April 18, 2014


(Las Vegas, NV – April 2014) In celebration of its Silver Anniversary, Coverings—the tile and stone industry’s largest international exposition in North America—is headed to the entertainment capital of the world for four days of tile, stone, and glittering lights. From April 29 – May 2, 2014, the Las Vegas Convention Center will be the ultimate meeting ground for industry experts, architects and designers, and Ceramics of Italy is pleased to once again be the go-to source for design inspiration and hospitality on the trade show floor. Located in the heart of the Italian
Pavilion, Ceramics of Italy’s Piazza Ceramica (Ground Level, Booth L9057)—designed by e+i studio and organized by Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Association of Ceramics, with support from the Italian Trade Promotion Agency—will feature a large open gathering space, piazza-like steps, and a dedicated Italian culinary team in the popular café and coffee bar. It will also include an information booth where representatives from the Italian tile industry will distribute the latest promotional materials and information on over 60 Italian exhibitors in attendance.

Piazza Ceramica and the Italian Pavilion
Designed by e+i studio, an innovative architecture and design firm based in New York, the award-winning Piazza Ceramica will return to Coverings as an exemplar of contemporary Italian design with a touch of Sin City flair. Transforming 3,000 square feet of space into a colorful, inviting and dynamic piazza, the exhibit will showcase a range of products from leading Italian manufacturers including: Atlas Concorde,
Ceramiche Caesar, Emilceramica, Fioranese, Floor Gres, Lea Ceramiche and Marazzi. The floor tiles, set on a raised flooring system, are water jet-cut by Stratos to create a curvy, topographic contour design. And of course, the installation and maintenance of the space is made possible with grout, nosing and cleaning products donated by Mapei, Profilpas, and Fila Chemicals.
The piazza is a perfect spot to take a break from the bustling trade show corridors. Two edges of the exhibit essentially lift at the corners to create cantilevered, tile-clad banks that reveal the ever-popular café, coffee bar and information booth; tiered seating above offers a place to enjoy coffee and pastries in the morning, authentic Italian cuisine for lunch, and an open aperitivo in the afternoon, all prepared by the
pavilion’s long-running Italian culinary team: Carlo Donadoni and Graziano Sbroggio of Spuntino Catering from Miami. Additionally, two columns flanking the piazza will feature beautiful photography of the winning projects of the 2014 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition in the commercial/hospitality, institutional, and residential categories—a dose of design inspiration available any time of the day!
For those in search of innovative, eco-conscious and design-forward building materials, over 60 exhibits of Ceramics of Italy member manufacturers will showcase the latest design concepts and technical innovations in tile and adhesives in the Italian Pavilion. In terms of decorative trends, bold graphics, patchwork patterns, three-dimensional surfaces and tiles inspired by ancient stones, rustic wood and
industrial materials will be prevalent throughout the pavilion. Moving beyond interior ceramic surfacing, tiles designed for exterior cladding and easy laying systems for renovations and landscape architecture will also make a big impression. Location and contact information about all of the exhibitors can easily be found using the new Ceramics of Italy App, available for download in the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores for mobile devices and tablets.
Show attendees exploring the hallways of the Italian Pavilion will also come across the first manifestation of Ceramics of Italy’s new “We Care” initiative, which begins with an avant-garde, geometric wall presenting the Italian tile industry’s declaration of purpose. The interactive manifesto wall will feature a beautiful, typographic arrangement of the Ceramics of Italy mission statement, designed by Brooklyn-based graphic design firm, Maiarelli Studio—a great spot for a photo-op!

Announcements and Awards
The annual Ceramics of Italy Press Conference will take place on Wednesday, April 30 at 4:00PM in Room S219 where representatives from the association will discuss the state of the industry and cover the latest ceramic tile trends in the North American market. They will also announce the winners of the 2014 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, where winning architects and designers in each category will present their projects, and the lead tile contractors and distributors will also be recognized. Afterwards, Ceramics of Italy will host its annual Aperitivo Italiano and
reveal the recipient of the coveted 2014 Confindustria Ceramica North American Distributor Award, celebrating the close connection between Italian tile manufacturers and their valued North American partners.

Installation Design Showcase

Demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between beautiful products, imaginative design and expert installation, Ceramics of Italy will participate in the show’s annual live attraction: the Installation Design Showcase. Over the course of four days, a team of Five Star Contractors from Artcraft Granite, Marble, and Tile will build a sustainable, accessible bath from the ground up in Booth 16097B. Designed by
Daniel Huard of the US Green Building Council Nevada Chapter, the vignette will showcase a number of Italian tiles from companies like Ceramiche Caesar, Fioranese, Imola Ceramica, Lea Ceramiche and SICIS that are not only sustainable but also suitable for a universally designed space that is ADA-compliant.
Some of the innovations visitors can expect to see include: installing large (3m x 1m) and slim (3.5mm) format porcelain tiles, which will also be cut to clad a custom-fabricated wash basin; cutting tiles to create a series of “waves” in a gradient pattern on the floor; and installing mosaics on a curved surface.

A&D VIP Tour
Building on a successful initiative that launched last year, Ceramics of Italy is hosting a special A&D VIP Tour during Coverings where architects and designers will be treated to an authentic Italian lunch, an A&D Goodie Bag, and a guided tour of the Italian Pavilion. Interested individuals can register at bit.ly/coveringsvip.
Follow the distinguishable “Made in Italy” trademark throughout the show to find products of superior quality, durability and environmental responsibility. For live updates, follow Ceramics of Italy on Twitter and Instagram (@CeramicsOfItaly).
For more information about the Italian tile industry or to find a local distributor, visit


CoCoverings 25verings 2014, the tile + stone industry’s largest international exposition in North America, offers an exceptionally wide-ranging conference program comprising more than 80 free sessions, many aimed specifically at tile + stone installers. Coverings returns to Las Vegas for its 25th Anniversary, April 29–May 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the education program beginning April 28 — adding a fifth day of conference programming.

In addition to the more than 900 exhibitors, installers often cite the free conference sessions, which are categorized by professional experience ranging from novice to corporate leader, as a primary reason for attending the tile + stone super show. Coverings is an AIA/CES Provider, an NKBA CEU Provider Partner and is IDCEC approved. For the complete list of IDCEC and AIA approved sessions, please visit coverings.com/education.

In addition to the Keynote and Featured Speakers previously announced, other conference topics of particular interest to installers include best practices for the installation, maintenance and restoration of tile and stone; collaborative sessions on the challenges faced daily in the field; the critical importance of industry standards; and best methods for bringing one’s business to a new level of success, including thoughtful budgeting and strategizing, and the incorporation of modern technology in the field.

Here are the details to some of these not-to-be-missed sessions:

·       Sealing Tile, Grout, and Natural Stone: True or False? Joe Salvo, of Miracle Sealants and Abrasives, will explore the myths about sealers and impregnators, and their use in the tile and stone industry. This session will educate attendees on how to separate fact from fiction, and how to use these products effectively. Monday, April 28, 1:00–2:00 p.m.

·       NTCA Presents Live Hands-On Demonstrations to Today’s Installation Challenges. NTCA presenters Gerald Sloan and Michael Whistler bring the NTCA Tile & Stone Workshop to Coverings. Large-format and thin tile installations are highlighted, along with helpful tips to prepare for and pass CTI and ACT Certification. Other topics covered include the TCNA Handbook, showers, membranes and more. Monday, April 28, 2:15–4:15 p.m.

·       Barrier Free Shower Installation. Art Mintie focuses on the design and installation of barrier free tiled shower systems. It provides an overview of the attributes of barrier free shower installations, including a review of applicable industry standards that govern tiled shower installation systems. It also discusses the various types of waterproofing membranes and drains that are used for these applications. Best practices, installation methodology and various installation tips and techniques are also discussed. Tuesday, April 29, 1:45–2:45 p.m.

·       Budgeting for Tile Contractors 101: Forecasting and Budgeting for Success. Many tile contractors don’t budget or feel what they do is correct, and this seminar, presented by Bod Woodward, will focus on important components of a tile contractor’s budget and offer solid guidelines for all levels. Key factors in budgeting, such as billing, estimating, project management, warehouse and equipment needs, vehicle costs, fixed costs, safety, and more will be addressed. Tuesday, April 29, 1:45–2:45 p.m.

·       Large Porcelain Panel Installations for Floors and Walls. Tom Plaskota advises large porcelain panels provide an innovative option for finished surfaces. At thicknesses and sizes not normally found in traditional tile formats, they are a lightweight alternative to traditional ceramic and natural stone tile and offer many distinctive design opportunities. However, the same size and thickness characteristics that make them aesthetically pleasing also present unique installation challenges. Learn about these unique challenges, review proper installation methods (floor and wall installations) and help solve the mystery of these panels to ensure a successful and long-lasting installation. Wednesday, April 30, 2:45–3:45 p.m.

·       Rules of the Game: How Contractors Can use ANSI, TCNA Handbook and NTCA Reference Manual to Improve Their Business and Their Profit. Installation standards drive the tile and stone trade, and these standards can be a contractor’s best friend or worst enemy. Leaders of the NTCA – Chris Walker, James Woelfel and Nyle Radford – sit on the voting committees of these important standards and in this session will discuss the relevance and importance of standards, and how contractors can use the knowledge of critical standards to become better contractors and improve their business. Thursday, May 1, 8:00–9:00 a.m.

·       The New ACT Certification: Grouting Techniques – Cement, Epoxy and More. The Advanced Certifications for Tile (ACT) Installers Program is now in full swing. As the program continues to develop, more certifications will be offered. The new Grouting Techniques certification developed by the ACT Taskforce is explained. Thursday, May 1, 9:15–10:15 a.m.

·       Understanding Thin Tile Installations. Neil McMurdie explores the special application challenges to producing sound, durable installations with tiles of reduced thickness and lighter weight. Learn the results of a two-year study to determine the best process and technology for installing large-format thin tile. Thursday, May 1, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

·       Utilizing Technology in the Field to Improve Performance for Contractors. The tile trade continues to evolve, and technology is taking an increasingly bigger role in its development. Martin Howard, of the David Allen Company, will investigate how popular devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and cameras, can help one’s business in the field. Thursday, May 1, 2:45–3:45 p.m.

Learn about all of the conference sessions tailored to installers by clicking here. Register to attend Coverings for free at coverings.com/register.

Del Conca USA inaugurates new factory in Loudon, Tenn.

Del Conca USA, the North American subsidiary of Del Conca, one of the main Italian groups in the ceramic tile manufacturing industry, officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 26th, hosting the firm’s “Inaugural Celebration.” Three hundred guests from across the country, including customers, consultants, vendors, members of the media and both state and local government officials were there to share in this joyous occasion.

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The event was highlighted by a heartfelt speech delivered by Del Conca Group CEO Enzo Mularoni, thanking all those who made his firm’s “American Dream” become a reality. “Construction of the buildings, and the installation of all production machinery were completed just 10 months after the start!” he exclaimed.

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Additionally, small groups of guests were squired by company officials through the newest state-of-the-art tile production facility in this country. The new Del Conca USA (DCUSA) complex is located just south of Knoxville, and includes a 323,000 sq. ft. complex with production facilities, research labs, showrooms and administrative offices.

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After an initial investment of more than $50 million US dollars (Of which $30 million has been invested in world-class Italian tile production technology) DCUSA porcelain tile production has begun, actually ahead of schedule. 100 workers from the region have already been employed, many of whom traveled to Italy for highly professional, hands-on training. Loudon City Mayor Judy McGill-Keller stated, “We are delighted to have such a professional and progressive company here in Loudon. Since day one, everybody has been excited about Del Conca USA, and it’s almost unbelievable that a facility this big, this advanced… and, this beautiful could be built in under one year!”

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Allen Borden, assistant commissioner of business development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development — speaking on behalf of both his department and Governor Bill Haslam — added, “Del Conca USA is bringing great working opportunities to the great state of Tennessee.  And Del Conca USA will find out very quickly that the Tennessean work ethic is as strong as you’ll find in any state in our nation. That’s why so many fine companies have decided to locate their manufacturing facilities here. We are extremely thankful that the Mularoni family decided upon Tennessee.”

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Mularoni and his son, Paolo, president of DCUSA, both emphasized the importance that their “Made in USA” tile production will continue with the very same high levels of quality and style as offered in their “Made in Italy” products over the past three decades.”

Industry Experts to Judge the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, Presented by the ASID Foundation

DALLAS (March 31, 2014) – Daltile and the ASID Foundation today announced the panel of judges for the third Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, presented by the ASID Foundation. From interior designers to industry experts, this year’s judges will determine some of the best and brightest young professionals that the future of interior design has to offer.

This year’s scholarship competition, titled Operation Renovation, challenges students to find a residential or commercial space in need of renovation and then create a redesign to meet the needs of its users. Once students select a space, they must identify the current issues in the space and explore changes needed to make the space both beautiful and high functioning. Now through April 9, students are required to promote themselves and rally votes for their design. The general public is also invited to visit the scholarship website and vote for their favorite entry. The best designs with the most votes will move on to final judging.

Entries will be judged on the space’s functional design, aesthetic design and creative use of Daltile’s newest product offerings by the following panel of industry experts:

Charrisse Johnston, ASID, LEED AP BD+C, Assoc. AIA

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Columbia Business School, with a BA in Behavioral Sciences and an MBA in Management and Marketing, Charrisse was a Wall Street strategic planning executive before turning to interior design.  An Associate at Gensler’s LA office, Charrisse is a workplace and educational designer and project manager, and she leads the office’s community service/pro bono design efforts.  Outside of Gensler, Charrisse has been a member of ASID’s National Board of Directors, Emerging Professionals Advisory Council, and Student Advisory Council.  She currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at UCLA Extension and the Cal Poly Pomona-UCLA Extension Master of Interior Architecture Program Guidance Committee.  She has spoken at many national design conferences and was selected by the Design Futures Council as one of six Emerging Leaders of 2010.

Lori Kirk-Rolley, Vice President, Brand Marketing, Dal-Tile

With more than 15 years of expertise in the building products industry, Lori Kirk-Rolley always has her finger on the pulse of the latest tile, color and design trends. A strategic marketer, Kirk-Rolley oversees the development and execution of marketing programs for the Daltile, American Olean, Marazzi USA and Ragno brands, and leads annual Voice of the Customer research programs that provide insights into design trends, consumer needs and specifier interests and behaviors. With this knowledge, she frequently serves as a thought leader for industry and consumer publications, broadcast programs and trade organizations.

Barbara Marini, FASID, IDEC

Barbara Marini is a consultant to architectural firms, developers, and clients on issues that influence interior space. She is principal of Marini Interiors Inc., a commercial design firm and been the recipient of awards in both academics and design. Barbara currently serves as Immediate Past President of ASID, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Art Institute of Michigan, and Boston Architectural College. She has been actively engaged in interior design education and leadership, including her role as program chair at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Troy, MI and College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. Barbara is a frequent speaker on design related issues and is currently a doctoral candidate at EMU in the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling.

Erika Templeton, Editorial Director, Interiors & Sources

After spending 5 years on the marketing and communications side of the A&D industry, Erika Templeton jumped the fence and joined Interiors & Sources magazine as Editorial Director in June 2013. In this newly-created post, Erika manages the direction and strategic development of the ever-expanding I&S universe, including print and digital content, live events, education and research deliverables, and industry partnerships. Recently, she has been a speaker at the Wallcoverings Association Annual Meeting, and has served on the Program Advisory Committee for NeoCon®. She is also an occasional guest lecturer at Boston University’s College of Communication, where she earned a bachelor’s in journalism in 2009.

Kia Weatherspoon, Allied ASID, Determined by Design

The dancer turned soldier who fell in love with Interior Design. Kia Weatherspoon, President of Determined by Design, a Washington, D.C. based firm specializing in multi-family and hospitality design. She’s a social media maven expanding her design network, and more importantly, connecting with creative minds across the globe. Kia has sustained her creative goals by being actively involved in ASID on the chapter and national level  by serving on the Emerging Professional Advisory Council and the ASID National Board of Directors. Follow her design adventures @DetrminedDesign

The grand-prize winner of the competition will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and will be announced at NeoCon 2014. Winners of the first, second and third prizes each will receive a $2,500 scholarship, and 10 Merit Winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.


About Daltile

Daltile is an industry-leading brand of ceramic, porcelain, glass, metal, manufactured stone and natural stone tile products. Daltile products are distributed through over 250 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards and gallery design centers that service a robust network of trade customers. Dedicated to innovative product development and distinguished style, Daltile provides a rich palette of quality products created to inspire residential and commercial designs. For more information, visit www.daltile.com and follow Daltile on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


About the ASID Foundation

As the leading interior design organization, the American Society of Interior Designers is dedicated to advancing the profession of interior design. The ASID Foundation supports endeavors that capture and disseminate knowledge, encourage innovation, and benefit the health, safety and welfare of the public through interior design research, scholarships and education. ASID Foundation initiatives include Transform, an applied research grant program; a partnership with The 1% program and National Building Museum; REGREEN, a collaborative project with the U.S. Green Building Council; and Rebuilding Together and their Veteran’s Housing Initiative. Learn more at www.asidfoundation.org



Coverings 25Coverings 2014, the tile + stone industry’s largest international exposition in North America, offers an exceptionally wide-ranging conference program comprising more than 80 free sessions, many aimed specifically at retailers and distributors. Coverings returns to Las Vegas for its 25th Anniversary, April 29–May 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the education program beginning April 28 — adding a fifth day of conference programming.

In addition to the more than 900 exhibitors, retailers and distributors often cite the free conference sessions, which are categorized by professional experience ranging from novice to corporate leader, as a primary reason for attending the tile + stone super show. Coverings is an AIA/CES Provider, an NKBA CEU Provider Partner and is IDCEC approved. For the complete list of IDCEC and AIA approved sessions, please visit coverings.com/education.

In addition to the Keynote and Featured Speakers previously announced, other conference topics of particular interest to retailers and distributors address best practices for adapting one’s business methods to the digital age, ranging from how to access mobile shoppers to maintaining a business’ reputation online; guidance on managing the demands of the business, networking, and content marketing in the tile and stone industry; and practical knowledge about the latest standards and technology advancements in the industry. 

Here are the details to some of these not-to-be-missed sessions:

·       Luxury Appointments Elevate Bath Projects Into Lucrative Profit Centers. Christopher Grubb advises that passion for a luxurious bath has gone mainstream, elevating the bathroom to one of the most intricately designed and unique rooms in any project. Today’s consumers demand top quality materials and products and, from a cost-per-square-foot vantage point, the bath has evolved into one of the most lucrative rooms in any project. The presentation shares how to inject the bath with those special and sophisticated details that resonate with consumers. Tuesday, April 29, 12:30–1:30 p.m.

·       Maintaining and Protecting Your Online Reputation. The reputation of a business is no longer solely in its owner’s hands. Internet sites, such as Angie’s List, and social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, can make or break a business’ reputation. Despite this, many businesses rarely monitor their online comments or try to influence what customers say about them, and seem unaware of the power of online referrals or negative comments. Business owners must know where customers are posting comments and how to influence the messages about their business. Presented by associate publisher and social media specialist for Fabulous Floors Magazine, Lisbeth Caladrino, this session will help business owners to gain an understanding about today’s customers and how those customers may influence new business for the company. Tuesday, April 29, 1:45– 2:45 p.m.

·       Preventing Burnout –Tools for Managing The Exploding Demands on Our Time, Energy and Attention. Fast Company recently featured an article entitled “The American Dream on Steroid,” which focused on a series of emerging trends impacting the modern workplace, including unpredictable workflow, fast-paced work with tight deadlines, work-related events outside regular hours, and availability to clients 24/7. As a result of these trends, the article concludes, “the 60-hour workweek is part time.” Corporate training specialist and organizational development consultant, Sandy Smith notes how these emerging trends are taking a toll on the health and well-being of employees at all levels of organizations, and how these trends may lead to employee burnout – which not only affects business productivity, but harms family life as well. This session will help attendees to understand how to reduce burnout by recognizing causes and how to achieve a better balance to avoid them. Tuesday, April 29, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

·       Distributors: Who Needs You? Finding and Attracting Strategically Aligned Partners. Survival for today’s flooring distributor means rethinking their role in the supply chain, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, identifying strategically aligned partners and executing a plan to improve business results with those partners. Presented by Jim Gould, President and Founder of the Floor Covering Institute, the session will explore the changing needs within the supply chain and the evolving role of distributors. Furthermore, it will help distributors learn the value of strategically aligned partners and how creating strategic partnerships can improve their business. Wednesday, April 30, 9:15–10:15 a.m.

·       Are You Missing Mobile Shoppers?The number of global smartphone users is expected to reach over 2 billion by 2015, and retailers and distributors must interact with customers today, and in the future, or risk losing them forever. Presenter James Dion will show attendees how to make mobile marketing, mobile commerce, and mobile operations work, and provide examples of companies and brands that have already optimized their marketing, commerce and operations to integrate mobile with great success. In this session, learn how the customer of the future is going to shop and how the store of the future is going to look. Wednesday, April 30, 2:45–3:45 p.m.

·       Best Practices for a B2B Content Marketing Strategy. In this session, presented by Vincent Moiso, attendees will learn best practices in tile and stone for businesses selling to other businesses and how to incorporate a content marketing strategy into your current marketing plan. Additionally, discover what a content marketing strategy entails, as well as how to maximize ROI from such a strategy. This presentation shows the path to a current and successful strategy by using both general business best practices, and best practices specific to the tile and stone industry. Attendees will learn what other leading tile and stone industry professionals are using to promote their products and educate their customers. Thursday, May 1, 8:00–9:30 a.m.

Learn about all of the conference sessions tailored to retailers and distributors by clicking here. Register to attend Coverings for free at coverings.com/register.