Early registration figures for the exposition show that thousands of people in the international floor covering industry are eager to get together to catch up on a whole world’s worth of new products, suppliers and ideas. Coverings chair Bob Daniels, also the director of the Tile Council of America (TCA), says that the events of last fall forced many marketers to postpone product rollouts and other activities, generating even more interest in Coverings 2002. “People are eager to get back together with suppliers and see their latest product lines, colors, styles and designs,” Daniels said. “Coverings will be their first opportunity to do this on a worldwide scale, which is why some exhibitors seem to be going all out to make the 2002 event the most memorable and productive ever.”
While marbles and granites have always been a source of inspiration for ceramic tile, today any material possessing textural appeal is being translated into a tile finish. Interpretations based on woven sisal, coco matting, cork, tooled leather, bamboo, linen and jute are a few of the fabrics and materials expected to be seen at Coverings. The popularity of faux painting, wall washes and glaze layers will also be explored as production techniques incorporate sponge paint, under glazing and stucco effects on wall tile collections.
Shimmering metallic and glass finishes will again make a strong statement this year. The trend for metallic accents has been felt across all areas of the home furnishings industry. Innovative uses of these materials include combinations of glass and metal in the increasingly popular mosaic format for backsplashes and decorative elements in kitchen flooring. Copper and silver finishes with etched surface patterns will also be making their appearance.
Porcelain mosaics, mixed field porcelains and new stone looks will distinguish the next generation of porcelain tile production. Slate looks will again dominate with new rich multicolored fields of mossy green, earthy browns and oranges joining the more familiar shades of cream, gray and black. The new porcelain lines are often suitable for indoor or outdoor installations and feature frost-proof qualities that stand up to strenuous wear and tear. Many manufacturers will show rectified installation with virtually no grout line.
Thanks to today’s advanced clay formulas and firing techniques, manufacturers continue to push the limits with large-format tile in order to achieve the slab-like dimensions of natural marble and granite installations. Interest also continues to grow in new modular formats, with circular formats the newest to arrive on the scene. Circles are showing up as special trim pieces and antique coin-like inserts. At the other end of the size spectrum can be found many small-size tile mounted on large format sheets.
These and other trends will all be found on display at Coverings 2002.
Among the speakers at the 70 professional education sessions being offered at the Vision 2002 conference this year will be Leatrice Eiseman, who will provide some important answers to the question, “Color Trends—How Will They Change?” Back by popular demand, Eiseman is a color specialist whose expertise is recognized internationally, especially as a prime consultant to Pantone, Inc. She has helped many companies, from small one-person start-ups to large corporations, make the best and most educated choices of color for product development, logos, identification, brand imaging, packaging and other applications where color choice is critical to the success of the product or environment.