Covering 90,100 square feet, the Pavilion of Spain held audiovisual presentations on the history of ceramic tile, 2005 tile trends, recent technology, industry data and the Tile of Spain Awards for Architecture and Interior Design. Seminars were conducted by Tile of Spain consultant, Patti Fasan, CTC, CTIOA, and a traditional paella lunch, a favorite among visitors, was served daily.
The official Tile of Spain Press Conference took place on Tuesday, May 3 at 10:15am in the Pavilion. The agenda included a report on the state of Spain's ceramic tile industry from ASCER and a look at 2005 trends in ceramic tile.
Dealer & Distributor Appreciation Night Sponsored by Tile of Spain
In recognition of the key role dealers and distributors play in the success of Tile of Spain branded products, Tile of Spain was the sole sponsor of the Dealer and Distributor Appreciation Night. The event took place at The Groove, on Thursday, May 5 from 6:30 - 8:30pm.
As part of its ongoing support of educational programs for the tile industry, Tile of Spain sponsored the Coverings conference by Jon Trivers, President of Marketing Wit and Wisdom: "The Five Most Important Consumer Changes to Affect Your Business," held on Thursday, May 3 from 4:30 - 5:20 pm.
Additional Tile of Spain sponsorships included the visitor badge lanyards, one of the courtesy trams that shuttle visitors throughout the vast show area, and dealer t-shirts.
2005 Trends from Spain
During the annual stone and tile expo, Tile of Spain manufacturers unveiled their latest products for the U.S. market. Large format tiles; ceramic wood, stone and textiles; retro to earth-inspired style sensibilities; and the latest technology were evident throughout the Pavilion of Spain.
Technology Advancements: Large Formats
and Tile Rectification
No longer limited to the standard 12-by-12-inch sizes, Spain's manufacturers are producing larger formats that are up to 48 inches. This variation in formats is expanding installation options for designers. For instance, ceramic tile which captures the feeling of wood is now offered in sizes similar to its natural counterpart, as well as, making tile a more attractive option for exterior cladding.
Advancements in tile rectification techniques are making it easier and more efficient to specify tile for a number of applications including ventilated façades and installations that have the feeling of natural materials. Rectification means that each side of a tile is cut after the final firing to obtain tiles that are identical in size. Typically, rectification is done by water jet. Water jet cutting technology leaves a satin smooth edge, causes less mechanical stress than other cutting methods, and is extremely precise, therefore, eliminating excessive waste and cost. The smooth edge allows tiles to be practically butted against one another and leaves a almost non-existent joint line. In addition to the aesthetics, this makes specifying more accurate, especially when determining air space for facades and joint width as well as insuring a more uniform look.
Ceramic Wood, Stone and Textiles
Knowing that ceramic look-alikes will never replace their natural counterpart, manufacturers are creating products that take on characteristics of authentic materials, but are enhanced by the benefits of ceramic. These ceramic solutions are ideal for spaces that necessitate the technical benefits of ceramic tile, but desire the look of other materials like stone, slate, marble, granite and wood. Production innovations have enabled the creation of tiles with distinct wood grains and natural veining throughout the entire tile body. Tile designers are also mixing glazes, embedding colored clays and embossing tiles to capture the distinctiveness of wood, stone and other materials. These techniques, combined with advanced rectifying techniques, enhance the natural feeling of these installations.
Another trend seen at the show was ceramic that captures the distinctiveness of textiles. Manufacturers have taken extra care to understand the warp and weave of fabric in order to capture its texture on tile. The development of extrusion and embossing techniques has made production efficient and consistent. These techniques have enabled the production of tiles with basket weave, herringbone and leather textures.
While close examination reveals few aesthetic differences, there are numerous benefits to specifying ceramic tile over authentic materials. Ideal for projects where a natural material is desired, but not practical, ceramic tile is an attractive alternative. Spaces that are exposed to high moisture content or UV rays, experience heavy traffic flow, or necessitate a virtually germ-free environment benefit from ceramic tile. It's one of the most hygienic materials on the market, has low water absorption, is durable and easy-to-maintain.
Porcelain Tile for Ventilated Facades
Because of the advancements in producing larger formats and rectification processes, porcelain tile for ventilated façade systems is becoming more accepted and specified for such installations. Developed to protect buildings from environmental elements, ventilated facades provide insulation, increasing sustainability, soundproofing and aesthetic options. Tile of Spain branded tile's inherent qualities - low porosity, element resistance, heat transference and lighter weight than natural materials - can provide an estimated energy savings of 25-35 percent, a 10-20 percent reduction in noise transfer.
For more information about tile produced in Spain, contact the Tile of Spain Center, at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Rd., Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL.