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Industry Economist to Speak at AWFS Fair

Posted on 18 June 2021 by cradmin4

Economist Chris Kuehl will offer a keynote presentation at the 2021 AWFS Fair on Thursday, July 22 at 8:00 a.m. The session will begin with a welcome from AWFS Board leadership, followed by an economic update from Kuehl focusing on manufacturing and the construction and housing markets. An additional session will take place at 12:30 p.m. at the fair’s live show stage where AWFS Executive Vice President, Angelo Gangone, will interview Kuehl regarding key topics including supply chain issues.

Kuehl is a Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence and one of the co-founders of the company. He has been Armada’s economic analyst and has worked with a wide variety of private clients and professional associations for nearly twenty years in industries ranging from credit management to fabricators and manufacturers. He regularly speaks at conferences and events, including FABTECH and the AWI Annual Convention.

“We are excited to have Mr. Kuehl at the AWFS Fair to offer insight into the economic status of our industry and what we may be able to expect in the upcoming year,” said Gangone. “Our industry is reeling from the current supply chain crisis; Chris can shed some light on this issue and how companies can be proactive.”

Both sessions with Kuehl will be free and open to all registered AWFS Fair attendees and exhibitors, no additional registration required.

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

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Rugo Stone Receives 2020 Grande Pinnacle Award

Posted on 17 June 2021 by cradmin4

Rugo Stone in Lorton, Virginia has been named the recipient of the 2020 Grande Pinnacle Award for their work on the Trinity Church Wall Street Altar & Chancel Restoration project in New York City.

Trinity Church is a 174 year old historical structure that served as a shelter from debris during 9/11. The church needed a variety of upgrades, including complete conservation and restoration of the Gothic Revival chancel and the historic Astor memorial altar. 

Rugo Stone was selected to dismantle and conserve the Astor memorial altar based on extensive experience in stone and mosaic conservation and restoration. Their task was to carefully dismantle the marble and the mosaic which formed the altar. The mosaic panels, believed to have been created in the 1870s by acclaimed Italian mosaic artist Antonio Salviati, are considered priceless, as is the Vermont statuary marble altar. 

Rugo Stone cataloged the altar by 3D scanning it in place, and then dismantled and transported it to their carving studio. Over the next 6 months, artisans cleaned and restored the damaged pieces, as well as produced new columns, hand-carved capitals, performed dutchman patches, and new gilding, all to create a new configuration for an ADA accessible altar mounted to a new steel frame. 

The team also sourced new Caen French limestone to recreate rear wall missing pilasters and base, which was particularly challenging as the original Caen limestone was quarried in the 1860s. The chancel floor was completely re-done using Olympian White Danby and Rosso Levanto marble pavers with 1/32-in. joints, patterned to create a bold checkerboard appearance. Rugo Stone’s team worked tirelessly to complete all the work for the dedication services that were scheduled for Christmas 2019. 

Congratulations to all of the 2020 Pinnacle Award recipients.

Public Landscapes/Parks Memorials
Fundidora Park Mural
Monterrey, Mexico
Creative Edge Master Shop Fairfield, IA

Spring Creek Nature Area
Richardson, TX
Coldspring Cold Spring, MN
Dee Brown Inc. Richardson, TX

Commercial Interior
Hillsdale College Christ Chapel
Hillsdale, MI
Booms Stone Company Redford, MI

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Expansion
Hollywood, FL
Twin Stone Designs & Installations Hollywood, FL

Architectural Carving/Lettering/Sculpture
John F. Kennedy Center, The REACH Donor Wall
Washington, DC
Rugo Stone Lorton, VA

Nike of Samothrace
Samothrace Island, Greece
F.H.L.I. Kiriakidis Marbles-Granites Drama, Greece

Renovation/Restoration
Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Paterson, NJ
Ghirardi Stone Contracting New York, NY

Trinity Church Wall Street Chancel & Altar Restoration
New York, NY
Rugo Stone Lorton, VA

Dallas Municipal Building Restoration
Dallas, TX
Dee Brown Inc. Richardson, TX
Tennessee Marble Company Friendsville, TN

Commercial Exterior
Tenko Omakase Japanese Restaurant
Bangkok, Thailand
Stone and Roses International Samutprakarn, Thailand

The Williams Inn
Williamstown, MA
Connecticut Stone Milford, CT

Residential-Single Family
The Floating Stair
Toronto, ON Canada
PICCO Engineering Concord ON Canada

SoHo Townhouse
New York, NY
ABC Worldwide Stone Brooklyn, NY

Villa Florence
Downey, CA
Carnevale & Lohr, Inc. Bell Gardens, CA

You may also be interested in this article: Natural Stone Institute Takes Ownership of Natural Stone Sustainability Standard

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Vadara Announces New Exclusive Distribution Partnerships

Posted on 11 June 2021 by cradmin4

Vadara Quartz Surfaces, a manufacturer of artisan, handcrafted quartz surfaces, has announced its new and exclusive distribution and sales partnership with the European Granite & Marble Group (European) and Marva, divisions of Trajus Surfaces.

Founded in 1990, European proudly supports architects, interior designers, developers, contractors and homeowners seeking versatile and unique solutions for projects. Starting in June 2021, Vadara quartz will be available in European’s New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania territories.

“The duo partnership is exciting for Marva and European. We are thrilled to offer such high-grade and beautiful quartz to our clientele,” stated Mario Persico, president of Trajus Surfaces.

With more than 30 years of industry service, Marva is well-positioned for this exclusive partnership. The company uses in-house fabricators to ensure slabs are refinished to the standard their clientele have come to expect. The distributor will offer Vadara quartz in its Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia territories, effective June 2021.

You may also be interested in this article: NKBA Announces Premiere of “Luxury Defined” Kitchen Summit

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GSF Stacy

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Natural Stone Institute Completes 36th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

Posted on 09 June 2021 by cradmin4

The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its 36th home with the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program builds 100 percent mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. Natural stone and fabrication for U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy and his family in Poway, Calif. were provided by Arizona Tile and Tony Sciarrino Stone. 

Soon after Kenton and his wife, Lindsey, were married Kenton joined the U.S. Navy. On November 19, 2017, while serving in Syria, Kenton was severely injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). As a result of the blast, Kenton became a quadriplegic, was blinded in his left eye and developed issues with speech. Kenton has undergone extensive rehabilitation in several facilities including the TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas. Kenton has received numerous awards for his service including a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star Medal and three Navy Achievement Medals. He is proud to have been named the 2010 USO Sailor of the Year. 

The Stacy’s have four children, Logan, Mason, Annabelle and Sadie. Lindsey serves as the primary caretaker for Logan, who has special needs. A specially adapted smart home will significantly improve Kenton’s quality of life as well as provide assistance for Lindsey and their family.

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

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NKBA Luxury Summit

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NKBA Announces Premiere of “Luxury Defined” Kitchen Summit

Posted on 08 June 2021 by cradmin

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the authority on kitchen and bath design, trends, market and business insights, announced its first-ever Luxury Kitchen Summit to be held virtually June 23-24, 2021. The summit will feature top NKBA designers (serving the luxury market) and industry experts who will explore the meaning of luxury today, how to work with high net-worth clients, key style elements of elevated living, the path to becoming a luxury designer and much more.

“One of the most interesting trends in the last couple of years has been the shift in what luxury has come to mean, that it’s not just about how much money someone spends,” said Suzie Williford, EVP and chief strategy officer of NKBA, who will host the two-day Luxury Defined kitchen summit. “What we found in our recent luxury kitchen study is that the uber high-end clientele, the 0.1 percent if you like, equates luxury with freedom from design rules and it’s a very personalized experience that is unique and customized for their needs. You can see examples of this in our recently published book, The Luxury Kitchen, which showcases the distinctive kitchens by the designers who participated in our study.”

The conference programming will take a deep dive into the following topics, exploring the nuances of language, style, timing and approach:

  • Luxury Clients: Who Are They?
  • The Luxury Client/Designer Relationship Explained
  • The Modern Luxury Kitchen: Designing Without Rules
  • Luxury Clients: How Do They Think?
  • The Role of Marketing/PR in Developing Your Niche
  • Luxury — What It Is… and What It Isn’t

The NKBA and Renovation Angel established a strategic partnership in 2019 with a goal of recognizing designers and brands who support the concept of recycling and upcycling kitchen components. The 2021 awards will be presented at the close of day 1 of the NKBA Luxury Kitchen Summit.

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

Photo credit: Aldeca Productions/Adobe Stock

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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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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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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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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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