Laticrete Announces Major Expansion of Texas Plant
Laticrete held a ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of its manufacturing and distribution facility in Grand Prairie, Texas. Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen, Laticrete co-owner Henry B. Rothberg and president and COO North America Division Ed Metcalf all spoke at the event.
Construction of the 70,000 sq. ft. addition to the existing 100,000 sq. ft. plant will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2017. The Grand Prairie facility is the company’s largest manufacturing and distribution center outside of the company’s headquarters in Bethany, Conn. The facility manufactures a wide array of products for the construction industry, employs a staff of more than 30 and recently added a third shift to meet steadily increasing demand.
“This year Laticrete celebrates its 60th anniversary, and there is no more fitting way to celebrate than with a ground-breaking to serve unprecedented growth,” said Rothberg. “This major expansion is necessary to serve our Texas-region customers, maintain stock and distribute high-volume items and other specialty products. We are excited and proud to be in Grand Prairie today.”
For more information, visit laticrete.com.
WFCA Relocating to Dalton, Partners with NAFCD
Scott Humphrey, CEO of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), announced that the WFCA will move its headquarters from Anaheim, Calif., to Dalton, Ga. Humphrey said the decision was made by unanimous vote of both the WFCA Executive and Finance Committees. The action was taken at a meeting of the groups earlier this year.
The new address of the WFCA headquarters is: 855 Abutment Road, Suite 1, Dalton, GA 30721. The phone number for the WFCA office is (706) 217-1183.
“WFCA planted its roots in the Dalton market in 2013,” said Humphrey. “Establishing a presence for WFCA in the city that represents the heart of our industry was a natural move for the organization.”
The WFCA also recently announced a new partnership with the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD).
“This joint program will focus on NAFCD distributors promoting the 2016 WFCA Sales Training Camps to their retailer customers,” Humphrey said. “By tapping into the deep relationships that distributors have with retailers in their regional markets, we expect to enhance growth in retail sales nationwide—providing benefit for the industry at every level.”
WFCA and NAFCD also plan to facilitate and streamline industry communications through both associations, expand support for industry advocacy issues and secure potential new members through their respective member bases.
W.F. Taylor’s Raidy Resigns; Pelton Named CEO
The Board of Directors of W.F. Taylor announced that Jack Raidy has resigned as CEO after leading the company for more than two decades. The Board has named Daniel Pelton as CEO, effective immediately. Raidy will continue to serve as a member of the Board.
“For more than 25 years, the Raidy family has played a key role in building W.F. Taylor into an industry pacesetter known for developing innovative adhesive products for the floor covering industry,” said Mac Bridger, operating partner at Dominus Capital, the controlling shareholders of W.F. Taylor. “We are especially thankful for the role that Jack Raidy played in the success of W.F. Taylor during the past 20 years.”
Raidy stated, “While I am proud of all we have accomplished together, I am equally excited to watch W.F.Taylor expand its position in the adhesive markets under Dan’s leadership as CEO. His talent, executive experience and vision will take W.F. Taylor well into the future.”
Pelton joined W.F. Taylor in 2015 as its chief operating officer where he was responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the company as he transitioned from his role as an operating executive with Dominus Capital.
Pelton said, “I am confident W.F. Taylor is well-positioned for the future. With the support of our investment partners, we are in a strong position to explore opportunities for growth via strategic acquisitions, introduction of new products and a focus on operational excellence that will help solidify our leadership position in the adhesive segment of the flooring industry.”
For more information, visit wftaylor.com.
NTCA Set to Exceed Record Membership
The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), said it expects to exceed total record membership this year. As of the end of May, the association has already matched its previous record of 1,150 active members. By the end of 2016, NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga expects membership to reach 1,300 active members.
“We continue to have an active Board of Directors and a growing group of state directors who have helped to raise awareness of the association in their respective markets,” said Bettiga. “This has helped us to grow membership on a local level.” Bettiga also cites the success of the association’s partnerships with flooring groups including Starnet and CCA Global Partners, which has allowed the association to provide education and training at their national events.
Another powerful driver of membership growth has been the Partnering for Success program, developed with NTCA’s affiliate members. The program provides for product vouchers from manufacturers, importers and distributors, to help members offset the cost of membership. Word of mouth has also played an important role, with communication on popular online networks such as the John Bridge Forum and Tile Geeks spreading the word of the benefits of NTCA membership.
For more information, visit www.tile-assn.com.
Fishman Flooring Solutions Launches New Website
Fishman Flooring Solutions has launched a new, streamlined website at lfishman.com.
Bob Wagner, president and CEO of Fishman Flooring Solutions, stated: “Our new site is designed to simplify the customer’s experience with our company. It will enable them to quickly research the products we sell, place orders, find problem-solving tips, learn more about our services and access accurate information regarding their accounts, even when using a mobile device.”
Among the new features of the website are an intuitive architecture that enables visitors to more freely navigate the site, new technology that makes it easier to purchase products and process orders, a clean and uncluttered layout and hundreds of new, idea-generating photographs of some of the industry’s best projects, the company said.
CFI Announces Accelerated Carpet Class
The International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) now offers an accelerated, five-week carpet installation class. Classes are available this summer at CFI’s training facility in Forney, Texas.
“We hit the ground running with our training facility in Forney, and since March we have been turning out certified graduates ready to begin work immediately,” said Robert Varden, CFI vice president. “This is a great time to join other professionals pursuing careers in installation. Our industry is expected to be worth over $330 billion over the next few years and right now there are tens of thousands of retailers and consumers looking to hire trained professionals to install flooring.”
Interested students do not need any previous installation experience to attend the CFI classes. The course offers a comprehensive line-up of all the technical aspects required for basic residential carpet installation. In addition to the accelerated carpet class, the Forney school offers long- and short-term training programs in every flooring product category for students at all skill levels. For more information or to register, visit cfiinstallers.org/school.html.
FCICA Names New Members to Boards
FCICA, the flooring contractors association, announced that three new members were elected to the Board of Directors for the 2016-2019 term and a new vice chairman of associates was elected to the Executive Board.
Joining the Board of Directors are James Bissler from Texan Floor Service and Pat Kelly from Synergy Flooring, Ltd., who were elected to represent the contractor members, and Larry Chandler of William M. Bird Co., who was elected to represent the associate members. Elected as the new vice chairman of associates was Don Styka of Tarkett.
Members of the FCICA Board of Directors serve a three year rotational term and are elected at FCICA’s annual convention by members in good standing. The vice chairman of associates is elected by the associate members and serves a two-year term.
For more information, visit fcica.com.
Ardex Americas Exceeds 1M YouTube Views
The Ardex Americas YouTube channel recently hit a significant milestone, surpassing one million views. Boasting more than 100 product demonstration “Prodcasts” and promotional videos, the YouTube page thrives on an engaged and active community of installers and other key customer groups.
“Our marketing team enjoys the creative process involved in generating video content,” said Jaime Dray, Ardex Americas digital marketing specialist. “With every new product introduction and promotion, Ardex focuses on innovating dynamic and informative digital content to enhance the customer experience.”
The Ardex Americas YouTube channel (youtube.com/ardexamericas) has more than 1,000 subscribers and features video content in English, Spanish and French.
INSTALL Members Help Out in Haiti
When Build Health International (BHI) needed a helping hand in Mirebalais, Haiti, they turned to the expertise of the International Standards & Training Alliance (INSTALL). BHI is a global nonprofit which builds healthcare facilities by blending North American design and system aspects with systems, materials, and building techniques appropriate to the resource-constrained environments where they operate.
Haiti is home to BHI’s Mirebalais Hospital which serves as the primary care option for nearly 185,000 residents in the surrounding community and sees upwards of 700 patients per day. Though it first opened in 2013, the facility recently underwent a large expansion that saw the construction of a new national pathology and microbiology reference laboratory.
BHI asked for support with this expansion, so INSTALL recruited six trained installers who travelled to Haiti for six days. There they helped manage the flooring installation process and worked to install thousands of square feet of material. The installation team included: David Young (INSTALL Local 2168, Boston); Steve Seda, Michael Mayshack, Princeton Mayshack and Glenn Baker (INSTALL Local 2287, New York) and Megan Dant (INSTALL Local 68, St. Paul).
Getting the right product shipped to the construction site was the first challenge for project managers. As it takes roughly eight weeks to get items shipped to Haiti, communication on-site and to the teams providing supplies needed to be impeccable. The Mirebalais project also featured multiple projects happening intermittently.
“When the INSTALL team members arrived in Haiti, they were taken aback by what was happening around them,” said Liz Cherchia, project engineer at Build Health International. “It started off a little slow as they had to search for and coordinate materials and tools they needed. But the team rallied, dug into the work and did an amazing job.”
Not only did INSTALL members help manage and complete the project, they passed their knowledge along to local workers. Build Health International contracts local workers to help build the local economy and leave a lasting positive impression on the community.
Kohri Named Winner in Bostik, Artaic Contest
Members of the A&D community were recently asked to create 20’ by 8’ glass tile mosaic designs installed with Bostik’s translucent Dimension Rapidcure grout and robotically assembled using Artaic’s patented Tessera robotics. Hundreds of designers submitted entries with the hope of having their winning mural backlit and permanently installed at MGM Grand’s Las Vegas “Wet Republic” pool area and patio bar.
A handpicked panel of judges consisting of well-known architects, designers, trade magazine press and tile industry professionals chose 10 finalists. The grand-prize winning mural was then unveiled at HD Expo’s Party by the Pool celebration in front of thousands of hospitality design professionals.
Ted Acworth, Artaic founder and CEO, and Scott Banda, Bostik director of marketing and business development, co-emceed the unveiling ceremony. The winning designer, Nicole “Nikki” Kohri, was shocked and elated to receive the grand prize: a round-trip vacation for two to Paris.
Kohri stated, “I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity. I cannot stop smiling and am still shocked to have won. It was so magical watching everyone look up at the mural and touch the tiles with a big smile.”
Fuse Alliance Unveils Experius eCommerce Site
Fuse Alliance has launched the Experius Distribution Contractor’s eCommerce website, providing below-trade pricing to the public and to contractors with a range of high-performing flooring products and materials including adhesives, floor preparation, floor maintenance and more.
“We are thrilled to offer the public special, below-trade pricing on select, quality flooring products and overstock from excess inventory from our member businesses,” said Geoff Gordon, executive director of Fuse. “Our team has built an extremely efficient platform that benefits our members and the public. Through this initiative we are changing the way our industry accesses flooring materials as well as the online shopping experience for contractors, customers and the public.”
For more information, visit experius.biz.
Univ. of Ceramic Tile and Stone Updates Courses
The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) has released an updated version of its Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile online technical and sales training course. The updated course offers a comprehensive look at ceramic tile uses, including industry standards, installation methods, avoiding problems, sales training and how to work effectively with clients.
The course also has an expanded section on glass tile and mosaics, as well as new sections on thin porcelain tile panels, tools, tile patterns, tile layout process and options, steam rooms and curbless showers, and updates to important industry standards.
UofCTS has also released a new online course for the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA). The course, CTDA Certified Ceramic Tile Specialist (CCTS) Study Guide, is designed for those who are planning on taking the CCTS test.
UofCTS said it is also updating the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification online course. The updated course will have additional sections on how to install gauged porcelain tile panels (thin porcelain tile panels); how to grout with cementitious and epoxy grouts; how to installed shower receptors, steam showers and curbless showers; and how to layout the tile work. There will also be an expanded section on installing glass tile and mosaics, and all relevant industry standards will be updated.
To see video previews of each of the courses, visit uofcts.org/online-courses.
Bona Wins Safety Award in North Carolina
Bona recently attended the North Carolina Department of Labor’s annual award banquet, where it received a Silver Award for safety. The ceremony, held in Monroe, N.C., recognized private and public firms throughout the state that achieve and maintain good safety records.
“For almost 100 years, safety has been, and continues to be, core to our company culture at Bona. From our processes to our products, our mission is to maintain a safe work environment,” said Richard Goering, Bona’s vice president of sales and operations, North and Latin America. “As we look forward to our future, we will continue to hold safety as an imperative part of our business.”
To qualify for an annual safety award, a company must have no fatalities during the calendar year at the site or location for which the award was given and have maintained an incidence rate at least 50 percent below the average for its particular industry group. The North Carolina Department of Labor’s Safety Awards Program is designed to stimulate interest in accident prevention and to promote safety in the workplace by providing an incentive to employers and employees to maintain a safe and healthful workplace.
Power Tool Institute Revamps Website
The Power Tool Institute (PTI), the leading organization for power tool safety resources, information and education, has launched its new website at powertoolinstitute.com. PTI’s new site features mobile compatibility and easy access to specific safety information for various tool types, including information for teachers to use in the classroom.
The redesigned site offers simple navigation and easy-to-use graphics, and includes a link on the homepage to PTI’s YouTube channel, which includes safety videos in English and Spanish for Angle Grinder Safety, Miter Saw Safety, Circular Saw Safety, Table Saw Safety and Power Tool Accidents—They Can Be Prevented.
It’s also easy to order the Institute’s free safety-related literature and DVDs. Orders for safety literature can be placed right from the website with immediately downloadable PDF files, or via a mail-in form for hard copies of literature and DVDs. Publications and videos/DVDs are available in both English and Spanish.
In addition to the extensive safety literature and videos, the new site includes sections with information on industry topics such as battery recycling and counterfeit tools, member/brand profiles (with a link to member company websites), voluntary procedures and guidelines and industry-related groups, organizations and associations.
UFloor Systems Offers Online Calculator
UFloor Systems has released its new Uzin Materials and Job Cost Calculator. The new calculator is available from both the uzin.us homepage as well as each product’s webpage, and can also be used from a tablet or smartphone by placing a link icon on each device’s home screen.
“This new calculator not only returns the needed units per job, but also allows the user to include the project name, their purchase cost, total sq. ft. and will then return the cost per sq. ft. and total cost by product,” said Kirk Francis, marketing director for UFloor. “We have also included a moisture mitigation system cost calculator that combines the cost of the three products included in this system and returns the square foot cost. It also has a print function so that the user can include a copy with their project file.”
The company said that more enhancements are on the way, including a function that will allow users to email a copy directly to clients or to themselves if they are on a jobsite. Other future changes will include a dropdown menu for leveling compound depths and an enhanced page layout look.
Compotite Names Hutchins New CEO
Compotite Corp. has announced changes within its top management. Joan Hutchins, who has been president and CEO since 1988, has stepped down but will maintain her role as Chair of the Board. Compotite’s leadership has been passed to her son, Alan.
Hutchins becomes the fourth generation to take over leadership of Compotite, which was founded by his great-grandfather Glenn Morthland in 1938. Hutchins owned and operated a successful chiropractic practice in the Hudson Valley of New York for 14-plus years before deciding to get involved in the family business. He has a long history of hands-on construction experience including managing the construction of two of his clinics.
Hutchins said, “With each successive generation of management, Compotite has developed new and innovative products for the evolving market. We are excited to be expanding our already comprehensive product line by introducing a new linear drain system, shower niches and benches, as well as our line of liquid-applied waterproofing and crack isolation products.”
For more information, visit compotite.com.
MIA+BSI Presents Spanish Safety Poster Set
MIA+BSI: the Natural Stone Institute now offers its 2016 safety poster set in both English and Spanish. The poster sets are available for purchase in the association bookstore at naturalstoneinstitute.org/bookstore.
The release of the Spanish safety posters continues a yearlong safety initiative that has included increased education, advocacy and resources for the natural stone industry. Ted Skaff, chair of the MIA+BSI Safety Committee and vice president of marketing at Lackmond Products said: “We are pleased to see the introduction of the Spanish safety posters. Our Safety Committee has worked long and hard on this project and it is nice to see it complete, allowing our safety message to reach more industry professionals.”
MIA+BSI noted the following companies assisted with translation: Lurvey Project Group, Dee Brown, Inc., Cosentino and Laticrete.
Better Tools Updates Its Website
Better Tools has unveiled its new website at better-tools.com. The newly redesigned site offers user-friendly features including improved catalog organization, advanced product list filtering and expanded product details.
The site’s mobile-enabled responsive design maximizes usability across all screen sizes, browsers and operating systems, including all smartphones. The site offers a clean design with improved functionality. Locating products is faster and easier through the site’s robust search and filtering options, according to the company.
Expanded shipping options have been added to meet the user’s specific delivery needs. In addition, many distributor-only enhancements have been made to meet the unique needs of flooring distributors. To learn more and to create an online account, distributors should contact Better Tools at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TCNA Unveils EPDs for Grout and Mortar
Tile Council of North America (TCNA) recently announced the development of two industry-wide Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for tile mortar and tile grout made in North America.
These EPDs are based on a comprehensive analysis by Thinkstep, Inc. of over 2.25 billion kilograms of products produced annually in North America. After further review, the EPDs will be submitted to UL Environment for certification.
“These two new EPDs provide lifecycle-based data on the main materials used to set tile,” stated Bill Griese, TCNA’s director of standards development and sustainability initiatives. “When used along with the existing EPD for North American-made ceramic tile, they provide the environmental impact of the full installed system. No other industry is providing that.”
The EPDs are based principally on lifecycle assessments which address aspects including sourcing and extraction of raw materials; manufacturing processes; health, safety and environmental aspects of production and installation; production waste; product delivery considerations; use and maintenance of the flooring; and end of product life options such as reuse, repurposing and disposal.
For more information, visit tcnatile.com.
ACI Publishes Concrete Curing Guide
The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has published ACI 308R-16 Guide to External Curing of Concrete. The guide reviews and describes practices, procedures, materials and monitoring methods for the external curing of concrete and provides guidance for specifying curing procedures.
Current curing techniques are presented and commonly accepted methods, procedures, and materials are described. Methods are given for curing structures and buildings, pavements and other slabs on-ground, and for mass concrete. Curing methods for several specific categories of cement-based products are discussed in this document.
New research and methods of curing are presented, and the guide covers definitions; curing methods and materials; curing for different types of construction; and monitoring curing and curing effectiveness. Topics such as internal curing, curing at elevated temperatures, sustainability, curing of moisture-sensitive flooring, sensors for mass concrete curing, and new curing monitoring techniques have been added or enhanced in this document.
Michael Tholen, ACI managing director, engineering and professional development, noted: “The new ACI 308R-16 Guide to External Curing of Concrete, together with ACI 308.1-11 Specification for Curing Concrete, provides the most up-to-date information needed for the concrete industry professional.”
For more information, visit concrete.org or call (248) 848-3700.
Gypsum Association Names Board of Directors
The Gypsum Association has named its Board of Directors for 2016-2017.
They are: Chair of the Board Peter Bauer, American Gypsum Co., Allen, Texas; Vice-Chair of the Board Charles Harrison, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, Atlanta; Treasurer Timothy Power, Continental Building Products Operating Co., Herndon, Va.; Past Chair of the Board Ryan Lucchetti, PABCO Building Products, Rancho Cordova, Calif.; and Secretary Stephen Meima, Gypsum Association executive director, Hyattsville, Md.
Officers were elected at the recent meeting of the association’s Board of Directors in Charleston, S.C. All terms are for one year.
For more information, visit gypsum.org.
New Hires and Promotions
Blastcrete Equipment Co. has named Bill Allen as its new sales sales manager. Allen has more than 30 years in the construction business, including as a sales manager for BASF. Formerly a Texas resident, Allen relocated to Blastcrete’s headquarters in Anniston, Ala.
Bonitz Flooring Group recently opened its newest commercial flooring operation in Pittsburg. This location will be led by flooring industry veteran Colleen DeFilippo. Her experience includes 20 years with Shaw Industries. She also served as president of Spectra Contract Flooring.
Compotite Corp. has announced the addition of two regional sales representatives. Andy Larson, based just outside of Indianapolis, will cover Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Brad Nelson, based in Carbondale, Colo., will serve Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
Keene Building Products has named Nick Quercetti Jr. as technical consultant. He has more than 38 years of business development experience, including owning and operating several of his own application, distribution and manufacturing businesses in the floor underlayment industry. He lives in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
UFloor Systems’ Uzin Division has announced two new hires. Clint Olson has joined the company as Southeast business development manager. He has more than 20 years of industry experience, including operating a family construction business for five years and working 11 years as an underlayment specialist. He will be based out of Oklahoma.
Additionally, Mike Piazza has been named Uzin’s technical sales manager for Washington and Montana. He has more than 25 years of experience in the flooring industry, including technical support in the architectural, distribution/dealer and contractor sectors.
23rd Annual CFI Convention—Dallas, Aug. 3-5. cfiinstallers.org
NAFCT Intro to Substrate Floor Inspection—Toronto, Canada, Aug. 10-11. nafct.com
Metroflor MS Charity Golf Tournament—Stratford, Conn., Aug. 29. metroflorusa.com/golf/MetroflorGolf.aspx
FCICA Mid-Year Meeting—Las Vegas, Oct. 4-6. fcica.com
Total Solutions Plus—Indian Wells, Calif., Oct. 22-25. ctdahome.org/tsp/2016
For more information on these and other events, visit fcimag.com.