TILE TRENDS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT COVERINGS 2017
At this year’s Coverings, the largest international tile & stone exhibition in North America, more than 1,100 exhibitors showcased the latest tile products—revealing a variety of aspects of tile that reinforce its position as a truly versatile building material. Tile is durable, sustainable, resistant, low maintenance, energy efficient, and healthy. What’s more, tile is beautiful, with many designs for today’s commercial and residential spaces.
“When it came to presenting remarkable solutions, the exhibitors at Coverings 2017 left no stone, or tile, unturned,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ Industry Ambassador. “Today’s tile offers incredible range of design opportunities for architects, designers, and homeowners. From every aisle of the show floor, there were exciting products that we can look forward to seeing in the market later this year.”
Among the thousands of new tile introductions, here’s a look at the top trends that emerged from the show floor:
The Skinny on Thin Tile
Among those in the tile industry, the new name for thin tile is gauged porcelain tile—a term that helps describe materials produced to a precise thickness, similar to how “gauged” is used to describe wire or sheet metal. With its slim size, one of the main benefits of gauged tile is that it can be installed on top of existing wall or floor tiles. This year, Abitare La Ceramica showcased gauged tile in a cement style with the Icon collection. Iris U.S. Calacatta collection reflected a natural marble look while Cedir Ceramiche’s Iron Mix series presented a stone look.
Pretty in Pink
This year, the show floor saw pops of pink in every corner with an emphasis on blush tones. Cooperative Ceramica D’Imola introduced Play, a line with double-fired tiles that yield a satin finish. Mirage Granito Ceramico SpA unveiled its new collaboration with Studio Job, a Dutch design firm. The collection sports a smooth surface with a thick glass layer on top of porcelain that mimics a wood look in unusual colors—its pink iteration was a standout. Vives Cerámica brought color to life with the Dolce Vita collection, which merges periods and styles to create tile with a huge amount of personality. The Cíes wall tile, part of the collection, offers a blush tone in a matte finish, providing a truly attractive look.
Bringing The Outside In
Creating design inspired by nature gives a serene look to any space. With tile that mimics some of nature’s most coveted looks, homeowners and designers can easily achieve this design trend. Ceramica Fondovalle SpA debuted the DREAM collection with patterns that resemble the sky, earth and greenery, bringing a natural feel indoors. IBERO Porcelanico showcased the Habita collection, a porcelain tile that sports a real wood look. With four different shades inclusive of cool and warm tones, the collection is extremely versatile and allows spaces to have a rustic, natural wood look and feel with the durability and sustainability of tile. Natucer introduced the DYNAMIC series, which offers 3D wall tiles. The collection’s neutral colors and fish scale patterns evokes a sense of underwater and marine life to the space. Lunada Bay Tile showcased the Watercolor collection of glass tiles with subtle color variation in blues, channeling sea and sky. Cercan Tile Inc. introduced their line of Semi-Precious Stones set in resin. The tiles are available in any desired size and are custom made allowing for a truly unique installation with real, semi-precious stone for a natural feel.
While bold colors are important to design, so, too, are neutrals, which provide visual balance to a space. At Coverings, exhibitors showcased a variety of looks that prove that neutrals can go in a variety of attractive hues along the muted color spectrum. Dune Ceramics shared the SHAPES series with the Luna shape in bronze and white, featuring a metallic accent, which plays with light and creates reflections and shadows. Marazzi presented MATERIKA, a collection of matte neutrals that are fashioned into over-sized wall tiles. With options ranging from flat to 3D wavy or combed surfaces, the ceramic wall tiles create a feeling of depth while maintaining a neutral color palette. Realonda Ceramica brought the PATTERN series, a collection of square tiles that are distinctive due to their 3D look and bronze color. Clay Decor’s line Imaginatio highlighted the return of brass and copper as neutrals to interior design. The warm hues bring subtle glamour to any space with their metallic finishes.
Get in the Groove
While tile is the star of the installation, several grout manufacturers have introduced products that had show attendees taking a closer look at the installation material. Not just functional, grout can enhance the design quotient of the application. Bostik showcased the new Hydroment Vivid Cement-Based Grout. The grout is available in different colors and dries in just 4 hours, allowing for immediate foot traffic on the newly tiled space. MAPEI unveiled its new collection, Flexcolor 3D, which sports an iridescent quality, taking on the color of the tile it is surrounded by, and is available in blues, greens, metallic gold, or silver hues.
Dare to be Bold
From prints to metallic hues to bright colors, today’s tile manufacturers are not shy in terms of making a bold statement. Appomattox Tile Art’s Devereaux collection brought bold to a new level with its palm leaf print. Sure to wow, this mosaic adds a pop of color and pattern to any space. Mainzu shared Diamond, a collection of 3D wall tiles that bring together volume, texture, and color. Diamond’s lines, sharp design and plethora of colors bring dynamism to any décor. Lea Ceramiche presented Waterfall, which represents the natural stone aspects of slate. The tiles are available in various gray scale shades with shapes that span from traditional large formats to decorative mosaics and geometric shapes allowing for patterns resembling real stone looks.
As a hard surface, it’s difficult to imagine tile in a range of textures, but with innovative manufacturing, several tiles presented looks that provide a tactile experience.
Sicis debuted Vetrite, which incorporates fabrics underneath glass slabs to give a soft, textured look to any space’s design. American Wonder Porcelain’s Fabric Folio Collection and Landmark Ceramic’s Soul collection both play with textile style as a contemporary interpretation of fabrics creates highlights and natural movement. For those preferring harder surface looks, Keraben Grupo introduced Elven, a collection inspired by metal sheets with an almost metallic finish. Along similar lines, Firenze (Porcelanite Lamosa) brought Oxide, which also encompasses an industrial aesthetic. Although a porcelain tile, the digital printing technique and textures bring a rusted metal look to life.
This year, the tile industry saw the return of two specific retro-inspired trends: patchwork and terrazzo. Taking the popular 1970s trend and adding a spin, Ceramica Fioranese introduced the Marmorea series, which gives a visual effect of marble surfaces and pieces of terrazzo. With a more traditional approach to the terrazzo style, Inalco exhibited the Fluorite collection. With a range of sizes and colors, industry professionals can specify the trend in various ways, honing in on their own design style or the needs of their clients. Vintage patterns are also making a comeback, as Patchwork was prevalent among tile manufacturers this year. Aparici showcased BONDI, porcelain tiles that take this trend and add vintage flair to a modern space. In addition to patchwork and terrazzo, parquet inspired floors are making a return. Crossville shared Nest, a durable tile take on traditional wooden parquet floors. The collection is available in seven different colors, allowing designers and homeowners to achieve any desired look.