Wilsonart Booth Remodeling-Show distance

I think it is always good to remind you that I have a partner (for the lack of a better word) on this site.  His name is Barry and this is him here >> in our Media Kit. I mean – I wouldn’t blame you, though, if you didn’t know him. Barry has been pretty quiet the last 12 months or so, as he dove both feet into his real world coastal construction restoration business.

Barry was with me on our adventures last October at the Remodeling Show in Baltimore.  And while I ran a full press schedule, Barry was able to assist by photographing and acting as engineer on several audio interviews. Only two of which he had been able to mix down.  In this post, I will finally deliver the 3rd – an interview with Wilsonart’s Mike Lallo, a Segment Manager in Home Center SegmentsWilsonart, and specifically Wilsonart HD, was a sponsor of our 106 Yard Fund, which ultimately brought Sean Lintow, Sr. to Baltimore for the Show.

Looks for Less panel after

The Panel Discussion: Looks for Less 

I took part in an hour long panel discussion on the topic of Looks for Less. And while I promised (to a few), I really never had time to circle back and report on it … till now.

Panel Looks for Less

I mean – reminded of the uncomfortableness I experienced with presenting. Well, all through college, I was reluctant, but in the end, decided – really, what did I have to lose. With the charismatic Mike moderating, the panel also consisted of Remodeling Magazine’s Senior Editor Nina Patel (who I was actually acquainted with prior) and TV personality – Summer Baltzer. Summer’s credits include work on HGTV‘s Design on a Dime & TLC’s Unhinged.  And truth – Summer is the first person I ever (knowingly) met that has been involved with a TV series.

Looks for Less panel laughing

While it was fun to learn that Summer lives in LA, and that see actually even happens to be Delta Burke’s goddaughter … it was equally as cool to learn that Summer is a working designer, and contractor, and that she actually really knows her sh*t.  While the discussion did have a rough outline (prepped for via a conference call), I think it is fair to say that, and especially as the audience got involved, she mostly steered our participation (and trust me – I didn’t mind).

10 Tips for the Looks for Less

The topic – “How do we, as Remodelers, provide Homeowners with hi-end looks for, well, less?”

I felt comfortable, locked in as we discussed staged remodeling (tackling projects in a phased approach), the practical use of existing spaces, leveraging digital tools like Skype and Houzz. Even as we discussed working with specialty subs to maximize output and productivity, I felt good. But I got a lot more quiet as we moved into things like trends toward transitional design. And current opportunities to save with product selection. Here, I sat back (with everyone else), and got schooled … by Summer.  She was fun to watch.

Looks for Less panel

And that was that … it was a blast. And while I’ll probably need to learn not to chew gum when speaking in public, I’d love to do something like it again.


Building Moxie with Mike Lallo from Wilsonart

And anyways, back to our fearless moderator, Mike Lallo. He was not only the patient guide for our hour-long discussion, he was also busy throughout the entire Remodeling Show giving installer-oriented demos on the company’s decorative edging. Mike has been with Wilsonart for a few years (I wanna say 20). He has built an expertise in premium laminates and sinks, along with those edges, but … you learn quickly, as I did, he by nature is an educator.

Mike Lallo Summer Baltzer JB Bartkowiak

Here we talk about the design and technology behind the products, and specifically the HD line. HD acted as both sponsor to Building Moxie at the Show, but also as the sponsor of the panel discussion. Among other things, we discuss his pet personal mission of eliminating laminates’ dreaded “brown line.”

To Highlight: Mike tells us – HD differentiates in 3 ways: design, surface texture and performance. At the time we recorded this, there were 52 styles in the line, available in both matte and gloss finishes.  He also discusses the design and the installation of associated high performance edging.

Listen below:



Wilsonart HD booth

Quick Facts on Wilsonart HD:

* Provides superior product/durability with AEON technology that is 3x more scratch resistant than other laminates.
* Offers both homeowners and businesses many designs for traditional, transitional and contemporary spaces.
* Leads the industry in sustainability – first to achieve Forest Stewardship (FSC) Council Chain of Custody Certification (Wilsonart Laminates contain 70% FSC Certified wood fibers).


That’s it; thanks for reading and listening. Thanks to Mike for taking the time and thanks to Wilsonart for the support. Cheers all and enjoy. ~jb

All images via AdManJack (Jack Silverman)

For more coverage on products appearing at the 2012 Remodeling Show, Product Round Up 1 & Product Round Up 2.

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