ – Inspired by handmade ceramics, finished with a translucent glaze, this collection of mosaics is most spectacular when used for backsplashes and pool linings. The range offers three neutral colors, two shades of blue and a shimmery bronze metallic round out, ideal for flowing, jaw-dropping installations.

hex wall tile with translucent glaze
Marazzi Artezen

Zellige™ – With a hand-crafted look, these tiles are produced in 12 shades with glossy finish and highly visible tone variations.  With its North African vibe, mixed with industrial ceramic colors, a unique blended effect is created.

blue wall tile with handmade look
Marazzi Zellige

Geometal™ – Making a bold statement with its three-dimensional mosaics, Geometal™ offers a special blend of materials resulting in a geometric metallic look complete with floret and ornament patterns.  Available in four metallic colors, Geometal is highly durable and can be installed in wet areas.

metal look hex tiles on kitchen backsplash
Marazzi Geometal

Coastal Effects™ – This award-winning collection offers molten glass mosaics in four, vibrant color combinations. Geometric shapes, small and large picket and a trellis accent with antique mirror offer innovative options for stunning walls.

blue glass mosaics on lobby reception desk feature wall
Marazzi Coastal Effects

Marazzi’s latest product collections can be found on Belknap White Group’s E-Catalog HERE.  For samples and pricing, please contact The Belknap White Group.

American Olean launches new Mythique Marble

Dallas, TX – November 30, 2020American Olean is pleased to announce the launch of the new Mythique Marble collection.  Mythique Marble is a complete porcelain floor, ceramic wall, and mosaic tile collection offering four on-trend marble designs, each equally elegant, yet with its own unique personality.  All Mythique Marble products feature Microban® technology that provides powerful antimicrobial product protection.  

“The inclusion of Microban technology equips this product line to easily stand up to the demands of daily life, while delivering an abundance of style,” said Amber Leigh Martinson, senior director of marketing, Dal-Tile Corporation.  “Microban technology is built into the product and will not wash off or wear away.”

“Marble looks are extremely popular right now and Mythique Marble perfectly offers the beauty of marble with the performance of porcelain tile,” said Shelly Halbert, director of product design, Dal-Tile Corporation.  “In designing Mythique Marble, we focused on creating a very complete marble design package under the American Olean umbrella.”

“Although interior design is warming, we designed Mythique Marble to offer gorgeous marble designs in both warm and cool tones to fit into any overall room design.  Each of the designs brings something very different to a space.  Mythique Marble’s designs uniquely blend traditional marble visuals with contemporary flair.”


Mythique Marble’s Altissimo is a more traditional marble look with refined movement in the veining.  Based on the classic Carerra Marble from Carerra, Italy, Altissimo includes grey and blue undertones.  The visual brings a clean, elegant look to a space.  

Calacatta Venecia

marble look tile in kitchen
Mythique Marble Calacatta Venecia from AO

Mythique Marble’s Calacatta Venecia is a majestically bold take on the classic look of Italian Calacatta marble.  Calacatta Venecia retains the freshness of white marble with grey undertones, yet features gold veining that brings warm tones into the space.


Botticino is a glamorous linear marble design that nods to the boldness of the types of marbles that were popular in the 1980s and ‘90s, with linear veining adding depth to the space.  Again, in keeping with today’s warming trend across interior design, Botticino brings the warmth of a modern beige color to marble visuals.  

marble look tile in hexagon and plank format in spa setting
AO’s Mythique Marble Botticino


Mythique Marble’s Majestic is a bold, intriguing marble design with beautiful veining throughout each piece and includes touches of grey, beige, and brown to ensure this new product looks great with today’s hottest room designs.  

marble look tile in bathroom
Majestic from AO’s Mythique Marble collection

Accompanying the collection’s various sizes of floor and wall tiles are beautiful arabesque mosaic tiles, a multi-wave crest tile, and an intriguing hexagon tile.   Coordinating trim is available for a finished look.  American Olean’s Mythique Marble collection is appropriate for use on floors, walls, countertops, and shower floors.  Made in the USA.

CTEF joins Global GivingTuesday generosity movement on December 1st to support tile installation certification and education

CTEF will celebrate generosity on GivingTuesday 2020 by highlighting the opportunities available to provide education and installer certification programs for ceramic tile and stone industry professionals. GivingTuesday takes place December 1st, 2020.

What is GivingTuesday?

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and their world. GivingTuesday will kick off the generosity season this year by inspiring people to give back on December 1, 2020, and throughout the year.

Why GivingTuesday for CTEF?

For CTEF, GivingTuesday is about raising awareness and financial support for the ceramic tile and stone industry professional education and certification programs it offers. COVID-19 has severely threatened CTEF programs which have been rescheduled until 2021. During normal times, CTEF generates income through in-person training and hands-on certification event fees.

At the same time, if it weren’t for the strong community of passionately dedicated ceramic tile artisans, installers, suppliers and specifiers committed to elevating the standards and expectations for tile installations and the importance of Qualified Labor, CTEF would not exist. More specifically, this community sponsors, volunteers for, promotes, educates, hosts hands-on certification testing events, encourages participation, celebrates successes, and generally supports ongoing tile industry learning and excellence.

“I encourage everyone who values the critical importance of tile industry standards and the high expectations derived from them to participate in GivingTuesday,” says Scott Carothers, CTEF director of certification and training. “Share with your communities why you value tile industry education and certification programs such as those CTEF offers; explain what Qualified Labor means to you and encourage others to do the same.”

GivingTuesday History

GivingTuesday was launched in 2012 as a simple idea: to create a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. People demonstrate generosity in many ways on GivingTuesday. Whether it is helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving to causes we care about, every act of generosity counts.

GivingTuesday has raised billions of dollars for critical causes around the world and gets 21 billion impressions on social media from people and organizations speaking up for the causes that matter to them and encouraging others to get involved in their communities. “GivingTuesday inspires people all around the world to embrace their power to drive progress around the causes they care about, not just on one day but throughout the year,” said Asha Curran, GivingTuesday’s CEO, and co-founder. “With country and community leaders, millions of organizations, and countless givers of all kinds, GivingTuesday is creating a shared space where we can see the radical implications of a more generous world.”

Learn More About GivingTuesday and CTEF

Those who are interested in joining CTEF’s GivingTuesday initiative can visit For more details about the GivingTuesday movement, visit

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