Fabricators, installers, quarriers, contractors, architects, interior designers, builders, distributors, kitchen and bath specialists, and retailers from around the country will gather in Las Vegas for the only U.S. industry event focused exclusively on stone. The show and conference will be held in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Nov. 8 - 11.

StonExpo 2006 is sponsored by the Marble Institute of America and Natural Stone Council. The annual event is produced by Hanley Wood, publisher of MASONRY CONSTRUCTION magazine.

Additional details regarding StonExpo 2006 are presented in the “Conference Program” and “Show Floor” sections that follow.

Conference Program

The educational effort includes 36 expert-led courses spread across the four-day event. The sessions are divided into five subject tracks: Business Management, Design/Marketing Trends, Fabrication/ Installation, Sales/Marketing, and Care/ Maintenance/Restoration.
The following abstracts describe a number of the programs that will be of particular interest to the mason contractor.

Wednesday, November 8
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Introduction to Natural Stone
by Chuck Muehlbauer
This course will explain the basic differences between various stone classifications, with an emphasis on the capabilities and limitations of each stone type. The discussion will includes stone makeup, processing from quarry through the finished product, and a variety of quality control procedures found in the industry.

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
New Stone Trends and Designs
by Nicolas Guillaume
This session will explore emerging designs and color trends regarding the use of stone for interior rooms and exterior spaces, along with ideas for commercial applications. The presentation will review the origination of certain trends, finishes, and applications.

Thursday, November 9
7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Natural Stone and the Homeowner
by Linda Steele
Is your company positioning itself as the natural stone resource center for its customers? Do you take the time to educate customers on such topics as the inherent beauty of natural stone and warranty issues? This session will cover a variety of topics that help showcase the positive attributes of natural stone to the homeowner.

Exterior Stone Cladding
by John Kunz and Steven G. Judd
This seminar will detail several different methods of exterior stone installation, as well as the advantages/disadvantages to each approach. Installation methods include stone handset to concrete shear wall, stone handset to metal studs, steel truss panel systems with mechanically anchored stone, steel truss with metal decking, and stone adhered with silicone.

Friday, November 10
7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Stone Industry and the Green Movement
by Dan Ouellette and Bill Eubank
This presentation will introduce the green movement, provide an update on current sustainable building efforts, and describe how the stone industry is supporting these programs. Notable green program initiatives and achievements, key partnerships, and educational opportunities for the stone industry will be presented.

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Classification and Disclosure of Building Stone Products
by Peter Harrison
Have you tried lately to ascertain the quarry location or geological classification of a particular stone without success? Natural stones are the oldest building material known and the least controlled in supplier-provided data and consumer protection. Find out what controls have been enacted in Europe to mandate proper identification, including quarry location, petrography, and uniform industry-recognized trade names.

Saturday, November 11
7:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Proper Installation Methods for Large-Format Stone Tile
by Ralph Williamson
While it appears simple, the installation of natural stone flooring using a thin-set process requires careful planning, surface preparation, and precision craftmanship. This session will address the importance of the installer “owning” the substrate, which involves preparation of the surface to avoid cracked and buckling tiles or worse, post-installation problems.

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Stone Care Forum – Care and Maintenance for Natural Stone
by Tom McNall and David Bonasera; moderator: Rod Sigman
This interactive forum will discuss issues that relate solely to the care, maintenance, and restoration of natural stone. The discussion will include crystallization, sealers, service estimates, and guarantees.

For show and conference and registration information, visitwww.stonexpo.com.