Fabulous in Philadelphia: Laminam by Crossville Decks a Stunning Residence in Style

While Laminam by Crossville’s technologically advanced, aesthetically innovative large format porcelain tile panels are considered by many to be primarily a commercial product, we were thrilled to discover how a stunning range of Laminam by Crossville collections were used to their maximum–and most beautiful–potential in a hip, urban residence.

I Naturali Calacatta Oro in a polished finish the kitchen countertop.

With more than 50 designer-inspired colors and finishes to choose from, Valerie Popovich of Garden State Tile worked with homeowner Uri Tedgi of Millennium Builders to find unique, distinctly residential ways to use 933 square feet of our Laminam collections to transform his home’s kitchen, bathrooms, and even the fireplace surround, in his Philadelphia townhome.

Perhaps the most dynamic of the applications is the use of I Naturali Calacatta Oro in a polished finish for the kitchen countertop. Tedgi used only two panels to skin the entire twelve-foot long island countertop. With a look reminiscent of Calcutta marble, the material pairs beautifully with the kitchen’s contemporary and sleek design elements, lending a classic, sophisticated feel to the space.

I Naturali Calacatta Oro in a polished finish for the kitchen countertop

I Naturali Calacatta Oro in a polished finish the kitchen countertop

I Naturali Calacatta Oro in a polished finish the kitchen countertop

Tedgi found another distinctive application for Laminam, just beyond the kitchen in a seating area anchored by a fireplace. Here, Tedgi chose Laminam Fumo Collection Nero Oxide for the floating panel in front of the fireplace.

Laminam Fumo Collection Nero Oxide was used for the floating panel in front of the fireplace

 Laminam Fumo Collection Nero Oxide was used for the floating panel in front of the fireplace

For the walls of the townhome’s master bath, Tedgi selected two Laminam skins–Pietra Di Savoia and I Naturali Ossidiana Vena Scura. The creamy Pietra and the dark grey Ossidiana were used in tandem, including a nearly seamless installation on the walls of the shower stall, creating a striking and clean-lined look.

Laminam in Pietra Di Savoia and I Naturali Ossidiana Vena Scura in the master bath

Laminam in Pietra Di Savoia and I Naturali Ossidiana Vena Scura in the master bath Pietra Di Savoia and I Naturali Ossidiana Vena Scura in the master bath

For the children’s bathroom walls, Tedgi selected Oxide in Perla and Metrapolis in Fumo. 

Laminam Oxide in Perla and Metrapolis in Fumo for the childens' bath


Laminam Oxide in Perla and Metrapolis in Fumo for the childens' bath


With all the installations, the Tedgi family will enjoy Laminam’s beauty, minimal maintenance and lasting performance that will stand up to daily use, even in wet areas.

Launched in 2012, Crossville’s Laminam large-format, thin porcelain slabs (the largest and thinnest in the world, in fact!) offer countless design possibilities for both commercial and residential applications. Learn more about Laminam and see all the collections here. 

Crossville Color Talk: Tips for Using Mint Green in Your Interior Design

Origins glass tile mosaic

Pastel colors are popping up in home decor. Once a mainstay of 1950s interior design, pastels have ebbed and flowed in popularity over the years. Today, they’ve returned with decidedly modern twists. As with many interior design color trends, these light, inviting hues first resurged on the fashion runways before shifting into home fashion. One pastel hue that’s getting its day in the sun is the versatile and fresh mint green. A refreshing, calming color, mint green plays well with other hues–both light and dark shades, as well as metallics and other pastels. Here are some tips for complimenting your decor with mint green.

Coastal Color Palette
Mint is ideal for inclusion in  coastal color schemes. Combine soft mint with white or light washed woods to recreate a relaxed seaside cottage atmosphere anywhere. Pair with a range of blues–from cobalt to turquoise–to capture the colors of sun-dappled seascapes. The airy nature of mint green is a fitting homage to flora of coastal regions.

Classic Mint Combos
Rich chocolate brown paired with mint is a timeless color combination that always looks fresh (think mint chocolate chip ice cream!).  And don’t forget the classic combo of black and white with mint – once a 1950’s bathroom favorite, this mix can gave any room a classically sophisticated, vibrant look.

Mint and Metallics
Create a striking and bold effect by combining metallics with mint, and look to the kitchen to really make a statement. When paired with metallic shining elements in a kitchen, mint looks cool and fresh. Combine antique gold with mint for an elegant, luxurious look or partner with brushed nickel fixtures to create a decidedly cool-toned space. Mint is a suitable accompaniment to stainless steel appliances, or it may even be used as a designer color for select appliances, large or small, in the space–as more makers join in the trend.

Mint Background
Sometimes a little hint of color is all a dull room needs to brighten it up and give it some life. Painting one wall in mint can make the color stand out without taking over the whole room.

Mint and Lighting
Mint works especially well in rooms with a good lighting, whether natural or ambient. With proper illumination, mint can energize and brighten up a space, evoking associations with a breezy spring season and making it an ideal area for meditation and relaxation.

Get Creative with Mint
They are many uncommon color combinations you can use with mint green to make your space more interesting. Try raspberry, orange, olive green, gray or even navy blue. Get creative with mint green to reflect your unique style!

Here are some of our favorite minty green tile applications!

Our new Ready to Wear Porcelain tile is patterned with classic warp and weft texture to bring touchable, everyday style to your designs. It’s available in full line of smart-casual shades, including mint!

Ready to wear AV315

Crossville’s Ready to Wear in “Decked Out.”

 Our Glass Blox collection delivers pure, prismatic color to walls. These minty hues in sparkling glass will bring eye-catching light and life to your residential or commercial designs.

Gal_GlassBlox_7_LO Gal_GlassBlox_3_LOClick on the photos to view the collections.

 We’ve dedicated an entire Pinterest board to this yummy hue. Click here to see more of “Magnificent Mint!”

Q&A With Cookbook Author and TV Chef Jaden Hair

KA-post-7888-smallRenowned cookbook author, blogger and TV Chef Jaden Hair recently worked with equally renowned kitchen designer Susan Serra of Susan Serra Associates, Inc. to renovate the kitchen of her family home – and Crossville’s SpeakEasy collection was the flooring of choice for this high profile project! We enjoyed reading about the kitchen remodel on Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen blog and while we loved every inch of her gorgeous new kitchen, we had a few questions for Jaden, who kindly shared her insights with us on our own blog!

Were sure living with a home renovation, especially a kitchen remodel, cant be easy. Can you offer a few tips on how to manage living without a kitchen for several months?

We have a large, covered lanai with a BBQ grill. For a couple of months, we grilled a lot! Also, I bought a portable camping stove that uses butane canisters which are really inexpensive. I was able to do most of my cooking on that little stove!

A toaster oven and microwave set up on TV trays helped us with the all the other cooking tasks.

With a tiny bar-sink to use, we ended up using paper plates and compostable bamboo utensils. All of that went into our giant compost bin after each day.

Though induction technology has been around for a while, why do you think its just now becoming popular in the US and how did you decide to go with an induction cooktop over gas?

I’ve just been so used to cooking over flame all these years. I like seeing the fire, and feeling the heat!

Induction actually wasn’t my first choice in the beginning, but with no gas going into our home, we really didn’t have a choice with induction or electric.

Boy, was I surprised when we first turned on the induction stovetop! It was zippy fast and cleanup after cooking took seconds, not a half hour. I love the efficiency and quickness of the induction.

This may be a tough question. Is there any one aspect of your new kitchen that you love the most?

Our favorite part of the kitchen are the little things that make our lives so much easier and healthier. The built-in compost bucket is used several times a day for vegetable and fruit scraps. We’re big gardeners, so we reap the benefits of our composting through healthy, all-natural, homemade fertilizer.

Another little item is the built-in, retractable power strip that disappears into the countertop when not in use. It pops up when needed and stays hidden the rest of the time, keeping the island neat and tidy.

I’m a big tea drinker, so having a instant-hot at the sink is so convenient. In less than 2 seconds, I have very hot water that’s the perfect temperature for teas any time of the day.

We might be partial to the tile on your kitchen floor. Just curiousWhats been the response to the wood-look tile? Have any house guest been surprised to learn that the floor is actually porcelain tile?

The very first thing that everyone notices when they walk into the kitchen area for the very first time are the Crossville floors, “Oh, I love your hardwood floors!” They’re always surprised when I tell them it’s tile, and then bend down to touch it for proof. We love the durability, especially living on a homestead with lots of critters (and dirt!)

Share some insights on working with the talented Susan Serra. How did having a professional kitchen designer make a difference on your project?

Susan was absolutely amazing. I never fully appreciated having a design professional by my side until this kitchen remodel! Without her, I would have been swayed by the very pretty, but impractical for my family ideas found on Pinterest — and my design would have been such a mish-mash mess of everything that I had favorited!

Susan was able to pick out the common themes amongst all the ideas and nudge me towards a design that worked specifically for my family’s lifestyle and my cooking habits.

Head over to the Steamy Kitchen to get the whole scoop on this amazing kitchen renovation. Meanwhile, enjoy these pictures of Jaden’s dreamy, steamy kitchen! KA-post-2-smallKA-post-7678-smallSteamy-Kitchen-3270_small-smallKA-post-7787-small

Crossville Takes a Look at the Fascinating History of Glass Tile

The following blog post is inspired by Crossville’s Residential Design Director Mikeal Jensen’s presentation from the Surfaces Expo 2015. 

For more than four thousand years, glass tile has been part of the decor in homes, places of worship, and public spaces—proof that we have long been drawn to shiny, colorful things. Interestingly, some predicted that glass tile would be a short-lived trend when it was widely reintroduced to the modern marketplace in the late 20th century, after technology made the creation of glass tile more simple and affordable. Look around today, and it’s easy to see that those predictions were wrong. Glass tile is found everywhere in commercial and residential spaces, solidly in place as a beloved, stylish, and versatile surfacing material.

Here’s a quick look at glass tile’s fascinating history, to help you put your current specifications in perspective.

The history of glass tile is known to have origins in Egyptian mosaics around 2500 BC, but it wasn’t until the 3rd century BC that innovative artisans in Greece, Persia. and India began creating glass tiles. By 200 BC, the Romans had taken over Greece and elevated the art of mosaic by using glass tessera. Tessera is stone or glass cut in to cubes and arranged to create an artistic rendering.

Tessera moasic

In 500 BC, Byzantine artists developed the smalti technique to make glass tiles. Smalti is made by mixing molten glass with metal oxides for color, then fired at high temperature, cooled, and cut into small pieces. The resulting tiles are opaque with with a rough texture. Sometimes smalti is irregularly shaped with flecks of gold and silver. During the Byzantine era, Constantinople became the center of the mosaic craft, and the use of gold leaf glass mosaic reached perhaps its greatest artistic expression. The smalti technique has been passed down through generations and has been perfected predominantly by Italian artists. A classic example of the Byzantine smalti technique is St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, consecrated in 1094 AD.

St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice

In the Middle Ages, glass tile was used primarily to create stained glass windows, a luxury for the elite. It wasn’t until the Victorian age hundreds of years later that the popularity of glass and tile surged as mass production introduced a product that was more uniform with a variety of color options. Glass tile saw its widest audience during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. During this period, Louis Comfort Tiffany created his highly-renowned lamps, jewelry, and windows. The introduction of indoor plumbing brought the need to tile bathroom and kitchen surfaces, while fireplace surrounds and entry floors became the perfect location to show off the beauty of these artistic pieces.Stained Glass window

Stained glass stained glass

Tiffany Lamp

Post-war and mid-century eras brought automation and a desire toward modernity. Trends steered sharply into sleek man-made and space-age surface products, marking a major downturn in the use of glass and decorative tile.Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 5.39.38 PM

The early 1990s brought a renewed interest in glass tile as new manufacturing techniques were developed and access to post-consumer materials brought recycling to the forefront, making it possible to create new tile from recycled materials.

Today, new additives are still being developed to create more colors and finishes. Advances in manufacturing have increased uniformity and made an innumerable variety of sizes and shapes available. Likewise, innovations in setting materials have made wide use of glass tile possible in unexpected ways—in unique applications.

Glass tile manufacturingCrossville in The Christopher Kennedy Compound

Today, consumers have access to design ideas and products like never before. Market demand has driven an increase in production that has brought down consumer cost. The internet and social media have given us all peeks into the homes and lives of not just celebrities, but our neighbors as well. We can turn design dreams into reality more easily and quickly. This is an exciting time to be in design, and certainly, glass tile is a beautiful, creative, versatile part of it all.

Crossville's Ebb & Flowglass tile bath glass tile

Stay tuned for more on glass design in an upcoming guest post by the talented Michael R Golden, of Avenue Mosaic, designer of our beautiful Sideview Glass tile collection!

Crossville Sends Thoughts to All Involved with the Blithewald Mansion in Rumson, NJ

Headlines earlier this week came as a shock. The grand and lovely Blithewald Mansion of Rumson, New Jersey, set for its gala debut and fundraising tours in just a few days, was seized by a four-alarm fire that engulfed the home and quickly turned aspirations to ashes.

Screenshot 2015-04-23 08.07.37

As a sponsor of this show house, we at Crossville were jarred by the news. Our first thoughts were for the designers, workers, and craftspeople who were surely on site giving the home its final preparations, as well as the teams of firefighters who came to tackle the blaze. We reached out to those designers we’ve come to know–those who had carefully selected our products to grace the spaces they were transforming. It was a relief to know that Ginny Padula and Christine Bolton of Town & Country Kitchens and Baths, as well as Amanda Haytaian of House of Cline were safely out of harm’s way. We also felt our hearts sink on behalf of the homeowner and to all who dedicated so much effort for this home’s creation and in the planning of the fundraising events that would surround its opening.

The spirit of camaraderie is always present among participants in a showcase home. From every idea to each installation, we’re in it together, striving to create exceptional spaces and experiences that spotlight talents and unite communities in the support good, important causes. Following the fire at Blithewald, we’ve seen designers and event organizers rally together to express gratitude to firefighters and first responders, share heartfelt thoughts to the homeowner, and support each other in the midst of an unexpected, unwelcome turn of events. We’re honored to be part of the camaraderie and caring community of Blithewald participants.

We’re unsure of the next steps regarding the show house. The gala event and tours are cancelled, of course, with no specific future plans yet announced. Despite our disappointment that the home that was already beautifully transformed succumbed to fire, we’re thankful to have a few snapshots of one of the bathrooms that featured our tile products. We know our products looked stunning alongside other sponsors’ contributions including DXV fixtures, and the amazing craftsmanship of Padula Builders, Inc. and Eastman Street Woodworks for the renovation work and cabinetry and custom armoire, respectively.

Here are a few shots of the “His” master bathroom snapped before the fire, featuring Amanda Haytaian’s stellar design.

IMG_5778 IMG_5779 IMG_5780 IMG_5781

The beautiful rooms of Blithewald may not have survived the fire, but the spirit of friendship, community, and shared purpose came out stronger. The local community and the design community are once again reminded of what is truly beautiful, irreplaceable, and timelessly important.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!

You Can Support the Cause

The Blithewald Mansion gala and home tours were to serve as fundraisers for VisitinScreenshot 2015-04-23 10.08.40g Nurse Association Health Group’s Hospice and Home Healthcare programs. Though the event and tours are cancelled, you can still give. Click here to make a donation to help provide care for hospice and homebound patients in need of care.

Crossville Celebrates Earth Day 2015 With Announcement of Latest Recycling Milestones

Crossville celebrates Earth DayEach year, Crossville celebrates Earth Day by calculating the totals of our unique, extensive recycling programs. Between our Tile Take-Back® and TOTO recycling partnership, we are able to spare literally millions of pounds of fired porcelain waste from entering landfills. Here’s our press release announcing this year’s exciting totals.



Maintains Net Waste Consumption Through Tile Take-Back® Program, TOTO Partnership

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Officials with domestic tile manufacturer Crossville Inc. have announced the company recycled 14,255,082 pounds of fired porcelain in 2014, bringing the company’s cumulative recycling total to nearly 53.5 million pounds since the 2009 launch of the Tile Take-Back® program and subsequent TOTO USA recycling partnership.

These recycling initiatives are based on the company’s proprietary process for recycling fired porcelain products, including post consumer materials. Through Tile Take-Back®, Crossville is able to recycle previously installed tile collected from its distribution network, as well as scraps that result from tile cutting during installation, sizing, or sample creation. Through its TOTO partnership, Crossville receives pre-consumer fired porcelain toilets that do not meet quality standards; prior to the partnership, these cast-offs were being sent to landfills for disposal.

All 53.5 million pounds of diverted material have been or will be recycled into feed stock to manufacture new tile, leading Crossville to maintain net waste consumption at its plants for a fourth consecutive year. Net waste consumption is achieved by using more waste than is created during production.

Through the aforementioned recycling initiatives, Crossville achieved the following in 2014:

– ground and reused 6,040,062 pounds of fired scrap produced at the company’s plants that would have previously gone to landfills

– received and recycled 160,640 pounds of waste including scraps and post-consumer tile extracted from renovation projects (up from 87,411 pounds in 2013), and

– received and recycled 8,054,380 pounds of TOTO’s scrap porcelain—an increase of 765,520 pounds from 2013.

Since the Tile Take-Back® launch in 2009, the company’s cumulative recycling totals include:

– more than 24 million pounds of fired scrap produced at Crossville’s plants

– over 460,000 pounds of scrap and post-consumer tile

– just over 29 million pounds of scrap porcelain from TOTO USA.

Crossville officials note that amount of fired porcelain waste acquired from the marketplace as part of Tile Take-Back® increased significantly in 2014, indicating increased support and participation from the company’s distribution network. Likewise, the amount of scrap porcelain from TOTO was up in 2014, further contributing to the yearly and cumulative totals.

Tile Take-Back® and the TOTO USA partnership are just two of many sustainable practices Crossville maintains companywide. In 2014, Crossville released the first-ever Sustainability Report by a tile-only manufacturer. For more information about all of Crossville’s sustainability practices, visit http:// crossvilleinc.com/contract/sustainability/practices_and_partnerships.

About Crossville’s Recycling Initiatives

Tile Take-Back Program®

The Tile Take-Back® program is Crossville’s answer to the major environmental problem facing the tile industry today: the recycling of fired tile. Because this program is so beneficial throughout the industry, Crossville openly accepts post-consumer tile from other brands as well as projects not originating from Crossville.

TOTO USA Partnership

In 2011, Crossville launched a partnership with sanitaryware manufacturer TOTO USA to receive and recycle that company’s fired porcelain refuse. Today, there is recycled content in every square foot of porcelain tile produced by Crossville because of the harvested material from TOTO, reducing the need for raw materials for tile production.

About Crossville, Inc.

Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications. Its headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Crossville, Tennessee. Crossville, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Curran Group, a privately held holding company renowned for its core values of family, respect, partnership, integrity, and improvement.

An industry innovator, Crossville is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following:

– produce large format tile on site,

– manufacture tile with certified recycled content,

– develop the Tile Take-Back® Program for recycling fired porcelain tile,

– achieve certification of its waste recycling programs,

– achieve TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines,

– distribute a complete line of large format, thin porcelain panels (Laminam by Crossville), and

– become a net consumer of waste.

For more information on Crossville, visit crossvilleinc.com.

#TileTuesday Tip: Understanding the Difference Between Rectified and Calibrated Porcelain Tile

You see the words “rectified” and “calibrated” in tile product descriptions and package information, but do you know what these words really mean? Both terms refer to ways by which manufacturers ensure consistent sizing of tiles. Consistent tile sizes help to result in better installations. Here’s a look at the meaning of both terms for your knowledge.

Calibrated Tile

Calibration is sorting process manufacturers may use to ensure all tiles within packaged boxes are dimensionally consistent.

In the manufacturing process, unfired ceramic tiles are nearly identical in size when they exit the press, but the firing process in the kiln will cause the tiles to shrink–perhaps at slightly different percentages from piece to piece. Through calibration, manufacturers sort tiles based on finished size. 

Tiles are commonly grouped into two to four different calibers based on strict sizing requirements of the industry. Calibrated tiles are typically allowed no more than +/-0.5% variation from the average dimension of the corresponding caliber, not to exceed +/- 2mm.  Calibrated tiles may be available at price points that fit more budget conscious projects.


Crossville’s Ready to Wear porcelain tile collection is calibrated.

Rectified Tile

Rectified tiles, on the other hand, are fired and then ground to size. This is done to achieve exacting standards in size consistency. Rectified tiles’ edges are precisely, mechanically finished for uniformity, ensuring the size is more precise from piece to piece within a product line.

The uniformity of rectified tiles provides enhanced ease of installation and can simplify installing patterns and unique tile designs. Rectified tiles’ exact edges may allow for smaller grout lines (as small as 1/16“ per industry standards) compared to the edges of non-rectified tiles. If thin grout lines are desired for an installation, it is recommended that rectified tiles be specified.

Moonstruck by Crossville - conservatory image

Crossville’s Moonstruck collection is rectified, allowing for installations with smaller grout lines

To ensure the best possible installation outcomes, be sure to learn if your tile is rectified or calibrated. Crossville prioritizes full disclosure and product education, so we give the details you need on all product information, whether in print or online.