Natucer introduces Filter Floor, a floating extruded ceramic floor with a thickness of ¾”. Using an open 4mm joint, it allows rainwater to pass through the tile surface and drain away underneath. Available in two series: Rocas de Galicia and the Liebana series, both in 14” x 14” format.

The Jungle series from Ceramicas Aparici, shown in Maple, becomes a tribute to nature by creating the appearance of weathered wood in an 8.9” x 35.4” format.

Landscape designers and exterior planners have discovered that outdoor living is more than just dressing up patios with a few planters and installing a pool in the backyard. Instead, people are transforming ordinary backyards into “specialty rooms” complete with kitchens, bars, TVs, lake-like pools and heating elements for cool nights.

With increasing demand for stunning outdoor sanctuaries, pools and other water features such as fountains, ponds and waterfalls have gained priority status. At the same time, ceramic tile has crept beyond its standard uses – kitchens and baths – to appear in some of these more uncommon and unexpected scenarios.

Fresh from Cevisama 2009 – one of the largest international ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings show – Tile of Spain branded manufacturers continue to produce a broad variety of products that add oasis-like attributes to outdoor living.

“The Spanish ceramic tile industry is indeed riding wave of interest in outdoor living,” reports Patti Fasan, CTC consultant for Tile of Spain. “Tile can be used in a multitude of applications and not just in décor. Today’s tile serves practical purposes with its superior property advantages – ideal for pools and other outdoor amenities.”

Why specify ceramic tile when sculpting these backyard Shangri-las? Ceramic tile offers aesthetics, safety and practicality all rolled into one optimal product. It inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and other organisms that usually accompany the presence of water. It’s highly resistant to pool-related chemical agents such as chlorine and offers color permanence, even under continuous exposure to direct sunlight. And perhaps the most important benefit of ceramic tile when specifying a spa or pool area: slip-resistance.

Interior design that reflects the natural beauty of the surroundings is a key consideration in outdoor living planning. This entails bringing the outside in so there is seamless transition between the boundaries of the structure and its surrounding natural aesthetics. As seen at Cevisama, the look of weathered wood is sweeping the design front in a frenzy of textures and tones. But as we all know, water and wood are not always the best partnership, requiring frequent replacement and refinishing from warping and staining.

Tile of Spain manufacturers have embraced advanced technology that replicates wood finishes - making it virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. So for that organic poolside look, designers can easily achieve the look of wood but without the risk of water damage and high-cost replacement.

At Coverings 2009 in Chicago, visitors to the Pavilion of Spain can experience this cutting-edge technology, exquisite design and diverse trends like outdoor living. Join the 24 ceramic and stone manufacturers in the 16,000-square-foot pavilion as they unleash the latest style and innovation from Spain.

For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain by calling (305) 446-4387 or visit