TILE Magazine columnist Patti Fasan is shown during her seminar, "Success With Ceramic," at Surfaces 2004 in Las Vegas.

Despite the absence of some major industry players - such as Shaw, Mohawk, Armstrong and Congoleum - the Surfaces 2004 show in Las Vegas included a broad range of companies spotlighting ceramic products, exotic woods, bamboos and other hard-surface options. Traffic was roughly on par with previous editions of the show with 925 companies exhibiting and total attendance exceeding 36,000, according to Surfaces organizer Hanley-Wood.

Although a considerable portion of the floor space at the Sand Expo and Convention Center was dedicated to carpets, area rugs and soft surfaces, it was hard to ignore the vast number of exhibits in which manufacturers showcased and sold their latest offerings in hard-surface flooring.

Even Stainmaster - which, of course, is best known for its carpet offerings - has gotten into the hard-surfaces arena with its newly introduced Stainmaster resilient floor line.