Arley’s 13th annual events exceed expectations

0915arley-picArley Wholesale, Inc. (, a family-owned, Scranton, Pa.-based distributor, hosted its most successful ever three-day annual event of business, fun and major league networking in mid-June at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pa. The 13th Annual Arley Wholesale Tile & Stone Exposition concluded with the popular Arley Golf Classic.

Jim Carra, Arley’s Northeast Regional vice president, stated, “Our customer base keeps getting stronger. Our product line is constantly updated to best meet their needs. And every year, our June event is better than the previous year’s!”

Scott Levy, Arley executive vice-president of operations, delivered the keynote speech. He applied WWE wrestling champion John Cena’s catchphrase “The Champ is here!” to the swagger successful retailers should take regarding privately-branded products, guiding customers to the strongest product and installation material recommendations. “Your customers will realize that you’ll stand fast behind any product bearing your company’s name,” he said. He suggested that this attitude should also extend to co-workers and suppliers. “You are in business… this is your life,” he said. “This is not merely a job to any of us… it is everything. Your family, your employee partners… they are all counting on you to continually be ‘The Champ.’”

Monday’s golf outing held at the nearby Glen Oak Country Club included over 100 participants.

Semih Susleyen, sales manager of Ege Seramik, said, “This event mirrors our collective feelings about Arley. Everything is always professional. We started doing business with Arley just last year, seeing them as a strategic, reliable partner who promotes our products in 26 different states…. We have been doing business together just for 12 months, but it feels like we have known them for at least 12 years!”


TISE West attendee registration now open online

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.52.01 AMAttendee online registration for Las Vegas 2016 is now officially open for The International Surface Event (TISE). The International Surface Event-SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas | TileExpo presents four days of new products, hands-on demos, inspiring trends, key manufacturers, and industry suppliers, along with education and networking for the floor covering, tile and stone industries.  The show is set for January 20-22 and education January 19-22.

Online registration is available at  Attendees can choose a Design & Construction Week® Pass to include all the benefits of The International Surface Event, as well as gain access to three related industry shows.  For participating Design & Construction Week information, visit

New TISE West features this year, include a new “Living Magazine” that creates a 3D walk through a magazine experience that exhibits forecasted trends and colors for 2016/2017; the Mannington Mills 100 Year Celebration; and the IGNITE Education Program. For more information, visit For discounted hotel rates and exclusive Official Hotel perks for TISE 2016, visit


Call for Entries: 14th Tile of Spain Awards

call-spain-awardsTile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER), is issuing an open call for the 14th Tile of Spain Awards competition. The awards honor international excellence in projects that utilize Spanish ceramic tile in three categories: Architecture, Interior Design and Degree Project in Architecture, aimed at students of architecture.

Each year, a jury of recognized international architecture and design professionals judge the awards. Presiding over the 14th edition panel of jurors is Victor López Cotelo, who recently received the 2015 Spanish Architecture Prize.

Registration is open and the submission deadline is October 28th, 2015. The awards have a total prize fund of over $42,500, which will be divided amongst three categories. For information and registration, visit


A new Tiling Town debuts at Cersaie 2015

cersaie-posterThe fourth edition of Tiling Town will be part of Cersaie 2015, scheduled in Bologna, Italy from September 28-October 2. Tiling Town is located this year alongside the Services Centre at the Exhibition Centre’s main entrance (Area 49).

The vocational school of Silandro (Bolzano) will participate in Tiling Town for its second year, in cooperation with the association lvh.apa Confartigianato Imprese of Bolzano. Eleven apprentices, accompanied by tutors, will execute complex work requiring a high level of manual skill, precision and meticulous workmanship. The school in Silandro is the only Italian educational institute taking part in Worldskills 2015, the world championships of professional skills to be held in August in São Paulo (Brazil). Worldskills 2015 will also include a tiling competition.

In another area, the Assoposa (Italian ceramic tile layer’s association) Master Tiler installations will demonstrate the enormous adaptability of ceramic tiles to any requirement in the field of building and architecture. These Master Tiler demonstrations of large-format and thin tile installations, open to all visitors to Cersaie.

Cersaie 2015 will also host a meeting of European manufacturers, retailers and tilers. For the first time, these players will come together to discuss short- and long-term market prospects as well as technical training of professionals, the state of international standards governing products and installation methods and other topics. Representatives of CET (European ceramic tile producers’ association), EUF (European ceramic tile fixers’ association) and distributor and retailer associations from several different countries will participate. For more information, visit


LATICRETE adds Daltile and Florida Tile to retail channel responsibilities

ken-madisonLATICRETE recently announced Daltile and Florida Tile have been added to National Accounts manager Ken Madison’s existing retail channel responsibilities. With this promotion, Madison will continue to report to director of Sales, APD North America Rob Smith and will maintain responsibility for his existing national accounts including Lowes and Floor & Décor. Madison joined LATICRETE in 2012 as a National Accounts manager for Lowes. He has a decade of experience working in both the sales and marketing retail channel.


Nemo Tile welcomes Kate Flanagan as marketing director

kate-flanaganNemo Tile welcomed Kate Flanagan as marketing director in July. She will spearhead marketing efforts, branding and all communications. Flanagan has eight years of experience working in marketing, communications and advertising. In 2010, she joined Whole Foods Market as a marketing team leader, translating the brand’s story throughout all its physical and digital outreach. She received a degree in Psychology from Syracuse University. She will work closely with design director Katie Michael-Battaglia, who joined Nemo Tile in April 2015.


Lackmond Stone promotes Shawn Rice

shawn-riceLackmond Stone has promoted Shawn Rice to national sales manager, overseeing the company’s sales strategies and tactics in the United States. Rice has over 25 years of sales experience serving customers in the stone fabrication and surface finishing marketplace, working with customers whose shops are both highly automated and those utilizing hand- finishing techniques. Rice will direct Lackmond Stone’s regional sales managers and guide the team to bring new and innovative products to the marketplace. Rice will also be responsible for developing and implementing strategic sales initiatives while supporting both marketing and operational goals within the company.

Source position papers via NTCA’s Consensus Documents Library

booksLast month, NTCA launched a new feature on its website: the NTCA Consensus Documents Library. To visit this excellent resource, enter in your browser or click the Education & Certification link at and scroll down to Consensus Documents Library.

Either way, this new resource puts critical documents at your fingertips, including position statements and white papers on a range of industry issues on underlayments and subfloors, tile assemblies and grout joints, and types of tile. More papers will be added as they become available.

Looking for the Division 3 versus Division 9 Floor Flatness Tolerances Position Statement #6 from the American Society of Concrete Contractors? Look no further! How about an overview of the TCNA Handbook Standard EJ-171 on Movement Accommodation. Here it is, at your disposal. There’s also the position statement on Thin Porcelain Tiles, issued in collaboration with NTCA, TCAA, IMI and IUBAC – and papers on membranes and spot bonding as well.

In the spirit of education and information sharing, NTCA offers this resource as a free service on its association website. Visit it today!

Total Solutions Plus 2015


Collaboration and integration result when industry associations gather for annual conference

By Bart Bettiga

0915-TSP1In my opinion, the quote by Damon Lindelof above is the essence of the significant and positive impact that Total Solutions Plus affords its attendees each and every year.

Total Solutions Plus is an industry conference, managed and promoted by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, National Tile Contractors Association, Tile Contractors Associa-tion of America, and the Tile Council of North America. Sponsored by the leading trade associations in the tile industry, this educational and business networking event features over 600 tile industry professionals, with expertise in manufacturing, installation, distribution, sales, consulting, marketing, etc., all coming together under one roof to do business together and to learn from each other.

This year, it will take place October 24th-27th in the historic town of Savannah, Ga. To find out more, including lodging, registration, sponsorship and program info, visit

0915-TSP2Total Solutions Plus is first and foremost a leadership conference. It is a tabletop networking event (75+ manufacturers and distributors will participate in Savannah), as well as a unique blend of both professional and industry conference programming. For most attendees, the ability to interact and visit with the leaders of the four associations and their associate partners is invaluable, to say the least.

But Total Solutions has become so much more than just an industry conference. It has transitioned into a vehicle for many companies to strategically plan and position themselves for both the present and the future. With an attractive fall schedule that takes place after Cersaie (The mega tile show in Bologna, Italy, every September), and before Surfaces (January 21-23, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada) and Coverings (next year in Chicago, April 14-17, 2016), Total Solutions Plus offers many opportunities for companies to test the waters of new products, technology, business ideas and more with owners and decision-makers in both distribution and contracting. This has become an important component of the show.

Here are a few examples of the show’s value that have occurred the past couple of years at Total Solutions Plus:

A distributor working on a national account met with the manufacturer and two large contractors to develop a tight specification that incorporated pricing, delivery and installation on a multi-million dollar project.

An installation materials manufacturer utilized the event to host many of its top distributors and contractors in a conference launch and vacation getaway.

A tile manufacturer met with a focus group of tile contractors to gain their perspective on product technology and introductions, including their marketing approach to doing business in the U.S.

The associations that promote Total Solutions Plus also capitalize on the beneficial timing of the conference to hold annual meetings. Gathering in one place allows leaders of four associations to interact with each other, which reduces fragmentation and increases integration of our association goals and objectives. One example of this is clearly the promotion of the trade – in particular certification and quality installation. Total Solutions Plus is the perfect platform for this information to be presented, and this message then spreads throughout the country as attendees go back to their respective markets to share the news with their suppliers and customers.

This year in Savannah we aim to continue positioning the tile industry for market growth. Topics of primary importance in 2015 include thin porcelain tile product and installation standards development, apprenticeship programs to attract installers to our trade, certification, and continuing education programs on the internet, to name a few. We look forward to sharing the results of these efforts with you in future articles in TileLetter. Better yet, hop a plane or pile into your car and drive to Savannah to experience our event for yourself!

Daltile brings fresh perspective to Manhattan design studio

By Louis Iannaco

 New York, N.Y.Almost 300 people—including many from the local A&D community—attended a reception here on September 16 to get a sneak peek of several new commercial tile collections from Daltile and experience the unveiling of the firm’s newly renovated Daltile and Marazzi Design Studio, its fifth such facility nationwide.

The remodeled 3,700 sq. ft. space at 49 E. 21st St. here, featuring Daltile and sister brand, Marazzi products, was created by designers for designers as a collaborative workspace, and follows in the footsteps of locations in Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Miami as a regional design hub for the brand.

The studio, located between Broadway and Park Ave., is nestled among other architectural and design firms, and even features a mosaic wall depicting an apple blossom greeting visitors, alluding to the city’s “Big Apple” nickname.

Designed to accommodate networking and local design association events for organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the studio’s open concept design features movable workstations, and can seat up to 100 people.

Designed to accommodate networking and local design association events for organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the studio’s open concept design features movable workstations, and can seat up to 100 people.

Designed to accommodate networking and local design association events for organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the studio’s open concept design features movable workstations, and can seat up to 100 people.

“This studio has a similar look [to the others], but was designed with the New York customer in mind,” said Glenn Isenmann, associate for Gensler, the architectural firm that designed the studio for Daltile. “Living and working space is tight for city dwellers, so the ability to host meetings and events in a beautiful studio is a big benefit for the design community.”

Christopher Goggin, Gensler’s design director, agreed, noting in cities like San Francisco, “we have a lot of space, but here, we’re dealing with a typical New York floor plan. From what I’ve heard, we seem to have met our goal in that it feels like there’s much more space here than we actually have. We’ve got a lot of product displayed, and people seem excited because we’ve elevated the brand, which is the real goal here.”

The studio’s grey and neutral finishes provide an urban, contemporary feel,  highlighting a variety of tile, countertop and natural stone options, including a custom chandelier crafted with tile pieces hanging in the center of the space.

The studio features communal worktables, a loose tile library offering full-size samples to help customers match colors and styles for their projects and light panels showing how tile will look in different settings. An LCD touch screen allows customers to virtually flip through a digital catalog, view gallery images and create designs.

Architects and designers especially appreciated full size samples of available products.

Architects and designers especially appreciated full size samples of available products.

Wall panels showcase individual collections by materials/application, along with a kitchen and a bath vignette. As part of the grand opening, the studio displayed architectural street photography from local Instagram artists with its tile launches.

“Our customers are taking more risk with design,” said Kim Albrecht, senior brand marketing manager, Daltile. “With each new collection we empower them to imagine unique spaces, knowing that our products can help make their dreams reality. “We fell in love with what the Instagram photographers created,” she added. “They’ve given us a fresh perspective of the urban landscape, architecture and New York, what we had wanted to celebrate. The new collections are designed for A&D people to celebrate their perspective on projects. We were inspired by their creativity and vision, and hope our customers are inspired by this space, as well as our new products.”


The new products

As minimalism’s popularity continues to grow, Daltile’s Portfolio offers customers a cement-look tile with rectified edges in 11 colors. Bee Hive, in line with fall geometric trends, features a hexagonal pattern in six colors. Highlighted by soft cement aesthetics, Volume 1.0 utilizes the firm’s high-DCOF StepWise technology, a patent-pending Daltile element featuring a surfacing technique combining slip resistance and cleanability. It is available in 10 color options.

Stone Attaché features four stone-look collections with five aesthetics for multiple applications. Dignitary and Ambassador emulate a European style; Dignitary replicating the veining of French Limestone in six neutral colors, and the large-format Ambassador featuring a high-end design for indoor/outdoor spaces inspired by quartzite found in the Swiss Alps. It comes in four colors.

For contemporary spaces, ColorBody™ porcelain Haut Monde, available in six colorways, mimics the look of sandstone while Consulate utilizes the visual drama of stone. Available in two finishes, Consulate Antique conveys the look of aged marble, and Consulate Quartzite offers options for both commercial and residential settings.

“We’ve been in the heart of New York for more than a decade now and have grown up with the Manhattan design community,” said Corintha Runge, manager, gallery/showroom operations, Dal-Tile. “As our brands evolve with our customers’ needs, we wanted to provide a space that offered resources to foster these fresh perspectives. They’re going to see this approach, and it will provide a change of mindset.

Calvin Klein’s Heather Ambler, director of retail development and marketing, is flanked by Daltile’s Chris Kiene and Corintha Runge.

Calvin Klein’s Heather Ambler, director of retail development and marketing, is flanked by Daltile’s Chris Kiene and Corintha Runge.

“This is an extension of their office,” she explained, “with communal workspaces and conference rooms. They can take care of business here. We cover every aspect of design including residential, commercial, healthcare, etc., so we’ve got them covered.”

Massimo Ballucchi, director, product design, Daltile, said the showroom’s concept was custom-made for New York, as the Daltile and Marazzi brands are “linked together in the commercial arena. It’s been a successful night with most of the top New York-based architectural teams here.

“We took tonight to showcase some of our newest product launches,” he added, “most of which are commercial with an eye, on residential too, especially in such a big metropolitan area with a high-end residential market.”

 Designers give thumbs up

Heather Ambler, director, retail development/marketing, Calvin Klein, said, “for us, it’s very important to have brand-appropriate products. Obviously, the new showroom is beautiful aesthetically and is able to highlight all the products they offer.”

Ani Khachatryan, junior interior designer at nearby Celano Design Studio, said of the studio, it’s a “really nice showroom. They have the actual tiles in larger sizes. We usually see 4″ X 4″ or smaller samples, so it’s nice to see the entire product displayed and installed.”

Melissa Pereira, project manager/designer at Celano, agreed, noting the many tiles in “different applications; on the floor, ceiling, walls, every little corner has a different product and it’s great seeing it in a different environment other than our office.”

One of the Instagram images from local photographers that were on display in the new studio.

One of the Instagram images from local photographers that were on display in the new studio. This image is from Noah Martinez.

Not all the guests in attendance were from New York, however. Interior designer Lenny Pierce of Boston-based, CBT Architects, said everything in the studio “is so accessible, and visually, you can touch things. It’s much more interactive than many galleries; I believe that’s the most successful thing about it.”

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