An Age-Old Graining Technique Meets Digital Technology in Story Teller, the Latest Porcelain Tile Collection From Crossville

The Look of the Ancient Art of Cerusing Results in Nuanced Tile Style in Four Color Pairings

Crossville, Tennessee – Crossville, Inc. has announced the launch of its new Story Teller porcelain tile collection. This unique wood-look collection captures the graining effect achieved through the antique art of cerusing with modern digital technology to provide a mirrored, light-and-dark woodgrain appearance. Cerusing is a 16th-century contrasting technique developed to highlight the graining of wood, yet its stunning effects are as current today as when they were first discovered long ago.

Story Teller in Fact

Story Teller in Fact

“Story Teller has a key story to tell. Apart from being a beautiful and very realistic wood in porcelain tile, it also works as four color pairs. These are light and dark versions of tones inspired by cerusing and reverse cerusing,” explains Scott Jones, Crossville director of product development. “If a designer wanted, Story Teller offers built-in coordination for wall-to-floor or floor-to-floor transitions.”

Each of Story Teller’s four pairs of colorways—Satiric and Serious, Falsity and Fact, Villain and Hero, and Evil and Good—is designed to reflect the pale and deepened tonalities generated by this cerusing process.The contrasts offer visual transitions between floors and walls and strike a unique balance in design.

Story Teller in Satric

Story Teller in Satric

Story Teller comes in a 6” x 48” plank tile size that is ideal for creating a variety of custom tile patterns. Designers may also incorporate the collection’s standard 2”x2” square mosaic or the 1”x6” brick mosaic to add interest to any design. Additionally, the covebase and bullnose trim finish installations in style.

Responsibly manufactured in the U.S., Story Teller is suitable for interior floors and walls and covered exterior walls in commercial and residential settings. It’s a certified porcelain product and GreenSquared certified.

For more information on this collection, visit


Aliquippa, PA (November 4, 2019) – ARDEX Americas, a leader in the manufacture of specialty building products, announced today the launch of ARDEX FEATHER FINISH XF™ Self-Drying, Cement-Based Finish Underlayment.

ARDEX FEATHER FINISH XF joins ARDEX FEATHER FINISH® and ARDEX’ full line of high-quality patching compounds designed to eliminate flooring installation problems associated with disbonding, crumbling, mold, mildew and staining. 

Like classic ARDEX FEATHER FINISH, ARDEX FEATHER FINISH XF is a self-drying, finishing underlayment, designed to provide a smooth surface prior to the installation of floor covering over a variety of substrates. It installs from a true feather-edge, up to unlimited depth in defined areas and can receive floor coverings in as little as 15 minutes. Also suitable for castor wheels, ARDEX FEATHER FINISH XF is mold and mildew resistant.

Jody Proudfit, ARDEX Product Category Manager Patching and Finishing, said, “ARDEX FEATHER FINISH XF is a welcome addition to our patching solutions. It’s a great product that you can trust to deliver the highest quality just like our classic FEATHER FINISH.” He added, “FEATHER FINISH XF offers our customers another excellent choice when it comes to patching solutions, one worthy of carrying the esteemed FEATHER FINISH brand.”

To learn more about the ARDEX FEATHER FINISH XF, and all of our patching solutions, please visit

Expanded Opportunities at Las Vegas Market & The International Surface Event

Leading Design Trade Shows Cooperate to Facilitate Cross-Market Opportunities

Benefiting the retail and design community, Las Vegas Market and The International Surface Event announced today a partnership for the upcoming markets in January 2020. The collaborative effort provides buyers with free and continuous shuttle service between the two market’s exhibit venues – the World Market Center Las Vegas and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center – on Tuesday, Jan. 28, and Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., as well as free access to both events. Qualified registrations are free, although attendees will be required to register separately for each show.

Las Vegas Market is a world-class experience that’s simple, efficient, and exciting for exhibitors, designers and buyers. Explore and source from over 4,300 complimentary resources in furniture, home décor & gift products on the Las Vegas Market state-of-the-art campus located in downtown Las Vegas, just a 15-minute ride away from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center where The International Surface Event exhibition is being held. Register for Las Vegas Market

“Las Vegas Market is delighted to partner with The International Surface Event and its three major floor coverings tradeshows to provide marketgoers with new shopping opportunities within related product categories,” said Dorothy Belshaw, executive vice president, chief marketing and digital officer for International Market Centers. “This collaboration will bring more visitors to Las Vegas Market and provide our tenants with new potential sources of business, new channels of retail distribution and new connections with buyers.”

Each January, industry from around the globe flocks to Las Vegas for market at The International Surface Event (TISE): SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo, the largest North American floor covering, stone, and tile industry event. TISE is a discovery for the senses as thousands of surface material brands are presented in over 800 exhibit spaces offering their newest product launches, expanded product lines, equipment innovations, tools, and technology, the latest in installation techniques, and so much more | all across an expanse of over 1 million square feet of facility incorporating exhibits, show features, product showrooms, demonstrations, and educational opportunities. Register for The International Surface Event

“TISE’s vision is to create a space where buyers and sellers gather to purchase products, gain design inspiration, and develop their businesses. The Las Vegas Market expands this opportunity for retailers and designers through this collaboration,” said Dana Hicks, Show Director, The International Surface Event. “TISE and LVM are two crucial events for retail and design industry professionals. This opportunity to extend their buying and sourcing possibilities concurrently in Las Vegas, while facilitating cross shopping by buyers in related home product categories, adds­­ convenience and saves valuable time. We look forward to hosting Las Vegas Market attendees at TISE 2020.”

Winter 2020 Las Vegas Market runs Jan. 26 – 30, 2020, at World Market Center Las Vegas, and The International Surface Event runs January 27 – 30, 2020, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Additional information on the details of the partnership, shuttles, etc., visit

Ceramics of Italy celebrates successful first edition of the Cersaie Young Distributor Program

Cersaie 2019 at BolognaFiere

(Bologna, Italy – October 2019) Ceramics of Italy is pleased to announce the successful first edition of the Cersaie Young Distributor Program – a new, annual initiative sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and EdiCer SpA (the organizer of Cersaie), in collaboration with CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors Association). On the occasion of Cersaie – the world’s premier exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings – Confindustria Ceramica and EdiCer SpA selected three young North American distributors to accompany a large delegation of journalists, architects and designers on a trip to the fair in Bologna, Italy from September 23-27. This initiative advances the association’s goal to bring a new generation of distributors to the show and expose them to new products and tile applications being developed by Italian manufacturers.

Cersaie Young Distributor Program

From Left: Giovanni Savorani (President of Confindustria Ceramica), George Braica, Eric Glocer, Justin Sheppard, and Emilio Mussini (Chairman of the Confindustria Ceramica Promotional Activities Commission)

According to Armando Cafiero, Managing Director of Confindustria Ceramica, the program aims to help foster strong relationships between Italian tile manufacturers and rising talent in the tile distribution industry.

“Cersaie is the largest and most important ceramic tile event in the world,” says Cafiero, “and we wanted to be the ones to shepherd the next generation of flooring distributors through it, giving them insider access and personally connecting them with our manufacturers.”

The participants were selected based on demonstrated leadership in their companies, a passion for the industry, and a desire to learn more about Italian ceramic tile. The 2019 Cersaie Young Distributor Program included:

  • Eric Glocer, PCC Tile, Vice President; Cape Coral, FL
  • George Braica, Quality Wood Floors, VP of Operations; Phoenix, AZ
  • Justin Sheppard, MII Distributors, President; Bossier City, LA

The program included a guided tour of the show, educational sessions on sustainability and tile installation, and a visit to an Italian tile factory in Sassuolo to see the production process firsthand. In the words of the selected participants, the program succeeded in creating new business opportunities for their companies.

Città Della Posa ("Tiling Town")

Città Della Posa (“Tiling Town”)

“This experience has armed me with more resources to solve my customers’ problems, like novel brands and product categories,” says Eric Glocer. “I will be importing from two new factories in Italy, and will be bringing in slabs for the first time. It also connected me to other distributors who are competing in different markets, allowing us to share best practices and pool resources.”

“Cersaie blew me out of the water with how much there is to know about ceramics,” states George Braica. “The whole concept of porcelain slabs versus quartz or granite was a whole new concept to me, coming from the hard surface flooring industry.”

Justin Sheppard also commented, “I was reenergized to get back to the States and show all of my customers the new products.”

Cersaie 2020 will take place at BolognaFiere in Bologna, Italy from Monday, September 28 to Friday, October 2. Ceramics of Italy looks forward to continuing this program and further strengthening relationships with new generations of North American distributors in the years to come.

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Ceramics of Italy is the trademark for Italian manufacturers of ceramic tile, sanitaryware and tableware that are members of Confindustria Ceramica. For more information visit or follow Ceramics of Italy on Facebook (@CeramicsOfItalyNA) and YouTube (@LaCeramicaItaliana) as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (@CeramicsOfItaly).


iQ Power Tools, manufacturer of premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems, announces its War On Dust 2019 (WOD) Campaign is going international.

Following an amazingly successful “War on Dust” in the States, the iQ team is now packing up and taking to the streets of Australia with the entire arsenal of iQ Power Tools.

Mark Moskwa, Top Notch Tools (l.) with an associate from Tilers Trade Outlet

Bringing its awareness and education campaign overseas, iQ marches on continuing its crusade against silica dust… on a worldwide basis.

The iQ trailer will be visiting facilities of dealers, contractors and stone masons during the tour, exhibiting its premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems to staff, tradesmen and apprentices. The primary focus of this campaign is to raise awareness about the critical dangers of silica inhalation, and in addition to doing so, offer training on ways to eliminate dust and slurry mist at the jobsite.

“We’ve had the opportunity to partner with the American Lung Association to help save lives,” added Paul Guth, iQ’s President. “Now, we are reaching out to the Lung Foundation Australia to continue our mission.”

The Australian & New Zealand WOD will not only help contractors become more aware of the serious dangers of silica; it will also showcase iQ’s efficient options to get their jobs done faster and safer. Each stop allows contractors to test iQ’s products firsthand, and ask any questions they may have about the company’s product line.

iQ’s Line of Tools “ready to deploy” on the War on Dust in Australia & New Zealand.

Guth added, “Our dealers are vital to the success of this tour and more importantly, in helping us to bring about silica awareness across the globe. We are committed to supporting our dealers, our customers and the construction industry… as we showcase efficient options to eliminate the hazards of silica.” 

“Our supporters can follow the tour on all of our social media platforms,” stated Sarah Hurtado, iQ Marketing Communications Manager. “Health and safety issues are a global concern. We are working to implement options that help save lives. By taking our message worldwide, our chance of saving more lives greatly increases.”

DuPont Partners with Habitat for Humanity for Community Builds and Neighborhood Revitalization Projects Across the United States

One of Habitat’s first national partners in 1983, DuPont continues the legacy started by the company’s Performance Building Solutions business more than 35 years ago

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 23, 2019 – DuPont, a global science and innovation leader, brought the promise of its recently announced renewed corporate partnership with Habitat for Humanity to life this month with dozens of DuPont employees participating in key build projects across the country. Dedicated to bringing homeowners’ dreams to life, DuPont provides significant volunteer support and donates energy-efficient building products for renovations and community builds, which have supported the rehabilitation of more than 50,000 homes in nearly 20 countries worldwide.

“Providing safe, affordable shelter is critical to many communities across the globe and we are proud to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity International to help them build efficient, sustainable homes,” said Tim Lacey, Global Vice President & General Manager, DuPont Performance Building Solutions & Corian® Design. “By donating energy-efficient materials that deliver increased thermal barriers and provide air and moisture protection around gaps and cracks, we’re helping residences lower energy bills, achieve healthier living environments and provide more comfortable living conditions.”

President and Mrs. Carter mark the announcement of the 2019 Carter Work Project by passing a hammer to Danny Herron, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville. The announcement came at the closing ceremony of the 2018 project in Indiana. Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.

As a testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to creating healthy environments for people to live, work and play, DuPont’s Performance Building Solutions business participated in this year’s 36th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. On Oct. 6, 2019, 17 employees, in addition to hundreds of Habitat for Humanity volunteers from across the country, joined former President Jimmy Carter and his wife in the north Nashville neighborhood of Park Preserve to build 21 affordable homes in one of the city’s five affordable housing communities. In its largest build to date, volunteers worked alongside Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks, Nashville locals and longtime Habitat volunteers who have joined the Carters’ mission. Since 1984, President and Mrs. Carter have become tireless advocates, active fundraisers, and some of the most hands-on construction volunteers, renovating and repairing 4,331 homes total.

In addition to large community builds like Carter Work Project, DuPont Performance Building Solutions also recently supported Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz, which brings together professional homebuilders from all over the United States every year for one shared purpose to build, repair and revitalize safe and affordable housing for communities in need of a decent place to call home. As a 2019 Silver sponsor, employees participated in this year’s annual week-long project where thousands of professional homebuilders volunteered across the nation, working alongside Habitat homeowners.

Further serving its communities, work continued with local organizations, businesses and volunteers within the company’s second largest site, in Midland, Michigan. Hosted by Midland County Habitat for Humanity, each year the annual Neighborhood Revitalization event empowers residents and homeowners to revive their own neighborhoods to enhance their quality of life. With more than 275 homes reconstructed over the last 10 years, the effort focuses on three main areas: Home Preservation, Critical Home Repair and Weatherization. As part of this year’s Neighborhood Revitalization,15 houses were repaired with roof repair and replacement, driveway removal and replacement, gutter work, screen door replacement, painting and landscaping, amongst other projects.

As part of the longstanding partnership with Habitat for Humanity, DuPont Performance Building Solutions supports builds with various products which enable more sustainable homes:

  • Styrofoam™ Brand Insulation is the original extruded polystyrene foam providing thermal insulation properties to a building structure which leads to better temperature stability inside the home.
  • Great Stuff™ products are designed to seal gaps and cracks in and around the home creating a more energy efficient interior by eliminating leaks that account for up to 40 percent of heat loss in a home.
  • Tyvek® Homewrap® is a unique, breathable housewrap that protects against harmful, damaging wind and rain that penetrates the exterior cladding by protecting against air and water intrusion.
  • Froth-Pak™ Foam Sealant is a low pressure, two-component foam used by professional contractors, that fills cavities, penetrations and cracks.
  • Weathermate™ Brand Housewrap solutions include a range of construction tapes and housewrap. WEATHERMATE™ solutions are durable with tapes featuring excellent adhesion properties helping protect homes and buildings against moisture and air intrusion.

iQ POWER TOOLS Wins a 2019 Pro Tool Innovation Award

iQ Power Tools, manufacturer of premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems, received an award for its iQ426 HEPA Vacuum at  the 7th Annual Pro Tool Innovation Awards (PTIA).

Judges, who consisted of up of contractors, construction business owners, tradesmen, and media professionals from across the United States, voted on entries submitted by top global manufacturers. The response to first seeing and learning about this new product was outstanding. A number of judges were emphatic about learning of iQ’s cyclonic filtering system on their dry cut tile saw and about its “fantastic design.” They were excited to learn about the technology behind the saw’s dust extractor. They were impressed with the way it uses cyclonic air movement to pull in and deposit heavier particles on its way through. And last, they were in agreement that the main benefit is that so little of what you collect reaches the filter, greatly extending its life. 

The Award Winning iQ426 HEPA Vac

The 2019 Pro Tool Innovation Awards recognize best-in-class products that are truly ahead of their time. This year, over 360 products were submitted in several dozen categories, attempting to win a 2019 Pro Tool Innovation Award. “Each year, manufacturers reach further and further to innovate and improve their products, helping improve job site efficiency, safety, and productivity. While incremental advancements are the norm, some products truly distinguish themselves in the industry and deserve particular recognition. Business owners, builders, contractors, and tradespeople can look to the Pro Tool Innovation Awards to find the products that will help them work more quickly, safely, and with greater efficiency,” said Clint DeBoer, Executive Director of the Pro Tool Innovation Awards. “These new tools also tend to save money in either material costs or time-savings. That’s the kind of innovation that often speaks the loudest!”

Paul Guth, iQ’s President commented, “We were quite excited to learn that the HEPA Dust Extractor was a winner. The awards are judged in part by professional tradesman who use tools like ours every day. It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers.”

Sarah Hurtado, iQ’s Marketing & Communications Manager added, “iQ Power Tools was founded by third generation masons who owned and operated successful masonry companies for over 30 years. The company started out by building tools to solve its own dust problems, but soon realized these problems were affecting all contractors.”

Guth concluded, “Decades of experience taught us about dust problems; the mess, the added expenses, and the threat to the health and safety of our industry. Today, we build smart, tough power tools that eliminate these problems. We are grateful to be recognized by the PTIA in our efforts to manufacture products that contribute to safer job sites, healthier work practices and a more sustainable construction industry.”

In Remembrance of Tom Lynch

Tommy Don Lynch, age 75, passed away on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 in Burlington, NC after a long battle against cancer.

Tom spent his entire working life in the Ceramic Tile Industry, starting while he was a senior at Sun Prairie Senior High School in Wisconsin.  In 1967 at the age of 23, Tom had completed union apprenticeship training programs for the installation of ceramic tile, natural stone, terrazzo, carpet and resilient flooring. Hard work and dedication propelled Tom to quickly become the top estimator and project manager for the L&O Tile Company in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Lynch with family

Lynch with family

By 1969 he started his own ceramic and stone tile contracting company; Madison Tile Company. During this time Tom also served as the sub contractor liaison person to the Madison, Wisconsin chapter of The Associated General Contractors (AGC).

Eighteen years as a self-employed tile contractor in Wisconsin and then Alaska performing large commercial projects as well as residential installations uniquely prepared Tom to enter the allied products field. In 1987, he became a technical adviser to the Hydroment Company in Long Beach, California. Tom was then recruited by the Mapei Corporation to relocate to Chicago, IL and become that company’s Technical Services Manager. 

In 1992, Tom returned to his native state of Wisconsin to become an independent manufacturer’s representative and technical consultant to the industry. Tom’s expertise in technical fields as well as his business savvy made him a valuable advocate for the ceramic tile installer as an industry consultant. He published numerous technical papers and articles throughout his career. In 2008 he had relocated to North Carolina.

Tom was also an author, inventor and avid outdoorsman. Survivors include: his wife, Mary Jo Lynch; children, Wayne Lynch, Bret Lynch, Kelly Jo Duprey and Adam Lynch; brothers, Gerry Lynch and James Lynch

A memorial service took place at St. Mark’s Church in Burlington, NC on October 25th.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to REACH, a St. Mark’s Church building project for the next generation -a cause near to Tom’s heart. To donate visit

MAPEI Group’s President Passes Away

Dr. Giorgio Squinzi

Deerfield Beach, Florida – It is with great sadness that the MAPEI Group announces the passing of its President, Giorgio Squinzi, who died in Milan on the evening of October 2.

Born in 1943, with a degree in industrial chemistry, Giorgio Squinzi (a second-generation businessman) became the Sole Administrator of MAPEI in 1984 after the death of his father, Rodolfo, who founded the company in Milan in 1937. Under Giorgio Squinzi’s leadership, the company grew over the years to become one of the world’s leading players in chemical products for the building industry and currently operates in 56 countries through 89 subsidiaries. The MAPEI Group, which employs over 10,500 staff, manufactures across five continents through 83 plants in 36 countries. This internationalization process began long ago; the Group’s first foreign offices opened in Canada back in 1978.

Not only did Giorgio Squinzi devote his life to his family and company, his innovative vision and social work made an important contribution to business associations, the world of sport, and the wider community in his home city and the rest of the world.

In 1996 he was awarded the “Ambrogino d’oro” (one of the city’s highest awards) by the Mayor of Milan for his contribution to the city in the realms of both business and sport, and in 1998 he was knighted for his services to industry. In 2013 the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, bestowed upon him the title of Grand Officer of the “Order of Merit of the Italian People.”

Giorgio Squinzi held important posts in both Italian and international business associations. He was President of the Italian Federation of Chemical Industries from 1997-2003 and then again from 2005-2011. He was also the leader of CEFIC, the European Council of Chemical Industries, which represents 29,000 companies in this sector, for a two-year period (2010-2012).

He was the President of the Italian Industrial Federation from May 2012 to May 2016.

Giorgio Squinzi’s motto was “Never stop pedaling,” epitomizing his approach to work and life. The expression actually comes from cycling, a passion that he inherited from his father, Rodolfo. This love of cycling led Giorgio Squinzi to sponsor the MAPEI professional cycling team that won a total of 654 races from 1993-2002, reaching the very top of every international ranking. MAPEI’s links to cycling go way back and still continue today through its partnership with the UCI (International Cycling Union): MAPEI is the Main Sponsor of the Road World Championships.

Giorgio Squinzi’s love of sport also extended to soccer. He took over Sassuolo Calcio in 2002. In just a few years, the club was promoted from Serie C2 to Serie A and is now firmly established among the leading clubs in Italy’s top division.

Opera was another of  great passions. He always attended the first night at La Scala in Milan and was a great opera fan. He was a member of the Opera House’s Board of Directors from 2016, and MAPEI has been a Permanent Founding Member since 2008.

His expertise, precision and passion will now be taken up by his children, Veronica and Marco, who were appointed as Chief Executive Officers in July 2019. They will lead the MAPEI Group along the path first trodden with such far-sighted vision by Rodolfo and then Giorgio Squinzi.

Polycor Launches New Hardscapes & Masonry Product Line

Global leader in architectural and commercial natural stone building products now offers sustainable and durable stone hardscapes products


Quebec City, October 16, 2019 – Polycor, the world’s largest natural stone quarrier is expanding into an entirely new market segment with the launch of its new Hardscapes & Masonry (H&M) product line this week at the Hardscape North America trade show in Louisville, Kentucky. The new product line was formed via mergers with Swenson Granite Works and Indiana Limestone Company, and most recently Elliott Stone. Leveraging these companies’ combined centuries of experience, Polycor is bringing unmatched expertise in the production of natural stone to landscape and masonry products, positioning Polycor Hardscapes & Masonry as the provider of choice for landscape architects and contractors across North America.

The new product line brings the aesthetics and durability of natural stone to the hardscapes market with easy-to-install products including pavers, pool coping, steps and treads, veneers, walls and caps, edging, accents, posts and ornamentals. Polycor Hardscapes & Masonry products are 100% natural stone that has been sourced responsibly and manufactured in the U.S.

“From the curb to the backyard, using natural stone truly pays for itself,” said John Machunis, Vice-President, Polycor H&M Sales. “We are confident and feel very strongly that our natural stone products will answer the market’s demand for organic materials with very low VOC emissions and impact on the environment. Not only is natural stone sustainable, it also meets the aesthetic and performance needs of modern design and in many cases easy to install.”

Polycor natural stone hardscapes and masonry products are well-suited for landscaping and outdoor applications that withstand freeze-thaw cycle in northern climates and the scorching heat of southern summers. Natural stone products also resist cracking, flaking and discoloration, maintaining their natural and unique appearance throughout their lifespan.

In addition, natural stone products are inherently more sustainable than some alternatives, potentially contributing to green building codes and standards.

The Polycor family of companies now includes 1,200 employees, more than 50 quarries and 18 factories across North America and Europe, plus 9 retail stores and 11 offices worldwide.

For more information, including product information, inspirations galleries and how-to guides, visit

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