LATICRETE School Donation Put on a Pedestal

LATICRETE, a global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry, recently donated tile installation products to the Evergreen, Colorado Elementary School. The products are being used for a project that consists of four large pedestals, each clad with creative mosaic tile designs which are located in the school’s main lobby.

The mosaic tiles, which were donated by Becoming Tile, were to be installed by those students who also created their own designs for the pedestals. “I became involved with this project because the school’s art teacher is an acquaintance of mine,” stated Keith DeWald, President of Becoming Tile. “The students put together some really great designs and did some of the initial installation work themselves. Now that summer has rolled around, their teacher and I are picking up some of the additional installation work when the school is open.”

Although DeWald is not usually an installer, he is able to get the job done using high-technology LATICRETE products along with some solid input from the LATICRETE technical department. Steve Rampino, LATICRETE Technical Service Training Supervisor stated, “We believe in good corporate citizenship and are committed to the communities where we work and reside. Clearly, we believe in supporting deserving projects such as this one.”

“The products donated were very helpful,” added DeWald. “For thin-set, we used LATICRETE® 254 Platinum, and the grout we selected was LATICRETE PermaColor™ Grout.
These products were very easy to use. Even a guy like me who does not know a great deal about mosaic tile installation was able to use these materials quite well. Knowing I can do
that makes me positive that I can continue to complete the next phase of the job, and do it nicely.”

LATICRETE International, Inc. is a US-based, family-owned global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry. LATICRETE® products are produced and distributed worldwide in the commercial and consumer channels. The company’s philosophy of innovation and technical expertise has led to an
unparalleled reputation and commitment to superior quality, performance and customer service. Manufactured in state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2008 certified facilities, LATICRETE offers a broad product portfolio including an extensive line of low VOC sustainable products independently certified by GREENGUARD. LATICRETE®, LATAPOXY®, SpectraLOCK®, Hydro Ban® and DRYTEK® are registered brands of LATICRETE International, Inc. Corporate Website: www.laticrete.com.

Ceramica Sant’Agostino suffers losses in recent earthquake

Amidst the destruction in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, where a 6.0 magnitude earthquake on May 20 destroyed ancient buildings and left thousands homeless, were tragic losses suffered by Ceramica Sant’Agostino, a Confindustria Ceramica tile manufacturer.

Two of Sant’Agostino workers, Nicola Cavicchi and Leonardo Ansaloni, died in the Sant’Agostino factory when the building collapsed early Sunday morning. In addition, the company’s automated warehouse and monocottura production facility were damaged.

A statement posted by the company on its website reads, “First and foremost, Ceramica Sant’Agostino would like to express deepest sympathy for the victims of this terrible tragedy, the destructive consequences of which could undoubtedly have in no way been predicted or imagined. The disturbing events of last night leave all of us speechless, powerless to express our immense grief. Ceramica Sant’Agostino is a family business, not only because it is now in the hands of the third generation, but because it has always had a close, sincere bond with the area it operates in and with the people who work there. The loss of Leonardo Ansaloni and Nicola Cavicchi leaves a gap it is impossible to fill, and the Company extends its deepest sympathy to their families.”

Ceramica Sant’Agostino is a third-generation business, which was set up in 1964 in the Province of Ferrara in the Emilia-Romagna region (about 35 km north of Bologna). It’s been 800 years since an earthquake of this magnitude has affected the region. The company website noted that buildings were constructed with “the maximum safety criteria” and it has cooperated with examination of company structures by officials in the wake of the quake.

On May 22, Sant’Agostino received a visit from the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, who has promised to help small-scale businesses, especially factories and farms, in the region. The government has approved temporary tax relief to owners of property damaged from the earthquake and $64 million in emergency funds have been made available for use by the national Civil Protection Agency providing quake assistance.

Sant’Agostino is still assessing the damages on the whole plant but hopes that many of their problems can be resolved in the next few weeks, and remains optimistic about the future of the company.

“Despite the tremendous blow suffered, Ceramica Sant’Agostino is determined to get back on our feet and resume production, above all in order to honour the memory of those we have lost,” the statement continues. “The Company intends to continue to be an important resource for the local area and for the numerous families that depend on it. This is what it means to believe in one’s work. Ceramica Sant’Agostino strongly believes in the quality of its products and of the human resources that have made it the business we all know today, and will continue to be the serious, qualified point of reference it has been for many years for the large number of customers who choose our products and appreciate the service we offer.”

Florida Tile, Metropolitan Ceramics announce Green-Squared certification

Florida Tile recently announced that all  Kentucky-produced Florida Tile products have been certified   Green Squared by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). In addition, Metropolitan Ceramics announced that a large selection of unglazed ceramic quarry tile products have been Green Squared Certified by Scientific Certification System (SCS).

Sean Cilona, Florida Tile marketing director, noted a “Certificate of Conformity” was issued to Florida Tile by UL for the following U.S.-made products, which all were all manufactured at the company‘s facility in Lawrenceburg, Ky.: Ankara, Ashton, Berkshire, Cinema, Contessa, Creekside, Fontana, Formations, Grandeur, Hamlet Manor, Highlands, Horizon, Legend, Livingston, Mendocino, Millenia, Montana, Paramount, Phoenix, Pristine, Quartez, Renaissance, Retroclassic, Savannah, Taconic Slate, Terrace, Topeka and Tuscania. Florida Tile was an integral part of the five-year development of the Green SquaredSM standard (ANSI A138.1), and its products were among the first groups of products to achieve that certification.

Metropolitan Ceramics® is part of a fifth-generation family-owned company located in Canton, Ohio. The company’s location in the same community for well over 100 years gives it a stake in the community and sense of stewardship. Being one of the first ceramic tile manufacturers to have third-party certification for the Green Squared sustainability standard is a concrete way of showing commitment to continuing efforts in all aspects of environmental management

Laminam by Crossville: large format tile panels for U.S. market

Crossville Inc. is launching “Laminam by Crossville,” a full line of lean profile, large format porcelain products through an exclusive distribution agreement with Italian manufacturer Laminam, a division of Systems Group. Under the agreement, Crossville is the sole source for Laminam’s innovative large unit porcelain panel products throughout the U.S. The distribution agreement is effective immediately, with product availability anticipated in early June.

“This is a landmark agreement and another example of Crossville’s commitment to meeting the needs of the U.S. market,” stated Crossville president John Smith. “We recognized the growing demand for very large format, thinner tile, so we searched the globe to source the best products that would appeal to the American aesthetic and match the Crossville quality standard.”

Laminam by Crossville products – each selected expressly for the U.S. market – are suited for interior wall installations and for an array of surfaces. The initial offering of 3mm-thick, fiberglass-reinforced porcelain panels will be available in over 50 items. As Smith explained, the extremely lean profile of these reinforced panels results in durability, versatility and “unparalleled technical performance.”

“These products are game changers,” Smith continued. “The colors and styles of Laminam by Crossville are right for the American market. These thin-but-extremely-durable large panels are very simple to work with and install and will invite innovative field applications. Architects and interior designers should really have fun exercising their creativity in new and unique ways with these products.”

Crossville’s logistics and Laminam’s leadership in production and technology will ensure ready availability for American specifiers. As Smith stated, the partnership with Laminam reflects “true synergy and smart international procurement” to “not just meet but lead” domestic demand for the most cutting edge products available globally.

“Crossville’s commitment to quality, excellent logistics team and established relationship with the A&D community make this partnership truly ideal,” added Laminam’s CEO, Alberto Selmi. “We are excited for Laminam by Crossville to launch in the U.S. market.”

For details on the Laminam by Crossville products, visit LaminambyCrossville.com.

Coverings Installation Design Awards

 

At Coverings this past April, the industry saluted designers and contractors of outstanding tile and stone projects in the first-ever Coverings Installation Design Awards. This competition is the evolution of the prestigious Coverings Prism and Spectrum Awards that recognized excellence in design in tile and stone projects and the TileLetter Awards that honored technical excellence in craftsmanship and installation. The Coverings Installation Design (CID) Awards shined a light on both aspects of a project, acknowledging the critical role collaboration plays in successful and stunning projects. The CID Awards were sponsored by Coverings, TileLetter and NTCA’s newest publication, TADA, Tile for Architects, Designers and Affiliates.

Judges sifted through nearly 75 entries to determine the 12 winners. Judges included Christine Abbate – Ceramics of Italy, Lori Dolnick – Tile of Spain, Jennifer Adams – Contemporary Stone & Tile Design/TILE Magazine/Stone World, Jennifer Renzi – Interior Design, Robin Wilson – Robin Wilson Home, Eric Astrachan  – Tile Council of North America,  and Bart Bettiga – NTCA.

The list of winners are as follows:

Residential ––––––––––

Grand Prize Residential:
Rosenthal Residence
Walled Lake, Mich.
Designer: David Ellison
Installer: RJH Tile and Stone

Residential Stone:
2012 New American Home
Winter Park, Fla.
Designer: Phil Kean Designs, Inc.
Installer: Girem Tile Work, Inc.

Residential Mosaic/Glass:
Bella Leoni
Ada, Mich.
Designer: Signature Outdoor Concepts/Inspired Installations
Installer: Inspired Installations

Residential Tile:
Turck Residence
Decatur, Mich.
Designer: Motawi Tileworks
Installer: Harry Underdah

Commercial ––––––––––

Grand Prize Commercial:
El Andaluz
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Designer: Jeff Shelton Architect
Installer: Dan Upton Construction

Commercial Stone:
Atrium
Miami, Fla.
Designer: Insight Design
Installer: Gemini Tile Service

Commercial Mosaic/Glass:
Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center
Charlottesville, Va.
Designer: BH+A
Installer: The Ceiling and Floor Shop

Commercial Tile:
Palomar Medical Center West
Escondido, Calif.
Designer: Anshen + Allen Architects/CO Architects
Installer: Wirtz Quality Installations

Special Recognition ––––––––––

Historic Renovation:
Monroe Skyscraper
Chicago, Ill.
Designer: Holabird & Root/Rookwood Pottery
Installer: DTI

Art in Public Space:
The Four Stages of Higher Learning Chandelier
GHSU College of Dental Medicine, Augusta, Ga.
Designer/Installer: Paul Pearman

Tile & Stone:
Mohegan Sun, Casino of the
Earth expansionUncasville, Ct.
Designer: Rockwell Group
Installer: Kenneth Castellucci & Associates

Tile & Stone:
Hyatt Olive 8 Condominium
Seattle, Wash.
Designer: Mulvanny Architecture G2, Seattle Branch
Installer: Antony Architectural Stone

Following are the details of the Grand Prize Residential and Commercial winners:

Grand Prize Residential: Rosenthal Residence
Walled Lake, Mich.
Designer: David Ellison
Installer: RJH Tile and Stone

The owner of this 7,500 square-foot lakeside home hadn’t been on hand for much of the construction. So upon his arrival at the nearly-complete residence, horror ensued at the shoddy construction throughout the five bathrooms and stone floors.

Enter contractor RJH Tile and Stone, and designer David Ellison. Since the previous work had to be demolished, the designer-contractor team now had a blank slate from which to work. One man’s nightmare is another man’s blessing, and the vast footage in question offered the team the ability to stretch creatively, using stock showroom stone cut to size on site to keep costs down on this admittedly lavish project. But by reducing material costs, more could be invested in details and ornaments.

Stone floors were chosen for beauty, low maintenance, and wheelchair maneuverability.

Careful layout was key for every element of this project, with installers giving special attention to detail, such as external corners that were mitered, epoxied, and filled to give them the look of quarried full-thickness stone rather than a veneer. This sumptuous project made the most of materials and stayed on budget.

Grand Prize Commercial:
El Andaluz
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Designer: Jeff Shelton Architect
Installer: Dan Upton Construction

This mixed-use project contains seven residential units nestled around a large tiled courtyard on the upper two floors. At street level on the first floor, two commercial units anchor the project and a tiled roof deck on the fourth floor overlooks the city. Santa Barbara’s architectural guidelines are based on Mediterranean and Spanish motifs and, as such, plentiful tile use is encouraged. Designer Jeff Shelton took full advantage of this, dedicating a tenth of the budget to ceramic, cement and marble tile.

Eight elliptical arches sport 1”x8” custom ceramic tiles that were splattered with glaze, then mixed up and installed to give depth and a sense of Moorish writing flowing throughout the arches. Exterior walls of the commercial units are covered in 12”x12” patterned cement tile: one with a bird pattern reminiscent of Escher, another with a giant swarming ant motif.

Falling Fuscia cement riser tiles bloom on the main stairs leading to the flowering courtyard on the second floor. The courtyard itself is an explosion of tile, from the planters to fountains, benches and the zigzag bricks on the floor. Nasturtium cement riser tiles lead to the third floor; loggia tiles are floral cement on one side and a fish motif on the other.

All units are flowing with vibrant 12”x12” tiles on the floors, and marble-covered bathroom walls and kitchen counters. Exterior decks sport 1/4” ceramic tile. From the commercial-level arches to the residential units, great care in design and excellence in installation imparts a sense of warmth, timelessness and character to the entire project.

TILE OF SPAIN MANUFACTURERS: THE SIZE & PLAZA CERÁMICAS HONORED WITH 2012 KBCULTURE AWARDS

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 200 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER),

Tile of Spain Plaza Ceramicas received honorable mention for its Eco-Logik porcelain floor tile

is proud to announce that the 2012 KBCULTURE Awards recently honored two innovative products by Tile of Spain manufacturers The Size and Plaza Cerámicas. KBCULTURE is a selective online review of international products, places and perspectives central to kitchen and bath design, produced by Leslie Clagett, a well-known industry editor and author.

THE SIZE won the Surfacing category for its Neolith porcelain product, a unique 5/16-inch surfacing slab product – available up to 145 inches long – that can render joints in counter stretches obsolete. It doesn’t stain or scratch, is heat resistant and is available in many diverse and neutral colors.

“The thinness of the material contradicts its categorization as a ‘slab’ surfacing,” states Clagett. “It’s more like a ‘sheet’. Installers should appreciate the lightness of the product – it’s so much easier to lift and move than stone contours. It gives an especially modern look with an under mount sink.”

PLAZA CERÁMICAS received an honorable mention in the Tile category for its Eco-Logik porcelain floor tile that boasts 85 percent recycled-material content that sets a high standard for both Eco-conscious manufacturing and performance. It is non-porous, slip-resistant and durable.

“The 25-year warranty for residential use speaks volumes about the manufacturer’s confidence in the tile’s performance,”states Clagett.

Please credit all images to Tile of Spain and the specific tile manufacturer.

Images available for download via Smug Mug http://smu.gs/Ksj2mY
Contact:
Lori Dolnick: [email protected]

About Tile of Spain
In Spain, tile makers labor as they have for centuries – pushing their passion for design and innovation to new levels of artisanship. With one of the purest and strongest domestic clays available, Spanish manufacturers have an unparalleled ability to make the end product more diverse. From rustic handmade forms; to technical facades that cool buildings and clean the air; to the impossibly slim, sustainable recycled and ink jet masterpieces that fire the imagination. The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER) is the private organization whose primary objective is to support Spain’s ceramic tile manufacturers and the industry as a whole by stewarding and promoting the Tile of Spain brand worldwide. A strong global leader, the ceramic tile industry of Spain comprises 200 manufacturers concentrated primarily in the province of Castellón. For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL  33134. Call 305-446-4387 or visit www.tileofspainusa.com.
For photography, interviews or questions, please call Lori Dolnick at 609-490-0999 x22 or [email protected]

 

Tenth Annual Arley Classic & Trade Show a Major Success… Once Again!

Arley Wholesale, Inc., a family-owned, third generation wholesale supplier of ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass mosaic tiles and installation materials, hosted its Tenth Annual Arley Classic Tile & Stone Exposition from June 10th-12th, 2012.  The two-day golf tournament, held at the Glen Oak Country Club in Clark’s Summit, PA, was capped off by the Arley Wholesale Tile & Stone Exposition. The Expo took place at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, PA.

Steve Brody, co-owner of Atlas Tile in Weathersfield, CT has attended the Arley Classic Tile & Stone Exposition every year for the past decade. He stated, “We attend Arley’s event because it’s great to meet with other retailers across the country and share ideas.  We know that the products exhibited are priced right and readily available. But in particular, we want to support the professionals at Arley with the same loyalty that they have always extended to us.”

Mauricio Schiebe of Global Porcelain Solutions, a major supplier to Arley said, “When it comes to the tile and stone distributors, there are few companies worldwide that do it better than Arley. The firm recognizes how to have fun, build total enthusiasm and most importantly for companies like mine, knows how to make its customers money with its suppliers’ products and their enhanced distribution system.”

The event finished up Tuesday with the trade show. With 30-plus leading tile and stone manufacturers on-site presenting over 100 individually labeled installed floorboards, over 250 concept boards, 70 grouted panel sets, multiple vignettes and much more, Arley’s event has become a time and cost-saving alternative to national expositions.

Scott Levy, Executive Vice President of Operations for Arley Wholesale has witnessed the annual event grow each year and in doing so, continue to add benefits to those who attend. “Our annual event is a good time for all… and we know that.  We also know that if we don’t help our customers become more successful, if we don’t give them highly-researched, great tile and stone materials and back up those products with strong merchandising tools and marketing ideas, we all lose. We cannot allow that to happen. That’s why our annual event offers them so many benefits and strategic ways to enhance their sales.”

Family-owned for three generations, Arley Wholesale remains the tile and stone supplier of choice by providing exceptional customer service, reliability and value to its customers. Arley Wholesale, Inc. 700 North South Road, Scranton, PA 18504. Call: 800.233.4107. www.arleywholesale.com.

Best Tile Brings Its Distribution Strength to MAPEI Products

MAPEI, a leading manufacturer of tile and stone installation systems in the global market, has partnered with Best Tile, one of the strongest independent distributors on the East Coast of the United States, to provide MAPEI’s total line of products to flooring contractors from North Carolina to Maine.

“We have worked with different members of the Best Tile organization, and now we are very pleased to have the entire group carrying MAPEI mortars and grouts in all 31 locations,” said Steve Cameron, MAPEI’s Sales Director for the northern United States. “Through a mutual effort, we have identified the needs of our market and are prepared to support contractors with a superior distribution network, customer service and technical support.”

Best Tile personnel have attended the MAPEI Technical Institute (MTI) in Deerfield Beach, Florida, to gain added insight into the products and the latest methods for installing tile and stone. MAPEI is also providing training in its new MTI branch at the New Jersey MAPEI manufacturing facility. MAPEI and Best Tile have planned events throughout the summer to introduce and promote MAPEI’s installation products to contractors.

Best Tile represents the strength that independent distributors bring to MAPEI’s efforts to build its brand and grow market share among professional contractors. “We manufacture a heavy product that needs to be warehoused and distributed locally on demand,” Cameron said, “and Best Tile has a superior reputation for reliability and customer service in this region.”

“Best Tile is very pleased to provide a platform for customers to access some of the premier products and brands in the tile, stone and setting material categories,” said Ben Mednick, Vice President of Best Tile.  “As a family-owned independent distributor, with a 57-year presence throughout the East Coast of the United States, we stake our reputation behind the brands that we offer to our broad customer base.  MAPEI represents the type of top-quality brand that we are proud to include in our product line-up.”

Together, Best Tile and MAPEI represent “technology you can build on.”

 

About Best Tile

As one of the largest importers and independent distributors of tile and stone in the United States, Best Tile possesses an unparalleled selection of top-brand tile, stone, setting material, underlayment and accessory products that reflect the highest standards of form and function within any project budget. Whether dealing with a residential remodel or an extensive renovation, a builder-oriented project or a large commercial specification, Best Tile’s professional design consultants and service representatives are ready to help explore options and provide inspiration. With an integrated customer base that includes homeowners, tile contractors, builders, designers and remodelers, trades people, architects and commercial contractors, Best Tile services virtually all channels for tile and stone buyers. From conception through design to project completion, the company’s customer service and superior product quality are structured to achieve total client satisfaction and limitless design possibilities.

About MAPEI

MAPEI Group, with 68 subsidiaries including 59 plants in 28 countries, is today the world leader in the manufacturing of adhesives and complementary products for the installation of all types of floor and wall coverings. The company also specializes in manufacturing other chemical products for building, including waterproofing products, special mortars and admixtures for concrete, products for the restoration of ancient buildings, and special decorative and protective coatings for walls.

Eighteen MAPEI manufacturing facilities are located in the Americas, with headquarters in Deerfield Beach, Florida. MAPEI is an environmentally conscious manufacturer – the company has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2001 and a member of the Canadian Green Building Council since 2008. MAPEI Americas is a registered provider to the AIA/CES program and also offers training related to ceramic and stone tile, floor coverings and concrete repair through the MAPEI Technical Institute. The Quality Management Systems of the majority of MAPEI Americas facilities are ISO 9001 certified. Visit www.mapei.com for technical data or call 1-800-42-MAPEI (1-800-426-2734) for the nearest location.

Coverings Installation Design Awards honors dynamic dozen projects Excellence in design and installation recognized at Coverings

At Coverings this past April, the industry saluted designers and contractors of outstanding tile and stone projects in the first ever Coverings Installation Design Awards. This competition is the evolution of the prestigious Coverings Prism and Spectrum Awards that recognized excellence in design in tile and stone projects and the TileLetter Awards that honored technical excellence in craftsmanship and installation. The Coverings Installation Design (CID) Awards shined a line on both aspects of a projects, acknowledging the critical role collaboration plays in successful and stunning projects. The CID Awards were sponsored by Coverings, TileLetter and NTCA’s newest publication, TADA, Tile for Architects, Designers and Affiliates.

Judges sifted through nearly 75 entries to determine the 12 winners. Judges included Christine Abbate  — Ceramics of Italy, Lori Dolnick  –Tile of Spain, Jennifer Adams —Contemporary Stone & Tile Design/TILE Magazine/Stone World, Jennifer Renzi —Interior Design, Robin Wilson –Robin Wilson Home, Eric Astrachan  –Tile Council of North America,  and Bart Bettiga — NTCA.

The list of winners are as follows:

Residential

Grand Prize Residential: Rosenthal Residence

Walled Lake, Mich.

Designer: David Ellison

Installer: RJH Tile and Stone

Residential Stone: 2012 New American Home

Winter Park, Fla.

Designer: Phil Kean Designs, Inc.

Installer: Girem Tile Work, Inc.

Residential Mosaic/Glass: Bella Leoni

Ada, Mich.

Designer: Signature Outdoor Concepts/Inspired Installations

Installer: Inspired Installations

Residential Tile: Turck Residence

Decatur, Mich.

Designer: Motawi Tileworks

Installer: Harry Underdah

 

Commercial

Grand Prize Commercial: El Andaluz

Santa Barbara, Calif.

Designer: Jeff Shelton Architect

Installer: Dan Upton Construction

Commercial Stone: Atrium

Miami, Fla.

Designer: Insight Design

Installer: Gemini Tile Service

Commercial Mosaic/Glass: Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center

Charlottesville, Va.

Designer: BH+A

Installer: The Ceiling and Floor Shop

Commercial Tile: Palomar Medical Center West

Escondido, Calif.

Designer: Anshen + Allen Architects/CO Architects

Installer: Wirtz Quality Installations

Special Recognition

Historic Renovation: Monroe Skyscraper

Chicago, Ill.

Designer: Holabird & Root/Rookwood Pottery

Installer: DPI

Art in Public Space: The Four Stages of Higher Learning chandelier

GHSU College of Dental Medicine, Augusta, Ga.

Designer/Installer: Paul Pearman

Tile & Stone: Mohegan Sun, Casino of the Earth expansion

Uncasville, Ct.

Designer: Rockwell Group

Installer: Kenneth Castellucci & Associates

Tile & Stone: Hyatt Olive 8 Condominium

Seattle, Wash.

Designer: Mulvanny Architecture G2, Seattle Branch

Installer: Antony Architectural Stone

 

Following are the details of the Grand Prize Residential and Commercial winners

Grand Prize Residential: Rosenthal Residence

Walled Lake, Mich.

Designer: David Ellison

Installer: RJH Tile and Stone

The owner of this 7,500 square-foot lakeside home hadn’t been on hand for much of the construction. So upon arrival at the nearly-complete residence,  horror ensued at the shoddy construction throughout the five bathrooms and stone floors.

Enter contractor RJH Tile and Stone, and designer David Ellison. Since the previous work had to be demolished, the designer-contractor team now had a blank slate from which to work. One man’s nightmare is another man’s blessing, and the vast footage in question offered the team the ability to stretch creatively, using  stock showroom stone cut to size on site to keep costs down on this admittedly lavish project. But by reducing material costs, more could be invested in details and ornaments.

Stone floors were chosen for beauty, low maintenance, and wheelchair maneuverability.

Careful layout was key for every element of this project, with installers giving special attention to detail, such as external corners that were mitered, epoxied, and filled to give them the look of quarried full-thickness stone rather than a veneer. This sumptuous project made the most of materials and stayed on budget.

Richard Horne,RJH Tile and Stone,  designer David Ellison

GP Residential Horne Ellison

Contractor Richard Horne (l.c.) and designer David Ellison (r.c.) accept the Grand Prize Residential Award from TileLetter/TADA publisher Bart Bettiga (r.) and TileLetter/TADA editor Lesley Goddin (l.)

Rosenthal Bacchus

Rosenthal detail2

Rosenthal detail

Rosenthal fish

Rosenthal master bath

Rosenthal Master Bedroom

Rosenthal medallion

Rosenthal tub

Grand Prize Commercial: El Andaluz

Santa Barbara, Calif.

Designer: Jeff Shelton Architect

Installer: Dan Upton Construction

This mixed-use project contains seven residential units nested around a large tiled courtyard on the upper two floors. At street level on the first floor, two commercial units anchor the project and a tiled roof deck on the fourth floor overlooking the city. Santa Barbara’s architectural guidelines are based on Mediterranean and Spanish motifs and as such, plentiful tile use is encouraged. Designer Jeff Shelton took full advantage of this, dedicating a tenth of the budget to ceramic, cement and marble tile.

Eight elliptical arches sport 1″ x 8″ custom ceramic tiles that were splattered with glaze, then mixed up and installed to give depth and a sense of Moorish writing flowing throughout the arches.  Exterior walls of the commercial units are covered in twelve-by-twelve-inch patterned cement tile : one with a bird pattern reminiscent of Escher, another with a giant swarming ant motif.

Falling Fuscia cement riser tiles bloom on the main stairs leading to the flowering courtyard on the second floor. The courtyard itself is an explosion of tile from the planters to fountains, benches and the zigzag bricks on the floor. Nasturtium cement riser tiles lead to the third floor; loggia tiles are floral cement on one side and a fish motif on the other.

All units are flowing with vibrant 12″ x 12″ tiles on the floors, and marble-covered bathroom walls and kitchen counters. Exterior decks sport 1/4″ ceramic tile. From the commercial-level arches to the residential units, great care in design and excellence in installation impart a sense of warmth, timelessness and character to the entire project.

installer Dan Upton and architect Jeff Shelton

 

GP Commercial winner Shelton w Bart and Lesley

Architect Jeff Shelton (c.) accepts the Grand Prize Commercial Award from TileLetter/TADA publisher Bart Bettiga (r.) and TileLetter/TADA editor Lesley Goddin (l.)

El Andaluz arch entry

El Andaluz bench

El Andaluz courtyard detail

El Andaluz courtyard

El Andaluz entry stair

El Andaluz

 

More winners to come…..

LATICRETE Hosts CTEF Installation Certification Program

LATICRETE, a global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry, hosted a Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) contractor certification event at its Bethany, CT world headquarters on May 10th.

An educational institution that offers local, regional and national training programs for those focused on the installation of ceramic tile, CTEF’s tile installer certification program is a non-proprietary, standards-based regimen that ensures installer skill level with strong industry backing. It was created as a means for consumers to identify tile contractors committed to providing quality installations.

Co-hosting this event was Tile America, the leading tile retailer with 30 stores stretching from Vermont to North Carolina. “This is a growing program because certified installers are in such demand,” said Steve Rampino, LATICRETE Technical Services Training Supervisor. “CTEF certification involves both an online written test, and a physical installation test.  Although the installation is small in terms of physical size, it takes most people about eight hours and is frankly, very challenging. It really measures the skill of the installer.”

“Scott Carothers, CTEF President, was here to direct the event,” continued Rampino. “Without question, he really put the installers to the test. We at LATICRETE share the same philosophy that CTEF has relative to ‘doing it right.’ That’s one reason why this event was so successful. We both believe that the best tile contractor is one who is committed to continually learning about and upgrading installation techniques.”

LATICRETE International, Inc. is a US-based, family-owned global manufacturer and leader of premium installation and finishing systems for the building industry.  LATICRETE® products are produced and distributed worldwide in the commercial and consumer channels.  The company’s philosophy of innovation and technical expertise has led to an unparalleled reputation and commitment to superior quality, performance and customer service. Manufactured in state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2008 certified facilities, LATICRETE offers a broad product portfolio including an extensive line of low VOC sustainable products independently certified by GREENGUARD. LATICRETE®, LATAPOXY®, SpectraLOCK®, Hydro Ban® and DRYTEK® are registered brands of LATICRETE International, Inc. Corporate Website: www.laticrete.com.

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