Schluter-Systems’ warehouse catches fire

schluter_logoSchluter-Systems’ Plattsburgh, N.Y., operations suffered a fire on  November 9th around 5:20 p.m. A fire broke out at a storage building. Nobody was injured as a result of the fire. The storage building, which is a separate building from the manufacturing plant, was lost completely in the fire along with its contents. The contents of the storage building were pre-production inventory.

The fire was confined to the warehouse storage facility and arrangements are already being planned for the removal of the debris and the rebuild. This incident has not affected manufacturing or shipping operations at Schluter Systems L.P., and orders will not be affected.  The finished goods warehouse was also unaffected and is operating as usual. The warehouse holds ample inventory, so no shortages are expected.

Reinhard Plank, president of Schluter-Systems North America, said, “When a fire of this magnitude occurs, your mind immediately goes to the people that may be hurt. We are extremely grateful that both our employees and the fire fighters who managed the blaze so professionally are all fine. The storage building that burned down was used for raw material storage, and is separate from the manufacturing plant. While the material in the storage building was completely lost, we are already making arrangements for the debris to be removed, and planning the rebuild. The incident has not affected operations, and order fulfillment is fully operational. We cannot thank all the fire departments and state police enough for their quick response and for preventing further loss – this incident could have been far worse if it weren’t for them.”

Over two dozen fire departments from the area and neighboring counties came to help control and eventually douse the fire. Plank added, “Thank you to all who have called, emailed, and reached out through social media. We have heard from tile industry friends and colleagues, many Plattsburgh businesses, the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and local congressman Bill Owens, with offers of help and assistance. We are all safe and thankful to be part of such a supportive community.”

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Fox Ceramic Tile wins TEC® brand “Imagine Achieve” contractor contest

The TEC® brand has awarded Kevin Fox of Fox Ceramic Tile the grand prize in its “Imagine Achieve” contractor contest. Five runners-up have also been recognized by a panel of industry experts.

fox_grand_prizeThe judging panel included Rose Mary Clyburn, president of H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc.; Dan Welch, president of Welch Tile, and NTCA; Jennifer Panning, president of Artisan Tile Inc. and TCAA; and Michael Ansari, president of AIC Contracting Inc. These industry experts selected the winning entries based on imagination, craftsmanship and excellent use of TEC® products.

As the grand prize winner for his work on the Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA in Wichita, Kan., Fox – who is a NTCA Five-Star Contractor – received a $5,000 cash prize. Fox Ceramic Tile is featured on the TEC® website and in TEC® advertising.

“Winning this award gives us confidence that we are doing things right and running our business with success,” Fox said.

His project used TEC® products to aid with fast-paced tile installation at the 110,000-square-foot flagship YMCA. Fox Ceramic Tile installed large-format porcelain tile on the building’s lobby floor, ceramic and porcelain tiles throughout the building and porcelain mosaics in its pools, whirlpool and steam room. These varied environments presented installers with a challenge, and the judges noticed.

“It was a complex and labor intensive project,” said judge Michael Ansari.

Fox Ceramic Tile utilized a range of TEC® products, including HydraFlex™ Waterproofing Crack Isolation Membrane, Fast-Set Deep Patch, Fast Set Ultimate Large Tile Mortar, AccuColor EFX® Epoxy Special Effects Grout and AccuColor 100® 100% Silicone Sealant.

“Kevin Fox successfully used TEC® products to achieve a highly functional, beautiful space that will be enjoyed by thousands of people,” said Rose Mary Clyburn, president of H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc., the manufacturer of TEC® brand products. “We’re proud to see our products in this space.”

Fox Ceramic Tile and the five runners-up will be promoted by the company within case studies. The runners-up are also featured on the TEC® website and each received a $500 cash prize.

“There were a wide variety of entries ranging from small residential to large commercial projects – from across the country,” said Jennifer Panning, contest judge.

The five runners-up are:

1. Ron Mayo, Flooring Systems Inc., for Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon, Ill.

2. Matt Minshall, Uptight Floor Covering, for a hacienda-style custom home in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

3. NTCA Five Star Contractor  Nyle Wadford, Neuse Tile, for a pharmaceutical plant install in North Carolina.

4. Jeff Shultz, Metro Tile Contractors, for Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kan.

5. NTCA Five Star Contractor James Woelfel, Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co., for a college locker room in Arizona.

Photos of these prize-winning projects are available at tecspecialty.com/imagineachieve. The grand prize winner and runners-up will also appear in TEC® marketing materials.

For more information, visit www.hbfuller-cp.com.

wedi Corp. invites top distributors and partners to Germany

wedi-1213wedi recently invited 18 top distributors and their partners to visit the wedi factory in Emsdetten, Germany, as part of wedi’s incentive program “Blue & More Awards.” The group enjoyed a three-day program including a tour of wedi’s manufacturing facility, where they had the opportunity to see wedi’s advanced manufacturing technology for backer board and shower systems in action. The group also got to enjoy local history, good food and beer tastings that are part of the character of  northwestern Germany.

wedi was grateful to have hosted this event, which included discussions and exchanges about marketing of wedi and tile products in the Americas, as well as camaraderie and recreation.

CERAMICS OF ITALY LAUNCHES A&D VIP TOUR AT COVERINGS 2013

CoI_COV13_300x250(Atlanta, GA – April 2013) Ceramics of Italy is pleased to announce a new program targeted at the architectural and design community in the Southeast. In conjunction with the first Coverings show to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, from April 29–May 2, 2013, Ceramics of Italy has created an interactive A&D VIP program to supercharge the design industry show experience. In addition to a
pavilion packed with the newest tiles from nearly 80 different tile brands, the Italian tile industry will offer their architect and design guests daily guided trend tours and a traditional Italian lunch. VIP attendees will also receive a special A&D Goody Bag – filled with helpful information and some fun treats from Italy – and be entered to receive a free trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie 2013 (the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings) from September 23-27, 2013. www.cersaie.it

After registering for attendance at Coverings, interested designers and architects can register at bit.ly/coveringsvip and select their lunch and tour dates. Upon arrival in the Italian Pavilion, they should check in at the Ceramics of Italy Info Desk in Piazza Ceramica (Booth #2231). Located in the heart of the Italian Pavilion, Piazza Ceramica, designed by NY-based architectural firm e+i studio, will feature a large open gathering space, piazza-like steps, and a dedicated Italian culinary team in the popular café and coffee bar. It will also include an interactive exhibit for the 20th Anniversary of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition.

For more information, interested and qualified attendees can contact the Italian Ceramic Tile Industry through Novita` Communications at 212.528.3160 or [email protected]

Coverings 2013 Call for Entries

Coverings 2013, The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience,  has announced a call for entries for two of its most acclaimed programs,    PROJECT: Green and the Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards.

“With these two programs, Coverings is proud to recognize excellence in the entire tile and stone community by saluting professionals for their design creativity, craftsmanship and environmental stewardship,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “Recognition of the projects selected for PROJECT: Green and winners for CID Awards has become a much-anticipated highlight of the show.”

PROJECT: Green  recognizes sustainable new and remodeled commercial, institutional and residential projects featuring tile and stone.  The program, now in its fourth year, is

open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, manufacturers and installers. Projects must have been completed within the past two years and may be located within the United States or internationally.

The independent panel of judges will evaluate projects based on such criteria as positive environmental impact, environmental innovation, aesthetic design, and use of tile/stone products with environmental benefits such as recycled or low VOC materials.  Deadline for entries is Jan. 18, 2013.  Selected projects will be showcased at Coverings in Atlanta, April 29-May 2, 2013.

The CID Awards honor achievements in outstanding design and installation of tile and stone in residential and commercial projects.  Architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers and other professionals are invited to enter projects located within, or outside of, North America.  New for 2013 a category has been established for international firms submitting projects.

Projects are judged on design and installation excellence, giving special recognition to unusual, creative and innovative uses of stone and tile.

The deadline for entries is February 8, 2013. Winners will be announced at the CID Awards Reception & Ceremony on Monday, April 29 at Coverings at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. If winners are unable to attend, the project will be disqualified and a new winner will be awarded.  International category entrants are encouraged to attend but attendance is not mandatory.

To enter PROJECT: Green  and the  CID Awards   go to http://www.coverings.com/coverings2013/Public/enter.aspx?ID=6229

There is no fee to visit Coverings or to enter either of these awards.  And unlike many other shows, there is no charge to attend almost 70 informative educational sessions either.  Professionals can register online at www.coverings.com .

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 more than 50 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with almost 70 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge

Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, 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 Distributors 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 National Trade Productions.

Coverings 2013 will be held April 29-May 2, at Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information visit www.coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.

Coverings

Sustainability was celebrated and recognized for the third year running with the PROJECT:Green competition, held at Coverings 2012 in Orlando this spring. Three projects walked away as winners, and three other submissions were also deemed noteworthy in their use of sustainable materials. Winners were represented in the new Coverings Central social media hub. All three winners are defining achievements in design and architecture where sustainability was a core mission and tile and stone were integral to that end. The editors of Environmental Design + Construction (ED+C) magazine joined with Coverings to sponsor and judge the initiative.

Schlüter Systems
Reno distribution and training center

Schlüter Systems’ newly-built 90,000-square-foot distribution and training center in Reno, Nevada was honored with the “Best in Show” Award for Commercial/New Construction (see the cover story of TileLetter, September 2011 for full details of this project – visit http://tinyurl.com/cldnsgg online). More than 41,000 square feet of tile were installed throughout the facility on floors, interior walls and the exterior façade, with 24”x24” porcelain tile applied over a combination of Schlüter®-KERDI-BOARD and Schluter-DITRA-DRAIN.

The washroom sinks demonstrate one of the unique applications of tile. Using Kerdi-Board panels to build the structure and the sloped surface for the sink basin and the Kerdi-Line linear drain for drainage, the vanity and sink are covered entirely in tile.

In an atrium, porcelain tile provided the backing for a “living wall” where the plants that thrive on this vertical surface add oxygen and humidity and act as a bio-filter for the air inside the building. Even the warehouse features 8,000 square feet of tiles, innovatively applied to walls over a radiant cooling system. Schlüter – BEKOTEC modular screened panel formed the platform for the system and integrates with the tile covering to produce a system that reacts very quickly to changes in temperature, and consumes 70% to 80% less energy than traditional systems.

Judges remarked that the project is “a living laboratory, research center and museum for what is possible with ceramic tile and how it can contribute to a healthy, sustainable and lifelong design.”

Crossville
San Francisco Airport

Taking the Commercial/Remodel “Best in Show” Award was San Francisco International Airport Terminal Two, where Crossville’s Color Blox EC tiles – with a minimum of 20% recycled content – were extensively incorporated into the design. This renovation of the airport’s circa 1950s terminal by Gensler earned a LEED Gold rating, the first air terminal in the U.S. to achieve this certification level. Tile, installed by De Anza Tile using setting materials from Custom Building Products, was the featured flooring and wall surface in each of 16 public restrooms, four post-security and four pre-security areas in the terminal. All together, more than 36,160 square feet of the material were used.

The Color Blox EC porcelain tile – supplied by Butler-Johnson Corporation – made up 95% of the tile used in the project, with a band of glass mosaic tile running along the ceiling edge above the vanity/mirror areas comprising the other 5% of tile used. The recycled content in Color Blox EC comes from varying percentages of Crossville’s own waste and from its Tile Take-BackTM Program, which recycles reclaimed, previously-installed tile.

The terminal’s design uses 15% less energy than California’s stringent building code and the reuse of the existing building’s structure saved approximately 12,300 tons of CO2. Low-flow fixtures with a dual plumbing system  take advantage of reclaimed water, and use of daylight reduces the need for electric light in many areas. Aggressive recycling policies for all tenants reduce the airport’s waste generation and carbon footprint.

Crossville
Chicago Federal Building

Named “Best in Show” for Institutional/Remodel was the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building in Chicago. Crossville again was the lead resource for tile featured in all 78 renovated bathrooms in this Mies van der Rohe-designed architectural landmark. The 57,000 square feet of new tiles installed in the project by Trostud incorporated recycled tiles, toilets, sinks, urinals and drinking fountains that were removed from the building as part of the renovation, then subsequently crushed and made into new, custom porcelain tile. An estimated 102,000 pounds of end-of-use porcelain material were diverted from this building and recycled by Crossville for this closed-loop project. There was 13,750 square feet of white 12”x24” tile with 50% pre-consumer recycled content and 43,464 square feet  of grey 24”x24” tile with approximately 48% post-consumer recycled content. The project was the inspiration for the new line of Shades by Crossville porcelain tile, launched this year. Crossville is the first tile manufacturer to be certified by SCS for its waste recycling processes for fired and filtrate waste.

No-VOC and low-VOC MAPEI setting materials were used; tile was supplied via Virginia Tile.

Inspiration and Ideas 

Three additional project submissions were acknowledged for offering inspiration on sustainability via use of tile or stone. These noteworthy projects celebrated in the PROJECT: Green Ideas Center include:

Subway Restaurant, Kokomo Town Center, Kokomo, IN.
Idea 1: Use recycled/reclaimed materials

Reclaimed/recycled limestone salvaged from a central Indiana school and church and other former projects was used for both interior and exterior surfaces, providing a distinctive aesthetic while eliminating need for newly quarried stone.

Floor & Décor, Norwood, NJ
Idea 2: Consider manufacturers you are sourcing from and their sustainable practices

This 2011 PROJECT: Green Honorable Mention was cited this time around for a residential bathroom renovation where the utmost consideration was given to the manufacturers who were sourced as much for their sustainable practices as for their sustainable products. Eco-friendly Porcelanosa 12”x25” tile products from the Lino Blanco line were used for surface finishes. Porcelanosa has been an ISO 14001 certified organization since 2004 and employs a range of sustainable practices in its operations, from recycling cardboard packaging, recycling plastic wrap, converting heat from its kilns to electricity and using filters to reduce dust emissions.

Matt Kline Associates, Alexandria, Va.
Idea 3: Be sensitive to the environment of the space

This distributor of tile, stone and other surfaces renovated the family’s own kitchen, cleaning and reusing bricks from the back wall in the project. There was very little demolition waste in the project due to its reuse or recycling back into the project. In addition, highly sustainable products were selected such as hand-painted tiles surrounding the brick oven and backsplashes from a California studio employing low-tech processes and excellent environmental practices. Long-wearing, eternally fashionable, practical, and easily-recycled Blue Eyes granite was used on the counter work surfaces and a special cut of Calacatta Gold marble was used on the islands.

For full  details, visit www.coverings.com and click on Attendees & Press, then on Special Programs  or enter http://tinyurl.com/6necdtw into your browser.

Coverings Installation Design Awards

 

At Coverings this past April, the industry saluted designers and contractors of outstanding tile and stone projects in the first-ever Coverings Installation Design Awards. This competition is the evolution of the prestigious Coverings Prism and Spectrum Awards that recognized excellence in design in tile and stone projects and the TileLetter Awards that honored technical excellence in craftsmanship and installation. The Coverings Installation Design (CID) Awards shined a light on both aspects of a project, acknowledging the critical role collaboration plays in successful and stunning projects. The CID Awards were sponsored by Coverings, TileLetter and NTCA’s newest publication, TADA, Tile for Architects, Designers and Affiliates.

Judges sifted through nearly 75 entries to determine the 12 winners. Judges included Christine Abbate – Ceramics of Italy, Lori Dolnick – Tile of Spain, Jennifer Adams – Contemporary Stone & Tile Design/TILE Magazine/Stone World, Jennifer Renzi – Interior Design, Robin Wilson – Robin Wilson Home, Eric Astrachan  – Tile Council of North America,  and Bart Bettiga – NTCA.

The list of winners are as follows:

Residential ––––––––––

Grand Prize Residential:
Rosenthal Residence
Walled Lake, Mich.
Designer: David Ellison
Installer: RJH Tile and Stone

Residential Stone:
2012 New American Home
Winter Park, Fla.
Designer: Phil Kean Designs, Inc.
Installer: Girem Tile Work, Inc.

Residential Mosaic/Glass:
Bella Leoni
Ada, Mich.
Designer: Signature Outdoor Concepts/Inspired Installations
Installer: Inspired Installations

Residential Tile:
Turck Residence
Decatur, Mich.
Designer: Motawi Tileworks
Installer: Harry Underdah

Commercial ––––––––––

Grand Prize Commercial:
El Andaluz
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Designer: Jeff Shelton Architect
Installer: Dan Upton Construction

Commercial Stone:
Atrium
Miami, Fla.
Designer: Insight Design
Installer: Gemini Tile Service

Commercial Mosaic/Glass:
Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center
Charlottesville, Va.
Designer: BH+A
Installer: The Ceiling and Floor Shop

Commercial Tile:
Palomar Medical Center West
Escondido, Calif.
Designer: Anshen + Allen Architects/CO Architects
Installer: Wirtz Quality Installations

Special Recognition ––––––––––

Historic Renovation:
Monroe Skyscraper
Chicago, Ill.
Designer: Holabird & Root/Rookwood Pottery
Installer: DTI

Art in Public Space:
The Four Stages of Higher Learning Chandelier
GHSU College of Dental Medicine, Augusta, Ga.
Designer/Installer: Paul Pearman

Tile & Stone:
Mohegan Sun, Casino of the
Earth expansionUncasville, Ct.
Designer: Rockwell Group
Installer: Kenneth Castellucci & Associates

Tile & Stone:
Hyatt Olive 8 Condominium
Seattle, Wash.
Designer: Mulvanny Architecture G2, Seattle Branch
Installer: Antony Architectural Stone

Following are the details of the Grand Prize Residential and Commercial winners:

Grand Prize Residential: Rosenthal Residence
Walled Lake, Mich.
Designer: David Ellison
Installer: RJH Tile and Stone

The owner of this 7,500 square-foot lakeside home hadn’t been on hand for much of the construction. So upon his arrival at the nearly-complete residence, horror ensued at the shoddy construction throughout the five bathrooms and stone floors.

Enter contractor RJH Tile and Stone, and designer David Ellison. Since the previous work had to be demolished, the designer-contractor team now had a blank slate from which to work. One man’s nightmare is another man’s blessing, and the vast footage in question offered the team the ability to stretch creatively, using stock showroom stone cut to size on site to keep costs down on this admittedly lavish project. But by reducing material costs, more could be invested in details and ornaments.

Stone floors were chosen for beauty, low maintenance, and wheelchair maneuverability.

Careful layout was key for every element of this project, with installers giving special attention to detail, such as external corners that were mitered, epoxied, and filled to give them the look of quarried full-thickness stone rather than a veneer. This sumptuous project made the most of materials and stayed on budget.

Grand Prize Commercial:
El Andaluz
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Designer: Jeff Shelton Architect
Installer: Dan Upton Construction

This mixed-use project contains seven residential units nestled around a large tiled courtyard on the upper two floors. At street level on the first floor, two commercial units anchor the project and a tiled roof deck on the fourth floor overlooks the city. Santa Barbara’s architectural guidelines are based on Mediterranean and Spanish motifs and, as such, plentiful tile use is encouraged. Designer Jeff Shelton took full advantage of this, dedicating a tenth of the budget to ceramic, cement and marble tile.

Eight elliptical arches sport 1”x8” custom ceramic tiles that were splattered with glaze, then mixed up and installed to give depth and a sense of Moorish writing flowing throughout the arches. Exterior walls of the commercial units are covered in 12”x12” patterned cement tile: one with a bird pattern reminiscent of Escher, another with a giant swarming ant motif.

Falling Fuscia cement riser tiles bloom on the main stairs leading to the flowering courtyard on the second floor. The courtyard itself is an explosion of tile, from the planters to fountains, benches and the zigzag bricks on the floor. Nasturtium cement riser tiles lead to the third floor; loggia tiles are floral cement on one side and a fish motif on the other.

All units are flowing with vibrant 12”x12” tiles on the floors, and marble-covered bathroom walls and kitchen counters. Exterior decks sport 1/4” ceramic tile. From the commercial-level arches to the residential units, great care in design and excellence in installation imparts a sense of warmth, timelessness and character to the entire project.

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