wedi welcomes North American distributors to international headquarters

In 2015, wedi welcomed its North American “Blue & More Awards Program” Distribution Partners at wedi’s international headquarters and production plants in Emsdetten, in North Western Germany.

Over the course of three days, the group of wedi partners, from various regions in North America, enjoyed highly-productive networking, educational events and tour through the wedi manufacturing plant. The tour afforded the visitors a first- hand experience and insight into latest technologies in manufacturing , testing, QM and R&D around waterproofing tile underlayment and shower systems. The group also enjoyed historic sightseeing and culinary events.

wedi NA distributor tripBryan Teague from Morris Tile in Baltimore, Md., one of wedi’s top U.S. distributors on the East Coast said, “Thank you for the outstanding time I had In Germany this past week. More importantly I found it extremely educational. I now have a clearer understanding of wedi and its abilities and future goals. This new information will allow us to continue to grow market share as partners in the Washington, Baltimore and Norfolk markets.”

wedi extends its thanks to all travel group participants, with gratitude that they took time to break bread with company personnel and make this trip a great event!

Are You Paying Attention? – January 3, 2016

Back in August of last year the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handed down a new standard that “rewrites U.S. Labor law and upends thousands of business relationships”. Their reasoning is that the old standard was “increasingly out of step with changing economic circumstances”. Reaction was swift with several calling it “alarming” and “fundamentally unrealistic”. The new rule stems from the board’s watershed Browning-Ferris decision which dealt with joint-employer relationships. While the rule will have far reaching effects on industries from staffing companies to franchises, it will also have great effect on the construction industry in terms of how our labor is classified. And yes you should at the very least be aware and even concerned.

The focus of this ruling for our industry concerns the classification of labor into the camps of employees and sub-contractors. While the NLRB, the governmental agency that implements the National Labor Relations Act, has found it within their jurisdiction and infinite wisdom to reverse several decades of practice in labor relationships, they are of the opinion that the line between the two to be blurred to the point that action separating them must be taken. The dissenters on the board who voted against this decision said it “reverses several prior decisions that established clear standards…all of which had been approved by powerful federal courts of appeal”. This is specifically addressing the use of 1099-based labor in the construction industry.

I’m sure many are aware of the IRS’s 20 Point Checklist for Determining an Independent Contractor ( which has been used in the past to make the distinction between an employee and a subcontractor. It now appears that the NLRB wishes to go beyond this already stringent test to make it even more so as the Obama administration chases “perceived worker rights abuses” as a main target as increased funding to both the NLRB and the IRS has increased in the last few years. The rule seems to actively seek to “restrict and tighten the use of independent contractors “ in the construction industry. This matter is especially poignant to the homebuilding industry since the NAHB states that a typical builder “relies on an average of 22 subcontractors to build a typical single family home.” Much of this stems from the toughening stance put forth from the Department of Labor and an administrator’s opinion that stated that the DOL “is putting more weight on a subcontractor’s economic independence when it decides whether that sub really ought to be regarded as an independent enterprise”. No longer is the IRS’s checklist enough. Now subcontractors must show “the managerial and business skills that are part of being and independent contractor, not just providing skilled labor”.

At stake is misclassification of your labor, if you use subcontractors, and the perception that they should have been W-2 based employees. The money it could cost you if they deem you have breached their new rules “can be ruinous”. It has been said that “reclassification attacks are very expensive to defend” and the resulting actions trigger a “domino-like effect” that if you lose your case can have you paying beloved fees such as past due overtime, past due health insurance, past due retirement benefits, past due employee benefits, past due worker’s compensation insurance, past due state and federal withholding taxes plus penalties and interest and enormous legal fees to the other side.

I doubt any installation contractors in our industry want to incur such onerous penalties that could potentially put them out of business, so each must understand the risks and rewards of this issue. This issue is currently being researched and information is being disseminated by the installation industry. There has even been a period of time after this ruling for associations such as ours to comment to the NLRB our opinion of the rule and how it will affect our members.

There has been legislation proposed in Congress to undo the rule by representatives whose constituents have shown an “immense backlash” to it. I urge you to consider the ramifications of the NLRB’s new rule on your business and our industry. Do some research into how the rule will be applied in your state. I also urge you to contact your legislators to support, as one congressman put it, “commonsense proposals that would restore policies in place long before the NLRB’s radical decision, the very same policies that served workers, employers, and consumers well for decades.”

A program on this very subject will be presented at the Surfaces show in Las Vegas and is just one of the educational opportunities available there January 19.

Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products show leading products at TISE booth #4343

CORONA, Calif. (Jan. 13, 2016) – Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products, a division of Omega Products International, will feature some of its industry leading products at The International Surface Event (TISE) Jan. 20-22, 2016, from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Visit Siena at Booth 4343.

 SienaThe Siena exhibit will showcase a variety of products within the tile and stone installation category, specifically Siena Dragon Skin, the industry’s leading liquid applied water-proofing and crack-isolation membrane. In addition, the Siena booth will include its top-of-the-line mortars: Glass Tile Pro M375, Multi Plus Pro M200, and Medium Set Pro M400; a variety of premium grouts, and Fracture Shield anti-fracture membranes.

“We market our products as a comprehensive solution to all of your tile and stone installation and surface preparation needs,” said Christine Camponovo, longtime Director of Sales at Siena. “While unable to showcase all our products at TISE, the ones on display will show the quality and performance of the Siena brand, its superior strength, and our exceptional offering.”

Siena products at Booth 4343:

1) Siena Dragon Skin, the industry’s leading liquid applied, fast drying, high performance, easy to use water-proofing and crack-isolation membrane.

2) Glass Tile Pro M375, a high performance polymer-modified flexible mortar designed to give superior bond strength to the most demanding  glass, stone, metal, and unique tile installations.

3) Fracture Shield, a ready to use anti-fracture, crack-isolation and water resistant membrane.

4) Multi Plus Pro M200, multi-purpose, high quality polymer-modified mortar with exceptional bond strength, for use with porcelain and over plywood.

5) Medium Set Pro M400, high quality, medium bed mortar specifically formulated with non-sag/non-slip bonding for use in vertical applications and large format tile and stone.

6) Non-Sanded Grout NS200, a polymer enhanced, premium high quality grout used for grouting tile joints of 1/16 and 1/8 inch wide for tile and stone installs.

7) Sanded Grout GS 300, a polymer enhanced, premium high quality grout used for grouting tile joints of 1/8 to 1/2 inch wide for tile and stone installs.


TISE is the most comprehensive expo in the floor covering industry, featuring the latest products in every major category including carpet, tile, stone, hardwood, rugs, and laminate, plus the latest in tools, supplies, and technologies.

For regular updates on our products, please follow Siena/Omega Products on Twitter @OmegaProductsFacebookInstagram, & Houzz.

Crossville Contributes Tile for a Variety of KBIS Booths

Crossville, Inc. is bringing its latest tile collections to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) by partnering with KBIS exhibitors to provide products for installed vignettes throughout the show floor. KBIS is one of the largest industry trade shows specifically for kitchen and bath design professionals.

KBIS takes place during next week’s Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas; the week also entails the International Builders Show and occurs in tandem with the TISE West show, historically known as Surfaces Expo. Crossville is a TISE West exhibitor (booth #4023) and will present its full product story and latest offerings at this industry-specific show. However, in order to expand the brand’s presence and maximize interaction opportunities with the large audience in Vegas, the company is partnering with select KBIS exhibitors, contributing tile collections to installed room settings.

“Design and Construction Week is an incredible chance to be up close and in person with product specifiers in the kitchen and bath design industry,” explains Crossville VP of Marketing Lindsey Waldrep. “The Surfaces Expo is an essential part of our annual calendar, and we’re thrilled it now aligns with other shows that bring together so many professionals who need the products we offer.”

At KBIS, Crossville collections are featured in six suites designed by sanitary ware manufacturer TOTO USA to showcase their newest products. These suites, viewable at N1329 on the show floor, are created as room settings to show all products in use as they would be in actual residential spaces. Additionally, Crossville products are used in the Villeroy & Boch’s exhibition – N1329, as well as the Quick Drain booth – N3377. In each instance, Crossville’s latest lines, including its innovative Laminam porcelain tile panels, are incorporated into total design schemes to offer ideas and inspiration to kitchen and bath design professionals.

Design and Construction Week runs January 19 – 21, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. TISE West, aka Surfaces Expo, runs January 20 – 22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.






Construction firms added 45,000 workers in December as the industrys unemployment rate declined to 7.5 percent from 8.3 a year ago, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that the robust job gains come as a new industry outlook shows most firms expect to expand their headcount in 2016 amid growing private and public sector demand.

Based on what most contractors have reported, the robust hiring the industry has experienced during the past few months should continue through 2016,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. While contractors continue to be worried about labor shortages, regulatory burdens and health care costs, most expect growing demand for many types of construction will allow them to expand this year.”

Construction employment totaled 6,538,000 in December, the most since January 2009, and is up by 263,000 jobs compared to a year ago, a 4.2 percent increase. Residential construction increased by 23,100 in December and by 137,200, or 5.7 percent, compared to a year ago.  Nonresidential construction employers added 21,200 jobs for the month and 125,400 jobs compared to last December, a 3.2 percent increase.

Within the nonresidential construction sector, nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 11,300 employees in December and 95,300 for the year.  Nonresidential building contractors added 5,100 jobs for the month and 9,900 jobs since December 2014.  And heavy and civil engineering construction firms added 4,800 jobs in December and 20,200 jobs during the past year.

December marks the third month of large increases in construction employment, the economist noted. The growth in construction employment comes as 71 percent of firms report they plan to expand their total headcount in 2016, according to the association’s 2016 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook. Simonson noted that more contractors report they expect spending on most market public and private segments to expand this year than contract.

Association officials noted that most contractors remain concerned about shortages of available construction workers, noting that 70 percent of contractors report having a hard time finding workers.  They urged federal, state and local officials to act on measures outlined in the association’s Workforce Development Plan to support new career and technical education programs. In particular, they called on Congress to enact needed reforms and increase funding for the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

“With the construction industry expanding at rates not seen since the downturn, public officials need to make sure we are encouraging and preparing students to consider high-paying careers in construction,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the associations chief executive officer. As our outlook makes clear, the industry is likely to continue expanding this year, as long as there are enough workers available for firms to hire.”

Florida Tile opens Atlanta showroom

“We are here to bring to market our expertise and tile know-how but mostly our passion for beauty,” said Luca Setti, Florida Tile’s chief sales and marketing officer during the October 28, 2015 opening of the company’s newest showroom near Atlanta. Serving the region’s design-architect-and-contractor market, the new facility with six full-time employees features a 3,711-sq. ft. showroom with contractor area and 10,042 sq. ft. warehouse. The new Atlanta branch is located at 1455 Oakbrook Drive Suite 100, Norcross, Ga. 30093.

florida tile atlanta store ribbon cutting nov15

Celebrating the ribbon-cutting ceremony are (l. to r.): Debra Karschnik, design consultant; Brian White, branch operations manager; Michael Franceschelli, Florida Tile CEO; Kelly Petty, branch commercial sales manager; Dallyce Erickson, branch supply chain manager; Kevin Broderick, branch manager; Mike Vail, regional manager; Melinda Bredwood, branch administrator; Nick Johns, outside sales rep; Krisite Rymiszewski, national operations manager; Kristen Howard, branch commercial sales specialist; and Luca Setti, chief sales and marketing officer.


Ceramics of Italy Competition announces call for entries

The 2016 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now calling for entries. North America-based architects and interior designers are invited to submit innovative, sustainable, functional and beautiful recent projects featuring the use of Italian ceramic and porcelain tile. Projects can be new, renovated, domestic and international in the residential, commercial, and institutional categories — anything is game as long as they feature Italian tile and amazing design.

Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2016
There will be a winner and honorable mentions in each of the three categories, judged by an international jury of design professionals. Winners will receive a cash prize as well as trips to both North America’s premier tile and stone trade show, Coverings in Chicago, and the world’s biggest exhibition of tile and bathroom furnishings, Cersaie in Bologna, Italy.
The Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is now in its 23rd year. The deadline for entries at is January 15, 2016.

Warmup Inc. exhibits at KBIS 2016, with suite of controls for Smart Home Heating

Warmup Inc. will be exhibiting at the Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) 2016 that will be held January 18-21, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC). Visit the company at stand N1750 (North Hall).

Warmup is excited to release its brand new suite of WIFI controls for Smart Home Heating. The 4iE will be on display with live access to the iOS/Android APP and MyWarmup portal. You will now be able to turn on your floor heating, towel warmers and mirror defoggers from your smartphone. The 4iE is compatible with Hydronic, Electric and Baseboard heating.

Following is a list of events at the Warmup  booth during KBIS 2016:

Warmup – Wedi joint cocktail & presentation

01/20/15 at 4.00pm, booth N1750– Regis Verliefde and Nick Felsing will present: “Smart Heating for Smart Homes”: an overview of the heating possibilities for today’s smart home.

“DesignBites” hosted by Scott McGillivray

01/20/15 at 12:30pm, KBIS NeXT Stage in the South Hall – Jon Burke, Head of Marketing of Warmup will introduce Warmup 4iE Smart-Wi-Fi Thermostat.

 Warmup “Voice of The Industry” presentation

01/20/15 at 4:30 p.m. -5:30 p.m. Block 8 – Mike Quintela, from Warmup Inc. presents:

“Heated Floors in the Bathroom and Beyond”. Heated floors are becoming an increasingly common option in bathrooms. This class will review various methods of installation and scope the products available on the market today.

Contact us for your free Expo Pass at: [email protected].

About Warmup Inc.: Warmup is the world’s best-selling floor heating brand, creating and delivering energy efficient heating solutions for the 21st century home. Active in over 60 countries, Warmup has pioneered extensive testing on radiant heating technologies and is the company behind the 3iE and 4iE suite of smart controls.

About WEDI:

wedi is essentially the founder of the market sector for tile substrate elements made from extruded rigid polystyrene foam. The key behind the success is the unique HCFC free rigid blue core of the wedi building board, which is totally waterproof and requires no additional moisture barrier.

wedi is a world recognized brand with offices in 32 countries and a 50,000 sq.m state of the art manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Emsdetten, Germany, and with dedicated UK offices and warehouse facilities in Rochdale near Manchester.

After 30 years of continual product development, “wedi building boards” in addition to their conventional use in wall and floor construction are being used to create the latest designs in high quality floor-level showers and wet rooms, bathrooms, leisure and wellness environments.


For more information, please visit

NTCA Partners with CCA Global Partners


Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) officially announced that his Association has joined forces with CCA Global Partners to bring education and technical expertise to its members.

This new ground-breaking partnership brings experience, expertise and a wealth of resources to CCA Global Partners’ Members. “It is an integral component of NTCA’s continuous mission to develop and maintain installation standards and to promote qualified labor.” stated Jim Olson, Assistant Executive Director at the NTCA. “Membership in the NTCA can provide the vehicle for CCA Global Partners members to receive ideal technical training and education needed to create highest quality results for satisfied customers… and, will result in increased use and consumption of tile and stone within our market.”

The NTCA will be on hand at the CCA Global Partners Semi-Annual Convention, January 6-10, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Partners are encouraged to stop by their exhibit and apply for membership at a discounted rate.

“The association with CCA Global will pave the way for NTCA to supply CCA’s members full membership benefits; from hands-on installation workshops and industry leadership conferences to marketing programs and free technical advice,” concluded, Bart Bettiga. “CCA Global Partners are an elite group of entrepreneurs that are always looking for innovative ways to serve their customers at a higher level… and, the NTCA is proud to be a part of that initiative.” 

About NTCA

NTCA is a non-profit trade association serving every segment of the industry, spearheading education for the professional installation of ceramic tile, natural stone and allied products. For more information, please contact NTCA executive director Bart Bettiga at [email protected], via telephone at (601) 939-2071, or visit Or, contact Terri Sparks at Communicators International, Inc.: 708-921-3517; [email protected]

About CCA Global Partners

CCA Global Partners, Inc. is a privately held cooperative based in the United States with member businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. For more than a quarter of a century, CCA Global has partnered with entrepreneurial business people to create a cooperative powerhouse unmatched in the marketplace. With 13 independent business brands and more than 2,700 locations, CCA Global Partners is well positioned to positively impact the success of independent businesses. For more information on CCA Global Partners, go to

Untitled CCA_global_and_others

Bostik, Inc. plans extensive rollout of surface prep materials at TISE: 12 new products hit the market

Bostik, Inc. (, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of adhesives and sealants, will be unveiling an extensive line of surface preparation materials at The International Surface Event (TISE) January 19-22 at The Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. These new products will debut at Bostik’s TISE exhibit #4534.

“This is a monumental product launch program for Bostik in the Americas region,” exclaimed Eric Kurtz, market manager – Hardwood, Resilient & Surface Preparation Systems. “Never before have we introduced 12 products at the beginning of the year! This is just another example of Bostik’s total commitment to the industry, and our increased focused on the commercial building sector.”

“After a far-reaching R&D program, we are ready to bring the industry four new self-leveling underlayments, two new repair patches, a new deep penetrating substrate primer and a new reinforcing fiber matrix,” stated Scott Banda, director of marketing for Bostik’s Consumer and Construction Business Unit. “Our new cement-based self-levelers will offer flooring contractors many benefits and advantages including: a range of price points; robust formulations that are easy to mix and apply; and our self-curing technology that enables the material to be walked on soon after it is poured — and finally, the ability to install tile, stone, resilient, wood and other floor coverings directly over them.”

All of the new Bostik Self Leveling materials have been formulated to cure rapidly, resulting in less down-time for installers, expediting schedules and job completion. This translates into more profits for them.

Banda added that a “hybrid, gypsum/cement-based underlayment” will also be introduced. “Other new Bostik Surface Preparation Products to be presented for the first time will include a Self-Leveling Tool kit and a Collomix Self-Leveler Mixer, engineered with the input of Bostik’s German affiliate. We have made a major investment in adding these new, premium products that ensure flooring contractors’ projects are easier to install and fast-curing so that surface finishes can be installed in a matter of hours… and, that they perform at levels surpassing competitors’ products. We invite all attendees of TISE to visit our exhibit # 4534 and see for themselves the many benefits to be gleaned from our new range of Surface Prep materials!”


1 2 3 15