The message of Surfaces 2011, held recently at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, was perseverance. This was underscored by the keynote presentation by author and outdoorsman Aron Ralston.
He talked about his harrowing experience in the Utah canyonlands that tested his endurance and resources for nearly six days, before he made a drastic decision to free himself. “I gained an understanding of my life and my values. … If you can be in touch with what is most important to you, anything is possible,” he told a riveted audience.
Making selling systems easier for retailers is also important, said Cindy Thornton, USA marketing manager for Alloc/Berry Floor. “We’re streamlining our marketing approach, offering single displays to be as user-friendly as possible.”
Luigi Di Geso, MAPEI Americas’ president and ceo, outlined his company’s goals for producing and developing products that can be used toward LEED certification. “Loyalty has to be proven. We are determined to lead our industry through measurable sustainable actions,” he said. As part of its commitment to the Global ReLeaf program with American Forests, MAPEI presented a check for $24,296 to American Forests’ Margo Dawley.
In honor of its 25th anniversary, Crossville introduced a range of new products. Its Color by Numbers wall tile program includes 16 colors, with coordinating wall paint from Benjamin Moore’s Aura line, and floor tile from its Color Blox Collection. Visitors were also given a sneak peak of Ebb & Flow, a series that will officially launch later this year. The company also expanded its Color Blox EC series to 20 colors, with SCS-certified recycled content.
Custom Building Products launched CEG-Lite Commercial 100% Solids Epoxy Grout. The non-sag formulation exceeds ANSI A118.3 and contains recycled material that can earn LEED certification points, according to the company.
Along with revealing a new company look, Eleganza unveiled several new collections featuring digital technology, including: Digiquartz, Digislate, Fusion, Groove, Metallica Lite, and Slimtech.
USG unveiled its new USG Tile and Flooring app that provides installation videos, product information, a materials estimator, a photo-sharing feature, and quick links to USG customer service or technical service departments.
Surfaces/StonExpo continued the show’s long-running tradition of installation training, with a wide variety of installation-related panel discussions and demonstrations throughout the show.
Kicking things off on Jan. 25, Dan Westcott and Jack Dean of INSTALL presented a one-hour session on the importance of installation certification.
Later that day,FCIcolumnist Jon Namba hosted a panel discussion on “Common Causes and Corrections for Installation Failures.” Panelists included Gerald Sloan, National Tile Contractors Association technical director; Don Conner, National Wood Flooring Association; and Jim Walker, founder and ceo of International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI).
“Surfaces and the vendors did an outstanding job by putting together a lot more live demos on how their product was to be installed, along with new product demos. It made me feel that the show was not just for retailers but everyone in the industry,” added installer Roland Thompson.
“Surfaces is always a great show because of the people involved,” Walker noted. “The seminars were well attended and I heard from those who visited with us at the CFI booth that they greatly appreciated the opportunity to attend them at no cost. There’s enough education at this event to assist everyone for the year ahead.”
“This was one of the best shows that I have attended as I was able to meet with many individuals and companies that work with CFI,” said Bob Gillespie, past president of CFI. “It is the time of year that we have the opportunity to meet our suppliers face-to-face and say thanks.”
Surfaces 2012 will be held Jan. 24-26, 2012 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, in Las Vegas.