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.

Colorful Building Blocks For Your Floor

By Annette M. Callari, ASID; CMG 

MODULARITYTILE4In my last Designer’s Corner post  I promised to let you in on a colorful new discovery in floor coverings.  My earlier Building Blocks blog talked about line, form and shape taking center stage as you create your designs. Of course you can do this with furnishings, wall treatments, or accessories, but I’ve also found a way for you to define those elements with floor coverings.

Enter Modularity Tiles, a division of Signature Flooring, home based in NYC.  They’ve honed in on the artistic importance of form and shape and have taken it to staggering new levels.   Want to build your design around floor art?  Think of children’s play rooms or bedrooms, a baby’s nursery, or a high-contemporary kitchen, office or home theater as the perfect application for Modularity Tiles.  Any one of these rooms could carry off a focal point floor that also happens to be hypoallergenic, slip-resistant, and easily cleaned.  Factor in the ability to change out a damaged tile easily, and you have all the ingredients for a floor with flair and longevity.

MODULARITYTILE1Geometric and color driven, Modularity Tiles are 1ft x 1ft vinyl tiles with interchangeable die-cut shapes that you can mix and match, using a palette of 17 colors. Thousands of patterns can be created using just three basic shapes and the designated color palette.  Depending on the colors you choose, you can accomplish high-contrast drama or quiet definition.  Having that choice is what makes this line versatile and pure fun. 

The manufacturer advertises the product as suitable for semi-permanent, permanent or even temporary use. The tiles are easily laid using adhesive strips, and also offer easy removal.  According to their Marketing Department:

“Modularity Tiles can be used by homeowners, apartment dwellers, architects and designers and are suitable for permanent, semi-permanent or temporary use. DIY’ers will delight in its simplicity and price tag. Pros will applaud the creative freedom and statement-making possibilities. Our innovative new vinyl flooring tiles will change the way you think about vinyl flooring forever. We aren’t the last-resort flooring option of the past, but the one-of-a-kind creative flooring (and wallcovering) solution of the future.”

MODTILE-3Their website, has a wealth of information, including a “ModulizeIt” on-screen design tool.  It can help you create your design and calculate quantities.  What I like about this discovery is that it offers something unusual, and they’ve still found a way to keep it simple.  Of course, you don’t have to install it yourself, the website can direct you to professional installation firms that will do it for you.  If you’d rather talk to a design consultant personally, they have a toll free number as well (866-471-1022). 

As an interior designer (and a consumer) I’m attracted to products that are playful and fun to live with.  I’m also highly attuned to cost-efficient products that suit tight budgets while satisfying cutting edge design.  I think Modularity Tiles offer the key to both of those criteria, in a colorful, brilliant new way.

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