New Design for Pavilion of Spain
Covering 60,000 net sq. ft. of exhibit area, the pavilion (nearly 100,000 sq. ft. gross area) has been redesigned for Spain's 17th appearance at Coverings. The hospitality area, always a popular meeting point with visitors, has been reconfigured around a theater-style area that will host audiovisual presentations on such topics as the history of ceramic tile, new tile trends, recent technologies from Spain's tile industry, and tile and architecture. Other events will include Tile of Spain's popular workshops and seminars, special receptions, and press conferences.
As in recent years, the hospitality area will serve Spain's traditional delicacy, paella, to Pavilion exhibitors and their clients, as well as "tapas," coffee and refreshments throughout the day.
Tile of Spain Press Conference
This year's official Tile of Spain press conference will take place at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 24th in the new theater section of the pavilion. The agenda will include a report on the state of Spain's ceramic tile industry from ASCER and an overview on the latest tile trends. The session will conclude with the presentation of the 2004 Jerry Fisher Memorial Award. The highly regarded annual award, presented by ASCER, honors distributors and industry professionals who have contributed significantly to the US marketing and distribution of ceramic tile from Spain. The award ceremony will be followed by a cocktail, held in the hospitality area, for members of the press.
At Coverings 2004, Tile of Spain's sponsorships will include one of the trams that shuttle visitors around the huge show floor, plus visitor lanyards, one of the convenient Internet Centers and the John Trivers conference.
As part of Spain's contribution to the official conference program, a representative from ITC (Spain's Institute of Ceramic Technology) will join members of TCA for a panel discussion on ANSI, European and ISO standards. "American, European, and Proposed ISO Tile and Setting Materials Standards" will take place on Thursday, March 25th at 4:30 pm.
Tile of Spain consultant, Patti Fasan, will present two seminars on Thursday, March 25th: "Understanding and Selling Porcelain Tile" - specially created for dealers - at 8:00 am and "Specifying and Designing with Ceramic Tile" will address an audience of architects and interior designers at 4:30 pm.
One of Spain's top porcelain tile manufacturers will participate in the seminar "Exterior Cladding and Raised Flooring - new frontiers in tile specification and installation" on Friday, March 26th at 9:00 am. Check the show schedule for room assignments.
In the pavilion, Spain's tile manufacturers will be unveiling the latest creations for the US market, including their new 2004 collections and those that debuted in Europe at the end of 2003. Some of the trends to watch for from Spain's ceramic tile manufacturers include deeper colors, more delicate textures and subtler patterns. Overall, a contemporary, serene urban elegance that is more appropriate for the modern lifestyle has replaced the earthy, rustic look that dominated in recent years.
Retro-styled small tiles and mosaics are stronger with icy glass and metal accents glistening in many collections. More sizes, patterns and mounting styles have also expanded mosaic's usefulness, making it especially effective for cladding the most demanding architectural shapes.
In the commercial sector, the big story is the rapid advancement of exterior, ventilated façade systems - a trend that further solidifies porcelain's importance in the marketplace.
White Reigns Supreme
Monochromatic combinations, not just in white but in every shade, dominate the color charts with the field tile and accent pieces all created from single color families. But, making the most impact is white, especially in walls series. The range of white shades that have been introduced is quite astounding. When combined with any number of matte and glossy finishes and raised or recessed designs (like dots), the potential for contrasts is limited only by the imagination.
Additionally, this year's delicate textures are beautifully enhanced by stronger toned colors. The most prominent additions to everyone's color palettes are the deeper shades of gray, brown, black and cream. The level of saturation gently increases with each new tone, progressing through taupe, mocha, chocolate, wenge, smoke, and charcoal to variations of black.
Porcelain - Always a Top Performer
All-through-body porcelain tile, often with a semi-polished finish, is ideal for contemporary spaces. Look for new sizes and formats, smooth, satiny finishes, minimal ornamentation, and perfectly straight tile edges.
In commercial environments, porcelain continues to be a top performer, offering solutions for almost every design aspect including exterior façades, entryways and staircases, and interior walls and flooring.
Recent technological advances have created large format, commercially rated porcelain tile that is well suited to this type of application.
Several Spanish manufacturers now offer ceramic systems for use on façades and the range of available products continues to increase.
The Accent is on Glass and Metal
Decorations continue to be minimalist and very precise, and rectangular formats are the most popular. The decorative pieces are getting longer and narrower and many of the new decorative systems were created by cutting the field tile into long, thin pieces or mosaics and mesh-mounting them in various layouts. Thus, textural impact can be enhanced without adding color or volume.
The predominant materials for decoratives are clearly glass and thin, metal strips - especially jewel-toned or icy blue glass and stainless steel. These elements abound in both floor and wall. For more information on the ceramic tile industry of Spain, please visit the Pavilion of Spain at Coverings, call (305) 446-4387, or visit www.spaintiles.info.