Daltile brings fresh perspective to Manhattan design studio

By Louis Iannaco

 New York, N.Y.Almost 300 people—including many from the local A&D community—attended a reception here on September 16 to get a sneak peek of several new commercial tile collections from Daltile and experience the unveiling of the firm’s newly renovated Daltile and Marazzi Design Studio, its fifth such facility nationwide.

The remodeled 3,700 sq. ft. space at 49 E. 21st St. here, featuring Daltile and sister brand, Marazzi products, was created by designers for designers as a collaborative workspace, and follows in the footsteps of locations in Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Miami as a regional design hub for the brand.

The studio, located between Broadway and Park Ave., is nestled among other architectural and design firms, and even features a mosaic wall depicting an apple blossom greeting visitors, alluding to the city’s “Big Apple” nickname.

Designed to accommodate networking and local design association events for organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the studio’s open concept design features movable workstations, and can seat up to 100 people.

Designed to accommodate networking and local design association events for organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the studio’s open concept design features movable workstations, and can seat up to 100 people.

Designed to accommodate networking and local design association events for organizations such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the studio’s open concept design features movable workstations, and can seat up to 100 people.

“This studio has a similar look [to the others], but was designed with the New York customer in mind,” said Glenn Isenmann, associate for Gensler, the architectural firm that designed the studio for Daltile. “Living and working space is tight for city dwellers, so the ability to host meetings and events in a beautiful studio is a big benefit for the design community.”

Christopher Goggin, Gensler’s design director, agreed, noting in cities like San Francisco, “we have a lot of space, but here, we’re dealing with a typical New York floor plan. From what I’ve heard, we seem to have met our goal in that it feels like there’s much more space here than we actually have. We’ve got a lot of product displayed, and people seem excited because we’ve elevated the brand, which is the real goal here.”

The studio’s grey and neutral finishes provide an urban, contemporary feel,  highlighting a variety of tile, countertop and natural stone options, including a custom chandelier crafted with tile pieces hanging in the center of the space.

The studio features communal worktables, a loose tile library offering full-size samples to help customers match colors and styles for their projects and light panels showing how tile will look in different settings. An LCD touch screen allows customers to virtually flip through a digital catalog, view gallery images and create designs.

Architects and designers especially appreciated full size samples of available products.

Architects and designers especially appreciated full size samples of available products.

Wall panels showcase individual collections by materials/application, along with a kitchen and a bath vignette. As part of the grand opening, the studio displayed architectural street photography from local Instagram artists with its tile launches.

“Our customers are taking more risk with design,” said Kim Albrecht, senior brand marketing manager, Daltile. “With each new collection we empower them to imagine unique spaces, knowing that our products can help make their dreams reality. “We fell in love with what the Instagram photographers created,” she added. “They’ve given us a fresh perspective of the urban landscape, architecture and New York, what we had wanted to celebrate. The new collections are designed for A&D people to celebrate their perspective on projects. We were inspired by their creativity and vision, and hope our customers are inspired by this space, as well as our new products.”


The new products

As minimalism’s popularity continues to grow, Daltile’s Portfolio offers customers a cement-look tile with rectified edges in 11 colors. Bee Hive, in line with fall geometric trends, features a hexagonal pattern in six colors. Highlighted by soft cement aesthetics, Volume 1.0 utilizes the firm’s high-DCOF StepWise technology, a patent-pending Daltile element featuring a surfacing technique combining slip resistance and cleanability. It is available in 10 color options.

Stone Attaché features four stone-look collections with five aesthetics for multiple applications. Dignitary and Ambassador emulate a European style; Dignitary replicating the veining of French Limestone in six neutral colors, and the large-format Ambassador featuring a high-end design for indoor/outdoor spaces inspired by quartzite found in the Swiss Alps. It comes in four colors.

For contemporary spaces, ColorBody™ porcelain Haut Monde, available in six colorways, mimics the look of sandstone while Consulate utilizes the visual drama of stone. Available in two finishes, Consulate Antique conveys the look of aged marble, and Consulate Quartzite offers options for both commercial and residential settings.

“We’ve been in the heart of New York for more than a decade now and have grown up with the Manhattan design community,” said Corintha Runge, manager, gallery/showroom operations, Dal-Tile. “As our brands evolve with our customers’ needs, we wanted to provide a space that offered resources to foster these fresh perspectives. They’re going to see this approach, and it will provide a change of mindset.

Calvin Klein’s Heather Ambler, director of retail development and marketing, is flanked by Daltile’s Chris Kiene and Corintha Runge.

Calvin Klein’s Heather Ambler, director of retail development and marketing, is flanked by Daltile’s Chris Kiene and Corintha Runge.

“This is an extension of their office,” she explained, “with communal workspaces and conference rooms. They can take care of business here. We cover every aspect of design including residential, commercial, healthcare, etc., so we’ve got them covered.”

Massimo Ballucchi, director, product design, Daltile, said the showroom’s concept was custom-made for New York, as the Daltile and Marazzi brands are “linked together in the commercial arena. It’s been a successful night with most of the top New York-based architectural teams here.

“We took tonight to showcase some of our newest product launches,” he added, “most of which are commercial with an eye, on residential too, especially in such a big metropolitan area with a high-end residential market.”

 Designers give thumbs up

Heather Ambler, director, retail development/marketing, Calvin Klein, said, “for us, it’s very important to have brand-appropriate products. Obviously, the new showroom is beautiful aesthetically and is able to highlight all the products they offer.”

Ani Khachatryan, junior interior designer at nearby Celano Design Studio, said of the studio, it’s a “really nice showroom. They have the actual tiles in larger sizes. We usually see 4″ X 4″ or smaller samples, so it’s nice to see the entire product displayed and installed.”

Melissa Pereira, project manager/designer at Celano, agreed, noting the many tiles in “different applications; on the floor, ceiling, walls, every little corner has a different product and it’s great seeing it in a different environment other than our office.”

One of the Instagram images from local photographers that were on display in the new studio.

One of the Instagram images from local photographers that were on display in the new studio. This image is from Noah Martinez.

Not all the guests in attendance were from New York, however. Interior designer Lenny Pierce of Boston-based, CBT Architects, said everything in the studio “is so accessible, and visually, you can touch things. It’s much more interactive than many galleries; I believe that’s the most successful thing about it.”

Custom® introduces Commercial Installations Systems Guide

Custom® Building Products recently published the CUSTOM® Commercial Installation Systems Guide, an inspirational resource for architects, specifiers, designers and contractors. The CUSTOM Commercial Installation Systems Guide provides guidance on how to confidently select the right system of surface preparation, setting, grouting and care products for tile projects across a variety of applications including healthcare, hospitality, commercial kitchens, retail, transportation, entertainment, commercial, institutional, government and public works.

“Design professionals often approach us with questions about the type of installation system that would be best for their project, so we developed this resource to help not only designers but architects, specifiers or tile contractors identify the products that might be the most appropriate for their project,” said Dave DeBear, national manager, commercial business development for Custom Building Products. “The guide helps design professionals navigate through the product selection process by highlighting examples of real projects and related challenges. Using these insights, they can more effectively choose products that deliver high-quality results on time and in budget based on the unique conditions of their project.”

The CUSTOM Commercial Installation Systems Guide features detailed information on its products and systems in the context of specific building types or end-use applications.

·         Typical challenges like high point loads, extreme soil situations, fast track timelines

·         How to qualify for CUSTOM’s System Warranties

·         CUSTOM Build Green® and CUSTOM Emerald System®

·         Custom Installation Solutions from a single source supplier

·         Common considerations such as waterproofing, sound attenuation, uneven subfloors, chemical exposure, crack isolation, stain resistance, color consistency, exterior conditions and more

·         CUSTOM Project References throughout North America for each category

·         CUSTOM’s Commercial Architectural Representative team

All product recommendations, which may include categories that are new to the user, derived from The CUSTOM Commercial Installation Systems Guide are based on ANSI standards. Architects, specifiers, designers and contractors can download a copy of the CUSTOM Commercial Installation Systems Guide at www.custombuildingproducts.com or request a hard copy by calling (800) 272-8786 extension 9536.


HOST Exhibition in Milan Partners with ASID and IDC to Bring Twenty North American Interior Designers to 2015 Expo

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is pleased to announce that HOST 2015, taking place in Milan, Italy October 23 – 27, 2015, has partnered with ASID and the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) to bring 20 interior designers from North America to the show. Those who are accepted to attend will have their airfare, accommodations, and registration fees covered by HOST.

HOST is an international hospitality exhibition in its 39th year that features more than 1,800 exhibitors from 48-plus countries showcasing products suitable for hotels, restaurants, and related hospitality businesses. Unique to this year’s event, HOST overlaps with Expo Milano 2015, which has been running since May 1 and concludes on October 31. The theme of this year’s Expo Milano is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. Attendees and exhibitors will be talking about food, health, well-being, innovation, and technology with the goal of securing a more sustainable future for our planet.

“HOST is the exhibition to attend if the focus of your work is hospitality,” says Simona Greco, exhibition director of HOST. “Over five days at the fair, you will meet with the world’s most prominent industry manufacturers and suppliers and learn about the latest technologies and trends hitting the marketplace.”

HOST will select 20 interior designers (10 from ASID and 10 from IDC) to participate, and will pay their travel, accommodation, and registration expenses. A sophisticated Expo Matching System will be used to schedule participant meetings with exhibitors to ensure that attendees’ time at the Fair allows them access to the companies most relevant to their businesses.

Randy Fiser, ASID CEO, and Susan Wiggins, IDC CEO, will attend the Fair with the delegation and will participate in meetings regarding international collaboration with the hospitality sector. “We are very excited about this unique opportunity that allows us to promote North American hospitality designers while creating a unique opportunity for those designers to immerse themselves in an international expo specifically related to hospitality,” says Fiser.

To apply for your spot to travel with the North American delegation, please complete and return the application form to [email protected] with HOST in the subject line no later than Friday, July 31.  Decisions will be announced the following week, and travel arrangements will be made no later than August 15.

Contact [email protected] with questions or concerns.

About ASID: The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidenced-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

ASID was founded 40 years ago when two organizations became one, but its legacy dates back to the early 1930s. As we celebrate nearly 85 years of industry leadership, we are leading the future of interior design, continuing to integrate the advantages of local connections with national reach, of small firms with big, and of the places we live with the places we work, play, and heal. Learn more at asid.org.

About HOST: More than 1,800 exhibitors will attend HOST 2015, 40 percent of whom come from outside Italy. They will occupy space in 14 pavilions (2 more than in 2013), and will come into contact with more than 140,000 trade professionals and more than 1,500 hosted buyers selected from all over the world. This year, there’s another important reason to visit Host Milano. In fact, this time, the hospitality trade fair coincides with the last few days of Expo Milano 2015, devoted to the theme of food, and being staged in an area next to the fairground, until October 31. It offers a unique chance to gain insight into the most interesting trends on a global scale, in addition to networking and doing business with other international trade professionals. Learn more about HOST.

About IDC: IDC is the professional association for interior designers in Canada. IDC’s mandate is to advance the profession of interior design across Canada as well as internationally. It does so through advocacy with government and the public, and by providing continuing education opportunities and business practice support services to members. For more information on IDC, please visit idcanada.org.

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Crossville Sponsors, Provides Tile for the Traditional Home Magazine® 2015 Hampton Designer Show House

Sag Harbor, NY / Crossville, Tenn. – Crossville, Inc. is a sponsor and product supplier for the 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse presented by Traditional Home Magazine® and benefiting Southampton Hospital. 2015 marks the 14th year for the Hampton showhouse and associated events, including a gala preview party and more than a month of open house tours for the public. This year’s home is located in Sag Harbor, NY and was built by Christopher Tufo Design & Build.

Trad Home Hampton Designer Showhouse 2015 - 233 Old Sag Harbor Rd in Bridgehampton

Crossville products are featured in three rooms:

Recreation Room
Designed by Melanie Roy Design
Crossville’s Wood Impressions Porcelain Tile (floor)

Pool House Kitchen
Designed by Tyler Steven Pankratz Design
Crossville’s Ready to Wear Porcelain Stone (backsplash)

Main House Kitchen
Designed by Marlaina Teich Designs
Crossville’s Sideview Glass (backsplash)


The Pool House Kitchen features Crossville’s Ready To Wear Porcelain Stone on the backsplash




The Main House Kitchen features Crossville’s Sideview Glass on the backsplash.

While Crossville is mostly known in the commercial segment, we have an active and growing residential design constituency,” explained Lindsey Waldrep, vice president of marketing for Crossville. “It’s opportunities like these that really allow the brand to shine and show how our tile can really elevate the design in today’s upscale homes. ”

The home is open daily to the public for tours now through September 7, 2015.

The Hampton Designer Showhouse is a project of The Hampton Designer Showhouse Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) corporation.

Sustainability Feature – August 2015 “Green Issue”

The January 2015  deadline for HPDs:  did we survive?

bill_grieseBy Bill Griese, LEED AP BD+C, Standards and Green Initiative manager, Tile Council of North America

Do you remember the panic over Y2K? It was seemingly all anyone could talk about toward the close of 1999. At the stroke of midnight on December 31st, it was believed the year 2000 would be indistinguishable from 1900, causing all computers to crash and creating financial and infrastructural chaos.

A Y2K-like scare gripped the manufacturing community near the end of 2014. At least 26 of the largest architectural firms in the U.S. mandated manufacturers supply HPDs (Health Product Declarations) for all building products by January 1, 2015. Stated consequences for failing to meet the deadline ranged from pursuit of alternative product options to complete deletion from product catalogs.

Some building product manufacturers, including a few in the tile industry, met the January 1 deadline for HPDs, but many didn’t. And yet, as with Y2K, everyone is doing just fine.


So, what is happening with HPDs?

HPDs, which involve building product disclosure of chemical ingredients and associated risks and hazards, are still very much a part of the overall green building conversation and continue to be heavily supported within the architectural community. In fact, today there are seemingly more inquiries about human health ramifications of products than there are about environmental ramifications. Nevertheless, since the January 1 “deadline” has come and gone, the urgency for HPDs has relaxed to a certain extent. This can be attributed to three main factors: delayed implementation of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Version 4, the as-yet unreleased Version 2 of the HPD Open Standard, and the lingering controversy surrounding HPDs in general.


There are many initiatives driving the adoption of HPDs, but the biggest is arguably USGBC’s (US Green Building Council) LEED. When LEED Version 4 was released in late 2013, it was announced that “points” would be awarded toward certification for the use of products with HPDs in LEED building projects. The 60,000-plus registered LEED projects and 20,000-plus certified LEED projects, along with LEED’s substantial influence in the green building marketplace, thrust HPDs into the spotlight. However, after the release of LEED Version 4, it was announced that projects could be registered in accordance with older versions of LEED through most of 2016. As a result, according to a USGBC presentation given at a Chemicals Summit in April 2015, there have been just 18 projects certified to LEED Version 4, only one of which claimed HPD-related points toward certification.

Version 2, HPD Open Standard

Another factor slowing the pace of architectural adoption of HPDs has been the delayed release of Version 2 of the HPD Open Standard, the document that defines the requirements and chemical cutoff thresholds for manufacturers to follow when creating HPDs. Version 2 will contain some new and several modified requirements for HPDs, and many manufacturers have elected to wait for its release before issuing HPDs for their products.

Material contents vs. end-user exposure

Finally, even with widespread architectural demand, some remain reluctant to accommodate HPDs. There is an ongoing debate over material content vs. end-user exposure, and manufacturers and scientists alike agree that pure chemical ingredient reporting can be misleading, especially when chemicals are encapsulated or are only one component of a harmless compound.

Even though their adoption has been delayed, chances are good that HPDs are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Organizations like USGBC have invested substantial time and effort in establishing provisions for HPDs in building project specifications. USGBC will require the use of LEED Version 4 exclusively beginning in October 2016, and many have predicted that this will generate more demand for HPDs. Additionally, the HPD discussion will likely be reinvigorated when Version 2 of the HPD Open Standard is released. And finally, manufacturers recognize the general rise in demand for material health transparency and are working toward consensus on HPD solutions that are technically correct and provide relevant information.

What’s next for the tile industry?

TCNA and its members are well versed in LEED Version 4’s HPD-related requirements and can provide education and project solutions in preparation for increased demands as 2016 approaches. Additionally, TCNA has been in communication with the HPD Collaborative, the organization responsible for developing the HPD Open Standard, and it is expected that special considerations will soon be given to certain building materials, including some ceramics, recognizing them as inherently inert with no assumed health risks. And because ceramic tiles are made from natural ingredients that are fused together to form a homogenous and inert product, the ceramic tile industry can readily provide HPDs to satisfy a variety of project requirements.

Did we survive the January 1, 2015 deadline “crisis”? Not only did we survive, it is expected that the tile industry will remain in good position as health-related green building initiatives such as HPDs evolve, with support from various parties working to increase awareness and ensure HPDs accurately address ceramic tile.

A&D Guest Feature – August 2015 “Green Issue”

Theory or practice?

Real-world sustainability experience from A&D professionals

By Lesley Goddin

robinwilsonOver the last few decades, buzz about sustainability is on everyone’s lips. Green certification programs like LEED and Green Globes and product certification programs like Green Squared® and Greenguard® abound.

And yet, what is the experience of actual A&D professionals today? How often are green solutions demanded, offered or implemented? And how are tile products helping to keep our planet, the water we drink and the air we breathe clean, fresh and healthy?

We put a series of questions to two respected forces in the world of design, Anne Rue, Anne Rue Interiors of Lake Mary, Fla., and Robin Wilson, of Robin Wilson Home, based in New York City.

annerueRue is a sought-after and respected voice in the design of residential, hospitality, multifamily and senior living interiors – whose work is about a 50/50 mix between residential and commercial interiors. Anne Rue’s interior design team has built a reputation for its down-to-earth approach to design, working with a broad range of lifestyles and budgets. This spring she was the designer of one of the Coverings Installation Design Showcase vignettes that featured Crossville tile products.

Wilson is an interior designer, businesswoman, expert on healthy homes, and author, most recently of Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle (Greenleaf, 2015). Robin Wilson Home, her design firm, was founded in 2000 and works on select projects throughout the United States, ranging from high-profile clients, private homes, developers and consultation with leading consumer brands. Both Rue and Wilson have appeared on HGTV – Rue in “Design Star”and Wilson in “Selling New York,” among other prestigious broadcast and print appearances.

1-ADSustainability surges and setbacks

Both professionals report a surge in demand for eco-friendly products and sustainable components. For Wilson, earth-friendly design is a cornerstone of any project. “All of our projects incorporate elements of sustainability and eco-friendly products,” Wilson said. “We were one of the early pioneers of this movement since 2000, and we began to publicize our efforts starting in 2006. Today, it is often requested by clients.”

For Rue, about 50% of commercial projects demand sustainability. “I would say that is up by at least 20% to 30% from 5 years ago!” Rue explained.

Why aren’t all projects clamoring for eco-friendly products? Wilson said, “For some people, the biggest issue is the perceived barrier of expense. However, so many companies have brought down the costs so that people can have affordable options.”

Expense isn’t quite the issue for Rue; finding suitable products is. “The biggest challenge is finding sustainable products for all areas,” she said. “The market is not saturated in the LEED and sustainable products yet, but that will be changing, I am sure.”



Tile: important player for green projects

3-ADTile products are important players in the sustainable scenario, particularly large thin porcelain tile that can be used as floor covering, wall covering or even cabinet facing.

“For me the thin tile like Laminam by Crossville has been a big benefit to my projects,” Rue said. “The thin tile is so easy to put over existing flooring if needed, and being able to use a large-scale product or cut it into small scale or even different shapes make it really fun to design with.” Wilson added, “I love thin tile that can also be used as a wall cladding.”

Both designers cite the advantages porcelain tiles with wood-like aesthetics are giving to projects. “Many people are using porcelain tile with wood grain in home spaces that have pool access to prevent damage to actual hardwood floors,” Wilson said.

Rue concurred, adding, “The wood tile look has really changed the game for a lot of people in both commercial and residential projects. The tile looks so realistic that people can’t believe it is not real wood. I am designing a home in St. Simons and my clients wanted real wood but knew the durability of it would not be the best choice for the high-traffic areas and the areas that would be exposed to water. Wood tile was our answer.”

4-ADWilson also praised glittering glass accents as wall coverings. “It is often recycled glass, so people are ensuring that glass is sustainably harvested from the landfill,” she said.

In addition to aesthetics, tile offers a range of advantages that help earn LEED points.

“Ceramic and porcelain tile is a great option for LEED points because of the low to no VOCs, and tile manufacturers are reusing water and materials to reduce waste,” Rue pointed out. “There are also adhesives and grouts that have zero to low VOCs,” an important part of the overall tile installation project, keeping it green from top to bottom.

And tile can be used together with other technologies to pump up earth-friendliness. “Tile can be used in conjunction with radiant heat/geothermal technology to increase LEED points, which can create an overall energy savings,” Wilson offered. “I have also used Silestone as a wall cladding and cut it into tiles for bathroom projects, and it is durable, versatile and antibacterial,” she said.



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