(Alexandria, VA — May 11, 2015) Across the show floor brimming with thousands of new product introductions, exhibitors at Coverings 2015 showcased the latest and most remarkable trends in tile and stone. There was no shortage of innovation at the largest international tile and stone exhibition in North America, held April 14-17, 2015, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.
“The exhibitors at Coverings 2015 pulled out all the stops—from every aisle of the show, there were brilliant solutions for virtually every surface of a home or building,” said Alena Capra, Coverings Industry Ambassador. “It’s exciting to observe tile trends in this environment, knowing these show-stopping design statements will soon be what architects, designers, builders, remodelers, fabricators, installers, and homeowners can expect to see in the market later this year.”
The standout design trends from this year’s show featured a range of textures, shapes, formats and sizes.
Plays with Geometric Form
Following in the path of the ubiquitous square and rectangle, the hexagon has firmly established itself as the tile shape de rigueur. A far cry from traditional hexagonal tiling, this new wave includes micro and macro sizes, rhombile tiling effects, irregular cutouts, and multiple dimensions that yield depth and complexity. FINCIBEC showcased its Keramos by Century line, a series of hexagon shapes available with a variety of patterns that coordinate with one another, creating a “mix and match” look when installed. Continuing the hexagon trend was the Natucer Boston Brick series, which imitates the look and feel of bricks while providing the advantages of extruded porcelain stoneware. Lunada Bay displayed a three-dimensional approach to the trending hexagon, most notably in its Crest line of hexagon ceramic tiles—named after the highest point of a wave, each tile is slightly raised in the center, creating a visual display that plays with light and shadow.
Lunada Bay – Crest
Pop and Contemporary Art
Sometimes walls are not just backdrop for art—they are the art. Several exhibitors wowed attendees with tile featuring designs of pop art and contemporary culture. Ceramiche Ascot presented Game of Fifteen, a new tile series dedicated to the work of 15 contemporary artists. The first Game of Fifteen collection showcases designs of pop art master Keith Haring with 13 individual patterns and one larger composition. Also elevating tile to objets d’art was Cooperativa Ceramica D’Imola and its Pop collection, which features a Lichtenstein-inspired color palette, comic book-like illustrations and onomatopoeias including “Pop” and “Wow!”
Cooperative Ceramica D’Imola – Pop
“Tile as art” was also seen at Street & Smith, which in partnership with American Glass Mosaic, unveiled The Graffitists collection. The company’s tiles serve up eye-catching graffiti designs in super saturated hues printed on tiles made in part by recycled light bulbs.
Mirrored and Metallic
This year also saw a bevy of decorative tile with mirrored and reflective metallic surfaces. Dialing up the glitz factor was the Borja Regina collection, which dazzled with angular facets reflecting light to create a glittering effect on the wall. The tiles are available in either a gold or silver finish. Attendees went wild for AlysEdwards’ Elecdrix tiles, which catch the light with a reflective gold hue in a cheetah design. Lastly, Oceanside revealed new Antique Mirror tiles in its Devotion Collection, which adds soft touches of mirror to make for a distinctly luxe design statement.
Borja – Regina
The increasingly popular industrial look of steel and concrete, rusting and fading continued to reign. Crossville shined the spotlight on Laminam—large-format, real porcelain panels that can skim both floors and walls. Among the collection’s most impressive finishes was Oxide, which gives the appearance of oxidized metal. Another good-looking option for those seeking a thin, large format product: Aventis from Florida Tile’s THINNER collection. With several industrial finishes available, Aventis is inspired by the gritty urban landscape, enabling a cool, minimal look for a contemporary environment. Providing another option in the industrial style was Tau, which promoted its Bayon collection that mimics the look of cement.
Tau – Bayon
New Frontiers of the Wood Look
Tile resembling wood continues to diversify in its variety, with many exhibitors leveraging new innovations to produce tile that not only looks, but also feels like wood with dimension, textured knots, distress marks, and details typical of hand-scraped woods. Colorker took the wraps off its Outland collection, which revealed remarkable depth of color and “time-worn” effect on each plank. A very different, but equally striking, wood look came from El Molino. The Spanish company presented its Nora Plus wood-look tile glazed in a high gloss finish—an elegant option that particularly works well in high-end spaces. ABK Group showcased its Dolphin collection of wood-look porcelain panels, which were praised not only for their aesthetics, but also for their exclusive new auto-leveling installation technology that essentially eliminates the need for leveling spacers, joints and glue.
ABK Group – Dolphin
Technology continues to up the ante with digital printing and manufacturing processes that enable tile to achieve the look and feel of natural stone, ranging from luxurious white marble and creamy travertine to the rich hues of semi-precious stones. One of the most impressive: Stonepeak Ceramics showcased Arabescato Vena, one of the six new colors from the Plane collection—seen at the show in 5’x10’ large porcelain panels. The company’s display of Plane illustrated “book matching,” which aligns the veining of neighboring panels to create an attractive mirror effect.
Nuovocorso’s 7 Stone is not only stone-like in appearance, but also texture. The rough-skinned quality of the tiles gives a tactile stone effect that is striking to the senses. Inspired by quarried European stone, the Termae by Keraben collection combines a stone-effect appearance with geometrical patterns. La Fabbrica turned heads with its Astra series, with each tile featuring the look of semi-precious stone agate and its beautiful, sinuous veining. The collection is a sophisticated option for floors and walls, and is available in colors amber, pearl, turquoise, jade and selenite.
Stonepeak Ceramics – Arabescato Vena
Movement and Motion
Exhibitors also proved that tile can create dynamic looks as several exhibitors showcased tile with raised surfaces in swooping, wave-like designs. Vallelunga & Co. evoked nature with the Foussana “River” and “Ambra” patterns—both designed to add a sense of movement to a space while still maintaining a minimalist sophistication. Mother Nature’s inspiration continued with Saloni’s Vantage Drip, which features a sensuous, waterfall-like design on a white-body tile.
Coverings will return next year with even more innovation in tile and stone at McCormick Place in Chicago, April 18-21, 2016.
Saloni – Vantage Drip
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Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It featured exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.
The exposition served as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 80 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.
Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by National Trade Productions.
Coverings 2016 takes place April 18-21, 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago. For more information, visit coverings.com or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-706-8257.