Arley Expo in Wilmington, Del.

Arley Expo in Wilmington, Del.

Arley Wholesale’s first summer road show, which took place June 11 at Hilton Christiana/Delaware Park Hotel in Wilmington, Del., has been rated a success. The supplier is holding four regional expos in different cities outside of its home base location in Scranton, Pa. About 110 enthusiastic Arley customers attended, primarily from central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, southern New Jersey, Delaware and northern Maryland.

“Our first ‘road show’ proved to be a valuable event for everyone involved,” beamed Scott Levy, President of Arley Wholesale. “We were able to meet firsthand with a great number of customers, spending some quality time discussing their business and how Arley can help them grow.  The enthusiasm was high. We unveiled many new products, new marketing opportunities and much, much more.”

New products were from Arley’s private label, trademark-protected Qualis Ceramica Collection  “We wanted to bring these new products directly to them and in doing so, reinforce the fact that Qualis offers the best possible opportunity for our customers to compete against Big Box and online competition,” Levy added. “Our customers love Qualis products because they are prohibited from being sold on the internet so they have more confidence in them and realize higher margins than on other tile lines they sell.”

Other items addressed were the expanded “Arley App,” offering customers even more state-of-the-art digital opportunities. “We are very serious about providing much more than just the best products to our clientele,” stated Levy. “We want our customers to benefit with the digital technology Arley offers them. For example, because many of them want to have an actual interactive website, not just a landing page, we actually produce and maintain cutting-edge websites for our customer-partners.”

Levy emphasized the fact that his firm’s existence is based 100% on the strength of its customers. “If they’re successful, we’re successful. That’s why we not only brought new products with attractive pricing programs to the event… we also had a number of key sundry supplier educational demonstrations. And of course,” concluded Levy, “in classic Arley tradition, we all had a great deal of fun, as well.”

Three more Arley “Road Shows” are scheduled for the summer of 2019.

  • July 10th at Saratoga Hilton/Saratoga Springs Casino in Sarasota Springs, NY
  • July 23rd at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT
  • August 6th at Hollywood Casino in Columbus, OH

For more information and registration forms, please contact your Arley Sales Representative or email [email protected]  .


Celebration of life and burial arrangements for beloved industry member Steve Rausch

Steve Rausch

There will be a Celebration of Life Service for beloved member of the tile industry, Steve Rausch of Norcross Ga., at Perimeter Church, 9500 Medlock Bridge Rd, Johns Creek, Ga., 30097 on Monday June 17 at 11:00am. This will be followed by a reception at the church. The following day, June 18, there will be a burial service at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton at 9:00am. All are welcome who wish to attend.

Steven William Rausch, 67, passed away on June 8, 2019. Steve was born in Dayton, Ohio and graduated from Belmont High School in 1969, after which he joined the Army. He worked in sales and marketing development in the floor covering and ceramic tile industry for over 48 years.
He had been active in the Boy Scouts (including Wood Badge), Walk to Emmaus (where he served as a Lay Director) and Perimeter Church. He developed a love for flying and was an active member of the Silver Wings Fraternity. He also enjoyed boating, skiing and spending time with his family.
Steve is survived by his wife of 44 years, Christy; three children, Tim, Jill and Jen; and six grandchildren (Emma, Andy, Kaeden, Henry, Cooper and Lucy). The celebration of life on Monday, June 17 at Perimeter Church at 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception. Interment will take place on Tuesday, June 18 at Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, Ga., at 9:00 a.m.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from June 13 to June 14, 2019. More information will be added as it becomes available.

Schluter®-APP Makes Project Planning Easier

Planning a successful tile project can be time consuming and challenging. The new Schluter®-APP puts all the necessary Schluter resources in one place – on any iPhone or Android mobile device.  Information on all Schluter’s systems and solutions can be found on the app.  It can be used for every facet of project planning, from measuring the space, all the way through to pricing and connecting with an authorized dealer.

Working from the app, a smartphone can be used to scan and measure a room during the planning phase of the project.  The data collected can be used to configure and customize the layout and build a personalized project plan.  The results can then be shared electronically with a client or coworker. This layout information can improve client communications by providing a clear visual guide from the beginning to the end of any project.

Products can be configured right down to the size, color, format and quantity and can also be priced immediately.  Product selections will also prompt video recommendations so installers can get installation guidance wherever and whenever they need it.

For floor warming projects the built-in DITRA-HEAT Estimator will help with product selection, and then provide an estimate for the materials required.

The app also provides easy access to the network of Authorized Schluter Dealers across North America.  Users can search by location and generate a list of nearby dealers.  After selecting a dealer, the app will provide directions to the location making it even easier to get materials to the job site.

To download the new Schluter app go to:

App Store:

Google Play:

About Schluter®-Systems
Schluter®-Systems products are specifically designed for the tile industry to ensure that installations maintain integrity and durability. The company’s product line includes over 8,000 items, including tile trims, uncoupling membranes, waterproof building panels, shower systems, and most recently thin-set mortar.  Schluter-Systems is renowned for its state-of-the-art technology with attention to detail for highly functional and visually appealing results.  For more information, visit

Contact: Terry Baskin, Footprint Associates Inc. • Tel.: 647-965-3752 • email: [email protected]

Tom Vaughn retires from NTCA Technical Committee

Vaughn served the committee as the longest-standing member, for over 30 years

Tom Vaughn, the longest standing member of the NTCA Technical Committee, serving for well over 30 years, has announced his retirement from the Committee, and attended his final Technical Committee meeting at TISE in Las Vegas this past January. 

“Tom Vaughn has been a valuable and productive member of the NTCA Technical Committee since its reactivation in 1985,” said NTCA Executive Director Emeritus Joe Tarver, a contemporary of Vaughn, who along with David Allen Company’s Bob Roberson was one of a group of about 10 individuals who worked to form the Technical Committee, which was responsible for the development of the NTCA Reference Manual.

“There is no way to evaluate his contributions not only to NTCA but to the entire industry,” Tarver continued. “Always there; first to volunteer; calmly and accurately providing information on a broad spectrum of subjects. Tom truly is a role model for what a Technical Committee member should strive for. It takes a special person to remain non-proprietary while pursuing solutions that will benefit the entire industry without regard for an individual or an individual entity. I never knew Tom to do anything other than that. Present and future members of all NTCA committees can’t go wrong by emulating the passion, commitment, dedication and concern for his proprietary concerns, NTCA and the total industry.”

NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga added, “Tom served on this committee for over 30 years, and was the longest standing active member. NTCA is sincerely in Tom’s debt.”

Some of Vaughn’s many articles and/or contributions include:

  • Latex-modified grouts
  • Cement grouting procedures
  • Inconsistent grout color
  • How to use water-cleanable epoxy grouts
  • Dealing with efflorescence
  • Considerations to reduce tile tenting
  • Exterior tiling and panelized exterior tile systems
  • Tiling over engineered wood systems
  • How to incorporate radiant heat into tile and stone installations
  • How to use self-leveling underlayment with tile and stone
  • Overview: Underlayments, trowelable and poured

Historic projects

Tom Vaughn circa 1985 as Technical Director, Building Products Division of H.B. Fuller Company.

In addition to his work on the NTCA Technical Committee, Vaughn had a pivotal role in his work as Technical Director, Building Products Division of the H.B. Fuller Company in the 1985 construction and tiling of the Baltimore Fort McHenry Tunnel, which according to Vaughn was the largest single project that the National Interstate and Defense system had built at the time. 

“With over 1.3 million sq. ft. of tile, it was also the largest project I had worked on at the time,” he said. “This project led me to being involved in coming up with a bonding system for the Holland Tunnel reconstruction in New York and the tallest panelized tile project in Seattle, Wa., called Watermark Tower. The building is 22 stories or about 276 feet high.”

Early beginnings

Vaughn got involved in the tile industry in 1973 and became a member of the Southern Tile, Terrazzo Marble Contractors Association (STTMCA – one of the previous monikers of NTCA) in about 1975. He recalled, “It wasn’t long before I met people like Joe Tarver, Paul Dinkel, Leigh Hightower, Brannon Murray, Bob Young and Virgil Smith. All of these people were interested in helping the industry grow and shared their technical expertise to all who would listen.

“Joe Tarver tried to harness as much technical power as he could to help spread the word to the tile and stone industry,” he added. “Soon, others like Butch Woelfel, Jess McIvain, Steve Young, Rich Deutsch, Bob Roberson, Harvey Powell, Gerry Zakim, as well as others joined the group.

“With a lot of work, the Technical Committee was well on its way creating and distributing information to the entire industry. Over the years, more members were added and the committee went from distributing a handful of documents to nearly 300 pages of information today. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of this group for so many years. I continue to be amazed at how the tile industry has changed, but I’m so impressed with the technical expertise the committee currently processes.”

Vaughn also served on the NTCA Board of Directors as an Affiliate Distributor member in the early ’90s, representing Minnesota Tile Supply. Both NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga and Assistant Executive Director Jim Olson worked for him there in the late ’80s to mid ’90s. “I believe Tom was instrumental in helping me to become Executive Director at NTCA,” Bettiga added.

He called his involvement with NTCA back in the ’70s “one of the most rewarding decisions I made in my career. Not only did I learn a great deal over the year, I met many lifelong friends along the way.

“I’m glad to have been able to participate in the Technical Committee and watch the ceramic and stone industry grow immensely,” he said. “In the beginning, the industry was much simpler and one could have a pretty good understanding of nearly all the products and installation procedures. In fact, the tile Handbook only had about 16 pages of details.

“I’m grateful to those that helped me learn about our great industry and hope I was able to help others improve their understanding of installation methods and practices,” he said. “Looking back, I’m totally amazed at how many documents and papers have come from the group. The hours spent both in meetings and on our own time have help shaped the direction of how tile is being installed. With the number of really talented members the committee currently has, I’m confident the committee will continue to make significant contributions in the months and years ahead.”

The NTCA Technical Committee bids a fond farewell to Tom Vaughn in Las Vegas after its final meeting.

Heidi Cronin Hired as CTEF Industry Liaison and Promotions Director

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) is pleased to announce that Heidi Cronin, previously President of The Cronin Company, has joined CTEF as the Industry Liaison and Promotions Director, a newly created role to support the next stage of evolution for the organization.


Heidi Cronin Hired as CTEF Industry Liaison and Promotions Director

Heidi Cronin


“We are pleased to welcome Heidi to CTEF in this newly created position”, says Bart Bettiga Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and member of the CTEF Board of Directors. “Given her professional experience and passion for Qualified Labor, we are confident that she will be instrumental in supporting the growth of the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program alongside Scott Carothers, Director of Certification and Training for CTEF, and shaping the tile and stone industry in the United States.”

As CTEF Industry Liaison and Promotions Director, Ms. Cronin will be responsible for speaking on a national level to promote CTEF certification and training programs.  Key segment groups include independent distributors, tile and allied product manufacturers, designers, architects, specifiers, remodelers, builders and general contractors. She will work closely with the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and Tile Council of North America (TCNA), including promoting NTCA qualified labor efforts and the TCNA Why Tile campaign.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Ms. Cronin grew up in the floor covering distributor industry. She graduated from Southern Oregon State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology. She began her career at The Cronin Company as a branch manager. From there, she spent time in purchasing, becoming Vice President of Operations and then President.

“My ultimate goal as CTEF Industry Liaison and Promotions Director is to encourage all tile installers to become Certified Tile Installers and then to further challenge themselves with Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT),” says Ms. Cronin. “That starts with engaging manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers to host, support and promote more hands-on testing events, filling those events with installers and then convincing architects and designers to specify CTIs into their projects.”

“Please join me and CTEF in welcoming Heidi Cronin to her new role,” adds Bettiga. “The need for Qualified Labor in the tile industry is real and the value for all involved, including consumer and commercial end users, is significant. Heidi’s enthusiasm and expertise are critical to successfully evolving CTEF’s mission.”

Founded in 1996, the CTEF organization focuses solely on tile installation training and education along with promoting quality tile installation in the American marketplace. 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.

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For more information, visit

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Anatolia Tile + Stone announces new U.S. distribution center

Toronto, Canada: May 28, 2019 – Anatolia Tile & Stone is pleased to announce the opening of its first distribution center in the United States. Strategically located in Savannah, Ga.,  the new distribution center will serve as the main shipping hub for domestic customers and primary receiving point for product from overseas. Located near the port of Savannah, a major terminal for oceangoing vessels on the east coast, as well as links to rail and nearby interstate highways, this is a further step in improving service to U.S. customers. The location in the U.S. will not only deliver better service to customers and reduced shipping rates, but will also offer cost advantages related to increasing import tariffs.

Another milestone in the global expansion of the Anatolia supply chain network, this distribution center follows the opening of the massive distribution center in Aliaga, Turkey in 2018. At just under 400,000 sq. ft. under-roof, the new Savannah facility sits on over 30 acres of land, allowing for abundant storage, staging and location of material inside the warehouse and outdoors. Boasting over 50 shipping and receiving docks, plus additional ground level access, there is plenty of capacity to accommodate the anticipate high velocity of inbound/outbound traffic. With nearly all of the space dedicated to storage, the Savannah location is expected to hold up to 60,000 pallets.

In total, Anatolia Tile & Stone operates four distribution centers. The global headquarters in Vaughan, Ontario houses the corporate offices as well as storage in a 625,000 sq. ft.  facility. Also located in the Greater Toronto Area is the Caledon, Ontario location with 250,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space. The recently opened Aliaga facility, serves as the main global logistics center bordering Europe and Asia. As the largest storage facility in the group at over 645,000 sq. ft.,  the Aliaga facility is also the main shipping point for product bound for Western Europe, Canadian distribution centers and will soon service the new facility in Savannah directly.

For more information visit


Tile Geeks attend Moravian Pottery and Tile Festival

During the 21st Annual Moravian Pottery and Tile Festival held recently in Doylestown, Pa., members of the Tile Geeks Facebook group showed up en force.
East Coast members of the Tile Geeks Facebook group in front of the Moravian Tile Works

East Coast members of the Tile Geeks Facebook group in front of the Moravian Tile Works

Moravian Tile Works building

Moravian Tile Works

The festival took place the weekend of May 18-19, 2019. It was a unique opportunity to view contemporary ceramic tiles featured by artists, dealers and collectors from around the country. Beautiful and rare examples of handcrafted tiles were on exhibit and available for purchase, and a free tour of the Tile Works was included.  Proceeds benefited the museum’s artifact collection and conservation efforts.
The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works is a National Historic Landmark. It’s maintained as a “working history” museum by Pennsylvania’s County of Bucks, Department of Parks and Recreation. Handmade tiles are still produced in a manner similar to that developed by the pottery’s founder and builder, Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930). Mercer was a major proponent of the Arts & Crafts Movement in America. He directed the work at the pottery from 1898 until his death in 1930.
Many East Coast-based Tile Geeks attended and made Global Hand Prints for the Mural which will be installed at Tile Council of North America.  Those who attended included: Dennis Pacetti, Jon Vanarthos, Mihaela Fedor, Vincent Pellicone, Jess Labrie, James Garbe, Justin Kyle, Metin Gungor,  and Isaak Mester.
Sheila Menzies, Executive Director of the Tile Heritage Foundation (THF), said, “It was a successful event for the Tile Heritage Foundation, for the Pottery and for the artisans who were there as vendors. THF also had a silent planter box auction with work provided by local artisans and a large array of donated tiles to sell from across the country!”

USITC Votes to Continue Investigations Concerning Ceramic Tile from China

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of ceramic tile from China that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent, Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, and Jason E. Kearns voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of this product from China, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about July 5, 2019, and its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about September 17, 2019.

The Commission’s public report Ceramic Tile from China (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-621 and 731-TA-1447 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 4898, June 2019) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after June 25, 2019; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:


Factual Highlights

Ceramic Tile from China
Investigation Nos. 701-TA-621 and 731-TA-1447 (Preliminary)

Product Description:  Ceramic tile (e.g., ceramic flooring tile, wall tile, paving tile, hearth tile, porcelain tile, mosaic tile, flags, finishing tile, etc.) that is fired so the raw materials are fused to produce a finished product that is less than 3.2 cm thick. All ceramic tile is subject to the scope regardless of end use, surface area, and weight; whether glazed or unglazed; regardless of the water absorption coefficient by weight; regardless of the extent of vitrification; and whether or not the tile is on a backing. Ceramic tile may include decorative features that may in spots exceed 3.2 cm in thickness. Subject merchandise also includes ceramic tile that undergoes minor processing (e.g., beveling, cutting, trimming, staining, painting, polishing, finishing, additional firing, etc.) in a third country prior to importation into the United States.

Status of Proceedings:

1.   Type of investigations:  Preliminary phase countervailing duty and antidumping investigations.
2.   Petitioners:  American Wonder Porcelain, Lebanon, Tennessee; Crossville Inc., Crossville, Tennessee; Dal‐Tile Corp., Dallas, Texas; Del Conca USA, Inc., Loudon, Tennessee; Florida Tile, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky; Florim USA, Clarksville, Tennessee; Landmark Ceramics, Mount Pleasant, Tennessee; and StonePeak Ceramics, Chicago, Illinois.
3.   USITC Institution Date:  Wednesday, April 10, 2019.
4.   USITC Conference Date:  Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
5.   USITC Vote Date:  Friday, May 24, 2019.
6.   USITC Notification to Commerce Date:  Friday, May 28, 2019.

U.S. Industry in 2018:

1.   Number of U.S. producers:  9.
2.   Location of producers’ plants:  Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
3.   Production and related workers:  2,976.
4.   U.S. producers’ U.S. shipments:  $1.2 billion.
5.   Apparent U.S. consumption:  $3.5 billion.
6.   Ratio of subject imports to apparent U.S. consumption:  17.8 percent.

U.S. Imports in 2018:

1.   Subject imports:  $626.3 million.
2.   Nonsubject imports:  $1.7 billion.
3.   Leading import sources:  Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, and Spain.


Sika has completed the acquisition of Parex on May 23, 2019. The deal was announced on January 8, 2019. With annual sales of CHF 1.2 billion, Parex is a leading mortar manufacturer with an impressive track record of profitable growth and attractive margins. Sika and Parex are two strong companies that are highly complementary in product offering and channel penetration. With this acquisition, Sika will expand its product portfolio for the building finishing market, further strengthening its world leader position in construction chemicals, and reaching sales in excess of CHF 8 billion for 2019.

Parex’s product offering includes facade mortars, tile adhesives, and waterproofing mortars. With its expertise in mortar solutions for renovation and new builds, Parex participates in all phases of the construction life cycle. Parex has a particularly strong presence in distribution channels, especially in China, where Parex has built up a network of over 90,000 points of sale. With its strong, recognized brands, Parex is known for its comprehensive R&D expertise and technical excellence. The company is locally present in 23 countries, with key positions in 8 core markets, and operates 74 plants around the world.

The acquisition of Parex will strengthen Sika’s growth platform. Its mortar business, which is a key growth technology for the group and one of its important earning contributors, will more than double in size to CHF 2.3 billion. Parex’s strong position in distribution channels will open up new business opportunities for Sika’s product range. Parex will gain access to Sika’s well established direct sales channels, and Parex’s expertise in the facade and tile setting business will allow Sika to participate in these growing and attractive market fields.

Paul Schuler, CEO of Sika: “With the acquisition we are bringing two strong companies together. Parex’s and Sika’s joint business activities present an excellent growth platform for both organizations. In addition to the highly complementary fit with regard to product offerings and channels, we also see that Parex and Sika have very similar cultures, values and management styles – with the focus on customer orientation, empowerment, high-quality products and services. The integration planning is well on track, and on-site visits have confirmed the attractiveness of the combination of the two businesses. We are excited to start working together to build our joint successful future. We warmly welcome all employees of Parex to the Sika Family.”

Eric Bergé, CEO of Parex: “I am very proud of our entire Parex team and what we have achieved. Sika represents a great platform to continue to deliver on our ambitious growth plan. The combination of the two companies creates new, exciting opportunities in terms of offering new solutions to our customers and continuing our geographic expansion. I am delighted we have found the perfect home for Parex within Sika, a strong company with similar values to our own.”


Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries around the world and manufactures in over 200 factories. Its more than 20,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 7.09 billion in 2018.

Three New Courses Available in Natural Stone University

Three new courses are available online in the Natural Stone University.

The Geology of Natural Stone 1: Introduction to Natural Stone (6 hours)

This course provides a geological overview of natural stone. Participants will learn the history of natural stone, geological attributes to consider when specifying stone, and how to verify stone classifications. Course materials include four webinars with geologist Karin Kirk, as well as articles about the geological makeup of ten different types of stone and the originals of natural stone colors and patterns.

Facility Safety Plan: Creating an Environment of Safety for Your Employees (5 hours)

Create an environment that promotes safety for all who enter your facility. This course covers OSHA compliance, safety training, recordkeeping, and the importance of creating a culture that promotes safe actions. Course materials include webinars on OSHA compliance, creating a safety program, silica exposure, and the ROI of safety. Additional reading materials include a company safety audit, a silica control plan, and an employee safety training syllabus.

Stone Sales 1: Basic Sales and Marketing Measures (4 hours)

Topics discussed in this course include demographic analysis, creating measurements, and using data to increase sales. Learn how to identify and record stone sales measurements, find and mobilize customers into your sales funnel, and understand current and future industry trends. Course materials include webinars on targeting customers, tracking trends, and the evolving countertop customer. Readings include several design and trend articles from the Use Natural Stone website.

Since 2016, the Natural Stone University has provided online education tools for stone industry professionals. Courses are available free of charge to current Natural Stone Institute member companies. Learn more at


About the Natural Stone Institute

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

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