Sometimes Slimmer Is Better

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

SLIM_smMost everyone loves the look of natural stone on vertical surfaces.  It complements beautiful floor coverings and can add character and richness to commercial or residential interiors.  Not only that, but stone seems to have a timeless quality in the realm of interior design.  But for several critical reasons, designers have had limitations as to where and when they could specify natural stone:

  • First of all, budget is always a consideration.  While the look of natural stone may be expansive, sometimes the client’s budget is not quite as expansive.
  • Then there is the challenge of installation, especially in high vertical areas, because of the inherent weight of natural stone.
  • Finally, curved and radius surfaces have historically been impossible applications for stone or slate.  Couldn’t be done, until now…

Daltile has come to the rescue.  They identified an important segment of the hard surface market that desperately needed a creative specialty product–something that would address each of the obstacles mentioned above.  The solution:  Slimlite Slate & Quartzite, a new surfacing product that uses state-of-the-art technology to address these specific issues. According to Linnea Graves, Daltile’s Anaheim, CA Gallery Manager, Slimlite has some stunning characteristics:

“Actual slate and quartzite stones are sliced into very thin layers and then are bonded to fiberglass/polyester backing to create a strong yet pliable piece of stone.  This process allows Slimlite Slate & Quartzite to be used as an interior and/or exterior facade for installations over existing surfaces which include aluminum, concrete, cement, gypsum, MDF/HDF, ceramic, drywall and many other surfaces.”

You may have to re-read that paragraph to let it truly sink in. The implications of how this product can be used are pretty incredible (not only for designers, who can now be ultra-creative in their designs, but for you—the homeowner).  Slimlite allows you to transform any area into an elegant space, at a fraction of the cost of traditional stone.  And, given the line-up of materials over which it can be installed, consider the savings you will have not tearing out old materials (and less mess).

And let us not neglect to say that the ease of handling this lighter-weight material is a real problem-solver for the installer.  Slimlite Slate and Quartzite weigh less that 0.5 lbs. per square foot and are about 1/8” thick.  Panels are available 12” x 24” and 24” x 48”.  Need something bigger to solve your decorating dilemma?  Don’t despair.  Custom orders are available, up to 35” x 94”.  There are six colors to choose from and Daltile does plan on stocking those colors.

I love to bring you good news, and this is definitely great news.  Daltile has done it again–found a way to be true innovators in the world of hard surface design.  This product is a problem-solver and “solution products” are usually the hottest new products on the market.   We need to give Daltile a big “thank-you” for thinking “outside-the-proverbial-box”!

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

Couture Hits The Runway and Your Floors!

Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Shaw Industries has done amazing things with their Anso® Nylon brand, positioning it as a premier brand in the marketplace. If you are familiar with Anso®, you may already know some of these important facts:

Assurance: Unbeatable Warranty Coverage

  • Warranted for over 40 years and over a billion of yards of Anso® nylon on floors throughout North America.
  • Anso® nylon was the first and holds the distinction of the longest continuous fiber brand over 40 years.
  • All Anso® nylon styles are certified for performance with comprehensive warranties: transferable, labor included, non-prorated, stairs and hallways included.

CARPET TO CARPET™: Never Needs to go to the Landfill

  • All Anso® nylon is designed to be recycled and is SCS certified with 25% post-consumer carpet content.
  • Anso® nylon has also been Cradle-to-Cradle™ certified by MBDC.
  • Shaw recycles more carpet than all others combined…over 100 million pounds in the past 12 months alone.

This roster of facts is pretty impressive on its own, but when you add to that the exceptional styling of their newest introductions, you really have some big news in floor coverings. Let’s take a closer look at Shaw’s couture Collection…

SHAW-DESIGNERS-VISION_250Designer’s Vision is well-named because it was conceived by Shaw’s talented design staff. This is a sculpted cut & loop product that is constructed of fine-denier yarns to give it a soft, luxurious feel. It’s indulgent and offers some amazing colors.




CLASSICALCHIC_250Classical Chic is one of my favorites. Designed as a large-format, tailored grid pattern, it has an English gentry look to it. It’s perfect for a home library, home theater, casual family room or den.




TAILORED-LUXURY_250Tailored Luxury is the bold, striped companion to Classical Chic and they share a common color line so you can mix and match to your heart’s content.





SHAW-PERFECTLY-SUITED_250Perfectly Suited has character, definition and strong appeal. A smaller scale, well-defined weave, it gives a tailored look to any room.





SHAW-UNIQUE-CHARM_250Unique Charm echoes the styling of Perfectly Suited, but with a bit larger, blocked repeat to the weave. It has a natural, earthy look to warm up interiors.





CALABRIA_250Calabria is the final style I’d like to highlight in this collection, and although it is not a brand new introduction, it continues to be one of the most unique in the market.  When so many styles are linear or geometric, along came Calabria with its fluid circles in a woven relief pattern.  It’s fun, energetic, yet still soft on the eyes and underfoot.  Definitely a long-term winner!




Without a doubt, couture is an inspired collection overall. Shaw takes the time to survey interior designers across the country to get their reactions and suggestions on experimental products. And when a super-mill like Shaw takes the time and effort to listen to working designers, the result becomes stunning, live-able carpet styles that are designed to please YOU!

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.