IWF Offers Complimentary Show Floor Pass

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IWF Offers Complimentary Show Floor Pass

Posted on 19 April 2018 by CRadmin3

The International Woodworking Fair (IWF) will be held August 22-25, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. With the continued growth of the show, organizers project this years’ fair will be one of the top woodworking trade shows in the world for the furniture manufacturing, architectural woodwork, custom and general woodworking industries.

More than 900 exhibitors from the woodworking industry will be at IWF to present their products and services. Suppliers and manufacturers specializing in wood veneers, woodworking machinery, material processing tools, laminates, adhesives, decorative hardware, flooring and more will be in attendance to display their product and service offerings.

And IWF is offering a free show floor pass! Use promo code IWF18OR when registering.

IWF also offers professionals education opportunities on a broad spectrum of industry related topics throughout the duration of the show.

In addition, the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) will be holding its full-day Countertops Symposium on Aug. 21, the day before the show opens.

You may also be interested in this article about Coverings ’18.

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Wilsonart Releases New Quartz and Solid Surface Designs

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Wilsonart Releases New Quartz and Solid Surface Designs

Posted on 18 April 2018 by CRadmin3

Wilsonart, a manufacturer of engineered surfaces, introduced new Quartz and Solid Surface designs that blend nature’s beauty and look stunning in both home and commercial settings.

The new hard surface designs tap into the color trends of warm and cool whites, greys and neutrals but also takes advantage of the resurgence of classic black stone. Several of the new Quartz “inspired-by-nature” veining patterns were created through robotic technology. The 2018 Quartz and Solid Surface designs celebrate natural materials through the following 10 new Quartz and seven new Solid Surface introductions:

Quartz

Marble Falls – a warm white and grey mottled background with soft, linear veining down the length of the slab.

Rain Shadow – incorporates a cool grey mottled background with soft white veining throughout the slab.

North Cascades – a warm grey, natural branching vein structure that travels through a mottled grey and white background.

Coastal – features a mix of warm and cool greys creating a complex canvas backdrop for the dark grey branching veins.

SoHo – a medium soft grey concrete look.

Salar – features a bright white background with small clusters of charcoal and deep warm grey veining that naturally fades in and out across the slab. This pattern has both a classic and modern feel.

Ascent – a large-scale, chunky marble look that mixes white, charcoal and deep warm greys to encapsulate the elegance of warm white and grey veining.

Dinant – a complex black and grey background with white veining throughout the slab.

Desert Wind – a neutral, warm color palette with deep veins and subtle, pale taupe resin pools to create a subtle movement in the design.

Haldi – a semi-translucent deep grey pattern with warm gold veining.

Wilsonart Quartz meets industry standards including UL GREENGUARD Gold for indoor air quality, NSF International and Kosher compliances for safe surfaces for food preparation.

Solid Surface

Titanium Grey – a mid-value solid grey.

Angel Falls – a linear movement design that uses warm and cool neutral tones and clear chips to create a soft structure that looks similar to travertine.

Grey Lace – uses light and dark shades of grey in a linear design woven with small, clear particulate to give it a natural stone feel.

Saharan Night – a warm, dark brown and black design set in a linear structure resembling that of a modern woodgrain.

Silver Smoke – a soft, flowing large-scale linear movement design with a misty background full of flecks of white.

Hidden Space – a small scale particulate design in a deep, inky blue with bright specks and warm grey mists that replicate the deep cosmos.

Chilled Earth – a small-scale quartz look that combines warm and cool translucent particulates on a neutral white background.

Seamless, non-porous, Wilsonart® Solid Surface is renewable, repairable and versatile. The material is resistant to fade, heat, mold, mildew and most stains making it ideal for many settings. Backed by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, Wilsonart Solid Surface holds UL GREENGUARD Gold Certification for low-chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage and is NSF compliance for food preparation.

You may also be interested in this article about new colors of Radianz Quartz.

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clé Introduces New Belgian Reproduction Tile Shapes

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clé Introduces New Belgian Reproduction Tile Shapes

Posted on 16 April 2018 by CRadmin3

clé introduced Belgian Reproduction tile in three new shapes: rectangle, losange diamond, and circle. The Flemish black tiles now consist of seven shapes in square, hex, rectangle, losange diamond, circle, star and cross.

The Belgian Reproduction tiles are hand crafted by artisans who are working in the traditional method of wood-fired terracotta production. The blackened clay lends the chalky surfaces the elegant patina of age. By combining the unglazed tiles with contrasting shapes and grout, a dramatically patterned surface is created. The versatile tiles can be installed indoors and out, on floors and walls. The tiles are sized from 2 in. by 8 in. rectangles to 8 in. squares, hex, and circles. The Belgian Reproduction collection is available exclusively on clé.

“We’ve long admired the grand courtyards of northern Europe, the gray patina and refined rusticity of Belgian design and have been on a quest to find a tile that would echo these elements. We discovered this exquisite blackened clay, and took a restored form of terracotta to create these Belgian Reproduction tiles, which are perfect for grounding projects with an austerity as striking as an antique Belgian surface.” said Sarah Lonsdale, Creative Director of clé

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Coverings Returns to Atlanta May 8-11

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Coverings Returns to Atlanta May 8-11

Posted on 06 April 2018 by CRadmin3

Coverings (coverings.com), the largest international tile & stone show in North America, is returning to Atlanta, Georgia from May 8 – 11. Coverings provides a stage for the most innovative tile & stone products from around the world and delivers critical information about the industry’s latest trends through the show’s annual CEU-accredited conference program—all free of charge. Attendees can now register and reserve housing.

Taking place in Atlanta for the first time in five years, the 2018 show will feature 1,100 exhibitors representing more than 40 countries and take more than 450,000 square feet of exhibition space at the Georgia World Congress Center. Programming for Coverings 2018 will offer sessions for every category of tile and stone professionals, offering a wide variety of CEUs for attendees. Along with a increased focus on delivering impactful networking opportunities, the 2018 show will feature the latest in products, innovations, and live demonstrations.

“Coverings aims to not only highlight the inherent value of tile & stone materials—their adaptability, durability, low environmental impact and beauty—but also foster connections between industry professionals, in order to grow businesses and build lasting professional relationships,” said Alena Capra, Coverings Industry Ambassador. “We’re thrilled to make our return to Atlanta in May and to engage with the vibrant community of industry professionals that comprise this market.”

To offer show attendees more time on the floor and provide an opportunity for those wanting to stop by the show later in the work day, Coverings 2018 will offer extended hours for the opening day of the show, Tuesday, May 8. With the exhibit hall open until 6:30 p.m., a networking event – “Around the World of Tile & Stone” – will provide happy hour specials and entertainment coupled with additional time to meet fellow attendees or exhibitors and expand professional connections. Furthermore, attendees can take advantage of added networking functionalities within the Coverings app and an onsite Meet @ Coverings area with dedicated meeting space.

The 2018 show will also introduce a new “Tile Installation Experience” comprised of live, interactive content showcasing best practices for tile installations through demonstrations and conversations with qualified, trained, and certified tile installers. Designed to provide added opportunities for exploration and hands-on learning, this experiential programming will engage attendees from all professional trade segments and deliver a holistic view of the tile industry’s standards and practices.

Other new features at Coverings 2018 include the Coverings Orientation Theatre, where attendees can learn answers to frequently asked questions and gain useful tips for making the most of their show experience. Attendees are also encouraged to become part of Coverings’ history at the Tile Heritage Foundation’s Donor Wall for Posterity. With a $25 donation, visitors can press their names, hands, thoughts or logos into a wet clay tile to become part of the mural, which will be installed at TCNA Headquarters in Anderson, SC.

Conference programming at the show will include more than 50 sessions, with a wide range of distinguished speakers scheduled to share their knowledge and industry insights on key topics for the tile and stone industry. Content is tailored to each attendee segment, with programming available for architects, builders/remodelers, designers, distributors, fabricators, installers, retailers, and Spanish-speaking attendees. With CEU credits available, these sessions continue to bring invaluable free education to the show.

To learn more about Coverings 2018 and ongoing opportunities to participate, visit coverings.com.

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$ave Money Using Overstock, Remnant and Discontinued Solid Surface

Posted on 27 March 2018 by CRadmin3

By Kathy O’Lochlayne at SolidSurface.com

One of many walls of solid surface remnants in the SolidSurface.com warehouse

How often do you find yourself rummaging through your solid surface remnant inventory for a color the right size for a job that may not require a full sheet? Have you considered using discontinued or overstock material for a job where you can influence the material to be specified? Below are a few resources on where to find some of this budget-friendly material and potentially save quite a bit of money for yourself and/or your customers.

To help illustrate an example of how one might save, let’s say you bought enough sheets of DuPont Corian® Tumbleweed for a new project. The specs changed midstream and you were just 30 in. short of material to finish the job. Your choices would be to purchase another full sheet, at roughly $700, or find a smaller sheet online for approximately $300 (including shipping)–that would be a savings of $400.

Save on Small and Large Projects

Other ways to save using overstock, remnant and discontinued material might include:

  • Those projects where you need just another few feet of material to finish the job; or
  • Smaller, limited-budget projects, i.e., when the customer wants a 4 ft. vanity top, your pricing can be more competitive by purchasing a partial sheet, rather than having to include the full sheet cost in your quote; or
  • Large jobs where a color category is specified, but not a specific color, and you can select from overstock, seconds or discontinued colors that are heavily discounted.

Solid Surface Resources

While  SolidSurface.com, offers the largest selection of remnant, overstock, discontinued, and material in one location, there are several other resources we’ve found for this type of material:  RemnantSwap.com by Moraware offers a fabricator-to-fabricator resource in a classifieds-style marketplace; some fabricators offer remnant inventory through their websites; many distributors and manufacturers often have lists of discontinued materials; and last, but not least, you might (or might not) be surprised at what you can find on Ebay.

SolidSurface.com’s centralized inventory contains a wide variety of quantities of full and partial sheet remnants (drops) acquired from sources such as fabricators, millwork houses, distributors, and manufacturers in the solid surface industry. Additionally, SolidSurface.com offers acrylic, made in the USA, seconds, called Select Grade, that match the colors of Corian®.

Time-Saving Benefits

Also consider the time-saving benefits of using an online resource:

  • Quickly and efficiently locate hard-to-find solid surface sheet material in full and partial sizes.
  • With a few mouse clicks, and the use of the product filter, a package or pallet with your selection can be on its way to you that same day.
  • If you’re in a time crunch, you can even out-source a custom vanity top through SolidSurface.com’s 10-business-day vanity program, ensuring quick turnaround times and built to your specifications.
  • For large, multi-sheet jobs where customers are less concerned about color than they are about price, you can purchase from a large selection of full sheets as low as $299/sheet, in bulk quantities, with free shipping for 3+ sheets.

Selection, Selection, Selection

With more than 20,000 thousand pieces, representing more than ½ million square feet, in an untold number of colors from 12 recognized brands, finding the right size and color quickly is accommodated by the multi-option filtering system, all of which can save you time and money.

Choose from DuPont™ Corian®, LG HI-MACS®, Aristech™ Avonite®, Samsung™ Staron®, Formica® Solid Surface, Livingstone®, Wilsonart® Solid Surface, Hanwha™ Hanex®, Mystera®, Basix® and Meganite®.  Among these brands, 8 offer their full line of current colors, in case you don’t already have a source for a particular brand.

Your Overstock Inventory

When it comes to warehousing inventory, naturally you may want to keep your valuable accumulation of partial and overstock material (even though it’s already paid for in the original project price).  But, if you don’t have the space, or the extra time and labor it takes to measure, catalog and organize your partial and overstock sheets, consider using SolidSurface.com as a resource pool.  Avoid landfill waste by reducing, reusing and recycling solid surface excess material.

For more information, visit SolidSurface.com

Learn more about how to find material on SolidSurface.com

 

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Learn Experience & Network at Coverings ’18

Posted on 23 March 2018 by CRadmin3

coverings 2018Coverings, the largest tile & stone exhibition in North America, is bringing its most impressive products, networking and conference programming to Atlanta, May 8-11. And, it’s all FREE!

As a fabricator, it’s imperative that you stay at the top of your game. From managing tight timelines and executing complicated installations, to understanding the newest trends in stone and operating the best fabrication equipment, you have a lot to juggle.

Coverings 2018 can assist you with all that and more. Register now for free and join more than 26,000 industry professionals and 1,100 global exhibitors at The Global Tile & Stone Experience.

Here is a sampling of the 45+ FREE conference sessions that need to be on your “must attend” list:

• Developing Our Workforce: Engaging the Next Generation for the Tile and Stone Industry
• Five Aggressive & Affordable Digital Strategies to Dominate Your Local Market
• Growth and Opportunities: Controlling Your Healthcare Costs over the Next Two Years
• Managing a Family Business
• Overstocked? Learn to Deal with It and Even Capitalize on It
• Stone Trends: A Historical Perspective
• Town Hall Meeting I: What General Contractors & Specifiers Are Saying about the Stone & Tile Industry?
• Why Choose Natural Stone
• Women In Stone – A Stone Project Model

View the full Education schedule here.

The show features and networking events at Coverings provide attendees with unique opportunities to learn, grow and connect. In addition to bringing back popular show features like the Stone Fabricators Alliance and the Stone Zone, here’s what’s new and interesting at Coverings 2018:

• Industry-wide Celebration at the College Football Hall of Fame
• Online New Product Showcase (app-only feature)
• The Installation Experience
• Global Monumental Hand-Print Mural
• Show Floor Happy Hours – extended on opening day to 6:30 pm

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Health & Safety Watch: Registration Open for OSHA Summer Summit

Posted on 22 March 2018 by CRadmin3

A full-day safety conference for both employers and employees will take place June 14 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Experts from across the country are holding workshops at the OSHA Summer Summit, which is sponsored by the Safety Council of Western New England, American Society of Engineers, Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, OSHA and the OSHA Training Institute Education Center at Keene State College.

The topics you can choose from at the event include the following:

  • Drugs in the Workplace
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Fall Protection
  • Engaged and Empowered – Everyone Leads
  • Emergency Preparedness – Preparing for the Apocalypse
  • Safari Risk Assessment – Learning Situational Awareness
  • Basic Electrical
  • Safety for the Frontline Worker – LOTO
  • Developing a Safety Culture in Construction
  • Machine Guarding
  • Walking, Working Surfaces

The early-bird fee is only $40 per person before May 1. For further information about the event, visit the OSHA Summer Summit webpage, or click here to register.

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Neolith Expands Global Production

Posted on 20 March 2018 by CRadmin3

Neolith TheSizeSpain-based company TheSize, manufacturer of Neolith, continues its global expansion with several key initiatives in 2018. Plans for this year include an added production line, showroom openings and a new logistics warehouse. The company plans to enhance support of the brand’s network of distributors, architects, designers and fabricators.

Increases in sales and visibility in commercial and residential projects has prompted the expansion of Neolith’s production capacity. Neolith will start operating a fourth production line during the first quarter of 2018 at its headquarters and manufacturing factory in Castellón, Spain, This additional line, which will manufacture slabs in 3mm and 6mm thicknesses, makes Neolith the only brand to have five kilns exclusively devoted to sintered stone.

Neolith is dedicated to customer accessibility and first-class shopping experiences with distribution locations in more than 80 countries and hundreds of major metro showroom sites. In 2018, the brand will open additional showrooms in key cities around the world, including: Madrid, Spain; Tokyo, Japan; and Ramallah, Palestine; with more locations planned throughout Europe, Latin American and Asia in the coming year.

The 2018 opening of a Neolith logistics warehouse in London, England will improve product accessibility and shipping lead times for European markets. The warehouse’s proximity to shipping ports and to the high concentration of distributors throughout Western Europe provides a logistics advantage. Carrying a centralized stock of Neolith’s most in-demand SKUs, the London warehouse opening is a strategic expansion designed to open up storage space for distributors and result in faster delivery times for projects.

In 2017, Neolith also opened a warehouse in Norfolk, Va. to provide the same logistics benefits to the U.S. market, particularly on the East Coast.

You may also be interested in this article about Federal Brace’s new warehouse.

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Moraware Introduces Systemize

Posted on 16 March 2018 by CRadmin3

Systemize-Job-detail-pageMoraware has introduced Systemize, a scheduling software for countertop fabricators. Systemize enables consistent communication in the office and the fabrication shop.

Making sure that tasks get done well and on time is a key to success. Systemize helps keep activities organized and streamlined. This software will allow anyone who answers the phone to immediately tell a customer the status of their job.

Bottlenecks in processes can be addressed to ensure that issues get dealt with and to reinforce a consistent workflow. Systemize reporting lets a business view important details and measure what was done last time so it can be improved upon the next time. Reporting can also help determine useful things like which install crew is most effective and which crew generated the most repair calls.

Right now, Systemize is only available to new customers. Those already using Moraware JobTracker or CounterGo will need to wait for Systemize as the company gets everything in place to allow a migration for existing customers.

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ISFA Publishes 2018 Countertop Industry Outlook

Posted on 15 March 2018 by CRadmin3

This month, the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) published its annual Countertop Industry Outlook. This forecast is prepared each year by Kevin Cole, the communications director for ISFA and editor of the association’s magazine: Countertops & Architectural Surfaces.

As always, Cole analyzes a variety of metrics to make an honest, and usually on-point, prediction about what the year holds in store for the countertop industry, starting with economy and working more specifically to factors that directly impact fabricators.

General Economy

In 2017, the general economy had moved in a positive direction with a 2.3 percent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP), which is up from 1.6 percent in 2016. GDP is expected to continue to rise in 2018.

“Broadly speaking, the prospects for continued economic expansion in 2018 look reasonably bright,” said William Dudley, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “The economy is likely to continue to grow at an above-trend pace, which should lead to a tighter labor market and faster wage growth.”

As far as the general construction industry, which is measured by FMI, a major construction consulting firm, the outlook remains positive.

“CEOs are generally positive and upbeat about growth right now, but there’s an undercurrent about when the cycle might correct itself since this run has lasted so long,” said Scott Winstead, president of FMI. “The 2009 downturn still rings loudly in executives’ minds, so they’re looking at how to pro-actively address business challenges while the market is still strong.”

Housing

The countertop industry is very closely tied to the housing market, which showed growth in 2017 but not as much as it had in the past six years. In addition, all of the growth was in single-family homes while multifamily dwellings dropped for the second year.

In 2017, housing starts grew by 2.5 percent compared to 6 percent the previous year. Multifamily housing dropped by nearly 10 percent, substantially more than the 1.2 percent decrease in 2016. Single-family homes, however, grew by 8 percent last year, down from 9 percent in 2016.

Looking into 2018, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) predicts housing starts will grow by 3.4 percent by the end of the year, then slow to about 3 percent in 2019.

Nonresidential Construction

Growth slowed significantly in the nonresidential construction market in 2017 compared to 2016. Lodging increased by only 7.5 percent from 22.9 percent the previous year. Office space fell from 21.2 percent to 4.9 percent growth. Educational construction growth dropped to 0.8 percent from 5.5 percent, but educational construction grew by 1.9 percent after a 1.1 percent decrease in 2016.

FMI predicts that 2018 will be up in nonresidential construction across the board. The group forecasts that growth will improve for office construction the most, followed by commercial, lodging and healthcare.

Remodeling/Home Improvement

The remodeling/home improvement sector is also showing continued growth. According to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the interior design industry will grow, but at a slower pace than originally predicted.

“The overall outlook for the profession remains positive and similar to the pace of the U.S. economy,” states ASID’s forecast. “The likely result is that [home improvement] will advance at a reasonable, though not spectacular, rate in 2018 and 2019.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University is more optimistic, however. According to Harvard’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), the remodeling sector grew by 6.5 percent in 2017, which should rise from 6.9 percent to 7.5 percent in 2018.

Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet sales continued to grow in 2017, but the increase has dropped for four straight years. As per the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) sales growth slowed from 4.5 percent in 2016 to 2.9 percent in 2017.

Countertops

Once again, the countertop market has been directly analyzed by the Freedonia Group, which is now part of MarketResearch.com. According to a 2017 Global Countertops Market report and a 2015 Countertops report, quartz remains the fastest growing countertop material, and the five largest material suppliers are Wilsonart, Formica, Panolam, DuPont and Cosentino.

U.S. demand for countertops is expected to increase 4.2 percent per year to a total of 810 million sq. ft. in 2019.

“Growth will be propelled by a rebound in new building construction activity as well as increased spending on improvement and repair of existing structures,” stated the report. “Value gains will also receive a boost due to a shift in the product mix from laminates to higher priced alternative materials.”

Laminate still receives the largest market share among the various countertop materials, but that share will continue to fall even though use is expected to grow by 3.4 percent through 2019.

“Laminates will maintain a significant share of the countertop market and account for over one-third of sales through 2019,” states the report. “These materials remain popular… due to their favorable performance characteristics at reasonable price points. Product developments providing a more stone-like appearance, such as high-definition graphics and complex edges, will also help to limit the decline in market share.”

Granite sales are also expected to increase, but high-end homes and businesses are moving toward other types of surfaces, such as engineered stone, metals, concrete and recycled materials.

Solid Surface will hold steady in third place with growth ranging from 3.1 to 4.3 percent in 2019 while engineered stone, in the fourth spot, will increase by 5.8 percent.

In fifth place is “cast polymer” countertops with growth predicted to increase from 2.3 percent to 3.6 percent through 2019. Tile holds the sixth spot, its use in countertops should increase over the next couple of years.

Finally, a significant increase is expected in the “other materials” category, which is slated at 10.1 percent per year through 2019.

Overall Outlook

According to ISFA, “the data paints a somewhat conflicting picture with a bit of potential volatility. However, overall, when looking at the data in terms of the general economy down through more specific and related markets, it seems like a safe summation to say that 2018 will be another year of growth for the countertop/surfacing industry, but perhaps slower growth than that of the past several years.”

To download a PDF of the full outlook, click here. For more features like this, subscribe to ISFA’s magazine: Countertops & Architectural Surfaces.

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