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.


(ATLANTA, GA – May 10, 2018) 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 inAmsterdam, 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.



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.”

LATICRETE Moves Industry Forward with New Product Offerings Showcased at Coverings 2018

Innovative product solutions include a radiant floor heating system with the world’s first heat conductive thin-set additive

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, will give Coverings attendees a first-hand look at the company’s latest flooring solutions, including the revolutionary electric radiant floor heating system, STRATA_HEAT™, which includes the world’s first heat conductive additive utilizing Thermal Diffusion Technology™. Located at Booth 7213, LATICRETE will also exhibit the new READY-TO-USE™ Grout, HYDRO BANⓇ Cementitious Waterproofing Membrane, HYDRO BAN Quick Cure, Quick Cure Mortar Bed, STONETECHⓇ Epoxy Grout & Haze Coating Stripper, STONETECH Quartz & Porcelain Tile Sealer, STONETECH Quartz & Tile Cleaner and PRIME-N-BOND™. PERMACOLORⓇ Select and 257 TITANIUM™ will also be featured.

“Our team of scientists, engineers and product developers have put in a lot of hard work to produce everyday solutions for the construction industry to address growing market trends such as tiny homes,” said LATICRETE Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications Maria Oliveira. “As part of Coverings’ ninth annual Installation Design Showcase (IDS), various LATICRETE® products including the complete STRATA_HEAT system will be installed live in the ‘Smart Modern Living’ tiny home on site.”

In addition to STRATA_HEAT, the ‘Smart Modern Living’ tiny home will utilize HYDRO BAN Board, the HYDRO BAN Shower System, PERMACOLOR Select, 4-XLT, TRI-LITE™ and LATASIL™. The IDS tiny home exhibit will be displayed the entire duration of the trade show at Booth 8804 in Hall C.  



READY-TO-USE Grout is an advanced professional-grade, ready-to-use premixed grout that delivers superior color consistency combined with excellent stain resistance. READY-TO-USE Grout is ideal for interior re-grouting applications involving ceramic tile, glass tile and stone. In addition to its non-sag formula, READY-TO-USE Grout inhibits the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew in grout joints and does not require sealing.

HYDRO BAN Cementitious Waterproofing Membrane

HYDRO BAN Cementitious Waterproofing Membrane is a single-component, polymer-fortified cement-based waterproofing material that mixes with water. This product can be used to waterproof walls and floors in bathrooms, kitchens, swimming pools, water features and fountains, balconies and terraces over unoccupied space. It can also be used to waterproof all common building substrates that require protection from water exposure.

HYDRO BAN Quick Cure

Designed for both commercial and residential tile installations, HYDRO BAN Quick Cure creates a continuous waterproofing barrier with outstanding adhesion to metal, PVC, stainless steel and ABS drain assemblies. Thanks to its rapid-drying properties, HYDRO BAN Quick Cure allows for floor testing within 30 minutes and a faster return-to-service. HYDRO BAN Quick Cure features WetCure Technology, which allows it to cure even in cold or damp environments.

Quick Cure Mortar Bed

Quick Cure Mortar Bed is a rapid-setting, polymer-fortified thick bed mortar that allows for foot traffic and walkability in as soon as 30 minutes for mortar bed and shower system installations. Quick Cure Mortar Bed is versatile for use in both interior and exterior applications, wet or dry applications, bonded and non-bonded thick bed mortar applications, shower systems and concrete repairs, to create a continuous waterproofing barrier with outstanding adhesion. When combined with HYDRO BAN Quick Cure, Quick Cure Mortar Bed provides the fastest mortar bed shower system install in the industry.


The STRATA_HEAT electric radiant floor heating system includes the world’s first heat conductive thin-set additive that utilizes Thermal Diffusion Technology to uniformly distribute heat through the adhesive to eliminate cold spots and quickly achieve the desired floor temperature. The system also includes an innovative high-performance floor heating wire, an uncoupling mat and a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. The advanced system transfers heat faster than standard floor heating products on the market to reduce energy costs and provide customers with the most customizable floor heating experience imaginable.


PRIME-N-BOND is a versatile primer designed to enhance the performance and mechanical bond of mortars to a variety of smooth or low-absorptive substrates to which adhesion may be difficult. PRIME-N-BOND is low VOC and does not emit a strong odor, making it ideal for use in interior or occupied areas. Additionally, PRIME-N-BOND allows for faster preparation because it does not require mixing, which can save contractors time and money on the jobsite.

STONETECH Epoxy Grout & Haze Coating Stripper

STONETECH Epoxy Grout & Haze Coating Stripper is the newest heavy duty specialty cleaner within the STONETECH line of products. The fast-acting, non-runny gel solution is able to dissolve epoxy grout haze and coatings such as varnish, lacquer, sealer, wax, paint, polyurethane and acrylic in 10 minutes or less, even if the residue has been present for more than a week.

STONETECH Quartz & Porcelain Tile Sealer

STONETECH Quartz & Porcelain Tile Sealer is a premium water-based sealer that acts as a preventive against oil and water-based stains. In addition to protecting engineered quartz, stone and tile surfaces, STONETECH Quartz & Porcelain Tile Sealer can also be used as a pre-grout sealer to prevent potential staining on porcelain tile. This product is low odor, non-flammable and meets state and federal VOC requirements, making it safer for installers to work with and more environmentally friendly than solvent-based sealers.   

STONETECH Quartz & Tile Cleaner

STONETECH Quartz & Tile Cleaner is a premium, water-based solution that is gentle and effective enough to clean and remove light stains without harsh chemicals that can harm or dull the surface. The easy-to-use product gives off a clean, fresh scent and does not require any dilution. After spraying STONETECH Quartz & Tile Cleaner directly on the surface, the mess can be wiped away without the need to rinse with water.


257 TITANIUM is a lightweight, high-performance thinset mortar designed to function as the optimal choice for installing Gauged Porcelain Tile (GPT) and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs (GPTP) in commercial, residential and industrial applications. 257 TITANIUM is silica sand-free to fully comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new workplace standards that limit the amount of respirable crystalline silica dust on the jobsite. This contributes to the product’s easy-to-spread creamy consistency and ease of troweling.


PERMACOLOR Select is an advanced high-performance cement grout that offers the industry’s first dispersible dry pigment solution. Designed for optimum performance on all types of residential and commercial installations, PERMACOLOR Select is able to withstand the most demanding exterior or interior applications with ease.


TRI-LITE is a high-performance, tri-purpose mortar designed for large and heavy tile, thin-bed and wall installations. Due to its lightweight formula and smooth, creamy consistency, a 30 lb (14.6 kg) bag provides the same coverage as a 50 lb (22.6 kg) bag of traditional mortar.


HYDRO BAN Board is lightweight, easy-to-install, ready-to-tile wall board designed for bonded tile or stone installations. It is made with a waterproof high-density extruded polystyrene core and a waterproof membrane on both sides to give triple protection from water and vapor intrusion.

HYDRO BAN Shower System

The HYDRO BAN shower system includes an expansive line of pre-sloped and linear shower pans, niches, seats and benches made with a high-density polystyrene core. Linear and square drains are available in multiple standard and custom sizes and finishes, including a tile-in option to match almost any design. LATICRETE shower systems also provide accessories to offer customers everything needed for a flawless shower installation, backed by the industry’s best warranty.


4-XLT is a multi-use, polymer-fortified adhesive mortar designed with excellent non-sag performance for large and heavy tile installations. 4-XLT features a smooth and creamy consistency and can be built up to .75 in (19 mm) thick without shrinkage. Additionally, this product not only exceeds ANSI A118.4 and 118.11 Shear Bond Strength Requirements, but also meets the “Extra Heavy” rating per ASTM C627.


LATASIL is a high-performance, one component sealant designed for both interior and exterior ceramic tile and stone applications. LATICRETE is entirely made up of silicone and is an ideal installation material for swimming pools and other wet areas, as well as expansion joints in residential and commercial projects.


Tuesday, May 8th

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. STRATA_HEAT

4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. HYDRO BAN Quick Cure and Quick Cure Mortar Bed

Wednesday, May 9th

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. PERMACOLOR Select

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. STRATA_HEAT

Thursday, May 10th

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. STRATA_HEAT


Tuesday, May 8th

10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. ‘Smart Modern Living’ Tiny Home Exhibit

Wednesday, May 9th

10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ‘Smart Modern Living’ Tiny Home Exhibit

Thursday, May 10th

10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ‘Smart Modern Living’ Tiny Home Exhibit

Friday, May 11th

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ‘Smart Modern Living’ Tiny Home Exhibit


Crossville Announces In-Booth & Show-Wide Education Sessions at Coverings

Hosting at Booth 7654 and Beyond with Topics Focusing on Design Trends and Technical Information

—Follow @crossvilleinc on Facebook—

CROSSVILLE, Tennessee — Domestic tile manufacturer Crossville will be offering unique education opportunities at Coverings, including informative sessions live at Booth #7654 as well as sessions offered as part of the show’s education schedule.

Crossville’s In-booth Educational Sessions

Crossville will be offering educational sessions at the company’s booth, #7654, throughout the show. These sessions will address latest trends in commercial and residential design, as well issues related to technical performance and installation. For anyone unable to attend Coverings in person, the Crossville in-booth sessions will be broadcast via Facebook Live.

Note that all times listed are Eastern.

Mix It Up with Crossville – Tuesday, May 8, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
Explore Crossville’s latest products and a colorfully coordinated strategy with Terri Marion

Retro Active 2.0 Revealed – Tuesday, May 8, 3:00-3:15 p.m.
Crossville shares its latest line of tile and the ingredients that make this line so very special

Now and Then: Bold Blends take on Tradition – Wednesday, May 9, 11:00-11:30 a.m.
Crossville hosts a panel discussion with designers Denise McGaha and Michelle Workman

KBTribeChat: Tile Trends – Wednesday, May 9, at 1:00 p.m.
A Twitter-based discussion for professionals in the kitchen and bath design industry

The Technical Side of Bold Blends – Wednesday, May 9, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
Crossville’s Technical Team gives you the know-how to work across tile lines

Bold Blends: Influences in Commercial Design – Thursday, May 10, 10:00-10:30 a.m.
Crossville hosts a panel discussion with designers Shelly Attila and Louise Labus Collins

The Story of Porcelain Panels – Thursday, May 10, 11:00-11:30 a.m.
Crossville’s Porcelain Panel Case Studies tell a whole new design story for tile

Beyond the Booth Sessions

In addition to the in-booth sessions, members of the Crossville team are participating in Coverings education sessions throughout the show.

Crossville’s VP of marketing Lindsey Waldrep will represent the North American pavilion in the Global Tile Trend panel discussion hosted by the show taking place on Wednesday, May 9, at 9:30 a.m. at B309.

Noah Chitty, Crossville’s director of technical services, will be part of informational sessions focused on the latest in tile standards and the gauged porcelain tile panel category.
* Understanding Tile Installation and Product Standards and How to Apply This to Your Installation Projects on Tuesday, May 8, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in B406
* Gauged Porcelain Tile – Inside the Product and Installation Standards on Thursday, May 10, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. in B206

Irene Williams, owner-principal of Crossville’s PR firm Msg2Mkt, will be talking about various social media tools for customer connections.
* Coverings Connect Byte Session: Pay to Place – Facebook Advertising on Tuesday, May 8, from 12:30-1:00 p.m. and on Thursday, May 10, from 1:30-2:00 p.m. in the B-C Connector
* Coverings Connect Byte Session: Pin to Win – Pinterest’s Power for Your Biz on Tuesday, May 8, from 1:30-2:00 p.m. and on Thursday, May 10 from 12:30-1:00 p.m. in the B-C Connector
* Coverings Connect Byte Session: Fireside Chat – Social Media for Business on Wednesday, May 9, from 12:30-1:00 p.m. and on Friday, May 11, from 12:00-12:30 p.m. in the B-C Connector
* Coverings Connect Byte Session: Quick Tips to Conquer Content Marketing on Wednesday, May 9, from 1:30-2:00 p.m. and on Friday, May 11, from 11:00-11:30 a.m. in the B-C Connector

Attendees can register for free at

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