Natural Stone Institute Announces 2018 Stone Industry Education Series

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Oberlin, OH and Chestertown, NY, January 4, 2018—The Natural Stone Institute and Stone World magazine are pleased to announce the schedule for the 2018 Stone Industry Education Series. This year, Stone Summits will be held in ten cities across the United States.

The ten Stone Summits scheduled for 2018 will be facilitated by a team of experienced industry leaders, including GK Naquin (Stone Interiors), Tony Malisani (Malisani, Inc.), Duane Naquin (Stone Interiors), and Eric Tryon (Premier Surfaces). New this year, each of the facilitators will present a fully unique program on four different topics: Knowing Your Business, Analyzing Shop Performance, Stone Shop Administration, and the 12 Business Axioms.

Participants who register before February 1, 2017 will receive 20% off their registration. For more information, please visit The 2018 Stone Industry Education Series is as follows:


February 21

Texas Stone Summit: Know Your Business

Arizona Tile

Austin, TX


March 22

Florida Stone Summit: Analyzing Shop Performance

M S International

Deerfield Beach, FL


April 26

California Stone Summit: Analyzing Shop Performance

M S International

San Diego, CA


May 24

South Carolina Stone Summit: Stone Shop Administration

Pacific Shore Stones

Charleston, SC


June 7

Wisconsin Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms

Universal Granite and Marble

Oak Creek, WI


June 28

New York Stone Summit: Analyzing Shop Performance

M S International

Brentwood, NY


July 26

Kansas Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms

M S International

Lenexa, KS


September 20

Indiana Stone Summit: Know Your Business

Global Granite and Marble

Indianapolis, IN


October 11

New Jersey Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms

Artistic Tile

Secaucus, NJ


November 1

Arizona Stone Summit: Stone Shop Administration

Arizona Tile

Tucson, AZ



About the Natural Stone Institute

The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing every aspect of the natural stone industry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 countries. The association offers a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at


Coverings invites attendees to find new connections at 2018 edition


Coverings (, the largest international tile and stone show in North America, has announced new opportunities for exhibitors and attendees to make quality connections through networking. Programs focused on network-building at the show include extended show floor hours, digitally-driven introductions facilitated via the Coverings app, and a celebration of all things tile & stone at the Coverings Celebration.

To offer attendees more time on the show floor and provide an opportunity for those wanting to stop by the show later in the work day, Coverings has announced extended hours for the opening day of the show, Tuesday, May 8. With the exhibit hall open until 6:30 p.m., this 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. Coverings exhibitors are encouraged to plan and publicize their networking activities for this event in advance by visiting for further information and details.

For attendees seeking new methods to discuss challenges and shared interests or to align with new potential clients for projects or business opportunities, Coverings has integrated new networking functionalities to its app. Users are encouraged to complete their attendee profiles to find connections at the show. Onsite, the Meet @ Coverings area will feature a dedicated open meeting space with tables and chairs, creating an environment dedicated to fostering relationships and cultivating a connected industry.

“We are incredibly committed to offering all attendees and exhibitors endless ways to forge deeper connections in the tile and stone industry,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “We are constantly looking for ways to enhance the Coverings experience, and we are pleased to provide new networking opportunities and new ways to explore all the show has to offer.”

All attendees are also invited to attend the Coverings Celebration for an evening of festivities and dancing with fellow members of the industry on the last evening of the show, Thursday, May 10. Hosted at the College Football Hall of Fame, this social event delivers networking in a celebratory setting. Tickets to attend must be purchased at the time of registration for the show or online by Friday, May 4.

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Coverings Social Media


Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2018





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About Coverings

Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.


The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.


Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association  (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC.


Coverings 2018 takes place May 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit or contact Taffy Events, Coverings Show Management, 703-539-5504.

ASCER-Tile of Spain mourns the death of Isidro Zarzoso, president of ASCER

It is with great sadness that the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER), announces the death of Mr. Isidro Zarzoso, president of ASCER.

A well-known personality in the ceramic tile industry, Zarzoso died on January 3, 2018 at the age of 76 years and is survived by his wife, three children and grandchildren.

Self-made businessman, with extensive experience in the ceramic sector and belonging to a family with a long tradition in the tile industry. He came to ASCER in 1982 as member of its Governing Board, and he assumed the presidency in 2013 after the death of Joaquín Piñón. Throughout his career he collaborated with several companies and entities of the sector.

Zarzoso executed his duties in a responsible, efficient manner, steering the association through complex economic times for the industry. One of his accomplishments during his term as president of ASCER was the renewal of antidumping investigation of China towards imports to the European Union; also, the successful closure of the anti-dumping investigation brought by Morocco against Spain, among others successes.

A defender of the industry, his strong convictions, clear vision and belief in the power of collective thinking, he will be sorely missed.

Morris Tile Opens Charlottesville Branch

Morris Tile Distributors of Richmond will open a new branch in Charlottesville, VA this month. The company added locations in Midlothian, VA in 2015 and Fredericksburg, VA in 2016.
Morris Tile has acquired the showroom location of Wainwright Tile and Stone at 711 Preston Avenue.The company will retain the existing local team to insure the commitment to the Charlottesville community remains strong.This strategic expansion is consistent with the Morris family’s commitment to operating acompany that is “big enough to compete, yet small enough to care.”
Robert Whit Morris, II, President, Morris Tile Distributors, Inc. explained, “We are looking forward to enhancing our service to the Charlottesville market with the addition of a dedicated staff and downtown showroom. We have provided tile and materials to area contractors for more than 50 years, but have not had a local location where clients could select their preferred materials in person.
“The opportunity to acquire the showroom operations from Wainwright Tile & Stone is
a perfect fit for Morris Tile Distributors,” he added. “The similarities of our cultures, client service focus, and community support closely matched. I am equally excited about the expert Wainwright team that will join Morris Tile Distributors.”
While selling the showroom selection and supply side of their business, Wayne and Diane Murphy, the owners of Wainwright Tile and Stone, will retain the service division. This separation will allow them to continue to provide the exceptional service and quality installations that have built their outstanding reputation. Morris Tile has acquired only the material selection and supply side of the business. Wayne added, “Diane and I have been partnering with Morris Tile since we opened our business in 1999. We are all happy that they will continue in the tradition of Wainwright Tile and Stone”.
Morris Tile is scheduled to open their location on January 15, 2018.Whit Morris will lead the efforts for further developing the Charlottesville market. He plans to continue the
charitable initiatives started by Wainwright and their staff including: Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, and the HOWS Project and to pursue new opportunities such as
the Design House that assists the Charlottesville Shelter.
Morris Tile Distributors, Inc. has proudly been serving the Mid-Atlantic since 1953. With
11 locations  in Virginia and Maryland, Morris Tile is one of the largest and most-established family-owned tile distributors on the East Coast.
For more information on the company, please visit


Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Agency are pleased to announce the official call for entries for the 2018 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. Celebrating its 25th year, the annual awards program recognizes the work of top North American architects and designers who create imaginative spaces that take advantage of the excellent technical and aesthetic qualities of Italian ceramic and porcelain tile. Each year, an international jury of design experts selects three winning projects, as well as honorable  mentions, in the residential, institutional, and commercial sectors. Projects displaying the highest level of functionality, creativity, sustainability and aesthetic appeal will be rewarded with an amazing prize package including a cash prize and trips to the world’s premier tile exhibitions in Atlanta and Italy. In addition to built projects, for the first time Ceramics of Italy is looking for imaginative concepts from students utilizing Italian tile.

To qualify for entry, built projects in the residential, institutional and commercial categories must be designed by North America-based architects and designers, built or renovated between January 2013 and January 2017, and feature a significant amount of Italian ceramic/porcelain tile.

Both international and domestic projects of all scales and styles will be equally considered. To be eligible to submit to the student category, entrants must be enrolled at an accredited university in North America. Individual or group submissions are accepted through renderings, floor plans and sketches. For all categories, the competition welcomes any type of project within the residential, institutional and commercial realm – from multi-family housing to hospitality projects to outdoor spaces and façades. The jury’s official criteria includes: overall design of the project; aesthetic and technical quality of tile installation; degree to which the tile enhances the setting; and the project’s sustainable attributes.

Last year’s winners included: Bromley Caldari Architects for their modern and versatile Fire Island guesthouse; a leading marketing company’s New York City world headquarters designed by Jennifer Carpenter Architect; and Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s neuroscience institute at Columbia University.

Winners will be notified in March and officially announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference at Coverings, North America’s premier tile and stone tradeshow, taking place in Atlanta, GA from May 8-11, 2018. The prize package for winners of the built project categories includes $3,000, accommodations and travel to Coverings to present the project, a dedicated advertisement in a leading design publication, plus a 5-day CEU-accredited trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie, the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, with a delegation of top architects, designers and journalists from North America. In addition to special appointments on the show floor, the delegation will also enjoy the world-renowned cuisine of Bologna (a culinary hub of Italy), cultural tours in the region, and a chance to see tile production firsthand. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the contractor/distributor team involved in each winning project. The winning student entry will receive a trip to Atlanta to present the project at Coverings in front of a large audience of journalists, manufacturers and tile industry professionals.

The competition guidelines, online application and an archive of beautiful winning projects from past years can be found on the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition website, There is no fee to enter and multiple submissions are accepted. Deadline for entries: February 15, 2018.



iQ Power Tools introduces 3 New Dry-Cut Tile Saw Accessories at Surfaces/TISE West 2018 – Booth #4575

iQ Power Tools, manufacturer of premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems, introduces accessories for the first “Dry-Cut Tile Saw” designed to cut ceramic, porcelain, marble and stone.

The iQTS244® is the 10” dry-cut tile saw specifically created for professional tile setters and contractors. With the world’s first fully integrated dust control technology, this innovative tool allows for tile to be cut inside or outside with no water and no dust.

iQ Power Tools is now meeting and exceeding their customers’ needs with the addition of three key accessories:


The iQTS244 Miter Attachment accommodates 22.5° and 45° miter bevels cuts for both ceramic and stone tile up to 24” long and ¾“ thick. The iQ quick clamps allow for quick setup and versatility for making miter cuts on various tile sizes and thicknesses.

  • 24” miter cut length capacity
  • Miter up to ¾“ thick materials
  • 22.5° and 45° miter bevel cuts
  • iQ quick clamps facilitate easy setup


The iQTS244 Extension Table adds versatility to the iQTS244 dry cut tile saw.  The Extension Table utilizes a smooth, extra-large table surface and cutting fence that allows cutting of large-format, ceramic tile of 48” or more. The synchronized measurement scale on each end of the table and the quick clamp cutting fence enable long cuts that are accurate, simple to set up, and easy to cut. The iQTS244 cutting fence is designed to clamp on the side for easy transport and storage.

  • Cut large-format, ceramic tile of 48” or more
  • Heavy-duty, durable PVC board with smooth cutting surface
  • Synchronized measurement scale on each end of table for easy set up and accurate cuts
  • Makes the iQTS244 dry cut tile saw more versatile


The iQTS244 Vacuum Port Hose converts the iQTS244 into a convenient vacuum that can be used to clean up the surrounding work area, grout joints and other areas where you need a quick touch up. Featuring a 10” hose and both narrow and wide nozzle attachments, the Vacuum Port Hose Kit quickly connects to the dust collection slot of the iQTS244. The Vacuum Port Hose Kit comes with a handy carrying bag to keep everything organized and ready when you need it.

  • Easily convert your iQTS244 into a vacuum
  • Durable, construction-grade hose and nozzles made to endure years of job site use
  • Keeps your work area neat and clean
  • Convenient, eliminates the need for a separate vacuum in your workspace

This revolutionary saw along with all the accessories will be demonstrated LIVE at the iQ Power Tools booth, #4575, during The International Surface Event: SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo, January 30-Feb 1, 2018 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.




Daltile Selected for Morpholio Board’s Top Products 2018

Morpholio Board, an interior design app that is touted by Interior Design magazine as “an ideal tool for designers”, has named Daltile’s Black River Pebble Mosaic as one of the Top Products for 2018. During the announcement, Morpholio complimented the “clever, innovative and beautiful designs that have emerged from the passion of creatives around the globe.” Daltile’s Black River Pebble Mosaic was included in Morpholio’s “Top Residential Products that Stand Up and Stand Out” for 2018.

“Our trends team was not surprised when Ultra Violet appeared as Pantone’s color of the year, as it says so much about how polarized forces can unite to form something that is beautiful, primarily for its strength. It is not a soft or easy color. We feel the same about the pieces selected here. They make bold moves, take chances, and exude what we call ‘critical lightness’ — taking seriously our need for beauty, playfulness, and exploration,” noted Morpholio.

River Pebble Mosaic Saw Cut(13 x 13 sheet)

The Daltile Black River Pebble Mosaic, a natural stone tile mosaic with a stone cut finish, was picked from thousands of products. Morpholio said that trends tracked among its growing community of professional and non-professional interior designers, user data, influencer insights and Morpholio’s own curatorial team were all factors in naming the distinguished winners of the 2018 Products Of The Year designation.

With products and styles for every budget, Daltile delivers a broad array of tile with unmatched availability, helping customers bring any design imaginable to life. Access the full line-up of Morpholio Top Products here, and visit for more design inspiration.



Jaeckle Distributors to Offer Florida Tile Products in Missouri and Southern Illinois

Madison, Wis. – Jaeckle Distributors, a family-owned wholesale distributor based in Madison, Wisconsin, will be expanding the territory in which they offer products from Florida Tile. Jaeckle will now be distributing Florida Tile products in Missouri and Southern Illinois.

Jaeckle Distributors has a decades-long relationship with Florida Tile, an industry innovator known for their implementation of new technology, commitment to environmental responsibility, and high quality tile products. Having distributed Florida Tile in other states,

Jaeckle looks forward to providing the same value to a new area. “As a distributor of Florida Tile for nearly 40 years, we’re thrilled to be able to service our customers in Southern Illinois and Missouri with this fantastic product line,” said Jeff Jaeckle, President of Jaeckle Distributors.

For more information, visit


ConsensusDocs participates in Construction in America campaign to promote collaborative projects

ConsensusDocs, of which NTCA is a part, recently participated in a Construction in America campaign where it united with like-minded industry leaders to advocate for how modern technology, people and equipment are helping construction professionals manage risk and build quality projects safely, on time and within budget.

The ConsensusDocs contribution focuses on collaborative contracts. The campaign was distributed through USA TODAY yesterday, December 19th, 2017, and is published online here.

ConsensusDocs recognizes that the AEC industry is fragmented and slow moving. The legal industry, which drives the structural relationships in construction contracts, is even slower to change. The combination has the industry stuck in the morass of contractual silos that create confrontation. Some wear this as a badge of honor. They follow a similar pathway that has been around for over a hundred years, and have a mountain of case law dissecting the corpses of dead projects gone wrong interpreting this approach.

For another approach, read more here



3 Dangers of Lien Waivers for Subcontractors

It’s very easy to make a mistake when exchanging lien waivers on a project, and a lien waiver mistake can be very costly

These three common lien waiver mistakes made by subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry can be avoided with a few tips from zlien.

Most commercial construction companies deal with lien waivers in some form. General contractors must request, collect, and track lien waivers from everyone below them on a project. (And when we say “below them,” we’re not talking about just the subcontractors. We mean everyone working on the project including sub-subs, material suppliers…everyone.)

Subcontractors and other project participants must figure out which type of lien waiver is the correct one to send and then send that signed lien waiver to the paying party in order to get paid. Not surprisingly, managing lien waivers is an almost universal pain point for just about everyone in the commercial construction business. 

However, while the pain might be universally felt across the industry, it’s the subcontractors and other lower-tiered companies on a project that potentially have the most to lose by mismanaging the lien waiver process.

Lien waivers waive a significant right

The most significant financial risk for a subcontractor or supplier on a project is not getting paid. That’s why mechanics liens were invented in the first place — to ensure that contractors were protected on their projects and their payments were secured by giving them an interest in the developed property itself. Today, mechanics liens are available to construction companies in all 50 states and are an essential part of the construction payment process.

And that’s why lien waivers are such important documents. Not because they are so commonly used but because a signed lien waiver essentially represents saying “goodbye” to a significant legal right – the right to file a mechanics lien in the event that you have trouble getting paid on the project. That’s a right that a construction company probably doesn’t want to give up too easily.

However, the routine nature and near ubiquitous use of lien waivers on construction projects means that it’s very easy to make a mistake when exchanging lien waivers on a project, and a lien waiver mistake can be very costly.

Three common lien waiver mistakes

Here are a few of the more common lien waiver mistakes made by subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry, along with a few tips on how to avoid them.

1. Unconditional vs. Conditional Lien Waivers

One of the most important things to do before signing a waiver (or requesting somebody sign a waiver) is to determine the waiver type, and make sure that the type matches the payment situation. There are four basic types of lien waivers, and it’s imperative that you use the correct one.

  • Progress/Partial Unconditional
  • Final Unconditional
  • Progress/Partial Conditional
  • Final Conditional

Unconditional waivers are for use after the signing party has been paid, and conditional waivers are for use upon a promise of payment, or in other words, before the signing party has been paid. Even more to the point: you don’t want to use an unconditional waiver before you’ve been paid!

2. Using the wrong waiver form

While lien waivers are used in all 50 states nationwide, there are 12 states that regulate the waiver form itself. If you’re in one of these 12 states, there is a mandatory waiver form that must be used:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida*
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

*Florida does not require that parties use the statutory lien waiver, but it offers the waiver as a safe option, and seems to prohibit parties from requiring a non-statutory form.

3. A waiver that’s more than just a waiver

As we mentioned at the start of this article, exchanging lien waivers is such a routine occurrence on construction projects that it’s often done without much thought or scrutiny. However, since a signed lien waiver has such a significant legal impact (specially, the waiving of a mechanics lien right), before a lien waiver is signed it should be read closely, just like any other important legal document. Be on the lookout for lien waiver documents with language that waives the right to recover amounts that are earned but not yet due, such as withheld retainage or pending change orders.

Also, be on the lookout for lien waiver language that adds additional responsibilities on the signing party. This could include additional duties that were not part of the original project contract, or adding a personal attestation clause which means that the signer of the lien waiver could be personally liable for the contents of the lien waiver document.

Even though signing and exchanging lien waivers takes place every single day in the construction industry, that doesn’t mean that it should be taken lightly. Just like any legal document, you should read a lien waiver very closely and carefully before signing it.  If you don’t, you could be giving away (or taking on) more than you initially bargained for.

Peter Menge is zlien’s Content Manager. He works to create useful content that makes the mechanics lien and construction payment process simple, easy, and fair for everyone in the construction industry.

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