These profiles offer insight into the companies and the products and services they provide to the tile community at large.


BODE USA: Creating the Perfect Look for the US Market Using Science and Technology
By Leon Liu, General Manager, Bode Ceramic Tile USA, Inc.

Guangdong BODE Fine Building Material Co., Ltd., is defined as one of China’s most innovative, high-tech enterprises, while implementing state-of-the-art design, research and manufacturing including the latest in eco-friendly production practices.

Now with established USA operations, Bode USA is poised to offer its unique brand of innovative tile offerings designed expressly for the US market.  Local sales services through it’s Southern California headquarters coupled with highly competitive factory outlet prices now makes BODE Tile a top choice for U.S. tile distributors, dealers, contractors and specifiers.

BODE’s capacity to deliver highest quality tile products stems from its infrastructure including a total production area of more than 8,600,000 square feet with a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, measuring 4,300,000 square feet and utilizing advanced Italian equipment. Coupled with a powerful R&D department, the ISO9001- and ISO14001-certified production line implements advanced management methods, and as such, ranks among top 10 ceramic tile manufacturing companies in China.

With its reputation for innovative technology and products, BODE has earned several national awards, including: High-Tech Corporation in China & Guangdong Province; National Key Innovations; Provincial Key Products; Chinese Famous Brand Products; Green Products in China; and the Chinese National Torch Project. Science and technology play an integral role at BODE. Accordingly, BODE has retained the intellectual property rights and national patents of its products - an indication of the value it places on the elaborate workmanship, superior quality and unique design innovation of its products.

The high-quality products offered by BODE include many advantages - extensive format varieties, full product support, four product systems (Fine Glazed Floor and Wall Tile, Advanced Polished Tile, Jade Stone mini-crystal tile), and more than a dozen series. Its patented Jade Stone mini-crystal tile collection (micro-crystalline ceramics compound board) has won accolades for its “technological reform.”

With established dealers/distributors in nearly 60 countries, BODE is dedicated to increasing its global brand recognition not only through innovative marketing, but also through its technologically significant product offerings, while strictly adhering to its environmentally friendly and socially responsible production and manufacturing processes.

CertainTeed Gypsum

Interior and Exterior Gypsum Building Solutions Today…and for the Next Generation

Known for being a leader in interior and exterior building products, CertainTeed provides innovative solutions for commercial, institutional and residential designs.

From it’s GlasRoc® paperless, fully embedded glass mat gypsum panels to its ProRoc® wallboard and finishing products, CertainTeed Gypsum’s product portfolio includes a wide range of exterior sheathing, fire-related assemblies, area separation and shaft wall, abuse resistant board, moisture and mold resistant board for walls and ceilings, glass mat tile backerboard, and joint compounds and tapes. The company’s new ProRoc® Moisture and Mold Resistant Gypsum Board with M2Tech™ and GlasRoc® Tile Backer products contribute to sustainable design by combining moisture and mold resistance for residential, commercial and institutional applications.

GlasRoc® glass mat gypsum products with Embedded Glass Reinforced Gypsum™ (EGRG™) Technology
CertainTeed Gypsum’s GlasRoc product line features patented technology with reinforced glass mats, fully embedded into a water-resistant core for complete protection inside and out. GlasRoc technology is available in a high performance exterior sheathing, with a 12-month exposure warranty, to protect a building project during construction; and an interior tile backerboard for high-moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. With an innovative, built-in moisture blocking acrylic coating that resists moisture at the surface, GlasRoc® can help protect wall cavities from moisture intrusion. Lightweight and easy to cut and install, GlasRoc meets ASTM C 1177 for sheathing and ASTM C 1178 for tile backer.

ProRoc® Gypsum Board and ProRoc® with M2Tech™
ProRoc® wallboard is a paper-faced gypsum board for everyday interior wall and ceiling applications. CertainTeed Gypsum also offers abuse board for use in schools and healthcare facilities, as well as gypsum board designed for use in area separation firewalls for multi-family dwellings, shaftliner for elevator shaft walls and stairwells, and numerous UL-listed fire-rated assemblies. The ProRoc® Moisture and Mold Resistant Gypsum Board with M2Tech™ and Type X M2Tech™ lines combine a water resistive core and a moisture and mold resistant face paper for added protection against moisture, and thus improved indoor air quality.

ProRoc® Finishing Compounds, Spray Textures, Plasters, and Finishing Joint Tapes
CertainTeed has united our quality finishing products with our top-of-the-line wallboard to bring a complete drywall solution under a single name…ProRoc®. The result is professional-grade performance properties that help speed up application and minimize costly callbacks.

CertainTeed continues to look for ways to reduce impact on the environment while meeting customer demand for sustainable products that deliver comfort, protection and performance. All ProRoc® wallboard paper consists of 100% recycled content and, where possible, synthetic gypsum is used in the wallboard, contributing to a total recycled content of 99%.
Call 800-233-8990 or visitwww.certainteed.comfor more information.


Be There. Coverings 2010
By Ally Jenkins, Coverings Show Management

Coverings, the Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience, returns to Orlando with all the tools you need to be the strongest and smartest competitor in your market. Whether you are a specifier, builder/remodeler, distributor, manufacturer, fabricator, installer, contractor or retailer, you’ll find everything you need for your business at Coverings.

At Coverings 2010 you can take a trip around the world of tile + stone with over 1,000 global exhibitors on our show floor. More than 70 FREE education sessions will be offered featuring masters in the field and providing you with knowledge and inspiration. Discover the latest trends, techniques, forms, finishes and colors found only at Coverings.

And remember, it’s ALL FREE.

In addition, Coverings is featuring several new programs for 2010:

Installation/Design Showcase – Observe designers and installers who will create five custom tile + stone bathroom spaces as part of this interactive live demonstration area.
Sponsored by Kohler and MAPEI

Happy Hours – Mix and mingle with other attendees and exhibitors during our new Happy Hours! Held on the exhibit hall floor for the last hour of the show, the Coverings Happy Hours are a great way to network with peers, make great connections and peruse the latest tile and stone trends.

Coverings Select –View the hottest new products and trends on the exhibit floor from this open competition to all contracted Coverings exhibitors.
Sponsored by Contract Magazine

PROJECT: Green –Discover sustainable ideas and concepts from selected projects created over the past two years being displayed on the show floor.Sponsored by Environmental Design and Construction

Regional Distributor Pavilion –Learn about local distributors, their products and services and gain insight into new trends and products.

Green Conference Certificate:Learn about sustainable trends and products from masters in the field with Coverings green programming sessions, and you can earn a special certificate of completion.

For more information on all of these great programs or to register today for FREE please visit our website

Custom Building Products

EASYMAT® Tile & Stone Underlayment
By Ryan Brausa, Product Marketing Manager

EasyMat is a versatile mat underlayment for setting tile and stone over any acceptable subfloor. EasyMat is up to 4 times faster to install than backerboard and up to 25 times lighter. It cuts easily with a utility knife, doesn’t require any nails or screws, and comes in a peel & stick version. Protected by MoldGard® Technology to resist mold and mildew growth.

EasyMat was specially designed so that the mortar locks in, creating a bonded crack prevention system for subfloor movement up to 1/4” (6 mm). This bonded system will withstand repeated stress and still maintain its tenacious bond. It is a superior alternative to cork underlayments because it is mold and mildew resistant and will not rot, shrink, or absorb water. EasyMat has SoundGard® Technology, offering high and credible impact sound reduction.

Use EasyMat with other Custom® materials to qualify for a Lifetime Systems Warranty. Use with these tile types and areas:
  • Ceramic tile, all types including impervious porcelain
  • Natural stone
  • Precast terrazzo tile
  • Interior and exterior applications
  • Concrete, mortar beds, masonry
  • Lightweight concrete and/or air entrained concrete
  • Primed gypsum underlayment (minimum 2000 PSI cured)
Additional benefits of EasyMat:
  • Set tile and stone over any acceptable subfloor
  • Up to 4 times faster to install than 1/4” backerboard – optional peel & stick version
  • Up to 25 times lighter than 1/4” backerboard
  • Cuts easily with a utility knife
  • Mortar locks in to form a bonded crack prevention system
  • No mechanical fasteners or tape needed
  • High and reliable impact sound reduction


Install a radiant floor heating system and tiles in one room, in a single day!

By Stephane Lettre

Installing a radiant floor heating system traditionally meant adding a few days to the overall project time. Doubling up the plywood to support a tile floor covering, installing the floor heating system, glazing over the cables, waiting the appropriate drying time and then laying the tiles required between three or four days of labor.

FLEXTHERM was able to substantially reduce this process by introducing its new FLEXSnap™ installation system. It is easy to install and will allow for a much faster delivery of completed projects. One of the benefits of FLEXSnap is that the plastic mesh replaces the second layer of plywood usually needed to increase the floor’s rigidity and stability. FLEXSnap has been tested by the TCNA and was rated “Extra Heavy”.

Once the plastic mesh has been laid down and covers the entire floor, the Green Cable™ Surface can be installed, while standing, using the FLEXGlide™ installation tool.  It is the perfect complement to FLEXTHERM’s heating cable and makes installation a breeze.

Once the cable has been installed, it is time to lay down the tiles. This is where customers will benefit from the biggest time savings. Using the flat side of a trowel, a polymer-modified mortar can be glazed directly over the installation. The cement adhesive can then be applied and the tiles can be laid on that same spot, right away. No need to wait for the glazing to dry before laying the tiles. All that will be left to do is the grout, once the floor has dried enough to walk on it.

FLEXSnap also offers many more benefits. The mesh protects the heating cable against impact damages that can occur during the installation. This is a big advantage as most damages to the cable occur during installation. Clients will also enjoy a more even heat distribution on the floor surface thanks to the bigger thermal mass. And finally, the system reduces the overall height of the floor to achieve a more uniform transition with an adjoining hardwood floor.

Contact FLEXTHERM today to learn more about this revolutionary new installation system and the complete line of electric radiant floor heating 1-800-FLEXTHERM (353-9843)

Grout Boost

Grout Boost® Additive Offers Proven Performance and Groundbreaking Support
By Kristin Cattaneo, Grout Boost Senior Brand Manager

Grout Boost®, the revolutionary stain resistant grout additive, is once again breaking new ground in the industry – this time, with unprecedented technical support service and a limited warranty program that safeguards against any grout defects, regardless of brand, in all Grout Boost additive installations. Since its introduction in 2008, Grout Boost additive captured the attention of the industry with its ability to mix with any standard Portland cement-based grout in place of water to protect the grout from stains permanently and eliminate the hassle of sealing forever. The popularity of this breakthrough innovation continued to soar after the results of third-party, independent testing were released, showing that Grout Boost additive successfully maintains or enhances the performance of grout to which it is added, regardless of brand. Today, Grout Boost has been successfully used in more than 25 million square feet of installed tile and counting. Now, not only is Grout Boost additive proven to work effectively with the most popular brands of standard Portland cement grout, but its service team is also ready and willing to back the grout used in the event that the grout manufacturer refuses to uphold their warranty or provide technical support in installations where Grout Boost is added.

Amanda Huffaker, architectural specifications manager for Louisville Tile in Knoxville, TN, recently helped one of her customers get both the products and service they were looking for by explaining the new Grout Boost limited warranty.

“One of our clients, Regal Movie Theaters, was interested in using Grout Boost, but their grout manufacturer refused to back their product with the stain resistant additive,” stated Huffaker. “After we provided the client with the independent test results and warranty information, they decided to move forward with Grout Boost and even made it part of their national specification.”

This progressive new support model for handling grout claims is in effect for up to one year from the date of installation and is in addition to the warranty and support that is currently provided for any Grout Boost additive claim.

“We’re absolutely confident in the performance of Grout Boost and its compatibility with any standard Portland cement grout,” stated Kristin Cattaneo, Grout Boost senior brand manager. “So much so that we’re willing to step in and back it even when others walk away.”

For more information and limited warranty details,

Hirsch Glass Corp.

Hirsch Glass - The Source of Inspiration
By Helen Zhao

As one of the most innovative decorative glass manufacturer in the industry, Hirsch Glass Corp. is dedicated to designing, developing, and distributing decorative architectural glass. Successfully transforming from a craftsmanship with extensive background in Tiffany lamps and stained glass manufacturing, Hirsch Glass has been steadily stepping into the world of the luxury decorative architectural glass. From the company’s high capacity manufacturing facilities in China, Hirsch Glass aims to provide the most distinctive and elegant architectural glass materials available throughout the world.

After introducing several designer’s favorite glass mosaic and tile collections, Hirsch Glass continues to bring in exciting and inspiring new collections such as the Silhouette Collection, Liuli Glass Panel Collection, and Architectural Mosaic Glass Panel.

All Hirsch Glass products have unique patterns and colors embedded throughout the glass, creating a truly three-dimensional appearance. With the aid of a patented manufacturing process, the company is able to mix multi-colored glass at its molten state. As a result, the glass is produced in a wide variety of color depths and appearances. From classic to contemporary, simple to sophisticated, Hirsch Glass collections provide a wide range of colors, sizes, formats and textures that gives designers the freedom to create any atmosphere.

Many architects, designers, specifiers and property owners choose Hirsch Glass for our wide selection of readily available products that can be custom designed to fit any traditional or modern look. Hirsch Glass is committed to ensuring cost effective and timely solutions that will enhance the look of your next project.

In addition to owning the largest stained glass manufacturer in China, Hirsch Glass provides exceptional customer service through its sales office and distribution center located in the Edison, NJ. Our importer- and distributor-friendly manufacturing program is supported with an OEM and private label product development initiative.

Whether it is for your next project or to add a unique product to your line, please call Hirsch Glass at (732) 329-8988. You may also email us at or visitwww.HirschGlassCorp.comfor more information.


MAPEI’s Ultracolor Plus Grout Is a Sustainable Part of The John Buck Company Building at 155 Wacker Drive – Chicago
By Diane Choate

The John Buck Company works to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. In October 2005, The John Buck Company’s 111 South Wacker Drive development was the first speculative high-rise office building in the world to earn a Gold LEED®–CS (Core and Shell) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Additionally, the development of 155 North Wacker Drive was pre-certified as a Silver LEED®-CS project.

MAPEI grout was specified for the 155 North Wacker Drive project through Goettsch Partners Architects in Downtown Chicago. Upon the advice of MAPEI Commercial Projects Manager Heather Yario, the architect specified the use of MAPEI’s Ultracolor Plus™ premium rapid setting sanded grout with stain resistance. Ultracolor Plus with DropEffect™ technology is an ultra premium, fast-setting, polymer-modified, color-consistent, nonshrinking, efflorescence-free grout for joint widths from 1/16” to 1” (1,5 mm to 2,5 cm). DropEffect technology reduces surface absorption to help repel water, dirt and grime from penetrating grout joints. Ultracolor Plus is specially formulated with MAPEI’s High-Hydrated Cement Technology (HCT™) to eliminate the common problems related to Portland-cement grout, such as color consistency and efflorescence.

The installers from Stone Installation & Maintenance, Inc. (SIMI) used Ultracolor Plus to grout the tile on all the bathroom floors and walls of the 46-story building. More than 100,000 square feet of a unique 4.2” x 25.4” porcelain tile from Stone Source Midwest was used in the installation. The tile – Zebrano Bianco – was manufactured by Cerim.

“The SIMI installers really loved the Ultracolor Plus. The Alabaster color had to be made especially for the project, and MAPEI Operations responded quickly. They really helped SIMI make the project a success,” Yario said.

MAPEI Products:Ultracolor Plus premium rapid setting sanded grout with polymer

MAPEI Partners
Project Owner:JBC Funds
Developer:The John Buck Company
Installer:Stone Installation & Maintenance, Inc.
Architect:Lohan Caprile Goettsch Architects
Tile Supplier:Stone Source Midwest

MAPEI Distributor:MidAmerica Tile

MAPEI Representatives:Heather Yario and Tyler Barton


Merkrete Rolls Out a New Look. Now we look as good as the products inside
By Mark Cooke, Merkrete Brand Manager

Merkrete, who as provided specialized installation products for the tile and stone industry for nearly 40 years, would like to announce the roll out of a new branding strategy for the company that includes an identity initiative that will include an new logo, redesigned packaging and literature, a user friendly Website, and a number of comprehensive, customer-focused marketing programs.

As part of its identity initiative, Merkrete, who is best known for its unsurpassed liquid applied waterproofing and crack isolation membranes, has introduced a new logo reflective of its business strategy - forward-looking, progressive, dynamic, evolving, and proactive. This new forward look showcases the brand’s position as it continues to advance in the market place. Merkrete is aiming high on product innovation, excellence in service, customer satisfaction, and trusted value.

The forthcoming website redesign incorporates the new logo and literature as well as a number of other new features including expanded descriptions of Merkrete products and services, to be introduced in the new launch. The new branding initiative will target a number of venues to increase Merkrete’s visibility among its customers and in the tile and stone industry at large.

Through the branding strategy, we hope to bring a unified image to our company that will better reflect the nature of our organization and crystallize the company’s brand.  Today, with Green innovations such as Dust Less™ Thin Sets and Zero VOC products, Merkrete is emerging as one of the premier manufactures of full line tile and stone installation systems. Our new identity initiative is intended to streamline the look and name of our company to reflect this key differentiator of our products.”

Come see and experience the new modern Merkrete and its innovative products at Surfaces 2010 (Booth #1718).

MP Global

FiberBacker™ is the first underlayment for tile, porcelain and natural stone to earn 3rd party Indoor Advantage Gold Certification
By Jack Boesch, Director of Marketing

MP Global Products, an innovative leader in the manufacture of underlayment for the flooring industry, has announced that FiberBacker™, by MP Global Products L.L.C, has earned Indoor Advantage Gold certification from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), the organization’s highest level of indoor environmental quality certification and the most stringent indoor air quality certification in the country. It is the first underlayment for ceramic and porcelain floors to do so.

The seal from SCS requires conformance with limits for 80 different volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and is intended to insure that individual occupants/ overall exposure to any one of these chemicals does not exceed levels pre-determined as within safe limits by the USBCO LEED criteria, Collaborative for High Performance School (CHPS), and the State of California 01350 Special Environmental Requirements. “Products that meet this independent rigorous and unbiased laboratory-based verification of environmental attributes can meet requirements for just about any installation where air safety and air quality are considerations,” notes Stowe Hartridge-Beam, Program Manager, Indoor Air Quality +level™ at SCS.

An eco-friendly performance-enhancing underlayment for ceramic tile, porcelain or natural stone floors, FiberBacker smoothes out minor subfloor imperfections, insulates the transfer of noise between floors and, when used with ceramic flooring, suppresses lateral cracks up to ¼” from transferring from the subfloor to the tile above. Yet at 0.10 inch thick, FiberBacker adds only minimal thickness to the total flooring installation.

FiberBacker is also certified by SCS to have 100% pre-consumer recycled textiles (waste that might otherwise end up as landfill), which can help project owners with overall percentage of pre-consumer content for LEED certification in the Materials and Resources category. And the product sells at a budget-friendly price point. That makes FiberBacker an ideal underlayment for schools, government buildings, hospitals and other facilities where indoor air quality is an important consideration.

FiberBacker adds an insulating R-value of .50 to the floor system, acting as a thermal “break” to the flooring assembly that helps keep floors warm in the winter and cool in the summer. FiberBacker’s randomly air laid filaments create a three dimensional matrix, a capillary effect that helps cushion the floor and absorb impact sound.

Odorless and free of VOCs and liquid adhesives, FiberBacker is approved for installation over 3/4-inch tongue-and-groove plywood or oriented strand board interior subfloors and over radiant heating for floors. MP Global Products’ high-temperature manufacturing process kills bacteria and fungus, while an EPA registered anti-microbial additive inhibits mold growth and helps prevent dust-mite colonies from developing, making it hypo-allergenic. 

“MP Global is committed to providing the best combination of innovative technology and eco-friendly practices,” says Kelly Kennedy, National Sales Manager at MP Global Products. “We manufacture our products for performance with the environment in mind.”

FiberBacker’s exceptional performance attributes make it an ideal floor underlayment for tile, porcelain and natural stone floors in budget-conscious projects aiming to fulfill green initiatives. It is available from MP Global Products L.L.C. in 360 square foot contractor size rolls.

About MP Global
Headquartered in Norfolk, Nebraska, MP Global Products L.L.C. is an innovator and a leader in the manufacture of third-party certified eco-friendly quality padding and underlayment for the flooring industry. The company offers both off-the-shelf and custom products using natural and synthetic, 888-379-9695.


Turkish Ceramics Ready for the New Year

Despite the economical crisis and its negative motivations, Turkish ceramics had a successful year in 2009. The Turkish ceramic sector increased its unit prices by 6% in ceramic tiles and a 19% increase in ceramic sanitary ware products - the majority as exports to the US. Promotional activities will continue in 2010 to expand the Turkish ceramics brand image.

Known for its solid position in the ceramic sector for its rich natural resources and history in ceramics, Turkey is elevating the consumer’s perception of quality with education. The Turkish Ceramic Promotion Group, together with the marketing consulting firm of Markam Branding Consultancy, strategies have been implemented to reflect Turkey’s expertise and high quality image in the ceramics field. With this is mind, the Turkish ceramics sector has been able to focus and compete on quality and branding rather than pricing alone.

Bahadır Kayan, as the representative of the Turkish ceramic sector and president of the Turkish Ceramics Promotion Group, says, “Turkish ceramic manufacturers are dedicated to increasing the worldwide perception of quality held within people using ceramic tile and sanitary ware products - compared to other leading ceramic manufacturers in the world.” As one of the largest ceramic producers and exporters in the world, Turkey increases its market share annually by blending the multicultural and multifaceted historical riches of Anatolia with modern designs and technology. Ceramic production know-how in Turkey was inherited through the various techniques developed by diverse civilizations over the past 8,000 years.

Recently, Turkish Ceramics held its most important branding events of 2009, a concert at the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy, during the Cersaie fair. The collaboration with artist and musician Mercan Dede demonstrated the modern side of Turkey empowered by its rooted and rich history. The contrast between electronical and classical or folkloric arts cuts to the core of the Sufi philosophy that guides this one-of-a-kind artist had enchanted more than 2000 people watching it.

As part of its 2010 promotion plan, Turkish Ceramics will be participating in Cevisama, to be held February 9-12 in Spain. Exhibiting their latest collections will be Akgün Ceramic/Duratiles, Vitra Tiles, Yurtbay and Sö˘gütsen Ceramics. Visit us at booth N2-P1, Booth #B16

For more details, please visitwww.turkishceramics.comor contact


Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products

Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products is a proud member of the Omega Family, bringing outstanding quality, superior performance, excellent service and exceptional products into the tile industry. Omega introduced Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products in January 2007 with 36 brilliant new grout colors, an exciting line of dry-set Portland cement mortars, an incredible Elastomeric Crack Isolation Mortar, and more. In 2010 Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products continues to meet the needs of the industry with the New Waterproof Membrane, Premium Type S Color Mortars, Surface Prep and Sound Abatement Mortars just to name a few.Omega invites everyone to visit Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products at Surfaces, booth G2256 in Las Vegas this February 2-4, 2010.

Omega Products Corp. was incorporated in 1974. By 1986, Omega grew into Las Vegas, Rancho Cordova, and the Central Valley of California bringing service to all of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. In 2001 Omega relocated their corporate offices and Southern California manufacturing facility to Corona, California. The new 110,000 square feet facility is equipped to accommodate the company’s continued expansion and increase in productivity.

Omega’s commitment to the industry continued in 2008 with a new facility in Colorado. The 100,000 square foot warehouse is on 7.1 acres located near downtown Denver. Also in 2008, Omega Products International, Tianjin Co. Ltd. opened to better service the growing market in China.  With many years of experience exporting products, Omega was ready to have a stronger presence in China.

Omega Products International, Inc. and Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products are members and in good standing with many of the major industry organizations. The Ceramic Tile Institute of America (CTIA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Association of Walls & Ceilings International (AWCI), Construction Specification Institute (CSI), just to name a few.

Omega Products International, Inc. is committed to our customers and offers only the best in both products and service. We are proud of our role as a leader in the development of new and innovative products in the industry, such as Siena Tile & Stone Installation Products, and we look forward to continuing our leadership role in the future.

StonePeak Ceramics

StonePeak Ceramics - Italian Style made in the USA
By Meredith Rock

StonePeak Ceramics is a company with an exclusive American character that honors the time-proven tradition and quality of fine Italian porcelain tile. StonePeak works hard to create a higher standard in the tile industry by constantly evaluating its impact on the environment through its production processes and continuously looking for technological advancements aimed to improve its high-quality products.

The company’s operations are held at its $90 million manufacturing facility in Crossville, TN, which houses one of the world’s most complex, highly-technical production lines. The plant produces porcelain tile in a wide variety of appealing designs, textures, finishes and color selections, with three different technologies, including unglazed porcelain, thru-color porcelain and glazed porcelain.

StonePeak prides itself in manufacturing environmentally friendly products. StonePeak products have obtained GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality and GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certifications and have also obtained third-party certification for pre-consumer recycled content. Consequently, StonePeak products can contribute to projects attaining LEED points.

StonePeak is proud to introduce two new cutting-edge technologies: inkjet printing and Active™, Clean Air and Antibacterial Ceramic. Inkjet printing on porcelain tiles is a revolutionary new technology that offers the highest quality images to be reproduced on porcelain tile. Inkjet printing offers high resolution images, a reduction of raw materials, quicker product development and a flawless cover to cover finish. StonePeak’s Quartzite collection uses inkjet printing as well as StonePeak’s latest collection, which will be introduced at Surfaces 2010. StonePeak’s newest technology, Active™, Clean Air and Antibacterial Ceramic, exemplifies StonePeak’s commitment to a healthier environment. With the aide of light and moisture, this new technology facilitates a photocatalytic reaction to remove pollutants from the air and eliminate bacteria on the surface of the tile. StonePeak is the first American company to produce U.S. made porcelain tiles with this photocatalytic technology.

For more information, please contact:

Tavy Enterprises

Tiling Showrooms Again and Again and Again…Without Creating a Mess
By Armen Tavy

As a tile setter for over 50 years, I have been asked by many showrooms to donate my time and expertise to assist in the setting of showroom flooring. I have never met a professional installer that enjoys setting tile over tar paper, newspaper or other sub-standard underlayments. In addition, setting tile over any membrane not compatible with mortar sounds hollow, so shop owners are confronted with multiple problems when determining if they should update their showroom floors:
  • Do we tile directly to the sub-floor and create a future re-install nightmare?
  • Do we tile over tar paper or similar material and have hollow sounding tiles?
  • How do we coordinate tear-out and re-install to minimize interruption?
What if I told that I have a new product that will solve all of the major issues for installing and re-installing showroom tile? Would you believe me? You should!

I am happy to introduce you to theTAVY 008 Showroom System. I like to say that my system is EASY TO INSTALL and EASY TO ELIMINATE. You can now install your newest tile designs as often as trends change. My system won’t care if you leave tile down for one month, one year or five years. The tile will feel permanent, look permanent and sound permanent.

My 008 System is unique since the installed tile floats over the sub-surface, making removal quick and easy, with less debris and zero dust. You can remove a standard 12x12 tile in under five seconds, wipe-up the 008 compound and you have returned the sub-surface to its original condition. You’re now ready to re-tile the same location immediately after removal. This will significantly minimize the disruption to your showroom; allowing your customers to know that you are “Open for business” even while your showroom is freshened up.

Since your showroom is the key to your sales and profits, being able to maintain an up-to-date look is critical to your success. Most of your customers cannot look at display racks and visualize the tile on their kitchen floor, but if the latest style is installed in one of your showroom vignettes then your customers will be drawn to what is already there. The TAVY 008 Showroom System will give you the ability to display the newest materials with the latest features, finishes and design elements without mess, dust and the downtime you currently endure.

I am so confident in my system that I am offering aMONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Contact us at (800) FOR-TAVY (367-8289) to start updating your showroom without any of the hassle and mess, or my name is not Armen TAVY.


Tile Contractor Partners with TEC® for State-of-the-Art Pool Installation
By Kristin Cattaneo, TEC Senior Brand Manager

In 2008, Calvin College launched the expansion and renovation of the Spoelhof Fieldhouse, a project that would ultimately make it one of the most advanced sports and physical education facilities in all of Michigan. One of the major additions to the facility was a 500-seat natatorium featuring an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Though installation of a pool of this size typically requires approximately 16 weeks, this project was scheduled for completion within half that time in order to meet the scheduled grand opening on January 2, 2009. To accomplish this, more than four million individual tiles were to be installed in just eight weeks.

Rising to the challenge, Dan Welch, president of Welch Tile & Marble, collaborated with GMB Architects and The Christman Company to strategically plan the installation and subsequently head up a team of more than 30 tile setters to tackle the project.

Knowing this type of installation required high-quality products as well as an outstanding system warranty, Welch chose to exclusively use TEC products.  Having used TEC in more than 30 successful pool installations, Welch had no doubt that the products would be superior, the service dependable and the warranty reliable. “In my experience, I’ve learned that it’s never wise to cut corners on cheaper products,” Welch stated. “I use what I know works, and TEC is the brand of choice for me, as well as a trusted partner for both standard installations and highly complex commercial projects.”

Once the installation began, the crew simultaneously installed the floor and wall mud, and subsequently tiled both surfaces at the same time. The mud bed was reinforced with TEC Acrylbond® AMA acrylic latex mortar additive.

To combat harsh pool chemicals that typically eat away grout, Welch Tile used TEC AccuColor EFX® 100% solids epoxy, eliminating the typical regrouting needed every five to seven years.

To add to the complexity of the installation, the pool deck was installed over a storage space. To protect the deck structure and avoid disrupting the tile assembly, the Welch team designed a unique tile system that seamlessly combined a bonded and an unbonded system at the cove of the parapet.

Today, this cutting-edge facility features the most state-of-the-art design elements available. The Spoelhof Fieldhouse and pool is the single largest expansion project in Calvin College history, adding approximately 10% to the overall campus. This project is part of a long list of successful commercial installations from Welch Tile & Marble in which TEC has been the setting material brand of choice. For more information on this tile installation or the products used,

Tile of Spain

Outdoor Living
Tile from Spain: Out in the Open
By Jeff Snow

These days, outdoor living has taken a quantum leap beyond weekend cookouts and lounging by the pool. It’s become bona fide living. What once was just the patio or the backyard has evolved into the “outdoor living room.” Traditional outdoor furnishings replaced by high-end furniture, exotic plantings, full kitchens, wet bars, big screen TVs and serious sound systems.

Always the material of choice for kitchen and bath, tile from Spain has made the outward-bound trek – becoming a significant player in dramatic, elegant outdoor living throughout the country. Specifying ceramic tile for outdoor projects makes perfect sense. Consider how well tile weathers the elements. It’s inherently durable and tile with little to nearly zero porosity can be specified, resulting in minimal water absorption.

The looks that can be achieved with tile are virtually boundless, giving you the design flexibility to help clients create their own outdoor oasis – an at-home getaway from their hectic lives. If your outdoor design calls for natural or other materials that don’t play well with the elements, Tile of Spain branded manufacturers offer tile that mimics wood, stone, metals, textiles and many other surface materials.

Designers and landscape architects today are going all out – inside and out – creating environments that begin indoors by reflecting natural surroundings, and then travel seamlessly to the great outdoors. To stunning sanctuaries that likely include an infinity-edge pool and other water features such as fountains, ponds and waterfalls.

Ceramic tile offers unrivaled practicality for the outside world. It’s perfect poolside because in wet environments, tile inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and other organisms. It’s also highly resistant to harsh chemicals such as chlorine and bromine. And when it comes to color permanence, bring on the sun. UV rays won’t affect ceramic tile at all.

Tile is also a safe bet for outdoor living – especially when it’s used around a pool or spa – or any area where slip resistance is key. Tiles are manufactured with a defined and rated anti-slip factor. Aesthetics, practicality and safety. What more could one ask for?

Learn more about how tile from Spain is helping people take on their outdoor world in style. Contact Tile of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Call 305-446-4387 or email

Tile of Spain, Performance-Based Design

Design for function. For form. For life.
By Jeff Snow

When designing Spain’s Alhambra Palace in the 14th Century, the terms low lifecycle cost, high-performance and sustainability never crossed the minds of the architects. Yet the magnificence they created stands centuries later as a shining example of these contemporary concepts. That’s keeping lifecycle costs low!

Today, rare is the project that doesn’t come with a long list of performance requirements. And all can benefit from the performance of ceramic tile from Spain.

You would be hard pressed to find a material more enduring than ceramic tile. Most others require replacement four to six times over a building’s lifespan. Carpet loses pile and shows wear. Wood rots, warps and curls in wet environments and requires frequent refinishing. Ceramic tile – in stunning wood looks – is impervious to moisture and never needs refinishing. The look of stone can be achieved with tile, but tile requires no sealing to maintain its beauty.

Additionally, damaged individual tiles can be easily replaced, versus replacing an entire installation. Ceramic tile doesn’t fade or discolor when exposed to UV rays. It even withstands fire and flood, where most other surface materials fail.

Ceramic tile performs as an energy saver, as well, retaining heat and emitting it slowly, for efficient building climate control. Partnerships with Spain’s pioneers in solar energy have resulted in a patented system of photovoltaic facades. Tiles clad with solar cells actually produce energy year round. Ventilated facades – photovoltaic or not – create a thermal barrier between building surface and tile, conserving energy, and reducing heating and cooling costs and noise pollution.

Indoor air quality benefits because tile is neither a primary nor a secondary source of air pollution, as it emits no fibers, gases or other harmful byproducts. It reduces allergens, and doesn’t absorb smoke, paint fumes or other contaminants. And tile inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and other organisms.

Even tile cleaning and maintenance is high-performance. It cleans with neutral cleansers and hot water, thereby not contributing to the level of toxic cleaning products in the ecosystem.

Learn more about what Tile of Spain branded manufacturers have known about performance-based design for centuries. Contact Tile of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Call 305-446-4387 or email

Tyco Thermal Controls

Raychem QuickNet Improves Your Comfort While Reducing Your Heating Costs
By Brian Park, Product Marketing Manager

Tyco Thermal Controls is a global provider of heating solutions for industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Customers have been relying on the well-established and trusted Raychem brand for heat-tracing products for over thirty years. The Raychem® QuickNet® Floor Heating System is an electric floor heating system that is installed directly under ceramic tile or natural stone. It provides uniform comfort heating in your bathroom, kitchen, entryway, or other tiled areas that would otherwise feel cold when you walk on them with bare feet. With QuickNet, homeowners can lower the room temperature by a few degrees and enjoy the same level of comfort as a warmer room without floor heating; turning a small investment into real cost savings.

The QuickNet system was designed to be simple, economical, easy to install and reliable. The system consists of the QuickNet heating mat and the Energy-StarTM rated QuickStat® thermostat. QuickNet provides customers with a complete package, unlike some of the other products on the market today where the thermostat must be purchased separately.

The QuickNet heating mat consists of a blue heating cable woven into an adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh. It was the first heating mat on the market to be self-adhesive; something that has been adopted by several other competitors. The mat rolls out easily, and adheres to the floor without any glues, staples or clips. Also, the QuickNet mat offers installers the flexibility to accommodate virtually any shaped room. Installers can change the direction of the mat by cutting into the mesh, and can cover irregular shaped areas by removing the heating cable from the mat. The QuickNet mats are pre-terminated for use at 120V and 240V and are available in various sizes. Its low 3/16-inch profile makes it ideal for renovation and new construction projects.

Tyco Thermal Controls also provides various tools and services to assist homeowners and contractors. A power consumption calculator is available on the QuickNet website to help estimate the cost of operating the QuickNet system. Homeowners enter in various specifics of the floor to be heated and the cost of electricity and the calculator will estimate the daily operating cost. Most homeowners are pleasantly surprised to see how little it really costs to operate the QuickNet system. Also, to assist homeowners and contractors with the installation of the QuickNet system, Tyco Thermal Controls offers free design layout services. Customers can simply fax a sketch of the room with dimensions and Tyco Thermal Controls will provide a detailed drawing of how to layout the mat. Finally, customers can always call Technical Support to help answer any questions that they may have or if a problem arises during the installation.

For more information on the Raychem QuickNet Floor Heating System, call Tyco Thermal Controls at (800) 545-6258, send an email to, or simply