Spotlight: The Tile Industry in 2008

The 2008 Explorer Collection from La Faenza
With Coverings 2014 just around the corner, we have almost reached the present day in the trip down memory lane in the tile + stone industry. In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Coverings, we chatted with ceramic tile and stone expert Ryan Fasan to talk about how the industry has changed since the show began. This week we stop in 2008.

In 2008, the United States was squarely in the middle of the economic meltdown. While this resulted in a tighter reign on research and development teams, the uncertain times didn’t halt innovation in our industry. It simply meant that manufacturers had to become far more strategic in their introductions of new collections. Each had to have clearly defined and well researched target markets.
Perhaps due to the frugality seen in production and innovation, color choices and graphic inspiration for collections were decidedly safer during this time. Geometries, stripes, polka dots & simple floral patterns that never go out of fashion became the mainstays.
In addition, 2008 brought an almost universal mandate to reduce production costs. The driving principle behind this mandate was to bring lower-priced material to market at higher margins to weather the economic storm. This meant a focus on reduction of energy, water and raw material costs.
A big effort was made to utilize the collective waste-stream. Larger manufacturers purchased waste tile and slurry from their smaller counterparts to reduce raw material needs. Collections that used up to 80% pre-consumer recycled content began to be introduced.
Next week, we jump forward to present day and see all of the latest and greatest innovations in the industry at Coverings 2014 in Las Vegas! We hope to see you there!