From the Ground Up
A Canadian tiling company illustrates that its foundation is just as important as its products.
by Veronica Boodham
Whether in a newly built, purchased or renovated home, the flooring is just as important as the mood-inducing paint colour, decorative furniture or any other part of interior design associated with creating a room’s welcoming ambiance. By providing detailed decor from the ground up, it can transform any home into “your home.”
To help build the ultimate dream home, Julian Tile offers innovative flooring and wall tiling products that provide some of the best in trends and technology.
“Technology is important because we like to carry a quality product. We want to offer our customers something different and something really beautiful,” says Rose Baldo, a customer service specialist at Julian Tile.
In its 34th year in the tiling industry, Julian Tile is a leader as a supplier and wholesale distributor of ceramic and stone tile in Western Canada. With its main warehouse and head office located in Burnaby, B.C., the company also has showrooms in their office branches in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. The company is growing with a new distribution centre, head office and showroom scheduled to open later this year in Langley, B.C.
“Because we are a wholesaler, we have people [such as] designers and architects that come in [as well as] builders who will bring their customers to our showroom. We have fully trained staff… Most of them come from a design background, so they are qualified and capable of assisting people with selections,” she says.
The company’s collections of ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles include products from around the world. However, Baldo says that most of their products tend to come from Italy, to help the company stay on top of the most up-to-date styles and technology.
Some of the most innovative products available at Julian Tile include their larger-sized formats for flooring and wall tiles, architecturally sound yet visually appealing mosaic patterns, as well as environmentally friendly products that are ideal for families.
The company’s Arenaria Series consists of porcelain tiles for floors and walls that feature Microban technology. With anti-microbial product protection, the tiles, which are produced from 40 per cent recycled ceramic content, help prevent the growth of bacteria on tiles.
“Microban is a world leader in micro-bacterial technology. They actually manufacture this right into the production process and it blocks the action of bacteria. When you have children playing on a floor, the bacteria do not grow on this tile,” says Baldo.
In addition to offering products with the latest advancements in technology, the company offers an assortment of tiles that are on trend with the leading designs and styles in home decor. The Slimtech line of Italian porcelain tiles maintains the trend of minimalistic decor, with clean lines and simple designs offered among the variety of styles. The Slimtech line also provides a large format of tiles that are only 3 millimetres thick, with versatility to work as both floor and wall tile.
“You have these sheets on the wall or floor, of minimal stone-look tile, without a lot of grout lines, so esthetically it’s very pleasing, very sleek and contemporary,” she says.
For people who are looking for more “design” in interior design, the company offers a variety of patterns. Mosaics are making a strong comeback, says Baldo, with micro-mosaics, metal mosaics and even murals that can be created with the company’s products.
“For the last several years, mosaics have been evolving. It used to be that mosaics were a bad word. In the ’90s, nobody would think of doing a mosaic… But it has evolved and evolved over the last 10 years to the point that there are micro-mosaics, patterns and glass mosaics,” says Baldo.
Working with Mosaico Piu, an Italian mosaics company, Julian Tile also provides custom-made mosaics, allowing a photograph, design or image to be reproduced through mosaics in any desired size.
Julian Tile’s leading digital technology provides customers with options that maintain the look of stone tiles, without the maintenance often associated with it.
“They take photographs of real stone and they can reproduce those into the tile. When you look at a tile, you virtually cannot tell it apart from real stone. You have to be almost an expert and go up to it and touch it and say, ‘Okay, wait a minute, what is this?’” says Baldo. “From the front, the visual part of it, you cannot tell. Some of it looks like marble, some of it looks like travertine [stone], some of it looks like basalt stone. It’s unbelievable what they can do. It’s really fabulous, and gives people the option.
Another trend has been the undulating design on walls, to help create a wave effect. The company’s Evolve/Motion Series provides an assortment in both glossy and matte finishes.
“They are simple in colour but there is texture to it; a wave in motion or raised pattern cut into the material which is becoming popular too,” says Baldo, adding that large format rectangular-shaped tile and linear vein looks remain a strong trend.
By providing a wide range of innovative products, it is no surprise that Julian Tile’s team of experts can help anyone from designers and seasoned professionals to the average homeowner with their tile selections.
To help inspire ideas for decor, Julian Tile has also implemented a blog on their website to provide suggestions with installation photos and helpful tips in short videos.
“It’s growing and it’s really interesting because sometimes a person may ask, ‘How do you install this?’ and we can say, ‘Go to the blog and you can see a little video on the installation.’ A picture is worth a thousand words; they can click on our blog and have a look,” explains Baldo. “We try to showcase some of our designers and some of the bigger projects they do, because I think sometimes people need to see some of the other projects that others are doing and say, ‘Wow, look at this,’ it’s really great for us… Everyone needs inspiration at times. Even the most seasoned designer will be asking for some inspiration at times and that’s what we try to offer.”
Julian Tile Blog
Floor and Wall Tile, Natural Stones, Mosaics