Archive | December, 2016

Oceanside Glasstile Introduces New Colors and Pattern

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Oceanside Glasstile Introduces New Colors and Pattern

Posted on 28 December 2016 by CRadmin3

Muse Collection - Repose pattern in Mauna Blend

Muse Collection – Repose pattern in Mauna Blend

The newest colors, blends and pattern in the Oceanside Glasstile product offering represent the serenity of Hawaii’s natural landscape and bring to mind a sense of peace and calm that can transform any space into a little piece of paradise.

“When creating the new colors we wanted to broaden the range of two complimentary spectrums, allowing for softer gradient transitions,” reflects Oceanside Glasstile Designer Cathy Aroz, “The three new colors are the result of playing with hues and shades of popular colors Clear, Bondi, and Truffle.”

Looking at these three new additions together, Oceanside Glasstile’s creative team was reminded of the beauty and depths of a tropical paradise and wanted to pay tribute to the spirit of Hawaii by using Hawaiian names Nalu (wave), Kai (ocean) and Koa (native tree) for the colors and Puna, Kalani and Mauna to describe three new blends created with these colors.

Oceanside Glasstileoceanside-mauna oceanside-puna

 

 

 

 

 

Each blend is a combination of some of the company’s most popular colors. The company states that these new colors and blends are ideal in applications such as a pool water line, along shower walls, in the kitchen, a powder room, or entry way, to transform any space into a place of serenity and balance.

Complimenting these warm island colors is a new Muse collection pattern: Repose. The pattern is inspired by the minimalistic, nature-oriented designs of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Greene. Creatively designed for multiple applications, glass tile in a Repose pattern can be used to enhance an entire wall or be applied as a border. Oceanside describes the pattern as being direct and understated, but when combined with creative colors and finishes, it lights up and dances with humble exuberance.

You may also be interested in this article about glass tile backlighting systems.

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Tile of Spain Announces Award Winners

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Tile of Spain Announces Award Winners

Posted on 27 December 2016 by CRadmin3

Tile of Spain announced the winners of the 15th Annual Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design. The jury for the Tile of Spain Awards, chaired by architect Gonçalo Byrne, met in Castellón Spain to select the winners.

The Tile of Spain Awards includes two main categories, Architecture and Interior Design, offering cash prizes of 17,000 Euros each. The Final Degree Project category for graduating students of architecture awards winners with 5,000 Euros each.

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First prize in the Architecture category

First prize in the Architecture category went to a two home project in Oropesa (Toledo, Spain). The panel of judges highlighted the outstanding precision of an architectural intervention within a complex historical context and a use of ceramic tiles that was fully fit for purpose. The use of ceramic tiles was not limited to a mere covering or finish, but instead as a material capable of enveloping the project and adding a unique appearance.

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First prize in the Interior Design category

In the Interior Design category, the judges awarded first place to a restaurant on the ground floor of the Tabakalera Culture Centre in San Sebastian, Spain. The judges referred in particular to the balanced dialogue created between the materials that showcased the use of ceramic tiles in a contemporary space which includes a coffee shop, pizza restaurant and wine bar. The space is situated on the ground floor of Tabakalera, San Sebastian’s new International Centre for Contemporary Culture. The floor and bars are covered with 10x10cm ceramic tiles in the style of rugs resting on the partition elements that stand between employees and customers.

The Tile of Spain Awards also includes a category for the best Final Degree Project undertaken by architecture students where ceramic tiles play a central role. The panel of judges awarded first prize to ‘In-Situ: Tools and Technology in Traditional Architecture’ by M Wesam Al Asali. Taking into consideration the nature of the award, the judges unanimously highlighted the project’s strategy, which employs a single ceramic material to create a construction system in keeping with its function and location. The project addresses a current issue in an effective manner, generating added value to the landscape.

Honorable mentions were also awarded to select projects.

You may also be interested in this article about ISFA’s annual awards.

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SolidSurface.com Recognized as Top 300 E-Commerce Company

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SolidSurface.com Recognized as Top 300 E-Commerce Company

Posted on 26 December 2016 by CRadmin3

SolidSurface.comSolidSurface.com was named by Internet Retailer and B2BeCommerceWorld.com as one of the top 300 B2B (Business to Business) e-commerce companies for the second consecutive year. The company been ranked 39th in the Hardware/Home Improvement Industry. Additionally, Internet Retailer magazine also recognized SolidSurface.com as a Top 1000 general e-commerce website for the past four years.

B2B E-Commerce companies in the Hardware/Home Improvement category are expected to grow by 28 percent, to more than $13 billion(up from $10 billion last year) mainly due to the continued strength of the housing market. Moreover, consumer spending on furniture and furnishings exceeded the 3.4 percent growth rate in overall U.S. consumer spending in 2015. SolidSurface.com itself has grown 30.8 percent in 2016.

While SolidSurface.com has improved it’s ranking by being named in the top 300 by B2B E-Commerce for two years in a row, competing with large retailers such as Amazon, Lowe’s or Home Depot is tricky for the small business. Keeping up with website enhancements to make navigating the site and shopping easy for consumers, along with finding new avenues of product growth are key. SolidSurface.com also relies heavily on outstanding customer service to keep its customers coming back.

With its customer base now being roughly two-thirds commercial and B2B, the remaining one-third still caters to the DIYer, homeowner and craftspersons. This is a big change from  when the company first started in 2007, when 80 percent of its customers were DIYers or homeowners. The two-thirds that make up the commercial and B2B customers include architects and designers, countertop fabricators, handymen, manufacturers, sign makers, residential and commercial remodelers, and cabinet/wood/mill-workers.

SolidSurface.com averages more than 60,000 unique visitor sessions per month. Shoppers are able to explore several categories of products and information. In the “materials” section, visitors can browse popular brands of solid surface materials, in full sheet or remnant sizes, such as DuPont Corian, LG HI-MACS, Aristech Avonite, Formica, Samsung Staron, GSP Mystera, and Hanwa Hanex. They can then go to the “tools” section to order accompanying accessories such as adhesives, abrasives and other items to fabricate and mount the materials for their projects. The “Explore” and “Learn” sections are filled with helpful how-to guides and other tips and tricks. If a visitor is in need of a fabricator, they can locate one in their area by putting their zip code in the ProFinder section. Offering this service, in turn, helps the fabricators as well when they become a registered professional on the site.

Another unique feature of the website is the ability to custom design a vanity top. The SolidSurface.com site walks a customer through each step of choosing the right size, sink, and faucet hole options, as well as the edges and backsplash.

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A Video Look at Fabricating Compact Surfaces

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A Video Look at Fabricating Compact Surfaces

Posted on 23 December 2016 by cradmin

This video, produced and offered by Neolith by TheSize, takes a relatively deep look at fabricating ultra-compact/compact surfaces. It discusses the types of equipment that can be used, as well as the blades and tooling required. This information includes CNC machining, waterjet cutting and even the use of hand tools, addressing both wet and dry cutting. It also touches on adhesive qualities needed for installation (including interior versus exterior applications).

It also explains the cutting speeds (both feed speeds and RPM for blades) allowed for different types of cuts and equipment. It discusses making relief cuts when necessary. Support systems for use when cutting or performing other tasks are also touched upon, as well as material handling methods.

Other areas examined are finishing, polishing, edging, sink cut-outs and mounting, among other things.

Of course, the video is specifically referencing the Neolith compact surface product, but the information should be in the ball park for other materials, although manufacturer recommendations should certainly be followed in all cases.

You may also be interested in this video on performance testing for Dekton Compact Surfacing.

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OHM International Introduces AUREA STONE New Innovative Surfacing Product

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OHM International Introduces AUREA STONE New Innovative Surfacing Product

Posted on 22 December 2016 by cradmin

aurea stoneOHM International, historically an importer and wholesaler of quality natural stone products, has introduced AUREA STONE, a second-generation quartz surfacing.

Aurea Stone is being billed as Quartz 2.0 because of its realistic match to natural marble. The high-definition look of this quartz surfacing provide for its sharp, clean, tight lines of movement. It also has a translucent quality that allows for depth in soft subtle undertones of color that allow for its realistic marble look. It offers very bright whites and a grainless surface that result in solid light reflection and shine.

The material is nonporous, making it highly stain-resistant, easy to clean and exceedingly hygienic for food preparation. This durable surface is also etch-, scratch- and heat-resistant.

Slabs are jumbo sized at 3cm thick and 126 by 63 in. The material comes in seven marble-like colors/patterns: Paragon, Venatino Sfumato, Phidias, Calacatta Dinergy, Lincoln, Etched and Epitome. AUREA STONE comes with a 15-year warranty. For more information, visit www.ohmintl.com/aureastone/.

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Mobile Apps Help Make Workplaces Safe

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Mobile Apps Help Make Workplaces Safe

Posted on 21 December 2016 by CRadmin2

app-for-thatHealth and Safety specialists in the U.S. and Canada are increasingly turning to new technologies to help them keep workplaces safe and in compliance with all OSHA regulations. Among the most widely used technologies now are mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.

Not so long ago, you would have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to purchase the meters or books required to make sure your business complies with all health and safety regulations. This expense was often diminished by renting the necessary equipment or hiring specialist consultants, but today, you can find literally thousands of mobile apps that get extremely close to professional measurement devices.

Many of the apps also serve as handy reference guides for all types of safety and compliance issues. Following is a brief list of some of the apps most helpful for the countertop fabrication industry:

LiftRight (Apple and Android) – This free mobile app from EMC Insurance Companies helps you calculate the NIOSH Lifting Equation for lifting tasks.

Respiratory Protection Resource (Apple and Android) – This free app from 3M Safety acts as a quick reference guide for the appropriate respiratory protection to use for difference chemicals and airborne substances.

Hearing Solutions Selector (Apple and Android) – Another free app from 3M Safety, the Hearing Solution Selector helps you find the right protection for your workers based on a few simple questions.

First Aid (Apple and Android) – Although there are dozens of first aid apps out there, this free one from the American Red Cross is the most comprehensive and easiest to use.

iAuditor (Apple and Android) – The iAuditor Safety Audit and Checklist app includes a library of more than 20,000 inspection forms and checklists used by a wide range of authorities, including government agencies, fire departments and trade associations.

Job Safety Analysis (Apple and Android) – Perform a better job safety analysis (JSA) with this app from Team Solutions Training. Use pre-filled options or create your JSAs with the simple menu selections.

Toolbox Meetings (Apple and Android) – The Toolbox Meetings app can help you document your required meetings that identify and clarify safety issues. The app is a full-featured software platform that takes all the assumptions and guesswork out of meetings and organizes factual evidence.

Incident Prevention Magazine (Apple and Android) – The final entry in our list of health and safety apps is Incident Prevention Magazine. It is written for the utility industry but provides a wealth of information for the construction and countertop fabrication industries. It is free of charge and all articles are written by authoritative safety experts.

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NBMDA and NAFCD Announce Reciprocal Membership Dues Discounts

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NBMDA and NAFCD Announce Reciprocal Membership Dues Discounts

Posted on 20 December 2016 by CRadmin3

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The North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) recently announced that as an added member benefit, all NBMDA members now receive a 50 percent discount on membership in the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) for a limited time.

NAFCD is the trade association serving wholesale distributors handling all types of flooring and flooring accessories representing the leading distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada. NBMDA and NAFCD have co-sponsored an Annual Convention each November for the past seven years.

As part of the reciprocal agreement, NAFCD will be offering a 50 percent discount on NBMDA membership dues to all NAFCD members who join NBMDA. The new agreement is expected to grow membership for both organizations and further strengthens their long-time partnership designed to increase member value.

“NAFCD and NBMDA are highly complementary organizations. There is growing interest in firms belonging to both associations as distributors continue to diversify their product mix,” commented NBMDA Executive Vice President, Kevin Gammonley. “Manufacturers of such products as adhesives, abrasives, wood finishes & coatings, and countertops sell into both distribution channels and thus have an interest in joining both associations.”

The NAFCD-NBMDA partnership continues to strengthen and evolve. “We’re very excited about this new offering and expect that members of both associations will take advantage of this unique opportunity,” noted Gammonley.

You may also be interested in this article about leadership strategies.

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StoneTalk Episode 29: Geoffrey Gran

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StoneTalk Episode 29: Geoffrey Gran

Posted on 19 December 2016 by CRadmin2

Welcome to Episode 29 of StoneTalk, the premier podcast about countertops and countertop fabrication produced by Moraware with host Patrick Foley. In this episode, Patrick talks with Geoffrey Gran, owner of the Countertop Factory Midwest in Addison, Ill. The two discuss a variety of topics, including all of the following:

  • The three Cs: consistency, communication and caring
  • Focusing on sales and marketing
  • The benefits of avoiding retail
  • All about the Rockhead Group

Read the transcript of this episode here: StoneTalk Episode 29 – Geoffrey Gran

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Surviving Uncertainty in Today’s Market: 6 Secrets to Keeping Your Balance, Business and Humor

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Surviving Uncertainty in Today’s Market: 6 Secrets to Keeping Your Balance, Business and Humor

Posted on 15 December 2016 by CRadmin2

By Julie Escobar

What you may not realize is that uncertainty can be a good thing. It can force us out of our comfort zone and propel us to get creative, get resourceful and, most importantly, take action.

If you’re ready to loosen the grip of uncertainty on your career, then I invite you to adopt the following six secrets. Attitude is everything. Well, almost everything, anyway. Consider the study recently conducted by Harvard Business School, which reported the four key elements for success in life:

  1. Experience
  2. Knowledge
  3. Intelligence
  4. Attitude

Stop and think for a moment how you would answer that survey if polled. How would you rate each of these factors in order of importance? Harvard found that experience, knowledge and intelligence comprise only 7 percent of the elements for success. Attitude represented a whopping 93 percent. Imagine that! The most critical facet is also the one we have the MOST control over. So, take control. Rid yourself of the negative and empower yourself with the positive, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping uncertainty at bay.

Over-Prepare. What happens when you know for a fact that you are ready for anything? When you’ve done your homework, practiced, drilled, rehearsed, dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” on your to-do list? Over-preparing for your next job will fill you with the confidence and CERTAINTY you need to win. Our company president always teaches the importance of going those extra steps to be practiced and prepared. So much so, that even if someone were to wake you in the middle of the night from a sound sleep and asked you, “Will you cut your profit?” the words and mannerisms would flow from you naturally and effortlessly with your profit intact!

Market Statistics. There’s never been a more important time to know your numbers than right now. The people who succeed in today’s market are masters of information. They bring to the appointment table all the ammunition you need to prove the quality and prices of your products and services. This affords your clients peace of mind and satisfies two extraordinary essentials for surety and success: confidence and credentials.

Stick to a Schedule. Without it, it’s simply too easy to get off track and find yourself in a rut, and nothing can fuel uncertainty quite like a good old-fashioned rut. Put yourself on a clear, concise, tight schedule, which includes that all important, must-do prospecting time each day. A precise and practical approach to working ON your business not just IN your business will allow you to not just be more productive but also eliminate a great deal of stress in your days. Prioritize your to-do list and keep those “money” activities such as prospecting, presenting and closing on the top of that list.

Master Your ABCs. In today’s market you must always be closing. Our market is quickly changing, shifting and making adjustments, and now is the time to help your customers make the right decisions rather than play the procrastination game. To close is to ask, and to ask is to list. Ask to accept. Ask to reduce. Ask to buy. Sound simple? It is. So go ahead – ASK!

More Is More. Times have changed. The cheese has moved. The economy is shifting. All of these are factors far beyond our control and all represent the change we are all feeling today. It’s all right though. That’s the nature of the beast. Nothing lasts – not the good or the bad – but certainly, how we react to change plays a large role in whether we survive, thrive or find ourselves looking for “a real job.”

The not-so-secret secret here is to do more. Be better. Get stronger at your skill sets. Master your dialogues. Do your homework. Start earlier and stay later when you have to. Readjust your calendars. Create more value for your customers. CONSISTENTLY stay in touch with your sphere of influence. Commit to learning, fine-tuning and crafting your presentations and your presence. Challenge yourself to step outside what “you’ve always done” and seek to go further than you’ve ever gone.

I found an interesting quote today by Ilya Prigogine, “The future is uncertain, but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.” What a great reminder that is for us to ignite our ingenuity. Tony Robbins tells us that one of the most defining factors that control and shape what we do and how well we succeed is not resources but resourcefulness. In other words, it’s not your broker, not your colleagues, not the market and certainly not the new stationary that determines your success or failure. It’s that deep down emotion that allows you to REALLY want something that powers your resourcefulness to make it happen.

Keep Your Humor. Finally, keep your sense of humor about you. If you truly implement these ideas, you are bound to feel some change, some growing pains and, uh-oh, some uncertainty. Roll with it. Laugh out loud with your friends and your family. Let your hair down, and gift yourself with the medicinal power of laughter. Whether you are a “Jack” or a “Jill” – all work and no play makes for a dull life and a sure case of burnout.

I hope you’ve picked up a secret or two to help you not just survive but truly thrive in this industry. By the way – they aren’t REALLY secrets, just reminders, so feel free to NOT keep them to yourself. Share with the people you care about, the new guy or girl who’s just starting out, that old-timer in the corner who can’t seem to get out of the rut and anyone else who could use a little “shot in the arm.”

One of the best ways to create abundance in your life, financially, emotionally, spiritually and in your career, is to share the wealth. The capacity in which you’ll find it boomeranging back to you is extraordinary.

About the Author

Julie Escobar
Copyright© 2016, Julie Escobar. All rights reserved. For information, contact FrogPond at susie@FrogPond.com.

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KCMA Unveils New Website

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KCMA Unveils New Website

Posted on 14 December 2016 by CRadmin3

KCMAThe Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association recently unveiled its redesigned and rebranded website at www.kcma.org. The website is expected to provide users a clean, uncluttered design with improved functionality and enhanced content. The website announcement is in coordination with a rebranded identity for KCMA – equipped with a redesigned corporate logo and two certification seals. Website visitors will find it useful with its mobile-responsiveness and easy-to-navigate design.

In addition to improved design features, KCMA has incorporated a growing dedication to educational resourcefulness for the variety of cabinet industry audiences, including cabinet manufacturers and suppliers and industry professionals and consumers.

“Creating this new website and visual identity has been a wonderful experience, as we have taken the many aspects of the industry and translated them into imagery,” said Betsy Natz, CEO of the KCMA. “With the new website and logo, we are taking the opportunity to strengthen and modernize how we represent our association and promote the industry to our members, government officials, the media and the communities in which we operate.”

The new website will serve as a platform to highlight KCMA’s three service pillars.

Quality: Bringing together members and other key stakeholders to enhance the understanding and value of the association’s two cabinet certification programs

Advocacy: Promote business growth by representing members’ interests through policy decision-making in legislative and regulatory processes

Leadership: Provide members opportunities to create meaningful relationships by providing management tools and educational opportunities for business and relationship development.

You may also be interest in this article about the launch of GreenSurfaceResource.com.

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