As I write this editorial, I am sitting in a trade show booth at the Xiamen Stone Fair in China. I am attending the exhibition for TILE’s sister publication, Stone World. The night before leaving for my trip, I checked in to my flights using the United Airlines app. I was actually surprised that I was able to check into both of my flights remotely, being it was an international trip. But, modern technology made this feat possible. With the click of the camera on my phone, I was able to verify my passport and Chinese visa. It was just another reminder of how technologically advanced our world has become — in every aspect of our lives, including the tile industry.

From tile aesthetics and finishes to new installation products developed to ensure proper installations of these new tile products, it is evident the level of research and development remains high among manufacturers. And a team of industry professionals are also continually working to set new standards to ensure safe installations.

In this issue of TILE, we take a look at some of the newest introductions in grout technology. The selection of colors continues to expand — meeting more design specifications — and the performance of these products are also being improved. There are grouts tailored to specific applications, such as wet or high-trafficked areas, as well as ones that can endure harsh climates. To learn more about the various types of grouts and which ones should be used for what specific applications, turn to our technical focus beginning on page 32 of this edition.

Another area that many companies are addressing is digital formats. Many are either introducing or enhancing new mobile apps or websites as another way to make doing business more convenient for their customers. Here at TILE, we try out best to share all of these new advances in technology with our readers. Whether in print, online or in our recently launched eNewsletter, TILE Edge, look for the latest product launches and other industry updates. Stay tuned for what’s to come next in terms of technology.