Posted on

Coverings reflects strength of industry

Alexandria, Va.—Coverings, the largest international tile and stone show in North America, had over 1,100 exhibitors from all over the world and over 45 educational sessions at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Nearly 25,000 industry professionals attended the week-long expo from May 8-11, a 20% increase from 2013, the last time Coverings took place in Atlanta.

“The energy at the show this year was truly palpable,” said Alena Capra, Coverings’ industry ambassador. “The increase in attendance from the last time the show was in Atlanta demonstrates Coverings critical role in the tile and stone industry as well as the market’s overall strength.”

Returning Coverings exhibitors noted the excitement on the show floor and the myriad of education and networking opportunities that took place during the show.

“The buzz at the show was electric this year,” said Tressa Samdal, director of marketing for Florida Tile. “It was great to get immediate feedback from designers, architects and dealers from around the world. Coverings offers one of the greatest opportunities to showcase new products to both our existing partners and potential customers.”

There was also plenty of excitement from the Ceramics of Italy pavilion, which impressed attendees with an array of tile products from its renowned manufacturers. “The atmosphere at Coverings 2018 was fantastic,” said Davide Saguatti, marketing director at Atlas Concorde. “We were so excited to tell the story behind our new products.”

Tau Ceramica, an exhibitor from the Tile of Spain pavilion, found Coverings to be an important destination for sales and networking. “We had a lot of good traffic from quality customers,” said Adam Ramirez, U.S. brand and sales manager, Tau Ceramica. “Coverings is truly a mecca for tile and stone, and there’s no better show to attend if you’re new to the industry.”

Coverings leadership was also pleased with the outcome of this year’s show. “We were delighted to return to Atlanta this year and to see the growth in show attendance since 2013,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “The A&D, builder, remodeler and installer communities took full advantage of thousands of Coverings’ exhibitors and more than 45 educational sessions, as well as many new features at this year’s show, including the Quickfire Sessions, Orientation Theatre and the Happy Hour on Tuesday with extended show hours.”

Coverings 2019 will be held April 9-12 in Orlando, Fla.

Posted on

Coverings preview: New products, programs on tap for attendees

April 30/May 7, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 23

By Mara Bollettieri

Coverings 2018, one of the largest international tile and stone events, is expected to deliver fresh, new features and programs when it kicks off May 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. More than 1,100 exhibitors representing over 40 countries will showcase their wares.

“Coverings aims to not only highlight the inherent value of tile and stone materials—their adaptability, durability, low environmental impact and beauty—but also foster connections between industry professionals in order to grow business and build lasting professional relationships,” said Alena Capra, Coverings industry ambassador.

With displays of the latest products and hottest trends, live demonstrations, networking opportunities, educational seminars and more, attendees will have more than enough activities from which to choose during the event. Some highlights:

New and notable

This year, Coverings will host several first-time events, starting with the “Tile Installation Experience,” a hands-on learning experience consisting of a discussion with tile installers. Installers are expected to share best practices for tile installations through live demos. “This is the first time they are doing this at the show,” Capra said.

Also new for this year is extended hours offered on the first day of the show, Tuesday, May 8, which will allow for attendees to spend extra time on the floor. Along with the addition of longer hours comes a networking event, “Around the World of Tile & Stone,” which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. The event will include entertainment, happy hour specials and a chance to meet with other attendees. What’s more, attendees can network within the show’s mobile app along with an on-site Meet @ Coverings, with a designated area to meet and discuss. Also new is the Orientation Theatre, a program that provides guests with answers to frequently asked questions.

Another new feature is the Tile Heritage Foundation’s Donor Wall for Posterity, which allows attendees to be part of the show’s history. For a $25 donation, individuals can press their hands, names, ideas and/or logos into a tile of wet clay, which will be part of a larger mural that will be placed at the headquarters of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) in Anderson, S.C.

On the humanitarian front, Coverings has teamed up with three charitable initiatives, with each one giving back to an area of the local community in Atlanta. The three initiatives are Habitat for Humanity and Freeman, Clean the World and the Homeless Pets Foundation. “We’re delighted to support these charitable initiatives that serve important segments of the Atlanta community at Coverings 2018,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Events.

Educational opportunities

Coverings will feature more than 50 CEU-accredited sessions primarily intended for architects, builders/remodelers, designers, distributors, fabricators, installers and retailers. Topics of interest include the ongoing labor shortage and skills gap in the industry, a forecast of upcoming trends that are best suited for businesses, what design professionals and general contractors are discussing about the industry, and how to meet the standards of these designers and contractors. Translation services will be available for Spanish-speaking attendees.

Back by demand

For the second consecutive year, Coverings will include the Installation Design Showcase (IDS), which will display tiny homes. Leading designers and contractors will be showing off their stone and live tile installations by certified installers with supplies from major manufacturers, such as ESTIMA Ceramica, Ceramics of Italy and Crossville USA. The miniature homes will be on display in Booth #8804 in Hall C.

“The Installation Design Showcase remains a favorite destination for trade professionals, as a one-stop resource to see and experience the latest in installation techniques and design trends,” Capra said.

Also returning this year are the self-guided audio tours. Guests can explore the show at their own convenience through the mobile app. Like last year, the two repeating tours include the Coverings 101 Tour, which is created especially for new attendees, and the Tile Trends Tour, where visitors can learn about the most recent and hottest trends in the industry on the showroom floor.

Emerging trends

Visitors of the show will have the opportunity to view the hottest and latest trends in the tile and stone industry. “Tile companies are constantly seeking new ways to add movement and volume to the flat surface, whether by texture, pattern, or tromp l’oiel effect,” said Kristin Coleman, marketing representative for Ceramics of Italy. “Deconstructed is the most recent example, featuring a breakdown and reconstruction of shapes that transcend the traditional rectilinear format of a tile such as Palladiana designed by Studiopepe for Bardelli and I Cocci by Fioranese.”

Coleman anticipates finding a return to retro. “Many companies are inspired by simpler times, using square formats, candy colors and retro patterns like Comfort by Dom Ceramiche and Aquarel by Tonalite,” she said.

To that end, patterns such as terrazzo and patchwork are expected to make a strong showing. Designers have embraced and updated this old-fashioned style, giving it a fresh look.

Donato Pompo, president of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, expects to see larger sizes, based on his observations from attending the Cevisama trade show in Spain. Specifically, he said, “12 x 24 inch tiles are still popular, but there are tiles as large as 24 x 48 inches. They are available with realistic types of stone, such as marble, limestone, travertine, etc.”

Concrete has become popular, Pompo noted, although the wood look is still in high demand as well. Also, thin tile porcelain panels/slabs are rising in popularity. “Porcelain tiles are as large as 5 x 10 feet and can vary in thickness from 1⁄8 inches to ¾ inches,” he explained. “With ink-jet technology, the tile gives a very realistic look of the various types of marble, limestone, concrete and other types of styles and looks.”

Glass tile and rectangle subway tiles are still going strong as well, according to Pompo. He’s also seeing movement with respect to embossed 3D ceramic wall tile combined with unique finishes.

Other tile trends that guests can expect to see on display at the show are industrial-inspired looks along with more realistic-stone looks and, of course, larger format tiles.

Posted on

Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition now accepting entries

New York, N.Y.—Confindustria Ceramica and the Italian Trade Agency are officially calling for entries for the 2018 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. The annual awards program, now celebrating its 25th year, recognizes the work of top North American architects and designers who create imaginative spaces that take advantage of the excellent technical and aesthetic qualities of Italian ceramic and porcelain tile.

Each year, a jury of design experts selects three winning projects as well as honorable mentions in the residential, institutional and commercial sectors. In addition to built projects, Ceramics of Italy is also looking for imaginative concepts from students. The jury’s official criteria includes: overall design of the project, aesthetic and technical quality of tile installation, degree to which the tile enhances the setting and the project’s sustainable attributes.

To qualify for entry, built projects in the residential, institutional and commercial categories must be designed by North America-based architects and designers, built or renovated between January 2013 and January 2017, and feature a significant amount of Italian ceramic/porcelain tile. To be eligible to submit to the student category, entrants must be enrolled at an accredited university in North America. Individual or group submissions are accepted through renderings, floor plans and sketches. There is no entry fee and multiple submissions are accepted. The deadline for entries is Feb. 15.

Winners will be notified in March and officially announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference at Coverings in Atlanta, May 8-11. The prize package for winners of the built project categories includes $3,000, accommodations and travel to Coverings to present the project, a dedicated advertisement in a leading design publication as well as a five-day CEU-accredited trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie with a delegation of top architects, designers and journalists from North America. In addition to special appointments on the show floor, the delegation will also enjoy the world-renowned cuisine of Bologna, cultural tours in the region and a chance to see tile production firsthand. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the contractor/distributor team involved in each winning project. The winning student entry will receive a trip to Atlanta to present the project at Coverings in front of an audience of journalists, manufacturers and tile industry professionals.

For more information, visit tilecompetition.com.

Posted on

Ceramics of Italy present top tile trends for 2018

New York, N.Y.—Ceramics of Italy has gathered the top tile trends dominating the booths at Cersaie, the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and sanitaryware furnishings. Following are the top 10 trends.

Botanical. While floral designs have been around since decorative tile was invented, botanical is a new trend reflecting two movements in the design industry. The first is a focus on health and wellness and the incorporation of the natural world into interiors. Meanwhile, the influence of tropical modernism has seeped into interiors and product design, which can be seen in this year’s abundance of palm, cacti and other flora-inspired patterns.

Deconstructed. Tile companies are constantly seeking new ways to add movement and volume to the flat surface, whether by texture, pattern, or tromp l’oiel effect. Deconstructed is the most recent example, featuring a breakdown and reconstruction of shapes that transcend the traditional rectilinear format of a tile.

Earth tones. Color palettes range from dirt, clay and sand inspired browns; forest, moss and grass-like greens; red and golden tones reminiscent of the sun; and shades of blue to evoke an oceanic feel. This trend has become popular partially due to a revival of 1970s style along with a greater focus on mother nature and its ability to create a sense of natural serenity.

Globalism. Designers and brands frequently look to other cultures for inspiration, which are exemplified in this year’s tile introductions.

New typologies. While some companies recreate the look of wood or stone to an impressive degree of realism, others mix different materials or handpick certain characteristics to form a whole new typology. This fusion of material-looks and themes result in a surreal, imaginative interpretation of tile and a potential new language for interior design.

Nostalgia. People often look to design for an escape and in this current political climate it’s unsurprising that companies are turning to the past to bring people a euphoric boost..

Painterly. There is an overarching softness and romanticism in the design world today with gentle curves, washes of color and the unmistakable touch of an artist’s hand. Tile is no exception with this year’s collections featuring hand painted patterns, sketches and illustrations, marbled effects and watercolor designs.

Pastels. Moving beyond the celebrity of millennial pink, shades of blush, lavender, sea green and pale yellow can be found in dozens of floor and wall tiles. Less saturated than primary colors, pastels create a light, soft and calming effect, which dovetails with a few other trends from this year from Painterly to Nostalgia.

Terrazzo twist. Already a popular trend in interior design and fashion, terrazzo started popping up in the tile industry last year and has grown to become a potential new mainstay, on par with marble, wood and concrete designs. Dozens of designs are now available ranging from cement to epoxy terrazzo, traditional to modern colors and glossy to matte finishes.

Weathered. A departure from the soft, romantic effects of the other trends, weathered is a style with staying power. From stones with scratch marks and colored rustic planks to rusted tin tiles and oxidized metals, these tiles mirror an ongoing fascination with unfinished spaces, worn surfaces and vintage effects.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Ceramics of Italy sponsors exhibition at the National Building Museum

New York, N.Y.—Ceramics of Italy is participating in and sponsoring the National Building Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Making Room: Housing for a Changing America.” Opening on Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C., the 10-month exhibit aims to highlight innovative housing solutions in a one-of-a-kind, evolving installation. Organized by the museum and the Citizens Housing & Planning Council and presented in partnership with Resource Furniture and Clei, “Making Room” focuses on residential interior design, which is envisioned to meet the growing needs of America’s diverse households.

“We are honored to support the National Building Museum, which is the only cultural institution in the U.S. dedicated to the built environment,” said Vittorio Borelli, president, Confindustria Ceramica. “‘Making Room’ is a unique opportunity for Ceramics of Italy to demonstrate the impressive versatility and unmatched quality of Italian ceramic tiles. The future of residential design is rapidly changing and [Ceramics of Italy] understand the necessity to create products for flexible and multi-functional spaces.”

With unprecedented shifts in demographics and lifestyles over the past few decades, American households have undergone a transformation. More adults than ever are living alone, multigenerational households are on the rise, and affordable housing is in crisis. Technology, the desire for creative use of space and environmental sustainability, as well as demands for healthy living all require 21st-century solutions, while traditional residential housing design have not kept pace.

“Making Room” examines the groundswell of developers, architects, interior designers, allied with housing advocates, policy makers and activists who are proposing exciting, flexible answers for these evolving needs. Replete with surprising architectural and design improvements, the exhibition illuminates cutting-edge approaches such as micro apartments in New York City, shared housing experiments in the D.C. area, backyard accessory cottages in Seattle, tiny houses that are helping the formerly homeless in Austin and the boom in cohousing communities nationwide, among other advances. Models, plans and images showcase some of these alternative options and their effects on the housing market in those communities.

The exhibition’s centerpiece, The Open House, is a 1,000 square-foot, full-scale, flexible dwelling, which further illustrates how a small space can be adapted to meet many needs. Designed by Italian architect Pierluigi Colombo, the home comprises two distinct living spaces that could be used independently or combined to form a larger residence. On its own, the smallest space could be configured as a micro apartment. To highlight how the same space can accommodate three entirely different living arrangements—roommates, an extended family and a retired couple with a live-in aid—the interior furnishings will be swapped out twice during the exhibition’s seven-month run.

Posted on

Ceramics of Italy presents 2017 Tile Competition winners

Orlando, Fla.—Now in its 24th year, the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition is proud to award six outstanding projects that wholly represent the competition’s goal of honoring the admirable use of Italian tile in North American architecture and design. Sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Agency, the competition attracted high-quality submissions in each of the three categories: residential, commercial and institutional.

The international jury of design industry experts selected three winners and three honorable mentions using the following criteria: the creative and effective use of Italian tile, the overall quality of the installation, the aesthetic beauty and functionality of the design, and the sustainable attributes of the overall project and materials used.

The winners were announced at this year’s Coverings in April. The winning firms received a prize of $3,000 as well as an all-expenses-paid, CEU-accredited trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie as part of a VIP delegation of specifiers and journalists. Contractors and distributors involved in each winning project were awarded a cash prize for their valued contribution.

Following are the winners:
OceanViewHouse_01_LR

Residential
Firm: Bromley Caldari Architects
Project: Ocean View House
Location: Fire Island Pines, N.Y.
Tile Manufacturer: Emilceramica
Distributor: Artistic Tile
Contractor: Artistic Tile

 

 

commercialw

Commercial
Firm: Jennifer Carpenter Architect
Project: MediaMath 4 World Trade Center
Location: New York
Tile Manufacturer: Ceramiche Refin
Distributor: High Style Stone and Tile
Contractor: Petretti & Associates; Coastal Tile & Marble

 

 

 

 

Institutionaliw
Firm: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Project: Jerome L. Greene Science Center, home of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University NYC
Location: New York, N.Y.
Tile Manufacturer: Casalgrande Padana
Distributor: ProTile Distributors
Contractor: JanTile

 

 

Honorable mentions include:
Residentialrh
Firm: Cord Struckmann, Architect
Project: Case Study House 26 Remodel
Location: San Rafael, Calif.
Tile Manufacturer: Gigacer
Distributor: Statements Tile
Contractor: Escarlarta Tile

 

 

Commercialch
Firm: CallisonRTKL
Project: The Ridge at Lake Geneva
Location: Lake Geneva, Wis.
Tile Manufacturer: Provenza Ceramiche; Ceramiche Refin; Atlas Concorde
Distributor: Stone Source
Contractor: Lonnie’s Carpet

 

ihInstitutional
Firm: Gow Hastings Architects
Project: Ryerson University ServiceHub
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tile Manufacturer: Casalgrande Padana
Distributor: Stone Tile International
Contractor: Twin Contracting

 

 

 

Posted on

Blustyle launches in the U.S. at Coverings 2017

bluestyleNew YorkAttendees at Coverings 2017 will be the first to experience the North American launch of a Blustyle, the newest Panariagroup brand to enter the US market. The Blustyle brand will exhibit in the Ceramics of Italy Pavilion (Booth #1435) showing a robust offering of contemporary Italian ceramics for commercial and residential settings in different finishes, colors and formats.

The state-of-the-art products on display will include highlights from the 12 new Blustyle collections that are in step with the trends such as rustic and refined wood looks, concrete finishes, oversized stone looks and distinctive marbles in a range of thicknesses from 9mm to 11mm and even 20mm. The entire collection comes with a guarantee for up to 20 years—underscoring the quality and durability of tiles.

“Blustyle is a brand that leverages the experience and qualities of sister company, Cotto D’Este and the whole Panariagroup,” said Paolo Mussini, Panaria CEO. “The brand offers Made-in-Italy, porcelain solutions at traditional thicknesses, taking advantage of the latest technology, the best raw materials, distinctive aesthetics and the production team’s deep respect for the environment.”

In sync with its parent company’s commitment to responsible production methods, Blustyle has already secured eco-focused certifications (EMAS, ISO, Eco-Label) that cover its eco-compatible production that recycles, reduces the waste of all raw materials, manages the plant at its highest efficiency and uses renewable energy.

To accompany the new brand, the Blustyle team has created a range of tools and materials to help with the specification and installation process. A dedicated website and brochure lays out all of the details on the guarantee for up to 20 years and includes technical specs to assist with layout ideas.

Posted on

Ceramics of Italy extends 2017 Tile Competition deadline

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-1-39-27-pmNew York, N.Y.—Ceramics of Italy has extended the deadline for its 2017 Tile Competition to Jan. 13. All North America-based architects and designers who have used Italian ceramic or porcelain tile within the past five years are eligible to submit their projects in the residential, commercial and institutional categories. Prizes include $3,000, a trip to Bologna, Italy for a CEU-accredited trip to Cersaie and a trip to Orlando to present their project at Coverings.

The competition guidelines, online application and an archive of winning projects from past years can be found on the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition website. There is no fee to enter and multiple submissions are accepted.

 

 

 

Posted on

Ceramics of Italy launches 2017 Tile Competition

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-1-39-27-pmNew York, N.Y.—Ceramics of Italy has launched its 2017 Tile Competition. Now in its 24th year, the annual awards program invites North America-based architects and designers to submit their most innovative and sustainable projects from the past five years that take advantage of the excellent technical and aesthetic qualities of Italian ceramic and porcelain tile. Projects that predominantly feature Italian tile—newly built or renovated, domestic or international—will be evaluated by an international jury of design experts in the residential, institutional and commercial categories.

One grand prize winner in each category will be honored with an awards package including: $3,000; a trip to Coverings, North America’s premier tile and stone trade show in Orlando, Fla.; and a CEU-accredited trip to Cersaie in Bologna, Italy with a delegation of architects, designers and design media. A handful of honorable mentions will be selected and the winning contractor/distributor teams will also be rewarded.

The deadline for submissions is Jan. 6, 2017.
For more information, please visit www.tilecompetition.com

Posted on

Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition deadline extended

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 9.13.34 AMNew York—Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Commission have extended the deadline to enter the 2016 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition to Jan. 22.

For the past 22 years, the competition has served as a unique platform to showcase the work of North American architects and designers who utilize the high technical and aesthetic qualities of Italian tile. Each year an international jury of design experts selects three winning projects as well as honorable mentions in the residential, institutional, and commercial/hospitality sectors. Projects displaying the highest level of functionality, creativity, sustainability and aesthetic appeal will be rewarded with valued prizes as well as exposure in the industry.

To qualify for the competition, projects must be designed by North American-based architects and designers, completed in the past five years and feature a significant portion of Italian ceramic or porcelain tile.

Winners will be notified in March and officially announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference at Coverings, taking place in Chicago April 18-21.

In addition to travel and show accommodations, each category winner will receive a cash prize of $4,000 plus a five-day trip to Bologna, Italy next fall to attend Cersaie, the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings.

The online application can be found at tilecompetition.com. There is no fee to enter and multiple submissions are accepted. Deadline is Jan. 15.