Last year, directors of Cevisama, the International Ceramics, Bathroom and Kitchen Equipment, Natural Stone, Raw Materials, Glazes, Frits and Machinery exhibition, made the decision to extend the four-day show to include an extra day to allow industry professionals additional time for networking and other business opportunities. Since it proved to be so successful, drawing in a record number of attendees from all over the world, organizers continued the weeklong format again this year, which worked in their favor.
The 34th edition of Cevisama, held from February 1 to 5, 2016, at the Feria Valencia Centre in Valencia, Spain, not only drew in its largest crowd to date, with a 10% overall increase in the number of national and international attendees, but attracted the largest contingent of European visitors and Spanish buyers since its inception. According to show management, this year’s show received just over 78,000 visitors — 3,000 more than last year — almost 15,000 of which were international visitors from 145 different countries.
Compared to the last two years, management has seen an increase in the number of professionals coming from the European market — specifically from Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Visitors from the U.S. also increased significantly. Figures also show that the largest selection of foreign buyers arrived from countries in western Europe (33%), Russia and countries in eastern Europe (more than 14%), as well as North Africa (12%). Individuals from Middle Eastern countries such as Israel, Lebanon and Iran, represented a considerable audience (10%) as well.
Improving popular looks
In addition to increased attendance, show organizers reported that they saw the largest assortment of tile exhibitors at this year’s show, which was apparent when walking through the various halls. Among the hundreds of exhibitors were some new faces, some familiar ones and some much larger displays than in past years.
Going hand-in-hand with the growing tile sector are the trends TILE observed at this year’s edition. Some of the same trends that have been popular for the last couple of years are continuing to flourish, especially overseas, including the stone-, wood- and industrial-looking tiles, such as those inspired by cement, concrete and terracotta. Many manufacturers have been producing these types of natural-inspired tiles for almost a decade, but in recent years, have been incorporating more realistic options, in regard to finishes, textures, decors and even sizes — which have made them more noticeable in the public eye.
Of the 90 Tile of Spain-branded manufacturers that were present at this year’s show, almost all had at least one of the aforementioned looks on display, if not more, especially when it came to wood- and stone-looks. Grupo Azulev, whose main focus was introducing larger sizes, presented an incredibly realistic wood-inspired tile collection, Evoque, in a variety of formats, including the popular 8 x 48 inches. “It’s very important for us to introduce big sizes in terms of presentation,” said Luca Carena, export area manager. “The U.S. market is also very interested in big sizes, so we’re developing them to cater to that market. What we think isn’t prevalent in the U.S. yet is what we’re working on. Larger-sized tiles are also much nicer than a small-sized tiles.”
Ceramicas Aparici, who had a myriad of enhanced and innovative looks, created a terracotta-inspired porcelain tile collection this year, Terre, which replicates that of the natural material to a tee. “We took our first three lines from the 1990s and made them in porcelain,” explained area manager, Carlos Aparici, when describing where the inspiration from this particular series derived from.
Tau Ceramica, a mega player in the Spanish tile industry, introduced a new wood-look, Woodstock, which showcases the realistic capabilities of current inkjet technology, incorporating different colors, patterns and textures. “The idea behind this collection was to mix different styles and looks into one plank,” explained Luis Ramirez, export manager. “We were also inspired by the idea to mix different planks and different colors so people aren’t able to see where the grout lines are. Overall, we’re trying to make very complete collections with a lot of colors and sizes.”
When it came to stone-inspired looks, many companies replicated natural stones in either porcelain or ceramic to the best degree TILE has ever seen. Tile of Spain-branded manufacturer, Ibero Porcelanico, created its newest porcelain tile collection, Lake Stone, which has a slight texture. “It was inspired by the sediments from the bottom of a river or lake,” said Roberto González Jaén, U.S./Canada/Latin America manager. “We wanted to replicate that feel.”
Another aesthetic that caught our eye was Keros Ceramicas’ new porcelain tile collection, Atlanta, which replicates the look of a local, brown Spanish stone, and was developed to cater to the U.S. market, according to Roberto Villaplana López, export manager. “It’s the evolution of a local stone, Pulpis, which we blended with other [stones] to make something unique,” he said. “We tried to complement what was seen in old factories. And, we’re going to double production because of the demand of the American market.”
When walking the floor, TILE viewed an assortment of new, trending product lines, including more glossy finishes, 3-D-inspired tiles and decors, additional geometric shapes, heavily-designed artistic looks and more hand-painted/washed finishes. In addition to revamping the older trending styles, Ceramics Aparici introduced a variety of new types of tiles, including Bricket, a 3-D rectangular-shaped porcelain and ceramic tile collection that truly stood out, attracting the majority of booth visitors.
Tile of Spain-branded manufacturer Alea, a smaller manufacturer of intricately-designed tiles, displayed Geom, a hexagonal-shaped tile with a glittery sheen that embraced a rugged, yet subtle texture. Etnia, a red body porcelain collection designed specifically for walls by Vives Ceramica, was also unique and unlike any other 3-D tile TILE observed at the show; the arabesque-shaped tiles feature an incredibly unique 3-D diamond and triangular texture that looks deceivingly subtle from afar.
Vives also introduced Laverton, a porcelain tile collection featuring all different types of shapes — hexagons, rectangles, arabesques, etc. — in concrete- and industrial-inspired looks with various decorative options. “This series was inspired by handmade tiles in the Mediterranean regions of Europe,” said Francisco Robles of the export department.
Alttoglass, a Spanish manufacturer that focuses on creating glass mosaics for both floor and wall use, introduced a handful of new collections this year, which are created using recycled glass from the windshields of old cars. Two of its newest collections, Brilliant and Night Glass, embrace the decorative trend that’s currently popular; Night Glass even goes a step further with its photo luminescent qualities, essentially making the tiles glow in the dark.
Each year, Cevisama features a focal exhibition of ceramics for architecture known as “Trans/Hitos,” which showcases the innovative use of ceramics in the center of the Feria Valencia Centre on the first level. This year’s theme was “Harmonies,” which aimed to highlight “the pursuit of balance, proportion and proper correspondence between the different units of a whole,” and highlighted four separate projects completed by different organizations and schools of architecture. The projects were completed by the Ceramic Tile Studies Department, Mixuro Studio, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the 14th Tile of Spain Awards — all organized by the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER).
Exports continue to grow
For the Spanish ceramic tile industry, exports represent 80% of sales, according to Isidro Zarzoso, chairman of ASCER. Each year, Spain’s presence in the tile industry continues to grow, since the country is a vibrant leader in ceramics. This year, Spain’s export grew by 6%, further solidifying its leadership position. As a result of this success, Spain is currently Europe’s leading ceramic tile producer and the second largest exporter at a worldwide level.
Exports to the U.S. also increased by 40% since 2014, accounting for 6% of the total exports. “The U.S. is the fourth top market [of the top 10],” said Zarzoso. “In the future, the market will continue to increase, but consumption will depend on demand.”
The next edition of Cevisama will be held from February 20 to 24, 2017 at the Feria Valencia