Happy New Year, everyone! It’s officially 2020. Can you believe it’s been one entire century since women have been able to vote? What a better way to kick off the year than with that celebratory news, am I right, ladies!?

All jokes aside, I’m excited to head into the New Year with a fresh, new perspective. A lot of exciting things are happening in the tile industry, so there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Over the last year, there have been several new developments, from larger-than-life sizes to utterly realistic designs, which is changing the way the world looks at tile products. Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs (GPTP) — a category that is quickly gaining traction in both the tile and stone industries, which defines any tile measuring 1 x 1 meter (40 x 40 inches) or larger — now stand as tall as 12 feet and are being used to construct everything from facades to furniture. Ultrarealistic designs have been made possible with the advancement of digital printing technology, with patterns that mimic everything from natural stone to wallpaper, which are infiltrating the market. With this range of tile products now readily available, consumers are offered more affordable and ecological options to ordinary surfacing materials.

Many professionals believe the GPTP segment will one day take over the market, given the technical characteristics and benefits. “These products are the future of the tile industry,” said Noah Chitty, director of technical services at Crossville, who was recently appointed as the chairman of the ISO/TC 189 committee, a global entity that oversees and sets standards for the tile industry. “While 12- x 24-inch tiles and larger, traditional formats will continue to provide the necessary functionality of many commercial and residential installations, which are the bread and butter of the tile industry, panels have allowed us to go into new applications. Now, with the advent of thicker materials for countertops and furniture, the tile industry can expand the places where we can provide material solutions and showcase the benefits of our ceramic materials against lesser beneficial surfacing solutions.”

Llearn more about the growing trend of GPTP and what the future holds.

We also touch upon waterproofing in this issue, with a selection of new products that are available to assist with your “wet” installations. 

With The International Surface Event (TISE) soon approaching in Las Vegas, NV, I’m excited to see what’s in store. What new products will be introduced? What new collections will catch my eye? Make sure to check out the March issue to see my full review of the show.

Until then, I wish you all a happy, healthy and heartfelt new year.



Heather Fiore