Coverings 2014 – Top Tile Trends

I recently attended Coverings, another major tile and stone show, in Las Vegas.  It was a very good expo, with some of my favorite American, Spanish and Italian manufacturers in attendance.  I was also delighted to see some good-looking tiles from Latin America.

Here were the top trends I spotted on the show floor.  None of them surprised me, having seen most of them already on my four European expo trips in the last few years, but it was nice to see them all in one place on our side of the pond, along with some new developments.

COV2014 - Hidraulic Blue- Avapisa

Updated encaustics from Spain
(Image Courtesy: Apavisa)

Style trend #1 – wood continues

Wood looks are still going strong, with some interesting options available.  In addition to the classic looks, (rustic or pristine), there are also some fabulous blends of wood plus metallic, wood plus fabric, wood plus graphics and ultra-glossy finishes.

There are wide planks, parquets and herringbones.  There was even a handsome new teak option from Ceramics of Italy member Cerdisa.

COV2014 - Junglelux - Polished Wood - Sant'Angelo (COI)

Glossy wood-look tile from Italy
(Photo Courtesy: Sant’Agostino)

Style trend #2 – newer looks

Oxidized stones came on strong this year.  I love the mellow industrial appeal of this style.  I also saw a nice selection of colorful leaf mosaics around the show floor.  They were pretty and playful, and I’d love to see more of those.

Pattern was huge this year.  There were the comics, plaids, text graphics, murals, anaglypta wallpaper looks and the fun camouflages I saw at Cersaie last year.  There was a continuing strong encaustic, hexagon and arabesque showing, as well, with some bold updates.  One of the newer trends I spotted was Dutch Delft making a welcome comeback.

In addition to a strong color showing, I also noticed quite a few monochromatics.  Manufacturers were playing with texture and material blends, but all in one tone. Many worked beautifully, and I can definitely see adding these to my design toolkit!

COV2014 - Oxidized Stone - Rex (COI)

Oxidized stone look from Italy
(Photo Courtesy: Florim)

Technology trend #1 – superior printing

I’ve blogged endlessly about the amazing tile manufacturing technologies that reproduce stone, wood, fabric and other materials in clay.  This keeps improving and I’m even more impressed than ever!  It’s no longer limited to just European brands either.  There were terrific American and Mexican offerings on the show floor.

There are also more manufacturers than ever offering customization options.  Submit your image on digital files for a custom image printed on murals, dry erase boards or countertops!  The latest advance was book-matching, something you previously only got in the highest-priced natural stone installations.

COV2014 - Highlands Wood - San Lorenzo

Wood-look tiles keep improving globally
(Photo Courtesy: San Lorenzo)

Technology trend #2 – thick and thin

Thin slabs – mostly produced in Italy or Spain – are still popular for walls, floors and countertops, but new thick, (e.g., ¾ inch) tiles were showing up, too.  These were especially popular for outdoor installations as pavers.

COV2014 - Icon Outdoor - Florim

Tile trends thicker
(Photo Courtesy:  Florim)

Technology trend #3 – hygiene

Smart tiles aren’t new.  I’ve shared innovations in this regard from past shows.  There are tiles that store energy and warm or cool the spaces they line.  There are tiles that repel bacteria and other pollutants and actually clean the air they touch.  I’m seeing a strong trend toward those advances in the residential sector now.  That’s not a bad thing!

COV2014 - BIOS - Casalgrande Padana

Tiles get built-in antimicrobials
(Photo Courtesy: Casalgrande Padana)



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Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS,  MCCWC

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC
San Diego, CA

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