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TILE -- FABRIC WITH FLAIR

 TILE -- FABRIC WITH FLAIR
 MIAMI, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- What has all the variety of fabric


with none of its inconvenience, much more durability, and a range of endless decorating possibilities that even the most original fabric cannon possibly approach? It's ceramic tile. Surprised? Just think about it. Ceramic tile can be smooth or polished, patterned or plain. It's available in any conceivable color. It can be painted or sculpted, imprinted or molded. It can be set into other materials, or have other materials set into it. It can be broken into pieces and reassembled in different ways; it can be combined with others like it or with totally different materials. It can be used in any room of the house, on any surface of the house -- even the outside. And it's good outdoors as well -- on the terrace, in the garden, in the swimming pool. Okay -- it can't be bent or draped. But today's super, sophisticated ceramic tile can do just about everything else one can think of. It's enough to stagger the imagination...but just the kind of thing that makes an interior designer's heart beat faster.
 To an imaginative designer, a showroom full of tile can be as tempting as a boxful of Crayola's or a chest of Lego pieces is to a youngster. It's the raw material from which fantastic and wonderful things can be created. It brings an added level of creativity to challenge a designer's talents, and inspire his most original ideas. Just visualize some of the possibilities...with some imagination-jogging from the minds of several prominent designers whose work has been seen in some of the trend-setting designer showhouses over the past few seasons.
 New York designer David Solomon is fond of combining 2"x2" glazed tiles in assorted, random colors. he used a lively mix to make patchwork floor and walls in a seaside bathroom, and a mix of subtler colors surrounding an elegant fireplace in a Kipas Bay Showhouse interior. Vincente Wolf likes the sophisticated combination of matte- textured tiles and dressed-up furnishings, and combined them with classic furniture and diaphanous silk draperies to create a mood that is modern and Old World elegant at once. John Saladino likes to use mixes of different textures, and contrasted terracotta flooring with a sophisticated mosaic-like border that has a handcrafted look. Ann Tarasoff combined flower-patterned and solid green tiles for a checkerboard effect on countertop and backsplash in a closet-turned- garden room. And Celia Vogel and Mario Mulea added impact to their showcase interiors with inserts of contrasting colored or patterned tile, placed in the center of a solid-color floor to serve both as major floor surface and decorative "area rug."
 Ceramic tile, originally made entirely by hand, is produced nowadays in the most modern production facilities, but mechanization hasn't lost the possibilities for creating special effects...in fact, these have been increased with the new technology. In addition to being more durable than ever -- some varieties of tile today actually rival granite in hardness and resistance to pressure, abrasion and changes in temperature -- today's tile has new design potential. It can be produced to rival the detailing of intricately woven fabric...paisley, plaid, floral or textured linen. In fact, it can actually be textured to appear "woven" to the touch, as well as to the eye. Single-firing, the glazing process developed several years ago, has enabled patterned tiles to be produced with greater durability than the more traditional double-fired tiles. And each year brings a new range of colors, from the most vivid to the subtlest.
 Working with ceramic tiles can be an inspiration to a creative designer -- and his adventurous client. A carpeted floor, for example, can only be one of two things -- patterned or plain. With tile, on the other hand, you can use several different colors, can combine patterns, and even use contrasting textures or matte-and-shiny surfaces, in a single installation. Tile is very compatible with other materials...try a floor of terracotta squares framed in wood parquet. Or one with tile octagons and marble inserts...even stainless steel ones.
 Since it needn't be walked on, even greater liberties can be taken with walls. There's no need to stick to one dimension with ceramic tile. One can find inserts, sculpted friezes, medallions and decorative moldings that can set off an all-tiled wall or serve as ornamental trim for an ordinary painted one.
 It's this type of interplay of contrasting materials that adds a unique element of originality to an interior. And tile is the magic ingredient, the catalyst that makes these combinations possible, and workable.
 Best of all, tile is available in a range of prices to fit almost every budget, from penny-pinching to fancy-free. Take a look next time you pass a showroom that has a tile display...or ask your designer to take through one of the decorative centers. Then, start using your imagination...and have some fun.
 For more information on ceramic tile or the Tile Promotion Board, call or write, 1221 Brickell Ave., Ninth Floor, Miami, FL 33131. Telephone: 305-377-1535, fax: 305-377-1730.
 -0- 9/4/92
 /CONTACT: Joan Spector of the Tile Promotion Board, 305-377-1535/ CO: Tile Promotion Board ST: Florida IN: SU:


AW-JB -- FLFNS1X -- 6777 09/04/92 07:32 EDT
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Date:Sep 4, 1992
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