This year, tens of thousands of attendees from every facet of the design community happened upon the Spain Pavilion at Coverings 2018, where the term eye candy took on a whole new meaning.
In case you missed the action, here are a few highlights:
- Live build-out of a tiny home designed by The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry and installed by Visalia Ceramic Tile featuring Ceramics of Italy products
- Cancos Tile & Stone was honored with the 2018 Confindustria Ceramica North American Distributor Award
- Winners of the 2018 Tile Competition were announced including Studio Libeskind, Ziger/Snead and ZAS Architects + Interiors
- World premiere of Timeless Tiles: The Italian Legacy, a film commemorating the 25th anniversary of the tile competition, directed by Francesca Molteni and architectural historian Fulvio Irace
If you have ICFF on your calendar this week, make sure to stop by the Ceramics of Italy Pavilion (booths 2219-2319) where 15 brands will showcase the latest trends in tile – from porcelain emulating terrazzo, marble and eucalyptus wood to new designer collections and outdoor tile.
NTCA Awards Night Special Guest: U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Hunter and wife Kenna, Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. Program smart home recipients
NTCA, Crossville, Inc., and MAPEI are all supporters of the program
One of the most moving moments of the NTCA Awards Night was the talk given by Sgt. Eric Hunter and his wife Kenna, who gave personal insight in to the transforming power of Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. specially-adapted smart homes.
Sgt. Hunter and Kenna spoke about the circumstances that surrounded the family’s need for a specially-adapted smart home, provided by the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. Program. NTCA, along with ceramic tile donor Crossville, Inc., and setting materials supplier MAPEI, have been supporters of this program.
Sgt. Hunter explained how after suffering injuries in the service of his country, he was denied assistance from other organizations because he wasn’t injured “enough” to qualify for assistance. A cut to his Social Security benefits increased the hardship the family was facing in a home that was inadequate for his special needs. He explained how the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E Program gave hope to him and his family, and how the specially-adapted smart home will allow him to regain independence and dignity.
While introducing Eric and Kenna Hunter, NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson said, “These life-changing homes not only provide our injured veterans the opportunity to reclaim independence but also the families that have sacrificed alongside them.The recipients of the Foundation homes are deeply grateful for the support of the many sponsors and volunteers. Every one of them have hand signed a photo of their completed home and have sent them to us.”
He continued with the introduction, saying “ United States Army Sergeant Eric Hunter was first deployed to Iraq in 2010. While there, he connected on the internet with a girl from his hometown named Kenna, and they remained in contact throughout his deployment. On June 1st, 2011, Eric and Kenna married and she and her two children came to live with him in Kentucky.
“Eric’s second deployment in 2012 took him to Afghanistan,” he continued. “On May 31st, 2012, the day before Eric and Kenna’s one year anniversary, while patrolling his unit, Eric stepped on an improvised explosive device. Along with many other injuries, the bomb took his right leg and shattered his left. Eric was flown to three different hospitals before arriving at Walter Reed National Medical Center, where Kenna came to be at his side.
“Eric spent four years at Walter Reed where he has undergone 61 surgeries with the possibility of more to come as he still feels pain in his salvaged leg,” Olson added. “In December 2016, Eric and Kenna welcomed a new baby girl, making them a family of five. They currently reside in a non-handicap accessible rental in Marietta, GA. Since Eric cannot use his wheelchair in his home, he has to cope with being in pain while walking or scooting from room to room. The Gary Sinise Foundation is honored to provide the Hunters a specially adapted smart home to further enable this soldier and his family to move forward with their new life together. The NTCA is proud to be a part of this program and we are particularly honored that they are willing to say a few words to us tonight about the difference the Foundations supporters are making in their family’s life.”
View a video of Eric and Kenna’s remarks on the National Tile Contractors Association Facebook page here: Sgt. Eric Hunter and wife Kenna remarks at NTCA Awards Night
Jim Olson coordinates sponsors and assists in finding NTCA contractors to provide labor to install donated ceramic tile. For information on being involved in the program, contact Jim Olson at [email protected].
NTCA, MAPEI and Florida Tile sponsor initiative
An industry outreach to the local community at Coverings 18 in Atlanta this year took the form of four teams of volunteers meeting Monday afternoon, May 7 in a friendly competition to assemble 800 kits of hygiene and toiletry products to be delivered to area homeless veterans.
A 10-person team from NTCA, MAPEI, Florida Tile and industry press each enjoyed camaraderie and fun for a worthy cause as they put soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste combs, razors, socks, and a card with a personal message into a plastic bag that Clean the World Atlanta (https://cleantheworld.org) distributed to area homeless veterans.
Florida Tile’s Ashley Donaldson and MAPEI’s Dan Marvin coordinated the overall effort, with Becky Serbin and Jim Olson overseeing the NTCA team, and TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin organizing the press team.
“Other trade shows have done a good job with community outreach programs,” said MAPEI’s Marvin. “This year will be the starting point for larger efforts in the years to come.”
Each team assembled 200 kits in about 20 minutes, with the NTCA Team coming in first. All members of this winning team received a gift certificate from show management company Taffy Event Strategies.
“It was a lot of fun to work with peers and colleagues to kick the show off with friendly competition for a good cause,” TileLetter’s Goddin said. “Thanks to everyone who took part!”
Contractors visiting Coverings ‘18 May 8-11 in Atlanta had the opportunity to partake in a full schedule of educational conference sessions, special features on the show floor like the Installation Experience, Installation Design Showcase, demos on the Installation Demonstration Stage, Quickfire sessions on a variety of topics and of course the amazing array of tile and stone products and setting materials, tools and associated products.
One great way to get a crash course of what’s available for contractors was to take part in a NTCA Tour, given Wednesday and Thursday of the show. This tour, led by NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson with assistance from member volunteers and Ally Jenkins from show management company Taffy Event Strategies, originated from the Contractor Lounge and led participants on a journey through 12 exhibitors in a little over an hour.
Here are the highlights:
Raimondi/Donnelly Distribution : Lindsey Madrid introduced tour participants to the Italian-made RLS leveling system, Buzon pedestals and a range of cutters and blades. A new product is the Roboslab, a hydraulic-operated mobile lifter for gauged porcelain tile panels.
European Tile Masters: Ben Szell showed a range of products and tables for handling, moving and working with gauged porcelain tile panels.
USG: USG’s Leo Pena displayed USG’s Shower System featuring Durock with EdgeGuard. This improved edge protects again blowouts. USG also offers the ability to custom configure a shower project, with materials easily sent to the site or contractor via UPS.
RUBI: Albert Mendez demonstrated the company’s TZ Cutter, as well as a vacuum attachment that eliminates dust from cutting tile and stone products.
Schluter: Bobby Linam talked about DITRA-HEAT, which combines an uncoupling mat with a thermal break with customizable heating cables for electric heat installs. He also talked about the range of Schluter’s edge protection profiles, in metallic or textured powder coat styles, as well as movement joint products.
MAPEI: Brian Pistulka talked about the company’s Planitop 330 Fast quick-setting, polymer-modified, fiber-reinforced, cementitious rendering, patching and leveling mortar for interior and exterior walls, floors and submerged areas as well as Mapeguard UM uncoupling membrane, Flexcolor 3D translucent, iridescent ready-to-use grout, and mortars that conform to ANSI 118.5 for gauged porcelain tile installations.
Tile Eze: Niels Mierendorff discussed the company’s Keil concealed anchoring system for ventilated facades which is proven in extreme weather conditions and offers a simple three-step process that allows for panels to be hung as easily as a picture. In addition, Tile Eze demonstrated its automatic grout cleanup machine, which cleans 1,000 sq.ft./hour residentially and 1,500 sq.ft./hour commercially.
Lackmond: Justin Thomas demonstrated the Beast 10” saw and the Beast B-BTEC Rail Saw.
CUSTOM: Russell Brown discussed the benefits of SpeedSlope Rapid Setting Sloping Mortar and RedGard SpeedCoat for speeding waterproofing and tile setting in shower installations.
LATICRETE: Spencer Maheu conveyed the benefits of STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack, which is the first heat diffusion additive designed exclusively for the STRATA_HEAT electric floor heating system. The STRATA_HEAT Thermal Pack eliminates cold spots between wires, reduces energy cost by 15%, and ensures heat from the STRATA_HEAT wire is distributed evenly throughout the adhesive.
TEC: Loren Doppelt told the group that with TEC’s Ultimate 6 Plus Mortar (TEC 487), projects can be grouted in as little as six hours. The product has a two-to-three hour pot life and 60 minute working time.
Exhibitors handed out information, cards and giveaways, with contractors returning after the tour to discuss products individually with suppliers.
Reinterpretation and hyper-realism are the key characteristics of the new products showcased in Atlanta
At Coverings 2018, the most important North American exhibition for the ceramic sector, Flaviker has showcased its new HYPER and RIVER tile collections combining innovation, HD digital decoration and Italian design. The Solignano-based companys exhibit in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, has offered a fascinating exploration of materials developed through its research efforts, a long-term stylistic and aesthetic project that has constantly expanded the potential for use of ceramic tiles and made them an increasingly popular material in the world of interior design.
Hyper-realism is the style concept behind the new offerings from Flaviker, particularly the HYPER collection inspired by the aesthetics of concrete. Along with the sheer variety of its versatile and contemporary surfaces, the 3D graphic design has meticulously preserved all the marks of the natural industrial concrete ageing process. HYPER also includes the precious capsule collection developed in collaboration with Tattoo & Visual artist Tiziano Colella, consisting of a series of decorated panels inspired by the visual language of street art.
The RIVER collection offers an original interpretation of terrazzo floors, skilfully combining surface homogeneity with the beauty of individual fragments while preserving the signs of wear and tear experienced over the centuries. Based on an outstanding interpretation of the popular recomposed material trend, one of the most interesting decorative solutions to have emerged in recent years, RIVER reproduces elegant micro-pebbles with extraordinary three-dimensional effects. Skilfully designed long, thin cracks are used to create a sense of movement in surfaces available in sizes ranging from 160×320 cm down to the smallest and most decorative submultiples 10×60 cm and 30×30 cm.
The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, recognized industry leaders at its Annual Awards Ceremony, during Coverings 2018 on May 10, 2018. Over 200 guests were present to see the NTCA honor two exceptional individuals for their unsurpassed dedication and leadership within the tile industry.
The NTCA’S 2017 Tile Person of the Year award was presented to Christopher Walker, Vice President of the David Allen Company (DAC). To date, Chris has logged more than 32 years as both a manager and installer within the tile industry. In addition to his time spent at DAC, he concurrently serves as 1st Vice President of the National Tile Contractors Association, Chairman of the American National Standards Institute A-108 Committee, Chairman of the US Technical Advisory Group for ISO T-189 and is on the Board of Directors – Associated Builders & Contractor (ABC) of Virginia. Chris has also been a voting member of the NTCA Methods and Standards and Technical Committee and TCNA Handbook Committee for many years.
“Chris is a recognized industry leader and expert; serving our industry and the NTCA for his entire career,” stated NTCA’s President, Martin Howard. “A true professional, he is most definitely deserving of this distinguished recognition.”
John Cousins, Vice President of Daltile, received the Joe A. Tarver Lifetime Achievement Award, offered to a leader in the tile and stone industry who dedicates his/her career to advancing the trade. John joined Dal-Tile in 1979 after a brief time as an accountant with Ernst & Ernst. He spent several years managing the Chicago area Daltile Sales Service Centers. When Daltile merged with American Olean, he assumed the role of Regional Manager of the firm’s Home Center business. In 1997, John was named Daltile’s Midwest Region General Manager and in 2004, John accepted the additional responsibility ofbecoming General Manager for Canada. He assumed his current role, Vice President of Sales, in September 2008. John Cousins believes strongly in listening to customers and building a company team to exceed customer expectations.
”Throughout his distinguished career, John has dedicated himself to moving our industry forward,” declared Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the NTCA. “He is known for his tireless efforts and contributions to the tile industry and our association.”
The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the world’s largest tile contractor association, announced recipients of its Tom Ade Scholarship Award at Coverings 2018.
This program was established by the NTCA to provide educational opportunities at the college or trade level for children or grandchildren of NTCA contractor members. It was respectfully named after Tom Ade of Filling Marble & Tile in New Jersey, a former NTCA regional director and a previous recipient of the NTCA’s Ring of Honor and Tile Person of the Year Awards. Through his generosity and selfless support of NTCA training and education, this scholarship program continues to thrive.
Scholarships were presented by Bart Bettiga, NTCA’s Executive Director, during the Association’s Awards Night on May 10th to five students, selected out of 37 nominees. Bettiga commenced the presentation by declaring, “This year, the NTCA is giving $20,000 to highly deserving students. Due to such outstanding entries, the NTCA decided to award $4,000 each to five individual students.”
The winners are as follows:
- Madison Walker, freshman at Northern Virginia Community College, majoring in biology with a minor in organic chemistry. Madison aspires to continue her studies, work on the Medical College Admissions Test and attend medical school. She is the daughter of NTCA’s First Vice President, Chris Walker and his wife Elena.
- Olivia Owen, recently accepted into the University of Georgia with plans to major in criminal justice. She carries a 4.25 GPA and balances academics with other extracurricular activities both on campus and at her church. Olivia is the daughter of Rod and Melinda Owen, owners of the Five Star Contractor Company, CC Owen Tile of Jonesboro, Georgia.
- Nicholas Certeza — nominated by his former captain, Nicholas recently completed active duty in the US Army and is a member of the Texas Army National Guard. This scholarship will help offset costs not covered by the GI Bill for his continued higher education studies. Nicholas is the son of Elizabeth Lambert and stepfather Dan Lambert, NTCA Five Star Contractors Lambert Tile & Stone in Colorado.
- Heather Sinclair, full-time wife, mother, employee and student, pursuing a business degree at University of Phoenix. She overseas six Goodwill stores throughout Central Iowa. Heather is the daughter of NTCA contractor member John Walker, with whom she worked side-by-side throughout her childhood, in his tile business.
- Hannah Stovall, a dance major and member of the Dean’s List at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Hannah aspires to earn her MBA and further her dance career getting involved in choreography, production and eventually, becoming a dance professor. She is the daughter of BJ and Gerri Stovall of Mr. David’s flooring in Frankland, Illinois.
Noble Company has been a fixture at Coverings for more than 20 years. The company’s new owners, Federal Process, have continued and expanded on this commitment with a larger footprint and a fresh, updated booth presence last week at Coverings 2018.
On display at the booth was a solution for loyal Noble product end users to get Noble adhesives and sealants off their tools, fingers and hands. The Tub O’ Towels was launched at this show, and is one of the best ways to get stubborn construction sealers and adhesives off the areas that you need clean. This tough, durable construction wipe holds up to demanding job-site conditions.
In addition to the sleek, new booth presence for Noble Company, Coverings management provided Noble with six presentation opportunities, which offered attendees a diverse, varied slate of topics in a variety of forums from stage demos, round table CE discussions, and this year’s Quickfire sessions debut.
The Tile Geeks, a nationwide organization of tile contractors, with their ever-expanding social media presence were welcomed and entertained at this year’s Noble Smoker.
CEO Lynnette Bloomberg, who has been a fixture at Noble Company for decades, and has been a critical factor in the success and growth of this company, is stepping down to pursue personal goals. It is an understatement to say she will be missed by company personnel and industry friends alike.