Installers: Raise Your Rates

Jon Namba

Traveling across the country and speaking with installers, the one thing I’m hearing right now is that most everyone is very busy. With that in mind and with the industry feeling the pain of the lack of “qualified installers,” it’s a good time for installers to look hard at their businesses and consider raising their rates.

I’m sure some retailers and general contractors are frowning at my statement right now, but if you’re doing a good job of providing service and professional installations then don’t be afraid to ask for more money. We’ll always have those contractors that will underbid us and we may not get every job—in fact, if you are getting every job, you may be too low with your prices or you’re high in demand (I hope it’s the latter).

One thing I tell contractors as they negotiate their prices is to sell with confidence and show value for what they are charging. Sometimes it’s the little things that set you apart from the competition. In my sales seminars, I explain that I don’t sell jobs but build relationships—before discussing any pricing.

We all know that supplies, fuel, food, and housing are going up, so if you’re not keeping up with those rising costs you’re not getting ahead. We run a small, family-owned business. When we get scheduled out too far, we align ourselves with other small installation businesses with the same work ethics we have. When we get too much on our plate, we’ll work with our partners in the industry to get the job done. I don’t think of them as competition as there’s enough work to go around. If we can support each other, have a positive influence in our industry and end up with a satisfied client, I’m all for it.


Jon Namba is an independent industry consultant, trainer and speaker. He recently completed a term as the president of the NWFA Certified Professionals. His background includes roles as an installer, former WFCA director of technical services and former CFI executive director.

Reprinted with permission from Jon Namba and Floor Covering Installer.

Keene Building Products Announces New Territory Manager

Dan Belisario, a resident of New Jersey, joins the Keene Building Products and Dependable, LLC sales team as Territory Manager of Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, NYC Metro, and New Jersey.

Belisario has more than 30 years in sales experience in the construction/building industry, including multiple Regional Sales Manager roles, and owning and operating his own company. Belisario has proven ability to grow sales, expand markets, and lead teams, which makes him an ideal candidate for the job.

Keene Building Products is a manufacturer of 3-dimensional filament products for the building envelope, roofing and noise control markets. Dependable, LLC is an American manufacturer of professional grade floor products for repair, restoration and new construction.

Anatolia Tile + Stone recognized for second time as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Maclean’s, one of Canada’s largest news outlets, along with Canadian Business Magazine, recently announced the 2018 Canada’s Best Managed Companies, and Anatolia Tile and Stone is honored to be on this prestigious list for the second time.

First recognized by Deloitte in 2008 as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, Anatolia has been awarded again for its outstanding business performance and sustained growth with the prestigious Canada’s Best Managed Companies designation. The 2018 Best Managed program award winners are amongst the best-in-class of Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues over $15 million demonstrating strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth.

“Best Managed companies deserve recognition for their entrepreneurial approach to excelling in an uncertain economic climate. They truly bring out the best in Canadian business leadership,” said Lorrie King, Partner, Deloitte and Co-Leader, Canada’s Best Managed Companies program.

Now in its 25th year, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is one of the country’s leading business awards programs recognizing Canadian-owned and managed companies for innovative, world-class business practices. Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

“Being amongst the best in class requires more than financial performance,” said Peter Brown, Partner, Deloitte and Co-Leader, Canada’s Best Managed Companies program. “Achieving sustained growth and strong overall business performance is the result of the combined efforts and commitment of the entire organization.”

The Best Managed program is sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business, TMX Group and MacKay CEO Forums.

Introducing Motawi’s “From the Vault” Series

Does this tile look familiar? Our 6×6 Cyclamen tile is the first installment of Motawi’s “From the Vault” series, where we bring back classic discontinued Motawi designs. Each tile is signed by Nawal Motawi and stamped with “2018” denoting its limited reissue year. We’ve only made a small amount of these tiles so get them while you can!

Our 6×6 Cyclamen is an explosion of floral beauty with a nod to the classic Arts & Crafts style. A true Motawi collectors piece, the Cyclamen is representative of Motawi’s aesthetic roots and promises to beautify any space it encounters. The 6×6 Cyclamen comes in two lovely color schemes, the original Green Oak and the new Mint Peach.


Dal-Tile’s production facility in Muskogee, Oklahoma was recently recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for “zero recordables and zero lost time accidents” during 2017.  OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) awarded Dal-Tile’s Muskogee team with the coveted “Star of Excellence”.  This award is the highest level of achievement given by OSHA.

“Safety remains a core value of our organization and is expected from each team member everyday as we proudly produce quality products at all of our facilities,” said Guy Hargrove, senior safety manager, Dal-Tile Corporation.  “Dal-Tile is known for the respect and caring it shows team members and this extends into the realm of safety.  We view the safety of our employees as a non-negotiable value that will always be an integral part of our manufacturing process.”


Coverings, the largest international tile & stone exhibition in North America, will feature over 45 sessions in the 2018 conference program. Distinguished speakers will share their knowledge and industry insights with Coverings attendees, with conference programming highlighting key topics for the tile and stone industry throughout the May 8-11, 2018 show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Open to all attendees, the 2018 conference program continues Coverings’ dedication to providing world-class education. Content is tailored to each attendee segment, with programming available for architects, builders/remodelers, designers, distributors, fabricators, installers, and retailer attendees. With CEU credits available, these sessions continue to bring invaluable free education to the show.

Coverings 2018 will partner with industry leaders to present four featured sessions, as follows:

Wednesday, May 9, 9: 30 – 10: 30 a.m. – “Developing Our Workforce: Engaging the Next Generation for the Tile and Stone Industry,” addresses the continuing labor shortage and skills gap within the industry, which has had a direct impact on the quality of installations – as fewer qualified installers are available, increasing the number of callbacks due to improper installations. Moderated by Gayle Silvey, Associate Director of the SkillsUSA Office of Education, programming will highlight opportunities to help engage the next generation and grow the tile and stone industry, ranging from apprenticeship programs to local partnerships.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute and Director at Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, will showthe forecast that will provide clarification, inspiration and/or validation to the upcoming trends that will work best for businesses. Lee will also include helpful insights from her newest book, “The Complete Color Harmony” Pantone edition, Lee will present a session titled:“Focusing on the Future: An In-Depth Look at the Leading Color and Design Trends.”

Tuesday, May 8, 8: 30 – 10: 00 a.m. – Moderated by National Tile Contractors Association Executive Director Bart Bettiga and Natural Stone Institute CEO James Hieb, “Town Hall Meeting I: What General Contractors & Specifiers Are Saying About the Stone & Tile Industry?” will open attendees’ eyes to what general contractors & design professionals are saying about the stone & tile industry, and the impact on  a successful product installation.  The knowledge will allow tile and stone professionals to better understand the needs of general contractors and specifiers for future projects.

Wednesday, May 9, 8: 00 – 9: 00 a.m. — “Town Hall Meeting II: Meeting General Contractor & Specifier Expectations,”a second town hall session hosted by Bart Bettigaand James Hieb, will discuss how to meet the expectations of general contractors and designers. Using the insight gained from the first town hall, this interactive session will include small group discussions designed to learn about partners’ thought processes. Join a small group of 15 industry peers and learn how the stone & tile trades can enhance the expectations.

To learn about the full range of conference sessions at coverings visit

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Landmark Ceramics’ New Trim Tiles Catalog


Frontier20 includes a complete range of special trim pieces to seamlessly complete and accentuate the landscaping of outdoor spaces. To better serve our customers, and to fulfill the needs of the best architects and designers, Landmark Ceramics now provides a complete “Trim Tiles” Catalog which displays the whole range of trim tiles available for every single Frontier20 product.

Download the new trim tiles catalog.

Rio Lago Pebble Collection

Enhancing indoor and outdoor spaces with the warmth of beautiful natural stone.

Pebbles are showing up more places than ever and the nature-lover inside of us couldn’t be happier. Not only seen in spa-like baths, these petite of-the-earth stones are adding warmth and interest to the most unexpected spaces, like kitchen backsplashes and mud-room floors.

Our Rio Lago Collection celebrates stone’s renewed popularity with marble, travertine, and limestone pebbles in a myriad of looks, sizes, and finishes. From serene whites, grays, and beiges to bold browns and blacks—and intriguing mixed color blends—this collection boasts a palette of organic hues that would make Mother Earth blush.

Whether you gravitate towards an understated tumbled look or prefer a polished finish, the Rio Lago Collection offers something that echoes your personal style.

With several whole pebbles and sliced pebbles to choose from, there’s no shortage of design possibilities. Arranged naturally on mesh-backing for simplified installation, creating an elegant shower, accent wall, backsplash, or fireplace facade couldn’t be easier. Not surprisingly, the Rio Lago Pebble Collection fits right in outdoors, too—on patios, water features, and architectural elements, as well as outdoor showers, kitchens and fireplaces.

Give your residential or commercial space a touch of natural beauty with Rio Lago.

Discover the Rio Lago Pebble Collection.


Daltile recently dazzled the design community during the black tie grand opening of its new showroom in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In addition, the event marked the relocation of an entire family of brands together in one building, including the Daltile Design Studio, Daltile Slab Gallery, Daltile Sales Service Center, and a co-branded Marazzi-American Olean Showroom.

Photo (L to R): Jessica Knudsen, Chantel Wolters, Ashley Peterson, Libby Lockington (all from Daltile).

“Our black tie evening was a wonderful way to reveal to the local community that all of our brands are here together in one convenient new location,” said Chantel Wolters, manager of the Daltile Design Studio and Slab Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.  “In particular, the Daltile Design Studio and Slab Gallery portion of our new venue is designed to be the hub of the larger Salt Lake City design community. We are an extension of our customers’ businesses and our showroom is intended to be the hub of ‘all things design’ in our area.”

“I always stress to my clients that the Daltile studio is their partner in design,” added Wolters.  “Not only will they find the greatest breadth and depth of tile, stone, and countertop options, but they may also utilize our beautiful showroom to meet with their own customers about other facets of design. We are here to support our clients whether they are designers, architects, custom builders, national accounts, or contractors.”

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