Schluter-Systems’s Woodruff Named ‘CTI Host of the Year’

Phil Woodruff of Schluter-Systems was recognized by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) as the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) “Host of the Year.”

The award was presented for Woodruff’s efforts in developing a partnership in which CTI tests are conducted at select Innovation Workshops hosted by Schluter-Systems. The CTI program is a comprehensive testing of the skills and knowledge of experienced tile installers.

Scott Carothers, director of certification and training at CTEF said, “Industry partnerships are extremely important to us at CTEF, so having an education partner like Schluter makes our program stronger and ultimately brings more benefit to the installers.”

INSTALL Announces CIM Scholarship Program

The International Standards and Training Alliance (INSTALL), in support of the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), recently created the INSTALL Certified Installation Manager (CIM) Scholarship Program.

This educational opportunity was developed to support one hardworking installation manager’s continued training and professional development. The $1,000 scholarship will allow a floor covering professional to enroll in and successfully complete this training. Michael Pinkstaff, an installation manager from American Floors & Interiors, was named the inaugural INSTALL CIM Scholarship winner.

Criteria on which applicants are judged upon include: employer needs to be an INSTALL contractor, membership status and INSTALL certifications held by the applicant, and reason for requesting the training.

Judges for this scholarship program include John McGrath, director of INSTALL; Tom Lutz, INSTALL Michigan; and Kelly Fuller, FCICA.

For more information about CIM, visit

Flooring Educational Guild To Hold Advanced Carpet Seminar

The Flooring Educational Guild announced the dates for its Annual Spring Seminar, covering carpet, April 4-6 in Dalton, Ga. The three-day seminar qualifies for matching scholarship funds from the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).

The first day will cover natural fibers, woven carpets and rugs, and the residential and commercial maintenance program.

The second day will include discussions around carpet adhesives and specification along with carpet tiles. The final day will cover indoor and outdoor artificial turf, including manufacturing, specification, installation and maintenance; the concerns and issues one may encounter during specifying, installing and inspecting of indoor and outdoor carpets; as well as carpet defects.

Attendees will receive a carpet manual with the latest information and updates from the carpet manufacturers, a class manual with each presentation from designated lecturers, along with lunch and refreshments twice a day during breaks.

For more information, email

Schönox Holds First Annual Strategic Planning Conference

Schönox recently held its first annual conference for all of its distribution partners to discuss strategy and long-term planning. Conference attendees participated in presentations regarding the flooring industry, growth sectors in the economy, trends inside and outside of the flooring category, marketing initiatives and many other topics.

Celebrity John Ratzenberger spoke to the group and spent a day with attendees discussing his interests in workforce training and expanding opportunities as well as the need to foster and encourage entrepreneurialism in the US.

Dean Thompson, president of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), presented a comprehensive overview of the steps that his organization is taking to support the rapid growth of the LVT flooring category as well as where strong opportunities will likely develop in the coming year.

Attendees also got a chance to tour the new Schönox Training Center, review new subfloor technologies and get a look at Schönox products that are still in the research and development phase.

“The combination of strong business partners, great products and thoughtful planning geared toward better serving flooring contractors, installers and end users was certainly the central theme of the Schönox conference,” noted Doug Young, HPS Schönox executive vice president.

Tec Exterior Tile Webinar: Recording Available Online

Sponsored by Tec and hosted by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the “Strategies for Exterior Tile Installations” webinar last summer was presented by Tec with the help of technical support manager, Tom Plaskota. A recording of the presentation is now available online.

The webinar broke a new record for NTCA registration, with more than 125 tile and flooring contractors tuning in to learn more about products and strategies for successful outdoor tile installations. The presentation stressed the importance of careful tile selection, substrate preparation, and mortar and grout selection.

Visit to find a recording of the webinar along with the Tec Exterior Tile Installation Guide.

Laticrete’s Peter McKeon Raises $14K in Bike Ride

Laticrete regional sales manager Peter McKeon recently raised $13,717 when he rode in the Pan Mass Challenge this past summer. It was the sixth time that McKeon has participated in the event.

This year he rode in honor of his close friend Chris Erickson and his brother-in-law Frank Reddington, both of whom lost battles with cancer.

“I wanted to do something to remember the lives of those we have lost, including Chris and Frank, and to honor those who fight against cancer every day,” said McKeon. “I appreciate everyone who worked with me to raise nearly $14,000.”

The 192-mile bike ride across the state of Massachusetts raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and 100% of the funds McKeon raised will go directly to the Dana-Farber’s mission to provide compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of the disease.

NTCA Awards John Cox with 2015 Ring of Honor

John Cox, founder and president of Cox Tile, was recently presented the National Tile Contractors Association’s (NTCA) 2015 Ring of Honor Award.

The Ring of Honor is given to individuals who have impacted the industry through active participation, devotion and support of NTCA programs and initiatives. It is presented to one who has made a difference in the tile industry. For over 35 years, Cox has devoted himself to all facets of the tile industry, from actual tile design and layout, to installation and business management.

Since 2000, Cox has been an integral part of the NTCA, serving as membership chairman, NTCA president and one of the first NTCA Five Star Contractors. Cox has also received numerous industry awards including NTCA’s 2009 Tile Person of the Year and grand prizes for both tile and stone installation projects from TileLetter, Coverings and the NTCA Five Star Contractor Program.

“The NTCA is the premier association for ceramic tile and natural stone installation contractors,” stated Cox. “I am proud to be a member, and am truly grateful to be this year’s Ring of Honor recipient joining such a distinguished group of individuals.”

NWFA Announces New Wood Studies Scholarship

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has announced its new Education & Research Foundation Wood Studies Scholarship. The Scholarship is designed to promote the post-secondary study of forestry and related forestry sciences.

This nonrenewable scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to a current high school senior who will study forestry in an effort to advance and improve forestry practices for generations to come.

Eligibility requirements and application materials are detailed at, where applicants also can download the necessary application.

All application materials must be postmarked by Feb. 1. All applicants will be notified by April 29.

NAC Releases 2016 Calendar Featuring Classic Vehicles

NAC Products recently released their 2016 calendar, “Classic Vehicles from the Flooring Industry,” at the Total Solutions Plus event in Savannah, Ga.

The calendar recognizes people in the flooring industry who own a classic vehicle and are interested in having it showcased. The initial calendar was created to help promote NAC’s 30th anniversary in 2013, but due to the overwhelmingly positive response, the calendar has become an annual tradition.

The 2016 edition filled up quickly and necessitated the creation of a waiting list to get vehicles included in the 13-month publication. The calendar also highlights a different NAC product offering each month and includes the dates of many industry related tradeshows, like the International Surface Event, NAHB/KBIS and Coverings just to name a few.

Find out more at

MAPEI Supports Exhibit at Guggenheim Museum

MAPEI recently renewed its relationship with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation through a contribution to the retrospective Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting exhibition.

Burri, who became famous for his particular technique of collage and assemblage, used Vinavil polyvinyl acetate (PVA) as an adhesive as well as a glossy surface finish. For this reason, MAPEI Group, and its subsidiary Vinavil USA, chose to support the Guggenheim in its exhibition of Burri’s works.

The project once again strengthens the link between the MAPEI Group and the Guggenheim Foundation that has developed over time—both through the role that the company played in the restoration of two important Guggenheim museums (New York and Venice) and through the support of cultural activities.

“The opportunity to be a part of the restoration of the building in New York as well as to support an exhibition that represents Italy’s artistic heritage in the modernist period plays to both our strengths,” said Luigi Di Geso, president and CEO of MAPEI Americas. “Alberto Burri’s use of Vinavil products as an integral part of his paintings deepens the bond between the artist, the museum and MAPEI.”

Green Seal: Expanded Standard for Architectural Coatings

Green Seal, an independent nonprofit certifier of sustainable products and services, has introduced a revised version of its GS-11 Standard that is expanded to cover most types of architectural coatings on the market today.

This new edition of GS-11, a compilation of the previous edition of GS-11 and the GS-47 Standard for Stains and Finishes, includes floor coatings, concrete and masonry sealers, and fire resistive coatings, in addition to the paints, primers, anti-corrosive coatings and reflective coatings previously covered. Clear and transparent coatings are also included in the 24 product categories that are now eligible for certification.

The new Green Seal standard offers greater flexibility for the assessment of VOCs and aligns with VOC limits set by the current California Air Resources Board. The standard also addresses stains and finishes for wood and metal, previously covered by the GS-47 Standard, as well as updates for clarity on certain criteria for chemical ingredients, reflecting the current market for leadership products.

To download the revised GS-11 standard or apply for Green Seal certification, visit

Powerhold Brand Continues To Expand Its Reach

The Floor Covering Distributor Alliance (FCDA), comprising 20 distributors of flooring, flooring installation tools and flooring installation supplies in the U.S., Canada and Australia, has broadened the market for its Powerhold brand of products in Ohio, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Baltimore-based Fishman Flooring Solutions, an FCDA member, opened a new branch in Myrtle Beach, S.C., which follows the firm’s recent expansion of its footprint into Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. Another FCDA member, Hank’s Specialties, with headquarters in New Brighton, Minn., also recently announced the opening of a branch in La Crosse, Wis. “The members of the FCDA, such as Fishman and Hank’s Specialties, are leaders in their markets, which fuels their growth into new markets,” said Dan Lee, president of FCDA and CEO of Professional Flooring Supply, based in Fort Worth, Texas. “As they grow, so does the number of floor covering installers and flooring contractors who have access to the full line of Powerhold products.”

Loxcreen Releases 2015/2016 Ceramic & Stone Catalog

The Loxcreen Flooring Group has announced the latest edition of the 2015/2016 Ceramic & Stone Installation Accessories Catalog.

The all-new catalog was designed with distributors and their installers in mind. Loxcreen combined all of its Prova products and Ceramic Profiles into one clean, stylish booklet-style catalog which is also 3-hole punched to fit in any binder. The catalog features a new color guide for the company’s aluminum finishes and its rigid PVC colors, along with photos and line drawings of each of their profiles.

English and French hard copies are available for order. A Spanish version will be available as a digital PDF on the website.

Browsing the catalog offers a sneak peek at Loxcreen’s newest products such as the Prova Niche and the Ceramic Joint Reducer profile. Both of these products are said to soon be ready and available to ship in quantity.

Going forward, each of Loxcreen’s product lines will have its own dedicated catalog.

Pallmann Hosts Distributor School

Pallmann recently held its Fall 2015 Distributor School at its North American headquarters in Aurora, Colo. Thirty-two students representing 13 companies from around the U.S. were present.

“The goal of this school is to train the trainers,” said brand manager Mark Weglowski. “Our distributor partners are the daily frontline eyes and ears for us in the field. In addition to educating them on the technical merits of our products, we always enjoy the personal relationships that continue to build when hosting events like these.”

All students completed the two-day school which featured the Pallmann Hardwood Floor Complete product range in a classroom/demonstration format.

New Hires and Promotions

Laticrete has named Eerik Maandi vice president of research and development in North America. Before joining Laticrete, Maandi held several positions at Henkel Corporation, most recently serving as the company’s director of innovation and technology. Before his tenure with Henkel, Maandi held the position of senior development chemist at the Loctite Corp.

Kronotex USA has appointed Zeb Portanova to the position of president and CEO, effective Feb. 1. Portanova succeeds Norman Voss, who has served as Kronotex interim CEO since March 2014. Prior to joining Kronotex, Portanova held a variety of leadership positions at Eli Lilly and Co., and other nonprofit and for-profit companies.

Upcoming Events 

TISE 2016 – Las Vegas, Jan. 19-22.

World of Concrete 2016 – Las Vegas, Feb. 1-5.

FCICA Convention 2016 – Palm Coast, Fla., March 5-9.

Fuse Alliance 2016—Nashville, March 13-16.

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