In the News – Daltile Interior Design Scholarship Now Open for Submissions

In the News – Daltile Interior Design Scholarship Now Open for Submissions

The sixth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, presented by the ASID Foundation, is now open for submissions. The competition, which will award $27,500 in scholarships, will challenge students to reimagine the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center, located in Washington, D.C.

Once again, the competition will honor the grand prizewinner with a $10,000 scholarship, three runners-up with $2,500 scholarships, and the school or university with the most student submissions with a $10,000 grant.

For the 2017 competition, students will be asked to evaluate the Innovation Center and identify areas of opportunity. Using Daltile products, students will redesign the space to incorporate Fitwel components, a future-looking building certification focused on occupant and community well-being, creating a stimulating and comfortable space for employees. Additionally, students are required to keep their design within a budget, a challenge that is similar to what they will face once they enter their professional career.

New this year, the winning student will be invited to pitch his or her design to the Innovation Center design team, OTJ Architects, and Booz Allen Hamilton representatives. Based on this pitch, elements of the winning design will be considered for implementation into the existing Innovation Center space.

The 2016 competition received more than 120 entries. Kristina Tribell of The Art Institute of Houston was announced as the $10,000 grand prizewinner during NeoCon East 2016 in Philadelphia. Tribell’s winning submission redesigned the Hyatt Regency Houston by incorporating biophilic design principles as a part of the 2016 “Design Inspired by Nature” theme.

The 2017 contest will run until September 30, with the final winner being announced at the Daltile Philadelphia Design Studio during NeoCon East 2017 in Philadelphia. For more information about the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, please visit

For more information visit Floor Daily

In the News – Construction Trades Gain In Popularity With College Students

In the News – Construction Trades Gain In Popularity With College Students

Labor shortages are the bane of the housing industry, one of the roots of high home prices and the lack of new construction. Colleges, however, are starting to get more students involved with the trades.

According to US News & World Report, construction trades had the largest percentage increase in enrollment at four-year institutions over the last year. A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center indicated that national undergraduate enrollment in trades grew 26 percent, from 7,659 in spring 2016, to nearly 10,000 this spring.

In this case, construction trades include subjects from carpentry to management.

Though the rise is small (US News points out that 1.5 million undergraduates studied in business programs in 2017), institutions are giving more attention to construction classes.

There were 60 baccalaureate degree programs for construction management that were accredited by the ACCE in 2006; by the 2015-2016 school year, there were 73 accredited programs. … At University of Washington, which has an accredited program, construction management students take courses in physics, business law and accounting, among other subjects.

Get more information from Professional Builder

In the News – Consumer Prices Ticked Up 0.1% in July

In the News – Consumer Prices Ticked Up 0.1% in July

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 1.7%.

The indexes for shelter, medical care, and food all rose in July, leading to the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index. The energy index declined slightly in July, with its major component indexes mixed. The index for natural gas declined, while the electricity index rose and the gasoline index was unchanged. The food index increased 0.2%, with the indexes for food at home and food away from home both rising.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1%, the fourth month in a row it increased by that amount. The indexes for shelter, medical care, recreation, apparel, motor vehicle insurance, and airline fares all rose in July. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for new vehicles, communication, used cars and trucks, and household furnishings and operations.

The all items index rose 1.7% for the 12 months ending July, a slightly larger increase than for the 12 months ending June. The index for all items less food and energy also rose 1.7% for the 12 month period, the same increase as for the 12 months ending May and June. The energy index rose 3.4% over the last year, while the food index increased 1.1%.

Read more information here Floor Daily

In the News – Crossville Earns ANSI Compliance on Its Laminam Gauged Porcelain

In the News – Crossville Earns ANSI Compliance on Its Laminam Gauged Porcelain

Officials with Crossville, Inc. has announced that its Laminam by Crossville gauged porcelain tile panels are compliant with ANSI A137.3 standards. All collections in the full Laminam by Crossville catalog exceed the product performance measures defined in the ANSI standard.

According to Noah Chitty, Crossville’s director of technical services, the company sought the compliance not only to bolster the reputation of its own product lines but also support the burgeoning gauged porcelain tile panel category in the U.S. market.

In addition to its focus on product standards, Crossville has also joined with other industry leaders in the development of the ANSI installation standard (ANSI A108.19) for gauged porcelain tile panels. The installation standard provides consistency in methodology–essential as more and more installers start training with these large tile panels. The installation standard defines the practices that will produce consistent outcomes when employed correctly, resulting in applications of the gauged porcelain tile panels that perform to expectation.

Chitty explains that the ANSI standards are essential in conveying gauged porcelain tile panels’ value proposition to specifiers who must be mindful of quality and cost when selecting materials.

The attaining of ANSI A137.3 is just the latest in Crossville’s longstanding commitment to the gauged porcelain tile panel category. The company was the first in the U.S. to add a complete line of products through its exclusive Laminam distribution agreement. In the years following, the company has created and hosted installation training programs that have resulted in hundreds of installers gaining the know-how to work with the products. Likewise, Crossville offers educational programs and resources for designers and specifiers so that they can use the creative solutions of gauged porcelain tile panels in commercial and residential projects.

Find out more information at Floor Daily

In the News – Join us at Total Solutions Plus 2017 in Washington, DC to network and learn from each other

In the News – Join us at Total Solutions Plus 2017 in Washington, DC to network and learn from each other

Total Solutions Plus is the event that leaders in the ceramic tile industry don’t miss!
TSP brings manufacturers, distributors, contractors, retailers and others together to network with each other; learn from professional and industry presentations and enjoy each others company by participating is various social events. Don’t miss out on the best industry event of the year – register today!
Out Nation’s Capital is the backdrop to the 8th Annual Total Solutions Plus. The Washington Marriott Wardman Park is in a charming neighborhood in the heart of Washington, DC filled with amazing restaurants and quaint shops. Enjoy the funky stores and ethnic cuisine of Adams Morgan, the exciting night life of Dupont Circle or the animals at the National Zoo, all walking distance from the hotel. With a Metro stop (Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan (Red Line)) just outside the doors you are just two Metro stops from everything DC has to offer.
 or call 877-212-5752; please indicate that you are attending Total Solutions Plus to receive the discounted room rates.
If you have any questions, please contact CTDA at 630-545-9415 or
Find out more information at CTDA

In the News – Americans grow more pessimistic about their financial future

In the News – Americans grow more pessimistic about their financial future

Economist explains why consumer confidence measures don’t match up

Consumers grew less optimistic in their future this July, however confidence levels remain historically high, according to the Survey of Consumers conducted by the University of Michigan.

One expert predicted consumer sentiment would decrease in July, and explained what that would mean for the economy.

“If Friday’s Consumer Sentiment Index comes in lower again, it’s underscoring people don’t have extra money to spend now, and are pessimistic about the future,” said Robert Frick, Navy Federal Credit Union corporate economist. “And right now, that index is a good measure of the key number in today’s economy: wage growth.”

The Index of Consumer Sentiment fell 1.8% from 95.1 last month’s 95.1 to 93.4 in July. This is up 3.8% from last year’s 90.

“The overall Sentiment Index has declined by 5.1 index-points since the January peak, which was the highest figure in a dozen years,” Survey of Consumers Chief Economist Richard Curtin said. “The relatively small decline still left the Sentiment Index higher in the first seven months of 2017 than in any other year since 2004.”

“The size of the decline was tempered by record favorable views of Current Economic Conditions, which rose to its highest level since July of 2005,” Curtin said. “These gains were mainly due to improvements in consumers’ personal finances.”

An article by Jill Mislinski for Advisor Perspectives explains what this means historically:

The Michigan average since its inception is 85.4. During non-recessionary years the average is 87.6. The average during the five recessions is 69.3.

The Current Economic Conditions index increased to 113.4 in July. This is up 0.8% from last month’s 112.5 and up 4% from 109 last year.

The Index of Consumer Expectations, however, decreased 4.1% from last month’s 83.9 to 80.5 in July. This is up 3.5% from 77.8 last year.

“At the same time, consumers expressed less optimism about future prospects for the overall economy and for their own personal finances,” Curtin said. “If it [the index] continues to decline by another 10 points in the second half of 2017, the loss would become more worrisome.”

“Moreover, while current conditions were judged strictly on the performance of the economy, expectations continue to be significantly influenced by partisanship: the difference on the Expectations Index between Democrats and Republicans was 45 Index-points; among Independents, in contrast, the Expectations Index was exactly equal to the weighted difference between the partisan extremes, 80.5,” he said. “Importantly, the partisan gap has narrowed in the past six months, mostly due to Republicans tempering their optimism.”

Curtin explained that while the recent declines among Republicans were somewhat predictable, the maintenance of extreme pessimism among Democrats is more surprising.

But while the University of Michigan’s index has shown a decline over the past seven months, consumer confidence measured by The Conference Board by Nielsen currently stands at its 16-year high.

“People often confuse the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index,” Frick said. “The Consumer Confidence survey is more job-centric.”

“Since the U.S. employment situation is good, and getting better, we see Consumer Confidence rising,” he said. “The Consumer Sentiment Index doesn’t ask about jobs. It’s more about how well-off consumers are right now and how they expect they’ll be in the future.”

Get more information at Housing Wire

In the News – Solid Housing Growth From a Year Ago

In the News – Solid Housing Growth From a Year Ago

New home construction and sales continue to expand along the post-recession trend. Despite a slight decline in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for July, total housing starts bounced back in June, increasing to an annual rate of 1.215 million. On a year-to-date basis, single-family starts are now 8% higher than last year, while multifamily construction is down 5%.
New home sales posted only a small gain of 0.8% in June. However, compared to this time last year, sales are up nearly 9%. In contrast, NAR reports existing homes sales in June fell 1.8% from the previous month, and are roughly flat compared to June 2016.
For the 25th consecutive month, existing home inventory fell and continues to spur increases in home prices. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index grew 2.6% in May — the slowest in the last 11 months, though still faster than income growth.