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Another Giant boost for the Bond It brand

Bond It is aiming to help stockists boost sales of its sealants, adhesives and building chemicals through a high profile sponsorship deal with the Huddersfield Giants Rugby League team.  This is the fourth consecutive season that Bond It has been the Giants’ main partner.

Under the deal, Bond It’s logo will appear on the front of the Giants’ home and away shirts, as well as on the team’s training kit.  Bond It branding also features on hoardings and other areas around the Giants’ home ground: the John Smith’s Stadium.

Super League, the top rugby league competition in the UK,  continues to grow in popularity, attracting ever higher attendances at the turnstiles, as well as increasing viewing figures for matches televised on the BBC and Sky.

David Moore, Managing Director at Bond It, said: “Bond It’s partnership with the Giants is good for our business, good for the club and good for the local community.  We are delighted at maintaining our association with the team and wish the lads a highly successful season.”

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Stylish new bathroom impresses homeowners after UltraTile makeover

Unique Bathrooms & Tiles and UltraTile have enjoyed a long-standing partnership that has generated a large back catalogue of successful projects and Unique Bathrooms & Tiles now only use UltraTile materials for their work.

At a recent luxury bathroom remodelling project saw Unique fix porcelain tiles to the walls and floors using ProFlex SP and ProFlex SP+ES adhesives.   Both boast S1 classified flexibility for use on timber floors and with underfloor heating.

ProFlex SP is rapid setting and allows a working time of 60 minutes, setting at 2.5 hours after application.  ProFlex SP+ES has an extended open time of two hours and the sets in 16 hours.  Both are available in a grey or white, and may be used internally or externally.

The bathroom was grouted using UltraTile’s best selling grout, FlexJoint.  To compliment the tiles perfectly, the Titanium colour shade was selected.  FlexJoint has been specifically-formulated and polymer-modified for joint widths of up to 20mm, and for most tile types and applications.  

It has excellent joint filling properties and a super fine texture, allowing for joints to be filled in one simple application and providing a smooth, non-coarse finish.  It has an efflorescence-free formulation for consistency of colour and is mould-resistant and water-repellent.   

To add that final professional finish and complete watertight seal, UltraTile ProSeal IT silicone in matching Titanium was applied to all sanitary joints.  The product is fully ISO compliant and boasts non-shrink high flexibility.  Suitable for a wide variety of sanitary and construction joint applications, it can accommodate high movement and temperature changes.
T: 01827 871871

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Instarmac achieves new ISO Accreditation

ISO have recently made changes to the 9001 and 14001 accreditations and Instarmac Group plc are proud to announce that during their recent audit they received a positive recommendation for continued registration of OHSAS 18001 and achieved transition to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

Darren Gough, Quality and Operations Manager, says: “This is a fantastic achievement by the team involved as the ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 standards will become obsolete in September next year.”

ISO have re-written the entire 9001 and 14001 standard to create one framework. The new framework focuses on 10 points, including Context of the Organisation, Leadership, Planning, Support, Operation, Performance Evaluation and Improvement and these points will be applied to all standards to create a uniformed framework for all new ISO certificates.

“During 2016 we created a gap analysis plan to understand ‘where we were’ and ‘where we needed to get to’ in preparation for our transition audit in 2017,” explains Gough.  “The transition to the new 2015 versions encouraged us to focus more on risk analysis and any challenges we foresee in the management of our business processes. Using tried and tested tools, such as FMEA, we were able to determine our biggest risks, highlighting actions required and implementation driven by leadership and management commitment.
T: 01827 871871  W:

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On Point Developments appoints Real Stone & Tile for new homes

Real Stone & Tile has been contracted by On Point Developments to supply bathrooms and tiles for its latest collection of homes in Cranage, near Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.

Big Stones on Goostrey Lane comprises four large executive family homes up to 300,000 sq ft.  Boasting four or five bedrooms, each property offers bespoke kitchens and contemporary fittings throughout.

Real Stone & Tile has specified for the hallway and kitchen floors as well as the family bathroom, en-suites and downstairs WC.  The contract has a retail value of over £120,000 and features almost 1,000 sq. metres of Italian porcelain tiles and the latest design-led baths, showers and basins, together with high-quality Bagno brassware.

The retailer has worked with On Point Developments for over three years and has been part of the developer’s other prestigious projects in Prestbury and Holmes Chapel.  Chosen because of the team’s in-depth knowledge and experience, Real Stone & Tile is also able to supply products with a quick turnaround in order to meet the market’s tight deadlines.

Simon King, Managing Director of On Point Developments, said: “Having worked with and benefited from the team at Real Stone & Tile, with both our many tile and bathroom suite needs for a few years now, we would find it hard and time wasting to consider looking elsewhere if they retain their great service, user friendliness and true value, which we believe and hope they will.”

Leigh Price, co-director of Real Stone & Tile, commented: “We are thrilled to have established a close relationship with On Point Developments. Each property is expertly designed and built with modern living in mind and so it was important that the tiles and bathrooms we specified reflected this.  We look forward to working with the team again on future developments.”

In 2016, Real Stone & Tile reached a turnover of £1.3 million in sales and is now on track for another record year.  The retailer specialises in natural stone and porcelain tiles to suit all budgets, as well as sanitaryware, wet rooms and brassware.

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Helping to deliver a good night guarantee

King’s Cross Premier Inn has been refurbished using smoothing underlayments from UltraFloor.  HSB flooring contractors finished the hotel refurb in 2016, after several weeks of work while the hotel remained open, which presented additional project challenges.  However, due to the versatile UltraFloor Level IT Bond and speedy Level IT Super30 being selected for installation, the project ran without issue or delays.

Level IT Super30, which utilises specially blended cements and a high quality polymer liquid, is ideal for fast turnaround projects and where areas need to be reopened quickly.  The product sets in 30 minutes and can be overlaid with bonded floor coverings after two hours and unbonded in just 45 minutes.  

The formulation is free from ammonia and protein, creating a very low odour, and is thus suitable for confined areas, like schools, hospitals and the hospitality sector.  The product is designed to compensate for shrinkage and is polymer-modified, enhancing performance.

Level IT Bond is a rapid curing, high performance two-part smoothing underlayment.  It has exceptional adhesion characteristics making it suitable for use over adhesive residues, eliminating the need for priming.  Its rapid setting properties allow for floor coverings to be laid after only four hours.   
T: 01827 871871

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Tilemaster specified by Westerhope at stunning Le Petit Chateau, Northumberland

A range of Tilemaster products have been used as part of an extensive tiling project, by Westerhope Tile Centre, at Le Petit Chateau in Northumberland.

The French country manor is an exclusive wedding venue, with 31 boutique hotel rooms, bars, lounges, ceremony and function rooms.  A stunning range of stone, ceramic and porcelain surfaces feature throughout and complement the exquisite ‘shabby chic’ design.  They include Minster Antiqued Flagstones, from Marshalls Tile & Stone Interiors, and floor and wall designs from Peronda’s Laccio collection, designed in collaboration with Dsignio.  Tilemaster products specified included Flexilevel, Setaflex and Grout 3000.

During the installation, Westerhope used Tilemaster’s rapid-set FlexiLevel to smooth and level all floors – inside and outside - providing an installation-ready surface after three hours.  Tilemaster’s Setaflex adhesive, which has an extended pot life of 3-4 hours - was then used to fix flagstones throughout the whole venue – totalling over 1,400 sq. metres – and wall and floor tiles throughout the bedrooms.  Grouts from Tilemaster’s Grout3000 range were then used to complete the installation, providing smooth, controlled workability and a durable, moisture and frost resistant joint.
T: 01772 456831

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The Flooring Show gears up for September 2017

The Flooring Show will take place at the Harrogate Convention Centre from Sunday 17th September to Tuesday 19th September 2017.  The Flooring Show is the largest UK, trade only show and event organisers.

Re turning exhibitors include Adams Carpets, Brockway, Crown Floors, Karndean and Ulster Carpets.  They will be exhibiting alongside big industry names that are new to The Flooring Show, such as Amtico, Bondworth and Associated Weavers.

Spread across five exhibition halls, visitors will be served by two café’s in the Harrogate Convention Centre and free-of-charge features that are designed to add value to attendees.

Scarlet Opus will again curate the Trends Hub, a space that will inspire new ideas. The Demo Zones will also return, run by the CFA, NICF and FITA.  Here demonstrations will showcase the latest techniques in the industry, giving step-by-step previews into how various tools and materials are best used.  The Seminar Programme will feature a list of top speakers and topical subjects that designed to help visitors add value to their own businesses.

The final of NICF ‘s Carpet Fitter of the Year will take place at The Flooring Show, with the final task being undertaken live during the show.

The newest addition is the Contract Zone; with one hall dedicated to the contract sector of the flooring industry.  There will be a contract zone trends hub and CPD certified seminars. Confirmed exhibitors include Interface and Quantum Flooring Solutions.
Register now at

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Fila and Lapitec sign a new partnership agreement

Surface care specialists Fila, who boast over 70 years’ experience in the sector and Lapitec, a leading international producer of XXLfull body sintered stone slabs made using an patented technology that from Breton, have signed a partnership agreement that will see these two great brands unite.  

The agreement will further expand the services provided by both companies for research and development and after-sales, thanks to increasingly more efficient technical consultancy for their clients, for both furnishings and the building sector, with global coverage.

Well established world-wide, the two companies will now be joining forces, counting on their respective knowledge of the markets, sector needs, constant investment into product innovation and hi-tech, and backed by the certainty of being able to provide prompt, effective support.

Their synergy will also result in co-marketing projects and training, in-house for the distribution and after-sales network, and external for clients, users, designers and planners.
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Natural Paving Products to sponsor motocross racer Jodie Huntington

Natural Paving Products has announced it will be sponsoring budding motocross racer Jodie Huntington for the duration of 2017.

Jodie is completing an apprenticeship in level two, business admin at Natural Paving Products and works at the company’s distribution centre as part of the ‘DC Team’.  In her role, she prepares samples of stone and artificial grass to send out to customers.

Jodie also closely shadows her line manager and oversees the role of Yard Manager when her line manager is away.  In addition to her passion for business, Jodie is a keen motocross rider and Natural Paving Products has agreed to sponsor Jodie during the 2017 season.

“I’m extremely grateful to have received this support from Natural Paving Products,” says Jodie.  “This will be my first season in the adult class and I’m very excited to see how I will fare.  With this additional financial support I’m in a better position than ever to be victorious!”

Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director, added: “Sponsoring Jodie is a very exciting endeavour and we’re delighted to be able to support a talented racer and a cherished member of our team. We love supporting our staff in their passions whenever possible and always encourage a healthy work-life balance in our teams.”

As per the agreement, Jodie will display Natural Paving Products’ advertising on her bike and kit. This will include promotion of the company’s logo, website and products. She will represent the company at over 15 rounds of racing across Britain this year.

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An inspiring new London showroom for Schlüter-Systems in Clerkenwell

On the evening of 13th April 2017, over 150 architects from across London joined staff from three leading names in the tiling industry, for a first look at new Clerkenwell showroom, 49 Leather Lane.

The result of a collaboration between Pentagon Tiles, Schlüter-Systems Ltd and Ardex, 49 Leather Lane is simultaneously a tactile showroom and London’s latest place for the meeting of minds.

Aiming to be a source of inspiration for the architectural community, the space is designed to allow products to be experienced in both sample and installed formats. Award-winning practice Simon Astridge Architecture Workshop was engaged to design the project.

Supporting and enhancing Pentagon’s exclusive range of imported Italian and Spanish tiles, an extensive range of Schlüter solutions are featured throughout the building: from profiles and lighting, through to underfloor heating and a complete Schlüter-Wetroom system.

“For Schlüter-Systems, the opportunity to work in partnership on such a unique project that showcases architecture and ceramics is one that we couldn’t resist”, says Joachim Backes, Managing Director of Schlüter-Systems Ltd. “Through this collaboration we will have a home in London to use with architects, contractors and clients for showcasing our systems and solutions.”

49 Leather Lane is now open. For more information or to book a meeting with Schlüter-Systems, please email or call 01530 813396.

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Top tiling brands help to make Trimline’s trade day a top attraction for fixers

On Wednesday 22nd March 2017 from 07.30 to 4.00pm, the Trimline Group hosted a fixer trade day at its warehouse at the Teardrop Centre, Swanley.  As well as product demonstrations and cutting competitions, attendees could enter a draw for a new iPad.  There were also special discounts on offer, as well as breakfast and other free refreshments.

Around 200 fixers attended the event which was supported by many of the UK’s leading professional tile brands including Atrim, Dukkaboard, Kerakoll, Lithofin, Mapei, Porcel-Thin, Raimondi, Rubi, Schluter Systems and Sigma.

Trimline’s brands reflect the company’s close relationship with the tile sector.  This portfolio of leading brands are proven to perform. They are supplemented and supported by Trimline’s own-brand products and solutions which are all guaranteed and underwritten for complete peace of mind.

One of the main drivers for this highly successful trade event was to celebrate the opening of Trimline’s new warehouse and showroom at Swanley.  Established for over two decades, Trimline is a leading supplier to the tiling industry.  

A third generation family business,  the Trimline brand is built on core values of honesty, integrity and trust.  The Swanley site, formerly derelict, has recently been brought back into use by the Trimline Distribution Group.  

On 22nd March, Trimline and its supplier partners pulled out all the stops out to make the event the biggest and best trade day in the UK, with plenty of hands-on opportunities and cutting edge tools and techniques on display.  

It was an ideal opportunity for professional tilers to put a wide selection of tools through their paces.  Tilers could even bring along problem tiles and test how best to cut them, pose technical questions to a number of industry experts and meet up with fellow professionals.

PorcelThin offered a day-long work shop and even fitted a full book-match marble installation to show just what’s possible in tiling today.

The trade day underlines Trimline’s commitment to be the number one direct supplier to the UK tiling market by offering a leading edge, bespoke standard of customer care.  Trimline has a firm belief that customers deserve more, and thus constantly evolve its business practices to exceed expectations.

As a result, Trimline has a reputation for creating lasting relationships with both its suppliers and its customers; one built on mutual trust.

“We provide better service, greater access to quality tile products, and quicker response times- whatever the project scale or timeline,” claims the company.

“We excel at time-sensitive projects, and taking on technically tough challenges anywhere in the world.  But it’s our can-do attitude and willingness to go the extra mile that really sets us apart.  Delivering an exceptional standard of customer care is central to everything we do.”
Teardrop Centre
London Road, Swanley  BR8 8TS
T: 020 8778 9000

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Parefeuille invests in Xaar’s Evo seven digital print heads

An upgrade to Xaar’s latest 1003 printheads, an integral part of the Evoseven digital printer installed by Projecta Engineering, has dramatically increased the print quality and output at Parefeuille Provence.
Founded in 1963 near Avignon, France, Parefeuille Provence produces a wide range of tiles for interior and exterior use.  When the company decided to update one of its three production lines, it looked to the advantages offered by digital inkjet technology.

In early 2016, Projecta Engineering installed an Evoseven digital printer equipped with five print bars populated with Xaar 1003 GS12C printheads.  Previously the printer had been used with the Xaar 1002C printheads in another group factory in Italy, and was upgraded by Projecta to deliver improved performance and print quality. Parefeuille Provence uses the printer to create high-quality granite and concrete tile designs using five colours – blue, beige, brown, black and white – to provide maximum design impact.

Production Manager, Laurent Jacquemin, states: “The big evolution we see with the Xaar 1003C is the significant reduction in maintenance and production downtime.  We have seen a three times improvement in the cleaning cycle compared with the Xaar 1002C printhead and, when we do stop for maintenance, the cleaning process is fully automatic and only takes one minute.  All of this results in significantly more production uptime and consequential efficiencies and savings.”

Projecta Engineering says that upgrading to the Xaar 1003C printheads was a very quick process. “The integration of the new printhead was extremely easy as the printheads are the same size as the Xaar 1002C and fully backward compatible,” explains engineer, Francesco Casoni.

Parefeuille Provence, along with the other group factories, has developed an excellent working relationship with Projecta.

“Our customers were asking for a higher print quality, which we can now achieve with the Evoseven and Xaar 1003C printheads,” says Casoni.  

“The Projecta engineers supported us during this project and helped us to fine-tune the printer for optimal productivity,” agrees Jacquemin.  “When we compare the output of the line using the Xaar 1003C with other factories, the Xaar 1003C gives us better print quality, with more consistent colours and more accurate drop placement.  Also, the 12 kHz waveforms allow 360 by 360 dpi resolution at the high line speed of 40 metres per minute that we need.  Due to the success of this initial installation, we have decided to install a second digital printer this year to upgrade one of the remaining non-digital lines.”

The Xaar 1003C has been designed to enable tile manufacturers using either the Xaar 1001C or Xaar 1002C printheads to easily upgrade their systems due to it being fully backward compatible.  

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Obituary: Jamie Potts

Often when writing obituaries, respondents refer to the deceased as a “real character.”  TSJ’s bulging postbag following the sad death of Jamie Potts after a very long battle with a debilitating lung disease, provided undisputable evidence that Jamie was one of the greatest characters our industry has ever produced.  A business maverick, with a fondness for horses and golf, Jamie was a true one-off.

Having worked with Tony Craven at Tyne Tees Ceramics and Richard Gilbert at Tilemania, he set up his own business around 1980 and was one of the pioneers of bulk selling of imported tiles.

A master of the advertising gimmick he employed local personalities to advertise his shops, and infamous lifesize cardboard cutouts to promote his business, becoming one of best known tile men in the North East.
He loved travelling and his incessant trips abroad to buy tiles were characterised by his outrageous sense of humour and taste for adventure.

 “Once, when we were chasing him for a cheque,” recalls CI’s Cameron Fraser, “he sent a whole cheque book with every cheque signed and a note saying write in whatever figure you want!”

Peter Hughes of IntCeram perhaps summed up Jamie best of all when he wrote to say: “As our industry becomes less antiquated and more professional, slowly and sadly we lose great characters. Jamie Potts  was one such character.  His cardboard cut-out would welcome you underneath the railway arches in one of his Newcastle-on-Tyne stores.  He, unfortunately, would not, as he would have told you the wrong store for the meeting!   Eventually I would catch up with him where he would greet me with a carrier bag of books he thought I might enjoy in one hand ... and a Racing Post in the other!“

“Anecdotes of Jamie could fill several of these publications, my favourite being the time he bought a live lobster from an Italian restaurant and set it free in the Adriatic, not knowing it was a freshwater lobster!”

“To play golf with him was a bit of a nightmare and, as a customer, he was problematic to say the least.  However he was a wonderful character and he will be greatly missed as a friend by many of us in the industry.”

John Holcroft of Instarmac, noted; “He was the first person I knew to roll up at the races with an I pad. Always looking for an angle to beat the bookies, all the information he required was at his fingertips.  He was one of the life’s great characters and he will be missed greatly.”

Jamie leaves two wonderful daughters, Georgi and Kate, and his loyal and loving wife, Sue.

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National Tile Week gets retailers on board to celebrate the best of British design and manufacture

Back for a second year, National Tile Week has seen success with national and independent retailers, supporting tile sales over the double Easter bank holiday weekends.

Backed by British Ceramic Tile and Tile Giant, the campaign took a stronger consumer approach than last year, but still focused on driving tile sales during the peak DIY trading period.

This year saw an impressive increase in the number of retailers involved with the campaign climbing from 60 in 2016 to over 300 participating partners, including over 100 Tile Giant stores.  Retailers were given a range of exclusive promotions and discounts from British Ceramic Tile for duration of the campaign, as well as promotional materials to use in store, offering advice and guidance from DIY expert, Julia Kendell (above) who fronted the campaign.

Retailer specific events were held nationally throughout the week at British Ceramic Tile establishments, with one at the company’s London Hub in Clerkenwell and one at the Northern Hub in Bradford.

Kendell made an appearance at the London Hub, to discuss tiling trends and how these are influencing the specification markets, from retailers, through to architects and designers.

National Tile Week also aimed to bust some myths about the complexity of tiles and provide practical tips, making DIY projects easier than ever before.

Kendell, best known for her work on DIY SOS and 60 Minute Makeover, promoted tiles as a surface covering and explained how best to use tiles in the home.

“I’m a huge advocate of tiles as they are virtually indestructible and brilliantly practical in the home. Hygienic and easy to clean, they will take all the knocks that day–to-day life can throw at them, making them a superior surface material,” explains Kendell.  “National Tile Week is a great opportunity to focus on and celebrate tiles in all their colourful glory!  It’s a great way to inspire creativity and illustrate the many ways they can be used around the home to create beautiful and unique interiors.”

The celebrations kicked off at a pop up event in Covent Garden held on Monday 10th April. Consumers and the media were invited to visit the National Tile Week shop to discover more about how British design and manufacture are leading the way when it comes to interiors, and how best to use tiles across walls and floors.

Visitors were inspired by a range of upcycling projects, including distressed furniture reinvented and brought back to life through tiles.

Kendell was available throughout the afternoon for a Q&A, with British-themed goody bags given away during the course of the day. 

National Tile Week also give one lucky family the chance to win a very British trip to London, including accommodation and tickets to a featured exhibition at the  V&A Museum.

British Ceramic Tile’s Marketing Manager Jayne Adamson comments: “Britain is a powerhouse when it comes to design and manufacture.  From fashion through to interiors, British design is leading the way, delivering jobs and economic growth for manufacturers and retailers.  By supporting National Tile Week we hope to fly the flag for British manufacturers and encourage everyone to celebrate and explore the world of tiles.

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Diesel Living and Iris Ceramica create seven new surfaces

The partnership that began in 2016 between the international lifestyle brand Diesel Living and Iris Ceramica, which started in 2016, has borne recent fruit when the first collection was presented in the SpazioFMG per l’Architettura gallery in Milan during Design Week.  Bearing the hallmarks of the Diesel brand, fused with new suggestions, exotic scenarios, panoramas of the Arizona desert and views of the Grand Canyon, the resulting designs included Arizona Concrete, Ribbed Oxide, Shades of Blinds, Fence, Grunge Concrete, Ribbed and Combustion.  These seven new surfaces extend the Diesel Living with Iris Ceramica range, accentuating the aesthetic characteristics of materials marked by time and stressed by heat and light.