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Coverings preview: New products, programs on tap for attendees

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

By Mara Bollettieri

Coverings 2018, one of the largest international tile and stone events, is expected to deliver fresh, new features and programs when it kicks off May 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. More than 1,100 exhibitors representing over 40 countries will showcase their wares.

“Coverings aims to not only highlight the inherent value of tile and stone materials—their adaptability, durability, low environmental impact and beauty—but also foster connections between industry professionals in order to grow business and build lasting professional relationships,” said Alena Capra, Coverings industry ambassador.

With displays of the latest products and hottest trends, live demonstrations, networking opportunities, educational seminars and more, attendees will have more than enough activities from which to choose during the event. Some highlights:

New and notable

This year, Coverings will host several first-time events, starting with the “Tile Installation Experience,” a hands-on learning experience consisting of a discussion with tile installers. Installers are expected to share best practices for tile installations through live demos. “This is the first time they are doing this at the show,” Capra said.

Also new for this year is extended hours offered on the first day of the show, Tuesday, May 8, which will allow for attendees to spend extra time on the floor. Along with the addition of longer hours comes a networking event, “Around the World of Tile & Stone,” which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. The event will include entertainment, happy hour specials and a chance to meet with other attendees. What’s more, attendees can network within the show’s mobile app along with an on-site Meet @ Coverings, with a designated area to meet and discuss. Also new is the Orientation Theatre, a program that provides guests with answers to frequently asked questions.

Another new feature is the Tile Heritage Foundation’s Donor Wall for Posterity, which allows attendees to be part of the show’s history. For a $25 donation, individuals can press their hands, names, ideas and/or logos into a tile of wet clay, which will be part of a larger mural that will be placed at the headquarters of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) in Anderson, S.C.

On the humanitarian front, Coverings has teamed up with three charitable initiatives, with each one giving back to an area of the local community in Atlanta. The three initiatives are Habitat for Humanity and Freeman, Clean the World and the Homeless Pets Foundation. “We’re delighted to support these charitable initiatives that serve important segments of the Atlanta community at Coverings 2018,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events.

Educational opportunities

Coverings will feature more than 50 CEU-accredited sessions primarily intended for architects, builders/remodelers, designers, distributors, fabricators, installers and retailers. Topics of interest include the ongoing labor shortage and skills gap in the industry, a forecast of upcoming trends that are best suited for businesses, what design professionals and general contractors are discussing about the industry, and how to meet the standards of these designers and contractors. Translation services will be available for Spanish-speaking attendees.

Back by demand

For the second consecutive year, Coverings will include the Installation Design Showcase (IDS), which will display tiny homes. Leading designers and contractors will be showing off their stone and live tile installations by certified installers with supplies from major manufacturers, such as ESTIMA Ceramica, Ceramics of Italy and Crossville USA. The miniature homes will be on display in Booth #8804 in Hall C.

“The Installation Design Showcase remains a favorite destination for trade professionals, as a one-stop resource to see and experience the latest in installation techniques and design trends,” Capra said.

Also returning this year are the self-guided audio tours. Guests can explore the show at their own convenience through the mobile app. Like last year, the two repeating tours include the Coverings 101 Tour, which is created especially for new attendees, and the Tile Trends Tour, where visitors can learn about the most recent and hottest trends in the industry on the showroom floor.

Emerging trends

Visitors of the show will have the opportunity to view the hottest and latest trends in the tile and stone industry. “Tile companies are constantly seeking new ways to add movement and volume to the flat surface, whether by texture, pattern, or tromp l’oiel effect,” said Kristin Coleman, marketing representative for Ceramics of Italy. “Deconstructed is the most recent example, featuring a breakdown and reconstruction of shapes that transcend the traditional rectilinear format of a tile such as Palladiana designed by Studiopepe for Bardelli and I Cocci by Fioranese.”

Coleman anticipates finding a return to retro. “Many companies are inspired by simpler times, using square formats, candy colors and retro patterns like Comfort by Dom Ceramiche and Aquarel by Tonalite,” she said.

To that end, patterns such as terrazzo and patchwork are expected to make a strong showing. Designers have embraced and updated this old-fashioned style, giving it a fresh look.

Donato Pompo, president of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, expects to see larger sizes, based on his observations from attending the Cevisama trade show in Spain. Specifically, he said, “12 x 24 inch tiles are still popular, but there are tiles as large as 24 x 48 inches. They are available with realistic types of stone, such as marble, limestone, travertine, etc.”

Concrete has become popular, Pompo noted, although the wood look is still in high demand as well. Also, thin tile porcelain panels/slabs are rising in popularity. “Porcelain tiles are as large as 5 x 10 feet and can vary in thickness from 1⁄8 inches to ¾ inches,” he explained. “With ink-jet technology, the tile gives a very realistic look of the various types of marble, limestone, concrete and other types of styles and looks.”

Glass tile and rectangle subway tiles are still going strong as well, according to Pompo. He’s also seeing movement with respect to embossed 3D ceramic wall tile combined with unique finishes.

Other tile trends that guests can expect to see on display at the show are industrial-inspired looks along with more realistic-stone looks and, of course, larger format tiles.

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Tarkett North America partners with Habitat for Humanity

Solon, Ohio—Tarkett has entered a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in North America. The manufacturer has donated a total of $400,000 of product to the nonprofit housing organization as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative, Tarkett Cares.

The partnership between Tarkett and Habitat began during the 2017 hurricane season, with Tarkett donating $250,000 of Johnsonite and Tandus Centiva flooring earlier this year to help with Habitat’s disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts in Texas and Florida.

“Tarkett is committed to doing good in the communities in which we live and work,” said Andrew Bonham, president and CEO of Tarkett North America. “Working with Habitat for Humanity to assist with rebuilding efforts following a destructive hurricane season was an incredibly meaningful experience. Our team found such close alignment between our values and principles and those of Habitat, so we knew exploring longer-term partnership opportunities was the right path forward.”

For 2018, Tarkett is supporting Home Builders Blitz at the Silver corporate partner level, donating $150,000 in product to the program to help build safe, affordable housing with families in need of a decent place to call home. The Home Builders Blitz is a week-long initiative each summer that enlists help from thousands of professional home builders who, working alongside Habitat homeowners, volunteer their time and talents to construct, repair, and revitalize homes.

“By partnering with companies like Tarkett, we’re able to construct more affordable homes that provide for better futures for families,” said Lynda Smith, senior director of corporate relations, Habitat for Humanity. “We value Tarkett’s generous donations, which will help us reach more families to build strength, stability, and independence through shelter.”

Tarkett Cares encourages all employees around the world to spend up to two days a year of their work time on a charitable initiative and to share their time and expertise on a volunteer basis. Employees throughout North America have had opportunities to volunteer this time with Habitat during 2018, and many are slated to give back during the Builder’s Blitz.

For more information, visit: tarkettna.com.

 

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Mohawk Industries raises over $90,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Gordon County

Mohawk_Industries_logoCalhoun, Ga.—Mohawk Industries is committed to bringing comfort, fashion and durability to homes across the world. Thanks to the generosity and dedication of many Mohawk volunteers, a deserving Gordon County family will soon enjoy a new home all their own.

On Sept. 18, Mohawk’s finance and logistics teams hosted the company’s annual Habitat for Humanity charity golf tournament, which, combined with a generous Mohawk donation, will help a family in Calhoun, Ga., obtain a home through Habitat for Humanity of Gordon County.

“This year’s tournament was a great success because of the generosity and dedication of many company volunteers and corporate sponsors,” said Renée Lockhart, tournament chairperson. “A total of 30 teams played in the event, and we also generated additional funds through an on-site raffle. I appreciate all of the people who made this event a success, including our volunteers, players and sponsors.”

Through entry fees, sponsorships, donations and the Mohawk corporate gift, the 2017 golf tournament raised more than $90,000—an all-time tournament record. The event’s title sponsor was Wells Fargo, gold sponsor was SunTrust and silver sponsors were US Bank and Xpress Global Systems. Bronze sponsors included C2F0, FifthThird Bank, MUFG, XPO Logistics, Mizuho, PNC Bank, Alston & Bird, Liberty Mutual, Navigant and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

After a number of years organizing the event to assist a variety of local non-profit organizations, this was Mohawk’s fourth year partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Gordon County to raise funds for local builds.

“Mohawk Industries was the prime sponsor of our last home build,” said Lana Young, executive director, Habitat for Humanity of Gordon County. “They gave us the proceeds from last year’s golf tournament to help fund construction, and many of their employees rolled up their sleeves and helped with that house. We appreciate their leadership in making home ownership a reality for deserving local families. We’re continually inspired by the dedication and generosity of Mohawk, and we’re grateful for the company’s continued support.”

Mohawk provides financial assistance to dozens of non-profit organizations in the northwest Georgia region, but the golf tournament has taken on special significance due to the connection with the company’s position as a global leader in flooring.

“At Mohawk, we are pleased to support the Calhoun/Gordon County community in many ways, but this event is special to us because working with Habitat for Humanity reflects our commitment to safe, stable housing,” said Shaila Bettadapur, treasurer, Mohawk Industries. “We appreciate the importance of having a place to call home, and, as the world’s largest flooring manufacturer, we take great pride in making those homes more beautiful and comfortable. Thanks to the sponsors and participants in this year’s tournament, we will be able to help make home ownership a reality for a local family, and we look forward to adding Mohawk flooring products throughout the house.”

Young expressed excitement about the family that will benefit from this year’s golf tournament. “We began working with our current partner family several months ago, and they have patiently waited to find a home that will accommodate their family,” she said. “The parents and their oldest daughter work in Calhoun, and they have two other children—a son and daughter—who attend Calhoun Middle and High School, so we’ve been exploring properties within the city limits.”

Most Habitat homes are built from the ground up, but Habitat for Humanity of Gordon County is making this home a “green” project.

“For this particular family, we feel that modifying and upgrading an existing home would be the fastest and most cost-effective solution,” Young said. “We plan to purchase a property, renovate the house, then sell the property to our partner family at a no-profit selling price with a 0% loan.”

Given Mohawk’s commitment to sustainable products and practices, the Habitat solution of renovating a home was a welcome announcement.

“Part of what makes Mohawk special is our connection to our communities, particularly Calhoun, our corporate hometown,” said Michel Vermette, president, Mohawk Group. “We challenge ourselves and others to believe in better, and partnering with Habitat for Humanity to provide a new home to a deserving family is one example of how we translate that philosophy into results that make a difference. As the industry leader in sustainability, we’re particularly pleased this project focuses on renovating a current residence, which reinforces the value of revitalizing a community’s existing homes.”

For more information, visit gordonhabitat.org.

To support the organization through a donation, visit gordonhabitat.org/Donate.html.

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Floors & More announces new partnership

Habitat logoAuburn, Mass.–Floors & More Buying Group announced a new partnership with Habitat for Humanity. 
Floors & More, which is the parent company of Floors to Ceiling and Big Bob’s Outlet, will immediately begin donating excess flooring materials to Habitat for Humanity, which will then allocate the materials to their ReStore locations across the country.

ReStores can be compared to Goodwill stores, but for the construction industry. They are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell; new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price. ReStores are independently owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. Proceeds are used to help rebuild local neighborhoods and communities around the world.

“We are so excited to announce this new partnership,” said Vinnie Virga, co-CEO of Floors & More. “Supporting the good work of Habitat for Humanity meshes perfectly with our commitment to give back. This organization has helped so many people, we are honored to be able to join the important cause by contributing to their mission.”

Scott Appel, co-CEO of Floors & More, added, “I am a strong advocate of giving back. I want to thank Habitat for Humanity for creating a streamlined and efficient donation process that will allow for each and every one of our franchisees to easily donate to their cause. We are very much looking forward to the good our brand can do for families across the nation with Habitat.”

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Bamboo Hardwoods donates flooring to Habitat for Humanity ReStore

bamboo hardwoods habitat donationSeattle—Bamboo Hardwoods recently donated 24,000 square feet of new flooring and transitions to Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Roswell, Ga., in partnership with The R.A. Siegel Company.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are non-profit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances at a fraction of the retail price. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates and the proceeds are used to build homes locally and around the world.

“[This donation] will go a long way toward helping the community through Habitat’s efforts,” said Ann Congden, manager of Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Roswell.

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DriTac supports Habitat for Humanity at Surfaces 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 12.09.03 PMClifton, N.J.—DriTac Flooring Products partnered with Habitat for Humanity’s Las Vegas affiliate to support its local humanitarian efforts recently at The International Surface Event (TISE) 2015 flooring trade show in Las Vegas.

DriTac exhibited at TISE and supported Habitat for Humanity by making a donation for every lead generated at the DriTac booth. Proceeds from DriTac’s donation will go towards building eco-friendly homes and helping families break the cycle of poverty while adding to their long-term financial stability.

“Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope,” said Myrna Block, executive vice president, DriTac. “It is a well respected organization and we are proud to have had the privilege to work with such a prestigious company. We commend all of their efforts and look forward to continuing our support of Habitat in the future.”

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Tile industry pitches in on Habitat homes

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last month tile installers got together to help low-income people get a new home as part of Tile Partners for Humanity’s week-long tile blitz to help Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project (JRCWP). Continue reading Tile industry pitches in on Habitat homes