The 30th edition of Coverings, the international stone and tile exhibition held annually in the U.S., will head back to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, from April 9 to 12, 2019. According to show management, this year’s show will feature an extensive range of interactive onsite experiences, including expanded favorites such as the Installation & Design Experience and new activities to commemorate its 30th anniversary.

Celebrating three decades of success, the exhibition will highlight a range of commemorative displays showcasing the history of Coverings, with interactive opportunities for attendees to create and share their own memories. The South Lobby of the Orange County Convention Center will host a timeline with highlights from Coverings’ heritage and a 30th anniversary-branded photo booth, where attendees can win anniversary t-shirts by sharing photos to social media. Exhibitors who have participated for 30 years will also be recognized. Further contributing to the celebration, a DJ in the lobby reception area will incorporate music from 1989 as a nod to Coverings’ launch year.

“Coverings’ 30th anniversary is a testament to the success and growth of the tile and stone industry, which continues to dedicate time and resources to annually spotlight the best in product innovations, installation techniques and industry expertise,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “We look forward to celebrating three decades of success and those who continue to make the show possible.”

New this year, Coverings will introduce an Online Planner to help attendees maximize their time at the show by previewing key exhibitor introductions through the New Product Showcase, which was launched in February. Guests will be able to explore innovative tools and products debuting at Coverings in advance and plan their visit by marking must-see exhibits within the Coverings mobile app to create a roadmap for their Coverings 2019 discoveries.

Exhibit floor highlights

The Installation & Design Experience will expand its presence in 2019 with live, interactive showcases of the best tile installation techniques. Qualified, trained and certified tile installers will host demonstrations and conversations within the space, offering insights on common installation challenges and the use of trending materials. The Installation and Design Experience also will host daily happy hours for further networking and learning opportunities. For 2019, three vignettes will anchor the experience, designed by locally based designers and architects. They include:

  • Reginald Dunlap Interior Design (design); Welch Tile & Marble (installation); ESTIMA Ceramica (products)
  • Interstruct, Inc. (design); C. C. Owen Tile Company, Inc. (installation); Crossville, Inc. (products)
  • HHCP (design); Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Co., Inc. (installation); Ceramics of Italy (products)

To further enhance the Coverings 2019 onsite experiences, many of the long-standing networking and learning opportunities will return. Included in these show attractions are:

  • The Coverings Connect lounge, located on the show floor, which will feature a mobile device charging station, free WiFi and “byte size” sessions with short digitally focused educational seminars.
  • The Stone Zone, where the Stone Fabricator’s Alliance (SFA) will present ongoing demonstrations and educational “how-to” topics for fabricators and installers.
  • The Art Tile Courtyard where visitors can peruse for creative tile applications, with handcrafted tile and tiled dog houses, provided by Tile Council of North America members.
  • The Live Installation Demo Stage where attendees can learn from leading professional contractors through “how-to” classes with an in-person look at tile installation solutions for challenging projects.

Educational sessions

Complementing the exhibit displays and interactive show experiences will be the show’s educational component – featuring more than 50 complementary sessions geared towards fabricators, builder/remodelers, architects, designers, retailers, distributors and contractor/installers. These learning seminars will be held throughout the four days of Coverings 2019.

The following are sessions that will be of particular interest to fabricators. A complete list of the education program can be viewed on the Coverings website at:

Stone-specific sessions at Coverings 2019


8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.   |  Location: S230G

Moderators: Bart Bettiga, Coverings Board of Governors, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association; Jim Hieb, the Natural Stone Institute

Town Hall Meeting Residential: What Homebuilders & Specifiers Are Saying About the Stone & Tile Industry

This town hall meeting will open your eyes to what homebuilders and design professionals are saying about the stone and tile industry. Learn from the insight offered by industry influencers and the impact it could have on your stone and tile business. Attend the follow-up roundtables for more in-depth discussions and gain greater perspective from our panelists, as well as your peers in the industry.


8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  |  Location: S230E

Speaker: Gene Marks, CPA, president and CEO of The Marks Group PC

Trump, Tariffs and Taxes: What’s Next for Your Business

How will your business be affected by the President’s trade policies over the next few years? Join Gene Marks for a conversation that will dig deeply into all the issues you know, and don’t know, including:

  • An update and status on USMCA/NAFTA 2.0;
  • An update and status on EU negotiations;
  • An update and status on China tariff negotiations (Including U.S. demands and China’s responses);
  • Other potential global trouble spots that may affect the Tile and Stone industry;
  • An update on tax reform, deductions and credits that can benefit your business;
  • Actions and strategies to take back to your business.


3 p.m. to 4 p.m.  |  Location: S230E

Speakers: Mark Meriaux, Accreditation and Technical Manager for the Natural Stone Institute; Jonathan Mitnick, NSI accredited, vice president of CCS Stone, Inc.; GK Naquin, NSI accredited, president of Stone Interiors; Michael Loflin, industry research and information manager of the Natural Stone Institute

Knowing Your Rights: Preparing for a Safety Inspection

Do you know your rights if an OSHA Enforcement Inspector shows up at your door? Join us as we discuss both types OSHA inspections (Voluntary and Enforcement). Review an inspection checklist that will help prepare your company for the unexpected. Leave this session with a safety program that addresses overall training, recordkeeping, noise and silica exposure, baseline testing and a number of issues your employees will encounter.


8 a.m.  |  Location: S230E

Speaker: Vincent Marazita, NSI, Stone Trends International

Stone Trends: A Historical Perspective

From countertops to skyscrapers, the use of natural stone is a well-accepted building material in the U.S. Especially in these lean construction years, it is crucial to understand the direction of the market for dimension stone. Get an overall view of the market and market trends by attending this 18th annual “State of the Industry” presentation on the dimension stone market in the U.S. This session will cover information, sourcing, marketing and application trends in the stone industry over the last year, including examples of award-winning projects that have been recognized for their use of natural stone.


9:30 a.m.  |  Location: S230E

Speakers: David Bonasera, CTC, CSI, IICRC MSI, president/CEO of ESP/Environmentally Safe Products and Procedures; Paul Klees, sales/tech of Bonstone Materials Corporation

Glues and Adhesives for Fabrication and Restoration

This presentation will compare the many adhesive chemicals used in the stone fabrication and restoration industry, including epoxy, polyester and acrylic. Newer chemicals, including poly epoxy, urethanes and urethane hybrid systems, will also be covered. The presentation will focus on the comparative properties of these chemicals and will highlight the pros and cons of each. We will also discuss some of the “Dos and Don’ts” when using these adhesives.


9:30 a.m.  |  Location S230G

Moderators: Bart Bettiga, Coverings Board of Governors, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association; Jim Hieb, the Natural Stone Institute

Speakers: Christopher Walker, David Allen Co., Inc.; Robert A. Nidzgorski, CPE Lifetime, VMA, CCHM, Austin Commercial Division

Town Hall Meeting Commercial: What General Contractors & Specifiers are Saying about the Stone & Tile Industry

This town hall meeting will open your eyes to what general contractors and design professionals are saying about the stone and tile industry. Learn from the insight offered by industry influencers and the impact it could have on your stone & tile business. We recommend that you also attend the “town hall” roundtable discussions to gain perspectives from your peers in the industry.


1 p.m.  |  Location: Booth 3090

Leaders: Tony Malisani, NSI Accredited fabricator, MIA president, Malisani Inc.; GK Naquin, NSI Accredited, Stone Interiors

Fabricator Trend Tour: New and Innovative Products from the Marketplace

The natural stone industry is always changing, and a company’s success can be based on their understanding of new and innovative products. During this interactive tour, visit vendors on the show floor and learn what new products are available to the industry. Come away with a plan to implement new products that could grow your business.


8 a.m.  |  Location: Booth 3138

Speakers: Kathy Spanier, BS Business, Coldspring; Sarah B. Gregg, Natural Stone Institute

Women in Stone: An Interactive Stone Project Competition

Join Women in Stone for a fun interactive team event. Each participant will be put into a small team with other attendees and work through the material selection, design and management of stone project scenarios. The session will be held on the expo floor and several vendors will be identified to aid each team in their project details. At the end, your experiences will be presented to our judges and a winner will be selected based on creativity and ability to overcome obstacles.


9:30 a.m.  |  Location: S230E

Speaker: Dacia Bellisle Woodworth, Natural Stone Institute

Natural Stone Building Materials: An Overview of Materials and Specifications

Natural stone is a building materials that combines the beauty of nature with the strength of time. During this session we will discuss stone as a primary building material. The session will review the geology, processing and applications of natural stone. Come away from this session with a plan to build natural stone into your architectural portfolio.


9:30 a.m.  |  Location: S320E

Speaker: Martin Brookes, City & Guilds London Institute, Heritage Marble & Tile

Transparency Trilogy Part III: Artistry and Creativity: A Timeless Component of Tile and Stone Installations

Homo Faber, is a Latin expression that describes how humans as rational beings can create, build and transform their environment to their needs. The concept combines creativity and crafting. Not only is the act of laying one tile next to the other a work of art - a certain pattern of perfection leading to the creation through means of material and skill - it is a transparent practice which is respectful of nature and celebrated by society. Here we tell the story of homo faber.

The session will include: A close look at unique individuals who possess the passion, drive, discipline and skills necessary to install, train and supervise projects that require the craftsmanship to create lasting masterpieces.


1 p.m.  |  Location: S230E

Moderator: Tony Malisani, NSI Accredited fabricator, MIA president, Malisani Inc.

Speakers: Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors; Badia Ontra, Ontra Stone Concepts; Karen Roe, NSMOTIF

Fabricator Forum Breakout Session

This interactive forum is an excellent opportunity to discuss with your fabricator colleagues many of the challenges involved in the market. The session will include three breakout groups (Technical, Business Administration, and Marketing) where fabricators will discuss top challenges in each area. Participants will then reconvene for a facilitated discussion to recap each topic group. All attendees are encouraged to participate by presenting a problem or sharing a solution. Bring your topics and we will provide the forum.


9 a.m.  |  Location: S230E

Speakers: Tony Malisani, MIA Accredited fabricator, MIA president, Malisani Inc.; Bernie Van Etten, III, Murphy Marble; Jacqueline Tabbah, International Stoneworks Inc.

Managing a Family Business

Working in a family business can be a challenge. Why are some businesses successful, while others struggle? What are the best practices? Join a panel of stone professionals from three different family businesses as they share their experiences. Plan on joining this robust Q&A session.