BY CHARLYNE VARKONYI SCHAUB
Tile gets more sophisticated and innovative each year.
Color is coming back, but forget about the dated pink or blue bathrooms of the past.
Digital technology has turned ceramic into look-a-likes for wood, marble and granite. Digital printing also allows manufacturers to produce smaller batches of a new collection to see how it will sell before making a commitment.
Welcome to the name game. Fashion designer Roberto Cavalli and musician/designer Lenny Kravitz have introduced collections.
Here are some tile collections from the recent 2012 Coverings show in Orlando which may reinvigorate your kitchen and bath.
1. Cavalli chic
Fashion designer Roberto Cavalli introduced Diva Damasco Nero, a ceramic tile with the look of wallpaper, for Ceramiche Ricchetti. The tile, which has the same sophistication as his clothing designs, has a suggested retail price of $35 to $45 a square foot. Can be ordered from Rainbow Tile, 1800 N. Powerline Road, Pompano Beach, 33069, 954-972-8001, www.rainbowtile.com.
2. Glassic, a classic
Seneca Tiles, a former Miami company now in Ohio, introduced Glassic, an attractive cracked glass fused to high-fired stoneware. It is available in 21 colors and sells for $35 a square foot. Available at Ceramic Matrix in Miami, West Palm Beach and Delray Beach. See www.ceramicmatrix.com.
3. Surfside style
Maui, a tile made of stone and glass with a motif reminiscent of surfboards, is a perfect solution for a backsplash in a kitchen or a wall in a powder room. It comes in Calacatta Gold, Bianco Carrara and La Leaf – Silver. Suggested retail prices range from $84-$146 a square foot based on materials selected. Available at Ceramic Matrix in Miami, West Palm Beach and Delray Beach. See www.ceramicmatrix.com.
4. Ecological example
Re-use is a color porcelain from Emil Ceramica Group’s Provenza brand, made from recycled concrete and marble slated for the landfill. It was developed with ink-jet technology to mimic the look of marble and with isostatic pressing to create a texture to make it appear as if it has been worn by time and use. Suggested retail for the 18-36-inch size is $8.50 a square foot and the 12-by-12 inch mesh mounted mosaic is $26. It comes in three colors and matte and polished finishes. Order through Tamiami Tile of Delray, 1085 SW 15th Ave., Delray Beach, 33444, 561-272-8453, www.tamiamitile.com.
5. Coloring your world
Tired of too many neutrals? Cerim introduced the Vanity Collection for the bathroom in Lily, Rose, Peony, Purple, Violet and Aubergine. Sizes include 20-by-20 inches and a mosaic. Prices available upon request. Available at Specialty Tile Products, 838 Orange Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789, 407-647-9355, www.specialtytile.com 407-647-9355, www.specialtytile.com.
6. Kravitz cool
Musician/designer Lenny Kravitz, who founded Kravitz Design in 2003, introduced Goccia, a 3-D tile that he describes as an architectural statement. The design, which represents a drop of water, was done in collaboration with Lea Ceramiche and is available in black or white with a glossy or matte finish. Suggested retail is $18.85 for a 5.1-inch square to $26.55 for a 16-by-4 inch piece. Distributor Lea Ceramiche can be reached at email@example.com or 704-522-6300 for retailers when it becomes available.