U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Tech. Sgt. Matthew Slaydon Home Dedication

Slaydon home dedication

On May 18, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Tech. Sgt. Matthew Slaydon and his wife Annette were officially welcomed into their new R.I.S.E. specially adapted smart home in Bayfield, Colorado. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Slaydon’s were treated to a unique virtual welcome home video from members of the Foundation and many of our sponsors. This home will not only help Matthew each day to regain independence and mobility that was lost as a result of his injury but will also ease his reliance on Annette.

NTCA and members of the tile industry have been strong supporters of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) program, which builds specially-adapted smart homes tailored to the needs of wounded veterans across the nation.

The R.I.S.E. program and its sponsors show Matthew Slaydon and his family gratitude for their service and sacrifice. They are wished a lifetime of blessings and happiness in their forever home.

Looking ahead, two more of deserving heroes and their families will get to move into their forever homes very soon. Casey Jones will move into his forever home on June 18 and Rico Roman will receive his iPad– the “keys” to his new smart home on July 2. Move-in day celebrations for them will mirror the private one held for the Slaydons.


Tile of Spain manufacturer the Peronda Group and Fundación Grupo Peronda have set in motion an initiative to assist the Red Cross in Onda in the different types of support that it is providing during the COVID-19 crisis in Spain.
A plan has been launched by the Red Cross called the “RED CROSS COVID-19 RESPONSE”, aimed at offering assistance to over 11 million people in Spain during the coming months. Peronda Group will be collaborating by adding its grain of salt.  

Peronda Group is collaborating with Cruz Roja Espanola to support the basic needs of infants during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Red Cross Covid-19 Response involves various different plans of action. Peronda Group has decided to collaborate with the Red Cross in Onda by donating a series of basic necessities for young infants, such as diapers, follow-on formula milk and other essential food products for those local babies most in need of them, since a young infant’s growth and development are fundamental.
The Peronda Group, believes in the importance of the Red Cross’ contributions to society, hence its collaboration with the organization over the years and, in particular, now at this current critical moment for Spanish society. This collaborative initiative in a reflection of Peronda Group’s commitment to society, encapsulated in its corporate values and goals. The Peronda Group thanks the Red Cross for all its work.

Mannington manufactures faces shields for front line workers

May 4, 2020 – SALEM, NJ – Even though Mannington Mills no longer supplies ceramic and porcelain tile, this flooring material manufacturer has joined the fray to help out front line workers. Mannington Mills’ facility in Madison, Ga., has collaborated with a materials partner, Klockner Pentaplast, Mannington to make 1,000 clear face shields to donate to front line workers. 

The face shields are currently being used at a number of sites in both Georgia and New Jersey, in areas where Mannington has a significant community presence. Giving back is part of the Mannington credo, and according to Michael Edwards, Sr. Vice President of Operations at Mannington, “We are grateful to Klockner for working with us on this project. We’ve been able to help out our front-line workers in both healthcare and law enforcement as they work to keep us safe every day.” 

Mannington associates delivered face shields to several locations in Georgia and New Jersey including Morgan Medical Center (Madison, Ga.); Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (Madison, Ga.); Salem Medical Center (Salem, NJ); and AdventHealth Gordon (Calhoun, Ga.) – pictured. 

iQ Power Tools Donates Respirator Masks to Healthcare Facilities

iQ N95 masks ready for delivery

iQ Power Tools, manufacturer of premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems, has donated over 18,000 N95 respirator masks to two community healthcare facilities, actually located right in the company’s very own backyard.

1,800 iQ N95 Safety Masks were donated to two community healthcare facilities

 Always taking a lead role when it comes to safety and education involving pulmonary diseases for those in the construction industry, the firm most recently partnered with the American Lung Association on a strong educational initiative relative to “Silica on the Jobsite.”

Paul Guth (l) iQ President with Ron Boatman, COO of Riverside County Regional Medical Center
A single N95 mask from iQ

The company now has provided real relief to frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic, working with the Troesh family to donate 10,000 N95 masks to the Riverside County Regional Medical Center, and an additional 8,000 masks (with the help of the American Lung Association) to the Loma Linda University Pulmonary Care Clinic, both located near iQ’s headquarters in Southern California.

 “There could be no greater honor than to make this donation to our own community hospitals.”  stated Paul Guth, president of iQ,” We had the opportunity, along with the Troesh Family, to really make a difference. If these masks can protect the lives of thousands of people and potentially save healthcare workers from becoming afflicted, then we’ve reached our goal.”

U.S. Manufacturer Answers Call to Action: ProKnee Corp. Transitions Efforts to Produce Reusable Face Shields for Front Line Workers

One of the face shields made by ProKnee

Maine manufacturer of industrial kneepads, ProKnee Corp. has transitioned production over to making face shields in response to the global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to COVID-19 demands.

Whitefield, ME, April 13, 2020- The current outbreak of the respiratory disease, COVID-19 has inspired manufacturers across the US to urgently help expand the availability of general use personal protective equipment, otherwise known as PPE. ProKnee Corp., a USA manufacturer of custom-fit and all-purpose kneepads for the floor covering, roofing and general construction industries has expanded its PPE offering in response to the overwhelming need for protection of health care professionals and first responders throughout this global health emergency.

ProKnee First Responder Reusable Face Shields
ProKnee First Responder Reusable Face Shields

The problem is layered, with not only limited PPE available on the global market, but also limited resources available across the country to produce said PPE. After assessing its current inventory of parts for the Model 0714/0714E custom fit and AP16 All Purpose Kneepads, ProKnee sprang into action producing face shields.

ProKnee Face Shield with Wick Guard
ProKnee Face Shield with Wick Guard

“After securing a large batch of Lexan Polycarbonate sheets, I knew we had everything we needed to get started right away on a superior, reusable face shield,” said Lee Richards, founder of ProKnee Corp. After 31 years of customer feedback and actual field testing of materials developed for direct skin contact, ProKnee’s specialized materials were perfectly suited for the task at hand. ProKnee’s face shield utilizes their soft poly woven elastic straps from both of our kneepad models, 0714 and AP16, as well as our wick-tech liner fabric, which is serving as an optional detachable wick guard/sweat band for added comfort and protection overhead.

ProKnee employee with large Lexan Polycarbonate sheet for face shields
ProKnee secured a large batch of Lexan Polycarbonate sheets to make the shields

 Additionally, the shield uses ProKnee’s proprietary Smartlock® buckle to lock in the desired strap length for a secure and adjustable custom fit around the wearer’s head.  The 8” long shield, made of durable polycarbonate, provides crystal clear optics and fits over glasses and masks.

ProKnee turned around its production line in the matter of 3 days. The first prototype was finalized on April 6 with orders flowing in from across the state Maine the following day. Recalibrating production lines for the shields was in effect by Wednesday, April 8. Many first responders have been hard pressed to obtain personal protective equipment due to the massive PPE shortage and the observance of PPE for medical care professionals. Firefighters, policemen, nursing care facilities, funeral homes, emergency medical technicians, paramedics and correctional officers are just some of such first responders in need of PPE that ProKnee has been working with.

Worker assembling a ProKnee face shield
ProKnee face shields utilize the soft woven polycarbonate straps used for knee pads and Smartlock Plastic Buckle.

The intended use of ProKnee’s COVID-19 Polycarbonate Face Shield with Poly Woven Elastic Straps & Smartlock ® Plastic Buckle is serving a medical purpose for the duration of the public health emergency/COVID-19. This product is not designed to provide an anti-viral or anti-microbial barrier.

Since 1989, ProKnee Corp. has been an American made manufacturer of personal protective equipment- custom fit knee pads specifically engineered for the floor covering, roofing and general construction industries and ergonomically proven to benefit the wearer through their patented designs. Learn more at www.ProKnee.com or phone 1.800.549.5018.

James Hardie Building Products Inc. Receives Crystal Vision Award

CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — James Hardie Building Products Inc., a world leader in fiber cement technology, has been nationally recognized for its philanthropic efforts and is the recipient of the 2020 Crystal Vision Award, presented by World Vision. The company was honored at a ceremony held in conjunction with Design & Construction Week® for its support in helping to rebuild the lives of families in need.

“The heart and constant for most families is their home. We know when disaster strikes, those safe spaces are often the first thing to be compromised. It’s through incredible partners like those we celebrate at the Annual Crystal Vision awards that we’re able to restore that sense of normalcy and truly give meaning to the phrase ‘welcome home’ in our work,” said Larry Noble, National Director of Corporate Engagement.  

For over 10 years, James Hardie has partnered with the World Vision organization to help families in the U.S. refurbish and rebuild in the wake of financial crises and natural disasters. Through consistent and significant product donations to the organization’s Storehouse program, the company has donated fiber cement siding and trim products to those in need around the United States. James Hardie donated over 250,000 square feet of siding and trim in 2019 alone.

“Helping to build stronger homes, neighborhoods and communities is part of our mission at James Hardie,” said Sean Gadd, chief commercial officer for James Hardie Building Products. “We align with community partners who help us achieve meaningful impact through helping meet basic needs and enhancing community vitality.”

For more information, visit jameshardie.com.

MAPEI donates to Bahamas relief effort


MAPEI logo

Deerfield Beach, Florida – Familiar with the devastating impact of hurricanes, MAPEI has donated to the Bahamian recovery effort, sending roofing supplies from Puerto Rico as well as building accessories and monetary donations from its company headquarters in Deerfield Beach, FL.

“After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, we were devastated,” explained Francisco Sanchez, General Manager, MAPEI Caribe. “That storm only passed over Puerto Rico for a matter of hours, and we are still rebuilding from the damage here. Hurricane Dorian stalled for days over the Bahamas. It is a true catastrophe. We are compelled to help.”

Also in 2017, Hurricane Irma came ashore in the Deerfield Beach / Ft. Lauderdale area, wreaking havoc on the area and badly damaging the roof of the corporate offices. In both instances, MAPEI swung into action, providing a relief effort for employees and for the hard-hit communities. With Hurricane Dorian, MAPEI has once again reached out.

Working with Tropix Shipping, MAPEI Corporation and MAPEI Caribe timed donations to concurrently reach the Bahamas Recovery Effort. MAPEI Caribe sent a 40-foot-long (12.2-meter) shipping container filled with 20 pallets containing 600 units of bituminous, self-adhesive roofing membrane. MAPEI Corporation donated 1,000 buckets and 1,000 pairs of work gloves. “We know from first-hand experience that roofing materials, buckets and strong work gloves are necessary elements in the rebuilding process,” said Luigi Di Geso, President and CEO of MAPEI North America.

“As an international company, MAPEI has a long history of reaching out in times of trouble,” Di Geso continued. “In addition to the product donations, as a company, we also donated to the Red Cross Bahamas Relief Fund. It is a core company value that we give back to the communities where we live and work, and those in the Bahamas have our full support.”


Lippert Charitable Corporation raises $30K for Homes for Our Troops

On Tuesday September 10th, 2019, Lippert Charitable Corporation (LCC) hosted its 10th annual charity golf outing benefiting Homes For Our Troops (HFOT).  HFOT is a non-profit that builds specially adaptive homes for post 9/11 veterans that have been severely wounded.

Through the generous support of the attendees and sponsors, LCC was able to raise over $30,000 towards veteran LCpl Bobby McCardle’s home. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to HFOT and the McCardle family. Year to date, LCC has raised over $150,000 for veterans through HFOT.


Tile America Hosts Soles4Souls Shoe Drive to Fight Global Poverty

New Haven, CT – One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities that many in developing nations need. Tile America launched a shoe drive to collect 1,000 pairs of new or gently-worn shoes for Soles4Souls, a non-profit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world.

The 1,007 pairs of donated shoes will be distributed to Soles4Souls’ micro-enterprise programs that create jobs in Haiti, Honduras and other developing nations. The micro-enterprise model provides individuals the ability to start small businesses by providing a steady supply of high- quality, low-cost product. They also give a second life to unwanted shoes, keeping them out of landfills and protecting the environment.

Tile America personnel with shoes

(L to R) Laurie Ruotolo, Tile America Purchasing Manager and HR Administrator, Brian Knies, Tile America President and Owner and Cailin Cerruto, Tile America Executive Assistant with shoes donated to Soles4Souls


“We were overwhelmed with the response we received,” said Brian Knies, Owner and President of Tile America. “Shoes started pouring in as employees cleaned out their closets and solicited donations from friends and family members. We were very excited to reach our goal of over 1000 pairs and are thrilled to support this wonderful charity.”

The World Bank estimates that approximately 767 million people live on less than $1.90 per day. Many people living in extreme poverty simply do not have access to stable employment. The income generated by selling just one pair of shoes in Haiti can provide up to five meals for a family in need, whereas 30 pairs sold by an entrepreneur in Honduras can provide up to a year of schooling for a child.

About Tile America Gives Back 

In 2018 Tile America initiated Tile America Gives Back, a program with a Corporate Social Responsibility Statement of: “Tile America is committed to improving our local, national, and global communities. Our obligation is to consistently use our collective resources, intellect, and abilities as a successful company to improve conditions both socially and environmentally.” Each quarter the employees of Tile America set forth on a mission to help those in need.

About Soles4Souls Soles4Souls disrupts the cycle of poverty by creating sustainable jobs and providing relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization re-purposes product to supply its micro-enterprise, disaster relief and direct assistance programs. Since 2006, it has distributed more than 35 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries. Visit soles4souls.org for more information.

NTCA contractors contribute to R.I.S.E. program home

NTCA and members of the tile industry have been strong supporters of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) program, which builds specially-adapted smart homes tailored to the needs of wounded veterans across the nation.

NTCA contractors John Mourelatos (l.) and James Woelfel at the home dedication.

NTCA contractors John Mourelatos (l.) and James Woelfel at the home dedication.

Recently, a 3,300 sq. ft. smart home was constructed in Tucson, Ariz., for United States Army Sergeant First Class (Ret.) Caleb Brewer and his family. Two Arizona-based NTCA contractor members – Mourelatos Tile Pro from Tucson (also a NTCA State Ambassador) and Artcraft Granite, Marble and Tile, a NTCA Five-Star Contractor from Mesa — donated tile installation services, with materials for the project donated by Arizona Tile, and setting materials by MAPEI.


United States Army Sergeant First Class Caleb Brewer (Ret.) , with wife Ashley and daughters Evelyn and Emily at the groundbreaking.

United States Army Sergeant First Class Caleb Brewer (Ret.) , with wife Ashley and daughters Evelyn and Emily at the groundbreaking.

Sgt. Caleb Brewer

United States Army Sergeant First Class Caleb Brewer (Ret.) joined the armed forces while in high school and served as an Intelligence Analyst in the Army Reserves and a Green Beret. On December 4, 2016 (his 31st birthday), while deployed to Afghanistan, an explosion at a Taliban improvised explosive device (IED) factory resulted in Caleb losing both legs and sustaining other serious injuries. Yet just three months later, Caleb learned to walk on a single prosthetic leg and went on to relearn surfing, shooting, running, and rock climbing with his new prosthetic legs. He’s even completed events such as the Army 10 Miler run and the Bataan Memorial Death March.

Caleb and his wife Ashley live with their two daughters, Evelyn and Emily, in Tucson, where he is currently taking care of his two daughters full time at home. The 100% mortgage-free, specially-adapted smart home provided by the Gary Sinise Foundation will greatly increase his ability to perform necessary daily functions with ease.


A customized home for a wounded veteran

The Gary Sinise Foundation worked with Caleb to determine what challenges and obstacles he faced in his previous home, and custom designed a new home so that Caleb could function as independently as possible.

In the kitchen, a French door oven was placed at an accessible height so Caleb could roll up, open the doors, and use the oven as anyone else would; ditto the microwave.  The kitchen design included roll-under areas below the sink and cooktop and custom pull-down shelving in the cabinetry to give Caleb complete access to everything in the kitchen.

The master bath shower design was customized so Caleb could pull his wheelchair up and transfer onto a bench with accessible controls and a hand-held shower faucet.  Mourelatos Tile Pro constructed a large masonry bench in the shower and installed Sun Touch wire heating system, purchased from Emser Tile, to heat the top surface of the bench.

Caleb in the shower installed by NTCA member Mourelatos Tile Pro of Tucson.

Caleb in the shower installed by NTCA member Mourelatos Tile Pro of Tucson.

“We worked closely with him on the finished height of the bench so that he can transfer to the bench from his wheelchair,” Mourelatos said. “We installed his shampoo niche lower above the bench and his wife’s shampoo niche higher up on the opposite wall.” Plenty of space allowed Caleb to maneuver in his wheelchair in the bathroom, including a roll-under area below his sink.

A home gym and workshop areas were also incorporated into the design of the home for Caleb, so he could maintain a healthy lifestyle and work with others with disabilities in the community who are looking for innovative ways to stay in shape.  A workshop area was also incorporated into the design of the home so he had a dedicated area to pursue this hobby and passion.

A home automation package allows Caleb to control various functions of the home from an iPad or phone, such as: video surveillance, automated blinds/shades, security system, automatic door locks, climate control, audio, and video.


Tailoring tile for transitions

In addition to normal considerations such as wider hallways, doorways, zero clearance thresholds, and oversized rooms in general, it was key to make sure transitions between hardwood and tile were smooth. The durability and timelessness of the tile in the entries and bathrooms were important considerations in the home.  And this is where our NTCA contractors came in.

It was important that transitions - like this one in the the master bathroom -- were smooth between different floor coverings.

It was important that transitions – like this one in the the master bathroom — were smooth between different floor coverings.

Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director, contacted John Mourelatos of Mourelatos Tile Pro and the Gary Sinise Foundation contacted James Woelfel of Artcraft Granite, Marble and Tile to determine if they were both interested in the project. After an enthusiastic affirmation, builder Hayes Construction began working with Mourelatos and Woelfel on an estimate.

The contractors studied the plans and decided among themselves what areas of the home they would tackle: Mourelatos would install tile in the master bathroom, which included floor and shower;

Artcraft would take the kitchen, the laundry, Caleb’s training area restroom and his children’s bathroom. The builder, both contractors and Caleb met with Scott Kuzma at Arizona Tile to select the tile material; later on Mourelatos met with the Brewers to select grout colors for all the tiled areas.

John Mourelatos, being local in Tucson, helped out with planning and coordinating of material and selection to minimize the need for Woelfel to drive up from Mesa, and the companies communicated about details via phone and email. “I kept James updated about the progress of the build and sent him pictures along the way prior to our start date,” Mourelatos said. “Ed Siebern worked in the master bathroom while the three installers from Artcraft worked in the guest bath and kitchen.”   Siebern, a Certified Tile Installer, was at the job full time to complete prep work and tile installation.

The Mourelatos Tile Pro crew includes (L. to r.): Certified Tile Installer Ed Siebern, John Mourelatos, Caleb and Ashley Brewer and installer Cody Elmer.

The Mourelatos Tile Pro crew includes (L. to r.): Certified Tile Installer Ed Siebern, John Mourelatos, Caleb and Ashley Brewer and installer Cody Elmer.

Eager to serve

Both contractors were eager to donate their time on this project as a debt of gratitude.

“We as a nation cannot do enough for our veterans, especially our wounded heroes,” said Woelfel, who added that he was gratified by “the look on [Caleb’s] and his family’s face when they saw the finished product.”

James Woelfel, of NTCA Five-Star Contractor Artcraft Granite Marble and Tile Co., Mesa, Ariz., speaking at the home dedication

James Woelfel, of NTCA Five-Star Contractor Artcraft Granite Marble and Tile Co., Mesa, Ariz., speaking at the home dedication

Mourelatos said over the years, he’d watched the work done on the R.I.S.E. program homes; so when he discovered one was being built “less than five miles from my house, I became excited about the opportunity,” he said.

“After meeting the Brewers, and learning about their story of service, family, and faith, I knew this was a project I wanted to be a part of,” Mourelatos continued. “We have donated our time for tile installation in the past (Extreme Makeover House here in Tucson), but this project meant so much more. My installer [Ed Siebern] has a son that is in a wheelchair, born with Cerebral Palsy, and he was very passionate about being involved in this installation. This was an opportunity to do something for a family that has given so much, and continues to give back to the community.”


Donated products include:

Arizona Tile

  • 12” x 24” Cemento Cassero Grigio Porcelain Tile
  • 3” x 12” Bullnose tile
  • 12” x 12” Flat Pebble Cool Blend Stone Mosaic
  • 16” x 24” Regis Porcelain Tile
  • 12” x 24” WF Jog Porcelain Tile
  • 1”x 4” Shimmer Abalone Glass Tile
  • 8”x 8” Marrakesh Grey Matte Porcelain Tile



  • Aquadefense waterproofing membrane
  • LFT Mortar
  • Flexcolor CQ grout
  • Mapesil T silicone
  • Linear drain
  • Adesilex P10 White Mortar
  • 4 to 1 Mud Bed Mix
  • Planitop 330 Fast
  • Mapelastic CI
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