October 2019

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OCTOBER 2019 | 31 Tiles The large format tile trend continues by LAURIE JONES S tyle and technology continue to blend in harmony in the tile industry, with new designs addressing a variety of looks to suit any office or home. Ames Tile & Stone is excited to be Western Canada's source for the collection of Diesel Living with Iris Ceramica. "This line, created in Italy, is a clear translation of the brand's lifestyle and attitude into the design world with powerful and eclectic ceramic tiles," says Lorie Grant, director of A&D for Ames Tile & Stone. "The collection brings surprising plays of patterns and contrasts." Metal Perf Series is a lived-in collection revealing the signs of the passage of time. "Materials like iron, copper, and bronze are interpreted celebrating a glori- ous past with vintage elegance," says Grant. "Fun colours such as Metal Perf Tinny, Metal Perf Wolf, Metal Perf Flux, Metal Perf Gloom, and Metal Perf Reddish make up this line." Also available from Ames Tile & Stone is the Grunge Concrete Series, which is the inspiration of urban concrete, consumed and worn by time. This tile co- ordinates perfectly with all the other Diesel tiles. Another popular option from Ames is the Industrial Glass Series that has overtones of industrial archaeology. "The typical outdoor glass of industrial windows enters the home and participates in interior design as if created for this very purpose," explains Grant. "The tiles are combined to form wall panels, which include metals and craquele textures. The panels consist of different textures and build up to a whole with a really special effect." And then there's the Combustion Crackle Series, which is the on-trend Japanese look of burnt wood. "These new lines are a fun and unique grouping of creative tile for Ames," says Grant. W H AT ' S H O T When it comes to trends, not much has changed here in North America as large format porcelain panels (also known as gauged porcelain) continue to be the pop- ular style of choice. "As contractors, our first access was a product named Kerlite that was 3.5-millimetres thick with a mesh backing and very fragile. The products have come a long way since Kerlite and the common thickness of six-millimetres Living Large is the standard tile application for both floors and walls. The products are much stronger and come in a seemingly unlimited variety of finishes from numerous manufacturers," explains Brent Fisher, general manager for Flesher Marble & Tile. Fisher notes that the attraction of these products to the design community is that the monolithic panel has fewer grout joints to maintain, but that the draw- back has been cost: "Although the material costs are coming down with increased competition, the installation community has been slow to embrace these large format pieces," he explains. While stronger than the previous generation of panels, the risk of material breakage is still very high so waste percentages can drive up contract costs. "Contractor acceptance of gauged porcelain is increasing with product popularity and a general understanding of special work conditions required for application success," says Fisher. "Tile contractors have accepted that the products are here to stay so training employees in particular material handling methods and specific product applications have increased in recent years. It's not 12 by 12 and the good contractors get it." T E C H N O L O G Y R U L E S Planning a successful tile project can be both time consuming and challenging. The new Schluter-APP puts all the necessary Schluter resources in one place – on any iPhone or Android mobile device. Information on all Schluter's systems and solutions can be found on the app. It can be used for every facet of project plan- ning, from measuring the space, all the way through to pricing and connecting with an authorized dealer. White Scratch + Black Rebel tile from Ames Tile & Stone; Large format tile from Flesher Marble & Tile.

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