A Houston showroom bringing Italian design & excellence to Texas
Established in 2004, La Nova Tile is a business focused on bringing the most technically advanced ceramic tile products to the Houston market. With a focus on sourcing the best and latest ceramic offerings from Europe, La Nova Tile has become a top distributor of contemporary, sustainably-made tile products in the south-central region of the U.S. To learn more about the company’s values and relationship with the Italian ceramics industry, we spoke with Miguelina Veras, Designer Sales Consultant and 2022 Young Distributor Award recipient, who attended Cersaie 2022 with the North American delegation of professionals.
When was your company founded? What have been some key moments since its inception?
La Nova Tile was founded in 2004 by our uniquely brilliant and talented President, Erick Calderon. Importing thin, large-format porcelain tiles was what distinguished La Nova Tile from the beginning, and its notability continued to grow by sourcing the latest contemporary and modern tile designs from Italy and Spain as they were becoming available. Erick also designed several collections for the company, including Tag, which was awarded a Red Dot Award in 2019.
What are your company’s guiding principles?
Our company’s guiding principles have always been to emphasize quality, encourage resourcefulness, foster creativity, act respectfully, and work with a dedicated commitment to our clients’ needs. La Nova Tile also prides itself on striving to set industry standards, while being adaptable to change.
Who are your main clients and what types of projects do they work on?
We cater to a wide variety of clients including top architects, designers, builders, contractors, and installers. We primarily focus on the trade only and meet with clients exclusively by appointment. Our services and products have been used for a range of projects including but not limited to commercial, education, hospitality, multifamily, and single-family residential spaces.
What type of tile products does your company carry and how are they utilized in projects (i.e. flooring, wallcoverings, countertops, custom furnishings, etc.)?
We carry a large selection of porcelain tiles, ranging from 3 mm – 20 mm formats, as well as a variety of small, decorative encaustic tiles and thick, durable pavers for outdoor installations.
What specific qualities do you look for when sourcing new Italian tile products? Is sustainability a contributing factor?
When sourcing Italian products we consider the unique artistic craftsmanship, and the process by which they are produced. Sustainability has been, and still is, a major priority for us. We consider this factor crucial when selecting our vendors and their collections.
How do you think Italian producers differ from their competitors?
Italian manufacturers differ from their competitors in the sense that their products excel in creative design and technical performance. And season after season, these design and performance qualities are perpetually elevated to higher levels.
How can Italian companies raise their approval level within the North American distribution system?
Per our Head of Operations: “On our end, the manufacturer representatives are all so kind and great to work with, and their tiles are great quality. If they can make that known to other North American companies, it could help heighten their approval level. I’m sure visibility at the different trade shows can help which they are already doing.”
What is the current state of the U.S. construction industry? How does Italian tile perform in this market?
The market size of the U.S construction sector was valued at 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021 and is expected to increase further in 2023. The overall value of construction put in place in the United States residential, non-residential, and non-building sectors rose by 8% between 2020 and 2021. The Italian market rivals others in imported sales based on these numbers, with the additional fact that we produce very few tiles in the USA compared to Italy.
What was your favorite part of Cersaie 2022?
My favorite parts of Cersaie were the incredible presence and displays by the vendors and manufacturers. I enjoyed the brilliant way it was orchestrated to showcase the various types of materials and technical applications in the different buildings. The lectures and the break-out sessions were also intellectually stimulating and pertinent to our current times.