Tile of Spain: everything old is new again

Old & cool (classic elements)
The revival of vintage styles is still one of the hottest trends in terms of home design and décor. Ceramic collections that revisit the past make the bring new life to rooms, both in the flooring and the walls all over the house, creating an interior unique space. Ceramic tiles bring the essence of other times through its colors, formats, motifs and reliefs.
The taste for retrieving vintage pieces has grown, mixing them with modern elements  to find the perfect equilibrium between retro and modern. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms welcome ceramics in walls and flooring inspired by ancestral homes.
Bathrooms from a former age
Classic designs lead in bathrooms, that part of the house that we eventually tend to decorate with more love. The increasing taste for vintage styles reigns in ceramics, with many recent collections including designs that revive either traditional geometric motifs or floral and vegetation elements, all inspired in the floral wallpapers used in the bathrooms of the early 20th century. These are references that obtain a vintage look through decorations in blue, pink and grey monochromes. They are usually present in small format tiles, from the classical 10×10 cm to mosaics, in order to create compositions in basic color ranges that soothe and seduce.
Retro look kitchens
Ceramic collections include, among its designs, walls and floors inspired by hydraulic tile patterns. These renewed classics fit the latest trends in interior design with multiple looks, which blend or allow random combinations, sometimes matched with smooth tiles. This allows creating retro environments with a contemporary style.
Vegetation patterns are also in the spotlight. These patterns become subtler, smoothing the overall sensation, and are featured on colored bases that also evoke a green environment.
A classic that never dies
The new tile compositions based on the mix of designs, results in a modern version of a traditional trend. Those ceramic collections following this trend retrieve the memories and sensations from old homes from a contemporary point of view. The collage of different motifs is an inspiration for decorating floors and walls of a house’s main rooms. The most coveted motifs are geometric, Arabic and flowered.
They welcome either a ‘black & white’ or a colorful universe with blue and green on the top. In light of this richness, ideally the flooring would match the furniture, woodwork and walls in smooth or neutral colors, in order not to overload the environment.

European ceramic tile manufacturers meet in Cordoba, Spain

June 15 -17, ASCER-Tile of Spain organized the Annual Congress of the CET (European Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Federation) in Cordoba (Spain).
During the General Assembly on Friday, the 17th, representatives of the European tile industry reviewed the current situation in different tile industries and addressed common issues in terms of commercial affairs, standardization, environmental law, technical aspects, etc. among other issues that European manufacturers have in common.
The meeting counted on the participation of the representatives of the tile industry associations in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Turkey, which are almost all the countries that participate in the European tile industry.
In terms of commerce, they highlighted the expiration of the anti-dumping measures against imports from China to Europe. This investigation was set upon CET’s request in the name of the European manufacturers: increasing commercial barriers in the Maghreb countries, commercial defense in the UK after the Brexit, etc.
On the other hand, some issues related to environmental law were also addressed, including Product Category Rules (PCR) and ecolabels, emissions commerce, energetic cost, etc.
About the CET and the European industry
The CET, to which ASCER belongs, represents the European ceramic tile manufacturers’ industry. Manufacturers belonging to the CET represent around 90% of the ceramic tile production in the EU.
  The ceramic tile industry in the EU registered in 2016 a trade volume of 9.560 million € and employed directly 55.200 workers in the EU. It is a competitive industry with a strong exporter profile and world leader in product development, innovation and design.
  The Spanish ceramic tile sector, represented by ASCER, sold 3.316 million € in the past year, from which 2.570 million correspond to sales in around 190 different countries. The Spanish industry is the number one exporter of the EU in terms of volume.


ASCER technical conference presents advantages of using ceramics in public buildings

A technical conference took place at ASCER’s conference hall on 20th to discuss the use of ceramic in public buildings with architects, building engineers and public engineers. In the past recent years, the use of ceramic tiles has conquered the exterior use: façades, sidewalks, squares, etc. This conference was aimed at bringing closer the latest new building solutions that ceramics offer to public works. It was also highlighted the importance of choosing the right materials depending on their application, as well as their proper installation.
The program of the conference included:
  • “Ceramics in architecture: solutions and proposals for public works” presented by Javier Mira, Coordinator in the Habitat Area in ITC (Ceramic Technology Institute);
  • “Choosing ceramic systems depending on their application. Solutions for public work,” presented by Juan José Palencia Guillén, Normalization Committee President CTN 138. Building Quality section chief in the Department of Housing (Valencian Government); and
  • “Ceramic tile installation by adherence according to the UNE 138002:2017 regulation” presented by Matías Martínez, PROALSO Secretary-General.

NTCA attends Gary Sinise Foundation “Walls of Honor” event that recognizes U.S. Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell in San Diego

NTCA attended the Walls of Honor event in San Diego, Monday, June 19.

On Monday morning, June 19, the Gary Sinise Foundation held a “Walls of Honor” event to support U.S. Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell. The event invites family, friends, veterans, community leaders and Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program donors and supporters to write inspirational messages of gratitude on the walls of the new specially-adapted smart home for the family, prior to construction of the home. The “Walls of Honor” event is the midpoint marker for this Smart Home Build.


Mark Roberts (l.) and Bob Shuford of Arizona Tile write messages of gratitude on the wall of the specially-adapted smart home being build through the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program.

Through the R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), specially-adapted smart homes are being constructed for severely-wounded veterans nationwide, to create greater mobility and ease for the wounded veteran and their families.

(l. to r.) Andrew Bottrell, his wife Lindsey and daughter Jessa, with NTCA’s Amber Fox at the Walls of Honor event in San Diego.

Amber Fox, NTCA Five Star Program coordinator, was honored to attend the event. NTCA, along with other industry supporters, donate time, materials and/or labor to these smart homes across the country.

“Growing up in the construction industry, it is in our nature to give back with our talents, and this program is an amazing vehicle for that,” Fox said.  It was so nice to see all the support from our industry. MAPEI, Crossville, and Arizona Tile all donated for this project.

“Getting the opportunity to meet Andrew and his strong spirit, confirms what an amazing program that the Gary Sinise Foundation is,” she added.  “If you are an installer and want to give back I strongly encourage you to go to the foundation website at www.garysinisefoundtion.org and reach out to see how you can help.  I know many in our community already have, you will no doubt get back more than you give.”

Donor reps at the Walls of Honor event are (l to r): Bob Shuford (Arizona Tile), Kikmet Pauls and Alfanso Gonzales of Marjan Stone, fabricator of stone that Arizona Tile is donating to the home; Andrew Bottrell; and Mark Roberts and John Culver of Arizona Tile.

US Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell attended EOD school in 2008.  A year later Andrew reported to EOD mobile unit 3. He was deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011 with Seal Team 10. In Afghanistan, on October 1, 2011, while conducting combat operations Andrew was in a vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). He suffered extreme injuries which led to a double leg amputation and a left arm amputation.

Andrew shared, “Always push yourself no matter what life brings your way. If you do not like your situation, change it. Do not blame somebody else for it and do not wait for somebody else to do something about it. You are not entitled to anything, only what you make your own. Take control of your own life, because life is what you make of it, so make the best of it.”

The R.I.S.E. foundation provides specially-adapted smart homes, home modifications, mobility devices, and adapted vehicles to America’s most severely-wounded heroes and their families. By the end of 2017, 59 specially-adapted smart homes will have been built or are underway.

For more coverage of this story, please visit the link below:


To learn more about the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program, visit this link: https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/programs/rise





Olympia Tile+ Stone celebrates 90 years in business

Olympia Tile + stone celebrated its 90th anniversary with a spectacular event held at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto, Canada on May 4th.  The 125-year-old restored brickworks was the perfect setting for this grand event.

Over 3,000 people attended the extravaganza to view products and partake in the “passport-themed” event. Attendees were furnished with “passports” that traced their travels through the world of tile with over 40 vendor booths and food from 15 different countries.  “Flight attendants” mingled through the crowd and a flight simulator let everyone take their chance at being the next “Sully.”

Olympia Tile Group president Ralph Reichmann playing “Sully” on the flight simulator at the company’s 90th anniversary celebration.

The ‘mini-Cersaie’ event gave everyone an opportunity to see what the next new look would be.  Sizes, textures and colors reflecting the fashion trends in tile, from 1” x 1” mosaics to 60” x 120” panels were on display.

The accolades were plentiful from attendees. “What a fabulous night,” said Ruth Lynch, Byron Patton Associates, Toronto.  “Olympia went above and beyond…the venue, the food and the presentations were all spectacular.” Lawrence Beveridge, of Toronto’s LDB Associates, added, “The evening was perfect. I really enjoyed going from booth to booth to learn more about the products.  All the vendors were concise, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.  It was a perfect venue, and the food was fabulous.”

The great reviews continued the following day with a tour of the 35,000 sq. ft. Toronto showroom and the one million sq.ft. break-bulk facility in Vaughn , Ontario.  This main staging area for Olympia Tile+ Stone houses over 140,000 pallets of tile and 30,000 slabs of marble, granite, limestone, quartz and porcelain panels.

Over 3,000 people attended the extravaganza to view products and partake in the “passport-themed” event. Attendees were furnished with “passports” that traced their travels through the world of tile with over 40 vendor booths and food from 15 different countries.

“I truly enjoyed touring the showroom, and was blown away by the size of the inventory in the Vaughn warehouse,” said Patricia McClintock of Patricia McClintock Associates, Montreal. “I had no idea of the scope of Olympia Tile,” said Robert Irvine, Irvine Carpet & Tile, of Grand Rapids, Mich. “I have been to multiple factories around the world and have never seen an inventory this large.”

This event provided hats-off congratulations to Ralph Reichmann, president of Olympia Tile Group, and the 900 employees from Olympia Tile+ Stone that go above and beyond everyday for their customers.

“Many thanks to the esteemed customers and manufacturers, who have come from near and far to our Event from many parts of Canada, the United States and overseas,” Reichmann said. “The staff of Olympia Tile Group, who have organized this event, and myself are expressing our deepest appreciation, and trust you had an informative and pleasant experience.”






Arizona Tile kicks off 40th anniversary celebration events in San Diego

Arizona Tile celebrated its 40th anniversary with an event on June 15, 2017 commemorating its first branch and first lease in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Arizona Tile is hosting celebrations for employees and customers at all of its locations this year in celebration of its 40th anniversary. On June 15th 2017, the company hosted an event for its San Diego branch. This branch is the  company’s first location, and the location where its first lease was signed, so this event represented a milestone for the company. Originally the party was scheduled to take place at the company location on Morena Blvd, but the response was so outstanding that it outgrew the venue and the celebration was moved  to Town and Country Resort.


John Wirtz of Wirtz Quality Installations (l. to r.); Mark Huarte, Arizona Tile (son of founders John and Eileen Huarte) and George Gasaway of Custom Building Products.

Jack Penny on the drums!












Several of the company’s former employees were in attendance at this event, including Jack Penny. Jack Penny was a branch manager and outside sales rep at the San Diego location for over 20 years and retired a few years ago. Not only did he attend the party, but his band, The Shenanigans, provided musical entertainment at the event.


Arizona Tile executive team members were also in attendance including:

  • John and Eileen Huarte (founders)
  • Bob Traxler (President)
  • Gary Skarsten (Executive Vice President and CFO)
  • Beth Gaughan (VP of Sales)
  • Don Kesteloot (Vice President of Finance)

Founders John and Eileen Huarte outside the San Diego branch store.

The company was thrilled to see so many team members, former team members, and customers at the event. Many of the customers in attendance of this specific event have been shopping with Arizona Tile since the company began in 1977.

As part of the celebration, Arizona Tile raffled off a steak dinner as well as a Notre Dame football signed by owner and founder, John Huarte, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1964 while playing for Notre Dame.

Following is a schedule of remaining 40th Anniversary events this year:

June 15th, 2017 – San Diego CA

June 22, 2017 – Dallas TX

July 11, 2017 – Rancho Cordova, CA

Aug 25, 2017 – Albuquerque, NM

September 14, 2017 – Salt Lake City, UT

September 21, 2017 – Houston, TX

October 12, 2017 – Livermore, CA

October 19, 2017 – Denver, CO

October 25, 2017 – Roseville, CA

November 2, 2017 – Tucson, AZ

December 6, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV

December 7, 2017 – Anaheim CA

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LATICRETE Celebrates 70,000-Square Foot Grand Prairie Plant Expansion


Henry Rothberg, LATICRETE co-owner and vp of training cuts the ribbon celebrating the expansion, flanked by LATICRETE personnel and dignitaries.

June 14, Grand Prairie, Texas — LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has completed a 70,000-square foot (6,503-square meter) plant expansion here– nearly doubling the existing 100,000-square foot (9,290-square meter) facility, making it the company’s largest manufacturing and distribution center outside of the LATICRETE headquarters in Bethany. It will serve as a national distribution hub for the company and will deliver Texas-region LATICRETE customers with high-volume items and other specialty products. With operations in more than 100 countries, the Grand Prairie manufacturing plant is one of eight in the United States and 21 worldwide.

Ed Metcalf, LATICRETE president and COO, North America thanked employees and Pistola Construction for their contributions to the expansion. Metcalf said to expect expansion of training facilities in the beginning of 2018.

 “Our investment in Texas, driven by rapidly increasing demand, will positively impact the local community, provide a better work environment for our team and allow us to provide even higher service levels to our clients across the region,” Ed Metcalf, LATICRETE President and COO, North America. “We look forward to the next phase of our expansion here which will include new manufacturing lines, a world class technical training center and expanded facilities for our sales and customer service functions.”

 At an all-day celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony, District 1 City Council Member Jorja Clemson representing Mayor Ron Jensen and the City Council, spoke at the ceremony in support of the company’s contributions to the region’s pro-business environment. Additionally, Greg Cashman of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce presented LATICRETE with a membership plaque on behalf of the Board of Directors and committee members in attendance. District Director Murphy Simpson presented a certificate on behalf of State Representative Jonathan Stickland.

 “We began as, and remain, a family business,” said LATICRETE co-owner and Senior Vice President of Training Henry B. Rothberg who spoke at the event on behalf of the company. “This celebration was not only about our business development and expansion into new markets, but our growing family in Texas. We were honored to have so many esteemed guests commemorate with


NTCA Five Star Contractor Kemna Tile installed large format porcelain tile and glass mosaic in the locker rooms/hallways, using LATICRETE setting materials, of course!

Henry Rothberg (l) LATICRETE co-owner and senior vice president of training with a plaque presented by Greg Cashman (r), from the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce.

The celebration included family activities including games, balloon sculpting, face painting, Texas BBQ and live music.

The Supercap pump truck was on hand, and LATICRETE’s Ron Nash explained how this technology increases the speed, cleanliness and accuracy of applying large volumes of self levelers in buildings up to 70 stories tall.

Plant employees Doug Carabo (l.) and Stacy Gardner toured groups through the racks and staging area, explaining there are 7,500 rack locations for the plant. The question of the day? How many Rubik Cubes will fill up the 70,000 sq. ft. expansion? Stay tuned for the story in the print TileLetter for the answer!

Help NTCA member family get back on its feet after a fire: Chris Abouarrage

At Coverings ’17 in April, Abouarrage (r.) assisted NTCA technical trainers Robb Roderick (l.) and Mark Heinlein on the TCNA Live Demonstration stage.

On May 4, a tragedy ripped through the life of NTCA Oklahoma State Ambassador Chris Abouarrage and his family. An electrical fire in the family’s home decimated the house. The family – Chris, wife Jennifer, and their 8- and 5-year old sons — had to flee with only the clothes on their backs – and the family dog.

Right now, the family is living in a hotel and is seeking help with clothes and food while the home is rebuilt, with no return date in sight. Chris, owner of Tile & Design by Chris LLC in Yukon, Okla., is heading into his third year of NTCA membership.

A You Caring Compassionate Crowdfunding  site has been set up at https://www.youcaring.com/chrisjenniferabouarrage-816271.

Chris and Jennifer say, “If you’re able to help us, we appreciate it. Anything helps. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”



Tile goes to the dogs at Coverings’ TCNA Art Tile Courtyard

(Orlando, FL) – At Coverings 2017, eighteen beautiful doghouses tiled by TCNA members were on display in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard. These unique works of art were installed over custom-made Wedi doghouse forms donated by TCNA and Wedi.
After the show these doghouses were donated to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando to assist them in their goal to provide compassionate and knowledgeable services for pets.
The following descriptions were provided by the companies/artists who tiled the dog houses.

AlysEdwards Tile & Stone
AlysEdwards hopes the pup getting this home can feel the love in this timeless and fundoghouse. This great little shelter is sealed with AlysEdward’s signature kiss, and features tile from AlysEdwards Feel, Gigi’s Groovy Glass, and Wanderlust Collections. It was designed by Kevin Sanchez from AlysEdwards and installed by the AlysEdwardsTile &  Stone sample department.




Bon Ton

Casa Ceramica

Cider Press Tile










Appomattox Tile Art
Appomattox’s doghouse features its new “Barre Banc” pattern introduced at Coverings

Created by artist Mary Anderson, owner of BonTon Designs, “Rescue Haven” has been fully encrusted in custom handmade tile exclusive to BonTon Designs. The petals and swirls were all hand-cut from wet clay and fired to their brilliant colors. The plaque that adorns the front door is from BonTon’s “TEXTiles”collection. The white and platinum field tile is all hand-rolled, fired, and broken to create this mosaic design.

Casa Ceramica
Casa Ceramica’s doghouse was designed and installed by its in-house design and installation team. The tiles and trim pieces are from their Mediterranean Tile Collection and are installed in a patchwork motif. The bones are made locally in Florida by an artist who produces Casa Ceramica’s custom tiles.

Cider Press Tile
Cider Press Tile’s doghouse features a whimsical fan-cut tile roof with pencil trim, brick style siding, and window shutters from its “Iron Age” collection. The tile colors showcased are Pecan, Indigo, New Moss, and Root Beer. The dog bowl is in Pecan and Root Beer, and dog bones are in Ivory. The doghouse was designed by Kenneth Walsh from Cider Press Tile and installed by Al Dibiccari from AD Tile in Marlborough NH.

Crossville, Inc.

Del Conca USA

Iconic Design Concepts

Lunada Bay Tile










Crossville, Inc.
Crossville’s doghouse design, “Ruffin’ It in Florida”, is the creation of interior designer Mickey Searcy, founder/owner of Interiors by Lawrence David of Sanford, FL. Searcy envisioned this pooch palace in beachy colors that are bright, yet earthy – a nod to the natural inspiration that abounds in the Sunshine State. Crossville’s colorful collections are an ideal covering for the doghouse, as tile is so popular and widely specified in FL residences.

Del Conca USA
Del Conca USA is proud to present its doghouse made with its new porcelain tile products. The bottom is made from their CANTINA series, which simulates rustic brick, and the corners are made with its special pieces of in and out corners. The roof features Del Conca’s wood look, Providence 8″ x 32″ Dark Wood.

Florim USA
Florim USA’s doghouse features Charleston Timber on the sides and back, Modern Stone Sand on the roof, and Galaxy Grigio Mosaic at the entry. The doghouse was tiled by Dave “Bear” Taylor at Bear Builds.

Iconic Design Concepts
Iconic Design Concepts used its 8″ x 8″ Silver Diamond Dust wall tiles for the doghouse sides. The roof features fiberglass/foam, walnut faux wood 18″ x 24″ wall panels and a custom-designed arch doorway in the shape of dog bones finished in Gold Diamond Dust. The concept and installation are by Lorne and Lynda Progosh, owners of Iconic Design Concepts.

Lunada Bay Tile
This pooch-friendly palace is clad in Tomei glass tiles etched with a custom design of tiny paw prints. The roof showcases a combination of Shinju Zen Garden ceramic and Lacquer ceramic mosaics. The eaves are illuminated with all-weather LEDs, lighting the way for four-legged friends come nightfall.


Shenfeld Studios


Syzygy Tile










Marazzi’s tile doghouse was inspired by its new Urban District™ collection. Influenced by the revitalization of downtown warehouse districts, the Urban District collection combines textures and colors to add bold character to any design style. A combination of wood, brick and concrete-look tile in light and neutral hues gives this doghouse a contemporary look with rustic charm. Featured products include Urban District MIX, a distressed 4″ x 28″ wood-look tile in Uptown white and Urban District BRX, a 4″ x 8″ realistic brick tile in Garden Cotto. The doghouse is trimmed in Marazzi’s new concrete-look series, Block in Beige.

Shenfeld Studio
Shenfeld Studio’s Craftsman Doghouse showcases its mosaic tiles used in various subway stations throughout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The field tiles are from the various colors used in the production of Stickley tabletops. The designer and installer is Shenfeld Studio’s Tara Darjee.

StonePeak Ceramics
StonePeak decided on a “classic” doghouse look, using its Adamas collection in the color
Ruber. The Adamas series is a 4″ x 12″ wall tile that comes in 8 colors.

For Stonexchange, a thresholds, window sills and baseboards manufacturer, this was a
challenging but fun project to provide a future roof for a puppy. Stonexchange used its 5″ x 36″ Black Absolute double Hollywood bevel thresholds for the roof, 2″ x 36″ Crema Sahara Marfil thresholds for the walls, and 2″ x 36″ Pure White engineered stone thresholds for the nametag area. The doghouse was designed by Stonexchange’s Volkan Okay Yazici and installed by its warehouse team.

Syzygy Tile
Designed by New Mexico-based Syzygy’s staff, Syzygy’s doghouse was created to be a small space that is colorful, fun – whimsical.The roof features its 2″ Koi tiles, glazed in Reef, to create a shingled-roof effect. Small details like the simulated windows were added to give the doghouse a decidedly home-like feel.The walls of the house are Syzygy’s 1″ hexagons in a custom textured white glaze. The trim pieces are glazed in Mandarin Orange.

Florim USA

StonePeak Ceramics







Vitromex’s doghouse features a very simple but creative design that combines key products in their ceramic and porcelain portfolio. It consists of its Brooklyn ceramic series and Brenta porcelain series combined to create a modern, sophisticated look.

Wizard Enterprise

Wizard Enterprise
Wizard Enterprise’s doghouse features glazed thin brick tile from its Bison Brick series in
Glaze Matador. The doghouse was designed by Michael Meagher and installed by Lucio Mancia.

Wonder Porcelain

Wonder Porcelain
American Wonder Porcelain’s doghouse features an eclectic mix of the following products:
Arcadia waterjet mosaic in Taupe, Light Gray and Greige; Ranch Wood 6″ x 24″ matte in Warm Brown and Light Gray; Carrington 8″ x 8″ lappato in Ivory Blend and Blue Gray; and Mars Stone 3″x 6″ matte in Black. The doghouse was designed and installed by Haley Brandeberry and Robert Provin.

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