2019 Tile Trends + Products for National Tile Day

Coverings (coverings.com), the largest international tile & stone exhibition and conference in North America, will honor the beauty and durability of tile on National Tile Day as the February 23 observance enters its third year. Coverings will showcase inspiring images of tile products and applications on its social media channels – including previews of products that will be unveiled at Coverings 2019 – and invites designers to share their favorite products with the hashtags #NationalTileDay, #Coverings2019 and #WhyTile.

Coverings will kick-off National Tile Day celebrations with the help of influencers attending Coverings 2019, who will share their insights on products and trends starting this month and throughout the duration of Coverings, which takes place April 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Participating designers and tile lovers include Amber Clore, Ashley Moore, Crystal Nielson, Holly Baker, John McClain, Kirsten Grove, Milton Miller and Sarah Gibson. Leading up to National Tile Day, these influencers will start the celebration of tile, discussing some of their favorite projects and the product’s key benefits such as durability, sustainability, versatility, affordability, and more.

“National Tile Day is an opportunity to reflect on the true impact and advancements of tile – while giving designers a chance to showcase their favorite projects,” said Alena Capra, Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer and Coverings Industry Ambassador. “We are thrilled to spotlight one of the oldest known building materials, which serves as the foundation of so many designs.”

Celebrating the best of tile’s style and versatility in honor of National Tile Day, Capra has created a 2019 trends forecast, which she will be previewing on Facebook Live on National Tile Day. Here’s a look at the patterns, colors, sizes and textures that continue to shape the industry:

  • Florals & Leaves: With its pop of personality, florals and leaves are a perfect alternative to wallpaper – especially in commercial spaces seeking durability.
  • Mirror Tile: One of the fastest rising trends, mirrored tile amplifies light and adds personality, with antique or frosted finishes and beveled edges.
  • Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs: Gauged tile applications have become more widely used, appearing as cladding on buildings, walls, floors and installed as countertops or other surfacing.
  • Bold Color: While blue remains America’s favorite color, brighter hues are on the rise, as are sophisticated blacks and dark greys as “new neutrals” – particularly in marble-inspired looks.
  • Pattern Play: As wallpaper and patterns regain popularity, the trend has translated to tile – with striking shapes, complex geometric patterns, pop art, graphics and patterned wood options.
  • Large-Format Tile: As production technology continues to evolve, tiles have become larger and larger – with current styles in up to 60” x 120”.

Bringing these latest trends to life, Coverings 2019 will feature an extensive range of product showcases, with highlights including:

  • Aparici (Booth 4620), Tango: Inspired by the Art Deco movement of the 20s and 30s, these geometric shapes create sophisticated environments with sensitivity to nostalgia of past eras.
  • Atlas Concorde (Booth 1737), Marvel Edge: Available in three different looks (marble, concrete, and stone) and two finishes (matte and glossy), a new 6mm, 48”x109” format expands the collection.
  • AVA Ceramica (Booth 1747), Marmi: Reproducing the textures and veins of marble, the collection spans 12 colors, seven 6mm formats, two 10mm formats and one 127”x64” 12mm format.
  • Ceramica Gomez (Booth 4939), Zante: Zante introduces textures and reliefs which turn ceramic tile into works of art, spanning weathered, high-gloss, volumetric, rugged and embossed finishes.
  • Ceramica Sant’Agostino (Booth 1221), Newdecò: Paying tribute to marble grit floors, NEWDECÒ is available in six colors, 10mm thick square floor and wall tiles and a range of sizes.
  • Cerdisa (Booth 2112), Stonemix: From Burgundy Stone to marble and small fossils, Stonemix is available in five colors (White, Gold, Grey, Antrax, Multicolor), seven formats and two finishes.
  • Cevica (Booth 4639), Manhattan: Bringing functionality and personality to any space, this collection lends an air of avant-garde with straight and simple lines with a pop of color.
  • Crossville (Booth 2600), Reformation: Offered in a quartet of warm-to-cool hues, Reformation’s three large-format plank tile sizes, two mosaic options, and trim package offer unique versatility.
  • Decocer (Booth 4655), Menara: Renowned for its unique, handmade, irregular finish & vibrant glaze, this range cleverly emulates the charm of traditional Zellige tiles.
  • Fiandre (Booth 3609), Maximum Marmi Collection, Sahara Noir: Nothing is more intriguing than black, yet the extraordinary veins make this product recognizable and create plays of light and shadows, which increase in intensity with matte or polished finishes.
  • Florida Tile (Booth 3620), Divinity HDP® Color Body Porcelain: Distinguished by the veining, striations and imperfections of natural stone, this floor and wall tile is available in four colors.
  • Keraben Grupo (Booth 4811), Maranta: Inspired by traditional Mediterranean ceramic, Maranta reproduces their colors and classic shine on 25×70 tiles, with decorative motifs traditional to vintage cement tiles.
  • Lunada Bay Tile (Booth 3600), Custom Glass Mosaic Blend: Lunada Bay’s made-to-order service offers 11 patterns and nearly 70 colors (in multiple finishes) to create a custom glass tile blend.
  • Marca Corona (Booth 1731), Ossidi: Offering a combination of solid colors, beautiful graphics and unique formats, this porcelain stoneware line includes five shades and a variety of graphic effects.
  • Metropolitan Ceramics (Booth 3025), METROBRICK®: The METROBRICK Fast Ship offering features six new blends added to the product line for 2019.
  • Oceanside Glass & Tile (Booth 107), Zoetic: A collection inspired by their nature to find joy, spontaneity, and delight in everyday surroundings, Zoetic is composed of dimensional mosaics.
  • Panaria Ceramica (Booth 2125), Eternity 0.3: Inspired by the aesthetic of marble veining, patterns, shades and designs, the collection is available in two 6mm sizes and four colors.
  • Peronda (Booth 5141), FS Yard: FS Yard’s geometrical pattern brings personality to living spaces. The tile model comes in three colors– black, blue and sage.
  • Realonda (Booth 5422), Riga: Combining colorful patchwork with a traditional Provencal shape, this decorative collection is full of character and available in a range of colors, textures and styles.
  • Sicis (Booth 2131), Vetrite Gem Glass: With glass sheets that capture the beauty of precious stones and lava rocks, these 47″x110″ slabs are available in 6mm and 10mm, in a range of effects.
  • Vitromex (Booth 3214), Brooklyn: Expanding the Brooklyn ceramic wall tile collection with the best features of glossy subway tiles, Vitromex introduces four new colors, offered in a 3”x 10” wall tile and coordinating 3”x 10” bullnose.

To achieve true impact, projects require the best in both tile and installation. Key tools, installation materials, and technology anticipated at Coverings 2019 will include:

  • James Hardie (Booth 3835), HardieBacker® 500 Waterproof Cement Board: The first and only waterproof cement board, this introduction passes ANSI 118.10 for waterproofness and protects tile installation and wall cavities from wall penetration, eliminating the need for added coating.
  • LATICRETE International Inc. (Booth 2641), MULTIMAX™ Lite: The ultimate one-step, non-sag, Large and Heavy Tile mortar for interior and exterior ceramic tile, porcelain tile, glass tile and stone installations, MULTIMAX Lite exceeds the industry’s highest performance standard for a cementitious-based adhesive mortar and can be more easily transported and troweled.
  • Noble Company (Booth 3132), Noble Deck™: One of the only sheet membranes approved for primary waterproofing for exterior applications over occupied spaces, Noble Deck sheet membrane is engineered for outdoor use, providing waterproofing and high-performance crack isolation for thin-bed tile installations.
  • Pearl Abrasive (Booth 3072), Tuscan SeamClip TruSpace: This all-in-one tool, made in the U.S.A. brings tiles into alignment and sets the grout spacing without the need for additional spacers. Clips hold tiles in place until they are set, then are easily snapped off leaving a level tile surface.
  • Protecto Wrap Company (Booth 4029), Protecto Deck™: Protecting roof deck surfaces from costly water damage, this system’s nominal 70 mil membrane and liquid detailing serve as the primary roof deck waterproofing in an installer-friendly application. Its peel-and-stick application with a fabric-top coating makes an excellent bonding surface for latex modified thin-set mortars.
  • Schluter®-Systems (Booth 2629), Schluter®-KERDI-DRAIN-H: This two inch horizontal drain outlet makes relocating showers easier by allowing the drain to be connected to an existing drain pipe – significantly reducing demolition work and project costs.
  • The Tile Doctor (Booth 4425), ZHERORisk® Products: This new line of non-toxic, non-corrosive and sustainable products includes introductions like Litokol® Aquamaster Waterproofing, a solvent-free, ready-to-use liquid membrane for waterproofing moist environments; Litokol® Litoelastic EVO, a two-part adhesive for ceramic tiles and natural stone; and Litokol® Epoxy Elite EVO, an acid-resistant epoxy mortar/setting for the installation and grouting of ceramic tiles.

For further exploration of tile, design professionals can attend Coverings 2019 at no cost from April 9-12, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The show brings together 1,100 exhibitors representing over 40 countries and will feature the latest in innovations, trends and live demonstrations, as well as a range of educational conference sessions and CEUs.

Learn more about Coverings and opportunities to participate in National Tile Day at coverings.com.

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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 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.

UltraCare™ Cement Grout Haze Remover awarded “Best in Technologyˮ at TISE

MAPEI was awarded “Best in Technology” for its UltraCare Cement Grout Haze Remover as part of the “Best of TISE Event” awards during The International Surface Event (TISE), which was held in Las Vegas from January 23-25.

David Mowery, MAPEI’s Business Manager

MAPEI’s UltraCare Cement Grout Haze Remover is a commercially available, professional-strength product that helps to quickly and effectively remove cement grout haze from tile, concrete and stone surfaces. The water-based formula is low-odor, easy to use and meets all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) standards for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

David Mowery, MAPEI’s Business Manager for Color Products and UltraCare, was pleased with the recognition. “MAPEI’s UltraCare Cement Grout Haze Remover is part of our ‘problem-solver’ category. Formation of haze film on tile surface after grouting is common,” Mowery said. “Haze removal and restoration of the tile surface to its natural beauty is successfully completed with this performance product.”

An annual event to recognize the innovation and excellence of exhibiting companies, the “Best of TISE Event” awards are sponsored by Stone World, Tile Magazine, Floor Covering News, and Contemporary Stone & Tile Design. The awards are given to companies whose products are deemed to be “best” in their class by a panel of judges appointed by the sponsoring publications.

To learn more about UltraCare Cement Grout Haze Remover, visit www.mapei.com or call (800) 426-2734 for help in locating the nearest retail store or distributor.


Established in 1937, MAPEI Group is globally headquartered in Italy with 85 subsidiaries, including 80 plants in 34 countries. MAPEI is the world-leading manufacturer of mortars, grouts, adhesives and complementary products for installing all types of flooring and wall coverings. The company specializes in developing chemical products for every aspect of construction, from waterproofing and structural strengthening to concrete repairs and tunnel building.

Headquartered in Deerfield Beach (Florida), MAPEI North America consists of the subsidiaries MAPEI Corporation (for the USA), MAPEI Inc. (for Canada) and MAPEI Caribe (for Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands), whose 18 facilities collectively have a

workforce of more than 1,700 employees. MAPEI facilities have been certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. An environmentally conscious manufacturer that reinvests 5% of its revenue into R&D, MAPEI offers training for architects, contractors, installers and distributors through the MAPEI Technical Institute. For more about MAPEI, visit www.mapei.com or call 1-800-42-MAPEI (1-800-426-2734).

Belknap and Haines Grow Relationship

The Belknap White Group, the privately-held full-line floor covering distributor in the Northeast, has announced an expanded equity investment in the JJ Haines Company of Baltimore Maryland.

In 2017, Belknap and Haines entered into a strategic partnership, with Belknap making an initial equity investment in Haines.  The partnership allowed both companies to collaborate and work together to build an east coast flooring distribution platform.  Collaboration in areas such as Sales, IT and Logistics has been on-going.

Recently, Belknap increased its equity investment and now holds a controlling interest in JJ Haines.  Haines will continue to operate as a separate entity based out of Baltimore.

Hoy Lanning, the CEO & President of Haines, will report to the Haines Board of Directors.  The Board, which will be chaired by Raymond Mancini Jr., will oversee and set overall direction for the company.

Haines, which has been in business since 1874, operates in the mid-Atlantic with their distribution territory stretching to Florida.  They are Armstrong’s longest serving distributor partner.

“This significant equity investment further enhances the synergies achieved through our partnership with Haines that started more than a year ago,” said Mancini. “This trend of strategic alignment is one that most flooring companies – including Haines and Belknap – have pursued over the last several years.”

“As flooring distributors begin to consolidate, it is critical that distributors achieve a certain level of critical mass,” said Lanning. “This investment from Belknap is a win/win for both companies as we strive to build a larger and more stable distribution platform.”

The deal was finalized February 14th.

Emser Tile Names Johnson Floor & Home Carpet One 2018 Platinum Partner of the Year

Industry leadership and strong sales define partnership

Emser Tile is pleased to name Johnson Floor & Home Carpet One as the company’s Platinum Partner of the Year for 2018. The award was announced during The International Surface Event 2019 in Las Vegas.

In its fifth year, the Emser Tile Platinum Partner of the Year Award program celebrates its network of premier tile retailers and their industry leadership, achievement and innovation. Platinum Partner of the Year companies demonstrate a commitment to promoting Emser Tile products – driving sales and profits through expert marketing, merchandising and overall collaboration.

Image (from left to right): Craig Shedden, National Sales Manager, Emser Tile; Sam Agajanian, Regional Sales Manager, Emser Tile; Christina Smith, Director of Outside Sales / VP, Johnson Floor & Home ; Palmer Johnson, Director of Merchandising / VP, Johnson Floor & Home; Patrick Warren, Sr. VP of Sales, Emser Tile; Sy Ghodsian, Partner, Emser Tile; Scott Webb, Executive VP of Sales & Branch Operations, Emser Tile; Carl Delia, President, Emser Tile.

“Johnson Floor & Home Carpet One takes pride in treating their customers like family, which resonates with Emser Tile fundamentally,” noted Patrick Warren, senior vice president – sales for Emser Tile. “We congratulate them on their recognition as a Platinum Partner, and we look forward to growing our relationship and providing the latest in residential tile design in 2019.”

“We are honored to accept this year’s Emser Tile Platinum Partner of the Year recognition. Emser Tile’s customer service is unrivalled, and we are proud to offer the latest in residential tile design through our partnership,” shared Paul Johnson, owner of Johnson Floor & Home Carpet One.

Johnson Floor & Home Carpet One has grown to nine locations throughout the greater Kansas City area, the greater Tulsa area and lastly, Joplin, Missouri, in the last 20 years. They also operate an outlet store in the Tulsa market, as well as RD Mann Commercial Flooring based out of Kansas City. As a part of the Carpet One Floor & Home cooperative, the company specializes in a wide array of flooring materials, expert advice and installation services.

About Emser Tile LLC – Emser Tile is the largest privately held designer and marketer of tile and natural stone products in the United States. Our principal offering includes an extensive line of ceramic, porcelain, natural stone and decorative products to service the design and product needs of our customers. Our products are distributed nationally through a company-owned network of local sales and service locations. The company’s products are used extensively in new home construction, remodel applications as well as commercial projects including multi-family housing, hospitality, shopping centers, office buildings and educational facilities. For more information, please visit www.emser.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @EmserTile.

Home Renovation Professionals Cautiously Optimistic About Business in 2019, Houzz Study Finds

Houzz Inc., the world’s leading platform for home remodeling and design, today released the 2019 Houzz U.S. State of the Industry.* The report provides an outlook on 2019 and review of 2018 performance for residential renovation and design businesses based on data reported by nearly 4,800 professionals in the Houzz community. Although less bullish than the last five years, companies across all industry sectors cite a positive outlook for 2019.

“Residential construction and design service professionals large and small have sustained a remarkable multi-year run with upper-single to double-digit revenue growth,” said Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “Based on qualitative feedback, the recent deceleration in growth of construction services is likely a function of capacity constraints due to labor shortage, rather than a contracting demand. That said, it is clear that the remodeler’s mood with respect to the economy is quickly changing and clouding their business outlook.”

2019 U.S. State of the Industry: Major Findings

  • Optimism prevails for 2019: More than half of residential renovation and design companies cite a positive outlook for 2019 (58 to 80 percent), although this is less than last year (71 to 88 percent). The majority of companies among six of the seven industry groups expect profits to increase in 2019 (63 to 70 percent) and revenue growth in the upper single digits (eight to nine percent).
  • Confidence in the national economy wavers: While companies maintain a positive outlook on the demand for their services in 2019, they are more likely to expect the national economy to deteriorate over the coming year (35 to 61 percent) than improve (11 to 18 percent).
  • Hiring continues amidst tight labor market: One-fifth of design-related and over a third of construction-related industries plan to hire in 2019, though companies anticipate challenges to labor availability and costs in the year ahead.
  • Construction sector faces rising costs: In 2018, firms across sectors experienced widespread challenges in the rising costs of doing business, with the construction sector reporting the greatest impact (76 to 81 percent). At least half of remodeling and design companies expect the costs of doing business to increase in 2019 (48 to 68 percent).
  • Revenue growth positive despite deceleration: While average annual growth remained positive in 2018, five of the seven industry groups experienced a notable deceleration in average annual growth rates (five to eight percent), compared to 2017 (eight to 11 percent). These trends are consistent among businesses of all sizes. That said, over half of companies feel that 2018 revenues met or exceeded their expectations (58 to 65 percent).

The full 2019 Houzz U.S. State of the Industry report can be found here.

There are more than 2.3 million active home renovation and design professionals on Houzz, including architects, interior designers, home builders and design and build firms.

* The Houzz U.S. State of the Industry was conducted among home renovation firms in the Houzz U.S. community that offer services related primarily to residential renovation and/or design. Companies were grouped into seven industry sectors including, architects, interior designers, general contractors and remodelers, design-build firms, building and renovation specialty firms, landscape and outdoor specialty firms, and decorating specialty firms. The study was fielded from December 10, 2018 to January 10, 2019. N=4,780.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, find products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz is a registered trademark of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit www.houzz.com.


Commercial and Multifamily Construction Starts in 2018 Showed Mixed Performance Across Top Metropolitan Areas

The leading U.S. metropolitan areas for commercial and multifamily construction starts registered a varied performance during 2018 compared to the previous year, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.  Of the top ten markets, ranked by the dollar amount of construction starts, four reported greater activity in 2018 while six showed declines.  For the metropolitan areas ranked 11 through 20, seven reported gains while three reported declines.  At the national level, the volume of commercial and multifamily construction starts in 2018 was $212.4 billion, up 4%, which represented a moderate rebound after a 3% setback in 2017.

The New York NY metropolitan area, at $28.7 billion in 2018, continued to be the leading market in the U.S. for commercial and multifamily construction starts, advancing 10% after its 13% drop in 2017.  New York NY’s share of the U.S. total was 14% in 2018, up from 13% in 2017, although not as high as its peak 19% share reported in 2015.  The next three markets in the 2018 top ten all showed gains relative to 2017 – Washington DC ($9.5 billion), up 28%; Boston MA ($9.2 billion), up 72%; and Miami FL ($8.2 billion), up 19%. The remaining six markets in the top ten with their declines relative to 2017 were – Los Angeles CA ($7.0 billion), down 11%; Dallas-Ft. Worth TX ($6.9 billion), down 16%; Chicago IL ($6.7 billion), down 1%; San Francisco CA ($6.0 billion), down 18%; Atlanta GA ($5.7 billion), down 14%; and Seattle WA ($5.7 billion), down 14%.

For the metropolitan areas ranked 11 through 20, the seven showing greater activity in 2018 relative to 2017 were – Houston TX ($4.5 billion), up 9%; Austin TX ($4.0 billion), up 22%; San Diego CA ($3.1 billion), up 12%; Minneapolis-St. Paul MN ($3.0 billion), up 16%; Phoenix AZ ($2.8 billion), up 5%; Kansas City MO-KS ($2.8 billion), up 46%; and Sacramento CA ($2.3 billion), up 44%.  The three metropolitan areas in this group with decreased dollar amounts of commercial and multifamily starts in 2018 were – Philadelphia PA ($4.0 billion), down 6%; Denver CO ($2.8 billion), down 23%; and Orlando FL ($2.6 billion), down 19%.

The commercial and multifamily total is comprised of office buildings, stores, hotels, warehouses, commercial garages, and multifamily housing.  Not included in this ranking are institutional building projects (e.g., educational facilities, hospitals, convention centers, casinos, transportation terminals), manufacturing buildings, single family housing, public works, and electric utilities/gas plants.  The 4% increase for commercial and multifamily construction starts at the U.S. level in 2018 reflected greater activity for multifamily housing, up 8% to $95.1 billion, and the commercial building categories as a group, up 1% to $117.3 billion.  Multifamily housing in 2017 had fallen 8% after appearing to have reached a peak in 2016, before posting the 8% rebound in 2018.  After surging 23% in 2016, commercial building starts have shown slight improvement, edging up 1% in both 2017 and 2018.

“The brisk expansion for the U.S. economy during 2018 enabled market fundamentals for commercial building and multifamily housing to strengthen, after having shown some erosion during the previous year,” stated Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics.  “This provided the backdrop for the healthy volume of commercial and multifamily construction starts that took place during 2018.  A further boost came as a number of very large projects reached groundbreaking last year.

For office buildings, this included such projects as the $1.8 billion Spiral office building in the Hudson Yards district of New York NY, a $665 million office building on North Wacker Drive in Chicago IL, and the $644 million office portion of the $1.3 billion Winthrop Square Tower in Boston MA.  Large data center project starts, which are included in the office category, were also very strong in 2018, with the Washington DC area seeing the start of eleven such projects valued at a combined $1.6 billion.   Hotel construction starts in 2018 were led by such projects as the $643 million hotel portion of the $1.5 billion Manchester Pacific Gateway mixed-use complex in San Diego CA and the $450 million Omni Seaport Hotel in Boston MA. The rebound for multifamily housing in 2018 was supported by such projects as the $700 million City View Tower at Court Square and the $600 million 85 Jay Street high-rise, both in the New York NY metropolitan area, as well as the $580 million multifamily portion of Boston’s Winthrop Square Tower and the $429 million multifamily portion of Seattle’s 1200 Stewart Street mixed-use high-rise.”

“For 2019, the economic environment may not be quite as supportive to commercial and multifamily construction starts as what took place during 2018,” Murray continued.  “The benefits of tax reform on economic growth are expected to wane, which may also dampen occupancies and rent growth, particularly as the supply of commercial and multifamily space rises with the completion of projects that reached groundbreaking in recent years.  Furthermore, the most recent survey of bank lending officers conducted by the Federal Reserve suggests that a more cautious lending stance emerged during the latter half of 2018, especially with regard to loans for multifamily projects.”

The New York NY metropolitan area in 2018 registered a 10% gain for commercial and multifamily construction starts to $28.7 billion, bouncing back after a 13% drop in 2017.  Most of the upward push came from the commercial project types, which climbed 22% after sliding 27% in 2017.  Office construction starts advanced 22% in 2018, led by groundbreaking for the $1.8 billion Spiral office building and the $480 million addition to the Hudson Commons office building, both in the Hudson Yards district of Manhattan.  Other noteworthy office starts were the $250 million gut rehabilitation of the former Domino Sugar Factory and the $233 million office portion of the $300 million One Willoughby Square mixed-use development, both in Brooklyn.  New hotel construction starts were particularly strong in 2018, jumping 118% with the lift coming from the $300 million Tribeach

Holdings Hotel in Manhattan and the $218 million hotel portion of the $400 million Resorts World Casino and Hotel expansion in South Ozone Park.  Store construction starts improved 4% in 2018, reflecting groundbreaking for a $70 million shopping center in Staten Island, while new warehouse construction starts retreated 27%.  Multifamily housing in the New York NY metropolitan area edged up 2% in 2018 following a 1% gain in 2017, as construction starts have shown slight growth since the 27% correction that was reported back in 2016. Leading the way for multifamily housing in 2018 was the $700 million City View Tower at Court Square and the $550 million Queens Plaza Park Apartments in the Long Island City section of Queens, the $600 million 85 Jay Street and the $375 million Hoyt Street high-rises in Brooklyn, and the $250 million Journal Squared 2 high-rise in Jersey City NJ.  During 2018, there were 24 multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking, the same as the 24 such projects that reached groundbreaking in 2017.

After sliding 15% in 2017, the Washington DC market rebounded 28% to $9.5 billion in 2018, with similar construction start gains for commercial building, up 30%; and multifamily housing, up 26%.  The commercial upturn was led by a strong performance for the office category, rising 36% with the lift coming from eleven data center projects totaling $1.6 billion located in northern Virginia.  In addition, there were several more typical office building projects that reached groundbreaking in 2018, led by the $475 million office portion of the $600 million Marriott Headquarters and Hotel in Bethesda MD, the $245 million U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building in Suitland-Silver Springs MD, and the $160 million M Street NW office building in Washington DC.  The hotel category climbed sharply in 2018, with construction starts rising 194% as the boost came from the $77 million hotel portion of Bethesda’s Marriott Headquarters and Hotel and a $50 million renovation of the W Hotel in Washington DC. Warehouse construction starts in 2018 increased 46%, while store construction starts were flat.  The 26% increase for multifamily housing in 2018 followed a 23% decline in 2017.  There were five multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in 2018, led by the $380 million Highlands residential towers in Arlington VA and the $185 million Apex residential towers in Bethesda.

The Boston MA metropolitan area surged 72% to $9.2 billion in 2018, following a 27% decline for commercial and multifamily construction starts in 2017.  Similar gains were reported for commercial building, up 73%; and multifamily housing, up 71%, as groundbreaking for the $1.3 billion Winthrop Square Tower in Boston boosted both construction segments.  Office construction starts in 2018 increased 102%, led by the $644 million office portion of the Winthrop Square Tower.  Additional large office projects that started in 2019 were a $150 million office building in Cambridge and an $88 million office building addition

in Boston.  The hotel category climbed 139% in 2018, led by the $450 million Omni Seaport Hotel in Boston.  Store construction starts improved 38% in 2018, while warehouse construction starts retreated 26%.  The 71% jump for multifamily housing in 2018 came after a 32% decline in 2017.  There were seven multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that were reported as construction starts in 2018, led by these Boston projects – the $580 million multifamily portion of the Winthrop Square Tower, the $215 million Garden Garage apartment building, and the $188 million 159 Washington St. multifamily complex.

Commercial and multifamily construction starts in the Miami FL metropolitan area increased 19% to $8.2 billion in 2018, strengthening after a 17% drop in 2017.  The upward push come from multifamily housing which rebounded 43% following its 45% slide in 2017.  There were 11 multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in 2018, compared to five such projects in 2017.  The largest multifamily projects in 2018 were the $300 million One River Point condominium tower and the $213 million Aston Martin Residences, both in Miami, and the $165 million multifamily portion of the $330 million Las Olas Avenue mixed-use building in Ft. Lauderdale.  Commercial building construction starts improved 1% in 2018, rising slightly after stronger growth in 2016 (up 28%) and 2017 (up 37%).  Office construction starts advanced 21%, lifted by the $139 million office portion of Ft. Lauderdale’s Las Olas Avenue mixed-use building and the $75 million office portion of the $225 million The Plaza Coral Gables mixed-use complex in Coral Gables.  Warehouse construction starts in 2018 increased 29%, while store construction starts retreated 16%.  Hotel construction starts in 2018 fell 27% after a 95% hike in the previous year that included the $575 million hotel portion of the $900 million Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino expansion in Hollywood FL.  Large hotel projects that reached groundbreaking in 2018 were led by the $83 million hotel portion of the $150 million Turnberry Isle JW Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Aventura FL.

The Los Angeles CA metropolitan area dropped 11% to $7.0 billion in 2018, as commercial and multifamily construction starts retreated for the second year in a row after the 20% decline in 2017.  Decreased dollar amounts of construction starts in 2018 were reported for commercial building, down 12%; and multifamily housing, down 11%.  The commercial building downturn in 2018 was less pronounced than its 22% drop in 2017, which came after 38% increases in both 2015 and 2016.  Office construction starts in 2018 slipped a relatively modest 2%, as support came from the $145 million office portion of the $225 million Academy Square office complex in Los Angeles and the $85 million office portion of the $127 million Culver Studios office and support facilities in Culver City.  More substantial declines were reported for warehouses, down 17%; store construction, down 38%; and hotel construction, down 43%.  The commercial garage category

did register a 16% gain, boosted by the start of a $135 million parking structure at Disneyland in Anaheim, plus the garage portion of several large office and multifamily projects.  The 11% multifamily decline in 2018 followed an 18% slide in 2017, as this project type continued to settle back from the elevated activity reported in 2016.  There were six multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in 2018, compared to 11 such projects in 2017.  The large multifamily projects in 2018 were led by the $363 million multifamily portion of the $411 million Cumulus Apartments mixed-use complex in Los Angeles and the $342 billion multifamily portion of the $400 million Los Olivos Apartments mixed-use complex in Irvine.

Following a 10% decrease in 2017, commercial and multifamily construction starts in the Dallas-Ft. Worth TX metropolitan area fell for the second straight year in 2018, retreating 16% to $6.9 billion.  The downturn came as the result of a 35% decline for commercial building, while multifamily housing moved in the opposite direction with a 24% increase.  The reduced activity for commercial building in 2018 was the result of diminished construction starts across each of the individual categories, including office buildings, down 48%; and hotels, down 51%.  In 2017, the office category had included the start of two large projects in Ft. Worth – a $300 million Facebook data center and the $300 million American Airlines Trinity Campus.  The largest office projects entered as construction starts in 2018 were a $183 million Facebook data center in Ft. Worth and the $52 million Independent Bank corporate headquarters in McKinney.  Store construction starts in 2018 were down 17%, while warehouse construction starts slipped 10%.  The warehouse category did feature the start of several large projects in 2018, including the $71 million Gateway Logistics Center at DFW International Airport and the $70 million Golden State Foods distribution facility in Burleson.  The 24% increase for multifamily housing in 2018 showed activity rebounding after a 20% decline in 2017.  The largest multifamily projects that reached groundbreaking in 2018 were the $232 million Atelier/Flora Lofts apartment tower and the $215 million Victory Park apartment tower, both in Dallas; and the $165 million Davis apartment complex in Frisco.

The Chicago IL metropolitan area experienced a slight 1% reduction to $6.7 billion for commercial and multifamily construction starts in 2018.  While multifamily housing retreated 28% in 2018, commercial building almost offset that decline with a 31% increase.  Multifamily housing has now fallen for two years in a row, following the robust dollar amount that was reported back in 2016 which featured several massive projects, led by the $780 million multifamily portion of the $900 million Wanda Vista Tower.  There were three multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in 2018, compared to five such projects in 2017 and nine such projects in 2016.  The largest multifamily project in 2018 was the

$150 million condominium project involving the adaptive-reuse of Chicago’s Tribune Tower.  The 31% increase for commercial building reflected a 67% jump for office construction starts, which featured the start of these Chicago projects – a $665 million office building on North Wacker Drive and a $181 office building on West Wayman Street.  The commercial garage category rose 54%, helped by the start of a $130 million parking expansion at Midway International Airport.  Warehouse construction starts increased 33%, but declines were reported in 2018 for store construction starts, down 13%; and hotel construction starts, down 18%.

The 18% decline to $6.0 billion for the San Francisco CA metropolitan area in 2018 came after a 30% gain for commercial and multifamily construction starts in 2017.  The overall pattern was shaped by the swing shown by commercial building – up 60% in 2017, followed by a 46% decline in 2018.  The office category in 2018 fell 75% following its 134% hike in 2017 that reflected the start of the $780 million office portion of the $1.3 billion Oceanwide Center Tower in San Francisco and the $568 million Stanford University Redwood City office campus.  In contrast, the two largest office projects in 2018 were smaller in scale – a $230 million Facebook office building and the $157 million Menlo Gateway Park office complex, both located in Menlo Park.  An additional steep decline was registered by store construction starts, down 52%, while gains were reported for warehouses, up 30%; and hotels, up 130%.  The hotel jump reflected groundbreaking for the $250 million Grand Hyatt Airport Hotel at San Francisco International Airport and the $112 million Berkeley Place Hotel in Berkeley.  Multifamily housing stayed on the upward track in 2018, rising 23% and marking the third straight annual increase.  There were six multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in 2018, led by two projects in Oakland – the $265 million 39th Street apartment tower and the $200 million Franklin Street apartment tower.

The Atlanta GA metropolitan area experienced a 14% pullback to $5.7 billion for commercial and multifamily construction starts in 2018, following a 25% increase in 2017.  Both commercial building and multifamily housing showed reduced activity compared to 2017, falling 10% and 19% respectively.  The commercial total was restrained by steep declines for stores, down 30%; and warehouses, down 38%.  At the same time, office construction was able to rise 2% on top of the 27% hike reported in 2017, with much of the boost coming from the start of a $750 million Facebook data center in Covington.  Other noteworthy office projects that reached groundbreaking in 2018 were the $120 million Star Metals office building in Atlanta, the $97 million Avalon office building in Alpharetta, and the $80 million T3 West Midtown office building in Atlanta.  Hotel construction in 2018 rose 29%, reflecting the start of the $70 million Reverb by Hard Rock Hotel in Atlanta.  The 19% drop for multifamily housing in 2018 followed sharp gains in the previous two

years, with 2016 up 42% and 2017 up 24%.  The largest multifamily projects that reached groundbreaking in 2018 were located in Atlanta – a $165 million student housing tower, the $137 million West Marietta Street condominium tower, and the $129 million AMLI Oak Valley apartment complex.

The Seattle WA metropolitan area fell 14% in 2018 to $5.7 billion, after steady growth for commercial and multifamily starts over the previous seven years, including a 9% increase in 2017.  The commercial building and multifamily housing segments moved in opposite directions during 2018, with commercial building dropping 43% while multifamily housing climbed 25%.  After advancing 19% in 2017, helped by such projects as the $331 million office portion of the $570 million Rainer Square building in Seattle, office construction starts in 2018 plunged 60%.  The largest office projects that reached groundbreaking in 2018 were the $160 million T-Mobile Newport Corporate Center renovation in Bellevue and the $100 million Dexter Yard office complex in Seattle.  Steep declines were also reported for warehouse construction starts, down 60%; hotel construction starts, down 45%; and store construction starts, down 15%.  The commercial garage category was the one commercial project type able to report a gain, rising 22% with the lift coming from the garage portion of several large multifamily projects and the $46 million garage that’s part of the Washington State Convention Center expansion.  The 25% increase for multifamily housing was supported by the start of seven projects valued at $100 million or more, compared to three such projects in 2017.  The 2018 multifamily projects were led by the $429 million multifamily portion of the $516 million 1200 Stewart Street mixed-use tower, the $398 million multifamily portion of the $450 million Seattle Times mixed-use complex, and the $200 million Wall Street multifamily tower, all located in Seattle.


About Dodge Data & Analytics:  Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities and execute on those opportunities for enhanced business performance. Whether it’s on a local, regional or national level, Dodge makes the hidden obvious, empowering its clients to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, size growth opportunities, and pursue those opportunities with success. The company’s construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. Dodge is leveraging its 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to help the industry meet the building challenges of the future.  To learn more, visit www.construction.com.

AmeriFirst Home Improvement Finance Announces New Mobile App and Pricing

AmeriFirst Home Improvement Finance, LLC, a leading nationwide home improvement lender and loan servicer, announced today the unveiling of their updated mobile application for consumer loan applications.  The new mobile application will be unveiled at the Kitchen Bath Industry Show (KBIS) at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This state-of-the-art technology will provide approved home improvement contractors the ability to quickly submit a consumer loan application for approval at the point-of-sale.  Consumer loan applications will be rapidly decisioned, and with electronic signature of loan documents in the consumer’s home, the entire process is typically completed in just a few minutes.  AmeriFirst will also be introducing new competitive pricing with consumer loan rates as low at 6.99% per annum, terms to 15 years and staged funding for qualified contractors.

This upgraded consumer loan application technology and new pricing will give contractors a very fast, and more competitive means to offer financing for home improvement projects to their customers.  “This is just another way for AmeriFirst to continue to provide the technology and superior pricing that contractors need to remain competitive and offer better services to their customers,” stated George DeMare, Vice President of Business Development for AmeriFirst.  Mr. DeMare further indicated that the initial reaction from contractors during Beta testing has been overwhelming.  “Feedback from home improvement contractors discussing both the speed and performance of the upgraded technology and the beneficial pricing for consumers has been fantastic,” added Mr. DeMare.

AmeriFirst (www.trustamerifirst.com) is a Omaha, Nebraska-based consumer loan origination and servicing platform and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAF Holdings, LLC (www.safholdingsllc.com), a Reno, Nevada-based holding company which also completes portfolio acquisitions of consumer loans through its Summit Consumer Receivables Acquisitions, LLC (www.scrafinance.com) subsidiary.  For more information, contact [email protected]com.



(ARLINGTON, VA—February 7, 2019) Coverings (www.coverings.com), the largest international tile & stone show in North America, will feature a wide range of interactive onsite experiences, including expanded favorites like the Installation & Design Experience and new activations in celebration of its 30th Anniversary.

Celebrating three decades of success, the show will feature a range of commemorative displays showcasing the history of Coverings, with interactive opportunities for attendees to create and share their own memories. The South Lobby of the Orange County Convention Center will host a timeline with highlights from Coverings’ heritage and a 30th Anniversary-branded photo booth, where attendees can win anniversary t-shirts by sharing photos to social media. Exhibitors who have participated for 30 years will also be recognized. A DJ in the lobby reception area will incorporate music from 1989 as nod to Coverings’ launch year.

“Coverings’ 30th Anniversary is a testament to the success and growth of the tile and stone industry, which continues to dedicate time and resources to annually spotlight the best in product innovations, installation techniques, and industry expertise,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “We look forward to celebrating three decades of success and those who continue to make the show possible.”

The Installation & Design Experience will expand its presence in 2019 with live, interactive showcases of the best tile installation techniques. Qualified, trained, and certified tile installers, will host demonstrations and conversations within the space, offering insights on common installation challenges and the use of trending materials. The Installation and Design Experience also will host daily happy hours for further networking and learning opportunities. For 2019, three vignettes will anchor the experience, designed by locally-based designers and architects:

New this year, Coverings will introduce an Online Planner to help attendees maximize their time at the show by previewing key exhibitor introductions through the New Product Showcase, which will launch in February. Guests will be able to explore innovative tools and products debuting at Coverings in advance and plan their visit by marking must-see exhibits within the Coverings mobile app to create a roadmap for their Coverings 2019 discoveries.

To further enhance the Coverings 2019 onsite experiences, many of the long-standing networking and learning opportunities will return:

  • Recharge at the Coverings Connect lounge, located on the show floor, which will feature a mobile device charging station, free WiFi, and “byte size” sessions, with short, digitally-focused educational seminars
  • Peruse the Art Tile Courtyard for creative tile applications, with handcrafted tile and tiled dog houses, provided by Tile Council of North America members.
  • Learn from leading professional contractors at the Live Installation Demo Stage, for “how-to” classes with an in-person look at tile installation solutions for challenging projects.
  • Stop by The Stone Zone, where The Stone Fabricators Alliance will present ongoing demonstrations and educational “how-to” topics for fabricators and installers.

To register for free and learn more about on-site activations, please visit coverings.com.

Florida Tile launches redesigned website

Florida Tile, Inc., a leading US manufacturer of porcelain tile, announced today the launch of its newly redesigned website at https://floridatile.com/. The completely revamped website offers user-friendly options such as searching by collection, look type, color, size, shape, mosaic type, or even interior design trend. The option of bookmarking products and being able to compare specs on up to four different tiles is a key update that provides designers and end-consumers convenient tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

“We are excited to debut this important resource for our customers, influencers, and vendor partners,” said Florida Tile Director of Marketing, Tressa Samdal. “This redesign is a testament to our commitment to creating an environment that works to improve your brand experience. Our goal was to create a pleasant experience for our customers.  The colors are fresh and modern, the navigation is easy to use, and the imagery is large and inviting.”

Anthony Hamby, Marketing Resource and Project Manager in charge of this redesign adds “This site offers all the tools our visitors have always enjoyed such as search by collection, inspiration gallery, project gallery, and sample ordering, but now we provide greater ease of use.”

Florida Tile’s new website will be continually undated with new product, design trends, and merchandising support information.


Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panariagroup, a publicly owned company traded on the Milan Stock Exchange (MILAN: PAN IM). Panariagroup is a leading manufacturer and distributor in over 60 countries around the world with six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA and nine brands positioned in the high-end of the market. 

2019 Tile Marble Terrazzo Seminar Series

The International Masonry Institute (IMI) and the Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA) kicked off the 2019 Tile & Stone Seminar Series in Philadelphia last month.

The nine city series opened with their first event held at the BAC Local #1 Training Center in Philadelphia, PA. NAC had a tabletop exhibit and more than 40 people attended the half-day event.
John Buchanan from BGB Ceramic Tile Specialists, Inc. in Landenberg, PA won the NAC gift certificate in the contractor drawing.
The educational series is aimed toward providing architects, designers, contractors and

John Buchanan, BGB Ceramic Tile Specialists, Inc.

others an opportunity to earn continuing education credits. The half day program includes seminars and exhibits and is registered with the AIA for 4.0 learning units. BAC tile and stone contractors receive 4.0 hours toward IMI Contractor College and TCAA Trowel of Excellence continuing education requirements.

The program features presentations on interior and exterior tile and stone installations, the critical points of design and installation and a panel discussion focused on local issues featuring local suppliers, contractors and other industry experts. In between the presentations, attendees will have an opportunity to interact with material suppliers and other industry representatives at table top exhibits representing all facets of the tile and stone industry.
The next event will be held in Pittsburgh at the Bricklayers & Allied Craft workers Local #9 on Wednesday February 13 beginning at 7:15 AM.
For more information, to register and to see the whole list of cities and dates, click here or visit www.imiweb.org or www.tcaainc.org.
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