The largest tile and ceramics show in North America went virtual with Coverings Connected, a three day event that highlighted the hottest trends and introduced new products from Italy, Spain, the U.S., and other ceramics powerhouses.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Coverings 2020 was scheduled to be held in New Orleans from April 20 to 23, but the conference was cancelled to protect public health as large crowds are high-risk for Covid-19 transmissions. Instead, they decided to host the show online on the same dates.
Coverings 2020 Goes Virtual
“Our goal is to support Coverings 2020 exhibiting companies by providing them with an opportunity to feature their products and announcements in a digital environment,” Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the event management firm for Coverings, says. “Similarly, attendees of Coverings Connected will be presented with a variety of online offerings, such as live webinars, on-demand content, live chats, and the opportunity to set up appointments with exhibitors.”
The digital showcase featured more than 900 exhibitors through pre-recorded content, podcasts, design awards, and hundreds of products in the new product showcase. For those who want to reminisce about what might have been, the Coverings coordinators also left the original floor plans up for viewing. But the highlights of the show were the live webinars that covered the state of the tile industry as well as top tile trends and overall themes.
Tile Trends for Spring and Summer 2020
Some of the trends that dominated the virtual showcase were bold prints, geometric patterns, and biophiliac collections as the industry steps away from the minimalism prevalent in recent years. Ryan Fasan, tile designer and technical consultant to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Industry, Tile of Spain, points to growing awareness of the importance of the natural world as an inspiration for current trends such earth tones and remixes of traditional ceramic styles.
“We’re deeply connected in a symbiotic relationship to our world,” Fasan says in his webinar on tile trends at Coverings Connected. “A lot of things have been telling us that more and more. The honoring of our natural materials is something very strong in our design language today. And there’s nothing more natural when you get down to it than baked earth, which is ceramics.”
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If you’re dazzled by the glitz and glam of the 1920s but aren’t sure you want your bathrooms that bold, you’re in luck. Another trend Fasan has seen represented lately is a melding of 1920s and 1950s styles, both of which were defined by the crises that preceded them. He says that more designers are pairing geometric patterns reminiscent of Art Deco with 1950s contemporary colors and accessories. “It’s interesting when you see these two decades of design language mash together because they’re more complementary than they would be at first glance,” he says.
Hot New Products
PRODUCTS scoured the pages of new product releases on Coverings Connected to find the latest offerings for wall coverings, floors, and project accents. Though manufacturers tend to highlight their most eye-catching designs on the showfloor (even digitally), there does seem to be a genuine trend away from minimalism overall: the glosses are glossier, the patterns are bolder, and even the flat styles are hyper-matte.
Here are 21 bold tile designs we found at Coverings Connected 2020 that stood out from the crowd:
APE GRUPO, Spain
Using a double firing system to reproduce colour gradients on the surface and a crackle glazed effect when desired, APE Grupo reintroduced production techniques from handicraft systems to create the new ceramic tile collection, Memories. The collection features a high gloss finish with six color and four shape options.
Available in six patterns and 14 standard colors, the Silk Road collection is a handmade, hexagonal ceramic tile collection featuring silk-screen details. The tiles will not require a sealer, won’t patina, and are low maintenance, according to the company.
The company says that the Meraki porcelain hexagonal tile collection is “chic but playful.” It comes in four patterns and seven colors: gray, Aguamarina, Azul, Mostaza, pink, green, and black.
Ceramiche Caesar SpA, Italy
By using multiple slabs of Anima Ever, builders can create open-vein designs for high-end residential projects, according to the company. The marble-effect porcelain stoneware can be used for flooring, tiling, and furniture elements and comes in six colors and sizes and three finishes.
The company says that designers can use a combination of the Round Series and Cicogres’ triangular tiles to give a fresh look to a space. With a diameter measuring 75 cm, the Round collection comes in 4 styles including Moon, Earth, Viega, and Mar and various colors.
Inspired by beech trees in the Italian Alps, the Woodscape collection comes in three colors, natural, gray, and bianco, and measures 8-by-48 centimeters. The company says the tiles combine the warmth of wood with the versatility and functionality of porcelain stoneware.
The Millelegni Remake collection uses vein patterns and occasional irregularities to capture the look of elm and oak trees, resulting in a timeworn, handcrafted look. Besides two plank sizes of 25-by-150 centimeters and 20-by-120 centimeters, the collection also includes tiles for outdoor use.
Gruppo Armonie Spa, Italy
The Crystal Stone collection brings sparkle to flooring with its mosaic and brick collection inspired by precious stones. Featuring random veining and ripples that gives the tiles a luminescent quality, the collection comes in four colors and multiple sizes.
The large ceramic slabs of the I Filati di Rex collection use relief effects to create a pattern resembling centuries-old silk art, according to the company. Designers can choose from 120-by-280, 120-by-240, and 60-by-120 centimeter large sizes and three motifs: damask, floral, and geometrical in matte finishes.
Made in the U.S., the Brooklyn Collection’s porcelain tiles come in six colors and three sizes. The company says that the tiles are designed to mimic the look of cement and are made to bring contemporary touch to residential and commercial spaces.
Made of porcelain stoneware, the Marmi di Impronta collection uses a marble design to “showcase the wonders of the natural world,” according to the company. The collection offers multiple sizes, five styles, and two thicknesses, the ceramic collection. Extra-large slab sizes are available and align with the next slab for continuity.
Keradom SLR, Spain
Inspired by natural quartzite, the Natura collections’ porcelain panels feature an interlocking shape and deep 3D structures that can be installed both indoors and outdoors. It comes in eight colors in a 6-by-16 centimeter size.
The Fjord collection features a blend of stones with a compact grain to create a rustic, modern look, according to the company. Even though it has variation in details, the tiles are a smooth, consistent shade that is easy to match.
The ceramic tile series Graphite is named after its inspiration, the charcoal pencil. With its matte black finish, the tiles are designed to contrast high-shine collections, according to the company. It is available in three sizes. The company says designers can create a high contrast look with lighter grout, or choose a darker one for a more subtle effect.
With its high-shine design, the Coastal Effects glass mosaic tiles can create a unique look inspired by nature. The collection centers around blues, greens, and grays and comes in three patterns.
M.S. International, U.S.
Designed for flooring or accent walls, the Catalina collection takes the look of a traditional wood graphic and adds a polished finish. The tile comes in an 8-by-48 centimeter size and three colors including ice, maple, and teak.
The new Amazonite slab in the Maximum Marmi collection features a polished finish and a large format size. Amazonite, a rare precious stone, gives the slabs their teal color speckled with brown, peach, white, and gray tones.
Polis Manifatture Ceramiche, Italy
With its matte surface, the Volcano collection’s fully-colored porcelain tiles bring a “refined and chic” look to a room. The tiles are available in four colors, multiple sizes, and a mosaic style option.
Available in matte, gloss, metallic, graphic decorations, marble, and wood styles, the Circle Marquina collection gives designers flexibility in design and allows for total grouting, according to the company. The tiles measure 30.9-by-30.9 centimeters.
Designed for both flooring and walls, the Tribeka Hex porcelain tiles feature faded charcoal black lines and will “transform any space into a work of art through triangular patterns that when laid out, intertwine to create captivating designs reminiscent of art deco style,” according to the company. The ADA-compliant, frost-resistant tiles are available in 42 different print variations for a customized look.
Topcu Tile + Stone, USA
The Naima decorative wall tile collection comes in five colors including teal and neo mint and four styles. Though the collection’s colors are muted, the company says that the tile shape is inspired by Neaplese textiles and Morrocan rugs.