Creative Solutions For Surfaces In Education Design

Within the halls of educational facilities, it’s common to find tile on the floors⎯and often the walls⎯of classrooms, dining rooms, restrooms, common spaces, and beyond. Public and private schools, universities, youth centers, and libraries depend on porcelain tile for long-term durability and cost-efficient maintenance.

In general, educational facilities are infrequently renovated due to the expense as well as the disruption that remodeling inevitably creates; therefore, it’s not unusual for scholastic institutions to go decades without remodeling. When the time comes for an updated aesthetic and revised functionality, it’s especially important that the materials specified will hold up well to the wear and tear of the environment as well as look great for years to come. The same holds true for new construction of scholastic buildings. The materials specified must able to stand the test of time from both a design and performance standpoint.

Here’s a look at how Crossville’s creative solutions have played a foundational role in the renovation and building of educational facilities across the country.

Restroom Transformation at a Community College

The aged bathrooms at Onondaga Community College’s Gordon Student Center in Syracuse, New York were outdated in all aspects. Specifiers selected our Laminam porcelain tile panels for a timeless appeal as well as the product’s unique ability to be installed directly atop the existing tile. The tile-over-tile advantage eliminated the need for costly and time-consuming demolition, while the minimal thickness of the porcelain panels allowed for retaining American with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for clearance without altering the layout.

For the floors, the design team specified large squares of Fokos Roccia in Laminam 5.6 to provide an earthy, fashionable foundation, while I Naturali Laminam 3+ in Ossidiana Vena Chiara were chosen to add a classic elegance to the walls. Thick strips of Laminam I Naturali were used as accents for a contemporary, refined appearance. (Click here to read the entire case study.)

Lobby Floor at a New Culinary School

Every ingredient had to be just right for the new International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. As a hub of culinary artistry, the new facility had to be modern in style yet timeless enough to hold aesthetic appeal in the long term. To set the stage for this world-class center of learning, the team envisioned a unique lobby floor designed with details to mimic the ocean waters and sandy tones found at the nearby beaches.

Enter our Structure and Argent collections. Not only do these porcelain tiles meet the technical requirements for such a high traffic area, the range of sizes and colors available in each collection offered the perfect solution for the designers’ vision: an intricate floor pattern that would form a balance between the “sand” and the “breaking waves.” Saturated shades in Water Vapors, Under the Sea, and Carnegie Cool from our Argent collection were selected to capture the essence of the ocean, while minimalistic tones in Sandstone, Gypsum, and Shale from our Structure line referenced sandy shorelines. (Learn more about this project here on the case study section of our website.)


Dining Hall Renovation at a Prep School

The time-honored, private Baylor School of Chattanooga, Tennessee recently pursued a large scale renovation of its Guerry Dining Hall. Built in 1931, Guerry is home to the campus’ main dining facilities and hosts more than 1,200 students and faculty daily for meals. The design had accomplish many goals for modern-day student life as well as compliment the classic architectural style of the campus.

Criteria for the dining hall’s flooring selections focused on function and style. The floors needed to be extremely durable in order to withstand constant heavy traffic, and they had to offer the right, upscale look befitting the building’s traditional design aesthetic. The design team selected our SpeakEasy because it offers the look and feel of American hardwood which would capture the historical and traditional sensibilities of the campus, while providing the superior functionality of porcelain tile that such a high traffic environment requires. Our Retroactive and Shades collections were also incorporated into the flooring design to help create visual way-finding cues.

For the hall’s restrooms, our Color By Numbers wall tiles were specified for the walls with the addition of Crossville’s proprietary Cross-Sheen finish to ensure easy maintenance and cleaning for the long term. The designers also selected colorful tiles from our Argent line to bring a vibrant, modern touch to the floors. (Get the full design story here.)

High School Kitchen And Cafeteria Remodels

It had been about thirty years since three Texas schools—Amarillo High School, Caprock High School and Palo Duro High School—had last been renovated, and that age was obvious in the designs – these spaces were long overdue for a more modern look. In addition to an updated aesthetic, they were to receive modern functionality with the inclusion of a coffee bar and new kitchen equipment.

The project designers were going for a clean look with less grout lines in addition to fresh, modern color schemes to reflect the unique spirit of each school. Our Laminam porcelain tile panels in a palette of three colors for each filled the bill perfectly. Amarillo High’s school colors are gold and black, so the designers specified Laminam Collection in Fumo, I Naturali in Ossidiana V Scura and Filo in Rame. To capture Palo Duro High’s blue, white, and silver color scheme, they selected Collection in Notte, Blends in Avorio and I Naturali in Ossidiana V Grigia. For Caprock, a warm neutral palette was created using Laminam’s Collection in Avorio, Blends in Noce and Filo in Oro. For each of the installations, the different material colors were randomly mixed on the walls. (Get the full design scoop here.)

These are just a few of the many education design projects that have turned to Crossville creative solutions to address high performance requirements while providing modern aesthetics that will stand the test of time. Go here to see all the education design case studies or click on the individual links below: