Key trends at Coverings 2013
Its name is simple and says it all: Coverings. And the coverings it is all about are ceramic tile and natural stone coverings exclusively. Presented from April 29 to May 2, Coverings 2013 attracted more than 900 exhibitors from some 50 countries in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. Just to emphasize the show’s object beyond any shadow of a doubt, its organisers have this tell all byline in their logo: “The ultimate tile and stone experience”.
Coverings is also more than a trade show. It has an extensive program featuring continuing education and conferences by experts. Some 70 free sessions by 120 presenters were scheduled at last spring’s show. Coverings does more: it has its own Awards celebration to recognize candidates for their creativity and knowhow in both commercial and residential projects submitted to a committee of experts. A Green Project is another Coverings initiative as well, recognizing environmentally concerned realizations.
Trends at Coverings
For Martin Bourduas, one of the significant trends at Coverings was the emergence of a mix of styles from past years giving way to a new eclectic and attractive genre. “Stone, wood and cement imitations amalgamated together in plank sizes are bringing a splendid hardwood look to new products offering colours and finishes that are new and unique”, reports Martin. He also points out that tile makers are offering a much larger choice of texture finishes than ever. For example, a given tile is now to be found in six or seven different top finishes: natural, polished, patinato, mat, used or old looking, and even wood with a petrified look. On the other hand, he is especially proud of the fact that he dealt exclusively with Italian makers at the show. “When quality and beauty are supported by positive experiences, you know you can’t go wrong with such a winning combination!”
Coverings 2013 was a great edition in Mathieu Bourduas opinion. “It was a great opportunity for us since we were able to select superb new series from the best Italian producers”, says Mathieu. “We will see if the future confirms that we had a good eye for La Tuilerie’s clients!” he adds confidently. Mathieu confirms that Coverings 2013 showed that designers have banked on past years creations, integrating them in finely honed new collections. “This means that we benefit from new mixes of existing stones resulting in new ones never seen before, including wood as well as concrete imitations”, adds Mathieu.
The trend towards ever larger size tiles is still ongoing, he observes. It means we will see 24 X 48 inches tiles in our stores shortly and also elongated tiles as in 8 X 48 inches sizes and even more diversified sizes as well. An evolution in finishes and textures is another trend: “There are more than ever and consequently there is more choice than ever in natural looking ceramic tiles that are 100% man made or created from scratch if you will”, says Mathieu.
This being said, Italian tile makers are still to be recognized as leaders of the industry as far as design is concerned due to their strong commitments in R & D. “New trends bear that Italian trademark year after year and we are totally confident in their mastery of their craft when ordering from them for the benefit of our customers”, affirms Mathieu.
The Green connection
Ceramic tile is a truly noble material since it is made from natural elements and modern techniques which are respectful of environmental criteria established by independent organizations. Through events like Coverings, the industry wants to put forward that aspect of ceramic tiles to consumers who are more than ever sensitive to the environment and their own ecological “imprint”.
With that in mind, Coverings has created its Green Project Awards to honour business candidates whose realizations have integrated ceramic tile into design and architectural projects in an ecological fashion. If the Project’s success can be measured, it is in the number of candidates which is growing each year…
Ceramic tile has more to offer than meets the eye! Beauty, durability, ecological, but also more attractive than ever as experienced by the La Tuilerie team present at Coverings 2013. The next Coverings will be held in Las Vegas in the spring of 2014.
Meanwhile, the La Tuilerie representatives have another event written down in their agenda. It is the most important trade show in the world: the Cersaie in Bologna, Italy, next September. We’ll report on it of course!