Saturday, February 2, 2008

Amore quelli italiani!

We love those Italians.
There are so many places in the world to see, but Italy is one of those places we could never get tired of. They have wonderful food, architecture (both historic and modern), art and product design. Some Italian things we love are:

Leather shoes


Renaissance Art

Modern kitchens

Pizza (the real, wood-burning oven variety

and Ceramic Tile

Yes, the Italians are always on the cutting edge when it comes to ceramic tile. When confronted with a plethora of tile, we are always drawn to those from Italy. Some of the current trends for tile are: porcelain tile that looks like metal or wood, glass tiles and tiles with images imprinted or embossed. There are so many great tiles out there, it can be mind-boggling to make a choice.

A few weeks ago, we spent a couple of hours at the Kate-Lo showroom in Plymouth. When we walked into the showroom, my immediate thought was that Kevin and I would NEVER be able to make a decision because there are so many choices and that any decisions could likely take all day. (Although it’s easy for Architects to make decisions for other people, it’s really hard to make decisions for ourselves…..) We were fortunate enough to get help from Diane with Kate-Lo. She listened carefully and was able to focus us in on some beautiful options. Within two hours, we left with nearly all our decisions made. ( a miracle of sorts!)

We first started with looking at Crossville’s Eco series. This tile contains 40% recycled content, but the rustic,earthy look is not what we were looking for in a tile. All ceramic tiles have sustainable qualities, in that they have a long life cycle, are inert and odorless.. They are made from natural clay baked at very high temperatures. Some of the issues are in the manufacturer of tiles, but most manufacturers are addressing the environmental issues and trying to lessen the impact on the environment.

We had seen a beautiful tile on display at the Kate-Lo booth at the AIA convention this year and wanted to see if we could use it for our project. The tile is 12”x24” in size and is called Glow by Atlas Concorde (Italian company) It has a linear, rough texture and metallic sheen that makes it look like silk fabric. We're going to use the dark grey color.The great thing about this tile is that it has a coordinating small mosaic tile that can be used in the shower, so that the floor tile will all look consistent. (shower tile must be smaller in size so that they can be installed to slope to the drain).
For the master bath shower wall, we are going to use a white tile that looks like metal. Our original choice is to use the 1.5” x 4” tile laid in a vertical stacked bond. The larger 13” x 13” tile in this same color is quite a bit less expensive, so depending on where our budget lands, we might use the large tile.

The tile at the other shared bathroom will be similar neutral colors with a grey ColorBlox 6"x12" tile on the floor and a coordinating 3”x3” grey tile for the shower. The walls will be the 13” x13” white metal-look tile, like the master bath. There will be one bold color wall with orange glass tile.

Crossville ColorBlox & GlassBlox

We are really excited about these tiles and can’t wait to get the project to the point when they can be installed. Pazienza รจ necessaria.

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