Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Tile Designs, Installation Products from Surfaces 2013

Surfaces, the largest U.S. event serving the floor covering industry, once again brought together buyers and sellers from around the world to see the latest floor covering products, tools, services and technologies. The event, held January 28-31 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, was co-located with StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas. 

Surfaces | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas
Surfaces | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas was held January 28-31 in Las Vegas

Thousands of floor covering retailers, distributors, installers, architects, designers and builders from around the world convened on the show floor to see the latest product offerings from more than 600 exhibitors in various categories, including tile and stone, while gaining vital education, and most importantly, networking with other floor covering professionals.

Here’s a glimpse of what new tile and stone products enjoyed the most visibility by the show’s visitors.

ARTO Brick and California Pavers, a company based in Gardena, CA, is a manufacturer of rustic, sustainable, concrete, clay, tiles, brick veneer, precast, and pavers. After years of interacting with each other over Twitter, it was truly delightful to finally met Armen Alajian of ARTO. The company practices good stewardship (recycled content, reduced packaging, locally sourced materials), while producing eye-catching tile designs. Here are a few of my favorites:

ARTO Brick's Mondrian tile design
ARTO Brick's Mondrian tile design

ARTO Brick's Griffith tile design
ARTO Brick's Griffith tile design

ARTO Brick's new dimensional wall tile design
ARTO Brick's new dimensional wall tile design

Also catching my eye was a new collection by Mediterranea called “Juliet’s Courtyard,” named after the Shakespearean lovers of Verona, Romeo and Juliet. The collection features a rich assortment of stones of various sizes and colors – all perfectly designed to blend together into a timeless look. Inspired by the classic treasured travertine tones and colors of Tuscany, the Juliet’s Courtyard collection utilizes Dynamic HD Imaging™ technology to create a stunningly vintage look in a product manufactured to the highest technical specifications. 

The collection is available in two colors – “Juliet’s Blend” – a perfect mixture of light soothing earth tones and natural hues – and “Romeo’s Blend” – a rich and bold fusion of darker tones with traces of gold and rust shading. Juliet’s Courtyard is unique in that it utilizes four fully modular sizes – 12”x24”, 12”x12”, 18”x18” and 6”x6”. This allows the individual tiles to be installed in an array of patterns and combinations – giving designers limitless possibilities when crafting flooring concepts worthy of Shakespeare’s literary masterpiece.

Mediterranea's new tile collection: Juliet’s Blend
Mediterranea's new tile collection: Juliet’s Courtyard

Crossville Inc.’s Laminam collection gained a new series with the addition of Filo, a uniquely textured, metallic-finish line of large format porcelain panels ideal for skinning interior vertical surfaces in commercial settings.

Filo comes in eight colors – Brina, Mercurio, Pece, Rame, Oro, Argento, Ghisa and Bronzo – each featuring metallic effects and a texturized surface that adds dimension and subtle sparkle. The overall look is modern and glamorous—ideal for use in hotels, restaurants, spas, salons, retail and other contract design environments.

Crossville's latest addition to the Laminam collection, Filo
Crossville's latest addition to its Laminam collection, Filo.

Dimensions of all Laminam by Crossville panel sizes are 1m x 3m (nominal size 3’4”x10’) with 3mm thickness. The generous outer dimensions coupled with the extremely lean profile make these panels versatile for an array of uses and light enough for ease of installation. The durable porcelain body reinforced with a fiberglass mesh backing creates a surface skin that can be installed over most structurally sound substrates, including existing tile or painted walls. 

Finally, in celebration of the 10th year of its SpectraLock Grout product, Laticrete conducted an in-booth promotion where the works of extremely talented mosaic artists were displayed. The mosaic art gallery featured unique, museum-quality creations using Laticrete’s SpectraLock Grout Dazzle. The epoxy grout features a unique design component that adds metallic and "glow-in-the-dark" enhancements to the SpectraLock product. “Dazzle was used in all of these creations," said Ryan Blair, Laticrete Channel Manager. "We’ve also unveiled several new Dazzle colors here at Surfaces, as well."

Laticrete’s Vegas sign using SpectraLock Grout Dazzle and mosaic tile
Laticrete’s Las Vegas sign combines SpectraLock Grout Dazzle with mosaic tile artistry.

Lastly, you can chalk one more item to the good news column. Surfaces | StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas will be co-located with International Builders’ Show (IBS) and Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in 2015! According to my informal poll on the show floor, all responses indicated an overwhelmingly positive outlook for the 2015 event. What do you think of this one-stop show? Do you think it will help overall attendance for all the co-located shows? Will it be information and product overload? I would love to hear your comments! 

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