August 1, 2015

Arley’s 13th Annual Golf Classic and Tile & Stone Expo more than exceeds expectations

Arley Wholesale, Inc. ( , a family-owned, Scranton, Pa.-based, third generation wholesale supplier of ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass mosaic tiles and installation materials, once again provided three successful days of business, fun and major league networking. The firm hosted its 13th Annual Arley Wholesale Tile & Stone Exposition on Tuesday, June 16th at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pa., concluding a three-day non-stop celebration that included the hugely popular Arley Golf Classic on Monday.

Without question, this was the most successful Arley Wholesale Tile and Stone Exposition to date. Jim Carra, Arley’s Northeast Regional Vice President stated, “Our customer base keeps getting stronger. Our product line is constantly updated to best meet their needs. And every year, our June event is better than the previous year’s. What can I say, life is good!”

Joe D’Agostino of Madison Carpet One, Tonawanda, N.Y., a longtime Arley customer added, “We look forward to coming here every year. There are so many positives gained by attending. In particular, the great networking opportunities.”

A major highlight was the annual keynote speech delivered after Sunday’s dinner by Scott Levy, Arley Executive Vice-President of Operations. He paralleled WWE wrestling champion John Cena’s catchphrase “The Champ is here!” to the swagger successful retailers should take regarding privately branded products. For the last few years, a key Arley theme, “We want to help make you the brand,” has focused on helping retailers become more involved in private labeling. Levy was emphatic that consumers simply do not come into a tile and stone showroom requesting products by brand name; they depend on the retailer to be “The Champ” relative to offering the strongest product and installation recommendations. Furthermore, Levy explained the myriad of benefits gleaned by those offering products under their own brand. “In particular,” he emphasized, “Your customers will realize that you’ll stand fast behind any product bearing your company’s name.”

He continued on how flooring retailers must be “The Champ” not just to their customers, but to their co-workers and suppliers, as well. Levy stated, “You are in business… this is your life. This is not merely a job to any of us… it is everything. Your family, your employee partners…. they are all counting on you to continually be ‘The Champ.’”

Michael Dean Ester, a comedian nationally recognized for working the college and cruise ship circuits, followed Levy’s speech. Exceedingly entertaining, part of his high-energy “shtick” involved bantering with those in the audience; a highlight being the back-and-forth between Ester and David Lowe, Arley’s Vice President of Sales, one known for having a unique sense of humor of his own, as well.

Monday’s golf outing held at the nearby Glen Oak Country Club included well over 100 participants vying for lowest net team score, closest to the pin and longest drive prizes. Post-golfing was topped off by a patio cocktail hour, followed by Arley’s awards dinner at the Glen Oak main dining room. Directly thereafter, David Lowe functioned as Master of Ceremonies, delivering the post-dinner golf awards.

Semih Susleyen, sales manager of Ege Seramik, perhaps best described the three-day experience. “This event mirrors our collective feelings about Arley. Everything is always professional. We started doing business with Arley just last year, seeing them as a strategic, reliable partner who promotes our products in 26 different states. Needless to say, they are doing a great job. I think the way we communicate strengthens our relationship and mutual trust with Arley, helping us focus on results. We have been doing business together just for 12 months, but it feels like we have known them for at least 12 years!”


NeoCon3The 47th edition of NeoCon, June 15-17, was one for the record books with high numbers of engaged professionals flocking to the Merchandise Mart for a jam-packed, three-day show. Drawing more than 50,000 influential attendees from across the country and globe, the floors
were bustling and vibrant until the show close on Wednesday. They all came to take advantage of the powerful keynotes, top-notch exhibitors, fresh educational programming and invaluable networking opportunities. Adding to the excitement this year was the unveiling of a brand new river-facing park in front of the Merchandise Mart, as well as the launch of an enhanced and super-intuitive NeoCon app. Improved way-finding and thoughtfully designed layouts on the 7th and 8th floors elevated the NeoCon experience.

Susan McCullough, Senior Vice President at The Merchandise Mart, comments, “NeoCon has long been the ultimate conference and exposition for those in commercial interiors. This year, the show was even better then ever thanks to many new initiatives and events. Enthusiastic show-goers and exhibitors kept NeoCon buzzing until the final hour of the very last day. It’s become clear that the show has grown in size and scope and is on a great track for years to come.”

Keynote sessions and the majority of the CEUs and seminars were sold out. Patricia Urquiola’s Keynote (presented by IIDA and Haworth) was a smash hit, kicking off the show on a high note. A major rainstorm cancelled second day Keynote presenter Jason Silva’s flight (and therefore presentation sponsored by ASID and OFS Brands), but it did not dampen spirits. As skies cleared, attendees descended upon the gorgeous new park on the Merchandise Mart’s South Drive for NeoCon and Interior Design magazine’s HiP at NeoCon party featuring live Blues music and some of Chicago’s favorite food and drink. On Wednesday, rising stars and keynotes Martin Lesjak and Anastasija Sugic (presented by AIA Chicago and Mohawk Group) set the tone for a successful last day, with many attendees staying until the show wrapped up that afternoon.set

Dates for NeoCon 2016 are set for June 13-15. For more information, visit


A new Tiling Town set to debut at Cersaie 205

The stage is set for the fourth edition of Tiling Town, to be held at the heart of the Exhibition Centre at Cersaie 2015, scheduled in Bologna, Italy from September 28-October 2. The 2015 edition will see greater involvement on the part of Assoposa, which will organize the Master Tiler demonstrations. Collaboration with the Vocational School for young tile layers in the province of Bolzano will also continue.

Tiling Town will be back in a new and more prestigious location alongside the Services Centre at the Exhibition Centre’s main entrance (Area 49).

Now in its fourth edition, the event will bring together the entire world of tile laying at Cersaie. In the space of just a few years, it has seen a considerable improvement in quality and attracted constantly growing numbers of participants and visitors.

Tiling Town 2015 will be divided into 3 separate areas.

A large space will be occupied by Assoposa (Italian ceramic tile layers’ association), whose Master Tilers will give demonstrations of how to install large-format and thin tiles for interiors and exteriors. Numerous demonstrations will be given each day and will be open to all visitors to Cersaie.

Following last year’s success, the 2015 event will once again see the participation of the vocational school of Silandro (Bolzano), which will participate in Tiling Town in cooperation with the association lvh.apa Confartigianato Imprese of Bolzano. Eleven apprentices accompanied by their tutors will carry out highly complex work requiring a high level of manual skill, precision and meticulous workmanship.

The school in Silandro is the only Italian educational institute taking part in Worldskills 2015, the world championships of professional skills to be held in August in São Paulo (Brazil) which will also include a tiling competition.

In another area, the Assoposa Master Tilers will carry out a complicated installation to demonstrate the enormous adaptability of ceramic tiles to any requirement in the field of building and architecture.

Cersaie 2015 will also host a meeting of European manufacturers, retailers and tilers. For the first time, these players will come together to discuss the short and long term market prospects and to explore many themes of shared interest such as technical training of professionals and the state of international standards governing products and installation methods. The meeting will see the participation of representatives of CET (European ceramic tile producers’ association), EUF (European ceramic tile fixers’ association) and distributor and retailer associations from several different countries. For more information, visit

Bostik tours with Tour de France 2015

Bostik, Inc. (, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of adhesives and sealants, is an official supplier of Tour de France 2015.  This sponsorship provides a platform for promotional activities showcasing Bostik brands and activities to a global audience.

This 102nd Tour de France started July 4th in Utrecht, Netherlands and finishes on the world-famous Champs-Élysées in Paris, France July 26th. The 21-stage route covers a distance of over 3,000km, taking riders through three countries and extremely challenging terrain. There will be 6,000-plus hours of worldwide TV coverage with reports broadcast in 190 countries reaching an estimated 3.5 viewers. 12 million spectators are expected to view the race as it crosses France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

As a sponsor, Bostik is participating in the Tour de France ‘Publicity Caravan’ which accompanies the race. Various promotional vehicles offer spectators gifts and giveaways while they await the riders. These vehicles strongly promote Bostik incorporating the firm’s already well-recognized gecko in a prominent visual role.  To add to the Tour de France 2015 sponsorship, Bostik will be launching a number of international promotional programs through September. These will include social media campaigns, customer events and in-market promotions across multiple countries, which will include cycling-related competitions, giveaways and special offers.

Michael Jenkins, business director for Bostik’s Consumer & Construction Business Unit – Americas, stated, “Bostik high-performance adhesives are being successfully used worldwide for a diverse variety of applications dependent upon products people use each day. We believe it’s important that consumers in the Americas know of the global acceptance our products enjoy.  Globalizing the distinct image of our brand is a good ‘step one’ in getting everyday people to become even more familiar with the Bostik name and range of solutions our company provides. Clearly, our international sponsorship of Tour de France 2015 is a prime example of this kind of global promotion. ”

Scott Banda, director of Marketing for Bostik’s Consumer & Construction Business Unit - Americas, added, “This is just one more program, which again shows the entire world how Bostik is aggressively on the move, strengthening recognition of its brand.  We want customers in the Americas to be confident that when they decide upon Bostik products, they will be receiving high-performance materials that have been thoroughly researched, selected and accepted worldwide. By associating our unique brand identity images with prestigious global sporting events such as Tour de France 2015, we will continue to accomplish these well thought-out image-building strategies.”

About Bostik, Inc.

Bostik is a leading global adhesive specialist in industrial manufacturing, construction and consumer markets. For more than a century, they have been developing innovative adhesive solutions that are smarter and more adaptive to the forces that shape people’s daily lives. From cradle to grave, from home to office, Bostik’s smart adhesives can be found everywhere. With annual sales of $1.63 billion, the company employs 4,800 people and has a presence in more than 50 countries. Bostik is a company of Arkema. Visit for more information.

Dal-Tile expands capacity with Mexican plant acquisition; construction of Tennessee plant

DALLAS, July 15, 2015 – Dal-Tile, the largest manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tile and natural stone products in North America, announced today it has acquired the North American operations of Cerámica San Lorenzo.

The purchase includes a modern manufacturing facility in Mexicali, Mexico, and a product showroom and warehouse in Southern California. The plant is Dal-Tile’s 11th manufacturing facility in North America; it produces tile collections under the San Lorenzo brand for the builder, residential remodeling and commercial segments.

John Turner, Jr., Dal-Tile president

John Turner, Jr., Dal-Tile president

“This addition further strengthens our industry-leading manufacturing capabilities, which are focused on delivering stylish, high performance and innovative tile products to our customers,” said Dal-Tile president John Turner, Jr. “This acquisition will support our rapid growth in Mexico, and strengthens our competitive position, especially in the western and southwestern U.S.”

Turner said Dal-Tile will invest in the Mexicali plant to enhance its processes and capabilities. Following its parent company Mohawk Industries’ 2013 acquisition of The Marazzi Group, Dal-Tile integrated Marazzi’s U.S. operations, including two manufacturing plants in Sunnyvale, Texas, and Florence, Ala. The plants have subsequently increased tile production capacity and capability, and also implemented numerous process improvements.

Dal-Tile is also currently building a state-of-the-art ceramic tile manufacturing facility and distribution center in Dickson, Tenn. The Dickson plant is scheduled to open later this year and will begin full-scale tile production in early 2016.

About Dal-Tile Corporation

Dal-Tile is the largest manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tile and natural stone products used in residential and commercial design and construction across North America. The company was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in Dallas. Dal-Tile is a division of Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK), the world’s largest flooring manufacturer.

Dal-Tile products, which include the leading ceramic tile brands in North America — Daltile, American Olean, Marazzi, Ragno — are used throughout new residential construction, residential remodeling construction and commercial construction. The company is committed to incorporating environmentally friendly materials, processes and products throughout its organization.

Dal-Tile has more than 8,400 employees in North America, and sells its products through a network of more than 250 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards, gallery design centers, independent distributors and leading home center retailers nationwide. For more information on Dal-Tile and its brands, visit

TheSize hosts 2nd international Neolith Design Competition

TheSize (, manufNeolith design comp (2)acturers of Neolith sintered compact surfaces, announces its second international competition for architects, interior designers, remodelers and students.

The competition is broken into European, American (North and South America) and Worldwide editions with an entry category for professionals and one for students in each edition. All entries will be judged by a panel of notable professionals in architecture, interior design and construction.

My Neolith Project for professionals require a completed residential or commercial remodeling project using Neolith surfacing in a creative way. The winner of the My Neolith Project America competition will win an all-inclusive trip for two to Living Interiors 2016 in Cologne, Germany.  Remodeling project images should be submitted to with “My Neolith Project America” in the subject line.

Neolith Design Competition 2014 winners.

Neolith Design Competition 2014 winners.

The Neolith New Talents students willcompete under the theme “the Neolith Restaurant of the Future,” designing an innovative restaurant and kitchen space with Neolith as the primary surface. The student winner will receive an all-inclusive trip for two to the 2016 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, NV. Conceptual projects should be submitted to with “Neolith New Talents America” in the subject line.

Deadline is December 1, 2015. Winners will be announced December 15, 2015.

MAPEI Corporation Hosts NTCA Five Star Contractors in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada — The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five Star Contractors Program continues to grow and develop.  As part of its strategy to offer increased business and technical education — as well as peer review and networking opportunities — the NTCA held a summer Five Star Contractor Program June 2nd-7th in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.  The conference was generously sponsored by the MAPEI Corporation, who hosted the technical educational program at its plant headquarters located in Vancouver.

NTCA contractors and their spouses combined educational and networking programming with sightseeing excursions.  In addition to discussions centering on the latest standards, Five Star Contractors were treated to technical presentations by MAPEI personnel addressing grout technology, large format and thin tile installations, and substrate preparation.  A lively question and answer session followed each presentation.

The second day of the programming focused on business development, the NTCA utilized the resources of Ethan Cowles, professional educator and facilitator with Fails Management Institute.  Five Star Contractors participated in working groups that interacted with Cowles, addressing project management, estimating, cash flow operations, and understanding in detail balance sheets, income statements, budgets, and financial statements.

The NTCA plans to offer a summer Five Star meeting every year, and is also in discussions to develop regional training opportunities for Five Star Contractor employees as well as operational analysis.

MIA/BSI Washington DC Study Tour Set for November

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Chestertown, NY, and Oberlin, OH, June 9, 2015 – The Building Stone Institute (BSI) and Marble Institute of America (MIA) will jointly host a 2015 study tour with Washington, DC as the backdrop for a 3-day event immersed in its rich heritage of natural stone. Registration is open for this event, with an early bird registration discount available until July 31st.

This is not the first time these two leading stone associations have come together to host a study tour. Both collaborated on a Vermont study tour in 2011, as well as individually leading tours over the past several years to places such as Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, Banff, Alberta (Canada), and Georgia. The study tours offer a unique combination of classroom and field-trip experiences about natural stone.

The Washington, DC event dates (November 15-18, 2015) immediately precede Greenbuild’s Expo which affords stone professionals an opportunity to extend their learning experience and see what other building products are competing with natural stone in the green building marketplace.

Tour highlights include many member-led, open forum workshops; tours of the MLK and FDR memorials and other monuments; a visit to the National Cathedral for a presentation on earthquake repairs and routine restoration efforts; and an interactive “Stone Experience” at Luck Stone Center in Sterling, VA.

Peter Miller, Vice President, Publisher, and General Manger of the Home Group of Active Interest Media (AIM) – whose work serves the information needs of old house owners, architects, contractors, building owners, developers and facilities managers who do residential and non-residential historic preservation and traditional building – will speak on trends in the building and design communities.

Participants will also have an opportunity to attend two MIA “Women in Stone” facilitated programs. The “Stone Experience” Workshops will feature hands-on learning stations including:

·         Thin Veneer Stone

·         Anchored Stone

·         Paving

·         Stone Architectural Carving

·         Stone Letter Carving

·         Care and Maintenance

·         Splitting and Trimming

·         Dry Stone Wall Building

·         Building Stone Geology

·         Stone Tools

Early event sponsors include Custom Building Products, EuroStone Machine USA, Luck Stone Center, Miles Supply, Park Industries, Rock of Ages, and Stone Source. The stone experience workshops are being hosted by Red Leaf Stone Anchors, Manassas Granite & Marble, Coldspring and Northern Stone Supply, Custom Building Products, Tompkins Bluestone, The Stone Store, Rundle Rock Building Stone, and Trow and Holden.

Registration information for this joint MIA-BSI event can be found at: (early bird registration ends July 31st).

About the Marble Institute of America

For over 70 years the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has been the world’s leading information resource and advocate for the natural dimension stone industry. MIA members include marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and other natural stone producers and quarriers, fabricators, installers, distributors, and contractors in over 55 countries around the world.

About the Building Stone Institute
Since 1919, the Building Stone Institute (BSI) has worked on behalf of a diverse membership, representing all aspects of the natural stone industry. BSI provides resources, programs, and services that empower member companies to offer the highest level of quality products and services and to educate the architectural and design communities on the benefits and uses of natural stone. For more information visit


Becky Serbin joins NTCA as Education and Curriculum Coordinator

Beck Serbin, NTCA Education and Curriculum Coordinator

Beck Serbin, NTCA Education and Curriculum Coordinator

(JACKSON, Miss.) — The National Tile Contractors Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Becky Serbin to the newly created position of Education and Curriculum Coordinator.  In this position, Serbin will oversee the implementation of a learning management software program the association will offer for continuing education for tile and stone installation and specification.  As part of this program, she will work closely with staff and committee members to develop an Apprenticeship Program that will combine on line courses with field experience training. 

Serbin joins the NTCA having worked for the past 13 years for Georgia Pacific Corporation.  Her duties there included architectural and technical services, associate product management, and continuing education curriculum development and implementation.  At Georgia Pacific, she served as the TCNA Backerboard SubCommittee Chairperson and participated in NTCA Technical Committee meetings and document development.  She holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University. 

WAUSAU TILE rebrands into Tectura Designs and Wausau Made

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More than six decades after the nation’s leading manufacturer of concrete, terrazzo and metal architectural products was founded in a two-car garage, it’s time for a fresh start. Industry giant

Wausau Tile is rebranding itself to chart a clear course for its next 60 years to better serve architects, landscape architects and building professionals of all stripes.

Wausau Tile will no longer be a market-facing brand name, making way for its two new architectural products brands, Tectura Designs and Wausau Made. Each brand has a distinct look and unique product portfolio for serving distinct audiences within the architecture and construction industries, but both are synonymous with the impeccable quality and collaborative, responsive service that customers have come to expect from the company Ed Creske founded in 1953.

Tectura Designs ( offers a diverse selection of premier architectural products, including site furnishings, concrete pavers, custom precast concrete, custom precast terrazzo and terrazzo tile. Its stylish, long-lasting products help the world’s leading architects and designers bring their visions to life – and its custom capabilities offer near-endless solutions. The introduction of the Tectura Designs brand includes the launch of a brand-new Collaboration Series, which includes stunning, exclusive site furnishings designed by some of the world’s most innovative and esteemed architectural minds.

Wausau Made ( offers durable and low-maintenance concrete, metal and plastic site furnishings at unbeatable prices.

“These new brands will carry on Ed’s incredibly high standards for quality products and dedicated customer service, while also better serving the needs of our growing and diverse customer base,” said Bryan Borrell, president of Wausau Tile Inc.,  “After more than 60 years of innovation, we look forward to many more decades of providing the finest American-made concrete, terrazzo and metal architectural products you’ll find anywhere.”

Products for both brands will continue to be proudly made by skilled American craftspeople at the 480,000-sq. ft. facility in central Wisconsin. Tectura Designs and Wausau Made also will carry on Wausau Tile’s legacy of innovation and sustainability, upholding high environmental standards in their cutting-edge operation and also offering environmentally friendly products, including composites made with recycled porcelain and glass.