August 25 - 28, 2020

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA | USA

Check the latest article for IWF atlanta users

Why Concrete is Ideal for Residential Remodeling

by Editor 23. July 2018 12:35

Remodeling the kitchen or bathroom are great ways to update a home’s look and functionality and add the personal touch it deserves. Today kitchens have become rooms where the majority of living occurs, and they are also rooms where money spent on remodeling yields the highest return on investment. Inevitably the quest to beautify the home will involve the coordination of cabinets with countertops.
If you currently fabricate laminate countertops to go with your cabinet work, I'd like to introduce you to a new option: Concrete! Concrete is ideal for residential remodels because when people remodel, they always personalize, and they always upgrade. Concrete is a high end, custom surface that represents a big upgrade from laminate - and a lot more money in your pocket.
Here are a few ways that concrete countertop craftspeople can add a homeowner’s personal touch to their projects:
- Color: Concrete can be colored through integral pigmentation, surface staining, or dying. Sheer endless colorations and dramatic effects can be created.
- Embedments and inlays: Think decorative stone chips, river pebbles, recycled glass, stainless steel chips, even mirror glass. Inlays allow for even greater focal points. Those are much larger objects that can be placed inside the countertop form before concrete is poured. You can expose tile, gem stones, and even metal objects.
- Drainboards and trivets: Add functional design right into your countertops! Drainboards can be lowered sections of the countertop, or simply grooves that were cast into the counter. Trivets are usually raised metal rails that are integrated into the concrete.
- Go 3-D: One of concrete’s greatest advantages is that you are not bound to a typical 3 cm thick slab. Create the illusion of thickness by dropping the front edge 10” if you like. Integral concrete sinks are popular choices and a welcome reprieve from the standard undermount sink option. Intricate 3-dimensional design is among the favorite design techniques exclusive to concrete fabrication.
With concrete, if you (or your client or designer) can imagine it, you can do it!  Learn more about this during the "Leapfrog from Laminate to High End Concrete" session at the IWF Education Conference.


Technology and the Human Hand - Are We Losing Touch? - Part 3

by Editor 23. July 2018 12:26

When you’re reading a trade magazine, attending a class, or watching a video, keep in mind that editors, school administrators, and hosts don’t necessarily have their 10,000-hour master craftsman background in the trade they represent. Running a magazine or managing a school doesn’t require master craftsmanship: they require master writers and master administrators. However, these institutions have a financial business model that validates the information they disseminate, or they wouldn’t stay in business.
By: Scott Grove, Furniture Designer:

I’m more concerned with online forums: I see popular YouTube sites that have a lot of subscribers, but hosts are demonstrating unsafe practices without acknowledging their lack of skill or giving a don’t-try-this-at-home warning. How does someone differentiate between a weekend warrior looking for 15 their minutes of fame and the sincere master who want to share quality information as well as make a living?
Don’t get me wrong: there are many schools, publications, and YouTubers that do a great job of teaching, like the colleagues on my upcoming panel discussion. The New England School of Architectural Woodworking, Marc Adams School of Woodworking, FDM+C, Fine Woodworking, Stumpy Nubbs, and Woodworking Guild of America are all top quality outlets. But how do you tell what is safe and what isn’t, when you’re just learning, too?
Please join me to discuss these and other questions with a panel of media experts: we’ll weed through all the information and get to the truth. Thursday, August 23rd from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Will Sampson, Editor, FDMC Magazine
Greg Larson, Director, New England School of Architectural Woodwork
Jim Hamilton, Author and Host, Stumpy Nubs Woodworking YouTube channel
George Vondriska, Host, Woodworkers Guild of America


How to Choose the Right Wood Glue

by Editor 23. July 2018 12:20

Finding reliable wood glue for your next project can seem like a pretty straight forward choice. You have a wood project, you need wood glue. Can it get more complicated than that?

The sticky reality is that there are many varieties of wood glue to choose from and the right one for your project depends on the specific type of intended application and uses.

Do you need wood-to-wood assembly, wood-to-HPL assembly, or wood-to-Veneer assembly? What if you need it for panel manufacturing, which is best a hot or cold press? Will it dry yellow or clear? Maybe you’re tackling a fine woodworking project which extends the gamut of considerations to furniture, cutting boards, interior and exterior applications to name a few.

Well there’s a right choice for each one! Below is a list of four popular variants of wood glue that each offer specific benefits depending on your application needs.

Wilsonart® White Glue (WA 10) is a fast-setting, PVA adhesive when faster machine times are required.

  • Benefits Strong Bond, Sands like Real Wood When Dry, UV dye for Finishing Ease, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
  • Best for Assembly, Panel Manufacturing and Wood-to-Wood Applications
  • Dries Clear When Dry

Wilsonart® Wood Glue (WA 30) is a high-strength, fast-setting, yellow PVA adhesive ideal for woodworking.

  • Benefits Strong Bond, Sands like Real Wood When Dry, UV dye for Finishing Ease, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
  • Best for Assembly, Cold and Hot Press, and Wood-to-Wood Applications
  • Dries Yellow When Dry

Wilsonart® Type II Glue (WA Type II) is a one part, fast-setting, PVA adhesive for when water-resistance is required.

  • Benefits Water-resistant, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
  • Best for Assembly, Cold and Hot Press, and Wood-to-Wood Applications
  • Dries Clear When Dry

Wilsonart® Melamine Glue (WA M) is an acrylic-based adhesive to bond non-porous materials to wood and composite surfaces.

  • Benefits Strong Bond, Specifically for Prefinished Surfaces (lacquered, painted, UV-coated), Very Low Odor
  • Best for Assembly
  • Dries Clear When Dry

Still not sure if you know which wood glue is the right one for you? Wilsonart also has a handy online Adhesives Selection Tool to help narrow down your choices. Check it out!

Have more questions about the different types of wood glues on the market and which one is the best choice for your next project? Join us at the “Techniques and Time-Savers for Engineered Surfacing Products” on Tuesday, August 21st.


The NEW Neutrals

by Editor 23. July 2018 12:18

Neutral colors and matte finishes have come on strong in the last few years for both kitchen & bath and home organization cabinetry, solidifying them as staples in our design palettes. For 2018 Northern Contours has introduced a fresh addition to the staple neutrals we've come to know and love—like shades of grey—by infusing them with livable color. We're ready to welcome shades of deep and dusty blue, soothing aloe, and millennial pink into our homes, enlivening our spaces with comfortable color and contrast. Pairing well with woodgrains, stones, and their staple neutral cousins, these versatile and colorful shades are the New Neutrals.


Northern Contours’ SuperMatte 3D Laminates in a range of colorful options offer a maintenance-free alternative to painted cabinet doors. SuperMatte cabinet doors entice with their silky-soft, smooth, and seamless finish and feature a durable, engineered core that will not expand or contract with environmental changes. 3D Laminates are also low-maintenance and easily cleaned with just soap and water.  SuperMattes are available in slab, shaker & classic cabinet door styles, miter folded floating shelves, and surfacing materials to help you create closets, laundry rooms, home office spaces, and more in charming, livable color.   

Join Michele Weitzel for her presentation “What’s Trending in Colors and Textures” at the IWF 2018 Closets Symposium to learn more about colorful SuperMatte 3D Laminates from Northern Contours.
About Northern Contours
Northern Contours is a cabinet door and components manufacturer with over 25 years of industry experience. We serve a variety of customers on a custom and volume basis in Kitchen & Bath, Home Organization, Commercial Furniture, and Refacing markets. Manufacturing expertise in membrane pressing, miter folding, laminating & edgebanding, machining & routing, and 5-piece door assembly. We operate six facilities throughout the US and Canada for full coverage of North America.


The Visual Impact and Importance of Photography in Public Relations

by Editor 18. July 2018 16:06

By: Amanda Eden, Stoner Bunting Advertising

Human beings are inherently visual thinkers. We process images nearly 60,000 times faster than text, and our brains can identify pictures seen for as little as 13 milliseconds (according to an MIT research study). That’s fast…really, really fast.

While we don’t recommend creating 13 millisecond YouTube clips, we do counsel our clients on the importance of integrating visual content in all paid, earned and owned media (that’s advertising, PR and the stuff you own, like your website and collateral, for example). Did you know that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual? That means you have an opportunity to create permanent memories that cement your position in the mind of your audience and help you stand out from the clutter.

A Harsh Reality
Interior Design Magazine Managing Editor Helene Oberman once told us, “In the publishing world, your products are only as good as your photography.” It may sound harsh, but it’s true. Editors receive thousands of product pitches and must weed out the few that present well enough for their publication. This is judged in equal parts by the story or innovation behind the product and the photography supporting the story.

The same can be said for social media, where manufacturers have an opportunity to connect directly with the A&D community, facility managers and other specifiers. Photography is content, and we all know: content is king.

If you want to be taken seriously by editors, publishers and social audiences, you must have stand-out images that jump off the page or screen.

IRE: Interesting, Relevant & Engaging
For Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat posts to be effective (and worth your time and creative energy), they need to be visually interesting, relevant to the audience and engaging. Engaging in this case means that your followers will actually like, comment on and share your original content.

Considering visual content is up to 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content, according to PRNews, the case for interesting, relevant and engaging images is stronger than ever.

When a simple photograph doesn’t do the trick, consider other types of visual content to garner interest. It’s easier than ever to create Infographics and visual data, and custom social media graphics that are engaging, easily processed and begging to be shared.


While Infographics often use text and numbers to tell a story, it’s important not to overdo it. Rather, let the design speak for itself. The simpler and more easily digestible the image is, the more shareable it will become. This helps boost engagement and increase your reach.

The right photography will close the deal and gain you coverage
Images should always be considered as part of your overarching pitch strategy. There are many times when interesting, relevant stories and content are pitched to publishers, only to be denied, or worse ignored, because of a lack of photography.

The same fate awaits paid, owned and earned content that is accompanied by low-res or amateur photos that were taken on a smartphone or tablet. These photos might work for social media, but for an editor looking for print material it’s a major misstep.

It’s no surprise that companies that obtain high-resolution photos of projects and hire professional photographers for their photo shoots tend to get more coverage in the industry press. Rich, detailed hi-resolution imagery also helps these manufacturers obtain cover stories and lead to a mutually beneficial relationship where media outlets can count on quality content from that source.

It’s time to make the commitment
As a full-service marketing agency that handles both advertising and public relations for clients, our role is to facilitate and strengthen relationships with the media and the brands we represent.

This is why we always stress the importance of photography to our clients and will not consider projects for case studies and pitching unless there is high-resolution photography available from the start. There are literally thousands of manufacturers clamoring for coverage, and photography carries enormous weight in the editorial decision-making process.

Finally, great photography and imagery helps us help you. In an era when everyone thinks they are a professional photographer or videographer (thanks iPhone!), it’s important to invest in the quality imagery that showcases products, projects, events, trade shows and other gatherings.

Want to know more?

Learn how to create visually impactful public relations initiatives that benefit your brand by attending the Closets Symposium at IWF Atlanta, Tuesday, August 21.

Stoner Bunting has been building relationships in the home and building products industry since 1984. Our insights into what excites audiences at every stage of the design and construction process – and our access to the people and publications that influence them – make your marketing smarter, so it works harder.


Create a finishing system for your company that will last

by Editor 18. July 2018 13:47

By: Phil Stevenson, AWFI

ATLANTA – If you want to improve your finishing consistency, it’s best to build a system that will last.

Phil Stevenson of AWFI, a leading finishing consultant, will talk about knowledge power versus tribal knowledge in the pursuit of creating a finishing system at the IWF Finishing Symposium is set for August 21, 2018 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, the day before IWF exhibits open.

The idea is to create a system with well-defined parameters for finishing within a company rather than training a single person that could leave the company, and take their experience with them.

That can be a challenge, as Stevenson said that finishing can include eight to 10 steps, and as many as 35 substeps. Finishing by the numbers, as well as measuring and understanding what is done can lead to a lasting system.

The full-day event will look at new technologies and best methods that finishers could use in their business. Newer finishes such as polyester, polyurethane and UV finishes will be discussed, along with water-borne and low-emission products.

This symposium includes a number of presentations and an opportunity to talk to suppliers and finishing experts face-to-face with your questions./

The IWF Finishing Symposium is sponsored by Fuji Spray, Gemini Industries and Milesi Wood Coatings.



Problem solving and surface prep part of IWF finishing event

by Editor 16. July 2018 11:12

ATLANTA -- The IWF Finishing Symposium is set for August 21, 2018 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, the day before IWF exhibits open.

The full-day event will look at new technologies and best methods that finishers could use in their business. Newer finishes such as polyester, polyurethane and UV finishes will be discussed, along with water-borne and low-emission products.

This symposium includes a number of presentations and an opportunity to talk to suppliers and finishing experts face-to-face with your questions.

Jason Chiu of Centre for Advanced Wood Processing will speak on problem solving in wood finishing, covering such areas as spraying and finish application, finish quality, dust mitigation, and finish process issues, including a discussion of some of the newest methods and technology.

Manufacturing personnel with specific responsibilities in finishing or quality control from across the wood products industry are most likely to benefit from this symposium.



Cold Metal Casting and Reproduction for Furniture Embellishment - Part 4

by Editor 16. July 2018 10:27

Cold Metal Casting and Reproduction for Furniture Embellishment - Part 4

By: Scott Grove, Furniture Designer: Scott

Cold Metal Resin Casting can be done using a variety of materials, from urethane resin, epoxy, polyester, gypsum plaster, and even concrete. For small parts, I most often use a urethane resin like Smooth-On’s SmoothCast  Onxy, for its ease of use, low odor, and quick cure times. Metal powders are added to the resin to give it the look and feel of a real metal. I use bronze powder but brass and aluminum are also options.
The amount of metal added is completely subjective and only testing and experience will give you guidance. The metal powder is a costly component: it thickens the urethane resin (increasing the viscosity), inhibiting its ability to flow during casting.
To make a casting, mix urethane resin together; the metal is then added and thoroughly mixed in. For small simple castings, I add as much metal as the urethane resin will take and still be pourable, usually to the consistency of honey. I pour slowly in, filling up the mold in one shot. This will yield a part that emulates real metal in aesthetic and weight, which is great for paperweights and worry stones.
Another cost-effective way to apply metal is to dust the mold first with just the metal powder. Dump a spoonful of metal into the mold, brush and/or shake it around to completely cover all mold surfaces, and dump out the excess. Then use straight black urethane resin to back up the dry metal, which will absorb and stick to the outer surface.
All of these methods yield a metallic surface, and when polished with #00 steel wool, they have a wonderful luster. I like to complete my final buffing with some black or brown shoe polish, which gives the part depth and a nice aged patina.
The possibilities are endless on what can be created with this casting process. It can be the perfect embellishment to accent your work.
Join me for Cold Metal Casting and Reproduction for Furniture Embellishment on Friday, August 24th from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


IWF 2018: Marketing to Consumers Who Want Experiences, Not “Stuff”

by Editor 11. July 2018 12:25

By: Amanda Eden, Stoner Bunting Advertising

Several years ago, Brian Schultz wrote an article for Advertising Age titled “Not Just Millennials: Consumers Want Experiences, Not Things.” The co‐founder and chief experience officer at New York City-based agency Magnetic spoke directly to our team as his article perfectly encapsulated the changes we were seeing first-hand in the building products industry.

Schultz offered an overview of the enormous shift that our society was undergoing when it came to how and where we spend our money. Since the article published in 2015, experiential marketing has exploded in growth. But growth is a double-edged sword that comes with plenty of idiosyncrasies.

For example, we are more connected than ever to technology (we check our smartphone 85 times per day, on average), yet consumers of all ages are clamoring for more real-world experiences. Why? It’s due to our desire to want to touch, smell, taste and feel the brands we love. Not just interact with them online.

If you’re a restaurant, resort hotel, airline or sky diving company, this is great. But if you’re a consumer products company that’s dealing with decreasing brick-and-mortar sales, you might be in a little bit of trouble.

Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely still love our “things,” and we certainly enjoy spending money on clothing, personal items and random accessories at Home Goods. But we’re more cognizant as to how we spend our money, opting instead for experiences – and memorable ones at that. So where does that leave brands trying to influence consumers to purchase their product? First, let’s talk about the shift in ideology.

The Science Behind the Increase

Schultz said, “various psychological studies are showing that all people — not just millennials — are happier when their money is spent on living, rather than on having. In fact, over the next five years, total spending will grow by nearly 22%, with the so‐called ‘non‐essential’ categories, including vacations and dining out, expected to see the greatest gains.”

Additionally, these same experiences are what many people choose to share across social channels. We Instagram our favorite dishes at restaurants, update our Twitter followers on travel plans, and share Facebook status updates about sporting events, concerts, and festivals.

We love our experiences in life, but it almost seems like some of us love sharing them more than taking part in them. Seriously…the last time you were at a concert, how many people had their phones held up in front of their face, videotaping the entire performance?


What Does This Mean?

In order to capture the attention of these movers, shakers, videographers, photographers and constant sharers, brands – and marketers like us – need to stay on top of the changes in consumer behavior and develop experiential marketing efforts that create powerful and lasting bonds between consumers and brands.

The same thing goes for business-to-business and trade relationships, as we focus on capturing the attention of designers, architects and others who design and build spaces that provide harmonious living and working experiences.

Below are three rules that Schultz shared in his article for successfully capturing the attention of these individuals. We dig them, and we think you will too:

  1. You don’t need to create large‐scale, complex experiences

If done right, small experiences can create truly sticky content. If executed properly, and documented well, your brand experience will drive your consumers and the press to tell your story better, and more authentically.

  1. Don’t overuse technology

If users can’t share it from their phone on a social medium they already use, you are probably overthinking it. And overcomplicating it for them. Never a good thing.

  1. Don’t believe the hype when it comes to the death of retail
    It doesn’t signal that consumer confidence levels are waning or that humans have less discretionary spending. It merely points to a culture that is starting to spend time and money differently. Ask yourself which you would prefer: a brand-new TV or a trip to Cuba? Yep, me too.

A consumer‐centric culture means act human – you know, the way your audiences behave. And that requires understanding that they are willing to spend, sometimes more than something is worth, if they value the experience as an overall part of the product.

Want to know more?

Learn how to create memorable and interactive experiences for your brand by attending the Closets Symposium at IWF Atlanta, Tuesday, August 21.

Stoner Bunting has been building relationships in the home and building products industry since 1984. Our insights into what excites audiences at every stage of the design and construction process – and our access to the people and publications that influence them – make your marketing smarter, so it works harder.



Why Wilsonart® Solid Surface?

by Editor 11. July 2018 12:22

Wilsonart’s mission to create innovative, high performance surfaces people love, expands across our wide range of products. That means Solid Surface, too!

A seamless, non-porous, and renewable engineered surface, Wilsonart® Solid Surface is ideal for residential, retail, healthcare and foodservice applications; especially when used as countertops, backsplashes, statement walls, trays, shelving and more!

From luminous backlit surfaces to semi-opaque expanses, our more than seventy design choices are ever-innovating to meet current trends. This year’s collection brings an invigorating mix of classic movement and veining inspired by natural materials like stone and woodgrains, paired with an enhanced color palette of soothing greys, an inky blue and earthy brown.

More than just a pretty surface, Solid Surface is a practical investment as well. Day-to-day maintenance is a breeze since its non-porous attribute makes it stain-resistant to common spills or messes. For long-lasting durability, any scratches, chips, gouges or cracks to the original condition can be easily repaired by a Certified Wilsonart Fabricator.

With a company-owned fleet, expansive fabrication network and regional warehouses, our Solid Surface is available nationally through the best distribution network in North America, ensuring that your order can be there wherever and whenever you need it.

Our commitment to this product category doesn’t stop there. Wilsonart is investing in a new 135,000 sq. ft. Solid Surface manufacturing facility in Temple, Texas that will provide 9 million square feet of added capacity, wide sheet production and onsite development capabilities to service its valued customers.


Do yourself a solid and learn more about this versatile surface during the “Techniques and Time-Savers for Engineered Surfacing Products” symposium on Tuesday, August 21st.