Cevisama, the International Ceramics, Bathroom and Kitchen Equipment, Natural Stone, Raw Materials, Glazes, Frits and Machinery exhibition, was held at the Feria Valencia Centre in Valencia, Spain. Manufacturers, distributors, major buying groups, architects, interior designers, designers and project designers alike filled the aisles throughout the venue all week.

This year’s edition hosted 721 exhibitors from almost 40 countries. Of the exhibiting companies, almost one-third were international—a percentage that continues to grow with each passing year. And while exhibitors increased, so did the exhibition’s attendance. The 2016 event welcomed around 78,000 visitors, while this year’s show exceeded expectations with more than 80,000 attendees. International attendance also reached an all-time high, with a 12% increase from last year.

“Exhibitors have been congratulating us, even the ones we had to work the hardest on to convince them to come on board, and the few companies that did not exhibit have already told us that that they will be at Cevisama next year,” said Cevisama President Manuel Rubert.

Rubert lends partial credit of the show’s success to the “high esteem in which Spanish ceramic is held all over the world.” Visitors seem to agree, since companies prepare all year long to impress and seemingly outdo one another with grandiose setups and eccentric layouts. Management is already working toward opening a new pavilion for next year, when the machinery sector, which only features at Cevisama in even-numbered years, will add to what is even now shaping up to be a great show.

Growing Trends

While touring the different company booths and talking with various professionals, Floor Trends gained more insight about the growing trends in today’s industry. From people who have never experienced Cevisama or a show of its stature, to design professionals and veterans of the industry, we got an inside look at how the show really impacts its visitors.

“Cevisama was simply the most beautiful show I’ve attended,” said Ronald Fergle, president of Solarart in Minneapolis, Minn., who specializes in sustainable architecture. “The vendor display areas were large and well-designed, and the vignette mock-ups really helped to visualize how the various tiles would look in actual applications.

“The immense size of the show and number of companies present made the visit quite worthwhile,” he went on to say. “It is obvious that Cevisama is a well-organized event that attracts exhibitors with the highest quality product. It’s valuable to find one show where all of the latest tile trends and production technologies are on display.”

As a hub for the year’s hottest trends, Cevisama is a true showcase of the latest innovations in tile. With hundreds of thousands of products offered, interior designer, Linda Holt, of Linda Holt Interiors in Boxford, Mass., said she observed six top trends, including wood-look, 3D and geometric tiles. “Tiles that resemble wood were by far the biggest trend I saw at the show,” she explained. “Even though wood-look tiles have been around for a while, they haven’t been all that convincing. New technologies, however, have made it almost impossible to tell the difference between porcelain and real wood. Even the touch feels just like wood. The vendors I spoke with said wood tiles are currently their number one export.”

Natural materials continue to be a major inspiration for tile collections. A colorful, distressed wood-look was seen in Bestile’s new Coleur collection, while Gayafores introduced a more contemporary look incorporating a decorative with the Amazing Wood collection.

With the introduction of inkjet printing and 3D printers, the designs that companies can now achieve are limitless. Three-dimensional tiles, although sparingly used, are products that companies are becoming more comfortable exploring. “One of the emerging trends that impresses me most is the ability of ceramic tiles to express surface textures with more subtlety,” said Fergle. “The integration of 3D printing in the manufacturing process is pushing the envelope on tile appearance. The tactile variations and the coordinated color adjustments are quite effective.”

“The latest technology with 3D printers has revolutionized the tile industry and has created some of what I think are the most exciting options today for wall tiles...for those who want something a little more interesting than plain subway tiles, these 3D tiles could be the answer.”

– Linda Holt

Keraben, of the Keraben Group, unveiled a subtle, wave-like look in its new 3D collection, Mood. Different reliefs of 3D volumes and geometric patterns take center stage in the new Diamond collection from Realonda Ceramica, while Natucer introduced a handful of 3D collections that draw inspiration from different elements. In the Dual collection, Natucer coupled aesthetics and technical characteristics to create a unique crackling effect throughout the geometrically-inspired 3D tiles. “Three-dimensional walls are becoming very popular,” said José Cantavella, area manager at Natucer.

Harmony, one of four brands within the Peronda Group, focuses on designer-inspired porcelain collections and also introduced a variety of 3D looks, including Scales, which was developed in collaboration with Valencia-based graphic design firm, MUT Design. “These tiles were developed in 3D format to imitate the scales of a fish when it’s moving,” said José Luis Cabrián, global area director at Peronda.

“The latest technology with 3D printers has revolutionized the tile industry and has created some of what I think are the most exciting options today for wall tiles,” said Holt. “The variety at the show was amazing and for those who want something a little more interesting than plain subway tiles, these 3D tiles could be the answer.”

Although companies have a seemingly endless palette of designs to choose from, with all of the advanced technology available nowadays, shapes are limited, which has been a major focus in the industry. “Hexagon-shaped tiles had a large presence at the show, as did triangular and rhombus-shaped designs,” added Holt.

“When combined with directional lighting sources, these developments provide the possibilities of some quite dramatic lighting effects,” added Fergle, who also observed an impressive variation of tile shapes throughout the booths.

Traditional square- and rectangular-shaped tiles are still the most popular choices, but a majority of companies have introduced collections centered on less common shapes. Equipe introduced a new stone-inspired collection in hexagonal format, known as Coralstone, while Tau Ceramica introduced a marble-inspired collection in triangular format. With new shapes also comes the mixing of designs—whether it’s intermingling stone and wood looks or metallic and decorative looks in different shapes and sizes —which was also prevalent when walking the show floor.

Whatever the shape, size or design of the tile, one thing is apparent—Cevisama continues to grow and surprise management each year—solidifying its importance to the industry. The 36th edition is scheduled to take place from Feb. 5 to 9, 2018, at the Feria Valencia Centre. For more information, visit cevisama.feriavalencia.com.