Main image: Portobelo America

Attendance at this year’s Coverings in Orlando, Florida, rivalled pre-pandemic numbers with 27 000 visitors and more than 1 000 exhibitors from 40 countries. The event is the largest international ceramic and natural stone event in North America.

Broad aesthetics

Marble once again populated the show floor, providing dramatic backdrops as exhibitors from across the globe displayed their porcelain panel production capabilities. Concrete looks were found in nearly every booth and wood looks were more predominant than at international shows. Fitting in with the domestic United States (US) market’s somewhat subdued general aesthetic, was travertine albeit with the addition of more dynamic vein-cut representations.

Annual trends

The annual trends presentation from interior designer and covering ambassador, Alena Capra, highlighted the following:

  • Brick-like tile, including various finishes and intense chromatic variations on walls, countertops or even furnishings. The tile can be stacked horizontally or vertically, or mixed with different colours to create striped, chevrons and herringbone patterns.
  • Cement-look tiles, with subtle colour variation and a dimensional texture, provide a versatile option for a wide range of applications. A worn patina effect tells a story, sometimes layers, sanded or tinted.
  • Cobbled-looking tiles in a large-scale aggregate look, ranging from time-worn terrazzo to cobblestone, offer old-world charm without a threat to stilettoed visitors.
  • Creative uses of wood-look tile for projects that desire the aesthetic of wood together with the ease of maintenance that ceramic tile provides. This trend manifests in realistic-looking floor tiles.
  • Green-hued tiles featured everything from giant palms to exotic stones and green marble, to more subtle approaches in both large- and small-format tiles in muted shades of green.
  • “Enduring elegance” by using large-format ceramic tiles, from subtle shading and colours used in both residential and commercial settings, adding depth to walkways and flooring.
  • Mother Nature-inspired indoor/outdoor tiles provide anti-slip, easy maintenance solutions with hyper-realistic interpretations of natural elements. New material looks like cork and rammed earth appears for both outdoor and indoor areas.
  • “Sensory seduction” through tiles that beg to be touched, creating feelings of relaxation or even excitement, depending on the chosen application and design.
  • A 1970s-esque tile in mostly earth tones and pop art florals. The decade celebrated spectacle with glam rock, flashy prints and metallic accessories, contrasting with naturalistic, where materials and patterns conjure a sailing lifestyle with stripes, wavy patterns and wood.
  • Undulated tiles, in line with the trend for hand-crafted bespoke goods. Subtle undulations in the surface emulate manually applied thick glazes, creating an artisanal look.

Full acknowledgement and thanks go for the information in this editorial.

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