Forbo Partners with Philadelphia Floorlayers

Forbo representatives are working with Philadelphia Local 1823 to facilitate a program that gives floorlayers the opportunity to acquire the Forbo Associate Mechanic Certification, and also provides an incentive package for contractors who use Forbo-certified mechanics at projects using Forbo products. Fourteen Philadelphia floorlayers put their skills under exam recently in hopes of earning the right to acquire the Forbo Associate Mechanic Certification.

Forbo recently revised the process of awarding Associate Mechanic certifications, and now requires applicants to first pre-qualify before being invited to the newly updated and expanded Forbo Training Center in Hazelton, Pa., to train and then test for the Associate Mechanic Certification.

The floorlayers were given a mock project to complete using Forbo adhesive and linoleum products. While they worked, Forbo technical representatives observed their work and answered questions. Once finished, the technical team reviewed each candidate’s work product, including tearing apart the work to determine if the appropriate steps to completion were followed according to Forbo parameters.

One member of Forbo’s technical team is Santiago Lolo, a Floorlayer from Carpenters Local 251 in New Jersey who is also a technical partner with Forbo. “If you want to separate yourselves, Forbo can do that for you,” Lolo told the candidates.


New Tagline and Logo in Bostik Rebranding

Bostik has unveiled a new visual identity as part of what the company calls an “extensive makeover” of its brand positioning. The campaign, designed to streamline the company’s brand portfolio and strengthen its global visiblity, includes the new tagline “Smart Adhesives” and the addition of a gecko to the logo.

“The gecko is renowned for its remarkable bonding abilities that allow it to cling to almost any surface, run up polished glass and support its entire body weight with a single toe,” the company said in a release announcing the rebranding.

“The new logo reflects who we are,” stated Bernard Pinatel, Bostik’s chairman and CEO. “We are a technology leader that has been developing innovative adhesive solutions for more than a century.”


USGBC Launches LEED v4

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has launched LEED v4, the newest version of the LEED green building program. LEED v4 builds on the fundamentals of previous versions while offering a new system that prepares all LEED projects in a portfolio to perform at a higher level.

LEED v4 encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria, according to USGBC.

Highlights of LEED v4 include new market sectors such as warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality and existing retail, along with simplified LEED credit submittal requirements, building performance management criteria, and new impact categories surrounding climate change, human health, water resources, biodiversity, green economy, community and natural resources.


USG’s Durock Shower System Wins Two Product Awards

USG Corp.’s Durock Shower System took home two awards at the 2013 Remodeling Show in Chicago. The company won the New Product Award and the People’s Choice Award.

“On behalf of everyone at USG, we’re incredibly proud and humbled to receive these awards for the shower system,” said Scott Crandall, USG business manager, substrates and specialty division. “It was very rewarding to hear the positive and encouraging feedback from remodelers and general contractors at the show.”

For more information on the product, visit


Informed Decisions Platform New from HPS Schönox

In an initiative designed to encourage a serious dialog regarding environmental responsibility, product technology, and sustainability, HPS Schönox has compiled 10 of the most important questions asked in those areas and presented its answers in a new program entitled Informed Decisions. Thomas Trissl, HPS Schönox principal, noted, “Professional specifiers, architects, designers, and facility managers need information that will support their decision making processes.”

The initial 10 questions compiled and answered by HPS Schönox address some areas that might be expected such as the manufacturing and development process for Schönox products and LEED credit contribution details.  However, other questions go further into topics like health and safety for flooring installers and air quality not only after the installation process but during it, the company said.


CRI’s Braun Announces Retirement

Werner Braun, president of the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), announced that he will retire at the end of March. Braun made the announcement at CRI’s annual meeting late last year in Dalton, Ga.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Braun came with his parents to the United States in 1949. He grew up in Indianapolis, and attended St. Edward University in Austin, Texas. He came to CRI in 2000 from the Chlorine Chemistry Council, where he served as the senior director of international relations. Prior to that, he spent 31 years in analytical chemistry at the Dow Chemical Co.

Braun and his wife Mary, along with children Marylyn and Werner “Bay” Braun, plan to remain in Dalton. “We love it here,” Braun noted. According to David Jolly, CRI board chairman, the board of directors has formed a search committee to find a replacement for Braun.


New MAPEI App for iOS, Android Devices


MAPEI has produced a free app for tablets and smartphones available for both Apple and Android applications. The app includes product listings by product line, technical data sheets, safety data sheets and ancillary data including guides, brochures and bulletins.

The app also includes a locator tool so contractors can easily locate distributor and retailer locations. MAPEI grout color palettes are also a feature of the app.“This app will make it easier for flooring contractors and installers to access information about MAPEI products on the jobsite and in other mobile locations,” said Steven Day, MAPEI Americas operational marketing manager. “It can also be used by distributors in the warehouse when answering questions for customers.”


Industry Issues Council Discusses Installation

The Floor Covering Industry Issues Council (FCIIC) held its 2013 fall meeting in Chicago recently. Installation standards and the importance of installer training were an important focus of the agenda. Patrick Winters, president of the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), shared an update on the progress in developing a carpet installation standard with International Certified Floorcovering Installers (CFI), the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) and other organizations.

“The fact that the industry leaders at the FCIIC table are stepping up to address installation issues, which have been an Achilles heel for the flooring industry for many years,  is a great example of how working together can make things better for everyone in the value chain,” Winters noted.

Participants in the FCIIC have been meeting twice annually since 1994. Participating associations are CFI, FCICA, IICRC, North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA), National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and WFCA. The next meeting will take place April 15 in Chicago.


Armstrong’s Ready Retires; Succeeded by CFO Mangas


Armstrong recently announced three changes to its executive management structure. Frank Ready, CEO of Armstrong Flooring Products, is retiring after a 30-year career. Thomas Mangas, Armstrong CFO, has been tapped to succeed Ready.

Additionally, David Schultz, Armstrong Building Products’ vice president of finance, will succeed Mangas in his former role. Armstrong CEO Matthew Espe noted, “I would like to thank Frank for his 30 years of dedicated service. His many contributions will be felt for years to come.”

He added, “In Tom Mangas, we have a well-seasoned leader whose global mindset and customer focus will enable our flooring business to fully leverage recent investments. I am equally excited to welcome Dave Schultz as my finance leader.”


Laticrete Total Solutions Plus Auction Raises Nearly $7K

Laticrete held a joint auction of 12 commissioned industry mosaic artists’ pieces with the Tile Contractors Association of America, Ceramic Tile Distributors Association and the Tile Council of North America, raising nearly $7,000 at Total Solutions Plus recently.

All proceeds from the auction, held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Laticrete’s SpectraLock grout product line, were donated to the TCAA scholarship fund and Ceramic Tile Education Foundation educational efforts.

“The spectacular mosaic art pieces developed for the joint auction clearly demonstrated how our SpectraLock grout, utilizing our Dazzle additive, can help enhance an artist’s work,” said Ron Nash, Laticrete vice president of sales and marketing, North America. “Funding these scholarships is one way for us to give back to the tile industry.”


Custom Building Products Volunteers for School Mural

A team of a dozen Custom Building Products employees recently donated their time to install nearly 400 student-designed tiles at Beechwood Elementary School in Fullerton, Calif. The school recently chose to utilize student-designed tiles in order to help beautify the campus.

The volunteers from Custom mounted all of the tiles using Custom’s Commercial 100% Silicone Caulk. The campus’ newest additions join several murals and a smaller display of previously installed tiles. “The new tiles join with the previous work to create a history for this new school,” said Will White of Custom Building Products. The school site previously served as district offices.


NAC Product Releases 2014 Classic Car Calendar

NAC Products Inc. has launched the 2014 edition of its “Classic Vehicles from the Tile Industry” calendar. It follows up last year’s calendar that was released as a way to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary in 2013.

“The 2014 calendar came about due to the tremendous response we received about the calendar from people inside and outside of the industry throughout the year,” said President and CEO Tom Duve. “There are a lot of people in the industry who restore and collect classic cars, and this is a way of recognizing a popular hobby but still keeps the focus inside the flooring industry.”

The calendar also highlights a different NAC product each month and includes the dates of many industry-related tradeshows. For more information, visit


Fox Ceramic Tile Wins $5K in Tec Contractor Contest

Kevin Fox of Fox Ceramic Tile was named the grand prize winner of Tec’s “Imagine Achieve” Contractor contest. For his work on the Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA in Wichita, Kans., Fox received a $5,000 cash prize. Five runners-up were also recognized and received a $500 cash prize.

“Winning this award gives us confidence that we are doing things right and running our business with success,” Fox said. His project used Tec products to aid with fast-paced tile installation at the 110,000 square foot YMCA. Fox Ceramic Tile installed large-format porcelain tile on the building’s lobby floor, ceramic and porcelain tiles throughout the building, and porcelain mosaics in the pools, whirlpool and steam room.

Runners up were: Ron Mayo, Flooring Systems Inc.; Matt Minshall, Uptight Floor Covering; Nyle Wadford, Neuse Tile; Jeff Schultz, Metro Tile Contractors; and James Woelfel, Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co.


Wheelwright Named Chairman of IICRC Board of Directors

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) have elected three new members, joining the 12 incumbent members, to comprise the 2013-2014 board of directors. Tony Wheelwright was elected chairman, and will also serve as chairman of the executive committee.

The executive committee includes: Hank Unck, first vice president; Pete Duncanson, second vice president; Jenny Boymal, international vice president; Norm Maia, treasurer; and Kevin Pearson, secretary. Patrick Winters will continue to serve as the IICRC president.

“It is an honor to be elected to this position but it is the whole board – our team – a great group of hard-working volunteers, that I wish to emphasize,” said Wheelwright. “It’s an exciting time and we have a great deal of work to do.”

Additional members of the 2013-2014 board include: Graham Bedwell, Dennis Blake, Joe Dobbins (new this year), Joseph Hughes (new this year), Craig Jasper, Patrick Moffett, Darrell Paulson, Rodney Paulson, and Paul Pearce (new this year). Also new this year is the removal of the certification council chairman position from the executive committee. This position, filled by Norm Maia, now falls under the second vice president.


New Hires and Promotions

Bostik has promoted Scott Banda to director of marketing for its consumer and construction business unit. In his new role, he will direct the product management, marketing communications and strategic partnerships for the unit. Banda has been with Bostik for more than 10 years, including managing the marketing for the consumer product group since 2011.

CBC Flooring has appointed two new agents to represent the company’s five resilient flooring brands. Susan Phillips is the newest agent at SMP & Co., covering Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Illinois south of Chicago. Jennifer Murray is the newest agent at SpecResource, serving Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

Q.E.P. Co. Inc. has appointed Matt Glennas product manager of Roberts branded tools and underlayments, as well as Porta Nails, Homelux and Ludell branded products. For the last four years, Glenn worked for MD Building Products, managing the tile tools, carpet tools and flooring trim categories.



Distributor Appointments

DSM has announced that Empire Supply of Houston will take over all direct sales activities of  UVolve UV field-applied floor coatings in North America. Empire will market and sell the full line of UVolve single-coat, clear-coat and waterborne epoxy products.

SelecTechhas signed an agreement with Spartan Surfaces. The company will offer sales and marketing services of SelecTech’s FreeStyle ESD flooring products in the Atlantic Coast and Midwest regions. SelecTech has also signed an agreement with ProSpec Solutions Inc. ProSpec will serve as an outside sales representative for the New England commercial flooring market.

Summit International Flooringhas partnered with two distributors for the Dickson woven vinyl flooring line. Michael Halebian & Co. will cover New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. ATS International Flooring will serve the Pacific Northwest, San Francisco, Alaska and Hawaii.

Tarkett has added BPI as a distribution partner in Texas, Oklahoma and a portion of Louisiana. This includes Tarkett’s residential LVT and LVP, FiberFloor, vinyl sheet and finishing accents.

UFloor Systems has added Horizon Forest Products as its newest distributor, covering the Carolinas, Maryland and Virginia from nine branches. Horizon will carry the new Pallmann Hardwood Complete range.


Upcoming Events

CFI-WFCA Installation Extravaganza – Elk Grove Village, Ill. Jan. 14-17, 2014.

World of Concrete – Las Vegas. Jan. 20-24, 2014.

The International Surface Event
Las Vegas. Jan. 27-30, 2014.

The Market – Lynnwood, Wash.
March 4.

2014 FCICA Convention – St. Pete Beach, Fla. March 2-5, 2014.

NWFA Wood Floor Expo – Nashville. April 16-19, 2014.

Coverings 2014 – Las Vegas.
April 29-May 2, 2014.


For more industry events and training, visit and click the Calendar of Events link under the Resources tab.