Revestir report 2016: A local view of international tile trends

by Tania Wannenburg
Revestir report 2016 International tile trends

WALLS & ROOFS attended Expo Revestir 2016 and brought back some inspiration from the almost 40 000m² of tiling exhibitions.

With riveting displays of the latest tile trends, Expo Revestir, held from 1 to 4 March in São Paulo, Brazil, presented an abundance of wall tile designs, colours, patterns, finishes and formats. With high-definition printing technology continuously advancing, anything seems possible.

Hosted by Anfacer and dubbed “The fashion week of architecture and construction”, this 14th edition of Expo Revestir saw more than 200 exhibitors from Brazil, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the United States, the Czech Republic, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Germany and Israel showcasing about 40 000m² of tiles and coverings technologies.  

This year, the focus was undoubtedly on creating spaces that promote quality of life and afford opportunities for escaping the turmoil of the world, where people can relax and find calm. Intertwined with this is the “green thread” – an emphasis on smart, innovative products that are produced with minimum impact on the environment and which are easy to maintain and highly durable.

Inspired by nature
The wood look is still very popular as a way to bring nature into living spaces – from dark, textured timber to pale, weathered surfaces. Fittingly, Decortiles’ Blackwood line was marked for a “Best in Show” award. This collection is distinctively textured and bold, an artistic interpretation of the natural material.

Tiles inspired by stone, concrete and oxidised metal are also trendy, while elements from nature, such as the waves of the sea and floral patterns, featured in prints and reliefs.

Whether going for the luxury expression or the more natural look, the marble look also offers versatility in design.

Tempted to touch
In parallel with the nature-inspired look, textures resembling the natural veins of wood and concrete, or the coarseness of woven textiles, prompted a closer look. However, while there was some roughness to be felt here and there, many of these tiles are smooth to the touch.

Tile tech: HD
“Everything is digital,” says Cristiana Luis da Silva, commercial technical manager at Smalticeram. “The technology dominates the market since it allows us to produce more tiles, faster.” Full HD digital printing technology enables manufacturers to reproduce any type of surface in both porcelain and ceramic tiles. This is used, for example, to create the natural grains and colours on wood-look tiles, as well as surfaces ranging from satiny smooth to relief.

Soft naturals
Soothing tones were the order of the day to create a visual lightness, with fewer bold colours than seen at previous shows, but more options and variations of natural, light shades such as grey, brown, beige and white. While grey provides a calming, neutral backdrop for nature-inspired décor, it is also great for creating a typical cosmopolitan and urban look.

Blends of blue
When it comes to brighter colours, blue was the only hue that stood out across the board. From light powder-blue tones inspired by the Pantone 2016 colour Serenity, to aquamarine, Delft-blue patterns, smoky blues and an intense, deep blue.

Metallic highlights
Adding a sense of luxury in sophisticated and elegant interiors, glossy metallic surfaces in gold, rose gold, silver and copper are either used as accents or to make a daring statement and dominate a design. In a toned down version, they are also applied to create an antique or rustic look.

Polished vs matt
Although it seems that the Brazilian taste is becoming a little bit more matt and muted, the polished products are still on trend, especially for bathrooms and hotels. Many exhibitors featured the same look tile in a polished and matt version for seamless extension from an interior to exterior space.

Artistic foci
Opening up the door for self-expression and individual creativity, street art, signage, bistro artwork, cultures and countries as well as fashions from the 60’s and 70’s inspired many designs. Further strengthened by the return of the handmade trend in interior designs, delicate glass mosaics are used to create decorative works of art.

Rhythm reinterpreted
Many exhibitors played with patterns and geometrics, moving away from strict repeats. Designers are given the freedom to fragment configurations and experiment with mixing shapes and prints, making each installation unique.

Bring on the brick
Ranging from black to burnt red, with a wide range of naturals, the brick look is a huge trend. They come in different sizes and textures, and with coating technologies that allow the brick tiles to be water-repellent with low absorption rates, highly durable, easy to maintain and lightweight.

Tile tech: 3D
Three-dimensional folds, raised patterns and reliefs, bevelled edges, waves, ridges, geometric shapes such as triangles, diamonds and hexagons, this technology enables dynamic designs with volumetric contrasts. Hollow elements also make good partitions, both inside and outside, to still let trough natural ventilation.

Larger than life
While large-format tiles are definitely a growing trend, especially for high-end developments, these weren’t as prominent at Revister since the bulk of the Brazilian market comprises low- and middle-income housing projects.

Currently, only one Brazilian company, Incepa, has the machinery to manufacture these giant sizes. However, companies did show off the visual unity created by the large formats. Sizes include 45,3cm x 75,8cm, 75cm x 150cm, 60,4cm x 121cm, 60cm x 60cm, 79,7cm x 79,7cm, 90cm x 90cm and the extra-large size of 89cm x 89cm.

With spectacular stands and crafty displays, Expo Revestir inspired designers and architects to create sustainable, individualised designs.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Expo Revestir and all its exhibitors for the information given to write this article.

Highlights of Revestir 2016:
–    Nature-inspired.
–    Soft natural tones.
–    Blues.
–    Metallics.
–    Unique, artistic arrangements.
–    The brick look.
–    Technology: 3D and HD.
–    Large-format tiles.
–    Green thread of sustainability.

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