Arpi on Tile

Tile's Versatility with Wellness-Focused Designs

Coverings 2022 showcased the diverse and ever-changing possibilities of tile in design and architecture.

Walker Zanger’s new collection premiered at Coverings, as well as Anthology's featured collections. (Photo courtesy Walker Zanger)

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By Arpi Nalbandian Tileometry

With the recently concluded Coverings 2022 event held in Las Vegas, Nevada, it was obvious while walking the show that patterns, colors, shapes, and texture reigned supreme! Not one boring, beige tile was seen, thankfully!

If you were in attendance, you would have had the opportunity to hear myself and Emerson Schwartzkopf, Editor/Publisher of Stone Update, share noteworthy show floor observations during one of several Coverings’ inaugural Podcast Studio events. In case you missed it, here’s a link.

To begin with, I’d like to thank the Tile Heritage Foundation’s (THF) Sheila Menzies and Joe Taylor for their incredible work that spans more than three decades! Founded in 1987, THF has continued to research, provide information, and preserve information about ceramic surfaces, with a library and research facility containing books and catalogs about tiles worldwide, as well as files on U.S. companies producing tiles and architectural terra cotta in the past 150 years. That’s quite an endeavor – one that is done with passion and diligence. You can find more information on THF, and how you can contribute to their ongoing efforts, by visiting https://tileheritage.org/.

Katia McGuirk, a member of Tile Heritage Foundation's board of directors, joins co-founders Sheila Menzies and Joe Taylor at Coverings 2022.

Allison Eden Studios: Allison Eden Studios continues to amaze the mosaic art tile community with her incredible creations.

Codicer 95: Codicer 95 takes on the timeless look of terracotta with modern curves.

Handmade Design/Artistry

There’s something to be said for hand-cut and handmade tile. First of all, it’s not easy work. From designing and implementing the necessary raw materials, it takes time, effort, and patience to produce these beauties. Next time you see handmade/hand-cut tile, take a moment to appreciate the subtle artistic subtleties.

Casa Symari: Part of Casa Symari’s Jardin collection, this design features the look of gracefully aged antique mirrors

Cristacer: Subdued glazes skim the surface of these handcrafted tiles from Cristacer Ceramica.

Ege Seramik: Ege Seramik offers its take on Kintsugi, the Japanese art form of joining broken pottery with melted gold.

ZYK: Matter, from Spanish company ZYK, uses muted glazes to set the tone for a relaxing environment. (Image courtesy Tile of Spain)

Blazing Glazes

Scanning the show floor, it was obvious that in addition to larger sizes and impressive shapes/motifs, glazes reigned supreme. From ripples to puddling, and vivid to calm tones, these glazes screamed for attention – and rightfully so! Here are several that grabbed my attention.

Steuler Filiesengruppe AG: Quarzsprung from Steuler Fliesengruppe AG offered a combination of texture and beauty with its glazing technique.

Armonie Ceramiche: Armonie Ceramiche’s large-scale leaf fronds.

La Fabbrica Ceramiche: Bookmarked and glossy gauged porcelain tile panels by La Fabbrica Ceramiche.

Impressive Realism

It isn’t often that I find myself doing a double-take, but that’s exactly what I found myself doing – several times – during this edition of Coverings. More so than before, the technology of bringing realistic imagery to manufactured, kiln-fired tile left me not only awestruck, but eager for what’s to come within this incredible ever-evolving industry. First, let’s take a look at the nature-inspired designs – be it mimicking the nuances of natural stones or that of flora/fauna – that stole the attention of many attendees, including myself.

Ceramica Aparici: Fancy a swim? Ceramicas Aparici’s impressive depiction of a coral reef.

Ceracasa Ceramica: Ceracasa Ceramica’s large format tiles mimic colorful peacock feathers.

Shapely & Textured

As a building/decorative material that has been around for centuries, tile in all its formats is a spectacular representation of what can be produced when the mind is put to matter, specifically with noble earthly elements.

Dune: Wellness and health were reflected with Dune’s vignette of rippling shades of blue, which were complemented by scalloped marble-like accent tiles.

Relonda Ceramica: Hexagons, florals, and water-jet mosaics are featured in one of several Realonda Ceramica’s latest product releases.

Portobello Grupo: Similar to shallow waves on a shoreline, Portobello Grupo instilled a sense of serenity with gradient blue glazes on these dimensional wall tiles.

Keramikos: With hints of concrete, wood and lattice, Keramikos’ hexagons capture multipurpose design and architectural elements

Vallelunga: A classic take on hexagon ceramic tiles featuring natural stone patterns throughout. (Image courtesy Ceramics of Italy)

Unicorn Starker: The Venice collection from Unicom Starker focused on the time-tested allure of terrazzo.

Caesar Ceramiche: KMood from Caesar Ceramiche provides subtle luxury with its concrete-like tones and texture. (Image courtesy Ceramics of Italy)

Emilgroup: Delicately detailed hexagon tiles were showcased by Emilgroup.

Technology with Tile

ABK Group first unveiled its Cooking Surface Prime during Cersaie 2021 to great accolades and amazement! The exclusive induction cooktop is designed for use with the company’s own porcelain slabs —distributed under the Abkstone and Materia brands. Amazingly, once the system is integrated into the worktop, heat is transferred directly to the cookware without heating up the surface. Not only does this save space on the work/prep surface, but it also allows for quicker cooking and energy-saving benefits. Check out the video of Chef Francesco rocking out to AC/DC’s Highway to Hell!

Anthology

Jeffrey Court

Canine Castles

One of the perennial highlights of Coverings, is the display of handcrafted, tiled doghouses. These one-of-a-kind homes, contributed by Tile Council of North America members, were later donated to The Animal Foundation. The participating tile companies included American Wonder Porcelain, Anthology, Casa Ceramica, Crossville, Inc., Florida Tile, Jeffrey Court, and Syzygy Tile. The forms used to make the doghouses were custom manufactured and contributed by Wedi Corp.

(Photo courtesy Coverings)

Syzygy Tile

Crossville

Showcasing 750 exhibitors from 30 countries and offering several opportunities to attendees in terms of product demonstrations, hands-on training opportunities, workshops, conferences, and more, Coverings exceeded all expectations, especially for a large-scale global event. As for what’s next, I’m extremely excited for Cersaie in Bologna, Italy, in late September. It’s an event that consistently showcases jaw-dropping tile patterns and designs, and I can’t wait to share them with you! NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all photographs and videos are ©2022 Arpi Nalbandian.