Solid Wood Flooring

Solid Wood Flooring takes stains and other finishes well and can be esily refinished. Because it is prine to damage from warer and moisture, it should be used on the ground floor and able only.

Plainsawn: Produces maximum yield. Greater variation in grain as the direciton of teh cut makes growth rings more obvious.

Quartersawn: Yields less footage than plainsawn. Have more parallel grain. Hold stainds and other painted finishes well and create a homogenous wood floor.

Other Wood Flooring

Engineered Flooring: Made of built-up layers with the wood grain running in opposite directions, engineered flooring is available in three, five, and ten-ply.

Acrylic-Impregnated Flooring: Acrylic injected into the wood creates an extremely durable and hard finish. Used in restaurants and malls and less frequently in residential projects.

End Grain Flooring: Made of wood cut perpendicular to the grain, end grain flooring is very resistant to damage and can be used in high-impact conditions. Suittable to all applications from residential to warehousing.

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Ash

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Color: Heartwood is light tan to dark brown; sapwood is creamy white. Similar in appearance to white oak, but frequently more yellow.

Grain: Bold, straight, moderately open grain with occasional wavy figuring. Can have strong contrast in grain in plainsawn boards.

Variations: Sometimes confused with hickory; the zone of large pores is more distinctive in ash, similar to that of red oak.

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Bamboo

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Color: Typically, available in light (manila/yellow tones) or dark (tannish brown) shades. Colors vary between manufacturers.

Grain: Distinctive grain pattern shows nodes from the bamboo stalks.

Variations: Available either horizontally or vertically laminated. Horizontal construction tends to show nodes more prominently..

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Birch

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Color: In yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis), sapwood is creamy yellow pale while; heartwood is light reddish brown tinged with red. In sweet birch (B. lenta), sapwood is light colored and heartwood is dark brown tinged with red.

Grain: Medium figuring, straight, closed grain, even texture. Occasional curly grain or wavy figure in some boards.

Variations: Within Species And Grades: Yellow birch, sweet birch, paper birch. Paper birch (B. papyrifera) is softer and lower in weight and strength than yellow or sweet birch. However, yellow birch is most commonly used for flooring. Boards can vary greatly in grain and Color.

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Brazilian Cherry

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Color: Sapwood is gray-white; heartwood is salmon red to orange-brown when fresh, and becomes russet or reddish brown when seasoned; often marked with dark streaks.

Grain: Mostly interlocked; texture is medium to rather coarse.

Variations:Moderate to high Color variation.

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Brazilian Maple

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Color: Pale cream to yellow cream; no contrast between sapwood and heartwood.

Grain: Straight, fine, uniform

Variations:Lower grades may have darker tan/brown colors.

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Brazilian Walnut

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Color: Can vary from light yellowish tan with green overtones to almost blackish brown; exhibits a large range of coloration when freshly milled; darkens over time to medium to dark brown

Grain: Fine to medium, straight to very irregular

Variations:

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Bubinga

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Color: Pink, red or red/brown with purple streaks or veins; changes from pinkish rose when freshly milled to burgundy red when aged

Grain: Fine; straight or interlocked, can be highly figured.

Variations: Quartered exhibits flame figure; flatsawn has rosewood graining

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Cherry

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Color: Heartwood is light to dark reddish brown, lustrous, sapwood is light brown to pale with a light pinkish tone. Some flooring manufacturers steam lumber to bleed the darker heartwood color into the sapwood, resulting in a more uniform color. Color darkens

Grain: Fine, frequently wavy, uniform texture. Distinctive flake pattern on true quartersawn surfaces. Texture is satiny, with some gum pockets.

Variations: Significant color variation between boards

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Cumaru

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Color: At first, red-brown or purple-brown with light yellow-brown or purple streaks, after exposure uniform light brown or yellow-brown.

Grain: Fine texture, interlocked, waxy or oily feel

Variations: Dramatic shading that mellows as the floors matures

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Cypress

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Color: Cream-colored sapwood; heartwood is honey- gold to brown with darker knots throughout

Grain: Closed

Variations: High degree of color variability

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Douglas Fir

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Color: Pecan heartwood is reddish brown with dark brown stripes; sapwood is white or creamy white with pinkish tones. Hickory heartwood is tan or reddish; sapwood is white to cream, with fine brown lines.

Grain: Pecan is open, occasionally wavy or irregular. Hickory is closed, with moderate definition; somewhat rough-textured

Variations: In both hickory and pecan, there are often pronounced differentiations in color between spring wood and summer wood. In pecan, sapwood is usually graded higher than darker heartwood. Pecan and hickory are traditionally mixed by flooring mills

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Hickory Pecan

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Color: Pecan heartwood is reddish brown with dark brown stripes; sapwood is white or creamy white with pinkish tones. Hickory heartwood is tan or reddish; sapwood is white to cream, with fine brown lines

Grain: Pecan is open, occasionally wavy or irregular. Hickory is closed, with moderate definition; somewhat rough-textured.

Variations: In both hickory and pecan, there are often pronounced differentiations in color between spring wood and summer wood. In pecan, sapwood is usually graded higher than darker heartwood. Pecan and hickory are traditionally mixed by flooring mills

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Iroku

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Color: Light to medium brown when newly installed; has a significant color change and turns to brown/dark brown over time

Grain: Interlocked medium to coarse texture

Variations: Dramatic difference between quartersawn and flatsawn products

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Jarrah

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Color: Heartwood is uniformly pinkish to dark red, often a rich, dark red mahogany hue, turning a deep brownish red with age and exposure; sapwood is pale. Frequent black streaks with occasional ingrown grain

Grain: Frequently interlocked or wavy. Texture is even and moderately coarse

Variations:

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Mahogany

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Color: Dark reddish brown

Grain: Striped figuring in quartersawn selections; texture is even and very fine

Variations: Moderate color variation

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Maple

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Color: Heartwood is creamy white to light reddish brown; sapwood is pale to creamy white

Grain: Closed, subdued grain, with medium figuring and uniform texture. Occasionally shows quilted, fiddleback, curly or bird's-eye figuring. Figured boards often culled during grading and sold at a premium

Variations: Black maple (B. nigrum) is also hard; other species are classified as soft

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Merbeau

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Color: Heartwood is yellowish to orange-brown when freshly cut, turning brown or dark red- brown upon exposure

Grain: Straight to interlocked or wavy; coarse texture

Variations: Moderate to high variation in color

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Mesquite

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Color: Light brown to dark reddish brown.

Grain: High in character, with ingrown bark and mineral streaks. Most commonly used in flooring as end-grain block, which has small irregular cracks radiating across the grain

Variations: One grade; moderate color variations

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Pine Antique Heart

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Color: Heartwood is yellow after cutting & turns deep pinkish tan to warm reddish brown within weeks due to high resin content. Sapwood remains yellow, with occasional blue-black sap stain

Grain: Dense, with high figuring. Plainsawn is swirled; rift- or quartersawn is primarily pinstriped. Curly or burl grain is rare

Variations: Moderate color variation

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Pine Southern Yellow

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Color: Heartwood varies from light yellow/orange to reddish brown or yellowish brown; sapwood is light tan to yellowish white

Grain: Closed, with high figuring; patterns range from clear to knotty

Variations: Longleaf pine (P. palustris), shortleaf pine (P. echinata), loblolly pine (P. taedo), slash pine (P. elliottii). All have many of the same characteristics as Douglas fir

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Sapele

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Color: Medium to dark red-brown; darkens over time

Grain: Fine, interlocked

Variations: Quarter-sawn material has a ribbon-striped effect

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Spotted Gum

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Color: Heartwood is light to dark brown, sapwood is pale and may be as wide as 3.12 inches (8cm)

Grain: Interlocked, moderately coarse, Frequent presence of wavy grain produces "fiddleback" grain. Slightly greasy; gum veins are common

Variations:

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Sydney Blue Gum

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Color: Wide range from pinks to burgundy reds; regrowth timber may be a pale straw color with pink highlights. Colors mute over time and darken to a medium brown-red.

Grain:

Variations:

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Tasmanian Oak

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Color: Pale straw with occasional pinkish high-lights, tan colors, some medium gray/brown colors; over time overall color variation is muted with an ambering of the straw colors to darker tan

Grain: All riftsawn.

Variations: Even range of color shadings

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Teak

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Color: Heartwood varies from yellow-brown to dark golden brown; turns rich brown under exposure to sunlight. Sapwood is a lighter cream color.

Grain: Straight; coarse, uneven texture

Variations: Moderate to high color variation

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Walnut

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Color: Heartwood is light to dark brown, sapwood is pale and may be as wide as 3.12 inches (8cm).

Grain: Interlocked, moderately coarse, Frequent presence of wavy grain produces "fiddleback" grain. Slightly greasy; gum veins are common

Variations:

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Wenge

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Color: Heartwood is light to dark brown, sapwood is pale and may be as wide as 3.12 inches (8cm).

Grain: Interlocked, moderately coarse, Frequent presence of wavy grain produces "fiddleback" grain. Slightly greasy; gum veins are common

Variations:

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White Oak

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Color: Heartwood is light brown; some boards may have a pinkish tint or a slight grayish cast. Sapwood is white to cream.

Grain: Open, with longer rays than red oak. Occasional crotches, swirls and burls. Plainsawn boards have a plumed or flared grain appearance; riftsawn has a tighter grain pattern, low figuring; quartersawn has a flake pattern, sometimes called tiger rays or butt

Variations: Considerable variation among boards in color and grain texture, but variations not as pronounced as in red oak.

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Marble

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Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Marble may be foliated. In geology the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stonemasonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone.
Marble has the same general properties of limestone and can stain, etch or scratch, but only becomes more beautiful over time and use. Most marble has veining mineral deposits throughout. It is generally thought to be from Italy, but in actuality it is quarried all over the world. Tumbled marble has become extremely popular in the United States in the last few years for backsplash, flooring and shower areas.

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Granite

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The only natural stones harder than granite are diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Therefore, choose granite when permanence, enduring color and texture, and complete freedom from deterioration and maintenance are prime requirements. Granite is highly heat, scratch and stain resistant, and is commonly used to face commercial and institutional buildings and monuments. It is unequaled as a material for fireplaces, steps, road and driveway curbing, terraces, and to pave plazas and public spaces. Granite is the traditional favorite of countertop materials for its unique colors and patterns, proven durability and lasting value.

Granite comes in hundreds of different colors and is quarried in such places as the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Africa, Norway, India, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Russia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and more.

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Slate

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Slate is a material as it has an extremely low water absorption index of less than 0.4%, making the material waterproof. In fact, this natural slate, which requires only minimal processing, has the lowest embodied energy of all roofing materials. Natural slate is used by building professionals as a result of its beauty and durability. Slate is incredibly durable and can last several hundred years, often with little or no maintenance. Its low water absorption makes it very resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing. Natural slate is also fire resistant and energy efficient.

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Limestone

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This grain stone has a very uniform texture and grade, and has gained worldwide acceptance as a premier dimension stone. Limestone weathers naturally over time and its color mellows and blends into a pleasing natural patina. With no artificial coloring agents to fade and no reinforcement rods to rust, the appearance of limestone actually improves with age.

Limestone exhibits no preferential direction of splitting and can be cut and carved in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Thus, it can be sawed, planed, turned on a lathe or hand worked to match the requirements of demanding architectural designs. Limestone has proven its use from simple treads and pavers to landscaping structures and bridges, to soaring cathedrals over and over again.

One benefit that has made limestone a choice product is the consistency of deposit. While subtle color and grain differences are present, limestone is extremely homogenous for a natural product. This is important, not only for the current project being built, but particularly when future expansions are contemplated.

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Travertine

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Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-colored, and even rusty varieties. Travertine is a terrestrial sedimentary rock, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from solution in ground and surface waters, and/or geothermally heated hot-springs.

Travertine can be cut in a “vein cut” to expose the linear patterns of the natural bedding planes. It can also be cut in a “fleuri cut” or “cross cut,” which exposes a more random and subtle flowery pattern. The small cavities that are inherent in all travertine are typically filled with grout to create a more durable surface. For some applications an unfilled travertine will create an interesting and unusual surface finish.

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Onyx

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Onyx is a banded variety of the oxide mineral chalcedony. Agate and onyx are both varieties of layered chalcedony that differ only in the form of the bands: agate has curved bands and onyx has parallel bands. The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color (save some shades, such as purple or blue). Commonly, specimens of onyx contain bands of black and/or white.

Decorative wall panels made with onyx are thin and relatively light, perfect for any interior design ideas blending this beautiful natural stone with LED lights and adding a stunning look to home furnishings, accents, and distinct architectural elements. Onyx looks incredible with wood, concrete, steel, and glass, creating functional, spectacular and ultra modern interiors.

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Bluestone

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Bluestone Pavers

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Polished Concrete

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Concrete that has been processed through a series of "polishing/grinding" steps similar to the production of terrazzo. The process the use of a penetrant chemical known as a hardener. The concrete densifier/hardener penetrates into the concrete and creates a chemical reaction to help harden and dust proof the surface.
During concrete polishing the surface is processed through a series of steps utilizing progressively finer grinding tools. Generally, a minimum of 6 grinding steps is required to be considered polished concrete.
The grinding tools are progressive grits of industrial diamonds in a bonded material such as metal/hybrid/resin often referred to as diamond polishing pads. Polished Concrete is a "Green" flooring system and LEED approved. Concrete is not considered polished before 800 grit, and it is normally finished to either the 800, 1500, or 3000 grit level.
Dyes designed for concrete polishing are often applied to add color to polished concrete as well as other options such as scoring, creating radial lines, grids, bands, borders, and other designs.

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Terrazzo

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Terrazzo is a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cementitious binder (for chemical binding), polymeric (for physical binding), or a combination of both.

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KRION

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KRION® is a new generation solid surface developed by Systempool - a company that is part of the Porcelanosa Group. It is a solid surface material that is warm to the touch and feels similar to natural stone. Its exclusive solid surface formula allows Porcelanosa to create the most versatile shapes for the most diverse applications. Among Porcelanosa’s KRION® Solid Surface benefits are that it is non porous, and it features an anti-bacterial surface that has not been altered by any type of additive. KRION® is a hard-wearing, highly resistant and easy to repair material that only requires minimum maintenance. KRION® is cut in a similar way to wood, allowing us to cut the sheets, connect them, and thermoform them to create curved sections. KRION® can be injected during the production process or cut out to create intricate designs on the surface, making it possible to create different designs and projects that are impossible to achieve with other materials.

Seamless sections can be created, preventing liquids from being absorbed and making cleaning and maintenance easier. Porcelanosa offers KRION® in a wide range of colors, including a white finish that stands out for its purity and neutrality in comparison with other similar material. KRION® is an ecological material, as it is 100% recyclable and can be reprocessed and reused in the production cycle.

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Kerlite

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Its extremely thin structure (only 3 mm) and extra large sizes (up to 3 x 1 metre) make it possible to renovate old floors and walls without demolishing, to save time and money. The potential of Kerlite is so great to make it suitable for commercial environments, furnishings and even ships. Kerlite becomes a common word, used to indicate ultrathin products. Thanks to a prestigious agreement with the global leader in antibacterial technology Microban®, on 2010 Cotto d’Este integrates in the tile surface of its leading product’s ranges an innovative antibacterial shield that eliminates up to 99.9% of bacteria on the surface and guarantees long- lasting protection against wear and tear, climatic conditions and repeated cleans in any usage environment.

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Linoleum

Invented in the nineteenth century, linoleum is a combination of linseed oil, cork, ground limestone, and resin mixed with pigment.

The mixture is then oven-cured slowly for two to three weeks. Next, the linoleum layer is calendared onto a jute backing and a protective finish is applied.

THe final rolls are cut to widths of 79" for installation. Durable and antibacterial, linoleum is suitable for both residential and commercial projects. Linoleum requires a wax polish to prevent staining and discoloration.

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Cork

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Color: Varies from light to dark; many colors available depending on manufacturer

Grain: Distinctive look unlike wood - cork is actually the bark of a type of oak

Variations: Many patterns available depending on manufacturer

Manufactured in a composite process that presses the cork to each side of a medium- or high-density fiberboard. This stabilization layer allows for ease of installation as well as a tongue-and-groove interlock. A top layer of varnish seals the cork.

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Vinyl Composite Tiles

These tiles combine a backing layer composed of limestone, a printed design, a wear layer, and a protective film.

VCT is distinguished from Solid Vinyl Tile(SVT) by the fact that its primary raw ingredient is limestone, a naturally abundant material. Almost 65 percent of vinyl composition tile is made of limestone. This is referred to as a “filler” material. VCT is most commonly used in high-traffic commercial applications and public spaces, such as retail stores and schools. It is known for being highly durable and easy to maintain and all for less cost than most other material alternatives.

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Solid Vinyl Tiles

Solid tiles generally have no backing layer and have a higher ratio of vinyl resin compared to composite, making them mnore resistant to damage due to wear. Typically thicker as well further increasing durability.

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Rubber Tiles

Rubber tiles resist spills from chemicals and othet corrosive materials and provide support for activities that require long hours of standing.

Available in two varieties: homogenous--pigment is added to the rubber mix crearting color throughout, or laminated--top layer is patterned with different colors.

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Cut Pile Textured

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This cut pile, also referred to as a textured plush, is typically made from slightly textured yarns, but instead of being straight, as in a standard saxony, the fibers are kinked or twisted in different directions and then steamed to create a permanent curl.

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Cut Pile Saxony

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Made from smooth cut piles, saxony carpet is most commonly referred to as plush carpet and is what often comes to mind when we think of traditional wall-to-wall carpet in the home. Thousands of perfectly even, straight, solid-colored strands of fiber give this carpet its thick, soft feel.

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Cut Pile Frieze

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This cut pile offers a tighter “twist” than textured saxonies. The yarn curls over, creating a very durable product and a more informal look.

Frieze carpets with very long piles are commonly

referred to as a “shag” carpet.

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Cut Pile Cable

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Constructed of thicker. longer yarns than its cut pile companions, Cable is beautiful, comfortable and very luxurious. It can crush and matte with heavy foot traffic,

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Loop Pile

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Loop pile is how all carpet actually begins — uncut. Commonly known as commercial carpet, loop pile carpets can be either smooth, consistent surface or high and low loops giving the carpet a more textured appearance. Loop carpets are usually made from olefin or nylon fibers. The multi-color comes from combining different colored fibers together, which helps hid traffic patterns and soling. Made from yarns that are looped into the backing, this popular style is perfect for high traffic areas of the home and can be found in many commercial settings.

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Cut and Loop

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This style features a combination of both loops and cut

pile yarns to create a patterned design. A big trend in the 70s and 80s, this carpet has experienced a rebound in popularity, with modern styles featuring geometric designs, pin dots, linear styles, animal prints, and more color combinations than ever.

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Marble

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Granite

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Onyx

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Lavastone

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Lava stone is a natural volcanic rock that is quarried, cut into slabs, topped with an enamel glaze, and fired at a very high heat. The fact that it’s volcanic lends it a toughness: Lava stone can withstand high temperatures, offers even heat distribution, and can be glazed, which sets it apart from other stone countertops.

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Limestone

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Sandstone

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Soapstone

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Slate

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Quartzite

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Quartzite is formed when sandstone and quartz are found together in extremely high temperatures and pressure. When such conditions are present the quartz particles are absorbed by the empty grains of sandstone and form a new material which is stronger than quartz. Quartzite is an exceptionally durable and strong material; it is known to be the third strongest stone on Earth and is usually resistant to etching or staining.

Quartzite is largely found in the Appalachian Mountains, Texas, Utah and Minnesota.

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Caesarstone

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Cosentino (Silestone)

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Cambria

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Dupont Zodiac

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Technistone

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Slabs 305 x 142.5cm x (1.2cm; 2cm; 3cm)

Tiles-30x30cm 60x60cm 30x60cm x (1cm; 1.2cm; 2cm) Kitchen countertops

Bars-tops Wall tiles Vanity units Floor tiles Window sills

Stairs treads and risers Tables

Fireplace tiling Decorations Facedes (TS Exterior) Flowerpots

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Dupont Corian

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A flexible solid surface composite material manufactured from acrylic resin and natural minerals, used as a decorative material in a variety of, residential and commercial applications. Over 90 colours available. With Corian® solid surface, you can engrave intricate designs to exact specifications using CNC machinery. So you can customise your designs with graphics, logos, and imagery in ways you’ve never seen before.

Durable, tough, and infinitely versatile, Corian® is easy to clean and maintain. When properly cleaned, its nonporous surface does not promote the growth of mold and mildew. In addition, Corian® is GREENGUARD Certified® as a low-emitting material

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Wilsonart

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Samsung Staron

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Swanstone

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Formica

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Formica is composed of several layers of kraft paper impregnated with melamine thermosetting resin, or a unified core, and topped with a decorative layer protected by melamine, then compressed and cured with heat to make a hard, durable surface

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Natural Fiber

Protein Fiber
Cellulose

Man-made Fiber

Cellulose
Mineral


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Silk

Taken from the cocoon of a silkworm. A natural protein, a single silk fiber has more strength than a steel filament of the same thickness. It absorbs well and can be dyed in many colors. Organza, silk satin, and charmeuse are woven silk fabrics.

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Properties: Good tensile strength, may water spot, yellows with age, degraded by UV rays


Hand & Appearance: Smooth or slubby, lustrous, crisp drapability
Uses/Implications: Drapery, light upholstery, used in blends

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Wool

Taken from a variety of animal coats from coarse to very soft in texture. Wool fibers are crimped and wavy and, when woven, create pockets that give depth to the fabric. The scaled texture of the outer surface of the fibers, si milar to the scales of a fish, allows them to stick together and create felt. ALpaca, mohair, camel, and cashmere are wool specialty fibers.

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Properties: Resists wrinkling, absorbent, resilient, burns slowly in direct flame, self-extinguishes


Hand & Appearance: Worsted, smooth, durable, short, staple, springy; varies by animal
Uses/Implications: Carpeting, upholstery, and drapery

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Cotton

Made from the seed pod of the cotton plant. Fibers are hollow in the center and twisted like a ribbon. Cotton can handle high temperatures, absorbs dye well, and stands up to abrasions. Muslin, sateen, terry cloth, and velveteen are woven cotton fabrics.

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Properties: Absorbent, dyes well, flammable unless treatd with chemicals. hydrophilic


Hand & Appearance: Crisp, smooth
Uses/Implications: Upholstery wrinkles, drapery elongates and shrinks with changes in humidity, some use in carpeting, dryclean only.

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Linen

Made from the bast that surrounds the stem of the flax plant. It is the strongest of the plant fibers. The plant's wax content imparts a sheen to the fiber, whose natural color ranges from creamy white to tan. It can also be dyed.

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Properties: Absorbent, dyes well, resists piling and degradation from UV, wrinkles, reacts to moisture in air


Hand & Appearance: Crisp, smooth
Uses/Implications: Upholstery wrinkles, drapery elongates and shrinks with changes in humidity, some use in carpeting, dryclean only.

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Jute

Made from the stack and stem of hte jute plant. This glossy fiber serves mostly as a backing material for carpet and flooring.

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Properties: Absorbent, dyes well


Hand & Appearance: Crisp, course
Uses/Implications: Floor covering, novelty

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Hemp

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Properties: Absorbent, dyes well


Hand & Appearance: Crisp, course
Uses/Implications: Floor covering, novelty

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Bamboo

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Properties: Very absorbent, antibacterial


Hand & Appearance: Crisp, course
Uses/Implications: Multipurpose

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Rayon

Manufactured from wood pulp. Rayon was the first man-made fiber. Like cotton, it is very absorbent and strong.

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Properties: Absorbent, easy to dye, from wood pulp


Hand & Appearance: Artificial silk; drapes well
Uses/Implications: Multipurpose and light upholstery

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Acetate

Manufactured from plant cellulose. It can be extruded in fibers of various diameters that can be woven to look like silk. Unlike silk, it is a weak fiber and sensitive to heat.

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Properties: Resists shrinking, moths, from wood pulp; cross-dyed with cotton or rayon


Hand & Appearance: Soft and drapable , variety of lusters possible
Uses/Implications: Multipurpose and light upholstery use

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Lyocell

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Properties: Dyeability, wrinkle resistance, biodegradable


Hand & Appearance: Good drapability, varying construction, simulates silk or leather

Uses/Implications: Multipurpose fabrics

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PLA

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Properties: Good wicking, low absorption, light fiber, low smoke and flame; renewable from sugar crops, corn, and beets


Hand & Appearance: 
Uses/Implications: Multipurpose fabrics

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Polyester

Produced from alcohol and carbozyl acid. It is resistant to crease and non-absormbent. It is blended with other fiers like cotton.
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Properties: Springy hand, resists wrinkling, shrinkage, mildew; melts, self-extinguishes; oleophillic


Hand & Appearance: Pleats and creases must be heat set; crisp hand
Uses/Implications: Carpet, multipurpose, used in blends for upholstery

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Nylon

Produced solely from petrochemicals. It is commonly used for carpet fibers and is very sensitive to heat.

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Properties: Strong, elastic, abrasion resistant, resists damage by many chemicals, low absorbency; hydrophobic


Hand & Appearance: Lustrous, can be fine or coarse depending on fiber cross section and size
Uses/Implications: Carpet, upholstery, drapery, blends may pill

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Acrylic

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Properties: Low absorbency, dyeable, resists winkling, soiling, and damage from UV


Hand & Appearance: Can resemble cotton or wool
Uses/Implications: Carpeting, upholstery, novelty; may pill if not continuous fiber

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Polypropylene

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Properties: High bulk, resists abrasion, moisture, UV, chemicals; low melting temperature, oleophilic


Hand & Appearance: Springy, waxy feel
Uses/Implications: Carpeting, upholstery, used in blends

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Glass

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Properties: Fiberglass is nonabsorbent, flame resistant

Hand & Appearance: Heavy, can cause skin irritation if handled excessively; the term glass curtains is also used in place of the term sheers, which may be made of another fiber

Uses/Implications: Window covering

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Canvas

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Rugged, woven cloth made with coarse yarn. Also called duck.
Use: cushions, slipcovers, shower curtains, paint drop cloths

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Chambray

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Fabric woven with a mixture of colored and white yarn. Use: curtains, shirts, dresses.

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Chenille

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A fuzzy cotton yarn or fabric that has pile protruding around it, named for the French word for caterpillar.


Use: Heavyweight as upholstery; lightweight for bedspreads and robes.

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Chintz

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Glazed fabric, often printed with floral designs or stripes.

Use: upholstery, curtains and bedding for the English country look and romantic bedrooms.

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Corduroy

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Ribbed pile fabric in various weights and weaves. Use: cushions, curtains, bedspreads, Upholstery

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Damask

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Patterned fabric made on a jacquard loom.

Use: table linens, Upholstery, window coverings

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Denim

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Rugged, durable twill, most popular in indigo blue, but also white, tan, red, black.


Use: jeans, slipcovers, bedspreads, casual curtains.

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Flannel

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Ribbed pile fabric in various weights and weaves. Use: cushions, curtains, bedspreads, Upholstery

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Gingham

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Yarn-dyed and woven usually in checks. Use: Curtains, sheets and pillowcases.

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Jacquard

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Fabric woven on the jacquard loom, which produces elaborate, figured weaves.


Use: decorative fabrics such as tapestries, brocade and damask used in Upholstery, Window Coverings

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Knit

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Ribbed pile fabric in various weights and weaves. Use: cushions, curtains, bedspreads, Upholstery

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Matelassé

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Double-woven in different patterns on a jacquard loom to give a three- dimensional look.


Use: Outer bedding, tablecloths, upholstery, Draperies, Upholstery and window coverings

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Oxford

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Fabric made with a modified plain or basket weave.


Use: button-down shirts and more recently, window Treatments and bedding.

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Percale

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A smooth, finely combed woven with a minimum thread count of 180 threads per square inch.

Use: sheets and clothing/ Window Treatments

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Poplin

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Fabric with a fine horizontal rib effect on the surface and high thread count.


Use: high-quality shirting/ window Treatments.

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Plissé

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Ribbed pile fabric in various weights and weaves. Use: cushions, curtains, bedspreads, Upholstery

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Sateen

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A fine satin-weave cotton with a smooth, lustrous surface. Striped sateen mixes lustrous with matte-finish stripes. Silky texture, not as crisp as poplin or chintz Use: sheets, tablecloths, curtains.

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Seersucker

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A lightweight cotton fabric with a woven crinkle achieved by altering tension in the warp yarns.

A lightweight cotton fabric with a woven crinkle achieved by altering tension in the warp yarns.

Use: synonymous with the classic summer suit; also used in sportswear, curtains,

slipcovers.

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Sheers

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Ribbed pile fabric in various weights and weaves. Use: cushions, curtains, bedspreads, Upholstery

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Terry Cloth

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Fabric with moisture-absorbing loop pile covering the entire surface on one or both sides.

Use: bath towels, robes and cushion covers.

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Twill

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Durable fabric with diagonal lines on its face. Use: Upholstery, Window coverings, slipcovers.

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Velvet

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A warp-pile fabric with short, densely woven cut pile, giving the fabric a soft, rich texture.

Use: draperies, upholstery and clothing.

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Ikat

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Ribbed pile fabric in various weights and weaves. Use: cushions, curtains, bedspreads, Upholstery

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Suzani

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Suzani is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.


Uses: Upholstery, Window Treatments, Bedding

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Hardy Organic Hemp from O Ecotextiles

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Seattle-based Ecotextiles, which was named one of BuildingGreen’s 2008 Top- 10 Green Building Products, is one of a select few companies out there completely dedicated to green fabric. Their mission statement sounds like a good plan to us: "O Ecotextiles wants to change the way textiles are made by proving that it's possible to produce luxurious, sensuous fabrics in ways that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable."

Designed by Emily Todhunter, Hardy Organic Hemp is made of 100 percent long fiber hemp, sustainably harvested by independent farmers in Romania--a country that has farmed hemp for generations. Although hemp must be imported (and therefore has a bigger transport carbon footprint), it is particularly easy to grow in most climates and resistant to bugs. No pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, or synthetic fertilizers are used during farming, and the fabric is spun at a local facility without water or "chemicals inputs of any kind."

The fabric is then moved to an Italian dye house--one of only a few in the world qualified to produce a certified-organic dyed or finished fabric. Hardy Organic Hemp meets three different LEED criteria from the U.S. Green Building Council: indoor air quality, use of rapidly renewable resources, and innovation.

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Abacus from Knoll Textiles

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Furniture manufacturer Knoll has the reputation for being fairly eco-savvy--and these principals are also followed in its textile division, Knoll Textiles. Abacus upholstery for both furniture and panels looks like virgin wool, but is woven from 100 percent recycled polyester sourced from both post-consumer (soda bottles) and post-industrial materials (production scraps).

The company's environmental policy is also nothing to sneeze at: It is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative Energy & Climate Change Working Group and has trimmed carbon dioxide emissions by over 10 percent since 2006, with an investment of over a cool $2 million.

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Climatex from Rohner Textil

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Swiss manufacturer Rohner Textil addresses several different eco factors with Climatex, which carries the prestigious Cradle to Cradle certification from MBDC. The certification requires environmentally safe, healthy and recyclable materials, renewable energy resources during manufacture, responsible handling of water, among other criteria.

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Ocean Collection from Oliviera Textiles

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Photo top: Anemone made of seaweed, hemp, organic cotton, and twill. Photo bottom: Shellgame in 100 percent hemp twill or 55/45 hemp/organic cotton twill. For whimsical eco textiles, look no further than Oliveira Textiles. The firm's debut Ocean Collection is made of sustainably harvested and rapidly renewable hemp, (like Ecotextiles, it is sourced from Romania), and organic cotton grown, harvested, and woven in Turkey

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Hallingdal from Kvadrat

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Danish firm Kvadrat is a major source for luxury textiles in the international market, and boasts a strict "environmental compendium (PDF)." Six of the firm's textiles are particularly green. The 70 percent new wool and 30 percent viscose Hallingdal by Nanna Ditzel, as well as Hacker and Molly, are stamped with the EU Flower designation, meaning manufacturing, chemical composition, and quality is checked by independent bodies in order to comply to strict ecological and performance criteria.

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Sensuede

Billed as the "the first luxury faux suede that's ecofriendly, enviro-conscious and earth-conscious,"

Sensuede is made entirely from recycled polyester fibers. The fibers come from both post-industrial and post-consumer sources, including PET soda and water bottles. Production does not include harmful solvents or toxic waste and the material is highly stain resistant (marks can be rubbed off with a brush or an eraser), making it long-lasting.

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Mod Green Pod

All the fabrics from Austin, Texas based-Mod Green Pod are made of 100 percent certified organic cotton grown in the United States. Geared towards the residential market, the firm also does all weaving and water-based printing locally, slashing its carbon footprint and keeping energy consumption low.

Pigments, while imported from Germany, are non-toxic and comply with Global Organic Textile Standards, which ensures no dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde (wrinkle-free agents), PBDEs (flame retardants), or PFOA (i.e.

Teflon/Scotchgard) off-gassing.

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Q Collection

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In addition to sustainable baby furniture, eco-conscious firm Q collection has a line of residential and contract textiles meeting rigorous eco criteria. All fabric is completely free of toxic finishes or treatments and designed to be 100 percent biodegradable, incorporating natural materials like abaca (banana plant stalk), bamboo, hemp, linen, organic cotton, and wool. Dyes are 100 percent nontoxic and wool-based textiles are produced at a mill that generates cleaner water than what entered and recycles scraps as mulch.

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Mezzanine from Luna Textiles

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San Francisco-based Luna Textiles taps an innovative material developed in collaboration with MBDC and the Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency (EPEA): Eco Intelligent polyester. Released with much acclaim in 2001, this Cradle to Cradle MBDC Gold-certified product is the first polyester produced and dyed with all environmentally safe ingredients.

We love that it can be recycled without hazardous byproducts at the end of its lifecycle, but perhaps the most important innovation is a new catalyst that replaces the heavy metal antimony, a known carcinogen. Luna's Mezzanine and Plaza--launched in 2007 in collaboration with Victor Innovatex--are made of 100 percent Eco Intelligent polyester.

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Across 465964 from Markham

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Across 465964 seating upholstery from textile manufacturer Maharam is made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester. The firm has several textiles containing some or all recycled content, as well as a few designed to be easily biodegradable.


Uses: Upholstery, Window Treatments, Bedding

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Slinkee and Moodring from Haworth

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Furniture manufacturer Haworth's dedication to green includes a LEED certified office and LEED certified showrooms, in addition to sustainably designed furniture and textiles. The manufacturer has 10 textiles it designates green, and five of them--including Moodring and Slinkee--are made of 100 percent recycled polyester. Wuhl is made of 100 percent wool, and therefore easily biodegradable.

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Textile Weaves

Weaves are interlocking fibers that make a textile. Weaves are often confused for types of fabric. For example, jacquard is a weave and not a type of fabric and can be made of various types of fibers. The most common types follow:

Plain Weave: In this most common weave, one warp yarn crosses over one weft yarn in an alternating pattern, chich creates an even surface and texture. It is durable and inexpensive to produce. Common fabrics are cotton, percale, voile, chiffon, organza, and taffeta; common uses are draperies, upholstery, and bed linens.

Basket Weave: A variation of teh plain weave, it is typically woven with two colors of yarn crossing in an alternating pattern that resembles a basket. Common fabrics are oxford an monk's cloth; common uses are bed linens.

Twill Weave: A strong weave. It produces a distinct diagonal pattern by slightly shifting the yarn over at each successive row. This weave crates a houndstooth, herringbone, or chevron pattern. Common fabrics are gabardine, tweed, serge, and denim; common uses are upholstery adn pillows.


Satin Weave: Formed by each yarn floating over four yarns, the weave creates a smooth, lustrous surface. Satin weave drapes very well but is subject to snag due to exposed yarns. When woven in shorter or staple yarns like cotton, it is called sateen. Common fabrics are satin and sateen; common uses are draperies and pillows.

Jacquard Weave: Woven on a special jacquard loom that controls indivirual yarns, the weave allows for more complex design. It is used to produce patterned fabrics. Common fabrics are brocade, damask, and tapestry; common uses are upholstery and wall hangings.

Leno Weave: An open mesh. It is created by a pair of warp threads passing over and under the yarn in a figure eight or hourglass twist. Common fabrics are gauze and marquisette; common uses are draperies and blankets.

Fabric Specification Guidelines

Fabric Specification Guidelines

The following contract fabric guidelines are there to help with fabric specification to assure that the fabrics you specify perform up to contract standards and pass all applicable testing. The categories describe performance features as measured by specified methods under standard laboratory conditions.

These guidelines are based on recommendations by the Association of Contract Textiles (ACT) and are for information purposes only and are made available to help assist specifiers and end-users in evaluating certain characteristics of contract textiles.


  1. Abrasion

    The surface wear of upholstery fabric caused by rubbing and contact with another fabric.

    The Martindale abrasion test ASTM D4966-98 is the method commonly used to predict wearability. This is an oscillating test. Fabric samples are mounted flat and rubbed in a figure eight like motion using a piece of worsted wool cloth as the abradant. The number of cycles that the fabric endures before it shows objectionable change in appearance (yarn breaks, pilling, holes) is counted.

    Number of cycles (rubs) determines abrasion rating.

    Upholstery fabrics for heavy-duty use are rated at 30,000 rubs – these are appropriate for corporate offices, hotel rooms, conference rooms, waiting areas, lounges, dining areas, etc. There are extreme wear situations that may require higher levels of abrasion resistance, such as airport waiting areas, train & bus seating and such public places as theaters, hospitals, lecture halls and fast food restaurants. It is suggested that higher than 60,000 rubs are not meaningful in providing additional value in use. Adorn upholstery fabrics are tested to > 70,000 rubs.

    Actual performance is determined by many factors such as fiber content, type of weave, furniture design and upholstery workmanship, cleaning and usage. The durability of an upholstery fabric also depends on its other features like color fastness, wet & dry crocking, stain resistance, cleanability etc.


  2. Colorfastness to light

    A fabric’s degree of resistance to the fading effect of light.

    Colorfastness to light is a measure of how permanent a color is on fabric after exposure to light. Both natural and synthetic fabrics are subject to discoloration under UV rays (sunlight) and fluorescent light.

    In the test method ISO-105-B02 the tested sample is exposed to the influence of the light of a xenon lamp under certain conditions. Lightfastness grading is determined by comparing the level of color loss of the tested sample with blue standards. For example, grade 5 means that the characteristics of color fastness of the tested sample are similar to the characteristics of the blue standard 5.

    Grade 5 – no fading Grade 4 – slight fading

    Grade 1 – high degree of fading

    Upholstery fabrics should have a minimum rating of 4 regardless of end use.

    Adorn upholstery fabrics have a rating of 4-5.


  3. Colorfastness to wet and dry crocking /rubbing

    Transfer of color from the surface of a colored fabric onto another surface by rubbing or repeated contact.

    Test method ISO-105×12:2001 uses a standard white cotton fabric in both dry and wet state that is rubbed against the surface of the test fabric. After rubbing under controlled pressure for a specific number of times the amount of color transferred to the white test squares is compared to a color chart and a rating is established.

    Grade 5 – no color transfer

    Grade 1 – high degree of color transfer


    For upholstery fabrics ACT guidelines recommend dry crocking Grade 4 minimum and wet crocking Grade 3 minimum. Adorn upholstery fabrics have a rating of 4-5 for both dry and wet crocking /rubbing.


  4. Pilling

    Pilling is the formation of fuzzy balls of fiber on the surface of a fabric that remain attached to the fabric.

    ISO-12945-2:2000 Martindale Method with 415g loading mass, 200 cycles: Grade 5 – no change

    Grade 4 – slight surface fuzzing

    Grade 3 – moderate surface pilling. Pills of varying size and density partially covering the surface

    Grade 2 – distinct surface piling. Pills of various size and density covering a large proportion of the surface

    Grade 1 – severe pilling covering whole of the fabric surface

    Most upholstery fabrics pill to varying degrees. For contract applications fabric should meet grade 4 minimum. Adorn upholstery fabrics have a pilling rating of 4-5.


  5. Colorfastness to perspiration

    Resistance to color change due to perspiration.

    ISO-105-E104:1994 determines resistance to color change due to acidic or alkaline perspiration.

    Grade 5 – no color change

    Grade 1 – high degree of color change Adorn upholstery fabrics have a rating of 4-5.


  6. Flammability

A fabric’s performance when it is exposed to specific source of ignition.

ACT guidelines specify different flammability tests dictated by the intended end use of the fabric. The NFPA 701-89 measures ignition resistance of a fabric after it is exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. The flame, char length and flaming residue are recorded. The test is repeated a number of times and all test samples have to pass the test (if even one sample fails, the fabric fails).

ACT guidelines recommend Class 1 for upholstery and panels. Adorn upholstery fabrics meet this recommendation.

Higher fire-resistant property is required in high risk areas with little means of escape, for example in prison cells and on offshore oil installations. Adorn fabrics can be made to meet high hazard applications by incorporation of additives to inhibit or prevent the combustion process.

It must be appreciated that fire hazard presented by any textile is very dependent on its construction, type of fiber and the circumstances at the time. A fabric cannot be described as non-flammable under all conceivable circumstances.