Norman Stone, founder of Top Tile and Halstead and father of HMTX CEO Harlan Stone, died September 13 at the age of 90.

In 1912, Norman’s grandfather began a building materials distributorship in upstate New York. Looking to expand his opportunities, in 1958, Norman rented a small building in Latham, New York, which would become the first of 35 Top Tile stores in upstate New York, western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Top Tile sold mainly hard surface flooring, such as ceramic and vinyl tile.

By the mid 1960s, Norman was traveling to Japan and the Far East in search of products that could give him an advantage in the marketplace. His first LVT endeavor was in Taiwan, where the Formosa Plastics Company was creating a variety of polymer materials and finished products, including some very basic vinyl composition tiles. By the 1970s, he had convinced several of the Formosa employees to leave the company and join him to form the first laminated vinyl tile plant which was in Taiwan—LVT originally stood for laminated vinyl tile rather than luxury vinyl tile. Part of his success in the development of this category in Asia was due to immersion into the culture - quickly learning to speak fluent Japanese.

Ultimately, Norman’s business absorbed the family’s distribution business and laid the foundation for Halstead and Metroflor, leading suppliers of LVT and commercial sheet flooring, as well as Teknoflor, the focused health-care and institutional brand, the Aspecta global contract brand for architects and designers, and Vertex, the supply-chain foundation of the HMTX family of companies that serves customers outside North America. Today, HMTX is an $800+ million company and a leading supplier to the global LVT market.

“My brother Peter and I mourn the loss of our beloved father and are proud to carry on his legacy of innovation, honesty, integrity and entrepreneurship,” said Harlan. “He was a true visionary in our industry and inspired many around the world. His fearless leadership has brought us forward to what HMTX is in the flooring industry today. We learned so much from him over the years, including kindness, generosity and compassion. He will be sorely missed in this world.”

Norman was a graduate of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School. 

A memorial to honor Norman’s life will be held at a future date. Memorial gifts can be made to support the Alissa Reiner McCreary Professorship in BRCA Excellence at Penn Medicine’s Basser Center for BRCA. Visit