Educational Opportunities, Industry News

ISFA’s Mineral Surfaces Training + Facility Tour Draws a Crowd in Tennessee

International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) members gathered in late February for the Mineral Surfaces Training session to gain hands-on training and fabrication demonstrations with sintered stone and ultra-compact surfaces. The training focused on getting a better understanding of the challenges and benefits of working with the growing categories of porcelain, sintered stone and ultra-compact surface, and the attendees are now ISFA certified.

ISFA mineral surfaces training knoxville

The group visited host BB Industries at their Knoxville headquarters, as well as Smokey Mountain Tops’ fabrication shop, also in Knoxville, then they visited Crossville’s automated manufacturing center in Crossville, Tennessee.

At BB Industries, attendees engaged in strategy and informational sessions before touring BBI’s warehouse. On the visit to Smokey Mountain Tops, the group toured the fabrication facility and attended some porcelain fabricating demonstrations, with some added hands-on experience.

ISFA Mineral Surfaces training knoxvilleAt the field trip to Crossville Tile, everyone was introduced to the porcelain tile manufacturing process, from combining the initial ingredients like sand and other materials to curing the raw tiles in a long, hot kiln, to how the product is packaged and stored. The tour group also learned about Crossville’s recycling process of tile that does not meet their high-quality standards.

“This hands-on learning and training opportunity was a creative way for fabricators to learn more about some of the most popular surfaces today,” said BB Industries CEO Rick Stimac. “We were glad to host the group and get to see both some familiar and new faces at our offices, and partnering with Smokey Mountain Tops and Crossville offered the group an educational and fun experience. We appreciate everyone who was involved, including trainer Alexandre Stepanov, and ISFA for including BB Industries in this great learning experience.”

“ISFA is dedicated to delivering the tools and resources fabricators need to find success,” added Nancy Busch, executive director of ISFA. “Providing opportunities to learn more about mineral surfaces, a rising category in terms of popularity, is just one of the ways we arm our members with ways to grow their businesses. Thanks to our partners, BBI and Crossville and Smokey Mountain Tops for making this event a terrific success.”

About BBI
Since its beginning in 1994, BBI’s philosophy has been to offer the best customer service in the industry and the best value stone fabrication products. We are right there for our customers through all phases of business with education, training, and support from CNCs to blades. Our vendors and customers are valued partners. For more info, visit

About ISFA
The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) is globally recognized as a premier trade organization serving the manufactured surface industry. ISFA exists to help fabricators and other industry professionals increase product quality, improve safety measures, encourage professionalism and elevate profitability by facilitating education, standards and camaraderie. ISFA values innovation, dependability, trust, honesty, ethics and serving others above all else. To learn more about ISFA events and the benefits of membership, visit

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