In our quest to provide the coolest, most unique artisan-made tile in the USA, we approached Ryan Schlaefer of Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture in Loveland, Colorado to partner with laNeva to produce tile using an uncommon material: waste wood killed by the Northern Pine Beetle.
Before we get into the details of the wood, we have to tell you about Ryan: A graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado, Ryan’s contemporary furniture pieces have a sense of scale and artful mix of materials that can only come from an artist’s eye. Not just a furniture maker, Ryan uses the beauty of form to create one-of-a-kind (as well as ready-to-ship) pieces using beetlekill pine and an array of other woods.
Now back to the tile.
Wood tile? Wood killed by beetles? Yes and Yes.
Beetlekill wood is a waste product in many western states in the USA. Instead of letting the wood go to the chipper or providing unwanted fuel to forest fires, it is gaining a unique following and being cut and milled for everything from furniture to building materials. Artists like Ryan Schalefer have developed a love for the look and story behind this unusual wood and incorporated this waste-wood into gorgeous contemporary furniture and fixtures- and now decorative wall tile.
The extraordinary detail about beetlekill pine is the streaking left by the beetles. The beetles leave an enzyme in the wood that turns the graining blue, gray, purple, or even rust colored. Each piece is an incredible act of nature, completely unique and available only through laNeva Artisan Tile.
For accent walls (non-wet locations), our Beetlekill pine tile can be applied with an epoxy straight to the substrate with butt-joints. No need for grout. Our pine tile is composed of 1/4″ beetle-kill pine with a backer of 1/4″ plywood, attached using a high-pressure lamination process. Before leaving the artists hands, the pine is sanded and edges smoothed, then a clear polyurethane is applied. We are currently offering 1″ x 2″ , 1″x 4″, 2″x 2″ and 2″x 4″ sizes. Additional sizes and finished edging pieces can be produced by request.
Our beetlekill tile has a very low expansion and contraction rate due to the plywood backer and as a result, it can be used in conjunction with our ceramic or SK8 tile and either butt-jointed without grout or grouted (using a flexible grout) to create a dynamic multi-media tile installation. If using in a damp location such as a backsplash, we recommend using a grouted installation with a sealer applied after install to both the grout and wood tile.
laNeva’s BEETLEKILL PINE TILE IS made from reclaimed waste wood in Colorado. This is beautiful, unique, functional tile with quite a story!