Tile has gotten smarter since its introduction thousands of years ago! I was incredibly impressed with the innovations I spotted at the show. Here are some of the highlights:
Ceracasa is releasing Eco, tile that stores energy and releases it for heating and cooling a room, by the end of the year.
Ceracasa already produces Emotile, an ink jet-produced mural that feature custom designs by clients submitted digitally. While mainly used in commercial projects, I can see these tiles cladding a shower or kitchen wall in an eclectic residence.
Thin was definitely in at the show, with skinny tiles that are easier to carry and cut, less costly to ship and installable over existing floors were prominent at Cevisama. One of the companies that pioneered this technology is Inalco. They also pioneered digital printing on tiles, creating ceramics that stunningly duplicate natural materials.
Designing in California and Florida has given me a passion for indoor-outdoor living spaces. Natucer’s Stone Klinker and Grespania’s weathered wood look Basilea were two top collections that come in low-maintenance indoor and slip-resistant outdoor versions – both smart and stylish!
Natucer also built rows of LED lights into tile with its clever Life Arc series.
But the smartest tiles at the show were undoubtedly Tau’s S3 system. S3 stands for Smart Surface Systems and smart is a serious understatement! I’ll cover these more in my next post on top products from the show but, like Ceracasa’s Eco tile, S3 impacts a room’s temperature. It also ties in entertainment, lighting and other home systems. Wow!
Ceracasa's Emotile uses ink-jet technology to render client images on wall tile
Eco-friendly attributes were widespread throughout the show, too. As mentioned above, energy-storing tiles were among the offerings. So were tiles made from recycled materials. I liked Altto Glass’ mosaics made from residential windows. Plaza showed off Ecowood, tiles that look like wood, but are almost entirely made by cast-off materials from local tile factories. Scrap never looked so good!
Altto Glass recycles translucent house windows into colorful mosaics
Wood-look tiles are not new, but ink-jet technology keeps improving their style and versatility. Vives showed how great wood marquetry can look in tile. Peronda and Grespania showcased beautiful rustic, reclaimed looks. And, as noted above, Ecowood brought eco points to the trend.
Weathered wood look tile by Plaza goes both indoors and out
3D without Glasses
One of the most playful, fun trends at the show was tile that was anything but flat. Natucer’s various 3D series cast ceramics as room dividers, shower niches, furniture legs and create wall art.
Much of Apavisa’s booth featured dimensional tile with layers, curves and waves for some of the most contemporary, artistic looks at the show.
Tau showed how stylish 3D can be with tone-on-tone Mayfair series listellos that raise pattern and style.
Look what ceramics can do! Natucer's Separate Rooms take tile to another dimension.
Old Looks, New Life
In the everything old is new again category, updates of retro styles were Everywhere! New screen print and ink jet processes give tile makers the technology to produce historic looks with impressive accuracy and affordability. Some of the most notable include:
Tile as wallpaper was one of the dominant trends at the show. Floral, striped, India-inspired and wainscot looks were everywhere! Much of the more ornate product was intended for Russia and Eastern Europe, but we could be seeing some of the subtle stripes, mini florals and grass cloth looks heading for the U.S. this year.
Tiles that revive encaustic and concrete styles were among my favorites at Cevisama, particularly Natucer’s Cementi series.
Hexagons were popular, too, with updated colors and finishes, reviving a retro bathroom look with contemporary style. Plaza’s Genesis series did this especially well!
Love the encaustic trend, shown here by Vives
All That Glitters…
Works stylishly in metallic, textured, graphic-patterned metallic tile. In my recent Houzz Ideabooks on tile trends, I showcased graphic tile as a top trend. These tiles that repeat random, geometric-inspired patterns, typically in just two colors, add interest to a wall without shouting. I really like the metallic graphics I saw for myself at Cevisama that combine shape, texture and soft shine. They manage to be both elegant and contemporary.
At the other end of the taste spectrum were the many irridescent tiles on display. Much of it was cheesy and will probably never hit our shores. A few offerings with more tasteful tone-on-tone design could make their way past the fashion police.
Graphic textures in silver metallic by Plaza shine bright
Links -- I did not provide links to the companies, as I usually do, as all can be found through the Tile of Spain web site and not all have easily-found English pages!
Photos -- I took all of these photos on my iPhone 4S.