July 30, 2015

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

Arley Wholesale, Inc. (www.arleywholesale.com) , 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 www.neocon.com.


Daltile announces Interior Design Scholarship winner

Daltile, in conjunction with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation, has announced Rebecca Gardner as the winner of the fourth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship. As the grand prize winner of the competition, Gardner was presented with a $10,000 scholarship to continue her education in the field of interior design. Gardner’s winning design was on display at NeoCon 2015, where she was Daltile’s guest of honor.

“On behalf of Daltile and the ASID Foundation, we congratulate Rebecca Gardner on winning the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship,” said April Wilson, director, brand marketing, Dal-Tile Corporation. “Each year, students from around the country rise up to our design challenge, demonstrating that the future of interior design is brimming with talent. Gifted designers like Rebecca continue to inspire Daltile’s ongoing commitment to position the next generation of interior designers for growth and success in the industry.”

This year’s design challenge, titled Design with a Greater Purpose, was to select a charity or non-profit to take on as a pro-bono client and to create a redesign of their current space that addressed the needs of its users and exhibited excellence in design and creativity. Students were challenged to explore the current issues faced within the space and stakeholder needs to make it a high functioning and beautiful space. Entries were judged on the space’s function, aesthetic, and creative use of Daltile’s newest product offerings to bring each student’s vision to life.

As a recent graduate and young professional, Rebecca Gardner hoped entering the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship contest would stretch her as a designer and push her to produce great work, and her grand prize-winning entry made that hope a reality. A student at Brigham Young University, Idaho, she found inspiration in Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, a non-profit organization in her community that strives to foster education and stewardship of the earth and its ecosystems.

Using Daltile collections, including Florentine™ Glazed Porcelain, ONE™ Quartz, Showscape™ Wall Tile, and a variety of Glass Mosaics, Gardner transformed the aquarium’s interior to better support their mission of inspiring people to explore, learn, and discover.

“The ASID Foundation is proud to participate with Daltile in awarding scholarships to Rebecca Gardner and other worthy young designers,” said Randy Fiser, ASID CEO. “Education and scholarships are prime objectives of the ASID Foundation, and the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship program enables us to address both while leveraging a valued partnership.”

The grand prize winner and three finalists were selected by Daltile and the ASID Foundation with the help of a panel of industry experts, including Donna Vining, NCIDQ, FASID, IIDA, RID, CAPS,REGREEN Trained™ and Sandy Gordon, FASID, LEED AP. This year’s top scholarship recipients are:

Grand Prize: $10,000 Scholarship Winner: Rebecca Gardner, Brigham Young University, Idaho

First Prize: $2,500 Scholarship Winner: Rebecca Bruno, Southwest University of Visual Arts

Second Prize: $2,500 Scholarship Winner: Amber Ferguson, Student ASID, Southwest University of Visual Arts

Third Prize: $2,500 Scholarship Winner: Erika Larsen, Virginia Tech University


Pentair acquires Nuheat; expands floor heating portfolio


In April 2015, Pentair announced the acquisition of Nuheat, a market-leading manufacturer of electric floor heating systems. By combining Nuheat’s state-of-the-art, customized products and tailored expertise with Pentair’s Thermal Building Solutions’ broad range of Raychem heat tracing systems for pipe freeze, snow melting and deicing applications, Pentair seeks to provide distributors, installers and end users with a complete and differentiated portfolio of floor heating and winter safety solutions.

Vancouver-based Nuheat is well known for its innovative technology and providing customers with reliable, customized, and high-performance floor heating systems including North America’s first Wi-Fi enabled floor-heating thermostat. With a 4,000-point distribution network across the US and Canada, the incorporation of Nuheat into Pentair’s portfolio of floor heating and freeze protection technology will enable Pentair’s Thermal Building Solutions to provide floor heating products to more customers in North America.


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 www.cersaie.it/en.

Bostik tours with Tour de France 2015

Bostik, Inc. (bostik-us.com), 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 bostik-us.com 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 www.dal-tile.com

TCNA Handbook: new methods for curbless showers


joe_kerber“They just don’t build them like they used to.”

You’ve all heard that before, and most of the time that’s a good thing.

With our never-ending desire to have the “latest and greatest,” or the “biggest and best,” we continue to develop new ideas and challenge ourselves to help meet our customer’s wants and needs. Some of these ideas are thinner floor systems, and larger, curbless showers. Our manufacturing partners in the tile industry have been developing new products over the years to help us make this all happen.

There are three products that stand out in my mind as great inventions that have really advanced the tile industry: cement backer units, thin-set mortars, and today’s subject, topical waterproofing.

I was first introduced to topical waterproofing in the 1970s. I remember the old guys at the time saying, “What the hell is that crap?” Being the forward thinker that I am, I would say, “I’m going to try this stuff.” So I did. My wife Wendi and I were just starting to build our first new house. The building inspector at the time was an acquaintance of mine and when I approached him with the idea of a tiled tub in my house he said, “It’s your house, go ahead.” So we did. The many tiled tubs from that era are still in service today. I have been using topical waterproofing ever since. It is the one product that has really changed our design criteria.

Next challenge: if we can slope enough floor space on a bath floor so that the water from a shower runs toward a drain, do we need a curb? The answer is no. The issue that we had is that according to the IPC (International Plumbing Code) there had to be a “dam” outside the shower area in order to contain the water. However, in an ADA-compliant shower there is no dam or curb so the actual code does not apply. When talking with plumbing inspectors they agreed that a curb was not necessary as long as the water ran to the drain and did not affect any of the other surfaces. That is just “common sense.”

Let’s say you are ready to start a tile project that you were awarded. It has several ADA showers. You know the floors have to have a specific slope to the drain in the shower compartment area. You get there and find that the plumber has the drain too high or the concrete company has not placed the concrete correctly, or both. Now you have an issue with the pitch of the floor to the drain. What do you do?

You look at the tool that GCs, architects, lawyers and judges consult for answers to tile issues: the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation. It has many methods for showers that give you all the criteria and information for proven installation methods.

But wait – as of 2014 there was no method for a curbless shower! So we needed to develop one.

This should be easy, right? Let’s just take an existing proven method from the Handbook and expand on it. We’ll remove the curb and waterproof the bath floor area. We will then get a consensus from the Methods and Standards Committee so that we can move this method forward.


The plumbing inspectors will not approve this method for our members without a curb because of the code about the dam. But wait: tile installers have been building curbless showers successfully for quite a while, and inspectors are approving these installations, so let’s push forward. After some changes, the Methods and Standards Committee gives its blessing on this method, so now it has to go to the TCNA Handbook Committee. Here the Handbook Committee – made up of tile installers, manufacturers, consultants, expert witnesses, and people in the know – have the task of making changes and either approving or disapproving the method.

B421CFinally, in the 2015 Handbook, after about three years of work, there are approved methods for curbless showers, and you have information to show your GC how those showers need to be constructed before it’s too late.

It is a long, tedious and sometimes frustrating process to develop a new method in the Handbook. But it is well worth it because of the information it gives the tile installer.

I hope that everyone has a new TCNA Handbook and uses it. It has been developed for you, the tile installer.


kerber_showerJoe Kerber is president/CEO and co-owner with wife Wendi of Kerber Tile, Marble & Stone, Inc., in Shakopee, Mn. Kerber has been in the tile industry since 1969, and began his business in 1973. He has served as president and chairman of the board for the Independent Ceramic Tile Contractors Association (ICTCA), renamed CASTA (Ceramic and Stone Trade Association), and he is a member of the NTCA board, serving on the NTCA Technical Committee and Methods and Standards Committee. Kerber also is regional director for NTCA, which encompasses seven states. Kerber Tile, Marble & Stone, Inc. is a NTCA Five-Star Contractor, and employs CTEF Certified Tile Installers. Kerber was awarded a NTCA Best Practices award at Coverings in April 2015 for his Barrier-Free Shower Installation method, which is included in the 2015 TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation.

TheSize hosts 2nd international Neolith Design Competition

TheSize (www.thesize.es), 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 myneolithproject@thesize.es 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 neolith_newtalents@thesize.es with “Neolith New Talents America” in the subject line.

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

Bostik Airplane Takes off this June

noname (2)Bostik, Inc. (bostik-us.com), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of adhesives and sealants, has announced the debut of the Bostik-branded Boeing 737-800. This sleek aircraft will begin promoting Bostik brand awareness, flying four times per day to 47 destinations across 20 countries.

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.”

Bostik is the first company to sign a contract with a European airline, Transavia (a subsidiary of Air France-KLM) to re-brand a Boeing 737-800. This unique project incorporates the aircraft’s exterior brandishing Bostik’s new brand identity, introduced in early 2014.  It includes a prominent image of the Bostik omnipresent gecko on its tail fin. This distinctive initiative is one of many activities designed to globalize the Bostik brand.

Scott Banda, Director of Marketing for Bostik’s Consumer & Construction Business Unit - Americas, added, “This is an out-of-the-box program, which really shows the entire world how Bostik is  aggressively on  the  move, beginning to build its brand. Today, our products are on the shelves of roughly 2,000 retail locations across the Americas. This is just one of many exciting new promotional programs that consumers will be seeing from our company over the years to come!”

It is estimated that 145,000 passengers will travel on the Bostik airplane over the next six months… and, millions of others will have a chance to admire it during takeoffs, layovers or while in-flight.

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 bostik-us.com for more information.