September 2nd, 2007

September-October 2007

Esquire Introduces Sonora Porcelain Tile

Esquire, a Florim brand, has launched Sonora, a new line of glazed porcelain tile, designed in Italy for the North American market. Sonora features three rich stone colors—Dune, Nuez and Paloma—strategically designed to coordinate with today’s most popular carpet colors. The line’s moderate shade variation creates depth and detailing from tile to tile, yet still offers a clean, contemporary canvas in terms of overall appearance. Sonora’s earthen shades and subtle texture replicate the appearance of gently worn stone. Sonora comes in 12″x12″ and 18″x18″ field tiles with accompanying 3″x12″ bullnose trims, as well as a tri-colored 12″x12″ mosaic that incorporates 2″x2″ pieces of Dune, Nuez and Paloma in a random-mix. Sonora is extremely slip resistant and doesn’t readily show foot traffic. The line’s versatile palette, high performance porcelain body and affordability make it an excellent choice for installations in which cost-consciousness is a priority. Sonora is suitable for all residential and a variety of commercial installations, and it may be used on floors and walls.



Spanish manufacturer Colorker responded to the growing demand for mixing and matching as well as indoor/outdoor living spaces with Magma. The series’ pronounced reliefs and textures create a realistic stone effect. The basic pieces are available in a variety of decorations, all complementing each other, making them suitable for a wide range of spaces. Additionally, these tiles work perfectly with many other flooring materials to create unique surfaces. The series comes in cream, beige and graphite and three different formats: 152⁄5 by 232⁄5; 171⁄3 by 171⁄2; and 171⁄2 by 25.


TEC® Brands an-nounces the launch of Soniflex FL™, the first fluid sound barrier and crack isolation membrane for the tile and stone installation industry. “Soniflex FL is a significant innovation for the industry. First and foremost it reduces sound caused by impact and is an effective, easily installed alternative to sound-reduction sheet membranes,” explains Kathy Tsao, Associate Brand Manager for TEC. “Additionally, it isolates cracks up to 1⁄4″ without compromising on bond strength and durability, which makes this product ideal for applications up to and including heavy commercial projects.” Because it is a liquid product, Soniflex FL is formulated expressly for horizontal applications and is very simple to apply. The product involves minimal labor—just mix, pour and spread. Unlike typical sound-reduction sheet membranes, Soniflex FL requires no trimming, removal of backing or seam matching; the fluid conforms to any floor. Thus, it is an excellent option for any size installation—small or large. “Soniflex FL is mold resistant and unaffected by water,” adds Tom Plaskota, Technical Support Manager. “The product is truly a barrier layer—staving off unwanted noise, as well as cracks, mold and moisture.”

Tuscan Clay Series from Crossville

Inspired by the casual elegance and warm ambiance of Italian country villas, Crossville® has married the old with the new to create the Tuscan Clay Series: Porcelain Stone® tile with the hand-crafted look and feel of terra cotta. What’s old are the four natural colorways, the strong (V4) color variations and the softly sculpted tumbled edges. What’s new is the technology that created Crossville’s Porcelain Stone, which is more durable than granite, refuses to scratch, stain or fade, and never needs sealing or waxing—unlike natural terra cotta. And newer yet is that Tuscan Clay is available in multiple sizes for uniquely personal floor, wall and countertop installations. “Tuscan Clay has that mellowed by centuries of weather and wear look that today’s consumer loves,” states Barbara Schirmeister, Crossville’s color and design consultant. The four contemporary colorways—Bianco (white), Rosso (red), Marrone (nut brown) and Grigio (dark petroleum grey)—were specifically selected with the American market in mind and they blend together beautifully. “Because Tuscan Clay is available in a wide range of sizes, including the popular new rectangular or plank shape, homeowners and designers of commercial projects— especially hospitality and specialty retail spaces—should find it easy to create inspiring floors, walls and countertops,” adds Laurie Lyza, Crossville’s marketing manager. “These ‘rooms of stone’ will have the strength and beauty of terra cotta—but not the expense, installation and maintenance issues inherent in natural terra cotta projects.” The Tuscan Clay Series is available as 3″x3″, 3″x12″, 3″x16″, 4″x4″, 4″x8″, 8″x8″, 12″x12″ and 16″x16″ tile with a “tumbled” edge. Trim options include a 4″x4″ Bullnose Corner and a 4″x8″ Single Bullnose.

Tile with Metals Over Porcelain Body

Eliane introduces the Neolitic Series, a complete line of large format metallic tiles made with fire-melted metals over a porcelain body. The contemporary Neolitic series comes in five colors and a variety of accessories to choose from. The Silver and Bronze colors give designers a new metallic visual and textile palette for imaginative design concepts. The fluted relief Neolitic metallic colors are offered in large format 20″x20″ and accessorized by 4″x4″, 2″x2″, 4″x20″, 2″x20″ and stylish mosaics 4″x20″ and 12″x16″. A non-metallic version is also available in the traditional 20″x20″ large format in White, Chestnut Brown and Black colors to complement the striking metallic pieces. Neolitic can be installed in commercial and residential settings.

Kera­­­poxy® IEG Has Industrial Strength

MAPEI’s new Kerapoxy IEG is ideal for commercial and industrial tile installations where high-strength, mold- and mildew-resistant grout joints are required. Kerapoxy IEG has high chemical and stain resistance, as well as high temperature resistance. “With the addition of Kerapoxy IEG for industrial-grade installations, we have a complete line of reaction resin grouts for the tile industry,” said Brian Pistulka, Business Manager for MAPEI’s Tile & Stone Installation Systems. Developed as a water-cleanable, nonshrinking, nonsagging, fast-curing, efflorescence-free grout, Kerapoxy IEG works effectively in a variety of grouting projects: interior floor, wall and countertop installations; industrial, commercial and institutional wall and floor installations requiring high strength and stain resistance; ceramic floor, wall, quarry, pavers and porcelain tiles; heavy traffic areas, such as subway stations, shopping malls and airports; installations requiring high acid and chemical resistance, such as commercial kitchens, dairies, bottling plants, meat processing plants, breweries, bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, schools, research laboratories and veterinary clinics; and high-use wet areas, such as public restrooms, locker rooms, steam rooms and health clubs. “We wanted to make Kerapoxy IEG easy and economical to use, and eliminate the sagging joint issues common with traditional industrial grouts,” Pistulka commented. Kerapoxy IEG is available in gray, black, terra cotta, mocha and charcoal reflecting the colors most often used in industrial projects. The color component of the kits is ordered separately, so the distributor can stock multiple colors of grout with minimal inventory investment.

VitrA Resurrects Flower Motif

Vitra Tiles USA introduces the Shiba Collection. Flashy flowers and bold colors in a repetitious pattern bring this collection of non-vitreous, high-gloss finished wall tiles and borders to life. Neutral white and cream-colored tiles are coupled with powerful red, black and mink flowers to really bring the tiles to life and modernize any bathroom. The combination creates an attractive wallpaper effect. This exclusive line is available in 30-42cm with complementing borders in 8x42cm or 3x30cm. To further highlight the Shiba Collection, VitrA also offers exquisite glass-borders (8x42cm).

Barwalt Ultrabite Nipper

With porcelain tile getting harder all the time and the present nippers failing, Barwalt set out to design a revolutionary new nipper. First they chose the finest carbide that is ground to a precision finish with industrial diamonds that will cut even porcelain easily. Then they designed a whole new nipper body that is not only extremely comfortable, but also has a mechanical advantage when nipping. This uniquely designed handle also absorbs most of the shock when cutting and is enveloped with cushioned sleeves that won’t fall off in use. Also this innovative handle has 50% less weight than other nippers, will not rust and is made 100% in the USA! An independent agency’s testing proved that the Ultrabite Nipper requires only one third the compressive force to cut porcelain, therefore requiring less force and more control when nipping. In addition, Barwalt made the carbide teeth replaceable. A good deal of the cost of a nipper goes into the carbide, but when the carbide is worn in other nippers, the nippers must be thrown away. Now, the customer can just replace the carbide tips of Barwalt’s Ultrabite Nipper and save money and time.

Mediterranea presents: “Bellagio”

Mediterranea has developed the “Bellagio” collection of glazed porcelain tiles. Utilizing advanced synchronized Rotocolor technology, the Bellagio series is one of the most complete porcelain tile ranges manufactured in Turkey. The full range includes three large format sizes, accessory pieces and mesh-backed mosaics on 13″x13″ sheets. Bellagio comes in four sizes: 24″x24″, 18″x18″, 13″x13″ and 6.5″x6.5″, with a 3″x13″ surface bullnose. Available in five different colors—Scabos, Cream, Noce, Gold and Ivory—Bellagio exceeds the ADA requirement for Coefficient of Friction and is ideal for both commercial and residential settings.


Hakatai Enterprises Inc. introduces its new Seashell series—a stunning line of luminous mosaic tiles for interior wall applications that captures the elegant look of natural freshwater shells. Grown in freshwater lakes and harvested by pearl-growing farmers, the shells are crafted into an exquisite series of ¾” x ¾” mosaic tiles characterized by their luxurious and luminescent qualities. The Seashell series is available in four striking colors: Bougainville, Cognac and Moonlight, which are artificially colored, and Mother of Pearl, which is the shells’ natural color. The series is suitable for dry, interior wall applications only and should be installed on walls that do not receive exposure to direct rays from the sun. Because the tiles are made from actual fresh water shells, any surface imperfections or variances are considered part of their inherent character and natural beauty. Tiles are mesh-back mounted for ease of installation, and un-sanded grout is recommended.


Kutahya Seramik has launched its new series “METRONORM”, inspired by urban life. Reflecting urban life style, Metronorm collection’s designs are innovative, modern and assertive. Kutahya Seramik designs and manufactures a wide variety of tiles appropriate for bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, living rooms, and everywhere decoration takes place. The Metronorm collection is produced using new technology, to achieve different surfaces and sizes. The product range sizes include 10″x20″, 20″x20″, 20″x40″, 10″x40″, 6.5″x40″, 10″x30″, 13″x26″. Designs include Morocco, Garden Wall, Woody, Madera, Aura, Orient, Model, Wool City, Jazz Club, Crown, Cotton, Walker, Subway, and Cosmos.

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