WarmlyYours Report: Electric Cable Led Q2 2018 Floor Heating Growth

Lake Zurich, Ill., Aug. 13, 2018 ⎯ According to a recent industry report, growth in radiant heating sales in the first quarter of this year was largely driven by sales of floor heating cables.

WarmlyYours, a radiant heating company that specializes in electric floor heating systems, released their “Q2 2018 Industry Report ” earlier this week. Among other findings, the report showed that electric floor heating cable sales were responsible for a large portion of the 24.5% growth in consolidated sales for the company. Sales of the TempZone Floor Heating Cable grew 23.9% in the second quarter, which translated to year-to-date growth of 16.1%.

In addition, the Prodeso Membrane, an uncoupling membrane designed to accommodate the TempZone Floor Heating Cable product, has also increased significantly in sales in the second quarter (up 128%). When installed with the heating cable, the membrane significantly cuts down on installation time and provides long-lasting uncoupling benefits to relatively fragile floor coverings like tile. These features have helped grow the membrane from 45% of floor heating underlayment sales in the first half of 2017 to 57% in 2018.

Jan-June Floor Heating Underlayment Sales 2017 vs 2018

A large part of the sales growth for both the TempZone Floor Heating Cable and the Prodeso Membrane is due to continued growth in the ecommerce channel. In fact, ecommerce now constitutes 19.4% of all WarmlyYours year-to-date sales, up from 8% last year. Most of this growth was with Amazon, which increased 349.8% in the second quarter. On Amazon, Q2 2018 sales of floor heating systems grew 427.9% and underlayment sales increased a whopping 3003.5%. The WarmlyYours report expects to see continued e-tailer sales growth well into 2019.

Jan June 2018 Fastest Growing Product Lines on Amazon

Despite the rapidly accelerating growth from digital avenues, Julia Billen, owner and president of WarmlyYours, stated in the report that the company will always place highest-priority on maintaining strong relationships with existing customers via direct sales.

“We’ve been in the radiant heating industry for a long time and some of our customers, from flooring installers to electricians, have been with us for nearly 20 years—in fact, they’re more like partners than customers,” said Billen. “And we will always place partners first because a website or app is never going to be able to beat the experience and knowledge of a professional.”


Here are links to read the report in full, or to watch a video summation of the report. Hi-res images are available upon request.


ARDEX Americas Launches New Website

Aliquippa, PA, August 28, 2018 – ARDEX Americas, a market leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of high-performance specialty building products, announced today the launch of its newly revamped website. Offering intuitive navigation to product information, the new website is also mobile-friendly, and features engaging images and consolidated video content.











The new website features a clean design, improved functionality and enhanced content – all designed to better serve its customers. It is located at the same address, https://www.ardexamericas.com/.

“We are excited to launch this new website and offer these enhanced capabilities to our customers,” Ben Mack, ARDEX Americas Director of Marketing, stated. “We believe the mobile- compatibility in particular will improve our visitor experience dramatically, allowing them to find the information and answers they need more quickly and easily, no matter what device they are using.”

ARDEX Americas Marketing Communications Manager Annika Oeing added, “To serve our diverse audiences, the website is available in English and Spanish. We plan on adding French content in the next few months. We’re committed to making our information accessible to everyone in the North and South Americas.”


Melcer Tile Company Celebrates 50 years

Melcer Tile Company of Charleston, S.C. is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

2018 marks 50 years of business for Melcer Tile Company, a tile and stone distributor based in Charleston, S.C. The business was founded by Mel and Phyllis Rauton in 1968, and is currently owned and operated by 2nd generation tile distributor, Jay Rauton.

Back in April, the company hosted a 50th anniversary BBQ for nearly 200 customers, vendors and friends. It included prize drawings, reminiscences from the company’s 50-year history and fellowship.

“ We are so thankful to our customers and our community for so many years of support,” said Rauton, who is president of the company. “We look forward to facing the challenges of the future while keeping in mind the lessons of the past.”

Nearly 200 customers, friends, and vendors attended the celebratory BBQ on April 27.


One More Step Toward Aggressive Enforcement of OSHA’s Construction Silica Standard.

OSHA Publishes New Construction Industry Silica Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

With no fanfare whatsoever, OSHA supposedly began enforcing the new Silica Standard on July 23. Compliance with most of the Standard’s requirements actually began on June 23, 2018. However, in a memo issued by OSHA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Galen Blanton, OSHA’s regional administrators were informed that for the first 30 days, OSHA was to assist employers that were making good-faith efforts to meet the new standard’s requirements. In other words, in those circumstances, citations were unlikely to be issued for noncompliance. And indeed, so far, we have seen minimal OSHA focus on silica.

Realistically, one assumes that OSHA is awaiting the final Silica “Directive” to replace the October 19, 2017 Interim Enforcement Guidance for the Respirable Crystalline Silica in Construction Standard before aggressively enforcing the new Standard.

We moved a bit closer to aggressive enforcement with OSHA’s publication of the new Silica Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Construction employers should immediately review the whopping 53 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which provide guidance to employers and employees regarding OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica standard for construction.

Through the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and other groups were heavily involved in the formulation of these FAQs.  The development of the FAQs stemmed from litigation filed against OSHA by numerous construction industry trade associations challenging the legality of OSHA’s rule.

OSHA has also agreed to issue a Request for Information (RFI) on Table 1 to revise the Table to improve its utility.  AGC will continue to look for ways to work with OSHA to improve the workability of this significant rule.

The FAQs are extensive and organized by topic.  A short introductory paragraph is included for each group of questions and answers to provide background information about the underlying regulatory requirements.  A  four-page document with some of the clarifications and a PDF version of all the FAQs has also been created.

These useful FAQs follow OSHA’s recent release of six Construction Silica training videos for Table 1 Tasks:

Controlling Silica Dust in Construction Videos for Table 1 Tasks

An impressive number of contractors have been proactive and have been investigating Table 1 and other tasks, and have found challenges. The key is for employers to not await OSHA citations but to build justification for its approach at each job. — Fisher Phillips

OSHA Adds New Silica Compliance Materials – Slides, Videos, And FAQ

Need training materials and background information for your construction workforce on OSHA’s new silica rule? The agency recently added to its web site a number of materials that may come in handy, particularly for those in the construction industry.

Though extremely controversial, the silica rule largely took effect in the construction industry last year and took effect for most other employers a few weeks ago. Smaller companies especially may have limited resources to prepare compliance and training materials. The materials OSHA recently posted and announced for the construction industry include:

—  Avi Meyerstein, Husch Blackwell LLP


Dallas, TX – August 23, 2018 – Daltile is now selling the instant leveling process SUPERCAP, by LATICRETE, throughout its Texas-based Daltile Sales Service Centers to offer customers a true one-stop-shop for jobs needing a finished or leveled substrate before tile installation can begin.

“LATICRETE is a valued-preferred partner for us in terms of allied products, and it is a perfect match for them to have Daltile as their exclusive provider of SUPERCAP throughout Texas,” said Scott Maslowski, vice president of national sales centers, Dal-Tile Corporation.  “Daltile is a total solutions provider to our customers, and making SUPERCAP available through us definitely supports that principle. SUPERCAP is a real time-saving, cost-effective method to finish new concrete (or cap existing foundations). It’s going to give Daltile’s customers a real leg-up on their competition.”

SUPERCAP is a pourable, cement-based, premium, self-leveling underlayment used to finish interior concrete and level uneven floor surfaces for commercial projects.  LATICRETE’s SUPERCAP is pumped out of computer-controlled mobile blending units to deliver perfectly flat, dry floors. The trucks can pump tens of thousands of square feet of product per day, up to 50 stories above ground.  Plus, SUPERCAP is quick drying; it’s walkable in two hours and tile installation can begin the next day.

“Bringing the availability of SUPERCAP to our customers at the point of their tile purchase adds additional value to the high level of service and expertise that they already experience when using Daltile for their projects,” added Maslowski.

Maslowski said the venture includes prominent Daltile product branding on SUPERCAP’s trucks working in Texas.

“Because SUPERCAP is mixed in enclosed mobile units, there are also no bags of concrete that must be carried up flights of stairs,” added Jay Samber, senior director of installation product sales, Dal-Tile Corporation.  “Another unique benefit is the absence of crystalline silica in the air. The SUPERCAP process saves time, money, labor, and health concerns.”

For additional SUPERCAP information, visit laticretesupercap.com.  For Daltile product information, visit daltile.com.


DALLAS, TX (August 21, 2018) – American Olean (AO) recently exhibited at the 2018 Metrocon Expo and targeted the brand’s message specifically to the designers and architects in attendance.  AO is especially relevant to these two groups, because the brand is continuously enriching its line with more fashion-forward, sophisticated designs.  American Olean representatives were joined in the booth by architectural reps from distributor BPI and together the team interacted with more than 100 designers in the two days of the show.

“American Olean has products in the line that really catch the attention of designers,” said Williams Pontel, commercial sales manager for American Olean.  “We have positioned American Olean to be a major player in high-fashion designs.  Our new products are not only different from what was previously part of the AO line, but they are different from anything seen in the overall market.  At the show, we highlighted products such as American Olean’s new Neospeck, Union, Visual Impressions, and Timberbrook collections that represent much more fashion-forward, interesting looks than ever before.  These new tiles also feature graphic effects, texture, and interesting 3-D elements.”

For more information about the Metrocon Expo, visit metroconexpo.org.  For additional information on AO’s new products, visit americanolean.com.


Dallas, TX – August 16, 2018 – In its over 250 company-owned Sales Service Centers nationwide, Daltile is now selling Nue Tile DemoFlex underlayment to make removal of installed Daltile ceramic and porcelain tile fast, clean, and easy.

“DemoFlex self describes as an underlayment that makes tile removal 10x faster,” said Jay Samber, senior director of installation product sales, Dal-Tile.  “Daltile is making this underlayment material available in all of our SSCs nationwide, because using it beneath installed tile turns a 2-day demo job into a 2-hour easy removal process.  Bringing the availability of DemoFlex to our customers at the point of their tile purchase adds additional value to the high level of service and expertise that they already experience when using Daltile for their projects.”

“DemoFlex is essentially a sheet that is easily and inexpensively adhered to the substrate and is immediately ready to install tile on top of,” added Samber.  “Then, when it comes time to repair a single tile or change out an entire tile floor, the individual tile, mortar, and grout can be easily lifted up and come out together in one piece.  Removal will not cause damage to backer boards or electric radiant heating systems. Another benefit is the absence of silica dust during tile removal. This makes the removal process healthier and greener.”

DemoFlex underlayment has undergone extensive TCNA testing and received the Extra Heavy Traffic Classification via ASTM C627 Robinson tests which means it is suitable for heavily trafficked areas, such as shopping malls, airports, or even where forklift or pickup truck traffic is present.  DemoFlex has also exceeded TCNA High Performance Crack-Isolation in ANSI A118.12, and is highly cost competitive.

For additional DemoFlex product information, visit Nuetile.com.  For additional Daltile product information, visit daltile.com.


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Crossville Named an Eco-Leader by Green Builder Media

Crossville, Tennessee – Crossville, Inc. has been recognized as a 2018 Eco-Leader by Green Builder Media. The domestic tile manufacturer is featured among fourteen other Eco-Leader honorees in the current issue of Green Builder Magazine.

2018 GBM Eco-Leaders

Each year, Green Builder Media’s editorial team recognizes pioneering companies that are confronting environmental challenges in innovative ways. These companies are often renowned for developing sustainable products and creating manufacturing processes that reduce the environmental footprint, improve people’s lives, and enhance profitability. As a 2018 Eco-Leader, Crossville joins an elite list of previous winners including such companies as Siemens, Toyota Motor Corporation, Panasonic, Owens Corning, and LG Electronics.

“In our practices, processes, and products, we’re committed to improving the built environment and everyday experiences for employees, customers, and partners,” said Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing.

From its progressive manufacturing practices and sustainable products to a core commitment to improving the environment through innovation and unique partnerships, Crossville continues to be the industry leader in sustainability for the domestic tile industry.

For more information about Crossville’s sustainability practices and partnerships, visit crossvilleinc.com.


The 25th anniversary of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica and the Italian Trade Agency, was an immense success, attracting inspiring and innovative projects from designers and architects throughout North America. Ultimately, four winners and three honorable mentions were selected among the steep competition by an international jury of design industry experts across four categories: residential, commercial, institutional, and a newly introduced student category. Each of the finalists demonstrated how Italian tile plays an important role in the realization of thoughtfully conceived interior design and architecture.

As a way of honoring the past, present, and future of the competition, Ceramics of Italy also created a film directed by Francesca Molteni and architectural historian Fulvio Irace. Timeless Tiles: The Italian Legacy tells the story of the competition from its inception in 1994 to present day, featuring dozens of inspiring projects and interviews with architects Daniel Libeskind, Jennifer Carpenter and Michael P. Johnson.


Following are the winners:


Firm: Studio Libeskind

Project: Sapphire

Location: Berlin, Germany

Tile Manufacturer: Casalgrande Padana

Distributor: Casalgrande Padana

Contractor: Medicke Metallbau GmbH, NL Berlin


The Sapphire project involved building 73 desirable, 1-4 bedroom apartments on a plot less than half an acre, whilst promoting new technologies and sustainability. One of the most important design elements were the tiles used to cover 2,600 sq. m. of the building’s exterior. The three dimensional, geometric, patterned stoneware tile was a signature design feature for this project. Designed by Daniel Libeskind for Casalgrande Padana, the Fractile tiles are technologically advanced to self-clean and aid in air purification. The tiles were also used on the balcony wall creating a continuous surface extending from the building’s façade. Around 3,600 tiles were used in the project. The Fractile series continues on the building’s interior, through the bathrooms, resulting in a vibrant metallic finish for the floors and the shower walls.



Firm: Kay Green Design

Project: Venetian Isle Clubhouse

Location: Windermere, FL

Tile Manufacturer: Floor Gres, Ergon, Marca Corona

Distributor: Ceramic Technics

Contractor: Martin’s Flooring

The Venetian Isle Clubhouse is a multi-family community clubhouse in Windermere, Florida that is an elegant entertaining space for all ages. Tiles from Floor Gres and Ergon were used throughout the space due to their high quality, yet resilient surfacing. The  project  was   inspired by the city of Venice, therefore Italian tile was naturally the most authentic choice. The designer also felt confident that  tile from Italian companies would ensure a  high  level  of  quality and aesthetic  that she was seeking for the project. Floor Gres’s Floor Tech tiles were used as the main overall floor tile while Marca Corona’s Terra collection was used for the vanity wall in the restroom and Ergon Elegance Engineered Stone was used as a floor mosaic.



Firm: Ziger/Snead Architects*

Project: Baltimore Slate House

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Tile Manufacturer: Imola Ceramica

Distributor: Conestoga Tile

Contractor: Custom Concepts by Greenwalt

Setting Materials: MAPEI

*2009 Residential Honorable Mention

The Slate House is a contemporary retreat that respects nature and the legacy of the vast and densely wooded site. The 7,000 sq ft building was destroyed by a recent house fire, however the design team set out to reconnect the site to the existing contextual environment. The design embodies an archetypal gable form, a geometric extrusion that is both reductive and minimal that yields cathedral ceilings. Tiles from Imola Ceramica Concrete Project were selected for all of the flooring throughout the home, and Mapei products were used for the setting materials. It was chosen due to the seamlessly transitional ability to use same product inside and outside and support the  architectural vision to blur the interior and exterior spaces. Italian tile was selected due to its quality and the large format size options which were needed for the design of this private home.



Firm: DI Group

Project: Norwich

Location: West Hollywood, CA

Tile Manufacturer: Refin

Distributor: DI Group

Contractor: Darmont Construction Corporation

The Norwich proiect is a contemporary family home in West Hollywood, California, made up of open communal spaces ideal for entertaining and family life. With lots of windows allowing for natural light throughout the space, light colored neutral tiles were used to reflect the light and translate the openness of the interior across the flooring. Three tile collections from Refin (District, Larix and Barrique) were used in the interior and exterior of the home demonstrating the versatile properties of Italian tile.



Firm: ZAS Architects + Interiors

Project: Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University

Location: North York, Ontario

Tile Manufacturer: ABK

Distributor: Division 9

Contractor: Gem Campbell Terrazzo & Tile Inc.

Setting Materials: MAPEI

For the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University, the client wanted to demonstrate sustainable building practices, while utilizing the advantages of an existing campus energy system. The project has been registered with the CaGBC and has targeted LEED Gold certification along with Toronto Green Standard Tier 2. ABK Downtown tiles were used on the ground floor, throughout the corridors and in the social spaces with MAPEI products completing the space as the setting materials. Tiles were also installed in assembly and exhibition spaces, as well as the student café and the orientation room. Although polished concrete was considered for the project, porcelain tile was chosen in the end due to its durability, low porosity and stain resistant properties. Italian tile provided a clean, simple and contemporary look matching that of natural concrete but captured tonal and pattern variation achieved through the latest technology.



Firm: O’Brien & Keane

Project: Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Tile Manufacturer: Provenza, Ergon

Distributor: Architectural Ceramics

Contractor: David Allen Company

Setting Materials: MAPEI

The design for the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral builds on the heritage of classical sacred architecture arranged in a cruciform layout, with the main axis of the building placed in an east to west orientation. The building is approximately 43,000 square feet and has a seating capacity of over 2,000 people. The main building announces the design theme and introduces classical order. The client wanted to focus on environmentally conscious and resilient materials for the project, therefore Italian porcelain tile was chosen as an ideal material for sustainable building. Beautiful tiles from Provenza Q-Stone as well as Ergon’s Silverstone and Back2Back collections were used on the floor throughout the Nave, Transepts and Narthe. Various products from Mapei were used as setting materials including grouts, sealants and self-leveling underlayment. Additional benefits of tile that were a consideration when selecting a flooring material were the low water absorption due to its compact and non-porous structure.



Entrant: Raquel Raney and Brennan Broome

University Name: Florida International University

Declared Major: Interior Architecture

Project: Dover Street Market

Location: Miami, FL

Tile Manufacturer: Atlas Concorde, Ceramica Vogue, Ornamenta

The Dover Street Market offers an environment where the classic, elegance of art and fashion collide with an industrial aesthetic. The use of ceramic and porcelain tile, as pictured in the renderings, allows for the desired aesthetic to be achieved, while using cost-effective and environmentally-friendly materials that will hold their integrity for many years. The variety of colors, patterns and textures of ceramic tiles, create endless opportunities for juxtaposition of the industrial-like materials with polished, sophisticated surfaces. A mix of collections from Atlas Concorde, Ceramica Vogue and Ornamenta were selected to complement the interior design. Due to its consistency and composition, tile is one of the most durable floor materials and lasts much longer than traditional glazed tile, making it a great selection for a high traffic retail store.


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Ceramics of Italy is the trademark for Italian manufacturers of ceramic tiles, sanitaryware and tableware, that are members of Confindustria Ceramica. For more information visit ceramica.info or follow Ceramics of Italy on Facebook (@CeramicsOfItalyNA) and YouTube (@LaCeramicaItaliana) as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (@CeramicsOfItaly).

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