The Tile of Spain delegation of Spanish ceramic tile manufacturers demonstrated its commitment to the global building and construction market by representing the largest international contingent at Cersaie 2009, the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings in Bologna, Italy. The delegation, numbering more than 94 ceramic tile manufacturers, made up 39% of the total number of foreign exhibitors. Over the course of the five-day show, Tile of Spain manufacturers showed a vast array of new products as well as their most successful lines. The following is a sample of what was offered to the 83,000 visitors to the show.
The Skinny on SlimA recent technological focus of Tile of Spain companies has been the ability to manufacture thinner tile. Today, slim is in. Offered in 3, 4, 5 and 6 mm thicknesses, thin ceramics offer the following benefits:
- Maximized energy savings during the manufacturing process
- Decreased raw materials used during the manufacturing process
- Considerable reduction in CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process
- Lighter weight reduces the environmental impact of shipping
- Slim tiles are easier to handle, cut and lay and therefore faster to install
- Can be applied directly over old tile reducing the construction waste sent to landfills
- Uses half the quantity of adhesive mortar and joint material
- Less weight to be supported by the building structure
- Inalco unveiled several new SlimmKer design options including large formats: 31” x 31” and 23.6” x 47.2” in 5.7 mm and 17.7” x 35.4” in 4.3 mm. New SlimmKer series also include Lumina, a 17.7” x 35.4” format series available in white, camel and black, featuring a slightly flecked pattern with a subtle surface sparkle that adds a luminous, shiny finish. The Muse Series holds a subtle retro texture in a range of colors: Cream, Pardo, Gray and Ceniza and two finishes. This 23.6” x 47.2” format is 5.7 mm thin.
- TAU offers a 5 mm large format slim tile option with TAUFine. At 45 x 90 (17.7” x 35.4”) TAUFine is produced in some of the more popular Tau looks including Corten, a series that achieves the warmth and patina of weathered steel, in a lightweight, high-performance tile.
- Nanotech by Apavisa offers the technical characteristics of porcelain tiles - excellent resistance to abrasion, frost proof, chemical and stain resistance – yet offers convenience and ease of handling with half the weight of traditional porcelain tiles. Nanotech is available in the full range of Apavisa collections.
- Land Porcelanico offers its take on slim tile with Slimm4. Products are available in the Gallery Collection which includes 11.7” x 23.45” base pieces and mesh-backed mosaics. Gallery offers bright contrasts in lime, orange, red, blue, black and white. Another Slimm4 collection, AzulCascais, offers more refined hues in ivory, moss and graphite.
- Gres Catalan’s slim product was designed especially for the remodeling segment. This 5 mm glazed porcelain tile in format 17” x 23” is available in all of Gres Catalan most prominent lines including the Puzzle series, a synthesis of optical illusion, lighting and changing brightness, all based on geometric shapes.
Design InnovationsThe Forest series by Gayafores emulates the warmth and elegance of wood with all the functional characteristics of ceramic tile – durability and resistance to abrasion and water with no need for staining or refinishing. Forest is available in wood plank format 5.9” x 17.7” and in four wood tones.
Gayafores also offers Luxury series. Displaying the refinement and sophistication of marble, Luxury stands out for its brilliance and modern design while offering durability and ease of maintenance.
Dune showed an expansion of its popular Megalos series, which creates a wall of waving motion in white or silver 11.8” x 23.6” format. Dune’s Emphasis Collection features vivid colors and glossy finishes. The collection includes micro tesserae that allow for both floor and wall use.
Plaza developed its new Quartz Slate series with the American designer in mind. With a versatile look inspired by a craggy rock face, Quartz Slate comes in a sand and grey tone in three formats. Plaza also showed Mika, which gives the appearance of stacked natural rock, and Victoria, a gleaming white 13” x 23.6” format wall tile that depicts Carrera marble with a modern geometric overlay.
Apavisa, known for its work in commercial building materials, showed the Burlington Collection, a line inspired by the refined minimalism of stone. Available in Green, Black and Marfil, the collection includes two finishes, natural and polished and a range of sizes including a large format 17.57’ x 35.22”, an 8.75” x 35.2” plank and a standard 11.71” x 23.45” rectilinear format. Accessories including cove base, bullnose, and step pieces allow this collection to be the workhorse design element of any commercial space.
Technological InnovationsCladding systems designed for effective environmental temperature and humidity control are a landmark advantage of ceramic tile. Ventilated façades are proven to deliver reduced energy consumption and enhance user comfort.
Ceramica Mayor, a leader in ventilated façade technology, showed that this building envelope can be eye-catching (red, greens, blues, oranges and bright whites), while providing sustainable characteristics. Mayor also offers sunscreens in a variety of colors and shapes including oval, rectangular and square baguettes.
BionicTile by Ceracasa, which earned the 2009 Alfa De Oro Award for Most Innovative Product, was shown in new colors and formats. This groundbreaking product, which premiered at Cevisama 2009, began with Ceracasa asking the question, “Can a building function like a tree?” It manages to provide a function to ceramics that improves the environment by continuously decontaminating the air, filtering harmful nitrous oxide, the air contaminant responsible for acid rain and a leading cause of climate change and pulmonary diseases. Nitrates left inert on the tile surface are washed away by rain, fog and humidity leaving the surface ready to destroy more nitrous oxide molecules.
Ceracasa developed the product in collaboration with FMC FORET and the Institute of Chemical Technology from the Valencia Polytechnic University (Spain). One square meter of BionicTile is able to decompose 31.2 mg of nitrous oxide each hour. An urban core of 200 buildings covered with BionicTile would remove 82 tons of nitrous oxide each year.
Saloni offered the ultimate in large format with Goliat, an anti-slip floor tile measuring 47” x 47. Available in white, bronze, grey, brown and black and fully rectified, Goliat creates an almost seamless, monolithic slab for any commercial space. The Fonte series in 18” x 36” offers a brushed linen appeal in cream, grey or brown. Accent pieces show the product in alternating waves of uplifted convexes to create three-dimensional visual appeal. For the residential side, Saloni offers the Home series, which depicts wood tones.
Also new to Inalco is the 80.7 Series, the latest addition to the XXL 80 x 80 format (31” x 31”). In colors including white, camel and black, 80.7 features a polished relief that create a range of subtle gloss effects. The Diamond Series available in a 13” x 39.4” gloss format shows a slight diamond-shaped relief creating surface light and shading effects that exude exclusivity and elegance. Available in white, cream and new colors Toffee and Malvasia, this series is treated with Inalco’s Clean System, which repels dirt from the tile surface.
For more about tile produced in Spain, contact Tile of Spain Center at the Trade Commission of Spain call (305) 446-4387 or visit www.spaintiles.info.