LAS VEGAS—Celebrating its 25th anniversary as the largest ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the U.S., Coverings 2014 featured exhibitors from more than 35 countries that showcased a large variety of tile and stone trends during the exhibition and conference that took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 29-May 2, 2014.
Innovation was abundant at this year’s show with new offerings showcasing the latest technology, geometric shapes, bold colors, unique textures and materials, and a return to handcrafted artisan design. The broad array of introductions at this year’s show gave an insider look to what consumers can expect to see in the market later this year.
Black & White, Metallic All Over
From decorative patterns to bold juxtaposition, the return to the classic black and white combination was a popular trend this year.
Tagina paid homage to the pairing with a number of tile series dedicated to the hues, most notably its Dot to Dot collection of molded ceramic tiles in the shapes of X, O and squares. Each tile in the series is installed separately, allowing for unlimited variation in every application.
Iberoceramica unveiled white body wall tiles in its B&W collection that features chrome accents to create a dramatic crosshatch raised pattern, in white on white and black on black color ways.
Ornamenta introduced 9×9, a series of three decorative ceramic tile collections including Tangle, a range of square tiles with bold, linear, black and white patterns reminiscent of retro pop art.
Evolution of the Wood Look
While the wood-inspired look for porcelain and ceramic tiles has been popular for more than a decade, new technology has enhanced this trend to the next generation. Numerous exhibitors showcased wood looks with intricate graining detail similar to hand carved, rustic and distressed planks.
Lea Ceramiche partnered with Diego Grandi to introduce Type 32, a series of ultra thin, plank tiles that feature four different graphics inspired by French Herringbone floors, which overlap a variety of colors creating 32 unique offerings.
Metropol introduced Fossil, aged plank tiles in beige, white and gray colors that reveal the earthiness of worn wood, yet create a sophisticated environment.
Florim unveiled a number of wood looks including the colorfully striking Charleston series, an ode to the warm and rustic appeal of the South, composed of distressed, faded tiles that come in small planks and are installed at random.
Good Things Come in All Shapes and Sizes
It’s no longer hip to be square when it comes to tile. Inspired by Roman and Moorish patterns and geometric shapes, a variety of styles beyond the traditional are making a comeback.
CR Studio 4 showcased its handcrafted clay tiles including Flying Garlic, an arabesque-style woven pattern encased in bronze.
Betona introduced PopArt, a colorful collection of hexagon-shaped tiles, which each contain more than three recycled fluorescent bulbs.
41Zero42 offered a variety of shapes, including its Mate collection of neutrals in a hexagon shape and chevron patterned plank tiles.
Added Dimension and Texture
Tile continued to jump off the walls with the evolution of 3-D design. From highly texturized materials and reliefs to tile that emanates the look of stacked stone this trend continues to flourish.
Apavisa introduced Materia, a wall tile that mimics the soft movement of a wave with a varied relief throughout.
Sicis revealed its tech-savvy side with Structura, a collection that features glass mosaic panels with shiny square tesserae in different sizes, thicknesses, shades and textures, for an intriguing multi-dimensional effect.
Realonda Ceramica created a sophisticated patchwork look with Kubik, decorative glazed porcelain tiles using 3-D technology, adding dimension to walls for for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Ceramica Sant’Agostino partnered with renowned architect Philippe Starck to create FLEXIBLE ARCHITECTURE by S+ARCK, which features a raised surface, allowing the joint to become a decorative element for modular design.
Geo Design Direct unveiled Croc Skin, a textured square tile inspired by crocodile skin with an iridescent glaze adding a touch of glamour.
This year also saw a bevy of introductions inspired by the intricate shapes, detailed patterns and bright colors of old world artisans and hand-painted cement tiles. Using today’s inkjet and digital printing technology, the look and texture is more realistic than ever before.
Aparici tapped the colorful aesthetic of the early 19th Century decorative artisans with Hydraulic, a series of porcelain tiles that comes in a variety colorful patterns, in natural, rectified and double fired formats.
Waverly revealed its intricately cut marble tiles that featured gold overlaid on Calcutta marble in a detailed and stunning pattern, along with its custom etched marble mosaics that are inlayed with bronze, copper, gold and silver.
Intermatex Groupo showcased a number of artisan-inspired mosaics including Marrakech, a glass mosaic wall tile inspired by the distinctive colorful patterns from the African nation.
Vibrant and Vertical
While wood and stone inspired many of the introductions this year, several exhibitors stood out with bright, bold hues and unique materials, particularly for wall applications.
Fiandre’s Precious Stones use advanced printing technology to create stunning, 12-foot ceramic wall tiles that recreate the vibrant, swirled movement of precious stones including Blue Agate.
Stones and More, a first-time Coverings exhibitor, unveiled MossTile – the first tiled wall installation covered in stabilized lichen, bringing the soft, serene feel of nature into homes, offices and hotels.
Atlas Concorde tapped into the soft consistency with brushed resins with E-wall, an energetic collection of large-format and mini-brick options.