Coverings, the largest tile and stone show in North America, returns to Chicago this year, after more than a decade in Orlando. Judging by the preliminary figures, it would seem that the move was a smart decision; pre-registration for the show is 28 percent ahead of 2006, with strong increases among key groups such as contractors, retailers and distributors, and architects and designers. The latter group is especially important to this year’s show, which features a greater focus on the A&D community, as well as participation by major design organizations.
According to the show organizers,
this is the first year that interior design organizations have played a major
sponsorship role. Official co-sponsors this year include the American Institute
of Architects (AIA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID),
Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), International Interior Design
association (IIDA), and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), to
name just a few. The participation of these important organizations this year
is significant because it underscores the importance of ceramic tile and stone
to architectural design.
Tile offers many advantages to
designers, including sustainability, safety and durability. It also offers an
unparalleled range of options for color, texture and format. Today’s tile
designs can mimic almost any surface, from wood to textiles, with uncanny
accuracy, allowing architects and designers to achieve these textures in areas
where the products they imitate would be unsuitable, such as areas that are
exposed to temperature extremes, moisture and high traffic.
Larger formats, up to 3-by-6 feet in
some cases, have made tile an attractive alternative to natural stone for
exterior cladding applications. Tile has several key advantages over natural
stone, including superior strength and resistance, lighter weight, and
potential energy savings when used in ventilated façade systems. Although these
types of applications are not yet common in the United States, they have become
extremely popular throughout Europe, and it is likely they will continue to
gain popularity here as well. In this issue of TILE Magazine, we examine some
of the latest trends in the use of ceramic tile in exterior applications.
Every year, Coverings presents the latest tile and stone
products from around the world, and the range of styles and colors on display
is truly amazing. Architects and designers attending this year’s show will surely
find that ceramic tile offers a broad range of choices for any interior or
exterior application, residential or commercial. In the next issue, TILE Magazine will present the latest news,
trends and products from Coverings 2007.