Going “Downtown”

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

downtown_roomLos Angeles based Emser Tile prides itself in delivering “first-to-market” products.  That descriptive quote (taken right from the Emser Tile website) intrigued me, so I decided to research it further to see just how they could substantiate such a powerful statement.

What I found out is that Emser Tile has quite a presence domestically.  Currently there are 55 sales and service locations, 2 distribution centers, and over 2 million square feet of warehouse space.  Now that’s a commitment!  But just as important, Emser has carefully built a global infrastructure with factory liaisons in 20 countries.  That’s a lot of statistical info to take in, I know, but it’s important because of how it translates.  With liaisons in twenty countries, this is a production network that brings focus to international design trends, global technologies, and the kind of innovation that deserves attention.

Just as expansive as their physical presence, is the breadth and range of their product line.  They address both commercial and residential markets, offering unique interior and exterior products.  Their comprehensive range of products includes:  porcelain, ceramic, metal, glass, quarry, decorative accents, mosaics, cut-to-size stone, setting materials and even custom-designed products.  (When they said “comprehensive” product line, they obviously meant it!)

This blog was sparked by a product launch bulletin Emser sent me as part of an e-blast to ASID designers.  The brand new product announced was “Downtown”.  These 6” x 35” glazed porcelain tiles bring consumers quite an unusual (and impressive) format.  The way Emser described “Downtown” was pretty interesting:

Cool, modern, and upbeat, Downtown skids onto the scene with trendsetting contemporary design, using HD technology…

I love that description—very clever! The HD technology refers to their high-definition replication of the wood-look design onto tile.  It’s realistic and has a clean, contemporary look.  I definitely can visualize this product being used in a wide range of applications.  All six colors offered are well thought-out and relevant in the world of design.

But don’t take my word for it.  You can always visit one of Emser’s 55 locations to see “Downtown” for yourself.  It’s definitely worth the trip, uptown or downtown.

Aacer Residential Floors

By Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Birch-Exclusive_300I have discovered an ‘ace’ of a floor covering manufacturer (pardon the pun please), tucked away in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Aacer flooring has a long-standing reputation in providing high quality commercial sports floors. They have three specialty floor systems: Aacerchannel™ a patented fixed floating performance system. Aacer Flex, a shock absorbing performance floor, and lastly, Aacer ScissorLoc™ a flexible performance system that incorporates their patented PowerVent™ System.

But let’s switch gears here because I really want to focus this blog on their residential floors. Aacer primarily manufactures hard maple and northern red oak strip hardwood flooring, but also offers cherry, yellow birch, northern ash, white oak, red birch, hickory and Peshtigo River Cherry. This company has four generations of experience managing and responsibly harvesting their own native forests. In their own words, they manage their company and their privately owned timberlands with respect, and will do whatever it takes to preserve and protect the environment.

Most designers, including myself, are very much in step with green design. Choosing resources for flooring that are committed to green manufacturing is important. In researching this company, they definitely scored high in that regard. Aacer practices responsible forest management and supports only green-minded suppliers. Some manufacturer’s talk about buying only from responsibly managed forests, but they are one step removed from the actual management of the natural resource. Aacer’s owners have over four generations of experience in selectively managing and logging the native forests.

Cherry-Exclusive_300That is a powerful statement from this company, but they certainly have the credentials to back it up. Aacer is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, their forests are FSC-certified, and they are a long-time member of the World Floor Covering Association. Here are some of the beautiful strip wood floors they mill in Wisconsin. Be sure to investigate more on their website aacerflooring.com.