By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG
Most 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.