May 1st, 2004


May-June 2004

Rad-Flex Radius Finders

Finding a radius has never been easier with the invention of the Rad-Flex Radius Finder from Roberts. With the new 10-804 and 10-808 Rad-Flex Radius Finders, the radii of any difficult “bull-nose” stair, curved wall or pattern can be easily transferred directly to the flooring material for perfect cuts. Available in 4-foot and 8-foot lengths that can be combined to form longer lengths, the 10-804 and 10-808 contain an accurate and secure locking system to maintain the radius, a high carbon spring steel to easily shape the radius and riveted screws to prevent surface scratches or fiber snagging. This product is excellent for carpet, ceramic, stone, masonry, trim and molding, framing, glasswork and landscaping, making this innovative tool a necessity for any flooring needs. Roberts is committed to supporting the professional installer’s needs. (800-423-6545;

New PermaBase® Offering

National Gypsum Company now has ¼-inch PermaBase® Brand Cement Board Underlayment. “To satisfy the needs of our customers, we converted our 5/16-inch board to ¼-inch, says Craig Robertson, Market Manager, Cement Backerboard. “The new ¼-inch Cement Board Underlayment allows our customer to build the floor surface to any height needed, allowing for easier transition from tiled floor to other surface materials.” The unique structure of PermaBase combines a cementitious core sandwiched between two layers of fiber mesh. It is the only product in the industry with its patented EdgeTech® technology. The tapered, double-wrapped edge design is virtually resistant to chipping, fragmenting, and crumbling from on-the-job use, providing the best edge for workability, durability, and stability in the industry. PermaBase Brand ¼-inch Cement Board is traditionally utilized as an underlayment for ceramic tile on floors and countertops. It is ideally suited for interior high-moisture areas, such as tub and shower enclosures, sink surrounds, etc. One of its best features is its “score and snap” ability which allows the installer to cut this product with a utility knife and snap it off easily. Additional features include compatibility with all setting agents, double-wrapped edge for closer fastener application of nails or screws without crumbling or spinout, and 30-Year Limited Warranty on interior applications.

Rustic Porcelain Portinari and Porcellanato Pietra Portinari

Cecrisa S.A., a leading company in the Brazilian market of ceramic coverings, is presenting its new Rustic Porcelain Portinari and Porcellanato Pietra Portinari collections. The new products bring a new proposal, where they reflect trends in color, shape and texture, obtained from recent international fairs. New Lines include:

Stucco Line inspired by ancient plasterwork painted with whitewash and aged by nature. With its rustic style, it has a collection of special products based on stencil painting techniques (paintings with hollow molds). It is presented in the 15 x 15 cm size and colors in pastel shades, which are: Reboco Wh, Reboco Yl, Reboco Sl, Reboco Bl and Reboco Cotto. It is indicated for inside ambiences, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Spring Line: Shiny with intense colors, yellow, peach, chocolate, rope, white, cyano, royal and green. For interior installations, it is produced in the 15 x 15-cm size, with special finishing items for benches, mosaics and hand-painted articles.

Metropolis (Metrópole) Line based on urban design taken from the three stones that gave rise to the product: Pietra Vicentina (white), Jura Marmo (gray) and Pietra Damasco (savanna). For commercial and residential interior installations, and is presented in sizes 30 x 60 and 45 x 45 cm.

Shape Line: The novelty of this line lies in its rectangular shape: 10 x 30 cm for matte products and 15 x 30 cm for shiny ones. In trendy colors (turquoise blue, orange, citric green and lime), basic colors (graphite, gray and white) and sober colors (cocoa, tobacco and cream). Interior and exterior installations.

Slate: Part of the Geo Line from the Porcellanato Pietra Portinari collection of residential and commercial floorings. In sizes 45 x 90 and 45 x 45 cm, supplemented by special items measuring 15 x 15 and 15 x 45 cm, and various mosaics for composition on floors and walls. (48-431-6152)

North Prairie Tileworks introduces Prairie Lattice

North Prairie Tileworks of Minneapolis, Minn., introduced its newest handmade ceramic tile design, Prairie Lattice, at Coverings 2004. Prairie Lattice is a complete departure from traditional squares and rectangles of ceramic tile. The design is a series of hand-cut ceramic tiles defined by an interlocking pattern of flowing lines and graceful arches. The design is available in red and buff stoneware and matched with one or more of North Prairie’s glaze colors from their palette of over 81 colors. Available in 4-and 6-inch base sizes, the four-inch base design with a trim piece fits perfectly within an 18-inch kitchen backsplash. The 6-inch base design combines with North Prairie’s Baseboard (5-1/2 by 1-inches) or Large Classic Base Trim (3-1/4- by 1-3/4-inches) and capped with one of North Prairie’s small trim or chair rails produces a unique wainscoting wall treatment or fireplace surround. The design is inspired by a series of spirals found in nature and is a collaboration of the staff of this twelve-year-old Arts & Crafts ceramic studio. (

Sure Seal provides solution to sealer application

Installation contractors and tile and stone professionals have searched for years for a solution to the problems associates with applying a quality sealant to grout and porous natural stone surfaces. The two major concerns involve the reluctance of installers to schedule a return trip and the complicated application. Traditional sealers have always required a minimum of 48-72 hours for the grout to begin ti sure before applying. Additionally, applying sealer to grout lines only is a tedious task installers typically defer to the end user. Sure Seal products can be applied with a pump sprayer or, in the case of the aerosol version, simply sprayed on the grout lines less than twenty minutes after installation. Sure Seal dries invisibly, eliminating the need to wipe excess sealant from the tile. Since Sure Seal allows the surface to breathe, it does not impede the natural curing time of the grout. (

Laufen introduces double-pressed porcelain

Building on its reputation as a technological leader in the tile industry, Laufen has unveiled a new line of double-pressed porcelain products called Stone Evolution. The tile is pressed, glazed and then pressed a second time before going to the kiln. The second press produces the appearance of natural stone and seals the surfaces resulting in a less porous product with lower water absorption. Stone Evolution includes the Solaris and Jupiter series, both offered in a variety of sizes and packages, making the design options limitless. With homogenous dimensions and thickness, the installation of Stone Evolution is easier than that of natural stone. The only maintenance required is routine cleaning. Compared to natural stone, it is less porous, has greater hardness and mechanical resistance, and greater resistance to staining and freezing. (

Omega Backerboard

M-Squared Innovations’ Omega Backerboard has all the qualities of traditional fiber and cement based backer products with several added advantages. The unique chemical properties make moisture problems, tile adhesion, and sheer material weight a thing of the past. Omega Backerboard is lightweight and easy to lift, acts as a vapor barrier, can be cut with traditional tools, can be screw attached to within 1/4″ from seams, does not produce dust when cut, resists job site damage and more. It’s ability to conform to curves without fracture enables the product to be used in ways that traditional products cannot. Omega Board has passed local building standards for residential installation. M-Squared is excited by the “Zero Waste Factor” of Omega. Instead of paying to dump waste into a landfill, contractors simply ship waste trim to the Minnesota facility where it is chipped and incorporated into more product. Omega Board is it’s ability to mitigate mold when used as a separation product between a wood base and a tile/granite/marble counter top, black mold is a thing of the past. (507-438-1864)

Blue Cat Tile

Blue Cat Tile is a new decorative tile product suitable for use in residential and commercial applications. Blue Cat Tile’s new advanced technology permits high quality reproduction of stock or your proprietary images in any quantity, large or small, on individual tiles or large murals which are highly scratch resistant and durable in any situation. No other imaged tiles can match Blue Cat Tile quality, choice of images and ease of custom orders. Perhaps the most exciting feature of this new product is its affordability. Blue Cat Tile is the most advanced decorative tile product on the market at a highly competitive price.

For the first time you can have your image on tile without having to commit to a large amount of stock or a major investment. Blue Cat Tile can put any image on tile for use in commercial or residential applications. Imagine one of the company’s stock image or your own image in applications as diverse as floor medallions, murals, kitchen back splashes, showers, ceiling murals, lobby art, advertising specialties or wherever your imagination leads. (

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