Emser Tile cuts ribbon at new Coral Springs-based Distribution Center


CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Emser Tile, an award-winning designer, marketer and producer of the world’s finest tile and natural stone opened its fourth distribution center in North America. This Coral Springs location will service the growing markets in Florida and the surrounding areas to better serve the needs of customers and to keep pace with increasing product demand.

The addition of the 220,000-square-foot state-of-the-art distribution center supports the region’s homebuilders, retailers, and residential and commercial architects and designers with localized service, increased inventory and expedited product availability. In Florida alone, the company operates six sales and service branches.

“Our commitment to customers includes expanding distribution services in areas where we see a need,” stated Mark Seal, vice president of supply chain for Emser Tile. “We’re excited to further support our customers in Florida through this distribution center, which will be integral in providing expedited access to our expansive portfolio of tile and stone collections to meet their project timelines.”

To celebrate the opening, Emser Tile hosted a ribbon cutting on April 16 with local dignitaries in attendance, including Coral Springs Vice Mayor Joy Carter and Economic Development Director Kristi Bartlett.

“We are honored that Emser Tile chose the city of Coral Springs to expand their stellar product line of tiles and stones,” shared Coral Springs Vice Mayor Joy Carter. “Its investment into the Corporate Park and the jobs created adds to the city’s continued growth. We look forward to working with them as a Community Partner!”

In response to regional demand and in support of Emser Tile’s growth strategy, Coral Springs was chosen as the ideal location based on its excellent highway infrastructure and proximity to Port Everglades and the Port of Miami. The distribution center currently employees more than 30 associates.

“Emser Tile is a great example of another primary employer expanding into Coral Springs,” noted Coral Springs Director of Economic Development Kristi Bartlett. “The Corporate Park location is ideal, providing access to two major ports for distribution across the nation.”

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Emser Tile celebrated its 50th anniversary of providing inspiring tile and natural stone products in 2018. The company operates 75 showrooms nationwide with new branches opening regularly. Additionally, Emser has distribution centers in California, Texas and Virginia. Notably, Emser Tile was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in 2019 by Glassdoor and was included in Training magazine’s Top Training 125 list for comprehensive learning and development programs.

Emser Tile’s Florida Distribution Center in Coral Springs is located at 4030 NW 126th Avenue.

TCNA members donate tiled doghouses

Showing off tile’s versatility and style, 20 members of Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA) generously donated unique, handcrafted tiled doghouses to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando at Coverings 2019 in Orlando, FL.

The participating companies included:

  • AlysEdwards Tile & Stone
  • American Glass Mosaics
  • American Wonder Porcelain
  • Anthology
  • ARTO Brick & Tile
  • Casa Ceramica
  • Crossville
  • Del Conca USA
  • Florida Tile
  • International Wholesale Tile
  • Julian Glass
  • Lilywork Artisan Tile
  • Lunada Bay Tile
  • M2 Innovative Concepts
  • Marazzi
  • Marble Systems
  • Portobello America
  • Syzygy Tile
  • Tile By Design
  • Vitromex

The forms used to make these doghouses were custom manufactured by Wedi Corp. and contributed by Wedi and TCNA.

“We’re honored to bring the tiled doghouse program back to Coverings as a creative and charitable way to showcase the beauty and versatility of tile,” said Kathy Meyer, TCNA director of marketing. “We invite Coverings attendees to visit the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard to see these incredible works of art generously provided by our members, meet the dedicated volunteers from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, and learn more about how this program benefits pets in the local community.”

“Pet Alliance is looking forward to partnering for a second time with the Tile Council of North America on this project,” remarked Pet Alliance Executive Director, Stephen Bardy. “We are grateful to TCNA and the members who generously donated their time and skill to create these amazing doghouses. Later this year Pet Alliance will hold a special event where we will auction off the doghouses to raise money to support our mission of helping pets in need. More than 7,000 dogs and cats will come to our shelters this year in need of housing and care while they wait for their new homes. Pet Alliance will also care for more than 30,000 additional pets through outreach activities, surrender prevention programs and low-cost veterinary care. Without the support of organizations and individuals like TCNA and its members, we could not do this important work.”

During the show these one-of-a-kind, handmade creations were on display in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard and TCNA’s booth, where attendees could see the craftsmanship firsthand and meet furry friends from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

A donation ceremony was held in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 11th.

The following descriptions were provided by the companies/artists who tiled the doghouses.

AlysEdwards Tile & Stone 

Mon Ami Paris! From bistros and cafes to museums and gardens, stroll with us as we explore the best Paris has to offer. With our tres chic doghouse, we’ve tried to capture all the favorite spots, both new and old, to sit, sip, relax and enjoy Parisian life. Windows framed with CarBONE liners create Louvre-ly Reflections for any pup peaking in. Don’t worry if you have a Pebble Without a Cause; our house comes complete with Lime-olicious gl-rrrass! A romantic energy mixed with an urban-chic aesthetic can invigorate even the weary while they enjoy the local culture, sights and sounds. Eiffel For You, and AlysEdwards has left her signature stamp of approval because every pup deserves a kiss!Designed by: Jennifer A. Torosian

Installed by: AlysEdwards sample department

American Glass Mosaics 


The theme of American Glass Mosaics’ doghouse is Northern Blends, as their tiles are manufactured “up North” in Michigan; the roof tile is from their Superior Collection “Northern Blend;” and they wanted to honor the president/CEO’s dog, which is a Lab and Poodle blend.The designer/installer was Carlo Pozzobon.

The tiles used were:

Roof:  1″ x 2″ Northern Blend
 Side and rear walls: 1″ x 4″ Honeycomb Blend
Front wall: 1″ x 1″ Honeycomb Blend
Door and trim: 1″ x 1″ Ironstone Clear, 1″ x 2″ Ironstone Sand finish (made with Lake Michigan Sand), and 15 mm x 15 mm Onyx

 Nameplate tile: 1″ x 1″ Selenite Opaque

American Wonder Porcelain 

It’s a dream dog cabin!

American Wonder Porcelain’s doghouse features the beautiful, rustic, wood-look tile series Luna Orchard PorcelainTM. Cut pieces of 6″ x 36″ are featured in Mist LN02 on the front and sides and Shadow LN05 on the roof. This cozy dog cabin, with decorative touches like flowers adorning its entrance, is ready for an eager pup!


Anthology tile wanted to create a very special doghouse, so they used their Euphoria collection, which has a beautiful reflective glass, and Monet magic glass roof tiles, which complete this masterpiece. The true-blue color is associated with dogs and loyalty. Molded glass raindrops fall on the roof, as this house will shelter precious puppies from the rain.

The doghouse was designed by Suzi Portugal, an absolute dog lover herself, and happily completed and executed by Anthology’s team. This doghouse is a gift from Anthology tile given with their love of tile and dogs.

ARTO Brick & Tile 

ARTO, known for handcrafted tiles made in California, has created this rustically elegant doghouse. The outside walls are cladded with grooved concrete terrazzo tiles, which surround the custom, hand-painted “Happy Dog” tile on the back wall. The roof is tiled with 8″ black diamond ceramic fish scale tiles. The back inside wall displays ARTO’s ornate 8″ hand-painted Kaleidoscope tiles, and the floor is covered with 4″ timeworn Sirocco black ceramic tiles. This doghouse was made completely by hand and with love by the people at ARTO.Roof: Studio Field 8″ Conche black diamond tile

Outside walls: 8″ x 8″ grooved terrazzo tile
Back wall: custom, hand-painted “Happy Dog” tile
Back inside walls: 8″ x 8″ hand-painted Kaleidoscope (SD229HA) tile
Floor: 4″ x 4″ Sirocco black tile

Casa Ceramica, Inc. 

Casa Ceramica’s doghouse was designed and installed by its in-house design and installation team. Their Spanish-inspired doghouse design features tiles and trim pieces from their Mediterranean and Palacio tile collections. The bones were made locally in Florida by the same artist who produces Casa Ceramica’s custom tiles.


Crossville, Inc. 

Crossville’s tiled doghouse features some leading trends in tile design.The walls are made with Crossville’s yet-to-be-released Alaska collection. The terrazzo-look tiles have mitered edges and create the appearance of a continuous piece of terrazzo. Waterjet-cut dog figures, inspired by the works of MC Escher, are crafted in the Basalt collection and placed as accents on the doghouse‘s sides. The rooftop is made of the popular Sideview glass mosaics in a matte silver finish, adding dimension and a touch of glam.

Crossville’s Tradeshow Manager, Earl Randolph, developed the design for this project.

Del Conca USA 

Del Conca USA’s doghouse showcases 32″ x 71″ Pandora Gray (roof), 3″ x 16″ Gray and White Kensington (exterior), and 8″ x 8″ Havana Gables on the interior.

The doghouse was designed and installed by Brad Crowder of Crowder Tile.

Florida Tile 

Florida Tile created a puppy home that will be a place of possibility and comfort for its future “fur baby” resident.
The exterior walls are tiled with LocalHDP that features a look of weathered, painted wood. It beautifully accomplishes the goal of giving this special space a feel of warmth and belonging.
The home’s roof is completed with AventisHDP THINNER, a 3.5 mm tile that is elegant and light, yet durable.
Walls: LocalHDP / Lounge, Bistro
Roof: AventisHDP THINNER/ Titanium
Chimney: AventisHDP THINNER/ Eclipse
Windows: AventisHDP THINNER/ Snow/Titanium
Interior: AventisHDP THINNER/ Titanium


International Wholesale Tile

International Wholesale Tile’s doghouse showcases Inspire by Tesoro and newly launched collections, Scales and Urbano, along with Tesoro’s new company mascot, Argento!

Roof: Scales – Mud, size 12″ x 12″
Walls: Urbano – Borough, size 5″ x 10″

Julian Glass 

Julian Glass’ doghouse features multicolored, multi-textured large glass tiles with an ocean coral theme.

Lunada Bay Tile 

Endless Summer by Lunada Bay TileHere’s a ready-made, beachy pad for the water-loving pooch. This doghouse has a Zen-bohemian feel that takes us on an epic wave of design. The house entrance and sides features Tide Dye, a new design in the soon-to-be-launched concrete series for Tommy Bahama by Lunada Bay Tile.

Accenting the roof is a sneak peek of Silhouette, an exciting addition to their ocean-inspired Shinju ceramic collection. Alternating rows of linen-textured concrete liners add to the roof’s varying colors and textures, making this the place all the friends and family want to come to play. Cowabunga!

M2 Innovative Concepts 

M2 Innovative Concepts’ doghouse features a camouflage effect, and the tessellated dog pattern is water jet-cut.The self-cleaning surfaces are comprised of products that use Hydrophilic Tile technology. The porcelain tiles have titanium dioxide fired insolubly and permanently into their surface. This triggers a reaction activated by light, oxygen, and humidity and sheets dirt off the surface, kills germs and bacteria on contact, and eliminates odors!

The products used were:

Walls in water jet-cut tessellated dog pattern:

Agrob Buchtal Streetlife rectified stoneware floor tile
Colors: Basalt & Cement
Thassos Marble
M Squared, made in the USA, Neopolis Glass
Colors: Mango, Mediterranean Blue
Roof: 2″ x 2″ Jasba Basic Stone; color: Medium Grey
Floor: 1″ x 1″ Jasba Fresh Glossy; color: Midnight Blue Mix

The Marazzi and American Olean brands teamed up to produce a custom tiled doghouse that showcases the distinct personality of each brand and provides some lucky dog with a house that is the epitome of on-trend style and fun. The result is a wonderfully eclectic house for Fido that artistically combines Marazzi’s bold, Italian styling with the clean lines and soft colors of American Olean.The roof is covered in Marazzi’s new encaustic-look tile (Marazzi’s D_Segni Color Collection – Honeycomb), creating a stylish focal point that is both fun and chic.

 The bold, over-the-top encaustic design was complemented with a soft, weathered white wood visual on the rest of the house. Covering the four walls of the doghouse is American Olean’s Waterwood Collection – White Oak. Inspired by the bricola wood pillars that grace the waterways of Venice, this unique wood-look tile provides the visual softness of authentic waterworn oak wood. To top it all off with a nice, trendy touch, 1-½” hexagon mosaics from the Waterwood Collection were placed on the floor of this little pooch palace.

The doghouse designer was Sarah Morales of Marazzi and American Olean, and the installer was Albert Pena of Mecca Design.

Marble Systems 

Princess and Max, the official Country Floors pets, wanted a play/guesthouse for their friends’ young litters. Sitting in their backyard overlooking Coopers Beach in their Hamptons summer house, the brother and sister design duo wanted a smaller version of their 1920’s colonial style cottage. Max, a devoted fan of the famous wire dancer “Princess Victoria,’ commissioned local artist and muralist Jean Laloi to paint a mural replicating a circus poster of the late wire dancer icon on the back wall of their small guest house!Materials used:

Roof: Moresque collection Teja Mosaic; color: Storm
Walls: 2″ x 4″ Victoria collection; color: Lakeview
Picket fence: Status Ceramics 2″ x 6″ picket; color: Snow White
Door surround: Status Ceramics medallion deco 6″ x 6″; color: Snow White

The doghouse was designed by Omar Torres, Country Floors’ product and facility designer, and installed by their in-house board production department.

Portobello America 

Portobello America’s doghouse features a contemporary look, using three product lines: Forest (wood look), NYC (mosaic), and Barcelona (concrete look).

The idea came from architect Andreza Zago.

Syzygy Tile 

Syzygy Tile’s Cool Blue doghouse was designed by Lori Reyes, mosaic department leader. The doghouse showcases Syzygy’s new Rain Drop mosaic in Midnight glaze, as well as their 4″ Koi mosaic in a colorful fade.


Tile By Design 

The theme of Tile By Design’s doghouse is the “VID (Very Important Dog) House!”

Tile By Design specializes in hand-painted and digitally-decorated artisan tile. Their digital division has the ability to print any image, artwork, or design on tile.

They only hope the house’s future inhabitant doesn’t have any trouble with the PUParazzi!

For more information about the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, please visit https://petallianceorlando.org.

TCNA Mexico Announces OB Expo

(México City, MX) Tile Council of North America—Mexico, has launched a new tradeshow, premiering in October 2019 at the Expo Santa Fe, which is located in the heart of Mexico City’s modern business district. Obra Blanca Expo (OB Expo) is a unique tradeshow that specializes in interior and exterior finishes, and those building materials used in the final stage of a construction or remodel project; the stage when an architect or designer crowns a project with finishing touches.

Obra Blanca Expo - OB ExpoMore than a tradeshow, OB Expo is a platform where architectural design and technical professionals come together for three days of events to strengthen relationships, discover the latest trends and new product innovations, and above all, to be inspired.
“To ensure optimum benefit for our target audiences, OB Expo has formed alliances with influential publications, industry associations, real estate and investor organizations, and key business stakeholders in the country,” said Fernando Lozano Assad, director of TCNA—Mexico. “We are excited to bring such a unique experience to Mexico City in 2019.”
OB Expo is structured on five main pillars:

  • OB Exhibition – Pavilions organized thematically with highly-recognized brands from around the world to ensure attendees can maximize their time and experience
  • OB Experts – Conference programs with internationally-recognized and awarded architects sharing their projects and business experience
  • OB Exposure – The latest trends presented by leading architects and interior designers using exhibitor products
  • OB Encounters – Business and sales meeting opportunities scheduled through OB Expo’s digital B2B platform
  • OB Experiences – Networking area for visitors and exhibitors where new ideas take shape to innovate the industry

OB Expo, slated for October 15-17, is supported by a team of leaders in exhibitions and industry events. TRADEX is the organizer of OB Expo, with more than 20 active exhibitions in Mexico. Circulo Cuadrado, a pioneering communications company focused on Architecture and Design, will lead OB Expo’s communications and public relations.
For more information, contact Martha Salazar, T: 864-646-8453

Dale Kempster: 2019 NTCA Tile Person of the Year

Dale Kempster, NTCA Tile Person of the Year


Dale Kempster, NTCA Tile Person of the Year













ORLANDO, Fla. — Dale Kempster of Schluter Systems has been recognized as the NTCA Tile Person of The Year during the NTCA Night Awards ceremony last week at Coverings ’19, held here.  This award is given annually to a contractor, distributor or manufacturer member who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the tile industry and has supported the mission and goals of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).

“I can’t think of a better person to receive this recognition,” said Marco Ludwig, CEO and President of Schluter Systems. “It’s truly a reflection of a lifetime’s dedication to the tile industry, and a unique passion that Dale has consistently brought to the industry every single day for over three decades. We’re extremely proud to have him on the Schluter team.”

One of the NTCA’s strategic initiatives is to create a stronger collaboration between international tile contractor associations in an effort to share and learn common best practices related to the proper installation of ceramic tile and natural stone.  Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the NTCA said, “In addition to being a member of the NTCA Technical Committee for many years, Dale has worked closely with NTCA Executive Committee members in our efforts to communicate with international tile contractor associations.  He was instrumental in having Schluter representatives in Germany take part in NTCA sessions presented at Qualicer 2018, an international technical conference held every two years in Castellon, Spain.  In addition, Dale has participated in two ground breaking international labor summits held the past two years at Cersaie in Bologna, Italy.”

Dale has also been instrumental in bringing NTCA and TTMAC (Terrazzo, Tile, Marble Association of Canada) representatives together to collaborate on the development of a Canadian version of the NTCA Reference Manual.  This collaboration has provided valuable information to the Canadian market on the prevention of tile installation job site failures and helped bring the standards for the two countries closer together.

Dale joined Schluter Systems 32 years ago as the company’s first full time employee in North America.  His early responsibilities with the company included receiving, shipping, answering phones, making sales calls, organizing and attending trade shows, working with architects and setting up new distributors.  Over the years he has gravitated toward his passion for the technical side of the business and has been active in industry associations for over 25 years, including being on the Board of Directors for TTMAC for more than 15 years.  He is currently Director of International Technical Network of North America where he contributes to industry standards and methods, and ensures that the interests of the tile industry are considered and represented appropriately in numerous associations and standards setting bodies.



Season Two of Bargain Mansions premieres tonight

Returning neglected estates to their former glory is not for the faint of heart. Protecting the charm of the old home, while adding modern conveniences expected by today’s homeowner, is a daunting task on its own. Add pressing timelines and the hectic production schedules of a hit show, and you have a glimpse into the daily challenges facing Tamara Day, host of Bargain Mansions.
If you missed the show on DIY Network earlier in the year, you’re in luck! Season two of Bargain Mansions premieres TONIGHT at 8 p.m. CDT on HGTV. The episodes on HGTV will be longer than on DIY Network, so keep your eyes peeled for extra demos, designs, bloopers and more.
LATICRETE products were utilized throughout the entire season.

Perception vs. reality – the truth behind PBM flooring claims







By Lesley Goddin, TileLetter Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. — At the Tile Council of North America’s (TCNA) Coverings press conference, held here last week, TCNA executive director Eric Astrachan shared information about current research into flooring made from plastic-based material (PBM). This included luxury vinyl tile (LVT), wood polymer composition (WMPC) flooring, stone polymer composite (SPC) flooring, clay polymer composite (CPC) flooring, and rigid core board (RCB) – the common denominator being plastic composition.

The study compared some of the popular beliefs about PBM flooring with the reality, as revealed in lab testing done in Clemson, S.C. The top beliefs of consumers about PBM flooring, derived from preliminary results from independent market research, include:

  • Belief of scratch resistance
  • Belief of wet area usage
  • Belief of durability, in general
  • Assumption of competitive pricing
  • Assumption of health and safety
  • Assumption of comparability to ceramic tile

As testing revealed, the perception and reality differ. Though many PBM floors claim to be “worry-proof,” “scratch-proof”, “life-proof” and “pet-proof” among other claims, virtually all warranties exclude scratching, indentation and pet damages, including, in some warranties, “loss of gloss/scratching,” “…damage caused by vacuum cleaner beater bar, indentation or damaged caused by spiked heeled shoes, improper rolling loads, caster wheels, chairs or other furniture without proper floor protectors and cuts from sharp objects,” and “scratches, indentation or reduction in gloss level is not considered wear.” In addition, manufacturers recommend the use of furniture pads, which are not depicted in advertising.

A predominant belief about PBM floors is that they are waterproof, and in fact are often advertised as such and encouraged for use in bathrooms, wet areas, and to combat spills and leaks. The study found, however, that warranties routinely exclude all water damage resulting from water passing through and around floor covering to the subfloor and other structural elements of the building.  The testing showed that, according to two international standardized tests for waterproofing, all the samples tested leaked through the seams to the subfloor below. What is ACTUALLY being warranted is that the plastic floor itself is unaffected by water. It does not take into consideration leaking through seams and damage to subfloors.

In addition, the study found that  90% of PBM floors tested supported the growth of mold, due to water leakage through seams into the subfloor, and the organic materials in the plastic provided nourishment for mold spores to grow. Mold spores in the seams can also be pushed into the breathable space which can contribute to respiratory and allergic effects.

PBM flooring is also believed to be slip resistant, though there is no standard for slip resistance testing in LVT flooring used by the resilient industry on wet surfaces. Using the ANSI standard A326.3 with a reference value of .42 DCOF, 16 samples – 82% — measured below .42 DCOF in all or some directions. Finally, the study tested hardness of plastic flooring relative to ceramic tile and other substances. PBM flooring rated #3 on the Mohs scale, just above talc and gypsum and equivalent to calcite, which is scrapeable with a copper coin. Ceramic tile, on the other hand, rates #7-#8, equivalent to quartz – which scratches window glass – and topaz, which scratches quartz.

Testing results shine a light on the differences between actual performance, advertised claims, and warranty exclusions by the PBM flooring industry.  For more information, contact TCNA at 864-646-8453.




CTDA: 2019 Supplier of the Year is Crossville, Inc!

Last night at CTDA’s Coverings Happy Hour, Crossville, Inc. was announced as the Supplier of the Year. This is Crossville’s THIRD time winning this award and is the first supplier to do so! 

The Supplier of the Year award, which is voted on by CTDA’s members, recognizes domestic and international supplier(s) who provide the most value to our distributor members and the ceramic tile and stone industry.

Congratulations, Crossville, Inc.!

Crossville, Inc. staff receiving their award from CTDA’s President, Rudy Llerena of D&B Tile Distributors.

Coverings Contributions to CTEF Top $1.5 Million | CTEF News

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) which provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry gratefully accepts $150,000 from Coverings at the 2019 Coverings show in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center. This increases the contributions from Coverings to over $1.5 million.

Coverings has been a strong supporter of CTEF’s tile education and installation certification programs in two major ways: through generous funding and as a launch site for CTI and ACT hands-on certification testing.

Coverings, a strong CTEF supporter since 2008

More specifically,

  • Since 2008, Coverings has provided over $1.5 million in support to CTEF for certification and education.
  • In 2008, Coverings hosted the inaugural Certified Tile Installer (CTI) test.
  • From 2008 to 2017, Coverings served as an annual testing location for the CTI program.
  • Since 2010, Coverings has hosted the Installation Design Showcase, where the most talented and competent tile installers, including numerous CTI and ACT certified professionals, display their skills during the show, implementing cutting edge architecture and design concepts in tile.  In 2019, this has become the Installation & Design Experience.
  • In 2013, Coverings hosted the inaugural Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) hands-on test.
  • From 2013 to 2017, Coverings served as an annual testing location for the ACT program.
  • Since 2018, Coverings has become the preeminent venue for showcasing the features and benefits of the Certified Tile Installer program, and tile installation training classes.

Because of Coverings’ generous and steadfast support, it is the sole CTEF Elite Sponsor.

Perspective on Coverings

Coverings is the largest tile and stone show in North America with 9 miles of the latest trends and exhibitors from over 40 countries and attracting over 26,000 attendees. For thirty years, Coverings has been the most prominent event for the ceramic tile and natural stone industry in North America.

The owners of Coverings include:

  • Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA)
  • Ceramics of Italy
  • National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA)
  • Tile Council of North America (TCNA)
  • Tile of Spain
How CTEF supports the tile industry

CTEF was founded in 1996 to address the absence of an organization focused solely on tile installation training and education along with promoting quality tile installation in the American marketplace. The attrition of the current tile industry workforce, at the rate of several thousand per year, compounded the problem.

The CTI program

In 2008, CTEF launched the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program. The CTI program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge which is recognized by the tile industry. It offers owners, whether residential or commercial, peace-of-mind that their tile installer has the right skills to complete a successful tile installation.

The CTI designation identifies the professional installer who has reached a level of proficiency to independently and consistently produce a sound tile installation that displays good workmanship. Certification is the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women who presently are installing tile successfully in the United States.

The ACT program

In 2012, six leading tile industry organizations came together to create the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) testing program that offers consumers increased confidence that their tile installers know and follow tile installation procedures that exceed ANSI standards and TCNA Handbook guidelines for floor and wall.

Tile training courses

CTEF conducts tile training courses and CTI hands-on testing in its 9,000 sq. ft. facility in Pendleton, S.C., which has been designed to meet the growing demand for ceramic tile-related installation courses. Each work area contains a tub and shower that are used as a practice area for tile setting, waterproofing, and shower pan programs.

Training and certification also take place in locations around the United States thanks to the passionate and committed CTEF Regional Evaluators and the numerous dedicated hosts who offer their facilities for hands-on testing.

Supporting the tile industry

Without the generous support of Coverings and other corporate sponsors, CTEF could not accomplish of the goals it has to this date, or to help equip tile installers for the future.

To support the tile industry as Coverings does, learn more about becoming a CTEF Sponsor by clicking on https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/become-a-ctef-corporate-sponsor-benefits.

# # #

About the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. Certification programs include the CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program which is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge to be recognized by the tile industry, and the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT).

CTEF is headquartered in Pendleton, South Carolina, near Clemson University and near the offices of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

For more information, visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org.

Follow CTEF on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ctilef, and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CeramicTileEducationFoundation/


Coverings, the largest international tile and stone exhibition in North America, today announced the 10 projects that received the coveted Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards. The CID Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the design and installation of tile and stone in both residential and commercial projects. Projects were evaluated on their execution, original usage and overall design and purpose by a panel of industry experts, prominent editors and designers.

“We were amazed at the extraordinary project submissions the CID Awards garner, which truly demonstrates the versatility of tile and stone,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “As North America’s largest industry show, Coverings is honored to offer these annual awards to recognize the range of creative ingenuity and sophisticated applications that showcase the latest industry advancements.”

Winning projects were honored on April 10, in an award ceremony and reception at Coverings 2019 in Orlando Sponsored by TileLetter, Contemporary Stone & Tile Design and Tile Magazine, grand prize winners were awarded $3,000, while eight category winners received a $2,000 prize. All winners were provided with a one-night stay in Orlando to attend Coverings 2019, where their projects were featured on display.

2019 CID winners and special recognition honorees are as follows:

Special recognition awards included 55+ TLC Interior Design, LLC in Scottsdale for New Aging in Place shower; Ironstone Strong Ltd., of San Antonio for 12 x 12 porcelain tiles used as roofing shingles in the Innovation in Tile Category; Trish Metzner and Oscar Sosa of Philadelphia for the Fractured Fantasies Mosaic that involved creative professionals on both sides of the US/Mexico border; LATICRETE INTERNATIONAL for the Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital Stanford in the Institutional category; and Andru Eron and N.Y. Tilemakers for a mosaic mural for P.S. 19 in Brooklyn that included many elements from the 1964 World’s Fair that was held nearby.

Special Recognition: Aging in Place – 55+ TLC Interior Design, LLC

Special Recognition – Innovation in Tile, Ironstone Strong, Ltd.

Special Recognition Mosaic: Trish Metzner and Oscar Sosa for “Fractured Fantasties.”











Special Recognition, Education: Andru Eron and N.Y. Tilemakers









Special Recognition Institutional to LATICRETE INTERNATIONAL for the mosaics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford


The 2019 CID Awards judging panel included Metropolis Managing Editor, Lila Allen; Stone World Managing Editor, Jennifer Richinelli; Tile Council of North America Executive Director, Eric Astrachan; Heritage Tile and Marble Owner and Founder, Martin Brookes; Chris Abbate and Kristin Coleman of Novità Communications, representing Ceramics of Italy; Lori Dolnick of Frank Advertising, representing Tile of Spain; Tile Council of North America Director of Marketing, Kathy Meyer; Artcraft Granite Marble and Tile Vice President James Woelfel; Natural Stone Institute Architect & Design Community Liaison, Dacia Woodworth and Designology Co*Operative Founder, Kadie Yale. Together, they selected winning projects demonstrating outstanding tile and stone applications.

To learn more about the latest in the tile and stone industry,  visit coverings.com.

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Coverings Social Media

Facebook: facebook.com/CoveringsShow

Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2019

Pinterest: pinterest.com/Coverings

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LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1693367

Google +: google.com/+Coverings

Blog: coverings.com/blog

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 over 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 45 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifies, 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 2019 takes place April 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. For more information, visit coverings.com or contact Taffy Events, Coverings Show Management, 703-539-5504.

Coverings Announces Best Booth Awards

Coverings, the largest international tile & stone show in North America, has announced the winners of its 2019 Best Booth Awards. The program recognizes outstanding booths based on their design, creativity, display of product, use of space and overall presentation. This year, an esteemed panel of judges selected six extraordinary displays to receive the coveted honor from more than 1,100 exhibitors.

“Every year we are incredibly inspired by the ingenuity that goes into the beautifully designed booth spaces incorporating tile and stone at Coverings,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the event management company that produces Coverings. “We’re honored to present six winners this year, who undoubtedly make Coverings one of the most beautiful expositions in the country.”

The Overall Best in Show honor was presented to Torrecid (#2621), which showcased a compelling booth design inspired by the warm and comforting environment of a gastro pub. The sophisticated space was specifically designed to showcase a significant variety of ceramic applications — flooring, cladding, furniture and countertops in numerous sizes, natural colors, textures and finishes. With multiple living spaces throughout, the product showcased how it complemented a wide range of applications.

Earning the most Inspirational Design was Fiandre (#3609) for its homage to old world Italian vintage ceramic workshops, where intricate ceramic artistry has taken place for decades. The booth’s dramatic portico featured 10 archways surrounded in Sahara Noir, a dark ceramic tile with beautiful veining and movement. The archways were complemented with a dynamic flooring application — Calacatta Macchia Vecchia — resembling the look of ancient marble.

Lamosa (#3125) earned the Best Use of Tile award for its creative display that was designed to emphasize the beauty of natural materials. The booth’s wood enclosure is punctuated with a series of dynamic circles showcasing one of the brand’s newest ceramic tile offerings. Inside, Lamosa curated its selection of products for the U.S. market to include a beautiful array of stone, concrete and wood looks in a variety of formats.

The Urban Modern honor was presented to Cooperativa Ceramic D’Imola (#1234), which showcased three standout products — Bianco, Metallo, and Legno — all inspired by reversed patterns in order to create a compelling, new look. The contemporary design highlighted a range of different patterns resembling marble, metal and wood, offering an array of options for the modern home.

Ceramiche Refin (#1422) earned the On Trend In Smaller Space award, where bold use of color and sharp architectural design highlighted the beautiful, large format ceramic tiles throughout. Three ceramic products took center stage — Vetri, which features delicate color variations; Creos, which conveys softness and depth through the use of neutral colors, and Prestigio, which offers a natural marble look with original veining patterns and a polished finish.

The Lifestyle Honor was presented to Living Ceramics (#4867) which designed a neutral, yet inviting space that emphasized the beauty of its ceramic tiles. Framed with white wood and painted in a custom color, the booth highlighted the simplicity and sophistication of a neutral palette and featured the intricate designs within its stunning product portfolio.

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Coverings Social Media

Facebook: facebook.com/CoveringsShow

Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2019

Pinterest: pinterest.com/Coverings

Instagram: instagram.com/CoveringsShow

YouTube: youtube.com/TheCoveringsShow

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1693367

Google +: google.com/+Coverings

Blog: coverings.com/blog

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 over 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 45 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifies, 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 2019 takes place April 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. For more information, visit coverings.com or contact Taffy Events, Coverings Show Management, 703-539-5504.

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