Over the last year, I have been fortunate to travel to many different countries around the world. During my travels, I’ve observed how much of an impact the tile industry has on different regions. It’s truly amazing to see how a manmade material such as tile can affect different ways of business and life.

In the beginning of October, I returned from Italy, where I attended two of the world’s largest tradeshows for ceramic tile and natural stone. Cersaie, the largest international exhibition for ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, is held each year in Bologna. This year, it was held from September 24 to 28 at the Bologna Exhibition Center, where it welcomed more than 1,200 visitors and 840 exhibitors. As the show continues to experience growth, so do the flourishing trends that are seen on the show floor each year, which you can read more about in the official review on page 16.

After visiting Cersaie, I headed north to Verona to attend Marmomac, the largest international exhibition of stone design and technology. It was interesting to see the scale of machinery and offering of products, but also the similarities and differences between stone and tile products. Digital printing technology has made great strides when it comes to replicating stone looks on tile products, to say the least.

From Verona, I traveled 100 miles west to Milan, where I was welcomed by MAPEI for a personalized tour of the headquarters and production facility. With 10,000 employees operating all over the world, state-of-the-art research and development laboratories in downtown Milan and a 1.7 million-square-foot production facility outside of the city in Mediglia, the 80-year-old company continues to thrive. Learn more about how far MAPEI has come since its founding in 1937 on page 26.

In this edition, known annually as our “Gold Book,” we also touch on the topic of radiant heating. Since comfort is always a priority, heating systems underneath tile products have become an increasing demand, particularly amongst homeowners. One homeowner in Michigan revived an outdated bathroom utilizing a radiant heating system from WarmlyYours, which is featured on page 22. To view a selection of radiant heating products that are currently available on the market, make sure you also head 
to page 20.

In a couple of days, I will be heading to the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, TX, to attend Total Solutions Plus, the annual networking event for the ceramic tile industry. There is an impressive line-up of presenters that I am looking forward to seeing at the event, which is organized collaboratively by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, National Tile Contractors Association, Tile Council of America and Tile Contractors’ Association of America.

I’m also excited to see what the New Year has to offer when we attend The International Surface Event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, at the end of January — one of the leading national tile and stone events of the year.

Until then, I hope you have a happy, healthy end of the year.




Heather Fiore