Best of IBS Awards 2017

IBSCongratulations to the finalists and winners of the 2017 Best of IBS Awards! The companies below vied for the title of the best of the best products, in their respective categories, at the 2017 NAHB International Builders’ Show® in January. Below are our finalists and category winners, as well as our overall Best in Show winner, which was announced at the Best of IBS Awards event on Thursday, January 12. Check out the awesome products here and see what these sterling companies will bring you at the 2018 International Builders’ Show®, January 9-11, 2018 in Orlando.

Over 400 entries in nine categories were received in the 2017 Best of IBS Awards. Our 28 industry and media judges considered the following criteria in order to select our 2017 finalists:

Best in Show Winner
AquaBoy® Pro II by Aquarius Brands

Best Bath Product
Marble Attache by DaltileWINNER!
Glance by Glance Displays, Inc.
Peel and Heat Cutting Edge by Protecto Wrap Company
PC Fan with IAQ Sense by S&P USA Ventilation Systems, LLC
Encore Pattern – Sonata Blend by SOCI
Redi Trench Barrier Free Shower Pan by Tile Redi USA, LLC

Best Energy Efficient Product
Trilogy 45 Q Mode (QE) by ClimateMaster Inc
Pro High-Flow Combo by Enviro Water Solutions LLC
Geo Dream Heating Film by Geo Dream Heat Products Inc
ODL Tubular Skylight by ODL Tubular Skylight
Intelli-Balance 100 by Panasonic Eco Solutions North AmericaWINNER!
Rhino Headers by Rhino Steel Corporation
WaterWay Rainscreen & Ventilation Mats by Stuc-O-Flex Int’l Inc

Best Green Building Product
Bissell Commercial Push Power Sweeper by Bissell Big Green Commercial
Centennial Wood Reclaimed Wood Planks by Centennial Woods
ChargePoint Home by ChargePoint
The Greyter HOME by Greyter Water SystemsWINNER!
Combination Boiler by Noritz America Corporation

Best Home Technology Product
AquaBoy® Pro II by Aquarius Brands
Biorev 360 by Biorev, LLCWINNER!
Spiral Cellars by Genuwine Cellars Inc.
Glance by Glance Displays, Inc.
Brinks Home Security Array Deadbolt by Hampton Products International
Laundry Jet by Laundry Jet

Best Indoor Living Product
Scene-Setter Chandelier by
Tension Cable Wine Racking – The Ring by Genuwine Cellars Inc.
Brinks Home Security Array Deadbolt by Hampton Products InternationalWINNER!
FusionFire by Modern Flames
Rustic Barnwood by Synergy Wood Products, Inc.

Best Kitchen Product
AquaBoy® Pro II by Aquarius BrandsWINNER!
Alterna Engineered Stone by Armstrong Flooring, Inc.
Marble Attache by Daltile
CL241WBV Wine & Beverage Center by Summit Appliance div Felix Storch, Inc.
FFBF181ES Bottom Freezer Refrigerator by Summit Appliance div Felix Storch, Inc.

Best Outdoor Living Product
Digitally Printed Aluminum Siding by DIZAL Inc.
OUTDECO Decorative Panels by Outdeco USA LLCWINNER!
QuickStep Complete Outdoor Stair System by Regal Ideas Inc.
The Sundial Starlight Awning by Sundial Starlight Awnings
Viewrail Stainless Steel Cable Rail by Viewrail

Best Window & Door Product
MultiGlide Door by Andersen Windows, Inc.WINNER!
VeriLock Wireless Security Sensors by Andersen Windows, Inc.
Studio Collection doors by JELD-WEN
VistaLuxe® Collection Configuration by Kolbe Windows and Doors
PrivaSEE by Nana Wall Systems Inc.

Most Innovative Building Product
DuPont Tyvek Protec roofing underlayment by DuPont
Eemax AutoBooster by Eemax Inc.
FLIR MR160 by FLIR Systems, Inc.
Regal Aluminum Railing w/LED by Regal Ideas Inc.WINNER!
Rheem Hybrid Electric Water Heater by Rheem Manufacturing

2017 Edition of DNG Mosaic Competition Slated to Outshine Previous Year’s Event

Bostik 1“Design ‘N Gather,” the much-heralded, annual global tile mosaic design competition created by Artaic Innovative Mosaic and sponsored by Bostik has just begun ramping up for its 2017 edition. Forward-thinking architects, designers and mosaic design enthusiasts are invited to submit “beyond the threshold of imagination” designs for a larger-than life, backlit, tile mosaic mural to be permanently installed at the spectacular “Height of Decadence,” Hyde Bellagio nightclub overlooking the iconic Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas. Their challenge will be to come up with an amazingly creative, tour de force for the soon-to-be most highly photographed and wildly publicized “Selfie Studio”… in the entire world! Entrants will qualify to win various attractive prizes, including the Grand Prize, an all expenses- paid, trip for two to Paris, France!

“Based on the outstanding success of last year’s event, Bostik, Artaic and MGM Resorts International are now partnering even more closely, focused on taking Design ‘N Gather 2017 to an even higher, more globally promoted level,” declared Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing & Business Development. “In particular, this is evidenced by the world-class location MGM has provided for us with one of their most prestigious, globally recognized resorts!”

Design n Gather

All designs submitted must be created using Tylist™, Artaic’s patented mosaic design software, and Artaic’s newly updated and expanded ” vitreous glass tile materials, consisting of over 140 vibrant colors. The winning mosaic will be fabricated in Boston USA using Artaic’s robotic manufacturing technology… and, Bostik’s Dimension® RapidCure™ Glass-Filled Grout, made of 60% recycled glass that allows light to pass through the grout joint and further illuminate adjacent tiles.

“At MGM Resorts, we look at innovation and really pushing the envelope,” stated Joyen M. Vakil, MGM Resorts’ Senior Vice President of Design & Development. “Design ‘N Gather obviously is about the mosaic medium. The products that are being utilized in DNG allow designers to express themselves seamlessly. Working with Bostik and Artaic and the technology brought to the table by them… is fantastic!”

DNG 2017 is quick, easy and FREE to enter. Registration is required, and participation is open to applicants from all design backgrounds including professionals, students and design enthusiasts. All submissions must be received not later than March 24, 2017. An esteemed panel of industry-specific experts will select the ten finalists and ultimately, the Grand Prize Winner. For more information on the event in general, please click on For information regarding registering for the competition, click on

A highly visible gallery consisting of DNG finalists will be on display at AIA Convention 2017 in Orlando, April 27-29. This same collection will also be showcased at HD Expo in Las Vegas, May 3-5. Ultimately, the Grand Prize Winner will be unveiled at an exclusive, VIP event sponsored by Bostik at Hyde Bellagio on May 4th.

“We’re continuing our mission,” summed up Dr. Ted Acworth, CEO/Founder of Artaic. “Together with Bostik and MGM Resorts International, our goal is to revitalize global appreciation for mosaic tile design. And, in doing so, discover new and talented individuals who are ready to bring this time-honored design treatment again to the forefront!”

About Bostik, Inc.

Bostik is a leading global adhesive specialist in industrial, construction and consumer markets. For more than a century, it has been developing innovative adhesive solutions that are smarter and more adaptive to the forces that shape daily lives. From cradle to grave, from home to office, Bostik’s smart adhesives can be found everywhere. With annual sales of €1.6 billion, the company employs 4,900 people and has a presence in more than 50 countries. For the latest information, visit

About Artaic

Artaic designs and fabricates custom, award-winning tile-work. Combining modern technologies with an established art form, Artaic modernizes the creation of architecturally compelling mosaics. Through fast design iterations, free sampling and robotic production in the USA, the process of customization is made as simple and painless as purchasing stock products. Artaic’s Tylist™ software enables their skilled design team to easily collaborate with the robotic manufacturing systems, easing the creation of modern mosaics by increasing design flexibility and decreasing lead times and costs. Artaic’s Mass-Customization technologies enable the production of any size project, from small to large-scale production. For more information, visit

Contact information:

Chris Eichman
Marketing Communications Manager, Consumer & Construction Business Unit
Phone: 414-607-1265 Email: [email protected]

Ron Treister

Communicators International, Inc.

Phone: 561-203-2981 Email: [email protected]

Construction Industry Groups Call on Trump to Repeal PLA Mandate

  • A coalition of 12 construction industry and other private sector groups sent a letter Tuesday to President-elect Donald Trump and requested that he rescind President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale projects.
  • The groups – including the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others – wrote that PLAs force union control of all labor relations, often require nonunion employees to pay into benefit schemes on which they might never be able to collect, and do not represent the nearly 87% of the nation’s nonunion construction workers.
  • The coalition added that repeal of the federal PLA mandate would eliminate the 12% – 18% in extra costs that these agreements trigger and would “create a level playing field” for both union and nonunion contractors.

PLAs have been a divisive issue in the construction industry, as opponents, such as the ABC, claim that PLAs restrict competition and raise costs, particularly because a common requirement of PLAs mandates that contractors and employees must pay into union benefit plans and abide by union work rules. However, proponents of PLAs claim they are a way of controlling costs and quality on the job, and they reject the idea that they place undue burden on nonunion contractors and employees.

The full argument against PLAs is included in the AGC’s regulatory plan, “Make Federal Agencies Responsible Again,” which lays out its framework for the incoming administration to use as a guide in determining which federal regulations help or hurt private industry. The AGC said that businesses paid almost $1.9 trillion in regulatory compliance costs in 2015 and more than $800 billion in regulatroy costs themselves since 2008. In addition, the association said infrastructure projects are held back by bureaucratic red tape an average of six years.

Along with PLAs, the AGC suggested that Trump also address such regulations as the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s revised silica rule, the anti-retaliation portion of OSHA’s new electronic recordkeeping rule, the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Waters of the United States” regulation and the Deparment of Labor’s revised overtime rule and its proposed exemption threshold.

The industry has pushed back against these and other federal regulations, the most recent of which is the doubling of the salary level at which employees become exempt from overtime pay laws. The revised rule raised that threshold from $23,600 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week), a move that left construction industry employers worried about extra costs and the possibility of having to reqork their internal wage and management structures.

Industry groups, including the AGC, sued the DOL over the changes, and a U.S. District Court judge in Texas issued a nationwide injuction against the rule in November, ruling that the updated regulation established a “de facto salary-only test” in determining whether an employee should be paid overtime and at what pay level.

Two Days of Certified Tile Installer Hands-on Testing Scheduled for TISE 2017


The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) will be conducting Certified Tile Installer (CTI) hands-on testing on Wednesday, January 18th and Thursday, January 19th, 2017during The International Surfaces Event (TISE) in Las Vegas, NV. Those who pass the hands-on and the written tests earn the CTI designation.

What is the CTI Program?

The CTI designation identifies the professional installer who has reached a level of proficiency to independently and consistently produce a sound tile installation that displays good workmanship. Certification is the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women who presently are installing tile successfully in the United States.

To qualify for the CTI Program, installers must have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis. This means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials.

“The CTI program is strictly a test of the installer’s skills and knowledge; it offers no instructional classes,” says Scott Carothers, director of training and education for CTEF.  “However, many installers who have completed the CTI tests say that studying the written materials was very valuable and assisted in the completion of the hands-on test and that the CTI Manual provided the correct methods for tile installation which may not have been the way they installed tile in the past.”

What does CTI testing consist of?

The CTI program includes two separate tests.

  • The first is an online open-book exam which is taken at home or the office as the installer’s schedule allows.
  • The second is a hands-on test which is conducted at regional locations across the United States. The hands-on portion of the test begins at 7:09 am and must be completed by 4:00 pm. Installers should arrive at 6:30 am in order to get their tools set up and be ready to start the test at 7:09 am.

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) which sponsors the CTI program is supported by all segments of the ceramic tile industry. CTEF is headquartered in Pendleton, South Carolina, near Clemson University and in close proximity to the offices of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. The CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge which is recognized by the tile industry.

To register for the CTI hands-on tests taking place during TISE 2017, please visit, select the test date of your choice, make your payment, and you will receive study materials.

To learn more, visit CTEF at Booth #7074 during TISE 2017.

# # #

About the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. Certification programs include the CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program which is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge to be recognized by the tile industry, and the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT). For more information, visit

Follow CTEF on Twitter:, on Facebook:, and on Google+:

Crossville to Live Stream Education Sessions at The International Surfaces Event

CROSSVILLE, Tennessee — Domestic tile manufacturer Crossville will offer unique education sessions at booth #5403 during The International Surfaces Event. In addition to the opportunity for show attendees to view sessions in person, Crossville will stream the content on Facebook Live.

Lindsey Waldrep

Lindsey Waldrep

“With these quick learning sessions, we’re putting the spotlight on the creative solutions that our products offer for flooring retailers and their customers,” explains Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s Vice President of Marketing. “The ideas and information we’ll be sharing take the trade show experience to another level, and by live streaming our sessions, we’re excited to include a broader audience that can benefit from all we have to share.”

A panel discussion featuring two prominent interior designers is among the sessions Crossville is hosting. Charlotte, NC’s Lisa Mende and Las Vegas-based Patricia Gaylor will discuss tile trends and tips for retailers in working with design professionals.

“We are focused on giving attendees some great take-aways that they can immediately take action on—insights that will help them improve their businesses,” Waldrep summarizes.

To follow is a list of all sessions Crossville will host in-booth and online via Facebook Live. All show attendees and the media are invited to attend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

  • 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – At Home with Porcelain Tile Panels—Case studies and creative solutions achieved in residential spaces through Porcelain Tile Panels. Presented by Lindsey Waldrep, Vice President of Marketing, Crossville, Inc.


  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. – Advances in Porcelain Tile Panels—The latest learnings and new developments in Porcelain Tile Panels. Presented by Noah Chitty, Director of Technical Services, Crossville, Inc.


  • 2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – New to You from Crossville—Discover the latest creative solutions brought to you by Crossville. Presented by Scott Jones, Director of New Product Development, Crossville, Inc.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

  • 9:30 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. – Introduction to Tile—Are you new to tile? Get a bit of perspective and what you need to know to work with tile in your design projects. Presented by Tony Robson, Architectural Sales Manager, Crossville, Inc.


  • 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Designer Panel Discussion—Creative solutions achieved through tile in real-world examples discussed in detail in this facilitated discussion with Patricia Gaylor, Interior Designer and Founder of Patricia Gaylor Interior Design, and Lisa Mende, Interior Designer, Owner and Founder of Lisa Mende Design. Facilitated by Lindsey Waldrep, Vice President of Marketing, Crossville, Inc.


  • 2:00 p.m.- 2:15 p.m. – New to You from Crossville—Discover the latest creative solutions brought to you by Crossville. Presented by Robin Rhea, Brand Director, Crossville, Inc.


For more information or to reserve a seat, visit View the sessions live from your computer or mobile device via Facebook Live: .


About Crossville, Inc.

Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications. Its headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Crossville, Tennessee. Crossville, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Curran Group, a privately owned holding company renowned for its core values of family, respect, partnership, integrity, and improvement.

An industry innovator, Crossville is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following:

– production of large format tile on site,

– manufacturing of tile with certified recycled content,

– development the Tile Take-Back® Program for recycling fired porcelain tile,

– attaining of certification for waste recycling programs,

– earning of TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines,

– distribution of a complete line of porcelain tile panels (Laminam by Crossville), and

– designation as a net consumer of waste in the domestic tile industry.

For more information on Crossville, visit



Loxcreen Flooring Group’s professional division undergoes re-brand into M-D PRO; PROVA brand remains

md-pro_logoMississauga, ON:  M-D PRO is the new name for The Loxcreen Flooring Group, which comes under the M-D Building Products umbrella.

In December 2012 when M-D Building Products (Oklahoma City) completed the acquisition of The Loxcreen Company (Columbia, SC), it returned full circle to the professional floor covering accessory business with the Loxcreen Flooring Group division operating out of Mississauga, ON, Canada. The Loxcreen acquisition meant that M-D was now the proud owner of some of the most respected brands in the industry. Brands like Bengard, Dura-Trim, KinTrim and Loxcreen Floor Covering Accessories were now part of the M-D family of businesses.

With so many well-known brands under the M-D umbrella, the time was right to consolidate and simplify their professional market presence under the newly created M-D PRO name. The professional division launched its new name to their customers the first week of January 2017, along with a brand new logo that will replace Loxcreen Flooring Group on all future product labels, marketing materials, social media, as well as a new website that is currently in development,

“This new logo was designed to honor the history of the M-D brand but also to clearly distinguish it from the traditional retail channels that M-D is best known for,” said Joe Comitale, president of M-D PRO. “The M-D PRO business has a separate and autonomous management team that works closely with the senior management of M-D to make sure that corporate ideals are maintained while at the same time taking advantage of the expertise and specialization that the professional side of the business demands.”

The re-brand has been an evolutionary one, as initially, the professional floor covering brands remained stand alone. The first year after the acquisition, the M-D logo started appearing on marketing collateral as well as in advertisements and customer communications. Soon after, the M-D logo became more prominent and the trade shows proudly announced the M-D affiliation and ownership. In essence, this is just the final step in that evolution.

“It is extremely exciting for the Loxcreen Flooring Group brands to continue the evolution into the M-D family by changing the name to M-D PRO. The Loxcreen Flooring Group being an integral part of such a large, century old, well respected and recognizable organization such as M-D will certainly help us achieve our objective of brand consolidation, simplification and recognition”, Steven LaGrou, VP Sales and Marketing M-D PRO.

PROVA brand remains

M-D PRO will be the brand name for all of the professional accessory product lines (Carpet Metal, Vinyl, and Wood and MDF) with one exception. M-D is also the owner of the decade old PROVA brand of ceramic and stone installation accessories. PROVA has quickly established itself as a proven, reliable and high performing product line in the M-D family.

“PROVA was the only other brand that we decided to keep and promote due to its established brand equity, its great potential for growth in the marketplace and its overall meaning to the product line”, according to Julia Vozza, marketing manager, M-D PRO. The PROVA name was derived from the Italian word PROTEGGERE which means “Protect” and from the word “Vapor”, Vozza adds.

What started out as a single product in Canada is now an entire system of waterproofing products, tile underlayment, shower systems and other tile and stone accessory products that are sold all over North America. This stand-alone brand will continue, but will in fact proudly include the M-D logo as well in recognition of its family ties.

This re-brand is set for a progressive roll out as of January 2017. The new M-D PRO branding and image will be on display at The International Surface Event in Las Vegas. Visit booth #5447 to learn more about M-D PRO and how they can help to benefit your business in 2017.

About M-D PRO:

M-D PRO (formerly known as the Loxcreen Flooring Group) provides a broad range of floor covering and building accessories. The company’s core business is a traditional line of aluminum and vinyl extruded floor transitional moldings that aid in a spectrum of installation challenges.

Through strategic partnerships and acquisitions over 40 years in business, M-D PRO has remained committed to providing our customers with innovative product lines that include PROVA ceramic and stone tile installation accessories, M-D tools, DuPont & TOWER caulks and sealants. These growing product lines continue to compliment the core line of trims for carpet, ceramic, laminate, vinyl, resilient and hardwood floors.


 About M-D Building Products:

M-D Building Products, Inc. has a rich history of product development and manufacturing expertise. Beginning in 1920 as Macklanburg Duncan, the M-D story encompasses almost 100 years of innovating and manufacturing products demanded by customers. M-D products are market leading in the categories of flooring accessories, flooring tools, weatherization, caulks, sealants and digital levels.








Interceramic updates showrooms, infuses them with inspiration

(Dallas, Texas) –Inspiration. That’s the byword for the fresh approach to Interceramic’s new showrooms, which opened in mid-October in San Antonio and Dallas. “It’s all about inspiration,” said Marianne Cox, director of marketing, Interceramic USA. The new showroom evokes the question, “How do I pair wall and floor decorative elements in my space?” she said.

The 15,000 sq. ft Dallas Interceramic facility houses the showroom, offices and a contractor area, plus a 35,000 sq. ft. warehouse.

I attended the grand opening of the Dallas location, 11935 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 130, to witness the new way Interceramic is showing up to the industry, A&D professionals, contractors and the public.

In 2015 Interceramic began a rebranding and repositioning of its brand.  These new showrooms are an extension of that. The 15,000 sq. ft space houses the showroom, offices and a contractor area, plus a 35,000 sq. ft. warehouse.

A map leads visitors through the showroom space.

Kyle Jeffery of Callison RTKL, design director for the project said there was a focus on “making the product art,” which meant including only key vignettes so as to not limit the vision of what could be done with a product.  “When a customer sees a tile in a bathroom, they think, ‘That’s a bathroom tile,” Jeffery said. “This showroom is designed to let your imagination go, and give you a more open mind.”

The Featured Products area.

A series of metal frames gives the space structure and lets product flow from category to category: Featured Product, Stone, Wood, Concrete (tile) and Natural Stone. “We wanted to make it feel like a studio,” Jeffery said.

The kitchen and lounge with a working kitchen serves as a community room for events and lunch and learn gatherings.

There is a community area with a gourmet kitchen and island that can be used for company events, but also for team building – a true multifunction space, he said. Interceramic’s Cox  said an IIDA event is scheduled in the coming weeks; and there are plans to hold “lunch and learns” in the space.

Product is displayed on massive “canvases” on the wall and there’s a library wall with sliding sample racks as well as collaborative work stations. Offices are embedded within the showroom to integrate personnel with space visitors.


An interesting note: the floors are not covered in tile or stone. Jeffery said natural concrete is interspersed with tile or stone flooring to provide contrast and let the tile stand out and make it “more special,” he said.

 More to come

Cox said the showrooms are the beginning of the outpicturing of the new branding – a new 240,000 sq.ft. distribution center is being built 15 miles north of Dallas.

“Interceramic has a state-of-the-art factory in Chihuahua,” Cox said. “Until very recently, it was the largest in the world.” And a new factory is in the works there, growing capacity.” Currently, the company has an annual capacity of 500 million sq. ft.

“ Interceramic owns its entire process, from beginning to end,” Cox added. “It owns its mines for raw materials and its mold shop  — we make our own molds and punches and etch our own rollers for lines that aren’t ink jet,” she said.

Interceramic is strong on, well CERAMIC. High density ceramic to be exact – what’s now known as HD Ceramic. “We make ours denser, with the same glaze as porcelain, fired at the same temperature as porcelain – but way more affordable.”

 Showroom flow

Cox explained that the flow of the showroom follows the way the consumer shops. The rotunda area to the right of the front door holds signage that tells the story of HD Ceramic and technological innovations like Lumen FX, a unique ink that gives a subtle shimmer to veining in tile products.

There’s also information about Interceramic’s wall tile – the only manufacturer in the U.S. that uses digital printing on wall tile, made in the company’s Garland, Texas factory, which has an annual capacity of 300 million sq. ft.

Interceramic is the only manufacturer in the U.S. that uses digital printing on wall tile, made in the company’s Garland, Texas factory, which has an annual capacity of 300 million sq. ft.

Moving into the main part of the showroom, one first encounters Feature Products, where all the new introductions populate the floors, walls and occasional vignettes, interspersed with concrete floors to create “focal points” Cox said – and tile appears in places and patches for inspiration.

ic-12-vignetteNext is the Stone looks, with core and new products that are showcased along with a sample library of digitally-printed wall time and samples paired with floor tile. Sliding sample drawers allow clients to take a sample home to pair with other furnishings.

Following are the Wood and the Concrete areas, paired with coordinating product, such as textile designs or encaustic looks.

Beyond the community area is the Natural Stone section, with a full selection of all the hottest stone species, and a conference room with a marble herringbone wall.

ic-13-bling-and-natural-stoneAdjacent to the Natural Stone area is the Inspiration area, showing different ways to pair materials and looks and textures. “It’s all about Inspiration,” Cox emphasized. Also on display are “our jewels” Cox said – iridescent and colorful glass, stone mosaics and other wall or floor bling.

ic-4-merchandiserNavigating past the showroom takes you into the office area, where the Elite display merchandising unit sits – packed with 96 boards that showcase Interceramic’s entire line of tile and natural stone. At nine feet from end to end, “This is for the dedicated tile customer,” Cox said, adding 200 have already been sold. A smaller, 7.5 foot wide merchandiser is also available.

Paic-9-contractor-areast the offices is the contractor area, with comfortable seating for contractors to wait for orders, and a 35,000 sq. ft. warehouse.


The design makes the most of each space – even the women’s restroom (and presumably the men’s too) is a showcase and example of how to pair product. ic-11-bathroom-gallery



Spectra Contract Flooring of Carrollton, Texas installed the Dallas location;  and J&R Tile of San Antonio installed the showroom in that town.

At the opening, (l to r) Interceramic’s director of marketing Marianne Cox, Victor E. Almeida Interceramic executive vice president U.S. operations, TileLetter’s Lesley Goddin, and Interceramic’s chairman and CEO Victor Almeida.

At the opening, (l to r) Interceramic’s director of marketing Marianne Cox, Victor E. Almeida Interceramic executive vice president U.S. operations, TileLetter’s Lesley Goddin, and Interceramic’s chairman and CEO Victor Almeida.












































Faces in the News – December 2016

marco_roma2MAPEI – Marco Roma has been appointed general manager of MAPEI Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of the global chemical products manufacturer. Roma will join the MAPEI Americas leadership team and will report directly to MAPEI Americas president and CEO Luigi Di Geso. His global experiences in Italy, China, France and the UK with Mapei S.p.A., MAPEI, and the Materis Group have prepared him to step into his new role easily, and his fluency in French and English will be an important asset to working with the bilingual communities in Canada.



LATICRETE – Two new members have joined the LATICRETE Board of Directors, replacing directors Ron Shawn and Dr. Bernard Gustin, who are retiring after 25 years.

laticrete-sl-portrait-smlDr. Stephan Liozu brings more than 23 years of experience with several multinational building product companies. An author and presenter, he has expertise in the manufacturing and distribution practices of the industry. His forte is customer value management, and recent accomplishments include coaching, consulting and training for large global industrial companies.

Dr. Volker Weidmann joins LATICRETE with 28 years of experience, including being the managing director of Hermann Otto GmbH in Fridolfing, Germany, for the last 20 years. Having worked extensively in sales, R & D, application support, marketing and branding, Dr. Weidmann brings a laticrete-volker-jpegcomprehensive knowledge of construction industry practices and materials. He has been elected chairman of the German Industry Association of Sealant Manufacturers (IVD).



Q.E.P named a Master Distributor for Bissell Commercial 

Q.E.P. Co., Inc. entered into a strategic partnership with Bissell Commercial to become a Master Distributor of the full Bissell BigGreen Commercial® line of vacuums, cleaning machines and supplies throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the northern countries of South America.

To support this new strategic partnership, Q.E.P. has appointed Nathan Mincey as QEP’s senior director of Specialty Markets. Mincey will be the point of contact with Bissell Commercial and will develop the sales and marketing strategy to expand their offering into existing markets as well as identifying new areas of opportunity.

Lewis Gould, Chairman & CEO of Q.E.P. Co., Inc., said “This strategic alignment with Bissell Commercial will allow us to further penetrate our distributor marketplace where there is a need for professional products for remediation, floor cleaning, installations, etc. In addition, with Bissell Commercial and QEP products, QEP will place emphasis behind new areas of focus such as the maintenance, repairs and operations (MRO) community.”

NTCA participates in Gary Sinise Foundation groundbreaking ceremony of specially adapted smart home for USMC Sgt. Michael Frazier

Marine Sgt. Frazier with wife Monica and daughter Sophia at the groundbreaking. The couple is expecting a second child soon.
These specially adapted smart homes are built through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program, with support from many donors across the country.

These specially adapted smart homes are built through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program, with support from many donors across the country.

On September 23, NTCA participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a specially adapted custom smart home that is being built by the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program ( for U.S. Marine Sergeant Michael Frazier (Ret.) in Pittsboro, N.C.

Paige Wadford Smith of NTCA Five Star Contractor Neuse Tile Service, Youngsville, N.C., was on hand to represent NTCA at the ceremony.

“It was an honor to be there to represent NTCA, to meet the Frazier family, and to see the support of the local construction community and so many from the neighborhood,” Smith said. “We look forward to helping Gary Sinise Foundation welcome this courageous couple to our area and to their fantastic new home.”

These specially adapted smart homes are built through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program, with support from many donors across the country. These include Dr. Hans-Peter Wild, The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation, together with building partners that include Shubert Design Furniture, Core Brands, National Wood Flooring Association, National Tile Contractors Association, GE, Sunbelt Rentals, Benjamin Moore, National Association of Home Builders, James Hardie, North American Van Lines, MAPEI, Crossville, Inc., Broan NuTone, American Airlines, BrightView, and Hearthstone Luxury Homes, an independently owned and operated franchise of Arthur Rutenberg Homes. These partners joined the greater Triangle community to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for a specially adapted custom smart home for USMC Sgt. Frazier.

Marine Sgt. Frazier with wife Monica and daughter Sophia at the groundbreaking. The couple is expecting a second child soon.

Marine Sgt. Frazier with wife Monica and daughter Sophia at the groundbreaking. The couple is expecting a second child soon.

Sgt. Frazier grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa. After the attacks on 9/11, he felt a sense of duty and enlisted in the Marines in 2005. He served seven years with three combat deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. While on patrol in 2011 in Helmand Province, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast took both of his legs and much of the use of his right arm.

During his recovery at Walter Reed National Medical Center, Sgt. Frazier met his wife Monica, who worked as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman. They were married in 2012. Michael retired from the Marines two months later, and Monica gave birth to their daughter Sophia. They are expecting their second child soon. The couple looks forward to settling down in North Carolina and is grateful to be receiving a specially adapted custom smart home through the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program.

These specially adapted smart homes (51 that are underway or completed) make the simple tasks of everyday life – climbing stairs, reaching a high shelf, getting in and out of the bathroom – more accessible for Sgt. Frazier and other severely wounded veterans. These one-of-a-kind, mortgage-free homes are being built nationwide, each for a wounded hero, their caregivers and families. With a place to truly call home, they will now be able to move forward with their lives.


Florida Tile CEO named TCNA president


franceschelli-_-nov-2016Mike Franceschelli, CEO of Florida Tile, Inc., since 2010, was recently named president of Tile Council of North America, for a two-year term. He’s led the company to steady growth in sales and profits while also expanding their manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

Franceschelli has taken an active role in TCNA, serving four years as 2nd vice president before accepting his current post. His commitment to raising the bar in the tile industry is reflected in the goals that he has set for himself and TCNA for the coming year.

“Developing a TCNA ‘Why Tile’ program to educate consumers and the industry on the many benefits of tile is high on my list of priorities,” says Franceschelli. “It’s important to lead this charge of informing the public and training our industry professionals in order to make a positive impact in the flooring market.”

His list of objectives for the coming year highlight the ambition and dedication he and TCNA have for the tile industry.

Develop the TCNA “Why Tile” program to inform consumers and the industry regarding the health, safety, environmental, cost, and design benefits of tile

Work with labor organizations to support career training and certification programs

Continue to facilitate the development of standards to better define technical product performance and to inform consumers about the safe use of tile surfaces

Maintain the collaboration of the TCNA Handbook Committee and the publication of installation details relevant to today’s products and practices

Promote further collaboration with other major trade organizations including CTDA, NTCA and TCAA

Develop an even stronger bond between members in the US and Canada and their TCNA colleagues in Mexico

Promote cooperation within the global tile manufacturing communities in Italy, Spain, Brazil and around the world

Contribute on an international basis to ISO standards

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