Sustainable Beauty, Exceptional Design

Crossville Inc.
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Crossville Inc. is the leading American manufacturer of remarkably beautiful and sustainable tiles and surfacing solutions. The company has pushed the limits of what is possible, taking the market and the industry to new heights.
Founded in 1986, privately-held Crossville Inc. is celebrating thirty years as an industry leader. It is proudly American owned and operated, with both its headquarters and manufacturing facilities located in Crossville, Tennessee.

Crossville Inc. has been built upon a solid foundation from which it can strategically grow and progress. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Curran Group, and as Vice-President of Marketing Lindsey Waldrep noted, the Curran Group’s support and infrastructure has made Crossville’s success what it is today.

Executive Vice-President of Sales Mark Shannon agrees. “Our lasting success boils down to the core principles that we operate on. Because we’re a subsidiary of the Curran Group, we’re part of a family business, and that means we’ve never had to have a make-or-break attitude. We’re able to keep our eyes on long-term goals because we don’t play to outside shareholders. This structure and support grants us the ability to be a unique company, be ourselves and keep an entrepreneurial spirit. There’s room to make mistakes – and learn and improve because of them.” Shannon was the first person hired by Crossville Inc. in 1986 and continues to play a significant role in the company’s growth and changes.

Crossville Inc. offers an extraordinary assortment of tile and surfacing solutions. Tiles are offered in varying sizes, in an array of shades and textures and with patented Hydrotect™ or Cross-Sheen ® coatings that keep tiles cleaner and protect them from dirt, scuffs, pollution or graffiti. The company’s exterior cladding range is freeze-thaw stable and highly versatile.

Beyond the porcelain tile selection that is manufactured at its Tennessee operations, it also acquires glass mosaics, natural stone and porcelain tile panels from around the globe. According to Waldrep, the company offers “comprehensive surfacing solutions that not only answer market demands but that often lead the market.”

Crossville Inc. also provides tools and support for designers and architects. Tools include a pattern designer, mosaic builder, and a floor pattern generator with a number of grout and plank options also available.

“Customers can trust that we are proven in our ability to think ahead, incorporate new technology, offer latest designs and yet offer uncompromising quality at every turn. It’s in our DNA to grow, get better and bring immense value to those who specify tile and surfacing products,” said Waldrep.

Similarly, being green and sustainable is also in Crossville Inc.’s DNA. In fact, green is Crossville Inc.’s signature color and has been even before it became the market trend. The company creates beautiful products while simultaneously being good environmental stewards.

Being green goes hand in hand with smart business policies, and Crossville Inc.’s progressive manufacturing processes and its commitment to innovation and sustainability have reinforced its role as an industry leader. The company was the first manufacturer to earn Green Squared® certification for its tile lines manufactured in the US. The Green Squared program of the Tile Council of North America, is the highest sustainability standard in the industry.

Crossville Inc.’s products meet or exceed the requirements set out by the U.S. Green Building Council and LEED standards. In 2011, Crossville became the first manufacturer to have its tile waste recycling programs certified by the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

Crossville Inc. has two primary ways of recycling tile waste: its EcoCycle Fired Waste Process™ and its EcoCycle Filtrate Waste Process™. These proprietary processes recycle nearly twelve million pounds of previously discarded filtrate and fired waste each year.

The company’s Tile Take Back® Program, by discovering a way to recycle fired porcelain tile, truly changed the way the tile industry could operate. As well as the reuse of powder and unfired tiles, Crossville Inc. was able to recycle pre- and post-consumer fired porcelain tile for the very first time.

The program expanded through its partnership with TOTO USA, enabling the recycling of additional waste products such as pre-consumer porcelain toilets and other cast-off products. As a result, Crossville Inc. became a net consumer of tile waste. This has reduced the demand for new raw materials while diminishing waste that is headed to the landfill. Crossville Inc. and TOTO USA have diverted over seventy million pounds of recycled material to date, and the amount continues to grow, making this the first company to recycle fired porcelain on a large scale.

“We have seen many positive benefits in our recycling partnership with TOTO USA. Together, we’ve been able to spare tens of millions of pounds of fired porcelain from entering landfills. Additionally, we have licensed TOTO’s Hydrotect™ technology that empowers us to create tile products coated in a secondary firing process with a finish that makes tile cleaner and greener,” Waldrep explained.

Crossville Inc. is at the forefront of the industry. The company has gone beyond manufacturing aesthetically-pleasing, superior-quality tiles and has created new processes and technologies. In doing so, it has developed a reputation for its many firsts, with several of these related to its sustainability efforts.

It is not just innovation that is different at Crossville Inc. Director of Organizational Development Jennifer Parsons has spent twenty-eight years with the company and believes that employees are vital to its success.

“Our people are what make us unique. Over fifty people have been working here for twenty years or more. The leadership sincerely cares about us as people first – investing in employees with training and education – providing opportunities for us to grow professionally.”

Crossville Inc. makes itself attractive to skilled and dedicated individuals who desire to join the company and supports its employees in the attainment of higher education.

The company invests in continuous improvement and maintains a strong focus on education and training. It holds training sessions and workshops dedicated to the proper installation and use of its porcelain tile panels and other innovative products.

Crossville Inc. also has a wide range of courses for architects and designers that help them develop a greater understanding of issues of sustainability and design related to the tile and surface covering sector.

“We want everyone to succeed with new product offerings. That’s why we’ve spent four years traveling the country to offer porcelain tile panel installation workshops and hosting training sessions here at our facilities. Skilled labor out in the marketplace is essential to the future success of the tile industry,” said Waldrep.

Crossville Inc. is working as part of the effort to create standards for the tile industry in North America. The company’s technical services team members serve on multiple industry boards, committees, and advisory groups.

Crossville Inc. has received countless awards from the tile, flooring and architectural and interior design industries, receiving many honors for product designs and its adoption of greener practices, processes, and standards. Most notably, Crossville Inc. received the Pinnacle Award for outstanding overall green practices from Floor Covering Weekly magazine.

Built upon a strong history and foundation, Crossville Inc. is excited about the future and what is to come. “Technology is touching the tile industry unlike ever before, and we’re creating some of the most exciting, unique looks that we’ve ever been able to in our thirty-year history,” Waldrep said.

“We work in a ‘what’s new; what’s now’ industry, and while we take real pride in our history, we know the most important chapters for Crossville are those happening now and those yet to come. As we look back at our pioneering spirit and accomplishments, we’re assured that we have the root system in place to constantly innovate and improve,” Waldrep added.

Crossville Inc.’s innovation is driving the direction of the industry and changing the landscape of what can be done with surface coverings. “We’re seeing tile specified in applications and in places where tile would not have been a viable surfacing option previously. That means we’re truly at the forefront of helping our customers to see – and use – tile differently,” Waldrep concluded.



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