The truism in the American tile market is that as the European trends go, so goes the rest of the industry. That’s because the manufacturers overseas tend to take bold leaps in innovation, technology, and design.
Now that the American tile trade fair Coverings 2011 is over, it's worth it to take a post mortem of the show's offerings. For one thing, U.S. tile manufacturers showed some signs of new design life. Surely the Italians and the Spanish had a great showing of their technical prowess in wood-look tiles, large formats, thin tiles, and tile with textures that seem unbelievable if one didn’t see it for oneself.
But North American outfits and small home grown tile companies had a strong showing as well, especially in artistic tiles—America’s strength. Some companies still had products made in Asia, but many of the tiles were handmade in small factories and featured hand-applied glazes that gave them a rustic yet modern flavor.
Here are some cool products that caught our eye on the last day of the show.