Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUL 2014

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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while others evoked concrete or old metal. These rough-looking tiles typi- cally offered slip resistance, fitting the newest standard, and spanned the globe in origin. TILE GETS CLEAN AND GREEN There were some interesting technol- ogy trends at the show. One was a trend toward self-cleaning or anti-bacterial tiles. Italian brand Lea was ofering the anti-microbial element Microban (prob- ably best known to kitchen and bath designers for its inclusion in Silestone countertops) in its tiles. Closer to home, American brand Crossville debuted Hydrotect, which is both clean and green, as a feature of its new tile series. Italian brand Casalgrande Padana also offers Hydrotect technology in its Bios s er ie s . Hyd r ote c t's clean credentials come from its ability to deter germs and dirt from sticking to the tile. It s g reen poi nt s come from the fact that it's made from recycled Toto toilets. Also on the recycled front were Spa n ish t i le ma ker Togama's recycled glass mosaics from construc- tion site debris. THIN IS STILL IN Ultra-thin slabs are still a hot commodity. They're used for foors (sometimes being laid over existing foor- ing when the original surface is smooth and level), walls, cabinetry cladding and countertops. The widest slabs are still being made in Italy and Spain, but European brands like Fiandre are mak- ing their thin tiles in the U.S. now, too. The technology isn't here yet to make the oversized thin tiles suitable for covering large kitchen islands, but that could change with increased mar- ket demand for porcelain and ceramic slab countertops in this market. PRINTING AND PRODUCTION GET SOPHISTICATED For the past few years, porcelain tile has gotten increasingly agile in its ability to mimic natural materials, es- pecially wood and stone. Italian brand Mirage upped the ante with its book- matched Calacatta. Up until now, that look could only be the result of a high- end natural stone installation. That, of course, meant a high-end budget and post-installation maintenance to keep it looking great. Another interesting stone advance was Marble Tech, Mexican tile con- glomerate Porcelanite Lamosa's natural marble laminated over porcelain sub- strate. Comparable to wood veneer on cabinetry, Marble Tech gives you the real material at a real deal. It's fair to say that improved production process- es are democratizing luxury in the tile sector, just as they have in high-end cabinetry features such as soft-close doors and drawers. Italian tile maker Del Conca ofers a wood-look tile that installs like engi- neered wood or laminate called Fast; American brand Images in Tile has cre- ated dry erase boards in tile. The pace of innovation in this indus- try is breathtaking. Every trade show ofers new game changers. If you're only specify- ing tile for kitchen and bath foor and wall applica- tions, you're missing out on its amazing style, versatility and low maintenance benefts. Start considering staircases, accent walls, outdoor kitchens (with matching indoor tile), freplaces, exte- riors and even bedrooms (with radiant heat fooring installations). Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS is an inde- pendent designer in San Diego, the author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work (Taunton Press), and a blogger, design journalist, seminar developer and industry consultant. Circle No. 17 on Product Card ⑤ Woods blend with metallic and graphic looks. ⑦ Here, marble is rendered in tile. ⑧ Glass and metal blend in linear mosaics. ⑨ The wood-look trend gets a glossy look. Photo: Ceramica Sant'Agostino Photo: Mirage Photo: American Olean ❺ ❼ ❽ ❾ KBD_30-31_TrendSpotting.indd 31 6/16/14 1:51 PM

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