Contractors, designers and consumers served with selection, speed and creativity
Ottawa Construction News special feature
Euro Tile & Stone’s new 11,000 sq. ft. showroom raises the bar with its unparalleled access to fine tile and stone from around the globe. The Hawthorne Rd. building has been designed as a unique experience for architects, designers, contractors and consumers.
The company has been one of Ottawa’s premier importers of tile and stone for almost 30 years. Begun by Ben Colasanti in 1986, the company grew from a small showroom on Capella Ct. before it moved to a larger building on Belfast Rd. In 2011 Ben, and Sandra, his partner and wife, started planning for the new location.
General manager John Newland says as the company grew it expanded its offerings from basic ceramic tile and stone to include porcelain, glass, mosaic and, increasingly, lines of conventional and artistic ceramic and stone.
“Euro Tile & Stone has found a niche in the market that is all about quality,” he said. “Through its growth the company has stayed focused on fine European products with offerings from Italy, Portugal and Spain to name a few.”
Newland says in addition to a conscious decision to provide quality, the Colasantis’ connections allow them early access to new products. As a small company they can react quickly to trends.
Architect Len Koffman designed the new headquarters, which includes 50,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space. Bassi Construction built the building. The showroom has been designed by Montreal’s Ruscio Studio.
“We were hoping to create a showroom that would inspire and motivate,” Newland said. “We selected Ruscio Studio for their experience in display spaces and they certainly created the “wow” factor that we had wanted.”
Newland says the design team took full advantage of the 25ft. high ceilings to create a unique and interesting space in which clients can select hard surface finishes.
The experience begins as visitors approach the building. The ventilated exterior facade has been clad uniquely in 2′ by 4′ panels of porcelain tile. Newland says these tiles, which are well-suited to the Canadian climate, may offer inspiration to architects before they even step inside.
The building includes artistic and interesting details. Entering the showroom, for instance, visitors walk on a 4’ x4’ porcelain tile floor. The design incorporates a patterned, round glass mosaic of red, gold and white which transitions further inside the building into a 4’ x 4’ hexagonal tile.
“The displays are meant to be the focus, so the floor is subtle and doesn’t distract,” says Newland. “Those who take the time to look throughout the showroom will appreciate its detailing and beauty.”
Another phenomenal feature is the 17 ft. sculpture of Michelangelo’s David created by Decors 3D. Weighing 800 lbs., the sculpture is covered by more than 500 sq. ft. of micro mosaic glass progressing in colour from the black at the base to white at the head. A 10 ft. ‘urn’ panel, covered in cut glass mosaic, incorporates hidden surprises, including beautiful gold foil tile and a hidden creature. “I regularly see people exploring and enjoying these pieces,” Newland says.
Employees at the entrance reception desk greet visitors and provide an option to connect with one of the company’s experienced staff. Appointments can also be booked in advance. Visitors can wander to soak in the details and possibilities, or seek assistance from staff.
The showroom has been designed to accommodate the needs of different types of visitors. “For the contractor, time is money, so they want to be in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible. They can call in orders ahead of time and then enter by a separate pick up entrance near shipping where their order will be ready,” Newland said.
Orders can also be placed in-store from the service counter and contractors are free to wait in the large reception area which features displays of tools and other accessories that may be needed, a television, coffee service and a sitting area. Newland says this space is large enough and designed with enough flexibility to accommodate activities such as supplier seminars.
Architects and designers will be drawn to the specifications and catalogue room which features a glowing table of phosphorescent tile and abundant samples, catalogues, manufacturer sample folders and technical resources to provide inspiration and fuel creativity. “Beyond the products we stock, there are many we can access or source to meet individual needs and specifications,” says Newland.
For consumers, the showroom has been designed to be well-lit and comfortable with product creatively and accessibly displayed. Intended to lead and entice people through, the layout is designed with a variety of areas for specific products and flows to encourage people to take in all there is to see.
Specialty products including sinks of stone, petrified wood and onyx, provide creative inspiration and the opportunity to see products not available anywhere else. “We offer some very unique, outside-the-box options, as well as more conventional product – everything from clean and simple to artistic. We also have the largest selection of glass available,” says Newland.
Other unique spaces include the “Home Sweet Home” section. Here Euro Tile & Stone has displayed builder’s standard offerings, where home buyers can select their finishes or get assistance in selecting upgrades.
“Our “Last Call” area is a clearance space like no other. Here we display older stock that has had to be cleared to make way for new products. It is well organized and products are creatively displayed with some great options for people who are concerned about the bottom line.”
Euro Tile & Stone’s new showroom offers the high quality the company has always been known for, now combined with a unique experience and an environment for inspiration.
For more information, visit www.euroceramics.ca.