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Crossville recognized with multiple ADEX awards

Crossville, Tenn.—Six of Crossville’s porcelain tile collections were recently recognized with ADEX awards. Crossville’s Handwritten collection received Platinum recognition; the Notorious and Seta collections received Gold recognitions; the Nest and Calce collections received Silver recognitions; and the Cava collection was recognized as a finalist.

Crossville’s Handwritten wall tile collection is inspired by artisanal craftsmanship. With its range of creative shapes, sizes and colors, this line empowers designers to create truly custom installations for commercial and residential interior walls.

The manufacturer’s Notorious porcelain tile collection offers big city style in the distinct look of concrete, with the technical performance Crossville products are known for.

Seta, inspired by the luxurious fabric of silk, is one of Crossville’s gauged porcelain tile panel collections. The surface visual of these large format tiles reveals the replication of delicate silk strands woven throughout the nuanced appearance of the line’s four color options.

The Nest collection is an alternative to wood for floors and walls, and it supports cleaner, healthier interiors while standing up to high traffic wear and tear. The collection authentically captures the sophisticated, clean graining of both olive and American oak species in a durable, versatile porcelain body.

Crossville’s Calce collection is marked by neutral colors and delicate nuances. The large format porcelain tile line is inspired by wet plaster and concrete. The combination results in a soft, chalky visual that is both sophisticated and contemporary.

With looks as good as natural stone delivered straight from the quarry, Crossville’s Cava offers all the style with unsurpassable performance. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Crossville created each vein of the line’s four colors to be rendered with authentic effect on each 1m x 3m panel.

All products are viewable at crossvilleinc.com.

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Dal-Tile develops mobile tile crusher

Dallas—Dal-Tile is committed to identifying ways to improve processes and implement sustainable initiatives that will reduce its impact on the environment. This past year, the company furthered its sustainability efforts by developing and implementing a “mobile tile crusher” for use at three of its production facilities.

“While 97% of our manufactured floor tile meets our high-quality standards, 3% does not, leading to waste,” said Robert Hurt, director of environmental, health and sustainability services for Dal-Tile. “A team was engaged to determine a way to efficiently crush and recycle scrap tile, without which a facility would never be able to achieve our Zero Landfill initiative. To limit the environmental impact of this waste, we developed the mobile tile crusher—a crusher that travels to three of our locations on a routine schedule.”

This customized solution not only pushed the boundaries of tile production, but also significantly cut costs for disposing of scrap tile wastes. The company conducted extensive research to ensure that the mobile system complied with environmental regulations and that the crushed material could be safely incorporated back into the manufacturing process.

“The development of the mobile tile crusher meant each of the plants could keep tons of scrap material from reaching landfills,” Hurt added. “Even though waste fired tile is inert and does not cause contamination, keeping this material out of a landfill makes more room for other wastes that cannot be recycled and extends the life of the landfill. By this process, we have proven how scrap tile, once deemed ‘unsellable,’ can be ground into consistent recyclable particles and safely go back into our new products.”

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Iris Ceramica launches Marmi 3.0

Chicago—Iris-Fiandre Group’s Iris Ceramica presents Marmi 3.0, an unexpected style combination of pure classical elegance and ultra-trendy modern tiles for porcelain floor and ceramic wall solutions. Debuting for the first time in the U.S., Iris Ceramica’s Marmi 3.0 includes the latest in advanced technology and manufacturing capabilities in this new collection of high tech architectural surfaces.

The new Marmi 3.0 collection is now available for the U.S. market through the group’s own distributor, Transceramica as well as through its nationwide network of distributors. The sleek styles and surface solutions are engineered for both commercial and contemporary residential projects. The collection will also soon be on display in the group’s Chicago showroom.

With light-filled contemporary spaces as the canvas, the veins and fascination of marble creatively combine with glossy wall tiles in modern hues for a new material perspective. Marmi 3.0 porcelain floor tiles are available in two finishes natural (honed) or glossy (polished) with a 9 mm thickness in eight marble-like shades: Gioia White, Black Pulpis, Brown Saint Laurent, Georgette Grey, Onyx, Machaubas White, Dolomiti White and Venato White. Floor tile dimensions include: 24 x 24, 24 x 12 and 24 x 48.

Ceramic wall tiles are available in eight 4 x 8 glossy colors: White, Black, Black Pulpis, Platino, Venato White, Brown Saint Laurent, Onyx and Oro. The metallic tones add a sense of luxury to any room and the bold, glossy color palette offers a shimmering richness to classic colors. The deep tone background allows the sparkle of gold and platinum to shine. What makes this collection unique is the geometry of the glossy wall tiles that contrast with the classic marble-like surfaces and veins—the perfect balance between linear design and nature with a 3.0 mood.

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Ceramic: New formats, designs emerge

February 19/26, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 18

By K.J. Quinn and Nicole Murray

 

Several of the industry’s major players have invested significant capital and resources into the development of next-generation tile flooring and wall products. Judging by the introductions making their respective debuts at various markets this winter, those investments are paying off.

On one hand, advances in digital printing are enabling producers to introduce head-turning formats and designs. At the same time, technological breakthroughs are helping suppliers improve performance and durability. “We are constantly evaluating our technologies, always looking for new ways to improve our product offerings,” said Gianni Mattioli, executive vice president, product and marketing, Dal-Tile. “Our digital printing techniques allow us to create tile that is so realistic, most customers cannot discern between what is tile and what is the natural surface we are imitating.”

Emerging formats such as large slabs are providing a broader canvas for many of these new designs. At Surfaces, Dal-Tile showcased its Panoramic porcelain series available in a 10 x 6 format. Then there’s the Industrial Panoramic series, which comes in four colors, and the Elemental Panoramic series, which comes in seven colors. Tiles for the new collections are available in varied thicknesses including 12mm for countertop applications and 6mm, which is more suitable for the floor or wall applications.

“We had to go bigger because people’s kitchen islands are growing larger and their surrounding counters have larger wrap-arounds,” said Roy Viana, Dal-Tile’s director of slab and natural stone. “Within this collection alone are color and texture options for just about any look to be achievable along with the durable and long-lasting benefits of porcelain.”

Another hot trend in porcelain tile is thinner looks. One of the most significant advantages of thin tile is the ability to be offered in much larger slabs than traditional tile, according to Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing, Emser Tile. “Grout lines are the bane of everyone’s existence in the industry. The monolithic look that comes with larger tiles allows for [rooms] to look spacious and, therefore, much more appealing.”

Vance Hunsucker, national sales manager, tile and stone, Shaw Floors, also cited the new tile’s ease of installation. “Gauged porcelain slabs take less time to install since they are manufactured in large pieces and don’t require the same intensity in terms of grouting and cutting that’s inherent with traditional tile formats.”

New designs in products such as porcelain slabs are offering even more incentives for homeowners and specifiers to choose tile for more than just showers and backsplashes. “We see convergence of designs appealing across both commercial and residential,” said David Koenig, vice president and general manager, Crossville Studios, the tile maker’s distribution division. “Porcelain slabs are starting to come into the market and will continue to gain market presence over the next two to three years.”

Aesthetic enhancements
High-definition printing is completely transforming the category, allowing manufacturers to supply consumers with high-quality floor tiles that resemble natural materials. Image resolution, observers say, is integral to creating products with superior characteristics in terms of detail, color fidelity and graphic designs.

The digital printing process has become so sophisticated that manufacturers are creating tiles that vary from piece to piece, much like the real products.

A case in point is Marazzi’s Urban District BRX collection, which closely resembles brick but is actually ceramic tile. Exuding the look of handcrafted bricks, the Urban District BRX line is inspired by 19th century Chicago brick, so realistic consumers will be hard pressed to tell the difference.

One natural look that remains strong in commercial and residential flooring is wood, thanks to the introduction of new graphics and sizes. Longer, wider formats in wood visuals are becoming increasingly popular, Shaw’s Hunsucker said, a trend that is in line with hardwood flooring. “There appears to be a transition away from 6 x 24 formats, which are quickly becoming more of a commodity product within the market.”

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Tile of Spain reveals global design trends at Cevisama 2018

Miami—Cevisama, the international fair for ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings, held its 36th edition, Feb. 5-9, at the Feria Valencia center in Valencia, Spain. A total 506 Spanish exhibitors showcased their latest products and innovations to a record number of more than 83,000 industry professionals from over 65 countries.

Some of the new trends and innovations showcased by Tile of Spain USA’s featured companies include: natural wood and colors, natural stone imitations, Moroccan-inspired fish scale tiles, mix and match styles, waterproof geometric tiles, deep shade variations with metal effect finishes and three-dimensional wall tiles.

The 16th edition of the Tile of Spain Awards were also announced at the fair. The panel of judges comprised world-renowned architects Iñaki Ábalos (Chair), Ángela García Paredes, Ricardo Bak Gordon, Víctor Navarro, Moisés Puente, Martín Azúa and Ramón Monfort. The judges met Nov. 24 in Castellón to decide the winners who were then presented with their prizes at Cevisama.

A winery in Mont-Ras (Baix Empordà, Girona), was named the winner in the architecture category. The remodeling of three stations on the L9 metro line in Barcelona received first prize in the interior design category. The award for the final degree project went to a residents’ center and tourist information office in Granada’s El Albaicín district. Due to the high standard of the entries, the judges awarded several special mentions in all three categories. Winning projects, images, plans and descriptions are available at tileofspainawards.com.

Also at the fair, Trans-Hitos 2018 was presented under the theme “Cycles.” Cycles refers to a fresh way of understanding architecture by suggesting that what has been learned in past years will have a great significance in driving a modern view of architecture that thinks about people and seeks to solve their problems by prioritizing user needs.

These exhibitions included the “Celosía,” or Lattice, masterpiece by Elena Oleaza and Louis Sicard, winners of the Trans-Hito competition. A collaboration with the Design School at Harvard University was also featured, as well as a project by Wesam Asali, winner of the 2017 ASCER Awards in the PFC Category. An additional space was dedicated to the exposition of projects from the School of Ceramics and winning projects of the XVI Premios Cerámica (Ceramic Awards). More information on the 2018 Trans-Hitos exhibit is available at bit.ly/TransHitos2018.

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Tile: Technology advances inspire new designs, formats

January 22/29, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 6

By K.J. Quinn

 

Ongoing investments in R&D and improved capabilities across manufacturing footprints are expected to pay off for ceramic tile makers. Specifically, advances in digital printing are enabling producers to introduce game-changing formats and designs that meet consumer and commercial end-user needs for performance, styling and sustainability.

“With new technology in digital decoration techniques bringing the highest aesthetics and emerging formats, offering tile as a potential candidate for many more areas inside and outside of a building today, the growth of ceramic tile usage in North America should continue for the next few years,” said Ryan Fasan, Tile of Spain’s technical consultant.

Ongoing investments made by tile suppliers are bolstering production efficiency and speed to market while creating new, value-added products. Although the industry seems to have a firm grasp on technology, new trends are introduced and customer demands shift, so there is always the challenge of keeping up. “We are constantly evaluating our technology, always looking for new ways to improve our product offerings,” said Gianni Mattioli, executive vice president, product and marketing, Dal-Tile. “Our digital printing techniques allow us to create tile that is so realistic, most customers cannot discern between what is tile and what is the natural surface we are imitating.”

Following are illustrations of some of the latest innovations:

High-definition printing
High-definition printing is allowing manufacturers to supply consumers with high-quality floor tiles that resemble natural materials such as wood planks and marble. “The products now have the appearance of natural materials,” said Lee Wright, CID, NCIDQ, LEED AP, a New York-based designer whose firm specializes in holistic interior architecture. “As a designer, this is a game changer.”

Image resolution is integral to creating products with superior characteristics in terms of detail, color fidelity and graphic designs. “These advances are a result of the investments in technology made both by our companies and the upstream supply chain,” said Vittorio Borelli, chairman, Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Association of Ceramics. “Examples include wood, cement, resin and stone-look ceramic tiles which reproduce the original materials so faithfully that even experts have difficulty telling them apart.”

The digital printing process has become so sophisticated that manufacturers are creating tile that varies from piece to piece, much like the real products. A case in point is the Marazzi Urban District BRX collection, which closely resembles the look and feel of brick but is actually ceramic tile.

Three-dimensional looks
One of the latest developments in digital decoration is three-dimensional surfaces. “Digital decoration offers a potentially unlimited variety of graphic solutions, eliminating all repetitiveness and giving ceramic tiles an even more natural look,” Confindustria Ceramica’s Borelli said. “This allows for increasingly realistic surfaces with greater tactile appeal, a key purchasing factor that is attracting growing interest amongst consumers all over the world.”

Experts find that as baby boomers purchase or renovate empty-nest housing and millennials enter the housing market, they are looking for interior decorating products with health and safety top of mind. “The look of a nature-based product is a more popular look and style because people associate natural materials as being more sustainable,” Wright explained. “Innovative and creative styles are also becoming more popular again, especially in the commercial sectors, where designers are seeking to do things differently and showcase their own styles.”

Looks like wood
Vendors continue to churn out larger formats and unusual shapes to accommodate demand. “With the increased demand for new shapes and sizes, we are implementing new technology that allows us to create everything from beautiful mosaics in a variety of shapes to large-format porcelain slabs,” Mattioli said.

Experts say the latest porcelain tile panels are opening up possibilities for creative applications in residences as well as installation efficiencies. Some of the advances made in the field of large-size marble-effect porcelain panels were on display at Cersaie in Bologna last September.

“This is an area in which Italian tile manufacturers have been focusing their aesthetic research efforts recently with the aim of developing increasingly elegant and sophisticated materials,” Confindustria Ceramica’s Borelli said. “We expect this trend to make further headway in the market in 2018, exploiting the natural appeal and sustainability for which Italian tile is renown.”

New designs in products such as porcelain slabs are offering even more incentives for homeowners and specifiers to choose tile for more than just showers and backsplashes. “We are seeing some convergence of designs appealing across both commercial and residential,” said David Koenig, vice president and general manager, Crossville Studios, the tile maker’s distribution division. “Porcelain slabs are starting to come into the market and will continue to gain market presence over the next two to three years.”

Further technological advances will allow tile designers even more artistic freedom, industry member say, which is expected to generate a plethora of never-seen-before styles in 2018.

Thin is in
Other advances are evident in the proliferation of thin tile formats. These products, experts say, give consumers the ability to install tile over tile, thereby resulting in less downtime. “I believe the thin tile technology is the innovation that brings the most value to our end consumers,” said Luca Setti, chief sales and marketing officer, Florida Tile.

The architectural and design community has embraced large-format thin tiles (products measuring

4.5 to 6mm thick) as a unique design opportunity for new construction as well as renovations of existing residential and commercial properties. But it’s important to note there are special considerations when working with this format.

“Thin-body porcelain tile installation is markedly different from standard-body (> 7mm) porcelain tile methods,” said Brian Pistulka, business manager, Mapei Tile & Stone Installation Systems. “It requires special setting techniques to prevent breakage during and after installation. The work done in our research labs has provided the first completely documented information on all aspects of this installation process.”

 

 

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CTEF to hold CTI, ACT demonstrations at TISE

Pendleton, S.C.—The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF), which provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry, will be conducting ongoing demonstrations of the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) and the Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) testing programs during The International Surfaces Event (TISE) in Las Vegas.

These demonstrations will include step-by-step procedures for both the installer taking the test and the evaluation process. CTEF Regional Evaluators (REs) will conduct CTI program demonstrations while also training new REs onsite. Additionally, CTEF will be presenting all aspects of the ACT large format tile and substrate preparation test and evaluation process.

Throughout the show hands-on demonstrations will be presented covering: substrate preparation, layout considerations, mortar coverage, grout installation, sealant joint application and forensic analysis of installed tile.

“It is incumbent on the CTEF to provide good solid information about the tile industry standards and best practices to the thousands of show attendees,” said Scott Carothers, director of certification and training at CTEF. “Likewise, it is imperative that manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and contractors become aware of the necessity of having ceramic and porcelain tile products installed correctly the first time by qualified labor. We have all seen the horrific work that has been done by ill-trained and unqualified tile placers—we can’t call them installers because they do not possess the necessary skills. Tile is a beautiful and long-lasting product which, when properly installed, lasts a lifetime.”

To learn more, visit CTEF at Booth #4727 during TISE 2018.

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NTCA adds new Five Star Contractor members

San Diego—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has accepted three new companies to its Five Star Contractor program: American Tile, Premier Tile & Marble, and Della Maggiore Tile & Stone.

American Tile (ATC) was founded in 1967 by Vince Mattingly, Sr. and his wife, Dola. ATC grew from being a small home-based business to serving industry, commercial and institutional clients throughout the Midwest. After Mattingly retired in 1990, his son, Vince Jr., took his place with his wife, Jewell, and son, Vince III. ATC is based in Louisville, Ky.

Since 1993, Premier Tile & Marble has had the distinction of being a high-quality ceramic tile and stone installer. Despite the company’s growth, it continues to focus on maintaining the same high standards that helped launch the company many years ago. A key component is qualified labor; many company foremen have been onboard since its inception, working with Greg Games, president, as tradespeople out in the field. Premier Tile & Marble is located in Gardena, Calif.

Della Maggiore Tile & Stone, equally owned by both Rich Della Maggiore and Nick Della Maggiore, has been setting tile since 1977. In order to grow into the company, the Della Maggiores have made it their objective to provide the highest quality craftsmanship on a daily basis by providing an opportunity for any employee willing to successfully obtain the highest skills necessary to become a certified tile layer/setter. This commitment to qualified labor has made Della Maggiore Tile & Stone a premier tile installer in San Jose, Calif.

To obtain Five Star Contractor certification, contractors must be a member of NTCA and complete an application process that includes submitting examples of work, reviews and recommendations from peers and customers, and demonstrating proven commitment to service, quality, safety and superior job performance. Five Star Contractors are also required to certify a minimum of 10% of their installers through the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certified Tile Installer program or have completed a three-year apprenticeship program approved by the Dept. of Labor.

If you are a NTCA member and interested in gaining Five Star Contractor certification, contact Amber Fox at amber@tile-assn.com.

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Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition now accepting entries

New York, N.Y.—Confindustria Ceramica and the Italian Trade Agency are officially calling for entries for the 2018 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. The annual awards program, now celebrating its 25th year, recognizes the work of top North American architects and designers who create imaginative spaces that take advantage of the excellent technical and aesthetic qualities of Italian ceramic and porcelain tile.

Each year, a jury of design experts selects three winning projects as well as honorable mentions in the residential, institutional and commercial sectors. In addition to built projects, Ceramics of Italy is also looking for imaginative concepts from students. The jury’s official criteria includes: overall design of the project, aesthetic and technical quality of tile installation, degree to which the tile enhances the setting and the project’s sustainable attributes.

To qualify for entry, built projects in the residential, institutional and commercial categories must be designed by North America-based architects and designers, built or renovated between January 2013 and January 2017, and feature a significant amount of Italian ceramic/porcelain tile. To be eligible to submit to the student category, entrants must be enrolled at an accredited university in North America. Individual or group submissions are accepted through renderings, floor plans and sketches. There is no entry fee and multiple submissions are accepted. The deadline for entries is Feb. 15.

Winners will be notified in March and officially announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference at Coverings in Atlanta, May 8-11. The prize package for winners of the built project categories includes $3,000, accommodations and travel to Coverings to present the project, a dedicated advertisement in a leading design publication as well as a five-day CEU-accredited trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie with a delegation of top architects, designers and journalists from North America. In addition to special appointments on the show floor, the delegation will also enjoy the world-renowned cuisine of Bologna, cultural tours in the region and a chance to see tile production firsthand. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the contractor/distributor team involved in each winning project. The winning student entry will receive a trip to Atlanta to present the project at Coverings in front of an audience of journalists, manufacturers and tile industry professionals.

For more information, visit tilecompetition.com.