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The Archer Hotel in Austin, Texas lives up to its designation as a “boutique hotel” in all aspects, starting with the design of the building and interiors. Located in the happening Rock Rose district in north Austin, Texas, the Archer packs lots of upscale style into its eight stories and 171 guest rooms—style that merges well with the growing city’s unique vibe and culture. Crossville porcelain tile collections play a pivotal and foundational role throughout this upscale getaway. Crossville’s creative solutions proved to be the surfacing of choice for guest rooms and baths, elevator halls, and even on the building exterior because they answered aesthetic and performance challenges that are common in the hospitality sector.

Among those challenges is the quest for alternatives to carpet for guest room flooring. The hospitality design industry is actively seeking hard surface options that are durable and simple to keep clean, yet offer the comfort and quiet hotel guests prefer. In large hotel brands, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) has been the most utilized alternative. However, for a property as distinct and posh as the Archer, the design team at LK Architecture, led by Linda Ehlen, sought a premium material with more inherent quality and style to enhance the guest rooms. She and her team opted for Crossville’s Reclamation line, a porcelain tile collection that captures a look that’s a hybrid of wood and concrete. The plank lengths and fresh, light color provide an appearance that’s modern yet has plenty of character and nuance.

Ehlen explains the design team’s choice to go with Crossville porcelain, “We have been trying to reduce the amount of carpet that we use; the tile gave us a very good alternative. We wanted a porcelain tile that was durable and easily cleanable yet gave the [visual impression of the] warmth of wood.”

To address expectations for comfort and quiet underfoot, the LK design team configured guest room flooring with carpet installed directly under and extending about 12” around the beds. Beyond the carpet and throughout the rest of the guest rooms—even into the bath areas, Crossville’s Reclamation tile is installed to provide the low maintenance and long term, durable performance desired. This innovative convergence of materials creatively answers the range of challenges related to hotel room flooring while looking great in the process.

To ensure that the mix of flooring material would not pose a tripping hazard at transition zones—a serious concern in public spaces—Ehlen paid careful attention to the material heights, “We knew what the height of the carpet and pad should be based on [the porcelain tile] specs and then added in a Schluter transition strip to help make the transition between the two materials smoother.”

The use of Crossville porcelain offers a host of practical benefits with regard to ease of maintenance, simplicity of cleaning, and product lifecycle. A glass of wine spilled on broadloom or carpet tile means a hefty clean up, often with machinery and chemicals, or may even result in the need for replacement. In contrast, clean up of a wine spill on porcelain tile requires nothing more than a rag or mop—no harsh chemicals needed—to return the floor to its original quality. In addition, tile will retain its look and style regardless of wear and amount of cleaning, while other flooring such as carpet will lose its appeal more quickly..

The installation of tile also offers benefits with regarding to room turns. Porcelain tile can be dusted or swept with great speed and minimal machinery, meaning that the Archer’s rooms are more easily cleaned and refreshed—a real timesaver for housekeeping staff. This enables the Archer to make more efficient use of its cleaning resources as well as offer greater flexibility with regard to guest check-in.

In addition to the use of Crossville Reclamation in guest rooms, Crossville’s large format Laminam porcelain tile panels were specified to skin the walls of the high traffic elevator hall areas, locations that see significant abuse due to both luggage and cleaning carts. While hotel hallways typically protect the bottom inches of the wall with wall base, Laminam’s large format offers expansive coverage, giving walls significantly more defense and ensuring that the interior of the Archer will remain beautiful for years to come. What’s more, splashes are easily removed with a simple cleaner and rag, so maintenance staff is able to keep walls looking clean and fresh with minimal effort.

To carry over the sophistication of the Archer’s interior style to the outside of the facility, the architecture and design team specified Crossville product there, as well. This specification of Crossville as a creative solution for exterior cladding came as the result of a direct, on-site collaboration between the design team and Crossville’s research and design department. Ultimately, the collaboration resulted a great solution, with team specifying a custom color in one of Crossville’s popular wood looks. The tile is enhanced with the proprietary Cross-Sheen technology—an invisible, integrated finish—that makes the facade resistant to scuffs and stains, as well as graffiti.

While guests enjoy their stays at the Archer, they may never realize just how much the tile collections both inside and out contribute to their overall experiences. However, there’ll be no doubt about the benefits of the tile for those responsible for managing, cleaning, and maintaining the Archer’s special beauty and boutique style. Long term, Crossville products are the easy choice for hard surface solutions for hospitality design.