Innovations
 
March 1st, 2006

March-April 2006

New Decorative Tile Brand

Olivia Daniels is a new line of decorative tile manufactured through an innovative process using composites rather than ceramics. According to company president Michael Goldman, Olivia Daniels provides an intricacy of design that is hard to find in ceramic tile lines, although it is offered at a competitive price point. “The composite material we developed allows a depth and precision of relief that gives each tile a new dimension of artistry. The hand-applied finishes we’ve created further enhance the appearance of the sculpted areas. The retailers and designers who have seen and touched the tiles are quite impressed with the fineness of detail,” he said. Olivia Daniels will introduce four collections at Coverings—French inspired St. Etienne, classic Palatino, sophisticated Biarritz and Asian influenced Pagoda. Each collection includes a selection of different designs, sizes and finishes.

LAUFEN INTRODUCES BERGAMO AND MURANO SERIES

Laufen continues its tradition of quality craftsmanship by introducing two new series— Bergamo and Murano. Bergamo is a 13×13 and 17½x17½ glazed porcelain tile with a coordinating 10×13 wall tile. It comes in three colors—Haze, Cashmere and Fawn. Trim includes a 3¼x13 floor bullnose, a 3×10 wall bullnose and a 3×3 bullnose corner. A 2×10 listel and 2½x13 border coordinates with all three colors and completes the package. Murano is a 18×18 double-loaded, soluble salt polished porcelain. It comes in three colors—Nocce, Beige and Light Grey. Also included in this series is a 12×12 mosaic in each of the three colors. Both Bergamo and Murano are included in the Laufen Home Program. (www.laufenusa.com)

RAVERA FROM VILlEROY AND BOCH

For those seeking a Mediterranean flavor, Ravera from Villeroy & Boch is a great new choice. This Vilbostone range, far easier to maintain than natural stone, is made of glazed porcelain stoneware that is not only exceptionally resistant to daily wear, but also is frost and acid-proof, making it an ideal surface for outdoor terraces, patios and balconies. Available in light beige, red-beige and gray, the three basic sizes are 12 and 17-½ inch squares and 12 by 23 oblongs. The series includes cut borders with mosaic inlays made of real slate and an asymmetrical option reminiscent of brickwork. (www.villeroy-boch.com)

Introducing Wet Tent

Introducing the world’s best water protection system. Never worry about the watery mess created by wet saws again. For years installers have been propping up pieces of cardboard, wrapping with pieces of plastic and laying tarps under their wet saws. They’ve set up their wet saw outside or in an area removed from the installation. This product has been designed, tested and guaranteed to be a water containment system that can be set up on any interior surface. Wet Tent allows the installer to be closer to the work area, increasing productivity. The Wet Tent looks professional and shows the installer cares about his customers and their property. The convenient, collapsible aluminum frame sets up in minutes and comes with its own carrying bag. (1-888-350-TENT)

SAICIS RECREATES ANCIENT STONE WITH THE PERFIDO SERIES

Gruppo Ceramiche Saicis S.P.A., one of Italy’s top producers of high-end porcelain tile, introduces the Perfido series: a sophisticated floor tile collection. Designed with waterjet cut pieces mesh mounted, this full body porcelain tile series is a recreation of cobblestone presented in natural hues. Perfido is available in Chiaro (light blend) and Scuro (dark blend) and is offered in an 18” x 18” size. Although this series is designed for outdoor areas, it is also appropriate for interior use. Perfido is also perfect for both commercial and residential applications. “Since the Roman Empire people used ‘Porfido’ stones to pave the streets: the stone that was the inspiration for this series,” said Tilia Galerio of Saicis North America. “We do not want to replace this famous stone, but rather, create a mirror image of it to highlight its beauty for our modern society.” Saicis’ Perfido does not need high maintenance. It is a hard and durable tile series that only needs to be washed with water. Multi-loaded with a thickness of 18mm, Perfido has a 0 porosity, as well as frost and stain resistance.
(877-675-3772)

Crossville’s Journey

With an aged appearance reminiscent of Africa’s rugged topography, Journey lends a sense of adventure to any room. Available in three earthen tones, Journey combines the best of nature with the most advanced manufacturing technologies to create a level of realism never before offered in stone looks. Homeowners and designers may need to touch the tile’s surface to be convinced that the cracks and crevices in the “stone” aren’t real. Journey’s tonalities are subtle yet rich, mixing well with today’s interior finishes because the variations within each colorway provide an incredible range of design options, from the soft beige of Savanna Breeze to the warm gold of African Sunset to the rich noce of Tribal Path. Designed for residential and light commercial applications, the Journey Series is 3/8″ thick and available in three modular tile sizes: 12″ x 12″, 12″ x 18″ and 18″ x 18″, with a precision edge. These sizes may be mixed together for floors alone, or in floor and wall combinations. A 3″ x 12″ Single Bullnose trim piece is offered, plus Crossville’s own Accent Innovations™ offers a full complement of glass, metal and natural stone tile, trim and borders as accents. The Journey Series is more durable than natural stone, refuses to scratch, stain or fade, never needs sealing or waxing, cleans with just hot water, and is slip-resistant. “The Journey Series has taken the roto-color or roll print technique to the limit of what is technologically possible. The result is an amazing trompe l’oeil effect,” explains Jim Dougherty, vice president of marketing and business development for Crossville, Inc. Barbara Schirmeister, Crossville’s color and design consultant adds: “Homeowners and designers will love working with the Journey Series; its appearance is soft yet sophisticated and its tonalities reflect the color trends we’re seeing today in cabinetry, kitchen and bath fixtures, and paint colors.” (www.crossvilleinc.com)

Character Series

Architects and designers looking to make a BIG design statement have some BIG new puzzle pieces to play with. Crossville® introduces the Character Series of Porcelain Stone® tile—an urban minimalist look with a slight hint of stone, offered in a giant 24″ x 24″ square tile, plus an 18″ x 18″ square and a 12″ x 24″ rectangle. All have through-body color and rectified edges that may be set with tight grout joints. “Commercial designers of corporate, hospitality, restaurant and retail environments have been asking for a new look in large-scale minimalist tile. Character maintains the sleek appearance demanded by monolithic design schemes, yet its surface texture is softened by the merest hint of veining found in natural stone,” says Jim Dougherty, vice president of marketing and business development for Crossville, Inc. Character’s colorways also set it apart. Most minimalist looks have not offered lighter colors; Character is available in Vanity Almond (a light almond tone) and Joy Beige, as well as Arrogance Black, Liking Green (an olive tone) and Loyalty Moka (a warm brown). An additional option is a Single Bullnose, which is available in all colors. The Character Series is slip resistant, more durable than natural stone, refuses to scratch, stain or fade, never needs sealing or waxing and cleans with just hot water. (www.crossvilleinc.com)

AccuColor Easy™

Grout installation is now easier and more reliable than ever with the new, premixed AccuColor EasyTM Ready to Use Grout, the latest innovation from the maker of TEC® brands. AccuColor Easy continues a 10-year legacy of unsurpassed color accuracy and consistency that has made TEC AccuColor® grouts and caulks a top choice among tile installation professionals. A patented, breakthrough formulation, combined with proven technology, makes AccuColor Easy extremely easy to use while delivering predictable results and high durability. Added benefits of stain resistance and mold and mildew resistance make AccuColor Easy a great choice for shower installations, kitchens, and other areas subject to intermittent moisture, high use and foot traffic. AccuColor Easy delivers superior performance regarding durability, stain resistance, mold and mildew resistance, color accuracy and more. A unique, patent-pending formulation eliminates shrinkage, joint cracking and the inability to be used in water-exposed applications—issues traditionally associated with premixed grouts. Because stain-blocking technology is built right into the grout, there is no need to add a sealer. AccuColor Easy contains inhibitors that protect the grout from mold and mildew growth. AccuColor Easy continues the AccuColor grout legacy of providing superior color accuracy. Strict color tolerances for manufacturing and a premixed format that eliminates common mixing errors provide assurance that the installed grout color will be the same as the color sample used to select the grout in the flooring store. AccuColor Easy adheres to existing premixed or portland cement grout, making it an ideal choice to refresh or repair existing grout installations and for problem-solving. Additionally, AccuColor Easy is backed by a limited, lifetime warranty against staining, cracks and fading. (www.tecspecialty.com)

MEDITERRANEA PRESENTS THE INDIAN TRACE COLLECTION

Sardinia, Italy, an enchanting Mediterranean island, lost between the Italian mainland and the northern tip of Africa, represents a unique blend of color and vibrant landscape. From this floating diamond in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Mediterranea, an Italian-based, multi-national tile production and design firm, has quarried a magical blend of flavorful stones to create a bold new tile collection titled “Indian Trace.” Indian Trace uses a rich blend of natural colors and unique shading to create a series full of earthen charm and inspiring movement. Using the very latest in Rotocolor technology, this glazed porcelain tile presents a new and unique honed finish stone look that invokes a sense of the islands’ natural surroundings. This level of technology lends a dramatic sense of movement and variation to this collection, making each tile as different and autonomous as the natural stone that gave birth to the Indian Trace collection. Developed in Italy, the series is produced in a plant in Argentina rich in history and experience. This facility recently completed a large-scale investment in glazing and graphic equipment, including a brand new, double battery, eight-head, jumbo Rotocolor machine capable of providing twice the amount of graphics normally utilized in glazed porcelain production. This collection is offered in three sizes: (6 x 6”), (13 x 13”) and (18 x 18”), and available in five natural colors: Sioux (Ivory), Cherokee (Cream), Comanche (Taupe), Apache (Terracotta) and Navajo (Noche). Indian Trace passes C.O.F. testing requirements for ADA, making it ideal for both residential and commercial spaces. (305-444-3676)

Our November/December feature on Showroom Trends pictured these space-saving racks, but inadvertently omitted the manufacturer— McColl Display. To learn more, go to www.McCollDisplay.com or call 888-462-2655.

Coverings Seminars Target Distributors and Retailers

Distributor and retailer attendees at Coverings 2006 can choose from more than a dozen FREE educational seminars being offered during this year’s show. The four-day expo and conference April 4 – 7, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, includes sessions to address subjects such as how to retain and train employees, the dos and don’ts of selecting computer software to monitor inventory, how a customer-friendly showroom can increase sales and other valuable guidelines that are vital to building a more successful business. Other topics include Green Building, The Future Of Ceramic Tile Distribution, Up-selling Strategies and Approaches, and The Porcelain Jungle.

What can attendees expect to see?

Here is just a sampling of some highlights of the unique and uncommon products that are due to debut.

• Artflor, Inc. (Booth A6) will showcase a hybrid-concrete tile line with textures, inlays and color effects never before seen in the industry. www.artflor.net.

• Azuvi (Booth 1914) will showcase its newest series Shape, part of the Performance collection. It is ideal for exterior facade applications. www.azuvi.com.

• Cerdomus (Booth 5025) will be launching Sculpture, an imaginative design from renowned Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. The collection’s corrugated surface can be laid vertically or horizontally on interior or exterior walls. www.cerodomus.com.

• Clay Décor, LLC (Booth A9), an artisan company that creates distinctive works of art for elegant home décor, will introduce a new line of elliptical-shaped tiles at the show. www.clay-décor.com.

• Coem/Fioranese (Booth 5430) will showcase the Chiaroscuro collection. From damask patterns to Asian-inspired floral motifs, the patterns in this line play with the contrast between light and dark. www.coem.it.

• Cotto D’Este (Booth 5420) will be exhibiting Kerlite, enriched with Zirconium particles which allow the piece to radiate in the light. www.cottodeste.it.

• Eco Ceramica (Booth 5438) will introduce New Liberty, a marriage of color, pattern and Celtic-inspired designs. www.ecoceramiche.com.

• El Barco (Booth 2336) is debuting several designs from Spain. The Earth Collection features Vulcano and Provenza in six different colorways and three sizes, both with companion hand-cut mosaic trims for kitchen or bath. www.elbarco.com.

• Etruria Design (Booth 4716) will debut the Optical collection of beveled wall tiles and the Haring collection, reminiscent of the designs of 80′s pop art icon Keith Haring. www.eturiadesign.com.

• Florida Tile Industries, Inc. (Booth 3100) is adding to its portfolio with Horizon, a fine glazed porcelain floor tile with stunning visual appeal reminiscent of the Nepalese landscape. Pinecrest is a glazed porcelain with the look and feel of natural sandstone. Stonehenge is a rustic glazed porcelain with slightly chiseled edges and distressed surface area. www.floridatile.com.

• Graniti Fiandre (Booth 418) will be introducing GeoDiamond Textured, a tile embedded with tiny, sparkling metal embellishments. NewGround, a superior alternative to stained concrete, can be used on interior and exterior floors and walls without the need for stains, waxes, sealants, or coatings. NewStone employs a new technology that allows slabs to be formed into right angle curves without seams or grout lines. www.granitifiandreusa.com.

• Inalco (Booth 2616) will debut the Oppalo series, available in such fresh colors as Naranja (orange), Verde (green), Frambuesa (raspberry) and Azul (blue). Each color features a lighter and darker version, which mix nicely with its complementary lines of crystal borders. www.inalco.es.

• Iris Group (Booth 3205) will be launching MA.DE (Materials and Design), a contemporary series that includes three distinct textures: a three-dimensional waffle-grid structure; a rattan pattern; and, a smooth sleek metallic. www.irisus.com.

• Lea Ceramiche (Booth 4640) is adding the Studies line to its extensive portfolio. Developed by Diego Grandi, Elle Decor Italia’s Young Designer of the Year, Studies is sandblased tile. Included in the series are such fresh patterns as Scratch, Seed, Route, Knit, Plan, Grid and Outline. www.ceramichelea.it.

• Oceanside Glass Tile (Booth 3222), a world leader in the design and production of handcrafted luxury glass tile, will debut Facets®, a new line of intricately detailed borders and field tile patterns features gem-like mini glass tiles as small as ½ inch square. www.glasstile.com.

• Florim Cermiche S.P.A. (Booth 5006) will showcase the Ma Touche Collection of fine porcelain stoneware offered in four faux textures imitating leather, elephant and crocodile skin, and three colorways: Ivoire, Tabac and Charbon. www.rex-cerart.it.

• Roca (Booth 1035) will feature the Norway series. This porcelain tile, available in six colorways, can be combined to create unique effects. A wide range of decorative inserts also is part of the collection.
www.roca-tile.com.

• Venus (Booth 2400) will introduce Medusa to its existing Scandal Touch Collection. The leopard-inspired tile, available in Red Amour, Brown Hypnotic and Blue Feeling, complements other lines in the existing Venus collection, including Decor, Idol and Oh La La. www.venusceramica.com.

Making Coverings navigable

Coverings can overwhelm. It occupies every inch of the 505,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, filling it to the rafters with individual displays and pavilions of ceramic tile, natural stone and relevant ancillary products and services—machinery and tools, grouts and adhesives, installation and cleaning supplies, to name a few. The number of vendors totals close to 1,200 representing some 56 countries on six continents. Factor in the 75 free and accredited educational workshops, conferences and seminars that are scheduled throughout each of the days, April 4-7, and it adds up to a tremendous number of business opportunities to be explored for any one of the 32,000 professionals who attends.

This year, however, the show has been made more manageable by connecting buyers to sellers with the Coverings Matchmaking Service, a user-friendly online program that lets an attendee search for exhibitors of interest by product or service. Accessible year-round, www.coverings.com/matchmaking, can generate a personalized “must see” list of exhibits to have in hand upon arrival at the show. Visit www.coverings.com to get started!

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