As with any good idea, Florida Tile was born out of necessity. The company was started by Jimmy Sikes in 1954 specifically to produce one specialty trim shape that wasn’t easy to find. From the beginning, the company made it its business to be at the forefront of technology and it changed with the times as the industry trend for small, two-toned tile schemes turned to larger and varied sizes and shapes of tiles whose coloring, texture and basic materials weren’t always so straightforward.
Eco- and Socially-conscious Endeavors
While for many, the simple fact that these products are made almost exclusively in the U.S. is enough to make them pay attention, Florida Tile also takes measures to ensure it’s being kind to the environment and to those less fortunate as well.
For starters, the company has attained Greenguard certification for all its products and carries the Certified Porcelain mark on all its porcelain lines. But, beyond certifying the product, Florida Tile is helping to keep it out of landfills as well. The company has established a partnership with a charitable organization that takes unsellable tile and provides floors for the underprivileged in the U.S. and abroad as well. The latter program was begun in 2008.
The company also has been known to step in for its more immediate neighbors, donating 50,000 sq. ft. of ceramic tile in 2012 to help rebuild communities devastated by tornadoes in Eastern Kentucky. Florida Tile’s overall generosity was honored earlier in 2012 with the inaugural Giving Green award from Mountain Re-Source Center. Mountain Re-Source is a non-profit corporation that pairs the “under-resourced with the overstocked,” matching those in need with benevolent companies that manufacture building materials, tools, supplies and related products.
Florida Tile’s assortment includes floor tile, wall tile and accents and its website makes putting it all together easy with menus that allow you to quickly click to see what trim is available for which line.
At press time, tile options here included porcelain, High Definition Porcelain, ceramic, PietraArt Stone, MetalArt, and VitraArt. Within these collections, one is faced with nearly every theme imaginable, from marble looks and mosaics to cast stone fixtures and refined Travertine.
Styles blend both color and texture to create looks that can take one from Old Hollywood to Renaissance times and beyond. Metallic accents in shades like aged copper and antique pewter step in to complete the looks.
Florida Tile’s parent, Panariagroup, was among the companies that realized early on what the digital revolution would do for tile printing. To be sure, this company, like many others today, are producing patterns they once thought impossible. In fact, they’re able to turn basically anything into a new tile pattern -- wood grain, marble, stone; you name it, you can likely get it in your next tile purchase.
In other digital measures, the company added in the summer of 2012 a free online product spec service for architects, designers, dealers and contractors. According to the company, the proprietary software system allows specifiers to “easily navigate to the products they want, create an instant 3-part spec document, then submit the entire package in a single file.”
More on Florida Tile
Florida Tile was acquired by Panariagroup, an Italian-based manufacturer and distributor of porcelain stoneware in more than 100 countries around the world. Panariagroup is publicly traded on the Milan Stock Exchange and operates six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the U.S.
After being based in its namesake Florida since its beginning, Florida Tile relocated its corporate headquarters to Lexington, Kentucky in 2009. The company’s corporate and manufacturing facilities are now united in a $25 million porcelain manufacturing plant Panariagroup built as an investment in its U.S. operations.