Interview with Kirsten Froelich
Man has been a tile-using creature for more than four millennia, crafting polygons of baked clay for utilitarian and aesthetic use. Like our forebears, we continue to delight in the beauty, durability, and myriad uses of tile inside and outside our homes.
Lavender recently dialogued with Kirsten Froelich, The Tile Shop’s Corporate Designer.
What is The Tile Shop’s background?
The Tile Shop opened in December 1984 in Rochester, Minnesota. The company has always been privately held by a local Minneapolis business owner whose passion lies in directly sourcing the finest products from around the world. Currently, there are 49 Tile Shop locations throughout the Midwest and Northeast, with six in the Twin Cities metro.
What are some of the trends in tile today?
Glass, metal, and hardwood tiles are popular. Glass tiles add a depth, sparkle, and luminescence not found in ceramic or natural stone. Stainless steel lends a contemporary feel, while bronze or weathered metals add a timeless beauty to traditional styles. Tiles that look like hardwood are much easier to care for than real wood, and porcelain’s natural resistance to moisture makes it appropriate for surfaces exposed to water.
Bath areas are being created for specific health purposes, like tiled steam showers/baths for respiratory and sinus conditions. “De-stress” in your tiled haven, while the steam expands blood vessels, increases circulation, enhances skin tone, and revitalizes your body.
Does The Tile Shop counsel and advise?
Absolutely! The entire staff is devoted to helping our clients complete their project from start to finish. They can answer any question or concern about any step in the tile process.
We also have free tile “how-to” classes every Saturday morning at 9:30 at each location. The class is a great introduction to the tiling process.
Our website is also a great source for product information, do-it-yourself information, how-to videos, and design inspiration.
What different types of tile do you offer?
We carry a wide variety of natural stone, including travertine, granite, marble, slate, onyx, limestone, and sandstone. We also have a great selection of ceramic wall and floor tile, porcelain tile, glass tile, metal tile, and decorative accent pieces. Our mosaic collection includes mixes of all these types of tile.
What about using tile as trim, or as single insertions?
It is really popular to mix material and sizes of tiles today—we call this “fusion.” Using a small accent is a great way to add color to a space. For instance, a neutral travertine shower wall can be instantly jazzed up by using a couple rows of a decorative glass mix. This is also a way to personalize your space.
Is tile competitive with other surfaces? What are some advantages of tile?
Our tile is a great value to customers. We offer high-quality products at direct import pricing. This is a definite advantage of shopping at The Tile Shop.
Tile is a perfect surface for any area that may get wet; high-traffic areas; floors or walls needing a design element; or outside the home, around pools or on patios.
Tile is just a perfect surface for any area of the home! It does not collect dirt or germs like carpet does, and is more durable than wood flooring.
What else would you like to share?
We have beautiful showrooms that feature fully-installed vignettes for design inspiration. Our tile board samples are quite large, so you can see the entire pattern and color variation the product may have.
Our staff is thoroughly trained to be sure that your service is above and beyond what any big-box store can offer.
The Tile Shop
6 Twin Cities Locations