Posted on

Best booths awarded at Coverings 2017

FlorimOrlando, Fla.—Coverings, the largest global tile & stone exhibition in North America, has announced the winners of its 2017 Best Booth awards. The program recognizes the standout booths based on their design, creativity, display of product and overall presentation. The panel of judges selected one Overall Best in Show winner, and six Best in Show winners that earned high marks for a variety of factors.

The Overall Best in Show honor was presented to Florim Ceramiche (#1228) for its impressive architectural elements and integration of technology into the booth display. Judges noted that the large digital screen brings a sense of dynamism to the booth experience. The many spaces within the booth itself showcase a spectacular portfolio of tile products.

Grespania (#5222) was honored for “Organic Inspiration,” as the booth exterior features sinuous cut-outs in natural shapes.

“Best Brand Synergy” was awarded to Gruppo Ceramiche Ricchetti (#2328) for the way it brings three brands—Ceridisa, Ricchetti and Cisa Ceramiche—together.

Porcelanite Lamosa (#3122) netted the “Rustic Meets Modern” award, as the booth blends warm, earthy looks with elements that evoke a more contemporary statement.

The “Best Use of Space” honor went to Ceramiche Refin (#1711). The multidimensional booth features tile on a variety of planes and surfaces, including the ceiling.

StonePeak Ceramics (#2610) was awarded the “Best Experiential Booth,” as the company hosted a live cooking demonstration in the booth’s kitchen vignette in which a chef prepared food for attendees using liquid nitrogen.

The “Boutique Design” was presented to Vives (#4939), which impresses attendees from the outside in—the exterior features a mosaic design, and the interior stands out for its unique palette of tiles in pastel hues.





















Posted on

Coverings 2017 unveils tile, stone products to enthusiastic crowd

coveringsOrlando, Fla.—Coverings, the largest global tile & stone exhibition in North America, made its highly anticipated return to the Orange County Convention Center yesterday. Representatives of the Orange County mayor’s office, Ceramics of Italy, Tile of Spain, Tile Council of North America, Ceramic Tile Distributor Association and National Tile Contractor Association gathered April 4 for the official 2017 ribbon cutting ceremony. The show, which runs through April 7, features new products from more than 1,100 exhibitors that span 430,000 net square feet of show floor space, and offers more than 70 educational sessions.

At the show’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Victoria P. Siplin, Orange County vice mayor, presented a declaration that named April 4-7, 2017 as Tile & Stone Days in Orange County, Fla. The mayor’s office recognized the influence of the show in the community by providing attendees the opportunity to learn about new and innovative products, gain knowledge from courses and provide networking opportunities to foster connections with peers. Representatives from the Coverings board joined Siplin to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony.

Further to the many striking booths, this year’s enhanced pavilions added to the buzz on the show floor. Tile of Spain introduced a new stand, branded the “Innovation Lab,” that serves as a multipurpose area and showcase of the many uses and installations of tile. Tile Council of North America’s pavilion has been updated to reflect the organization’s Why Tile campaign. The core areas of focus for the campaign—tile design, easy care, healthy spaces, and heritage—are integrated throughout the booth. The Ceramics of Italy pavilion provides a central gathering place for industry professionals to network, complete with Italian fare.


Posted on

Tile industry launches Why Tile initiative at Coverings

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 11.08.30 AMOrlando, Fla.—The tile industry has united in a marketing and education initiative designed to inspire consumers and provide information on all of tile’s benefits. The campaign, called Why Tile, is being introduced to the industry here at Coverings.

Why Tile is an industry effort with input sought from various industry organizations including the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), the Tile Contractors Association of America and the Tile Heritage Foundation (THF), in addition to manufacturers worldwide. Why Tile is coordinated by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

“In developing Why Tile, we’ve had the pleasure of reaffirming everything that’s so wonderful about tile,” said Eric Astrachan, executive director, TCNA. “With Why Tile, we’ll be delivering this messaging to consumers and to the A&D community as never before and in new and impactful ways—most notably, through the website,” provides extensive messaging on the benefits of tile, centering on four main tenets: design, easy care, healthy spaces and heritage. The site features an inspiration gallery, downloadable project guide, schematics and maintenance tips, and a Test Your Tile IQ feature where users can take a simple 10-question quiz for a chance to win a prize.

“As with any website, will constantly evolve and provide a means for our audiences to derive inspiration and access planning resources—we want this to be both engaging and a helpful tool,” said Kathy Meyer, marketing director, TCNA. “We’re excited to get out there with Why Tile, and this is just the beginning of what I know will be a long and colorful story.”

Posted on

Coverings Installation & Design awards recognize superior work in tile, stone

coveringsArlington, Va.—Four outstanding tile and stone projects have been awarded Coverings Installation & Design (CID) awards, a program that honors outstanding design and installation of tile and stone in the categories of Residential Stone, Residential Tile, Commercial Stone and Commercial Tile. An esteemed panel of notable editors, leading designers and industry professionals evaluated submissions based on execution, original usage and overall design and purpose, and gave special recognition to those projects exemplifying noteworthy tile and stone applications.

Following are this year’s winners.

Residential Stone:

  • Project: Art House, The Zajeski Project
  • Designer: CVG Architects
  • Installer: Blue Pearl Stone

Residential Tile:

  • Project: Contemporary Twilight
  • Designer: DKOR Interiors
  • Installer: Newman Brothers Construction

Commercial Stone:

  • Project: Energy Center III
  • Designer: Kirskey Architecture
  • Installer: Camarata Masonry Systems

Commercial Tile:

  • Project: Maurices Corporate Headquarters
  • Designer: RSP Architects
  • Installer: Twin City Tile and Marble

The four prize-winning teams, including each designer and installer, will receive $2,500 and a one-night stay in Orlando to attend Coverings. All winning projects are being displayed at Coverings 2017 on a video wall and on an award display across from registration. The winners will also present their projects to show attendees at 8:00 a.m. on April 5 as part of the conference program.

Posted on

Coverings celebrates top young professionals in 2017 Rock Star program

coveringsArlington, Va.—Coverings, the largest international tile & stone exhibition in North America, honored its industry “Rock Stars” for the show’s third class of the emerging leaders program. Honorees were recognized for their individual contributions to the tile and stone industry during a Rock Star Luncheon on April 4 during Coverings.

A panel comprised of seasoned and established industry professionals reviewed the nominations submitted by active and experienced tile and stone colleagues, and selected the following 11 inductees for the third class of Coverings Rock Stars. Representing more than 100 years of experience across a diverse array of industry professions, the 2017 honorees are:

  • George L. Bellerose, lead installer and operations manager, Granite & Marble Works
  • Chanel Carrizosa, operator and owner, Icon Tile & Design
  • Andrew Cassanova, marketing director, Jeffrey Court
  • Marcos Castillo, superintendent, David Allen Co.
  • Lauren Congrove, marketing and sales supervisor, Distinctive Marble and Granite
  • Eva Mallory, sales representative, MS International
  • Dimce Manev, owner, Imperial Tile & Stone
  • Marie-Noelle Neidemire, interior designer, Panzica Building Corp.
  • Matt Newbold, program manager, Elite Tile Setters
  • Joseph Roberts, import manager and senior purchaser, International Stone & Tile
  • Jessica Webber, co-owner, Webber Development & Construction

This distinguished group will be recognized at Coverings by a special Rock Star ribbon on their badges. To learn more about Coverings, and the 2017 Rock Stars visit:

Posted on

MSI opens new innovation center

March 27/April 3, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 21

By Steven Feldman


Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.30.28 AMAtlanta—MS International recently opened its new innovation center here, a state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot space within a 150,000-square-foot warehouse that supplements its 200,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse five miles down the road.

The new building reflects the enormous growth the company has been experiencing over the past decade. In fact, according to Manny Llerena, director of sales and marketing, the company has grown its sales at least $100 million each year for the past five years and is on target to surpass the $1 billion mark this year.

The new innovation center houses the entire MSI marketing team, 18 strong and growing. This includes graphic designers and the digital marketing and product development teams. “The idea was to create a space that was exciting, where you would want to come to work,” said Emily Holle, creative director. “It’s beautiful, comfortable and inspiring. It’s a cool space and shows off much of our product.” The space also includes a training area that doubles as a break room. As well, a creative library space—where MSI designers can design the next wave of product—offers a plethora of natural light. “Here our designers can track home décor trends.”

But it all wouldn’t be possible without MSI’s exponential growth, which Llerena attributes in large part to a philosophy of being affordable and accessible. “We find the best-looking products from around the world. We are low cost from the manufacturer to the retailer. That whole idea is allowing us to expand the market as opposed to taking a share of the market.”

He added that success begins with the product itself. “We are sourcing the latest products, trends and technologies, and are leading in styling and bringing them in at affordable prices. We make even the high-end products very affordable.”

After posting sales of $920 million in 2016, MSI fully expects to eclipse the $1 billion mark in 2017. That will be achieved in part by virtue of four or five new branches, bringing to 27 the total number of locations in the U.S. To support this growth, the company hired 280 new employees last year and projects to bring on the same number or more this year.

“We want to work with many of the large retailers and help them grow their tile business,” Llerena said. But MSI will be very selective regarding its retail partners. “We are looking to grow with retailers who have dedicated themselves to this category. Ceramic is a difficult category to manage.”

At the same time, MSI also hopes to bring more retailers into countertops, a business that generates approximately half of MSI’s total sales. “With the excitement around quartz, it is easier for the retailer to get involved in the category. They don’t have to show a tremendous number of slabs in the warehouse. We can help them by joining them up with our fabricators.”

MSI will be exhibiting at Coverings with a bevy of new products. Llerena says they all respond to five trends:

  1. A focus on the wall. “Today, one out of every five sales is a wall tile sale. People are getting tired of paint. They are using wall tile to replace paint.
  2. A continuation of lineal looks. “They are a little softer, more water color lines running through tiles.”
  3. Black and white combinations for floors and walls.
  4. Outdoor spaces. Taking tiles that can work indoors and coordinating them with outdoors.
  5. Creative floor/wall tile combinations.
Posted on

Ceramic: Coverings to put the spotlight on latest trends, education

March 27/April 3, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 21

By Lindsay Baillie


Coverings, touted as the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, returns to Orlando with new features and a robust education program. Slated for April 4-7 at the Orange County Convention Center, the show promises to deliver something for everyone.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.21.32 AMSome of the main points of interest for attendees include the show’s three pavilions—Spain, Italy and North America—a roster of impressive educational conference sessions, the new Installation Design Showcase and, of course, a bevy of new products on the show floor.

There will be plenty to keep Coverings’ attendees busy, according to industry ambassador Alena Capra. “There are an estimated 1,100 total exhibitors this year, representing over 40 countries across 400,000 square feet of exhibition space.”

Educational opportunities
In keeping with tradition, Coverings 2017 will host an abundance of conference sessions available to professionals serving the stone and tile industry. Over 65 conference sessions will be available during the show, with many offering CEUs.

“We have a robust conference program with sessions for all segments of our audience, including distributors, retailers, architects and designers, builders and remodelers, fabricators, contractors and installers,” said Jennifer Hoffman, president, Taffy Event Strategies. “We have sessions in Spanish for 2017 as well.”

New to the educational program are seminars regarding advanced contractor topics, a business topics track, contractor beginner-intermediate topics and the thin tile mini-track. These classes are open to all attendees.

New thrills
Coverings 2017 is offering three new features to complement its educational programming. “Elements new to Coverings 2017 include guided audio tours, a NASCAR racing experience and a reinvigorated social media lounge that will enhance the show by allowing attendees opportunities to further interact, explore and engage,” Capra said.

This year, Coverings is hosting four guided audio tours: Coverings 101 Overview Tour in English and Spanish, a Trends Tour, and an Installation Materials and Systems tour. These pre-recorded tours will be available via the official Coverings mobile app and provide insight into booths and pavilions.

The NASCAR racing experience provides attendees with the opportunity to find out what it is like to be a professional racecar driver. Drivers with the fastest simulator times each day will win two tickets to the NASCAR events of their choice. NTCA, Schlüter Systems and Laticrete are sponsoring the event.

Coverings Connect, the show’s refreshed social media lounge, allows attendees to relax, charge personal electronic devices or network. Coverings Connect will present a series of educational seminars called “Byte” sessions that have a digital focus. Some of the sessions include “LinkedIn Basics,” “Picture This: Instagram as a Customer Connection Tool” and “6 Cs to Social Media Success.” Additionally, a bar will be located in Coverings Connect from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., offering a happy hour for attendees to enjoy a beverage and make new connections.

Returning features
Many of the elements Coverings attendees have enjoyed from previous years will also be present at this year’s show. The popular Installation Design Showcase returns but with a twist. For 2017, this program will feature three tiny houses on site—a West Michigan house, a Retro Bungalow and the Vitruvian. NTCA Five Star Contractors and leading designers will partner together to showcase the synergy between design and installation. Each tiny house will highlight a different design aesthetic and feature tile and stone in a live installation.

Coverings will also host afternoon happy hours on the show floor from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. The bars will be located in the Tile Council of North America and Ceramic Tile Distributor’s Association booth, the Installation Design Showcase booth #458 and Coverings Connect booth #1568.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.23.41 AMAlso returning to the show are the Coverings Appreciation Days, which feature tailored guided tours of the show floor, lunch and focused education sessions, among other attractions. The 2017 Appreciation Day schedule is as follows: Builder & Remodeler Day, April 4; Architect & Designer Day, April 5; Contractor Days, April 5–6; and Fabricator Day, April 7.

The show will also offer both CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) and Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) testing, as well as Stone Fabricators Alliance demos. Lastly, the Live Demonstration Stage at booth #3135 and the Coverings Rock Star program will also return this year.

Product showcase
Exhibitors plan to showcase the latest tile and stone trends on the show floor. This includes a wide array of formats. “From a size perspective, we anticipate companies will introduce large slabs reaching up to 126 inches in length in a variety of materials,” said Shelly Halbert, director of product design, Dal-Tile. “On the opposite end of the spectrum, we will see smaller formats in handcrafted looks, including 8 x 8, 12 x 12 and 6 x 12 sizes.”

Donato Pompo, president of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, anticipates seeing a lot of wood plank porcelain tile, gauged porcelain tile/panels (thin tile panels) and ink jet reproductions of various types of stone. He explained that rectangle tiles are still popular as well as large module tiles. He also expects to see various types of decorative wall tiles.

Innovations in porcelain tile will also be on display. Style options run the gamut from marble looks, bright colors with unique textures, wood and metallic looks. “Porcelain tile panels are a significant development for the tile industry because of their size—measured in feet, not inches—and range of potential applications,” said Lindsey Waldrep, vice president of marketing, Crossville. “These panels can be used in applications where traditional tile wouldn’t be an option. They can also be installed directly over previous tile or stone, eliminating the cost and labor involved in [demonstration] spaces, all while achieving big style with all the performance of porcelain.”

Emily Holle, director of trend and design, MSI, expects to see more wood looks and various sizes at the show. “This is an exciting trend that’s morphing and evolving quickly, with new styles constantly emerging and all types of edgy wood looks holding their own against the most traditional styles.”

While Emser is not exhibiting this year, Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing, plans to walk the show. She expects to see products that will build on existing trends. “Some of the looks we’re expecting are a continuation of the longer slabs. We’re going to see a lot when it comes to larger format tiles. We’re also expecting to see a lot more decorative tiles.”

Attendees will also be on the lookout for technological advances in design and performance. As Kristin Coleman, marketing representative for Ceramics of Italy, put it: “The capabilities of tile are expanding every year, moving from a flooring material decades ago to a truly versatile, high performance material that can be used to clad buildings, serve as kitchen and bathroom countertops, outdoor pavers and more.”

Posted on

Coverings 2017 exhibitors serving up new tile, stone products

coveringsArlington, Va.–Coverings, the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, will return to Orlando next month to showcase cutting-edge product innovations and emerging trends in the marketplace. When the industry gathers at the Orange County Convention Center, April 4-7, attendees will be impressed by the array of new product introductions presented by over 1,000 exhibitors representing more than 40 countries.

“While the industry continues to produce innovative new materials for architects, designers, builders, remodelers, distributors, retailers, installers, contractors and fabricators, Coverings remains the venue where everyone can find what they’re looking for,” said Alena Capra, Coverings industry ambassador. “In addition to seeing thousands of new products, the show offers incredible opportunities to further your education and grow your network. Coverings celebrates all segments of the industry, with important takeaways for each and every attendee.”

View the complete list of Coverings exhibitors at Register to attend Coverings for free at


Posted on

Coverings 2017 taps industry leaders for conference programming

coverings-2017-ad-600-x-400-anim-2Arlington, Va.—Coverings, the largest international tile & stone exhibition in North America, will feature over 65 sessions in its 2017 conference program—where distinguished speakers will share their knowledge and cutting-edge industry information with attendees. The conference program will highlight pressing topics for the tile and stone industry throughout the show from April 4-7 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

The conference sessions build upon Coverings’ dedication to providing world-class education with content tailored to each attendee segment: architects, builders/remodelers, designers, distributors, fabricators, installers, retailers and Spanish-speaking attendees. New for 2017, Coverings will offer contractor advanced business topics, contractor beginner-intermediate and the thin tile mini-track. The conference is open to all attendees and, with many CEU credits available, these sessions continue to bring invaluable free education to the show.

Coverings 2017 will present 10 featured sessions highlighting various topics from industry leaders. These sessions include: “Critical Changes to Industry Standards, Guidelines and Best Practices,” “Communicating with Color/Design: Inspiring and Defining Essential Trends,” “Design: A Global Affair,” “Stone Trends: A Historical Perspective,” “Coastal Resilience–Rethinking Design for Extreme Weather Conditions,” “Behind the Curtain to Zero-Incident Safety!” “What’s Trending in Hospitality?” “Design, Health and Wellness in the Workplace,” “What’s Next in Customer Engagement–More Than Ten Ideas Your Customers Will ‘Like’ and ‘Love’ You For” and a fireside chat with Todd-Avery Lenahan, founder of TAL-Studio.

For more information visit

Posted on

Turkishceramics to ‘talk Turkey’ at Coverings 2017

Turkishceramics_Coffee_CupAnkara, Turkey—Turkishceramics will showcase new products, savvy business initiatives, wonderful hospitality and, a new catchphrase themed specifically for the U.S.: “Let’s talk Turkey!” at this year’s Coverings in Orlando, April 4-8.

The new catchphrase is influenced by the American definition for “talking turkey,” meaning to talk business.

During Coverings, Turkishceramics, along with a number of its U.S.-focused manufacturer/members, will exhibit at the Turkish Pavilion. In addition to highlighting new products, the company will share various strategic business opportunities offered to prospective buyers. Visitors will also be updated on programs that emphasize the strong profits and benefits associated with featuring Turkish tile materials.

“We are focused even more on the United States than in the past,” declared Ahmet Yamaner of Turkishceramics. “Many of our members have been working closely with stateside customers for decades. Together, we have worked to better understand the marketplace and those who demand top quality tile materials. We have listened to distributors, retailers, contractors, architects, designers and end-users. As a result, our producers have developed products specifically to meet their respective demands.”

The company welcomes Coverings attendees to Booth # 4441 to experience the highest levels of Turkish hospitality. “And while doing so, ‘let’s talk Turkey’ over a fresh brewed, authentic cup of Turkish Coffee!” Yamaner said.