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Debbie Travis reviews Barnwood from Surface Innovation

Debbie Travis  Sat Apr 06 2013 00:01:00  The Hamilton Spectator

Wood and stone tiles have visual punch and flexibility

What inspires us when decorating? It can be a home we have just purchased, a change in lifestyle, a new member of the family, or the changing of the seasons.

Another big factor is a new product I cannot resist.

At a recent home show I checked out a barnwood wall — not new, but the wood was recycled and fashioned into tiles with a fabric backing. The square and rectangular tiles run horizontal or diagonal, and lock together for easy installation. They are protected with a low VOC ceramic finish.

The barnwood wall tiles have a rich variety of natural colours and textures for a more refined rustic backdrop. These tiles can make tables, wall art, a backsplash or a feature wall.

 Barnwood tiles form a rustic backdrop in a family room.
Barnwood tiles form a rustic backdrop in a family room.   Surface Innovation

Along with reclaimed barnwood, Surface Innovation has stone veneers that belie the very character of stone — they are flexible. This is accomplished by cutting the stone very thin and applying it to a flexible backing.

Slate, granite, and sandstone veneers are cut into tiles or panels that wrap around curves. The lightweight stone veneers can go over most existing surfaces. Slateflex tiles also can be grouted for added realism. Not just for walls, these flexible stone veneers can be applied to tables, columns, counters, and lighting.

Natureflex tiles are another new product from Surface Innovation made from hand-laid Capiz shells. Their sparkle is beautiful in a bathroom.

Tiles and panels are made from water hyacinth plants, and can be used for headboards, lamp shades, and wall features.

The tiles could update a fireplace, or transform a kitchen or dining room tabletop to a fabulous conversation piece.

Email questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. debbietravis.com