Chicago--Coverings, North America’s largest tile and stone exhibition, holds an annual fair to give attendees a preview of the hot new innovations in store for the architecture and design community in the coming year.
Dedicated to ceramic, stone, and glass tiles, the show featured the latest products from more than 1,100 exhibitors from 40 countries, including such places Italy, Spain, America, Brazil, Turkey, and Mexico. In addition, it offered more than 70 sessions of continuing education in all segments of the industry and live demonstration sessions throughout the show.
But the tile is the thing—the steak and the sizzle, the main reason the architects, builders, remodelers, distributors, retailers, fabricators, developers, contractors, and specifiers come to the show.
In addition to seeing exquisite tiles, attendees have a reason to be happy: The tile industry is growing again. According to the Tile Council of North America, the U.S. ceramic tile market consumption increased for the sixth consecutive year—from 2.49 billion square feet in 2014 to 2.74 billion in 2015, roughly 10 percent. Ceramics of Italy, a major player on the world stage, says the volume and the value of its exports to America also increased by about 10 percent. Tile of Spain says its exports to the U.S. increased by 40 percent.
What’s in store for the market? Tile consultant to Spanish tile manufacturers Ryan Fasan says you can expect to see more tiles with clean design, modern surfaces and textures, brick and concrete effects, and warm, taupy colors in gray, blue, and frost tones.
Chris Abbate, who represents Ceramics of Italy, says artistic influences, linear and hex shapes, and extra-large sizes will have strong showing in the market this year.
Here are 17 bold and innovative products we saw at this year's show: