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Crossville hosts University of Tennessee students to NeoCon

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville is hosting four students from the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design to NeoCon 2018 in Chicago. These students earned the trip by creating winning, tile-focused projects as part of Crossville’s sponsorship of a semester-long design studio held in partnership with the university.

The studio, “IARC 372—design development and construction detailing documentation for interior architecture,” provided the company a direct opportunity to educate the next generation of design professionals on the specification of tile products, as well as working with tile in real-world interior design scenarios. As part of the studio experience, students completed project concepts in which tile is an essential design element. The course provided students six credit hours.

“In this course of study, students are exposed to tile and challenged to think and create differently with tile as a surfacing solution,” explained Robin Rhea, Crossville’s director of brand marketing. “This practical approach is the best way to equip future specifiers with knowledge about tile’s technical and design benefits. In turn, we at Crossville get firsthand insights into students’ perspectives, questions and needs.”

To take the experience further, Crossville held a competition to identify the four top projects created during the studio. Judges from Crossville’s corporate office chose honorees based on the merits of the projects they designed.

The following student projects took top honors: Grace Octdiek; Brianna Willis; Anaya Kabasu; Makenna Wood.

The winners are enjoying their reward this week on the all-expense paid trip to NeoCon 2018 in Chicago.

“Many of these students are soon to be product specifiers for new design projects out in the real world,” said Rhea. “We hope this early education deepens their preference for and confidence in tile specification and design throughout their careers.”

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Crossville names Shelby Ferriter as Common Thread for the Cure contest winner

Crossville, Tenn.— Crossville Inc. has named Shelby Ferriter as creator of the winning design for the company’s biennial Common Thread for the Cure scarf design contest. Ferriter’s scarf concept, one of five designs that made it to the final round of online voting, garnered the most votes to earn the honored recognition. Her original pattern is being used to produce scarves that will be made available for purchase later this year, with proceeds going to fund Helping Hands grants through Common Thread for the Cure Foundation

In addition to seeing her design produced on this year’s scarf, Ferriter will receive a Crossville prize pack valued at $200, and a $3,500 tax deductible donation to Common Thread for the Cure foundation will be made in her name.

In describing the inspiration behind her scarf design, Ferriter explained that she focused on empowering individuals battling breast cancer. Each element in her original pattern supports the idea of empowerment.

“The mountains are not only part of Crossville’s logo, but also a symbol of the climb that individuals with breast cancer are going to face,” Ferriter said. “With each step, with each day, with each dollar raised, we get closer to the top of the mountain and closer to finding a cure. The mountains are wrapped in a pink ribbon, which is an international symbol for breast cancer awareness. My hope is that when those battling cancer wear this scarf, they are reminded of the strength they hold and are encouraged to keep fighting.”

“We’re excited for Shelby and for the chance to see her winning design come to life on this year’s scarves,” said Lindsey Waldrep, vice president of marketing. “As she launches her professional career in interior design, we hope she shares the message of Common Thread for the Cure with her colleagues and leads the next generation of designers to join in supporting this worthwhile cause.”

In addition to the biennial scarf contest and annual programs to raise awareness during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Crossville contributes a portion of the proceeds from the sale of select glass mosaic collections to support Common Thread for the Cure’s Helping Hands grants. For more information, visit crossvilleinc.com.

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Crossville’s Retro Active 2.0 earns Living Product Challenge Petal Certifications

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville’s newest tile collection, Retro Active 2.0, is a recipient of the Living Product Challenge Petal Certifications in three categories: place, water and beauty. The Living Product Challenge is a recognition program of the International Living Future Institute.

The Living Product Challenge is organized in seven performance areas, known as Petals, with each area consisting of detailed requirements. Retro Active 2.0 was recognized in the following:

  • Place Petal – 2/2 for meeting requirements that included responsible place and habitat impacts
  • Water Petal – 1/1 for meeting requirements that included net positive for water
  • Beauty Petal – 3/3 for meeting requirements that included beauty and spirit, inspiration and education, and positive handprinting
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Crossville debuts Convergence glass mosaic tile collection

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville has launched Convergence, the brand’s latest glass mosaic tile collection. The new wall line offers the look of end-grain wood captured in rich, jewel tones and cast in polished glass mosaics.

Convergence comes in eight vibrant colors: Pearl, Chardonnay, Sepia, Pigeon, Orchid, Indigo, Currant and Peacock. These luxe hues are heightened thanks to the glass casting, creating a naturally sophisticated effect with a lustrous sheen. The 4 x 4 mosaics, mesh-mounted on 12 x12 sheets, are suited for use on interior walls in wet or dry applications, in commercial or residential settings.

“We’re excited to see Convergence usher in new opportunities for designers to boldly tap into their individual styles,” explained Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “The mosaics’ melding of bio-mimicry with an artistic splash and fun range of colors is sure to result in some incredible wall tile designs.”

Convergence is the latest addition to Crossville’s program to support The Common Thread for the Cure, the nonprofit organization uniting the interior design and furnishings industry in the battle against breast cancer. A percentage of the proceeds from each sale of Convergence will be donated to fund Helping Hand Grants that provide practical assistance to those facing the struggles of breast cancer.

For more information, visit crossvilleinc.com and commonthread.info.

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Made in the USA: U.S. suppliers leverage advantages of domestic production

April 30/May 7, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 23

By Mara Bollettieri

Many domestic flooring suppliers cite numerous advantages in producing stateside. A huge benefit that Don Finkell, CEO of American OEM, pointed out is the ability to respond quickly to changing design trends in the industry. “We are closer to the market, so we are more aware of consumer preferences,” he explained. “In addition, consumer trends favor locally made products. American made has become a whole movement of its own.”

Others cite much shorter lead times as being a key benefit. “We have the ability to deliver product for large installations within four weeks,” said Michael Raskin, CEO of Raskin Industries. “In addition, we can fill in our domestic inventory to support distribution and our distributors can bolster their supplies if needed, which provides excellent support and turnaround.”

Matt Rosato, director of portfolio management, Anderson Tuftex, concurred. “When you have domestic production vs. something that’s sourced overseas, we are more agile and able to quickly hit lead times, especially for some project work. If it’s overseas, you’re looking for, after production time, 12-16 weeks of transit time into the U.S., where we can turn it around in a couple of days.”

For executives like Jimmy Tuley, vice president of residential resilient, Mannington Mills, being able to innovate and bring products quickly to market go hand in hand. “We’re also in control of our process. It’s one of the cores of Mannington—to be able to control your own destiny. And when you produce, you control that whole supply chain.”

Tom Lape, president, Mohawk Residential, can attest to that notion. Mohawk Industries is in the middle of a major push toward domestic production, with $700 million invested in five different plants. He noted that 90% of what the company produces is being sold right here at home. Beyond that, he said, “there is a high level of supplier reliability; the more you in-source, the more you create a more reliable customer and there are fewer big surprises.”

Onshoring creates jobs

Opening plants here at home, suppliers say, has increased the number of employees that suppliers need to hire. Paul Stringer, vice president of sales and marketing, Somerset Hardwood Flooring, shared that the number of employees has increased exponentially over the years now that the company has onshored production. “I started work at Somerset in 1999. At that time, we had roughly 225 employees; today, we employ more than 900 people throughout all of the Somerset operations.”

The creation of more jobs, in turn, sparks work in other industries as well, executives say, thereby stimulating the overall American economy. Mannington’s Tuley illustrates how opening plants throughout the U.S. has done precisely that. “If you look at a plant that’s growing and expanding, chances are there’s a restaurant in that area that’s opening, there are roads that are being worked on—all sorts of service industries spring up around manufacturing facilities.”

Anderson Tuftex’s Rosato also believes there’s a direct correlation between plant openings and the creation of jobs in surrounding communities. “We have a large project in Alabama with Shaw that we are investing millions of dollars in, stimulating local jobs in that state as well as other states in which we manufacture—be it California, South Carolina, Tennessee or Alabama. This is definitely impacting and increasing the workflow and job creation in those states.”

Don Maier, president and CEO, Armstrong Flooring, also feels his company is contributing to the increase in jobs in certain states. “Our domestic manufacturing supports local jobs, and we are a significant employer in many of the communities where our U.S. plants are located,” he stated.

Inherent challenges

Despite all the advantages to onshoring, there are some inherent challenges. The most prominent is the void associated with the rise in manufacturing job openings vs. the lack of a skilled workforce to fill those positions. Somerset’s Stringer can attest. “I think this new generation has frowned on factory work or production work,” he told FCNews. “Young people today want to work on computers or sit in front of a screen. They don’t see themselves doing physical labor.”

Vance Bell, chairman and CEO, Shaw Industries, concurs that finding employees in this modern age is difficult. However, he said, the company is trying to encourage people to work in this field. “We believe we have an opportunity to educate students about the rewarding careers available in manufacturing and the diversity of career paths they can take here at Shaw.”

But even in cases where you have skilled employees, there’s still somewhat of a learning curve—especially when opening up a new plant. “It’s extensive and it takes time to train people, to get equipment exactly how you want it,” Mannington’s Tuley said. “It’s a major undertaking to be able to do manufacturing in the U.S.”

Other challenges that suppliers face is the competitive pricing of products from overseas. “The most notable is the battle against cheap imports,” said Frank Douglas, vice president of business development, Crossville.

Some consumers, he noted, are indifferent when it comes to the whole Made in the USA movement, opting instead for less expensive goods.

Potential impact of tariffs

Many flooring industry executives say it’s too soon to tell whether policies instituted by the Trump Administration have helped accelerate domestic production (see related story on page 20). On some level, though, many feel the mere threat of U.S. tariffs on some Chinese imports could indeed enhance domestic production.

According to Gregg Link, senior director of product management, Dal-Tile, those who make products overseas may be at a disadvantage if these tariffs are enacted. But that’s a big if. “For those that don’t have manufacturing capability and have a heavier reliance on sourced goods—and in particular China—that’s obviously going to be something that they’re going to question,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any definite direction.”

American OEM’s Finkell sees the threat of tariffs on some imported goods as beneficial to Made in the USA. “I do believe that uncertainty around what President Trump will do with tariffs is helpful to the domestic industry. Prudent buyers are increasingly hedging their bets so as to not to have all of their eggs in the import basket if a trade war breaks out or significant tariffs are imposed on imported wood floors.”

Mannington’s Tuley is uncertain about the threats as well but feels those who onshore have the upper hand. “It’s so difficult to tell in our current environment what could happen. Certainly, tariffs could change the pricing structure of flooring products if they’re taxed in certain ways. And that could give companies that manufacture in the U.S. an advantage. But it’s so hard to predict what’s going to happen.”

Shaw’s Bell feels that regardless of whether the tariffs happen or not, Made in the USA is the way to go. “We just believe it makes economic sense for any company to have some level of in-market production for their products,” he said. “That is the overall trend globally.”

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Crossville to host in-booth, show-wide education sessions at Coverings

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville will be offering unique education opportunities at the Coverings tradeshow, including informative sessions live at Booth #7654 as well as sessions offered as part of the show’s education schedule.

Crossville’s educational sessions will address the latest trends in commercial and residential design, as well as issues related to technical performance and installation. For anyone unable to attend in person, the sessions will be broadcast via Facebook Live. The following are the sessions that will be taking place at the show.

  • Mix It Up with Crossville—May 8, 2:00-2:30 p.m.

Explore Crossville’s latest products and a colorfully coordinated strategy with Terri Marion.

  • Retro Active 2.0 Revealed—May 8, 3:00-3:15 p.m.

Crossville shares its latest line of tile and the ingredients that make this line so very special.

  • Now and Then: Bold Blends take on Tradition—May 9, 11:00-11:30 a.m.

Crossville hosts a panel discussion with designers Denise McGaha and Michelle Workman.

  • KBTribeChat: Tile Trends—May 9, 1:00 p.m.

A Twitter-based discussion for professionals in the kitchen and bath design industry.

  • The Technical Side of Bold Blends—May 9, 2:00-2:30 p.m.

Crossville’s technical team gives you the know-how to work across tile lines.

  • Bold Blends: Influences in Commercial Design—May 10, 10:00-10:30 a.m.

Crossville hosts a panel discussion with designers Shelly Attila and Louise Labus Collins.

  • The Story of Porcelain Panels—May 10, 11:00-11:30 a.m.

Crossville’s Porcelain Panel Case Studies tell a whole new design story for tile.

Beyond the booth sessions
In addition to the in-booth sessions, members of the Crossville team are participating in Coverings education sessions throughout the show. Crossville’s VP of marketing, Lindsey Waldrep, will represent the North American pavilion in the Global Tile Trend panel discussion hosted by the show taking place on  May 9 at 9:30 a.m. in B309.

Noah Chitty, Crossville’s director of technical services, will be part of the following informational sessions focused on the latest in tile standards and the gauged porcelain tile panel category:

  • Understanding Tile Installation and Product Standards and How to Apply This to Your Installation Projects on May 8, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in B406
  • Gauged Porcelain Tile—Inside the Product and Installation Standards on May 10, 1:30-4:30 p.m. in B206.

Irene Williams, owner-principal of Crossville’s PR firm Msg2Mkt, will be talking about various social media tools for customer connections. These include:

  • Coverings Connect Byte Session: Pay to Place—Facebook Advertising on May 8, 12:30-1:00 p.m., and on May 10, 1:30-2:00 p.m. in the B-C Connector
  • Coverings Connect Byte Session: Pin to Win—Pinterest’s Power for Your Biz on May 8, 1:30-2:00 p.m. and on May 10, 12:30-1:00 p.m. in the B-C Connector
  • Coverings Connect Byte Session: Fireside Chat – Social Media for Business on May 9, 12:30-1:00 p.m. and on May 11, 12:00-12:30 p.m. in the B-C Connector
  • Coverings Connect Byte Session: Quick Tips to Conquer Content Marketing on May 9, 1:30-2:00 p.m. and on May 11, 11:00-11:30 a.m. in the B-C Connector

Attendees can register for free at coverings.com.

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Crossville's Physics collection offers sophisticated update on classic colors

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville Inc. has launched Physics, a new porcelain tile collection offering a fresh, sophisticated interpretation of a classic visual by incorporating micro-particles for a subtle mingle effect. This domestically-produced line is engineered to provide a clean aesthetic and the powerful performance of porcelain for floors and walls in a range of environments.

Physics takes inspiration from natural science through the relationship between matter and motion. The line is calibrated and through-body, making it a great fit for budget-conscious projects that demand technical performance and durability for high-traffic commercial environments. Its five colors, offered in both unpolished and polished finishes, are enhanced by the most subtle of dappling in rich pigmentation. The palette is foundational for a nearly endless range of applications and is designed to blend with a bevy of other Crossville collections.

The 12” x 24” and 12” x 12” field tiles pair with 3” x 3” mesh-backed mosaics that are ideal for shower floor installations and thoughtfully curated trim packages that meet code requirements nationwide. The combination of sizes, trims and colors will create fully finished designs in residential and commercial applications.

As with all products produced at Crossville’s Tennessee manufacturing facilities, Physics is responsibly made in the USA, contains a minimum of 4% pre-consumer recycled content and is Green Squared certified. It is recommended for interior floors, walls and countertops, as well as exterior walls. Its technical performance is suited for even the most demanding commercial settings.

For more information on this collection, visit crossvilleinc.com.

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Crossville’s 2017 recycling program milestones

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville Inc. has recycled 23,447,883 pounds of fired porcelain in 2017, bringing the company’s cumulative recycling total to more than 114 million pounds since the 2009 launch of the Tile Take-Back® program and subsequent TOTO USA recycling partnership.

 

These recycling initiatives are based on the company’s proprietary process for recycling fired porcelain products, including post-consumer materials. Through Tile Take-Back®, Crossville is able to recycle previously installed tile collected from its distribution network, as well as scraps that result from tile cutting during installation, sizing or sample creation. Through its TOTO partnership, Crossville receives pre-consumer fired porcelain toilets that do not meet quality standards. Prior to the partnership, these cast-offs were being sent to landfills for disposal, but now they are recycled for use in manufacturing new tile.

 

All 114 million-plus cumulative pounds of the recycled material Crossville has diverted from landfills have been or will be introduced into the tile production process. This use of recycled material during manufacturing results in Crossville maintaining its status as a net consumer of waste for a seventh consecutive year. Net waste consumption is achieved by using more waste than is created during production.

 

For more information about Crossville’s sustainability practices, visit crossvilleinc.com/sustainability/.

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Crossville recognized with multiple ADEX awards

Crossville, Tenn.—Six of Crossville’s porcelain tile collections were recently recognized with ADEX awards. Crossville’s Handwritten collection received Platinum recognition; the Notorious and Seta collections received Gold recognitions; the Nest and Calce collections received Silver recognitions; and the Cava collection was recognized as a finalist.

Crossville’s Handwritten wall tile collection is inspired by artisanal craftsmanship. With its range of creative shapes, sizes and colors, this line empowers designers to create truly custom installations for commercial and residential interior walls.

The manufacturer’s Notorious porcelain tile collection offers big city style in the distinct look of concrete, with the technical performance Crossville products are known for.

Seta, inspired by the luxurious fabric of silk, is one of Crossville’s gauged porcelain tile panel collections. The surface visual of these large format tiles reveals the replication of delicate silk strands woven throughout the nuanced appearance of the line’s four color options.

The Nest collection is an alternative to wood for floors and walls, and it supports cleaner, healthier interiors while standing up to high traffic wear and tear. The collection authentically captures the sophisticated, clean graining of both olive and American oak species in a durable, versatile porcelain body.

Crossville’s Calce collection is marked by neutral colors and delicate nuances. The large format porcelain tile line is inspired by wet plaster and concrete. The combination results in a soft, chalky visual that is both sophisticated and contemporary.

With looks as good as natural stone delivered straight from the quarry, Crossville’s Cava offers all the style with unsurpassable performance. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Crossville created each vein of the line’s four colors to be rendered with authentic effect on each 1m x 3m panel.

All products are viewable at crossvilleinc.com.

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Crossville hosts interior designer panel at Surfaces

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville will be hosting an interior designer panel discussion with Christopher Kennedy and Kerrie Kelly at booth 5403, Jan. 31, at 10:30 a.m., during The International Surface Event. In addition to the in-booth opportunity, Crossville will be streaming the session on Facebook Live.

“We’re excited to offer this unique panel discussion with Christopher Kennedy and Kerrie Kelly, two highly regarded interior designers,” said Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “We’re calling the session ‘Mixing with the Masters’ and that’s so accurate. Kerrie and Christopher are both masterful at what they do. They have unique, contrasting styles, yet both really know how to bring tile into the mix of any project they’re working on,”

According to Waldrep, the motivation behind Crossville hosting this and similar panels at major trade shows is to help those in the flooring and tile industries think of design holistically. “It’s essential that we in the industry focus on how the products we manufacture and sell are used as part of overall projects,” she said.

Following the live presentation, Crossville will offer the recording of the full discussion on its Facebook page. Additionally, an edited version will be shared on the company’s blog and YouTube channel in the days following Surfaces.

For a complete list of Crossville’s in-booth presentations, click here.