By Tina Jepson
Situated at the top of the Cumberland Plateau, Crossville, Tennessee-based porcelain tile manufacturer, Crossville Inc. makes some of the most multifaceted products on the market. They’re a favorite of designers like Christopher Grubb, who uses Crossville Inc.’s tiles in many of his projects. “They’re a globally known name, and it’s a product I’ve used a million times commercially and residentially,” he explained.
While at the 2018 NeoCon expo in the heart of Chicago, the House Tipster media team had the chance to interview Crossville Inc.’s Vice President of Marketing, Lindsey Waldrep. Lindsay talked with Christopher Grubb, House Tipster’s trade show expert, world-renowned interior and product designer, and President of Arch-Interiors Design Group about her company and the products they’re debuting here at NeoCon.
Crossville Inc.’s Tennessee Roots
32 years ago, when Crossville Inc. first set up shop, they were the first large format tile company in the entire state of Tennessee. But times have changed, and now there are several trying to match the quality and brand recognition of Crossville, Inc. “We were the first on the mountain,” Lindsey told Christopher.
Over the years, Crossville, Inc. has grown exponentially, particularly because they produce such a quality, durable tile product. And while it’s true that many homeowners and commercial property owners sometimes choose to outfit their spaces with tiles made of other materials besides porcelain, Lindsay explains that the performance of her company’s products speaks for itself.
Of course, it helps that Crossville Inc. has helped the product itself evolve by staying ahead of the curve when it comes to designs and trends-- making it evermore appealing to designers and property owners.
“Think of Tiles As You Would Plates”
Christopher and other interior designers often prefer porcelain to other tile materials because of its durability, particularly in residences with children or pets. But why are they so strong and resilient?
Lindsey went on to describe Crossville Inc.’s tiles in a way anyone would understand: by comparing them to plates. “You could go and buy a ceramic or stoneware plate, wash them in the dishwasher a couple of times, and then they chip,” she told us. This chipping is due to the porous nature of ceramics. Fortunately, you don’t run into this same problem with porcelain.
The difference between the average ceramic and porcelain is how it’s made. In fact, all porcelain is fired at temperatures much higher than average ceramics, which helps fuse the materials together and thus, become stronger. “It’s why your fine porcelain china survives for hundreds of years!” Lindsay told Christopher.
Alice In Wonderland Meets Tile Manufacturing
Porcelain tile has recently evolved, and the options out there on the market today are vast and fabulous. As Lindsey put it, “Tile has gone down the rabbit hole these past few years.”
She went on to explain that, for example, Crossville Inc. has tiles that range from itty bitty chicklets and penny rounds to 3’x9’ tiles perfect for outfitting shower stalls. “It’s a story of extreme trends, right now,” was how she described it.
The budget-friendly price point of porcelain also adds to its appeal. According to Christopher, this material provides, “sophistication, without being a budget breaker.”
The Added Bonuses of Porcelain
If that weren’t enough, Lindsey and Christopher went on to note even more benefits of installing porcelain tiles, starting with the grout.
Some of Crossville Inc.’s tiles are so large that they require little to no grout, which appeals to many property owners. But if you’re a fan of grout lines, the duo went on to explain all the new and exciting grout products on the market. These include metal banding, glitter grout, iridescent hues, and an array of beautiful colors that can help create the space you need and not detract from the tile itself. “Even the grout is part of the design,” said Lindsey.
Porcelain is also the perfect material for high traffic areas, especially those that are prone to moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens. If you’re clumsy and occasionally slip, then look into a porcelain tile that has a DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction), which allow you to safely walk across a space. “To ensure safety, make sure you need at .42 DCOF,” Lindsey emphasized.
If you’re considering adding tile to your home, don’t overlook porcelain. It’s a beautiful product that’s safe and durable. When it comes time for the installation, Christopher and Lindsey both agree that you should never skimp on this services. “We encourage people to look at our website and find a certified installer.” Lindsey also noted that a great contractor can turn your tile project into something that’s beyond beautiful and functional.
To browse and order a sample (or two) from Crossville Inc.’s timeless porcelain tile collection, head to their website.