Design editor Kai Ethier shares the hottest tile trends she spotted at Coverings in Orlando.
I recently had the good fortune of heading down to Orlando for Coverings, the largest tile and stone show in North America. The show boasts about nine miles of exhibits, including booths with product from around the world, tile installation demonstrations and fun showcases, like a tiny homes exhibit featuring three pint-sized houses! The show is a must-see for those in the tile and stone industry, and for keen observers in all things related to home like myself. It’s a great place to spot what’s trending. From the thousands of styles I saw, here’s what I think we’ll be seeing more of this year, in no particular order.
Advancements in technology now allow porcelain manufacturers to produce realistic natural stone look-a-likes in gauged tile, or in other words, large, thin slabs. It’s clear that gauged porcelain tile is gaining popularity, as many booths featured it on the floors and walls, and as a countertop material. With slab sizes as large as 5′ x 10′ and a bookmatching option, porcelain tile is proving itself a good alternative to the real deal.
Petracer’s hand-painted gauged tile was absolutely stunning in person. It felt like a piece of art. The close-up on the right really shows off the texture in the tile.
Digitally printed and hand-painted tiles in this large format have the look of wallpaper, but in a wipeable and durable format that’s perfect for bathrooms. The
Fondovalle booth displayed their 48″ x 96″ Dream Woods panel, pictured above.
Photographer: Courtesy of Ceramics of Italy
Tile that mimics the look of hardwood isn’t new, but only now are we seeing these faux-bois tiles in longer and wider planks, as well as in a variety of colors.
The collaboration between Italian ceramic company
Mirage and Netherlands-based design firm Studio Job shows a more playful side of this trend. Shown here, the Pop Job collection comes in seven different colors (four neutrals and three bright pastels) available in a gorgeous glossy finish.
Another look that appeared in almost every major booth was porcelain that was made to look raw, worn or aged in industrial materials like concrete and metal.
These are examples of an oxidized
(top) and worn concrete look from Refin Ceramiche‘s Voyager collection.
The District collection from
Leonardo Ceramica features tile with patterns inspired by metal grates embossed on them.
Another trend that appeared over and over was fabric print or texturized tile. The tiles come in various sizes and colors (though mostly neutrals) and looked like they were made of — or covered in — fabrics such as canvas, linen, jute and burlap.
Here’s a close-up of some of the tiles included in
Wonder Porcelain’s Fabric Folio collection.
Another interpretation of the fabric look can be seen on the Craft Tile from
Photographer: Courtesy of Ceramics of Italy
In terms of color, blue seemed to be the standout in a sea of neutrals. From pale watery hues to bright cobalt, blue was a common thread throughout the show. The gorgeous glass tile pictured above is from
Blue was often the only color choice in the many varieties of wood-look tile, like this subtle shade from
Elios (above, right). I loved the classic subway tile from Natucer (above, left).
3-D wall tiles definitely seem to be trending, and can be used to cover an entire wall or just a smaller feature. While some were more dramatic than others, all the 3-D tiles I saw “stood” out — get it?
Aguayo Tile had some gorgeous examples of this trend.
The Eider tile from
Vitromex comes in either black or white (above, left). I also loved the beautiful 3-D tile from Natucer (above, right).
I’ve been seeing a lot of terrazzo in fabric prints and even furniture, so it’s no surprise that it kept popping up on floor and wall tiles at Coverings’ many booths.
I was drooling over almost every tile at the
Granada Tile booth, but particularly loved their terrazzo patterns.
Vives Ceramica, porcelain tiles were given terrazzo prints in pretty pastels mixed with neutrals (above, left). And at the Ornamenta booth, a large-print terrazzo porcelain tile would look lovely on the floor or wall (above, right).
Quite a few tiles that nodded to the past — like this parquet-style one — were featured in several of the wood-look porcelain options. With trends like chevron and herringbone floors, this tile presents an easier way to get that old Parisian apartment look that’s so sought after.
This one is from
The continued trend towards Art Deco patterns was present in these lovely marble tiles from
Barbie Kennedy (above, left). I loved these mod-style tiles from Ken Mason Tile (above, left). There’s something about the colors and the curved lines that bring to mind swinging 60’s style in the best possible way.