2014 Ceramics of Italy Tile Compeition deadline extended to February 12, 2014


The submission deadline for the 2014 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition has been extended to February 12, 2014. The competition seeks original and imaginative spaces by North American architects and designers using Italian ceramic tile, for the chance to win $4,000 + a five-day trip to Italy.

Sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics, comprised of 150+ ceramic tile manufacturers), the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is the longest running competition of its kind. The 2014 edition is open to architects and designers based in North America who have used Italian ceramic or porcelain tile in their residential, institutional and commercial/hospitality projects compeleted in the past five years (January 2009 – January 2014).

The competition is completely digital and FREE to enter! The winning architect or designer in each category will be awarded $4,000 and a five-day trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie – the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the winning tile contractor/distributor team.For more information, visit www.tilecompetition.com

OSHA Holding Jan. 14 Silica Web Session

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 9.14.05 AMWASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will host a live web session to discuss the agency’s proposed rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica tomorrow.

As reported at www.stoneupdate.com, the web chat, from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, will offer an opportunity to ask questions, get clarification from OSHA on the proposed silica rule, and learn how to participate in the regulatory process. OSHA staff will be available to clarify the proposed standards related to silica for general industry, maritime and construction.

OSHA staff will also answer questions on the agency’s underlying analysis of health risks, potential costs and benefits, and economic impacts associated with the proposed rule and how to submit comments to the rulemaking record.

Access to the web chat will be online only at www.osha.gov/silica. No advanced registration is required for participation.

The deadline to submit written comments and testimony on the proposal is Jan. 27. Members of the public may submit comments by visiting http://www.regulations.gov.

Additional information on the proposed rule can be found at http://www.osha.gov/silica.

UofCTS extends date of Tile Installer Thin-set Standards Verification certificate

uofcts logoThe University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has extended the renewal date of the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification certificate, to two years. Tile installers must retake the updated course every two years in order to stay current with new industry standards. Formerly, installers were required to retake the course annually.

The renewal date extension  was part of an agreement between UofCTS and the Tile Marble Terrazzo Union Local 18, which placed a large order of tuitions for the ITS Verification course as part of its continuing education programs for its Journeyman Tile Layers One. In addition to the ITS Verification online course, Local 18 is offering the Advanced Certification for Tile Installer program, which is a new set of certifications developed and administered by a consortium of tile industry organizations (www.tilecertifications.com).

Non-union contractors in the U.S. are also using UofCTS online training courses. And the Tile Terrazzo Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) collaborated with UofCTS to create a Canadian version of the ITS course, which was released earlier this year.  INTACO, a manufacturer of installation products in Costa Rica, recently purchased tuitions of the Spanish version of the ITS course for training their employees. TCNA Mexico trainers took the Spanish version of the ITS course; they now refer the installers that take the certification evaluation in Mexico to take the UofCTS ITS course as a value-added course; and suggest it for Mexican architects to help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.

The ITS Verification course differs from the CTEF and ACT Certification Programs, which allow trained tile installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications that they meet the respective requirements. The ITS Verification course is intended to train new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and offers continuing education for experienced installers to ensure they know and stay current with industry standards and practices. Distributors, architects and designers, and general contractors also benefit from the ITS Verification course.

For complete information on the ITS Verification course and other UofCTS courses, visit www.UofCTS.org. Local 18 members should visit www.tileunion.org; CTDA members can visit www.ctdahome.org and  TTMAC members can visit www.ttmac.com. You can also obtain information on courses by calling 866-669-1550.

Daltile launches first ever Virtual Web Catalog

Daltile has launched its first ever  Virtual Web Catalog. This online platform is an interactive version of the physical catalog customers have trusted for more than 15 years, now with exciting features to discover Daltile’s extensive range of on-trend products anytime, anywhere. The Virtual Catalog is the latest addition to the company’s expanding suite of digital tools, including the successful re-launch of the brand website, www.daltile.com, that provide savvy consumers with easily-accessible information and inspiration for tile and natural stone projects of any scale. The Virtual Catalog offers on-demand access, multiple catalog versions, online convenience for anytime access, customizable PDF conversion for downloading or printing, and social sharing tools to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. An app version compatible with Android and Apple devices is also available via Google Play or iTunes, respectively. From the Virtual Catalog, users can navigate directly to the newly re-launched Daltile website, with enhanced features that successfully achieved simplified navigation, easier access to information and even greater design inspiration for users.

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2014 Ceramic of Italy Tile Competition call for entries

2014_ceramics_of_italy_tile_competition2014 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now accepting entries. Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Association of Ceramics comprised of over 150 Italian ceramic tile manufacturers, and the Italian Trade Commission sponsor the competition, now in its 21st year. North America-based architects and interior designers are invited to submit new or renovated, domestic and international projects completed between January 2009 and January 2014 using Italian ceramic tile in the institutional, residential, and commercial/hospitality categories. The jury will judge the projects based on their creativity, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, selecting a winner in each category. The official criteria for the jury include: overall design of the project; aesthetic and technical quality of installation; degree to which tile enhances the setting; and the project’s sustainable attributes.

Winners will be announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference during Coverings in Las Vegas, Nev. from April 29 – May 2, 2014, where they will present their projects to the public. The winning architect/designer in each category will receive a cash prize of $4,000 and a 5-day trip to Bologna, Italy, to attend Cersaie 2014 – the world’s largest exhibition for ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the winning contractor/tile distributor team in each category. For details on the competition, which is free to enter, is online at www.tilecompetition. Deadline for entries is February 3, 2014.

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.


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 kristin@novitapr.com.

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.

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