Trends come and go, but top quality tiles sourced the world over never grow old.
Enter City Tile.
Truly a family affair, City Tile was founded by Vince and Mena D’Andrea, and opened in Burnaby in September of 1999.
“And we’re now in our 14th year in Nanaimo,” Michelle Staniscia says proudly.
Michelle, 29, is the middle of three daughters, all of whom work alongside their mom and dad at the family business in Nanaimo.
That same sense of family can be found at Burnaby Tile where the D’Andrea’s son Marc and their daughter Christina are a key part of the team.
Michelle, who has a diploma in design, has been working full time with Nanaimo City Tile for 10 years and knows the business well.
She says the two partners log a lot of miles looking for “the latest and greatest in tiles,” pointing out her dad’s been to tile shows in China, Turkey, and Italy. He’s also been to a tile show in Istanbul and will be going to one in Orlando this summer.
“They both like to keep up with the trends.”
Still on the subject of trends, what sells in Burnaby is often different then what sells in Nanaimo.
Michelle points out that even though the two partners have similar tastes, “I know that Burnaby sells a lot more creams and browns, whereas we here on the Island sell more greys and whites, more neutral colour schemes… but Burnaby’s getting more into that now.”
One thing that has remained constant is the demand for large format tiles — tiles sized 24” x 24” and larger.
There are still those who prefer the smaller 12×12 format, but the manufacturers “basically don’t make them anymore.”
That said if small format tile is what you want, City Tile “can always source it.”
Be it on the Mainland or on the Island, City Tile has its stamp on many spec homes and condo developments.
Renovations are the biggest part of their business — the builders hired for reno’s usually send their clients in to the store to make their selection in person.
“Absolutely,” she says, pointing out when she first started in the business people were only doing half back splashes “maybe six inches high, and you could never get them to do the full back splash, it was just something that was a small little detail, as opposed to the full 18” – 20” backsplash’s that are popular now.”
These days more and more people are using tiles in entrance ways, on floors, in bathrooms, and as a floor to ceiling feature wall around fireplaces.
And the products themselves she points out have come a long way over the years.
Take for instance heating tiles. There is, she says, “a whole new process for heating tiles.