Archive | May, 2021

Blanco Quatrus R15 Medium Apron Front small

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BLANCO Introduces QUATRUS R15 Medium Apron Front Sink

Posted on 28 May 2021 by cradmin

BLANCO has embraced small space living by adding the QUATRUS R15 Medium Apron to its stainless steel apron front sink collection. The QUATRUS R15 brings a whole new level of design versatility to space-challenged kitchens, even fitting compact 27-in. cabinets.

The new QUATRUS R15 Apron Front sink is an ultra-compact 25-in. wide farmhouse sink with a generous 9-in. bowl depth. The contemporary design features soft, rounded outside corners and easy-to-clean 15 mm radius inside corners.

According to the company, the result is a sink with a fresh, modern farmhouse look that will solve many of the challenges faced in compact kitchens. The QUATRUS R15 Medium is made of durable, 18-gauge stainless steel with 18/10 chrome-nickel content for exceptional luster and strength.

Optional accessories include a protective grid, 3-in-1 basket strainer, colander and custom-fitted cutting boards in glass or ash compound – efficiently extending the kitchen workspace, saving time and increasing ergonomics.

You may also be interested in this article: Native Trails Introduces Precious Metals Collection

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New NSC373 logo

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Natural Stone Institute Takes Ownership of Natural Stone Sustainability Standard

Posted on 26 May 2021 by cradmin

Ownership of the ANSI/NSC 373 Sustainable Production of Natural Stone standard has officially transferred from the Natural Stone Council to the Natural Stone Institute.

First issued in 2014, the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard establishes criteria and methods for tracking, measuring, and improving sustainability in the production of natural stone. Since its initial development, the Natural Stone Council has maintained the standard and updated it to ensure continued relevance in the green building space.

Duke Pointer, Executive Director of the Natural Stone Council, commented: “The Natural Stone Council (NSC) is proud to hand off the Sustainability Standard for Natural Stone, ANSI/NSC 373, to the Natural Stone Institute. The NSC saw the need over 10 years ago for development of an industry standard and we committed the resources to complete and launch one. The Natural Stone Institute will now take the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard to the next level. We continue to offer our support in that effort.”

Since its initial development, NSF International has served as the program operator and auditor for the standard. The Natural Stone Institute has contracted with NSF International to continue supporting the implementation of the standard for the next three years. “The Sustainability Standard for Natural Stone, ANSI/NSC 373, includes well-defined environmental, ecological, social responsibility and human health metrics through a multi-stakeholder, science-based approach,” said Suzan Somo, Environmental Products Business Lead at NSF International. “Our team at NSF International is looking forward to working with the Natural Stone Institute to continue supporting the implementation of this stone standard. This standard helps quarry operators and stone fabricators assess their internal practices, drive efficiencies and attain preferred status in their markets as the building industry continues to value sustainable products and practices.”

The next step in the transfer process will be to re-engage the joint committee that maintains the standard. This committee includes a cross section of stakeholders including academia, designers and specifiers, building owners, stone producers, and related industry and sustainability experts. They will be responsible for ensuring the standard remains relevant with contemporary practices, technology, governance, and related standards.

The Natural Stone Institute has also been working with a set of industry stakeholders to identify sustainability goals and strategies, including: 

  • Guide quarriers and fabricators through the benefits and process of certifying to the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard.
  • Expand the relevance of the standard through a companion EPD program.
  • Position natural stone as a desirable solution to satisfying green building goals.
  • Arm the natural stone industry with knowledge and tools needed to tell the sustainability story.

“We’ve been working with the Natural Stone Council prior to, and during, this transition to identify ways to build relevance and awareness for both the Sustainability Standard and the concept of using natural stone to satisfy green building goals. A few key things we hope to accomplish include: developing industry average EPDs, organizing a CEU blitz to educate the design/build community, and organizing more extensive guidance for companies completing the certification process,” says Michael Picco (PICCO Engineering), 2021 Natural Stone Institute board president.

To learn more about the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard and join the new sustainability mailing list, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/sustainability.

You may also be interested in this article: Coverings Announces Featured Sessions for 2021

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Caesarstone Launches CEU On Biophilic Design Using Quartz Surfacing

Posted on 24 May 2021 by cradmin

In response to the increased demand for outdoor design and living, Caesarstone has introduced a new Hanley Wood University CEU course: “Responding to the Increased Demand for Outdoor Living Spaces with Innovative Outdoor Quartz Surfaces” to train architects, designers, landscapers and other industry professionals on how to use quartz in biophilic designs.

The course is available for free through Hanley Wood University, the trusted online continuing education portal where thousands of architects, builders, contractors, designers, remodelers and other construction professionals go to fulfill their continuing education and professional training requirements. Additionally, many professional associations – including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC), Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and International Interior Designers Association (IIDA) – have approved it for members to receive continuing education credit upon completion.

The course explores why outdoor living spaces have become more popular over the past decade, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, and explores different design considerations for outdoor living spaces while showing how quartz can be used. It evaluates the sustainability properties and design options of outdoor quartz and provides a case study as an example. Upon completion, architects and designers will also understand performance measures, installation and maintenance guidelines for quartz surfaces in outdoor environments.

“As required for all CEUs, the course doesn’t mention the Caesarstone brand or products specifically, but rather addresses how and why professionals can and should use the material in outdoor projects,” said Elizabeth Margles, Vice President of Marketing for Caesarstone North America. “What they’ll learn is that it’s perfect for any surface including countertops and backspashes in an outdoor kitchen, outdoor dining furniture, poolside bars,
decorative water features and so much more.”

You may also be interested in this article: Coverings Announces Featured Sessions for 2021

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Laticrete_PROJECT_SAFETY_main_banner

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Health & Safety Watch: LATICRETE Launches ProjectSafety™ Campaign

Posted on 20 May 2021 by cradmin

LATICRETE, a manufacturer of construction solutions for the building industry, has launched the ProjectSafety™ campaign, a company-wide initiative that provides access to safety education and alternative installation techniques to help lower the staggering injury and ailment statistics associated with the construction industry. This industry’s workforce handles tasks that range from carrying heavy loads to performing repetitive tasks to safely navigating often chaotic job sites, manufacturing facilities, warehouses and laboratories, placing workers at risk of serious injury. The ProjectSafety mission is to raise awareness about the risks of construction installations and help educate the industry on ways to mitigate those risks.

In phase one, ProjectSafety is a focused effort toward educating construction workers in all trades, at all levels of projects and general contractors about the risks associated with respirable crystalline silica and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as best practices for back, knee, hand and eye safety in the workplace. Phases two and three will expand with added content to Laticrete University covering health and safety best practices, training and education about products that are safer to handle and install.

Later this year in ProjectSafety phase two, LATICRETE will help increase awareness by providing education about potential issues that can affect construction professionals via access to webinars, data sheets and product information through the ProjectSafety page on the LATICRETE website.
The goal of the campaign is for companies to adopt accountability measures to effectively execute safer installation methods, countermeasures and actions to lessen the risks and impact on the installer and their business, resulting in an improved work environment. These measures include specific practices such as:

  • proper bending and lifting techniques
  • knowledge of what products should be used or avoided on the jobsite
  • types of tools and PPE that should be worn and when
  • education on a variety of certification systems and what they mean in regards to safety protocols
  • how various lightweight and rapid curing product solutions can be implemented
  • how to limit exposure to harmful chemicals such as respirable crystalline silica and VOCs

For more information visit laticrete.com/projectsafety.

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Neolith Essentials

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Neolith Presents Essentials Series

Posted on 19 May 2021 by cradmin

Driven and inspired by Neolith®’s core values, the brand has presented its new series for 2021: ESSENTIALS.

To maintain and reinforce its sustainability commitment, Neolith has introduced a new formulation with up to 90 percent recycled material in the composition of some of the models in the ESSENTIALS series.

Whether in a home, restaurant or commercial setting, Neolith ESSENTIALS demonstrates how the company provides a balance between form and function through an ultra-hygienic, pure and timeless surface.

The ESSENTIALS Series includes:

  • Shilin – a light background and fine, granular details with a special texture that further enhances its natural qualities much like limestone.
  • Wulong – a slightly darker surface with grey tones and granular detailing; inspired by one of China’s unique geological formations: the Wulong Karst.
  • Metropolitan – featuring metallic décor with a worn effect and soft contrasts inspired by the hustle and bustle of the most exciting cities.
  • Sofia Cuprum – a fascinating dark and sober finish on which the technological and sustainable progress of the Neolith brand stands out.

Neolith is a 100 percent natural product, and the first company in the sector to achieve the carbon neutral category in 2019; a brand with a great social conscience, committed to respecting and protecting the environment and carries out important ecological initiatives.

You may also be interested in this article: Domain Expands Affinity Surfaces Offerings

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Coverings17_black

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Coverings Announces Featured Sessions for 2021

Posted on 18 May 2021 by cradmin

Coverings (coverings.com), the largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference in North America, announced a lineup of informative sessions, some offering Continuing Education Units (CEUs), for Coverings 2021. Attendees of the event can benefit from an extensive offering of featured educational sessions highlighted in three tracks: Installation & Fabrication, Workforce & Profits and Materials & Trends. All of the learning opportunities are geared to provide eager show-goers with the relevant education they need to excel in today’s highly competitive tile, stone and design marketplace.

The Installation & Fabrication sessions at Coverings 2021 will provide attendees a wealth of information regarding industry best practices and cutting-edge techniques in installation and fabrication. Select sessions in these categories include, but are not limited to, “Tile Talks with the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA),” a lively and interactive open forum moderated and coordinated with NTCA technical trainers, featuring an emphasis on issues that are common in Florida and the Southeast; “State of the Stone Industry,” during which attendees can learn first-hand how industry leaders and peers are addressing matters ranging from government regulation, competing product challenges and forecasting market growth; “Trials and Tribulations of Tile Installations: A North American Perspective,” which will cover various tile challenges trade professionals have experienced in the United States and Canada during recent years; “Fabricator Forum Breakout Session,” an interactive session geared towards fabricators which will include technical, business administration and marketing breakout discussion groups and more.

“No matter your role in the tile and stone industry, whether it be contractor, installer, fabricator, architect, remodeler, or beyond, there is a great deal of information to gain by attending the Installation & Fabrication sessions at Coverings 2021,” said Bart Bettiga, executive director of the NTCA.

The Workforce & Profits sessions are designed to help attendees discover new and successful business practices and tactics to better grow and manage their business. Workforce & Profits sessions that should not be missed at Coverings 2021 include, “Recognize the Problem–Identifying Sales & Marketing Misalignment,” which will emphasize the importance of synergy and coordination between sales and marketing teams; “Managing a Family Business,” a robust panel discussion addressing challenges and best practices when running a family business; “Hard Surface Industry Town Hall,” which will be conducted by industry leaders and review key topics essential for the growth of natural hard surface products, including tile, natural stone and wood flooring; and “How to Increase Business Leads and Secure New Projects Through Material Bank,” a discussion with experts from Material Bank, the world’s largest building material marketplace, with many insights about how to generate leads and evolve with changes in the market.

The Materials & Trends sessions at Coverings 2021 will focus on the breathtaking world of tile and stone. Select sessions will include, “Global Tile Trends,” a highly-anticipated and popular annual discussion among international tile experts to explore the latest trends and projects, pointing to where the tile industry is headed next; “Designer Talk: Don’t Fake It When You Make It–Reasons to Choose Natural Products,” which will explore the use of natural products as a key building material; “Environmental Responsibility, Human Wellness, Resilience–Hot Topics in Green Building and How the Tile Industry Fits,” an exploration of how green building principles, rooted in conservation, climate change awareness and bio diversity, have grown to now accept the idea of human wellness; “Plastic Based Materials (PBM)–Safety and Performance Issues with Not So Luxurious Vinyl Tile (LVT),” a session that will discuss performance and health issues associated with plastic flooring such as LVT.  

“Coverings 2021 Materials & Trends sessions are designed to inspire, inform and educate attendees in today’s fast-paced design industry and business climate,” said Alena Capra, Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer and Coverings spokesperson. “Because so many of the sessions offer complimentary CEUs, the sessions at Coverings 2021 are can’t-miss opportunities.”  

Coverings’ robust educational offerings span all industry segments with comprehensive learning objectives and results. Attendees are advised to review the Coverings 2021 schedule to see all Coverings’ complimentary education sessions. Visit the Coverings website for more information about onsite and virtual opportunities taking place during Coverings 2021.

For more information and to register for Coverings 2021 at no cost, visit coverings.com.

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Domain Affinity Piatra Grey

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Domain Expands Affinity Surfaces Offerings

Posted on 17 May 2021 by cradmin

Affinity Solid Surface by Domain Industries is available in three collections of popular solid colors, along with natural-looking and veined patterns. The company has added 19 new patterns and textures of natural veined options. The recent additions include: Carrara, Delicatus White, Blanco Nuvo, Nimbus, Antiquity, Bianco, Piatra Grey (pictured), Grigio, Portofino, Ascend, San Tropez, Perla, Cosmopolitan, Bellagio, Venatino, Capri Concrete, Terrano, Tamani and Casera.

According to the company, this premium surfacing material is durable, non-porous and stain resistant. It is completely sustainable and is SGS certified, meaning it is compliant with national regulations and standards. It is also renewable, easy to repair and sanitary. Affinity can be used in all applications and industries, including kitchens, bathrooms, healthcare, retail and fast-food service. Affinity Solid Surface is not just for countertops, it can also be used for bathroom vanities, shower surrounds and much more, offering you endless design possibilities backed by a 10-year warranty.

You may also be interested in this article: Meganite Introduces True Terrazzo Collection

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NEW_-SILESTONE-LOGO-2021-2-scaled

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Cosentino Presents A New Image for Silestone

Posted on 14 May 2021 by cradmin

Cosentino has announced the brand renewal of its benchmark brand, Silestone. The new corporate identity symbolizes both an external and internal transformation that will continue to inspire people through innovative and sustainable spaces and values based on innovation, responsibility and humanity.

As part of the thorough rebranding strategy that will emphasize the importance of life in the different areas of the home and generate communication points aimed at a new generation, Silestone launched a fresh, powerful logo. Transparency and responsibility inherent in the brand’s DNA, and the company itself, are at the root of the new look. Cosentino’s Image and Brand Team, in collaboration with the independent consultancy Nadie, developed the typeface to deliver more experiential and emotional characteristics.

Details such as a 15-degree angle and graphical elements of each letter in the typography complement the design with a modern, simplistic approach. It conveys a new, fresher and youthful universe, taking the brand into new spheres of design.

The graphic design is an evolution from the previous version, maintaining the isotype + type structure, as well as the endorsement of Cosentino. The isotype continues to use its well-known “S”, interpreted with a fresher and simplified design. Applications of the design will make it a memorable icon with versatility for broad future usage in videos, textures or patterns. For the first time, the isotype is presented in two colours – Pantone® Warm Red C, an evolved shade of red, and Pantone® 629 CP, a light blue – to reflect the application or thematic area.

This innovative logo will now be used on all brand campaigns, marketing materials and digital environments, and will be present in the upcoming launches of new color collections.

The company stated that this new visual identity aligns with the sustainable attributes of Silestone, thanks to the exclusive HybriQ® technology. Developed and launched in 2020 by Cosentino, HybriQ is a technological innovation that sets a new standard in the surfaces category for architecture and design, changing the paradigm of the quartz surface market.

According to the company HybriQ uses a new hybrid formulation of mineral raw materials with equal or better performance than quartz, synthetic minerals and materials of a recycled origin. This makes it possible to reduce the use of crystalline silica in the composition of Silestone by 50 percent, achieving a reduction of up to 90 percent for some colors. With this new composition, Cosentino creates Silestone with the same mechanical and technical performance, maintaining all quality and hygiene certifications and an appearance that retains its timeless beauty while also providing new design possibilities, in-depth translucency and blurring effects.

You may also be interested in this article: Stone Machinery & Supply Vendors Form Trade Group

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May 2021 Business Sense

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Business Sense: How to Better Manage Countertop Shop Scheduling

Posted on 12 May 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

What words come to mind when you think about your scheduling process? For a lot of fabricators – especially those with smaller operations – it’s chaos. 

Striking the right balance of supply and demand is what scheduling is all about, but when everyone at your shop is adding jobs, removing them, and making changes, that delicate balance gets thrown off.

Overbooking, underbooking, last-minute additions, and forgetting about holidays are incredibly common, especially when there’s no defined process in place for scheduling.

When your shop has too much on its plate, more mistakes are likely to be made. Not to mention some of your best staff members can get burnt out and leave, and replacing talent in this industry is incredibly difficult.

All of this boils down to a lower margin in an already low-margin industry. But don’t worry – there is a better way, and you can take small strides towards a more efficient scheduling process.

Why Focus On Scheduling?

We talk to fabricators every day, and scheduling is typically one of many bottlenecks they’re facing. What makes the scheduling problem so important?

If you think about it, the schedule is the pulse of your business. It’s what keeps everything else alive. Providing amazing service, having stress-free days, and keeping up with demand all rely on good scheduling.

If you overbook, then you have to call the customer and reschedule, but they just took off work to meet you, and now they want to be compensated for their time. It’s a world of hurt just waiting for you at the end of an already stressful day.

Aside from quoting, nailing down scheduling is often the first place shops start when they want to improve their processes.

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Stone Equipment & Supply Alliance

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Stone Machinery & Supply Vendors Form Trade Group

Posted on 11 May 2021 by cradmin

A group of 37 U.S. and European based companies in the stone equipment and supply industry have formed The Stone Equipment and Supply Alliance. The purpose of the newly formed group is to communicate as a unified voice regarding industry events and trade-shows.

A board of directors has been formed and is composed of the following industry leaders:

  • President – Mike Schlough – Park Industries
  • Vice President – Rick Stimac – BB Industries
  • Treasurer – Ivano Tirapelle – Comandulli NA
  • Secretary – Nick Wadenstorer – BACA Systems
  • Member at Large – Michele Ragno – Biesse America


Nick Wadenstorer of BACA Industries stated, “This is a great opportunity for stone equipment and supply companies to make the trade show experience better for both exhibitors and fabricators.”

The group has engaged Jon Lancto of Big Fish Consulting to facilitate communications with trade show representatives. For more information or to join this alliance, Lancto can be reached at 843-860-4150 or [email protected]

You may also be interested in this article: Natural Stone Institute Updates Board of Directors

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