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Countertop demand to grow 4.2% per year

BY HBSDealer Staff

World demand for countertops is projected to rise at a steady clip through 2018, according to a new report from The Freedonia Group.

In "World Countertops," The Freedonia Group pegs global countertop demand at 503 million square meters in 2018, which indicates a growth rate of 4.2% per year.

Much of this demand is predicated on an increase in construction activity throughout the world, as well as efforts to modernize in developing regions.

Depending on where one is in the world, there are also differences in popularity between types of surfaces.

Laminates accounted for nearly half of U.S. countertops in 2013, for example, though they only made up 2% of countertop surfaces in China. Instead, solid surface materials made up 40% of the demand there.

The Asia/Pacific region was also the largest market for countertops in general in 2013, accounting for 47% of global demand. Here is where the fastest gains are expected.

"This region is generally an immature market in which freestanding furniture, pedestal sinks, and other low-cost alternatives are more common than conventional countertops," explained The Freedonia Group in a statement. 

North America followed behind as the second largest regional market, where gains are occurring thanks to the housing recovery.

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Jim Caruk for Owens Corning Canada

BY HBSDealer Staff

Home improvement personality Jim Caruk has signed on to represent Owens Corning Canada through a two-year brand association.

Per the agreement, Caruk will endorse Owens Corning EcoTouch PINK FIBERGLAS Insulation, AttiCat Blown-In Insulation and FOAMULAR Rigid Insulation products.

Caruk is a contractor, the editor in chief of Renovation Contractor, a 2013 Premier's Award recipient, founder of Renos for Heroes, and the former host of HGTV's Real Renos and Builder Boss.

“Having spent more than 35 years renovating and building homes for my clients I’ve learned many lessons, the most important being to never compromise on quality craftsmanship and expertise," said Caruk. "Building a family’s home is a huge responsibility where time, money and emotion could ignite at any moment."

"That’s why I only use products that are tried, tested and truly the best," he added. "I am delighted and it feels natural for me to endorse Owens Corning, a brand I have been using since I started in the business."

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Valspar chips in for the colorblind

BY HBSDealer Staff

Maybe it's all the publicity that the dress stirred up (here's one for Team Gold and White), but Valspar is aiming its latest initiative at issues related to color perception.

According to the company, 300 million people around the world are colorblind.

As such, Valspar is launching a partnership with EnChroma, a manufacturer of corrective eyewear for colorblindness. Through its #ColorForAll initiative, Valspar will be giving away a few pairs of glasses to colorblind people, as well as raising awareness about the importance of color in general.

The campaign also includes a short documentary, called "Color for the Colorblind," which features personal anecdotes from colorblind individuals (as well as those describing what it felt like to see color for the first time).

"As a company deeply rooted in color, Valspar believes that everyone deserves to see and appreciate the experience that color brings to life," said Joel Wasserman, director of brand integration at Valspar. "Most people don't know what it's like to live in a muted world. We're dedicated to making a change for the better and igniting a conversation around the impact of color."

Valspar is also encouraging customers to share their own relevant stories via the #ColorForAll hashtag or at ValsparColorForAll.com. Respondents will get a chance to receive a pair of EnChroma glasses as well.

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