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Tile producers debut innovative looks, bolder colors

Spring is in the air, and soon homeowners will be looking to clean their homes as well as remodel their surroundings. What better way to refresh their castles than with new products underfoot, and what better time for tile producers to offer retailers and consumers the latest and hottest in ceramic and porcelain offerings than the spring? The following covers some of what tile manufacturers are coming out with for the new season.
Crossville
The porcelain tile producer has recently debuted the Urban Renewal and Cotto Americana collections.
Laurie Lyza, director of marketing, said Cotto Americana is designed to offer a traditional cotto tile with random color variation, yet with a contemporary palette. It can be used in residential projects, but has performance characteristics for commercial installations.
“As commercial projects are increasingly value-engineered and the residential focus shifts toward a new frugality, Cotto Americana was designed to fill a gap in the marketplace for high-fashion, moderately-priced porcelain tile,” she explained.
Cotto Americana comes in five colors and three field-tile sizes: 6-, 12- and 18-inches, plus 2-inch mosaics. Lyza added plank shapes are also available through Crossville’s new Get Planked program, that offers a variety of sizes with no minimum order and a short lead time.
Urban Renewal combines the beauty of real metal accent and trim pieces with a dimensional composite body, meaning it has the look of heavy metal, but is actually lightweight and easy to install, noted Lyza. “And, in keeping with its name the product has 50% post-consumer recycled content.”
Its four finishes are available as 4- and 6-inch field tiles with a crackle design, as well as five decos and 10 listellos.
Dal-Tile
The mill has recently introduced several new product collections including: San Michele, Veranda Tones, Stone A’ La Mod and P’Zazz. With rich textured surfaces, high-shade variations and varied mosaic patterns, the new collec- tions feature many of today’s most stylish looks, noted Lori Kirk-Rolley, senior marketing director.
San Michele is a glazed porcelain featuring Microban antimicrobial protection. The collection emulates natural antiqued travertine through Dal- Tile’s Reveal Imaging, a new technology that creates dimensional, sophisticated graphics with rich coloration, texture variation, clefting and veining, noted Rolley. “Reveal Imaging allows tile graphics to be much more realistic than traditional methods of printing with no two tiles alike.”
Veranda Tones is a ColorBody porcelain with a contemporary multi-color wood look. Each piece features detailed linear graining and high shade variation in five earthy color blends from three different solid colors in Veranda Solids, Kirk-Rolley explained.
Stone A’ La Mod is a collection of natural stone mosaics and patterns in three colors designed “with a modern flair,” she said.
P’Zazz is defined by its textured fabric-like surface and a contemporary linear look. Kirk- Rolley noted the ColorBody porcelain’s six colors feature an unpolished appearance and variations in surface depth.
Mannington
The mill has several new porcelain tile products coming out for the spring season, including Foliage, which is comprised of layers of color inspired by the vivid bursts of color from the ever changing seasons, noted Jim Dougherty, director of ceramic. The pattern features a subtle texture to coordinate with any style and consists of four colors.
Symphony is “an elegant and refined stone look taken to a new level with realistic variation that provides an original visual at a competitive value,” he said. Symphony is available in a quartet of colors.
Consisting of 15 colors, the Metro Series is inspired by contemporary city life, exuding the electricity of urban styling without being too trendy, noted Dougherty. “The classic minimalistic look focuses on warm colors, which is very different from European styles which focus on cool colors.”
Patchwork offers a contemporary twist on a classic look, a rustic appearance with color variation from tile to tile like natural products combined with an updated structure and texture, he explained. “Each color is a combination of coordinated colors which transcend multiple design styles.”
Mediterranea
According to Michael Mariutto, president, one of the hottest trends in the ceramic segment has been metallics. As such, “We have a new line, Fusion, which we produce together with Marazzi in Florence, Ala.”
Many people are also looking at the new, digital technologies available, he added. “We’re able to produce more creative looks with the new technology and put some interesting graphics on different surfaces. The key is not to use just the digital technology, because the product would look too much like it came from a printing press.”
Mariutto also mentioned the continued growth and popularity of wood looks. “It’s been extremely popular so we are growing our wood looks with Havana II, consisting of an expanded range of colors.” Mariutto was excited about the new technologies coming into the industry, and how they could benefit Mediterranea. “We have just implemented the digital printing technology [with our mill partners], so we anticipate great products going forward.” He noted for the first time in the U.S., the industry has “technology that allows us to take things to a new level, whereas before that type of technology was only available in Europe. We are beginning to develop products with a European flair, and that’s a real big change in the industry that I’ve seen over the
last couple years.”

Shaw
The mill has introduced new tile and stone products designed to embody high-style visuals in porcelain and ceramic.
Fortaleza is a porcelain tile with a slip- resistant surface. It features a marbled coloration of darker and lighter tones creates an illusion of motion for visual excitement, noted David Wilkerson, vice president of hard surfaces. It is available in 13- and 18-inches, and comes in three colors.
The Villa Percara porcelain collection has antiqued edges for a rustic look and features a swirled, almost fossil like coloration. It is reminiscent of sand- stone and suggests a coastal European feel. It comes in 12-, 18- and 10 x 13-inch wall tile, and is available in two colors. In ceramic, Palmetto features a cool, modern look in 13- and 17- inch sizes and is available in three colors.
Stonepeak
For the mill, it’s all about new technology with its Active clean air and antibacterial ceramic, featuring photocatalytic porcelain tiles that are designed to help improve the quality of the indoor environment.
Photocatalysis is a natural process that involves light, moisture and a photocatalyst, in this case, titanium dioxide (TiO2), noted Noah Chitty, director of technical services. “When light, both natural and artificial, comes in contact with the photocatalyst, a chemical reaction called oxidation occurs. The oxi- dation process brings about anti-pollution, anti-bacterial and self- cleaning qualities.”
The newest product from Stonepeak, the Caesar collection, emulates the shades and textures of travertines and presents them in two finishes.
While emulating the characteristics found in natural travertine, Caesar manages to avoid any repetition in design due to StonePeak’s digital printing technology, Chitty said. The collection is available in four natural shades including Light Splendor, Bronze Allure, Auburn Blaze and Golden Aura, is avail- able in four sizes—24-, 12 x 24-, 18- and 12-inches—and is complemented by a complete trim package including mosaics and chair rail.

Stonexpress
A better solution for natural stone installations, the StoneSkin brand from Stonexpress offers the same, high quality stones as traditional lines but in an easy to install, light- weight format, noted Bill Reid, executive vice president. “The thin design allows StoneSkin to almost seamlessly accent any room and nearly any surface in the home. It can even go over existing tiles, making it a great choice for remodeling projects.” StoneSkin is a “green, ultra thin, eco-friendly line of real stone tiles and mosaics,” he noted. “Sixty percent less material is used in 4mm StoneSkin which means that 60% less stone quar- ried from the earth. It is available in two formats: Traditional mesh-mounted mosaics and our all-new peel ’n stick format. The traditional format can be quickly and easily installed using our StoneSkin Spray ’n Stick adhe- sive or standard mortar. Peel ’n Stick StoneSkin comes with pre-attached adhesive backing which allows for the fastest and easiest installation.”
The new peel ’n stick technology, developed by the Link Group, is designed to be applied to the back of ceramic, marble, glass, mosaics, stone, and various other tiles at the point of manufacturing. “The technology is an advanced pressure-sensitive adhesive that provides an innovative way to install tile faster, easier and with less mess than traditional methods such as mortar or mastic,” said Mike Walsh, founder of the Link Group. “The tile mat set is self-adhesive, repels water, resists mold and is environmentally friendly because it produces no dust, odors or VOCs.
“The product can be applied without using special tools to virtually any clean, flat, level surface,” he concluded.