COVERINGS SEEKS BEST-IN-CLASS TILE AND STONE PROJECTS: 2018 COVERINGS INSTALLATION AND DESIGN (CID) AWARD SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN

Coverings (coverings.com), the largest and only international tile and stone show in North America, is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Coverings Installation and Design (CID) Awards. Celebrating achievements in design and installation of tile and stone products in both residential and commercial projects, the CID Awards is open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers and other professionals whose work demonstrates design or installation excellence.

A grand prize of $3,000 will be awarded to one project showcasing excellence in both design and installation, and eight category winners will each receive a prize of $2,000. All winners will receive a one-night stay in Atlanta to attend Coverings 2018 and will be recognized at a CID Awards reception from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 9.

“We’re thrilled to continue spotlighting excellence within the tile and stone community through the annual CID Award program,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “The inspiring submissions we receive each year showcase not only the range of innovation and artistry within the industry but also how design and installation professionals collaborate to orchestrate incredible applications of tile and stone materials.”

The 2018 CID Awards submission categories include the following for both residential and commercial projects: tile installation, tile design, stone installation, and stone design. Additional projects may be recognized for specialty categories including International, Artistic Use of Tile/Stone, Institutional, or Community Project based on submissions received. Multiple entries are encouraged and must be submitted through the Coverings online portal before January 15, 2018. Projects must have been completed within the past two years (January 2016 – December 2017) and can be located within or outside of North America.

An independent panel of judges will assess projects within each category, using a blind format. Projects demonstrating original or unusual use of materials, innovative technology, installation excellence or a unique combination of aesthetics and function are of particular interest.

Tile Letter, Tile Magazine, and Contemporary Stone & Tile Design will sponsor this year’s CID Awards.

2018 CID Awards Submissions Now Open

The Coverings Installation and Design (CID) Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the design and installation of tile and stone in both residential and commercial projects. Multiple entries are accepted and encouraged.
Submissions for the 2018 CID Awards are now being accepted. Submission deadline is January 15, 2018.

Prizes:

  • A grand prize of $3,000 will be awarded to the most outstanding project, showcasing excellence in both design and installation.
  • Eight category winners will receive $2,000.
  • All winners will win a free one-night stay in Atlanta to attend the Coverings 2018 show along with onsite recognition.

Click here to submit entries now!

Fuse Alliance and Starnet Worldwide Join Forces to Address Key Industry Issues and Challenges

Two of the largest organizations of commercial flooring contractors, Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring and Fuse Alliance, announced today that they will form a joint task force to focus on critical issues facing the commercial flooring industry. During a meeting last month in Chicago, both groups’ Board of Directors identified the task force as a collaborative step toward supporting each networks’ members and better serving their manufacturers.

The task force will address long-standing industry concerns such as moisture mitigation—including high-moisture solutions—and labor shortages in estimating and installation. Additionally, the task force will establish guidelines for regulatory practices including the current OSHA Crystalline Silica rules and other labor issues on the service side of the industry. By tapping into each other’s base of knowledge and resources, Starnet and Fuse can tackle a broader range of issues affecting the architecture and design industry, and ultimately craft a better customer experience.

The task force is estimated to launch by year’s end, and will be composed of seasoned members from both groups. Collectively, Fuse Alliance and Starnet Worldwide represent more than 250 of the most influential flooring contractors in the United States.

BELKNAP WHITE NAMES TONY WHITFIELD VICE PRESIDENT/CERAMIC DIVISION

The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, just announced that Tony Whitfield has accepted the position as Vice President of its Ceramic Division. In this role, he will be responsible for all ceramic-related products, including porcelain tiles and panels, natural stone, associated ceramic supplies…as well as supervision of BWG’s ceramic sales teams. He comes to BWG from Marazzi USA, where he was National Sales Director. Prior to that stint, for 15-plus years, Whitfield was General Manager of Alabama-based Jenkins Brick and Tile.

“As you can see, Tony has spent the majority of his career within the Ceramic Tile industry,” stated Joe O’Keefe, Human Resources Manager at BWG. “We are confident with his knowledge of the industry and positive attitude… he will be a great leader for our ceramic division.”

Whitfield is in the process of relocating to New England, and will be working out of BWG’s national headquarters in Mansfield, Massachusetts. “I’m equally excited and honored to be connected with an organization as successful and professional as is The Belknap White Group!” exclaimed Whitfield. “The firm already does a good job in marketing and providing top ceramic tile products to our customer base. Working with my new colleagues, my focus will be to grow this division even more.”

LATICRETE Hires Spencer Maheu as North America Director, Product Management

Maheu to drive new product innovation activities at LATICRETE

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has hired Spencer Maheu as the North America Director, Product Management. Maheu will supervise the LATICRETE team of product managers in driving new product innovation across the North American region through the continued development and diversification of the company’s integrated marketing communications.

“Spencer has the background and experience that will push our company’s product innovation further, allowing LATICRETE to continue providing cutting-edge solutions for our customers. I look forward to seeing his contributions to the North American Division as we continue to expand our product offerings,” said Sean Boyle, LATICRETE Vice President, Marketing North America.

Maheu comes to LATICRETE from Osborn International, a division of Jason Industries, where he led the product management, marketing and business development teams. Prior to working at Osborn, Maheu led product development teams at Stanley Black & Decker.

Maheu received a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Western New England University.

RUSSO TRADING CO. DONATES OVER $36,000 IN TOOLS AFTER HURRICNES HARVEY AND IRMA

In a great team effort, Russo Trading has donated over $24,000 worth of products to help rebuild Houston after hurricane.

“Texas has been a great area for us, especially the Houston area. We wanted to make sure our customers who have been great to us had some tools to get back on their feet, hopefully reducing the number of tools that they would need to rebuy.

We selected tools based on issues we predicted these companies would have. Sending grout rakes to be used as squeegees to remove water, scraper tools to remove old thin set and grout that was damaged, and a floor machine to clean floors and sand down concrete floors for new foundation, and even re-grout floors with a grout attachment. Products for everyday use like sponges and tile cutters were sent as well.

In addition to helping their friends in Texas, RTC has compiled another shipment to Florida, that totals over $12,000 worth of tools in relief for another segment of valued customers. This totals more than $36,000 in donations this year between the two natural disasters seen in the South this summer. RTC is honored to provide help in any way possible. “Being in the tool business, we understand the investment that is made over the course of a career and feel this is the most efficient way to help a contractor get back on their feet”.

Attendance at Cersaie 2017 exceeds 111,000

Held Sept. 25-29 in Bologna, Italy and organized in cooperation with BolognaFiere, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, Cersaie 2017 was attended by 111,604 visitors, 4.7% more than in 2016, with increases in both international and Italian visitors. The show recorded growth in the number of both Italian visitors (+5.0% to a total of 58,422) and international attendees (+4.3% to 53,182) from almost all countries worldwide. The Italian and international press was also very strongly represented with a total of 922 journalists present.

Representativeness and international scope were the key characteristics of Cersaie, which alongside the traditional sectors of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings, also hosted a large number of exhibitors of wood, marble, and natural stone surface coverings and key components of the ceramic supply chain. With a total exhibition space of 156,000 m2, Cersaie saw growth in all exhibiting sectors and hosted a total of 869 exhibitors, including 323 foreign companies from 41 different countries, almost a third of the total. The best represented sector was that of ceramic tiles with 457 companies, followed by bathroom furnishings with 197 exhibitors.

Cersaie is also increasingly establishing itself as a key event for the world of architecture and interior design, installers, the media, and the general public. The architecture conferences were strongly attended and the Lesson in Reverse given by Fabio Novembre saw the participation of more than 1,300 students. The Milleluci exhibition in Hall 30 was a big success, as were the tile laying demonstrations and the training seminars for architects on the theme of large panels and slabs held in the Tiling Town.

The Press Cafés, the conversations on architecture and design organised in collaboration with leading magazines in the Architecture Gallery, were fully booked in many cases. ‘Cersaie designs your home’ was also strongly attended by consumers interested in renovating their homes, as well as Bologna Design Week, with a program of cultural events held in the evenings in a number of locations throughout the city.

For more information, visit www.cersaie.it.

MOHAWK INDUSTRIES’ ENTIRE FAMILY OF BRANDS UNITES FOR HURRICANE RELIEF

As one of the world’s largest flooring manufacturers, Mohawk Industries is taking action to serve the communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Across the company, associates are banding together to help by collecting supplies, transporting water, donating financially and developing platforms to provide further assistance.

“Mohawk’s efforts to help in times of need are at the core of the company culture,” said Brian Carson, president of Mohawk Flooring North America. “We care deeply about the communities where our employees and customers live and work. The resiliency and hope expressed by those affected have touched our hearts and inspired our actions.”

 

Supporting Customers

As the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is fully realized, the need for flooring throughout impacted regions will be significant. Mohawk is putting programs in place to assist its customers in restoring their business operations and preparing for the recovery.

“The heart of the rebuilding effort will take place at the local level, and we want to offer guidance and support,” said Carson. “We have developed tools for customers in these regions that allow impacted consumers to get new flooring in their homes and small businesses quickly.”

These tools include enhanced financing and advertising programs along with increased products available for immediate shipment.

“Many organizations in the healthcare, workplace, education, hospitality sectors and beyond were greatly impacted by these catastrophic storms,” explained Michel Vermette, president of Mohawk Group, Mohawk’s commercial division. “Here lies an opportunity to leverage our strengths quickly and efficiently to meet the very specific needs of our neighbors in Florida and Texas. Together, we will help all of those affected to begin the process of mending and bettering communities after great tragedy.”

Customers are rallying behind Mohawk’s programs. One Florida-based retailer, Mark Compston, owner of Mark’s Floors, said, “Thankfully, our store is stable but many

homes in our region suffered immense flooding and damage. By partnering with Mohawk, we can help put their lives, businesses and homes back together.”

 

Helping Colleagues

After each hurricane, Mohawk’s top priority was to make sure its associates were sheltered and stable.

“Mohawk and Dal-Tile immediately stepped in and provided financial assistance to those employees most in need,” said John (J.T.) Turner, Jr., president of Dal-Tile.  “We moved quickly to ensure that employees had cash in hand to help make things a bit easier for them.  Very few of us can imagine what someone who survives a hurricane goes through emotionally.  Our hope is that this immediate assistance will not only be a financial resource, but will also reassure them that Mohawk and Dal-Tile have their backs as they begin to rebuild.”

“In addition, our nationwide Mohawk and Dal-Tile employees have joined together to provide financial support to their teammates affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as well,” said Mike Carroll, regional human resources manager for Dal-Tile.  “Employees are contributing to a Go Fund Me page established specifically for our affected colleagues.  The money will be distributed directly to the employees in need, to help them recover.”

After Hurricane Harvey, Dal-Tile also put together a Care Team that created customized help lists with items such as food, clothing, baby essentials, toiletries, cleaning products and pet supplies. Employees in Dallas donated designated items or sponsored entire families, providing each of the requested necessities to their colleagues.

“Some people lost everything, and you are still seeing them trying to accept this catastrophic reality,” Houston-based Mohawk truck driver Keith Lister explained. “I just encourage people to do whatever they can to help. Every little bit helps. Even the small things like bottled water and gas are important. It is hard to know where to start. So many people are going to need so many things.”

As more information becomes available about the extent of Hurricane Irma’s damage, Mohawk will also aid employees affected by that storm’s devastation with a focus on meeting essential needs first and then supporting their families’ recoveries over time.

 

Rebuilding Communities

The company’s first concern is for the safety and stability of those affected, and Mohawk is working around the clock to help rebuild the communities that these catastrophic storms impacted.

Extending its ongoing partnership with United Way, Mohawk is increasing its 2017 corporate donations targeted to the Texas and Florida chapters. The company plans to raise additional relief funds to support United Way’s effort through targeted social media campaigns and an accompanying landing page experience. To date, United Way has raised more than $29 million for hurricane relief.

MohawkHurricaneRelief.com is where employees, customers and consumers can donate to United Way to support localized relief efforts in the areas devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The site also activates Mohawk’s Friends and Family program, which provides a discount to assist consumers in these hard-hit regions. Consumers can visit MohawkHurricaneRelief.com for an easy, one-click stop to donate to the cause or find retailers that are providing discounts and special financing.

“Full recovery from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma will take time,” continued Carson. “We want to create a sustained platform for people to continue supporting these communities as they work to rebuild and recover. We also want them to have a resource to locate Mohawk retailers in their respective areas.”

The company’s logistics team will also continue partnering with Calhoun-based Nature’s Big Springs Water to donate and deliver bottled water to communities impacted by the storms. Together, the companies have already provided more than 100,000 bottles of water to the Houston area, utilizing Mohawk’s fleet to deliver the bottles to local shelters.

“Our hearts go out to all of those affected by these devastating storms, and I applaud the determination to assist across the industry,” said Carson. “Relief is not a one-time event. This will be an ongoing effort.”

To learn more about Mohawk Industries’ Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief efforts and how to help, visit MohawkHurricaneRelief.com.

CID 2016 award winner Matthew Felton seriously injured in Milwaukee explosion

 

Matt Felton wins an Honorable Mention, Residential Stone Design in the 2016 CID competition.

Matthew’s Works is a tiling service and interior design studio in Bayview, Wis. It’s run by Matthew Felton, who in addition to his gift for tile design and installation, is an outdoorsman, hiker, biker, volleyball player, active in camping and kayaking, and papa to two beloved dogs, Bear and Sheba. He’s also an active member of St. Lucas Lutheran Church in Bayview/Milwaukee – and a cherished member of the online Facebook groups, Tile Geeks, Global Tile Posse and Tile Misfits.
In 2016, Matthewsworks LLC received an Honorable Mention, Residential Stone Design for a Milwaukee custom high-end lighted onyx mosaic masterbath project – a combination he specializes in – combining beautiful stone with interior illumination. He’s a frequent presence at industry events, especially Coverings, where he also entered the TileLetter Awards in 2008 with his Toman Dolphin Fibonacci project.

This custom high-end onyx mosaic was the winning entry.

Felton entered this Toman Dolphin Fibonacci in the 2008 TileLetter Awards at Coverings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then on the fateful afternoon of Tuesday, July 18th – just two days before his 46th birthday –Matt and his close friend, Jason Ermi, were severely injured in an explosion at a Milwaukee-owned natural gas compression pump when Matt and Jason stopped to fill up Matt’s natural gas-powered van.

The explosion filled the air with natural gas, and passersby risked their own lives to pull Matt away from the pump. The explosion had blown Jason a distance from the pump, and embedded asphalt into his skin.  At the same time, it mangled Matt’s legs, leading to massive bleeding.

Matt and Jason were both rushed to the hospital. Matt underwent immediate surgery that resulted in amputation of both his legs at his knees.  Jason underwent immediate surgery on his right leg, which is broken, and was treated for 4th-degree burns among other injuries. By God’s Grace, they are both still with us.

Matt is now home, after 13 surgeries and 32 pints of blood, tending to the excruciating process of wound care as he heals.  He has a long road of recovery and physical therapy ahead of him.

But his strong faith and unflappable attitude has him looking ahead to a trip to the Amazon rainforest next year, redirecting funds paid for a 15-day hiking trip in Nepal, including an overnight at Everest’s base camp which he had planned to embark on this September 15.

His faith has led him to “not only accept [the situation] but embrace it and claim it as my own,” he says.  “It’s my mission. My message is to use this as an opportunity – this is what God gave me to be a witness for him.”

He explained that when he goes out in public now, “people don’t know how to act, they look at me” he said. “I break the ice; I bring it up and make light of it. It helps everyone else.”

Maybe not surprisingly, Matt felt a slight sense of relief after the explosion as the stress of managing four bathroom remodels at some state of bid and design to installation and completion began to melt off him in lieu of just staying alive. Today he is involved as much as his customers need to help find a replacement installer and help guide projects to completion.

Matt has multiple surgeries ahead of him and needs to fund the cost of prostheses.

Matt’s new legs
As you can imagine, the accident left both men in need of significant financial support.  Prostheses for Matt alone are estimated at $100,000 (by September), not to mention uncovered medical bills and equipment, immediate home modifications that need to be completed, as well as day to day living expenses upon release.

Local friends and family – as well as the tile setting community – is rallying to assist Matt. Matt’s niece, Dana Felton Reinhard has set up a Go Fund Me page for donations at https://www.gofundme.com/mattsnewlegs! There is also a You Caring site set up by fellow Tile Geek Zack Bonfilio to support Matt at https://www.youcaring.com/matthewfelton-890026. And Noelle Hetzel, a member of an Everest group that Matt belongs to, in partnering with another Everest member to design and produce wooden pendants and keychains to raise funds for Matt. Go to http://bit.ly/2umh7Ad to order or contact Noelle at https://www.facebook.com/noelle.hetzel.

Another way to help Matt is to email [email protected] for info on how to directly donate by personal check (mail) or cash, which would be exempt from processing fees associated with Go Fund Me, so Matt would receive more of the donation.

Matt’s buddy Jason also needs significant financial support as well.  The family had moved back from Florida, and is in between employment positions.  Jason is not expected to return to work at this time. Assistance is needed immediately for his day to day living expenses and bills; most medical expenses will not be covered. His wife Ronda is trying to make ends meet, but medical costs are severely taxing the family resources. Please consider a donation through this page https://www.gofundme.com/jasonermirecovery or visit his page or  [email protected] for more information on other ways to donate.

 

Fundraiser scheduled for September 17

There is a fundraiser for Matt and Jason on Sunday, September 17th at 6p.m. at the Grace Center at Broadway and Juneau in Milwaukee for local folks who wish to help.

Tile industry lends support

Said Tile Geek Zack Bonfilio,My friend from the tile forums, Matthew Felton, lost both of his legs in an explosion recently. I’ve talked to him a bit and I just gotta say this guy’s spirit through this whole ordeal is truly inspiring, he’s making jokes and looking on the bright side constantly, and I just don’t know how he does it.”

 

 

The Tile Geeks Facebook group has been sending Matt messages and gifts to support and encourage him.

Franken Gueuze in the Tile Geeks group said, “Here is the thing, Matt has always been a happy and positive guy; now, he is even more so, which you wouldn’t have thought was possible.”

And Steve Sprung, of RTC Products shared his personal experience of Matt: “Shortly after the accident, I reached out to him to ask if he wanted me to try and cultivate some local talent to help finish up anything he had on the books,” Sprung said. “I would have expected him to say he would like some help to finish these jobs, or at best, projects. His words to me were he would like to find some people to help complete his ‘visions.’ That told me all I needed to know about what kind of artist he is. He doesn’t see it as a job or project, but as a piece of art he is creating for that person. I think we can all agree that anyone with that mindset loves everything about what they do.”

Matt’s dream is to connect with A&D professionals anywhere in the world who want to install high-end beautiful, illuminated natural stone in their projects, crafted with Matt’s own special flair. “I’d rather earn my own money than get donations,” he said. “I’d travel anywhere.”

Both men are thankful to you and the Lord for assistance. Prayers and support are greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

Emser Tile celebrates new Distribution Center

Emser Tile announced that it has opened its third distribution center in North America. This Suffolk, Virginia, location will service the growing East Coast and Midwest markets, the company said, adding that the distribution center expands the company’s resources to account for a growing product portfolio and increased customer demand.

According to the company, the new 400,000-square-foot distribution center, with the capacity to expand to 850,000 square feet, supports Emser Tile’s long-term expansion plans. The company said that it operates over 20 showrooms and distribution centers throughout the East Coast and Midwest, the majority of which opened in the last five years.

“Our growth in the East Coast and Midwest markets gave us an opportunity to build a state-of-theart distribution center to meet our customers’ needs through even better service,” shared Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing for Emser Tile. “Emser Tile remains dedicated to being the design leader for today’s tile and natural stone, and is committed to efficiently providing these products to customers nationwide.”

To celebrate the opening, Emser Tile hosted a ribbon cutting on August 15 with dignitaries in attendance, including Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, Delegate S. Chris Jones, Senator John Cosgrove and Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson, the company reported. John F. Reinhart, CEO and director of the Virginia Port Authority, also spoke at the opening, the company added.

“We are honored that Emser Tile chose the Commonwealth as its gateway to the East Coast market and the world,” said Governor McAuliffe. “With its close proximity to The Port of Virginia, the City of Suffolk is an ideal base for Emser’s distribution operation, and we are confident the company will benefit from the region’s workforce, infrastructure and competitive business climate as it expands its product portfolio in the U.S. It’s exciting to see the new, 400,000-square-foot service center become a reality, and we thank Emser Tile for being part of our ongoing efforts to diversify and build the new Virginia economy.”

“Emser Tile’s decision to select Virginia for a major East Coast distribution operation further cements the Commonwealth’s reputation as a key state for this booming industry,” said secretary of commerce and trade Todd Haymore. “Virginia is within a day’s drive of more than 40 percent of the U.S., and boasts the third-largest state-maintained transportation network: critical factors that make the Commonwealth an exemplary location for distribution. We look forward to a strong corporate partnership with Emser Tile in the City of Suffolk.”

By basing operations in Suffolk, Emser Tile aims to become a strategic partner within the community, the company said, adding that it plans to hire and train distribution center employees through partnerships with local colleges and the community.

“Emser Tile’s commitment to locate in Suffolk speaks to our business-friendly climate and robust workforce,” Suffolk mayor Linda T. Johnson said. “Suffolk provides a central gateway for Emser Tile, providing them the logistics infrastructure needed to support their growing customer base. We value their investment and share in their vision for future growth.”

The company said that Suffolk also offers unique highway infrastructure and proximity to The Port of Virginia to facilitate high-volume distribution.

“The Port of Virginia is looking forward to handling cargo for the Emser Tile distribution operation in Suffolk and helping the company establish its presence on the East Coast,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We welcome the opportunity to develop a partnership with this company by serving as its global gateway for trade.”

Emser Tile said it strategically chose to locate the distribution facility at CenterPoint Intermodal Center, Suffolk. The company reported that the 900-acre logistics center features direct access to The Port of Virginia, and is currently home to ACE Hardware, FRÍANT and Peet’s Coffee facilities.

 

Emser Tile’s Eastern Distribution Center in Suffolk is located at 1020 CenterPoint Drive.

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