The Spanish tile industry may have seen its U.S. numbers slip in 2007, but manufacturers are still focused on setting the trends. Here at Cevisama 2008 in Valencia, Spain, tile makers are launching products that feature new digital printing technologies and larger-formats to give design professionals a way to add scale to their commercial and residential projects.
Some manufacturers unveiled products that offer a twist on classic styles. Natucer, for example, introduced Formats, a line of extruded tiles in subway-style configurations. Instead of such traditional sizes as 2 inches by 4 inches, formats can be speced in 6-inch -by-20-inch, 2-inch-by-10-inch, and 2-inch-by-20-inch configurations. Targeted at the high-end, the line also offers curved pieces (to create a basket-weave look) and a range of complementary pieces.
Tau's latest offerings promote relaxation, order, and clean lines. The Gael collection, for instance, comes in soft, quiet colors such as beiges and browns.
Saloni, on the other hand, is going bold. Its avant-garde Stone System comes in five colors, large formats such as 18 inches by 36 inches and 23 inches by 23 inches, and with hard-edge decorative pieces. The company also introduced Metalia, which integrates iron oxide and ceramic ink in its glaze to produce a stainless steel look.
Meanwhile, Roca introduced Tempo, a large-format tile the company says works with any type of decoration, from a minimalist combination of white bases with metallic finishes to baroque designs. The tile also has a scored middle that, when grouted, gives the product a subway-tile look. It's available in seven colors and two finishes.
Cutting-edge European designs used to reach American shores after a year or more. But these days, the latest trends are available on both coasts within six months of their debut—and sometimes faster, depending on the market and the construction type. Manufacturers at the show say these tile styles may possibly reach U.S. cities later this year.