Coverings, the largest international tile & stone show in North America, has announced the activation of three charitable initiatives over the course of the 2018 show. The initiatives, benefitting Habitat for Humanity, Clean the World, and The Homeless Pets Foundation, will all give back in some way to various segments of the local Atlanta community when the show makes its return to the host city May 8 – 11, 2018.

“We’re delighted to support these charitable initiatives that serve important segments of the Atlanta community at Coverings 2018,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “A major theme for Coverings 2018 is making connections, and on behalf of the tile and stone industry, we are looking forward to establishing meaningful connections with the beneficiaries of Habitat for Humanity, Clean the World, and the Homeless Pets Foundation in the local community.”

In partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Freeman, Coverings will donate tile and building materials from exhibitors’ booths to be made available to the public for purchase at ReStore, with all proceeds benefitting Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building affordable homes in Atlanta for those in need. During show breakdown, Coverings will collaborate with both parties to identify and collect appropriate, usable materials.

“The Atlanta Habitat ReStore is thrilled to be partnering with Coverings, its exhibitors and Freeman for this donation initiative,” said Drew Bonner, ReStore Sales and Donations Manager. “We are thankful for the opportunity to work with this incredible group to source and re-use as many items as possible in our mission of creating an Atlanta where all people have access to quality affordable housing in safe, vibrant neighborhoods with an opportunity to thrive.”

Coverings exhibitors Mapei and Florida Tile, as well as the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), have established a collaboration with Clean the World to assemble hygiene kits that will be distributed to in-need veterans in the Atlanta area. The group has set a goal of assembling 800 kits and will embark on a team competition on Monday, May 7 to see which group can assemble their allotment of kits in the shortest amount of time.

“Mapei is delighted to come together at Coverings 2018 with Florida Tile, NTCA, and Clean the World for this project benefitting Atlanta veterans,” said Dan Marvin, MAPEI Director of Technical Services. “We are collectively grateful to have found a way to give back to the local community on behalf of the tile industry, and our goal is to continue and grow this program at future Coverings shows.”

And, the Tile Council of North America, along with 18 of its member companies, will reprise its tiled dog house program, in which custom dog houses are designed and built to showcase the healthy, durable and stylish benefits of tile products. The beautiful and charming dog houses will be displayed in the Art Tile Courtyard (Booth #7249) during Coverings before they are donated to the Homeless Pets Foundation. The local organization, founded by local veterinarian Dr. Michael Good, is dedicated to finding forever homes for cats and dogs whose time is running out in Atlanta-area animal shelters. A donation ceremony will take place in the Art Tile Courtyard on Thursday, May 10 at 2:30 p.m., and all attendees are encouraged to attend to see the dog houses and meet the hardworking volunteers and their canine companions.

“We are excited to partner with the Homeless Pets Foundation to support such a worthy cause,” stated Kathy Meyer, TCNA Marketing Director. “By donating these beautiful, one-of-a-kind doghouses, TCNA and its members are helping Homeless Pets Foundation continue its mission to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs in Atlanta-area animal shelters and promote the benefits of pet ownership.”

Coverings returns to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA from May 8-11, and will bring together 1,100 exhibitors representing over 40 countries across 400,000 square feet of exhibition space. Interested attendees can register for the show for free at


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About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.

Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association  (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC.

Coverings 2018 takes place May 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit


Average Hourly Earnings Increase to $29.43 in Construction, Topping Private Sector by Nearly 10 Percent; Association Officials Urge Updating and Better Funding Programs to Train Workers for Construction Jobs

Construction employment increased by 228,000 jobs over the past year despite a weather-related dip last month, and the industry’s unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, the lowest yet for March, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials called for revitalizing and adequately funding career and technical education and training programs to ensure that employment in the high-paying industry would continue to grow.

“Construction employment indicators are still signaling strong demand on an annual basis, even though unusually bad weather in several regions probably depressed hiring in March,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Employment is rising twice as fast as for the overall economy, pay rates and growth are outpacing the private sector as a whole, and the industry’s unemployment rate was the lowest ever for March.”

Construction employment totaled 7,150,000 in March, a dip of 15,000 for the month but an increase of 228,000, or 3.3 percent, over 12 months. The economist pointed out that the­­ year-over-year growth rate in industry jobs was more than double the 1.5 percent rise in total nonfarm payroll employment.


Hourly earnings in the industry averaged $29.43 in March, a rise of 2.9 percent from a year earlier. That put average pay in construction 9.7 percent higher than the average for all nonfarm private-sector jobs, which rose 2.7 percent in the past year, to $26.82, the economist noted.

The unemployment rate in construction dropped from 8.4 percent a year earlier to 7.4 percent last month—the lowest March rate since the series began in 2000. The number of unemployed job seekers with recent construction experience declined to 696,000 in March 2018, which was the lowest total for March since 2001, Simonson said.

Residential construction—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—shrank by 7,000 jobs in March but added 114,200 jobs, or 4.3 percent, over the past 12 months. Nonresidential construction (building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) employment also increased by 114,200, or 2.7 percent, over 12 months, despite a drop of 8,200 jobs in March.

Construction officials said the new employment figures show the industry continues to create high-paying, long-term jobs but that there is a critical need for more workers. They urged officials at all levels of government to re-invigorate and adequately fund career and technical education programs.

“Construction offers great careers, with above-average pay both for entry-level workers and for the industry as a whole compared to the private-sector average,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “To make sure students and workers displaced from other jobs have the chance to gain the skills needed to succeed in growing sectors like construction, government officials must do their part. That means funding up-to-date career and technical education and training, and allowing the industry to collaborate in providing opportunities.”

Schluter®-Systems Announces Senior Vice President of Sales

Marco Ludwig, president and CEO of Schluter-Systems North America, has announced the retirement of Larry Horton, after a 34-year career in the tile industry.  Dee DeGooyer has been promoted to replace Mr. Horton in the role of Senior Vice President of Sales for the United States, effective March 1st.

“When Larry joined Schluter Systems in 1998 as the Territory Manager for the Mid-Atlantic there were fewer than 10 people in the sales organization in the U.S.,” said Ludwig.  “Today that number has grown to more than 70, and most of that growth has been under Larry’s leadership. It has been my pleasure to work with Larry these past few years. He has become a friend and I will truly miss working with him, as will so many people at Schluter and in the tile industry as a whole.”

“With the disappointment of losing Larry comes the excitement of being able to work more closely with Dee in his new role leading the sales organization.  Dee’s dedication and experience spans decades and makes him the perfect choice to take on these new challenges.  Our plans are to continue the strong path of growth that has been established for Schluter Systems and to keep providing the best overall experience possible for tile installers.”

Larry Horton
After 34 years in the tile industry, Senior Vice President of Sales for Schluter Systems USA, Larry Horton will be retiring at the end of March 2018. Larry is well known in the tile community and is a long-time employee at Schluter. Larry joined the company in 1998 as the Territory Manager for the Mid-Atlantic. His passion for tile and his dedication to the industry was apparent in every step Larry took at Schluter. Most recently in 2014, Larry took over the position of Senior VP of Sales for the U.S. where he was instrumental in continuing to drive sales and market growth, while supporting Schluter’s growing team of Territory Managers.

(Henry) Dee DeGooyer
Dee DeGooyer has been promoted to the role of Senior Vice President of Sales for the U.S. Dee has spent his entire career in the tile industry—first in installation, then in tile distribution, and finally joining Schluter in 2006 as the Territory Manager for the Intermountain States. Since coming on board with the company, Dee was promoted to the role of Architectural and Commercial Sales Manager for the Western U.S. in 2010, followed by Regional Sales Manager in 2016, and Regional Sales Director in 2017.

About Schluter®-Systems
Schluter®-Systems products are specifically designed for the tile industry to ensure that installations maintain integrity and durability. The company’s product line includes over 4,000 items, including tile trims, uncoupling membranes, waterproof building panels, shower systems, and most recently thin-set mortar.  Schluter-Systems is renowned for its state-of-the-art technology with attention to detail for highly functional and visually appealing results.  For more information, visit

Contact: Terry Baskin, Footprint Associates Inc. • Tel.: 905-852-9157 • email: [email protected]


Ege Seramik proudly introduces small brick-sized glazed porcelain tile collections that recreate the look, feel and aura of hand-made bricks.

The LISBON and the LONDON COLLECTIONS are available in one standard 2.4” x 10” size, and both lines feature three colors: LISBON (Grey, Beige, Mix) and LONDON (Cotton, Anthracite, Mix). The impressively accurate reproduction of the look of brick on these tiles is enhanced not only with a textured “feel of brick”… but, with a comprehensive offering. LISBON COLLECTION boasts twenty-five (25) different faces and LONDON offers twenty (20) faces.

Ege Seramik’s new ETHNIC COLLECTION adds even more flair to this vintage look by mixing it up with classic decorative pieces. Available in one standard size format, 4” x 8,” field tiles have fifteen (15) different faces and there are nine (9) different deco designs that come mixed in the same box. This contemporary collection combines strength and durability with timeless appeal. The ETHNIC COLLECTION is available in very classic colors, grey, beige and brown with the deco pieces only available in one complementary style for all three colors.

Our all-new porcelain collections are perfect for floor and wall installations; bringing an original urban allure to any room.

“These new collections are stylish, timeless and affordable,” stated Semih Susleyen, Sales Manager of Ege Seramik America. “Our state-of-the-art ink-jet technology allowed us to really put a modern twist on an old-time favorite look.”

Attendees of the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, COVERINGS 2018, will be able to see and feel the new COLLECTIONS, May 8-11, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, in Ege Seramik’s Booth #8621.

About Ege Seramik

Since 1972, Ege Seramik has been a major global supplier of top-quality ceramic and porcelain tile materials. To meet the demand of customers in the United States and Canada, Ege Seramik America, (established 1991) has been serving a strong and loyal cadre of active North American customers from its stateside headquarters in Georgia. For years, Ege Seramik has been the number one Turkish product exported to the North American continent. To learn more about Ege Seramik and view the entire product line, visit or contact the firm directly at Ege Seramik America, Inc. 1721 Oakbrook Drive, Suite C Norcross, GA 30093 Office: (678) 291-0888

New Natural Stone Institute Technical Bulletin

A new technical document covering the testing of dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of natural stone is now available in the Natural Stone Resource Library.

Since the withdrawal of the ASTM C1028 test method for Static Coefficient of Friction, the stone industry has been without a standard test protocol for the measurement of friction for walking surfaces. The Natural Stone Institute has completed an exhaustive study on the use of the ANSI A326.3 Standard Test Method for Measuring Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Flooring Materials test procedure on natural stones. Over 300 stone specimens (51 stone types in six different finishes) were tested to evaluate the appropriateness this test method for natural stone products.

The Natural Stone Institute would like to thank Miller Druck Specialty Contracting, Artistic Tile, Coldspring, Tennessee Marble Company, and TexaStone Quarries for their assistance in procurement of test specimens.

To access the document, please visit


About the Natural Stone Institute

The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing every aspect of the natural stone industry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 nations. The association offers a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at


Tile of Spain Mourns the Death of 3rd Generation ADEX Leader, Mr. Francisco Garcia Felipeneri

ADEX’s 3rd generation leader, Mr. Francisco Garcia Felipeneri, known to friends and family as Paco, passed away on March 9, 2018 surrounded by his family. He 
took on the leadership and visionary position of 2 generations of family before him and saw the company enter its 121st year in the business. He was a man of heart which he poured into his family, company and industry.

Among his professional merits, Mr. Garcia was President of CEVISAMA, the International Fair for Ceramic Tiles, for 12 years. In 1993 he received the Medalla de Oro de la Villa de Onda for his contribution to the international promotion of the Spanish ceramic tile industry.

Under his direction, the company expanded from its European customer base to the North American market and established ADEX USA which now entered its 21st year. Paco was instrumental to the company and lead the introduction of “Art Tile” to the U.S. markets with its hand-painted tiles 35+ years ago. From that he went into what is now known as “subway tiles.” He often laughed as he said: “ADEX was in the subway tile market before there were subways.”

Under his direction, he groomed his children to take over the business and continue the family legacy of ADEX. This 4th generation continues his philosophy of listening to the customer and meeting their needs. Paco was also beginning the mentoring process of the 5th generation which has just entered the business.

His life and legacy is one which will live on through his children and their families as they fulfill the vision and dreams of the family business.

Thank you Paco…you will be dearly missed.
About Tile of Spain
In Spain, tile makers labor as they have for centuries – pushing their passion for design and innovation to new levels of artisanship. With one of the purest and strongest domestic clays available, Spanish manufacturers have an unparalleled ability to make the end product more diverse. From rustic handmade forms; to technical facades that cool buildings and clean the air; to the impossibly slim, sustainable recycled and ink jet masterpieces that fire the imagination. The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER) is the private organization whose primary objective is to support Spain’s ceramic tile manufacturers and the industry as a whole by stewarding and promoting the Tile of Spain brand worldwide. A strong global leader, the ceramic tile industry of Spain comprises 125 manufacturers concentrated primarily in the province of Castellón. For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL  33134. Call 305-446-4387 or visit
For photography, interviews or questions, contact at Kelly Doyle 609-490-0999 x15 or [email protected]com, or Nikki Scalia at [email protected]com. 

Skid-Lift Releases Two New Models of Scissor Lift Attachments

New models are more affordable and lighter weight.

Skid-Lift announced today that it is now producing and selling two new models of scissor lift attachments: the 1530S and 2230S models. The new Skid-Lift models are powerful yet easy-to-operate and allow work crews to work up to 28 feet in the air, with a 15-22 foot platform height and 12.5 square foot working deck.

“With the release of the 1530S and 2230S models, we have simplified the Skid-Lift to make the unit lighter weight and more affordable,” says Paul Wick, National Sales Manager of Skid-Lift, LLC.

Skid-Lift works as an attachment for skid steers and tractors. The base legs of the Skid-Lift attachment are adjustable and allow professionals to work on all surfaces, including rough or uneven terrain.

“Many customers have asked about this type of streamlined unit without the extra features in our flagship 2030E HD model. We are happy to deliver these new products which allow our customers to work safely up to 28’ in the air with a low cost of entry and ownership,” says Wick.

The two new models are now available for purchase directly through Skid-Lift and its authorized dealers.

Skid-Lift 2230S Model

  • Lift Height: 28’ Working Height (22’ Platform Height)
  • 5’ x 30” Wide Deck
  • Weight: 1750 Lbs
  • Lift Capacity Rating: 700 Lbs
  • End and Side Access Doors
  • One Side Attach Plate

Skid-Lift 1530S Model

  • Lift Height: 21’ Working Height (15’ Platform Height)
  • 5’ Long x 30” Wide Deck
  • Weight: 1500 Lbs
  • Lift Capacity Rating: 700 Lbs
  • End and Side Access Doors
  • One Side Attach Plate

Additional Features

  • Hydraulic controls at the base and basket
  • Hydraulic safety bypass at the base and basket
  • Works any of type of surface with adjustable legs
  • Works with most skid steers and tractors with auxiliary hydraulics

About Skid-Lift LLC
Skid-Lift is committed to helping contractors, maintenance professionals, and farmers get jobs done safely. The company’s products attach directly to a skid steer or tractor and use the built-in hydraulics to raise and lower the lift. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:
Paul Wick
National Sales Manager
Skid-Lift, LLC
[email protected]

Keene Building Products Announces New Division Manager ofBuilding Envelope

Mike Griffin joins the Keene Building Products team as Division Manager of Building Envelope. Griffin comes from more than 30 years’ experience in restoration, waterproofing, cementitious materials, stucco and EIFS, and has performed in many roles such as, product management, marketing, sales, and contracting.

With years of experience in the Building Envelope and Construction Industry, Griffin
brings a wealth of knowledge to the Keene Building Products team.

Keene Building Products is a manufacturer of 3- dimensional filament products for the
building envelope and noise control markets.

For further information call 877.514.5336 or email at [email protected]

Landmark Ceramics presents Infinity limestone look porcelain



Infinity, Limestone Look

Landmark Ceramics presents Infinity: pure shape
Infinity interprets contemporary trends, expression of a simple taste that is told through the soft and natural colors of the stone.  A collection of surfaces that look rich and natural, and at the same time elegant and refined, ideal for large and spacious environments where the strength of the material is expressed in projects with minimalist lines.




Starnet® and NTCA Partner for Tile and Stone Training

Training Designed to Help Starnet Members Maximize Profits

Starnet® Commercial Flooring, the world’s largest network of full-service independent flooring contractors, today announced that it completed the first annual Starnet NTCA Tile and Stone Training program. The 3-day training event was held in partnership with the National Tile Contractor Association (NTCA) in Dallas, Texas for 50 Starnet Member employees from around the country from March 11-13. The event was sponsored by Starnet Vendor Partners Dal-Tile and MAPEI along with education partners Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) and Fails Management Institute (FMI).

Starnet Attendees

Developed for project managers, field supervisors and estimators that contribute to a tile and stone project’s profitability, the training included an all-star lineup of industry-leading experts who provided advice and guidance to increase project profitability and minimize profit erosion.

“We are so pleased by the incredible response to our first dedicated Tile and Stone training program,” said Jeanne Matson, Starnet President and CEO. “More than 50 attendees enrolled in this training to learn from industry experts sharing invaluable guidance and know-how for maximizing profitability on tile and stone projects. In the end, efficient and profitable flooring contractors benefit everyone, including the client.”

Starnet Presenters

“The NTCA is a proud Association partner with Starnet. As leaders in the tile industry, we were honored to participate in this educational program. As technology continues to fuel the growth of our trade, the importance of training and education will continue to grow,” added Bart Bettiga, Executive Director at National Tile Contractors Association. “We hope that the success of this initiative will lead to more collaborative programs with Starnet in the future.”

Day One kicked off with an evening Welcome Reception and Networking Event for attendees. Day Two offered a full schedule of educational events developed in collaboration with Starnet, NTCA, CTEF, FMI, Dal-Tile, and MAPEI. The training was custom-made to meet the needs of the tile and stone flooring contractor, featuring presenters Mike Clancy, FMI Principal; Dan Marvin, MAPEI Director of Technical Services; and Scott Carothers, CTEF Director of Certification and Training.

On Day Three, attendees experienced a “behind-the-scenes” look at the tile manufacturing process courtesy of Starnet Preferred Vendor Partner, Dal-Tile, visiting their American Marazzi plant in Sunnyvale, Texas. At the conclusion of the day the group toured the Dal-Tile Design Studio located in the Dallas Design District.

“We are extremely pleased with the positive feedback received from the attendees,” said Jesse Deason, Starnet Training and Development Committee Member and NTCA Board Member. “We would like to thank the NTCA for their valuable partnership and input in helping to guide this collaborative effort to success, along with the CTEF and our Starnet Vendor Partners, Dal-Tile and MAPEI. Our goal is to continue to educate our members through appropriate training so that they may be successful and profitable in this rapidly growing market segment.”

About Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring
Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Partnership is the world’s largest network of full-service independent flooring contractors, representing an elite group of the highest quality flooring manufacturers. With more than 177 independent contractors doing business in more than 325 locations throughout US and Canada, they are committed to serving the industry with the highest standards of excellence. Through collective strength, integrity, shared best practices and advocacy of training, Starnet Members and Starnet Preferred Vendor Partners, help deliver successful project outcomes with complete customer satisfaction. The membership’s strength in numbers creates a combined annual volume of over three billion dollars. For more information, visit

About National Tile Contractor Association

NTCA is a non-profit trade association serving every segment of the industry, spearheading education for the professional installation of ceramic tile, natural stone and allied products.  For more information, please contact NTCA executive director Bart Bettiga at [email protected], via telephone at (601) 939-2071, or visit

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