Daltile reinforces commitment to dealers at conference

daltile-statementsIn November 2015, Daltile hosted its third annual Statements Business Conference for the Daltile Statements Dealer Program. Statements is an elite dealer program developed to support tile and stone showrooms by helping create a design destination for consumers.

Launched in 2011, Statements offers dealers targeted merchandising, marketing and financial benefits – all designed to strengthen their position as a market leader and boost sales. The conference was held at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The event brought together over 100 Statements dealers and Daltile representatives to celebrate program achievements to date, learn about future Statements program enhancements, hear from guest speakers and network with industry peers.

“Once again, the Statements Business Conference provided us with an opportunity to share new program enhancements and further emphasize our commitment to this important group of dealers,” said John Cousins, senior vice president SSC & Field Sales, Daltile. “More importantly, it served as a forum for us to gather additional insights on what Daltile can do to help grow their businesses,” Cousins said. “We are already in the process of implementing changes as a direct result of the feedback shared at the conference and will continue to review opportunities for enhanced value and increased differentiation through the Statements program moving forward.”

Throughout the course of the event, conference attendees heard from experts on a variety of topics designed to help propel their businesses to the next level. Additionally, Daltile’s Brand Marketing team reintroduced the new branding (launched in Spring 2015) and unveiled the new Statements showroom finishes and displays as well as new lead and business management tools.

The conference also served as an opportunity to celebrate the success of the program over the past year. At the event’s awards ceremony, three Statements dealers were honored for their exceptional performance throughout 2015. Tony Wright of Jack Laurie Group was honored as the Statements Dealer of the Year. Mark Wiles of Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings received the Statements Outstanding Sales and Achievement Award and Greg Knable of Floor Solutions was honored with the Statements Rising Star Award. Daltile sales manager, Rick Willoughby, was named the 2015 Daltile Regional Sales Manager of the Year. For more information, contact your local Daltile Sales Service Center or Daltile representative.

Noble CE course accredited by USGBC 

Noble Company’s continuing education course entitled “Sustainable Tile Installations Using Membrane Technology” has been approved by the GBCI for one CE hour. Participants will learn how selecting and using the proper membranes and accessories contribute to durability and trouble-free tile installations. The course is listed on USGBC’s website www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc.

A distance learning version of the course is available at www.aecdaily.com for one CE hour. The course is also approved by AIA for LU/HSW credit.

Check with Noble Company or your local representative for presentation schedules. Noble Company is committed to providing quality products, information, and the resources to help ensure quality installations. For more information visit the website at www.noblecompany.com, or contact Noble at 800-878-5788.

Denver-based Design Materials Inc. joins Crossville Tile & Stone distribution network

Officials with Crossville, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Curran Group, have announced the company’s acquisition of all assets belonging to Design Materials Inc., a distribution business headquartered in Denver, Colo. Design Materials joins recently-acquired CAPCO to strengthen Crossville’s position in the market. Operations will be folded into the existing company-owned distribution arm, Crossville Tile & Stone (CT&S). This will provide CT&S locations in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Greg Mather, president of Crossville Inc., states, “The acquisition of Design Materials, and previously announced CAPCO acquisition, provides us the scale to grow the Crossville brand in Colorado and New Mexico. Sue Ann and Calvin Guth have made Design Materials a leader in the market, establishing traditions of outstanding service to the marketplace. As a partner of DMI’s for many years, we well know the strengths of the team at Design Materials and look forward to continued success with the operation.”

The acquisition of Design Materials is effectively immediately

NTCA joins with CCA Global Partners

Bart Bettiga, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), officially announced that NTCA has joined forces with CCA Global Partners to bring education and technical expertise to its members.

This new ground-breaking partnership brings experience, expertise and a wealth of resources to CCA Global Partners’ Members. “It is an integral component of NTCA’s continuous mission to develop and maintain installation standards and to promote qualified labor,” stated Jim Olson, NTCA assistant executive director. “Membership in the NTCA can provide the vehicle for CCA Global Partners members to receive ideal technical training and education needed to create highest quality results for satisfied customers, and will result in increased use and consumption of tile and stone within our market.”

The NTCA attended the CCA Global Partners Semi-Annual Convention, January 6-10, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., where partners were encouraged to stop by their exhibit and apply for membership at a discounted rate.

“The association with CCA Global will pave the way for NTCA to supply CCA’s members full membership benefits; from hands-on installation workshops and industry leadership conferences to marketing programs and free technical advice,” Bettiga concluded. “CCA Global Partners are an elite group of entrepreneurs that are always looking for innovative ways to serve their customers at a higher level, and the NTCA is proud to be a part of that initiative.”

CCA Global Partners include International Design Guild®, ProSource® Wholesale Floorcoverings®, Flooring America®, Flooring Canada®, and The Floor Trader® Carpet & Floors.

wedi welcomes North American distributors to international headquarters

In 2015, wedi welcomed its North American “Blue & More Awards Program” Distribution Partners at wedi’s international headquarters and production plants in Emsdetten, in North Western Germany.

Over the course of three days, the group of wedi partners, from various regions in North America, enjoyed highly-productive networking, educational events and tour through the wedi manufacturing plant. The tour afforded the visitors a first- hand experience and insight into latest technologies in manufacturing , testing, QM and R&D around waterproofing tile underlayment and shower systems. The group also enjoyed historic sightseeing and culinary events.

wedi NA distributor tripBryan Teague from Morris Tile in Baltimore, Md., one of wedi’s top U.S. distributors on the East Coast said, “Thank you for the outstanding time I had In Germany this past week. More importantly I found it extremely educational. I now have a clearer understanding of wedi and its abilities and future goals. This new information will allow us to continue to grow market share as partners in the Washington, Baltimore and Norfolk markets.”

wedi extends its thanks to all travel group participants, with gratitude that they took time to break bread with company personnel and make this trip a great event!

Are You Paying Attention? – January 3, 2016

Back in August of last year the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handed down a new standard that “rewrites U.S. Labor law and upends thousands of business relationships”. Their reasoning is that the old standard was “increasingly out of step with changing economic circumstances”. Reaction was swift with several calling it “alarming” and “fundamentally unrealistic”. The new rule stems from the board’s watershed Browning-Ferris decision which dealt with joint-employer relationships. While the rule will have far reaching effects on industries from staffing companies to franchises, it will also have great effect on the construction industry in terms of how our labor is classified. And yes you should at the very least be aware and even concerned.

The focus of this ruling for our industry concerns the classification of labor into the camps of employees and sub-contractors. While the NLRB, the governmental agency that implements the National Labor Relations Act, has found it within their jurisdiction and infinite wisdom to reverse several decades of practice in labor relationships, they are of the opinion that the line between the two to be blurred to the point that action separating them must be taken. The dissenters on the board who voted against this decision said it “reverses several prior decisions that established clear standards…all of which had been approved by powerful federal courts of appeal”. This is specifically addressing the use of 1099-based labor in the construction industry.

I’m sure many are aware of the IRS’s 20 Point Checklist for Determining an Independent Contractor (http://art.mt.gov/artists/IRS_20pt_Checklist_%20Independent_Contractor.pdf) which has been used in the past to make the distinction between an employee and a subcontractor. It now appears that the NLRB wishes to go beyond this already stringent test to make it even more so as the Obama administration chases “perceived worker rights abuses” as a main target as increased funding to both the NLRB and the IRS has increased in the last few years. The rule seems to actively seek to “restrict and tighten the use of independent contractors “ in the construction industry. This matter is especially poignant to the homebuilding industry since the NAHB states that a typical builder “relies on an average of 22 subcontractors to build a typical single family home.” Much of this stems from the toughening stance put forth from the Department of Labor and an administrator’s opinion that stated that the DOL “is putting more weight on a subcontractor’s economic independence when it decides whether that sub really ought to be regarded as an independent enterprise”. No longer is the IRS’s checklist enough. Now subcontractors must show “the managerial and business skills that are part of being and independent contractor, not just providing skilled labor”.

At stake is misclassification of your labor, if you use subcontractors, and the perception that they should have been W-2 based employees. The money it could cost you if they deem you have breached their new rules “can be ruinous”. It has been said that “reclassification attacks are very expensive to defend” and the resulting actions trigger a “domino-like effect” that if you lose your case can have you paying beloved fees such as past due overtime, past due health insurance, past due retirement benefits, past due employee benefits, past due worker’s compensation insurance, past due state and federal withholding taxes plus penalties and interest and enormous legal fees to the other side.

I doubt any installation contractors in our industry want to incur such onerous penalties that could potentially put them out of business, so each must understand the risks and rewards of this issue. This issue is currently being researched and information is being disseminated by the installation industry. There has even been a period of time after this ruling for associations such as ours to comment to the NLRB our opinion of the rule and how it will affect our members.

There has been legislation proposed in Congress to undo the rule by representatives whose constituents have shown an “immense backlash” to it. I urge you to consider the ramifications of the NLRB’s new rule on your business and our industry. Do some research into how the rule will be applied in your state. I also urge you to contact your legislators to support, as one congressman put it, “commonsense proposals that would restore policies in place long before the NLRB’s radical decision, the very same policies that served workers, employers, and consumers well for decades.”

A program on this very subject will be presented at the Surfaces show in Las Vegas and is just one of the educational opportunities available there January 19.

Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products show leading products at TISE booth #4343

CORONA, Calif. (Jan. 13, 2016) – Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products, a division of Omega Products International, will feature some of its industry leading products at The International Surface Event (TISE) Jan. 20-22, 2016, from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Visit Siena at Booth 4343.

 SienaThe Siena exhibit will showcase a variety of products within the tile and stone installation category, specifically Siena Dragon Skin, the industry’s leading liquid applied water-proofing and crack-isolation membrane. In addition, the Siena booth will include its top-of-the-line mortars: Glass Tile Pro M375, Multi Plus Pro M200, and Medium Set Pro M400; a variety of premium grouts, and Fracture Shield anti-fracture membranes.

“We market our products as a comprehensive solution to all of your tile and stone installation and surface preparation needs,” said Christine Camponovo, longtime Director of Sales at Siena. “While unable to showcase all our products at TISE, the ones on display will show the quality and performance of the Siena brand, its superior strength, and our exceptional offering.”

Siena products at Booth 4343:

1) Siena Dragon Skin, the industry’s leading liquid applied, fast drying, high performance, easy to use water-proofing and crack-isolation membrane.

2) Glass Tile Pro M375, a high performance polymer-modified flexible mortar designed to give superior bond strength to the most demanding  glass, stone, metal, and unique tile installations.

3) Fracture Shield, a ready to use anti-fracture, crack-isolation and water resistant membrane.

4) Multi Plus Pro M200, multi-purpose, high quality polymer-modified mortar with exceptional bond strength, for use with porcelain and over plywood.

5) Medium Set Pro M400, high quality, medium bed mortar specifically formulated with non-sag/non-slip bonding for use in vertical applications and large format tile and stone.

6) Non-Sanded Grout NS200, a polymer enhanced, premium high quality grout used for grouting tile joints of 1/16 and 1/8 inch wide for tile and stone installs.

7) Sanded Grout GS 300, a polymer enhanced, premium high quality grout used for grouting tile joints of 1/8 to 1/2 inch wide for tile and stone installs.


TISE is the most comprehensive expo in the floor covering industry, featuring the latest products in every major category including carpet, tile, stone, hardwood, rugs, and laminate, plus the latest in tools, supplies, and technologies.

For regular updates on our products, please follow Siena/Omega Products on Twitter @OmegaProductsFacebookInstagram, & Houzz.

Crossville Contributes Tile for a Variety of KBIS Booths

Crossville, Inc. is bringing its latest tile collections to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) by partnering with KBIS exhibitors to provide products for installed vignettes throughout the show floor. KBIS is one of the largest industry trade shows specifically for kitchen and bath design professionals.

KBIS takes place during next week’s Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas; the week also entails the International Builders Show and occurs in tandem with the TISE West show, historically known as Surfaces Expo. Crossville is a TISE West exhibitor (booth #4023) and will present its full product story and latest offerings at this industry-specific show. However, in order to expand the brand’s presence and maximize interaction opportunities with the large audience in Vegas, the company is partnering with select KBIS exhibitors, contributing tile collections to installed room settings.

“Design and Construction Week is an incredible chance to be up close and in person with product specifiers in the kitchen and bath design industry,” explains Crossville VP of Marketing Lindsey Waldrep. “The Surfaces Expo is an essential part of our annual calendar, and we’re thrilled it now aligns with other shows that bring together so many professionals who need the products we offer.”

At KBIS, Crossville collections are featured in six suites designed by sanitary ware manufacturer TOTO USA to showcase their newest products. These suites, viewable at N1329 on the show floor, are created as room settings to show all products in use as they would be in actual residential spaces. Additionally, Crossville products are used in the Villeroy & Boch’s exhibition – N1329, as well as the Quick Drain booth – N3377. In each instance, Crossville’s latest lines, including its innovative Laminam porcelain tile panels, are incorporated into total design schemes to offer ideas and inspiration to kitchen and bath design professionals.

Design and Construction Week runs January 19 – 21, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. TISE West, aka Surfaces Expo, runs January 20 – 22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.





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