First Installers Pass ACT Certification at Coverings

by Bart Bettiga

CTI_cvgs13ACT Certification has been given to the first eight professional installers. Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers – ACT– addresses four technically-challenging installation areas of current importance:  Large Format Tile Installation and Substrate Preparation, Mudwork, Shower Pans and Membranes. A specific certification demonstrates the installer’s skill and knowledge in each of these four segments.

The eight professional installers passed all four certifications under the watchful eye of thousands of attendees at Coverings, the leading tile and stone show in the United States. Because the program was in the developmental phase when the show was held in Atlanta in April, they just recently completed the online written test that comprises 25% of the certification score.

The eight installers with this special honor are:
Brent Monroe – Artcraft Granite Marble & Tile Company: Mesa, Arizona
Tyler Nequist – Welch Marble &Tile: Kent City, Michigan
Keith Tavshanjian – KT Marble & Tile: Oceanside, California
Dan Welch – Welch Marble &Tile: Kent City, Michigan
Gavin Collier – Trostrud Mosaic & Tile Co.: Palos Heights, Illinois
Bill Dumas – Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Trainer: Livermore, California
Eric Manzaroli – Artisan Tile, Inc.: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Terrance Trame – Trendell Consulting, LLC: Clayton, Michigan

Partners in the development initiative are: Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF); Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA), representing IUBAC signatory tile contractors; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC); International Masonry Institute (IMI), which provides professional and technical training for union masonry contractors; and National Tile Contractors Association, with membership open to all tile contracting companies. Tile Council of North America (TCNA) manufacturer members companies are contributing to development of the modules and tests.

For more information on this developing program visit our new website at


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The 2014 Coverings Installation and Design (CID) Awards, honoring the best achievements in outstanding design and installation of tile and stone, is now open for entries. Open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers and installers, the CID Awards celebrate creativity and technical know-how in the use of tile and stone in residential, commercial, international and sustainable projects. Sponsored by TileLetter and TADA magazines, winning projects will be honored during Coverings 2014, the largest international tile and stone exposition and conference, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary from April 29—May 2, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

New to the 2014 CID Awards is the addition of a Sustainability category for recognition of tile and stone projects that place a premium on innovative, sustainable design. This new category replaces the PROJECT: Green program that recognized these projects in years prior. Additionally, a new online portal simplifies the process of entering projects for consideration in the 2014 CID Awards.

“One of the highlights of Coverings is celebrating and honoring unique projects that exhibit the highest levels of creativity, craftsmanship and outstanding use of materials,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “We anticipate even more outstanding projects than ever before, especially with the new program updates we’ve implemented.” 

An independent panel of judges will evaluate submissions based on execution and installation, original usage, and overall design and purpose, with special recognition given to those projects exemplifying stunning tile and stone. The Grand Prize winners of the Residential and Commercial categories will each receive $2,000 and a one night’s hotel stay in Las Vegas. Additional cash prizes will be awarded in each category. Winners must be present at the CID Awards Reception & Ceremony at April 29, 2014 in Las Vegas. If winners are unable to attend, the project will be disqualified with a new winner awarded (note: does not apply to international projects).

To obtain entry forms for paper entries, or further details on the program, go to Entries can be submitted digitally via an online portal at:

Crossville Joins the Movember Movement for Men’s Health Issues

Employees & Friends of the Brand Nationwide Participate in a Friendly Moustache Growing Competition & Fundraising Effort via November

Crossville, Tenn. – For Crossville employees and friends of the brand, it’s officially “grow time.” Throughout the month of November, Crossville is leading an awareness and fundraising campaign to support issues related to men’s health. Using the Movember portal (, the company has established a team, set a fundraising goal of $3,000 and is joining many other businesses and industries across the country and the world in this unique movement that’s dedicated to changing the course of men’s health.

grow“It’s time we put a spotlight on men’s health,” explains Crossville’s team captain Chris Barnett, a programmer analyst for the company. “Crossville has been a longtime supporter of The Common Thread for the Cure for breast cancer. Now we’re stepping up to express our concern for men’s well-being, too.”

Crossville’s participating male staffers have committed to growing moustaches/facial hair throughout the month of November in effort to raise funds, with the support of “Mo Sisters,” female team members who are also participating in the donation drive. Crossville has also rallied support of distributors and business partners across the U.S.

“We welcome people to join our team or just donate through our team page to make a difference,” Barnett says. “You don’t have to actually grow a moustache to be part of the campaign. Give what you can, even if it’s just a show of support!”

To stay apprised of Crossville’s progress in fundraising (and moustache growing), visit the team’s page at or follow Crossville on Twitter (@crossvilleinc) and Facebook (


Distributors and partners visit wedi factory in Emsdetten, Germany

Wedi recently invited 18 top distributors and their partners to visit the wedi factory in Emsdetten, Germany as part of wedi’s incentive program “Blue & More Awards.” The group enjoyed a three-day program including a tour of wedi’s manufacturing facility, where they had the opportunity to see wedi’s  advanced manufacturing technology for backer board and shower systems in action. The group also got to enjoy local history, good food and beer tastings that are part of the character of  northwestern Germany.

wedi was grateful to have hosted this event which include discussions and exchanges about marketing of wedi and tile products in the Americas, as well as camaraderie and recreation.

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Renewal Date for Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification Course Extended to Two Years with Union Agreement

The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS)  has extended the renewal date of the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification certificate, to two years from one. This means that every two years the tile installer must retake the updated course in order to stay current with new industry standards. In the past, installers were required to retake the course annually to stay current.

The renewal date extension  was part of an agreement between UofCTS and the Tile Marble Terrazzo Union Local 18, which placed a large order of tuitions for the ITS Verification course as part of its continuing education programs for its Journeyman Tile Layers one. In addition to the ITS Verification online course, Local 18 is offering the Advanced Certification for Tile Installer program, which is a new set of certifications developed and administered by a consortium of tile industry organizations (  Local 18 president Chad Boggio stated that the Union leadership has recognized the need to educate tile layers on the new materials, standards and methods through ongoing training and testing of journeyman tile setters.

Greg Games president of Premier Tile & Marble Co., who was the first union tile installation company to send his installers through the ITS online training course, stated,  “I saw a big improvement in my employees’ knowledge of the industry standards and their heightened interest in making sure they are following the industry standards as they are installing tile.  Educating our team of setters and finishers brought a new positive dimension to the culture of our company.”  Games encouraged the Union to adopt the ITS course.

Non-union contractors are also committed to training their employees.  Martin L Howard, vice president of David Allen Company, Inc., who has put a large number of his employees through the UofCTS online training courses, stated,  “I am seeing a big improvement in my employees’ knowledge of the tile and stone industry, and industry standards.  We are in the process of sending a large number of our employees through all three of the UofCTS Online courses on Ceramic Tile, Natural Stone, and on Tile Installer Standards.  The David Allen Company is committed to providing quality tile installations, and our investment in training our employees is one of the ways we achieve that goal.”

The Tile Terrazzo Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) collaborated with UofCTS to create a Canadian version of the ITS course, which was released earlier this year.  Since then they have had a large number of TTMAC members take the course with great success.

INTACO, a manufacturer of installation products in Costa Rica, recently purchased tuitions of the Spanish version of the ITS course for training their employees.  TCNA Mexico had their trainers take the Spanish version of the ITS course and they now refer the installers that take the certification evaluation in Mexico to take the UofCTS ITS course as a value-added course.  TCNA also suggests the course for Mexican architects to help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.

The ITS Verification course instructs installers, setters and finishers, on industry standards and practices, manufacturers’ requirements, and proper installation methods for tile thin-set applications that apply to ceramic tile, porcelain tile, stone tile, glass tile and other types of adhered tile materials.  The course also teaches how to inspect and prepare substrates and tiles, how to achieve full thin-set coverage, and points out quality workmanship requirements and practices.  This course is also meaningful to architects, general contractors, distributors, manufacturers, consultants, inspectors, and owners that recognize the value of understanding industry installation standards, practices, and methods.

Tile installers who complete the ITS Verification course receive a certificate of completion and must renew it every two years to remain current with industry standards.  The ITS certificate demonstrates to architects, homeowners, and other customers that their tile installers have been trained to install tile per industry standards.   It also demonstrates the company’s commitment to quality installations, and ultimately helps companies earn more jobs, earn more money and avoid costly delays and failures.

The ITS Verification course is different than the  CTEF and ACT Certification Programs for trained tile installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications validating required skills.  The ITS Verification is intended for  training new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and to provide continued education for experienced installers to ensure they know and stay current with industry standards and practices.  The ITS course is also very useful for distributors, architects and designers, and for general contractors so they are aware of how tile should be properly installed.

UofCTS’s also offers online  courses: Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone and Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile courses which offer an up-to-date comprehensive look at the stone and ceramic tile industry. For more information, visit

Once registered, UofCTS students have 14 days to complete a course, which is accessible online, 24/7.  Students can come and go at their convenience.

For details on the courses, videos that preview UofCTS courses, and information on purchasing UofCTS online courses visit  Local 18 union members can visit; CTDA members can visit; and TTMAC members can visit Interested parties can also call 866.669.1550.


Traditional Home’s Napa Valley Showhouse – Peter Mondavi, Jr.’s Home -Features Crossville Tile Collections

CROSSVILLE, Tenn, Oct. 18, 2013 – Crossville Inc. is a sponsor and product supplier for the second annual Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse. This year’s home, located at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, Calif., is a century-old structure that has undergone a dramatic transformation. Designed by select designers from the local area, the showhouse represents a fresh take on Napa style and is open for public tours through November 17.

Crossville products are featured in the master and guest bathrooms of the home.

Master Bath Renovation by Ann Lowengart Interiors
Annie Lowengart designed the showhouse’s master bath featuring Crossville’s Wood Impressions and Virtue collections. Wood Impressions is used on both walls and the main floor of the space. The shower floor takes on the look of marble with Crossville’s Virtue collection.


Hall Bathroom Renovation by NV Design
Christine A. Teicheira and Lauren Tapper incorporated Crossville’s Virtue Collection on the floors and Retro Active on the walls. The look of the space is bright and transitional, incorporating fresh colors and a furniture-inspired sink console.


“Most people know Crossville as a commercial brand. Our participation in the Napa Valley showhouse demonstrates that we’re great for residential use, as well,” explains Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Napa Valley Film Festival. For more information, visit

 About Crossville Inc.
Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications. For more information on Crossville, visit

Radiant Heat Sales Warming Up: WarmlyYours Radiant Reports Record Sales

October 16, 2013–WarmlyYours Radiant expects a strong fourth quarter after posting a record 25% increase in overall sales for the quarter ending September 30, 2013, as compared to the third quarter of 2012. Sales for the month of September were up 39% over the previous year. These results are especially significant considering that the summer months are typically the slowest for the radiant heat industry. With such dramatic growth so early in the season, WarmlyYours predicts extremely strong sales going into 2014.

Julia Billen, president and owner of WarmlyYours Radiant, attributes the increase to changes made by the company to withstand the recession, as well as the ongoing recovery in housing industry. “Not only is the market rebuilding, but we are able to capitalize on that because of the measures we took to strengthen the company during the recession,” said Billen. “Coming out of the recession, our internal machinery is much more focused on sales and marketing.”

WarmlyYours Radiant has remained profitable throughout the recession, despite the slowdown in the construction industry. As the market recovers, the company is well positioned to take advantage of the growth in new construction and home renovations. The 39% increase in September sales corresponds to continued strength in the remodeling market, particularly in the number of kitchen and bathroom projects, throughout 2013 and into 2014, as predicted by the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) published by Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Strong consumer demand for tile and stone surfaces is driving interest in radiant heat solutions.

WarmlyYours Radiant showed substantial sales gains in the U.S. across its major product lines: floor heating, snow melting systems and towel warmers. The company reported an 18% increase in overall sales in Canada for the third quarter of 2013, as compared to third quarter sales for 2012, with floor heating and towel warmers fueling the growth in that market.


About WarmlyYours Radiant
Since 1999, WarmlyYours Radiant has offered the industry’s most innovative solutions in radiant heating technology, from our flagship floor heating systems and radiant wall panels to snow melting products, mirror defoggers and towel warmers. With locations in the U.S. and Canada, WarmlyYours provides unrivaled personalized customer support from start to finish, featuring measuring and design services, 24/7 technical support, and our NoNonsense™ Warranty. For more information, visit:

Nuheat Launches International Floor Heating Day

Nuheat recently announced the launch of the industry’s first International Floor Heating Day. The inaugural celebration of the annual event will take place on October 17, 2013. In the spirit of celebrating Nuheat’s loyal customers and all things floor heating, Nuheat will be hitting the streets all over North America surprising and delighting customers and random strangers with gifts of appreciation.

As part of International Floor Heating Day, Nuheat will be auctioning off two Custom Nuheat Mats shaped in both the Vancouver Canucks and a Chicago Blackhawks logos. Each mat is signed by the hockey team and proceeds support their respective charitable trusts; Canuck Place and Chicago Blackhawks Charities. In addition, Nuheat will give a lucky winner a Nuheat Floor Heating System for a bathroom remodel through various social media avenues.

“At Nuheat we are extremely fortunate to have had such a loyal customer base over our 24 years in business,” said Suzie Cho, vice president of marketing. “We really pride ourselves as being industry leaders, and therefore wanted to find a way to thank our customers as well as celebrate our industry. We are dedicating International Floor Heating Day to our amazing customers as well as everyone whom we’ve had the pleasure of working with in our industry.”

For more information visit  Regular updates will be posted on the Facebook and Twitter.

About Nuheat

Based in Vancouver, Nuheat is the leading manufacturer and distributor of electric floor heating systems and freeze protection products for pipes, roof & gutters and slab. Nuheat products have been included in such celebrated projects as the Shangri-La Tower in Vancouver, the Hyatt Grand in Aspen, the Plaza Hotel in New York, Montreal’s City Hall and will soon be included in the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice facility being built near Vancouver, British Columbia.


Tile Council of North America Announces New Hire: Project Manager Lynn M. Zott

Seasoned Publishing Professional Brings over 20 Years of Experience to Support TCNA’s Expanding Communications Efforts

Tile Council of North America (TCNA) is pleased to announce the hire of Lynn M. Zott as Project Manager.TCNA

Lynn has joined TCNA to further develop its communications and publications programs, along with TCNA Project Manager Stephanie Samulski. Lynn brings a wealth of experience in publishing, having spent the last 9 years as President of Zott Solutions, Inc., an editorial services company that provided contracted project management, editorial, and production services for 175+ reference and textbook titles worth millions in annual revenue.

Both as a small business owner and during her tenure at Gale, a major reference publisher where Lynn served as Managing Editor in charge of several award-winning, flagship reference series, she has honed her skills in writing and editing, product and marketing conceptualization, researching, designing for print and digital publications, and project management. Lynn particularly enjoys analyzing workflows, locating ways to maximize efficiencies in production, and designing methods and strategies to support optimal individual and team performance.

Eric Astrachan, TCNA Executive Director, said “With Ms. Zott on staff, we believe we can better communicate industry initiatives, better inform our members, and make better use of content TCNA develops.”

About Tile Council of North America (TCNA): The Tile Council of North America is a trade association representing manufacturers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials, tile equipment, raw materials, and other tile-related products. TCNA is recognized for its leadership role in promoting the use of ceramic tile and in developing North American and international industry standards. Additionally, to advance the expansion of the ceramic tile market in North America, TCNA regularly conducts independent research and product testing, works with regulatory and trade agencies, offers professional training, and publishes installation guidelines, tile standards, economic reports, and promotional literature.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Crossville Shines a Light on Year-Round Programs & Support for the Common Thread for the Cure

CROSSVILLE, Tenn.,  – Crossville Inc. is hosting/sponsoring events during the month of October to draw attention to breast cancer awareness and the company’s year-round support of the Common Thread for the Cure. Throughout the year, Crossville contributes a portion of proceeds from the sales of its Glass Blox and Origins glass tile collections to the Common Thread for a Cure.

The Common Thread is a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to families of the interior design and furnishings industries who are suffering the effects of breast cancer. Through Helping Hands Grants, the organization helps families with transportation, household expenses, child care, tuition, home repairs and other practical needs to improve quality of life as they face the challenges of the disease. The foundation also supports research and educational programs.


“For Crossville, awareness and support happen every month of the year through our product partnership with the Common Thread for the Cure, but October gives us the chance to turn the spotlight even brighter on this organization whose sole purpose is to help those in the design community affected by breast cancer,” explains Lindsey Waldrep, vice president of marketing for Crossville and Common Thread for the Cure board member.

Waldrep emphasizes that the ongoing support of Common Thread through monetary donation is the core of Crossville’s commitment to the prominent issue that touches “far too many lives in the design industry and beyond.”

“It’s not enough to ‘think pink’ one month of the year. Breast cancer doesn’t take a month off, and neither do we,” she summarizes.

For more information about The Common Thread for the Cure, please visit

About Crossville Inc.
Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications.

An industry innovator, Crossville is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following:
* produce large format tile on site,
* manufacture tile with certified recycled content,
* develop the Tile Take-Back™ Program for recycling fired porcelain tile
* achieve certification of its waste recycling programs
* achieve TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines,
* distribute a complete line of large format, 3mm-thin porcelain panels (Laminam by Crossville) and
* become a net consumer of waste.

For more information on Crossville, visit

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