Construction Wages: Who Makes the Most and Where?

People often think of the construction industry as a single, monolithic entity of laborers in yellow hard hats, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The industry consists of a large number of firms, most of which are small and operate locally, and it spans numerous different occupations, from sheet metal workers to building inspectors to plumbers. An analysis of the latest available data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) shows that wages also reflect this diversity.  We do find, however, broad patterns whereby certain occupations consistently pay more than others, and certain cities offer better pay across the board for all construction jobs.Median_National_Incomes_In_Construction_2016

A national comparison of median incomes shows which occupations are most lucrative. At the top of the list with an annual salary of $80,000 are Elevator Installers and Repairers, who make significantly more than the next highest occupation, Supervisors, and more than three times the least paid occupation of Construction Helpers. Elevator Installers and Repairers make nearly twice as much as the national median income of $40,150, thanks to the high-rise boom propelled by demand for offices and residential towers across US cities.  Tied for third highest are Boilermakers and Building Inspectors, who each make $55,000, followed closely by Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Operators.

Not every occupation in the construction industry entails physical labor; supervisors manage workers, structural engineers use engineering skills to determine the integrity of a structure, and building inspectors review plans to assess its compliance with building codes. People tend to associate white-collar or office jobs with higher salaries compared to blue-collar or manual labor, but the rankings show that this is not necessarily the case. Working with elevators or boilers requires physical work, but these are among the highest paid jobs in the industry.

There appears to be, however, a relationship between an occupation’s pay grade and the level of skill required. “Occupations that require more training or technical expertise consistently pay higher than those with lower barriers to entry,” says BuildZoom’s Chief Economist, Dr. Issi Romem.  The highest-paying occupations often require specialized apprenticeships, licenses or certifications that demonstrate an understanding of the trade and command a premium in the market, such as a grounding in mechanics for elevator technicians, circuitry for electricians, or water systems for boilermakers. Of course, licensing can also serve as a means for controlling the number of people practicing and by reducing the supply of those tradesmen, increase their wages.

Towards the bottom of the list are trades that generally have lower barriers to entry. Floor Installers, Construction Laborers, Drywall Installers, Painters and Roofers are listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics as having “no formal education credentials” required, while professions with average pay including Pipelayers, Sheet Metal Workers, Glaziers, Insulation Workers, and Carpenters typically require “a high school diploma or equivalent.”1


The ordering of occupations from highest-paid to lowest-paid at the national level also holds true within individual metro areas. The above figure compares median incomes for six common construction trades across the ten largest metro areas in the US. Within any given city, supervisors are paid the most and painters the least, with an overall downward slope. This demonstrates that certain construction occupations are consistently better paid than others across the different cities.

The graph also shows that certain cities generally pay more across all occupations. Chicago, denoted by the upper blue line, catches the eye as having higher wages across the board. Boston, Philadelphia, San Jose and New York also generally pay higher salaries. Towards the bottom of the graph are the cities that pay less for all six construction jobs, including Dallas and Miami. A closer look at individual cities shows how each occupation’s pay in that city compares to the nation.2

Cities With Higher Wages in Construction Occupations

The dropdown bar above shows two examples of cities where wages are higher: San Jose and New York. San Jose consistently pays more than the national median income for every construction trade. The majority of occupations in New York also pay higher than the median, except for elevator installers and sheet metal workers, who each make slightly less. The lower wages for elevator installers in New York may be related to the city’s abundance of tall buildings and an oversupply of technicians. The higher incomes in San Jose and New York suggest they may be related to how expensive it is to live in those cities. The Cost of Living Index measures the difference in the price levels of goods, services, and rent across the US, where 100 is set as the average national cost of living. San Jose and New York have Cost of Living Indexes of 124 and 121, which are respectively the second and fifth most expensive cities in the US.  “Wages are consistently higher across all construction occupations in certain cities, in line with the cost of living,” summarizes Romem. 

Cities With Lower Wages in Construction Occupations

Conversely, Dallas and Miami consistently pay less than the national median across all construction occupations. This may relate to the comparatively lower cost of living in these cities (Dallas has an index of 100 and Miami has an index of 106), which gives people greater purchasing power than expensive cities like San Francisco or New York.

So how do construction occupations rank in your city? Use the dropdown below to display the rankings for your city.

The above rankings and spider charts for large cities are available for download in the links below.


  1.  According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  2.  In order to accurately compare wages, the above graph includes only the professions for which all 10 cities have data available.  The following charts include all occupations in construction for which data is available for that city.
  3.  The Cost of Living Index is from 2015 and taken from the Open Data Network.


  1. Median incomes were calculated using the latest 2016 data from the American Community Survey.
  2. Only metro areas and occupations which had 30 or more data points were included in this study.  Occupations with insufficient data have been omitted.

Raised in Tokyo and Honolulu, Sasha has implemented international marketing campaigns on five continents. She is fascinated by the intersection of technology and socioeconomic development, and is a street food enthusiast.

FILA wins ‘BEST OF” Innovation at TISE West 2018

FILA Solutions, a leader in the manufacturing of surface treatment, protection and maintenance products for ceramic tile and natural stone, was awarded the “Best Of” Innovation for its FILAMARBLE AID, during The International Surface Event (TISE), January 30-Feb 1, 2018 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

TISE choses the “Best Of” Awards Program winners for 2018, and FILA Solutions was chosen as winner in the Innovation Category. TISE, along with the awards program sponsors, host the “Best Of” Award programs to celebrate industry innovation and ingenuity, and exhibitors’ contributions to the floor covering industry. The “Best Of” Event Awards is an annual awards program for exhibiting companies whose product, program, service, business practice and/or booth design are considered to be “Best Of” in their class.

L to R: Terri Sparks, VP of Communicators International, Francesco Pettenon, FILA’s Managing & Commercial Director and Jeff Moen, FILA’s Director of Sales & Marketing

Francesco Pettenon, CEO of Fila Group (representing the family’s third generation), says the team in Italy was very excited to hear the news. “We all worked very hard to develop this technology and this proves our perseverance paid off.”

The new FILAMARBLE AID is a two-component, odorless water-based treatment which protects natural stone and polished marble against acid and stains. FILAMARBLE AID creates a barrier for polished surfaces, ideal for vanities and kitchen counters that may come in contact with alkaline products, acids or just everyday dirt.

According to Jeff Moen, Director of Sales & Marketing of FILA Solutions, “We had a slew of TISE attendees stop by our exhibit and learn about this new product firsthand. It was well received by everyone at the Show.”

For more information, call FILA Chemicals USA Corp at #305-513-0708 or visit

NEOCON 50 – June 11-13, 2018 – announces marquee presentations celebrating 50 years of tomorrow’s design

(Chicago, IL – February 2018) Plans are well underway for the milestone 50th edition of NeoCon, the world’s leading platform and most important event of the year for the commercial design industry, June 11-13, at The Mart in Chicago. A banner lineup of programming is on tap from some of the preeminent, influential names in design and beyond.
The show will feature two marquee presentations on opening day: to kick off the show there will be a presentation led by Gensler Founder, Art Gensler, in conversation with IIDA’s Cheryl Durst, then in the afternoon there will be a panel led by Interior Design Editor-in-Chief, Cindy Allen. There will also be in-depth talks from Editor-in-Chief of Wired, Nick Thompson, as well as Founder and Design Principal of Ross Barney Architects, Carol Ross Barney.
The program is rounded out by over 100 CEU seminars, which will inform and offer a glimpse of what’s next on the horizon in the world of commercial design.
Monica DeBartolo, Director of Programming, NeoCon remarks, “The individuals headlining the 2018 conference program are more than just “design influencers.” They are champions for the public good, creating and advocating for user-focused, sustainable built environments for a better future. Complemented by a rich and varied CEU seminar offering, NeoCon 2018 will deliver an exceptional educational experience as we celebrate 50 years of tomorrow’s design.”
Registration is now open for NeoCon’s four marquee presentations:

Art Gensler

Cheryl Durst

Unanticipated Opportunities: A Conversation between Art Gensler and Cheryl Durst
Art Gensler, Founder, Gensler
Presented by Aspecta by Metroflor and IIDA
Monday, June 11
8am in the NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, The Mart
To be the best entrepreneur, you must trust your gut, take risks, and embrace opportunity by interacting with chance encounters and keeping a constant eye on what could be. It is astonishing how often unanticipated opportunities happen and the amazing places they will take us. Art Gensler will sit down with Cheryl Durst, IIDA executive vice president and CEO, to share some of the unanticipated opportunities that have helped shape his career.
Art Gensler founded Gensler, the global architecture, design, planning and strategic consulting firm in 1965. From an office of three people in San Francisco, the firm has grown into one of the world’s leading architecture and design groups, with 5,000 people in 46 global locations. Gensler teams provide expertise in 20 practice areas – including workplace, retail, hospitality, education, brand design, and aviation & transportation – to international clients that span a wide range of industries. The firm is known for their design of many iconic interior and architectural projects around the globe, such as the Shanghai Tower. Gensler is recognized as the number one architectural firm in the country and for the past 30 consecutive years has been selected as the Most Admired Firm by its industry peers.

Cindy Allen

She Said, She Said: Extraordinary Women in Design

Moderated by Cindy Allen, Editor-in-Chief, Interior Design
Monday, June 11
2pm in the NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, The Mart
In honor of NeoCon’s 50th edition, Interior Design Editor-in-Chief Cindy Allen shines a bright light on those who dared to enter the boys’ club of architecture and design, voicing their struggles and victories. Now, as they lead some of the world’s most prodigious firms, we hear their vision for the future. This percipient panel honors all women in design. Panelists to be announced.
One of the most influential advocates for the design industry, Cindy Allen marked her 17-year anniversary as Editor-in-Chief of Interior Design in 2018. Since her editorship began in 2001, Allen has established herself as a force in elevating the profession’s importance and exposure—acting as an ambassador and fervent supporter of interior designers, architects, and product designers, while providing a platform and vehicle of growth for the design industry.
Across the years, Allen has received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the New York School of Interior Design, the Circle of Excellence Award from IFDA, the Alpha Award by Alpha Workshops (of which she serves on the board), and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation Leadership Award. Allen is also Chairman of the national board of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS), a role passed on to her by David Rockwell.
Under Allen’s direction, the Interior Design platform is always evolving to best celebrate the designer and their process. From inspiration to final project or product, with Allen, the designer is always the star.

Nicholas Thompson

The Wired Future

Nick Thompson, Editor in Chief, Wired
Presented by ASID
Tuesday, June 12
8am in the NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, The Mart
The story of how science and tech will change our lives is one of the most important in the world. And no one’s more equipped to tell it than Nicholas Thompson. A veteran editor, he revolutionized The New Yorker’s online platform and transformed the magazine. Now, as the editor-in-chief of Wired, he’s working at the forefront of digital innovation—championing tech’s role in making the world a better place.
Nicholas Thompson is staking out a bold, optimistic vision for covering, and responding to, the changing realm of digital culture. From artificial intelligence to entertainment, privacy to social media, ethics to war, Thompson leads the news cycle—and in talks, he champions the ways tech can enhance our lives.Thompson served previously as a senior editor at Wired from 2005–2010. There, he edited both National Magazine Award-nominated writing and “The Great Escape,” the story that became the feature film Argo. Thompson has also played a pivotal role with The New Yorker—first as senior editor, then as editor of the magazine’s digital platform, where he helped re-design the website, launch the New Yorker app, spark an eight-fold increase in monthly readers, and quadruple the number of new digital subscribers each month. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed biography The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War.

Carol Ross Barney

Future Cities-Creating Livable Environments

Carol Ross Barney, Founder and Design Principal, Ross Barney Architects
Presented by AIA Chicago
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
9:30am in the NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, The Mart
Presented by AIA Chicago
Carol Ross Barney’s keynote will focus on “Future Cities-Creating Livable Environments.” In order to live sustainably, and efficiently, designers are going to have to make cities more livable.  Carol will talk about her experiences with projects that transform the cityscape; from the Chicago Riverwalk, to transit stations, to public places that delight and excite.
Honored with more than 100 design awards, Carol Ross Barney has been in the vanguard of civic space design since founding Ross Barney Architects in 1981.  Her projects vary in type and scale but uphold a deep commitment to the role architecture plays in life quality.  This has manifest itself in spaces that transition urban dwellers from point A to point B and enrich the metropolitan experience; to buildings that are environmental stewards, showcasing sustainability in an overtly compelling way; to spaces that inspire young children and the brightest minds of tomorrow to learn, invent and break boundaries.
NeoCon is open to trade, media, C-Suite executives and other industry-related professionals. The NeoCon 2018 website and complimentary registration is live at On-site registration: $40. Marquee/Keynote presentations: Free. CEU seminar details and registration will be available March 6.



Doug Snell, Stonepeak Ceramics

Stonepeak Ceramics has recently named Doug Snell as its new vice president of sales and marketing.

Snell formerly held the position of regional sales manager for the South East Territory for the past 12 years, and is the first American to hold this position in the company, which is owned by the Iris Group, based in Italy. Iris also owns Fiandre USA, Iris US and its newest brand Sapienstone, Inc.


Warming Hearts: Warmup’s Focus and Commitment to the Connecticut Food Bank

Corporate Social Responsibility describes efforts made by companies to improve our society. By embracing social responsibilities in the workplace, companies can inspire and empower their employees in new ways every day. Warmup® believes in giving back to the community where it lives and works, and is proud to announce a partnership with the Connecticut Food Bank.

In September, Warmup® made a commitment to have employees volunteer at the Connecticut Food Bank every month. Since this time, the Warmup® team has donated goods as well as hundreds of hours of service to the organization’s main distribution center in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Working Together to Help Neighbors in Need

 Warmup is pleased to join forces with the Connecticut Food Bank to help fight hunger in the state of Connecticut where 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger (CT Food Bank, 2018).

Warmup employees are encouraged to participate in open volunteer sessions at the Connecticut Food Bank the first Thursday of each month. Willing individuals rotate attendance to participate in a volunteer session, sorting food for our neighbors in need instead of spending time in the office on their regular responsibilities. Food sorted by volunteers is regularly distributed across the state through a network of community-based programs.


About the Connecticut Food Bank

The Connecticut Food Bank is the largest source of emergency food in Connecticut. Last year the Connecticut Food Bank distributed enough food to prepare more than 21 million meals to people in need. Through mission-driven programs, the Connecticut Food Bank is able to reach the nearly half a million Connecticut residents that struggle with hunger across the state (CT Food Bank, 2018).

Volunteers are needed at the main distribution center on a weekly basis. Shifts are from 9am- 12pm, Monday through Friday and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Monday through Thursday.


About Warmup

According to the company, Warmup is the world’s best-selling underfloor heating brand. The North American Warmup headquarters is located in Danbury, Connecticut and serves the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Warmup products are sold through retail locations and Warmup actively supports our partners in promoting and installing our heating products for comfort, primary heating, and snow melting purposes.

Artaic Adds Key Staff Members to Accommodate Continuing Growth

Artaic-Innovative Mosaic, designers and fabricators of custom, award-winning mosaic tile-work produced by its proprietary robots, has announced the appointment of two new team members.

Sasha Mulcahey has been appointed Marketing Manager. With a strong background in architecture and design, Mulcahey brings a wide scope of industry knowledge and hands-on skills to the Artaic team. In her new role, she will be responsible for the firm’s marketing, advertising and social media initiatives.





Katerina Yakimkina brings an extensive background in fine arts and graphic design. Experienced in today’s most advanced digital design programs, she will help clients achieve their “mosaic visions” from concept to final execution as one of Artaic’s Production Designers.

“We’re very pleased and excited to announce our two new hires,” stated Martha Acworth, President of Artaic. “We all look forward to working closely with Sasha and Katerina, and are confident the contributions both will be making will ultimately benefit our growing customer base.”

Ted Acworth, Founder and CEO of Artaic added, “We take great pleasure in welcoming Sasha and Katerina… and look forward to benefiting from both their past business experience and the creativity and overall positive energy they’ll be adding to our company.”



About Artaic

Artaic uses robotic technology and innovative design tools, to customize and fabricate award-winning tile mosaics. As a synergetic resource for the architectural and design community, Artaic melds modern technology with a historical art form and empowers modern-day industry leaders to produce compelling mosaics for any size project. Using their mosaic software, Tylist™, Artaic enables its skilled, in-house designers to perfectly work with robotic manufacturing systems, making the process of mosaic customization seamless, flexible and cost efficient. Artaic has transformed the industry; making custom mosaics simply beautiful.

For more information, visit




Carrollton, TX (February 2018) – Interceramic makes a strong statement regarding the dynamism and contemporary strength of company’s brand and product strategy for the US market with an impressive Spring Tile Launch consisting of 18 stunning collections.

The 2018 Spring launch illustrates the company’s distinct advances in manufacturing with its Durabody Ceramic tile collections that meet the needs of the customer by combining high design with innovative and function ceramic tile.

Interceramic also continues to excel in the wall tile category, offering a beautiful new collection out of its Garland, TX manufacturing facility, while significantly enhancing its porcelain offering.

Interceramic is committed to servicing the North and Central American customer and has established an extensive distribution system in the United States that includes 13 company owned showrooms, three distribution centers and 53 independent distributors throughout the US and Canada, as well as more than 300 retail locations throughout Mexico,
Asia and Central America.

Interceramic’s dedication to manufacturing and distributing innovative ceramic and porcelain tile, accents, decos, and natural stone will continue to make affordable luxury floor coverings available to an ever thriving market.



FORESTER kicks the ever-popular reclaimed wood look up a notch with a unique blendedwood  aesthetic executed in easy-to-maintain Durabody Ceramic tile. This collection gets its one-of-a-kind look from a combination of birch, oak, pine and walnut species, as well as a mix of different cuts and textures, including hand-sawn, rotary cut, and hand-scraped.

The result is a stylized, dynamic appearance, offered in four dappled finishes: Cambrium,
a study in chalks-to-grays; Pith, an etude that ranges from very light tan to very dark oak, with stops at gray and peachy amber in between; Bark, an exploration of the oak family;
and Burl, a range of walnuts. As with all Durabody Ceramic tile collections, Forester will be equally at home in a banquet hall or a home dining room with a DCOF of > 0.42 – and is suitable for exterior use as well.

Its realistic design, color and texture will make it a showstopper regardless of application.
Forester is offered in 7” x 36” lengths.

Durabody Ceramic tiles by Interceramic® are produced using advanced technology that
allows ceramic products, such as Forester, to perform at the high standards of porcelain
tile. And you can install Forester outdoors as well!


With tones as fluid as its name, RUIDOSO is an elegant wood-look addition to Interceramic’s proven Durabody Ceramic tile collections. The rich American walnut visual of this series comes thanks to a confluence of advanced technologies as well as a wide range of unique faces, and is complemented by a complex hand-scraped texture. Its timeless color palette, inspired by the shadings of the hardwood forest, includes Sierra, the moody gray of Bay Area fog; Mesa, a light auburn hue shot through with gold; Lincoln, a rich amber with notes of oak; and Alto, a deep chocolate hue.

As a member of the Durabody family, Ruidoso is beautiful enough for the most high-end
homes, yet appropriate for commercial use with a DCOF of > 0.42. All four colors are offered in standard 7” x 36” planks.

Durabody Ceramic tiles by Interceramic® are produced using advanced technology that
allows ceramic products, such as Ruidoso, to perform at the high standards of porcelain
tile. And you can install Ruidoso outdoors as well!


CRESCENT plays on a lively, modern collection of marbles, rendered with a smooth satin/
honed finish. This grouping extends from the elegant Cape Grace and Spectator marble
looks, with a fresh take on the traditional; through the Villa Cora blend, shaded in sleek
tones of tan; and finishes with Fogo Island, a dramatic study in black shot through with
geometric white rules.

Inspired by natural stone and brought to life thanks to advanced technology, Crescent features more than 40 unique faces rendered in inimitable Durabody ceramic. Its high style makes it a top choice for residential use, while it is dramatic enough to make an impact in even the most upmarket commercial setting. Crescent is appropriate for both interior and exterior applications as well.

All four Crescent colors are available in 12” x 24” planks and 16” x 16” squares, as well as
3” x 12” bullnose trim. Decorative accents include 12” x 12” honeycomb mosaic available in all four shades, and 10” x 12” mix knot mosaics in Cape Grace/Spectator; Cape Grace/Fogo Island; and Villa Cora/Spectator.

Durabody Ceramic tiles by Interceramic® are produced using advanced technology that
allows ceramic products, such as Crescent, to perform at the high standards of porcelain
tile. And you can install Crescent outdoors as well!


An evolution of a favorite look, QUARTZITE is inspired by contemporary stone colors and embodies the spark and character of natural mineral tones and textures in its lyrical range.
Ivory is a frosty, yet full-bodied white, with tones of calcite; Copper is a warm blend of neutrals, with flecks of its namesake element scattered throughout; Silver strikes a cool note, blending a fugue of grays; and Iron’s metallurgic appeal originates from a synthesis of steely tones. Quartzite is veined and flecked in a tribute to the way Mother Nature created the original, its remarkable realism generated by advanced printing techniques and more than 40 unique faces and three different finishes. This new Durabody Ceramic collection is suitable for both residential and commercial use with a DCOF of > 0.42, as well as interior and exterior applications.

Quartzite is available in 18” x 36” planks, 12” x 24” planks, and 16” x 16” squares, with a
3” x 12” bullnose trim, and 11” x 11” polygon mosaic decorative trim. Each size is available in all four colors. Durabody Ceramic tiles by Interceramic® are produced using advanced technology that allows ceramic products, such as Quartzite, to perform at the high standards of porcelain tile. And you can install Quartzite outdoors as well!



Vintage made modern comes to life in the body of EMMA, a new glazed ceramic wall tile
echoing the hand-made wall tile of years past. Emma offers both an undulated texture and
an elegant gloss finish, for a sophisticated and stylish high-design look. This American-made glazed ceramic tile incorporates modern accent colors in blues and greens for go anywhere style that can transition from cosmopolitan to Country French.

The basic colors – gorgeous neutrals White, Taupe, Gray, Aqua, Graphite, and Steel – all gain movement as the light hits them, thanks to the dappled finish of the glaze. These are augmented by decorative accents in a Cementine Mix and a Vintage Mix, enabling unlimited unique looks.

Emma is a highly accurate tribute to artisanal tile, thanks to the advanced techniques
employed by Interceramic – yet it is far more durable and versatile, appropriate for both
residential and commercial wall applications.

All five colors are available in 6” x 6” as well as 3” x 6” sizes; the decorative mixes are
available in the 6” x 6” size only. There is also a 3” x 6” bullnose available in all solid colors.

Chelsea Glass

CHELSEA GLASS is a stylish, vivid and comprehensive offering featuring five colors and six shapes, perfectly tying together Interceramic’s Durabody Ceramic and porcelain lines. This selection plays with varying inspirations in combining textures and finishes, matte and gloss, natural and man-made to produce a limitless variety of eclectic looks and dramatic stylings. The color blends available include White, which spans a range of marbles and glasses; Gray, which includes tans and light neutrals; Dark, a riff on the black and white of piano keys; Beige, a study in taupes; and Slate, a bouquet of smokes, taupes and grays.

Not only is Chelsea Glass a statement-making choice, but it’s versatile – it’s appropriate for use both indoors and out, and is a perfect choice for pools (non-submerged) and fireplaces. Additionally, Chelsea Glass is recommended for use in commercial and residential applications.

In addition to the dynamic colorways, Chelsea Glass also comes in a variety of layouts:
12” x 12” Cascade Mosaic, 12” x 12” Linear Mosaic, 11” x 11” Herringbone Mosaic,
12” x 12” Hexagon Mosaic, 11” x 12” Chevron Mosaic, and 12” x 13” Chevron Box Mosaic
(Slate is not available in the latter two styles).


Artisan Wood

ARTISAN WOOD is Interceramic’s fresh take on the timeless surface that is rich, hand-stained timber. This elegant colored-body selection provides a rich, modern color palette inspired by the ultimate in depth and beauty of curated oaks, with lyrical, enhanced natural details provided by up to 60 unique faces and three different finish structures.These hand-stained visuals are presented in a pleasing range of shade variations: Dark Ash, a cool gray hue; Light Cedar, with blonde notes of pale ale; Dark Tan, a medium nutmeg shade; Autumn Bronze, a warm chestnut tone; and Deep Umber, a full-bodied espresso execution. The collection is rounded out with a unique chevron decorative accent, cut from the field tile for a perfect match.

Recommended for use in both residential and commercial applications, this line is sure to
bring a sense of warmth and natural luxury to any space. This versatile stunner is also
approved for use both indoors and out. All five colors are available in 8” x 40” rectified planks. For a unique look, 3” x 13 ½” decorative accents are also available.


Interceramic provides a distinctive enhancement to the BLACK FOREST collection launched in 2017 with several elegant new wood looks in natural and dramatic charred renditions. As with the remainder of the Black Forest line, these new additions are ultra-realistic thanks to the use of advanced digital printing techniques and the inclusion of up to 54 unique faces and two different finish structures.

The new colors borrow their names from the locale that is the inspiration for the line: Kandel Brown, a knotted dark taupe; Otten Bronze, a rich, charred oak with copper
overtones; Bosberg Espresso, a deep coffee-colored rendition; Honeck Umber, a chocolate
rendition with veining and knots of black; and Blauen Black, a charred black presentation
with highlights of ash. Black Forest may be used for both residential and commercial applications, and is applicable for both interior and exterior use. All five colors are available in 11 ½” x 47” and 7 ½” x 47” rectified planks.


BOARDROOM delivers a contemporary stone look with an updated color palette. Boardroom is rendered in a muted palette of calming neutrals that offers the ultimate in design latitude: warm Ivory; medium Taupe; Light Gray, with green undertones; Dark Gray, with hints of blue; and Black. All the shades are subtly variegated to mimic the expressive play of natural stone. Additionally, the multiple unglazed finishes and modular sizes of this collection allow for unique design options.

Boardroom, an unglazed, double-loaded, through-body rectified porcelain tile is the perfect
choice for the most technically commercial applications. This robust series also offers
three surface finishes – matte, polished and structured. All colors are available in 24” x 24” rectified (matte and polished finish) and 12” x 24” (matte, polished and structured finishes) rectified sizes, as well as 12” x 12” bricklay mosaic and 12” x 12” hex mosaic, both available in a matte finish. Trim pieces include a 3” x 12” matte or polished bullnose, a 6” x 12” matte cove base, and 1” x 6” matte cove base exterior and interior corner pieces.

City Lights

Combining the ultimate in understated class and modern versatility, CITY LIGHTS’ contemporary limestone look is offered not only in multiple finishes but also in a range of sizes to allow for nearly limitless design combinations. The shades in this collection are both functional and adaptable: Beige, a warm ivory; Taupe, a light gray-brown; Silver, a bright frosty gray; Graphite, a medium pearl gray; and Black, a medium-dark shade. The City Lights colored-body porcelain collection provides a realistic look and color interpretation that’s equally appropriate for use in residential and commercial applications. It’s also approved for use in interior and exterior settings. All colors are available in 24” x 24” matte, 12” x 24” matte/structured/lappato, and 6” x 24” matte/structured/lappato rectified sizes, as well as a 12” x 12” bricklay mosaic for decorative purposes, available in a matte finish. A 12” x 12” cube mosaic mix is also available. Trim pieces include a 3” x 12” matte bullnose, a 6” x 12” matte cove base, and 1” x 6” matte cove base exterior and interior corner pieces.

Fifth Avenue

Inspired by classic marbles, FIFTH AVENUE brings these gorgeous stones to life in rectified colored-body porcelain with enhanced visuals and strikingly realistic color for a dramatically true-to-life interpretation.

This collection is available in both matte and polished finishes and includes four styles:
Madison, a classic white marble veined with grays and blacks; Park, a warm taupe stone
veined with white; Lexington, a cool, dark gray veined with white; and Broadway, a dramatic black with veins of white. Fifth Avenue is equally appropriate for use in creating a grand space whether in a residential or commercial application, and is approved for both interior and exterior use.

All four colors come in 12” x 24” and 24” x 24” (matte and polished), as well as a 12” x
12” matte bricklay mosaic for decorative purposes. Trim pieces include a 3” x 12” matte
bullnose, a 6” x 12” matte cove base, and 1” x 6” matte cove base exterior and interior
corner pieces.

Restoration floor tile; Emma wall tile


The timeless hexagon look gets a reprise with Interceramic’s vibrant new Restoration porcelain mosaics. This vintage style is offered in the classic 1” hexagon pattern, in time-honored White, Gray and Black solids to coordinate with existing wall tile collection colors, as well as interesting Gray & White, and Black & White mixes in fresh, random patterns.
This glazed porcelain mosaic is mesh mounted for easy installation, and is suitable for both
residential and commercial applications, as well as for both interior and exterior use. Restoration is available in 10” x 10” mosaic.

Skyline in the Meier pattern

SKYLINE offers a welcoming and approachable linear stone look with soft, natural veining, in a color palette that coordinates with fellow new arrivals CITY LIGHTS and BOARDROOM.
This colored-body porcelain collection gains its depth of character thanks to advanced
digital printing, incorporating up to 48 unique faces. Meanwhile, the soft and expressive
palette takes its inspiration from legends of the world of architecture: Wright, a milky shade, evokes kaolin and chalk; Gehry calls to mind camelshair and butterscotch; Meier, the medium gray of a steely winter horizon; and Mayne, the dense gray of an urban skyline.

Skyline is recommended for use in both residential and commercial applications, as well as
for interior and exterior use. All colors are available in 24” x 24” and 12” x 24” rectified sizes, as well as a 12” x 12” linear hex mosaic. Trim pieces include a 3” x 12” matte bullnose, a 6” x 12” matte cove base, and 1” x 6” matte cove base exterior and interior corner pieces.


A versatile entry into the industrial category, TRIBECA is a unique fusion of distressed concrete and metal achieved by combining digital printing with a surface finish executed
three ways. The Tribeca palette was designed so that this unique style will coordinate with
a wide variety of décor themes: Dusk is a light moonbeam shade; Storm is a pearl gray; and Night is a deeper, round shade, its base notes approximating that of aged chalkboard. Tribeca is approved for interior and exterior use, in both residential and commercial applications. All three shades are available in 24” x 24” and 12” x 24” rectified, and 12” x 12” outlines mosaics are also available. Trim pieces include a 3” x 12” matte bullnose, a 6” x 12” matte cove base, and 1” x 6” matte cove base exterior and interior corner pieces.


Inspired by the natural distress marks found on whiskey barrels, WALKER embodies the charm and personality of weathered, water-stained old growth wood. The rich visuals of this colored-body porcelain give an authentic appearance offering all the depth and character of a walk through the aging room, character produced by advanced printing techniques and a blend of up to 60 unique faces.

Walker is offered in four colors: Steep, a warm commingling of taupe and ivory; Rackhouse, a light, nearly pearl gray shade; Rick, a darker hue of gray at the intersection of tan; and Doubler, a rich whiskey shade. The collection is rounded out with a unique chevron decorative accent, cut from the field tile for a perfect match. Walker is recommended for both residential and commercial applications, and can be used in both interior and exterior settings. All four colors are offered in 8” x 40” rectified planks, as well as 3” x 13 1/2″ left and right chevrons.




You’re off to the tropics with WILDWOOD, a warm, natural colored-body porcelain style with a soft color palette and contrasting veining providing a distinct and realistic sense of place. Inspired by warmer climes, Wildwood evokes gentle breezes and long, slow days with its mellow hues: Hazelnut White, a coconut shade with veins of tan; Acorn Beige, dusky nougat with veins of dark brown; and Chestnut Brown, a rich caramel shade veined with dark coffee shades. Recommended for both residential and commercial applications, Wildwood is also appropriate for indoor and outdoor use. All three colors are offered in 8” x 40” rectified planks.

For more information, visit

Chicago Floorcovering Association plans round table discussion on Floor Covering Installation Shortage

On February 22, 2018, the Chicago Floorcovering Association is planning a round table discussion as a first step in developing a task force to address the shortage of floor covering installers in the Chicagoland area.

The event will be held at Glendale Lakes Country Club, 1550 President Street, Glendale Heights, IL. Dinner will be provided. Retailers, distributors, contractors, manufacturers, installers, legislators and educators are all welcome.

There is no charge to attend, though RSVPs at [email protected] or 630-442-7094 are requested to help with planning. More information is available at

Pat Zirkleback, incoming 2018 CFA president said, “As a former ceramic tile installer, I feel a personal commitment to lead the challenge to define, develop and implement a way to encourage and train flooring installers in Chicagoland. As as CFA President, I want to throw the entire weight of our organization into this and hep facilitate discussion and action!”

Plan to attend this important discussion, and add your wisdom and experience to the meeting.


When Key Employees Stall Your Exit

Vincent Mastrovito

An important part of a successful ownership transfer, regardless of Exit Path, is the presence of key employees. Key employees are those who have a direct and significant impact on business value, meaningfully participate in the business’ strategic future, and whose combination of skills and experience would be exceedingly difficult to replace.

Because of their role in the business, key employees can just as easily stall your business exit as facilitate it. Consider the story of Maria Villalobos, who had her Exit Plan stalled by one of her key employees.

Maria Villalobos was nearing her retirement. Over 30 years, she built her one-woman plumbing company into a 55-employee regional powerhouse. Her ambition had led her to plan for her business exit on her own, based on information she had gleaned and absorbed over the years. She hired a business valuation specialist, who valued her company at $11 million, enough for her and her family to live comfortably. She recruited a business broker to assemble a deal team and find the right buyer. And over 15 years, she had invested in training three key employees—Armand, Petra, and Donald—to run specific portions of the business after she retired.

As her business broker fielded offers, Maria gathered her key employees to tell them her intentions.

“I know I’ve been talking about retiring for a couple years now, but I’m finally ready to pull the trigger,” she told them. “My broker’s gathered some offers, and we’re going to be considering them this month.”

“It’s about time,” Donald said cheerily. “You’ve earned this.”

“Congratulations, Maria!” Petra added.

“That’s great,” Armand said.

“I couldn’t have gotten here without you all,” Maria said, smiling.

“So, what are the offers?” Armand asked.

Maria had built trust with her key employees over their 15 years together, and felt comfortable giving them an idea.

“A good amount. North of $10 million. And once we finalize the deal, you three will basically be in charge.”

Maria told them that she would update them as she finalized the deal and adjourned the meeting. She ended up signing a letter of intent that would get her the $11 million purchase price, contingent on her key employees’ continued work with the company after the transfer. Maria shared this information with her key employees.

One week before she was set to sign off on the deal, Armand requested a meeting.

“I want part of the deal,” he told Maria.

Maria was stunned. “You’re going to have more responsibilities, more pay,” she said.

“That’s not enough,” Armand responded. “You said you couldn’t have gotten here without me. I know what you’re selling for, and I want $3 million, or I’ll walk. I’ve got a couple of job offers on the table right now that pay better anyway.”

“I can’t do that.” Maria said. “I won’t.”

“Well, good luck then,” Armand said.

Armand tendered his immediate resignation and began working for a direct competitor. Maria was forced to inform her buyer, who pulled the deal. She tried putting her business back on the market, but every offer she received was less than $5 million, based on the hole left by Armand’s absence and her first failed attempt to sell. One buyer offered her $7 million, but only if she stayed to fulfill Armand’s duties for at least five years. It took Maria an additional five years to sell her business for the money she needed.

For as diligent as Maria was, there were several pieces of her plan that she neglected. She failed to handcuff Armand to the business. She failed to have her key employees sign a covenant not to compete. She failed to incentivize all of her key employees properly. In the end, by trying to plan her exit by herself and without a full range of expertise, she overlooked several key aspects to a successful exit. It ended up costing her millions of dollars and half a decade of her time.

If you’re unsure about which aspects of your business exit you might be missing, or you want to maximize and protect your company’s value as you approach your business exit, contact us today. You don’t have to expose yourself to unforeseen risks and unfamiliar territories by planning your exit alone.

The information contained in this article is general in nature and is not legal, tax or financial advice. For information regarding your particular situation, contact an attorney or a tax or financial advisor. The information in this newsletter is provided with the understanding that it does not render legal, accounting, tax or financial advice. In specific cases, clients should consult their legal, accounting, tax or financial advisor. This article is not intended to give advice or to represent our firm as being qualified to give advice in all areas of professional services. Exit Planning is a discipline that typically requires the collaboration of multiple professional advisors. To the extent that our firm does not have the expertise required on a particular matter, we will always work closely with you to help you gain access to the resources and professional advice that you need.

For information, contact:

Vincent Mastrovito

[email protected] 


Memphis Tile and Marble Co., celebrates its 50th anniversary

Today, February 7, 2018, Memphis Tile and Marble Co., celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“We are excited about the milestone and look forward to many more years serving Memphis,” said Ricky Cox, president.  “We have some of the most loyal customers and are blessed to be able to help build our city.  The NTCA has been a part of the majority of my life in some form or another.”

Ricky Cox

Memphis Tile and Marble Co. Inc.,  specializes in high-end, high-quality residential and light commercial work, offering expert craftsmanship in a range of tile installation, including Mexican, porcelain and brick pavers, as well as bathroom vanities, cultured marble tops and natural stone products. It provides skilled installation of whirlpool tubs and radiant floor systems for the Memphis and Midsouth areas, as well as full-scale kitchen and bathroom remodels.

Founded in 1968 by Thomas Cox, the company now employees 12 full-time employees and in addition to installing tile, fabricates counter tops. Several years ago, Thomas’s son Richard (Ricky) Cox took the CTI certification at BPI in Memphis in order to separate himself from the competition, and put the company on the road for its status as a NTCA Five Star Contractor, a credential of installation excellence in the tile industry.

“Memphis Tile and Marble  has been a strong member of NTCA for many years,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director. “Tommy Cox was our association Tile Person of the Year in 2008, and they were approved as a Five Star Contractor early on in this program. Tommy’s son Ricky has actively supported our training programs in his region and served two terms on our Board of Directors. We congratulate them on this milestone!”

Amber Fox, Five Star Program Director for NTCA added, “With Memphis Tile & Marble’s high quality installations and dedication to our craft it is no surprise that they are one of our longstanding contractors who have been part of our Five Star Group since 2009.  Congratulations on your prosperous 50 years and we look forward to being a part of your future successes!”

Cox said, “The contacts and friendships that I have made through the NTCA have helped Memphis Tile and Marble succeed in the tile contracting world. Here’s to another 50 years!”

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