Coverings ETC introduces Topaz Blue

Coverings ETC introduces Topaz Blue, the latest color in its Bio-Glass collection – and it’s made from 100% upcycled bottles taken from recycling centers, with no added colorants, epoxies or resins. Topaz Blue joins five other sustainable colors including White Diamond, Oriental Jade, Fossil Amber, Malachite, and Emerald Forest. Red Dot Design award winner Bio-Glass is stain proof and scratch resistant, making it ideal for kitchen counter-tops, backsplashes, vanities, and wall coverings. It is available in sheet sizes measuring 110″ x 49″ x 3/4″ thick. Bio-Glass is durable as granite and, being closed surface, is easily maintained.

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American Marazzi Tile introduces Perseo

American Marazzi Tile introduces Perseo, which interprets classic marble with sumptuous color movements accented by natural veining, created by advanced digital print technology in a porcelain tile. Each of the five colors in the collection corresponds to a particular type of genuine marble from ancient buildings, available in 24″ x 24″ rectified formats. Perseo offers 45% recycled content, no VOC emissions, and low lifecycle costs.



UofCTS extends date of Tile Installer Thin-set Standards Verification certificate

uofcts logoThe 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. Tile installers must retake the updated course every two years in order to stay current with new industry standards. Formerly, installers were required to retake the course annually.

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 (

Non-union contractors in the U.S. are also using UofCTS online training courses. And 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.  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 trainers took the Spanish version of the ITS course; they now refer the installers that take the certification evaluation in Mexico to take the UofCTS ITS course as a value-added course; and suggest it for Mexican architects to help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.

The ITS Verification course differs from the CTEF and ACT Certification Programs, which allow trained tile installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications that they meet the respective requirements. The ITS Verification course is intended to train new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and offers continuing education for experienced installers to ensure they know and stay current with industry standards and practices. Distributors, architects and designers, and general contractors also benefit from the ITS Verification course.

For complete information on the ITS Verification course and other UofCTS courses, visit Local 18 members should visit; CTDA members can visit and  TTMAC members can visit You can also obtain information on courses by calling 866-669-1550.

Daltile launches first ever Virtual Web Catalog

Daltile has launched its first ever  Virtual Web Catalog. This online platform is an interactive version of the physical catalog customers have trusted for more than 15 years, now with exciting features to discover Daltile’s extensive range of on-trend products anytime, anywhere. The Virtual Catalog is the latest addition to the company’s expanding suite of digital tools, including the successful re-launch of the brand website,, that provide savvy consumers with easily-accessible information and inspiration for tile and natural stone projects of any scale. The Virtual Catalog offers on-demand access, multiple catalog versions, online convenience for anytime access, customizable PDF conversion for downloading or printing, and social sharing tools to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. An app version compatible with Android and Apple devices is also available via Google Play or iTunes, respectively. From the Virtual Catalog, users can navigate directly to the newly re-launched Daltile website, with enhanced features that successfully achieved simplified navigation, easier access to information and even greater design inspiration for users.

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2014 Ceramic of Italy Tile Competition call for entries

2014_ceramics_of_italy_tile_competition2014 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now accepting entries. Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Association of Ceramics comprised of over 150 Italian ceramic tile manufacturers, and the Italian Trade Commission sponsor the competition, now in its 21st year. North America-based architects and interior designers are invited to submit new or renovated, domestic and international projects completed between January 2009 and January 2014 using Italian ceramic tile in the institutional, residential, and commercial/hospitality categories. The jury will judge the projects based on their creativity, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, selecting a winner in each category. The official criteria for the jury include: overall design of the project; aesthetic and technical quality of installation; degree to which tile enhances the setting; and the project’s sustainable attributes.

Winners will be announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference during Coverings in Las Vegas, Nev. from April 29 – May 2, 2014, where they will present their projects to the public. The winning architect/designer in each category will receive a cash prize of $4,000 and a 5-day trip to Bologna, Italy, to attend Cersaie 2014 – the world’s largest exhibition for ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the winning contractor/tile distributor team in each category. For details on the competition, which is free to enter, is online at www.tilecompetition. Deadline for entries is February 3, 2014.

Schluter-Systems’ warehouse catches fire

schluter_logoSchluter-Systems’ Plattsburgh, N.Y., operations suffered a fire on  November 9th around 5:20 p.m. A fire broke out at a storage building. Nobody was injured as a result of the fire. The storage building, which is a separate building from the manufacturing plant, was lost completely in the fire along with its contents. The contents of the storage building were pre-production inventory.

The fire was confined to the warehouse storage facility and arrangements are already being planned for the removal of the debris and the rebuild. This incident has not affected manufacturing or shipping operations at Schluter Systems L.P., and orders will not be affected.  The finished goods warehouse was also unaffected and is operating as usual. The warehouse holds ample inventory, so no shortages are expected.

Reinhard Plank, president of Schluter-Systems North America, said, “When a fire of this magnitude occurs, your mind immediately goes to the people that may be hurt. We are extremely grateful that both our employees and the fire fighters who managed the blaze so professionally are all fine. The storage building that burned down was used for raw material storage, and is separate from the manufacturing plant. While the material in the storage building was completely lost, we are already making arrangements for the debris to be removed, and planning the rebuild. The incident has not affected operations, and order fulfillment is fully operational. We cannot thank all the fire departments and state police enough for their quick response and for preventing further loss – this incident could have been far worse if it weren’t for them.”

Over two dozen fire departments from the area and neighboring counties came to help control and eventually douse the fire. Plank added, “Thank you to all who have called, emailed, and reached out through social media. We have heard from tile industry friends and colleagues, many Plattsburgh businesses, the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and local congressman Bill Owens, with offers of help and assistance. We are all safe and thankful to be part of such a supportive community.”

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Fox Ceramic Tile wins TEC® brand “Imagine Achieve” contractor contest

The TEC® brand has awarded Kevin Fox of Fox Ceramic Tile the grand prize in its “Imagine Achieve” contractor contest. Five runners-up have also been recognized by a panel of industry experts.

fox_grand_prizeThe judging panel included Rose Mary Clyburn, president of H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc.; Dan Welch, president of Welch Tile, and NTCA; Jennifer Panning, president of Artisan Tile Inc. and TCAA; and Michael Ansari, president of AIC Contracting Inc. These industry experts selected the winning entries based on imagination, craftsmanship and excellent use of TEC® products.

As the grand prize winner for his work on the Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA in Wichita, Kan., Fox – who is a NTCA Five-Star Contractor – received a $5,000 cash prize. Fox Ceramic Tile is featured on the TEC® website and in TEC® advertising.

“Winning this award gives us confidence that we are doing things right and running our business with success,” Fox said.

His project used TEC® products to aid with fast-paced tile installation at the 110,000-square-foot flagship YMCA. Fox Ceramic Tile installed large-format porcelain tile on the building’s lobby floor, ceramic and porcelain tiles throughout the building and porcelain mosaics in its pools, whirlpool and steam room. These varied environments presented installers with a challenge, and the judges noticed.

“It was a complex and labor intensive project,” said judge Michael Ansari.

Fox Ceramic Tile utilized a range of TEC® products, including HydraFlex™ Waterproofing Crack Isolation Membrane, Fast-Set Deep Patch, Fast Set Ultimate Large Tile Mortar, AccuColor EFX® Epoxy Special Effects Grout and AccuColor 100® 100% Silicone Sealant.

“Kevin Fox successfully used TEC® products to achieve a highly functional, beautiful space that will be enjoyed by thousands of people,” said Rose Mary Clyburn, president of H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc., the manufacturer of TEC® brand products. “We’re proud to see our products in this space.”

Fox Ceramic Tile and the five runners-up will be promoted by the company within case studies. The runners-up are also featured on the TEC® website and each received a $500 cash prize.

“There were a wide variety of entries ranging from small residential to large commercial projects – from across the country,” said Jennifer Panning, contest judge.

The five runners-up are:

1. Ron Mayo, Flooring Systems Inc., for Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon, Ill.

2. Matt Minshall, Uptight Floor Covering, for a hacienda-style custom home in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

3. NTCA Five Star Contractor  Nyle Wadford, Neuse Tile, for a pharmaceutical plant install in North Carolina.

4. Jeff Shultz, Metro Tile Contractors, for Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kan.

5. NTCA Five Star Contractor James Woelfel, Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co., for a college locker room in Arizona.

Photos of these prize-winning projects are available at The grand prize winner and runners-up will also appear in TEC® marketing materials.

For more information, visit

wedi Corp. invites top distributors and partners to Germany

wedi-1213wedi 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 included discussions and exchanges about marketing of wedi and tile products in the Americas, as well as camaraderie and recreation.

Q.E.P. Co., Inc. Plays Santa’s Elves this Year!

Boca Raton, FL – December 12, 2013– This holiday season Q.E.P. Co., Inc. participated in an innovative community collaboration with the Spirit of Giving Networks Holiday Gift Drive.
The Holiday Gift Drive is a community-wide holiday gift drive and distribution for 4,000 youth ages 1-18 served by 37 nonprofit agencies. Children are invited to participate by invitation only (to prevent duplication among agencies). The children fill out a gift wish and the tags are placed on trees around town. Q.E.P. Co., Inc. took a sleigh full of gift tags that filled up its corporate tree. Employees at Q.E.P. Co., Inc. selected a tag off the tree and went to town playing Santa’s elves making for a magical holiday.

q.e.p. co., inc. holiday tree (3)“It always means a lot to be able to give back throughout the year and especially around the holidays to make sure that every child in our community has a magical holiday, ” said Jamie Clingan, senior vice president of marketing.  “I am amazed and pleased with the response from our QEP employees. The support and caring in participating in fulfilling these children’s wishes was overwhelming.”
Q.E.P. Co., Inc., founded in 1979, is a world class, worldwide provider of innovative, quality and value-driven flooring and industrial solutions. As a leading worldwide manufacturer, marketer and distributor QEP delivers a comprehensive line of hardwood flooring, flooring installation tools, adhesives and flooring related products targeted for the professional installer as well as the do-it-yourselfer. In addition the company provides industrial tools with cutting edge technology to all of the industrial trades. Under brand names including QEP®, ROBERTS®, Capitol®, Harris®Wood, Nupla®, HISCO®, Ludell, Vitrex®, PRCI®, Porta-Nail® and Elastiment®, the Company markets over 5,000 products. The Company sells its products to home improvement retail centers, specialty distribution outlets, municipalities and industrial solution providers in 50 states and throughout the world


Florim USA has introduced its Pietra Romana Collection to North America. Beautiful porcelain tile for both residential and commercial applications, with the “look” of natural travertine found in yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s Rome.

Offered in four stunning colors,  Avorio, Dark Grey, Noce and Silver, Pietra Romana may be selected in the following large format modular sizes: 18 x 36, 6 x 36, florim uu12 x 24, 18 x 18 and 3 x12. The collection also includes bullnose pieces as well as 2 x 2 mosaics mounted on a 12 x 12 sheet.

It should be noted that the 6 x 36 tile is a highly contemporary size offering not just a classic look; but, because each unit is not overly long,  only one person is needed to install it. Generally speaking, longer porcelain tile units require two contractors and thus, end up costing customers considerably more. And, each glazed porcelain Pietra Romana tile is produced using High Definition Graphic (HDG) Technology, a state-of-the art inkjet process creating a stone-look that is so realistic… it might just cause a geologist to reach for his magnifying glass! 

According to Stefano Rabaioli, Florim USA’s VP Sales and Marketing, “Pietra Romana had a great response at the shows. The U.S. market loves travertine. Whereas initially, this product appears to be mainly residential, its 18 x 36 size has raised much interest in customers focused on the commercial marketplace, as well. The large rectangular format is an ideal size for lobbies, retail stores and even for wall applications. The color palette enhances classic earth-tones typically used in residential design, as a result this tile is an ideal choice for those wanting to invest in a house and increase its value by selecting one of the longest-lasting, most durable, flooring options in the entire industry!”

About Florim USA

Florim USA is one of the largest and most technologically advanced porcelain tile manufacturing facilities in all of North America. The company is a subsidiary of the Florim Group, which is located in the heart of Italy’s Sassuolo industrial district. To find out more about Florim USA, visit the website: or call 1.877-FLORIM 1.

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