“The tile business is a style business,” says Hamilton Parker president Adam Lewin. At the company’s newest showroom in Sharonville, a dizzying number of finishes are on parade for builders, designers, and homeowners. “Glass tiles have made a comeback over the last five years,” says Lewin, whose family has a long view of the industry: His grandparents, Alvin and Gertrude, bought the original business—then called Hamilton Parker Fuel and Supply—in 1934. Eventually, they and Lewin’s father, Milton, expanded the company to include tile. The result is a mammoth 15,000-square-foot showroom in Columbus.
Although the Sharonville store is considerably smaller than the mother ship, the selection is still impressive. Hamilton Parker is the exclusive local retailer of new custom-made Rookwood tiles, which are all offered in dozens of colors in the classic Rookwood finishes. Rookwood has created Modern Classics, a contemporary line with dynamic shapes like a wavy rectangle called “Oasis Ripple.”
If you survive the Rookwood display’s siren song, you’ll discover gorgeous tiles from other producers like Walker Zanger and art-tile maker Pratt and Larson, plus a variety of newly popular porcelain tiles. “You can get porcelain tile that looks like Travertine but without the maintenance and cost,” Lewin explains. The selections have changed over time, but Hamilton Parker’s family style approach hasn’t. “We have people who worked with my mother,” Lewin says, “and now they’re coming back.”
Hamilton Parker Company, 2945 E. Kemper Rd., Sharonville, (513) 276-4840, hamiltonparker.com
Photography by Chris Smith
Originally published in the November 2011 issue.