Lately, residential design seems to be a bit inside-out — or outside-in, depending on your vantage point. More and more, homeowners are requesting “outdoor living spaces” or are looking for ways to “bring the outdoors in.” Choosing the right kind of tile is one more way to accomplish these goals, with an array of styles bearing natural, earthy colors and elements. Far from being cold underfoot, these tiles bring warmth to almost any room.
Custom Building Products. Using the maker's CustomLite Technology, ProLite Tile and Stone Mortar is up to 40% lighter than traditional mortars. Ideal for setting large floor and wall tiles without slumping or sagging, the mortar is effective for installing ceramic and difficult-to-bond porcelain and glass tiles. A 30-pound bag will cover the same area as a 50-pound bag of traditional mortar. 800.272.8786. www.custombuildingproducts.com.
Bear Creek Glass. Designed to complement its vessel sinks and pendant light fixtures, the company's handmade glass tiles add style to vanities, back-splashes, countertops, and walls. A rainbow of color options is available in tiles ranging in size from 1-inch to 12-inch squares. Add shimmering serenity to a bath, or accent a subdued design. A lifetime warranty guarantees against chips or breaks. 205.324.9339. www.bearcreekglass.com.
Laufen. A recent addition to the Laufen Home Program is the Bergamo series glazed porcelain tile. The line includes 13-inch- and 17½-inch–square floor tiles and coordinating 10-by-13-inch wall tiles in three colors: haze, cashmere, and fawn. Trim tiles include a 3?-by-13-inch floor bullnose, a 3-by-10-inch wall bullnose, and a 3-by-3-inch corner bullnose. Additionally, a 2-by-10-inch listello and 2½-by-13-inch border, both featuring all three colors in the palette, complete the package. 800.321.0684. www.laufenusa.com.
Mediterranea. Using a unique blend of stone and wood graphics and Rotocolor technology, the Cottage series is designed to be reminiscent of beach-cottage wood floors. Produced in Italy, the glazed porcelain tile is offered in a 4¾-by-20-inch field size. Four colors are available, including snow peak (white), sun baked (almond), harvest (gold), and chestnut (walnut). 305.718.5091. www.mediterranea-usa.com.
Ironrock. Blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces with Down to Earth residential unglazed quarry tiles. For interior or exterior use in any climate, the series includes four through-and-through colors that exhibit organic variations, a result of the natural materials used during production. Three sizes are available: 4-by-8-inch with velour texture, 6-by-9-inch with stone texture, and 4-by-12-inch with slate texture. 800.325.3945. www.downtoearthtile.com.
Florida Tile.A fine glazed porcelain floor tile with rich color movement, the Horizon series is an ADA-compliant and naturally rugged tile. Usable virtually anywhere, the tiles come in two large sizes — 13-inch or 18-inch square — and three 13-by-13-inch mesh-mounted mosaic patterns, including the popular diamond pattern. Three coordinating listellos are also available. The palette of five colors includes plateau beige, banded taupe, temple gold, terra red, and vista green. 800.352.8453. www.floridatile.com.
Crossville.NOW Porcelain Stone tiles are created with an advanced double-press porcelain technique for density and strength. The result is a refined stone look perfect for minimalist design. Through-body colorations mimic natural earth tones, including rust, moss, lead, sand, and amber. The scratch-, stain-, and fade-resistant tiles are easily cleaned with hot water, and they are available in 18-inch and 6-inch square, as well as four trendy rectangular sizes: 12 by 24 inches, 6 by 24 inches, 3 by 12 inches, and 3 by 6 inches. 800.221.9093. www.crossvilleinc.com.
Georgia Pacific. With a compression rating greater than 1,500 psi, the new ¼-inch DensShield Tile Backer offers high strength in a lightweight material. A high-density core allows mechanical attachment to the floor system with screws, nails, or staples. Mold-resistant and with glass mat facings, it is available in 4-by-4-foot, 4-by-5-foot, 4-by-8-foot, and 32-inch-by-5-foot sheets requiring less cutting. 800.225.6119. www.gp.com/build.
For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, at www.ebuild.com.