July 2011

The latest natural and synthetic flooring options for projects ranging from health care to hospitality.

By Rita Catinella Orrell

Last April, U.K.-based flooring manufacturer Amtico International launched the largest product introduction in the company’s 47-year history, adding a total of 70 new luxury vinyl tile (LVT) products to its two main brands. Despite the current construction slowdown and an ongoing debate about vinyl’s role as a building material, the timing was right for the company to commit to such a launch. “Industry-wide, there has been a growing demand in the 20-mil product category,” says Amtico marketing director Amanda Utz. “We recognized this growth, listened to our customers when developing our new designs, and opted to double the range of Spacia, our 20-mil line.” The expanded collections offer new designs and finishes, and for the the luxury 40-mil-thick Amtico line, more tile and plank sizes and new cutting options.

Urban Marble, a new faux-stone pattern, is part of the resilient flooring manufacturer’s biggest launch in company history.

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While vinyl remains a controversial building material concerning the health effects of its manufacture, product life, and disposal, the material’s price point, design options, and durability continue to keep up industry demand. As part of Amtico’s current sustainability story, Utz cites the products’ long life cycle, Floor Score–certification for low VOCs, easy maintenance (reducing need for cleaners), and postindustrial recycled content.

With Amtico’s custom-design program, architects and specifiers can use virtually any image in the flooring, including corporate logos, thematic icons, and wayfinding motifs. A combination of standard and custom Spacia- and Amtico-brand flooring was selected for the new six-story Crane Creek Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida. While ceramic tile and VCT (vinyl composition tile) were originally specified for the center, interior designer Cinda Yandell, of American Business Interiors in Melbourne, decided Amtico’s LVT would wear better and require less maintenance. The designer has used Amtico for a decade on projects including health care, corporate, higher education facilities, and grade schools.

Amtico’s custom process starts when a CAD design, photograph, or rough sketch is submitted to the manufacturer. To create the two unique logos for the Crane Creek Medical Center, including the Back Center’s “spine” motif, Yandell interpreted the logo into an AutoCAD design that would work as a flooring pattern. The final result arrived “like a ready-made product,” says Yandell.

Amtico also provides comprehensive installation drawings, and can work with the installer to ensure a smooth process from inception through installation. Occasionally, during a custom-request process, the size of the elements of a desired logo fall beneath Amtico’s minimum tolerance. “When this happens,” says Utz, ”we work with the architect or designer to modify the design so that it meets our performance criteria and projects the images they are looking for.” Amtico International, Atlanta. circle 200

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