TileLetter took a few spins around the Mandalay Bay exhibit halls during TISE (12 miles worth!) and discovered some useful tools, stunning tiles, helpful materials and passionate interest in supporting tile installers and contractors. Here’s a look at what we found:
Tile Redi – New were waterproof wallboards for showers and wet areas, custom Redi Your Way shower pans that allow you to design the shape, size and drain location, and custom niches.
CODA – relocate drains with ease with the Shower Drain Locator, eliminating the need for demolition. It screws over the existing drain and allows the installer to reposition the drain easily and quickly.
GRABO showed its Pro-Lifter for slabs and panels and an upcoming ultra-powerful High Flow Lifter for dry-cast pavers.
Emser Tile showed a range of new designs including Contra and Amala that combine mixed finishes to add a new dimension to the tile; the colorful Skite which can form a range of patterns with the kite-shaped piece; Terramor porcelain with the look of stone in 47” x 47” sizes and a stunning plaster deco; Spectra porcelain that offers a gentle color gradient; and a floor tile addition to the Radiant wall line that features a channel between tiles to drain water or to receive LED lighting for a dramatic look. Coming is an app that can allow the user to change colors.
QEP has completely reconfigured its company to focus to go “back to the core,” said President and CEO Len Gould. The focus is on sundries — underlayments and tools — and a dedication to installers and training, especially the next generation of installers. Leslie Del Pozo, VP Marketing Content and Communications is leading the charge to reach and support installers through a range of programs. There are innovative tools too, such as a cork-handled trowel with secure grip and diamond hole saws, drills and grinders. This is not your grandmother’s QEP!
Daltile, nestled in the mammoth Mohawk booth at the show, displayed some new products such as Divinium, a textured 8” X 9” porcelain hex with the look of marble; Acreage 8” x 48” porcelain plank with tight grain structure associated with the old growth European woods; and Artcrafted 3” x 12” tile that brings an artisan, hand-crafted look to walls. Gamma natural stone marble mosaic offers a unique arched mosaic pattern.
Crossville, now part of the AHF family of brands reflected a new focus on the retail segment of the market with a series of retail merchandise displays and colorful wall line, said Crossville’s Lindsey Waldrep. Beljan is a new carbon-neutral porcelain line styled after Belgian limestone with a rugged exterior finish and a FeatherSoft proprietary glazing technique for interiors that still sports a .6 DCOF. Sizes include a 24” x 48” exterior format with square and blended 2” x 6” mosaics.
ProKnee – Jordan Abbot showed the AB.16 and AB.0714 model knee pad with new non slip straps; and the company’s Grab n Go display.
Louisville Tile – Livable Luxury is the new collaboration between celebrity designer Jennifer Farrell and Louisville Tile. The series include Barrel Parquet, a 36” x 36” wood look parquet; Picket Fence wall tile with an elongated picket that has a satin finish; Rattan basket weave style mosaic; Button miniature rounded square mosaics and Pearls tiny rounded mosaics with opalescent finish; and Terrace with a glossy, handcrafted finish.
I.C.E. House – Farrell also designed the I.C.E. house — which stands for Interconnected Changeable Environments, a SURFACES Showhome and vision of the adapted home of the future. It is an 18-24 month full construction and reflects a vision of a highly versatile residential build space that adjusts to the needs of a family over time.
Schonox – Jeremy Waldorf showed the MBL Underlayment, an alternative to epoxy. It mitigates moisture and allows the floor to be installed in 16-24 hours. Available in July – August 2024.
IQ Power Tools – IQ’s Kevin Judd demonstrated the prototype of the new IQ 252 52” Bridge Saw. Available in 2024 Q4, it is designed for dry cutting 2 cm materials up to 52” and includes mitering functions and the famous IQ dust containment system.
MAPEI – Jim Whitfield showed the upcoming PP Level Duo MAXI pedestal system that facilitates water runoff, has an easy height adjustment and head locker ring, simple fast application and is completely recyclable.
Schluter Systems – Andy Acker showed the new KERDI-BOARD SNLT shower niche with LIPROTEC LED lighting that adds a whole new dimension to shower projects.
RUBI – Carlos Delgado demonstrated a new range of battery-operated tools for tile installers, including a mixer, suction cup lifter, triller, thumper, all using the Cordless Alliance System (CAS) batteries. Also new is the USA-made Delta Level System.
RTC Products – Dural’s Stefan Wild demonstrated the Leka Trowel. It is completely adjustable for right or left handed installers and also has adjustable notches for a range of setting projects.
Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN
Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor.