SPARK Seattle

Do you ever wonder what a Sales Rep does when we are not in the office?

Beyond meeting with architects and designers at different firms, multiple times per day, striving to be a solution based consultant, our goal is to strengthen relationships with these clients to ensure their trust and specifications.

A large part of our job is giving back to those who support us, offering creative ideas and saying Thank You for partnering with us. It is out of this thought process that SPARK was born.

SPARK is an annual event that involves non competing vendors, collaborating together to showcase our latest products in an inspiring way. Our objective is geared toward SPARKing an interest or a new idea resulting in energy and enthusiasm in an unforgettable kind of way.  As you probably know, creative people need many sources of inspiration, and SPARK is one of those solutions.

Planning the event is a detail oriented process. This year, 10 non-competing vendors took on the responsibility of investigating, procuring, and organizing items such as a food truck, drinks, photo booth, and a charity to support. All of this in addition to showcasing our beautiful products. United Tile showcased two Crossville floor pads: Retro Active 2.0 and State of Grace.  Both of which were well received.

Every year there is a higher standard to meet, and excitedly this was SPARK’s most successful year yet with almost 300 in attendance. An iconic location was in order for the 5th year, and the Next 50 pavilion in the Seattle Center was the perfect spot.

The following photos provide a glimpse of the event. Maybe this will SPARK something in you!

SPARK Thanks and Raffle


SPARK State of Grace


SPARK Space Needle


SPARK Retro Active 2.0


SPARK Photobooth

SPARK Attendees 2

SeaCon Event

We recently shared an evening with local designers in our Seattle showroom celebrating the latest product launches from this year’s Neocon expo! Our own Lisa Anderson partnered with Juliet Schwalbach with Miliken, Stephanie Deshaies with Architex, Jillian Hirstein & Dru Jordan with Allsteel, and Lara Yelken with Resource Northwest.

There was a delicious food truck, Burger Planet, and live music! Everyone had a great time between the good food, great music, and of course, beautiful product!


Current Tile Trends

It’s no secret that tile is starting to take center stage in design. If you look at Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram, you know what we’re talking about! From decorative patterns to interesting shapes and textures, tile is being used to make a statement of art and beauty rather than pure function.  With advancing technology there are more options than ever before, which means it might be time to re-think that plain white subway tile.

While there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe, the world of tile is ever-evolving which means trends are happening.  The following looks are gaining popularity based on what we have seen from our manufacturers, customers, social platforms, and the world’s largest tile expos.


Interesting Textures:

You can’t go wrong with a great texture. All one color played up with light and shadow provide incredible interest whether it’s a subtle relief or something larger in scale. We’ve seen everything from wave patterns to geometric and small organic looks. Talk about a feature wall!


Matte Finishes:


If you want chic, go with a matte finish.  Understated, yet a nice break from the shiny finishes we’re used to seeing on tile.  Matte black has been especially popular for both floor and wall applications giving an edgy, yet classy look.


Brickwork Tile:



Whether it’s a glazed brick or something similar, this is the new subway. They’re earthy, rustic, and unpretentious in the most perfect way.  We love the interest they bring to a space while maintaining a classic feel. From backsplashes to café walls, it seems there’s no wrong place to put them!


Small Mosaics:



They may be small but they’re back in a big way. Rich colors, beautiful variation, and endless patterns make it hard to imagine a space they wouldn’t look great in.  And don’t underestimate they’re miniature scale, as they have proven themselves to look equally stunning in both small and large applications.


Parquet Pattern:



What’s old is new again. We are seeing this vintage pattern re-emerge in a fresh way for both floors and walls.  It feels stylish and is a great way to spice up a basic subway tile.


Artisan Tile:



Hand painted, rustic edges, and uneven textures – basically imperfection is what’s trending. It represents the true craftsmanship of tile and evokes character which makes the space appear to have a story.  Because of that, we think the down-to-earth and homey vibe is here to stay.


Rich Colors:



Beautiful, saturated tones are showing up more and more creating show-stopping spaces.  Although it can be intimidating to make the commitment, these images prove that going all in can be totally worth it.


White Marble:

Laminam by Crossville I Naturali Statuario Venato_5x5


We’ve been seeing this one for a while now, but it is still going strong and proving it’s staying power. Porcelain tile or the real deal, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference, making it suitable for almost any application. And like a good pair of jeans, it will always look classic.

Porcelain Tile vs Hardwood

Sant'Agostino Shadewood LightPorcelain tile that looks like wood flooring is so convincing it’s sometimes impossible to tell the difference.  With the advancement of high-tech manufacturing, these porcelain tiles are artfully crafted with patterns and textures that emulate just about any wood species.  So NOW how does one decide whether to use porcelain tile or natural hardwood?  At United Tile, we have many options in both categories – and are here to help you select the right material for YOUR project.  Here are some factors to consider:

Are you a “Naturalist”?  If only the real thing will do, then you are probably better off using real hardwood flooring.  It is beautiful, and has natural variation that can be used in both traditional and contemporary settings.  However, if you want more consistent color and movement, then you may want to consider porcelain.

Plank Bordeaux Givry     Piemme Cottage Ulivo

Durability.  Porcelain tile will last forever, as it won’t stain or scratch.  In areas with higher traffic patterns (such as kitchens), homes with pets, or underneath constantly moving chairs, porcelain is probably a safer choice.   In addition, porcelain is extremely low-maintenance, making it ideal for beach houses and other areas that must withstand outside elements.

Plank Argonne TOAST     Crossville Speakeasy Silver Screen

Comfort/Warmth.  Natural hardwood is softer and will be more comfortable on your feet if you are standing for long periods of time.  In addition, hardwood is much warmer on your feet than tile – especially in cold climates or winter months.  However, you can use radiant heating under porcelain, which may also reduce your heating bills!

Plank Classic French Oak Ombre     Isla Gems Fumée

Exposure to water.  Hardwood doesn’t do well in wet areas, so porcelain will be a better choice in areas where the material may come into contact with water – such as a laundry room or bathroom.  You can even get the look of wood in a shower or outdoors without any worry if it is porcelain!

Plank Argonne LEATHER     Crossville Nest Mindful Oak_Peaceful Oak

Noise.  If you are sensitive to noise or have high ceilings, natural hardwood may be a better choice for you.  It is softer and tends to absorb sound better than porcelain, creating a quieter environment.

Plank Argonne BARN     Crossville Speakeasy-av283-floor-tile-install

Style/Color.  There is a current trend towards grays and whites, which is much easier to find in porcelain than it is with real hardwood.    Real hardwood is a natural product and inherently has both color variation and underlying pink or yellow tones (depending on the species).  Porcelain, however, starts with a white bisque so it is much easier to control the overall color and get the perfect shades of white and gray.  In addition, with all the porcelain plank options available now, it is generally easy to find options that work with the color of your cabinets.

Plank CFO Argent     Sant'Agostino Shadebox Grey

Still can’t decide?  Come visit one of our showrooms and let us help you select the perfect product for your space!

Large Format Porcelain Panels

Laminam by Crossville I Naturali Statuario Venato_5x5We are seeing a huge rise in interest in large format porcelain panels.  LAMINAM by Crossville’s offers the only design solution of their kind that can skin both floors and walls in durable, enviable ceramic style.

This dramatic new dimension of porcelain tile offers panels in a thickness of 3+mm and 5.6mm.  And they will soon offer 1/2″ thickness for fabrication.

An ever-growing catalog of designer-inspired colors and finishes extends Laminam’s versatility to elevate the look of virtually any interior space.  These are ideal for FLOORS, WALLS, SHOWERS, COUNTERS, and even SINKS.  They can also be used to tile directly over tile.


FLOORS & WALLS: Satori by Laminam by Crossville - lodge_5x5


001 Filo Mercurio L3882 3+_5x5


These panels are designed and produced in Italy, yet stocked in the US for quick and easy access.  They are 1 meter x 3 meters, 1 meter x 1 meter, or can be cut to custom sizes.  LAMINAM by Crossville features the latest in Hydrotect surface technology and has the largest stock of colors and finishes on the market.

With these large format porcelain panels, you can get a great look, and cut demolition, installation, and downtime in half.  Stop by one of our United Tile showrooms or contact your sales rep to learn more about LAMINAM by Crossville.

Coming Soon!

As we wrap up this year, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of some of the products that will be arriving into stock in the first quarter of 2018.  We hope this gets you excited for the new year!

gems fumée 1_5x5
Isla Gems Fumee
Equipe Chevron and Hexatile in Blanco Matte
Equipe Hexatile Mate in Blanco, Gris and Negro Matte
378_Techslate - Office - 01 Ambient_5x5
VitrA Tech-Slate Dark Grey and Anthracite
409_Aspenwood Greige - Bathroom Set 01 - 01 Ambient_5x5
VitrA Aspenwood Greige

Thank you to all of our customers and suppliers for your support this year.  We are honored to consider you all friends.  Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

2017 Product Recap

We had a fun year filled with product introductions!  Which was your favorite?

Vallelunga Argenta
Carrara 3_5x5
Vallelunga Carrara
Equipe Country
Apavisa Hydraulic
Bellavita Elements
Oceanside Glasstile - Devotion Line
Studio S Aria
Givry MTNM170- 2374x3072_5x5
Plank Bordeaux
Geyser WDGY316 2374x3072_5x5
Plank Woodlands
Crossville Simpatico
Picture 7594
Eleganza Lakestone
RE(image picture1)_5x5
Eleganza Loft 2.0
Crossville Altered State
Side view of bedroom with study corner
Eleganza Coastline
fabrique_showroom_roomscene_suede or linen_5x5
Eleganza Fabrique
Gazzini Met
island pebbles 5x5
Island Pebbles
Mockup Scene Creator
Studio S Caress
Sant’Agostino Shadebox