Ten outstanding tile and stone projects have been selected as winners of the Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards, which honors exceptional design and installation of tile and stone in the categories of Residential Stone, Residential Tile, Commercial Stone, and Commercial Tile. An esteemed panel of prominent editors, top designers, and industry professionals evaluated submissions based on execution, original usage, and overall design and purpose, and gave distinct recognition to those projects demonstrating outstanding tile and stone applications.

“The CID Awards program is important because it exemplifies how beautiful product, design artistry, and a high level of technical skill come together to create breathtaking architecture and design,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the event management company that produces Coverings. “Coverings offers its congratulations to all of the recognized honorees.”

This year’s winners and their projects were honored at a special reception, held Wednesday, May 9.  The 2018 CID winners and special honorees are as follows:




Project: Exclusive Residential Apartment

Designer: Farr Interiors

Location: Milwaukee, WI


Commercial Stone Design

Project: Kitchen and Bath Design Showroom

Designer: Empire Kitchen & Bath

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Commercial Tile Design

Project: Riverchase Galleria

Designer: Architecture Design Collaborative

Location: Hoover, AL


Residential Stone Design

Project: Luxury Modern Design

Designer: Gaskin Designs & Development

Location: West Hollywood, CA


Residential Tile Design

Project: Knollwood Kitchen

Designer: SOURCE

Location: Atlanta, GA




Project: Trinity Dome

Installer: Rugo Stone LLC

Location: Washington, DC


Commercial Stone Installation

Project: 609 Main

Installer: Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd.

Location: Houston, TX


Commercial Tile Installation

Project: Apple Campus 2 Gateway Tunnel

Installer: California Tile Installers

Location: Cupertino, CA



Residential Stone Installation

Project: Black & White Marble Bathroom

Installer: Columbia River Tile & Stone, Inc.

Location: Portland, OR


Residential Tile Installation

Project: Interference Pattern: Bold Colors Weave Together and Collide in a Vashon Island Home

Installer: Tile Design by Edelstein

Location: Vashon Island, WA

Six honorable mentions were given in two additional categories, recognizing international projects and projects creatively using tile in public spaces. These special recognitions were awarded as follows:

Special Recognition – International:

  • Puritsu Façade: Designed by Anoma in New Delhi, India
  • The Almost Invisible School: Designed by Imagen Subliminal in Salamanca, Villares de la Reina, Spain
  • TUNATECA BALFEGO Restaurant: Designed by El Equipo Creativo in Barcelona, Spain
  • Laan van Spartaan; Amsterdam Student Housing: Designed byLevantina The Natural Stone Company in Amsterdam, Netherlands


Special Recognition – Creative Tile in Public Spaces

  • Hand Made Ceramic Tile Mural ‘City of Fog’:Designed by Linda Larson Artin San Francisco, CA
  • The Great Wall of Zacatlan – A Monumental Mosaic Mural in Mexico:Designed by Trish Metzner in Zacatlan De Las Manzanas, Puebla, Mexico

The grand prize winners received $3,000, while prize winners in all other categories received $2,000. In addition, all winners won a free one-night stay in Atlanta to attend the Coverings 2018 show.

The judging panel included Jen Quail, Editor in Chief of i+D; Nicole Esposito-Polly, design editor of This Old House; Jennifer Richinelli of BNP Media/Stone World; Chris Abbate of Novità Communications, representing Ceramics of Italy; Lori Dolnick of Frank Advertising, representing Tile of Spain; Kathy Meyer and Stephanie Samulski of the Tile Council of North America; Bart Bettiga of the National Tile Contractors Association; John Cox of Cox Tile; and Nyle Waterford of Neuse Tile Service, Inc.

Look for images of all the winning entries in the June issue of TileLetter!

Thursday: Tiny Houses, Signature Parties and Hand-Print Murals

Coverings 2018 – Day 3

The Global Tile & Stone Experience has big things planned for today, Thursday, May 10. Keep reading to see what you need to be a part of during Day 3 of Coverings 2018.

Must Go > Coverings Celebration Party

Tonight is the night! Join your industry friends at the Coverings Celebration Party at the College Football Hall of Fame! From 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM celebrate a fantastic show and awesome industry at this unique and interactive venue, located right next to the GWCC. You can still purchase tickets at registration – join us!
Sponsored by: TCNA

Must See > Completed Tiny Houses

After months of planning and hard work, the Installation Design Showcase and its three tiny houses are complete! At 3:00 PM today in Booth 8804, meet with the leading designers and NTCA Five Star contractors who collaborated on the Showcase and learn what it took to pull together these vignettes. During this one-hour, interactive session, you will tour the three tiny houses and discover every detail of the spaces.

Must Participate > Global Monumental Hand-Print Mural

Make your mark on the tile industry in Booth 9612 (Hall C). The Tile Heritage Foundation invites all attendees and exhibitors to leave their imprint on tile for the Global Monumental Hand-Print Mural. With just a $25 donation, you can press your hands, name, thoughts or logos into a wet clay tile and become a part of the mural.

Must Pet > Shelter Dogs at the Art Tile Courtyard

In case you haven’t already heard the buzz (or barking), but there are some seriously adorable dogs on the Coverings show floor. The TCNA Art Tile Courtyard, Booth 7249, located in the heart of the Art Tile Village, is featuring beautifully tiled doghouses provided by TCNA members. These decorated doghouses are wonderful displays of creativity using tile and will be donated to an Atlanta-area pet charity during a ceremony taking place today. Stop by, view the doghouses, and pet some pooches!

Must Attend > Today’s Sessions

Looking to increase profits? Productivity? Safety? Look no further than the Coverings 2018 conference program. Sessions begin at 8:30 AM today and include: Skin vs. System, Women in Stone – A Stone Project Model, Managing the Health of Your Business: Distribution Best Practices, Know Your Importer/Exporter, Silica Exposure and Employee Safety in the Stone Industry, and more! View the complete Thursday schedule.


TCNA Members Donate Tiled Doghouses To Homeless Pets Foundation

Fourteen members of Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA) will donate lovingly-tiled, one-of-a-kind doghouses to the Homeless Pets Foundation at Coverings 2018 in Atlanta, GA.
The participating companies include: AlysEdwards Tile & Stone (#7355), American Wonder Porcelain (#7421), Casa Ceramica (#7243), Crossville, Inc. (#7654), Del Conca USA (#1616), Fiandre (#7646), Florida Tile (#7620), International Wholesale Tile (#4031), Ironrock (#7133), Lunada Bay Tile (#8062), Marazzi (#2817), New Ravenna (#8233), Quemere Designs (#7448), and StonePeak Ceramics (#7847).
The forms used to make these doghouses were manufactured by Wedi (#7109) and contributed by Wedi and TCNA (#7832). “TCNA is excited to partner this year with the Homeless Pets Foundation to help them achieve their goal of rescuing homeless pets,” remarked TCNA Executive Director Eric Astrachan. “TCNA members’ generosity, effort, and dedication to this terrific cause is evident in each of the wonderfully crafted, unique masterpieces on display in the Art Tile Courtyard. The doghouses are a showcase of yet one more way tile can be used to make a home a work of art.”
“We are very pleased to have been chosen to receive these amazing doghouses,” remarked Dr. Michael Good, founder of the Homeless Pets Foundation. “This partnership with TCNA and its members will help us raise funds to further our mission of saving pets’ lives both through local adoptions and by transporting them with the Underhound Railroad to areas of the country where the adoption demand is higher. Thank you to TCNA and its members for their support!”
During the show the doghouses (and some four-legged guests from the Homeless Pets Foundation!), will be on display in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard (#7249), where a donation ceremony will be held at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 10th.
About the Homeless Pets Foundation:
The Homeless Pets Foundation is a 100% volunteer-run organization dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership, aiding abandoned and homeless animals, and placing adoptable dogs and cats in forever homes. Since its founding in 1998, it has placed more than 10,000 pets into loving homes.
Dr. Michael Good, owner of Town and Country Veterinary Clinic, founded the Homeless Pets Foundation when he saw firsthand the need to get adoptable pets out of overcrowded shelters to prevent unnecessary euthanasia.
Through his Underhound Railroad program, Dr. Good helps dogs in the South that are about to be put down find loving homes in other areas of the country. Overpopulation in Southern pet shelters leads to life-threatening scenarios for adoptable dogs and cats, while shelters in the Midwest and Northeast struggle to find the pets wanted by their clients. Dr. Good finds pets that are nearing the end of their time at local shelters and matches them with shelters in the Midwest and Northeast where demand is higher. These pets are then taken to no-kill shelters or matched with families who will give them loving homes.
Not only does the Underhound Railroad transport these pets, but they also provide them with veterinary care to ensure they are healthy and ready to travel and join their new families once they arrive.
For more information about the Homeless Pets Foundation and the Underhound Railroad, please visit and

Coverings Announces Best Booths of 2018

Coverings, the largest international tile & stone show in North America, has announced the winners of its 2018 Best Booth Awards. The program recognizes the standout booths based on their design, creativity, display of product, use of space and overall presentation. This year, an esteemed panel of judges selected five to win the coveted honor from more than 1,100 exhibitors, many of which showcase remarkable booth exhibits.

Winners include:

  • Overall Best in Show – Florim Ceramiche (Booth #1642)
  • Open Concept – Ornamenta (Booth #2717)
  • Use of Storytelling – Fiandre (Booth #7646)
  • On Trend – Inalco (Booth #3331)
  • Best Ambiance – Anatolia Tile & Stone Inc. (Booth #1019)

“The booth displays feature an array of beautifully designed spaces that incorporate tile and stone on a variety of innovative displays,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the event management company that produces Coverings. “We congratulate this year’s winners, who all contributed to making Coverings one of the most beautiful expositions in the country.”

The Overall Best in Showhonor was presented to Florim Ceramiche (#1642), which earned praise for its distinctive design and use of space. The multi-level footprint of the booth showcases a unique portfolio of tile products. Judges noted the attention to detail throughout and architectural elements on both floors of the booth display. 

Ornamenta(#2717) was honored for best “Open Concept,”as the booth exterior features open sides, allowing visitors view the tile products from multiple angles. The trendy fashion-forward pink hue of the booth complements the open design.

The best “Use of Storytelling” award went to Fiandre(#7646), as the booth features a Sophisticated and Sustainable Hub of Design Trends theme. Inside, the multidimensional booth shows how the beautiful product translates throughout a fitness space from the lockers, to the showers, to the workout area.

Inalco(#3331) earned the top spot in the “On Trend” category. The eye-catching booth displays a more contemporary statement with an electronic board displaying a stunning video about the brand. Judges complimented the use of linear walls that included three-dimensional samples of the product in front of each respective wall.

The “Best Ambiance” honor went to Anatolia Tile & Stone Inc.(#1019). The booth blends a wide range of materials that ties the space together with integrated lighting to create a welcoming atmosphere.

The TCNA Art Tile Courtyard Has Gone to the Dogs

At Coverings 2018, fourteen beautiful doghouses tiled by TCNA members are on display in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard (#7249). These beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art were installed over custom made Wedi Corp. (booth #7109) doghouse forms donated by TCNA and Wedi Corp.
After the show, the doghouses will be donated to the Homeless Pets Foundation (, a 501(c) (3) organization that saves the lives of homeless dogs and cats in Atlanta area animal shelters and promotes the benefits of pet ownership.
The following descriptions were provided by the companies/artisans who tiled the doghouses.
AlysEdwards Tile & Stone (booth # 7355) AlysEdwards is waking up to smell the roses in their charming doghouse featuring none other than pink tile in honor of celebrating 10 years in business. Any little diva pup would be Totally In Zinc with the mirrored interior and floral porcelain patterned floor. Sealed with AlysEdwards’ famous kiss of approval, this doghouse will take you to another dimension, of tile that is!
The doghouse was designed by Kevin Sanchez and tiled by the AlysEdwards Tile & Stone Sample Department.
American Wonder Porcelain (booth # 7421)
Reflecting the current, sizzling-hot black and white trend seen in multiple industries-including fashion, home furnishings, and tile-American Wonder Porcelain presents A Vision in Black & White. The fun black and white mosaics listed below were used on the body of the doghouse and the roof features American Wonder Porcelain’s No. 12 series in 12″ x 24″ Super Black.
Front – black and white basket weave mosaic
Doorway – black and white penny round mosaic
Sides – black and white 2″ octagon mosaic and black and white 2″ hexagon mosaic
Back – black and white curve mosaic BW03CURV1P
Casa Ceramica (booth # 7243)
Casa Ceramica’s doghouse was designed and installed by its in-house design and installation team. The tiles and trim pieces from their Mediterranean Tile Collection were installed in a patchwork motif. Also included were tiles from their NEW Tile Collections: the Subway Collection and Heritage Collection. The bones were made locally in Florida by the same artist who produces Casa Ceramica’s custom tiles.
Crossville, Inc. (booth # 7654)
Black, White, and Shades of Today…
Crossville, Inc. turned to Banko Design of Marietta, GA for the design of this year’s doghouse. The result is a canine abode that’s both modern and classic in style.
Black and white tiles from Crossville’s Yin+Yang collection interplay on the roof to create a fun, zig-zag pattern. The juxtaposition of the traditional black and white palette combined in such a playful pattern speaks to the current trend of combining starkly contrasting colors to achieve unique tile designs. The natural stone look enveloping the walls of the doggy dwelling offers a timeless aesthetic that also appeals to contemporary sensibilities – a doggedly bold and beautiful approach to doghouse design!
Del Conca USA (booth # 1616)
Del Conca’s doghouse features tile from their Calico collection, which simulates a wood design. The colors are Sunset and Brown. A chimney was added to make the lucky dog who gets this house feel more at home.
Fiandre (booth # 7646)
Inspired by Fiandre’s global brand sustainability vision, their doghouse design connects the beauty of nature with luxurious Italian porcelain-pet-friendly design and environmentally friendly materials. Any dog who loves the great outdoors will be enamored with Fiandre’s doghouse creation tiled in the brown Eminent Wood Italian porcelain, a new collection inspired by the fossilization process of ancient wood. The Eminent Wood finish is described as incredibly vivid brushstrokes of color that stand out among the intense contrasting white background.
Fiandre hopes its chic doghouse design provides a warm, safe and inviting home for the dogs at the Homeless Pets Foundation.
Florida Tile (booth # 7620)
In Florida Tile’s home state of Kentucky, you’ll find a trail of tobacco and horse barns with beautifully painted symbols and quilt patterns-a history dating back to the 1800s symbolizing rooted heritage and a promise of good fortune.
This is Florida Tile’s salute to that traditional folk art heritage!
Walls: RestoreHDP THINNER/Tobacco Barn
Roof: AventisHDP THINNER/Titanium
Barn quilt mosaic: LocalHDP/Bistro, Cafe, Lounge, Tavern
Fence: Time 2.0HDP THINNER/Snow
International Wholesale Tile (booth # 4031)
International Wholesale Tile thoroughly enjoyed working on this fun and exciting project spearheaded by the Tile Council of North America.
To keep within the doghouse theme, they decided to utilize their “Bark” series, a collection of recycled glass inkjet mosaics available in a myriad of colors and sizes.
Installed on the outside walls is the Bark Bay Multi-linear 11.75″ x 11.75″ mosaic sheet. Staggered to mimic roof tiles, the roof is portrayed in Bark Aspen 3″ x 6″ staggered 11.5″ x 11.5″ mosaic sheet. Bark is available in four unique color combinations in three popular sizes: Multi-linear mosaic 11.75″ x 11.75″ sheet, 3″ x 6″ staggered mosaic 11.5″ x 11.5″ sheet, and a 3″ Hex mosaic 11.75″ x 11.75″ sheet.
And, like any good house, you need a little bit of bling on the inside! For the doghouse’s back wall, they installed “Glimmer,” a blend of glitzy glass and metal available in one color in a random linear 11.75″ x 11.625″ mosaic sheet.
Ironrock (booth # 7133)
The theme of Ironrock’s doghouse is The Little Brick Puppy Palace. The design of the doghouse is reminiscent of a classic brick home, and Ironrock’s Royal Thin Brick® product was used to achieve this look. With the sturdy brick design, the lucky puppy who occupies this doghouse will be safe from any amount of huffing and puffing that might come along. And he/she will feel right at home with an entrance complete with decorative tile dog bones. The roof made of Metropolitan Ceramics® quarry tile will also keep the pup nice and dry.
Products used:
Bottom stacked row of bricks – Royal Thin Brick #710 Hanover
Remaining sides of the doghouse – Royal Thin Brick Federal Blend
Inside edge of entryway – Metropolitan Ceramics #710 Raven chips
Roof – Metropolitan Ceramics #105 Buckskin transition tile
Roof cap – METROBRICK #710 Charcoal edge cap

Designers: Ashley Miller, Ron Williamson, Mike Shoffner
Installer: Mike Shoffner
Lunada Bay Tile (booth # 8062)
Modern Barkitecture
Inspired by Adora, a fluffy, design-loving hound, Lunada Bay’s modern doghouse is intended to provide Instagram-worthy style and shelter from the midday sun.
The roof and side walls showcase the striking architectural shapes of Ka-nu Keel ceramic tile in Harbor Blue, which feature a lustrous, subtly pearlized glaze.
The front and back walls are a combination of Ka-nu Buoy Mosaic in Sandbar, Harbor Blue, and Sea Kelp, and the house is trimmed in Ka-nu Plank 1-3/4″ x 9-3/4″ in Sea Kelp.
Marazzi (booth # 2817)
Marazzi’s doghouse is playfully-themed to capture the vivacious and happy energy that dogs add to everyday life.
Marazzi’s Costa Clara tile in Blue Wave comprised the majority of the doghouse. This tile has a handcrafted, artisan look and texture that lends to Marazzi’s fun-loving theme. The deep, rich blue and movement of Costa Clara’s texture also took Marazzi in the direction of a coastal theme, so they selected a tile for the roof that added both a look and texture akin to the waves of the ocean.
The blue tile was paired with bright white grout to simulate the white piping that is typically part of any good nautical theme, bringing additional vibrance to the overall visual. As one last whimsical touch, they added the image of a dog bone right over the door of the house, so Fido knows this home is definitely for him!
The doghouse was designed by Sarah Morales of Marazzi, and the tile installer was Albert Pena of LAB Exhibits.
New Ravenna (booth # 8233)
New Ravenna’s doghouse, Ruff Stuff, was designed by their creative director, Cean Irminger. The tile used is similar to their Hare Apparent pattern made of frolicking bunny rabbits. Ruff Stuff is comprised of Absolute White and Zircon Jewel glass. There is a dog print on the roof, and the base is made from bricks for a classic look with a luxurious twist. The bricks are 2″ x 8″ Absolute White with a 1 cm stripe trim in Zircon.
The grout on the base is a blue gray to pop the look of the bricks, and the roof is grouted in white to accentuate the lines of the dogs.
Quemere Designs (booth # 7448)
The theme for Quemere Designs’ doghouse is Country Living – Home Away from Home. The doghouse was designed by Quemere Designs’ creative group and installed by their design team.
Their doghouse features the following tile:
* Roof: Palm – color: Myrtle Green Gloss
* Walls: Prism – color: Gris Gloss
* Walls base: 4″ x 4″ Manhattan – color: Pinot Gloss
* Walls borders and liners:
o Pencil liner – color: Pinot Gloss
o 1″ quarter round – color: Pinot Gloss
o Mini square mosaics – color: Myrtle Green Gloss
StonePeak Ceramics (booth # 7847)
The design and installation of StonePeak’s tiled doghouse at the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard was a group effort from its team of dog fanatics and features their bestselling mosaics.
All tile used in the doghouse are from 2017’s most popular new product collection, Classic 2.0. A mix of mosaics in Travertino Grigio color highlights the countless design possibilities available through StonePeak.
The roof is composed of 9″ x 15″ Chelsea mosaic, and the side walls are 2″ x 6″ brick mosaics. The doghouse’s front and back feature 12″ x 12″ basket weave mosaic.

Tile of Spain Showcases Tile Innovations from over 85 Manufacturers at Coverings 2018

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), exhibits a wide variety of new product innovations and trends from Spanish tile manufacturers at Coverings 2018: The Global Tile & Stone Experience.

During the 4-day tile and stone exhibition, 85 Spanish ceramic and stone manufacturers showcase some of the most advanced ceramic tile technology and breathtaking design choices the world has to offer.

Highlights of the Spain Pavilion at Coverings include:
Gorgeous porcelain tiles and mosaics offer a world of choices in the new Floor Collection by Adex (#3115). On-trend geometric shapes in Solid White, Bone or Black are complemented with ceramic dots available in six coordinating shades. The mix and match shapes and colors offer ease in creating a customized look.
As part of its innovation, Argenta (#3107) has added the Powder series to its product line. The new series combines materials, designs and formats to produce novel effects and a highly attractive look that comes in a wide range of floor and wall size formats.
ThinCK is the new thin format coating technology from Colorker Group (#3147). Thanks to the versatility of its format and lightness of its thickness (6.5mm), ThinCK provides captivating beauty and a unique style to any space.
Dune (#3501) encompasses a certain soul and symbolism with its newest collection, Minimal Chic. Composed of two series: Emporio, stone finish, and Factory, cement finish, each design in the collection is inspired by the work of minimalist style artists.
Equipe Cerámicas (#3547) presents Artisan, a wall tile inspired by Arabic zellige. Artisan is available in two sizes (5×5″ and 2 ½x 8″) and a range of ten colors to accommodate individual design preferences.
Chic is an exquisitely sophisticated modern collection from Keraben Grupo (#3531). Based on a combination of Victorian aesthetics and functional design, Keraben Grupo’s design team was inspired by Victorian wallpaper, creating wall tiles with a skillful combination of color and texture.
Chrono, a new collection from Rocersa (#3621), is suitable for both interior and exterior floors and walls, offering the possibility to create attractive and elegant solutions in any setting. Based on two cold shades (white and grey) and a notably warmer shade (cream), this stoneware tile lends a wide range of composition and sensory options.
Saloni (#3451) presents Bernini, a collection inspired by travertine marble with natural finishes. With a careful reproduction of calcium carbonate deposits, this collection is designed to highlight the material properties of sedimentary rock. The play of both gloss and matte finishes gives these ceramics a natural look resulting in a perfectly balanced design structure.
Tau Ceramica (#3831) introduces new formats, textures and applications to add to its already extensive offerings. These new additions are available in two new collections by TAU, Insignia and Evolution, along with the well-known Ascale range, which has been revamped and extended with new products.
For press information and high-resolution images visit:
For a booth directory of Tile of Spain’s 85 exhibiting manufacturers’ visit:
The 2018 Spanish Pavilion is organized and sponsored by ASCER, the Professional Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers from Spain, and ICEX Spain Trade and Investment. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit
Connect with Tile of Spain on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram at TileofSpainUSA; and on Twitter and Pinterest at TileofSpain.


Coverings, the largest global tile & stone exhibition in North America, made its highly-anticipated return to the Georgia World Congress Center yesterday. Representatives from the Ceramics of Italy, Tile of Spain, Tile Council of North America, Ceramic Tile Distributor Association, and National Tile Contractor Association gathered Tuesday, May 8 for the official 2018 ribbon cutting ceremony. The show, which runs through Friday, May 11, showcases hundreds of new products with more than nine miles of tile from 1,100 exhibitors, and offers more than 45 accredited and free seminars and live demonstration sessions.

“Coverings has truly enhanced the show experience this year with the addition of several very exciting opportunities for attendees,” said Alena Capra, Coverings Industry Ambassador. “Some of this year’s highlights include the new interactive installation experience, an incredible array of community give-back programs and the show’s new after-hours networking event, not to mention the most spectacular display of tile & stone in North America.”

Returning to Atlanta after five years, Coverings 2018 opened with enthusiasm that mirrored the nation’s booming construction industry. Tuesday unveiled an array of new show features designed to enhance the overall experience, including first-day extended hours with an “Around the World of Tile & Stone” happy hour networking event, and the Coverings Orientation Theatre, which allowed first-time show goers looking for advice and strategies on the best way to tackle such a massive exposition. Also receiving commanding attention was the new The Installation Experience, where attendees can observe in-progress installations depicting common residential design challenges.

Attendees on Tuesday were also encouraged to become part of Coverings’ history at the Tile Heritage Foundation’s Global Monumental Hand-Print Mural. With a $25 tax-deductible donation, attendees at Coverings can press their names, hands, thoughts or logos into a wet clay tile to become part of the mural, which will be installed at TCNA Headquarters in Anderson, SC. This is one of several community give-back programs at Coverings 2018. Other initiatives taking place this year will benefit Habitat for Humanity, Clean the World, and The Homeless Pets Foundation.

Rounding out the exciting line up of activities was the return of the Installation Design Showcase, tiny home edition. For the second year, the homes were outfitted to showcase three unique themes using beautiful tile installations. Jeffery Bruce Baker Designs(JBB) took a Smart Modern Living approach, while The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carrydesigned a Luxe Cottage and designers Carson Guestcreated a contemporary villa, utilizing materials from generous sponsors Ceramics of Italy, Crossville USA, ESTIMA Ceramica, ARDEX, Laticrete, MAPEI, Schluter Systems, Wedi, QEP and Rubi Tools.


Coverings, the largest international tile & stone exhibition in North America, has announced its new honorees for the annual “Rock Stars” Emerging Leaders Program. Now in its fourth year, the program underscores Coverings’ mission of supporting the continued growth and success of the industry through meaningful connections. Honorees were recognized for their achievements within the tile and stone industry during a Rock Star Luncheon on Tuesday, May 8 on the opening day of Coverings 2018.

“Coverings is thrilled to welcome this group of impressive industry professionals into the Rock Stars Program,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the event management company that produces Coverings. “We look forward to continued success for this exceptional group of talent, and to witness the impactful contributions they will continue to offer the tile and stone industry.”

A committee of industry leaders reviewed an impressive field of candidate submissions shared by veteran colleagues to identify 12 outstanding inductees for the fourth class of Coverings Rock Stars. Representing a diverse array of industry professions, the 2018 honorees are:

  • Richard Anuszkiewicz, Alt Breeding Schwarz Architects, Executive Director, Kitchen & Bath Division
  • David Benson, Architectural Ceramics, Principal & Vice President of Sales
  • Kelly Bowen, Ceramic Technics, Sales Consultant
  • Amber Clore, Clore Interiors, Principal & Owner
  • John Kilfoyle, United Marble Fabricators, Owner
  • Joe LaFauci, La Fauci Tile, Showroom Manager
  • Cari May, Coldspring, Marketing Manager
  • Jason McDaniel, StoneMan Construction, Owner & Regional Evaluator
  • Nakul Patel, MSI, Sales Representative
  • Cameron Proctor, David Allen Company, Inc., Senior Project Manager
  • Amy Oakley, Natural Stone Institute, Communications Manager
  • Triniti Vigil CTI, ACT, J&R Tile, Inc., Director of Evaluation and Training

This distinguished group will be recognized at Coverings by a special Rock Star ribbon on their badges. To learn more about Coverings, and the 2018 Rock Stars, please visit


The Installation Experience, booth 8401, allows Coverings 2018 attendees to experience firsthand numerous types of tile installations implemented by qualified, trained and certified tile installers. These interactive sessions will showcase today’s best practices relative to a multitude of different tile installations.

Live, interactive installations will be taking place in a fully functioning kitchen; a bathroom with heated tile floor, vintage fireplace upgrade and grand installation of a contemporary shower system. These state-of-the-art projects will involve glass tile, porcelain, gauged porcelain panels, natural stone and other cutting edge tile products and breakthrough technology installation systems.

Entering via a self-guided, designated pathway, attendees will journey through room-after-room of fully interactive installations with top representatives posted along the way to answer any and all questions.  They’ll have the opportunity to speak with industry experts regarding key processes, learning new strategies and experiencing hands-on demonstrations of the most modern of technologies.

Other highlights include “photographic retrospectives”… the Hall of Failures & the Hall of Excellence.  Here, attendees will see firsthand the difference between the right and wrong way to perform a tile installation, and in the Hall of Excellence installers who have mastered the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installation (ACT) courses will be available to discuss the program.

Don’t forget about the Construction Zone, where visitors can return throughout the week to experience the progression of the CTI Challenge. The CTI Challenge is an exciting, live event slated to take place between rival teams of NTCA members and qualified labor contractors. It has been designed and will be judged by CTEF Director, Scott Carothers. Clearly, this will be the tile industry’s “Fight of the Century!”

And, as part of the Installation Experience, all attendees will garner new insights on how to become a Certified Tile Installer (CTI). Advanced CTI officials will be onsite to define, discuss and demonstrate just what it takes to be a member of this elite tile contractor organization.

The first-time Installation Experience will come to a conclusion with “At Home, With Tile.” It will be the final installation area… complete with an expansive seating area and large TV screen offering viewers a time-lapsed progress video, highlighting the various construction stages of the various projects slated to take place.

Get Ready… The Ceramic Tile Installer Challenge is ON!

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, in partnership with the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, has announced details on new interactive events taking place at Coverings 2018 in Atlanta.

One in particular, the “CTI Challenge,” is a live event designed by Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) director Scott Carothers, slated to take place between rival teams, both consisting of NTCA members and Certified Tile Installers. The Challenge will begin Tuesday, May 8th and conclude on Wednesday, May 9th. Upon completion, not only will attendees be able to view this excellent workmanship, but winners will be chosen, as well.

“This is a new event at Coverings,” stated Carothers. “In the past, CTI Certification testing was conducted on the show floor. This year, we opted to showcase the skills our CTIs possess and emphasize the importance of standards and methods. Our challengers will be judged on how well they stayed within installation guidelines, their practice of standards/methods and finally, the overall quality of their work.  Each team has the exact same project to create (wall and floor) and each will be segregated, unable to see what each other is doing. Neither team will know what they will be creating until Tuesday morning.”

The CTI Challenge Competitors, who have light-heartedly dubbed this event “East versus West”, are:

  • Jason McDaniel, Stoneman Construction LLC (Portland, OR) and Shon Parker, Hawthorne Tile (Portland, OR)
  • John Martin, Martin’s Custom Tile (Decatur, IL) and Greg Twarog, Surfaces 15 (Chicago, IL)

Shon Parker commented, “This is a great opportunity for us to build industry awareness… and, have fun while doing so. The CTI Program and this Challenge are all about education. Via my role as an inspector, I’ve learned there are more installation failures out there than there are tile failures.  It’s so important for installers to follow methods and standards.  Having a Certified Tile Installer perform the work ensures a properly installed tile project which in turn, creates a positive overall image for tile installations.”

His teammate, Jason McDaniel added, “This Challenge affords an opportunity to show others how things are done “by the book.” Frankly, most installers don’t even know there is “a book.”  Installers need to know these methods, work with the correct tools and understand the standards. Many do not know about the associations which are fighting for us and our industry. Over the years, I’d love to see this Challenge evolve and become an industry event which people greatly anticipate… aspiring to be reigning champions!”

Greg Twarog and John Martin of the opposing team were in complete agreement. Twarog stated, “Being a Certified Tile Installer gets you involved. You are investing in yourself and your company. With less labor entering this industry, it’s even more important that installations are being done correctly the first time… without failure.Everyone participating in the CTI Challenge has great skills. We will be showcasing these skills to all the attendees and will welcome questions and dialog. We want people to get excited again about tile… make it cool, make it fun and make it even more appealing to younger installers.”

“When Greg asked me to participate in the CTI challenge, I was excited!” stated Martin. “Any chance I get to challenge myself, I do it. Being a Certified Tile Installer means that I must continue to push myself to be the best I can be, practice the methods and know the standards.  I’m not only looking forward to the Challenge and showcasing our skills… but also, to meeting all the great people behind the scenes… especially those involved in the social media industry chat groups. It will be quite a learning experience. Not just for the CTIs, but for all the attendees as well.”

The Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is a comprehensive testing of the skills and knowledge of experienced tile installers, which includes a multiple-choice exam and a hands-on test. Both are based on current industry standards and best practices for producing a sound installation that exhibits good workmanship. The tests, therefore, require that both the observable and non-observable characteristics of a finished installation are executed properly.

“The CTI Program and this Challenge were created to give back to our industry,” concluded Bart Bettiga, NTCA’s executive director. “Developing the next generation of skilled installers and promoting quality craftsmanship remains the top priority of the NTCA and the CTEF. The energy and excitement driving this new event makes it the perfect workforce development initiative for recruiting new bodies to the profession, while motivating experienced installers to reach higher levels of performance.”

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