Archive | March, 2019

Omni Cubed Inc. Unveils Pro Stealth Seamer

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Omni Cubed Inc. Unveils Pro Stealth Seamer

Posted on 28 March 2019 by cradmin

Omni Cubed, Inc., an industry leader in stone fabrication tools, unveiled its two latest products at The International Surface Event in Las Vegas: the Pro Stealth Seamer™, Manual and the Pro Stealth Seamer™, Auto.

Both the Manual and the Auto version of the Pro Stealth Seamer™ allow for the ultimate seam control, giving users the ability to complete a “seamless” installation by joining, leveling, and flattening warped stone to produce virtually invisible seams. Both products feature Omni Cubed’s exclusive, gray, non-marking vacuum cups that won’t stain light materials. These cups feature completely closed, triple sealing rings and are composed of a proprietary rubber that conforms to textured and porous surfaces for a strong, reliable hold. Additional features include a more durable, manual thumb pump and improved vacuum-release valve that are more resistant to epoxy and solvents.

The Auto system includes a powerful compact vacuum pump that maintains pressure for all cups, and runs on AC power or AA batteries for any install situation, while the Manual is a cost-effective system requiring the user to maintain and manage pressure with the patent-pending thumb pump.

You may also be interested in this article about Alpha Professional Tools’ Wet/Dry Stone Cutter.

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Coverings Announces Charitable Initiatives at the 2019 Show

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Coverings Announces Charitable Initiatives at the 2019 Show

Posted on 27 March 2019 by cradmin

Coverings (coverings.com), the largest international tile & stone exhibition and conference in North America, will give back to the local community through a range of charitable initiatives at this year’s show in Orlando, Florida. Continuing its tradition of supporting the host city, Coverings will partner with both Clean the World and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

“Coverings wouldn’t be possible without the support of our host cities, so it’s incredibly important that we give back to the communities that welcome us each year,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the management company for Coverings. “With so many industry professionals gathering in one place, we are honored to band together to benefit the area and build even deeper connections here.”

For a second year, Coverings will continue its partnership with Clean the World, assembling and providing hygiene kits for veterans’ associations in the Orlando area. Participants, including the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Tile of Spain, Ceramics of Italy and Coverings exhibitors Mapei and Florida Tile, will meet on Monday, April 8 for Coverings’ official service event, assembling kits onsite with daily items like toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrushes, lotion, Chapstick and more. The group hopes to double the output of last year’s initiative, with the aim of creating 1,600 kits for distribution to local veterans and will include handwritten notes within each kit as a thank you to those who have served their country.

“We’re excited to bring the initiative to Orlando and build on the success of Clean the World’s 2018 partnership with Coverings in Atlanta,” said NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga. “This joint service event brings the industry together for a truly positive and energizing start to the show, while generating immediate impact for those who have served our country living in our host city.”

Coverings 2019 also marks a continuation of the show’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity. In collaboration with both Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County & Greater Apopka and Freeman – the general service contractor for the show – Coverings will donate tile and building materials to benefit Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building affordable homes for those in need. The three organizations will work together during show breakdown to identify and collect usable tile, stone and other products from exhibitor booths.

Additionally, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and 21 of its members will continue their generous support for Orlando-area pets through TCNA’s tiled doghouse program at Coverings 2019. Showcasing tile’s versatility and style, participating members will design and build custom tiled doghouses. During the show these one-of-a-kind, handmade creations will be on display at the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard (Booth #4209), where attendees can see the craftsmanship firsthand and meet furry friends from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. A donation ceremony will be held in the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 11th.

“We’re honored to bring the tiled doghouse program back to Coverings as a creative and charitable way to showcase the beauty and versatility of tile,” said Kathy Meyer, TCNA director of marketing. “We invite Coverings attendees to visit the TCNA Art Tile Courtyard to see these incredible works of art generously provided by our members, meet the dedicated volunteers from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, and learn more about how this program benefits pets in the local community.”

Coverings returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando April 9-12, showing the latest and greatest from more than 1,100 exhibitors. For more information, and to register to attend, visit coverings.com.

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On the Surface, Colors Matter: 2019 Color Trends in the Kitchen

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On the Surface, Colors Matter: 2019 Color Trends in the Kitchen

Posted on 26 March 2019 by cradmin

As kitchens cement their role as the home’s central gathering place, color is taking on an even more important role in design. Whether we are aware of it or not, color affects us on a deep subconscious level. Transcending beyond the name or number of a specific hue, color can tell a story beyond the visual senses. Homeowners and designers use color to personalize, create a focal point or to set the mood for their space. BLANCO recently surveyed top architects and designers to uncover current and future trends in kitchen color.

Gray elements in the kitchen have become more frequent and popular over the years. BLANCO demonstrates their latest color launch, Concrete Gray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to choosing a color for your kitchen, neutrals tend to win the game. According to about 67 percent of those surveyed, gray and white kitchens are the dominating design projects this year. Not only do they see the gray and white trend in paint choice and cabinetry, but these smart neutrals populate the sink area, as well.

Of those surveyed, 64 percent found that the most popular sink specified in 2018 was stainless. However, 54 percent of those anticipate the sink trend is moving towards neutrals that are in the white and gray category. Homeowners are looking for a timeless and transitional kitchen design that also makes a personal statement.

The gray trend is very timely considering BLANCO’s brand new SILGRANIT® sink color, Concrete Gray. Clean, organic and extremely balanced, Concrete Gray is at home in both urban and natural settings. Its revolutionary warm red and cool blue undertones make it BLANCO’s most versatile color yet. Right on trend, Concrete Gray is the perfect fit with a wide array of countertop and cabinet designs.

BLANCO’s Concrete Gray color as shown in their IKON 27” farmhouse sink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For trade professionals or consumers who want more assistance in specifying color for their sinks, BLANCO offers an app that helps match sink finishes to countertops:  The BLANCO SILGRANIT Mobile Color App

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Latest OSHA Video on Controlling Silica

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Latest OSHA Video on Controlling Silica

Posted on 25 March 2019 by cradmin

At the beginning of 2019, OSHA published a new video titled “Protecting Workers from Silica Hazards in the Workplace.” While it is only 5 minutes long and focuses on general silica protection vs. specific protection for stone/quartz fabrication shops, it is a decent primer for beginning to get an understanding of the problem.
With the recent (March 2019) cases of silicosis found at a countertop facility in Texas, OSHA is sure to be focusing more on the silica issue, which means there will likely be an increase in inspections related to this issue. However, worker safety, of course, should always be a concern for fabricators.

More information about crystalline silica in the countertop industry can be found at OSHA’s website.

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Native Trails Introduces New Products for 2019

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Native Trails Introduces New Products for 2019

Posted on 22 March 2019 by cradmin

This Spring Native Trails has made a variety of additions to its product offerings, including vanity collections, hammered sinks and a new NativeStone finish.

Zaca

In the new Solace Collection of vanities, cool concrete meets solid, sustainable oak. Midnight Oak and Sunrise Oak are available in 30- and 48-in. options. The Chardonnay and Cabernet Floating vanities in the Vintner’s Collection feature floating vanities made from beautifully salvaged winemaking materials. The Zaca Collection includes  36- and 48- in. sleek stainless steel vanities paired with NativeStone for a stunning ADA compliant result.

Rhapsody

Two new additions were made to Native Trails selection of Hammered Copper and Nickel sinks. Rhapsody is a Farmhouse kitchen sink available in Antique Copper and Brushed Nickel. Cozumel is forged from high-quality recycled copper, and features an integrated sink and clean lines make for simple maintenance; it is available in Antique Copper and Brushed Nickel.

 

Earth Finish

In addition, all NativeStone products are now available in a new finish – Earth! This natural, warm finish, somewhere between brown and gray, pairs well with many color palettes.

 

 

 

You may also be interested in this article about the Lenova Ledge Series

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OSHA Asks for Recommendations on Powered Industrial Trucks Standard

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OSHA Asks for Recommendations on Powered Industrial Trucks Standard

Posted on 21 March 2019 by cradmin

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) under the U.S. Department of Labor is asking employers and other stake holders for information regarding powered industrial trucks for general and construction industries before considering an update to the rules regarding such equipment. The current rule became effective in 1971 and were based on industry standards from 1969.

OSHA is requesting information on all aspects of powered industrial trucks including the following:

  • Types, age and usage
  • Maintenance and retrofitting
  • Regulating older powered industrial trucks
  • Types and accidents and injuries associated with operation
  • Costs and benefits of retrofitting with safety features
  • Components of a comprehensive safety program

The information will be used to determine what action will be taken to improve worker safety, reduce regulatory burdens and create jobs. Comments are due on June 10, 2019 and may be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Comments may also be submitted via fax or mail. Full details can be reviewed by visiting the Federal Register Notice.

According to OSHA, powered industrial trucks include forklifts, fork trucks, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks and other specialized industrial trucks powered by an electric motor or internal combustion engine.

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Artisan Group Partners with The Home Trust International

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Artisan Group Partners with The Home Trust International

Posted on 20 March 2019 by cradmin

Artisan Group and The Home Trust International have partnered to promote luxury countertops to affluent consumers and design professionals. This collaboration simplifies a homeowner’s search for extraordinary design services and products. Member brands are carefully vetted to ensure the best experience in buying, building, renovating and shopping for a home.

The Home Trust International promises the very best for the home, across all categories, from large pieces of fine art or furniture to the smallest handmade object or detail. Available exclusively to firms that serve upscale homeowners, the partnership is a perfect match for Artisan Group, an elite network of independent countertop fabrication professionals, who prides themselves on their craftsmanship and customer service.

“Artisan Group has the range of products to serve the affluent market of The Home Trust, through its network of countertop fabricators,” said Jon Lancto, Executive Director, Artisan Group. “Our group members pride themselves on quality, being the first stone fabrication group in the world to have all members accredited by the Natural Stone Institute. This partnership is a great way for us to expand our reach with beautiful customized granite, marble, quartz, quartzite and soapstone countertops, bathroom vanities and other stone applications.”

The extensive network of Artisan Group members allows the organization to offer high quality stone surfaces, imported from sources around the globe. Utilizing the most technically advanced, automated shops in the industry, highly skilled craftsmen ensure that each and every installation meets exacting standards. Every countertop is custom-made according to exact specifications.

The Home Trust International is a by-invitation only organization, whose brand partners have been chosen very carefully. Its brand is recognized as the luxury standard for estate homes.

You may also be interested in this article about Natural Stone Institute’s Partnership with Architectural Record to Present Natural Stone Academy

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Hyundai Department Store Group Acquires Hanwha L&C

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Hyundai Department Store Group Acquires Hanwha L&C

Posted on 19 March 2019 by cradmin


Hyundai Department Store Group, a major South Korean conglomerate that operates a range of retail and service-based businesses, announced recently that it has completed the acquisition of Hanwha L&C, a leading manufacturer of premium building materials. As part of the acquisition, the company has also changed its name to Hyundai L&C to further position itself as a global leader in the interior products industry. Under this new ownership, Hyundai L&C remains firmly committed to maintaining and growing its premium surfacing, including HanStone Quartz and Hanex Solid Surfaces.

Hyundai Department Store Group considers business consistency to be the top priority. To that end, the company decided to change the corporate name as minimally as possible, keeping “L&C” from the former name, which now stands for “Living and Culture”. This reflects the retailer’s strong commitment towards becoming a total living interior cultural company that provides meaningful value to lives and spaces. Moving forward as Hyundai L&C, the company will aim to retain and maximize its value through innovation and a strong focus on customers and their needs.

Hanwha L&C’s previous ownership under Morgan Stanley resulted in significant expansion, including a second HanStone Quartz production line in London, Ontario, the building of a new Hanex Solid Surfaces production facility in Temple, Texas (to be operational in the coming months), and the establishment of several service centers, warehouses and showrooms across the country. This new ownership by Hyundai Department Store Group, a $7 billion company, offers unparalleled financial stability and the ability to expand like never before to meet customers’ growing requirements for premium surfacing.

You may also be interested in this article about the acquisition of Far West Plywood.

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Several Reports of Silicosis in Texas Countertop Shop

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Several Reports of Silicosis in Texas Countertop Shop

Posted on 18 March 2019 by cradmin

In March 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) received a report of an apparent cluster of multiple cases of silicosis among workers associated with occupational silica dust exposures that occurred during the manufacture, finishing and installation of stone countertops. DSHS is currently investigating these cases. There are no reported silica exposures to consumers from countertops in their homes.

Silicosis is an incurable, disabling, and often-fatal lung disease caused by inhalation of very fine particles of crystalline silica dust over a long period of time, which primarily occurs in workplace settings.

Occupational silicosis among workers in the engineered stone countertop industry is a rising concern in the world. The first case associated with engineered stone countertop fabrication in the United States was reported in Texas in 2014. Workers may be repeatedly exposed to dangerous levels of respirable silica dust when grinding, cutting, routing, drilling, or polishing engineered stone, granite and other stone materials containing crystalline silica during the fabrication process.

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 µg/m3, averaged over an 8-hour work day, for respirable crystalline silica exposure among workers in fabrication shops and other construction job sites (5,6).

To prevent occupational exposure to silica dust, guidelines require the following:

For employers:

  • Conduct air monitoring to identify the amount of silica dust workers are exposed to, and continue to monitor air levels to make sure the exposure level is below the PEL.
  • When possible, eliminate job tasks that can expose workers to silica dust above the PEL.
  • Reduce exposure by using dust control methods or engineering controls such as wet methods for cutting or grinding, local exhaust ventilation, wet sweeping, or high efficiency particulate (HEPA)-filtered vacuuming.
  • Use administrative controls and safe work practices such as a written exposure control plan and a designated competent person to implement it, and limit access to areas with exposure above the PEL.
  • Provide workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as respirators and washable clothing when exposure control does not sufficiently reduce the amount of airborne silica dust.
  • Train all employees at the worksite on the health effects of silica exposure, workplace tasks that can expose them to silica dust, and how to control or prevent exposures.
  • Offer medical screenings to all who may be exposed to silica dust as per OSHA standards (5,6). Keep records of workers’ exposure to silica and medical screening results.

For workers:

  • Participate in trainings on silica exposure control and prevention including use of PPE.
  • Follow procedures and protocols to safely work around silica and reduce or prevent exposures.
  • Report any possible silica exposure to the employer, supervisor, or health care provider.

More information about crystalline silica in the countertop industry can be found at OSHA’s website.

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CMA Seeks Submissions for 2019 Wood Diamond Awards

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CMA Seeks Submissions for 2019 Wood Diamond Awards

Posted on 15 March 2019 by cradmin

The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) announced that the Wood Diamond Awards program is now accepting submissions for the 2019 contest.

The CMA was founded on the principles of sharing one’s experiences and ideas with other members in an effort to promote success and professionalism in the woodworking business. This awards program provides another outlet for that purpose to be fulfilled. As members view the work and accomplishments of their peers, ideas are exchanged and the flow of information continues.

The CMA is asking current members to consider a recent project (or several) that they are especially proud of to enter for a chance to win a Wood Diamond Award. The entry fee is $50 for each submission. No entries will be accepted after May 15, 2019. The winners will be announced July 18, during the association’s Membership Appreciation Banquet at the AWFS Fair in Las Vegas. Access the submission form at www.cabinetmakers.org/wda19.

You may also be interested in this article about Natural Stone Institute Award Winners

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