It goes without saying that, when designing anything to do with food, cleanliness and an overall sterile environment are at the top of the list of requirements. Kravit Architectural Associates, Inc., in Boca Raton, found inspiration during a plant tour at the Crossville factory complex in Crossville, TN. According to Michael Kravit, AIA, NCARB, RA “Our firm was asked by our client to design a chocolate confectionary with a retail store component and a chocolate production/manufacturing component within the same building”. “For the chocolate manufacturing areas, the design team selected Laminam panels from Crossville. The Laminam product would allow for thorough daily cleaning. The chocolate manufacturing process is comprised of cleaning, roasting, and grinding of the cacao beans. The grinding byproduct is cacao or chocolate powder which, by its very nature, becomes airborne and coats interior surfaces. “The Laminam panels provide a hard, clean surface. When epoxy grout is utilized to seal the panel joints the possibility of chocolate powder permeating the grout joints is taken out of the equation. The client can then wash the walls daily and ensure a clean environment is maintained while at the same time providing an aesthetically pleasing and sustainable surface/finish”. “As designers, we had the option of using more traditionally sized ceramic or porcelain tile products which were eliminated from consideration due to significantly higher installation costs associated with more grout area to install, clean and scrub. Crossville and D&B Tile invited our team to their manufacturing facility where we saw the Laminam product. We immediately knew that this large format reinforced porcelain panel would address the cleanliness issues that our client reiterated as a prime consideration”. “Another concern of ours was proper installation. This product required a contractor with extensive knowledge and experience handling and installing large format porcelain panels. As design professionals, we are not only concerned with aesthetics and sustainability of a product, but with the installation process and how the end result meets our clients’ expectations. Qualified installers become the key and D&B Tile Distributors worked with us and the General Contractor to solve that part of the equation. A list of qualified sub-contractors certified to handle and install Laminam porcelain panels was provided. Professional Flooring Contractors, Inc. of Coral Springs was considered and selected by the General Contractor as they had the necessary experience working with and handling the Laminam product”. “It is said, the proof is in the pudding. When clients’ expectations are met, we know we have been successful as design professional. Once the Chocolate Confectionary construction was complete, a site visit was conducted with ownership. Reviews were full of praise and the end result was a clean professional looking facility that fulfilled the clients’ needs. Large, viewing windows from the retail component into the manufacturing area allows the visiting public to see how the chocolate is made. The bright, clean, manufacturing space exudes confidence that the product being prepared is of the highest quality”. “Moving forward, I would most definitely be pleased to share my experience with Crossville and Laminam with other design professionals. My experience specifying and utilizing the Laminam porcelain tile product has been quite positive. I have no reservations specifying Laminam on other projects. In fact, we specified the product for exterior components on the new Oakland Commerce Center Phase II comprising a 15,000 SF retail center and a 15,000 SF office building.” That project is shown here. Laminam byCrossville® brings a dramatic new dimension of porcelain tile to American Design. These technologically advanced, aesthetically innovative panels are the largest, thinnest porcelain slabs in production anywhere in the world, allowing them to effortlessly skin both floors and walls to dress spaces in ways previously unthinkable in architectural design. Laminam by Crossville® is available in 5.6mm thickness for interior flooring or interior or exterior walls and 3 mm thickness for interior and exterior walls in both residential and commercial applications, including new installations and fast renovations when installed over existing surfaces including tile. With more than 50 designer-inspired colors and finishes, its versatility to elevate the look of virtually any interior space is evident. As its exclusive U.S. distributor, Crossville partners with Laminam, a consolidated System Group company in Modena, Italy, to bring a dramatic new dimension of porcelain tile to American design. Laminam by Crossville’s technologically advanced, aesthetically innovative tile panels, available in thicknesses of 3+mm and 5.6mm, enable you to effortlessly skin both floors and walls to dress spaces in ways previously unthinkable in architectural design. An ever-growing catalog of designer-inspired colors and finishes extends Laminam’s versatility to elevate the look of virtually any interior space. D&B Tile Distributors is the exclusive source for Crossville products throughout South Florida. See these beautiful tiles and many other selections of tile, marble and stone from around the world at any of our nine conveniently located stores. Remember, the first step to beautiful design is stepping into D&B Tile.