Coverings 2019

Stone and tile flexed marketing muscle in Orlando

Coverings is an annual stone and tile trade show that attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers. This year in Orlando, Fla., featured 1,100 exhibitors from over 40 countries, 26,000 visitors and was the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education, with 50 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstrations throughout the show, all free of charge.

At the event, Anderson, S.C.-based show co-sponsor Tile Council of North America (TCNA) executive director Eric Astrachan noted that 2018 tile consumption in the U.S. exceeded the pre-recession boom of 2004-2006. He also said the some water, scratch and dent proof claims by plastic-based material (PBM) flooring are disingenuous, with resilient manufacturers saying one thing in their marketing claims, but another in their specifications.

Eric Astrachan

“Their product may be unchanged by water,” says Astrachan, citing an ongoing industry study at Clemson University’s Advance Materials Research Center in Clemson, S.C., “but not the floor substrate. Conditions are ripe for mold to occur, which can release VOCs and phthalate plasticizers.”

Trends were a big topic, as usual. Both the TCNA and Tile of Spain pavilions featured tile producers eager to stay on top of, and to lead, fashion. Delta, B.C.-based Ryan Fasan, creative development, at Bellavita Tile spoke at the Tile of Spain press conference about how square tiles are making a comeback, along with art deco styles. “Watch for bolder colours and pattern variations,” says Fasan, “and era mashups from the 1950s to 1970s.”

The heat-resistant properties of ceramic tile are getting a workout, too. Ascale by Tau of Onda, Spain, in the Tile of Spain pavilion revealed it is working with an induction stove company to incorporate special, fashionable tile materials for cook top counters. Once the heat is turned off, the stovetop area becomes part of the rest of worktop surface for other activities.

The 2019 Best Booth Awards honoured exhibitors in six categories. The Overall Best in Show honour was presented to Torrecid of Madison, Tenn., which showcased a gastro pub.

Earning the most Inspirational Design was Castellarano, Italy-based Fiandre in the Ceramics of Italy pavilion for its homage to old world Italian vintage ceramic workshops. Lamosa of San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, earned the Best Use of Tile award, while the Urban Modern honour was presented to Bologna, Italy-based Cooperativa Ceramic D’Imola. The Lifestyle Honor was presented to Villareal, Spain-based Living Ceramics, and Ceramiche Refin of Salvaterra, Italy, earned the On Trend In Smaller Space award.

In addition to the TCNA, other show sponsors are Ceramic Tile Distributor Association, Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association, Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica and National Tile Contractors Association.

Show manager Taffy Event Strategies will present Coverings next year in New Orleans, La., from April 20-23.

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