Emser Tile Receives 2018 “Best Of” SURFACES Award at The International Surface Event for new Lakewood-Lakehouse series

Complementary wood-look collections celebrated for style and design


Emser Tile Lakewood Lakehouse

LOS ANGELES – Emser Tile, the leading designer, marketer and producer of some of the world’s finest tile and natural stone, was honored to accept a 2018 “Best Of” SURFACES award for Style and Design, co-sponsored by Informa and Floor Covering News. The award, which recognizes the company’s Lakewood and Lakehouse tile series, was announced during The International Surface Event 2018 in Las Vegas.

“We are proud that The International Surface Event is the annual home for manufacturers and suppliers to meet face-to-face with their customers, their friends and their industry peers,” shared Amie Gilmore, CEM, Show Director, The International Surface Event, Informa Exhibitions. “Every year, it is very apparent the incredible amount of work that exhibitors put towards creating products, setting up displays and developing experiences for attendees. Their diligent efforts improve the offerings our industries are able to provide the world and we are honored to award these efforts each year. Congratulations!”

Reflecting the influences of rustic design and current trends prioritizing wood-look surfaces, these collections intertwine to breathe life into contemporary surfaces. Each offered in 8” x 34” glazed porcelain tile planks, Lakewood grounds surfaces with distinct wooden tones that evoke rich detail and texture, while Lakehouse acts as an accent motif to infuse bold color variation.

“It is an honor to be recognized in the category of style and design for these intriguing collections,” shared Barbara Haaksma, Emser Tile Vice President of Marketing. “Emser Tile consistently looks to bring a refreshing approach to design, and these wood-look tile series defy boundaries by offering customizable installation opportunities with striking detail.” Emser Tile’s Lakewood and Lakehouse collections are set to debut this April.


SITI B&T at Cevisama 2018 to consolidate its leadership in the Castellón district.

Formigine,  February 6, 2018 – SITI B&T Group S.p.A., a manufacturer of complete systems for the worldwide ceramics industry and listed on the AIM Italia stock market (Ticker: SITI) is a market leader and a prime choice of technological partner for producers in the Castellón district in Spain, one of the most important ceramics districts in the world.

SITI B&T Group took part in the Cevisama 2018 trade fair (Jan 28-Feb 2, 2018, Valencia) to consolidate its market position and to reaffirm the technological excellence of the solutions it proposes. The success of SITI B&T in Spain is based on an extensive network and a constant local presence – the B&T Iberica branch has been operative since 1981 – and provides a 24/7 service with over 50 specialized technicians, which is perfectly in line with current customer requirements.

Quality and service, on one hand, have made it possible to achieve 90 percent customer loyalty and on the other have allowed the Formigine-based group to add new names to its list of customers each year. During 2017, for example, three major Spanish producers approached SITI B&T for the first time with the aim of developing new industrial projects.

The most popular SITI B&T products in the Spanish market are high-tonnage presses (such as the EVO 7608 and EVO 6608) and Titanium kilns – ideal for firing both tiles and sanitary ware – which for two years running have confirmed their unrivaled record for having the lowest energy consumption among all the kilns on the market.

Further confirmation has come from the outstanding success of the Ancora finishing machines, demonstrating the group’s ability to create high added value to the aesthetics of the finished product. Together with Ancora, the machines and services provided by Projecta Engineering and Digital Design confirm the strong evolution of SITI B&T, which is the leading complete system provider with extensive expertise and excellence both in terms of the implementation of complete systems and the capability to make proposals regarding the aesthetic characteristics of the finished product.

The group had two stands at Cevisama to exhibit various technological solutions, including the Dry Squaring Speed machine fitted with semi-automatic spindles, produced by Ancora and the Evo Dry Fix, the first digital printer that combines drop-on-demand inkjet technology with dry application technology produced by Projecta Engineering, and the group’s range of efficient burners. A gallery area was also be created for the exhibition consisting of 16 large ceramic slabs made entirely at the SITI B&T Technology Centre in Formigine by a SUPERA line using the exclusive STSTM (Structure & Thickness for Slabs) technology. This allows large thicknesses to be produced (large slabs up to 3000 x 1000 mm having a thickness of between 5 and 30 mm) and consequently a deep surface texture (reliefs of up to 4 mm on slabs with a thickness of 5 to 18 mm and reliefs of up to 6 mm on slabs with a thickness of 19 to 30 mm).

For more information, visit www.sitibt.com.


 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. and Cheyenne, Wyo. Experience Largest Year-over-Year Gains; Columbia, S.C. and Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn. Have Biggest Annual Declines in Construction Employment

Construction employment increased in 269 out of 358 metro areas between December 2016 and December 2017, declined in 43 and stagnated in 46, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said new infrastructure funding would help ensure firms continue to expand their headcount in 2018.

“Construction employment continues to expand amid robust private-sector demand in many parts of the country,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But with public-sector funding lagging, there is little doubt that more firms would be able to expand their headcount this year if Congress would enact a substantial boost in infrastructure projects, as many members of both parties advocate.”

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. added the most construction jobs during the past year (14,300 jobs, 15 percent), followed by Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (10,800 jobs, 18 percent); New York City, N.Y. (10,100 jobs, 7 percent); San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas (7,900 jobs, 15 percent) and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (7,600 jobs, 7 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in the Cheyenne, Wyo. metro area (25 percent, 800 jobs), followed by Wenatchee, Wash. (21 percent, 500 jobs); Punta Gorda, Fla. (20 percent, 800 jobs); Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa (19 percent, 4,800 jobs); and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (18 percent, 10,800 jobs).

The largest job losses from December 2016 to December 2017 were in Columbia, S.C. (-3,200 jobs, -20 percent), followed by Kansas City, Mo. (-2,800 jobs, -10 percent); Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, N.J. (-1,200 jobs, -3 percent); Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, N.J. (-1,100 jobs, -4 percent) and Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisc. (-1,100 jobs, -4 percent). The largest percentage decreases for the year were in Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn. (-24 percent, -1,000 jobs) followed by Columbia, S.C.; Danville, Ill. (-20 percent, -100 jobs) and Kansas City, Mo.

Association officials said that firms in many parts of the country have continued to expand as private-sector demand for new construction projects continues to hit record levels. They cautioned, however, that public-sector funding for roads and bridges declined in 2017 making it hard for many firms that build infrastructure to expand. Worse, lagging investments in infrastructure will lead to greater economic inefficiency as traffic grows, bridges age and waterways continue to degrade, they warned.

“One of the biggest threats to the current economic expansion is that our aging infrastructure will cause shipping and traffic delays, which will raise costs, slow schedules and create new inefficiencies,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Rebuilding public infrastructure will help our economy remain competitive and ensure that construction employers continue to add jobs.”

View the metro employment data by rank and state. View metro employment map.

Tectura Designs introduces Quattro Series of architectural pavers, pairing the beauty of porcelain with the strength of concrete

Available in ten standard colors, the Quattro Series features leading load capacity and wind-uplift resistance, along with customizable four-color blending technology

WAUSAU, Wis. – February 7, 2018 Tectura Designs is expanding its vast selection of concrete rooftop and on-grade pavers for commercial architecture with the all-new Quattro Series, which will provide specifiers with unmatched strength and design flexibility – including Tectura’s exclusive four-color blending technology that makes each paver a unique work of art.

The new Quattro Series pavers combine the elegant looks of porcelain with the proven performance of Tectura Designs’ American-made concrete architectural pavers, continually trusted and on the cutting edge of what’s possible for more than 60 years. The Quattro Series’ advanced aesthetic and performance features include:

  • Four-color blending for one-of-a-kind custom gradients and a stock palette of 10 unique four-color blends
  • Unprecedented compressive strength and weight, rated at a minimum of 9,500 PSI and 22 lbs. per sq. foot and offering exceptional load capacity
  • Four distinct finishes, including blasted, unblasted, slate and wood grain
  • Industry-leading security from the dangers of wind uplift, backed by full-scale hurricane condition testing
  • Custom size and color capabilities, offered with a solutions-oriented commitment to executing big, outside-the-box visions and design challenges

“Installing contemporary porcelain or porcelain-like flooring has historically meant compromising strength and durability,” said Rodney Dombrowski, head of research and development for Tectura Designs. “We’ve heard our partners express a need for a product with elegant natural looks and concrete toughness, for both on-grade and pedestal-set paver applications, and the Quattro Series answers that call.”

In addition to manufacturing premier architectural pavers – many of which offer sustainable design elements such as actual recycled porcelain and glass – Tectura Designs has established the educational hub, “Tectura U,” to share its wealth of knowledge and best practices on the installation and maintenance of pavers and other architectural products. Included in Tectura U is a drop-test demonstration video that pits a Quattro Series paver against a typical porcelain product, with smashing results.

A brand of Wausau Tile Inc., Tectura Designs also proudly manufactures American-made terrazzo and terrazzo tile, custom precast concrete and a diverse line of mixed-material site furnishings. Its products can be found on Main Streets across the country and at iconic destinations ranging from Cleveland Public Square, to New York City’s Times Square and Hudson Yards, to Saint Louis’s Gateway Arch plaza and the U.S. Capitol.

Visit tecturadesigns.com to see Tectura Designs’ complete portfolio of premier paver styles and other architectural products.

PROVA provides full-day training for new premier distributor E.J. Welch Company


Jan 25th, 2018 kicked off the introduction of the PROVA Ceramic & Stone Installation Accessories product line to the E.J. Welch Company sales team at their training center in Elk Grove Village, Ill. The full day training program – designed specifically for sales professionals by M-D PRO (a division of M-D Building Products) – was used to educate and equip the E.J. Welch team with all of the technical information they required to start selling PROVA products with confidence. This event also marked the first day that the two teams united together in what is sure to be a great distribution partnership for  M-D PRO and E.J. Welch.

The training was led by M-D PRO’s Duane Farley, National Sales Manager and Technical Specialist for Canada alongside the PROVA Installation Specialist for the U.S., Mark Albonetti. A group of M-D PRO’s territory sales managers were also on site to support and answer any questions. The training consisted of a half day of theoretical product education and a half day of hands-on installations of the PROVA-SHOWER systems. Even those who had never picked up a trowel before got their hands dirty and learned from an installer’s perspective. It ended with a written sales evaluation to test how much of the information was actually retained and all associates passed with flying colors.











Keith Throm, Vice President Sales & Installation Products at E.J. Welch played an integral role in the development of this partnership and had some great feedback for M-D PRO.  “E.J. Welch had bought MD products for over 35 years until MD’s exit a few years ago from the professional distribution channel. We are excited to be back and join the MD Pro team with the Prova Ceramic and Shower System line. After our day of training our sales team said that this was the most complete educational hands-on training that they have ever completed. Kudos to the MD Pro team for putting together such a strong product line and training program.”

More training dates are scheduled and underway with other E.J. Welch sales associates in their remaining locations. By March 2018 M-D PRO will have trained the entire team of 35 to ensure a successful start to the launch of PROVA products at E.J. Welch and a prosperous future. “M-D PRO is excited and honored to have partnered with such a well respected distributor like the E. J. Welch Company to carry the PROVA System. We see the enthusiasm and professionalism in their sales staff that certainly will be beneficial to their customers and to the growth and success of the PROVA product line.” Steven LaGrou, V.P., Sales & Marketing, M-D PRO.

PROVA products are already available and being sold at all E.J. Welch branch locations and will also be available online at www.tools4flooring.com by March 2018. Tools4flooring.com allows for end users all over the world to have access to industry leading products. PROVA products will not only gain more mass distribution and visibility through this e-commerce hub but also be the first complete and competitive product line of its kind to be featured on this website.


Reference websites:







Ege Seramik introduces Amazon porcelain with the look and feel of aged wood

Ege Seramik proudly introduces AMAZON, a matte-finished, glazed porcelain tile collection that beautifully replicates and — actually feels like — naturally-aged wood.

Ege Amazon

The collection’s remarkably realistic, high definition patterned tiles are the result of Ege Seramik’s advanced HD inkjet technology printing techniques. This masterful process has been used to produce AMAZON specifically for the North American Market.

“We are taking nature one step above with this collection,” stated Semih Susleyen, Sales Manager of Ege Seramik.  “With feedback from our buyers, we keep our finger on the pulse of what designs and sizes they are looking for in order to create desirable materials that designers demand.”

Ege Seramik’s production process creates the realistic look of wood, replete with numerous surface “faces” in different patterns of grain, fissures and other visual characteristics that make one believe a bit of the outdoors has made its way to the indoors.

These classic wood-look 8” x 48” plank tiles are available in four colors (Oak, Ash, pearl and wenge). An extremely hard and durable product, AMAZON’s weathered look is ideal for both residential and commercial applications for floors and/or walls. Easy to clean and maintain, with AMAZON, design potential is only limited to the extent of one’s very fertile imagination.

Attendees of the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, COVERINGS 2018, will be able to see and feel the new AMAZON tiles, May 8-11, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, in Ege Seramik’s Booth #8621.


The winners of the HPS Schönox Worst Subfloor Contest™ were announced last week
during a ceremony at TISE West in Las Vegas, Nev.

HPS Schönox’s annual Worst Subfloor Contest seeks to answer the question, “What
lies beneath?” Many installers face nightmare scenarios when they start a new project.
They choose to partner with Schönox materials to tackle those extreme subflooring
challenges. They are encouraged to take photos during the process and submit these
photos along with description of Schönox products.

“We are always interested to see how our customers use our product line in their
projects,” said Doug Young, Executive Vice President. “It is a great feeling knowing that
our systems can be solutions to rough and ugly scenarios.”

HPS Schönox asked three well-known people in the industry to serve as judges for the
contest entries. The judges included Kimberly Oderkirk, Executive Vice President of The
Flooring Contractor Association; Dean Thompson, President of Resilient Floor Covering
Institute; and Peter Craig, Concrete Floor Specialist and Consultant with Concrete

All identifying information was removed from the entries and only project photos and
notes were available so the judges could remain impartial. The judges were asked to
evaluate the projects based on the severity of the original subfloor’s condition, the skill
and attention to detail taken in executing the project, and the quality of the finished

“It was an honor to be asked to judge HPS Schönox’s Worst Subfloor Contest,” said
Oderkirk. “I have followed the contest proceedings each year, and was thrilled to have
a chance to get involved in such a unique industry event put on by one of FCICA’s

First, second, and third place winners were chosen and were awarded prizes including
Schönox dollars, a trip to Las Vegas, Apple watches, and YETI coolers. The winning
companies were as follows:

First Place Winner: Accepting on behalf of Iowa Wall Sawing –
Brian Prevost of HiLine, Inc. with
HPS Schönox Executive VP, Doug Young

Iowa Wall Sawing won first prize with a renovation of a room in a 100-year-old building.
“The floor was in seriously bad shape,” said Jamie Bonazza. “My first onsite visit I was
unsure if we could do anything. The subfloor was completely breaking and crumbling.” The
team used Schönox US on the 2,200 sq. ft. space. The customer wanted to keep the floor
an industrial look so after coating they sealed the floor.




Second Place Winner:
Accepting on behalf of Floorz Denver –
Jim Yates of Midwest Floor Covering. with
HPS Schönox Executive VP, Doug Young

Floorz Denver took second place with a careful restoration of an oncology level at a hospital.“We could not make any noise to remove the old adhesives,” said Kurt Bowers. “The hospital was very happy that we could proceed without noise of traditional full removal.” A combination of Schönox products were used including Schönox VD, AST, and SL. They primed with Schönox SHP, leveled with AP and skimmed with APF.




Third Place Winner:
Accepting on behalf of Tim Hogan’s Carpet is Mac Dutcher of Adleta Corp. with
HPS Schönox Executive VP, Doug Young

Tim Hogan’s Carpet – Lakeland gained third place with their repair on a multilevel home.
They worked to cover existing plywood and concrete and trenching areas. Michael Barney
commented, “We had a mess.” They repaired some of the holes in the slab with Schönox
VD, RR and SL. Then primed the floor with Schönox VD and poured US. They did some
final patching with Schönox SL before installing flooring.




First Honorable Mention was awarded to Floor to Ceiling Carpet One for their work on an
extremely unlevel residence. “The entire lower level of the residence was unlevel concrete,” said Mark Lawrence Jensen. After beginning the project, they also found they had a moisture problem. After scraping off all existing tile and glue they used Schönox KH Fix to prime and then pumped ZM. “The floor looked fantastic and was very flat and smooth.”

Second Honorable Mention was achieved by Vortex Commercial Flooring for their efforts
overhauling two levels of a school. There was tile removed by abatement and further
abatement was required to remove old patch compound. Multiple Schönox products were
used including SHP, KH-Fix, AP, APF, and Renotex. Bob Patrey remarked, “Finish product
was easy to install once the floor was leveled. It was a great smooth installation.”

“We would like to thank everyone who participated in our annual Worst Subfloor Contest,”
said HPS Schönox Principal Thomas Trissl. “We’re so proud that this contest was well-received for the fourth year in a row. Congratulations to all of our winners!”



The Tile Heritage Foundation has issued an open invitation for you to leave your imprint on tile for the Donor Wall for Posterity at Coverings™ 2018, Atlanta, GA  – May 8-11, 2018.  Participate in the Global Monumental Hand-Print Mural.

The concept is to create a “monumental tile mural” honoring everyone with his or her “hand” in the tile industry today. All imprints will be part of this historic tile installation for posterity – it’s a FUN project!

Over the next 12 to 15 months Tile Heritage is seeking 5,000 hand-print tiles from participants from every aspect of the tile industry. All are invited to press their hands, names, thoughts or logos into a wet clay tile and become a part of the mural.

Sponsorship of this project is most welcome. There are many ways to assist and be publicly acknowledged as a Mural Sponsor during the Coverings Expo in 2018. View details.

The Monumental Hand-Print Mural will be installed at Tile Council of North America headquarters in Anderson, S.C., to honor all who contribute and participate in the tile industry today.









You have the opportunity to pre-register to participate in advance with your Coverings’18™ registration at https://registration.experientevent.com/ShowTIL181.

In addition , you can register  to participate through Tile Heritage, and during the workshop at Coverings. Donor wall participation requires a tax-deductible $25 donation. Funding for this mural supports the industry archiving work of the Tile Heritage Foundation.

Visit these links for more information:

Links at Coverings Registration: https://registration.experientevent.com/ShowTIL181 

Participants: (THF site) http://www.tileheritage.org/pdfs/Participant-at-Coverings-sign-up.pdf 

Sponsors: (THF site) http://www.tileheritage.org/pdfs/Donor-Wall-Contribute.pdf 

Coverings awards deadlines right around the corner

The submission deadlines for a number of Coverings- related awards are coming up.See below for competition information and submission links.

  • CID Awards, Feb. 5 Deadline (Extended): Designers, architects, builders, and other professionals can submit work to the 2018 Coverings Installation and Design (CID) Awards program, which celebrates achievements in design and installation of tile and stone products in both residential and commercial projects. Submit your projects here: CID Awards Submissions.
    • Prize: A $3,000 grand prize will be awarded to one project, and eight category winners will each $2,000.
  • Rockstar Awards, Feb. 5 Deadline: Emerging industry leaders are spotlighted through the annual Rock Stars Awards, which honors the best talent under 35. Nominate a Rockstar here: Rockstars Submission
    • Prize: Honored at the Rock Star Awards luncheon, profiled on the Coverings website for one year, as well as social media promotion, inclusion in a Coverings press release, a dedicated Rock Star badge ribbon and a free one-night stay in Atlanta during Coverings.
  • Atlanta Student Design Competition; March 1 Deadline: Atlanta-area graduate and undergraduate students studying interior design, architecture or studio arts programs can submit designs for creation of an artistic ATL-area public bench. Visit this link for information and to submit: Atlanta Student Design Competition
    • Prize: Winners will be awarded cash prizes and their structures will be displayed at Coverings 2018 from May 8-11, 2018, and then placed in an Atlanta park following the show.


Schluter®-Systems Wins Four Awards for Most Preferred Products

Schluter®-Systems recently received four product awards from the 2017 Tile & Stone Installation Contractor CLEARReport: Most Preferred Brand of Waterproofing Membranes,  Most Preferred Brand of Crack Isolation Products,  Most Preferred Brand of Linear Drains,  and Most Preferred Brand of Preformed Shower Structures.

CLEARSelect™ awards are presented by Clear Seas Research to companies that achieve an outstanding level of brand preference among industry professionals. Award winners are selected based on survey responses from precisely targeted industry professionals that participate in a research study.  All winners have to dominate a category from a statistical perspective in order to receive an award.

“Once again, installers have given us a big vote of confidence by recognizing Schluter in four different categories this year,” said Marco Ludwig, president and CEO of Schluter-Systems North America.  “We will continue to develop category leading systems and support them with quality educational programs to provide the best overall experience possible for installers.”

For the main questionnaire, participants were asked to respond to the question, “For each one of the following product categories, please indicate which ONE manufacturer you most prefer and why.”

  •  There were 193 respondents for waterproofing membranes.
  •  There were 161 respondents for crack isolation products.
  •  There were 131 respondents for linear drains.
  •  There were 119 respondents for preformed shower structures.

About Schluter®-Systems
Schluter®-Systems products are specifically designed for the tile industry to ensure that installations maintain integrity and durability. The company’s product line includes over 4,000 items, including tile trims, uncoupling membranes, waterproof building panels, shower systems, and most recently thin-set mortar.  Schluter-Systems is renowned for its state-of-the-art technology with attention to detail for highly functional and visually appealing results.  For more information, visit www.schluter.com.

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