Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants (CTaSC) Announces Winner of CTaSC 2013 Stone Survey Contest

SAN DIEGO (June 05, 2013) — Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants, Inc. (CTaSC), a national company providing marketing research and business planning services, announced today that Tom Kotel, owner of Mid-America Tile, a major distributor and importer located in Chicago, IL, is the raffle winner of a $600 Apple Gift Certificate that can be used towards the purchase of an iPad, iPhone or any other Apple product.  Kotel was one of many participants who were part of the raffle for their participation and completion of the recent CTaSC 2013 Stone Survey.

The winner was randomly chosen from a record number of industry members that completed the 2013 Stone Survey conducted in February 2013 by CTaSC.  Over 782 manufacturers, quarries, importers, distributors, and fabricators were invited to take the stone survey.  The survey was developed by CTaSC using progressive online technology that ensured the confidentiality of all participants by compiling data anonymously.  Each person who completed the survey received a FREE summary of the survey results.

Participants answered a series of questions based on their business category.  Importers and distributors were quizzed on the types of stone they buy and sell, slab and tile sizes, sales by type of customers, and sales by types of applications.  Fabricators were asked to answer questions about their fabrication business, including equipment and tool brands, purchase and selling price of stone, annual sales, and types of finished products and stone types that are fabricated.

The 2013 Stone Survey results will be included in the upcoming Catalina 2013 Natural and Manufactured Stone Products Report prepared by Catalina Research, a prominent research firm, and Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants (CTaSC).  It will be published approximately June 17th, 2013.

The survey results will be further elaborated upon and integrated into the 2013 Natural and Manufactured Stone Product Report.  This comprehensive publication, which is being updated from 2010, will provide an in-depth analysis of the U.S. and Canadian stone industry based on U.S. government statistics and market resources.  Some of the topics that are covered include Trends and Forecasts for the stone industry and the current state of the economy, Sales by Type of Stone, Engineered/Quartz Stone, Manufactured Stone (made of concrete), End-use Markets Trends and Demographics, Economic Factors Effecting Demand for Stone, Imports and Exports, Installers, Retailers, Home Centers, Floor Covering Channels, and Internet Sales Channels.  It will also have sections on Quarries, Processing Plants, Fabricators Operation Costs and Profitability, Stone Industry Cost Structure and Competitive Environment, Industry Capital Expenditures and Machinery Costs.

Donato Pompo, president of CTaSC, underscored the importance of the information gathered from the survey by stating, “In-depth information about the stone industry is very hard to come by.”  He added, “It’s vital for all of us to know what’s going on in the market and understand how the current state of the economy will affect our business and our future opportunities.”

This is the fifth time CTaSC has conducted a stone survey (the first was in 2003).  For more information and pricing on the 2013 Natural and Manufactured Stone Product Report that will be released on June 17, 2013 contact CTaSC at 866-669-1550 or visit the website www.CTaSC.com.

TEC® Announces “Imagine Achieve” Photo and Video Contest

AURORA, IL… The TEC® brand announces its “Imagine Achieve” customer contest – allowing professional contractors to enter their TEC® tile, wood, carpet or vinyl installation projects to win $5,000.

Contractors nationwide are encouraged to submit photos or video of residential and commercial spaces that they envisioned and brought to reality using TEC® products. Projects must be 500 square feet or larger. Multiple entries (up to five entries per person) are allowed, and may include installations completed January 1, 2011 to August 31, 2013. Project entries must have two pictures or one video and a 100-word project description. Submissions are accepted at www.tecspecialty.com/imagineachieve now through August 31.

Industry expert judges will evaluate project submissions and select winners that best practiced imagination, craftsmanship and excellent use of TEC® products to overcome installation challenges. Judges include: Rose Mary Clyburn, president of H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc.; Dan Welch, president of Welch Tile; Jennifer Panning, president of Artisan Tile, Inc; and Michael Ansari, president of AIC Contracting, Inc. The judges will announce a first-place winner and five runner-ups on or about September 16.

 The winning contractor receives a $5,000 cash prize, and their business will be featured on the TEC® website and in TEC® advertising. In addition, 20 TEC® t-shirts are supplied to the staff of the distributor or retailer that sold the contractor their winning TEC® products.

Five runner-ups each receive a $500 cash prize. All contest participants get a free TEC® t-shirt and mention of their project on the TEC® website.

 Visit www.tecspecialty.com/imagineachieve for complete contest rules and criteria.

 The TEC® brand is offered by H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc. – a leading provider of technologically advanced construction materials and solutions to the commercial, industrial and residential construction industry. Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, the company’s recognized and trusted brands – TEC®, CHAPCO®, Grout Boost®, Foster®, AIM™ and others – are available through an extensive network of distributors and dealers, as well as home improvement retailers. For more information, visit www.hbfuller-cp.com


Coverings 2013, The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience, attracted an increased number of architects, designers and specifiers this year when the four-day event was held in Atlanta for the first time, April 29-May 2. The audience segment grew by three percent, drawn by the opportunity to see the latest innovations by more than 900 exhibitors from 50 countries, and attend more than 70 free education sessions, many of which offered free CEUs.  

Overall Coverings 2013 drew over 22,000 attendees, on par with last year’s show.  There was something for everyone from Distributor VIP programs, Contractor Days, on-site cov 2Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) and the new Stone Zone for fabricators. All the buzz was shared at Coverings Central, the show’s social media hub.

Visitors took in continuing advances in thin tiles, large format tiles and tiles that mimic other materials such as wood with increasing fidelity.

“Coverings has engaged with the robust community of architect and designers in the Southeast for the past 12 months and we are pleased that they took advantage of all the show has to offer,” said Karin Fendrich, Coverings show director. “We know our exhibitors appreciate the added opportunity of reaching the growing specifier audience. At the same time, all our audience segments enjoyed robust programming and educational opportunities.

One of the many ways Coverings built support among the local design community was by sponsoring for the first time a special Best Use of Tile or Stone category in the ASID Georgia Chapter annual design competition. The Gold Award went to Jo Rabaut, ASID, and Georgia Rappole, Allied ASID, Rabaut Design Associates, for their work on the

Porcelanosa Atlanta, GA showroom. Kris Kirchner, ASID, Lisa Hatch, ASID, and Lauren Higgins, ASID, of K2J, Inc. claimed the Silver Award for the Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton, GA. Rabaut and Rappole also took the Bronze Award for their Rothbloom Residence master bath in Atlanta.  

“Our ASID chapter greatly appreciated Coverings’ support of our design contest. The special category drew attention to the rich and varied design possibilities of tile and stone. We, of course, went to the Coverings show and it was fantastic. So many amazing new products to see,” said Janie K. Hirsch, ASID, J. Hirsch Interior Design, Johns Creek, GA.

cov pieAt the show itself, the daily activity at the Installation Design Showcase was of particular interest to the design community as well as installers. The Showcase matched four outstanding Atlanta-based design firms with four of the nation’s finest installation teams. Design talents Michael Neiswander and Margaret Nysewander of Atlanta’s ASD Inc., conjured a spectacular bar—“a conceptual art piece, really” says Nysewander. It featured all-red tiles from different Ceramics of Italy manufacturers, applied in a faceted manner by Joel Phinney, Senior Project Manager of Rimrock Design, the Lake City, FL-based installer.

Hospitality-design veterans Foreman Rogers and Allison Isaacs of Atlanta’s tvsdesign evoked the grand feeling of a large hotel lobby on a small scale specifying Plane 5-foot by 10-foot engineered porcelain ceramic wall panels from StonePeak Ceramics as well as glass and mirror tiles, all installed by Rod Owen of C.C. Owen Tile Company, Inc., in Jonesboro, GA.

For an in-patient room in a women’s birthing center, Mary Porter along with Craig Anderchak—both of Atlanta’s VeenendaalCave Healthcare, set a serene, relaxed mood with Italian wall tile that resembled light-color fabric and a wood-look floor. Installer Chad Love of David Allen Company in Birmingham, AL, welcomed the opportunity to work with Strata Mat, a new coupling membrane by LATICRETE. 

Mark Williams of Atlanta’s Mark Williams Design Associates designed a masculine 1920s Gatsby master bath modernized with Deco undertones, using Noble Company products, TOTO fixtures and Crossville tile. Installer Buck Collins of Collins Tile and Stone in Aldie, VA, appreciated working with Crossville’s Laminan very thin wall tile.

Attendee Jennifer Wood, ASID, RID, LEED GA, and President of the ASID California Central/Nevada Chapter, took advantage of the opportunity to see just how important the ongoing designer/installer partnership is to a successful project. “It was exciting to see real-time grassroots designing in accordance to team building,” she said.

Coverings 2013 offered excitement for every audience segment. Participants in the VIP Distributor Program brought customer groups to the show including builder/contractors as well as specifiers. Traditions in Tile, Robert F. Henry Tile Company, and Crossville Tile & Stone were among the distributors who hosted personalized tour groups at Coverings.

For installers, this year’s show offered qualified attendees the opportunity for the first time to take the test for the new Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers. One of the most popular features at Coverings were the Live Installation Demonstrations offering an up-close look at how top contracting pros handle a variety of challenging tile installations.

As the premier event for tile and stone contractors, Coverings 2013 offered free education, live demos, networking opportunities and the return of Contractor Days that offered tours of the show floor with lunch and happy hour as well as access to the Contractor Lounge.

The new Stone Zone offered stone fabricators the opportunity to experience the latest in equipment, tools, accessories and supplies. In the Stone Zone, the Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA) presented ongoing demonstrations and educational “how-to” topics for fabricators and installers on everything from seam polishing to honing and antiquing.

With so much going on at the show, Coverings Central was a vibrant interactive area offering Tweetups, new Quick Fire sessions on how to best use social media, plus complimentary sessions on creating harmony between tile and stone, and other elements such as fixtures, paint  and appliances. Coverings Central was also the perfect place to take in the PROJECT: Green display of outstanding environmentally respectful projects.

As the largest international exposition dedicated to tile and stone, the 900-plus exhibitors offered an unrivaled view of the most current industry trends including thin tile, large-format tile, and antibacterial and self-cleaning ceramics, among others. Further advances in high-definition digital inkjet printing resulted in tiles that mimic stone, wood, fabric, leather, metal and other materials with amazing precision and realism.

Thanks to all the activity at the show, exhibitors reported their investments paid off. First-time exhibitor InnoDeck doubled its space for next year.  Rodolfo Jacobsen, export manager for Portinari, noted, “It’s important for us to be at Coverings not only for the American market, but also because we have our clients here from the Caribbean, Central America and Canada.”

“Exhibiting at Coverings is the thing to do. Coverings is the only show we do,” said Robin Vojak, owner, CR Studio 4, Inc. “It’s a great opportunity to find new clients.”

Lindsey A. Waldrep, VP Marketing, Crossville, said her firm comes to Coverings not only to see distributors, but also to support TCNA, and to reach out to contractors. “We’re really big on training, education and demos and Coverings gives us the opportunity to do all those things,” she added.

Hector Narvaez, executive vice president, Marazzi USA, agreed that it’s important for his firm to be at Coverings to show new products and to partner with distributors.  Aparici Tiles has been exhibiting at Coverings for 15 years, said Carlos Aparici, because the American market is very significant for his firm and the show is the ideal place to introduce new designs to dealers and distributors.

Coverings 2014 will be held in Las Vegas, April 29-May 2, 2014. Registration will open this fall.

To learn more about Coverings, visit www.coverings.com.


awardAfter considering the work of hundreds of leading tile distributors across the United States and Canada, Ceramics of Italy is pleased to recognize Mosaic Tile Company as the recipient of the 2013 Confindustria Ceramica North American Distributor Award. The award is annually presented at Coverings to a prominent North American distributor in appreciation of their dedication to the promotion of Italian ceramic tiles in the marketplace. This year, Mosaic Tile Company, a valued partner for the past 40+ years, joins this hall of fame list of distributors. With ten showroom locations on the East Coast, the company has distinguished itself as a leading resource for colorful, design-driven, large-format and eco-friendly tile.

As in past years, a Supervisory Committee made up of members of the Confindustria Ceramica Board of Directors, compiled a list of criteria based on recommendations from Italian ceramic tile manufacturers. Judges’ considerations included: long term competence and skill as an importer and distributor of Italian ceramic tiles; preference for Ceramics of Italy products in light of their unique aesthetic and technical qualities; fair-trade practices in the commercial relationship undertaken with Italian manufacturers; and best showroom and corporate image. Based on these standards, Mosaic Tile Company emerged as the clear winner, standing out in each of the rigorous categories set forth by the Italian ceramic tile industry.

mosaic tSince 1972, Mosaic Tile Company has been dedicated to importing, distributing and marketing high-quality ceramic and porcelain tile to the United States. It is the largest independent distributor in the Mid-Atlantic, a region which has played an important role in the development of American culture, commerce, trade and industry. With ten design centers spanning from Baltimore, Maryland to Raleigh, North Carolina, the company prides itself on its superior service and wide selection of hard surfaces from around the world. Mosaic Tile Company’s current inventory features a long list of Italian manufacturers including: Atlas Concorde, Mirage, Monocibec, Serenissima, Florim, Marazzi, Del Conca, Edimax, Piemmegres, Imola Ceramica and Provenza, to name a few. Its tile gallery is filled with everything from large format porcelains to monocottura wall tiles to meet the needs of the commercial and residential markets. This past year, its sales of ceramic tiles accounted for over 75% of overall turnover.  

mosaic t3In addition to its wide range of tile from Italy, the jury was also impressed by the company’s commitment to sustainability. A supporter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Mosaic Tile Company brings “green” tile to the forefront of design. Its professionally trained design consultants are deeply educated on the environmental benefits of ceramic tile and up-to-date with today’s most important industry standards and environmental policies including LEED-compliant products, tiles made of pre- and post- consumer recycled material and setting materials that offer low VOC options.

Mosaic Tile Company’s 40+ year tradition of excellence will be celebrated at Coverings on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. During Ceramics of Italy’s annual cocktail party, Aperitivo Italiano, Vittorio Borelli, vice president of promotional activities for Confindustria Ceramica, will present Mosaic Tile Company with the 2013 North American Distributor Award. The party will be held on show site from 5:30–7:30pm in the Ceramics of Italy booth #2231. General Manager James Igoe will be on hand to accept the prestigious prize. The company will also receive a trip to Bologna, Italy to attend CERSAIE – the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings – from September 23-27, 2013.

Communities Across the U.S. Benefit from Daltile’s Legacy of Giving

Dallas, TX (May 6, 2013) – For more than 65 years, Daltile has helped homeowners, contractors and design professionals bring their visions to life with the widest range of quality tile and stone. But, leading the industry with best-in-class products isn’t enough.

“It’s important to not only to be leaders in our industry, but also in every aspect of our business,” says Jim Fanning, senior vice president, Marketing, Dal-Tile. “It is important to our team members and our culture that we give back to the communities that support us.”

With 2,000 employees in over 260 locations, Daltile’s touch can be felt across North America. And through its Legacy of Giving, the company is touching more people, more communities, and more organizations in need than ever before.

“Through our Legacy of Giving initiatives we support the worthwhile efforts of organizations like the ASID Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and many local organizations,” continues Fanning. “We’re committed to leaving a legacy of giving back to those who give so much to us.”

Recently Daltile’s Legacy of Giving has focused on two major programs:  becoming a national corporate partner for Habitat for Humanity, and a company-wide contribution to military members and their families.

As a national corporate partner of Habitat for Humanity, Daltile will support the organization’s mission with monetary donations, products and the time and talent of employees by hosting housing builds in major metropolitan markets across the U.S.

“Daltile is helping those in need by creating beautiful spaces and affordable housing through donations of time, talent, tile, and funding to Habitat for Humanity,” said Lori Kirk-Rolley, senior marketing director, Dal-Tile. “We’re thrilled to align with such a giving organization in the communities we’ve worked for many years.”

“Thanks to corporate partners, like Daltile, we’re able to continue to grow and meet our mission, and provide safe, affordable housing for families across the U.S. and around the world,” says Lysa Ratliff, senior director of Corporate Programs for Habitat for Humanity International.  With this assistance from Daltile, and its employees we’ll be adding to the more than 600,000 houses we’ve built and repaired and serve more than 3 million people worldwide.”

The Habitat for Humanity partnership kicked off on May 7 with the first housing build taking place in Houston, Texas. Following the Houston build, will be Phoenix on May 11, and then builds in major cities including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

In addition to working with Habitat for Humanity, employees recently honored U.S. and Canada military members and their families as part of Daltile’s Legacy of Giving. The passion to say “thank you” and to give back came across loud and clear at the company’s recent National Sales Conference.

“When it comes to giving, there is no greater example than our military,” said John Cousins, vice president, Daltile. “Every day, brave service men, women and their families make tremendous sacrifices to preserve our freedoms.” During the conference in Orlando, Florida, employees honored U.S. and Canadian military and their families. Events included assembly of 900 care packages and the hosting of three special Marine families for a much-deserved vacation.

Cousins continued, “Our efforts at the National Sales Conference are a small token of appreciation for the sacrifices made by our military families each and every day.”

“We all know the pressures working families face, and typically there’s little time for rest and relaxation,” said Cousins. “The pressures and stress are compounded for a military family when its father, mother, son or daughter is away for extended periods of time. To express our deep appreciation for their sacrifices, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to give a few families the gift of time to spend together.”

During the conference, two medically retired U.S. Marine Corps Sergeants, a Marine Gunner CWO-3 on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, and their wives and children enjoyed a four day vacation and their first trip to Disney World, courtesy of Daltile. The families were also honored during a special presentation, along with Daltile’s own employees who have served, or currently serve their country in the military.

Additionally at the conference, Daltile employees assembled care packages for American and Canadian active military members, wounded veterans and military families. Packages included necessities such as toiletries, as well as fun items like gift cards, headphones and playing cards. At the conclusion of the conference, Daltile employees loaded the care packages onto military trucks with the help of local Army and Navy Reservists for a grand send off.

“We are so thankful for the leadership position we have in our industry, and are thrilled to be sharing our success with the communities, and people, who’ve supported us,” says Fanning.  “Our legacy will be one of leadership, and giving back, for years to come.”


About Daltile

Daltile is an industry-leading brand of ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, manufactured stone and natural stone tile products.  Daltile products are distributed through over 250 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards and gallery design centers that service a robust network of trade customers.  Dedicated to innovative product development and distinguished style, Daltile provides a rich palette of quality products created to inspire residential and commercial designs. For more information, visit www.daltile.com and follow Daltile on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit Habitat.org, follow us at facebook.com/habitat or at twitter.com/habitat.org or join Habitat’s blog community at habitat.org/blog.



CoI_COV13_300x250(Atlanta, GA – April 2013) Ceramics of Italy is pleased to announce a new program targeted at the architectural and design community in the Southeast. In conjunction with the first Coverings show to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, from April 29–May 2, 2013, Ceramics of Italy has created an interactive A&D VIP program to supercharge the design industry show experience. In addition to a
pavilion packed with the newest tiles from nearly 80 different tile brands, the Italian tile industry will offer their architect and design guests daily guided trend tours and a traditional Italian lunch. VIP attendees will also receive a special A&D Goody Bag – filled with helpful information and some fun treats from Italy – and be entered to receive a free trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie 2013 (the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings) from September 23-27, 2013. www.cersaie.it

After registering for attendance at Coverings, interested designers and architects can register at bit.ly/coveringsvip and select their lunch and tour dates. Upon arrival in the Italian Pavilion, they should check in at the Ceramics of Italy Info Desk in Piazza Ceramica (Booth #2231). Located in the heart of the Italian Pavilion, Piazza Ceramica, designed by NY-based architectural firm e+i studio, will feature a large open gathering space, piazza-like steps, and a dedicated Italian culinary team in the popular café and coffee bar. It will also include an interactive exhibit for the 20th Anniversary of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition.

For more information, interested and qualified attendees can contact the Italian Ceramic Tile Industry through Novita` Communications at 212.528.3160 or [email protected]

MAPEI enters Turkey

The MAPEI Group, worldwide leader in chemical products for the building industry, acquires Wallmerk Construction Chemicals Building Industry and Trade, Inc

Mapei SpA – a worldwide leader in manufacturing chemical products for the building industry that produces more than 1,400 products for more than 55,000 clients all over the world mapei turkey– now operates 63 plants in 31 countries on five continents, thanks to the acquisition of 100% of the Turkish company Wallmerk Construction Chemicals Building Industry and Trade, Inc.

Founded in 2007, Wallmerk Construction is located in in Polatli OSB, one of the most important industrial zones in Ankara, which is a strategic area for Turkey. The company is located on a total surface of 247,569 sq. ft. (23 000 m2), with 53,819 sq. ft. (5 000 m2) of covered space. It is active in the production and trade of chemical products for the building industry, with a wide range of more than 200 products. Their offerings include waterproofing systems, special mortars and mortars for anchoring, tile adhesives and grouts, materials for thermal insulation, indoor and outdoor coatings, industrial floorings and other construction materials. In 2012, the company reached a turnover of more than 10 million Euros.

“We are very proud of this acquisition,” stated Veronica Squinzi, Internationalization and Business Development Manager of MAPEI Group. “It allows us to effectively enter the Turkish market, which we already serve through the import of our products produced in other European countries. Our internationalization strategy is based on a closer proximity to local customers and on a reduction of the transportation costs while constantly maintaining excellent quality thanks to our Research and Development centers. The Wallmerk acquisition moves us forward in this direction, allowing us to serve a very active and dynamic market in Turkey, which represents an important commercial connection from Europe to Asia.”

Squinzi cited positive economic figures in support of the acquisition. “Turkey has the third largest population in Europe, after Russia and Germany. It is the 16th  world economy and is expected to be among the 10 most economically developed countries by 2023. Turkey is ranked number two in the ceramic tile markets of Europe after Russia; moreover, it is the first cement producer and exporter in Europe and the third in the world.

“Today many investments are forecast for Turkey, both in the residential and non-residential buildings markets, and also in big infrastructural projects. In addition, the Turkish international contractors are among the most active in the world. It was natural for MAPEI to enter this market, as our goal is to become an important player in the Turkish building industry thanks to our technologically advanced products accompanied by a very strong, continuous environmental commitment. We are ready to take up this new challenge with great enthusiasm,” Squinzi concluded.

The steady internationalization of MAPEI Group is strictly in concert with the steady revenue growth of the last 20 years. In 1990, aggregate revenues totaled 150 billion lira; in 2012, they exceeded 2 billion Euros, with 70% coming from international markets.

Together with the increasing revenues, the number of subsidiaries and MAPEI plants has grown too. Among investments undertaken in 2012, the company opened a new plant in India, added a third plant in France and a second one in Poland.

In following its growth and internationalization strategy, MAPEI Group has constantly invested in Research & Development – research personnel account for about 12% of the workforce (7,500 total employees in 2012). Furthermore, 70% of investments are channeled into the production of eco-sustainable products that respect the strictest official standards and satisfy the international criteria of sustainability in the building industry.

MAPEI technology and quality are chosen by more and more customers and are used for the building of important projects worldwide: For example, the New Panama Canal, the dam “GIBE III” (the largest dam in the world) in Addis Ababa,  the Arroyo Maldonado galleries in Buenos Aires, Burji Khalifa in Dubai and Heathrow Airport in London, as well as indoor and outdoor sports fields and the infrastructures for the Olympic Games of the last decades (Beijing, London and the next in Sochi). Italian projects include important venues such as the Rome and Milan underground, the high-speed railway for Turin-Milan-Salerno and City Life in Milan.

For any further information, please visit our Website: www.mapei.com

For all other information, please contact: MAPEIi Marketing Dept. – Tel: +39 (0)2-376731; E-mail: [email protected]

March Tools of the Trade Bits and Cores

This month we take a look at bits & cores — essential sawing accessories for work with ceramic and porcelain tile, glass tile and natural stone.  For expanded product information, visit www.tileletter.com.

We are always looking for the best bits for glass tile, and new and better glass-cutting blades.  One bit in our toolbox is the Ridgid Diamond 1-3/8″, 35mm. – Gianna Vallefuoco, VALLEFUOCO Contractors, LLC, Rockville, MD.

I have not found one brand of regular diamond core bits better than others but a requirement that we have is that they be able to be used both wet and dry.  The carbide ones are pretty much worthless. – Scott Heron, Precison Tile Company, Lexington, S.C.

As always, you get what you pay for.  We like either Pearl or Alpha.  We pretty much don’t go outside these two unless it’s glass – then we use CR Lawrence, which is a glass-specific supplier of tools and consumables. – Martin Brookes, Heritage Marble & Tile Inc., Mill Valley, Calif.

As for core bits, here is a little tip.  We have taken 1/4′ plywood, approximately 3′ x 12″, and drilled different size holes at both ends to accommodate different size diamond core bits.  You can clamp the plywood to a tile, or just hold it in place to start your hole.  you don’t have to worry about the bit running across the tile. — Joe Kerber, Kerber Tile, Marble & Stone, Shakopee, Minn.

You’re wasting your time purchasing a bit that will not cut through hard, dense, porcelain tile efficiently. — Nyle Wadford, Neuse Tile Service, Youngsville, NC

Our core bits are supplied to us by European Tile Masters.

They produce Sigma tile cutters and their core bits are awesome.  Theer are a lot of core bits on the market that you get 2-3 holes out of and they’re shot.  We have some of the Sigma, but with well over 40 holes and still going strong! — Buck collins, Collins Tile and Stone, Aldie, Va.

The Pearl P5 core Bit features Pearl’s ADM



April 2013 Tools of the Trade – Mixers & Drills

mixers & drills


Candid contractor comments

It may not be too fashionable, but I have been using drills from Milwaukee tools to mix mortar for years: variable speed, indestructible, inexpensive! I have two of them in my shop now that are more than 10 years old. I also use Makita cordless drills for drilling holes and driving backer-board screws. 

– Greg Michael, CTI, Michael’s Custom Tile, Inc., NTCA Five Star Contractor

I am partial to the DeWalt 1/2” VSR 550 rpm/rev Spade Handle Drill 9.0 amp. purchased through our local Mann Tool & Supply. We have found that “big box” tools seem to be made differently. The drill has enough torque to mix large amounts of thinset to the correct consistency without having to add additional water that would weaken the bond strength. The variable speed is essential when big batches of sanded grout are needed and we can mix it at the lower recommended speeds. The spade handle makes it easy to control and the tough case is durable when one gets “accidentally” knocked to the concrete.  We also use the Troxell “Egg Beater” mixing paddle that reduces air infusion and is easy to clean.

Scott Heron, Precision Tile Company, NTCA Five Star Contractor

We look for ease of use, variable speed and long life in our mixers and drills!

Buck Collins, Collins Tile and Stone, NTCA Five Star Contractor

For me, it is important to have a drill that is versatile enough to mix not only thin-set mortars, but also the medium-bed and dry-pack mortars that can be difficult to mix in a bucket.

– John Mourelatos, Mourelatos Tile, Inc., NTCA State Director

We look at variable mixers and how easy it is to switch from forward to reverse. It helps if it looks easy to clean with no exposed nuts or bolts. We like DeWalt. It’s nice when the chuck can be operated without a chuck key.

Mike Weaver, Trendsetter Tile & Stone, NTCA State Director

When our company was in business, we really only used two types of mixers for thin-set and medium -bed mortars. One was a purpose-built mixer from Rubi, which came with a special paddle (like a giant paint paddle) that did not entrain air into the mix. The second type – and we had many more of these – was a Hole Hawg by Milwaukee, and Makita’s knock-off of the same drill (the Makita we liked because they were just as tough, but weighed less, so the helpers didn’t knock over the water buckets after spin-cleaning the paddle). We used these two drills because when mechanically set in low speed, they were the only ones that met the maximum allowable 300 rpm mixing speed allowed by mortar manufacturers. They were also extremely tough and durable. All the other drills out there (that are used by a majority of tile people I have met) have speeds ranging from 550 to 850 rpms, and this is just too fast, causing weak mortar by air entrainment, and lowering pot life and open time, all critical elements. We were always intrigued by Raimondi’s mixer which spins the bucket around a fixed blade. It would be perfect for large projects where all-day mixing with a couple of helpers is required.

Michael Whistler, NTCA technical consultant/presenter


tri mixerKraft Tool Co. introduces the Triangle Blade Mixer. The triangle shape was designed in coordination with the industry to thoroughly mix material including thin-set mortar, grout, and other concrete-based products. The design helps move material from the corners of the bucket for even mixing. Stainless steel construction allows for easy clean up. The 24” height is perfect for mixing in buckets. Made in the USA. www.KraftTool.com

MK Diamond’s lightweight, portable Canoga 70 Mixer is suited for mixing grout, thin-set mortar and polymer-based materials. It can mix all material from sand and cement to canoga 70self-leveling epoxies, epoxy-based mortar, and concrete toppings. The Canoga 70 is designed for operation by one person and is quiet enough to operate anywhere. Dual handle design features fixed handles in front for pouring and rear handles for transporting. This durable mixer has an all-steel frame and is powered by a high torque 1/3 horsepower electric gear motor. Batch capacity is 1/4 to 1/3 bag, 2 cubic feet. ww.mkdiamond.com.

rubimix 9Rubi’s Rubimix-9 mixer provides great versatility for mixing cementitious adhesives, resins, paints and other materials by an interchangeable mixing paddle with M14 connection. Improved ergonomics creates comfort and a two-speed gearbox and electronic controller optimizes the mixing of each material.  Made of lightweight and durable materials, 1200 watts, with double insulation. www.rubi.com

Bosch Power Tools offers their most innovative rotary hammer, the RHH181 18V Li-Ion SDS-plus® Rotary Hammer, featuring Bosch brand’s mixerinnovative CORE brushless technology and a new chiseling function that increases the product’s versatility. The hammer provides drilling and chiseling in a lightweight, compact size. A new line of lithium ion batteries to be used with this tool offers up to 65% longer runtime and advanced CoolPack™ technology for up to 100% more recharge-life. www.boschtools.com


TCNA Product Performance Testing Laboratory Welcomes Joe Lundgren as Laboratory Sales Representative

joe lundgren 7 resizeThe Tile Council of North America (TCNA) is pleased to announce that Joe Lundgren, of Joseph Lundgren Consulting (JLC), has joined the TCNA team to advance TCNA’s laboratory services. Mr. Lundgren’s extensive experience in the tile industry makes him uniquely well-suited to
connect his customers with TCNA lab services that can help build their businesses. Marketplace requirements, conformance to standards, and product research are all areas where the customer benefits from the synergy between JLC and TCNA lab services.

Mr. Lundgren began his career in tile in 1984 with American Olean and went on to ascend the ranks of management at Dal-Tile, becoming their Vice President of Marketing.

While with Dal-Tile, he represented the company on TCNA’s Board of Directors and played a key part in TCNA initiatives aimed at growing the tile industry and the organization. “We are excited to have Joe working directly with our laboratory,” says TCNA Executive Director
Eric Astrachan. “He has a great relationship with many of the top manufacturers and importers from around the world. Joe knows tile and the tile marketplace. We value his advice and know his insight into standards and quality will be invaluable to his customers. It is also personally
gratifying that his consulting company is a supporter of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation that TCNA and so many in the installation community have worked to advance.”

Mr. Lundgren will work closely with Claudio Bizzaglia, TCNA’s Director of Laboratory Services. “I always valued the work the TCNA did for the ceramic and stone industry while I was on their Board of Directors,” says Mr. Lundgren. “I look forward to promoting their testing
services, including the new glass tile standard [ANSI A137.2] to ensure our industry continues to grow with the same quality TCNA has driven since 1945.”

For more information about TCNA laboratory testing, contact Claudio Bizzaglia at [email protected] or (864) 646-8453. Mr. Lundgren can be reached at [email protected] and at (214) 641-7773.

1 97 98 99 100 101 112