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Tile: Spanish suppliers steal the show at Cersaie 2017

November 6/13, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 11

Bologna, Italy—More than 90 Tile of Spain companies showcased their latest ceramic tile innovations and styles at Cersaie 2017 held here earlier this fall. Spanish tile manufacturers unveiled collections that reflected popular design trends.

It should come as no surprise that Spanish tile manufacturers drew a lot of attention at Cersaie. According to ASCER, the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association, Spain is the No. 1 exporter of ceramic tiles in Europe and No. 2 in the world. Alongside years of tradition, knowledge and experience, Tile of Spain ceramic products are present in over 180 countries worldwide.

Following is a snapshot of the major trends observed at Cersaie, as depicted by the scores of Tile of Spain companies in attendance.

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Crossville Bohemia collection empowers boho-chic style

Bohemia-by-Crossville_Retail_Detail_CCrossville, Tenn.—Crossville has launched Bohemia, the brand’s latest porcelain tile collection. Taking inspiration from the history and spirit of nomadic cultures, the line offers unconventional takes on texture and color. The versatility of sizes and hues empowers designers to incorporate boho-chic styles and adventurous, textile-like touches into their customized tile designs.

“We’re excited to see Bohemia usher in new opportunities for designers to tap into their individual styles,” said Lindsey Waldrep, vice president of marketing, Crossville. “The fabric-finish texture and range of colors and creative options will let designers invent unique, custom looks.”

Field tiles are available in two large format sizes, 12 x 24 and 24 x 24, and are rectified for exact size consistency. The complement of trim pieces includes bullnose and covebase to allow for fully finished looks that meet installation requirements. Additionally, two mosaic options—a 3 x 3 and a basketweave, each mesh-mounted on 12 x 12 sheets for easy application—serve as creative solutions for commercial and residential projects.

Bohemia is offered in eight nuanced colors in a fabric-like, unpolished finish that is simple to maintain and highly durable. The spectrum of colors includes bold, light-to-dark neutrals, as well as blue and green offerings. The colors are inspired by—and named for—the unapologetic, informal style of the boho-chic movement: Free Spirit, Drifter, Artist, Vagabond, Tinker, Wanderer, Rebel and Beatnik.

As with all products produced at Crossville’s Tennessee manufacturing facilities, Bohemia is responsibly manufactured using sustainable processes and is Green Squared certified. It is recommended for interior floors, walls, countertops and exterior walls in both residential and commercial applications.

For more information, visit crossvilleinc.com.

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Daltile Interior Design Scholarship entries showcase tile

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 9.36.12 AMDallas—Judging is currently underway for the sixth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship Competition, presented by the ASID Foundation. The designs entered by college students nationwide exemplify that tile is now widely used as a design element in today’s interior design world.

“Over the last five years, tile has emerged as a design element, whereas in the past, it was a utilitarian product,” said Shelly Halbert, director of product design for Dal-Tile and one of the judges for this year’s competition. “Five years ago we considered our Daltile products part of the tile industry. Today, they are part of the larger interior design industry.”

The 2017 competition challenged college students to reimagine the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center in Washington, D.C., and to incorporate at least two Daltile products in their design vision. Daltile will award $27,500 in scholarships to aspiring interior design students who entered the competition from across the country. The panel of four judges is comprised of professionals from Daltile, OTJ Architects, Booz Allen Hamilton, and last year’s winner, Kristina Tribell of Abel Design Group. Winners will be announced on Nov. 15 at the Daltile Philadelphia Design Studio during NeoCon East 2017 in Philadelphia.

“While reviewing this year’s contest entries, I’ve noticed several consistencies among these young designers,” Halbert said. “As far as their overall style, student designs are generally falling into either modern or organic. Given free rein to use any two Daltile products in their concepts, the contestants overwhelmingly selected products that reflect many of today’s hottest trends in their tile choices—neutral colors and marble-looks, including white, gray and black, as well as traditional marbles in beige and brown. Lots of wood-look tiles, large format tiles and slabs, concrete looks and fabric-inspired tile products were also used. A few submissions showcase a blending of materials, such as wood-look and concrete-look tiles, creating eye-catching designs.”

For more information, visit daltiledesign.com.

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Emser Tile releases Latitude collection

Emser Tile_Latitude_White and GrayLos Angeles—Emser Tile introduces Latitude, a glazed body match porcelain tile inspired by the ethereal beauty of the northern lights. The series’ painterly movement provides an organic sense of structure and transforms interiors through dynamic movement and design.

Five elegant neutrals—graphite, gray, ivory, taupe and white—evoke a sense of emotion in a myriad of residential and commercial environments, from spa-like showers to fireplace facades. Pattern variations achieved through dynamic, high-resolution graphics further enhance the collection’s appeal.

The collection is available in 12 x 24 tiles, 2 x 2 mosaics and 3 x 12 SBN. It is suitable for both floor and wall applications, contributes to LEED v4 certification and improves indoor air quality with zero VOC emissions.

For more information, visit emser.com/products/latitude.

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MSI assists victims of Hurricane Harvey

gI_155355_AP_17244821529718Houston—M S International (MSI) has donated to Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts through the American Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations.

MSI employees and the MSI Charitable Trust joined forces to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. “We were heartbroken to see the devastation caused by this catastrophic hurricane and knew we wanted to help,” said Manu Shah, CEO of MSI. “I’m proud and humbled by the generosity of our employees. Their thoughtful donations echo MSI’s deep-rooted commitment to humanitarian efforts.”

MSI is headquartered in Orange, Calif., but has dozens of showrooms and distribution centers across the United States including one in Houston. “Our Houston facility suffered only minor damage, but our employees, customers and partners weren’t all as fortunate,” said Rajesh Shah, president of MSI. “We hope this donation will support them—and others—as they begin to rebuild in Harvey’s aftermath.”

For more information, visit msistone.com.

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Iris Ceramica, Diesel Living partner for new Italian tile collections

ir_dsb_shade_pink_grunge_concrete_scratch_black_amb1_livingChicago—Iris Ceramica, a Fiandre Group brand, teamed up with the lifestyle fashion brand Diesel Living to present their collaboration of new floor and wall solutions, inspired by industrial and modern urban design trends.

Debuting for the first time in the U.S., the seven new eclectic ceramic and porcelain collections are Fence, Ribbed, Ribbed Oxide, Arizona Concrete, Grunge Concrete, Combustion Crackle and Shades of Blinds. Along with Diesel’s global fashion savvy and innovation, the final product was achieved together with Iris Ceramica’s technical expertise and manufacturing capabilities to produce unique, high-tech, fashion-forward architectural surfaces.

The new Diesel Living collections are now available for the U.S. market through the Fiandre Group’s distributor, Transceramica, as well as its nationwide network of distributors. The collection will also soon be on display in Fiandre’s Chicago showroom.

“We’re very excited about our collaboration with Diesel Living since it represents our shared values of creativity, technological innovation and tradition of Italian craftsmanship,” said Eugenio Megna, director of sales and marketing at Transceramica. “Iris Ceramica’s tile collection with Diesel Living is a winning combination offering unique finishes and surface solutions for both residential and commercial interiors.”

The new tile collections respond to trends that show an increasing correlation between industrial, vintage fashion and interior design trends for a raw, metropolitan cutting-edge look. The sleek styles and surface solutions are engineered for both commercial and contemporary residential projects.

While this is Diesel Living’s first foray into porcelain and ceramic surface solutions, the Diesel Living interiors collection also includes brand collaborations for furniture, lighting, kitchens, wooden floors and home accessories.

For more information on the new Iris Ceramica Diesel Living collection, please visit transceramica.com.

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Emser Tile introduces new Legacy collection

Emser Tile_Legacy_WhiteLos Angeles—Emser Tile has launched Legacy, a glazed porcelain tile collection for residential and commercial interiors that elevates wood-look aesthetics through cutting-edge techniques.

Three-dimensional surface texture and high-resolution graphics mirror contemporary hardwood panels with the inherent reliability and durability of glazed porcelain tile. Five rich, wood colors—white, sand, Havana, gray and brown—allow Legacy to lend a range of aesthetics, spanning both modern and traditional.

“Wood-look tile has the ability to suit almost every approach to design, from farmhouse rustic to elegant and refined,” said Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing, Emser Tile. “By marrying high-definition printing with true surface texture, Legacy evolves what wood-look tile can be, for a result that is fresh and familiar.”

The collection is available in 8 x 47 plank tiles. It is suitable for interior and exterior environments, contributes to LEED v4 certification and improves indoor air quality with zero VOCs emissions.

For more information, visit emser.com/products/legacy.

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Crossville launches new gauged porcelain tile panel collections

Crossville's Cava.
Crossville’s Cava.

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville has announced the introduction of two gauged porcelain tile products: Calce and Cava.

Neutral colors and delicate nuances mark the face of Calce, a line inspired by wet plaster and concrete. The combination results in a soft, chalky visual that is both sophisticated and contemporary. Calce comes in six colors: Bianco, Avorio, Grigio, Tortora, Antracite and Nero. It is available in 3+mm thickness for wall use and is suitable for interior vertical surfaces

Cava brings you all of the style of natural stone with top performance. It comes in four colors: Bianco Lasa (in Polished or Bush Hammered finishes), Diamond Cream (in Bush Hammer finish), Noir Desir (in Polished finish) and Nero Greco (in Polished finish) and is available in 5.6mm thickness with finish options for floor and wall use.

For more information, visit: crossvilleinc.com/laminam-by-crossville.

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Al's Column: Top 10 tips for tile, stone maintenance

September 11/18, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 7

By Rod Sigman

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.49.34 PMIn the nearly three decades that I have been in this industry, there have been tremendous advancements in technology, techniques and craftsmanship. Yet with all the progress that has been made, many problems still exist, including issues and failures directly related to the lack of knowledge and understanding of how critical a role proper care and maintenance play in both insuring a successful installation and maintaining a products function and beauty for the long term.

To this point, ASTM C1528 –02 does a great job of framing this issue as it relates to natural stone. However, many of the same challenges and issues also apply to tile. As the standard states: “In a high proportion of the cases, failure of a natural stone in service is a result of improper application, rather than the inherent properties of the stone. Placing stones in unsuitable environments, faulty fabrication, installation or construction practices and incompatible associated materials are frequent causes of stone system failures…”

This means it is not typically the stone’s (or tile’s) fault but rather our lack of understanding and knowledge about the material; what it will do; how to install or fabricate it; etc., that is leading to failures and problems. Therefore, if we take the time to educate ourselves, employees, customers, etc., then we stand a much greater chance of success.

While there are ANSI and TCNA standards, guidelines and best practices for virtually all aspects of installation from surface prep to grouting techniques, none exist for sealers, maintenance, problem solving and prevention. That being said, it is critical to attend educational sessions—such as those available at TISE—to become aware of the potential pitfalls and challenges and how to avoid them. Topics that will be discussed at TISE include: when to pre-seal tile or stone vs. using a grout release; how hot/cold and or wet surfaces affect the use and performance of sealers; what the function of a sealer is; how using, selling or specifying proper maintenance products and programs can prolong the sealer, the function and performance of the installation itself; and knowing which tile, stone and grout should be sealed.

While this is very understandable up front, most find problems on the back end of the removing grout haze and staining, sealer residue, stains from other trades, hiring restoration contractors to refinish the stone and in some cases ripping out the installation only to have it reinstalled properly the second time. What is seldom planned are the direct and indirect costs (both time and money) associated with not discussing or implementing a good care and maintenance program. Countless meetings, finger pointing and potential lawsuits are all real consequences. The damage to yourself and or your company’s reputation and referral business is never monetized and factored in.

The International Surface Event offers a multitude of classes and opportunities to improve your knowledge, understanding and bottom line. This class is a must for those who are looking to give themselves and or their company an edge over their competition and increase customer satisfaction. We look forward seeing you Jan. 29, at 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., session code MN02. Register today at tisewest.com to review a complete list of programs and activities.

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 3.05.38 PMRod Sigman is business development manager at Custom Building Products, based in Huntington Beach, Calif. The company specializes in floor preparation products and tile and stone installation systems for residential and commercial projects.

 

 

 

 

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Ceramic: Domestic expansion continues to pick up steam

August 28/September 4: Volume 32, Issue 6

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.38.56 PMU.S.-based ceramic tile manufacturers—as well as several foreign entities—continue to ramp up domestic production with new builds or plant expansions. This latest trend began earlier this decade and has been picking up steam ever since.

Market leader Dal-Tile Corp. has been making the most noise lately. In July the company announced plans to build a second plant in Dickson, Tenn., just down the block from a now completed 1.8-million-square-foot facility that produces large-format 12 x 24 glazed porcelain tiles. Since operations started in March 2016, the original Dickson tile plant has produced approximately 100 million square feet of tile products, according to John Turner Jr., president. The new facility is scheduled to begin operations in late 2018.

Industry observers see many benefits to domestic production. For one, by producing stateside manufacturers are less exposed to uncontrollable factors such as exchange rate fluctuations and ocean freight price increases due to capacity shortages. Faster turnaround times on orders and possibly less expensive access to products are other advantages.

“Domestic facilities offer manufacturers a number of key advantages, including the quality of the local workforce, access to raw materials and an ideal location from which we can ship to a majority of the U.S. population quickly and efficiently,” said Gianni Mattioli, executive vice president, product and marketing, Dal-Tile. “We are now able to produce products that are as visually appealing as the products being imported from Europe. At Mohawk and Dal-Tile we are leading the advancement of design and manufacturing technologies domestically so we can continue to deliver on our promise of providing our customers the best value through these innovative products and exceptional service.”

While Tennessee has become a hotbed for tile manufacturing, it should be noted that other companies have been producing tile in this region for decades. Crossville has been manufacturing tile in Tennessee since the 1980s. Located in the hills of the Cumberland Plateau, Crossville, Tenn., was chosen as home because of its central location to all primary raw materials. To this day, Crossville is no further than 400 miles from the sourcing sites of its porcelain and natural stone raw materials.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.39.02 PMLikewise, the vast majority of Florida Tile’s flooring products are manufactured in Lawrenceburg, Ky., which is within 500 miles of the raw materials it uses from surrounding states. Florida Tile is one company that plays up the Made in America story. It is part of the “We Build American” initiative, a partnership with 84 Lumber that recognizes and encourages the use of domestic materials in home construction.

Tennessee is one of six states where Dal-Tile makes products. The company manufactures glazed wall tile in Dallas and El Paso, Texas; porcelain floor tile in Muskogee, Okla.; unglazed quarry tile in Lewisport, Ky., and Fayette, Ala.; and unglazed mosaic tile in Gettysburg, Pa.

Other market leaders are putting their stakes down as well. MS International has been accelerating its efforts in the U.S. with a new innovation center in Georgia. The 20,000-square-foot space within a 150,000-square-foot warehouse supplements its 200,000-square-foot showroom and nearby warehouse. MSI has also updated and doubled the size of its Bay Area showroom and distribution center. Today, the company features more than 500 surfacing products displayed and inventoried throughout 5,600 square feet of showroom space and approximately 160,000 square feet of total warehousing space.

Expanding capabilities
Thanks to technology advancements, particularly in digital printing, companies now have the manufacturing wherewithal to produce higher-end visuals that replicate hardwood, marble and stone looks that rival Europe’s manufacturing prowess, proponents say. “Ten years ago it seemed like new technologies or techniques for ceramics and porcelain product started in places like Italy and were more exclusively found there for a longer period of time,” said Bob Baldocchi, chief marketing officer/vice president business development and sales support, Emser Tile. “Today the advancement, regardless of the country of origin, seems to go global very quickly.”

While U.S.-based manufacturers are investing in new technologies at a feverish pace, there is significant investment coming from non-U.S.-based manufacturers. Several companies have built new plants that are now online while others are in progress—mostly in the Tennessee area. “Certainly the non-U.S.-based manufacturers see the opportunity to produce in the U.S. and serve, or partially serve, this market without having to export from Europe, etc.,” said Rick Church, executive director, Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA). “Clearly, this makes it more efficient to bring the product to market.”