CTEF streamlines Certified Tile Installer testing process

Pendleton, S.C.–The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has recently modified its Certified Tile Installer (CTI) testing program to reduce the time away from the jobsite for participating tile and stone installers and contractors.

The CTI program provides a means for good, knowledgeable installers to verify their skills and promote themselves to potential clients and employers. Certification enables professional installers to provide industry-recognized proof of their abilities and secure more work. In addition, language was recently approved for inclusion in the upcoming TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation that recommends including the use of qualified labor in specifications.

CTEF now administers the written portion of the exam online at the installer’s home for the ease and convenience of participants and to better fit their schedules. The hands-on test, which previously took two days to complete, has now been compressed into a one-day exam.

“The combination of these new test developments places the installer back on the job more quickly, and means fewer missed money-making opportunities,” said Scott Carothers, CTEF executive director.

Those attending Coverings will have an opportunity to complete the hands-on test during the show. CTEF will again conduct the CTI hands-on test on the Coverings show floor Tuesday April 17th in booth # 963 which is adjacent to the Installation Designer Showcase in the rear of the hall. This is the fifth consecutive CTI test administered at the Coverings show. The CTEF booth #970 is located next to the CTI test space to provide attendees with the features of the program and benefits of becoming a CTI.

New CTIs are listed in the CTEF Directory of Certified Tile Installers which is included on the CTEF website and upcoming TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation.

For more information about CTEF and the CTI program, visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/tile-certification-overview-ctef, or contact Scott Carothers at (864) 222-2131, [email protected]

Architects and Interior Designers Invited to Bring Clients to COVERINGS 2012

Coverings, the international tile and stone expo and conference, has effectively set itself apart from the trade show pack with “Bring Your Client to Coverings” — the one opportunity consumers can sneak a peek at what their architects and interior designers are privy to in this decorative building materials category. Coverings 2012 convenes April 17 through April 20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, and registered A+D attendees can be joined by up to two client guests daily as they peruse the introductions of hundreds of global exhibitors representing more than 50 countries. Attendance for all is free.
“The ‘Bring Your Client to Coverings’ program is always a huge hit with A+D show goers,” said Karen Fendrich, show director of Coverings, “because it keeps their clients involved in the design process and exposes them to the wealth of options and resources available in the marketplace. On the flip side, for consumers in the company of their designers, it’s an eye-opener that helps them appreciate the challenge of editing through the vast crop of choices and hone in on what’s best suited for their projects. This program is yet another example of Coverings’ singular dedication to cultivating an enriching environment for everyone who’s interested in tile and stone.”
Visit www.coverings.com or www.facebook.com/CoveringsShow.

About Coverings
Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and dynamic industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Coverings 2012 is set for April 17-20, at Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. For more information visit www.coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.

USG Corporate Innovation Center’s Paul Shipp to Receive the ASTM Award of Merit

A hallmark of USG’s leadership is its adherence to core values that call upon us to maintain the highest standards. This extends to the internal specifications that go into the USG Bulletin System and the many tests and procedures used to certify products for building code and other marketplace requirements. Both domestically and globally, standards provide a level playing field where companies can compete fairly and successfully by offering the best products and services.

ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development of voluntary consensus standards used by industry and government agencies worldwide. Through the contributions of over 30,000 members who are technical experts and business professionals representing 135 countries, ASTM publishes more than 12,000 standards annually. Today, over 1,300 ASTM standards are being used in building codes and industry documents supporting the safe and economic construction of buildings.

USG’s commitment to industry standards is exemplified by its participation on 25 ASTM technical committees spanning a wide range of areas. USG can be found leading ASTM task groups, serving as committee officers, and even serving on the Board of Directors. In its latest recognition of a USG member, ASTM International has named Paul Shipp, Principal Research Associate at the USG Corporate Innovation Center, to receive the ASTM Award of Merit. Established in 1949 by its Board of Directors, the Award of Merit is the highest society award granted to an individual member for distinguished service and outstanding participation in ASTM International committee activities.

Robert Chambers joins LATICRETE as Customer Service Representative

Robert Chambers

LATICRETE, a global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry, has announced the appointment of Robert Chambers to the Architectural Products Division sales team. He will be functioning as a Customer Sales Representative working directly with LATICRETE customers in the Houston, Texas area. He will report directly to Jimmy Archer, Jr., Regional Sales Manager for LATICRETE Texas.

Robert comes to LATICRETE with 15 years of tile & stone industry experience, most recently working for one of the largest tile and stone contractors in Houston.

“We are excited to add Robert to our staff,” stated Archer. “He was directly involved with some of the largest projects in recent years in Houston and has a vast knowledge of tile, stone and setting materials, as well as today’s most appropriate applications and methods. Robert will play a key role in continuing to develop our contractor and MVP (Most Valued Partner) base in Houston.”

LATICRETE International, Inc. is a US-based, family-owned global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry. LATICRETE® products are produced and distributed worldwide in the commercial and consumer channels. The company’s philosophy of innovation and technical expertise has led to an unparalleled reputation and commitment to superior quality, performance and customer service. Manufactured in state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2008 certified facilities, LATICRETE offers a broad product portfolio including an extensive line of low VOC sustainable products independently certified by GREENGUARD. LATICRETE®, LATAPOXY®, SpectraLOCK®, Hydro Ban® and DRYTEK® are registered brands of LATICRETE International, Inc. Corporate Website: www.laticrete.com.

Minnesota Tile & Stone Debuts Custom Design Studio Created Specifically for Designers, Contractors and Homeowners

To remodel a kitchen or bathroom, a designer or homeowner could spend countless hours driving to tile stores, scouring natural stone wholesalers and cultured stone retailers, schlepping samples from store to store before finally selecting the perfect tile or stone, and overseeing stone counter fabrication. On Monday, April 2, 2012, Minnesota Tile & Stone (MTS) will open the doors to its new 40,000-square-foot facility in Minnetonka that is simplifying this lengthy and tedious material selection process of remodeling and home building. MTS is creating from scratch a huge new studio that houses numerous time-consuming steps under one roof, changing how homeowners shop and how designers work with their clients.

The unique company distinguishes itself as the only business in the upper Midwest open not only to industry professionals but to the public at large that sells both ceramic and stone tiles, natural stone slabs, and cultured stone veneers and that also fabricates natural stone countertops in its own facilities, providing a single-source solution for floors, walls, back splashes, and countertops. The result is a new trend in material selection: one-stop shopping that saves time and creates a design process that is easy, efficient and fun.

Owner Alan Dale today heads a company that 80 years ago was started by his grandfather, then run by his father. Deeply proud of his family business, Dale’s vision was to create a state-of-the-art experience and total solution for designers.

In spite of an economy that for several years has not been kind to the construction industry, Dale has taken on a number of courageous, if not risky, steps to continue to build and grow his company. He believed that when the dark economy would begin to show signs of light, the construction forecast would also begin to turn around. And he banked on it.

In 2010, Dale purchased well-known stone manufacturer Pollux. This past year, when investing in new property was risky, Dale purchased the building previously leased by Rubble Tile, located on the current site of MTS’s new studio in Minnetonka (6001 Culligan Way, just off Hwy. 62 and I-494). His vision was to design and open a one-of-a-kind tile and stone retail and fabrication facility complete with the most advanced state-of-the-art stone counter fabrication equipment, and that’s precisely what he’s done.

With everything on the line, Dale says he is “all in,” pumping a whopping $7 million into the family business. The total investment includes purchasing and rebuilding the new Minnetonka facility (designed by Tanek Inc. of Minneapolis and constructed by RJ Ryan of Mendota Heights, Minn.); purchasing new high-tech, digital manufacturing equipment; the acquisition of Pollux; and building MTS’s Plymouth showroom, which opened a year ago. All of his strategic investments, detailed preparation and enormous risks are positioning Dale and his newly branded company to capitalize on the marketplace when the recession eases. And Dale believes that time is now. In fact, Minnesota and national reports indicate that more Americans are investing in renovating and remodeling their homes. Dale fully expects his new model to be the studio of choice for designers and homeowners.

“Designers and contractors today are running all over town – often times with their clients in tow – perusing, selecting and reselecting tile and stone,” said Dale. “Now, they can come into a fashionable studio with their clients to meet and to shop for all their materials and literally watch their granite countertops being made. This simply isn’t done anywhere else, and it’s saving everyone a lot of time, something none of us have enough of.”

Designers and homeowners together can make any number of creative decisions. Then they can meet in expansive, private meeting rooms to layout products, materials and plans, and together go over all the details. No more driving to numerous locations to check out tile and stone, then attend numerous meetings to make decisions. Dale emphasizes that his studio concept that includes private conference rooms are not to be taken for granted. He hears over and over again how many designers do not have an adequate location to meet their clients during the entire selection process.

Alethea Sadowski, a Twin Cities designer with A. Sadowski Designs, concurs. Like many other designers, Sadowski does not have a convenient space to meet with clients.

“I love the new studio setup,” Sadowski said. “With the stone slab selection and the latest tile trends all accessible within the same area as well as the convenient meeting space, it’s like an extension of my office. I can bring a client in and manage a complete tile and stone project from start to finish in one visit.”

From porcelain to glass, and from mosaics to marble, all of MTS’s showrooms are stocked with and sourced from the most trusted manufacturers in the world. The studio carries more than 30 types of tile and more than 120 different marble, granite and quartz slabs. Customers also enjoy the ability to watch the stone fabrication process through a large viewing area. Stone countertops are measured, created and installed by employees to ensure exceptionally high quality installation. And, MTS partners with industry-leading setting materials companies to provide quality installation material and maintenance products.

Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn., Minnesota Tile & Stone (www.MNTile.com ) is a privately held, employee-owned provider and manufacturer of quality tile and stone. Founded in 1930, the fourth-generation business has four Minnesota retail locations: Lakeville, Woodbury, Plymouth and Minnetonka, its flagship studio and manufacturing facility.

MAPEI Celebrates 75th Anniversary in 2012

Over the past 75 years, MAPEI has grown from a 3-man start-up company that manufactured paints and coatings for commercial buildings in Milan, Italy, to the Mapei Group that has opened manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and commercial offices around the globe and employs 7500 people. The product offering has expanded from a few simple products to the innovative development of more than 1400 adhesives, sealants and chemical products for the building industry.

MAPEI will enthusiastically celebrate its 75th anniversary,” said Luigi Di Geso, President and CEO of MAPEI Americas, “but we will not spend excessive time looking back at where we have come from. We are strongly focused on where we want to go in the future, as evidenced by our growth in the Americas. Over the next 3-5 years we will be expanding capacity in our manufacturing plants, enlarging and adding to our product lines, and increasing our presence in Latin America.” The company’s ambitious goals are based on the strength of corporate management and the MAPEI Leadership Team, who have delivered growth and profits throughout the recent economic recession.

The sound foundation of the Mapei Group has evolved through the administrative expertise and excellent business judgment of Dr. Giorgio Squinzi, son of company founder Rodolfo Squinzi. This private corporation produces in excess of $2 billion in annual revenues. While early and consistent growth derived from flooring installation systems, today MAPEI has expanded into a solid position in the concrete restoration category as well. Development will continue in this area as the company begins its next phase of growth in the Americas. Di Geso invites contractors and distributors to “Work with MAPEI – work with the best!”


MAPEI Group, with 67 subsidiaries including 58 plants in 27 countries, is today the world leader in the manufacturing of adhesives and complementary products for the installation of all types of floor and wall coverings. The company also specializes in manufacturing other chemical products for building, including waterproofing products, special mortars and admixtures for concrete, products for the restoration of ancient buildings, and special decorative and protective coatings for walls.

Eighteen MAPEI manufacturing facilities are located in the Americas, with headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Florida. MAPEI is an environmentally conscious manufacturer – the company has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2001 and a member of the Canadian Green Building Council since 2008. MAPEI Americas is a registered provider to the AIA/CES program and also offers training related to ceramic and stone tile, floor coverings and concrete repair through the MAPEI Technical Institute. The Quality Management Systems of the majority of MAPEI Americas facilities are ISO 9001 certified. Visit www.mapei.com for technical data or call 1-800-42-MAPEI (1-800-426-2734) for the nearest location

TILE REDI® Appoints Steven Desher as Regional Sales Manager

Steven Desher - Regional Sales Manager for Tile RediTile Redi®, world-leading manufacturer and marketer of pre-formed, one-piece, innovative, Tile Ready® shower products, has appointed Steven Desher to the position of Regional Sales Manager. Desher has been appointed to handle commercial jobs which include hospitality, health care facilities, senior living and dormitories for Tile Redi’s patented line of leak-proof, shower pans and related items. He will be working out of the company’s Coral Springs headquarters.

Desher has previously sold to distributors and contractors and feels that his experience selling to consumers is going to help him in his new position at Tile Red®i, “I am excited about selling a unique product, that is not a ‘me too’ product,” says Desher.

Desher sees being awarded the RSM position is a great opportunity, however does not intend to be content with resting on his laurels, “My goal is to exceed the sales goals Tile Redi has set for me.”

Tile Redi’s® patented and UL-listed shower pans and other innovative tile ready products are manufactured as pre-formed, one-piece shower modules. Complete with fully integrated drains, curbs and splash walls, each leak-proof and mold free unit is pre-pitched for easy drainage and immediately ready for tile. By solving water intrusion problems, Tile Redi® shower pans inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. For more information, please contact: Tile Redi®, 4450 NW 126th Avenue, Suite 101, Coral Springs, FL 33065. Call 800-232-6156. www.tileredi.com

Danny Catania of Miller Druck Specialty Contracting Company Wins The 2011 MIA Craftsman of The Year Award

2011 MIA President GK Naquin (right) Presents the MIA Craftsman of the Year Award to Danny Catania (left).

The Marble Institute of America, Inc. (MIA) is proud to announce that Danny Catania of Miller Druck Specialty Contracting Co. in New York, NY, as the 2011 recipient of the MIA Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Award.

A six member panel of stone industry veterans selected Catania from a pool of nominees in a competition sponsored by the leading industry supplier, Campolonghi Italia. The award, a beautifully crafted and unique plaque, was presented to Catania at the annual MIA Awards Luncheon held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012.

Danny Catania began his career shortly after graduating from college in 1978. Not sure what he wanted to do, his uncle who happened to be in the stone business, asked him if he wanted a job. He began as a helper, then an apprentice setter; but his capability and diversity of skills soon advanced him to full mechanic and eventually to the top tradesperson.

Barbara Cohen, president of Miller Druck Specialty Contracting said, “Danny has worked worldwide and is creative in solving every installation detail; always able to adapt to the local requirements and availability of tools and equipment. He thinks ahead to solve fabrication and installation details for a long term solution. He uses his vast experience to rig equipment safely, and gently handles marble and stone, and always finds the most economical, practical and appropriate detail to insure the integrity of the architect’s design.”

When Miller Druck Specialty Contracting Company was awarded the Canary Wharf Project in London, it was intended that local labor would be used. However, as the job began, it became apparent that the skill for the type of quality and precision demanded was not available in the local market place. Danny traveled on a moment’s notice to London where he became the master mechanic and was known as the “stone king” for the entire Canary Wharf Commercial Center. He immediately developed a rapport with all the existing contractors, taught all their workers how to properly set stone, guided them on how to read the drawings, and ended up building a team of 200 workers to complete the entire project. Danny stayed in London for over 5 years and was cherished by the guys he taught and led. Those workers, now stone trades people, had acquired a trade for life because of Danny.

As he traveled to many different locales, he always sought out the personal talent in each of the workers whether it be as expert mechanic, a helper, the forklift driver or the person to mix the sand and cement. He treated each and every one equally with respect, recognizing and appreciating the contribution that each person made to the team. “Danny has this amazing ability to get along with everybody and to make them feel part of his team, no matter where they come from because he has the basic respect of talent,” Cohen said. She continued, “Besides his accomplishments, Danny is hardworking, sincere, dedicated, honest, straightforward, witty, clever and a kind human being.”

When he is not working on natural stone projects around the world, Danny enjoys playing his guitar, which he inherited from his grandfather.

The Marble Institute of America salutes Danny Catania of Miller Druck Specialty Contracting Co. for winning this prestigious award.

About the Marble Institute of America

For over 65 years the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has been the world’s leading information resource and advocate for the natural dimension stone industry. MIA members include marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and other natural stone producers and quarriers, fabricators, installers, distributors, and contractors around the world.

2012 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition has been extended to February 27

Sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and Confindustria Ceramica (the Association of Italian Ceramics), the 2012 Tile Competition is open to all North American architects and designers who have used Italian ceramic tiles in their institutional, residential or commercial/hospitality projects completed between January 2007 and January 2012. The competition is completely digital and FREE to enter! Winners in each category will receive a $4,000 cash prize + a five-day trip to Italy to attend Cersaie in the fall.
For competition guidelines, an archive of past winners and the online submission form visit www.tilecompetition.com

Three Concept Rooms Will Come to Life in the Installation Design Showcase at Coverings 2012

A trio of ingenious design ideas incorporating tile and stone will come to life before the eyes of Coverings 2012 attendees with the presentation of the Installation Design Showcase. The special combined live-action demonstration and exhibit underscores how critical skilled installation is to realizing any design project, and it has become a must-see of the international tile and stone expo, April 17-20, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The construction gets underway a day prior to the opening of Coverings, with completion marked for Wednesday, April 18. However, the exhibit will remain in full view through the show’s close.

Matches have been made between three distinguished designers and three accomplished installation teams. Instrumental in making these marriages was The National Tile Contractors Association, a Coverings co-sponsor that helped originate the Showcase three years ago. To participate, installers must have NTCA Five Star Recognition, the association’s highest ranking. The collaborations between the professionals will yield an outdoor living area, a master bathroom and a hotel guestroom where tile and stone have star billing.

The Line-Up of Designers & Installers
Joan DesCombes, a nationally known kitchen designer who has her own practice in Winter Park, Florida, is among the highly touted talent in the Showcase. DesCombes is dreaming-up an outdoor living area that she describes as “a personal pamper patio—a tranquil retreat where one can escape, reflect and relax.” Cox Tile and Marble, of San Antonio, Texas, which has participated in the Installation Design Showcase since its inception, once again is assigning a team that will tackle this scenario.
Orlando native and president of Gribble Interior Group, Grant Gribble, ASID, IIDA, is also stepping into the Showcase spotlight. He is planning the “Mod Squad of master baths,” drawing inspiration from 1960s and 1970s fashion. Helping his retro vision evolve into an energetic yet elegant vignette is Collins Tile and Stone, Arlington, Virginia.

The acclaimed firm TVS Design, Atlanta, is sending senior associate Foreman Rogers, ASID, who has envisioned a “sophisticated and luxe” look for his hotel guestroom. It’s a space that aims to highlight tile as “much more than just a practical material but as a true art form.” David Allen Company, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, will lead the installation on this project.

In addition to shining light on the participating designers and installers, the exhibit will illuminate some of the latest and greatest tile and stone products and essential installation elements from 2012 Coverings exhibitors, including Crossville, Ceramic Tiles of Italy, Florida Tile and Metropolitan Ceramics. What’s more, QEP, Rubi Tools USA and European Tile Masters Inc will provide the necessary tools to construct the exhibit, while H.B. Fuller Construction Products, Mapei and USG Corp will supply the basic building needs.

“The Installation Design Showcase exemplifies the true mission of Coverings: to bring all segments of the tile and stone industry together and amplify how these materials can transform both our living spaces and our world,” said Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association. “The fact that the Showcase will be completed over the course of the show, right on the exhibit floor, offers attendees the opportunity to witness the process first-hand, and to interact directly with the designers and installers. It’s yet another example of the kind of innovative, value-added programming that makes Coverings such an incomparable experience.”

According to Bettiga, all of the materials and products featured in the Installation Design Showcase will have an after-life benefitting Tile Partners for Humanity.

Visit www.coverings.com or www.facebook.com/CoveringsShow.

About Coverings
Coverings is the premier international trade fair and expo dedicated exclusively to showcasing the newest in ceramic tile and natural stone. It has grown to be the largest and most important show of its kind in the U.S., featuring exhibitors from more than 50 countries and attracting thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors and specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, plus the press and journalists who cover this vital and dynamic industry. Coverings is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world. The exposition also serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Coverings 2012 is set for April 17-20, at Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. For more information visit www.coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-683-8500.

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