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        Florida Tile Presented National Safety Council’s PERFECT SAFETY AWARD For Incident-Free Year
        June 24th, 2013

        By: Richard Howland & Associates

        The US National Safety Council recently presented Florida Tile with its Perfect Record Award recognizing at least 12 consecutive months without incurring a company-wide occupational injury or illness that resulted in days away from work or death.

        According to Darin Dillow, Florida Tile’s Safety and Environmental Manager, to meet “The criteria of the award requires that a company, unit and/or facility or an individual must have continued without the occurrence of an occupational injury or job-related illness involving days away from work or death for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, and be accordance with the OSHA record keeping requirements.”

        “Eligibility is determined based on self-reported data submitted by the participant, which must be submitted within 60 days from the date the total hours were reached. Any organization recording a fatality will be disqualified,” Dillow added.

        Dillow also noted that the company also was cited separately by the National Safety Council with its Occupational Excellence Achievement Award for an overall job-related incident rate of half the Department of Labor’s established minimum standards.

        Florida Tile is headquartered in Lexington, KY, employs 375 workers and operates its porcelain and ceramic tile manufacturing facility in nearby Lawrenceburg.


        Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panariagroup, a publicly owned company traded on the Milan Stock Exchange (MILAN: PAN IM). Panariagroup is a leading manufacturer and distributor in over 60 countries around the world with six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA and eight brands positioned in the high-end of the market.?

        Benefits of Being a CTDA Member
        June 17th, 2013

        Steve Vogel of Conestoga Tile talks about the benefits of being a Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) member at Coverings 2013 in Atlanta. Click the image below to view the video.

        Benefits of CTDA Membership

        Manhattan Collection
        June 14th, 2013

        Imagine Tile is introducing their first ever New York City-inspired product line. The Manhattan

        Collection features six geometric and eye-catching patterns, ranging from Old World Moroccan to Sixties Mod, all similar in their entrancing graphic affect. Each pattern is named after and reflects the personality of a distinct neighborhood: SoHo, Chelsea, Gramercy, Flatiron, NoMad, and Nolita. For example, the Gramercy pattern was influenced by the flooring found at Gramercy Park Hotel; known for its geometric flooring and contrasting, colorful decor. Another pattern SoHo, fashioned after the popular

        chevron print, is trendy and timeless just like the must-see shopping district.Beyond the character found in each of the areas around New York City, Imagine Tile was also inspired by the graphic prints traditionally used in cement tile. However, the Manhattan Collection differs as it provides lower maintenance without compromising artistic integrity. “Geometric patterns are trending in flooring, however, standard concrete tiles require a lot of upkeep, are much thicker than regular flooring, and more expensive to ship and install,” explains Christian McAuley, owner of Imagine Tile. “Our new collection is the perfect solution to add both edge and flow to any space with sustainable ceramic tiles.”


        LEED help from LATICRETE? SUPERCAP?
        June 14th, 2013

        LATICRETE? SUPERCAP?, LLC, manufacturer of the revolutionary self-leveling SUPERCAP? System, launches a new LEED Project Certification Assistant, making the specification of “The Next Generation Slab?” for projects quick and easy. The LATICRETE SUPERCAP LEED Project Certification Assistant is an innovative online tool which automatically generates the necessary data for submittals for a LEED project. This handy online tool quickly produces a PDF file with details on the LATICRETE SUPERCAP products being used in the project, including the VOC content, recycled content, manufacturing location, raw material sources and GREENGUARD certification. Technical data sheets, and a map showing the location of the upcoming project with a 500-mile radius circle depicting its relation to LATICRETE SUPERCAP manufacturing facilities, are also provided. With just a click of the mouse, the LATICRETE SUPERCAP LEED Project Certification Assistant produces detailed and accurate information regarding LEED-compliant installation materials, eliminating a time-consuming process which could take weeks. To utilize this online tool, visit www.laticretesupercap.com. “We strive to continually provide a high level of service to our customers,” said John Sacco, Managing Director LATICRETE SUPERCAP, LLC, “this online tool cuts out all the research and gathering of information; in less than a minute, all the documentation is there and ready to print.”

        supercap leed assistant

        Florida Tile’s Streamline
        June 14th, 2013

        Florida Tile’s versatile Streamline combines the best features of the former Bright and Matte programs and the existing Streamline series with upgrades in formats and the hottest new colors for inspired interior design.? From a clean, crisp Arctic white to the dark, gunmetal gray, the 10-color palette is contemporary with matte & gloss finishes. Available formats are 3×6, 4×4 and 4×16 along with necessary trim shapes to complete any commercial or residential installation. This includes cove bases, cove base corners, quarter rounds, and quarter round corners.? The 4×4 and 4×16 are modular* to each other and the 3×6 and 4×4 sizes now coordinate with our glass and stone items. The bold statement of the 4×16 pushes the envelope with an eye on future trends. While larger rectangle shapes can be challenging to install with a full 50% offset, the new Streamline is compatible with popular brick patterns. Equally exciting is the immense decorative offering selected to inspire any space. Keeping the best-selling, existing Ivy and Jewel listellos in an expanded color offering, we then added trims like Pencils but kicked them up a notch with bold new colors. We have also added mixed glass mosaics and 3 dimensional listellos.


        Universal Design: More than a Boomer Benefit
        June 3rd, 2013

        By Kathleen Furore

        For many people—tile dealers and contractors included—the term ‘universal design’ brings to mind ‘Baby Boomers’ or ‘aging population.’ But while the concept does include features appealing to older adults, members of that demographic group aren’t the only ones who enjoy the benefits universal design brings.

        “Universal design is the?design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design,” according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), an organization that offers a Universal Design/Build course.

        “The principles of universal design can apply to anyone—not only Baby Boomers!” stresses Dan Taddei, director of education and certification at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The Association offers a Universal Remodeling course designed to help participants sell and conduct remodeling projects based on Universal Design principles. “Universal design is attractive not only to those who wish to age in place but also to families with special needs and those that are simply forward thinking.”

        As the NAHB says, “Everyone can use universal design! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old. You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You might have a disability. Or you may be a prize-winning athlete. Because of universal design, people who are very different can all enjoy the same home. And that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.”


        Interest on the Upswing

        According to the NAHB, universal design it is a trend showing promise for 2013 and beyond.

        “Universal design is becoming stylish through open floor plans and curbless showers. Additionally, remodeling projects are including design elements that allow for home owners to age in place,” information from NAHB says, noting that emphasis is shifting “from 50+ housing to more integrated communities with universal design features.”

        Manufacturers agree that consumers are becoming more aware of and interested in universal design.

        “We have definitely seen an increased interest in universal design principles,” reports Earl Maicus, architectural services manager at the Plattsburg, N.Y.-based offices of Schluter- Systems L.P., a company that offers innovative installation systems for tile and stone. “One of the main factors has been the economy and its effect on the reduction of new home construction. This has increased the desire for current homeowners to remodel their existing homes to the greatest extent possible, without the need for future adaptation or specialization for longer ownership.”

        That concept, Maicus explains, is called “aging in place” and involves remodeling with future needs in mind.

        “So a barrier-free bathroom may be designed today for its design attributions, with the idea that later it will be convenient because it enables more freedom and independence,” Maicus says. “This concept I believe has also caused a ripple effect into other market segments causing them to incorporate these universal design principals into their building design standards.”

        Farrell Gerber, executive vice president of Tile Redi in Coral Gables, Fla.—maker of Redi Free? barrier-free shower pans—concurs.

        “Universal design is a major trend in both residential and commercial design,” Gerber says. “It is creating environments that are inherently accessible to people both with and without disabilities.”

        Tie-in with Tile

        The tile industry is an important player in any discussion of universal design.

        “Tile has many attributes that make it the ideal finish for universal design. Tile is durable, hygienic, versatile, and has high-end appeal, which will add to the longevity of applications such as floors, walls, counter tops and shower or wet areas,” Maicus says. ?“With aging in place being a common reason behind remodeling, the durability of the material and installation systems become paramount since the homeowner may be designing for his needs that may be many years in the future.”

        Gerber adds that universal design allows for barrier-free showers to be designed with tile instead of acrylic or cultured marble shower bases, bringing “an upscale flush tile look into the bathroom floor.”

        Schluter Systems and Tile Redi are two of myriad companies that offer products easily incorporated into projects employing universal design principles.

        The Schluter-Shower System, for example, includes the Schluter-KERDI-LINE drain, Schluter-KERDI pre-sloped shower tray and the Schluter-KERDI waterproofing membrane “that together allow tile dealers to provide a complete solution for home owners looking for a more universal design option to shower areas,” Maicus says of the company’s barrier-free shower installation.

        Tile Redi offers Redi Free? barrier-free shower pans designed without a curb to provide accessibility into the shower, appropriate whether a client is removing a bathtub and replacing it with a handicapped shower, or doing a complete bathroom renovation, Gerber says.

        And while Maicus notes that additional design considerations must be addressed when incorporating universal design features, the cost usually doesn’t rise.

        “If I build a barrier-free shower and there is no shower curb to stop the water, then I must continue the waterproofing into the drying area of the bathroom so that the substrate does not get negatively affected by the water that will transfer onto the tiled bathroom floor,” he says. “This being said, the tile and products such as Schluter-Systems, would not be more expensive.”

        Taddei agrees that adding most universal design features typically doesn’t impact price. “It often involves just a slight change in how you design [a room] so it usually doesn’t cost more money. The only cost might be something like getting less space in a room because you’ve made the hallways wider,” he says.

        Selling Clients on Universal Design

        Helping clients understand how they can benefit from universal design features is key to selling the concept.

        “Remodelers should frame it as a full-faceted concept that adapts a home or a space in the home to all its occupants,” Taddei says. “You should do a needs assessment when you speak to clients, and explain that [universal design] modifications can be something as simple as widening halls and doorways, installing upper and lower cabinets based on a client’s height, or adding door levers instead of round handles—it is about make adjustments based on clients’ needs.”

        Taddei uses his own situation as an example. “I built a ranch house with three bedrooms upstairs and a bedroom and master downstairs so when the kids moved out we could live on the first floor. We also have laundry on the first floor and easy access to the outside—our family situation changed but our living style has not,” he says. “My wife and I have bad knees and I have back problems, so we recognized the need.”

        Maicus suggests letting clients know universal design is worthwhile from multiple perspectives.

        “From a design concept, customers can achieve beautiful open spaces that make for attractive homes. Universal design is really not only about needing barrier-free spaces, although the nice thing about creating these spaces is that if you do happen to need this in the future, the remodeling is already conducive to your needs,” he says.

        There is also an often-overlooked plus. “If you don’t need this accommodation, and decide to leave your home, then you’ve added value to your home from a resale perspective,” Maicus concludes.

        Industry Resources

        National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Association offers several educational options including the new Universal Design/Build course and The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation program. For more information about NAHB’s educational programs, visit www.nahb.org/page.aspx/landing/sectionID=1 or call 800-368-5242.

        National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The Association offers classes including the Universal Remodeling Education Program, which provide the tools needed to sell and conduct remodeling projects based on universal design principles. This course also serves as a prep course for the Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP) designation. For more information, visit www.nari.org/education/universal_remodeling.asp or call 847-298-9200.






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