Last month I attended the Coverings Tile & Stone Show, which this year was held in Atlanta. It was huge–more than 900 exhibitors–and I saw a lot of beautiful and innovative new product. Here are some of my favorites.
The Spanish tile company Apavisa introduced a terrific three-dimensional indoor/outdoor ceramic tile collection called Archconcept. As the name suggests, the line is very architectural. Comprising dramatic shapes like hexagons with a central bump, square panels with raised and folded corners, or planks with bends and curves, the tiles provide volume to vertical surfaces. Available in stone, metal, and cement finishes, the tiles can also be combined with sophisticated LED technology to create beautiful lighting effects.
As part of their Geologica Collection, the Italian manufacturer Finadre showed beautiful slabs of what appeared to be sliced precious stone, but were in fact very thin ceramic panels that have been digitally printed to resemble perfectly onyx, agate, malachite, and other exotic stones. They come in 5-foot by 10-foot sheets, so they can be installed with very few or no joints. Lots of design possibilities.
The American brand Crossville Inc. introduced something you can’t actually see: Hydrotect, an optional invisible coating with antimicrobial, self-cleaning, and air-purifying effects, that’s available on most of its porcelain tile collections. With its hydrophilic and photocatalytic properties, Hydrotect, a nanotechnology developed by the TOTO Corporation, it effectively kills odor-causing bacteria, significantly reduces dirt and oil accumulation, and rids the air of odors and nitrous oxide. And because it is fired on separately from the glaze, it will not wash or wear off over time. You don’t need any cleaning products that pollute the environment.
Italian tile manufacturers were out in force at the show. Among the products that caught my eye was this intriguing pattern from Casa Dolce Casa’s Casamood collection:
I was also impressed with the Dolcemaro Collection from Ceramica Viva, which featured a wide variety of distinctive patterns, ranging from this . . .
. . . to this . . .
And I really liked the combination of subtle texture and intense color offered by the Studio Collection from LaFaenzaCeramica.
Thanks to recent advances in high-definition digital printing, there was a lot of very convincing realistic faux-wood tile. But I was intrigued by the Graffiti Collection by the Spanish company Tau Ceramica, which treated wood in a fun, comic-book style.