July 2nd, 2008

July-August 2008

Granite Tile for the Vision Impaired
Vitromex has partnered with a granite manufacturer to make tile for the vision impaired for use in outside applications. Tactical surfaces alert the vision impaired about a change in street level or about an upcoming crossing way. There are two tile surfaces available. The round surface is 12"x12" (30x30cm) granite tile with 6 vertical columns and 6 horizontal lines made of relief bubble shape. This tile is used to alert of a crossing way and is available in Circle White, Circle Black, Circle Beige. Lined surface tile is 12"x12" (30x30cm) and consists of 4 vertical parallel bars. This tile is used to alert of a change in street level and is available in Strips White, Strips Black, Strips Beige.

Prospec® Heated Floor System
ProSpec has partnered with Tyco Thermal Controls, a division of Tyco International, to distribute the Raychem QuickNet® Electric Heated Floor System for ceramic tile and natural stone installations. The QuickNet system consists of a low-profile, three-sixteenths of an inch (3 mm) heating mat and a programmable thermostat. The heating mat contains an impact-resistant heating cable on an adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh that allows for simple roll-out installation without the worry of heating cable spacing. The QuickStat thermostat also features a floor temperature sensor that automatically switches the system “on” or “off” to ensure a comfortable floor. The system can maintain floor temperatures up to 85°F (29°C) and features a built-in ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for safety. The system will make installation quicker, easier and more affordable than earlier systems that required anchoring and individual thermostats. QuickNet provides targeted, uniform heat distribution, which can help lower heating bills. It also radiates the heat for a longer period of time than a forced air system. The QuickNet system, which is ideal for both new construction and renovation projects, provides added comfort in bathrooms, kitchens, entryways or other tiled areas. “Heated floor systems are one of the most overlooked items in remodeling or new construction projects. These systems, which were once primarily for high-end construction, offer tremendous value for all homeowners, creating a more comfortable space, reducing energy consumption and delivering cost savings,” said Kevin McFadden, Vice President Construction Products. ProSpec offers the 120-volt QuickNet system in 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 square foot sizes. All mats are 20 inches in width, and each system comes complete with the thermostat. The system is compatible with all standard subfloor materials, including ProSpec underlayments, thin set mortars and grouts.

Laminam S.p.A’s innovative Lam’Slab™ is a paper thin (3 mm) highly advanced technical surface ceramic with a unique 3m by 1m surface size. Lam’Slab™ and its by-products (Lam’S™, Lam’S2™, Lam’S3™) offer unrivalled aesthetic results in all versions. Laminam® products are suitable both indoors and outdoors, in the building industry, furnishing, naval sector, composite and structural panels. Lam’Slab™, Lam’S™, Lam’S2™, Lam’S3™ come in a wide range of colors and finishes, to satisfy all creative needs. Inspired by the idea of “producing the largest and thinnest ceramic slab ever seen,” Laminam S.p.A. was established in 2001 in Fiorano Modenese, in the world’s most famous ceramic district. The result of a highly automatic, innovative manufacturing process in which each phase is at the forefront of technology, Lam’Slab™ stands alone as the major innovation in the field of materials. Laminam staff is continuously researching new aesthetic and technological solutions that can be developed using the product.

Modern Mythology offers 83 Natural Stone Mosaics & Decorative Trims
Crossville rewrites history with Modern Mythology—an opulent collection of 83 natural stone mosaics and decorative trims for floors, walls and countertops that recall bygone eras. The collection ranges from 2" x 4" Brick Mosaics, to 6" x 6" Braid Rosettes, to retro Solid Split Mosaics on 12" x 12" sheets, to mention but a few of the many choices. Offering a spectrum of natural stones, from the soft, subtle hues of travertine to the casual warmth of multi-toned slate and the polished elegance of black and white marble, Modern Mythology provides a tapestry of colors, shapes and textures to create a beautiful backdrop for living. As Crossville’s color and design consultant, Barbara Schirmeister, ASID, DC, CAUS, has created numerous award-winning Porcelain Stone®, metal and glass tile collections; Modern Mythology is her inaugural natural stone line for Crossville. “My goal in designing the collection,” says Schirmeister, “was to offer specifiers and homeowners a large, flexible selection of harmonious colors and patterns that intermingle to create unique modern and classic spaces.” Crossville first entered the natural stone market more than ten years ago with Tumbled Naturals borders. Today the company offers a total design solution, which includes not only Porcelain Stone®, but glass, metal and now a broad range of natural stone choices.

Sound Board & Sound Mat Can Qualify for LEED Credits
USG has announced that the recycled content of its LEVELROCK™ brand SRB™ sound reduction board and LEVELROCK SRM-25™ sound reduction mat can help architects and designers qualify for LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits from the U.S. Green Building Council. SRB sound board has a recycled content of 49.7 percent, of which 17.0 percent is post-consumer material. SRM-25 sound mat is manufactured with a typical recycled content of 15.0 percent, 100 percent of which is pre-consumer/post-industrial material. Because these materials do not contain any CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), cadmium or mercury, they are non-hazardous and non-toxic. The sound board and sound mat help attenuate sound and are installed before the flooring underlayment is poured. While products themselves cannot be LEED-certified, they can contribute to helping the building achieve a LEED rating. For example, the recycled content of the LEVELROCK sound board, sound mat and green underlayment products can enhance the building’s overall LEED rating under the MR 4.1 and MR 4.2 credit covering recycled materials and resources. The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, consensus-based standard to support and certify successful green building design, construction and operations. LEED is transforming the marketplace by providing a nationally recognized certification system to promote integrated, whole-building design practices in the building industry. The program assigns points for a variety of sustainability criteria, including materials selection.

New Soundproofing Formula Increases the "R" Value by 22%
Acoustiblok sound proofing announced that a new formula of their 1⁄8" material mounted with a ¼" strip of ThermaBlok™ produced an amazing 22% increase in R Value (thermal insulation) when added to a stud wall. Independent certified lab tests confirmed the results making test comparisons of two identical metal stud walls, one with Acoustiblok and one without. Lahnie Johnson, President & Founder of Acoustiblok stated that “These results indicate that after much research and testing, our new product not only addresses the increasing problem of noise pollution in our world, but will also be part of the solution to the rising cost of energy.” ThermaBlok™ is a new “nanoparticle technology” developed in the aerospace industry and used on the space shuttle. Because of its molecular structure it has the absolute lowest thermal conductivity of any solid material known. The audio test of the assembly has produced an STC virtually equivalent to 24" of poured concrete. Acoustiblok material is unique in the soundproofing industry, as it neither stops nor absorbs sound as other noise abatement methods attempt to do, but actually changes the acoustical energy into inaudible friction energy as it vibrates from sound waves, termed Isothermal adiabatic. The product is easy to install, stapling or screwing the 1⁄8" thick material to the studs before putting on drywall. Acoustiblok is a heavy mineral filled viscoelastic polymer, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved for over 270 types of construction and achieved the highest rating of mold/mildew free, 10. Unlike many new building products that are viewed as an added expense, Acoustiblok is marketed as an “upgrade” by developers, adding to the long term value and resale attractiveness of the property. In addition to added privacy and energy savings, it resolves a new expense developers are facing today—noise litigation. Johnson says that “Developers are starting to realize that sound abatement during construction is not only the cheapest insurance against litigation, but could actually be a new revenue source. Add to this the 22% increase in thermal insulation and we are about as ‘green’ as it comes.”

Ecotech from Floorgres
The first product produced at the industrial level that reuses the powders, pastes and residues from the manufacture of other products, ECOTECH transforms rejects into resources. This eco-friendly line regenerates recycled material into a new composite material in which the chips and grains are aggregated to create an original mélange effect, with precious glints blended in. ECOTECH is creative recycling, using up to 100% recycled residues, depending on the shade. It is certified ECOLABEL, and is available in four colors: Ecogreen, Ecogrey, Ecoblack, and Ecolight. It is available in a variety of sizes, and in two finishes: natural and textured.

Coem’s Marfil
Ceramiche Coem’s Marfil porcelain stoneware available in both natural and polished versions outrivals the marble that inspired it through the essence of the natural world it conveys, offering simplicity and purity with total restraint. Ceramiche Coem’s R&D work is guided by keen respect for the environment, for human beings, and for human spaces, striking a unique balance between aesthetics, technical performance, and versatility. In a variety of sizes and a choice of White, Beige, Corky, Walnut. Surface choices include unpolished, unpolished/rectified, half polished/rectified.

Time-Saving Tool for Underlayment Installation
Simpson Strong-Tie introduced the Quik Drive® PROCGB Combo System with two new auto-feed attachments at Coverings 2008. Designed specifically for the tile contractor, the innovative new tool allows for quick and easy installation of cement board, fiber-cement board and gypsum panel underlayment. The Quik Drive PROCGB Combo System is an all-in-one fastening solution designed to increase productivity and reduce installer fatigue. The auto-feed design uses collated screws to enable quick and easy fastening, and the extension allows contractors to get up off their knees and stand during installation. A powerful screwdriver motor, slim profile and compact body form a lightweight tool that can maneuver tight corners and power through the strongest of underlayment materials. The PROCGB Combo System includes two auto-feed screw driving attachments to fit a wide range of applications and drives and array of screws, which meet the tile underlayment installation requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The precise depth adjustment allows for easy, flush installation without overdriving.

Zipper Advanced Wet Saw
Raimondi Tools USA is launching the Zipper Advanced Wet Saw, one of three new additions to Raimondi’s range of premium wet saws featured at Coverings 2008. The lightweight, 2.2 horsepower wet saw is equipped with telescopic legs for easy transport and a spring-loaded pressure device to hold tile flat against the surface of the saw. With a 12" to 14" blade capacity, the Zipper Advanced has a pivoting blade guard that remains parallel with the tile to ensure maximum cutting depth, as well as a floating blade guard that remains in contact with the tile to provide extra safety during operation. The Zipper Advanced is manufactured to be an extremely accurate saw with it’s standard accessories, but also has numerous attachments and accessories to make this one of the most “Advanced” saws available.

Frank Lloyd Wright Collection® Textile Block Series
In 1923 and 1924, Frank Lloyd Wright accepted a series of residential commissions for clients in Southern California. The common denominator was in their method of building construction in which concrete blocks were molded in textured designs, then joined with steel reinforcing rods to form elegant interior and exterior walls. This unprecedented construction method came to be known as the Textile Block System. “Today, in our studio we are sculpting relief tiles in Mr. Wright’s designs and hand-dipping them in warm fluid glazes,” explains Karim Motawi, Vice President at Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, MI. Each residence in Southern California—Alice Millard House, John Storer House and Charles Ennis House—has a unique relief design concept. Each simple design leads to infinite possibilities of geometric pattern and organic relationship. “In focus groups and design presentations, we find that our design clients enjoy exploring textile block combinations,” says Gayle Thomas, Marketing Manager, noting how current Wright’s design elements are today. “A photo hardly does these designs justice,” remarks artisan Brein Gallagher. “You really have to see them. The peaks and valleys seem to undulate when combined in a field.” Motawi has adapted Mr. Wright’s concrete block designs into 4"x4", 6"x6" and 8"x8" blocks. Borders and corners are included with this late product launch.

Porcelanosa’s Casona
Porcelanosa’s Casona series is a rich, sultry wood look-alike ideal for installations looking for a natural ambience—spa venues, locker rooms, residential master baths—with the added benefits of tile. Representative of what Tile of Spain branded manufacturers refer to as the Organica trend, Casona is a series that reflects functional, environmental thinking for spaces that are also exposed to moisture. Available in 7" by 43" planks.

Pixel & Lamé
Ceramica Fioroanese’s Materie focuses on a range of sensory materials including dots in Pixel and iridescence in Lamé. In Pixel, the porcelain ceramic takes on unforeseen depth and three-dimensional effects, an interplay of light and shadow, in the beautifully textured surface. With Lamé it is possible to create uninterrupted surfaces, in which sparkling particles reflect the surrounding light. Light and material redefine the volumes and living spaces: which become brighter and richer, almost enlarged. Cristalli, Rampage, Resine and Rose make up the rest of this design suite.

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