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3 6 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T 2 0 1 7 UP GROUND FROM THE Q: Are designers today searching for different product looks in tile? Frank Galifianakis: Absolutely. Advances in tile manufacturing technology, includ- ing the introduction of large porcelain panels, have opened up opportunities. Of late, we've seen porcelain tile that satisfies several design trends—glass, metal, wood, and natural stone. Convinc- ing wood-look tiles imitate the appear- ance of reclaimed/repurposed wood. Varying sizes and textures are in demand, too. Planks, rectangles— even circles—are replacing traditional squares. Fabric looks, leather effects… nothing is off limits in tile design. Q: What challenges do designers face in having product shipped and installed? FG: Probably the biggest challenge is protecting the specification. So much material is imported that the supply chain may not be able to respond to the project's needs, particularly for on-time delivery. That means designers may have to select substitutions that result in construction delays. Q: Are porcelain panels here to stay? FG: Porcelain tile panels aren't a trend…they're the future because of big advantages. Our Laminam products concentrate three square meters into unbe- lievably thin porcelain. The panels are ideal for renova- tions because they can be installed tile-over-tile—spar- ing need to demo and saving time. Also, use of panels means fewer grout joints, the ability to wrap around columns, and options for new lighting techniques. Q: How is Crossville helping designers and contractors with these challenges? FG: We're involved in all aspects of the process. As a manufacturer, we get input in the early stages of product development and pro- vide some brands custom colors or fin- ishes for their design needs. Our job is to be a consultant to the designer, to help them unleash creativity in ways that are grounded in product advances beneficial to them and end users. By understanding challenges of maintenance and potential slip-fall issues from the onset, we ensure the proper finish will meet the environ- ment's requirements. Our collaborative approach includes an in-house Technical Services Depart- ment that leads testing and specification review. Our in-house Customer Service Department works with distributors to take care of everything on a local level. All bases are covered from start to finish. Q: What is Crossville's Laminam product? FG: Laminam is the only design solution of its kind that can skin both floors and walls in durable tile style. Laminam offers more colors and design options than any other panel available in the U.S. Panels are avail- able in 130 colors and surfaces from 23 collections in two thicknesses: a 3mm product with fiberglass backing (3+) for walls and a 5.6mm product for floors or walls. Panels' outer dimensions of 1M x 3M (nearly 3' x 10') are versatile and flexible, with performance characteristics expected of porcelain tile. Crossville is immersed in support- ing the industry in use of porcelain tile panels. We've helped train more than 1,000 contractors in proper handling and installation at our dedicated facility in Tennessee, as well as at events across the country. www.crossvilleinc.com A Q&A with Frank Galifianakis, Sales/National Accounts, Crossville The dramatic look of Laminam at Biscuit & Branch, in Columbus, Ohio. Walls covered with Laminam panels lead into the brewing area at the Texas Ale Project in Dallas. Laminam used in a casually modern design at AleSmith Brewery in San Diego.