Total Solutions Plus Announces Keynote Speakers

Total Solutions Plus is brought to you by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, the National Tile Contractors Association, the Tile Council of North America, and the Tile Contractors’ Association of America. This all-industry conference is taking place October 22-25 at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, near Palm Springs, Calif. The purpose of Total Solutions Plus is to annually bring the ceramic tile industry together to network and learn from each other. Distributors, manufacturers, contractors and more will come together to listen to motivational, relevant speakers, participate in education sessions taught by the best of the best in the industry, network with decision makers and enjoy all Indian Wells has to offer. Visit for details and to register.

Joe Calloway, Minds Wide Open

 For more than 30 years, globally-recognized branding and performance expert, Joe Calloway has been a reliable resource for business leaders and entrepreneurs, helping to make good companies great and great companies extraordinary. With a client list that reads like a “Who’s Who” in business, he is trusted by a range of organizations—from small business groups to Coca Cola, IBM and Cadillac—for his astute insight into current business and market trends.

Acknowledged by audiences and industry experts as animated, effective and engaging, Calloway’s unconventional approach to public speaking is applauded for actively involving audiences in interactive keynotes and workshops that challenge assumptions and create new ways of thinking. He is also the author of several ground-breaking business books, including New York Times best-seller, Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity. Calloway’s new book Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business was released in November 2015.

Joe Calloway’s engaging and interactive presentations are packed with practical, easy-to-implement ideas and techniques, as well as valuable insight on how to attain and maintain a high performance mindset. Regardless of the size of the company or industry, Calloway demonstrates how to apply the same ways of thinking that enable companies like Apple, Zappos, and Southwest Airlines to constantly innovate, drive momentum and sustain extraordinary success.

Ken Simonson, Construction Outlook: Breaking the Ceiling or Falling through the Floor?
 Kenneth D. Simonson has been chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, the leading national construction trade association, since 2001. He provides insight into the economy and what it implies for construction and related industries through frequent media interviews, presentations and The Data DIGest, his weekly one-page e-newsletter.

Ken has more than 40 years of experience analyzing, advocating and communicating about economic and tax issues. Before joining AGC, he was senior economic adviser in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Earlier, he was vice president and chief economist for the American Trucking Associations. He also worked with the President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and an economic consulting firm.

Ken was the 2012-13 president of the National Association for Business Economics and is active in several other organizations for business economists and researchers. He is co-director of the Tax Economists Forum, a professional meeting group he co-founded in 1982, and is a board member of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington.

Ken has a BA in economics from the University of Chicago, an MA from Northwestern University, and he has taken advanced graduate courses at the Université de Paris, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities.

David Okerlund, Obtaining Altitude by Attitude

David Okerlund, a passionate, award-winning, speaker incorporates years of experience as a hospital administrator, national sales manager, newspaper columnist, and communications coach into his messages.  With his mastery of emotional intelligence and situational empathy, he touches audiences in a way that they will never forget.

  • David has given over 2,500 speeches to over 1,000,000 people without one disappointed client.
  • Twice he finished in the final three of the World Championship of Public Speaking, a contest of over 20,000 individuals from over thirty countries.
  • He taught speech and debate at Oxford University in England and was asked to debate Patrick Buchanan at the prestigious Oxford University Debate Club.
  • He was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for Speakers in 1984.
  • He helped design a class in Persuasion and Ethics for university graduate students in Minnesota.
  • David Okerlund has been described by Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith and others as the “best personal speech coach in the United States.”

Please click here to read more about the speakers and other breakouts during TSP!

Click here to Register for TSP today!

Daltile opens doors to remodeled showrooms in Las Vegas and Denver

Daltile has officially opened the doors on remodeled showrooms in the Denver and Las Vegas markets. Both locations celebrated with grand opening events last week. A slab yard attached to a traditional gallery setting at both locations provides a single-source resource for local architecture and design communities.

Multifunctional workspaces, tile libraries, hospitality areas and conference rooms were remodeled with design professionals and clientele in mind.

“We wanted to create inviting spaces that inspire our customers,” said Corinthia Runge, manager of gallery and showroom operations for Daltile. “Our new locations were designed by designers, for designers, making it easy to imagine what is possible in any space.”

Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, the 5,800 square-foot tile and stone gallery, visitors are welcomed into the space by a floor-to-ceiling desert cactus mosaic mural that reflects the central Las Vegas location. Exploring the space, products are artfully displayed on floors, walls and partitions.

20160718-DT-VegasGallery0440 20160718-DT-VegasGallery0467 Dal Las VEGAS restroom_35A0107 Dal LAS VEGAS_35A0148 Daltile Las VEGAS_35A0066A loose tile library provides customers with full-size samples to help match and coordinate styles for their projects, and an LCD touch screen lets customers virtually flip through the digital catalog, view inspiration gallery images and build out designs with the tile and stone visualizer tool. The space is accented with a custom chandelier made with tile pieces, bringing further inspiration for guests.

The hospitality area features a stunning diamond-matched Aqua Marine Granite backsplash and bright white Morning Frost ONE Quartz countertops. A more intimate space for designers or architects to consult with clients is provided in the modern conference room showcasing a striking slab tabletop.

Connected to the open, bright showroom is an expansive slab yard housing hundreds of slabs for selection from exotics, to granite and quartz. This offering allows designers to utilize the space as a multi-faceted hub for tile and stone specification from floor to ceiling.

The Las Vegas Tile & Stone Gallery, located at 3345 W. Sunset Road, Suite G, hosted a vintage Las Vegas themed grand opening event on Aug. 3, 2016, to celebrate the new space.



In Denver, the 4,700 square-foot tile and stone showroom, features an entry area with a large stone slab desk with waterfall accent that provides a focal point for visitors to begin their journey through the space. An accompanying fireplace vignette featuring four book-matched slabs warmly welcomes visitors and showcases the striking stone slab offerings.

DAL Denver Photo 3 DAL Denver Photo 8







An adjacent slab-yard and neighboring Mohawk carpet showroom creates a holistic experience conveniently located in the heart of Denver.

The Daltile Denver Showroom, located at 852 S. Jason St., Unit 8, hosted a “Colorado Local” themed grand opening event on Aug. 4, 2016 to celebrate the showroom remodel.

For more information about the breadth and depth of Daltile product and retail offerings, visit

Crossville Announces Winners for Its 2016 “The Common Thread for the Cure” Scarf Design Contest

Crossville, Tennessee – Crossville, Inc. has announced the winners of the 2016 The Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest, a biennial competition held in support of the nonprofit organization that provides practical support for members of the furnishings and interior design industries facing the challenges of breast cancer.

CrossvilleCustomScarf-60x25 BLopez.pdf

People’s Choice: “Yin & Yang” by Beatriz Lopez, Chicago, Ill.

“We received lots of entries this year, so it’s really exciting to see how the voting turned out,” states Robin Rhea, Crossville’s director of brand marketing. “We appreciate how our network of distributors and the interior design and tile industry communities rallied to show their creativity in support of this great cause.”

For this year’s competition, there is a Judges’ Choice winner, as well as the People’s Choice winner determined by popular vote.

The Judges’ Choice was selected by a panel of interior design professionals: Kathy Sandler of Nashville, Allan Dallatorre of Los Angeles, Lisa Mende of Charlotte, and Linda Holt of Boston.

Both of the winning designs are being produced as scarves that will be available through Crossville distributors in early September, in anticipation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The scarf competition is just one of the ways that Crossville carries out its commitment to raising awareness of breast cancer and offering practical contributions to help those in the industry who are struggling with the disease.

KerrySteele 25x60 scarf V1B

Judge’s Choice: “Love’s Alchemy” by Kerry Steele, Charleston, S.C.

Since 2007, Crossville has donated more than $75,000 to The Common Thread for the Cure.

GranQuartz Acquires Granite City Tool

GranquartzGranQuartz, a leading supplier of tools and equipment to stone fabricators and concrete professionals across the U.S., is excited to announce the acquisition of Granite City Tool, a well-respected stone tool supplier with a long history in the market.
Since 1885 Granite City has distributed cutting tools, abrasives and ancillary products for the stone-cutting and monument industries. Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Granite City has built a strong, loyal following among fabricators in the upper Midwest and across the U.S.
GranQuartz claims it has grown to be the largest supplier in the industry with 45 reps and 13 distribution centers strategically placed across the country. This acquisition brings together the company with the greatest reach in the industry with the company with the deepest roots.
“As we look to continue growing and serving the needs of stone fabricators, we see the acquisition of Granite City Tool as the perfect way to better meet the needs of customers, specifically those in the upper Midwest,” said Dan Davidenko, president and CEO of GranQuartz. “The Granite City team has done an excellent job establishing themselves as reliable, trusted resources to their customers, and we are committed to continuing to offer that level of service.”
Granite City Tool president Chuck Sanvik said the company is very pleased. “This acquisition and GranQuartz’s focus on the customer experience ensure that our customers will be well served for years to come.”

Alpha Hires New Representative in Southern California

richrolenOAKLAND, NJ, July 25, 2016–Alpha Professional Tools® is pleased to announce that we have hired Rich Rolen to represent us in the Southern California region effective July 18, 2016.

Rich is a Navy Veteran that comes to us from the Material Handling/General Contracting Industry. He brings over 15 years of Account Management and Customer Service experience. He values building solid relationships with customers as partners. When not on the road with Alpha®, he spends time with family, surfing and mountain biking around southern California.

If you have any questions or need additional information, he can be reached at the following:

Cell: (714) 853-3476
E-mail: [email protected]

About Alpha Professional Tools®:

Alpha Professional Tools® is a leading manufacturer of quality tools for professionals in the natural/engineered stone, porcelain, ceramic, glass, construction, marine and automotive industries. Alpha® provides the best products for cutting, drilling, shaping and polishing all types of materials. In addition to providing the best products in the industry, Alpha Professional Tools® offers a variety of services to support their products. More information is available at

Industry News – August 2016

Brian Newman, Lackmond Products

Brian Newman, Lackmond Products

Lackmond Products has appointed Brian Newman as Northeast territory manager, overseeing the company’s sales strategies and business development in the Northeast. Prior to joining Lackmond Products, Inc., Newman worked as a property/construction manager for a commercial real estate company in Massachusetts. Newman also spent over eight years working with AH Harris & Sons, in inside sales, outside sales and as a branch manager. He has two bachelor’s degrees, one in psychology from the University of Connecticut and the other in construction management from New England Institute of Technology. Newman enjoys golf and spending time with his wife Erin, and their three sons.

Andy Larson, Compotite

Andy Larson, Compotite

Compotite Corporation (, a pioneer in the shower waterproofing industry since 1938, has added two regional sales representatives. Andy Larson and Brad Reed Nelson will now be handling Compotite sales in their respective territories, working with the firm’s line of waterproofing and crack isolation membranes and selling the firm’s new line of Frank Lloyd Wright Linear Shower Drains. Larson, who is based just outside of Indianapolis, is stepping up into the position of Compotite’s east coast region sales manager. Nelson, an accomplished furniture designer based in Carbondale, Colorado, will be covering Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. President and CEO Alan Hutchins added, “We have strong growth plans. And we know that with the addition of professional people such as Andy and Brad, our plans to achieve this growth are looking very attainable. Compotite is in the process of recruiting more sales reps to assist with our current growth goals in many areas of the country.”

Fuse Alliance endorses UofCTS online courses

news-03-fuseFuse Alliance has endorsed The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS)’s core curriculum. Fuse Alliance is a member-owned organization of professional commercial flooring contractors.  Fuse members will be able to purchase the UofCTS Online courses through the Fuse member website at a special membership discount.

Fuse Alliance has more than 84 companies in 150 locations across the United States and Canada, and the organization’s member businesses represent approximately $1.2 billion in sales and services. Fuse Alliance’s goal is to have Fuse members differentiate themselves from their competition by having all their tile installers go through the four-hour Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification course that is taught in both English and Spanish, which will help members avoid installation problems.

In addition, Fuse member project managers and sales employees are taking the UofCTS Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile course and Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone course, which offer a comprehensive look at the stone and ceramic tile industries. For details on the UofCTS online course content, visit

Tile of Spain factory wins Architizer award

news-03Tile of Spain manufacturer Rosa Gres recently was honored in May at the international Architizer A+Awards for its porcelain solutions for overflow pools. Rosa Gres focuses its strategy on specialization and concentrates on developing outdoor paving, industrial paving and cladding for swimming pools. The winning product is the fruit of more than 40 years devoted to researching and developing solutions for the design and construction of swimming pools. There are two 100% porcelain stoneware grid models called Compact and Flex, for overflow pools. Their design is based on a single but highly demanding idea: to create the perfect grid. Their innovative design improves both the aesthetics and the water drainage and collection capacity of overflow swimming pools.

Rosa Gres refers to the Compact grid model as the “invisible grid” because once it is fitted, it is totally integrated into the edge of the swimming pool: such “invisibility” accounts for the “lake effect” that makes overflow pools so special.

The Flex grid model is the perfect solution for curved-edge pools because it facilitates fitting and enhances the finish. The two products are made in more than 30 colors, a potentially useful feature that helps architects customize the aesthetics of their projects.

For more information about Rosa Gres, visit or

Emser to stock full line of LATICRETE products

LATICRETE recently announced that Emser Tile will distribute LATICRETE products through its nationwide service and distribution network. The partnership of these two family-owned companies provides Emser Tile customers access to LATICRETE premium adhesives, grouts, shower systems, uncoupling products, sealers and cleaners. In turn, LATICRETE gains greater access and exposure to Emser Tile’s significant customer base.

“This year LATICRETE celebrates its 60th year of building a chemistry of trust with its customers and partners, and we are delighted to celebrate this anniversary by announcing a relationship with our newest partner, Emser Tile,” said LATICRETE vice president of North America Sales Ron Nash. “Two factors drive our business, the development of innovative products and access to valued customers. LATICRETE provides the former and Emser Tile provides the latter.”

“The addition of LATICRETE to our offerings is consistent with our strategic plans of partnering with the industry’s best-in-class suppliers and will be an important part of our program moving forward,” said Emser Tile chief marketing officer Bob Baldocchi. “Easy and local access to LATICRETE products throughout our distribution network is a major win for our customers, who are always looking for high-quality products designed for their business. By carrying a full line of LATICRETE products and offering access to the company’s training programs, we can offer new options to meet their every need.”

Established in 1968 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Emser Tile offers a high level of service and a dynamic selection of tile, natural stone, decorative and setting material products designed for both residential and commercial projects and applications. The company has a nationwide service and distribution network that combines the strengths of a national presence with the benefits of local service to quickly respond to changing trends and technologies.

Emser began rolling out the full line of LATICRETE products July 1, 2016.

A&D Guest – August 2016: LHK design

LHK design: Incorporating Sustainability to Enhance the Quality of Life

Fairfield Inn and Suites in Waterbury, Vt., wins CID Sustainability Award

ad-lori-kramerLori Kramer, LEED AP, of LHK design was the award-winning interior designer for one of the projects recognized in the Sustainability category at the Coverings Installation Design Awards, held in Chicago this past April. The firm, with offices on Park Avenue in Manhattan and Upper Saddle River, N.J., designed the complete interior of the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Waterbury, Vt., using a range of tile products that reflect the natural feel of the Vermont environment.

ad-01Kramer explains that “This new hotel maintains the brand’s signature features with the rustic charm that defines this beautiful New England town. Upon entering the lobby, guests experience a warm and inviting rustic lodge atmosphere featuring stylized wood grain translucent panels flanked by reclaimed teak wood planks on the registration feature wall, reclaimed wood cabinetry, and a magnificent burnished finished brass ring chandelier set against a ceiling of found teak wood.

“The public areas meet the needs of its productivity-oriented guests with its modernized and contemporary approach to the classic lodge, providing both vacationing and business guests with ample connectivity options, along with more casual and informal areas for relaxation,” she added. “Guests may relax by the impressive stone fireplace in the lobby or enjoy a swim in the inviting indoor pool, which boasts a spa-like atmosphere with its surroundings of rich stone and wood elements.“

ad-02Kramer noted that “Our design concept reflects many nature-inspired materials indigenous to Vermont. Flooring consists of wood-look parquet tile, and carpet inspired by the warm color palette of the area’s stunning fall foliage. Furnishings were selected to be interesting focal points, such as the feature communal farm table made by local artisans from reclaimed pine and surrounded by solid birch stools with warm, weathered black stain and iron stretchers. A polished nickel ring chandelier with Edison-style vintage antique light bulbs complements the rustic farm table with its minimalist style and metallic composition. The contextually inspired barnstyle doors at the entrance to the breakfast buffet bring a rustic feel to the contemporary look of the solid stone counters of the buffet.”

In addition, “the locale-inspired guest rooms feature an accent wall with a stunning paneled effect,” she said. “As they retreat to the signature suites, guests enjoy a soothing color palette of pale gray, graphite and warm browns with accents of celadon and wheat.”

Stone and tile products used

To create this warm, inviting atmosphere, LHK design selected natural stone and porcelain tile materials throughout. They included:

  • ad-03Stone veneer at fireplace, accent walls in lobby, and accent wall in indoor pool – Boral Stone Products LLC/Pro-Fit Alpine Ledgestone cultured stone, color: Echo Ridge
  • Porcelain 6” x 30”, 7/16” thick wood-look plank floor tile at lobby – Cancos Tile & Stone/ Albero 6, color: Fresh, with a matte finish. Tri State Stone & Tile of Rockaway, N.J., installed this plank tile in a 1/3-offset staggered brick-joint pattern installation method with 1/8” grout joint.
  • Porcelain 24” x 24” x 7/16” thick wood-look parquet floor tile adorned the breakfast room – Cancos Tile & Stone/Albero 6, color: Fresh in a matte finish. Tri State used a straight-lay installation method with 1/8” grout joint.
  • ad-04A marble mosaic tile backsplash is featured at the connect and print counter – Cancos Tile & Stone/ Chelsea 2 series Golden Sand, color: Beige with a nano-sealed multi-surface finish, 1” x 1” x 3/8” thick, supplied on 12” x 12” sheets.
  • Porcelain 6” x 24” x 3/8” thick wood-look plank tile was installed at accent walls in the indoor pool – Cancos Tile & Stone/Albero 3, color: Ash. Tri State installed this in a 1/3-offset staggered brick-joint pattern, with tiles installed horizontally across wall, and 1/8” grout joint. The full height and the full width of the walls were covered in Albero 3.
  • Porcelain 6” x 24” x 3/8” thick wall tile was installed at accent walls in the indoor pool – Cancos Tile & Stone/Elements Deluxe Collection, color: Ocean Storm with a honed finish. Tri State used a stack bond installation (tiles installed horizontally across wall) with 1/8” grout joint.
  • ad-07Porcelain 13” x 13” x 3/8” thick floor tile and bullnose base was installed at the indoor pool and public restrooms – Cancos Tile & Stone/Rok, color: Calcare, matte finish. Tri State performed a stack bond installation with 1/8” grout joint. Slip resistance of this impervious product is a wet slip coefficient: 0.61-0.71 (>0.60 tile classification slip resistant).

Sustainable products on the rise

ad-06Although clients don’t always request sustainable products, LHK designs has its own ethic for products it selects. “There has been an increase in the amount of products offered that are sustainable,” Kramer said. “We seek out products that meet the following criteria: encompass our design intent, translate the vision of the client, meet hotel brand standards, are within the client’s budget, and have sustainable attributes.” The rise in the use of HPDs and EPDs in the last few years “provide the means to communicate the environmental characteristics of products to designers,” she added.

ad-05LHK designs “incorporates sustainability into every single project, striving to balance all of the mental and physical dimensions in order to create design solutions that enhance the quality of life,” Kramer explained. “Sustainability, as wellness for the planet, goes hand in hand with wellness for the individual. The use of environmentally responsible materials in design and construction leads to an increase in worker productivity, improved indoor air and light quality, energy-saving operational and maintenance practices, and the preservation of natural resources,” she concluded.



New Products – July 2016

prod-01Antolini’s Black Absolute Gold Design is a fusion of modern and classical worlds. Lavish golden threads run seamlessly through dark polished granite in a captivating fashion. This detailing evokes a regal sense of modernism that both elevates and inspires. The stones of the Natura Collection add timeless exuberance and style to any project.

The Tile Shop introduces a new website for its Pro customers called “Pro My Account,” a go-to source for everything needed to get the job done. Pro My Account enables Pros to keep track of all orders from anywhere via mobile devices, tablet or computer. Pros can register for free at Pros can watch a brief tutorial video at and easily navigate the site, which provides email access, the ability to view and print current and past orders, track open orders, make payments on orders, view credit balances, make payments to credit accounts, view and print statements and download other relevant forms. Visit or phone 888-398-6595 for more information about the benefits of The Tile Shop’s Pro Network and Pro My Account.

John Colaneri of HGTV’s Kitchen Cousin used the Under-Cabinet Lighting System to provide an unobstructed field of on-trend black subway tile in his home kitchen. 

John Colaneri of HGTV’s Kitchen Cousin used the Under-Cabinet Lighting System to provide an unobstructed field of on-trend black subway tile in his home kitchen.

Legrand offers the Adorne™ Under-Cabinet Lighting System (right) to streamline lighting without disrupting a beautiful tile mural or backsplash design. The modular LED Lighting track fits under kitchen cabinets to discreetly deliver light, power and bluetooth music to the space, including mobile charging cradles and USB ports. Its hidden-from-view location enables the tiled backsplash to be clear of outlets, enhancing the style and decluttering cords to free up counter space. Its configuration is easy to update at any time by popping out any module and replacing it with a new insert.

Creative Edge Master Shop has introduced TERRAZZO TEK™, its new line of trademarked luxury terrazzo techniques, a veritable tool kit to enhance artistry, improve efficiency, and expand options in terrazzo installations, both large and small.

TERRAZZO TEK™ is a series of novel techniques:

Intricate designs can be created without metallic joints using the NOFORMZ technique in Creative Edge Master Shop’s TERRAZZO TEK series of terrazzo techniques.

Intricate designs can be created without metallic joints using the NOFORMZ technique in Creative Edge Master Shop’s TERRAZZO TEK series of terrazzo techniques.

JETFORMZ™ uses waterjet technology to cut the metal material dividers from brass, aluminum, and bronze. This method adds to detail, complexity, and accuracy of metal dividing strips.

TRANSFORMZ™ is the layout system that faithfully transfers architect, designer, and artist patterns to the floor to be covered in epoxy terrazzo.

ACCUFORMZ™ is the technique of templating for layout letters, logos and emblems accurately and positioning these elements for the terrazzo pour.

NOFORMZ™ is a technique of fabricating intricate art and pattern with no metallic joints, creating striking and colorful detail in artwork and lobby identity pieces.

Creative Edge Master Shop has developed waterjet techniques that supplement and enhance the decorative potential and artistry of terrazzo. Creative Edge terrazzo projects are custom designed, and a large library of previously designed projects, entries, borders, accents, and medallions are catalogued to provide inspiration for new installations.

prod-05Scodd Industries introduces The PorcelainPlus Speedbit, specifically designed for drilling through hard surfaces such as porcelain tile, granite, marble, quartz and ceramic tile. It features a specially formulated carbide spear tip with Four Point Cross Step Design for greater durability and speed, making installations quicker, easier, and more profitable. The Speedbit has an average of 25 seconds per hole and 5+ holes per bit (based on PEI 4 porcelain tile). Order your risk-free TRIAL PACK today: five Speedbits, pay only delivery. Check out a short video of the Speedbit in action at

NTCA and Industry News – July 2016

Michael Whistler hands the baton of being a NTCA technical trainer to Robb Roderick at Whistler’s last NTCA workshop at the Livermore, Calif. Daltile.

Michael Whistler hands the baton of being a NTCA technical trainer to Robb Roderick at Whistler’s last NTCA workshop at the Livermore, Calif. Daltile.

Whistler hands baton to Robb Roderick

On May 18, Michael Whistler, assisted by wife Jill, presented his last NTCA Workshop at the Daltile in Livermore, Calif. Whistler, who has been a NTCA technical trainer and presenter since December 2010, has left the association to resume work as a tile contractor in California. The Whistler duo was a dynamic presence at industry events, and Michael was very active in offering technical advice to those calling and emailing the association. They are a well-loved team in the industry and will be missed.

Michael and Jill Whistler were a well-loved team, heading up NTCA Workshops and CTEF Educational Events in the Western region of the country.

Michael and Jill Whistler were a well-loved team, heading up NTCA Workshops and CTEF Educational Events in the Western region of the country.

Michael passed the baton to Robb Roderick, NTCA’s newest technical trainer and presenter. He has been in the tile industry for nearly 25 years. In that time he has worked with homeowners, builders, architects, and interior design professionals on projects in both residential and commercial settings. He has been a member of the NTCA for several years and is a CTEF Certified Tile Installer. He graduated from Missouri State University in 2000. Robb also served in the United States Army as a medic. He lives with wife Cherie and three dogs on a small farm outside of Springfield, Mo. Together with Mark Heinlein, who joined NTCA as technical trainer and presenter when longtime trainer Gerald Sloan left NTCA to join the technical team at MAPEI, and CTEF’s Scott Carothers, Roderick will tour the country bringing NTCA Workshops and CTEF Educational Programs to local audiences nationwide.


Neuse Tile celebrates 50+ years of tile in the Triangle

NTCA Five Star Contractor Neuse Tile Service celebrated more than 50 years of service recently with a gathering of local contractors and industry friends. “We wanted to include those who have made this milestone possible – our great customers, our supportive community, and our fantastic staff,” said Neuse vice president Paige W. Smith.

Owners Nyle Wadford and Paige Wadford Smith cut the cake at a celebration of Neuse Tile’s more than 50 years of service.

Owners Nyle Wadford and Paige Wadford Smith cut the cake at a celebration of Neuse Tile’s more than 50 years of service.

The business has survived the ups and downs in the area’s construction industry by focusing on providing quality tile installations for residential builders, individual homeowners, or commercial general contractors with multi-million dollar projects. Company president Nyle Wadford – a NTCA past president – explained, “We’ve adapted through the years on where we install tile, but we haven’t waivered on the quality of work we do. We’re still here because we consistently provide beautiful and long-lasting tile work, and our customers trust us to stand behind what we do.”

It’s not unusual for Neuse Tile to get a call from a homeowner who remembers one of the Wadford brothers from the company’s earliest days. They might only need a grout touch-up 40 years later, but they still count on Neuse Tile to provide them that family-owned service. “Most of our projects today are much larger, but we still love hearing from those early customers because it’s a tribute to our family and the quality of our work over time,” said Smith.

Neuse staff members enjoy the 50+year celebration in May. From left to right, they include: Juan Sauceda, Carlos Rodriguez, Randy Helton, Betty King, and Tim Billings.

Neuse staff members enjoy the 50+year celebration in May. From left to right, they include: Juan Sauceda, Carlos Rodriguez, Randy Helton, Betty King, and Tim Billings.

Neuse Tile Service was incorporated May 22, 1964, by founder Homer Wadford and his business partners, named for the township where the business was founded, right beside the Neuse River in Raleigh, N.C. In 1967, Homer’s brother Al came into the business and soon assumed the company’s leadership when Homer moved on to other pursuits. In 1987, Al’s son Nyle took over as company president, and daughter Paige joined the company in 1995. Today, the siblings lead North Carolina’s only residential Five Star Contractor recognized by the National Tile Contractors Association.

Neuse Tile Service is located in Youngsville and installs ceramic, glass, stone and quarry tile in residential and commercial projects throughout the Triangle. Sponsors of the celebration event were: Best Tile of Raleigh, Mosaic Tile Company, Florida Tile, and LATICRETE.

Ceramics of Italy Competition winners announced

Winners of the 23rd annual Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition were announced during the Coverings show. Sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Commission, the competition attracted high-quality submissions in residential, commercial, and institutional categories, evaluated by an international jury of design industry experts for their creative and effective use of Italian tile, the overall quality of the installation, the aesthetic beauty and functionality of the design, and the sustainable attributes of the overall project and materials used.

The winning firms received a plaque and a prize of $4,000 as well as a CEU-accredited trip to Bologna, Italy, to attend the Cersaie (September 26-30, 2016) exhibition of ceramic tile and sanitaryware as part of a VIP delegation. Contractors and distributors involved in each project also were awarded with a cash prize for their valued contribution.


Shinberg.Levinas was the Residential Winner for the Turnberry Residence.

Shinberg.Levinas was the Residential Winner for the Turnberry Residence.

Residential Winner – Shinberg.Levinas Architects won for the Turnberry Residence in Rosslyn-Arlington, Va. Jud Tile installed large-format thin Lea Ceramiche’s Slimtech Basaltina Stone Project porcelain tiles on this penthouse condominium on all floors and walls to create a minimal that created a smooth, continuous open flow from interior to exterior. Atlantic Link supplied the tile.


Residential Honorable Mentions went to DUBBLEDAM Architecture + Design and to Geoffrey A. Blatt Interior Design & Decoration.


Gensler was the Commercial Winner for the Kay Scholer headquarters.

Gensler was the Commercial Winner for the Kay Scholer headquarters.

Commercial Winner – Gensler won for Kay Scholer Headquarters in New York, N.Y. Port Morris Tile & Marble Company installed Atlas Concorde Marvel collection in Calacatta Extra throughout the law firm project in the elevator lobbies, reception, conference center, and cafeteria, creating a sleek, spacious interior. Nemo Tile supplied the tile.

The Commercial Honorable Mention went to Rottet Studio.

ARK was the Institutional Winner for the UJA Federation Community Complex.

ARK was the Institutional Winner for the UJA Federation Community Complex.

Institutional Winner – ARK was awarded for its work on the 50-acre UJA Federation Community Complex in Vaughan, Canada, which integrates centers for its multi-agency service and community outreach. The Mirage Stones SO Series extends public realm into the building while offering a minimal and elegant, easily maintained, slip-resistant surfacing solution, as well as creating a canvas for abstract ideas, expressing the ideals of Jewish community: charity, friendship, respect, and beauty. Olympia Tile supplied the tile that was installed by Calligaro Tile Co.

Florida Tile products now to include Microban protection

news-08Microban International is excited to announce its partnership with Florida Tile – to include Microban® antimicrobial product protection in a number of its ceramic tile lines. Florida Tile is owned by Italy-based Panariagroup, a leader in the ceramic sector, both in terms of style and product innovation, and a long-time Microban partner.

The patented Microban technology is built into the tile glaze during the manufacturing process, resulting in antimicrobial efficacy for the lifetime of the product, measured using established international laboratory protocols. It cannot wash off or wear away and helps provide ongoing protection against the growth and build-up of microbes by disrupting their functioning.

Benefits of Microban antimicrobial product protection include improved visible and invisible cleanliness, reduced odors and, ultimately, extended product life for the customers. The addition of Microban antimicrobial product protection demonstrates Florida Tile’s desire to stay ahead of the game by consistently innovating and implementing new technologies.

news-09Dal-Tile parent company is honored with Google Partner distinction

Mohawk, the parent company of Dal-Tile Corporation, is the first U.S. manufacturer as well as the first company in the flooring industry to become a Google Partner, a certification of excellence in digital marketing.

Google Partners are considered trusted online experts who are qualified and certified to manage the online marketing of other businesses. As a digital leader in the flooring industry, Mohawk already provides a comprehensive and successful suite of digital marketing tools to its retailers. This certification enhances those services.

Subsidiary Dal-Tile provides similar services. “As a subsidiary of Mohawk Industries, Dal-Tile also provides a comprehensive and successful suite of digital marketing tools to its retailers through its leading brands – Daltile, Marazzi, American Olean and Ragno.” said April Wilson, director, Brand Marketing, Dal-Tile.

“We provide consumer engagement opportunities through email marketing, lead generation, social media and syndicated content offerings,” Wilson added. “As the largest ceramic tile manufacturer in the U.S., it is important to provide the means for our retailers to deliver the highest quality product and service to customers. Marketing practices are just one piece of that puzzle.”

Google reviews its partners’ marketing campaigns to make sure they continue to meet its standards. Google Partners stay up to date on the latest Google tools and products by passing Google-administered certification exams every 12 months.

The Tile Shop Introduces Design Studio

MINNEAPOLIS, July 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Tile Shop (NASDAQ:TTS), a specialty retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles, setting and maintenance materials, and related accessories, today introduced an integrated digital Design Studio capability in all stores and online, allowing customers to personalize and visualize how an entire room or a distinct space will look upon completion of their project. The Design Studio gives customers and sales associates a collaborative platform to create customized 3D design renderings to scale. The Design Studio allows shoppers to input their specific room dimensions, choose from an extensive selection of The Tile Shop’s tile and stone products, trim and grout, visualize various tile layout possibilities and select accompanying furniture and accessories, including lighting.

The Tile Shop Design Studio

The Tile Shop Design Studio

The complimentary Design Studio takes the long established premium shopping experience at The Tile Shop, featuring fully decorated room-size displays and free design services, a significant step further. No appointment is necessary, and shoppers can access the Design Studio with the help of a store associate at any of The Tile Shop’s 118 store locations or independently online via a tablet, desktop or mobile device. Customers can register to use the Design Studio by simply creating an account with an email and password at, where they can also view a brief Design Studio video tutorial and save their projects along the way.

The Tile Shop’s Design Studio provides designers, tile setters, custom homebuilders and other trade professionals the opportunity to easily create and share their ideas with clients in their precise setting, and it arms homeowners with a tool to share their vision with friends, family and professionals providing help or advice on their projects.

Users can create unlimited renderings until they land on the design that they love, and the tool’s collaborative design capability means that anyone who receives a shared plan can edit it directly. Once a final design is chosen, the Design Studio also has the capability to tabulate exact product quantities needed to complete the project.

“With our new design tool, we have significantly improved our capability to simplify the design process for our customers while also bringing their customized ideas to life in an innovative way. However we engage customers — whether it be through a visit to one of our showrooms or online — it’s all part of a seamless tile design and shopping experience,” said Chris Homeister, CEO. “Design Studio creates an all channel, collaborative experience between homeowners, our sales associates and any trade professionals involved with a project. We know consumers want added confidence in their tile selections, and this delivers on that need. We’re excited to deliver an accessible tile design tool that allows our customers to create and share customized inspiration that further enhances The Tile Shop customer experience,” said Homeister.

The Design Studio offers several features and benefits for customers of The Tile Shop, including:

  • A new way to digitally create and visualize how tile and fixtures will look based on exact room dimensions
  • Collaborative design and project clarity – all plans can be shared and any recipient can make design changes and suggestions
  • Quick and simple online or in-store registration
  • Capability to select an extensive selection of The Tile Shop’s most popular tiles in a variety of shapes, patterns, sizes, colors, designs and materials, including marble, travertine, ceramic, glass, granite, metal, porcelain, faux wood, onyx, quartzite, sandstone, limestone and more
  • Option to change the tile layout of a floor or wall surface at the click of a button – from horizontal to vertical to herringbone
  • Ability to select from multiple grout colors
  • Option to incorporate illustrative fixtures such as lights, mirrors, bathtubs and vanities to create a complete room design
  • Simplified way to take designs and turn them into product orders for the exact quantities needed

Additionally, shoppers can request a cost estimate for an individual Design Studio rendering by sending it directly to The Tile Shop showroom in their area or by submitting it online at, and an associate will follow up to provide a project estimate. Alternatively, they can send renderings directly to their preferred Trade Pro for an estimate.

The Tile Shop simplifies tile shopping with the help of expert associates who can identify customer project needs, provide product recommendations and offer project planning and design suggestions, making it easy to purchase exactly what’s needed to transform a space.

About The Tile Shop
Founded in 1985, The Tile Shop is a specialty retailer of manufactured and natural stone tiles, setting and maintenance materials, and related accessories in the United States. The Company offers a wide selection of high quality products, exclusive designs, knowledgeable staff, home décor ideas and exceptional customer service, in an extensive showroom environment with more than 50 full-room tiled displays. The Tile Shop is a proud member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), and the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). The Tile Shop currently operates 118 stores in 31 states, with an average size of 21,700 square feet. The Tile Shop also sells products online at Join The Tile Shop (#thetileshop) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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