Installation & Design Experience designer offers show perspective

Designer Glenda Wright shares her thoughts on her vignette, trends, and qualified labor

We caught up with Installation & Design Experience designer Glenda Wright to preview her vignette, get her thoughts on tile and stone trends, and hear why she thinks qualified labor is important.

This year, the Installation & Design Showcase has a new incarnation. As part of the overarching Installation & Design Experience, each of three vignettes will pair a designer with a NTCA Five-Star Contractor to bring the design to life, with fully-completed vignettes ready for viewing once the show opens. 

Glenda Wright

Glenda Wright

One of the designers is Wright, Associate AIA, Associate CASE Manager II for Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock/Architects, Inc. (HHCP), an architectural company based in Orlando, with a world-class international reputation characterized by its passion for creating outstanding guest experiences. 

Wright is partnering with NTCA Five-Star Contractor Brad Denny of Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Company, Inc., on the vignette, titled “Hidden Oasis.” Ceramics of Italy will supply the tile and MAPEI will supply the installation materials. 

The Polite Pig Restaurant

HHCP designed The Polite Pig Restaurant, one of the new restaurants in Disney Springs at Disney World in Orlando. The interiors were done by Anna Schmidt Interior Design.

“My vignette demonstrates that tile is a durable, water-resistant and low-maintenance finish that lends itself perfectly to the creation of an exterior space where one can relax and rewind while enjoying the soothing sounds of a water wall,” Wright explained. “When correctly specified and installed, tile provides beauty, ambience and value, making it an ideal finish.”

Wright also gave us a designer view into upcoming trends for 2019.

“In 2019, one of the strongest trends in tile and stone will continue to be large-format tile in a variety of sizes and thicknesses,” Wright explained. “Advancements in digital technology will continue to provide new and much-loved stone and wood looks, as well as bold patterns and graphics. Blues, terra cotta, and greige are color trends that are welcomed in both modern and traditional environments.”

Wright noted that, “three-dimensional tile and playful, bold, and traditional graphics are emerging trends that can provide interest and personality to tile installations.”

The trend towards larger and thicker tiles has paved the way for fantastic new opportunities for tile, Wright said. “The increase in sizes and thicknesses of tile has allowed for new applications in kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, tables, and outdoor kitchens,” she noted. “Geometric shapes, bold graphics, and colors are great ways to bring personal style and interest to spaces. When installed correctly, tile and stone offer durability and water resistance, as well as beautiful aesthetics and easy maintenance.”

endering of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

Rendering of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) headquarters in Orlando, Fla., currently under construction, designed by HHCP.

Qualified labor

One of the purposes of the Installation & Design Experience is to champion the partnerships that result when pairing visionary designers and qualified installers, who have obtained industry-recognized credentials, be they Certified Tile Installers, ACT certified installers, Trowel of Excellence Installers or NTCA Five-Star Contractors, which require certification for entry into an elite group of craftspeople. 

Wright’s firm seeks out qualified installers, explaining that they “offer consistent quality installations and an overall understanding of the product’s characteristics and the details that contribute to a coherent design and installation. Below is a paragraph on installer qualifications from our specifications.”

Working closely with the qualified tile /stone contractor helps to ensure success on projects and satisfaction for clients. Wright said, “They understand the nuances of tile installation and they have a greater awareness and understanding of the details that contribute to a complete quality design and installation.”

To buttress her knowledge of tile products and their installation, Wright takes the extra step of seeking industry information. “I have attended manufacturer factory tours with StonePeak, Schluter, and Crossville Inc., and regularly attend lunch-and-learn presentations,” she said.

Come to the Installation & Design Experience at Coverings booth #3538 to see Wright’s vignette, as well as vignettes by two other designer NTCA Five-Star Contractor teams. These include: Reginald Dunlap of Reginald Dunlap Interior Design, working with Welch Tile & Marble, with tile supplied by Estima, and installation materials by LATICRETE; and Ryan Young, AIA/NCARB/LEED AP working with C.C. Owen Tile Company, Inc., with tile supplied by Crossville, Inc., and setting materials by ARDEX. For more information on Coverings or to register, visit www.coverings.com


The Wyndham Rio Mar

The Wyndham Rio Mar – Puerto Rico project is located in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.  The picture is of the Lobby Bar.  Designed by HHCP, Baskerville did the interiors.

About HHCP

Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock/Architects, Inc. (HHCP) is an architectural company based in the USA with a world-class international reputation characterized by its passion for creating outstanding guest experiences. An innovator in architecture since 1975, HHCP delivers award-winning, imaginative designs and exceptional services for clients around the world. With a talented staff of architects, urban and regional planners, managers, project coordinators and support personnel based in Orlando, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Beijing, China, HHCP offers clients a unique depth of expertise through its diverse practice areas. Clients benefit from the sharing of international trends and ideas across HHCP’s diverse practice areas, including planning/mixed-use, hospitality, themed entertainment, residential, retirement resorts, health care facilities, government/civic, and higher education.

 In addition, HHCP is one of the few firms in the United States that has a division focusing on construction litigation. HHCP’s Construction Analysis Support & Evaluation (CASE) Division completes its architectural and planning practice. CASE specializes in supporting attorneys, owners, design professionals and contractors in dispute resolution efforts on non-HHCP projects. The lessons learned from this work have allowed HHCP to provide even better service to its clients.

The magnificent seven Italian tile trends

Over 100,000 designers, installers, and buyers travel to the Cersaie show in Bologna, Italy each September to learn about cutting-edge products and technologies in the tile industry. Following are seven of the biggest Italian tile trends as seen in the hundreds of new collections from Ceramics of Italy member manufacturers at the 36th edition of Cersaie – and many of which you’ll see at Coverings in Orlando. The next edition of Cersaie is scheduled for September 23-27, 2019 in Bologna, Italy.


For years, Italian tile manufacturers have been expanding the definition of a product, offering specifiers a whole suite of surfacing tools around a single idea or design. At first, it was a range of colors, finishes, and sizes as well as complementing decors and trims. Now, with continued investment in production equipment, many companies are expanding their range of thicknesses – and thus applications – with tiles ranging from 3-30mm including a new 12mm thick porcelain tile specifically designed for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, tables and outdoor kitchens. Shown (clockwise from top left): Emilgroup Level; Atlas Concorde Atlas Plan; Ariana Bath Design; FLORIM Stone; and La Fabbrica, Ca’ Foscari. 



Tile Play

From three-dimensional tiles that look like giant Lego bricks (Marca Corona’s Bold) to popular cartoons illustrated on ceramic (Del Conca’s Felix the Cat), when projects call for playfulness, Italian tile answers in full. Companies are continuously experimenting with color, size and patterns to create one-of-a-kind surfacing for architects and designers. They also offer tailor made solutions like Ornamenta’s ability to print large porcelain slabs in any Pantone color. Shown (clockwise from top left): Caesar Core; Del Conca Felix the Cat; Leonardo Ashima; Marca Corona Bold.

Tile Play

Tile Play


Lunar Marble 

Moving beyond common varieties of stone like Carrara, Statuario, and Travertine, Italian tile producers are scouting quarries throughout the world to find obscure marble, full of color and character. Additionally, they are digitally manipulating the look of natural stone to create something that is literally out-of-this-world. For Sicis’ ever-evolving Vetrite collection, the enchanting magic of 13 gemstones is captured and amplified in between giant sheets of glass to create lunar-like landscapes for the Gem Glass line. Meanwhile, Refin Stardust combines the nebulous veining of alabaster with elegant metallic surface effects to create a line of porcelain tiles inspired by the nighttime sky. Shown (clockwise from top left): Ceramiche Piemme Majestic Valentino; Cotto d’Este Vanity; Emilceramica Tele di Marmo; Fire Transalp; and Atlas Concorde Marvel Edge.

Lunar Marble

Lunar Marble

The Blues 

Whether soft or electric, blue is one of the hottest hues in tile design this year, offering a revitalizing pop of color to a variety of interiors. Some, like Cedit’s Rilievi sculptural ceramic wallcoverings, are the kind of hyper blue associated with contemporary artists Yves Klein and Frida Kahlo. Others, like Refin Creos and Provenza Vulcanika, conjure the feeling of vacation and the shallow teal waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Shown (clockwise from left): Casa Dolce Casa Artwork; Francesco de Maio Blu Ponti; Cedit Rivieli; and Colli Fes. 

The Blues

The Blues

Big Patterns

Italians are known for their rich artistic heritage, which is rendered on big porcelain slabs with minimal grout lines to create the alluring effect of wallpaper, with the technical benefits of ceramic. In fact, some companies are even marketing their products as ceramic wallpaper, offering an expansive catalog of patterns digitally printed on tiles up to 5.25’ x 10’. One example is ABK, who introduced Dark Edition as a capsule collection inspired by the Gothic side of nature for its ever-expanding Wide & Style line. Another company is Fuoriformato who offers an explosion of color and pattern on large, ceramic surfaces that can also be used as furnishing elements. Shown (clockwise from top left): Casalgrande Padana Onici; Stile Italia Extra; Vallelunga Sospiri; Unica Garden; and Panaria Even.

Big Patterns

Big Patterns

Neu Surfaces 

Tile producers have completely upped the style ante in terms of surface design, which can be seen in dozens of awe-inspiring, new finishes and textures designed for aesthetics as well as functionality. Two collections that artfully demonstrate this trend as well as ceramic tiles’ chameleon capabilities include Ceramica Sant’Agostino Lakewood that conjures oiled wood planks with a hand planed surface and Vallelunga Cava, whose marble design and satin finish looks like an ancient European church floor. Shown (clockwise from top left on page 76): Made+39 Cube; Marazzi Eclettica; Fap Lumina; Ceramica Sant’Agostino Lakewood; and Campani Divinae.

Neu Surfaces

Neu Surfaces


From ancient forms and 18th century patterns to tiles inspired by charming places seemingly stuck in time, Italian tile manufacturers are finding creative ways to make the old feel new again. Mixed and matched patterns, like those of 14oraitaliana’s Folk and Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s Vita collections, evoke the imagery and vibrant colors of Italy’s most famous and beloved territories. Fioranese’s Liquida slabs resemble 1950s-style wallpaper, while the earthy tones and textured surfaces of Provenza’s Terraquea collection recall traditional terracotta ware. Designed with nostalgic sentiments, each of these collections combines the aesthetic and cultural qualities of the past with the technological innovations of today. Shown (clockwise from left): Ceramica Sant’Agostino Vita; Rondine Swing; and Marazzi D_Segni.



Turkish tile benefits from Chinese tariffs

According to Alp Er, General Manager with Ege Seramik America, “With newly-instated Chinese tariffs in place, customers are looking for alternative options. Turkey is benefitting from that. We are developing more and more highly polished tiles for residential and light commercial along with small format wall tiles – mostly with a marble look.”

Ege’s Indiana porcelain tile uses a sinking ink application, which creates a textural collapsed vein into the tile.

Semih Susleyen, General Manager for Yurtbay USA, Inc., said, “Due to increasing Chinese tariffs, we are coming across with distributors and retailers who have been either considering giving or have already given a certain portion of their Chinese business to Turkish manufacturers. This will have a significant positive impact in Turkey’s U.S. exports in 2019.” He said that most of the inquiries are for polished porcelains, and Turkish factories have plenty of installed capacity and experience to service US distributors. In fact, Yurtbay will focus on polished products more than previous years at Coverings this year, and will launch six new polished lines that all come in 12” x 24”,
24” x 24” and 24” x 48” sizes.

Ege’s Indiana porcelain tile series is available in beige and grey in 12” x 24”, 24” x 24” and 24” x 48” formats, fully polished.

The Box design is adding a totally new dimension to encaustic tiles with its modern geometric look. This 8”x 8” product from Yurtbay comes in matte finish.

Susleyen noted that small-sized wall and porcelain tiles, including subway tiles, can be easily supplied by Turkish producers. Yurtbay plans to roll out new wall-floor combinations with 10” x 20” glossy wall tiles, and 13” x 13”, 20” x 20” and 12” x 24” matte finish porcelain tiles.

Er sees technology taking wall tiles into new realms. “Wall tiles are not just ‘subway’ any longer,” he said. “With our state-of-the-art technology, we can print almost anything for a wall tile application.” 

Er observed that encaustic tiles are still popular, and the ever-popular wood look is still making an impact, but in a simpler, modern design. Yurtbay debuted encaustic patterned tiles at Cersaie in Bologna, Italy last fall and will show a new 8” x 8” encaustic line at Coverings, as well as some new concrete looks that premiered at Cersaie and new 8” x 48” and 6” x 36” format porcelain planks. “The market is flooded with wood plank porcelains,” Susleyen said. “But yet, they are still in demand.”

Amazon is a Rapolano stone mix that has the best of different looks combined into one beautiful porcelain tile from Yurtbay, offered in polished and matte finishes, in 12”x 24”, 24”x 24” and 24”x 48” sizes.

In terms of color, Er said hues are edging away from the cool grays of recent years to warm colors. “Beige is definitely making a comeback,” he said.

And the large-format trend is going strong. “The larger-format tiles are gaining momentum, as customers are getting more comfortable working with their overall characteristics,” he said. 

See new introductions at Ege’s Coverings booth, #3061 and at Yurtbay, at #443.

Yurtbay’s Viola design will brighten up living spaces with its contrasting black, white and grey tones. This 8” x 8”product is available in matte finish.

2019 Tile Trends Round-Up from Tile of Spain

Tile of Spain, the association of over 125 Spanish tile manufacturers, is forecasting macro trends for 2019 that include: neutral colors, innovative formats, chiseled edges, vintage looks, geometric accents, gauged porcelain panels, and porcelain pavers. This year, look for a shift away from wood-look planks to more innovative patterns and formats. 

The overall feel of the trends this year is multi-layered and sophisticated without feeling pretentious. There is a decided respect for materials and a studied restraint shown in an effort to not over-design or embellish, but simply highlight the elements that make that material special. The overall design language on the surface may not look dramatically different from last year, but the attention to detail and deep introspection leading to purposeful edits certainly are just that, dramatically different. 

Take a tour through 2019 tile trends below or visit: https://tileofspainusa.com/2019-tile-trends-round-up/ for even more details. And of course, be sure to visit Tile of Spain when in Orlando for Coverings to see these products – and more – in person. 

Neutral Colors

The major colors remain, in order of importance, white, grey and black and that’s not likely to change. With whites selling 10x the combined total of all other colors, there is a gamut of whites emerging with the most interesting being a “soft-white” with a soft grey undertone. An interesting trend is a return to beige and brown to round out the neutral palette. The neutrals are classic, mid-spectrum, un-embellished and clean tones that are easy to build a scheme around, offering broad appeal to a lot of design styles. Accent colors tend towards over-saturation this year with no clear front-runner in terms of a specific color but a trend towards deep and brooding tones in Atlantic blue, tannin-soaked burgundy, steely selvedge denim and dark arboreal greens.

Natucer Regles Series

Innovative Formats

New and innovative formats this year are either huge or tiny in terms of facial dimensions. With Lamina-style presses, massive slabs and panels can be as large as 5’ x 11’. Even more traditional “tiles” are growing with sizes like 32” x 64” and 48” x 48” becoming more common.

However, large-format tiles are not for everyone, and so, the revival of the small format floor is real this year. Our love affair here in the US with the small-format wall tile has never cooled since Grant and LaFarge designed them in 1904 for the NYC subway system which became their namesake. Smaller- format floors have come in and out of vogue over the past few decades but it is clear that in 2019, they will be back stronger than ever since the early eighties. 8” x 8” and 8” x 16” were the most preferred sizes; however, sizes as small as 5.5” are becoming more and more popular.

Roca Tile, CC Mosaics Collection

Roca Tile, CC Mosaics Collection

Chiseled Edges

The chiseled and broken edge is back again this year proving that 2017’s introduction was not just a flash in the pan. With its return comes the revival of the modular, multi-format Versailles pattern. The responses to this revival seem quite polarized depending on geographical market. People seem to be either all in with their acceptance and excitement for the return of a more natural and relaxed aesthetic, or they are indignant towards the style and wider joints necessitated by the irregular edges.

Decocer Arnold+Goose

Vintage Looks

In accordance with last year, heavy rustication and weathering are on the decline to make way for more of a vintage, worked by hand look. In aesthetics ranging from oxidized steel to glazed ceramics, the overall impression is one of a high-quality material with a long lifespan due to care and consideration, rather than one of neglect and hardship. Metals have mellowed to an oxidized – but lovingly burnished – finish and the ceramics have lustered glazes, subtle metallics and varied finishes to deepen their overall aesthetic.

Texture in place of color also features heavily in the decorative arena. Using shadow and highlights is something the manufacturers are doing better than ever to create decorative elements as subtle and refined as the graphical variants are bold and expressive. Both have a strong place in modern design.

Apavisa Alchemy

These vintage offerings from Porcelanosa give the overall impression of a high-quality material with a long lifespan due to care and consideration.

Geometric Accents

There are two main inspirations that are quite fresh for 2019. Art Deco – organic inspired graphic design – and simple lines or unpretentious geometry. Both of these styles feature a sophisticated appreciation for great graphic design and bring elements of it into our environment. Seamless patterns effortlessly jump from piece to piece, allowing decorative elements to be on any scale the client desires.

Aparici Tango

Simple lines and unpretentious geometry characterize this offering from Mainzu Ceramica.

Gauged Porcelain Panels

This established but still niche segment of the tile industry continues to gain popularity. There is a definite place for these large formats in the traditional tile installation segment; however, manufacturers will need some shifts in their marketing and sales channels to fully take advantage of the opportunity gauged porcelain offers. Counter/worktop markets are an obvious starting place; however, the major players here are not the traditional tile distributors, Tile of Spain claims. They state that large tile distributors don’t have the warehousing, logistics or even showrooms to put this material in front of the right people at the critical purchasing decision time. Stone fabricators, veneer supply companies catering to millwork and furniture manufacturers, even door and exterior paneling supply companies are the key areas for true growth in this segment.

Living Ceramics, Allure Collection

Porcelain Pavers

Similar to gauged porcelain panels and slabs, another somewhat new market segment that offers huge growth potential for the industry is porcelain pavers. Previous years saw almost exclusively 24″ x 24″ formats but this year there were a number of 16″ x 32″ and 24″ x 48″ pavers, with some being cut to 12″ or 8′ planks. Most popular are the quartzite looks like the ever-popular Oyster Grey and wood look pavers.

Porcelanosa Bottega Acero

Focusing on the Future: An in-depth look at the leading color and design trends

On Tuesday, May 8 from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director for Color Information and Training and the Executive Director of the Pantone Institute, will talk about Focusing on the Future: An In-Depth Look at the Leading Color and Design Trends in room B312 at Coverings.

Eiseman, a color specialist who has been called “the international color guru,” will use The PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2019 annual trend forecasting tool as a basis of her talk. This tool is developed specifically for the home furnishings and interiors market by the Pantone Color Institute. Containing visual inspiration, key color direction and suggested harmonies, the theme for its 2019 forecast is FOCUS and showcases 72 colors distilled into eight palettes that you’ll see in interiors a year ahead.

This year, Pantone is highlighting two palettes:

CRAVINGS tempts the eye as well as the taste buds with spicy reds, sweet flamingo orange and rich purples. Seductive allusions to “fetish foods” deepen the irresistible message of the palette. The neutrals of tasty Butterum and Cappuccino serve up a delectable warming presence, while grassy green promises a cooling respite from the heat of the surrounding shades. These exceptional flavors will draw upon memorable sensory experiences to inspire new ones that will be just as pleasing.

CLASSICO hues are fundamental, basic and everlasting, while at the same time, elegant and forever fashionable. This is the palette where a graceful swan white and camel-colors can co-exist effortlessly with deep teal, chic gray flannel, burgundy red and caviar black. Rich gold and apricot brandy provide finishing elements to a color language spoken worldwide, across product categories and throughout all levels of the marketplace.

For more information about the PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2019 tool, visit http://bit.ly/2HvrrMg. 

Stone Products – TRENDS 2018

Ann Sacks

Ann Sacks by the Kohler Co. unveiled Terrazzo Renata, a new collection that brings the beauty of Old Italy terrazzo into the homes of today. Terrazzo Renata includes marbles from Tuscany’s Carrara quarries, which the Italian government recently approved for limited usage, with a 28% pre-consumer recycled content, making it an ecologically sound choice, which can contribute to LEED v4 certification. www.us.kohler.com

Arizona Tile

Opal White Satin is quarried from a bedrock quarry about 135 miles from Hanoi, Vietnam. This white marble has a consistent structure and the slab sizes are large. Because this is a very pure calcite it can be back lit like onyx. Opal White has an elegant, clean look that lends itself to the modern contemporary kitchen. www.arizonatile.com

Artistic Tile

With a design that alludes to the ancient citadel of Athens, Acropolis is a stepped 2”x12” decorative dimensional tile carved from one of Greece’s most elegant stones-peerless crystalline-white Thassos. Finished with a clean polish, Acropolis’ sparkling white tiered surface creates a geometric pattern in a field or when used as an accent. www.artistictile.com

Booth #1304

Offering the luxurious look of marble and the practical advantages of granite, quartzite (White Macaubas 3cm Quartzite shown) has gained increased popularity for homeowners and interior designers. Its stylish appearance combined with unsurpassed durability and resistance to wear-and-tear make it suitable for all kinds of surfaces – from outdoor paving and feature walls to kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. www.bedrosians.com


Cosentino’s latest collaboration with with architect/designer Daniel Germani draws inspiration from Dekton Trilium. Germani envisioned three new designs that capture the organic texture of weather-worn stone and aged metals. Relaxed and modern with a rough aesthetic, the Dekton Industrial Collection can be installed indoors and out. It also embraces Cosentino’s commitment to sustainability: 80% of the content used to make Trilium and Radium is post-production material from the Dekton manufacturing process. Orix mimics the industrial appearance of eroded cement with a multi-tonal color palette of greys, blues and greens. Nilium (shown) blends hues of silver and white, conveying the elegance and strength of metal. Radium resembles acid-washed steel, juxtaposing earth tones against cold blue/green hues. Trilium, the first of the collection, captures the visual texture and color variation of aged and oxidized stainless steel.


Stone A’ La Mod is a collection of unique stone mosaics that will set your design apart with the luxury of popular species like bluestone and marble in exotic shapes and patterns, both flat and three-dimensional. Let your wall tile set the standard for excellent design. www.daltile.com 


Building on the popular Metro line, Metro Blue expands the marble and limestone series to include three-dimensional split face and chiseled textures, as well as a linear pattern. Available in various shapes and sizes, Metro Blue celebrates a neutral, rustic aesthetic ideal for walls and surfaces. www.emser.com


Caliza Capri white sandstone exhibits a variety of whites evoking the bright Mediterranean light. This white sandstone creates an elegant and striking look. White sandstone is perfect for creating a noble appearance, which is why so many façades display these radiant and immaculate stones. It is ideal for exteriors, pool surrounds and outdoor staircases thanks to their special texture. These natural stones stand out for their porosity, which gives them non-slip properties. Their chromatic variety also allows them to adapt to very different projects. www.levantina.com


Influenced by early-Renaissance Venetian architecture, Neolith introduces its new sintered stone décor: Retrostone (Fusion collection). The bold composition is a mosaic of marble and granite chips set in concrete stone. Its earthy elegance produces a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic effect, based on terrazzo that is ideal for flooring, countertops, walls and more. Retrostone is 100% natural, composed of raw materials – clays, feldspar, silica and natural mineral oxides – and is recyclable, durable and low maintenance.

The Timelessness of Natural Stone

In a world where trends can come and go in the blink of an eye, natural stone withstands the test of time. Around the world, eager designers continue to turn to natural stone, making it a top-selling solution for countertops, floors and walls. As new offerings hit the market in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and textures, natural stone continues to offer a timeless look for spaces.

The popularity of natural stone can be attributed to its innate uniqueness, as each cut is unlike any other. With no two pieces alike, natural stone inherently brings individuality to spaces. Natural stone also offers customers the flexibility of customization because of its ability to be cut into different shapes and sizes. 

Warming palettes favor grey, white, black and “greige”

One of the most appealing qualities of natural stone is the variety of options, allowing stone to provide a solution regardless of the design vision. From a color perspective, the industry has shifted toward grey, white and black, colors often found in limestone and marble. Additionally, the color combination of grey and beige, fondly known as “greige,” is a trend we’re seeing come into play more and more. Greige is a fresh way to incorporate warmer shades into spaces, while still giving a contemporary feel. This color blend can range from sand tones, to deeper charcoal tones. A nice 

example of this color range is found in the American Olean Ascend™ marble and limestone collection, which offers beautiful shades of greige.

Marble, granite and quartzite reign supreme; colorful stone emerges

From a trend perspective, designers are shifting toward specific stone types in designs. Exuding luxury, marble has risen as a top option. New color variations boost its appeal as a solution for modern designs, while still maintaining its timeless style. Granite has remained a classic, sought-after option, bringing an upscale feel to any space. Its distinctive granular appearance is a more traditional choice for those looking for a natural stone countertop. The vast color offerings of granite, which include deeper hues with specks of intriguing color for a more striking look, make it an appealing option. The hot new trend product in stone is natural quartzite. Natural quartzites feature the look and feel of marble, with all of the benefits of granite’s durability and hardness.

Customers looking to stand out from the norm are seeking options that divert from the traditional characteristics of natural stone. As a result, there has been an increase in colorful natural stone offerings, a stark difference from the more muted hues often associated with natural stone. Distinctive veining paired with unexpected pigments such as Daltile’s Mercury is an example of this growing color trend. 

Large sizes sizzle; mosaics multiply

In addition to colors, specific sizes are growing in popularity within the natural stone segment. One of the hottest trends in the industry is extra-large pieces. This size category is appealing because it empowers customers to create continuous, seamless design. From floors and walls to countertops, large-format natural stone creates a luxurious statement in spaces.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we are seeing growth in stone mosaics. A space once dominated by glass mosaics, stone has stolen the spotlight, as it allows designers to show off their personal style. Available in polished, honed and split face finishes, these natural stone decorative pieces provide an unexpected break of texture in otherwise continuous, sleek spaces.

A growing trend in applications, more designers are utilizing natural stone on areas beyond countertops. After primarily using natural stone on floors and countertops, designers are now using stone to create a contemporary, continuous feeling on walls or as an eye-catching accent wall. This trend is being boosted by the new extra-large slab offerings, which help to create a statement in rooms. Additionally, natural stone is beginning to be used more frequently in outdoor spaces, particularly to create a cohesive look throughout the entire design. From large-format sizes being used as a countertop surface throughout a space to small mosaic details as backsplash in an outdoor kitchen, stone is beginning to appear in new, unexpected spaces, a trend that is positioned to grow over the next five years.

A far cry from the stone of yesteryear, the natural stone category has completely transformed. Boosted by the uniqueness of the products, the ability of stone to combine function and beauty has it positioned for continued growth. With what seems like infinite application possibilities and color options, these natural stone trends are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Tile Products – TRENDS 2018

American Olean
Booth #2817

Offering an authentic interpretation of time-worn and weathered concrete factory floors, Union by American Olean captures the uniqueness of the industrial concrete chic trend in a beautiful way. The modern mosaics and five tone-on-tone color options available in large-format sizes bring contemporary artistry to any space for the ultimate urban industrial look. www.americanolean.com

Booth #7654

The new Java Joint porcelain tile collection reflects the trend toward the warming of neutrals, as well as the popularity of bold, linear striations. The line’s five hues are an arsenal of on-point colors, punctuated with the movement of luxe striations. The line comes in a 12” x 24” field tile, 2” x 2” mosaics, and a full trim package, and is suited for walls and floors in commercial and residential applications.


Reinvent the acclaimed look of mid-century modern design with RetroSpace™. A modern interpretation of a nostalgic aesthetic, this translucent-glazed wall tile beautifully reflects light in your space. A subtle undulated surface is the foundation of this wall tile, and is available in soft green and blue hues and neutral colors. www.daltile.com

Emser Tile

Embodying the latest trends in tile including large-format dimensional wall tile and wood-look porcelain planks are Motif and Porch. With Motif, a delicate lace overlay defines this glazed ceramic subway tile collection. Featuring a selection of neutrals, the collection’s understated texture and glossy finish combine to create a unique aesthetic. Porch (shown, in Coffee) features subtle wood grain movement with caramel- and coffee-inspired tones and provides color variation on interior and exterior floors, walls, and fireplace façades. An understated satin finish completes the glazed porcelain tile for visual depth.

Florida Tile
Booth #7620

Responding to the on-trend demand for the cement look, Florida Tile NY2LA HDP features compelling characteristics of cement and plaster fused into a porcelain representation of urban sophistication.


Vintage meets modern in Interceramic’s Emma, a glazed ceramic wall tile echoing the handmade wall tile of years past. Emma offers an undulating texture with elegant gloss finish, for a sophisticated high-design look. This USA-made ceramic tile incorporates modern accent colors in blues and greens that can transition from Cosmopolitan to Country French. www.interceramic.com

Lunada Bay
Booth # 8062

Origami Field is a collection of glass field tiles that reflects the iconic Japanese art of geometric paper folding. Featuring nine opalescent colors and three-dimensional shapes, the distinctive glass tile designs play with light and shadow. Origami Field comes in six shapes – Moxie (shown), Verve, Trapeze, Lacuna, Elation and Ambit – each with a unique pattern that emerges both visually and dimensionally. Origami Field is an extension of Lunada Bay Tile’s Origami line, which also includes mosaic tiles in four patterns and eight colors.

Booth #2817

Marazzi’s D_Segni™ offers a vast assortment of encaustic-look tiles that bring energy to any room.
D_Segni’s decorative designs range from geometrical, vintage and metropolitan patterns that can be used individually or mixed-and-matched for personalized designs, providing a bohemian romance feel. Seven coordinating solid colors are also available to complete the look.

Modomo: The Art of Italian Tile
Booth #3671

Organza conveys a contemporary fabric/linen interpretation. Three surface options available – natural, semi-polished/lappato, and outdoor/anti-skid – with four complementary field sizes, from wall to large- format floors – 2” x 2”, 4” x 24”, 12” x 24”, 24” x 24”, and 24” x 48”– to accommodate any environment. All sizes are color-body and rectified.

Tile Trends for 2018

By Joe Lundren, Joseph Lundgren Consulting

As we prepare for Coverings in Atlanta, be assured that we will see a large turnout of buyers since the economy is strong and the show will be full of factories from around the globe showing their newest products and innovations for 2018 and beyond. 

The big question is “What are the trends and how can I be at the forefront to capitalize on them?” Equally important is “How does one keep inventory of the right products on hand – and devote a portion of that inventory to ‘edgy or trending looks’ to be at the leading edge of the competition?” 

First, let’s look at what’s selling and how it may evolve into newer generations of that style. Remember, a trend is a pattern of gradual change that we see in the industry and not a “one-hit wonder” that fills a niche and is not a broad selling category. We have seen those come and go in our industry, but this article focuses on solid trends. 


Ink jet has changed the industry and has taken us to a level of design no one could have imagined, and it alone has allowed us to continue to grow with the development of other floor coverings. In addition, we see the large panels/slabs being promoted by manufacturers and distributors alike. Finally, we see the U.S. market being more accustomed to larger sizes from around the world, including 24″ x 24″ and 24″ x 48″. 

When we discuss technology, we cannot forgo the next step of some of these new products, which is how they are installed. We are fortunate to have industry associations and leaders such as Bart Bettiga (Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association), Eric Astrachan (Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America), and Scott Carothers (Training Director of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation) that ensure our industry is focused on quality installation with certification programs such as the Certified Tile Installer (CTI)and Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT). The CTI credential certifies installers in basic installation knowledge and skills, and ACT certifies installers in seven specific areas: in setting large-format porcelain tile and subfloor preparation, mud walls and floors, showers and membranes, grouts and thin porcelain tile.


Rest assured, one of the categories in which we will see new introductions is wood. Wood has become a category on its own with some distributors saying wood looks account for 30%-40% of their tile sales. The question is, how many wood looks do you need to ensure you have the right mix and you limit the cannibalization? We have seen multiple new generations of wood looks that target both the residential and commercial market. Ink jet technology has allowed us to emulate the look of real wood and we have the ability to press or cut plank sizes that we see in real wood. In addition, users love the differentiating factor that comes with tile, which is durability and ease of maintenance.

Porcelain slabs/panels 

A trend that we see continuously evolving is the gauged porcelain tile panels (GPTP) and slabs. These products are manufactured differently from traditional dust-pressed tile with technology like Lamina or Continua machinery. We have seen the thickness gauge of the products range from as thin as a 3mm to as thick as 30mm, the latter of which allows it to be used on countertops and compete with the traditional stone and quartz market. The beauty of the technology is that it allows you to get a wide variation in the graphic and retain the virtues of porcelain. I believe as we train installers and our specifiers become more acquainted with it, we will see this material replace a portion of the countertop market as well as traditional wall coverings as consumers and designers look to differentiate their projects.


Terrazzo is a product we traditionally view as a competing flooring product to the tile industry, however, with the emergence of ink jet, manufacturers can now produce porcelain tile with the majestic look of real poured terrazzo. Porcelain terrazzo tile brings the benefits of porcelain with the visual of the real mixed product modeling embedded marble, granite, quartz or glass chips.

Marble looks

Wow, this is one of my favorite products with the advances we see in ink jet technology! Again, the virtues of porcelain combine with the beauty of marble curated from around the world. In addition, porcelain provides the ability to perfect a finish from matte to honed and a perfect polish. Tile now rivals the beauty of real stones’ intricate veining and realistic color palettes.

Encaustic cement tiles

Manufacturers have reproduced traditional hand-made encaustic cement tiles, which evolved in the 13th century. The look allows you to romance a space with designs that vary from classic, geometric, and metropolitan patterns that can be used individually, or mixed.

Cement Looks

Cement looks aren’t new, but they continue to trend higher with each new generation of product, from the conventional concrete to refined visuals. Consumers and designers love the industrial look, and cement visuals lends themselves to the growing design trend of more modern or contemporary looks. Manufacturers have and will continue to evolve this style with new textures, formats and colors replicating the stained, stamped, and polished effects to create a much more classy and enduring floor. 


Glass is here to stay and continues to mature, utilizing the ever-popular ink jet technology. In addition, we will see new sizes and shapes (manufactured via casting, pressing and slumping) with colors that add translucency and a shimmer to an installation. We see glass as what makes a room pop and catches the eye of everyone who enters it.

Fabric Looks

Fabric in tile? Yes, we have seen some manufacturers take it to the extreme of emulating tartan patterns while others focus on simple woven patterns. This allows us to displace the growth of carpet tiles in lieu of a porcelain tile that will have the benefits of easy maintenance and endurance of porcelain. 


Wall Tiles

Specifically, you’ll see rectangular looks that have evolved from the traditional subway tiles into larger sizes including 3″ and 4″ x 12″ tiles and even larger, and patterned tiles (domed, beveled, arched, and sculptural) that allow the usual monochromatic look to move into the next generation with endless design possibilities. Furthermore, larger wall tiles including 12″ x 24″ sizes are becoming more commonplace.


The rustic stone look still is here to stay as consumers love the appeal of natural stone, but not the maintenance and cost that accompany it. Manufacturers endlessly pursue new designs as we see the capability to create a tile with wide-ranging graphics has flourished, and has allowed us to see visuals emulating the real stone graphics and colors.


Colors, what will we see?

Yes, white, beige and grey – our industry neutrals will continue to be the “go to colors,” with a palette of warming tones, moody dark tones and warm creams. Some refer to neutral colors as any hue that doesn’t compete with other colors, yet ceramic tile typically involves a large space, therefore giving the eye the ability to flow from one point to the next without the distraction of a singular color. Furthermore, regardless of your design style, there is a place for neutral colors in your décor. 

Additionally, when feature colors are used in the room it enhances the “pop” more when amidst neutrals. With the introduction of additional shapes and textures in the tile, industry neutral colors benefit these without becoming an eyesore. 

To reach Joe, phone 214-641-7773 or visit josephlundgrenconsulting.com.

Sales Trends for 2018 – What’s selling around the country

Arizona Tile

Anaheim, Calif. – Trending in Anaheim is large-format tile (24”x 48”, 24”x24”), in 8” wide minimum wood planks, and cement aesthetics. Matte finishes prevail, and more color, moving away from white and into warm neutrals like greige, taupe, cream and off-white. Textures are in demand, as are linear sizes for backplashes and mixing of elements – modern with traditional touches such as brick or wood-like tile together with chevron glass. Textile aesthetics have not yet taken off in this market, though some customers do seek them. 

In terms of stone, satin and honed slabs are very popular right now since they camouflage etching or imperfections.

Ontario, Calif. – Large-format is king in Ontario, with sizes such as 36” x 36”, 24” x 48”, 16” x 32” and 24” x 24” as well as large wall sizes like 8” x 24” and 12” x 24.” Stone and wood aesthetics are key. Colors are darkening, with dark tone-on-tone popular. Variety also is in demand, with more textured surfaces, colored penny rounds, geometric shapes and iridescent and shimmery glass tiles pairing with trending colors and shapes. The Digital Art series, a collection of Italian-made, fabric-inspired rectified glazed porcelain with rich textures, is very trendy here. 

Satin-finished natural stone slabs are the rage with Fantasy Brown Satin one of the top selling species.

Palm Desert, Calif. – This market continues the trend to large-format tile in cement, wood, and textile aesthetics as well as patterned tile. In stone, both satin and polished finishes reign. 

Dallas, Texas – In addition to the ubiquitous demand for large-format tiles in 24” x 48”, 16” x 32” and 24” x 24” in wood and concrete looks, porcelain tile with a realistic marble and limestone style are the rage. Minimalism with bold, neutral contrast is in demand here, with textile textures adding interest. But at the same time rustic brick aesthetics – like those in the Castle Brick series – add warmth and variety. 

Stone slabs in all finishes are equally in demand.

Tempe, Ariz. – Larger sizes in wood and concrete porcelain styles are joined by a passion for subway tile and solid backsplashes in this market. Matte, semi-polished surfaces are in demand, along with rustic wood and brick aesthetics and marble looks. Textile-textured tile is getting a slow start in this market, but in natural stone, honed and satin finishes are in fashion. 


According to Eddie Bedrosian, marketing director for the company – which has branches located throughout California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Washington, North Carolina and Florida and delivers nationwide – 2018’s top design trends will take shape with some older aesthetics making a re-appearance; mixing old with new, and bold with soft.

Navy Blue – Dark navy blue tones add allure and mystique. Used as a neutral, it is the perfect substitute for black, making a rich base color that breathes elegance and class or an accent to make a statement. Reminiscent of the ocean, navy blue is a calming and soothing color, making it a design favorite.

Wallpaper look tile – This look is prized for offering the elaborate patterning of modern-day wallpapers while being durable enough to wipe down with mild soap and water. Pattern packs a heavy punch when it comes to design, so it may work better as an accent wall, rather than an entire room. Since it will be on the wall for decades to come, it’s best to choose a style and color scheme you know you enjoy vs. something novel you’ve recently discovered. 

Patterned floors and walls – Ornate or simple, patterned floors add drama to a room. Designers and trendsetters are showcasing their floors as eye-catching, modern décor. Options are endless. You can choose tile with distinct designs or find simple geometric shapes you can set in a pattern. 

Shapes – Whether shapes are used loudly in a room or in a subtle way, they greatly impact the mood and tone of the space. Simple shapes, like triangles, hexagons, diamonds and chevrons, are incredibly versatile and will liven up your space and even make it seem bigger than it actually is. 

Metallic accents – Customers are inviting copper, brass, rose, gold, silver and shiny mirrors into interiors. These metallic accents bring light in to a room seamlessly and add a luxe appeal.

Bold backsplashes – Bold colors, shapes and textures are being installed on kitchen backsplashes as a way to express individuality and personality.

Quartz – Quartz is highly resistant to staining and is one of the most hygienic countertop options for homeowners. Add to the fact that quartz is extremely strong; it is one of the most durable and desired kitchen surfaces. Bedrosians’ Sequel Quartz is offered in 44 of the most popular and enduring colors, polished and matte finishes, plus pre-fab options for smaller projects. 

Porcelain slabs – Porcelain slabs allow customers to achieve the look of timeless stone and contemporary design with durable, large porcelain panels. The thin profile options and large dimensions of Magnifica Porcelain by Bedrosians lends itself to creating seamless countertops, islands, floors, walls and ventilated building facades. Designers and architects are drawn to its sleek aesthetic that allows for minimal grout lines and the grandeur of a solid wall or floor.

Wood-look porcelain – While wood-look porcelain floors have been around for some time, recent improvements in ink-jet technologies make the wood effect more realistic than ever. It’s a beautiful, durable and easy to maintain flooring option.

Earth tones – Soft shades of grey and beige create a rejuvenating home spa, a place that’s a healing retreat.

Bright kitchen colors – White will always be a classic palette for kitchens, but people want to add a little oomph to the white and put their personality into the space. White kitchens continue as favorites, but expect a rise in bold color kitchen accents, richer and warmer color cabinets, rugs, accents and patterned tiles on walls and backsplashes.

Fish scale tiles – These tiles create an interesting pattern, bringing visual interest to spaces in a fun way, that’s a departure from traditional subway tile, offering an updated look. They work well in the kitchen, as well as the bathroom for floors and walls.

Black matte – Look out for matte black in all parts of the home. Designers and homeowners want that statement look that is everyday-comfortable, yet doesn’t dominate the room. This bold look is contemporary and complements a variety of materials and styles on countertops, floors, walls or backsplashes. Matte black is also appearing in kitchen and bathroom faucets and showerhead and also lighting fixtures. 

Black and white – Simple and traditional, classic black adds a focal point of color that grounds, anchors, and adds a sophisticated look to a room. White acts as a striking contrast that balances the bold, adding a spark of light. 

Emser Tile

According to Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing for Emser – which has showrooms located coast to coast throughout the U.S. – in addition to large-format tiles for floors and walls from 24” x 48” up to 63” x 126” and larger, gauged porcelain panels are heating up the market and will continue to do so throughout 2018. Gauged porcelain panels are creating never-before-seen aesthetics for wall, fireplace façade, shower and exterior cladding applications. In addition to panels, these other trends are prevalent for 2018:

  • Accent walls with color, dimensionality, texture and pattern are being achieved through large-format ceramic wall tile in 18” x 36” and larger sizes.
  • Metallic finishes are creating a captivating, shimmering effect across mosaic series and are intertwined with a mixture of materials and textures. We’re seeing alternating gloss and matte finishes in series, with both glass and metal, or marble and porcelain materials for subtle contrast.
  • Shades of blue, soft greens and even pastels are emerging as we enter the spring season, especially in the form of glass mosaics. 
  • From small-scale, fabric-look textures to large-scale graphic patterns, textile aesthetics are experiencing growth in the market.
  • Wood-look tile is evolving with refreshing approaches, including bold color variation, enabling customizable installations with striking detail.
  • Concrete looks continue to resonate in residential and commercial design with porcelain tile in a range of aesthetics, including formed concrete with a plaster effect or raised textile or diagonal texture. 
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