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MSI Launches Digital Image Search Tool

Posted on 10 December 2020 by cradmin3

MSI, supplier of flooring, countertop, wall tile and hardscaping products, launched a new image search tool. This new innovation allows users to find the closest MSI match of any product using artificial intelligence.

The image search tool is the newest in the company’s extensive digital portfolio; from the first in industry multi-surface visualizer to the real-time inventory search, MSI’s digital tools make the design process easier from start to finish.

Upload a photo of any product to the search tool and immediately view the results, including the closest MSI product matches. Users may filter results for more concentrated selections, by only choosing the product categories they are most interested in. Additionally, coordinating choices are available to complete the look. The ‘similar style’ design technology has been available to MSI customers for about one year.

“With so many color, shapes and designs available, the consumer selection process can be daunting. This new tool helps consumers instantly see similar looking colors and designs carried by MSI. We need to continue to use technology to simplify the consumer shopping experience,” said Rup Shah, President, MSI.

You may also be interested in this article: Wilsonart Expands TFL Capacity

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Coverings 2021

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Coverings Extends 2021 Award Submissions Deadline

Posted on 09 December 2020 by cradmin3

Given that Coverings 2021, the premier tile and stone trade event in North America, is now scheduled to take place July 7-9, the deadline to submit projects to the 2021 Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards or to nominate a young emerging leader to the 2021 Coverings Rock Star program has been moved to Friday, March 26, 2021.

The 2021 CID Awards recognize and award projects featuring tile & stone that feature beautiful design and impeccable installation. As always, multiple entries are accepted and there is no cost to enter.

Winners in each category will receive industry recognition and accolades, features in various media outlets, and a complimentary one-night stay to attend Coverings 2021.

If you know of a young industry talent that has a bright future in the tile & stone industry, nominate them to be a Coverings Rock Star. They must be 35 years or younger and currently working in the industry.

Selected Rock Stars will receive industry accolades, a complimentary one-night stay to attend Coverings 2021, and unique professional development opportunities.

All submissions must be received by 11:59 PM ET on Friday, March 26. No submissions will be accepted after this date and no extensions will be granted.

You may also be interested in this article: ISFA Announces Annual Award Winners

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Antolini Presents Lincoln Stone

Posted on 08 December 2020 by cradmin3

Antolini has introduced its newest marble, Lincoln Stone, to the already extensive Exclusive Collection. Lincoln Stone is a delicate, elegant and timeless natural stone, distinguished by a sophisticated surface, which appears as a precious work of art.

With Lincoln Stone, Antolini offers a solution that connects to the combative and proud spirit of men and women who have traced out the path to follow in order to raise our hearts to the purest and most unalterable values.

Antolini’s carefully selected natural stone designs each stand for unconstrained stylistic freedom. With worldwide exclusivity over the most astonishing materials and sole access to the quarries, Antolini is able to offer the most desired and recognizable natural masterpieces in multiple finishes through a network of distributors and partners.

You may also be interested in this article: Weha Introduces Rock Dog Single Speed Router

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Business Sense Dec. 2020

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Business Sense: Creating a Work-Life Balance at a Countertop Shop

Posted on 07 December 2020 by cradmin3

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

We talk to many shop owners and managers, and unfortunately, it’s more common than not to be totally and utterly burnt out.

Mental exhaustion. Emotionally drained. Never-ending stress.

It’s no way to live, but it’s the norm in our low-margin, high-speed industry. While it’s easier than not to be discouraged and keep your head down, it’s very possible to have an excellent quality of life with a little life-changing strategic thinking.

Why are we so stressed out?

It’s relatively common in the countertop fabrication business to work long hours.

According to researchers, working more than 10 hours in a day, more than 40 hours of overtime in a month, and 60 or more hours in a week leads to stressful feelings.

Certain times of the year, such as leading up to the holidays, are stressful times for everyone. 

Read more: Avoid Getting Burnt Out During the Holiday Rush

But often, owners and managers are so burnt out because there are too many bottlenecks in their processes. And here’s where things get hard – when you’re burnt out, how can you keep your team motivated?

Whitney Johnson, the author of Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve, says “Your team is picking up on your stress, and it’s making everything worse,”

Understanding your business and its bottlenecks is the first step toward making improvements that’ll give you back some of your time and lift the weight of stress. Your employees will notice the difference.

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Tile of Spain Announces 2020 Award Winners

Posted on 04 December 2020 by cradmin3

Tile of Spain, the association representing more than 125 Spanish tile manufacturers, announced the winners of the 19th annual Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design. The panel of judges met on Thursday, November 26th to evaluate the submissions and name a winner in each category.

Here are the winning projects:


“Casa Ter” by Mesura Studio (pictured above)
The jury was moved by the connection the single-family home has with thesurrounding environment. The structure of the residence was built entirely of concrete and large elongated ceramic pieces, both of which were manufactured with natural clay from nearby La Bisbal, Spain. The interior of the home opens up to nature, establishing a unique indoor-outdoor living concept.

Special Mentions
“Runnymede College Campus” by Rojo/Fernández-Shaw and
“The Young Old House” by Enrique Espinosa & Lys Villalba

Interior Design:

“Atlantis Gastrobar” by Arantxa Manrique
The jury strongly valued the design of this small lounge that allowed ceramic tiles to shine as the true protagonist in this project. Ceramic subway tiles were placed in a vertical arrangement to add height and volume to this small space, while the electric blue bar demands attention by passersby.

Special Mentions
“Tienda Camper La Roca” by Tomás Alonso and
“6 Viviendas en Cabrera de Mar” by TWOBO Arquitectura

Final Degree Project:

“Propuesta Para un Centro de MENAS” by Andrea Puebla Yubero of CEU San Pablo Madrid
The judges admired the proposal for a typology of “impluvium building” beyond the traditional method of constructing a Mediterranean style patio to carry off excess rain water.

Special Mentions
“Patios de Agua y Olivos” by Alba Jiménex of ETSA Granada and
“Salam Bir” by Eduardo Casado López of ETSA Madrid.

You may also be interested in this article: ISFA Announces Annual Award Winners

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Federal Brace Adds to Reinforced Wood Corbel Collection

Posted on 03 December 2020 by cradmin3

Federal Brace has introduced the newest members of its exclusively made in the USA Reinforced Wood Corbel Collection.

The Lincroft Wood Corbel is low profile, sleek and sports chamfered edges with a minimal gusset section. The Lincroft gives a spacious, airy feel with a traditional wood finish. The overall measurements of 12- by 10- in. and a width of 3-in., in combination with the internal hidden steel rib, provide a sturdy 375 lb. carrying capacity for a wood corbel configuration. The Lincroft Wood Corbel is an excellent selection when elegance in design is required.

The Cumberland Wood Corbel features an unfinished wood grain corbel pre-routed for a .25-in. thick steel support rib to carry granite overhangs and bar tops. This spacious, open character design will enhance home and office decor with fine lines and a low profile gusset that will not interfere with knees under counters. While the Cumberland Reinforced Corbel looks light and airy, the steel rib support bracket hidden under its beautiful wood surface is strong and durable to support all stone and solid surfaces.

You may also be interested in this article: Reduce Adhesive Color Inventory and Save $$$

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Wilsonart TFL Expansion

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Wilsonart Expands TFL Capacity

Posted on 02 December 2020 by cradmin3

Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces has announced it will increase its TFL (Thermally Fused Laminate) capacity and footprint in North America by investing in a new facility in Klamath Falls, Ore. The new facility is expected to be fully operational by July 2021. Wilsonart’s investment in land and a new quick-cycle press is the latest milestone in the growth of its TFL business.

In 2015, Wilsonart added branded TFL Panels to its Coordinated Surfaces suite, becoming the single-source for HPL (High Pressure Laminate), TFL Panels, Edgeband and Cabinet Doors. Over the next few years, the company expanded its TFL manufacturing with the purchase of two quick-cycle press lines and then expanded its portfolio even further with the acquisition of KML Corp. “Our offerings have garnered tremendous support from both specifiers and fabricators. TFL is a key part of that offering, and this next expansion is a continuation of our strategy to enable us to meet growing demand and better serve our customers,” said Vice President, Product Management, Ron Ubertini.

The new Oregon facility will support the continued growth of KML and Wilsonart branded TFL products. By offering the best available match between materials in the industry, Wilsonart eliminated one of the most common frustrations design professionals face — the convenience of matching cabinet doors, casework and worktops from one source. This program provides hassle-free specifying across surfacing options while leveraging Wilsonart’s renowned world-class distribution network.

You may also be interested in this article: 2021 Design & Construction Week Converts to All-Virtual Event

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ISFA Announces Annual Award Winners

Posted on 30 November 2020 by cradmin3

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced the winners of its annual awards at the association’s recent virtual annual meeting and conference. The ISFA awards are chosen by association members, and given to those in the industry that stand out as the very best.

Past ISFA President Russ Berry, of ASST in McSherrytown, Pa., was inducted into the ISFA Hall of Fame, joining a long list of esteemed industry professionals. The Hall of Fame Award is given to the individual who has, in the course of his/her career, made significant contributions to the decorative surfacing industry, and has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the ideals of ISFA. Having won several past ISFA Awards, Russ Berry is truly an inspiration to all fabricators. He has repeatedly given of his time and expertise to ISFA and its members, and his approach to business, along with his innovative creativity, sets him apart from all others. Russ’ work at ASST has elevated the fabrication community through showcasing solid surface design capability in complex high-end, and highly visible projects. Russ has served as a past ISFA President, has hosted ISFA events, and he serves as a fine example to the entire industry.

The other honored winners are:

The Fabricator of the Year Award was given to world-class fabricator The Countertop Factory Midwest in Chicago. The Fabricator of the Year is awarded to a fabricator member company that in the past year has best exemplified the ISFA ideals of quality, innovation, character and exemplary service to ISFA and/or the decorative surfacing industry, with overall excellence. The Countertop Factory Midwest is a company that is known for its generous support and mentorship of other fabricators in the industry. Owners Geoffrey Gran and Bill Heuer are always willing to share their knowledge and expertise around sales, fabrication and general business. They are consistently helping the industry grow and improve, and their business is a true example of fabricators helping fabricators, which is the cornerstone of ISFA.

The Associate of the Year Award is given to an associate member company that in the past year has best exemplified the role of servicing the needs of fabricator member companies, and that has best supported ISFA in all activities. The 2020 winner is Moraware, a maker of software specifically designed for countertop fabricators. The company is not only a supportive partner of ISFA’s efforts to educate the industry, but also through other outlets in surfacing/countertop realm as well as its own independent programs. In addition to offering highly regarded products, it also provides industry information in numerous areas, such as marketing, networking, technology integration and various others to serve fabricators well beyond just its product offerings. And, it has done so for many years.

The Innovator Award is for the member firm or individual who goes outside the box to create a product or system that enhances the life or elevates the role of the surface fabricator. The 2020 Winner is SPEEDlabel®. This small invention designed for countertop fabricators, by fabricators, has had a significant impact on the countertop industry. SPEEDlabel is a custom labeling solution allowing fabricators to track countertops through production. It also helps with quality control by preventing mistakes, helping both large and small shops to be more efficient and profitable. The labels have made it easier for fabricators of all surfaces to reduce chaos and improve shop organization.

The Envision Award is given to the manufacturer member that excels in creating something imaginative and special for the surfacing industry. The 2020 winner is INEOS. The company’s composites continue to drive innovation in the resin space. It has created bio-based resins that allow quartz companies to mitigate petroleum use and create more sustainable products. The resins also allow for flat, strong and consistent slabs.

You may also be interested in this article: ISFA Launches Safe Solid Surface Education Initiative

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Reduce Adhesive Color Inventory and Save $$$

Posted on 25 November 2020 by cradmin3

While it is always preferable to use the recommended adhesive color match, there are times when you have to get by with an alternate. Join.It has specifically formulated an adhesive color for that exact situation and many fabricators have found it useful to dramatically reduce the need for a large inventory of colors. Join-It calls it Outre White.

How it Works

Outre White blends in to the surfacing material when a tight fit is achieved for seams and laminations. It is a highly translucent adhesive that is designed to pick up the surrounding material color and also mimic the light refraction properties of the surface that is being joined.

When recommended color matches are not possible for whatever reason, Outre White is a great option for fabricators. It should be noted however, that some sheet materials such as heavily pigmented solid colors are not the best candidates for a translucent adhesive and may be left with a dark line at the seam. Always test a small joint when unsure of using a particular adhesive color.

Every shop should have a few cartridges of the universal Outre White in house for emergencies or for when there’s not quite enough to finish a job.

About Princeton Chemical Company

Princeton Chemical Company is based in Baltimore, MD and produces a range of products, including our fabricator-direct seaming adhesive Join.It for fabricators in the US.

Join.It produces strong, durable bonds on a range of surfacing materials including Solid Surface, Quartz and Natural Stone.

Orders can be placed for fast, free shipping at

Read more of Join-It’s How To and Best Practices here

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Natural Stone Institute board president Bob Zavagno & Veronafiere Stone & Design Department Executive Elena Amadini at TISE in January.

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Marmomac Renews Support of Natural Stone Institute Grande Pinnacle Award

Posted on 12 November 2020 by cradmin3

Natural Stone Institute board president Bob Zavagno & Veronafiere Stone & Design Department Executive Elena Amadini at TISE in January.

Marmomac has renewed its sponsorship for the Natural Stone Institute’s Grande Pinnacle Award for the next four years.  Marmomac has sponsored the Grande Pinnacle Award since its inception in 2008.

The Grande Pinnacle Award is presented to the best overall project entered in the Pinnacle Awards. The winner will receive a trip to Marmomac including round trip economy airfare, four nights lodging, and registration. One architect from the winning project will also receive this award.

In announcing the renewal, Natural Stone Institute CEO Jim Hieb stated, “We look forward to continuing this important partnership with Marmomac. The Grande Pinnacle represents the best use of natural stone in the Pinnacle Awards, and as such, it makes perfect sense for the winner to receive a trip to Verona to attend Marmomac. We appreciate Marmomac’s support of this prestigious program.”

Veronafiere Deputy Marketing Director Elena Amadini added, “Marmomac and the Natural Stone Institute share the goal of promoting the use of natural stone by engaging the design community and challenging it to use stone in increasingly aesthetic and diverse ways. Our sponsorship of the Grande Pinnacle Award is thus a perfect fit in pursuit of this common goal.”

The Pinnacle Awards honor projects whose beauty, creativity, and craftsmanship exemplify professional mastery in the use of natural stone in residential and commercial applications. Last year’s Grande Pinnacle award recipient was honored at TISE in January 2020 and at Marmomac ReStart, the first entirely virtual edition of Marmomac, which took place in September.

You may also be interested in this article: TISE Announces 2021 Show Agenda

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