More on the floor

1-It’s a small world after all

Ciot is known as a large-scale tile and slab stone surfaces monger. But at IDS13 the venerable company announced that it has added a new service to its offering: that of custom-made artistic mosaics. Employing the talents of Igor Marziali, a master mosaic artist from Italy’s La Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli mosaic academy, Ciot can now turn whatever graphic whim you have into a finely detailed mosaic from the Ciot Fabbrica workshop, the only one in Canada to design and manufacture mosaic, stone and solid surface products under the ISO seal of quality.

2—Sing the blues

Florida Tile’s newest porcelain floor and wall tile line, called Cliffside, is modelled after traditional Vermont slate, known for its deep monochromatic blue/grey tones. This new line is designed using its HDP (High Definition Porcelain) technology to reproduce not only the stone look, but also its strong cleft texture through a variation of punches. Made in the U.S. of 40-per-cent post-industrial recycled content, it is Greenguard and Porcelain Tile Certified.

3—Simple gravitas

Delicate layers of cool greys and soft browns build an earthy palette in Softline Coco by Amtico International. The abstract, versatile yet unpretentious design of this high-performance vinyl tile makes it suitable for corporate, hospitality, healthcare and educational interiors. Softline Coco has a urethane coating and bevelled edges and is low-VOC and FloorScore certified; it can be reclaimed after its first lifetime of use and returned to Amtico’s recycling program.

4—Hot rodders

Dur-A-Flex, Inc. used World of Concrete 2013 in Las Vegas (a town that is no stranger to all things bling) to debut Reflexions, the newest in its line-up of decorative flooring systems. Using advancements in effects pigments, Reflexions is a souped-up version of the company’s poured-in-place resin flooring systems. Enhancement with UV stability, extending the life of the floor, and VOC-compliance make the system eligible for LEED credits.

5—Natural currents

Striations by Armstrong Commercial Flooring is an environmentally friendly BioBased tile collection that mimics
the look of time-weathered stone and wood. Winner of a 2012 Good Design award (often considered the Oscars of industrial design), the non-PVC tile is composed of 85-per-cent North American limestone, 10-per-cent pre-consumer recycled limestone, and contains Armstrong’s BioStride polymer, which is derived from rapidly renewable domestic corn.

6—“‘tis to glory we steer”

“Heart of Oak” is the official march
of several Commonwealth navies, including our Royal Canadian Navy. Now, thanks to Dinesen (and quite coincidentally), we have something to march on. With HeartOak, the Danish firm processes the tree in a gentle way to preserve the natural cracks in the floor planks that tell the story of a hundred years of nature. As a particularly beautiful detail, the cracks are locked by dovetail joints of oak.

7—Manners, please!

Crossville, Inc. introduced Manoir, a new porcelain tile collection inspired by renowned American manors and estates, at the Surfaces Expo in Las Vegas in January. Intentionally soft and modest, the line is meant to offer an elegance and traditional earthen look to soften contemporary colour palettes. The tiles contain a minimum of four-per-cent pre-consumer recycled content and are Green Squared certified.

8—A little more action

Shaw Commercial Hard Surfaces’s most recent addition to its vinyl product collection, Uncommon Ground, is a departure from its more sober cousins, and features 48 colours to complement a myriad of design schematics. The line comes in 24 wood pattern options ranging from modern European to traditional American cherry and maple species, and also includes clever visuals such as olivewood and the abstract, striated Zen design. Constructed as a 3mm, glue-down LVP with a heavy commercial grade wear layer, planks are finished with Shaw’s ExoGuard topcoat, reinforced with quartz for more wear resistance than basic urethane finishes.

9—Doin’ floors big time

Instead of just releasing one or two new lines a year, like many companies, Torlys has reinvented its entire line of cork floors to include 40 styles, all of which are FSC-certified; some even come in six-foot lengths, the first in the industry to do so. The new lines come in two collections – Florence (shown) and Classic – and feature trendier colours and thicker bevelled edges.

10—Sk8r’s life

Imagine Tile, known for its use of high-resolution imagery on commercially-rated ceramic tile, has collaborated with Art of Board, a skateboarding lifestyle brand, to develop The Art of Board Collection: a photo-realistic tile that incorporates a ragged skateboard’s scratches, gouges and worn graphics. Currently available as wall tiles, a floor tile line suitable for both interior and exterior use is expected later this spring. The tiles contain no VOCs; made with pre-consumer recycled materials and resistant to strong chemicals, they are unaffected by UV lighting.

11—Group-think floors

Commercial rubber floor giant Nora decided to “open source” its newest product for commercial facilities, particularly schools and hospitals, and brought together designers from across North America to drive the design and colour selection. The result is Noraplan Sentica, which features a subtle tone-on-tone design and a palette of 38 colours – 32 standard and six accents – available in 2mm and 3mm rolls and tiles, and in acoustic and electrostatic dissipative options.

12—Ripe for the picking

The collection of colourful natural dyes of Shaw Hospitality Group’s
new (and appropriately named) Vivid Palette carpet line – for guest rooms and public spaces – sounds like a grocery list from the produce section: beets, madder root, onion skins, eucalyptus, and more. And by weaving, twisting, bundling, dipping then dying them, the carpets come out in more random patterns evocative of their natural inspirations.


The proud recipient of a Best Booth Design award at IDS13, Tiptoe Rugs by AliStar (the brainchild of Toronto carpet designer Alyssa McMurter) turned heads with its whimsical line of children’s rugs made from 100-per-cent industrial-strength felted Merino wool that has been intensively steamed and compressed to make a soft, flat surface, ideal for play. Currently the little-firm-that-can carries three collections – Art Rugs, Building Blocks and Animal Friends (shown) – that come in 21 vibrant colours.

14—When not designing buildings…

Like they don’t have enough to do designing projects around the globe, the whiz kids at the international firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects collaborated with Bentley Prince Street on their ninth carpet collection, Modern Motion. Featuring a lively large-scale pattern of intertwining spheres and elegant colour lines, it is available in broadloom, carpet tile and area rugs intended for corporate, healthcare, hospitality and educational settings.

15—Like grandma used to make

Needle Tech is a four-pattern collection from Tandus Flooring that projects a highly textural, hand-stitched look similar to the construction of needlepoint, crochet and traditional Japanese origami. To create this aesthetic, Tandus explored new yarn proce
ssing and tufting techniques that mimic the appearance of cut/uncut pile on a solution-dyed, loop-pile construction. Since its release, Needle Tech has been scooping up awards, such as the Best of Year Award for Broadloom Carpet in Interior Design’s 2012 Product Competition, a Best of NeoCon Gold and IIDEX Gold Innovation Award.

16—Desert flower

Inspired by old-fashioned rugs reminiscent of nomadic desert cultures, when rugs originally served to protect people from the ground yet also defined the space, Nanimarquina’s new Medina collection is made using the kilim, or flat tapestry-woven carpet techniques from north Pakistan.