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Interceramic spring collection debuts 18 product series

Carrollton, Texas—Interceramic is making a statement regarding the dynamism and contemporary strength of company’s brand and product strategy for the U.S. market with a spring tile launch consisting of 18 collections.

The 2018 spring launch illustrates the company’s distinct advances in manufacturing with its Durabody ceramic tile collections that meet the needs of the customer by combining high design with innovative and functional ceramic tile. Interceramic also continues to excel in the wall tile category, offering a new collection out of its Garland, Texas-based manufacturing facility, while significantly enhancing its porcelain offering.

Interceramic is committed to servicing the North and Central American customer and has established an extensive distribution system in the U.S. that includes 13 company-owned showrooms, three distribution centers and 53 independent distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as more than 300 retail locations throughout Mexico, Asia and Central America.

 

 

 

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Green Squared: Three years later, so far, so good

Volume 28/Number 6; September 1/8, 2014

By Louis Iannaco

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Almost three years after its inception, Green Squared, the initiative developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) to recognize and certify sustainable products for the North American tile industry, is maintaining its importance, according to ceramic executives.

Flooring’s first sustainability standard for tile and tile installation materials, Green Squared was developed by TCNA under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process and recognizes manufacturers for environmental leadership and corporate social responsibility across a broad range of indicators, covering environmental product characteristics, product manufacturing and raw material extraction, end-of-product life management, progressive corporate governance and innovation.

According to Bill Griese, standards development/green initiative manager, TCNA, the standard has strengthened the tile industry’s presence in the green building community. “With continued influence and an emerging presence in today’s green building standards and rating systems, awareness of the standard and the demand for Green Squared-certified products are on the rise. This has resulted in increased A&D familiarity with Green Squared.”

Today, he noted, the use of Green Squared-certified products can directly contribute toward points or compliance in three major standards/rating systems: Green Globes for New Construction, NAHB National Green Building Standard and ASHRAE 189.1. The tile industry, in collaboration with several other flooring categories, is “working to establish similar references to Green Squared and other flooring industry programs in LEED and the International Green Construction Code.”

Green Squared certification was developed by TCNA to acknowledge products verified by an independent third party to be in conformance with ANSI A138.1. Products certified under Green Squared are allowed use of the Green Squared certified mark, an easily recognizable label that helps architects, designers and end users choose products that meet the industry’s range of sustainability criteria.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), which evaluated the first three certifications for products from Crossville, Interceramic and Metropolitan Ceramics by Ironrock, was among the first third-party certifiers accredited by TCNA to conduct evaluations under the standard.

Noah Chitty, technical services manager, Crossville, said Green Squared has allowed the tile industry to be part of the sustainability conversation in a way that was not possible before. “Since its inception, we’ve seen a major shift from single-attribute criteria to transparency and broader sustainability ideas.”

While discussions of potential revisions to LEED are ongoing, references to Green Squared in the International Green Construction Code were preliminarily approved in May, and the International Code Council’s final action on this decision will take place next month.

“Professionals are still waiting for the sustainability community to decide how multi-attribute systems will be recognized in LEED,” Chitty explained, “but they seem to appreciate that the standard has been developed.”

As Lori Kirk-Rolley, vice president, brand marketing, Dal-Tile, noted, since its introduction, Green Squared has made sustainable product selection easier than ever. “It’s more than just a labeling program; it represents North America’s consensus on what is required for a tile to be truly sustainable through measurable and verifiable criteria for products possessing a full range of social and ecological attributes. This means sustainable product specification is now easier, faster and more consistent across the industry.”

Daltile and American Olean were among the first brands to endorse the Green Squared program in 2012. All of the company’s U.S. facilities, as well as its Monterrey, Mexico, operations, were included in the third-party audit process, Kirk-Rolley noted, so architects and designers can be confident Dal-Tile products meet the standard’s requirements.

“This standard is helping us better assist our customers in the specification of tile products that meet both the sustainability and usability needs of the spaces they create,” she added. “The certification offers a clear definition of what the industry defines as a green product, thereby making it easier for our customers to identify environmentally friendly products for their flooring needs.

“It means when our customers choose a Dal-Tile product for their sustainable projects,” Kirk-Rolley added, “it isn’t just an easy decision; it’s one they can make with confidence.”

In 2013 Dal-Tile completed all the necessary process changes, and now 100% of its Daltile and American Olean branded products meet the Green Squared certification to the new ANSI Standard–A138.1 Sustainable Tile & Installation Materials.

Sean Cilona, marketing director, Florida Tile, said the domestic tile industry needed Green Squared in order to create an independent body that can substantiate environmental claims made by manufacturers. “It has been a great way for us to differentiate ourselves and our products from foreign competitors and give each of us another solid selling point when promoting ourselves to an increasingly environmentally conscious market.”

Regarding its progress, he noted, Green Squared is something that is still making its way through the marketplace and into the hands of the end user. “It has been a great step toward some of the third-party certifications that are part of the LEED v4 program.”

For Crossville, Green Squared means the company can focus more on an overall sustainability message instead of having to chase individual criteria. “It allows us to focus on a broader set of goals, which is good for us and our customers,” Chitty said.

Crossville adopted process-based standards in sustainability years before Green Squared, he explained, “and through third-party evaluations we certified our processes instead of products. Green Squared provided validation of this approach and broadened the concept to involve all aspects of the company, not just the production process.”

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What the future holds

As Griese noted, the tile industry is historically rooted in stringent consensus standards and, therefore, is continuously pushing for improvement in the field of sustainability. “This means Green Squared will evolve over time to raise the bar for product sustainability—from manufacturing requirements, to materials and resources, to product use phase and end of life—all with a focus on the environment and society.”

With today’s focus on product transparency and a growing demand for facts to back up sustainability claims, it is possible that Green Squared will become even more prevalent. “It’s likely that industry-wide life cycle reporting initiatives and environmental product declarations (EPD) will be tied into the overall Green Squared message,” Griese concluded.

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Tile: Surfaces is all about new sizes, wood visuals

Feb. 17/24 2014, Volume 27/number 21

By Louis Iannaco

The ceramic tile segment continued to strut its high-tech stuff at Surfaces. Armed with the latest state-of-the-art technology, porcelain/  ceramic tile producers had popular looks on display, with highlighted wood visuals. Also with a strong presence were the different shapes and sizes now available. From an increasing number of planks to rectangular shapes and larger formats, manufacturers continue to make porcelain and ceramic products replicate other “natural” materials.

Another trend includes the combination of wood visuals with more standard ceramic finishes, such as travertine, slate and marble features, enabling the consumer to mix and match her décor according to the various tones of the floor. Thanks to advanced technology, ceramic producers have now come full circle; they’ve made their products mimic other categories and are now coming back to their own.

Bedrosians

“They weren’t ‘tile’ kickers; they were buyers,” said Linda Bedrosian about the traffic the company experienced during Surfaces 2014. A petrified wood look was the star of the show, while another popular offering was its Statuary textured porcelain as well as a parquet visual.”

Epic, a new porcelain wood look, also attracted a lot of attention. “Many people are putting it on their walls and mixing it with mosaics,” she said. “It can be used commercially and residentially.”

Also, concept boards that featured different ceramic and porcelain looks allowed designers to shop for everything they needed with just one stop.

Crossville

The focus for Crossville was on SpeakEasy, a porcelain tile collection that offers the look of authentic, old barnwood interpreted in a range of contemporary, large-format plank sizes. With its modern take on timeworn wood’s appearance and texture, this line is designed as an alternative to traditional hardwoods.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 4.04.09 PMAccording to Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing, the name of the product reflects Crossville’s intention to present a product that reinvents wood visuals and is easy to work with across commercial and residential markets. “SpeakEasy is all about ease of selection—a great option for those who specify products and a reliable go-to for those who sell our lines as well.”

Waldrep said various looks and a range of design options are the keys to SpeakEasy’s appeal.  “Not to mention it’s porcelain, so it will perform well in various settings, including places where real hardwood may not be the best option.”

The collection’s five colors mimic the tones of stained timber, while plank sizes are designed to enhance the genuine wood appearance. SpeakEasy is recommended for interior floors and walls and exterior vertical applications in commercial and residential environments. Additionally, the line is Green Square certified and contains a minimum of 4% pre-consumer recycled content.

What differentiates SpeakEasy from the many wood-look porcelains on the market today, Waldrep said, is the markings and characteristics of real wood with its saw marks, chatter and knots. “But it does not try to emulate real wood insofar as we offer quarter-sawn, half-sawn and rotary-peeled faces all mixed together. I believe that gives it a lot more visual dimension.”

Another big hit at the show for Crossville was Sideview, a new glass mosaic wall tile collection. Inspired by the art deco period, the line features multi-beveling on metallic-look mosaics. The beveling’s dimensional effect enhances reflection of light, providing an upscale look for wall installations.

Dal-Tile

North America’s largest tile manufacturer was at Surfaces once again with a full slate of introductions. New products included three colorbody porcelain collections, Season Wood, Acacia Valley and Valor; three glazed porcelain collections, Exquisite, Porada and Avondale, and glazed ceramic Marble Falls and Clio mosaics.

Dal-Tile highlighted each of the current tile trends by labeling them as different vignettes. They included wood, reclaimed wood, planks and large-format tiles.

Season Wood features a reclaimed wood look in five colorways and four sizes. The collection is manufactured at Dal-Tile’s new factory in Italy.

Emser

Similar to many tile suppliers, the story for Emser at Surfaces was about size, as the linear look has surged in the last 12 to 18 months for the company. “We’ve seen a percentage of our business really gravitate toward the linear sizes,” said Bob Baldocchi, director of marketing. “What we’ve decided to do, instead of launching more series, is take our best-selling series and introduce more sizes, configurations and choices, and then we’ll add a few more colors into the mix.” Additional sizes include 6 x 36, 12 x 24, 16 x 32 and 8 x 32.

Another development from Emser includes collections featuring both a polished and matte look. “It gives people the flexibility to design rooms a bit differently when they can take a matte product on the floor and see the polished product on the walls,” he said.

Emser has also been working on developing lines that are geared toward commercial but also fit into residential applications as well. “By bringing [commercial] looks into residential, we are finding the best of both worlds,” Baldocchi said.

Florida Tile

What people took away from Florida Tile during Surfaces was its large-format wood looks and its digital porcelains, as well as “our multi-graphic digital products, specifically the Mingle collection,” said Jack Bramson, Western region manager. “It features a new level of sophistication I believe is just beginning to take hold.”

According to Bramson, “The people coming to see us have come here to buy. And there seems to be much more optimism as well.”

As far as heading into 2014, Bramson said Florida Tile is optimistic. “We are increasing capacity, investing in new technology, new lines and new looks. We’re bullish about the year.”

Interceramic

Catherine Buehre, Interceramic’s Central region territory manager, said the company introduced several marble looks as well as some glass mosaic collections that garnered positive response. “Our newest marble look, Vesubio, did very well at the show. It’s a floor and wall collection that got great feedback.”

Another highlight for the company was the Trio collection featuring wood, cement and stone looks. “All of the color palettes work together so you can mix and match them,” Buehre said. “And the cement offering has some real visual interest to it.”

When considering the coming year, Buehre couldn’t be more excited. “We have some new introductions coming and our Coverings launch will be very large. Our new Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 4.05.07 PMplant in Mexico is producing much of our large-format tiles.”

Mediterranea

Like many others, the focus at the Mediterranea booth was not necessarily new products but new sizes, according to Don Mariutto, vice president of marketing. “The biggest change is in one of our all-time series, American Naturals,” he explained. “We’ve now moved into the 8 x 48 format, rectified. It used to exclusively come in 6 x 24. We are relaunching the collection with new marketing materials and display sets for the new larger format.”

The company’s Bayside collection, a rectified, four-color series, also introduced a new 24 x 48 size. “This is currently being produced and is in stock right now,” Mariutto said. “Designers are requesting larger formats. We can do more from a design perspective. Using the latest inkjet technology, we can do everything we thought was cool on a 6 x 24 on a 24 x 48.”

The company is currently considering adding more sizes to some of its newer series, including 6 x 36 and 18 x 36. “These will be added later in the year; sizes for Mediterranea that we’ve never offered before,” he said. “Rectangles remain very popular; we’ve seen a decline in the market for the old 18 x 18. People have been saying they like the larger sizes.”

Attendees also responded well to the two new series offered by the company—Ocean Drive and Flow. Mediterranea’s Dynamic HD Imaging design technology is utilized to blend the look of cement with the veining and coloration from stones.

Ocean Drive is available in three sizes with matching bullnose trim and mosaics, and four colors. Flow uses an inkjet manufacturing process to create a blend of design and format— featuring the lines of marble with a texture. The line is manufactured in two sizes and three colors. Also available are mosaics in two sizes along with matching bullnose trim.

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SCS breaks ground with first certification under tile industry's Green Squared standard

Emeryville, Calif.— Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has announced its first three certifications under the tile industry’s brand new Green Squared certification standard. Certifications were awarded to tile manufactured by Crossville, Interceramic, and Metropolitan Ceramics by Ironrock. Continue reading SCS breaks ground with first certification under tile industry's Green Squared standard

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First ever certified sustainable tile products unveiled

After 5 years developing an all-encompassing multi-attribute sustainability standard for tile and tile installation materials, the very first certified sustainable products are being announced.

Cumulatively, eight major manufacturers of tile and installation materials have hundreds of products that are already certified or will be certified by the start of Coverings on April 17, with yet even more of their products still in the evaluation process and expected to earn certification this year. At least six additional manufacturers have started the certification process for hundreds more products that are expected to be certified within the year. Continue reading First ever certified sustainable tile products unveiled