Pebbles Natural Stone Mosaic Collection Extends Florida Tile’s PietraArt Line
June 9th, 2014

LEXINGTON KY ¾ Florida Tile continues to expand its PietraArt stone collection with the introduction of the Pebbles line of natural pebble mosaics for walls and floors.

Pebbles was unveiled in Las Vegas late April at one of the industry’s largest conferences and trade shows, Coverings, and is available immediately.

According to Florida Tile Marketing Director Sean Cilona, “Memories of wading barefoot in a pond or stream and the feel of soft pebbles underfoot are the inspiration for this new line.”

“Pebbles is an another extension of our popular and growing PietraArt stone line,” Cilona says. “We focused on the best-selling colors of traditional rounded-surface pebbles and added flat-surface ones for a different texture. Then, because Florida Tile sees Pebbles as an up-and-coming look, we added some new and coordinating colors.”

“Pebbles is unique in two ways,“ Cilona says. “First, these mosaics are offered in smooth and naturally rounded surfaces and also standing stones, meaning presented on their edges. The result is unlimited new looks in texture for interior design, whether it is for a traditional, stand-alone floor or wall installation, accent, pool or spa environment or fireplace surround.”

florida tile pebbled pietra art RainbowStanding 6jun14

“Second, Pebbles is unique in that the styles are handmade by highly trained mosaic artisans,” Cilona adds

He added, “Furthermore, because this is a natural stone product, no two stones, no two mosaics ever look alike.”

Pebbles is offered in 12×12-inch, interlocking mesh-mounted mosaics for floors and walls, and 6×12 and 4×12-inch for walls.

Colors are Black Pearl, Cotton, Mixed Salad (browns, blacks and grays), Redwood, White Snowball and Yellow Stone.

Decorative trim options are available in a 6×12 round version and a 4×12 standing pattern (stones are set on edge). For more information, visit


Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panariagroup, a publicly owned company traded on the Milan Stock Exchange (MILAN: PAN IM). Panariagroup is a leading manufacturer and distributor in over 60 countries around the world with six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA and eight brands positioned in the high-end of the market. 



TEC® Expands Color Offerings of TecniColor™ Commercial Grade Grout
February 25th, 2014

TEC® announces the addition of seven new colors to its TecniColor™ Commercial Grade Grout line. The new colors will be available in November 2013. TecniColor™ grout delivers an easy-to-use formula for use in commercial and public spaces. Introduced in June 2013, the product’s increasing popularity among installers has already led to a demand for its expansion.

“Installers really like working with TecniColor™, and its popularity continues to grow,” says Grant Huffine, Senior Market Manager for H.B. Fuller Construction Products Inc., the manufacturer of TEC® brand products. “When our customers asked for additional color options so that they could use this product more often, we answered with more colors that will help them achieve their clients’ visions.

With the new additions, TEC® offers TecniColor™ grout in 15 colors that deliver strong, color-consistent joints with no efflorescence. Its newest colors are: Sterling, Birch, Cornsilk, Light Pewter, Silhouette, Light Smoke and Espresso.

TEC® also offers these colors in its Power Grout® Ultimate Performance Grout line, and chose to add them to its TecniColor™ line because they match many of today’s commercial design trends. With its high-performance, easy-to-use formulation, TecniColor™ is particularly in demand for commercial installations.

Its high-performance features include resistance to many chemicals used in commercial applications, permanent stain resistance with no sealing and defense against mold and mildew to keep a “like new” appearance with simple, routine maintenance. The high-strength formula is crack and shrink resistant and is recommended for heavy commercial use in interior and exterior installations.

The performance benefits of TecniColor™ are augmented by its easy-to-install qualities. Its pre-mixed formula eliminates color inconsistencies due to variations in mixing methods or water sources. Unlike epoxy, it spreads smoothly to fill joints and cleans up easily from the tile surface using only water and a sponge.

The expanded color palette of TecniColor™ grout comes in 20-lb. pails consisting of one universal floor and wall formula for joints ranging from 1/16” to 1/2”.  In addition to its new colors, it continues to be offered in Bright White, Pearl, Antique White, Sandstone Beige, Light Buff, DeLorean Gray, Summer Wheat and Charcoal Gray.

For more information about TEC® products, visit

February 13th, 2014

Florim USA has introduced its Pietra Romana Collection to North America. Beautiful porcelain tile for both residential and commercial applications, with the “look” of natural travertine found in yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s Rome.

modern kitchen condo apartmentOffered in four stunning colors,  Avorio, Dark Grey, Noce and Silver, Pietra Romana may be selected in the following large format modular sizes: 18 x 36, 6 x 36, 12 x 24, 18 x 18 and 3 x12. The collection also includes bullnose pieces as well as 2 x 2 mosaics mounted on a 12 x 12 sheet.

The 6 x 36 tile is a highly contemporary size offering not just a classic look; but, because each unit is not overly long, only one person is needed to install it. Generally speaking, longer porcelain tile units require two contractors and thus, end up costing customers considerably more. And, each glazed porcelain Pietra Romana tile is produced using High Definition Graphic (HDG) Technology, a state-of-the art inkjet process creating a stone-look that is so realistic… it might just cause a geologist to reach for his magnifying glass! According to Stefano Rabaioli, Florim USA’s VP Sales and Marketing, “Pietra Romana had a great response at the shows. The U.S. market loves travertine. Whereas initially, this product appears to be mainly residential, its 18 x 36 size has raised much interest in customers focused on the commercial marketplace, as well. The large rectangular format is an ideal size for lobbies, retail stores and even for wall applications. The color palette enhances classic earth-tones typically used in residential design, as a result this tile is an ideal choice for those wanting to invest in a house and increase its value by selecting one of the longest-lasting, most durable, flooring options in the entire industry!”

In other news, Florim USA’s new Pier Collection is unique in many ways. In particular, it is offered in just one size: 6″ x 36.”  This size was chosen not only because it evoked the look of weathered hardwood planks seen in older docks and jetties. Because each unit is not extremely long, only one person is needed to install it. Generally speaking, longer porcelain wood-look planks require two contractors and end up costing customers considerably more.

End-users who select Pier will have a beautiful and durable floor which enhances any environment. It may be selected in four beautiful and natural colors:  Cocoa, Balboa, Navy and Santa Monica. To complement the weathered wood look plank, Pier Series also offers an attractive deco tile, which may be used for adding sophisticated accent pieces to the overall floor design, enriching the ambiance even more. Additionally, the firm has developed a 6″ x 12″  cove-base, to add the final touch to any project. Each glazed porcelain Pier tile is produced using High Definition Graphic (HDG) Technology, a state-of-the art inkjet process creating a wood-look that is so realistic… it could fool Mother Nature!

The Pier Collection conveys a sense of real wood with superior durability, allowing it to be installed in both Florim_Pier_Navyresidential and commercial applications. According to Stefano Rabaioli V.P. of Sales and Marketing, “Wood looks are definitely the fashion of the moment. Florim USA wanted to showcase the superior visual capabilities achieved by using High Definition Technology through this new collection, which was inspired by the most well-known, instantly recognizable American piers. This new series reminds me of a rustic wood look with weathered characteristics created by age, sun, and the sweet salt of the ocean. Frankly, the product ended up better than we could have ever anticipated!  It has a look suited for both classic and modern environments. We’re already receiving specification requests for Pier to be used in restaurants, hotels and retail stores.”


NAC Membrane Earns an “A” on Flame Spread Test
December 12th, 2013

National Applied Construction (NAC) Products, Inc., the company that introduced the industry to ECB® and crack isolation membrane technology, has successfully passed the test for surface burning characteristics of its crack isolation and sound abatement membrane system.

NGC Testing Services was contracted by NAC to perform ASTM E84-13a, the standard test method for surface burning characteristics of building materials. This test determines the relative behavior of the membrane system by observing the flame spread along the system and reporting the smoke developed and flame spread index.

The NAC crack isolation, sound abatement membrane system scored a “0” on the flame spread index (FSI) and the smoke developed index (SDI) thereby achieving Class “A” status. The flame did not progress during steady ignition and after the flame was extinguished, the system did not continue to flame.

“Quite frankly, we were not surprised by the results of this test,” said Vice President of Operations Brian Petit. “This test is the latest example of NAC’s commitment to research and development as we continually strive to provide the safest and most effective building products on the market.”

NAC offers a variety of floor protection systems for crack isolation (ECB®), sound control (SAM™ 3 and Super SAM™ 125) waterproofing (Strataflex sheet and SubSeal® liquid membranes) and moisture control.

For more information about the NAC family of flooring solutions, call 800-633-4622 or visit


PR Contact: David Hanna, NAC Products, Inc. Marketing Manager 330.644.3117,
3200 South Main Street, Akron, OH 44319 • Phone: 330.644.3117 • Fax: 330.644.3557

Color and Pattern Dominated the Aisles of Cersaie
November 4th, 2013

Every year, Cersaie provides a unique opportunity to experience new frontiers in ceramics for homes as well as commercial and public spaces. With an average of 20,000 visitors a day and nearly 1,000 exhibitors from 34 countries, this year’s show proved that Cersaie is a hotbed of inspiration not only in terms of interior ceramic surfacing but also possibilities in exterior cladding, quick laying and landscape architecture. Walking through the giant halls of the Bologna show, the most popular design trends revolved around four P’s: patchwork, patterns, planks and pavers.


Color and pattern dominated the aisles of Cersaie this year, which is evident in a few playful collections including U-Color by newcomer 41Zero42, Mix and Match by Gamma Due and Type-32 by Lea Ceramiche, which is part of the company’s new Slimtech 5Plus series of 5mm thick laminated stoneware.

Refin_Frame-Up_Emilia Flower

Moving beyond the confines of a backsplash, companies introduced a multitude of decorative patchwork collections that make a bold statement from floor to ceiling. Continuing their collaboration with the Milan-based graphic design firm, Studio FM, Refin introduced four designs for Frame-Up that places an inventive and graphic spin on historical patterns. ImolaCeramica reached back into its own archives to breathe new life into 100-year-old patterns and traditions with Cento per cento and Imola 1874. Though not solely designed for patchwork surfacing, Memorie by Appiani is the first majolica-inspired mosaic tile collection featuring 12 geometric designs on 12”x12” tile sheets that can be mixed and matched to create a more playful setting. Honeycomb adds another interesting layer to the patchwork trend, which can be seen in Gamma Due’s extruded porcelain Melograno tiles and Settecento’s Matière collection.

AtlasConcorde_LASTRA 20mm

The concept of 2cm thick porcelain pavers began to sprout during last year’s show but has now spread like wildfire throughout the entire industry. Twice as thick as most tiles, they have the same benefits as regular porcelain – frost-resistant, skid-resistant, easy to clean – but their incredibly high breakage loads (up to 2,000 pounds) create the perfect solution for gardens, terraces and high traffic outdoor areas. The tiles can also be dry laid onto grass, gravel, dirt and sand without grout or adhesives, making installation incredibly easy. Mirage was one of the first companies to introduce this new format and now offers EVO_2/e with 10 of its collections including Norr, featuring a distinctively random pattern of pebbles of varying size, color and shade. Lastra 20mm is available with five of Atlas Concorde’s collections inspired by wood, stone and cement while Caesar offers Aextra20 with seven of its collections ranging from saw cut wood to rough cut stone.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shabby chic was another popular trend at Cersaie, which could be seen in tiles inspired by ancient stones, rustic wood and cement tiles with incredible color variation. A few standout tile collections include Pantheon by Century, Petra by Emilceramica, Barriques by Ricchetti, Old_Wood by Fioranese, Block by Marazzi and Memory by Cerim.

Great Looks & Installations Start Here!
October 23rd, 2013

Mediterranea Ocean Drive

There are few thoroughfares as distinctive as the glamorous strip that hugs the sandy coastline on the southern tip of Miami Beach.  Just as South Beach merges its Art Deco heritage with the sophistication of the Italian Riviera, Mediterranea’s new Ocean Drive series blends subtle, yet striking graphics to create one of our most perfectly balanced series to date. Mediterranea utilizes Dynamic HD Imaging design technology to flawlessly blend the modern look of cement with the delicate veining and coloration from exquisite stones.  The result is a modern look befitting even the most elegant beachfront palazzo.  The series is available in four trend-setting colors:  Beach (Beige), Palm (Walnut), Shell (Taupe/Grey) and Wave (Charcoal).  These tones are in perfect harmony with the finely tuned colors of a tropical beach, where the sun has collaborated with the sea for centuries to create a distinctive color palette only seen in a few places on earth. Ocean Drive is available in three sizes: 12” x 24”, 18”x18” and 13”x13” with matching bullnose trim and 2”x2” mosaics.  This series truly delivers the color and style that define the elite glamour of Miami Beach.  It’s a look you’ll find only from the tile design craftsmen at Mediterranea.

Modern Living Room


Lightweight match for large-format tile

In response to green-building construction trends, the expanding demand for products containing recycled content and large-format tile designs, MAPEI is introducing to the market MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro, a professional-grade, lightweight, single-component mortar that can be used for medium-bed and nonsag applications as well as for thin-set installations. “Its thixotropic properties make MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro an excellent choice for large-format tile installations on floors and walls,” said Brian Pistulka, MAPEI Business Manager for Tile and Stone Installation Systems. “The reduced weight of the mortar also lightens the load for installers when shifting bags around a jobsite.” This polymer-modified mortar is formulated with Easy Glide Technology™ for ease of application, a labor-saving plus for installers. MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro’s unique Ultralite Technology™ provides twice the coverage of a standard thin-set mortar per pound (0,45 kg), providing transportation savings, too. Plus, MAPEI Ultralite Mortar Pro can contribute to LEED points through its more-than-20% recycled content.



First Installers Pass ACT Certification 

Five of the largest organizations representing tile contractors, installers and manufacturers are pleased to announce that eight industry professionals are the first to successfully pass the ACT certification program.  Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers— ACT—addresses four technically-challenging installation areas of current importance:  Large Format Tile Installation and Substrate Preparation, Mudwork, Shower Pans and Membranes.  A specific certification demonstrates the installer’s skill and knowledge in each of these four segments. The eight professional installers not only passed all four certifications, they did so under the watchful eye of thousands of attendees at Coverings, the leading tile and stone show in the United States.  Because the program was in the developmental phase when the show was held in Atlanta in April, they just recently completed the on-line written test that comprises twenty-five percent of the certification score.

The eight installers with this special honor are: Brent Monroe,  Artcraft Granite Marble &Tile Company: Glendale, Arizona; Tyler Nequist, Welch Marble &Tile: Kent City, Michigan; Keith Tavshanjian, KT Marble & Tile: Oceanside, California; Dan Welch, Welch Marble &Tile: Kent City, Michigan; Gavin Collier,  Trostrud Mosaic & Tile Co.: Palos Heights, Illinois; Bill Dumas,  Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Trainer: Livermore, California; Eric Manzaroli, Artisan Tile, Inc.: Sterling Heights, Michigan; and Terrance Trame,  Trendell Consulting, LLC: Clayton, Michigan

Partners in the development initiative are:  Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF); Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA), representing IUBAC signatory tile contractors; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC); International Masonry Institute (IMI), which provides professional and technical training for union masonry contractors, and National Tile Contractors Association, with membership open to all tile contracting companies.   Tile Council of North America (TCNA) manufacturer members companies are contributing to development of the modules and tests.

For more information on this developing program visit our new website at





Introducing Cityline and Forward
October 18th, 2013

Flaviker-Pi.Sa was back at Cersaie in Bologna with creative, new introductions. Portland 325, a free interpretation of restored industrial plaster developed in cooperation with Cesena-based firm Studio Archdesign, and Dakota, a wood-effect tile imbued with charm and a pioneering spirit, are the projects that herald next season’s trends. Cityline and Forward, the new complete collections showcased at Cersaie 2013, go beyond the mere reproduction of natural materials and instead reinterpret each individual element through the filter of cutting-edge technology. By drawing inspiration from a range of different materials to create highly eclectic products, these collections offer architects enormous creative freedom. The Cityline collection brings unique and original qualities to any project. Based on observations of iron sheets, the project brings together different contemporary surfaces. The linear graphic appearance emulates a variety of elements such as brushstrokes, unique marble veins and the chemical markings left by corrosion. The collection also features mosaics and decorative inserts, creating a sophisticated yet essential moodboard that fully meets the needs of contemporary architecture. As the name suggests, progress and movement are the concepts underpinning the Forward collection. Inspired by quartzite and slate, the collection captures the essence of these materials, meticulously re-elaborating them to create a pleasing harmony of colours and visual combinations. The result is a diverse and distinctive collection ideal for use in a multitude of living spaces including modern residential, commercial and outdoor applications.


Flaviker_Cityline_Ambiente 02_Particolare_DEF

Tile of Spain: Patterns, neutrals, textures and bright accents
September 25th, 2013

Tile today is anything but flat or square, it’s all about adding depth and interest to environments. Tile of Spain manufacturers are constantly presenting materials and solutions that empower and inspire their clients to use tiles in creative ways. Here’s a look at what’s trending now.

Mixed patterns. Often times the same Tile of Spain collection will feature Moorish geometric shapes next to French revolution damask and Celtic tartans. And somehow this period fusion all fits together and looks like it was always meant to be. Here we see the pattern mix working together in the Vives Tassel series.

New neutrals. Many Tile of Spain collections feature complimentary neutral tones meant to work together to create a unique neutral canvas, the Tecnica Paris 3060 series for example. Stripes, solids and patterns in the same color tones allow for spaces to be as unique as the people that inhabit them.

Textures. Just as TVs, movies and smartphones are moving into the 3D, so too are ceramics. Spanish tiles, such as Porcelanosa Ona, are offered in multiple textures to further the ability to personalize spaces. Contrasting layers of thin and thick, bent or warped and pulled or stretched formats create dynamic landscapes for light to play with and create a nuanced space that connects with the individual.

Bright accents. Accent colors that remind us of childhood are here. They are the bright, saturated colors of creamsicles and cherry ice pops. These strong, vibrant tones give an uplifting punch of color to ground and accent designs. Here we see an example from Pamesa.


For images and more information about these, or any Tile of Spain product, visit our website at





What’s New Right Now? Kerabond™T, Tile of Spain gets ready for Cersaie, and LATICRETE wins an award
August 13th, 2013

MAPEI introduces Kerabond™ T

Recognizing the need in the marketplace for a mortar that would deliver successful large-format tile installations, MAPEI has developed Kerabond T, a premium-grade, nonsag, nonslump mortar for use in thin-set and medium-bed tile installations on interior/exterior residential and commercial floors and walls. When mixed with water, Kerabond T acts as a medium-bed mortar meeting the ANSI A118.1 standard and ISO 13007 Classification C1T. When mixed with Keralastic™, a second-generation “flexible” acrylic latex additive from MAPEI, the resulting system has exceptional bond strength, flexural strength, elongation characteristics and freeze/thaw durability, meeting the ANSI A118.15 standard and ISO 13007 Classification C2ES2P2. The high-performance bond makes Kerabond T / Keralastic the best medium-bed mortar system for the most difficult tiles, substrates and conditions. “The Kerabond T / Keralastic two-component mortar system provides superior bond strength, improved deflection characteristics and the ability to bond to porcelain tiles, plywood and other difficult-to-bond-to substrates,” said Brian Pistulka, Business Manager for the MAPEI Tile & Stone Installation Systems line. “Kerabond T is the perfect mortar for use with the new large-format tiles and thin-tile panels that the architectural and design community is currently specifying for their eco-sustainable qualities.”

Through research at its Centers for Excellence in Research and Development over the past two years, MAPEI has documented the successful process for installing large-format thin tile panels on walls and floors. This type of installation allows renovations over existing tile as well as other engineer-approved substrates, as it takes into account proper surface preparation, the use of suitable installation equipment, tile leveling systems and correctly formulated mortars such as the Kerabond T / Keralastic system. “MAPEI has manufactured Tile & Stone Installation Systems for more than 75 years,” Pistulka stated. “We’re here to do more than sell products; we work hard to serve our customers and anticipate their needs for success today and tomorrow.”



Growing representation from Spanish tile industry at CERSAIE 2013

From September 23rd to 27th, the Spanish ceramic industry gathers in Bologna, creating the

largest foreign participation in the international fair. A total of 94 Spanish ceramic companies and ancillary industries will participate in the thirty-first edition of the Cersaie held from September 23 to 27th in Bologna, Italy. Spanish participation in the Italian event exhibitors this year includes ceramic sectors (80 companies), bathroom equipment (6 companies), and ancillary industries and related ceramics (8 companies). Once again, the group of Spanish ceramic companies is the main foreign participation in CERSAIE with about 100 exhibitors, which strengthens the position of Spanish ceramics in international markets and reaffirms the effort to expand the brand Tile of Spain abroad. After the last year’s success, Tile of Spain will again create an app for tablets and smartphones (Apple and Android) with the catalog of Spanish exhibitors at the fair. Available in late August, the new app will include information from all participating companies (new products presented at the fair, images, fair location, contact details, etc.) And includes useful filters for searching for companies by name, sector, and pavilion. The application of “Tile of Spain – CERSAIE’13″ aims to be a useful tool to help attendees plan to visit the fair, providing comprehensive information and even offering the possibility of drawing up a list of bookmarks for organizing the visit. A new feature has been improved allowing the maps section navigate the different wards to locate businesses, hits and others.The application will be available for download from the App Store (iPhone and iPad) and Android Play Store. It will also be accessible from the microsite:


HYDRO BAN® Shower System Named 101 Best New Products

LATICRETE announced  that its HYDRO BAN® Shower System was awarded a certificate of achievement under the 101 Best New Products for 2013 by Professional Remodeler Magazine for market acceptance and overall perceived value. In early 2013, LATICRETE introduced four new SKUs to their HYDRO BAN Shower System product line, including pre-sloped linear shower pans, preformed benches, preformed shelves, and an oil rubbed bronze drain finish, providing a complete HYDRO BAN line of waterproofing products that allow for high quality rapid shower installations. Constructed of lightweight high-density polystyrene, each component is equipped with a code approved waterproof coating that is ready for tile. The HYDRO BAN Shower System also offers an exclusive comprehensive system warranty.The 101 Best New Products for 2013 will be showcased in the August 2013 issue of Professional Remodeler Magazine and also at


New Industry Products
July 24th, 2013


Florida Tile has introduced Mingle HDP,  a new line that abandons the conventional concept of what a stone installation needs to look like. By dissecting the classic looks of Travertine, Marble and Limestone down to their basic graphical properties, there were elements that, regardless of the pattern, could all work together. In Mingle they have been pieced back together to create a cohesive new look that both blends in and stands out at the same time. The result is a concept that uses a combination of multiple stone graphics in the same color. Working with a strong Travertine and Breccia Marble, along with a more subdued Limestone, Florida Tile intricately paired them together in the same tone to create a single color. Conceptualized as a 4 color line, we decided to make 2 colors mixing the graphics, an Ivory (Warm Winter Mix) and a Grey (Cool Summer Mix). The other two colors, is a Bluish Grey (Dry Stream) that is created using only the Travertine graphics, and a warm Beige tone (Soft Rock) created using only the Breccia Marble graphic. Together these colors represent a new and exciting trend that will soon make its mark in the industry. Glazed porcelain in 12 x 12, 18 x 18, 12 x 24 and 6 x 24 with a fill range of trims and decoratives.


Quick Ship by Tile of Spain

Architects and designers are often on the hunt for Spanish ceramic tile for their next project. The Tile of Spain Quick Ship Collection was developed to answer the frequently asked question: “where can I buy that?” A complete catalog and list of the 90+ tile products in the Quick Ship Collection can be found at  Here are just two samples of these offerings.

Keraben’s Jazz series offers a through body porcelain tile that is urban, dynamic and with a cement effect look. Available in cool, contemporary colors: Blanco, Gris, Grafito and Greige, an original mixture of grey and beige. Jazz features mesh mounted mosaics that are comprised of rectangular mosaic chips in natural finish. Available in 20+ different tile designs.

This porcelain tile from Roca Tile was launched in January 2013. It is available in Vulcanian, Desert and Sand colors in 12″x 12″, 18″x 18″ and 12″x 24″ sizes.



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