Archive | October, 2017

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Lapitec Partners with Russian Distributor Avatary

Posted on 30 October 2017 by cradmin

Lapitec has announced a partnership with Avatary, its new distributor in Russia. Avatary deals with investment management in the Russian Federation, building long term relationships with its customers by striving to provide quality services and customer care. Lapitec shares the same set of values, making the match an ideal pair. This addition to Lapitec’s distribution network confirms the brand’s international vision and its role in spreading Italian design and innovations all over the world.

You may also be interested in this article BLANCO Partners with DIFFA

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Neolith Announces Fourth Annual International Design Competition

Posted on 27 October 2017 by cradmin

TheSize, manufacturer of sintered stone brand Neolith, has announced its fourth annual international design competition. This global competition  highlights creativity and innovation of designs incorporating Neolith surfacing by architects, interior designers, builders, remodelers, students and fabricators.

Submissions are being accepted through November 13, 2017 for the following categories:

My Neolith Project – this category targets design professionals that have recently developed a major hospitality project incorporating Neolith in multiple applications, such as façades, flooring, cladding, kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, swimming pools and more. To be eligible, the project must have been completed between 2013-2017.

Neolith New Talents –  this category challenges architecture and interior design students enrolled in at least one class from 2016-2018 to design a hotel, and its different spaces, including façade, reception and a complete en suite bathroom. To show the versatility of Neolith sintered stone, the product must be integrated in at least two different applications in each room, such as flooring, cladding, exterior façade, furniture, worktops and more. With no limit on budget or size, projects must have high-design, without compromising functionality or lifestyle. Versatile materials are key, as well as modular furniture and open-and-multi-purpose-spaces.

Top Fabricator of the Year – this category recognizes the most meticulous and labor-intensive projects made by fabricators with Neolith slabs. Projects will be evaluated as “little great works of art” that are technically complicated and require outstanding knowledge, ingenuity and the skills to produce them. To participate, projects must be completed between 2014-2017.

For each category, a team of industry judges will focus on the proposal’s originality, presentation creativity, technical complexity, variety of Neolith applications, quality before-and-after images and the degree of environmental sensitivity in the project.

Prizes include an all-inclusive trip to a prominent industry tradeshow valued between $1,770 and $5,900.  Winners will be announced on December 20, 2017.

For more information on the design competition and application forms, visit


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StoneTalk Episode 39: Mike Schlough and Rob Bromley

Posted on 26 October 2017 by cradmin

In the latest episode of Moraware’s StoneTalk podcast, host Patrick Foley speaks with Mike Schlough and Rob Bromley of Park Industries. The three discuss a variety of topics, including all of the following:

  • What it means to be a family business
  • The difference between making great countertops and making a great business
  • How to run your company efficiently and get the greatest benefit from your equipment
  • Trends in the stone industry

Read the full transcript of this episode here: StoneTalk Episode 39 – Mike Schlough and Rob Bromley

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Laser Products Industries Opens New Training Academy

Posted on 25 October 2017 by cradmin

Laser Products Industries (LPI) has announced the opening of a new training center at its Romeoville, Ill. headquarters. Named for the company’s founder, the Daniel P. Louis Training Academy reaffirms the company’s commitment to providing the best training for its customers across the full portfolio of LPI’s products including its flagship laser templating systems. 

Highlights of the training academy include 2,000 sq. ft. of remodeled training space, six separate training stations for templating and measuring countertops, cabinets, showers, islands/bars and stairs. The space also includes a classroom-style area with the ability to train up to 35 tradesmen/templators on site and global video and on-line training capabilities.

You may also be interested in this article MSI Updates/Expands Houston Showroom and Distribution Center.

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M S International, Inc. Makes Donation to Assist Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Posted on 24 October 2017 by cradmin

M S International Inc. (MSI) employees and the MSI Charitable Trust joined forces to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. MSI has donated to Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts through the American Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations.

MSI is headquartered in Orange, Calif. but has dozens of showrooms and distribution centers across the United States including one in Houston, Texas. Although MSI was minimally affected by the disaster, Rajesh Shah, the president of MSI, expressed his sorrow on behalf of the company for those who were not so fortunate.

You may also be interested in this article NKBA Establishes Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

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Health & Safety Watch The Dangers of Lead

Posted on 23 October 2017 by cradmin

Since the time of the Roman Empire, societies have had a strong relationship with lead and lead-based products. However, we also have a long history with believing lead is harmless altogether or in small doses. The truth of the matter is that when introduced inside the body, lead is dangerous at even the smallest levels of exposure, and it is up to employers to protect their workers from this hazard.

Lead has been used for plumbing in the U.S. since the 1800s, and by the 20th century, more than 70 percent of mid-sized to large cities were using lead pipes. In the 1900s, lead was also used in many types of interior paints, and it was used as an admixture in gasoline.

All of these leaded products continued to be used until the 1970s when Philip J. Landrigan conducted a detailed study of lead poisoning in El Paso, Texas. Based on the results, the federal government enacted several laws banning lead from plumbing, paint, gasoline and food cans. Exposure limits were also set for workers in the country.

Because of these laws, blood-lead levels among U.S. adults decreased from an average of 13.1 micrograms per deciliter in 1976 through 1980 to only 1.09 ug/dl in 2012. The blood levels in children, who are more susceptible to lead poisoning, also dropped significantly. This drop in lead is now considered one of the greatest health achievements in the last 50 years.

Countertop Installers Risk Lead Poisoning

More than 23 different occupations risk exposure to lead. OSHA estimates that 804,000 workers in general industries and 838,000 workers in the construction industry are potentially exposed to lead. Because countertop installers also often perform deconstruction and remodeling where lead-based paints and pipes are present or work in close proximity, they are also at risk.

In addition, lead exposure is prevalent for anyone working in the manufacturing or fabricating of glass, copper and brass in addition to those who work with plastics and certain chemical finishes. Finally, lead has been discovered in ceramic bathroom and kitchen tiles, usually imported.

Why Lead Is a Hazard

Workers exposed to lead in the air or from buildings and materials on the job can risk serious, long-term medical problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and immune disorders. The body also stores lead in bones, where is slowly leaks into the bloodstream for years.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that blood-lead levels as low as 5 ug/dl are associated with decreased kidney function, and at 10 ug/dl, lead causes hypertension. However, thousands of workers continue to test at levels far above this threshold.

When lead enters the body, it creates a free radical known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). This unstable molecule is very reactive with normal human cells, and it may damage DNA and RNA and cause cells to die.

When lead is ingested or inhaled, it quickly enters the bloodstream and binds with red blood cells, which come into contact with all of the soft tissues of the body, including the brain, liver, kidneys and bone marrow. When it reaches the marrow, it is stored in the bones for decades, which is why symptoms of lead poisoning may not appear right away. The more a person is exposed, the greater the buildup and the risk of poisoning.

One of the greatest effects of lead poisoning is that it affects the developing brains of children, which may come in contact with lead dust on the clothing of parents or other adults who have been exposed. Children up to three years of age have the highest risk of suffering from long-term brain disorders, but the risk continues for children up to age six.

Signs and Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

  • Fatigue/Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Stomach Ache
  • Loss of appetite

Anyone who suspects they may have been exposed to lead should go to their doctor to have their blood tested, and if you are an employers, it is important to understand your responsibility to protect workers from lead exposure. If exposure exceeds 30 ug/cubic meter over an eight-hour period, you must comply with specific OSHA requirements to limit or prevent exposure.

SOURCE: Health and Safety Resource August-September 2017

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Park Industries Introduces the Saberjet Sawjet

Posted on 20 October 2017 by cradmin

Park Industries has introduced the Saberjet, a sawjet that can miter with both the blade and water jet.  Its compact design, monoblock structure and small footprint make it ideal for today’s fabrication shop. Three tank options are available including the patent pending slab loader, ballast or standard tank. According to the company the Saberjet is designed for maximum shop efficiency and material yield.

You may also be interested in this article Fabricator Profile: Cutting Edge Stoneworks.

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Gunman Opens Fire on Co-Workers at Maryland Countertop Facility

Posted on 19 October 2017 by cradmin

According to the Baltimore Sun and WTOP in Washington, D.C., a man opened fire on co-workers at a countertop fabrication shop Wednesday in Edgefield, Maryland, killing three and injuring two others. Before he was apprehended in a multi-state manhunt, 37 year-old Radee L. Prince drove to a car dealership in Wilmington, Del., where he shot another acquaintance in the head. The Delaware victim is expected to survive.

Prince allegedly pulled a gun around 9:00 a.m. at Advanced Granite Solutions where he had been working for the past four months as a machine operator. He proceeded to shoot five employees at the business, killing three: Jose Hidalgo Romero, 34; Enis Mrvoljak, 48; and Bayarsaikhan Tudev, 53. The two wounded employees were in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The gunman then fled the scene, driving to Wilmington, Delaware, where he shot an acquaintance around 10:45 a.m.

Police, FBI and ATF agents were alerted and searched for Prince for several hours until they found him in Newark, Del., after responding to a tip that he was in the area. When he noticed law enforcement approaching, Prince began to run, and he discarded a handgun of the same caliber used in the shootings. After a brief foot chase, Prince has apprehended at 7:05 p.m.

Authorities have yet to determine a reason for the shootings, but Prince has a long arrest record in Delaware that includes 15 counts of third-degree burglary, 30 other arrests and 15 felony convictions and four misdemeanor convictions.

Advanced Granite Solutions released the following statement: “Words cannot express our feelings. We mourn the loss of our friends. …May God give our friends eternal rest and the families the strength to bear the great pain.”

How to Respond to an Active Shooter

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued the following guidelines on how to respond to active shooter situations:

  1. Evacuate – Attempt to escape the premises if there is an available exit. Have an escape route in mind, and do not attempt to gather any of your belongings. If possible, help others escape with you while preventing others from entering areas in the line of sight of the shooter. Always keep your hands visible and follow instructions from law enforcement officers. Call 911 when you are safe.
  2. Hide out – If it is not possible to escape, find a secure place to hide. A good hiding place is out of the shooter’s view and provides protection from stray bullets. Try not to trap yourself or restrict your options for escaping should the need arise. Prevent the shooter from entering your hiding place by locking or blockading the door. Silence your cell phone and any other sources of noise. Hide behind large objects and remain quiet.
  3. Take action – If you cannot evacuate or hide, and your life is in imminent danger, your best chance of survival may be to take action against the active shooter. Act as aggressively as you can and yell. Throw objects or improvise weapons from nearby items. Commit to your actions. A half-heated attempt does not usually succeed.

When calling 911, be sure to provide the following information:

  • Your location and the location of the shooter
  • The number of active shooters
  • A physical description of the shooters
  • The number of known victims

When law enforcement arrives, remain calm and follow all of the officers’ instructions. Drop any items in your hands and raise them above your head with fingers spread. Do not make any sudden movements, including pointing and yelling. Do not ask which way to go to escape. Proceed in the direction from which the officers arrived.

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Coverings Accepting Submissions for 2018 CID Awards

Posted on 18 October 2017 by cradmin

Coverings is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Coverings Installation and Design Awards (CID). These awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the design and installation of tile and stone in both residential and commercial projects. Submissions are open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers and other professionals who demonstrate design and/or installation excellence in residential and commercial projects, giving special recognition to stunning stone & tile. Multiple entries are accepted and encouraged. To be considered, projects must have been completed within the past two years (Jan 2016 – Dec 2017) and can be located within or outside of North America. The submission deadline is January 15, 2018.

A grand prize of $3,000 will be awarded to the most outstanding project, showcasing excellence in both design and installation. Category winners will receive $2,000 each for excellence in Tile Installation, Tile Design, Stone Installation and Stone Design in both residential and commercial projects. Additionally, all winners will receive a free one-night stay in Atlanta to attend the Coverings 2018 show along with onsite recognition.

You may also be interested in this article about Coverings Registration.

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TCNA ANSI_Gauged_Porcelain_coverR2

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TCNA Offers Print ANSI Standards For A Limited Time

Posted on 17 October 2017 by cradmin

The Tile Council of North America is printing a limited run of the American National Standard Specifications for Gauged Porcelain Tile and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs (ANSI A137.3 and A108.19).

American National Standard Specification A137.3 describes the minimum physical properties and grading procedures for gauged porcelain tiles and gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs. It provides criteria for buyers, specifiers, installers, manufacturers and the public in general. ”Gauged” means manufactured to a thickness that is specific and largely associated with installation and use. Tile panels/slabs are those that are one square meter in facial area or larger.

American National Standard A108.19 provides procedures and requirements for interior installation of gauged porcelain tiles and gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs. These products require unique installation and workmanship considerations.

TCNA will only be printing copies for those who pre-order books and does not expect to print more copies for at least one year. So be sure to order enough copies to fulfill your needs through the end of 2018. Orders are expected to ship by the end of the year. The pre-order period ends on October 30.

You may also be interested in this article about MSI’s Tektile Porcelain Tile Collection.

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