The Tile of Spain information and resources booth, on the 7th floor of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, served as a focal point to give an overview of the newest innovations and directions from Spain.


Using Emotile digital printing technology, Ceracasa has the ability to customize any high-resolution image and print the image onto tile that is appropriate for all specifications – interior, exterior, floors or walls.

Cutting-edge technology, exquisite design and diverse trends. Visitors to the Tile of Spain booth at Neo-Con 2009 found all this and more as several Tile of Spain branded manufacturers showcased the latest products from Spain. The Tile of Spain information and resources booth, on the 7th floor of Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, served as a focal point to give an overview of the newest innovations and directions from Spain.

Elias showcased its abilities in terra cotta showing traditional hand-painted pieces as well as glazed mosaics in fun pinks and purples.

Products and Manufacturers

The most discussed product at the show was Roca Ceramica’s Pret-A-Porter, an exclusive system for dry laying floor tiles. Characterized by the absence of grout and mortar, the product has a polymer base laminated to the ceramic tile. The base includes a soft joint that seals every tile without the need for grouting, and a rubber membrane attached to the base that provides anti-skid benefits.

The product embodies high sustainability characteristics as it can be installed directly over an existing floor (provided it is level and stable) meaning there is no need for demolition of an old floor and sending unnecessary waste to a landfill. Each piece is 100% reusable, meeting ISO 14021 requirements.

Azulejera Alcorense showed its capabilities in digital printing technology and the ability to fool the eye by replicating any finish. Alcorense showcased two products emulating travertine marble.

Ceracasa displayed its proprietary digital printing technology, Emotile. In this case, two large format, fully rectified pieces of tile served as a canvas with the image of a lone highway. Ceracasa has the ability to customize any high-resolution image and print the image onto tile that is appropriate for all specifications – interior, exterior, floors or walls.

Ceramica Decorativa displayed actual pieces from its award-winning project, the Spanish Pavilion at the Expo at Zaragoza. The cylindrical terra cotta “trees” currently stand as a testament to sustainable design. Decorativa also displayed another custom ventilated facade made for an engineering headquarters in Spain, currently under construction. This large piece is created in a vibrant orange with a Jackson Pollack-like paint splash decoration.

Ceramica Elias showcased its abilities in terra cotta showing traditional hand-painted pieces as well as glazed mosaics in fun pinks and purples. Also bringing mosaic to the show was glass mosaic manufacturer Onix with bright reds, blues and pearlescent creams. Onix also showed its move from traditional mosaic tile size to circular, rectangular and elliptical shapes.

Cerámica Mayor continues its company focus with ventilated façades but showed that this building application can hold great aesthetic appeal with pieces in vibrant, saturated reds.

Grespania showed that it takes inspiration from creatures of nature. The Ghana collection is characterized by design reminiscent of an elephant’s wrinkled skin in natural greys, blacks, and browns. Available in 45x45 and 60x60 formats.

Large format tile, a focus for several Tile of Spain manufacturers, was represented in products by Inalco. Using Inalco’s I-Plus digital technology, the Class Series, in a 24” x 24” format, depicts the look of pony hide, giving it a soft, silken appearance. Its 80.4 series features geometric squares in varying levels of relief creating a three-dimensional treat for the eye.

Porcelanosa showed its capabilities in large format ventilated façade. Several large pieces clad the booth sporting the looks of concrete, wood, granite and slate. Another ventilated façade resembling tiny clusters of metallic mosaics was actually large-format rectified wall tile with an embossed surface.

Industry veteran Patti Fasan, CTC, shared her 20-plus years of ceramic experience in a series of seminars held in the Chicago Tile Institute Showroom in the Design Center of LuxeHome.

Educational Focus

In its ongoing efforts to promote continuing education in the United States, Tile of Spain presented industry veteran Patti Fasan, CTC, who shared her 20-plus years of ceramic experience in a series of seminars held in the Chicago Tile Institute Showroom in the Design Center of LuxeHome. The seminars, entitled “The Ceramic Tile Collections of 2009” previewed the latest creative trends that are transforming residential and commercial spaces and adding ecological, aesthetic and lifestyle value. Fasan delivered nine stimulating presentations, highlighting the innovation, design, and diversity of ceramic tile. Attendees were also treated to wine and cheese from various Spanish regions.

Latest Trends from Tile of Spain

For the fall, Tile of Spain has released a series of recognized trends in ceramic tile and revealed a host of products to meet these design influences:

Technology: At the Forefront of Innovation
With a long history of forging new frontiers and continuously pushing the realm of the impossible, the global market looks to Spain for consistent leadership in ceramic tile technology. Tile of Spain branded manufacturers work to unite form and function with innovation and ingenuity to make ceramic tile the material of choice for today’s architect and designer. One recent emphasis in advancing ceramic technology is an examination of dimension such as the thickness of the product. Also, cladding systems designed for effective environmental temperature and humidity control are a landmark advantage of ceramic tile. Ventilated facades are proven to reduce energy consumption and enhance user comfort.

Trend: Shapes and Sizes: Ceramic Tile Explores Infinite Dimensions
Gone are the days of the 3” x 3” powder blue tile backsplash in your grandmother’s kitchen. The emerging technology of the ceramic tile industry has taken quantum leaps beyond predictable sizes and pronounced grout lines. Ceramic tile of today challenges all traditional beliefs about the sizes, styles and shapes of this versatile building material.

Trend: Earthos
Drawing inspiration from nature, Earthos embraces rustic earthiness, both in texture, material choice and color palette. This trend holds an appreciation for the use of recycled materials and organic tones. Style stemming from Earthos includes the look of exposed beams and untreated wood. The minimalism offered by cement and metal coupled with natural elements such as stone, moss, grass and bark. Colors for this trend include browns, mossy green, caramel and grays.

Trend: Safarience – Evoking the Savage Side of Design
From Dakar to Nairobi, the inspiration for Safarience is rich in hue, texture and native motifs. Bold splashes of color and animal prints abound anchored by natural stone, warm browns and ecru. When attempting to capture the feral nature of Safarience, designers should incorporate African prints, lipstick reds, stone and exotic woods.

Trend: Articrafts – The Culture Club of Interior Design
Articrafts exalts southwestern style. Hinting at roots in Mexican and Asian culture, this style trend is awash in global ethnicity and eclecticism. As the “Culture Club of Interior Design,” Articrafts relies on the palette and texture of adobe, stone, marble and dark wood, calling to mind Early American and Arts & Crafts design. Asian-inspired color adds a contemporary interpretation. Colors for this trend include caramel, gold wash, classic reds and mossy greens.

For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain, 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 1114, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Call 305-446-4387 or visit www.spaintiles.info.