Sept 23: UK Top Indian tile brands set for UKCW on 3rd Oct

Taking place between 3rd and 5th October at NEC, Birmingham, UKCW is the UK’s largest construction exhibition. This year, 14 Indian tile brands are taking part.  The Indian pavilion, sponsored by Capexil, will feature Claystone, Keravit, Krevon, Livenza, Livolla, Lizzart, Millennium Tiles, Orinda, Ratan Jyat, Sairam, Segam, Setmax, Siscon, and Sonex.  You can expect to see a whole array of new ceramic and porcelain wall and floor tiles; plus full body exterior-grade 20mm porcelain, and XXL porcelain slabs.

The event is being co-ordinated by Rajnish Sinha from Orange Marcom.  It forms a key part of Media 10’s ongoing support for, and promotion of, the ceramic tile sector in the UK.  Qualified UKCW attendees who visit the Indian pavilion may even be eligible for an all-expenses-paid tour of India’s ceramic tile hub in Morbi in early 2024.  Details of this trip will be available at the show.

Sign up at to have access to the Indian tile pavilion, plus over 300 exhibiting brands, and more than 400 speakers; as well as Future Lab, live interactive demos, a stimulating Robotics Theatre, and much more.

Joe Simpson, founder of will be available on the Indian pavilion for the three days of UK Construction Week to answer any queries and facilitate introductions.

Sept 23: UK Wren Kitchens targets contract business
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KBB retail chain Wren Kitchens has taken its first steps to supply the developer and house-builder market, accoridng to a recent report in KBB Review. The new division, being referred to as Wren Contract Kitchens, aims to offer developers affordable luxury products with what it claims are “best-in-class lead times”.

Damien Sheridan, the new Sales Director for Wren Contract Kitchens, said: “Wren’s entry into the contract market is hugely exciting. The sheer scale, reputation and capability of the business is more than impressive, and the sustainable but significant growth that Wren has realised on the retail side demonstrates we have the infrastructure and scope to become a serious contender in the contracts space.”

“The quality and affordability of the products, the passion, foresight and capabilities of the Wren people, supported by best-in-class lead times and award-winning in-house delivery processes, means that the Wren offering will be as irresistible to the developer and housebuilder customers as it is to the retail customer.”


Sept 23: France Polycor acquires French stone company Rocamat

The Polycor Group, with more than 80 quarries and 24 processing plants across the USA, Canada, and France, has completed the acquisition of French limestone company Rocamat. Founded in 1853, Rocamat employs 160 people, and operates 30 quarries and four processing plants in France. Polycor is a member of Stone Federation Great Britain.

Polycor’s President and CEO, Patrick Perus, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rocamat into the Polycor family. They are an esteemed flagship of our industry whose stones grace some of the most prestigious buildings in the world.  Acquiring Rocamat not only allows us to inherit the exceptional expertise and know-how of its employees but also bolsters our mission of restoring natural stone to its former glory, which is the driving force behind everything we do.”

“The buildings of the future demand a departure from short-lived and environmentally harmful materials, prioritising the longevity of infrastructures. Natural stone, owing to its exceptional durability and low carbon footprint, rightfully emerges as a central component in eco-conscious and sustainable construction – an area where Verrecchia have already established a strong presence,” stated Perus.


Sept 23: USA AHF Products introduce Bruce Comfortstone

AHF Products has introduced Bruce Comfortstone engineered stone tile, featuring the look of natural stone and ceramic. Made with a durable composite material made primarily of crushed limestone, Comfortstone is an innovative alternative to natural stone.

“We call it premium engineered stone, a category unto itself,” said Yon Hinkle, vice president-resilient, AHF. “The raw beauty of natural stone flooring presents a look that never goes out of style. This collection captures the textures and vibrant color depths found in authentic stone flooring, and with grout it is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.”

Like stone and ceramic, Comfortstone is very durable. The comoany says that Comfortstone tiles are warmer to the touch and more comfortable underfoot. Easy to maintain, the waterproof tiles feature an easy-to-clean surface that repels stains.

Comfortstone offers high performance, an affordable price point, strong aesthetics, and American manufacturing. The product is designed and printed in Pennsylvania, and the stone is quarried and assembled in Illinois.


Aug 23: Germany Steuler Tile Group files for insolvency

Steuler Tile Group AG has filed an application for insolvency under self-administration at the Bremen District Court. The aim is to restructure the group of companies to safeguard their existence and the employees jobs.

“We are there for our customers and suppliers with the usual reliability and trust that they will support us during this challenging phase. I am confident that we as a group of companies will be more efficient than ever at the beginning of 2024,” stated Director, Peter Wilson. “The self-administration procedure that we are striving for is something completely different than a so-called standard insolvency. The continued existence of the company is the clear goal of everyone involved,” noted Wilson.

The Steuler Tile Group manufactures wall and floor tiles for the German market and selected export markets. With a production volume of 16 million sq. metres per annum, the Steuler Tile Group AG is one of the largest tile manufacturers in Europe. The Norddeutsche Steingut, Nordceram, Steuler-Fliesen, and Kerateam brands form the core business of the company. Production takes place almost exclusively in Germany at Mühlacker, Bremerhaven, and Leisnig. The Steuler tile group employs a total of around 650 people.

“Since we need significantly more new living space in Germany than is currently being built, we assume that the current market weakness is temporary. In our opinion, energy prices are also currently developing in such a way that from 2024 they will no longer play a decisive role in competition,” says Alexander Lakos , CEO.

Aug 23: UK Victoria announces annual results

The auditors for Victoria plc, the international designers, manufacturers and distributors of innovative flooring, have requested further time to complete their final audit procedures. As a result Victoria has decided to announce key numbers from its preliminary unaudited results for the year ended 1st April 2023, the Company’s tenth consecutive year of revenue and underlying profit growth.

For the first time in the Company’s history, the total volume of flooring sold in FY2023 exceed 200 million sq. metres, generating record revenues of £1.46 billion.

Commenting on FY2024 Outlook and beyond, Geoff Wilding, Executive Chairman, said: “With all major integration projects in their final stages, we expect FY2024 to be a year of two halves, with stronger H2 earnings as the benefits of the reorganisation are experienced.  Completion of the projects is also expected to result in Victoria’s free cash flow increasing sharply from H2 FY2024, with management focussed on returning to our long-run average cash conversion of EBITDA to Net Free Cash Flow of 55%*.  Further ahead, FY2025 will see the full benefit of the successful acquisitions’ integration with an expected uplift in margins driving an additional increase in earnings and free cash flow.”

“Victoria benefits greatly from being in a long-duration, steady growth industry that will drive compounding organic growth for decades. After making two-dozen careful acquisitions over the last 10 years we have now achieved a scale that, once we have completed the current integration projects, will result in higher productivity, more efficient logistics, wider distribution, and lower input costs than almost all our competitors. Coupling this scale advantage with the underlying sectoral tailwinds will, the Board believes, deliver outsized returns for our shareholders for a very long time.”

Saloni Ceramica. With the investment Victoria has made in production technology in Spain over the last three years, we have been able to close the Saloni factory and consolidate production onto the very large Keraben and Ibero site. This move occurred ahead of schedule and was completed during March 2023. The Saloni brand continues, with the roll-out of high-end showrooms and social media presence supporting a renewed focus on the Architect & Design market.

(iii)       Graniser, Victoria’s low-cost Turkish ceramics producer, has two integration projects in progress:
a.   Reorganisation and integration with Victoria’s Spanish and Italian factories – increasing spare annual production capacity at Graniser to 8 million sqm.
b.   Investment in new printers and packaging lines alongside integration into Victoria’s existing ceramics distribution network to increase higher-margin export revenue.

Aug 23: UK UK Construction takes a slight upturn

July data signalled a renewed expansion of overall construction output, following the marginal decline seen during the previous month. This was led by the strongest rise in commercial building since February and another solid contribution to growth from civil engineering activity. Meanwhile, latest data signalled another sharp reduction in residential construction activity.

The headline S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 51.7 in July, up from 48.9 in June and the highest level for five months. However, the latest reading signalled only a moderate rise in overall construction output. Robust increases in commercial building (index at 54.4) and civil engineering (53.9) were offset by a steep fall in house building (43.0). Lower volumes of residential work have now been recorded for eight consecutive months, although the rate of decline eased to its least marked since April.

Construction companies noted that rising borrowing costs had led to fewer sales enquiries and slower decision-making among clients in July. The latest survey pointed to only a marginal rise in total new work and the rate of growth was slower than seen on average in the first half of 2023. Some firms cited solid demand for refurbishment projects and greater opportunities for infrastructure work. Staff hiring was a relatively bright spot in July, with the pace of job creation accelerating to its strongest since October 2022.

Higher levels of employment have now been recorded in Purchasing activity has now decreased in each of the past two months, which reflected destocking efforts alongside subdued order books. A combination of lower demand and rising material availability contributed to a sharp improvement in supplier performance. Latest data illustrated that lead times shortened to the greatest extent for nearly fourteen-and-a-half years.

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Aug 23: UK Marshalls issues profit warning

Hard landscaping and building products leader Marshalls issued a profit warning ahead of the publication of its interim report. At the same time it announced the closure of its concrete products factory in Carluke, Scotland, and a reduction in shifts and capacity at other sites. The Marshalls commercial team has also been restructured. The changes are expected to result in 250 job losses. This is on top of 150 jobs cut in the second half of 2022.

The Board says Group revenue is likely to be 13% down in the first six months of this year compared with 2022. Profit is likely to be 27% down at £33 million.

The warning has been delivered against the backdrop of challenging market conditions with persistent weakness in new build housing and private housing RMI (repair, maintenance, improvement), which are key end markets for Marshalls.

Marshalls Landscape Products has continued to experience tough market conditions due to its exposure to new build housing and the more discretionary elements of private housing RMI. Revenue for the period was down 20% on last year at £174 million.

Marshalls Building Products delivered a more resilient performance, supported by demand for bricks, masonry and mortars, offset by weaker volumes in drainage and aggregates, again relating to the lower number of new housing starts. Revenue for the period was £87million, down 9% on 2022. 


Aug 23: Germany Porcelain worktops set to grow 46% by 2030

A recent news story by Eric Bignell in Natural Stone Specialist says that by 2030 hard surfaces (natural stone / engineered quartz / porcelain) will have taken over from laminates as the largest product category in the worktop market. Basing his story on a recent German report, Bignell states that porcelain will play a major part in hard surfaces taking an ever larger slice of the worktop market.

The new report from Germany, called Worktops in Europe – TOP 10 Countries in comparison from 2017 to 2030, is available in German and English. The UK is included as one of the top 10 countries. The report says that with 56.4% of the market, hard surfaces will far exceeded laminate sales by 2030. Laminates are forecast to be just 33.2% of the market by then. Porcelain will achieve the highest growth from 2022 to 2030, with sales increasing by 46%.

The Worktops in Europe report contains 552 pages with 296 tables and graphics. It is priced at €5,000 plus VAT. 


The report can be ordered from:

July 23: USA Mohawk unveils mixed Q2 results

Mohawk Industries has announced second quarter 2023 net earnings of $101 million, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.58. Adjusted net earnings were $176 million, and adjusted EPS was $2.76, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges.

Net sales for the second quarter of 2023 were $3.0 billion, a decrease of 6.4% as reported and 9.6% on a legacy and constant currency and days basis versus the prior year. For the second quarter of 2022, net sales were $3.2 billion, net earnings were $280 million and EPS was $4.40. Adjusted net earnings were $281 million, and adjusted EPS was $4.41, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges.

For the six-month period ending 1st July 2023, net earnings and EPS were $181 million and $2.84, respectively. Adjusted net earnings were $288 million, and adjusted EPS was $4.51, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges. For the first six months of 2023, net sales were $5.8 billion, a decrease of 6.7% as reported and 9.0% on a legacy and constant currency and days basis versus the prior year. For the six-month period ending July 2, 2022, net sales were $6.2 billion, net earnings were $526 million and EPS was $8.17; adjusted net earnings were $527 million, and adjusted EPS was $8.18, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges.

Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Chairman and CEO, stated, “Our margins across the enterprise expanded sequentially due to seasonal improvements, increased production, productivity initiatives and lower input costs. We generated $147 million of free cash flow during the quarter, further strengthening our financial position.”

“For the second quarter, the Global Ceramic Segment reported a 0.3% decline in net sales as reported, or a 6.7% decline on a legacy and constant currency and days basis. The Segment’s operating margin was 7.3% as reported, or 8.6% on an adjusted basis, as a result of higher inflation, lower volumes and temporary shutdowns, partially offset by productivity gains and favorable pricing and product mix. Our U.S. ceramic business benefited from a greater participation in the commercial and new construction channels, enhanced designs and more consistent service. We are introducing higher styled products to improve our mix and are focusing on stronger sales channels. We have expanded our customer base, which is helping to offset the weakness in residential remodeling.”

“In our European ceramic business, volumes in the quarter improved sequentially, and our results benefited from sales of premium residential collections, commercial products and exports. We are adjusting to the changing environment and using promotional activities to deliver additional sales volume. As the integration of our acquisitions in Brazil and Mexico proceed, we are realigning the organizations, defining new sales and product strategies and executing cost reductions. The synergies we are realizing are partially offsetting the weakening market conditions, and we have begun to leverage sales of our total product portfolio to expand our distribution.”

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July 23: USA – Spain Ceramic cooling system collaboration

Gres Aragón is collaborating with Harvard University on the USA on a new ceramic cooling system that uses ceramic tiles with a special coating to cool indoor spaces through water evaporation.  According to the preliminary data, in certain climates and operating conditions, this technology uses up to 75% less energy than conventional air-conditioning units.

This data was generated in the laboratories of Harvard University’s Wyss Institute. The researchers fitted a device to HouseZero, on Harvard University campus, to validate the results in real-world conditions.  The system, known as cSNAP, works with evaporative cooling technology, developed thanks to the participation of a multidisciplinary team of scientists and designers from Wyss Institute, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC), in collaboration with Gres Aragón-Faveker, which was responsible for designing and manufacturing the ceramic tiles.

cSNAP is a long-lasting, low-cost, low-energy evaporative cooling system that can work efficiently in hot, humid climates. In the future, this far eco-friendlier option could replace conventional air-conditioning units that work with vapour-compression refrigeration systems. 

Because this system is much more economical and it only needs water to work instead of liquid refrigerants, it can be used in developing countries where conventional refrigeration systems are ruled out due to their high cost. 

This technology works with ceramic tiles coated in a nanoscale hydrophobic material which cools the air without raising humidity levels. The innovative specially designed ceramic tile and combined coating isolate incoming hot air from outgoing wet air, allowing the hot air to be cooled by circulating water without adding humidity to the inside of the building. 

The ceramic tiles are differently formulated from conventional ceramic materials in order to meet the requirements of the system. They are designed so that the coating and air flow are distributed across the whole surface so as to maximize their energy efficiency.

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July 23: UK Two new TTA Technical Masterclasses announced

The Tile Association’s next Technical Masterclasses are taking place on Tuesday 19th September 2023 at TTA HQ, The Mount, 43 Stafford Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0HG. There will be two courses held on the day. The Design and Construction Process for Swimming Pools in the morning, and The Cleaning and Maintenance of Ceramic Tiles in the afternoon. Both courses will be presented by David Rowley, Chairman of TTA Training Committee.

Technical Masterclasses are aimed at every level of tiler to enhance their understanding and competence regarding the topic. Masterclasses will run from 10:00am and will be delivered by expert instructors. Upon completion of a TTA Technical Masterclass, attendees will receive a certificate and a copy of the relevant Technical Publication. All participants are required to bring their own PPE. Prices are TTA Member – £50 + VAT, rising to Non-Member – £150 + VAT for non-members.


July 23: Italy Italcer eyes up 8th acquisition in 6 years

The Italcer Group, one of Italy’s leading manufacturers of ceramic floor/wall tiles and bathroom furnishings, has begun the process of acquiring Terratinta, the high end surfaces specialist based in Fiorano Modenese, Italy. Luca Migliorini, CEO (above left) and shareholder of Terratinta, will reinvest part of the proceeds of the sale in Italcer shares, becoming a shareholder together with Graziano Verdi, group CEO and founder.

This confirms Italcer Group’s position among the leaders in the ceramic industry, with an expected turnover for 2023 approaching Euro 400 million. The deal is expected to be finalised immediately after the summer, once the due diligence process has terminated and the sales agreement has been completed. This acquisition is the eighth completed, in a period of six years, by the Group headed by Graziano Verdi (above right).

The purchase of Terratinta Group follow that of La Fabbrica, Elios, Devon&Devon, Rondine, Cedir, Equipe and, most recentl,y Fondovalle. With Terratinta, Italcer significantly enhances its product range, and is now able to count on four additional brands (Terratinta Ceramiche, Ceramica Magica, Sartoria and Micro) and thus cater to different high-end segments.

With this operation, Italcer strengthens its position at the top of a sector in which Italy is itself a world leader, confirming its desire to create an Italian design hub made up of high-end ceramic companies. Behind these M&A operations is the underlying desire to create a Design Surfaces hub and to activate significant synergies at production and commercial level in an industry which, although highly competitive at global level, was until only a few years ago still characterised by strong fragmentation. And all this with focus on innovation and design, attention to the environment and people.

Italcer employs about 1,100 people, and has 15,000 customers worldwide. More at:

July 23: UK BEWI is Jackoboard’s new parent company

BEWI, the UK producer of EPS construction products, has become the parent company of the tile backerboard and construction systems brands JACKOBOARD, THERMOMUR and JACKODUR. This follows the merger between JACKON and BEWI in Oct 20223.

Commercial sales across all brands and the Lancashire site, continue to be headed up by Michael Hailwood, Director. External contacts within the commercial team continue as before – Glenn Kiely, Miguel Jaen, Richard Douglas, Mike McCann, Martin Harragan and Scott Hatton, supported by Sara Hopkins and Andy Heathfield.

“The synergy between our brands and the established BEWI philosophy is very strong, enabling us to take them on to the next stage, as BEWI opens up the possibility of many new and exciting developments in the near future,” says Hailwood.

T: 01204 221089

July 23: UK New build construction output slumps

New-build construction work in May fell to its lowest level in almost a year, reports Building, in the wake of falling private housing and commercial workloads. According to the latest official figures, monthly new-build output dropped 0.4% on April, pushing seasonally adjusted construction output overall – including repair and maintenance work (R&M) – down 0.2%, with £15.4bn of work done in the month. For new-build construction alone, the £9.16bn of work carried out was the lowest figure reported in the dataset since June last year, when £9.09bn of new-build work was carried out.

The drivers of the decline were a £51m fall in private housebuilding work in the month, equivalent to a 1.6% drop, and a £32m fall in private commercial work. These falls were partially offset by a big rise in infrastructure build work, up £35m. The housing output figure is 14.6% below the equivalent monthly number from May last year.

The decline in housebuilding work comes amid growing concerns over the impact of rising interest rates on the sector, with Barratt predicting a near 25% drop in output over the coming year, and purchasing managers reporting seven months of declining activity already in the sector.

R&M work was flat on the month, with £1m less work carried out in May than in April. In total, four out of the nine sectors across new-build and R&M recorded declines in output. However, despite the drop in May which included the additional bank holiday for the coronation of King Charles, the amount of work carried out in the three months to May was still slightly up on the prior three-month period, registering a 0.2% rise.

Building reported that Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said that the drop in output from housing was likely to get worse, given that the figures represented a period in which mortgage rates were lower and the market looked like it was modestly recovering.


July 23: Italy Slowdown affects Italian tile sector

Italy’s tile industry hit record revenues of 7.2 billion euros in 2022 (up 16.5% on 2021), with sales volumes of 449 million sqm (down 1.4%); but momentum has slowed in first quarter of 2023, with 25% drop in export volumes.

This is the picture that emerges from the Confindustria Ceramica National Statistical Survey presented at the Annual Members’ Meeting on 14th June. It confirms the leading role played by the tile sector, which – with revenues of 7.2 billion euros – accounts for 83% of the industry’s total turnover. As anticipated in forecasts drawn up last December, the results achieved by Italy’s 128 manufacturers of ceramic tiles and large-format panels in 2022 show that the volumes produced and sold remained broadly unchanged, while revenues rose significantly.  Production amounted to 431.2 million sq.m – the second highest volume since 2008 – down by just 0.9% from 435 million in 2021. Total sales – 449 million sq.m (down 1.4% on 2021) – are composed of sales on Italy’s domestic market (92.7 million sqm, up 1.7%), which is still riding the wave of a vigorous upturn in construction and renovation work, and exports, amounting to 356.2 million sqm (down 2.2% on the 2021 figure of 364 million), which are among the highest volumes recorded over the past 15 years. 

The increase in list prices in response to sky-rocketing production costs (first and foremost energy) paved the way for Italian ceramic manufacturers to close 2022 with total revenues of 7.2 billion euros (up 16.5% on the 2021 figure of 6.2 billion). The 2022 figure comprises 1.2 billion euros from the domestic market (up 25.6%) and 6 billion from exports (up 14.8%), which is also a record high.

By the end of last year, the average selling price had risen from 10.6 euros per sqm to 12.43 euros per sqm on the domestic market, and from 14.3 euros per sqm to 16.76 euros per sqm on the export market (compared to about 10 euros and 8 euros for Spanish and Turkish manufacturers respectively).
The positive results deriving from the internationalisation of production also warrant attention: foreign companies operating in Europe and North America but controlled by Italian groups have generated revenues of over 1 billion euros.

Last but not least, investment continued to rise significantly in 2022 (up 25.6% in the wake of a 73% rise in 2021), to reach 441.3 million euros, or 6.1% of the industry’s total revenues.  As forecast, the figures for the first quarter of 2023 have given a clear idea of the extent of the downturn in global demand, which had already made itself felt in the second half of the previous year.

Giovanni Savorani, Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica, observed: “After the incredible performance of the first six months of 2022, there can be no doubt that a return to lower values was predictable, even though the reason for the downturn lies mainly in the profound change in the global scenario, marked by sharply rising interest rates, stubbornly high inflation, the end of the post-lockdown spending spree and a dip in consumer confidence. Against this backdrop, international competition is becoming fiercer, and the Italian and European industry are paying close attention to ensure that all exporters, including those in India and China, apply the rules of fair trade.”

Savorani confirmed that the drop in electricity and thermal energy prices was a boon for the sector, adding that: “All the structural problems are still unresolved, such as the absence of implementing decrees to increase national gas extraction by 2 billion cubic metres for the benefit of gas-hungry industries, and a reform of the ETS that is set to increase the competitive penalties faced by EU industry.”

“Current CO2 prices, are hovering around 85 euros per tonne, up from 25 euros as recently as June 2019. Even the ‘Fit for 55’ plan, aimed at structurally reducing emissions, adversely affects the competitiveness of our sector, because our production facilities have already achieved all the possible efficiency gains, and alternative technological solutions are not currently feasible.”

Savorani confirmed that testing on the electrification of production processes is already under way, but operating costs are still very high, in the same way that producing H2 is still unaffordable in terms of the electricity it requires.


July 23: China New Pearl purchases four Sacmi Continua+ lines

Founded in 1993 and now one of the global ceramic industry’s top players with an output capacity of over 200 million sq metres per annum, the Chinese colossus New Pearl has purchased four new Sacmi Continua+ lines for installation at its plant in Sanshui, Guangdong province. The new lines (two PCR 2000’s and two PCR 2180’s) have already been shipped and will soon begin operation at the New Pearl plant in Sanshui to produce slabs and coordinating sub-sizes, reports Ceramic World Web.

A longstanding Sacmi client in the field of forming technology, New Pearl chose two PCR 2000’s and two PCR 2180’s for this latest investment in the slab segment. The second of these is capable of producing up to 21,500 sqm/day of fired and rectified surfaces with widths of up to 1800 mm. The four lines supplied by Sacmi are integrated with cutting machines and guarantee outstanding productivity, fast changeovers and ultra-flexible management of production flows for both slabs and sub-sizes.

Continua+ is also competitive in terms of sustainability and process efficiency, with less than 1.5% waste regardless of size and a specific consumption of no more than 0.05 kWh/sqm. Further advantages include its greatly reduced hydraulic oil requirements (90% less than on a discontinuous press) and the fact that it does not require foundations, allowing it to be installed even on service floors or on the second floor of buildings. The new lines are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2023, further strengthening New Pearl’s leadership and competitiveness in the large-size tile segment.

This recent installation brings the number of Continua+ lines sold by Sacmi worldwide to more than 170, including around 40 installed by leading market players in China.

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July 23: UK Isola sets up shop at London Design Festival

From 20th to 23rd September 2023 Isola – the digital and physical design platform – will bring its community of international designers, design studios, manufacturers, and creators to the UK: a significant milestone in its global expansion.  Part of the London Design Festival 2023 – – and hosted in the iconic Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf on London’s Southbank, the Material Matters’ fair – – will host Isola’s exhibition Nothing Happens if Nothing Happens in one of its floors. Material Matters is a cross-media platform aimed at designers, architects, manufacturers and makers investigating the importance of material intelligence and how materials will shape our lives over the coming decades. 

“At Isola, we have had our aim set on participating in the London Design Festival for a while. Our vision for an international network of design professionals that gather around the world, exchange ideas, and create a real community, is becoming a reality. Our global stage is expanding even more, and this debut in London will open the doors for new and exciting opportunities,” observes Gabriele Cavallaro, CEO of Isola Design Group.

Using regenerative resources, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and repurposing waste materials are the main selection criteria related to a conscious circular design approach and to Isola’s theme for this year “Nothing Happens if Nothing Happens”.

Among the first selection of designers are AbarStudio, Bongkodpast Tantipisanu, Byron, Jihyun Kim, KERAMIK, Mapurnia, MushLume Lighting, Studio Adarsh Nellore, Vaagn Mikaelyan Architects, Yuhan Bai, and Zeynep Boyan.

Colab, a purpose-built material library in the United Arab Emirates, will share its wide and innovative archive with the British audience through a dedicated space within the show.

Isola will be in London along with some of its international partners for the 2023 agenda: design studio IAMMI will collaborate with Isola’s creative director Elif Resitoglu for the exhibition design and with Italian start-up ReMat, focused on polyurethane waste recycling, for the realization of the space set-up. 

3DD Factory partners up with Isola to develop an AR app that will reproduce the products on display in the exhibition, give access to more information on the items and special interactive contents such as material info or interviews with designers, allowing users to visualize them in their homes or offices. 

Dutch venture The Good Plastic Company will supply its materials for the bar and lounge area, where several events will take place during the four-day show. 

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July 23: UK UKCW offers innovation insights

The latest innovations in the built environment will be on show at UK Construction Week. This established event aims to shine a spotlight on companies that are changing the status quo on the way we build.

Tile Addict readers can obtain free UKCW Birmingham ticket (to be held at the NEC from 3rd to 5th October) that will provide access to the evolving technologies showcased in the Future Lab, the No.1 destination that sees into the future of the evolving built environment.  The impressive line-up will include names like German Bionic, Cyanoskin, and Bergs UK.

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July 23: Spain Awards celebrate tile project excellence

The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER) announces the call for entry for the 2023 edition of the Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture, Interior Design and Final Degree Project. This year marks twenty-two years of honoring innovation in design.

Celebrating the excellence in precision and progression of ceramic craftsmanship, the Tile of Spain Awards highlights the careful consideration, meticulous installation and design enhancements of ceramic tiles, in projects, from around the world. With the awards open for entry, ASCER invites architects, designers, specifiers, installers and trade professionals, to submit their completed work for consideration in this year’s accolades. 

The jury presiding over the awards will be led by architect Carme Pinós and is made of esteemed architects and interior designers including; Inma Bermúdez, Jesús Olivares, Gracia Cardona, Susana Babiloni, Luis Rojo, José Juan Barba, Ángel Pitarch and Agnès Blanch.

The Tile of Spain Awards have a total prize fund of €35,000 (approx. $38,500), to be shared between three categories. The two main categories, Architecture and Interior Design, each have cash prizes of €15,000. The Final Degree Project award has a cash prize of €5,000. The panel of judges is also entitled to give up to two special mentions in each category.

Miguel Arraiz. Arqueha.

Project submissions from around the world will be accepted now, through Wednesday, October 18th, 2023. The awards ceremony will be held during Cevisama 2024. Visit to review entry guidelines, enter the design contest or learn more about the Tile of Spain Awards.

About the Awards
The objective of the Tile of Spain Awards is to promote the use of Spanish ceramic tiles in architecture and interior design projects (both in Spain and abroad). The program boasts a consolidated trajectory and is held in high esteem by architecture professionals. The Tile of Spain Awards offers cash prizes totaling over €35,000 that are divided among three areas. The two main categories – Architecture and Interior Design – each have a cash prize of over €15,000. Special mentions may also be made in both categories, based on the judges’ criteria. The third category, the Final Degree Project, targets students of architecture and has a cash prize of over €5,000. In all three categories, entries are welcome from both Spanish and international participants.

CAPTIONS (from top)

Interior winner 2023: Allaround. Photo: Jose Hevia.

Architecture winner 2023: Ripoll Tizon Ibiza social housing. Photo: Jose Hevia.

Architecture special mention 2023: Agora VLC. Photo: Alejaandro Gomez Vives.

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July 23: Italy Tecna dates announced by RiminiFiera

Tecna – the tile manufacturing exhibition – has announced the dates for the 2024 edition. The International Exhibition of Surface Technologies and Supplies, organised by Italian Exhitibion Group in collaboration with Acimac, will return to enliven the Rimini exhibition center from 24th to 27th September 2024.

The event, which always runs alongside Cersaie and Marmomac to attract the many international buyers already present in Italy, will allow visitors to discover the state of the art in technological solutions to produce any type of surfaces and materials. A special milestone in the run-up to Tecna 2024 was the Decortech Conference, an international conference that developed the themes of the first edition of Decortech organized at Tecna 2022, namely digital decoration, finishing and design.

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July 23: UK Topps Tiles reports 3.7% year-on-year sales growth

Topps Tiles Plc’s trading update for the 39-week period ended 1st July 2023 shows that Group sales remained strong in the third quarter, with total sales growth of 4.4% against last year.  The comparative period in Q3 2022 included a full contribution from Pro Tiler Tools following its acquisition in March 2022.  For the year-to-date 39-week period, total sales growth was 7.6% year on year.

The robust sales performance from Topps Tiles continued into the third quarter.  Like-for-like sales were 2.5% higher year-on-year in the quarter, and 3.7% higher on a year-to-date basis.  As expected, gross margins in Topps Tiles continued to improve sequentially quarter on quarter, as inflationary pressures on cost of goods and shipping costs reduce. Operating costs and profits remain in line with expectations.

The sales performance within the Online Pure Play brands remains excellent, with sales growth in excess of 60% in the third quarter, led by Pro Tiler Tools.

As announced in the Interim Results, following a period of weaker trading, a business improvement plan was launched in Parkside in the period.  A significant cost reduction plan is now complete, resulting in an annualised reduction in operating expenses of £1.4 million. The cost of implementation was approximately £0.4 million.  The Group remains well positioned for future growth in the important B2B market, which is almost as large as the domestic RMI market, through Parkside, Pro Tiler Tools and the dedicated contracts team in Topps Tiles.

”As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we are pleased to be reporting a continued robust performance in the third quarter, led by Topps Tiles and Pro Tiler Tools, and the successful implementation of a business improvement plan at Parkside,” stated Rob Parker, CEO.  “Looking ahead, we are confident that our core strengths of leading brands, world class customer service, specialist expertise and a strong balance sheet will enable us to continue to deliver value for all stakeholders.”

Since opening its first store in 1963, Topps has maintained a simple operating philosophy ‐ inspiring customers with unrivalled product choice and providing exceptional levels of customer service.  More at:

July 23: Italy Cersaie adopts new theme for 2023

To mark the 40th edition, Cersaie’s exhibition space will feature a fascinating route reliving 40 years of its evolution, focusing on design, technology, products, and companies that have made history.

Route 40 will take the visitor through the defining moments of these four decades, illustrating the major changes that have taken place in culture, society, design, and production. Curated by Davide Vercelli, and designed by Dario Curatolo, Route 40 will wind its way through the halls of Cersaie, starting from the Quadriportico – the starting point and conceptual link in this fascinating tale – and will continue in Gallery 21-22, 25-26, and in the Mall of Hall 37 with displays narrating each decade.

This itinerary is not intended as a nostalgic experience, but a demonstration of Cersaie’s key role in proposing avant-garde products and steering the market and ceramic design, becoming over the decades a cultural platform for informing and influencing all trade professionals.

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June 23: UK New Technical Masterclass dates from TTA

The Tile Association’s next Technical Masterclass is taking place on Tuesday 19th September 2023 at TTA HQ, The Mount, 43 Stafford Road, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0HG.

There will be two courses held on the day. The Design and Construction Process for Swimming Pools in the morning, and The Cleaning and Maintenance of Ceramic Tiles in the afternoon.  Both courses will be presented by David Rowley, Chairman of TTA Training Committee.  Coffee and registration will be at 9:30am, and the course will begin at 10:00am.

Technical Masterclasses are aimed at every level of tiler to enhance their understanding and competence regarding the topic.  Upon completion, attendees will receive a certificate, and a copy of the relevant Technical Publication.  Prices are £50 + VAT for TTA members and £150 + VAT for non-members.  This includes parking, refreshments, and lunch.

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June 23: Spain  Argenta invests in large PV array

Argenta Ceramica – a leading Spanish ceramic tile manufacturer based in Villareal – is continuing its process of decarbonisation by installing photovoltaic systems at its five production facilities in Onda, Vilafamés, and Vall d’Alba.

Reaching a peak power of 19.2 MWp, and an annual generation capacity of 26,727 MWh, Argenta’s array comprises 35,218 modules occupying a total area of 92,020 sq. metres.  The PV system will meet 26% of the company’s electricity consumption needs, cutting costs by 29%, and reducing indirect CO2 emissions by 6,922 tonnes per annum.


June 23: Italy  Florim’s turnover grows by over 20%

Florim Group’s financial results for 2022 show a consolidated turnover of €584 million, up more than 22%, and investments of €152 million, a significant increase compared to the previous year. Over the past 11 years €58 million has been invested in environmental sustainability measures, of which around €8 million in 2022.

With regard to the environment, in addition to the 129,388 tonnes of CO2 not emitted since 2012, the highlight is the launch of a decarbonisation project that envisages measuring the impact of the company’s operations in order to implement a strategy of progressive emissions reduction. In 2023 the company launched an e-mobility pilot project for the transport of slabs between the Mordano and Fiorano plants, which, thanks to the use of electric trucks, will cut around 560 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.  At the same time the new 4.5 MWp PV plant in Mordano brings the company’s total output to 12.3 MWp of power from 64,000 sq. metres of installed PV panels.


June 23: Spain  Tile of Spain Awards 2023 now open for entries

Ascer – The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association – is seeking entries for the 2023 edition of the Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture, Interior Design, and Final Degree Project. This year marks the Awards 22nd anniversary.

Celebrating the excellence in ceramic craftsmanship, the Awards highlights the careful consideration, meticulous installation, and design enhancements of ceramic tiles, in projects around the world.  Ascer is inviting architects, designers, specifiers, installers, and trade professionals to submit their completed work for consideration. 

The Tile of Spain Awards have a total prize fund of €35,000, to be shared between three categories. The two main categories, Architecture and Interior Design, each have cash prizes of €15,000. The Final Degree Project award has a cash prize of €5,000.

Project submissions from around the world will be accepted until Wednesday, 18th October 2023. The awards ceremony will be held during Cevisama 2024. 

For full details visit: 

June 23: USA Louisville Tile acquires leading distributor

Louisville Tile, the American tile distributor based in Louisville, Kentucky, has acquired American Olean Midwest, a wholesale tile distributor with an HQ in Illinois. The acquisition expands Louisville Tile’s footprint to nine contiguous states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. 

“With this acquisition, we are able to expand into three new markets and consolidate two existing markets,” said Louisville Tile’s CEO, Matthew Saltzman. 

American Olean Midwest’s Chicago and South Bend branches will be consolidated into Louisville Tile’s existing branches.

June 23: UK Cotswold Stone opens new centre

Cotswold Natural Stone re-brands, opens stunning new stone centre, and heads for Net Zero states a recent story in Natural Stone Specialist magazine. According to the article by Eric Bignell, Luke Conlon of Cotswold Natural Stone wants to elevate the status of the stone he sells and is doing so by re-branding, and opening a one-acre stone centre with a Stone Gallery in Shilton, Oxfordshire, near the company’s quarry.

The Natural Stone Gallery was opened with three days of celebrations on 20-22 June 2023.  The site shows different styles of building stone and stone walling outside, with landscaping that uses stones from the quarry, including a bridge, and various sculptures by local artists, which are also for sale.  Inside the gallery there is stone flooring, fireplaces, and furniture, using Cotswold Natural Stone’s and other British and European stones.

The low carbon footprint of natural stone is emphasised with a commitment to achieving Net Zero on the wall of the Gallery outside. The photo shows Luke Conlon standing outside the new Natural Stone Gallery.


June 23: UK Caesarstone’s UK MD steps down

Amir Reske, who has been Managing Director of Caesarstone in the UK since in 2016, is leaving at the end of August, reports Natural Stone Spenialist.

Amir joined the company in 2016, and was responsible for establishing Caesarstone in the UK and Ireland, opening distribution centres in London, Manchester, and Dublin. He will now return to his native Israel to take on a new role.

“Caesarstone gave me an opportunity to build a business from the ground up, set and implement the growth strategy, and promote it as a leading UK brand – and for that I will always be grateful,” stated Amir. “I have been privileged to work with a brilliant team, some of whom started with me at the very beginning and are still employed by Caesarstone, and I am very proud of the culture that we created within the organisation.”

Amir’s replacement is yet to be announced.


June 23: Italy Ivan Bondani steps up at Certech

Ivan Bondani has been appointed the new Commercial Director of the Certech Group’s ceramics division, reports Ceramic World Review.

The Casalgrande-based Certech Group has undertaken a major internal reorganisation of its ceramics division consisting of Certech, Vibrotech, and Novatech, the latter of which was set up in September 2022 and specialises in raw material treatment plants.

On 1st May, the commercial activities of the three companies were placed under a single management structure headed by Ivan Bondani, Sales Director of Vibrotech since June 2016. Bondani’s remit will be to reorganise, strengthen, and co-ordinate the group’s activities to ensure greater market penetration across a range of technology offerings.

“In the last two years, Certech Group has significantly stepped up the pace of its development and we now require more efficient and effective organisational methods to enable us to exploit new market opportunities and at the same time offer our customers an even better service,” commented CEO, Alberto Palladini.

“Following recent years’ growth, the Certech Group is now a leading supplier of plants, machinery and accessories for ceramic production and offers a constantly expanding portfolio of products for milling, spray drying, glazing and waste recovery along with a level of quality that is increasingly recognised not only in Italy but worldwide,” said Bondani. “Our aim now is to create effective synergies between the group’s various companies and to launch coordinated commercial policies that will enable us to provide our customers with high-quality, timely and exhaustive solutions, and achieve an even greater degree of internationalisation.”

Caption: Ivan Bondani (left) and Alberto Palladini.

May 23: Germany RAK Ceramics’ opens new Design Hub in Germany 

RAK Ceramics launches its second Design Hub in Europe, located in the picturesque town of Gernsheim, Germany. This state-of-the-art facility spans across two floors, covering a whopping 650m2 of space, and showcases RAK Ceramics’ premium range of tiles, slabs, and sanitaryware, including the iconic collection by the renowned fashion designer, ELIE SAAB.

With a dedicated materials library, an exclusive section for displaying large-format tiles and their versatile applications, and the latest ELIE SAAB surfaces collection, this Design Hub is a haven for the design community to explore RAK Ceramics’ innovative product offerings and experience the brand’s unique ethos.

The grand opening of this exquisite Design Hub was attended by over 100 architects and interior designers, who were delighted to be part of this immersive brand experience and gain inspiration for their upcoming projects. The Design Hub is now open to visitors from Mondays to Fridays, 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm.

Apr 23: Spain Grespania opens new production line for large formats

Grespania’s growth and expansion continues with a new production line for large format slabs at the comopany’s factory in Moncofar, Castellón.  The investment will enable the company to double the production capacity for Coverlam, with a particular focus on the product range aimed at the kitchen countertops channel.

This increase in production capacity for sizes of up to 1,620 by 3,240mm and thicknesses from 5.6 to 20mm required the expansion of facilities for receiving and storing spray-dried powder; a new production line including a press, dryer, glaze line, and kiln; and a new line for mesh-mounting, selection, classification and packaging of the slabs.

The new line has been designed to minimize the impact on the environment.  As well as incorporating the latest energy-saving measures (inverters, heat recovery systems), it has an on-site reject-recycling plant, meaning that the waste generated is reused in the factory itself.

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Apr 23: USA Mohawk reports mixed first quarter results

Mohawk Industries has announced first quarter 2023 net earnings of $80 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.26. Adjusted net earnings were $112 million, and adjusted EPS was $1.75, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges. Net sales for the first quarter of 2023 were $2.8 billion, a decrease of 6.9% as reported and 5.9% on a constant currency and days basis. For the first quarter of 2022, net sales were $3.0 billion, net earnings were $245 million and EPS was $3.78. Adjusted net earnings were $246 million, and adjusted EPS was $3.78, excluding restructuring, acquisition and other charges.

Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Chairman and CEO, stated, “All of our businesses are adapting our strategies to a more challenging environment. We are managing our costs while investing in both our short and long-term growth. Our balance sheet remains strong, and we generated $129 million of free cash flow in the quarter.”

“We completed two ceramic acquisitions in Brazil and Mexico that had combined sales of approximately $425 million in 2022, almost doubling our existing market share.”

“For the first quarter, the Global Ceramic Segment reported a 0.5% decline in net sales as reported, or a 1.2% decline on a constant currency and days basis. The Segment’s operating margin was 6.0% as reported, or 6.3% on an adjusted basis, as a result of favorable pricing and product mix and productivity gains, offset by inflation, lower volumes and temporary shutdowns. Our 2023 product launches with new sizes, unique visuals and polished finishes are benefiting our mix. We are reducing production to align with demand and competition in the marketplace is increasing. The U.S. is performing better than our other ceramic markets due to our greater sales in the commercial sector. Our more reliable U.S. domestic production is benefiting our sales, particularly in our premium collections that provide alternatives to European products. To increase our quartz countertop volume, we are expanding our business with national accounts, contractors and kitchen and bath retailers. In our European ceramic business, we maintained higher average selling prices than we anticipated, though our volumes decreased as residential remodeling slowed. Our other ceramic markets also declined with reduced spending on homes and greater reductions in customer inventories, though our sales trends in these regions seasonally improved as we progressed through the period.”

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Apr 23: Italy Italcer Group selects Sacmi

Italcer has chosen Sacmi for its latest-generation kiln at its Fiorano Modenese facility. Sacmi’s new Maestro kiln features hydrogen-natural gas hybrid technology, able to include up to 50% hydrogen in its energy mix, once hydrogen becomes widely available.

The partnership with Sacmi confirms Italcer’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, an area in which the company has invested more than 20 million euros over the past two years to meet the needs of the ongoing rise in eco-friendly consumers. In 2022 Italcer took first prize in the Italian industrial Sustainability Award and today is able to recycle and recover over 99.8% of the production waste.

“Our sights are always set on the future,’ says CEO, Graziano Verdi, CEO.  “In the last few years we have installed three innovative co-generators able to produce about 33,000 MWh, out of a total requirement of 57,000.  We will also be able to take advantage of more than 1/3 of renewable electricity with photovoltaic panels on the roofs of our plants.  The installation of the new kiln will allow us to reach the ambitious goal of saving about 1.5 million cubic metres in gas consumption.”

The Italcer Group now includes the Fondovalle, La Fabbrica, AVA, Elios Ceramica, Devon&Devon, Ceramica Rondine, Cedir, Bottega, and Equipe Cerámicas brands.

Apr 23: UK Topps Tiles revenues rise by 9.5%

Topps Tiles, the UK’s leading tile specialist, has announced a trading update for the 26-week period ended 1st April 2023.

The Group delivered a record period in the first half, with revenues of £130.5 million, £11.3 million or 9.5% higher than the prior year.  Approximately £9.0m of revenue growth related to the acquisition of Pro Tiler Tool,s and the launch of Tile Warehouse in 2022.

Following a strong first quarter, Topps Tiles continued to deliver good sales growth in Q2, with like-for-like sales being 3.5% higher year on year, from one fewer trading day in the quarter.  Like-for-like sales over the first half were up 4.3%, and Topps Tiles delivered first half revenue of £115.8 million, a record for the business as a standalone brand.  Sales per store in the first half were 30% higher than in the pre-pandemic period of FY19, including the benefit of transferring sales from closed stores as we successfully rationalised our store estate, as well as underlying sales growth.

Rob Parker, CEO, said: “Our performance across the first half has been good, with a record period for Group revenues, supported by like-for-like sales growth in Topps Tiles of 4.3% and an excellent post-acquisition performance from Pro Tiler Tools.

The economic outlook remains uncertain but early signs of easing supply chain pressures, allied to the Group’s strong balance sheet, world class customer service, specialist expertise and growth strategy give us confidence in our ability to drive value for all stakeholders over the medium term.”

Topps Tiles Plc is the UK’s largest specialist supplier of tiles and associated products, targeting the UK domestic refurbishment and commercial markets and serving homeowners, trade customers, architects, designers and contractors from 304 nationwide Topps Tiles stores, plus three commercial showrooms.

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Apr 23: Spain 40th Cevisama set for 26th February 2024

Cevisama will celebrate its 40th  running at Feria Valencia from 26th February to 1st March 2024, with a range of new features. The international fair for ceramic tiles, bathroom equipment, and natural stone will, as normal, showcase the latest trends and product innovations. 

The 40th anniversary edition – in which sustainability, innovation, design and trends will again be under the spotlight – is also promising some fresh new features for 2024.  Tile Addict will present these to our readership as they are announced. More at:

Apr 23: Greece Marazzi opens flagship showroom in Athens

Marazzi has opened its first flagship showroom in Athens, in the Ampelokipoi district.  The space – curated by Gianluca Rossi of Uainot architects – occupies around 400 sq. metres of the ground floor of The Orbit building.  Designed by Vikelas Architects & LC Architects, it was inspired by the labyrinth of Greek mythology. 

The entrance features Grande Marble Look Verde Aver and Bianco Arni marble-effect slabs alongside the neutral tones and striking hand-made effect of the Crogiolo Rice collection. The surfaces of the coffee area were entirely realised with Marble Look Capraia and Elegant Black slabs from The Top; large porcelain slabs distinguished by matt, satin, and gloss surfaces intended for work tops, backsplashes, tables, doors and tailor-made furniture.

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Photography: Aphroditi Houlaki, Spyros Hound Photography

Mar 23: UK 70 jobs lost as Norcros Adhesives shuts

Stoke-on-Trent tile adhesive manufacturer Norcros Adhesives is to shut after increased costs left it no longer profitable, reports the Stoke Sentinel (

Norcros Adhesives shares its Harewood Street site with sister company Johnson Tiles. Jobs at Johnson Tiles are not affected by the planned closure.

In 2019 Norcros Adhesives increased the capacity of its Tunstall plant by more than 150% following ‘significant investment’ in systems, infrastructure, and new jobs.  But the company has been hit by increased costs in its supply chain forcing bosses to make the ‘regrettable decision’ to close.

CEO Nick Kelsall said: “We deeply regret that we are having to take this action, and it’s not something that we have come to lightly. Unfortunately, despite implementing a number of profit-improvement programmes, the business remains loss-making, and we have been left with no other option than to close the business. It was with a heavy heart and deep regret that we announced the decision to our employees on Wednesday.”

“Unfortunately due to the global situation with the cost inflation of our raw materials, which have increased significantly over the last few years as our suppliers face increased costs, we can’t get the business into profit, stated Kelsall.  “It is a regrettable situation and we are trying to manage the closure as sympathetically as we can.”

Norcros Adhesives’s products were sold across a number of markets, from DIY superstores, tile retailers, and builders’ merchants to housebuilders and architects. Its clients included Screwfix, Barratt Homes, and Fired Earth.

Mar 23: UK Construction activity rises at fastest rate for nine months in February

February data highlighted a robust increase in overall business activity across the UK construction sector, thereby ending a two-month period of decline. The rate of growth was the strongest since May 2022, supported by a marked rebound in commercial work and a positive contribution from civil engineering activity. In contrast, housing activity decreased for the third month running.

At the same time, the latest survey pointed to the least widespread supplier delays since January 2020 and a slowdown in input cost inflation. The overall rate of purchase price inflation was the lowest for 27 months in February.

The headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index) – which measures month-on-month changes in total industry activity – registered 54.6 in February, up from 48.4 in January and above the neutral 50.0 threshold for the first time in three months. The latest reading was the highest since May 2022.

Commercial construction was the best-performing area in February (index at 55.3), with the rate of expansion the steepest for nine months. Civil engineering activity also returned to growth in February (index at 52.3), although the rate of expansion was only modest.

Construction companies noted a fall in residential building work for the third consecutive month in February (index at 47.4). The speed of the downturn eased since January, however. Total new work picked up in February, as signalled by an improvement in order books for the first time since November 2022.

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Feb 23: Spain Alfa de Oro awards for Neolith, Natucer and Gresmanc Group

This year’s Alfa de Oro awards – given by the Spanish Ceramic and Glass Society with the aim of encouraging scientific, technological, and artistic creativity – singled out three innovative products on show at Cevisama.

The expert jury awarded an Alfa de Oro to Neolith for Neolith Iconic Design: a large format, precision-design vitreous ceramic that synchronises the digital deposition of atomised composites with the surface design.

Spanish manufacturer Natucer won an award, for its Natur-LED product, as did Gresmanc Group for its solutions for façades. “They have developed the extrusion process technologically so they cn create larger formats and finishes in extruded ceramic,”, noted the jury.

Natucer stated: “We are delighted to have received the Alpha de Oro award for our Natur-LED Collection. In our quest to innovate we have decided to take a step forward and mix two concepts very trending on contract channel such as ceramics and lighting.”

Feb 23: Spain Cevisama showcases architecture in some style

The second day of Cevisama – Tuesday 28th Feb – saw more than 700 people fill the auditorium at Feria Valencia’s Events Centre for the Architecture Forum that featured three of the world’s leading architects: Francis Kére, winner of the Prizker prize in 2022, Anne Lacaton, 2021 Prizker winner, and David Chipperfield.

First to step onto the stage was British architect David Chipperfield. The designer of the Veles e Vents building spoke about the renovation of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, an icon of 20th century architecture and the only building that architect Mies van der Rohe created in Europe after he emigrated to the USA. Chipperfield talked about the challenges involved in the restoration of the 50-year-old building that had to be approached cautiously and, more importantly, sustainably as well as taking into account that the building is catalogued as a monument. “It needed ot be preserved without compromising its appearance visually,” he explained.

Renowned French architect, Anne Lacaton, gave an excellent presentation on the transformation of housing in the Grand Parc in Bordeaux, France, a project she undertook in the 60s that was a response to the growing demand for housing following the 2nd World War. Lacaton had to tackle an ambitious plan to refurbish 530 of the 4000 homes in the area. The aim was to deal with the opposite problem: the depopulation of that district. Lacaton explained how they approached the project, which was to create social housing.  Firstly, they retained the original structure of the two buildings. “We wanted to preserve everything that we might be able to use for the transformation to be as sustainable as possible”, she explained in her presentation, delivered via video link. One of the cornerstones of the project was to provide each home with a private, south-facing outside space. “The way these outside gardens are arranged also affects the thermal performance of the buildings’ cladding”, she remarked.

Last to take to the stage was Francis Kéré, winner of the Pritzker prize in 2022 and the first African to win global architecture’s most significant accolade. Kéré talked about the the Léo Surgical and Health Centre in Burkina Faso his native country, a fully functional building that he used local material, specifically clay, to build and that receives thousands of patients every day. “You can do a lot with very little”, he said, adding that the project involved entire families from the area. “It is a small miracle.” It is Kéré’s signature style to work largely in areas where there are many limitations, using local materials and to do so as sustainably as possible.

Feb 23: Spain Marazzi opens a flagship showroom in Madrid

Marazzi has opened a new flagship showroom in the heart of Madrid. The project, in Calle Serrano right in the city centre, is the work of international firm ACPV Architects: Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel.

The 300 sq. metres on two floors house The Welcoming Room project. The showroom greets visitors in this hospitable interior, designed in accordance with the Live-In Kitchen concept, in which the compositional versatility of large stoneware slabs and the vibrant gleam of the Crogiolo small-size collections dialogue to connect areas and functions around the kitchen.

A succession of themed rooms emphasises the exquisite beauty of the materials: from the large slabs hung like rich Persian carpets to the museum-like shelves which exhibit smaller size tiles that exemplify an endless collection of finishes, structures, surfaces and colours, each presented as a unique, unrepeatable object of great value.

Photo Credit: Photo Studio Bonus

Feb 23: UK Floor specialist collapses into administration

Malin Industrial Concrete Floors Ltd, a floor specialist that has worked with major contractors including Buckingham Group and Sir Robert McAlpine, has collapsed into administration, reports Construction News ( The £25.6 million turnover company appointed Mazars as administrators.

The Manchester-based firm had a strong profile of work producing specialised flooring, particularly for warehouses. It mainly worked with laser screed flooring, which involves machines trimming concrete slabs into exact floor slabs before lowering them into the ground. In its most recent accounts, for the year to 31 March 2021, Malin’s turnover fell to £25.6m compared with £38.4m the year before. But its pre-tax profit soared from £109,900 to around £1.3m – nearly a 13-fold increase.

The company also expanded its average workforce from 31 to 50 full-time staff. Demand for warehouses soared over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to the boost in online shopping.

Feb 23: UK CTD Tiles acquires 13 UK branches from Tile Giant

CTD Tiles Ltd, part of the Aurelius Group, has acquired 13 UK branches from Tile Giant. The purchase will expand CTD’s nationwide network of branches and bolster its commitment to being one of the UK’s leading omni-channel specialist tile distributors.

Katie Clapham, CTD’s HR & Marketing Director, stated: “We want all of our CTD colleagues, to feel part of our growth story and provide them the possibility to actively engage in delivering success. We are looking forward to welcoming our new team members”.

Shaun Mason – CTD’s Head of Commercial & Supply Chain, commented: “We want to drive forward our vision of CTD and we will continue to look for further opportunities to grow both organically and through acquisitions. CTD’s core philosophy of placing exceptional customer service at the centre of its business will be extended to these new branches and will serve to provide a vital service to the local tiling, bathroom and construction industry in the respective areas. We plan to manage the transition in ownership and rebranding with minimal disruption to customers.”

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Feb 23: USA Fiandre surfaces star in US Building of the Year

The St. Sarkis Armenian church in Carrollton, Texas, designed by New York architect David Hotson, has been named US Building of the Year 2022 in a survey promoted by World-Architects.

The defining element of the whole project is the façade of the church; a powerful commemorative monument to the 1.5 million victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide. The tiles of the façade were made by Fiandre Architectural Surfaces using an exact number of pixels, and customised using the innovative ultra-high resolution Design your Slabs decoration technology. The façade was installed by Graniti Vicentia Façades, using the ventilated façade system patented by Granitech.

In addition to the façade, Fiandre supplied the ceramic surfaces for the internal and external walls and floors throughout the St Sarkis complex, exploiting the wide range of thicknesses and textures available in the Fjord collection.

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Feb 23: UK 300 jobs lost as Tolent collapses

Tolent, the Gateshead-based construction company, has entered administration, resulting in more than 300 jobs being lost. Administrators said the business was impacted by “severe headwinds”. Tolent’s companies operated across building, civil engineering, and property development, with additional offices in Leeds, and Stockton-on-Tees.

One of Tolent’s major contracts – the £85.5 million Milburngate development in Durham – made significant losses, affecting cashflow. Following the appointment of administrators, 313 employees were immediately made redundant, while 91 members of staff have been retained by joint administrators to assist in any possible sale of the business and its assets.

Feb 23: UK Tories appoint 15th Housing Minister

Lucy Frazer has been replaced as UK Housing Minister job having served just 102 days in the role.  Frazer was named minister of state at Michael Gove’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities department on 28th October 2023.

Frazer’s brief tenure in office has seen her successfully pilot the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill through its controversial final stages in the House of Commons, and extend the deadline for homes bought under the Help to Buy scheme to achieve practical completion.

Her replacement is Rachel Maclean: the 15th Housing Minister since the Conservatives came to power, and the sixth to hold the post in the past 12 months. Ms Maclean has had junior ministerial jobs in the justice department and Home Office since becoming an MP in 2017.

Labour’s shadow levelling-up secretary, Lisa Nandy said the high turnover “would be funny if it wasn’t so serious.  How can we have any hope of solving a housing crisis? This is no way to run a serious government,” said Nandy.

Samuel Hughes, head of housing at the Centre for Policy Studies, observed: “Choosing one excellent housing minister and then sticking with them would help a lot in delivering the sustained and systematic reform we need.  Without those reforms, the housing shortage will continue to worsen, destroying the dream of homeownership for a generation of young people.” 

A government spokesperson said: “We are absolutely committed to making sure the housing market works for everyone.  Increasing the number of genuinely affordable homes is central to our levelling up mission and since 2010 we have delivered over 620,000 affordable homes in England, including over 160,000 for social rent.

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will give communities power to bring forward the right homes in the right places and we’re taking tough action against social housing landlords providing a poor service and have set our proposed rental reforms that will ensure a fair deal for renters.”

Feb 23: UAE RAK Ceramics announces 2022 results

RAK Ceramics has announced its financial results for the year ended 31st December 2022, reporting record full year performance with a total revenue increase of 22.9% to AED 3.52 billion and reported net profit increase of 19.8% to AED340.1 million.

Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO, commented: “I am delighted to share our company’s performance for the year 2022. Notwithstanding the current macro-economic conditions marked by high inflation and persistent energy crisis, we have managed to achieve remarkable results. Our total revenue increased by 22.9% YoY, reaching the highest level since 2009, driven by robust core business growth in Tiles, Sanitaryware, and Tableware in addition to growth in faucets on the back of KLUDI consolidation. This is a testament to our unwavering commitment to delivering value to our stakeholders.”

“Despite the challenging economic environment, we have managed to maintain our gross profit margin level, mainly due to our improved production efficiencies and optimized utilization in 2022. Growth was hindered by further costs associated with Saudi Custom Duty, higher input costs and energy challenges; nonetheless, we are working hard to overcome these challenges and are already seeing hints of correction in some instances.”

“In the UAE, the tiles enhancement project is in progress and production is set to begin in Q1 2023 for 5 million square meters of GP tiles.”

RAK Ceramics demonstrated a remarkable performance despite the tough macroeconomic conditions. Total revenue increased by 22.9% YoY to AED 3.52 billion in 2022, compared to AED 2.86 billion in 2021. The growth was driven by an increase in Tiles (11.0%), Sanitaryware (4.1%), Tableware (38.9%) and the consolidation of faucets (+AED 276.5 million).

The reported net profit increased to AED 340.1 million in 2022, an all-time high, compared to AED 283.9 million in 2021. The net profit margin stood at 9.7%, compared to 9.9% in the previous year. Despite the full-year impact of the KSA customs duty and the rise in input prices, RAK Ceramics maintained a stable total gross profit margin of 36.1% YoY.

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Feb 23: USA Women in the Floorcovering Industry’s first meet-up

Women in the Floorcovering Industry (WIFI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that empowers women in the flooring industry (, celebrated its first in-person meet-up at The International Surfaces Event in Las Vegas on February 1.

Hosted by Mohawk, the WIFI Breakfast Club event invited attendees to learn more about the organization and a new mentorship program. The goal of the program, which matches mentors to mentees, is to accelerate the professional development of mentees. All members of WIFI are eligible to participate in the mentoring program, and participants can join from any segment of the industry. 

At the event, Mohawk presented a donation of $50,000 to the organization to help fund its networking and professional development programs.

To learn more, visit:

Above: Mohawk presented $50,000 to Women in the Floorcovering Industry to help fund its networking and professional development. Shown here is Kelli Widdifield, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, Mohawk, with the WIFI board of directors.

Feb 23: Spain Cevisama boosts number of foreign buyers

Scheduled to take place from 27th February to 3rd March at Feria Valencia, Cevisama is confident it will equal the 21,000 foreign visitors last year.   Some of the companies attending include Merola Tile/Somertile, Richmond Ceramic Tile Distribution, Cancos Tile, Secret Bath, and Virginia Tile, all from the USA. 

European attendees include leading French distributors Point P. Saint Gobain, Richardson, the Leclerc group, part of Leroy Merlin France, French group Gedimat, and German distributors BDB (Bundesverband Dutscher Baustoff-fachhandel), Köbig, Nerlich & Lesser, Taxis, Stark Group, Schmidt Rudersdorf, Trauco, Hermann Bach and Bayerischer Fliesenhandel.  The Belgian Federation of construction materials will also be visiting Cevisama, as will the UK’s Construction Products Association, UK distributors Al-Murad Tiles, The Tile Company, Tapis Tiles, and Craven Dunnill & Co.  Canadian distributors Olimpia Tile, Tiles Inspired, and Sarana Tiles will also be attending.

“Thanks to Feria Valencia’s hard work and the support of the Ministry for a Sustainable Economy, we have invited more than 3,000 companies to the fair”, says the event’s Director, Carmen Álvarez. “We have already received confirmations from more than 600 international buyers, four times as many as we had for the last edition of the fair.”

More than 500 brands will be showing their latest products at Cevisama 2023: including major brands such as Peronda, Roca, Baldocer, Keraben, Grupo STN, Aparici, Apavisa, Schluter System, Raimondi, Fila, and Cevica.

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Jan 23: UK BMBI reports steady sales by merchants

Total Builders Merchants value sales were up +1.4% in November 2022 compared with the same month last year. Volume sales were -13.6% lower with price up +17.3%. There was no difference in trading days. Nine of the twelve categories sold more. Renewables & Water Saving (+37.9%). Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+17.5%), Workwear & Safetywear (+16.6%) and Decorating (+15.3%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+14.8%) grew most. Timber & Joinery Products (-12.0%) was weakest.

Total value sales in November 2022 were +29.8% higher than the same month three years ago (a more normal pre-Covid year). Volume sales fell by -4.1%, while prices were up +35.3%. Like-for-like sales (which take trading day differences into account) were +23.9% higher. All categories sold more.

Total Merchants sales were -2.6% lower in November 2022 than in October 2022. Volume sales were -7.2% lower with price up +4.9%, with one more trading day this month, like-for-like sales were -7.0% lower. Workwear & Safetywear (+11.2%) was up the most, followed by Kitchens & Bathrooms (+10.0%).

November’s overall BMBI index was 147.1, helped by Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (168.4). With one more trading day, the like-for-like index was 138.7. All categories exceeded 100, including Kitchens & Bathrooms (161.4), Timber & Joinery Products (160.4), Ironmongery (144.7), Heavy Building Materials (144.0) and Landscaping (132.7). Tools (111.3) increased the least.

Total sales in September to November 2022 were +3.9% higher than in September to November 2021, with price inflation of +15.1%, and volume down -9.7%. With one less trading day in this recent period, like-for-like sales were +5.6% higher. Ten of the twelve categories sold more. Renewables & Water Saving (+54.8%), Workwear & Safetywear (+22.2%), and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+16.7%) did best. Timber & Joinery Products (-11.1%) was weakest.

Compared with the same months three years ago, sales in September to November 2022 were +25.7% higher than in September to November 2019, driven by price inflation (+33.7%) not volume (-6.0%). With one less trading day this period, like-for-like sales were +27.7% higher. All categories sold more.

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Jan 23: UK Surface Design Show is just days away

On 7th February, Surface Design Show (7th to 9th February 2023) will open its doors at London’s Business Design Centre, showcasing an exciting and inspirational array of new material trends, plus the latest innovations within the industry. 

The theme for the 2023 Show is ‘Shaping Communities’; with an ambition to improve the surroundings for all, through collaboration and meaningful design solutions.

Located right in the centre of the Show, Surface Spotlight Live features ground-breaking materials for visitors to touch and feel, giving a truly ‘hands-on’ experience for architects and designers to enjoy and learn from. Curated by trend expert Sally Angharad, and sponsored by CDUK, SSL will present a selection of surfaces, finishes and materials that celebrate the power of creative thinking, demonstrating how ethical innovation is providing positive design solutions.


Jan 23: Italy Del Conca installs Italy’s largest kiln

Del Conca has expanded and renovated its production site in Savignano sul Panaro, Italy; the historic HQ of the Pastorelli brand. Part of a €55 million plan, the investment has transformed the plant into one of the Italy’s largest and most innovative production facilities with a total floor space of 120,000 sq. metres, including 60,000 sq. metres under cover.

The facility houses a complete production line from raw material preparation through to packaging, equipped with highly automated equipment entirely developed and built in Italy. Pressing takes place on a revolutionary PCR3000 line capable of producing ceramic slabs in sizes up to 1,800 by 3,600mm (a format not previously available on the market) and thicknesses up to 30mm. With a length of more than 200 metres, the kiln is the largest ever installed in Italy.

The most important components of the line all are the thermal machines (the spray dryer, dryer and kiln) and the cogenerator, all of which were designed to ensure greater energy efficiency. And because they are hydrogen ready, they will be able to switch to a natural gas/hydrogen blend as soon as hydrogen becomes available, further improving the environmental sustainability of the process.

For many years now, Del Conca has been adopting green policies aimed at reducing its levels of consumption, with measures that include the use of photovoltaics, the recycling of all processing waste (unfired, fired and defective materials), 100% reuse of process water and separately recyclable packaging. Thanks to these constant efforts, the company is now able to achieve overall savings of approximately 3,400 tonnes of CO2 per year.

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Jan 23: USA New Global Decorative Tile Market Report

According to The Global Decorative Tile Market Report just published by, through 2026, global demand for decorative tile will increase 4.4% per year to 22.6 billion square metres, valued at $280 billion.

The company says that market growth will be driven by:

• Strong gains in building construction activity in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions

• Increases in the average size of houses around the world, including larger kitchens

• Increasing personal incomes allowing for greater investment on housing products

• Advances in digital printing, which have improved the ability of ceramic tile flooring to mimic the look of high end materials such as hardwood and marble

• Porcelain slab’s rapid inroads in interior building applications

China and India will account for 47% of absolute gains globally. India, the world’s second largest decorative tile market, is projected to see the fastest growth, with gains of 13% per year. Large format porcelain slab will be the fastest growing decorative tile product in the world, with demand rising at a rate of 25% annually.


Jan 23: UK Tile Giant acquired by former Topps Tiles CEO Matt Williams

According to a recent story in Retail Gazette, Tile Giant has been snapped up by former Topps Tiles chief executive, Matt Williams (below).

Stiled, a company owned by Williams, bought the retailer, which operates more than 80 stores nationwide, for an undisclosed sum earlier this month.

Tile Giant’s chief executive Mike Ashley has stepped down from his role following the acquisition. He is replaced by Nathan Burkey.

Tile Giant was owned by builder’s merchant Travis Perkins until 2020, when it was sold to Leeds-based investment group Coverings. In 2021, its most recent financial update, Tile Giant’s sales edged up to £46.2m as it returned to profit. It posted a pre-tax profit of £878,000, up from a loss of £4m.

Few know more about the world of tiling than Matt Williams. He spent 12 years at the helm of market leader Topps Tiles, the business his father Stuart founded. Williams stepped down from Topps Tiles in November 2019 to pursue “a new challenge.” He has since founded Stiled with a group of friends and family. The firm focuses on selling tiles and paving for outdoor spaces.


Jan 23: UK Craven Dunnill opens Cheshire Showroom

Craven Dunnill has opened a new showroom and design hub between Alderley Edge and Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK.  The cutting-edge showroom will offer its customers the opportunity to surround themselves in style, presenting a premium selection of wall and floor tiles, bathroom furniture, kitchen worktops, swimming pool mosaics, and handcrafted three-dimensional ceramics. The tiles are sourced from the world’s leading manufacturers, including the finest Italian ceramics and handcrafted British artworks. Raising the bar for the industry, its state-of-the-art Infinito Collection of large porcelain slabs will also be presented for the very first time.

Simon Howells, Managing Director at Craven Dunnill, comments: “Strategically placed in the heart of Cheshire’s ‘Golden Triangle,’ our new Showroom and Design Hub is an aspirational space which fills a gap in the market, bringing unparalleled services and products to the area.”

“We are renowned for exceptional service and premium ceramic tiles, but also bring wider, entire design solutions – ranging from affordable to luxury interiors, supported with installation materials, coordinating grouts, ancillaries and wet-room accessories. The Showroom and Design Hub is a catalyst for pushing  boundaries and perceptions of how and where ceramic and porcelain tiles, mosaics, and large format slabs can be used both around the home and in commercial spaces,”says Howells.  “At Craven Dunnill, we are committed to offering solutions for all  design styles, requirements, and audiences, with each collection as beautifully crafted as the next. The Cheshire showroom is a one-stop destination for inspirational design touchpoints that matter,” concludes Howells.

Encompassing 150 years of design, prowess, and style, the aspirational showroom environment will also be a design hub for its clientele, offering a contemporary space for design consultations, CPDs, technological presentation, and client meetings. Craven Dunnill is delighted to welcome customers and design professionals into the new cutting-edge showroom. 

Partnering with Italian manufacturer, Iris Ceramica Group, Craven Dunnill’s new Infinito Collection is a central feature of the design scheme and offers innovative solutions for the use of large format porcelain slabs. The revolutionary Infinito Collection also features Iris’ award-winning design technologies, Hypertouch and 4D Ceramics, which further distinguish the collection. Hypertouch offers integrated home-automation sensors which can be concealed behind the ceramic surface, and activated simply by touch to control lighting, doors, or AV equipment. 4D Ceramics represents a revolution in large-format porcelain, presenting a technologically advanced surface which strikes the perfect balance between aesthetics and technical performance, while also introducing green hydrogen production processes developed exclusively by Iris Ceramica Group.

The showroom will also showcase Craven Dunnill’s hand manufactured products through its 150-year-old specialist division, Craven Dunnill Jackfield. With factories located in Staffordshire and Shropshire, its iconic tiles can be found in historic locations such as the Westminster Central Lobby, London Underground, and Harrods Food Hall.

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Jan 23: UK Topps Tiles’ Board triumphs at controversial AGM

Topps Tiles Plc has announced the successful outcome of the recent AGM.  Following the voting on a set of resolutions, each of which was held on a poll, the Board notes:

●  The total number of votes cast was a record 161 million, equivalent to 81.9% of the Company’s issued share capital, demonstrating the strength of shareholder engagement and support received.

● Resolutions 1 to 14 (inclusive) were duly passed by the requisite majority, in line with the Board’s recommendation.

●  Resolution 15, a special resolution, did not pass.

●  The Requisitioned Resolutions, proposed on behalf of MS Galleon GmbH, were not passed, with an average of 99.3% of shareholders who voted, other than MSG, supporting the Board’s recommendation and voting against these resolutions.

Darren Shapland, Non-Executive Chairman of Topps, said: “The Board would like to thank shareholders for the support received at today’s meeting.  We were pleased that shareholders supported the Board’s recommendations, with an average of 99.3% of shareholders who voted, other than MSG, opposing the Requisitioned Resolutions.”

“While we have always sought to maintain constructive engagement with MSG, the Board has   also been clear that its responsibility is to act in the best interests of Topps shareholders as a whole. We believe strongly that MSG’s proposals exposed Topps shareholders to a number of serious conflicts of interest between MSG’s role as a significant shareholder, supplier and potential competitor to Topps.”

“We welcome the strong support for the Board’s position received today from other shareholders and the Board will continue to engage with, and seek constructive dialogue with, all shareholders.”

Keith Down, Senior Independent Director of Topps, said:  “The Board has been unanimous in its rejection of the Requisitioned Resolutions. We are pleased to have secured strong backing from other investors at today’s meeting and, in particular, we note the significant vote of support received for the Chairman. We thank shareholders for their engagement and support around the AGM and over the year.”

The full text of each resolution is contained in the notice of AGM which is available on the Company’s website:

Jan 23: Austria Wienerberger to acquire part of Terreal’s business

The Austrian building materials giant Wienerberger has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the Terreal businesses located in Italy, France, Spain, and the USA. Terreal is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of innovative roofing and solar solutions. The €600 million deal also includes the German and Benelux businesses of Creaton, a company acquired by Terreal in 2020. The production facilities in Austria, Poland, and Hungary will continue to be owned by the current shareholders.

The Terreal businesses to be acquired by Wienerberger employ almost 3,000 people and operate 29 manufacturing sites, including the research and development centre in Castelnaudary, France. Together they generated revenue of approximately €740 million in 2022. The businesses also have a very positive EBITDA of approximately €100 million, which the Austrian group expects to increase to €150 million within three years. The investment is especially strategic in anticipation of the new European environmental projects on the energy efficiency of buildings. Terreal operates in Italy under the San Marco and Pica brands. It has three production facilities and offers a wide range of innovative roofing and façade solutions throughout the country

“According to our projections, the acquisition of Terreal will double our roofing sales to 75 million sq. metres annually, establishing us as Europe’s largest pitched roof expert integrating solar and rainwater solutions,” commented Heimo Scheuch, Chairman and CEO of Wienerberger. “At the same time, our shared focus on sustainability, innovative solutions and digital business models will lead to the reduction of 225,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, while allowing us to reach our ESG goals more rapidly.”

Jan 23: Italy Italian tile output remains stable in 2022

According to the preliminary figures unveiled at Confindustria Ceramica’s press conference, the industry sold around 458 million sq. metres of tiles in 2022: +0.7% up on 2021 and +13% up on 2019. Exports stood at 364 million sq. metres of exports, up 0.2%, while domestic sales were 93 million sq. metres, up 2.6%. The preliminary figure for total production is around 448 million sq. metres, a 3% increase.

Exports performed well in the Gulf region and the Far East, remained stable in Western Europe, the Balkans and Latin America, but contracted in markets in Eastern Europe and NAFTA. The domestic Italian market accounted for 20% of total sales, while 48% of volumes were sold elsewhere in the EU and the remaining 32% shipped to markets further afield.

“Strong levels of demand, especially in the first part of the year, will allow us to post an increase in end-of-year sales. However, there’s nothing to be cheerful about as the staggering increases in the costs of all production factors are placing a severe strain on our companies’ competitiveness,” said Confindustria Ceramica Chairman, Giovanni Savorani. “And because the cost of gas elsewhere in the world has not risen as sharply as in Europe, the competitive gap between our companies and those located outside Europe has also widened.”

According to Savorani, the energy crisis in Italy must be tackled first and foremost through structural measures, such as allocating a greater share of domestically produced natural gas to gas-intensive industries. This would have the additional benefit of an immediate reduction in CO2 emissions associated with gas imports and would allow companies in non-electrifiable sectors to maximise their investments in production process decarbonisation, he explained.

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Jan 23: Spain Over 500 brands set for Cevisama

Over 500 brands will be showcasing their latest ceramic tiles, floor and wall tiles, bathroom equipment, natural stone, industrialised construction, and machinery at Cevisama 2023, from 27th February to 3rd March 2023. They include renowned names such as Peronda, Roca, Baldocer, Keraben, Grupo STN, Aparici, Apavisa, Schluter System, Raimondi, Arttros, Fila, and Cevica. Cevisama, which is celebrating its 39th anniversary, continues to be a leading showcase for ceramics, helping to take Made in Spain to every corner of the world.

“Thanks to the support of the Valencian Regional Ministry of Sustainable Economy, we will be investing €1 million in Cevisama through the most powerful promotional campaign in our history, inviting thousands of VIP buyers from target countries in the sector to come to the event. This initiative will more than meet the expectations of buyers from all the firms in the ceramics and bathroom industry taking part in the fair,” says Carmen Álvarez, Cevisama’s Director.

In addition to activities such as the Interior Designers Forum and the best stand and distribution awards, Cevisama will be hosting the best Architecture Forum it has put together in recent years, featuring three top architects, including the last two Pritzker Architecture Prize winners: Francis Kéré, who won in 2022, and Anne Lacaton, the winner in 2021, as well as David Chipperfield, one of the creators of the iconic ‘Veles e Vents’ building in Valencia’s Marina.

“This gives us an excellent line-up at the Architecture Forum, turning it into a world-class event thanks to their participation,” says Alvarez. “The fair is definitely going to be a hit with all the clients, exhibitors and visitors participating in the event.

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Jan 23: UK  Topps Tiles issues Q1 Trading Update

Topps Tiles Plc has issued a trading update for the 13-week period ended 31 December 2022.  Group sales in the 13 weeks to 31 December 2022 were 10.2% higher year-on-year, with approximately half of this growth due to the comparative period in 2021 being prior to the acquisition of Pro Tiler Tools.

Topps Tiles continues to perform well and has delivered a strong first quarter.  Like-for-like sales were 5.1% higher than last year, with total sales growth in Topps Tiles approximately 2% below this due to a lower average number of stores trading this year. 

Pro Tiler Tools, acquired in March 2022, has continued to grow at an exceptional rate, with sales in the most recent quarter up significantly year-on-year.  The introduction of new, trade-focused brands, further investment in stock, and a continued focus on outstanding customer service have contributed to this performance.  Tile Warehouse, launched in May 2022, is now largely through the start-up phase and the focus is now on driving more traffic to the website and higher levels of conversion.

In the Commercial sector, Parkside’s financial performance improved at pace in FY22 and, following a strong second half, the business was trading at break-even by the final quarter.

Rob Parker, CEO, said: “We are pleased with what has been a strong first quarter of the new financial year, with strong like-for-like sales growth in Topps Tiles of 5.1%, excellent performance from our recent acquisition, Pro Tiler Tools, and overall Group sales up 10.2% compared with the same period last year.”

“We remain mindful of the macroeconomic headwinds which may impact UK consumers and businesses in the forthcoming year, but the Group’s strong balance sheet, world class customer service, specialist expertise and ambitious growth strategy gives us confidence that we will continue to deliver value over the medium term.”

Jan 23: Spain New kiln installed by Neolith

Neolith, a leading producer of sintered stone surfaces, has doubled the production capacity of its most popular large size product – 1,600 by 3,200mm – by installing a new FMA Maestro kiln from Sacmi; a longstanding technology partner which has previously supplied modular mills and spray dryers for the body preparation department. The new kiln features superior control solutions that allow for precise management of all phases, especially the critical cooling phase.

José Luis Ramón, CEO, Neolith Group, comm ents: “It is essential to have the best available technology, as this ensures we are able to satisfy the needs of architects, designers and end consumers. For this reason, adopting state-of-the-art technologies has been one of our top priorities and also enables us to optimise energy use, sustainability and corporate solidity. The Sacmi kiln is the best solution to our current needs.”

The new kiln, a 228.9 metre FMA 235, is specially designed for efficient control of large size slab firing and to ensure optimal management of the mechanical tensions that typically occur at the end of the firing process. To distribute heat evenly over the entire surface and cross-section of the slab and ensure perfect flatness, Maestro features dual rapid-slow cooling with burners positioned underneath the roller planes and dedicated ceramic blowers for the centre and walls of the kiln. Dedicated controls allow users to set recipe-specific parameters to maximise flexibility and repeatability, and ensure a rapid response to changes in operating conditions.

The FMA also features a modulated air-gas system that enables users to adjust the air-gas ratio in the various zones independently. Temperature control is performed by simultaneously adjusting air and gas flow rates, while the ratio between the two is adjusted mechanically.

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Jan 23: UK Topps Tiles sets out AGM battleground

The following is the press release, in full, issued by Topps Tiles, concerning the forthcoming AGM and the company’s dispute with MSG that threatens to make this AGM a most lively and divisive event.

Topps Tiles Plc (LSE: TPT) (“Topps”, the “Company” and together with its subsidiary undertakings, the “Group”), the UK’s leading tile specialist, provides an update in connection with the requisition notices received by the Company on 6 December 2022 (the “Requisition Notices”), served on behalf of MS Galleon GmbH (“MSG”) which required the Board to include resolutions (the “Requisitioned Resolutions”)  in the notice of the Company’s annual general meeting to be held on 18 January 2023 (the “AGM”).

In advance of the AGM, the Company would like to provide the following additional key information to its shareholders:

·     The Topps board of directors (the “Board”) has now become aware that MSG has been contacting certain Topps shareholders individually, with information which contradicts previous statements made directly to Topps around the link between sourcing and MSG’s equity interest in the Company;

·     In addition to the potential conflict of interest around sourcing, the Board believes MSG may also be preparing to launch its Nexterio tile retail brand in the UK , potentially establishing a direct competitor to Topps, which would create a further material conflict of interest;

·     The Company has secured further support from key shareholders. Over 41 per cent. of Topps’ shareholders have now committed to vote against the Requisitioned Resolutions.

Further information is provided below.

The Requisition Notices

As previously announced, the Requisitioned Resolutions served by MSG are as follows:

·     that Darren Shapland be removed from office as a director of the Company, and from the position of Non-Executive Chairman of the Company, with immediate effect;

·     that Lidia Wolfinger, having consented to act, be appointed as a non-executive director of the Company with immediate effect; and

·     that Michal Bartusiak, having consented to act, be appointed as a non-executive director of the Company with immediate effect.

MSG currently beneficially owns approximately 29.8 per cent. of the Company’s voting share capital.  Lidia Wolfinger and Michal Bartusiak are both employees of companies owned by MSG.

The Board does not consider the Requisitioned Resolutions to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole and has therefore recommended that shareholders vote AGAINST the Requisitioned Resolutions at the AGM.

The Board outlined its position in detail in its announcement of 7 December 2022.  In summary, the Board believes that the proposed appointment of MSG’s non-executive directors has the primary objective of aligning Topps’ business and strategy to MSG’s commercial objectives as owner of Cersanit, a manufacturer of tiles, and is therefore not in the best interests of the Company and Topps’ shareholders as a whole.

Since its announcement of 7 December 2022, the Topps Board understands that MSG has been contacting certain Topps shareholders individually in an attempt to garner support for the Requisitioned Resolutions.  Information provided to shareholders by MSG included a statement that it had recently discussed increasing its share of Topps’ product purchases to 5 per cent.

However, this statement is not an accurate representation of the entirety of those discussions and directly contradicts statements made by MSG to Topps.  MSG has, on a number of occasions, directly linked the level of its equity holding in the Company with the level of supply that it wishes Topps to source from Cersanit.  To this end, one of the proposed directors, Lidia Wolfinger, requested as recently as 25 November 2022 that Topps should source 29.9 per cent. of its tile purchases from Cersanit in line with MSG’s shareholding in Topps, with interim stage gates for achieving a 5 per cent. and then 10 per cent. share over the short term.

Moreover, when Topps has reviewed opportunities to source products from Cersanit, the frequent conclusion has been that as a supplier it is uncompetitive when compared with other manufacturers of similar products.

The Board continues to believe that all sourcing should be conducted on an arms-length commercial basis.  In addition, a diverse global supply chain is a key source of competitive advantage for Topps and the Board believes strongly that becoming overly reliant on a single supplier is not in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole.  Topps’ sourcing policy does not allow for more than 10 per cent. of tile purchases to come from any one supplier in order to avoid concentration risk.

The Board believes it is incompatible for the proposed non-executive directors to have the target of increasing tile purchases from Cersanit to 29.9 per cent., whilst at the same time acting in the best interests of all shareholders of Topps.

The Board has tried to engage constructively with MSG but in its interactions with Topps, MSG has made it clear on a number of occasions that it believes that the size of its shareholding entitles it to expect the Company’s management and the Board to comply with its requests.  Previous requests have extended to sourcing, the composition of the Board, and also supporting MSG’s strategic plans for UK growth.  The Board sees no linkage between a minority equity stake and control of the Company and believes lack of compliance with MSG’s requests led to MSG voting against Darren Shapland’s re-election at the 2022 annual general meeting and that this is also driving the proposal to remove Darren from the Board as well as the proposed appointment of two new directors representing MSG in 2023.

The Board is currently compliant with the UK Corporate Governance Code’s requirements in relation to board composition.  It is well qualified and experienced and has helped the executive team steer the business through the COVID-19 pandemic to a position which is stronger than before the pandemic.  This is evidenced by Topps’ recent FY22 results, which announced a second consecutive record year of revenue and significant market share gains.

MSG owns Nexterio, a retailer of tiles and associated products with over 40 outlets in Poland , which the Board understands is being prepared for a launch into the UK.  A new company, Nexterio.UK Limited was incorporated on 22 November 2022, the website has been registered and the Board understands a search for suitable trading locations around the UK is underway.  Nexterio would be a direct competitor to Topps, and the Board believes that the appointment of non-executive directors onto the Board who represent a direct competitor would be a further conflict of interest and would not be in the interests of all shareholders of Topps.

Following its announcement on 7 December 2022, the Board has been contacted by a number of other large institutions to confirm their support for the Board’s position. Together with the major shareholders listed in the original announcement, shareholders representing 41.3 per cent. of the Company’s voting share capital have now confirmed their intention to vote against the Requisitioned Resolutions.

Darren Shapland, Non-Executive Chairman of Topps, (above) said: “The Board continues to believe that these proposals would expose shareholders to a number of serious conflicts of interest and are not therefore in the interests of all shareholders of the Company.  The Board welcomes the strong support received from other large shareholders who support the Board’s position in voting against the Requisitioned Resolutions at the AGM.”

Keith Down, Senior Independent Director of Topps, said: “The Board has unanimously rejected these resolutions which it does not believe are in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole.  MSG is attempting to remove the Chairman, who has been leading communications with MSG on behalf of the Board, to allow it to increase its control over the business.”

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Jan 23: UK Construction declines for first time since August 2022

The latest Markit report shows that the UK’s construction sector recorded a fall in business activity during December 2022, ending a three-month sequence of growth, with the rate of decline the fastest since May 2020.  A similar trend was observed for new orders, which saw a renewed fall that was the strongest for over two-and-a-half-years.

Concurrently, sentiment among firms concerning the outlook for the year ahead dipped into negative territory for only the sixth time on record, reflecting fears around the near-term economic prospects.  Pessimistic expectations were reflected in the first round of job shedding in the construction sector since January 2021.

At 48.8 in December, down from 50.4 in November, the headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index registered below the 50.0 mark to signal the first contraction in construction sector output since last August.

Although commercial construction activity continued to rise in the final month of the year, the rate of contraction eased to the slowest in the current four-month sequence.  The uplift in the commercial sector was outweighed by contractions across the residential and civil engineering sectors in December.  Housing activity declined for the first time since last July and only marginally (48.0), while civil engineering recorded a sixth consecutive monthly contraction in output (46.8) and the rate of decline remained sharp overall.  December data also highlighted a reduction in new orders placed with UK constructors, following a modest uplift in November. 

Challenging business conditions were reflected in confidence amongst constructors towards the year-ahead outlook for activity, which dropped into negative territory for the first time since the initial COVID-19 wave and for only the sixth time on record. Downbeat sentiment was attributed to expectations of a recession and poor demand conditions, as well as inflationary pressures. That said, the degree of pessimism was marginal.

December data pointed to the first fall in employment since January 2021. Weak sales meant vacancies were often not being filled, according to panellists.  Elsewhere, firms pared back on their purchasing for first time in three months in December, reportedly due to lower workloads. Notably, the rate of reduction was the steepest for over two-and-a-half years.

Average lead times for inputs lengthened to a greater degree nonetheless, with delays the most severe since last June. Shortages and shipping issues were cited as the cause.

Turning to prices, costs faced by construction companies continued to increase during the final month of the year, linked by panellists to energy, material, fuel and import costs. Although still marked, the rate of inflation was the weakest for two years. Rates charged by subcontractors also rose in December, but at a slightly reduced pace.

Lewis Cooper, Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:  “The UK’s construction sector registered a relatively poor finish to 2022, with business activity falling into decline following a three-month growth sequence amid the fastest contraction in new work since the initial pandemic period in May 2020.  Companies cited weak client demand, driven partly by higher prices amid ongoing inflationary pressures.”

“Commercial construction activity remained the only bright spot, though here the rate of growth came close to stalling, with the overall contraction led by a further sharp decline in civil engineering and the first fall in residential construction activity since last July.”

“The challenging environment in December was subsequently reflected in pessimism amongst firms towards activity levels over the coming year, with business confidence downbeat for only the sixth time since the survey began in April 1997.”

“With the outlook turning negative, staffing levels declined for the first time since the start of 2021 in December. Though panellists primarily attributed the fall to the non- replacement of leavers, the data show that companies are preparing to face significant challenges in the months ahead.”

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Jan 23: UK Project starts and contract awards both down

Project starts and main contract awards both experienced significant declines during the three months to November 2022, with the value falling 49% and 59% against 2021 respectively. While detailed planning approvals advanced 3% compared with the preceding three-month period the value slipped back 13% on a year ago. 

Health: Totalling £539 million, underlying health work starting on-site fell 37% against both the preceding three months and the previous year. While main contract awards suffered a steep decline, detailed planning approvals experienced sharp growth of 64% against the preceding three months and 85% against the previous year. Growth was purely due to major project approvals which totalled £978 million during the period.

Education: Education was one of the few sectors that experienced growth in project-starts, with the value rising by a fifth against the preceding three months and previous year. Growth was purely due to major project-starts which, at £600 million, were 287% up on a year ago and up on the preceding three months when no major projects commenced on-site. In contrast, main contract awards and detailed planning approvals both weakened during the three-month period. 

Community & Amenity: While community & amenity project-starts fell 45% during the three months to November, the value increased 83% against the previous year. Growth against the previous year was purely due to major projects. In contrast, main contract awards experienced a very weak period having fallen 83% against the preceding three months and 44% compared with a year ago. Encouragingly, underlying detailed planning approvals were strong to boost the development pipeline.

Civil Engineering: Civil engineering work starting on-site during the three months to November increased 72% against the preceding three months to stand 106% higher than a year ago. Growth was purely due to major projects which, at £5,480 million, experienced triple-digit growth compared with both periods. Main contract awards and detailed planning approvals both weakened during the three-month period.


Jan 23: UK BMBI report shows volumes down but prices up

The latest Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) shows that merchants’ value sales were up +7.5% in October 2022 compared to the same month in 2021.  Volume sales dropped again (-5.6%) while prices climbed +13.9%, so price inflation was the driving factor of growth.

Eleven of the twelve categories sold more in October compared to the previous year, with eight performing better than the Merchants overall. Renewables & Water Saving (+66.1%) was the standout category, while Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+19.5%), Workwear & Safetywear (+19.0%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+17.5%) also had a good month. Timber & Joinery Products (-8.4%) was the only category to sell less.

Compared to pre-pandemic October 2019, total merchant value sales were +19.6% higher in 2022. Volume sales fell -8.9% while prices were +31.2% higher. With two less trading days this year, like-for-like sales were up +31.0%. Four of the twelve categories grew more than total Merchants with Renewables & Water Saving (+59.5%) leading the pack. Landscaping (+31.2%), Timber & Joinery Products (+23.4%) and Heavy Building Materials (+21.5%) also fared well.

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Jan 23: Italy Record year for Italian ceramic machinery sector

According to Acimac-MECS preliminary figures, the Italian ceramic machinery and technology sector achieved record a turnover of € 2.16 billion in 2022 (up 5.2% on 2021) and has already received orders amounting to four months of production in 2023.

Exports and domestic sales have both increased year-on-year. Exports, which have always been the industry’s main source of revenue accounting for 75% of total turnover, rose to €1,618 million (+5%), while Italian domestic sales grew by 6% to €546 million. The industry is approaching the end of the year with a sufficient level of orders to guarantee production for the first four months of 2023.

“While we reported positive results overall, this would have been a far more successful year if our industry’s performance had not been hampered by the twofold challenge of high energy prices and delays in component supplies,” said Acimac’s Chairman, Paolo Lamberti. “We had already seen the warning signs a year ago. We are currently in a state of overall good health, but in a supply chain environment where everyone is running a fever. We hope that in 2023 the raw materials supply chain will be back to normal, and that energy prices will have stabilised. In general, however, our outlook for 2023 is not very positive.”

2022’s energy emergency, further aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine war, has made it more urgent than ever for client companies to adopt energy-efficient technologies. The industry now offers a wide range of solutions for more sustainable production, as was clearly seen at the Tecna exhibition.


Dec 22: Spain Cosentino announces new Dekton variants

Cosentino has launched Dekton SilverKoast; a new range inspired by the serene and endless white of the Pacific.  SilverKoast is a two-colour collection available with both velvet and polished finishes: Malibu & Laguna and Marina & Salina.  Thanks to Dekton’s wide range of appliances, these four elegant and harmonious finishes have been designed to fill a wide variety of spaces with light.

Malibu conveys simplicity and is perfect for many different applications in a variety of spaces.  A warm design with a white background, crossed by short veins that run across the entire surface, result in a simple texture full of character. 

Laguna’s mattified finish is inspired by the white sand, sun reflections and waves of the California coastline, which are rendered in subtle and delicate veins on an ivory-white background.

Marina conveys elegance and serenity, calm and well-being.  It is the perfect colour to match any space, with its white background and cool veins ideal for giving centre stage to other materials in a room. 

With its polished finish, Salina recreates the whimsical salt patterns left by the low tide on the sand and rocks.  These delicate white crests materialise as an asymmetrical pattern of grey veins on a white background which reinterpret the classic elegance of Carrara marble.

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Dec 22: UK Sustainability Meets Design at Hard Surfaces 2023

MaterialDistrict will be returning to Hard Surfaces – the surfaces show that will take place from 6th to 8th June 2023 at ExCel London – with a carefully curated experience featuring over 100 innovative and sustainable materials sourced from around the globe.

Sustainability Meets Design will explore the latest advances in hard surfaces through the lens of sustainability. It will also examine the techniques for adding the wow-factor to construction projects in a smarter way.

Unexpected performance and innovative aesthetics will be found in materials featured for their lightweight recycled content, their durability, and other distinct properties, as well as visual appeal. It will address questions such as: Which materials can we make from waste? What are the latest ‘plant-based’ materials? Which products are made from 100% recycled material?

The exhibition brings together material manufacturers from all sectors of spatial design with products for both exterior and interior use created to satisfy form as well as function.

In addition to those materials already familiar to the sector – such as natural stone, sintered, solid surfaces and quartz – MaterialDistrict will showcase hygroscopic paving from recycled ceramics; organically grown mycelium insulation materials; thermally bonded crystal glass acoustic panels; cellulose-based construction materials made from leftover paper sludge and cardboard waste; moisture-absorbing kelp algae tiles; bio laminates made from starch and recycled fibers; terrazzo made from recycled training shoe soles; and much more.

You’ve got to see it… touch it… experience it… to believe it. Come and be inspired!

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Dec 22: UK SkillBuild winners announced

SkillBuild have announced the winners of the National Finals 2022, which took place at Edinburgh College on 15th to 17th November.

The winners of the Wall and Floor Tiling Category were:

Gold: Conor Nugent from Southern Regional College

Silver: Morgan Nutt from North West Regional College

Bronze: Aaron Brady from Leeds College of Building

TTA Training Committee Chair, David Rowley, was a SkillBuild judge. He said: “This was a really great event, which was also attended by about 1,000 visitors from local schools, so it highlighted the excellent training and skills opportunities which are available to young people in the construction sector. I would particularly like to take the opportunity to congratulate all three winners in the Wall & Floor Tiling Category. They did really well and they will no doubt be a great asset to our industry going forward.”

SkillBuild, often dubbed the ‘Skills Olympics’, is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in partnership with WorldSkills UK and offers a chance for trainees to compete to be crowned winner in their trade. SkillBuild is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices, and as competitors progress through each stage, they are tested on their technical abilities, time management, character, and commitment. The competition is viewed by many as an opportunity to develop confidence, self-esteem, and life skills, along with the potential for the highest-scoring eligible competitors to join ‘Squad UK’ and compete internationally.

The Wall and Floor Tiling competition is sponsored by ARDEX, BAL, Nicholls & Clarke, Schlüter-Systems, and The Tile Association. The Edinburgh National Finals followed the Regional Qualifiers, which were held at various colleges across the UK earlier this year.

Story source: Tilezine.

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Dec 22: UK Tile Mountain’s annual sales reach £70 million+

The Tile Mountain Group – which now comprises the Tile Mountain, Bathroom Mountain, and Walls & Floors brands – had another strong year of trading in 2021, with sales of £71.9 million (up from £48.5 million in the previous year) and pre-tax profits of £3.94 million (up from £2.58 million in the previous year).

Boasting nine showrooms alongside its e-commerce platforms, the company has an extensive product offering comprising bathrooms, tiles, and flooring and employs over three hundred people.

Commenting on the results, Jeremy Harris, MD says: “We are extremely proud of what has been achieved since our inception in 2013 and delighted to have seen another year of exceptional growth for the Group. In the past twelve months, we have added four further showrooms to our bricks and mortar offering to help drive the ease of choice for consumer purchasing.”

“The Group faces the same global economic factors that challenge our competitors. However, given our strong trading history and significant online presence, we are well placed to handle any economic turbulence and will be continuing to invest in our infrastructure and capacity, with additional warehousing and showrooms coming online in 2023.”

Fulfilling thousands of orders per week in a competitive marketplace, the Tile Mountain Group has established a reputation for excellent customer service. This, combined with an extensive product offering at competitive prices and large stocks that enable quick delivery, has ensured that 2022 has seen a further increase in sales.

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Dec 22: USA Recognition for Louisville Tile

Louisville Business Journal has ranked Louisville Tile Distributors #39 on its exclusive 2022 Fast 50 list of the 50 fastest-growing private companies in Kentucky.  Now in its 23rd year, the list celebrates the 50 fastest-growing private companies in Greater Louisville based on revenue.

This achievement follows Louisville Tile being named one of Kentucky’s Top Places to Work in 2022 and marks the second consecutive year – and third time overall – that the company has received this award.

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Dec 22: UK Government extends UKCA Marking deadline

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has confirmed that the UK Government will extend recognition of CE Marking for construction products until 30th June 2025.

The Government has changed its guidance providing practical information for placing construction products on the GB market. The new guidance can be found here:

This decision allows more time for businesses to prepare and avoids the 1st January deadline, after which businesses could not have legally sold certain goods because they have not achieved UKCA status.

Following lobbying by the Construction Products Association, of which The Tile Association is a member, and others, the Government now intends to use the next 2.5 years to engage widely and scope out meaningful, sensible reform and transition plans.

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Dec 22: UK 21st Natural Stone Awards’ winners saluted

On Friday 2nd December, Stone Federation hosted the 21st Natural Stone Awards Ceremony at London’s Leonardo Royal Tower Bridge Hotel.

Taking place every two years, the Natural Stone Awards celebrates the best examples of the use of natural stone in construction projects from across all sectors of the industry, from cladding and external masonry to interiors, and from landscapes through to restoration work.

Stone Federation Chief Executive, Jane Buxey stated: “The 2022 Natural Stone Awards has been a fantastic celebration of the very best that this industry has to offer.  This year, despite the challenges faced by the industry, the quality and quantity of entries was as high as it has ever been and is testimony to the agility, excellence and professionalism of the companies within the natural stone sector.”

The standard of the winning, highly commended and commended projects was very high throughout the eight categories.  The category winners were all exceptional examples of the successful use of natural stone across a wide range of applications, from the crisp façades of the new Chelsea Barracks and the traditional stonemasonry construction on Lancing Chapel’s new West Porch to the expert restoration of Loch Lomond’s Cameron House and the breath-taking, hard-carved cantilevered staircase at Lenaboy, County Dublin.

The Awards Ceremony was compered by sports presenter Jim Rosenthal who was assisted Radio 2’s Steve Madden; guest presenter, TV presenter, architectural designer, and sustainability champion, Charlie Luxton.

Guests at the Awards received a copy of the 2022 Natural Stone Awards Souvenir Brochure which can be ordered free of charge at

Dec 22: USA Viva Magenta is Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year

Pantone has revealed its Color of the Year for 2023: a bold shade of pink christened Viva Magenta, The selected colour is all about optimistic celebration, experimentation, and unrestrained self-expression, according to Pantone’s experts.

“As virtual worlds become a more prominent part of our daily lives, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real,” says Leatrice Eiseman, the Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director. “PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family, and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.”

“Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to original matter,” she added. “Invoking the forces of nature, it galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.”

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Dec 22: UK Construction growth slips

UK construction companies signalled a renewed slowdown in business activity growth during November, reflecting subdued demand and reduced risk appetite among clients. A number of survey respondents noted that higher borrowing costs and worries about the economic outlook had curtailed construction activity.

Moreover, expectations for business activity growth during the year ahead continued to slide in November, with optimism the lowest for two-and-a-half years. Aside from the levels seen at the start of the pandemic, the degree of positive sentiment was the joint-weakest since December 2008.

At 50.4 in November, the headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) – which measures month-on-month changes in total industry activity – registered above the 50.0 no-change mark for the third month running. However, the index was down from 53.2 in October and pointed to the weakest performance since August.

Commercial work was the only segment to register an overall rise in business activity in November (index at 51.1). House building activity meanwhile stalled (index at 50.0), which ended at three-month period of marginal expansion. Construction companies often noted higher mortgage rates and falling consumer confidence as factors that had held back residential activity.

Civil engineering activity (46.7) declined for the fifth consecutive month. The latest reduction was the sharpest since August. Lower volumes of output were mainly linked to a lack of new work to replace completed projects.

November data pointed to modest increase in total new orders across the construction sector, which contrasted with a slight decline in October. However, the rise in new business intakes was much weaker than seen on average in the first half of 2022. 

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Dec 22: Italy Marea wins Archiproducts Design Award

Quintessenza Ceramiche’s Marea has won an Archiproducts Design Awards for the Finishes category. The ADA connects the finest creative minds in Architecture and Design every year and honors innovation and the right balance between functionality, technology, and beauty. Marea was selected from hundreds of products for the quality of the design, the 3D graphics, and the concept.

Marea is a minimalist collection with meticulous, sculptural three-dimensionality. It is a design that is full of vibrant energy and inspired by the cyclical, moon-driven motion of the sea. Marea is a wall tile in 6 different colours. Three formats and two finishes that are easy to combine help to make the collection rich and versatile; with contrasting gloss/matt surfaces alternating in an undulating choreography of ceramics.

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Dec 22: UK Tile Mountain to sponsor TTA Awards 2023

The Tile Association has announcedthat Tile Mountain Group have pledged their support to TTA Awards by signing up as Gold sponsors for 2023. Tile Mountain is a one stop online shop for floor and wall tile supplies, offering customers exciting and innovative products from top manufacturers.

“TTA Awards are well recognised within the industry as the gold standard and so it is fitting that as Tile Mountain Group celebrates its tenth anniversary we lend our support in celebrating the achievements of others. We have been members of TTA since our inception in 2013 and are delighted to have the opportunity to further cement our relationship,”  stated MD, Jeremy Harris.

TTA Awards will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 12th May 2023. E: or T: 0300 365 8453.

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Dec 22: UK Topps Tiles seeks to reject Cersanit’s demands

Topps Tiles Plc has announced that on 6th December 2022 it received requisition notices pursuant to section 338 of the Companies Act 2006 requiring that the board of directors of the Company include resolutions in the notice of the Company’s annual general meeting proposed to be held on 18th January 2023 as follows:

·      that Darren Shapland be removed from office as a director of the Company, and from the position of Non-Executive Chairman of the Company, with immediate effect;

·      that Lidia Wolfinger, having consented to act, be appointed as a non-executive director of the Company with immediate effect; and

·      that Michael Bartusiak, having consented to act, be appointed as a non-executive director of the Company with immediate effect.

The Requisition Notices have been served by Lynchwood Nominees Limited on behalf of MS Galleon GmbH which currently holds approximately 29.9 per cent. of the Company’s voting share capital.

The Topps Tilews Board does not consider the Requisitioned Resolutions to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole and, therefore, intends to recommend that shareholders vote against the Requisitioned Resolutions at the AGM.

MSG owns Cersanit, a major European producer of tiles, in addition to having a range of home improvement and tile retailing interests, primarily in the Polish market.

Topps first received a notification of shareholding from MSG in May 2020, stating that MSG had a 4.1 per cent. beneficial interest in the voting share capital of Topps.  By November 2020, MSG had built its shareholding to 20 per cent.  During this period, the Company engaged in regular dialogue with MSG, in line with its stewardship practice with its other major shareholders.  In this initial phase, Cersanit was a minor supplier to Topps.

During 2021, MSG approached Topps regarding (i) the potential appointment of an MSG representative to the Board, and (ii) a proposal that Topps should purchase a greater proportion of its tiles from Cersanit.  MSG has consistently set out its belief that the proportion of Topps’ tile supply purchased from Cersanit and its representation on the Topps Board should directly reflect its shareholding in Topps, which at that point was approximately 20 per cent.

Topps did not consider this to be in the interests of shareholders as a whole and sought to engage with MSG to explain that the Company’s expertise in ranging, sourcing and procurement of tiles from a wide range of suppliers on a global basis is a core part of its competitive advantage and its iterative programme to develop and produce differentiated products that are innovative, of high quality and exclusive to Topps Group is a key strength of the Group.

In addition, Topps’ sourcing policy does not allow for greater than 10 per cent. of tile purchases to come from any one supplier in order to avoid concentration risk.  Any purchases from Cersanit would also need to comply with Chapter 11 of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Listing Rules on related party transactions.  In the financial year ending 2 October 2021, Topps sourced 0.5 per cent. of its cost of goods sold (by value) from Cersanit on commercial arm’s length terms.

In order to consider the merits of appointing a representative of MSG to the Board, the Board requested that MSG should set out in writing its rationale for a Board seat, including why an MSG appointed non-executive director would be additive to the already well-qualified Board, why the appointment would be in the interests of all Topps shareholders, and how conflicts of interest would be managed.  No proposal was received.

Subsequently, MSG, through its nominee, voted against the re-appointment of Darren Shapland as Chairman of Topps, as well as a number of other customary resolutions, at the 2022 annual general meeting.  Since July 2022, MSG has increased its beneficial shareholding in Topps to 29.9 per cent. of the Company’s voting share capital.

More recently on 25 November 2022, MSG requested, via Lidia Wolfinger (who is one of the proposed MSG non-executive directors as set out above), that Topps should source 29.9 per cent. of its tile purchases from Cersanit in line with MSG’s shareholding in Topps, with interim stage gates for achieving a 5 per cent. and then 10 per cent. share over the short term.

The Board unanimously rejects these proposals, which it believes present a clear conflict of interest between MSG’s objective for Cersanit to be a major supplier of Topps and the interests of all Topps shareholders.  In particular, the Board believes it is incompatible for the proposed non-executive directors to have the target of increasing tile purchases from Cersanit to 29.9 per cent., whilst at the same time acting in the best interests of all shareholders of Topps.

The Board is currently compliant with the UK Corporate Governance Code’s requirements in relation to board composition, is well qualified and experienced, and has helped the executive team steer the business through the COVID-19 pandemic to a position which is stronger than pre-pandemic, as evidenced by the Topps’ recent FY22 results, which announced a second consecutive record year of revenue and significant market share gains1.

The Board believes that the proposed appointment of MSG’s non-executive directors has the primary objective of aligning Topps’ business and its strategy to MSG’s commercial objectives as owner of Cersanit and is therefore not in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole.

In the light of the Requisition Notices, the Board has consulted certain other major shareholders of Topps representing 39.1 per cent. of the Company’s voting share capital, and has received confirmation of their intention to vote against the Requisitioned Resolutions.  These confirmations have been received from the Company’s three largest shareholders other than MSG – Aberforth Partners LLP (acting in its capacity as discretionary fund manager for clients), Mr Stuart Williams and Invesco Asset Management Limited – as well as Axa Investment Managers UK Limited and others.

Accordingly, the Board does not consider the Requisitioned Resolutions to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole and, therefore, intends to recommend that shareholders vote AGAINST the Requisitioned Resolutions at the AGM.

Darren Shapland, Non-Executive Chairman of Topps, said: “The Board strongly rejects these proposals, which it believes expose a clear conflict of interest between MSG’s objectives for Cersanit and the interests of all Topps shareholders.  The Board welcomes the support received from our other largest shareholders, who have confirmed their intention to vote against the Requisitioned Resolutions at the AGM.”

Keith Down, Senior Independent Director of Topps, said: “The Board unanimously rejects these resolutions which it does not consider to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole.  In proposing a resolution to remove the Chairman, who has led communications with MSG on behalf of the Board, MSG is seeking simply to strengthen its own position.” 

Nov 22: UK  Victoria PLC achieves 7.7% organic revenue growth

Interim results for the six months ended 1st October 2022 from Victoria PLC  – the international floorcoverings group – show 7.7% like-for-like organic revenue growth.  This, plus acquisitions, led to Victoria achieving a record operating performance.

Geoff Wilding, Executive Chairman, says: “Integration of recent acquisitions is proceeding apace and on schedule.  Consequently, the Board believes cash flow, after exceptional costs relating to the integration projects, will be in excess of £100 million in H2.”

“In the near term it is likely that disposable incomes in some markets will come under further pressure, from higher interest rates and inflation and the resulting weakening consumer demand may make additional price increases to offset higher input costs more difficult for the Company to implement.  Nevertheless, whilst acknowledging these challenges, I am pleased to say that the Board continues to be confident that synergy gains and proactive management actions will enable Victoria’s financial performance for FY2023 to be in line with market consensus expectations and the outlook for the business remains positive.”

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Nov 22: Italy Award for Nature Mood by Florim

Nature Mood by Florim was honoured in the finishes category at the Archiproducts Design Awards 2022. Nature Mood also received the Sustainability Award “due to the production technique that reduce pollution emissions to a minimum.”

The collection proposes a creative juxtaposition of two materials to generate a marble and wood effect. Nature Mood is the upshot of a sustainable design that reinterprets the warmer hues inspired by the world of marble with the clean, minimal veining of wood, thereby conceiving spaces that are interwoven in a harmonious dialogue. The range has many applications including surfacing floors, walls, furniture, and ventilated façades.

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Nov 22: UK  Topps Tiles announces second consecutive record year of revenue

Topps Tiles’  unaudited annual financial results for the 52 weeks ended 1 October 2022 show a second consecutive record year of revenue for the Group, with market share increased to 19.0% from 17.6% last year.

62% of Group sales are  now to professional trade customers, up 12 percentage points since 2015.  Significantly, the average sales per store is up 25.3% compared to 2019 levels.

Rob Parker, Chief Executive, comments:  “We are pleased to have delivered a year of strong strategic progress, with record sales for a second year running and excellent delivery against our ‘1 in 5 by 2025’ market share goal.  We are continuing to develop and diversify the Group and further strengthening our position as the UK’s leading tile specialist.”

“Within our Topps Tiles brand, where the majority of sales are being made to professional tradespeople, our focus on fewer more profitable stores and category extensions has driven sales per store up 25% since 2019.  Parkside, our commercial brand, (Cotswold showroom is shown above) has delivered a record year of sales and now moved into profit.  Pro Tiler Tools and Tile Warehouse have added a new, high growth, online-only sales channel to the Group, leveraging our core strengths in product, service and scale.”

“Looking forwards, we are mindful of the macroeconomic headwinds which will impact both UK consumers and businesses in the year ahead.  Against this backdrop, our trading performance in the early weeks of the new financial year has been robust, with like-for-like sales growth in Topps Tiles over the first eight weeks of 3.4%.”

“Our market share growth during 2022, combined with our clear strategy and strong balance sheet, give us confidence that we will continue to deliver growth and create value over the medium term.”

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Nov 22: Italy Florim opens Rome showroom

Florim has opened a showroom in Rome, very near the famous Spanish Steps. The store, of about 350 m2, is located within the historic Palazzo di Propaganda Fide, one of the capital’s finest examples of Baroque architecture. The entrance and three display windows are on Via dei Due Macelli 50 at the junction with Via di Capo le Case, on which the showroom continues with another four windows.

The opening is a further step forward in the project to promote the company’s image and establish ties with top engineering and architecture firms which began thirteen years ago. The company now has 9 flagship stores worldwide and is planning to open more in the coming months.

Nov 22: UK Dezeen Awards 2022 selects world’s best buildings

Dezeen has announced the winners of the architecture categories in this year’s Dezeen Awards, which celebrates the best architecture, interiors and design around the globe.

Above: The Richard Rogers’ Drawing Gallery, Le Puy-Sainte- Réparade, France, by RSHP. Image courtesy of RSHP

The 11 architecture winners include the Drawing Gallery in Le Puy- Sainte-Reparade, France, designed by the late Richard Rogers at RSHP, which wins Small building of the year. Judges called it “magical in its simplicity of thought and the complexity of its execution.”

Above: Argo Contemporary Art Museum & Cultural Centre, Tehran, Iran, by Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture North. Image courtesy of Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture North

Argo Contemporary Art Museum and Cultural Centre in Tehran, Iran, by Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture North wins Cultural building of the year for its transformation of a 1920s brewery in downtown Tehran into a contemporary art museum. “It is a bold adaptive reuse of an historic structure in the centre of Tehran and proposes a purposeful future use, which is inclusive, which respects the past while being forward-looking,” the judges said.

Above: Pingtan Book House, Pingtan, China, by Condition_Lab. Image courtesy of Condition_Lab

Pingtan Book House by Condition_Lab in China’s Hunan province, which features a double-helix staircase designed to provide space for children to read and play, was awarded highly commended in the Cultural building of the year category.

Above: Little Island, New York City, USA, by Heatherwick Studio. Image courtesy of Heatherwick Studio

Little Island by Heatherwick Studio, Arup and MNLA, a 2.4-acre public park and outdoor performance space standing on 132 concrete columns on Manhattan’s southwest riverside, wins Landscape project of the year. The judges described it as “a striking and imaginative addition to New York, which adds to the social value of the city by creating a new gathering space for families to enjoy.”

Above: Jubilee Pool, Penzance, United Kingdom, by Scott Whitby Studio. Image courtesy of Scott Whitby Studio

Scott Whitby Studio wins Rebirth project of the year for its renovation of the 1930s Jubilee Pool in Penzance, Cornwall, one of only five remaining seawater lidos in the UK. “This project represents a holistic idea of rebirth and sustainability,” said the jury. “It sensitively reflects the guardianship of the community of this civic asset and the desire to preserve and elevate its use so that it continues to be used and well-loved for future generations.”

Above: Hlöduberg Artist Studio, Dalabyggð, Iceland, by Studio Bua. Image courtesy of Studio Bua

Studio Bua wins Residential rebirth project of the year for its renewal of a run-down concrete barn overlooking the Breiðafjörður Nature Reserve in western Iceland. “The engineering feat to enable this project is quite remarkable but the finished building is subtle and appropriate for its context,” the judges said.

Above: 8 Yard House, Melbourne, Australia, by Studio Bright. Image courtesy of Studio Bright

Studio Bright’s 8 Yard House in Melbourne wins Urban house of the year. “It is a beautiful and striking home but what particularly stood out is the way that it sits in its existing context in Melbourne,” said the judges.

Above: Marfa Ranch, Lake Flato Architects, Live Oak, United States. Image courtesy of Lake Flato Architects

Marfa Ranch in the Chihuahuan Desert, USA, by Lake Flato Architects wins Rural house of the year. “This house is such a respectful addition to the landscape,” said the judges. “It’s simple, considered and very well-executed in terms of the materials, with the use of rammed earth a particular highlight that roots the house in its landscape. At the end of its life, much of this house will disappear – dust to dust.”

Above: Stories, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, by Olaf Gipser Architects. Image courtesy of Olaf Gisper Architects

Olaf Gipser Architects, working with the BSH20A housing cooperative, wins Housing project of the year for its 47-metre-high residential complex in the Netherlands, mostly built from cross-laminated timber that addresses the challenge of communal, high-density, sustainable and healthy urban living. “The project achieves these aims admirably,” said the judges. “These are principles that are desperately needed to address sustainable urban development in the future.”

Above: Yong’an Village Community Hub, Liuyang City, China, by Tongji University and Archi-union Architects. Image courtesy
of Tongji University and Archi-union Architects

Yong’an Village Community Hub in Yunlong County, China, by Tongji University and Archi-Union Architects wins Civic building of the year. The rammed-earth building forms part of an ongoing social welfare programme. “This is a generous piece of civic architecture that celebrates and elevates both people and place. It is a fantastic example of how to use traditional materials in a modern way,” commended the judges.

Above: Jakob Factory Saigon, Vietnam, by G8A Architects and Rollimarchini Architekten. Image courtesy of G8A Architects and Rollimarchini Architekten

Jakob Factory Saigon by G8A Architects and Rollimarchini Architekten wins Business building of the year for its factory designed for a specialist stainless-steel-rope producer in Vietnam. The building is wrapped in a suspended structure of geotextile planters, which act as a second skin by filtering the rain and sun. “It’s rare to see a factory building created with such care,” said the judges. “This feels like a space that is designed to support the wellbeing of the workers by bringing nature to the factory floor. This is all-too rare and should be celebrated.”

Above: Valle San Nicolás Clubhouse, Valle de Bravo, Mexico, by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

Valle San Nicolás Clubhouse by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos is a cross-laminated timber and volcanic stone-clad building situated on the outskirts of Valle de Bravo in Mexico that wins Hospitality building of the year. “This project has a beautiful play of architecture and line of sight and is very well balanced within the landscape,” said the architecture master jury.

Winners were judged by an international panel of judges that included some of the best-known names in the global design community, including Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, Sharjah Architecture Triennial curator Tosin Oshinowo, British-Nigerian architect Annette Fisher, multi-disciplinary studio Assemble co-founder Paloma Strelitz, green architecture pioneer Stefano Boeri and Pakistan’s first female architect Yasmeen Lari.

Nov 22: Italy Cedit’s Hotel Chimera in the ADI Design Index 2022

The Hotel Chimera capsule collection, designed by Elena Salmistraro for Florim’s CEDIT brand, has been included in the ADI Design Index 2022. Created by artist and designer Elena Salmistraro, the capsule collection is a composition of 80 different fragments, each of which is a ceramic artwork in its own right. Each piece, numbered and individually signed by the artist, was sold at auction and the proceeds were donated to support the Doppio senso. Percorsi tattili alla Collezione Peggy Guggenheim project, launched by the Venetian museum to encourage access to the world of art and addressed mainly to blind and visually impaired visitors, although open to all under an inclusive approach.

“We have created and built up a wonderful synergy with Elena Salmistraro, reflected in a project that reaches beyond design to support art and culture. This selection recognises the expressive vivacity of a talented designer, and Florim’s innovative drive and its focus on social responsibility,” says Claudio Lucchese, Chairman, Florim.

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Nov 22: UK CPA statement on UKCA Marking issue

The Construction Products Association (CPA), of which The Tile Association is a member, has stated that it is still awaiting clarification from Government on UKCA Marking. This follows an announcement on 14th November from the Government that the deadline for when businesses across the wider economy need to use the UKCA mark has been extended to 31st December 2024.

The CPA warns however that construction products fall under different regulations that have not yet been amended. The Government’s announcement stated: “There will be different rules for medical devices, construction products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment, unmanned aircraft systems, rail products, and marine equipment. Government departments responsible for these sectors are making sector-specific arrangements….”

Therefore, the general announcement does not apply to our sector. The CPA has raised this with Government and are pushing for further clarity, particularly from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which is the Government department responsible for our sector. It has also asked the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to make this distinction with the general announcement on its website.

Peter Caplehorn, CPA Chief Executive, said: “We are not out of the woods yet. The status quo is not certain, and for construction product manufacturers and the wider construction industry to prepare for any impending policy changes, the Government must expedite its decision on this critical issue for our sector. The year-end is fast approaching, and Parliament will recess on 21 December, leaving very little time for Government to enact the necessary legislation to make the policy and its deadline a reality. It also leaves the industry to face the increasingly difficult process through next year to re-test and re-certify new products where few or no UK facilities exist to achieve this.”

“With the longer term in mind, we must also ask Government ministers to re-consider the usefulness of the CA Mark policy, and whether a more reasonable, practical solution exists to help achieve the right aims but avoid further and unnecessary loss of time, money and resources. This continues to have a significant impact on investment, innovation, and growth of the sector.”


Nov 22: UK ONS issues construction stats update

The Office for National Statistics published estimates of construction output for September 2022 this morning.

  • Monthly construction output increased 0.4% in volume terms in September 2022, which is the third consecutive monthly growth following small upward revisions, to 0.6% in August 2022 and 0.2% in July; September 2022 shows the highest level of construction output (£15,125 million) since records began in January 2010.
  • The increase in monthly construction output in September 2022 came from increases seen in both new work (0.6%) and repair and maintenance (0.2%) on the month.
  • At the sector level, 5 out of the 9 sectors saw a rise in September 2022, with the main contributors to the monthly increase seen in public housing repair and maintenance and infrastructure new work, which increased 11.3% and 2.8%, respectively.
  • The level of construction output in September 2022 was 4.0% (£575 million) above the February 2020 pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic level. New work was 0.3% (£29 million) below its February 2020 level, while repair and maintenance work was 12.0% (£604 million) above the February 2020 level
  • Alongside the monthly increase, construction output saw an increase of 0.6% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2022, although this is the weakest quarterly growth since Quarter 3 2021 (1.1% fall); the increase came solely from growth in new work (2.4%) as repair and maintenance saw a decrease (2.2% fall).
  • Total construction new orders increased 6.4% (£774 million) in Quarter 3 2022 compared with Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2022; this quarterly growth came mainly from private commercial new orders, which rose 27.7% (£832 million).

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Nov 22: Spain  Top names headline Cevisama 2023 Architecture Forum

David Chipperfield, creator of the iconic Veles e Vents at Valencia’s Marina, and 2021 Pritzker Prize winner Anne Lacaton, are set to headline the Architecture Forum at Cevisama from 27th February to 3rd March 2023 at Feria Valencia, Spain.

The confirmation of Chipperfield and Lacaton’s participation has been welcomed by the event’s director, Carmen Álvarez: “We are aiming to bring more of the foremost figures from the word of architecture on board,” she said, explaining that she is waiting for a few more confirmations from speakers of similar standing.

David Chipperfield’s many accolades include the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2010), the RIBA Gold Medal (2011), and the Praemium Imperiale, awarded by the Japan Art Association (2013). 

The French architect Anne Lacaton, was joint founder of the Lacaton Vassal studio and won the Pritzker Prize in 2021.  She has been a teacher at the Federal Polytechnic in Zürich since 2017, and a visiting professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. 

Alvarez says that more than 350 exhibitors have already confirmed their presence at the event. These include brands such as Neolith, Ceramica Mayor, Gres de Aragón, APE, Cerámicas Halcón, Ceracasa, Peronda, Baldocer, Keraben, Grupo STN, Aparici, Apavisa, Esmaltes, and Smalticeram.  It is expected that Cevisama 2023 will bring together over 500 brands across eight of halls.

Alvarez also noted that the guest buyer programme … ‘is being exceptionally well received”.  “We hope that the presence of foreign buyers from the target markets will be the biggest and best that Cevisama has ever seen,” Alvarez concluded.

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Nov 22: UK  TTA announces new award sponsors

The Tile Association has announced that W.B. Simpson & Sons, and Banks & Lloyd have signed up as Gold Sponsors for TTA Awards 2023.

W.B. Simpson & Sons are one of the leading tiling contractors in London and the South East.  They specialise in the supply and installation of hard wall and floor tiling across commercial, retail and residential sectors.

MD Billy Valler, says, “We’re delighted to be Gold Sponsors of the Awards in the year of our 190th anniversary.  As a company, we will be celebrating 190 years of quality craftsmanship, a value which is celebrated and recognised by the Awards. You can view the projects we work on across our social media channels.”

Banks & Lloyd are global shippers of ceramic tiles; a market leader in the specialised world of ceramic tile imports from Spain, Brazil, Turkey, China, Argentina, Portugal, and Italy.

Ed Banks, Marketing and Human Resources Manager, says: “We are delighted to sponsor TTA Awards once again and welcome another opportunity to show our devotion towards such a fantastic industry.  We continue to find our involvement a great opportunity to let members and the wider industry know that we’re here to help in these trying times.”

TTA Awards will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, UK on 12th May 2023. E: or T: 0300 365 8453 for more information.

Nov 22: UK TTA offers clarity on EU anti-dumping rules

TTA has obtained clarification for the benefit of its members on the latest EU rules regarding anti-dumping measures taken against tile imports from Turkey and India.

There had been concern expressed by some members that ‘AD684 – Anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of ceramic tiles originating in India and Türkiye’, issued by the European Commission on 28th October, might also be applicable to the UK market.

Following an investigation, which was initiated by a complaint received by the European Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Federation (CET), the Commission decided to take action. This was due to a reported 48% increase in penetration of Turkish tiles into the European market between 2017 and 2020, and a tripling of the Indian presence during the same period – accompanied by significant price decreases, which resulted in the imported tiles being sold at prices lower than those produced within the EU.

The European Commission established that this was having a negative effect on the profitability of the entire EU tile manufacturing sector, which has been unable to raise its prices to a level at which it can be profitable.

In order to restore fair trade conditions, duties are therefore being implemented at differing rates, depending on which country and which company is involved, but amounting to 48% in some cases.

Following a query from TTA, the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) has now responded as follows: “As of 1 January 2021, the UK is no longer a member of the EU Customs Union and any EU trade defence measures put in place after this date are not applicable to the UK. As the EU measure you’ve raised concluded after January 2021, it does not apply to the UK. If the relevant UK industry felt an equivalent measure should be in place, they would need to apply to the TRA for a new investigation. I can confirm that, currently, we have not initiated any equivalent investigation but that does not preclude an application being brought in the future.”

This means that despite the EU ruling, UK importers will remain able to bring tiles from Turkey or India into the UK market without any restriction or requirement to pay tariffs.

In September the TRA also instigated a review (TD0027) into the current measures taken against dumping of ceramic tiles from China on the UK market. The current tariffs, ranging from 14% to 70% have been in place for more than a decade, and TRA is reviewing whether they are still appropriate to the needs of the UK market post-Brexit.  A comprehensive member survey established that TTA members are split in their views on this topic. TTA Board therefore felt it would be inappropriate for TTA, which represents the whole industry, to come down on one side or the other. The directors resolved to await the result of the review and to provide support and relevant information for members, once the TRA’s determination is made.


Nov 22: Spain Passport to Creativity update

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing more than 100 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), is now accepting entries for the 2023 edition of the Passport to Creativity tour. 

Now in its eleventh year, Passport to Creativity celebrates the history of Spanish ceramics by inviting a select group of US-based architects and interior designers on a journey through Spain. Attendees will gain a thorough understanding of the origins of ceramics, how they are made, and the technical and aesthetic benefits of the different genres of tile.

This year’s tour will take place in late February 2023. Attendees will begin by attending Cevisama. Following the show, participants will tour ceramic manufacturing facilities, explore historical sites, and experience a taste of Spanish culture; all while earning CEU credits.

“Passport to Creativity offers architects and designers the opportunity to master the nuances of Spanish ceramic tile from manufacturers and tile specialists first-hand,” states Rocamador Rubio, at Tile of Spain in the United States. “Our guests will embark on an educational journey that begins with the history of ceramics and concludes with a deeper understanding of the aesthetic, technical and functional benefits of Spanish tile. This knowledge can then be used to enhance and evolve their designs to meet the ever-changing needs of exterior and interior projects.”


Nov 22: Spain  Grespania builds new slab plant

The ongoing growth of Grespania continues with the expansion of a new production line at its’ plant for large format slabs in Moncofar, Castellón, with an investment of around €20,000,000.

The increase in capacity will be mainly for 1,620 by 3,240mm slabs with thicknesses ranging from 5.6mm to 20mm. The reception area will be expanded. As well as the storage space for spray-dried powder, there will be a completely new line including a press, dryer, glazing machinery, a new fibre glass mesh line, a new selection line and, of course, a state-of-the-art kiln, and slab packaging station.

This new production line has been designed to minimise the impact on the environment. In addition to the latest energy saving measure, a waste recovery plant will be installed on site, so that the waste generated can be reused in the plant itself without having to go through external waste management.

The project, scheduled for completion in early 2023, will mean a yearly increase in large-format production of 850,000sq. metres for the group. The aim is to accelerate the process of bringing products to market and further improve the service provided to customers, helping meet the requirements of the current plant in line with Industry 4.0 and to continue working on circular economy initiatives.

Nov 22: Italy ACIMAC’s latest global tile stats

Ceramic World Review has published ACIMAC research dapartment’s 10th edition of the annual report World production and consumption of ceramic tiles. This releals that, in 2021 world tile production and consumption grew by 7.2% and 6.8% respectively; while world tile import-export flows saw a significant increase, up 8.7% on 2020.

Consisting of almost 300 pages of charts, tables and commentary, the study provides detailed analysis of the trends occurring over the ten-year period to 2021 in terms of industry, markets, per capita consumption and export flows in geographical macro-regions and in the 81 largest tile producer, consumer, exporter and importer countries. The major new feature of this year’s study is the in-depth review of the 10-year historical series for tile production and consumption in India based on extensive market analysis conducted by MECS and involving more than 800 companies operating solely in the Morbi district in Gujarat, whose contribution to national production had until now been underestimated.

In 2021, world tile production reached 18,339 million sq. metres, up 7.2% from the 17,101 million sq. metres recorded in 2020. The result reflects the strong increase of tile demand in all geographical areas, which brought world tile consumption growing to 18,209 million sq. metres (+6.8%).

Production in Asia grew by 4.9% to 13.6 billion sq. metres, equivalent to 74% of global production. This positive result was mainly due to the increase in volumes produced in China, India and Indonesia, which offset the sharp contraction experienced in Vietnam.

The European continent produced a total of 2,124 million sq. metres (11.6% of world production). Production saw double-digit growth both in the European Union (+18% to 1,393 million sq. metres) and in non-EU Europe (+14.6% to 731 million sq. metres) driven by the sharp increase in Turkey.

Production in the American continent grew strongly to 1,737 million sq. metres. The growth rate in North America was 17.4% (377 million sq. metres), while Central and South America saw the biggest increase, +24.5% to 1,360 million sq. metres. The only area to experience a contraction in 2021 was Africa, where production dropped to 888 million sq. metres (-3.3%) due to steep declines in Algeria and to a lesser extent Nigeria which outweighed the increases in all other countries on the continent.

In 2021, global exports rose by 8.7% to 3 billion sq. metres, approximately 244 million sq. metres more than in 2020. Here too, the recovery involved all geographical areas. Asia’s exports grew to 1,414 million sq. metres (+2%), equivalent to 47% of the world total. The European Union’s exports rose sharply (1,055 million sq. metres; +14.3%) and amounted to 35% of the global total. Non-EU European countries also performed well (231 million sq. metres; +12.3%), largely due to growth in Turkish exports.

Exports also grew in Central and South America (183 million sq. metres; +36.3%), North America (45 million sq. metres; +10.7%) and Africa (85 million sq. metres; +4.6%). As for the export propensity of the various continents or macro-regions, the European Union remained the area with the highest export share in 2021 at 75.7% of its production. All the other areas lagged well behind.

In 2021, Spain regained second place in the ranking of the world’s largest exporting countries, while India dropped to third place.

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Nov 22: Italy Twin awards for Caesar

Alchemy Lux – Caesar’s new high-gloss metallic collection – has won the Popular Choice Winner of the Architizer A+Awards 2022 community, in the Finishes – Hard Surfacing, Tiles & Stones section, while the new Prima collection (below), in the Avio shade, is on the Archiproducts Design Awards 2022 Longlist. The winners will be announced later in November 2022.

Caesar has always wanted to enhance the value of ceramic material and, over time, has invested resources and energy to develop increasingly high-performance solutions, both technically and aesthetically. It looks at porcelain stoneware as a true furnishing element, capable of adding value to spaces and customising them to the utmost with a high aesthetic value, while also guaranteeing a strong focus on the sustainability factor.

Alchemy Lux (above) has a bright LUX finish to further highlight the prestige and personality of a collection that explores metal in an original way.

Prima, on the other hand, has clay as its dominant theme, a natural material of very ancient origins that has now been re-proposed in a contemporary ceramic key, offering great design freedom.

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Nov 22: UK Merchant sales up, but volume down

The latest Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report reveals that builders’ merchants’ value sales were +10.0% up in August 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. But volume sales were down -4.2%, with +14.8% price inflation driving growth.

All bar one category sold more in August 2022 compared to the previous year. Nine categories outperformed Merchants overall with Renewables & Water Saving (+27.3%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+26.9%) leading the field. Timber & Joinery Products (-5.7%) sold less. With an extra trading day in August 2022, like-for-like sales were +5.0% higher.

Compared to August 2019, a more normal pre-pandemic year, total merchant value sales were +29.9% higher. Volume sales were down -1.2% while prices were up +31.5%. With one extra trading day this year, like-for-like sales were up +24.0%. Three of the twelve categories grew more than total Merchants with Timber & Joinery Products (+39.9%) the strongest. Landscaping (+35.8%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+30.5%) also did better. Heavy Building Materials (+29.6%) grew marginally more slowly, ahead of Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+18.2%) and other categories.

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Source: GfK Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data July 2014 – August 2022.

Nov 22: UK Building celebrates award winners

Some of the biggest names in the industry including Core Five, ISG, Sir Robert McAlpine and Mace have all secured titles at the 2022 Building Awards.  HLM earned two titles: the Architectural Practice of the Year and the People Strategy Award.  Hosted by comedian Jimmy Carr, the ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London’s Mayfair on 1st November, was attended by more than 1,100 people.

Building Awards 2022 winners

The People Strategy Award – HLM Architects 

Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the Year (small) – Plan A Consultants

Construction Consultant/Surveyor of the Year (large) – Core Five

Architectural Practice of the Year – HLM Architects

Engineering Consultant of the Year – Cundall 

Contractor of the Year – REDS10

Major Contractor of the Year – ISG

Housing Project of the Year – Bream Street by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 

Net Zero Project/Initiative of the Year – UCL Pearl by Penoyre & Prasad

Delivering Social Value Award – Schools programme by ISG

Housebuilder of the Year – Berkeley Group

Specialist Contractor of the Year – Imtech Engineering Services

Small Project of the Year – Radley College Extension by Beard Construction

International Project of the Year – Sustainability Pavillion Dubai 2020 by Grimshaw

Digital Excellence Award – Sir Robert McAlpine and Mace

Refurbishment Project of the Year – Bodmin Jail Hotel by CField Construction

Offsite Project of the Year – Seismic by the Seismic Consortium

Building Magazine Project of the Year – Houlton School by van Heyningen and Haward, Morgan Sindall Construction, Urban&Civic, and the Department for Education

Construction Client of the Year – Muse

CEO of the Year – Alex Vaughan of Costain

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Nov 22: USA Mohawk announces third quarter loss

Mohawk Industries has announced a 2022 third quarter net loss of $534 million and a diluted loss per share of $8.40, including the impact of non-cash impairment charges of $696 million. The Company’s current market capitalization along with challenging economic conditions and higher discount rates prompted a review of its goodwill and intangible asset balances, which resulted in the impairment charges. Adjusted net earnings were $212 million, and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were $3.34, excluding impairment and other non-recurring charges. Net sales for the third quarter of 2022 were $2.9 billion, an increase of 3.6% as reported and 8.3% on a constant basis. For the third quarter of 2021, net sales were $2.8 billion, net earnings were $271 million and EPS was $3.93.

Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Chairman and CEO (above), stated, “Mohawk’s third quarter sales increased primarily from price increases and strength in the commercial sector. Our sales were weaker than we anticipated, as the retail channel softened across all regions and product categories. The strengthening U.S. dollar also negatively impacted our translated sales by $117 million or 4.1%. Our operating income declined as lower volume resulted in higher unabsorbed cost and material, energy and transportation inflation impacted our results. Our global organization responded to the economic challenges, with additional actions to optimize cost, productivity and inventory levels.”

“In the third quarter, our Global Ceramic Segment’s net sales were $1.1 billion, an increase of 9.8% as reported and 12.4% on a constant basis. The Segment’s operating margin was negative 51.0%, including the impact of a non-cash goodwill impairment charge and higher inflation, partially offset by pricing and mix improvements and productivity. The Segment delivered the strongest operating performance during the quarter, even with substantial inflation headwinds in Europe.”

“Sales in our U.S. ceramic business expanded during the quarter, and we are gaining support with our new higher-margin introductions that are an alternative to European imports. Our countertop sales grew during the quarter, led by our high-end quartz collections. Our European ceramic results exceeded our expectations due to our sales and pricing actions, positive mix and Italian energy subsidies. Sales of our premium collections remained strong, while increased gas prices impacted sales of our outdoor and lower-end products. In our other ceramic markets, sales grew primarily through pricing, mix and strength in the commercial channels. All businesses are reducing production in the fourth quarter, which will increase our costs,” concluded Lorberbaum.

Source: Mohawk Industries Inc

Oct 22: Spain 300 companies sign up for Cevisama 2023

Despite rumours to the contrary, the organisers are insisting the Cevisama 2023 will go ahead as planned. More than 300 companies are said to have confirmed they will be exhibiting at Cevisama 2023 in five months time.

View of previous Cevisama exhibition in Valencia.

Spain’s leading ceramic tile exhibition is thus set to open its doors from 27th February to 3rd March 2023. Spanning eight halls, it is billed to offer a comprehensive range of ceramic tiles, bathroom equipment, and natural stone; alongside the latest trends in design, technology, and sustainable construction.

Major brands to have booked include Peronda, Baldocer, Keraben, Grupo STN, Aparici, Apavisa, Poalgi, Acquabella, Visobath, Vidres, Esmaltes, Smalticeram, Sigmadiamant, Chumillas Technology and Macer.

“For this next edition, and thanks to support from the Ministry for Sustainable Economy, we will be investing a million euros in the most powerful promotional initiative we have ever rolled out,” says Cevisama’s Director, Carmen Álvarez.

“We will be inviting thousands of VIP buyers from the industry’s target countries, delivering above and beyond the number of buyers the ceramic and bathroom exhibitors at the fair will be expecting”, concludes Álvarez.

Oct 22: UK Positive results from Victoria PLC

Victoria plc – the international designers, manufacturers and distributors of innovative flooring – has issued a trading update ahead of its half year results for the six months ended 1st October 2022.

Victoria PLC’s logo.

This update says that the Group has continued to trade well in the period, with half year revenues and EBITDA in excess of £700 million and £100 million respectively.  This is in line with consensus market expectations for FY 23.

Progress continues to be made on the integration of acquisitions completed earlier in the year and the Board consequently expects meaningful positive cash flow in H2 along with operational synergy gains mitigating some of the macroeconomic headwinds seen across the globe.

The Company will announce its interim results on 29th November 2022.

Oct 22: Italy Italcer wins Sustainability Award 

Italcer has won first place out of a shortlist of 100 Italian companies at the Sustainability Award 2022.  This is the second year for this award scheme devoted to Italian-based companies that have excelled in tackling challenges such as climate change, changing employee needs, and the demands of multiple stakeholders.

Italcer’s Graziano Verdi receiving the award.

This year, Italcer came out on top in the ranking of sustainable businesses, all with ESG ratings provided by ALTIS Università Cattolica and RepRisk, produced by Team Credit Suisse, Kon Group and Forbes.

The award is also a recognition of the company’s path of continuous improvement in terms of sustainability and efficiency of production processes, which constantly seek out using materials efficiently, saving more and more energy, reducing polluting emissions and managing water and waste increasingly more consciously.

Graziano Verdi, CEO, Italcer.

The Italcer Group’s brands include Fondovalle, La Fabbrica, AVA, Elios Ceramica, Devon&Devon, Ceramica Rondine, Cedir, Bottega, and Equipe Cerámicas.

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Oct 22: USA Victoria makes strategic stateside acquisition

Victoria PLC has expanded its North American division with the acquisition of Florida-based flooring distributor, International Wholesale Tile (IWT).

Fascia showing IWT’s branding.

For the 12 months ended 31st March 2022, IWT generated unaudited revenues of $63.2 million and normalised EBITDA of approximately $7.0 million. The total consideration paid on completion was $28.5 million (£24.9 m1). A further, capped, contingent payment is payable over the next four years, conditional upon the business achieving certain growth and earnings targets.

Established in 1994, IWT is a distributor of ceramic and porcelain tiles, natural stone, luxury vinyl tiles, and decorative glass tiles; as well as an array of tile and stone installation systems.

IWT sources product from suppliers in Europe, Asia, and South America and distributes from a company operated, 220,000 sq. foot distribution facility located in Palm City, north of Fort Lauderdale, to more than 1,700 dealers in Florida and across the USA.

The acquisition of IWT continues Victoria’s winning strategy of growing its business in North America via the acquisition of successful distributors selling the same categories of product as the Group manufactures and sells in Europe. Including IWT, Victoria’s North American-derived revenues will exceed $400 million, around 27% of the Group’s income.

Oct 22: Italy ADI Award for Cotto d’Este’s Pura

Cotto d’Este and the Panariagroup claim that ultra-thin Kerlite slabs are the most sustainable ceramic product in the world.  Not only do they require less raw materials, less energy and less water consumption, but today they are also 100% Carbon neutral, says the group.

Pura by Cotto d’Este, a Panaria Group brand.

Inspired by limestone, the new Pura collection by Cotto D’Este is a celebration of naturalness, and balance. The background texture is characterised by a grain structure, typical of limestone, and by a graphic movement and changes in tone.  This is an extensive range spanning 14mm thick stoneware, 20mm outdoor stoneware, and large ultra-thin Kerlite slabs.

It was the depth of the range, obtained through a perfect co-ordination of the different production technologies, that led to Pura receiving a Special Mention in the ADI Ceramics and Bathroom Design Awards. 

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Oct 22: UK Swimming Pools Masterclass set for 27th Oct

The Tile Association’s next Technical Masterclass will be Design & Construction Process for Swimming Pools which will take place on 27th October.  The Masterclass will be held at TTA HQ, The Mount, 43 Stafford Road, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 0HG.

Infographic about TTA Masterclasses.

These Technical Masterclasses are aimed at every level of tiler to enhance their understanding and competence regarding the topic. Masterclasses will run from 10am – 3pm, and will be delivered by expert instructors.

Upon completion of a TTA Technical Masterclass, attendees will receive a free copy of the relevant technical publication and a certificate. All participants should bring their own PPE.

Numbers are limited, so places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Prices for TTA Technical Masterclasses are as follows:

TTA Member – £70 + VAT Non-Member – £150 + VAT

Included in this price are refreshments, lunch, and free parking on site.


T: 0300 365 8453 

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Oct 22: UK UK construction fell by 7.3% last year

Turnover in the UK construction sector fell by 7.3% last year, ONS data published last week revealed.  The sector boasted a turnover of £359 billion at the beginning of 2021, but this fell to £333 billion 12 months on, analysis of the latest figures by innovation funding specialist Catax shows.

Despite this, the number of construction businesses held steady, growing by 0.1% to 914,475. In comparison, business numbers in the UK overall fell by 1.5% over the same period.  The number of people employed in the construction sector also grew by 1.2% to 2.1 million.

Mark Tighe, CEO of Catax, comments: “The supply of essential materials was massively disrupted last year and may have contributed to the construction sector’s fall in turnover.  The industry still faces challenges, not least rising inflation which has sent the price of those materials soaring.  At the same time, the construction industry is critical to the UK’s drive to net zero and so it is vital that it keeps innovating and growing.”

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Oct 22: Italy Acimac publishes new tile stat report

New from the Acimac Research Center, the 10th edition of the World Production and Consumption of Ceramic Tiles report shows a market that is more dynamic than might be expected.  After two years of pandemic, the report analyses the key stats from 81 countries, with detail sheets on volumes and values of ceramic tiles produced, consumed, exported, and imported all over the world

Cover of 10th edition of World Production and Consumption of Ceramic Tiles.

Acimac is offering Tile Addict readers a 20% early bird discounted rate until 28th October 2022.  The price for Acimac Members is € 1.750.

The report has 300 pages of data for quick and intuitive understanding, and is billed as a useful working tool for all players in the ceramics supply chain, with updated statistics covering the entire decade 2012-2021, including new data on the Indian market.

Key findings are that the market has grown by more than 7%, to reach 18.4 billion sq. metres.  World trade has rebounded after falling in pandemic years: up 8.7% year-on-year.  Italy is still the leader exporter nation, commanding the highest average price of €14.3 per sq. metre. 

T. +39 059 510 336 E:

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Oct 22: Spain Tile of Spain mourns Pedro Riaza

With great sadness, Tile of Spain has announced the death of Pedro Riaza, who was Secretary General of the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER) for a quarter of a century. 

Pedro Riaza, the former Secretary General of Ascer, has passed away.

A well-respected industry leader, Riaza retired in 2019 after a long professional career in the ceramic tile sector.  Pedro Riaza joined the general secretariat of ASCER in the 1990s, and advised a half a dozen presidents of the association during his 25 year career. 

Riaza was decisive in managing outstanding challenges for companies in the sector. He helped to resolve dumping disputes that the Spanish and European industry faced. He also championed sustainable and energy efficient use processes, such as cogeneration. 

His passion, expertise and guidance over the years has a solid legacy for future generations to build upon.

Oct 22: Spain Porcelanosa explores the metaverse

Porcelanosa has opened a space at Metaverso.  The multinational ceramic tiles and beyond brand has joined the virtual reality experience alongside firms such as Balenciaga, Gucci, Nike, and Samsung.

Porcelanosa in Decentraland.

Porcelanosa is immersing itself in the world of the metaverse with the aim of adapting to new cutting-edge proposals and remaining a leader in the creation of design spaces.

Decentraland is the platform where Porcelanosa has introduced itself and its projects. It represents a global community of users sharing a virtual world, which can be accessed from different devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, or virtual reality headsets.

Porcelanosa moves into the metaverse by recreating the emblematic Commodore Criterion building in Manhattan.  Here, users can find news from the different firms, events with professionals, product information and access to the group’s website. Around the building, there is a yellow corporate vehicle and representative billboard to enhance the company’s iconic image.

Given that the new generations make up the majority of metaverse users, Porcelanosa has made it one of its targets to raise awareness about the importance of committing to sustainable behaviour and commitment to the environment.

More at:

Experience Decentraland at:

Oct 22: Italy Diamant Boart is now Husqvarna

Diamant Boart has become Husqvarna. The brand change was introduced to customers at the recent Marmomac trade show in Verona, Italy.

Diamant Boart is being rebranded Husqvarna.

For 85 years, Diamant Boart has served the global stone industry with high-quality diamond tools. In 2002, the company became part of Husqvarna Group’s Construction Division.

“We kept the two brands closely side by side in a multi-brand set-up for many years, but now the time has come. We will rebrand our Stone Diamond Tools business to Husqvarna. Our quality, service, expertise and above all our commitment will remain unchanged, as will our staff, sales offices and distributors,” says Pierre Andary, Senior Vice President, Diamond Tools at Husqvarna Construction.

“Many customers already know us as part of the Husqvarna Group, and everything will remain the same expect for the brand. We are convinced this will bring benefits for our customers and the stone industry at large, as we can focus our efforts on one strong brand,” explains Andary.

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Oct 22: Italy Sustainability certification for Co-Em

Coem has been awarded third-party verification by Certyquality according to ISO 17889-1 – Sustainability for ceramic tiles, a new international standard for determining the level of sustainability of ceramic products in the construction trade.

Co-Em has been certified to ISO 17889-1

This standard analyses the entire life cycle of the product, from raw materials to disposal, also assessing health and safety parameters for workers, and much more.

This confirms Coem’s commitment to vigorously pursue policies of environmental and social responsibility throughout its production operations, certifying the excellence of highly sustainable porcelain stoneware.

Coem products have been verified by a third party and compliant with the ISO 17889-1 standard on the sustainability of ceramic tiles. The new standard defines a system for evaluating the product throughout its life cycle, using qualitative and quantitative indicators for environmental performance and social and economic responsibility related to its design, production, installation and use. The standard also provides for the evaluation of the rating achieved so that it can be compared to support certification schemes, allowing designers and end customers to have a clear reference for selecting products that can contribute most to sustainability in buildings.

ISO 17889-1 establishes sustainability criteria for ceramic surfaces with the aim of providing design professionals, contractors and consumers with a verifiable and internationally valid standard for identifying product sustainability according to economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria.

The standard provides thirty-eight parameters, with which compliance is mandatory and which determine a specific score for each product, comparing it with reference values. Only ceramic tiles that achieve a minimum score of 117.5 can obtain ISO 17889-1 certification.

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Oct 22: Italy Ceramics of Italy Tile Comp set for 2023

Confindustria Ceramica has announced that the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition – the longest-running awards program of its kind – is now accepting submissions for the 2023 edition.

Entry from previous Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the competition honours North American architects and designers whose projects highlight the technical and aesthetic benefits of Italian tile, with past winners including prestigious firms like Rockwell Group, Gow Hastings, and Perkins&Will.

This year, a jury will select winners in four built categories – Commercial, Residential (Single-Family), Residential (Multi-Family), and Institutional; and one Student category. Winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Coverings 2023 in Orlando, Florida, and the chance to present their projects in front of architecture and design media at the show. In addition, built-project winners will enjoy a CEU-accredited trip to Cersaie 2023 next September in Bologna, Italy. 

Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition graphic

The deadline to enter is 19th December 2022. 

More at:

Oct 22: Marazzi on the Clerkenwell Design Trail 

Marazzi has featured in this year’s Clerkenwell Design Trail; a visitors’ route through the EC1 district of London organised to coincide with London Design Festival. 

Marazzi featured on the Clerkenwell Design Trail

About thirty locations and showrooms, a short walk apart, hosted workshops, product launches and showroom tours this year. Recurrent themes included the sustainability of materials and processes.

The Marazzi Showroom displays the main technological innovations such as the Puro Marazzi Antibacterial. This innovative technology is now applied to large stoneware slabs, perfect for the most hard-wearing kitchen countertops. It is able to eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.

3D Ink Technology is the latest evolution of the digital technologies applied to porcelain stoneware perfected in the Marazzi labs. Perfectly matching 3D structures and patterns give surfaces volume and textural realism.

Oct 22: UK Surface Design Show sets 2023 theme

Surface Design Show has set the theme of its 2023 edition as ‘Shaping Communities’; with an ambition to improve the surroundings for all, through collaboration and meaningful design solutions.

Images from this year’s Surface Design Show.

Surface Design Show will take place at London’s Business Design Centre from 7th to 9th February 2023 allowing architects, designers and specifiers to discover the best in material design for the built environment.

“We are seeing rapid change and progress in the design world, with digital platforms showcasing the real power of teamwork,’ says Surface Design Show Director, Christopher Newton. “And so, rather than working in isolation we are fully realising the potential of bridging the gap across industries to create long-lasting values that reflect how we want to work, live and communicate within that space.”

The Main Stage located on the mezzanine level of the show will play host to over 40 speakers during the 2½ days of the Show. Several sessions including Tuesday evening’s Opening Night Debate will focus on the topic of Shaping Communities. The full Programme will be announced in November.

Located at the heart of the show and a recurring highlight of the exhibition Surface Spotlight Live features innovative and tactile material for visitors to touch and feel, providing a hands-on experience for architects and designers. Curated by trend and colour expert Sally Angharad, Surface Spotlight Live explores the narratives underpinning aesthetic choice, material selection and design ethos.

Oct 22: Poland Construction volume in Euroconstruct area

Construction volume in the Euroconstruct area will grow by 2.3% in 2022, with a similar rate forecast for 2023.

Following a decline in output in 2020 (-4.4%), the construction industry in the 19 Euroconstruct countries staged a recovery in 2021 with a 5.6% increase in construction output to €1.856 billion, largely closing the gap with respect to 2019.

Out of the 15 Western countries (EC-15), ten reported a higher total construction volume in 2021 than in the pre-pandemic year 2019. Of the BIG-5 countries, only Italy significantly surpassed its pre-crisis level in 2021 (+13.0%, after a decline of 4.5% in 2020). In Germany, construction output in 2021 was close to the level of 2019 (+0.1%), while production was 5.7% lower in France, 3.2% lower in Spain and 2.9% lower in the UK. All Nordic countries achieved a higher total construction volume in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019, with Denmark showing the highest growth (+17.8%).

Out of the four Central and Eastern European countries (EC-4), only Poland achieved a higher total construction volume in 2021 compared to 2019 (+1.5%), while the construction industry in Slovakia experienced a deep recession with a decline of 16.8%.

According to forecasts, total construction growth in the 19 Euroconstruct countries will slow to 2.3% in 2022, with a similar rate forecast for 2023. This is due to market instability exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and the high levels of inflation, which are dampening economies’ propensity to invest in new construction projects.

A cumulative increase in construction output is predicted in the Euroconstruct area over the forecast period 2022-2024. In the EC-15 countries, cumulative growth will amount to 6.1%, which is slightly lower than for the EC-4 countries where a rate of 6.4% is forecast. The strongest cumulative growth is expected in Ireland (+15.1%), followed by Spain (+14.3%) and Slovakia (+13.5%). Stagnant tendencies are forecast in the largest European construction markets. Germany’s output declined in 2021 (-1.2%) after minor expansion in 2020 (+1.3%) and an increase of less than 1.5% is expected for the whole period 2022-2024. The expectations for the Scandinavian countries vary. The outlook for Finland and Sweden is considerably more negative, while Norway and Denmark are expected to see a total increase of 3-4% over the forecasting period.

All three main market segments (building construction, civil engineering and renovation) will see rather moderate growth with expected annual growth rates of between 2% and 3% due to the continued high level of economic uncertainty. The continuation of the war in Ukraine and the possible resurgence of the pandemic in autumn increase the uncertainty about the future and may lead to a recession in the construction industry in some countries. In this scenario, the current projections made by Euroconstruct forecast a significant slowdown in the growth rate of residential construction to 1.3% in 2024. This is the combined result of stagnation trends in both new residential construction and renovation (1.5% and 1.2%, respectively).

Following the sharp decline in total non-residential construction in 2020, production is forecast to recover in 2022-2024. However, non-residential construction is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in several EC-15 countries (France, Germany, the UK, Finland and Ireland) or in two EC-4 countries (Slovakia and the Czech Republic).

Civil engineering, the segment that was least affected by the pandemic (output decreased by just 0.4% in 2020) due to the implementation of numerous large infrastructure projects, is expected to grow by 2.7% per annum on average between 2022 and 2024. After accelerating to 3.9% in 2023, the annual growth rate will drop significantly to 1.7% in 2024.

The data were released during the 93rd Euroconstruct Conference held in Warsaw on 9th and 10th June 2022, which also provided forecasts for the European construction market to 2024.

Oct 22: UK Topps Tiles publishes strong set of results

Topps Tiles Plc’s, the UK’s leading tile specialist, trading update for the 52-week period ended 1st October 2022 shows a second record year for sales; and full year profits towards upper end of market expectations.

Typical product ranges from the Topps Tiles’ website

The Group now operates across three business areas: the omni-channel Topps Tiles brand is the clear market leader in the UK and services both trade and homeowner customers; the Online Pure Play offer consists of Pro Tiler Tools and Tile Warehouse; and, finally, the Parkside brand works directly with architects, designers, and contractors in the commercial market.

Group sales in the 52-week period were approximately £247.3 million, a second consecutive record year of turnover, with year on year sales growth of 10.6% on a comparable 52-week basis.  Group sales in the 13 weeks to 1st October were 4.3% higher year on year, with positive progress from all parts of the Group. Average weekly sales per store in Topps Tiles this year are 25% higher than in the pre-pandemic period of FY19.  

Rob Parker, CEO, said: “The Group has worked hard to achieve a strong balance sheet with positive net cash and this will serve us well as we move into a period of macroeconomic volatility, leading to a more uncertain environment for consumers.  In this context, our 20% market share goal of ‘1 in 5 by 2025’ and our growth strategy to deliver this will remain our primary focus, and we are confident that we will deliver against them both.”

Topps Tiles Plc is the UK’s largest specialist supplier of tiles and associated products, with 304 nationwide Topps Tiles stores, four commercial showrooms and six websites:,,,, and

For further information on the Group, please visit

Oct 22: Italy Atlas Concorde partners with HBA

With Marvel Travertine, Atlas Concorde has inaugurated its partnership with the international interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). The collection was inspired by the sumptuousness of travertine, thus bringing a material that played a key role in classical architecture into the contemporary world. Italian and international styles come together in Marvel Travertine decors designed by HBA, delivering a range of textures and geometric patterns suitable for all kinds of projects.

“We were very impressed by the beauty of Marvel Travertine. So it was easy to discover that we and Atlas Concorde share the same passion for design and excellence,” explains Ian Carr, CEO of HBA.

Oct 22: UK Natural Stone Directory 2022/23 published

Now in it’s 22nd edition, The Natural Stone Directory is the only current and comprehensive listing of UK stone industry contact information on quarries, stone importers and wholesalers, stone processors, masons, machinery suppliers, and organisations.

The Natural Stone Directory is now in its 22nd year.

The UK stone industry’s preferred reference guide, the current, indexed publication provides:

• 20 pages of colour swatches of indigenous stones

• A detailed guide to the active dimensional stone quarries and quarry operators in the British Isles

• Database of UK wholesalers, equipment suppliers, stonemasons, consultants, training institutions, and professional organisations

Order your copy – £55 UK – by calling Sue on 0115 945 3884 or e-mailing:

Oct 22: Italy Marmomac’s audience approaches 50,000

After four days with a new midweek slot, Marmomac – the world’s leading natural stone exhibition – closed its doors at Veronafiere after attracting 47,000 professional operators. This was 49% up on 2021. International attendance from 132 countries accounted for 63% of visitors: an increase of 97% against the previous edition.

Marmomac 2022 drew an audience of 47,000 to Verona across 4 days.

“This result all but returns the event to pre-pandemic figures in 2019, following the special online edition in 2020 and the restart show in 2021,” said Federico Bricolo, President of Veronafiere.

1,207 exhibiting companies were arrayed across 10 show halls and four outdoor areas. More than 1,200 varieties of stone were on show, including unhewn blocks, slabs and processed stone. Technology for quarrying, cutting, processing, and transport was also showcased ; alongside tools, abrasives, and chemicals.

“Marmomac this year have witnessed an impressive great quantitative and qualitative return of operators from target countries such as the United States, Brazil, India and Turkey,” said Maurizio Danese, CEO of Veronafiere, “posting figures that virtually returned to the results for pre-Covid editions. The figure posted for international attendance is all the more impressive when bearing in mind the down-scaled presence of China, Russia and Ukraine in the wake of well-known health and geopolitical issues.”

Marmomac 2022 also launched a new green approach for the Italian natural stone production chain, with the presentation of the 10-point planning document in the Authentic Natural Stone, Sustainability Manifesto signed by companies belonging to the PNA Network, of which Veronafiere is also a member.

The next edition of Marmomac is scheduled for 26th to 29th September 2023 (

Oct 22: Italy Cersaie attracts over 90,000 visitors

The recent Cersaie exhibition – held in Bologna from 26th to 30th September – attracted a total of 91,296 visitors. This was around 50% up on last year’s event that was held in the difficult post-pandemic period. This attendance figure included 44,215 international visitors, and 458 journalists, including 226 non-Italians. 

The main entrance to Cersaie 2022, Bologna, Italy

A total of 624 companies took part in an exhibition space of 140,000 sq. metres spread across 15 halls. There were 354 companies from the ceramic tile sector, 88 from the bathroom furnishings sector, and 183 from the installation, raw materials, new surfaces ,and services sectors. The show’s international profile was confirmed by 237 non-Italian exhibitors from 26 countries. 

“I am convinced that the 624 exhibitors who took part in Cersaie 2022 saw the best possible return on their investment in a show that once again confirmed its national and international importance among distributors, architects, installers and real estate operators,” commented Giovanni Savorani, Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica. “The Italian ceramic industry’s commitment to sustainability was the common thread running through the entire show, as confirmed by the meeting held in the exhibition centre with the regional and local institutions to take stock of the progress and results of the industry’s voluntary agreement on limiting emissions.” 

Next year’s Cersaie will be held in Bologna from 25th to 29th September 2023.

Oct 22: Spain Open Call for Tile of Spain Awards

A jury comprised of British architect Eric Parry, architects Luis Rojo (from Rojo/Fernández-Shaw), Biba Dow (Dow Jones Architecs), José Juan Barba (director of Metalocus) and Ángel Pitarch (chairman of CTAC), and interior designer Agnès Blanch (from Estudi Vilablanch) will meet in Castellón next month to select the winners of this year’s Tile of Spain Awards.

Cash prizes totalling 35,000 euros will be divided between three categories, which will recognise innovation in architecture, interior design and a final degree project by an architecture student.

This year the winners of the two main prizes – architecture and interior design – will each receive 15,000 euros, while the winner of the final degree project will receive 5,000 euros. The awards are sponsored by Endesa, PortValencia, PwC España. They count on the support of Valencia Regional Ministry of Finance.

Entry to the awards is free and submissions are being accepted from now until 28 October 2022. Projects must have been completed between January 2021 and October 2022.

For more information on the Tile of Spain Awards 2022 and to register your project, visit

September 2022: USA Tracking trends at Trinity

American followers of Tile Addict are invited to join Tile of Spain and Trinity Surfaces as they showcase trends, state-of-the-art materials, and innovations at Trinity Surfaces’ showroom. Featuring tapas and a 1 hour CEU presentation on tile trends and technologies from Spanish manufacturers, the event will take place on Thursday 22nd September from 4:30 to 8:00 PM EDT, at Trinity Surfaces, 958 North Orange Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789. 

Ryan Fasan, Tile of Spain Consultant and Ceramic Tile Specialist, will present:  Ceramic Trends Forecast: Adapting to Adversity. This is one of Fasan’s most anticipated presentations of the year as he delves into the inner makings, artistic design, and advanced technologies behind the world’s most notable ceramic lines from Spanish ceramic manufacturers.

Banner promoting the Trinity Surfaces – Tile of Spain trend presentation.

Following the presentation, guests will enjoy Spanish tapas and wines, as well as an in-depth discussion on the bold and unexpected uses of ceramic tile where Fasan will be joined by a guest speaker, John McClain, Designer and author of the recently published book on design: The Designer Within: A Professional Guide to a Well-Styled Home.


Visit to find out more.

September 2022: Poland Major investment by Cerrad Group

In 2022, Cerrad – the Polish ceramic group – has installed two new state-of-the-art production lines, increasing its annual production capacity by 8 million sq. metres. The group has a comprehensive product portfolio for use on floors, façades and terraces. It offers a wide range of finishes, such as matt, polished, lapped, and satin. Formats range up to 1,620 by 3,240 and 1,200 by 2,800mm slabs.

Illustration from the Cerrad Group’s website.

“At the beginning of February we launched a pilot production line with a capacity of approximately 5 million sq. metres of tiles per year, which allowed us to develop and bring to market unique products with very deep structures,” explains Cerrad Group’s CCO, Filip Cegłowski. “This technology also allows us to recycle and reuse soft scraps, reducing our demand for raw materials, water and energy and, in turn, lowering our impact on the natural environment. In June this year we started up a second production line, which was modified to increase our production capacity by approximately 3 million sq. metres of tiles per year,” notes Cegłowski.

Cerrad Group’s total production capacity is now around 28 million sq. metres per annum, with exports to more than 50 countries worldwide. These volumes are set to increase further in 2023. Cerrad’s increase in production is driven by the group’s strong sales performance in the strategic Western European and US markets. In 2021 Cerrad reported revenues of approx. €140 million, up around 35%, and a net profit of approx. €16.7 million.

Developed in partnership with Joanna Przetakiewicz, the Cerrad x La Mania Home brand has already launched four porcelain tile collections onto the market: Brazilian Quartzite, Ceppo Nuovo, Modern Concrete, and Marmo Thassos/Morocco. The Ceppo Nuovo collection, inspired by a type of Italian bedrock, won the international Red Dot Award 2022 in the Product Design category.

Visit for more information.


September 2022: Italy ABK turns to LB for slab production kit

ABK Group, one of Italy’s leading producers of ceramic tiles and slabs, has signed an agreement with LB Technology for the installation of a new body colouring line equipped with Easy Color Boost technology at its factory in Solignano, nr Modena, Italy.

Kitchen featuring surfaces by Flaviker: an ABK Group brand.

The new installation will complement ABK’s two existing body colouring lines and is part of the Finale Emilia-based ceramic group’s new investment programme aimed at expanding production of large-size technical porcelain tiles.

Source: https://www.ceramic

September 2022: Italy Tecna 2022: Sustainability in ceramics

On Wednesday 28th September, the technology conference at Tecna 2022 in Rimini will explore ecological transition in the ceramic industry. 

Sponsored by Enel Green Power, the event will be moderated by Francesco Bottino. The first session will focus on hydrogen power.  Talks on various aspects of plant engineering will be given by two companies that have long been engaged in R&D work in this field: Sacmi and SITI B&T.

Tecna’s Sustainability in Ceramics banner

The second session, moderated by Paola Giacomini, Editor of Ceramic World Review, will be devoted to technological innovations in the fields of energy saving, recovery, and recycling.   It will feature speakers from System Ceramics, LB Group, Poppi, and Cami Depurazioni.

The final talk will be given by Marco Bertuzzi, Head of the Renewable Energy at Protesa-Sacmi Group.  He will explain how new models can be used to combine energy efficiency improvement with the production of energy from PV sources. 

Visit to see the whole programme.


September 2022: Ukraine Clay shipments from Ukraine resume

The first shipment of 17,000 tonnes of Ukrainian clay arrived at the port of Castellón, Spain, on 15th August.  Vesco, Ukraine’s largest clay exporter, resumed operations after pausing for several months due to the outbreak of the war.

Ukrainian clay being loaded for shipment.

Dmitrii Kostornichenko, Vesco’s Sales Director, says: “The shock caused by the first few weeks of the war was quickly replaced by an understanding of the need to find and build new logistics channels as an alternative to the blockaded Ukrainian ports.  The aim was to rapidly resume shipping of the stocks of material already available prior to temporary suspension of the company’s operations. We have succeeded, and shipping to major foreign markets has resumed.”

“We have now reached a shipping volume of 100,000 tonnes per month and are planning to expand the channels that we have managed to build,” notes Kostornichenko. 

Ukrainian clay shipments to Spain, Italy, and Turkey have all resumed.


September 2022: USA Villa Lagoon launches trade programme

USA-based Villa Lagoon Tile has announces a trade programme to serve customers who design and specify residential and hospitality spaces. Benefits of joining this professional community include:

Villa Lagoon Tile’s Design-Build Trade Programme banner

• Discounts on handcrafted cement tile and Zellige tiles

• Discounts on terrazzo tiles, terracotta, and Breeze Blocks products

• Exclusive previews

• Early ordering of new products 

• Free samples for projects

• A dedicated Villa Lagoon Tile specialist

• Buyer incentives

“Professionals who use cement tile in their projects are passionate about bringing this centuries-old process into their modern-day designs, appreciative of the craft and the uniqueness of each tile,” says Melissa Dillon of Villa Lagoon Tile.  “We launched this program because we are appreciative of these professionals and we look forward to offering them this enhanced support.”

To join, email:


September 2022: UK Parkside improves tile spec website

Whatever your specification mission, the new Parkside website makes it easy to find the right answer from a choice of over 20,000 commercial tiles.  Whether you’re a commercial designer, architect, tile contractor or residential developer, is developed to support your specification journey through its advanced segmentation.

Parkside’s new website simplifies tile specification

With tiles searchable by product, collection, or project category, the new website’s systems kick-in to finetune your selection by colour, size, finish, slip-resistance and recycled content.  The result is a selection of tiles that meet the needs of your project in just a few simple steps.  Samples of selected products can be ordered directly through the website for fast delivery. 

Parkside’s Tina Hughan, says: “We’ve developed the new website from the ground-up using the latest technologies to ensure it helps specifiers make the right material choices from an exceptional collection of design, technical and specialist tiles.  The new and free to access sample service will also ensure a quicker transition from consideration to specification.”

Visit to see the new site.

September 2022: Poland Laminam acquires distributor Interstone

Laminam has acquired its Polish distributor, Interstone, building on the 30% stake it already held.  This will enhance the strategic positioning of the Laminam brand in Poland.

The collaboration between the two companies dates back to 2012 and this move will consolidate the commercial and distribution structure, ensuring coverage of the entire national territory through six logistics hubs.

Aerial view of Interstone’s HQ in Poland

The agreement adds Poland to  a network of European branches in Spain, Germany, France, Benelux and the UK, and those outside the continent in the USA, Canada, Israel, China, Japan, Russia, and Australia.

“We are delighted to welcome Interstone and its people into the Laminam Group. They will contribute substantially with their experience and knowledge of the market to the growth of our customers and to realize their projects with our surfaces,” says Alberto Selmi, CEO, Laminam.



September 2022: Italy Eight Italian cities connect with Cersaie

Visitors to this year’s Cersaie – Bologna 26th to 30th September 2022 – will be eligible for discounted travel on high-speed trains, making it easier for them to get the city’s Exhibition Centre during the five days of the event.

The main railway station in Bologna

Discounts will be available on second-class same-day return tickets to Bologna from Turin, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice, Padua, and Ancona on services operated by Trenitalia and Italo.  A dedicated bus service coinciding with the train arrival and departure time will be provided to shuttle visitors between Bologna railway station and the Exhibition Centre.

Visitors travelling on high-speed trains from all Italian cities will enjoy a 30% discount on first and second class fares on services operated by Trenitalia, and a 40% discount on first class fares for travel with Italo. 

A series of hotel + train packages are also available, consisting of accommodation in 3-4 star hotels in Ferrara, Rimini, Padua, Verona, Venice or Florence and train travel to and from Bologna.

A charter train will also run from Reggio Emilia directly to the Bologna Exhibition Centre’s railway station with intermediate stops in Rubiera and Modena.

The webpage shows available promotions along with links to the Bologna Welcome website for making bookings.

September 2022: UK Mid-size UK developers still optimistic

New research with mid-sized UK residential property developers reveals they are optimistic about their businesses growing over the next three years.

The study by Downing LLP reveals that 78% of residential property developers expect their businesses to grow over the next three years; with 12% anticipating strong growth.

Downing LLP’s homepage

However, over half (56%) are ‘very concerned’ about the cost of raw materials rising, while 50% worry about securing the necessary insurance.  Almost half (46%) said they are very concerned about the length of time it takes to secure planning  approval.

Parik Chandra, Partner and Head of Specialist Lending at Downing LLP said: “Despite concerns about the economy and rising inflation, the need for a huge increase in the UK’s pool of residential property and the firm commitment from the government to achieve this means developers remain optimistic about growing their businesses.  However, they face several risks from the rising cost in raw materials to access to funding.” 

September 2022: UK Large format tile masterclass

The Tile Association’s next Technical Masterclass will be Large Format Tile for Internal Tiling which will take place on 20th September.  The Masterclass will be held at Building Adhesives, Longton Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 8JB.

These Technical Masterclasses are aimed at every level of tiler to enhance their understanding and competence regarding the topic. Masterclasses will run from 10am to 3pm and will be delivered by expert instructors.

TTA will be running a large format tile masterclass on 20th September 2022

Attendees will receive a free copy of the relevant technical publication and a certificate. All participants should bring their own PPE.

Numbers are limited, so places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Prices for TTA Technical Masterclasses are as follows:TTA Member – £70 + VAT.  Non-Member – £150 + VAT. Included in this price are refreshments, lunch, and free parking on site.

Queries: Please contact

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September 2022: UK Breedon Group boosts rail infrastructure

A joint initiative between Breedon Group, Network Rail and the Welsh Government has brought the disused Llandudno Junction freight yard sidings back to life.  The Llandudno Junction freight yard had not been used for several years but extensive work – including vegetation removal, track repairs and refurbishment of the points which allow trains to swap tracks – has brought it back into service.

The yard is near the main Penrhyn Quarry of Breedon Group subsidiary Welsh Slate, and up to 260,000 tonnes of materials – ranging from sub-base to decorative aggregate – are expected to pass through it each year, with trains expected to run weekly.

Llandudno Junction freight yard sidings are now back in service.

Typical freight trains will carry 1,500 tonnes of material, compared to a truck’s 28 tonnes, leading to reductions in CO2 emissions, road traffic and operating costs.

Andy Roberts, Breedon’s general manager for the west of England and North Wales, said: “At Breedon, we have a strong commitment to sustainability. We recognise the important practical and environmental benefits of rail freight, so we are pleased that this new facility will allow a greater range of slate materials to be delivered across the UK in a more sustainable manner.”


September 2022: Italy Cersaie gears up for 10th Tiling Town 

Tiling Town, the meeting place for international tile installers, celebrates its 10th edition at Cersaie this year.

Technical seminars on slab laying aimed at architects and designers will be held in a permanent conference area in the afternoons from Monday 26th to Thursday 29th September (and on the morning of Friday 30th September. 

Tiling Town 2021 from

Another initiative is the Tiling Town Matinées, a daily series of tile installation events organised by Assoposa’s technical partners: Fila, Mapei and Raimondi.

A large space in Tiling Town will be occupied by the Italian ceramic tile layers’ association Assoposa.  This trade body will also be organising three specific spaces: an Academy devoted to extra-large slab layers and an exhibition of washbasins made from large slabs; an area will be devoted to demonstrations of raised and exterior floor installation; and, finally, an area devoted to women working in the world of construction.

The Casa Italia web radio specialising in the world of home and living will broadcast a live programme direct from Tiling Town hosted by Paolo Leccese and entitled Bricks & Music

September 2022: UK Construction output falls again

Construction activity in the UK dipped for the second successive month in August as customer demand moved closer to stagnation amid cost pressures and economic uncertainty. Concerns about wider economic prospects led to a drop in business confidence and slower job creation, while firms’ purchasing activity declined.

CIPS Construction Total Activity Index

Falling buying activity did alleviate some pressure on supply chains, with lead times lengthening to the least extent in two-and-a-half years, while inflationary pressures also showed signs of waning.

The headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – which measures month-on-month changes in total industry activity – was at 49.2 in August, up fractionally from 48.9 in July but still below the 50.0 no-change mark and thus signalling a reduction in construction activity over the month. Activity has now decreased in two consecutive months.

As was the case in July, civil engineering posted the sharpest decline in activity of the three monitored categories, seeing output fall markedly over the month. Commercial activity also declined, thereby ending a period of growth stretching back for a year-and-a-half. On a more positive note, activity on housing projects increased for the first time in three months, albeit fractionally.

While some firms increased activity in response to ongoing growth of new orders, this was outweighed by those constructors that saw output decline as firms adjusted to signs of demand weakening.

New orders increased only marginally in August, and to the least extent since June 2020. Some respondents indicated that customers were holding back on committing to new orders amid cost pressures.

September 2022: UK Vistry Group and Countryside plan massive merger

Two of the UK’s largest housebuilders are to merge after Vistry Group agreed a £1.3 billion cash and shares package to take over Countryside. The takeover gives Vistry increased scale as the UK housebuilding sector prepares for recession amid high inflation.

Vistry’s homepage

Vistry, formerly Bovis Homes, was valued at £1.6 billion before the deal, while Countryside was worth £1.1 billion. Countryside shareholders would receive 0.255 of a share in the new company and 60p in cash for every Countryside share they held, leaving them with about 37% of the merged business.

If voted through by shareholders, the deal would make Vistry the UK’s fourth largest housebuilder. Vistry built more than 6,500 homes in 2021, while Countryside built nearly 5,400.

Greg Fitzgerald, Vistry’s Chief Executive, stated: “It will create a leader in the partnerships housing sector, with the scale and expertise to accelerate profitable growth across both partnerships and housebuilding, and expand the delivery of much needed affordable housing across England.”

Vistry will fund the deal with debt arranged by HSBC, but it promised to keep debt levels to only 10% of its equity

August 2022: Italy Cersaie Digital: the virtual venue

Cersaie Digital is Cersaie’s new digital platform. With features such as an exhibitor catalogue, a business matching service, a 3D map and a congress centre, it allows professionals to meet up and do business remotely. While the in-person Cersaie will be held in Bologna from 26th to 30th September, the digital platform will be online from 19th September to 7th October.

Cersaie Digital offers exhibitors the opportunity to create a digital catalogue to allow visitors to discover the collections showcased in the fields of surfaces, bathroom furniture, and contract furnishings.

Cersaie 2022: Open to Evolution

Cersaie Digital is also an integrated business matching platform that allows visitors to plan the time they spend at the exhibition and find commercial partners. Cersaie Digital features a 3D map and also offers users a virtual flight over the exhibition centre. Users will also have the opportunity to interact with the stands and access exhibiting companies’ information sheets. The map will also serve as a virtual congress centre for live streamed events.

August 2022: USA Stone symposium set for October

Registration is open for the Symposium on Dimension Stone Use in the Built Environment, to be held 18th October 2022 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Louisiana, USA. 

The aim of the symposium is to facilitate a formal exchange among professionals in the dimension stone community on its behaviour in the built environment, including areas like design, construction, and evaluation.

Topics will include:

• Physical and/or mechanical properties

• Design

• Evaluation and investigation

• Durability

• Maintenance

• Restoration

To register for the event, or for more information, visit

August 2022: UK Wolseley buys into CP Hart

Merchant group Wolseley has acquired a majority share in CP Hart as part of its drive to expand into the premium bathroom sector.

CP Hart was founded in 1937 and currently has 16 showrooms in London and the Home Counties.  The investment by Wolseley should allow CP Hart to accelerate its growth plans.  All existing CP Hart showrooms will continue to operate as normal.

Chairman Richard Reynolds, who will remain with the business., commented: “Becoming part of the Wolseley family, with its strong commitment to growing its position in the bathroom market, is a great result for our business and we are confident that Wolseley will help CP Hart to realise its ambitious expansion plans.” 

Wolseley chief executive Simon Oakland said: “At Wolseley, we’ve known and admired CP Hart for a long time and we see this move as a valuable addition to our growing bathroom business.

Simon Oakland, Chief Executive, Wolesley

“This acquisition takes us into the premium bathroom sector across both retail and commercial customers and we will work closely with the existing management team to capitalise on this opportunity including providing further investment to the CP Hart business,” stated Wolseley Chief Executive, Simon Oakland.

In March 2022, Wolesley this acquired distributor Ideal Bathrooms, heating and bathrooms systems specialist DHS, and commercial washroom and bathroom products supplier Neville Lumb from Saint-Gobain.

August 2022: UK The Tile Association’s Golf Day is confirmed

The Tile Association’s Golf Day is returning for 2022 at a new venue. TTA’s 2022 Golf Day will take on Thursday 13th October at The Stratford Park Hotel & Golf Club, Stratford-upon-Avon. 

The Stratford Park Hotel & Golf Club, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Golf Day will commence with coffee + bacon rolls served in the morning in the Meadow Barn, followed by 18 holes of golf on the 72 par championship golf course. This well-established and highly social day will conclude with a two course meal. TTA Member Price – £60 + VAT. Non Member Price – £70 + VAT

Tile Addict readers can register their interest at:

Contact details for The Tile Association are: The Mount, 43 Stafford Road, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 0HG  T: 0300 365 8453 

The new TTA logo

August 2022: UAE  RAK Ceramics posts strong results

RAK Ceramics has announced strong quarterly results, with total revenue in Q2 2022 up 32.3% year-on-year to AED 927.0 million, and net profits of AED 102.2 million, up by 7.7% year-on-year.

One of RAK Ceramics’ global network of showrooms

Total gross profit margin reached an all-time high in Q2 2022 up by 0.3% year on year to 38.4%

Q2 2022 total EBITDA increased by 26.5% year-on-year to AED 164.3 million

Abdallah Massaad, Group CEO, commented: “Despite the unprecedented economic environment and increased global volatility, RAK Ceramics achieved a remarkably strong performance in Q2 2022, supported by key strategic and operational initiatives realised during Q2 2022.  We remain focused on our goals to achieve a sustainable and continued growth in scale and profitability.  We are also proud to announce that we have concluded the acquisition of KLUDI Group, launched the process of buying out RAK Porcelain’s minority positions, and approved RAK Ceramics Bangladesh expansionary project.”

Tiles revenue increased by 25.9% year-on-year to reach AED 595.1 million in Q2 2022, and by 11.9% year on year to reach AED 1.1 billion in H1 2022.  Growth was driven by increase in volumes and in selling price across all markets – except for a stabilisation felt in H1 2022 figures for the Saudi Arabian market given introduction of custom duty and supply disruption in Q1 2022.

More at

August 2022: UK   Construction output declines in UK

The headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 48.9 in July, down from 52.6 in June and below the 50.0 no-change threshold for the first time since January 2021. 

S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index, July 2022

Civil engineering performed worst (40.1), while house building declined for the second month running, although the rate of contraction was only slight (index at 49.4). Commercial work bucked the trend, registering 52.3 in July, but commercial workload growth was the weakest for 18 months. 

Survey respondents commented on headwinds to client demand from rising inflation, fragile consumer confidence, and higher interest rates.  Despite this, employment numbers expanded at a robust and accelerated pace in July. 

Purchase price inflation eased considerably (index at 78.1, down from 85.8 in June), with the latest rise in cost burdens the least marked since March 2021. Around 22% of the survey panel reported longer lead times from suppliers in July, while 7% signalled an improvement.

August 2022:  Italy  Cersaie: Spotlight on sustainable restoration

Building restoration will take centre stage in Cersaie’s building, dwelling, thinking cultural programme with a conference called The sustainable beauty of restoration on Wednesday 28th September.

The conference will be moderated by Fulvio Irace and will be divided into two parts devoted to two different  projects in Sicily: Casa Asilo and Palazzo Butera.

Award-winning Italian architect Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo will present the Casa Asilo project, which involved converting a former into a private residence. 

Italian architect Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo will present the Casa Asilo project
Palazzo Butera, Palermo. Photo: Giovanni Cappelletti.

In the second part, architect Giovanni Cappelletti will present the Palazzo Butera project in Palermo.  This involved restoring a sumptuous private villa and opening it up for public use as an art workshop.

August 2022: Italy New features for Cersaie’s Tiling Town 

Tiling Town, Cersaie’s meeting place for tile installers, celebrates its 10th edition this year.  Covering 400 sq. metres in Hall 32, this year’s visitors will have the chance to attend slab installation showcases given by expert tile layers. 

Tiling Town 2021: Image from

The technical seminars on slab laying aimed at architects and designers will consist of two hours of classroom sessions and two hours of practical experience in the installation workshop.  They will be held in the afternoons from Monday 26th to Thursday 29th September (and on the morning of Friday 30th September) and will earn CPD credits for participants.

Another initiative is Tiling Town Matinées: a series of tile installation events organised by Assoposa’s technical partners (Fila, Mapei, and Raimondi) to be held at 10.00 a.m. daily from Monday to Friday.

A large space in Tiling Town will be occupied by Assoposa: the Italian ceramic tile layers’ association.  Assoposa will be organising three specific spaces. The first is the Academy devoted to extra-large slab layers and an exhibition of washbasins made from large slabs, as well as a work in progress illustrating the cladding of a complex volume with ceramic mosaic tiles.  A second area will be devoted to outdoor spaces with demonstrations of raised and exterior floor installation. The final area – Assoposa in Rosa is an area devoted to women working in construction.

July 2022:  Germany  Atlas Concorde wins Red Dot Design Awards

Four Atlas Concorde ranges have won Red Dot Awards in the Product Design category for 2022: Boost Natural, 3D Wall Carve, Aplomb, and the Dialogo sink line.  An international jury of 48 members evaluated more than 20,000 applications from over 60 countries worldwide.

3D Wall Carve Sign by Altas Concorde, designed by Piero Lissoni

3D Signs & 3D Squares, designed by Piero Lissoni, draws inspiration from the naturalness of engraved and hand-worked stone, whose surface is enhanced by three-dimensional reliefs.  The first of the two patterns has an abstract and irregular design: the second a micro-mosaic of irregular squares.

Boost Natural 3D Wave by Atlas Concorde, a collaboration with Matteo Brioni

Boost Natural reproduces the signs of manual working of clay. It originates from the collaboration with Matteo Brioni, an Italian architect who uses raw earth surfaces in his interior designs.  The range complements the flooring offer with 3D floor and wall tiles to deliver an inspiring range that communicates tradition and originality at the first glance.

Aplomb Stripes: a wallpaper effect range by Atlas Concorde

Aplomb is a wallpaper-effect collection designed for bathrooms and other spaces with modern elegance and a contemporary style.  The soft, dusty colours of the wall tiles can be easily combined with other furnishing elements.

Dialogo Lavabo d’Autore by Atlas Concorde and Mario Ferrarini

Dialogo is the bathroom furnishing range resulting from a collaboration between Atlas Concorde and project designer Mario Ferrarini.  It is a harmonious synthesis where surface effects, colours, and volumes coexist.

July 2022: UK Supply chain issues to drive UK warehouse construction 

New warehouses and infrastructure growth are expected to fuel a rise in construction output by 2.5% for 2022, according to the Construction Product Association’s latest forecast.  This predicts the industrial sector, covering warehouses and factories, will rise by 15% for 2022, and nearly 10% for 2023.

CPA Construction Industry Forecast: Summer 2022

However, a slowdown in private housebuilding, and repair and maintenance, is predicted due to the demise of the Government’s help-to-buy scheme in March 2023.

Rising unemployment, planning challenges, the cost of meeting new building regulations – plus an increase in materials and labour costs – are forecast to constrain the sector. 

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said that it was too early to know if private housebuilding output would slow, are optimistic that mortgages for buying new homes would continue to be widely available.

Warehouse construction will be a major UK growth driver in 2022 and 2023

The CPA is forecasting activity in private housing repairs and maintenance to fall by 3% this year and 4% in 2023 due to reduced consumer confidence and disposable incomes. 

“Private housing repairs maintenance and improvements is the sector most exposed to changes in consumer confidence and real incomes.  It is also the sector that is most exposed to materials and products cost inflation, as small contractors are less able to plan and purchase in advance for projects,” said CPA Economics Director, Noble Francis.

July 2022: UK Builders’ merchants sales volumes fall in UK

The May Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report reveals that builders’ merchants’ value sales were up +14.8% in May 2022 year-on-year; driven more by rising prices (+17.8%) than volume sales (-2.5%) year-on-year.

BMBI: May 2022 highlights

All categories sold more in May 2022 compared to the previous year, with Kitchens & Bathrooms increasing the most (+29.7%).  Six other categories fared better than merchants overall including Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+21.6%), Heavy Building Materials (+20.6%) and Decorating (+16.5%). Tools (+11.9%), Ironmongery (+11.3%), Timber & Joinery Products (+6.8%) and Landscaping (+5.1%) grew more slowly. Like-for-like sales, which take into account the extra trading day in May 2022, were 9.1% higher.

Compared to May 2019 – pre-pandemic – total merchant value sales were 23.9% higher with one less trading day in the most recent period. All categories sold more, with three outperforming total merchants: Renewables & Water Saving (+50.8%), Timber & Joinery Products (+36.8%), and Landscaping (+33.0%).  Like-for-like sales were up +30.1%, while price inflation hit +30.0% and volumes were down -4.7%.

July 2022: UK Entries sought for Surface Design Awards 2023

The prestigious Surface Design Awards are now open for entries.  Now in their 11th year, the Awards recognise excellence in material innovation from around the world.  Organised by Surface Design Show, the Awards attracted 180 projects from 24 different countries in 2022. 

The Awards are judged by an expert panel, co-chaired by Jonathan Hagos, Director of Freehaus and Nasim Koerting, Head of Design, The Office Group. There are six categories for projects: Commercial Building, Housing, Landscape + Public Realm, Light + Surface, Public Building and Temporary Structure plus an Architectural Photography Award. From the individual category winners, the judges will then decide on a Supreme Award. 

Last year’s Supreme Winner, the BAFTA Headquarters in London by Benedetti Architects, was described as being ‘truly impressive’ by the judges. 

There is no charge for entering the Awards as the organisers want to welcome entries from practices both large and small and for both bigger and smaller projects.  Every shortlisted and winning entry will benefit from vast company recognition, exposure to the judging panel, presence on the Surface Design Show website, via social media, in the press, and to the Show’s huge community of architects and designers.

The closing date for Surface Design Award entries is Friday 23rd September 2022.

The BAFTA Headquarters in London by Benedetti Architects
July 2022: Spain Cevisama Tech: new 2023 innovation showcase

Cevisama – Spain’s tile trade fair – is launching a new section at its next edition, scheduled for 27th February to 3rd March 2023 at Feria Valencia.  Cevisama Tech will highlight the value of Spain’s ceramic tile industry and its work in R+D+i.

New Cevisama Tech logo

Two exhibition halls are being dedicated to Cevisama Tech, featuring many top brands.  Cevisama Tech will be a dedicated space where visitors will be able to discover innovations in machinery, frits, glazes, and colours for ceramic tiles; plus software, logistics, BIM companies, applied technology, and much more.  An extensive programme of presentations and debates will complement the exhibition, centred on innovation, sustainability, and technology.  Here expert speakers will be sharing insights into key sector developments set for the near future.

July 2022:  Spain  Fernando Fabra elected Chairman of ANFFECC

At the recent general meeting of ANFFECC – the association of Spanish ceramic frit and glaze manufacturers – on 15th  July, Fernando Fabra Florit was elected Chairman.  The owner of the frit and glaze producer Esmaltes takes over from Joaquín Font de Mora and will lead the association for the next four years.  He has served as Vice Chairman of ANFFECC for the last two years.and confidence Other board members elected during the meeting included Ángel Navarro (Coloronda) as Vice Chairman, Joaquín Font de Mora as Treasurer, and Gonzalo Trilles (Colorobbia).

Fernando Fabra and Joaquín Font de Mora


July 2022:  Poland  Franco Stefani wins Ceramics in Europe Award 2022

During the congress held in Krakow from 10th to 14th July, ECerS presented Franco Stefani with the Gian Nicola Babini Award in recognition of his work in developing Lamina technology with System Ceramics.

Franco Stefani receives the Gian Nicola Babini Award

The award recognises the contribution that this industrial process and innovative technology has made to the European ceramic industry by developing a new product with enormous technical and aesthetic potential and opening up new areas of application and market segments; transforming the traditional floor and wall tile concept into a 1,800 by 4,800mm slabs from 3 to 30mm thick.


July 2022: Spain Cevisama Build will focus on sustainability

There will be a new feature at Cevisama 2023: Cevisama Build.  Spain’s leading tile trade fair – which runs from 27th February to 3rd March 2023 at Feria Valencia – will use the new section to showcase sustainable construction solutions.  These concepts are increasingly important in construction and Cevisama wanted to provide a visible response to the high demand for sustainable.

The construction sector has traditionally been represented at Cevisama by a small show of fixing materials and cutting tools for use with ceramic tiles.  Cevisama 2023 is taking a step further and launching a new section dedicated to construction solutions.  MEP installations, BIM, construction systems, sustainable construction materials, home automation, diamond tools, thermal and acoustic insulation, ventilation, and façades are among the product ranges that will be on show.  Exhibitors already signed up include Danosa, Fila, Chova, Cemher, Revestech, and Zehnder Group Iberica. 

This commercial showcase will also feature a programme of presentations on issues relating to sustainability and bioconstruction.  Industry experts will reflect on the current state of this market and debate the importance of actively addressing the environmental problem. The programme will be complemented by the sustainability awards ceremony.

The new logo for Cevisama Build
July 2022: UK Howdens announces stellar results

Kitchen giant Howdens’ half-year results show that the company is trading 40% ahead of pre-covid levels.  Howden Joinery Group posted a total revenue of £913.1 million, which is 16.3% ahead of last year, and 39.9% ahead of pre-Covid levels in 2019.

The group’s pre-tax profit of £145 million is up 21.6% on 2021, and 85.7% up on 2019.

CEO Andrew Livingston said: “Howdens delivered a strong financial performance in the first half, well ahead of pre-Covid levels in 2019, as we continued to manage effectively ongoing inflationary and supply chain pressures.  Our kitchen and joinery markets are large and attractive, and we are prioritising investment in future growth through execution of our strategic initiatives.”

Howdens operates with 788 UK depots; plus 42 in France and Belgium.


Howdens publishes a strong set of half-year financial results
July 2022: UK  Michelmersh to produce Hydrogen-fired bricks

With hydrogen-fired kilns looking set to be the a game changer in the sustainable production of ceramic tiles, there is interesting news from the closely-connected UK clay brick sector. Michelmersh has announced its successful bid for UK Government funding to conduct a feasibility study to replace natural gas with hydrogen in the brick making process.  Phase 1 of the project will demonstrate the viability of fuel switching and will see hydrogen used in the clay brick production process at Michelmersh’s Freshfield Lane site in West Sussex. 

Green electrolytic hydrogen will be used for the HyBrick study which will explore testing of specific infrastructure components to prove hydrogen firing capability and determine any impact on overall quality, brick integrity, or aesthetics. The bricks will then be compared against control bricks (produced using 100% natural gas) to ensure they meet all technical, aesthetic and characteristic requirements.

Home page of Michelmersh Brick Holdings plc
July 2022: USA US construction output is forecast to grow

Construction output in North America is forecast to grow by 2.4% in 2022 despite rising material prices and interest rate hikes, says GlobalData.  Construction output is expected to reach $1.94 trillion, up from $1.89 trillion in 2021.  However, following interest rate hikes and rising material prices, the recovery is predicted to be lower than expected, with GlobalData’s growth forecast cut from 4.5% to 2.4%.

Jack Riddleston of GlobalData says: “The North American construction industry remained relatively stable over the course of the pandemic and was the only region to show positive growth in 2020.  Growth was supported largely by the rapid expansion in the residential housing sector which made up for contractions in all other sectors. Where other regions grew rapidly in 2021, North America stagnated, growing marginally as a contraction in the US was offset by high growth in Canada.”

Riddleston adds: “The surge in material prices and labor shortages are causing significant project cost hikes and delays, reducing funding available for new projects. For example, the initial cost expectation of the Des Moines International Airport terminal expansion was $434 million when it was announced in 2018, however, due to a spike in input costs the project is now set to cost $733 million, and officials are considering staggering the construction of the project to offset the increase in costs.”

July 2022: Italy Atlas Concorde invests in large porcelain slabs

Atlas Concorde has announced a significant investment to boost the production of large ceramic slabs in Italy.  This will see the expansion of the Finale Emilia facility with a new line dedicated to the production of large porcelain slabs.  The investment of over Euro 60 million will strengthen Atlas Concorde’s leadership in the segment of large porcelain slabs and is in addition to the Euro 160 million allocated over the last five years for logistical and industrial development.

The plant is expected to start production of large slabs in June 2023.  The additional surface area of the new complex will be 35,000 sq. metres and will be covered by solar panels capable of generating up to 3,850 MWh per year, with a consequent reduction of 2,000 tons of CO2.  It will also ensure very low concentrations of polluting emissions.  The plant will be Hydrogen Ready for the future introduction of hydrogen into the production process.  It is expected to start production of large slabs in June 2023.  

Atlas Concorde facility in Finale Emilia, Italy

July 2022: Italy Bold and beautiful new marble

Brèche Fantastique is the latest marble in Antolini’s Exclusive Collection which contains over 80 exclusive materials from the world’s finest quarries. Brèche Fantastique features earthen colors and lively hues; with grey and sandy colours shifting towards white, and appearing to run along geological strata, reminding us of nature’s continuous, eternal metamorphosis. 

The stone combines radically different colours – creamy whites, stoic grey-blues, and fiery oranges and golds – in a collage that is contemplative, precipitous, harmonious, and inimical.

July 2022: Spain Production falls in Castellón due to energy costs

There has been a drop of 8.3% in tile manufacturing in Castellon this year, and the sector’s trade body is warning that this trend will grow over the coming months as energy costs are set to double, putting the brake on tile production in Castellón. This is confirmed by the data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

May saw tile output down 12.7% compared to the same month in 2021; while in April 2022 there was a decrease of 28%; only recently surpassed by 57% fall at the outbreak of the pandemic.

Castellon seen from the air

From Ascer they value that these figures show “how the trend reflects a reduction in production in a sustained manner throughout the year”.

The Spanish tile sector expects to pay Euro 2,100 million for energy this year, with gas being the main driver of the increase, although the cost of electricity will also increase.

July 2022: Italy Italgraniti Group fires up new website

Italgraniti Group’s new website is now online.  This is being billed as a totally innovative site with a graphic appearance that offers clients, partners and users a very intuitive experience.  The new user-friendly interface guarantees a smoother navigation of content, texts and photos.  It has been created as a corporate showcase for the group’s four brands: Italgraniti, Open, Italstone, and Impronta.

Italgraniti’s new website spans 4 brands: Italgraniti, Open, Impronta, and Italstone

July 2022: Italy Manuel Herz set to speak at Cersaie 2022

German architect Manuel Herz will be one of the guest speakers in the Building, Dwelling, Thinkin” cultural programme at this year’s Cersaie with a lecture to be held on the afternoon of Thursday 29th September.

Herz has worked extensively in the fields of furniture and exhibition design, as well as in urban planning and urban research.  One of his most famous projects is the Mainz Synagogue, a multi-level volume clad in green glazed ceramic tiles whose form is inspired by the relationship between writing and space. 

The leading German architect, Manuel Herz

July 2022: UK Victoria delivers record revenue and profit

Victoria plc, the fast-growing floorcoverings group, has announced its preliminary results for the year ended 2nd April 2022.  This was the ninth consecutive record year for Victoria in terms of revenue and underlying operating profit.

Five value-adding acquisitions were completed in the year: one in the UK-Europe Soft Flooring division, three in the UK-Europe Ceramic Tiles division, and one in the new North America division.

Victoria Group’s website: the home page

Victoria achieved record annual revenue of £1,020 million, including like-for-like organic growth of +19.2%.  Underlying EBITDA grew by +27.8% to £162.8 million.

Geoff Wilding, Executive Chairman, commented: “Victoria continues to be in an enviable operational position thanks to the achievements of our management team, who have successfully managed a year that has seen the highest inflation in a generation alongside massive disruption to global supply chains.  This year they remain laser-focussed on integration of recent acquisitions and execution of detailed synergy plans that will drive higher productivity, lower costs, and better customer service.”

Against very strong comparatives, the Group’s ceramic tile division delivered record revenues and profits in FY2022.  Victoria acquired three ceramic tile businesses during 2022 – all of which were producing lower margins than the incumbent businesses in this division.  However, the margins of these new acquisitions will grow as integration continues.

The management team had to contend with extraordinarily high energy prices for part of H1 and the entirety of H2, with energy costs comprising approximately 10% of revenues for Victoria’s ceramic business.  Victoria completed the acquisition of Turkish ceramic tile manufacturer, Graniser, in February.  This is a profitable and growing business, primarily exporting to Europe and delivers a good-quality, low-cost manufacturing platform to the Group.

July 2022: UK UK construction slowdown continues

UK construction companies signalled another loss of momentum in June as total business activity expanded at the weakest pace for nine months and new orders increased to the smallest extent since last October.  Worries about the near-term economic outlook led to a sharp decline in business expectations for the year ahead. June data indicated that growth projections are now the least upbeat since July 2020.

S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchase Manager Index, June 2022

At 52.6 in June, down from 56.4 in May, the headline seasonally adjusted S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index registered the slowest rate of expansion since September 2021.

Civil engineering was the most resilient sub-sector in June (index at 54.3, down only slightly from 55.5 in May).  A similarly strong increase in business activity was seen in the commercial segment, but the rate of growth eased sharply since May to the slowest so far in 2022 (index at 54.3, down from 59.8).

House building was the weakest-performing area of construction activity for the fourth month running in June.  the latest index reading of 49.3 signalled an overall downturn in residential work for the first time since May 2020.

June 2022: Italy Gruppo Romani invests in energy efficiency

Italian ceramic tile producer Gruppo Romani is upgrading the energy efficiency of its Rubiera, Roteglia and Casalgrande facilities for an investment of around €8 million.

The aim of the project is to reduce the group’s reliance on the national power grid and, in the case of the Rubiera site, to achieve complete self-generation in the near 

At its Rubiera site, Gruppo Romani has installed a new cogeneration plant in collaboration with Cefla and Sacmi.  It consists of a gas turbine with a nominal output of 6 MW that will be capable of producing around 35,000,000 kWh/year of electricity and recover exhaust gases in the form of thermal energy in two existing spray dryers.

The company has also decided to purchase an additional electrical power generation system which uses photovoltaic panels installed on the roofs of the business unit’s production and logistics buildings.  The new photovoltaic system is due to come into operation by next September and will have a total installed capacity of 1,700 kWp and an annual electricity production of 2,000,000 kWh/year.

PV panels with a total power output of 400 kWp and annual production of 500,000 kWh/year will be installed on the logistics, administrative and commercial buildings at the Casalgrande facility. The resultant energy production will allow the site to reduce its electricity consumption by 60%.


Gruppo Romani’s HQ
July 2022: Spain  Pamesa’s astonishing growth continues

Grupo Pamesa reported consolidated revenues of €1,220 million in 2021, a 56% increase on 2020.  This included 43% growth in the ceramic segment to €881.7 million.   Following the acquisition of Azuliber in September 2021, the group had predicted revenues of €1,100 million by the end of the year but achieved €1,220.6 million, up 56% from €782.7 million in 2020, and pre-tax profits €97 million (+47%). In the ceramic segment alone, sales increased by 43% from €616 million to €881.7 million (72% of consolidated revenues), while total volumes rose from 92 million sqm to more than 125 million sqm.

The raw materials division also performed well (+47%), while the energy sector delivered the anticipated surge in revenues (+233%).

Commenting on the ceramic division’s performance, Fernando Roig explained that the soaring energy and raw materials costs in the second half of the year had placed a severe strain on the group’s ability to maintain its profitability.  

Roig confirmed that a further €95 million will be invested in 2022.  The group plans to install new kilns, high-capacity presses, glazing lines, grinding plants and sorting lines.  Proposed R&D investments include a hydrogen-based fuel pilot plant, as well as the development of new technologies for digital tile decoration and expansion of the product range with the launch of XTRA, a new type of thin material.


Fernando Roig, CEO, Pamesa
July 2022: Germany Italy aims to increase German clay flows

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 23rd June in Munich between Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian association of ceramic manufacturers, and BKRI, the German association of producers of raw materials for ceramics and industrial minerals.

The agreement, signed at Ceramitec, calls for an increase in mineral flows  to the Italian ceramic industry of up to +10% by the end of August, and up to +30 % by December 2022

The Italian ceramic tile industry has been importing about 1 million tons/year of German minerals, particularly clay, for many years.  This is transported predominantly by rail, limiting the environmental impacts.

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Signing the memorandum at Ceramitec
June 2022: USA Material Bank acquires Architizer

Material Bank, the world’s largest marketplace for architectural, design, and construction materials, has announced the acquisition of Architizer, home to the world’s largest database of architectural projects and a renowned and trusted source for architects, interior designers, etc.

Currently led by CEO David Weber, Architizer was founded in 2009 with a mission to help architects build better buildings, better cities, and a better world. The platform now has more than 900,000 registered users, and a database of more than 3 million architectural images from 86,000 inspirational projects, alongside building products from 31,000 manufacturers. For the past decade, it has also hosted the prestigious A+Awards, the world’s largest architectural awards program that celebrates the best-designed buildings from around the globe and spotlights the people, products, and technology that bring them to life. 

Material Bank’s Founder and CEO, Adam I. Sandow, notes: “With an incredibly powerful database that provides seamless, curated access to building product information, Architizer allows for creativity and meaningful connections. Architizer has built an extraordinary business with a team devoted to innovation in the architecture community. This acquisition will benefit both our users and Brand Partners, and together we will build an even more comprehensive platform for the industry.”

“It is a winning proposition to bring together Material Bank’s unparalleled database of design products with Architizer’s robust database of architectural projects,” said Weber. “We’re excited to combine our data and resources to build better tools that serve the global community of architects and designers.”

Architizer will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary of Material Bank led by David Weber.  Currently, the Material Bank platform is exclusively available to design professionals in the contiguous U.S. and Canada.



June 2022: Vietnam Altadia equips new tile plant in Vietnam

Esmalglass-Itaca, Fritta, Vetriceramici, and Younexa – four companies belonging to the Altadia glaze, colour, ink, and ceramic frit group –  will be main suppliers to the new plant currently being completed by the Viglacera Corporation near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The factory will produce large size ceramic tiles and slabs using Sacmi’s Continua+ technology for applications on floors, walls and kitchen countertops and as furnishing accessories.

Viglacera Corporation is Vietnam’s largest building materials producer with operations spanning a variety of sectors and a portfolio ranging from ceramic tiles to glass, sanitaryware, bricks and concrete blocks and panels.  Viglacera operates in 40 countries with around 300 offices and distribution centres and has a workforce of approximately 9,000 employees worldwide.



July 2022: Italy Record year for Italian tiles

The Italian ceramic industry has posted exceptional 2021 results, including a 21% year-on-year increase in total revenues to €7.5 billion.  The tile sector achieved sales of almost €6.2 billion (+20% on 2020 and +15.4% on 2019), including €5.2 billion earned from exports.

The Italian ceramic industry, consisting of a total of 263 companies with 26,537 employees and activities spanning tiles, sanitaryware, tableware, refractory materials and bricks, posted a record total turnover of €7.5 billion in 2021, up 21% on 2020 and 14.5% on 2019. This represents an approximately €1 billion increase in sales in the space of two years.

Production climbed to 435.3 million sq. metres, the highest level since 2008 (+26% on 2020 and +8.6% on 2019).

Exports surged to 364 million sq. metres (+14.6% on 2020 and +12.6% on 2019), the highest level seen since 2007.  Exports to the European Union performed particularly strongly with sales of 218.5 million sq. metres, up 12.6% on 2020.

June 2022: Germany Ceramitec opens in Munich

Ceramitec has opened at Messe München (21st to 23rd June). Covering three halls—C1 to C3, this international trade fair for the ceramics industry will not only feature the entire spectrum of the sector – ranging from classic ceramics and raw materials to industrial ceramics, technical ceramics and powder metallurgy – but also a rich supporting programme.  This will, for the first time, fill two forums (Halls C1 and C3), with over 30 slots.

“The programme this year is one that has never been so colourful and varied before,” says Dr. Robert Schönberger, Exhibition Director. “Along with new applications for our high-performance material, visitors to the show will discover ideas that make manufacturing processes and the products themselves even better.”

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June 2022: Italy Tecna: the Future of Surfaces

The 27th edition of Tecna (formerly Tecnagilla) will run from 27th to 30th September 2022 at the Rimini Expo Centre, Italy.  The event will host the top international suppliers of technology and materials for the surfaces industry who have already confirmed their presence in 2022 (see the show´s website for the list of exhibitors). Some 30% of exhibitors are non-Italian companies, mostly from Spain, Turkey, Germany, China, Portugal, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Greece, and the USA.

Tecna will have a new layout with two entrances. The 70,000 sq. metre exhibition area will offer a comprehensive overview of the entire supply chain, and will provide an ideal opportunity for industry players to discuss innovation and the new prospects for production and the market.

The programme of business meetings organised in collaboration with ITA is expected to be well attended.  In 2018 Tecna was attended by 35,000 visitors.  This year’s Tecna will act as a showcase of technological excellence and an international marketplace located in the heart of the most creative, innovative and technologically advanced country in the world of surfaces.


June 2022: Italy Florim’s 14th sustainability report

Florim has published the fourteenth edition of its Sustainability Report; a transparent, concise description of the company’s 2021 results in economic, social, and environmental terms that also sets out selected future goals.

This edition records the company’s recent admission to Altagamma, the Foundation that brings together Italian luxury businesses. The internationalisation project continues: by the end of 2023, Flagship Stores will be opened in Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, and New York, giving a total of 10 showrooms in strategic global design locations.

Ten years after it began producing clean energy, Florim has now included a formal commitment to gradually evolve its business model towards net zero emissions. 

2021 saw consolidated turnover of more than 480 million Euros and an EBIDTA of over 25%. The last five years have seen investments of over 280 million Euros, with over 50 million Euros of green investments since 2011.

In environmental terms, as well as the 111,042 tonnes of CO2 not emitted since 2012, 12.8 million litres of rainwater were recovered and reused in the production process during 2021; and all electricity not produced in-house is purchased entirely from renewable sources.

Future objectives include the installation of a new photovoltaic plant of 4.5 MWp at the Mordano site; and the modification of product body mixes to reduce the use of raw materials, water and energy.



Florim’s Vigna plant
June 2022: Spain Àgora València is officially opened

Tile Addict’s Joe Simpson was in attendance when Àgora València, the pavilion of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, opened its doors for the press preview in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.  From this strategic location it will host a programme of activities as the nerve centre of the design capital.  These workshops, meetings, round tables, and presentations will be added to the official programme of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 in the centre of the city.

Miguel Arraiz, architect and project director of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, was responsible for the architectural project of Agora Valencia, together with Arqueha Arquitectura y Urbanismo.

The purpose of Agora Valencia is reflected in the materials and manufacturing of the venue and in its construction, which fuses tradition and avant-garde, crafts and industry, using only wooden rods and a material similar to ceramics known as MDi. The construction of the pavilion has seen the participation of companies such as Inalco, Wandegar, and iGuzzini, and studios and professionals such as Manolo García Carpintería Artística, Radiante Creative Studio, ATG Desarrollos, Josep Martí, and Quatre Caps.

At the opening ceremony, Mayor Joan Ribó stated that: “Starting today, our Plaza del Ayuntamiento has a new building to admire and enjoy.  Agora Valencia tells a lot about what we are, with an architecture that speaks of the Valencian industry through its ceramics, of the waves of the sea through its roof, which is, in turn, a tribute to our festivals: the Fallas.  A place of shade and meeting, of comfort and information, where its design invites everyone who passes by to make it their own.  A space that also offers the first shade of the square.  Moreover, its design and architecture, the materials that compose it, guarantee a much more pleasant thermal sensation than in the rest of the square.”

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June 2022: Italy New award for DIN by Konstantin Grcic

Mutina has announced that DIN by Konstantin Grcic has won the EDIDA 2022 award in the Floor Covering category.  The collection represents a complete new way of conceiving a modern mosaic.  It is conceived in a strictly modular logic that allows to play with the elements and offers a wide scope of possible applications, from simple concepts to the most complex ones, demonstrating an almost unlimited flexibility.

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June 2022: Spain Dune promotes the Design for Peace initiative

A couple of months ago, Dune received a video from the Ukrainian studio We Art, led by Elena Maksymchuk, that explained the difficult situation the studio was going through due to the outbreak of war.  They launched an appeal to the international community, offering their work to maintain the studio.  Faced with this situation, the Spanish tile company contracted a package of 3D environments with interior design projects, to give them visibility through its dissemination channels and provide them with access to new potential clients. At the same time, the firm spread the message of the Ukrainian studio to members of its international interior design community and the response was immediate.  Many of the professionals working with Dune, upon hearing about the situation of their Ukrainian colleagues, immediately got in touch to offer their collaboration altruistically.  This is how the Design For Peace project came about, an initiative that vindicates design as a universal language that does not understand conflicts and which is open to all architecture and design professionals who wish to support this Ukrainian studio.

Participants will be asked to create a photorealistic 3D environment, using Dune products and encouraging the crossover of collections.  As a result, a physical and digital style book will be published, in which the work of the Ukrainian design studio We Art, as well as all the selected works and their creators, will be disseminated internationally.  Design for Peace seeks to give visibility to the Ukrainian studio and all the professionals who collaborate, through the publication and international dissemination of the aforementioned style book, which will include the best projects.

“At Dune, we firmly believe that design is a form of self-expression, capable of moving the masses, which is above nationalities, cultures or ideologies,” says Dune’s Ismael Carne.

In addition to the publication of the best projects in a style book, Dune will award €1,000 to the best residential project and the best contract project.  To choose the best proposals, Design for Peace has a professional and qualified jury formed by Elena Maksymchuk (interior designer), Alexander Kononenko (interior designer), Gina Rosete (architect), Gabriela Pessuto (architect), Lutzía Ortiz (head of ITC’s Observatory of Habitat Trends), and Begonya Segura (Marketing Director of Dune).

Projects can be submitted until 15 July. The jury’s decision will be announced on 25th July.

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June 2022: UK Berkley Group rocks geometric formats

Wall and floor tiles from Parkside feature at Royal Exchange, Kingston, a luxury residential development by St George, part of Berkeley Group.  Parkside Acrux and Hexil mosaic tiles are being used throughout the bathrooms and en suites of homes at Royal Exchange, Kingston.

This prestigious development sees a mix of high-specification homes with residents enjoying a 24-hour concierge, gym, screening room and meeting room. Across five main residential buildings, the development provides 320 apartments and homes in Kingston Upon Thames.

Inspired by the architecture of the Grade II listed Old Post Office and Telephone Exchange buildings within the development, the design team at St George selected Hexil mosaics and developed a bespoke tile to create a link to the heritage of the site in new buildings.  The stylish cross motif with a handmade feel is now part of the Parkside collection as Acrux, made with 39% recycled content.

The design team paired the bespoke Acrux wall tile with Hexil, a mosaic available in two finishes, including 36+ PTV, which allowed it to be used as a floor tile throughout Royal Exchange.


June 2022: Germany Red Dot Award for Husqvarna cutter

Husqvarna’s K 1 PACE high-performance battery power cutter has won the Red Dot Award 2022 in the Product Design category. The Red Dot Design award is one of the biggest design competitions in the world.

As well as boosting productivity and efficiency, K 1 PACE offers cordless convenience, low vibrations, built in X-Halt TM brake function for operational safety and zero direct emissions.

The PACE battery system, 94V with capacity up to 750Wh, can be used for more machines as the battery-powered family expands.  In addition to the power cutters and battery system, diamond blades in 12″ and 14″/300 and 350 mm have been optimised for battery operation.

June 2022: Italy Iris Group inaugurates new art prize

The first edition of an ambitious Prize, promoted by Fondazione Iris Ceramica Group, is set to celebrate ceramics in a world of art, culture, environment and society.

The International Art Prize supports the work of ceramic professionals and offers the chance to the new generations of creative people to make their mark on the art and design world, promoting their ideas, proposals, and visions.

Iris Ceramica Group’s Foundation aims to support new forms of creative and cultural research in building a future in which knowledge and eco-innovation are the guardians of progress.  The International Art Prize comes from the Foundation’s desire to expand its institutional activities, promoting major artistic and cultural projects at both national and international level, focusing on culture and knowledge as the keystones of an increasingly inclusive and fair society.

More here

June 2022: UK Report provides modest UK construction optimism

Glenigan’s June 2022 edition of its Construction Index paints a more optimistic picture after three gloomy months.  After almost a year of steady decline, the value of underlying project-starts increased by almost a tenth during the three months to May. Furthermore, the past twelve months has seen a strong development pipeline of contract awards and planning approvals built-up.  This modest uptick should be approached with cautious optimism. External influences, particularly the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine War and Brexit continue to send shockwaves through UK business and industry, with supply chains tightly squeezed throughout the first half of 2022.

Residential project-starts performed well during the three months to May, increasing 24% against the preceding three month period, with private housing-starts accounting for the bulk of growth. Social housing construction-starts continued to decline.  Office project-starts remained the fastest growing vertical.  Retail (+1%) and health (+8%) were the only other verticals to experience growth against the previous three-month period.


June 2022: Spain Grespania named Company of the Year

Grespania has won the highest accolade in the Company of the Year 2021 awards in Castellón at an economic gala organized by El Periódico Mediterráneo.  The award was collected by Luis Hernández, CEO of Grespania from the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig.  The ceremony was held at the Auditorium and Conference Centre of Castellón, and brought together senior members of the Valencian Community’s political and business spheres.

Grespania operates three state-of-the-art factories for the production of porcelain tiles, white-body wall tiles, large-format ultra-thin panels of up to 1,200 by 3,600mm, and for kitchen countertops.  In addition, it has four logistics centres in Spain, and subsidiaries in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK.

The Group is currently working on the expansion of its ceramic slab manufacturing facilities, and the production of spray-dried powder for technical and large-format products.


June 2022: Australia Australia construction set for 4.3% growth in 2022

With the Australian Labor party securing a majority in government, GlobalData is positive about Australia’s construction sector in 2022.   The data and analytics company expects growth of 4.3% this year, with a 3-year compound annual growth rate of 2.6% between 2023 and 2026.

Labor has committed to provide $374.4 million on a fast rail link between Sydney and Newcastle.  It has also signalled its intention to support Melbourne’s $36.7 billion Suburban Rail Loop development, committing $1.6 billion towards the $21.4 billion eastern section of the project.

A total of 30,000 new social and affordable houses will be constructed over the next five years, funded by the $7.5 billion Housing Australia Future Fund.

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June 2022: Italy Tile of Spain at the Fuori Salone in Milan

14 Tile of Spain brands are present at the Fuori Salone (6th to 12th June, Milan) with a ceramic installation in a space managed by

The Tile of Spain installation will feature ceramic pieces from the following brands: Azteca Cerámica, Cevica, Coverlam, Dune, Exagres, Gayafores, Grupo Halcón, Harmony, Museum, Natucer, Peronda, Porcelanosa, Todagres, and Togama; and will show the visiting public the versatility, design, and innovation of Spanish ceramics.

The “Archiproducts Milano” space is located in via Tortona 31, in the heart of the Design District.


June 2022: USA Pantone’s new Color Trends webinar

Pantone is inviting Tile Addict’s followers to join Laurie Pressman, Vice President, Pantone Color Institute, as she explores 2023 Home & Interiors colour trends.

“Colors for home furnishings in 2023 entice us to engage with what we believe, what we love and what we want,: observes Pantone.  “Youthful, tech-inflected pastels and vivid brights radiating positivity encourage us to dive into life while warm neutrals and upbeat midtones further communicate their optimistic message in their quieter but nonetheless positive manner.  Cool neutrals take on a celebratory aspect as shimmering metallics displaying undeniable notes of glamour and style.  We are ready for good times and great feelings, and the colors we hunger for capture this wave of delight,” continues the world’s foremost colour authority. This USA-based event will take place on Tuesday 21st June from 10:00am to 11:00am EDT.  Register now here

June 2022: USA Tile of Spain’s new 2022 digital look book

Tile of Spain is proud to announce the launch of the new 2022 digital look book showcasing ceramic offerings from its manufacturers. Browse through our new digital catalog and discover the true beauty and power of ceramics from Spain.

Tile of Spain is the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER).

The Look Book

June 2022: FUSA Tile of Spain presents: Showstoppers Live! 2022

Join Ryan Fasan, Tile of Spain’s informative and entertaining Technical Consultant for his engaging and popular interview series, Showstoppers Live!

Go behind the scenes with Fasan, who spoke with representatives from six Spanish ceramic companies – Bestile, Argenta, Saloni, Gayafores, Peronda, and Rocersa – during Coverings 2022, to discuss their latest offerings and innovations available for USA architects, designers, contractors, specifiers, and consumers: click here.

June 2022: USA Fiandre fabricates façade for Texas church

The new St. Sarkis Community Center in Carrollton, Texas was designed by award-winning architect David Hotson.  One of the standout elements of this project is the West façade of the Armenian apostolic church, which acts as a powerful commemorative monument to the 1.5 million victims of the 1915 genocide.  Fiandre’s ultra-high-definition Design your Slabs digital decoration technology was used to customise every façade slab.  Using this innovative system, Fiandre printed the architect’s complex pattern on large format ceramic slabs in its Italian plant.  The completed ventilated façade system was installed by Granitech.


June 2022: UK Market growth slows in UK

The S&P Global, CIPS Construction Total Activity Index highlighted strong demand for construction products and materials.  Rapid cost inflation persisted in May, linked to rising fuel, energy, and raw material costs. The number of construction firms predicting an increase in business activity (46%) continued to exceed those expecting a decline (19%).  

May data signalled another growth slowdown in construction sector.  The headline PMI registered 56.4 in May, down from 58.2 in April … the lowest reading for four months.  Weaker trends in the house building sub-sector were the main brake on growth.  Commercial building was the fastest-growing segment in May, while, civil engineering activity increased for the fifth month running.  Job creation accelerated slightly in May.

June 2022: Italy ABKSTONE promotes hi-tech cooktop

Visitors to the Milan Furniture Fair will be treated to a spectacular cooking show in the ABKSTONE space at Eurocucina/FTK, Hall 13, Stand H02.  A group of chefs will take turns to demonstrate the advantages of the innovative Cooking Surface Prime invisible induction cooking system, now also available in an OUTDOOR version and a 4.0 version with four cooking zones.  The stand will also feature a selection of ABKSTONE surfaces inspired by marble and natural stone.


June 2022: Mexico Mohawk acquires Vitromex

In a significant expansion of its already massive operation, the world’s leading tile group Mohawk Industries is set to purchase the Vitromex ceramic tile business from Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS) for approximately $293 million in cash.

Vitromex has four manufacturing facilities in Mexico.  When combined with Mohawk’s current Mexican operations, this expanded footprint will enhance the Company’s customer base, manufacturing efficiencies, and logistical capabilities. Vitromex has built a leading position in the $1.7 billion (2.9 billion square feet) Mexican ceramic tile market with a broad distribution network and a product offering that includes glazed ceramic, porcelain, mosaics and decorative tiles.  In 2021, Vitromex generated revenues of approximately $204 million.

In commenting on the acquisition, Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Mohawk’s chairman and CEO, stated, “In the past decade, we have significantly increased our participation in the Mexican ceramic tile market, including developing a world-class organization and constructing a state-of-the-art facility in Salamanca.  Ceramic tile is the primary flooring utilized in Mexico, and the market has grown approximately eleven percent in pesos per year over the past five years.  Combined with Vitromex, we will offer our customers a complete array of residential and commercial products at all price points with enhanced service capabilities. Vitromex is one of the most highly regarded brands in the Mexican market and is recognized as a leader in innovation and design.”

June 2022: Spain Cosentino achieves record turnover

Cosentino Group, the global leader in sustainable surfaces, saw its turnover grow by 30% to €1,401 million (€1,078 million in 2020) in 2021.  The EBITDA was €275 million, while the company’s net profit increased by 59% to €104 million.  At the same time, Cosentino continued with its ambitious investment plan, investing a total of €105 million in 2021, as well as strengthening its main asset, human capital, with the creation of 685 new jobs to reach a total workforce of 5,425 employees by the end of last year.

The full implementation of the new production lines for Silestone was completed in 2021.  Significant increases in productivity were achieved on Dekton’s two current production lines.  Simultaneously, the company improved the automation of production plants and implemented new R&D developments, which have resulted in major milestones such as the exclusive HybriQ technology for Silestone.

Cosentino boasts one of the largest logistics and distribution networks of a Spanish industrial company abroad with 142 company-owned facilities – including Centres and Citys -, 4 Hubs and 5 logistics operators worldwide.


June 2022: UK CTD creates a modern classic in Cardiff

CTD Architectural Tiles has curated a stylish and practical tile package for a new hotel scheme in Cardiff.  The new 4-star Parkgate Hotel has been created following the redevelopment of two historic Grade II civic buildings and construction of a new-build extension.  Once the home of Cardiff’s Post Office and County Court, the new hotel was designed by architects Guant Francis.  The main contractor was BECT Building Contractors.

Marble-effect porcelain tiles from the Delight range were installed throughout the communal areas and washrooms.  A combination of matt and polished tile finishes was used to provide contrast between the floor and wall areas, with safety requirements addressed by ensuring that the specified product had a Pendulum Test Value of over 36.

Limestone-effect ceramic tiles from the Anthology range chosen to create a focal point around the bar.  To complete the commercial tile package, installed by NC Ceramics, glazed tiles from the Poitiers range were used in the shower area of the hotel’s en-suite bathrooms.


June 2022: Italy Italcer’s first Sustainability Report

Italcer Group is presenting its first Sustainability Report, highlighting innovation, excellence, and the pursuit of continuous improvements in terms of design and product sustainability.

The Report provides a detailed overview of the main initiatives run in 2021 and the obligations undertaken by the company for years to come.  The Italcer Group is committed to minimising the environmental effects of company processes, adopting a holistic vision of the life-cycle of floor and wall ceramics, from sourcing the raw materials to their use and application by the consumer.

The Italcer Group now has 919 employees, consolidated revenues of over €260 million, and over 7,000 customers world- wide.  It operates through high-end brands like La Fabbrica Ceramiche, Elios Ceramica, Devon&Devon, Ceramica Rondine, Cedir, Bottega, and Equipe Cerámicas.


June 2022: UK Archaeologists uncover rare Roman mosaic floor

Archaeologists excavating a construction site in London have uncovered a rare Roman mosaic floor; the largest to be found in the UK”s capital in the past 50 years.  The mosaics were discovered during the construction of a multiuse development in Southwark.  The Museum of London Archaeology was brought in to carry out excavations, unearthing two colourful decorative mosaic panels.  The mosaics are believed to have been the floor of a Roman triclinium, or a formal dining room.

Archaeologists have dated the larger of the two mosaic panels to the late second or early third century, making it at least 1,800 years old.  They were astonished to find traces of an even earlier mosaic beneath this panel.


June 2022: Italy Marazzi and the timeless design of Elle Déco

Marazzi surfaces are set to star in the Design Forever exhibition at Palazzo Bovara, Milan, Italy.  The presentation is based on an idea by Elle Decor Italia and designed by Calvi Brambilla.  It will run from 7th top 12th June at Corso Venezia 51 from 10am to 8pm.


June 2022: Italy Marazzi showcases The Top’s potential

At Eurocucina the Marazzi Group will showcase the potential of The Top slabs, with its Puro Marazzi Antibacterial technology making porcelain stoneware an even safer solution for food preparation surfaces.

The event will run from 7th to 12th June 2022 at Fiera Milano in Hall 9 Stand G02-G06å


June 2022: Italy Sacmi Group posts record revenues

The Sacmi Group posted record economic and financial results in 2021 with consolidated revenues back at pre-Covid levels of more than €1.53 billion (up 40% on 2020) and strong growth in EBIT and EBITDA (€82 million and €145 million, respectively).

The sharp increase in revenue was largely a result of a record-breaking performance in the Tiles segment, which posted a remarkable 99% increase in sales.  

Sacmi strengthened its position in all the most important international markets as investments bounced back across Europe and the Americas.  It also performed well in Asia, where it confirmed its role as a key technology provider both in the traditional ceramics and packaging sectors, plus emerging areas such as components for the electric vehicle sector, and advanced ceramics.



June 2022: Italy Italian tiles star at Milan Design Week

A variety of leading Italian tile brands will showcase their latest collections and inventive designs at Salone del Mobile, including everything from colourful freestanding and wall-hung ceramic washbasins, to invisible porcelain cooktops.  And around the city for Fuorisalone, a handful of Ceramics of Italy manufacturers will host parties, artistic installations, and showstopping designer-collaborated exhibitions – like Atlas Concorde’s Monoliti, an installation curated by Piero Lissoni; Florim’s brand storytelling exhibition designed by Matteo Nunziati; and Italgraniti Group will host a project by architects Andrea Parisio and Giuseppe Pezzano.

In addition, a few Italian ceramic brands are excited to open their new showrooms, including Ragno Ceramiche who will inaugurate its first flagship, designed by Benedetta Tagliabue.

June 2022: UK Brickability buys clay bricks supplier

Brickability’s acquisition spree has continued with the purchase of Modular Clay Products Limited, which reported unaudited revenue of £10.5 million in the 12 months to 31st  December 2021.  MCP supplies imported clay facing bricks to the specification sector.

The acquisition follows that of timber and cladding supplier Taylor Maxwell in June 2021, and roofing contractor Leadcraft in August 2021.  In the same year, Brickability targeted the renewable energy products sector, with takeovers of HBS New Energies and UPOWA.  In March this year, Beacon Roofing was also added to Brickability’s brand portfolio.