The first three quarters of 2009 seemed rocky, at best. Now comes news from the Commerce Department that there is a glimmer of hope - sales of newly built single-family homes rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 515,000 units in July. The reason? According to the same report, builders kept a tighter rein on their new-home inventories to better balance the market’s supply and control the demand.

Coincidentally, Clear Seas Research recently conducted a survey. The report, which culled the responses of 269 respondents, can be found in the Blog section onTILE’swebsite. Look for publishing director Tim Fausch’s entry, “Serial Thief Remains at Large.”

With optimistic forecasts on their minds, industry members will soon descend upon Bologna, Italy, for Cersaie’s 2008 Int’l Exhibition of Ceramic Tile & Bathroom Furnishings. Themed asBeautiful Minds. Design at Cersaie, this year’s exhibition will highlight the close relationship between ceramic tiles and the world of architecture. Nearly 92,000 attendees are expected to attend the five-day show - where new trends and products will be unveiled. Of course, you won’t miss a beat with our on-site show coverage. Check our website daily!

Speaking of our website, let me bring you up-to-date on several enhancements, including a new look. Several new features have also been added to the site, including: Web Exclusives, Blogs, Archives (print and eNewsletters), Top Searches, Most Popular Articles, and more.

Additionally, we have also launched a Digital Edition of the magazine. As the most comprehensive source of information in our industry, subscribers of our digital format will be able to read the latest published issue online - days before the post office delivers the print version. It gives a new meaning to “hot off the presses.”

Lastly, if you have a project that you would like to share as an upcoming Case Study, then contact me at for additional details on ho