Last month in this space, I reviewed a series of market projections for 2014 from Harvard University as well as the industry’s leading associations.
The latest botanical line from Suzanne Crane juxtaposes natural images and geometric lines. The company, headed by husband-and-wife team Suzanne and Matthew Crane, manufactures its tiles with time-tested old-world methods: a slab roller, copper tile cutters, stoneware clay and a reduction kiln. Because the designers take specimens directly from the surrounding creek beds and forests near their studio, no two tiles are ever identical. The company has a variety of 6-inch by 6-inch and 4-inch by 4-inch botanical tiles available and can create custom work as well.
"Mesquite" tiles by Ann Sacks are crafted entirely of mesquite wood from Texas. Because the wood is dense, is has a minimum amount of warping and absorption characteristics. The tiles are available in natural finish without UV protection, which will eventually turn reddish in color; natural finish with UV protection that will remain brown; or walnut stain. The tiles are butt-jointed for application with a strong adhesive.
Ceramic and porcelain tile-maker Mediterranea introduces Tantra, it's latest fully rectified glazed porcelain collection. Produced using five-head, jumbo-roll technology, it is offered in five sizes and comes with a matching bullnose and all trim accessories. The tiles are also available in a mesh-backed mosaic sheet. The line is available in four colors: balance (beige), enlightenment (gold), tranquility (bronze) and wisdom (rust).
Zar Ultra Max Floor finish is a waterborne oil modified polyurethane that meets all VOC regulations. Produced by United Gilsonite Laboratories, it is a clear wood finish meant for heavily used floors. The finish is self-leveling with little odor and dries to the touch after 30 minutes. It is available in a 100 oz. and 200 oz. jug in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens.
Brush-on finishing gels from Birchwood Casey are made for antiquing or blackening iron, steel, copper, brass and bronze. The gel clings to vertical surfaces and stays where it's applied without forming runs and drips or bleeding onto adjoining surfaces. After application, reaction time takes about 2–8 minutes depending on the depth of color desired. The resulting finish adheres tightly and can be highlighted or distressed.
Ultralite translucent coloration glass tiles from Ultra Glas feature lead-free pigments fused directly into the glass itself. It comes in thicknesses ranging from 1/8 to ¾ inch and has multiple finishing options. The tiles may be tempered or laminated to meet codes for safety glass. Dozens of colors are available and custom colors may be specified. Samples are available upon request.
Loctite Sumo Glue from Henkel Consumer Adhesives is a waterproof polyurethane adhesive that sets three times faster than traditional polyurethane glue with less foaming. It dries translucent/white and fully cures in 24 hours, after which the product can be sanded, painted and stained to disguise glue lines.
The Builders Solution Interior Coating System and ProMar 200 XP Interior Latex from Sherwin-Williams work in tandem for walls and finishing applications. The coating, which includes a latex surface and latex topcoat, minimizes drywall imperfections and can be used in touch-up jobs. The ProMar 200 XP Flat uses a high-build formula that finishes in one less coat.
Designers Massimiliano Fuksas, Tord Boontje, Carlo Dal Bianco, Marco Braga and Claudio Silvestrin all contributed to Ceramic Tiles of Italy's latest tile offerings. Fuksas' Sculpture is a 10-inch by 16-inch porcelain series that can be laid vertically or horizontally on interior or exterior applications. Other artists' lines have similar properties but each is vastly different in style.
The Ultra duty poly is a moisture-curing, polyurethane-based construction adhesive that will work on a variety of substrates and can be applied in temperatures ranging from 40°F to 300°F. It has a low VOC content for both interior and exterior applications and typically cures within 8 to 12 hours. Each cartridge covers roughly 30 lineal feet and meets ASTM D 3498 for subfloor work.
Glass tile medallions custom-made by Oceana measure 36×36 inches and are available in three color schemes: earth, shades of gray and crazy. The medallions can be used vertically and horizontally in locations such as shower walls, backsplashes or entryways. Remodelers or homeowners can create a design of their own.
Decorative wall shower panel kits can be installed on the walls of most standard showers with no trimming required. Panels can be glued over existing walls. The panels are available in 33 solid and granite colors and six designs. Kits include side-wall panels, back-wall panels corner molding strips, corner soap dishes, adhesive tubes, caulk and pressure-sensitive tape.
King Kaulk is a multi-purpose hybrid polymer caulk, sealant and adhesive from Red Devil. Once cured, it resists UV rays and mildew with low VOC and little odor. It can also be used on concrete and masonry and meets ASTM C920.
NOW is a double-pressed porcelain tile that is 3/8 of an inch thick and comes in several rectangular shapes and in several sizes. A single bullnose trim piece is available. The cone-shaped edges of the tiles allow for a more sung fit and slip resistance. The line, made by Crossville, is offered in five colors: rust, lead, moss, sand and amber.
No Strip wallpaper primer, sold under the Golden Harvest brand by Roman Decorating Products, readies walls for re-painting or wallpapering by covering bold colors, patterns and faux finishes in usually one coat. The primer also features mildew protection.
The Rembrandt polymer stain from Kemiko is an acrylic urethane-based stain low in VOC. It can be applied to prepared concrete, plaster, polymer cement and wood as a stain, wash or faux finish. It dries to the touch in an hour and fully cures within 48 hours. Each gallon covers 150–300 square feet. It can be used on interior and exterior surfaces.
Stayflex thin set, designed by Bonsal American, bonds large ceramic tile, marble and natural stone to walls without slippage or sag (up to 11 pounds). While it is designed for walls and ceilings, it is also suitable for floors and meets ANSI A.118.4 and A.118.11 standards and works over drywall, cement backerboard or any other cement substrate.
The 400 heavy duty construction adhesive by PL from parent company OSI Sealants is formulated for both interior and exterior work on wood, metal or concrete. It even allows for extrusion when applied in temperatures below 40 degrees and is waterproof and weatherproof.
The Miyo residential tile flooring system, from Armstrong is comprised of vinyl tiles that can be mixed and matched. A grid liner helps plan the layout and because the flooring is applied to the grid liner first, the tiles can be removed in time to change to the remodeler's or homeowner's specifications. Several colors are available.
The Everclear breathable acrylic sealer is designed for decorative concrete. Made by Euclid Chemical Co., it allows moisture inside the concrete to evaporate through the sealer film and doesn't flake or peel. It meets all EPA and COC regulations, and can be used to seal residential concrete pavement.
The Olympic line from PPG Industries is a zero-VOC, low-odor and color-neutral interior latex paint. The line also has a range of stain, toner and over 1200 paint colors available. It features a limited 15-year warranty and is available at Lowe's, Home Depot and most major retail chains.
Pyran Star Laminated fire-rated glass-ceramic is 5/16 inch thick and UL classified for fire-rated requirements up to 90 minutes. It is impact-resistant and conforms to positive pressure test standards. Its sister line, Narima, (shown) is specially designed for exterior applications for both residential and commercial.
Light to medium water damage on ceilings can be covered with Kilz's latex primer-based Stainblocking Ceiling paint. It is pink when applied and white when dry and can be used as a primer or topcoat. It works well on porous materials, especially in drywall work and on textured or smooth ceiling surfaces.
Cut to form by a waterjet process and then mesh-mounted, Saicis' Papalla line of floor and outdoor tile is made with unglazed porcelain in chiaro (light) and scuro (dark) earth tones that mimic the look the Romans used. Though initially designed for outdoor applications, the tiles are 16mm thick and are moisture and stain resistant. Three different module sizes are available.
Teaming up with historical millwork expert Brent Hull, Windsor Mill — under its WindsorOne line — released a collection of mouldings and trim patterns typically found in historic American homes. The collaboration produced four lines: The Classic Colonial, Greek Revival (shown), Classical Craftsman and Colonial Revival are in relief from crown to base.
Offered in unfinished maple, oak, cherry, 100% recycled brushed aluminum and black leather finishing, Outwater's Exotic Weave Tiles are available in 8 inches by 8 inches with a 1 5/8 inch slat and 12 inches by 12 inches with a 2 5/8 inch slat formats. The tiles can be used on unadorned walls or ceilings with a minimal amount of ceiling height lost.
Designed to repel moisture as a part of Fortifiber's moisture control wall system as well as on any other building products, the Moistop EZ Seal Flashing sealant is made specifically for window and door installations. It has a 48-hour ASTM D-779 water resistance.
Designed for kitchens and showers, Hakatai's mesh-backed Ashland series is available in a mosaic glass format. Each tile is handmade with rough-cut edges and shade variances in a variety of colors, including the Classic series in a light blue/ice green blend (shown) and sky blue. The company's custom blending and gradient options are available online.
The Sidewinder polymer siding and window sealant from DAP features fully-colored cartridges. It has virtually no VOCs and has a low odor and can be applied in extreme temperatures, even in the rain. The formula cures in 24 hours, is tack-free in 30 minutes and is paintable in two hours. The sealant is available in 12 colors.