Of course, the main reason crowds throng to Valencia each year is to witness the latest trends in style. As usual, there were numerous innovations and refinements relative to color, texture, formats, and applications for ceramic and porcelain tile.
Refined, sophisticated texturesTextures continue to be a focal point of ceramic design. This year, there were countless variations on the ever-popular natural stone imitations, which are rapidly becoming hard to distinguish from the real thing. Products such as Bari by Italgres, Porcellanatto’s Sandstone, Tau’s Chateaux, Halcon’s Jasper, Azuvi’s GeoTech, and Roca’s Rock and Rock all had innovative new designs that imitate natural stone looks.
In addition to stone textures, many new textures -- emulating a variety of materials, such as sisal, straw mats, textiles, and even unfinished concrete -- were also represented at Cevisama. Standout designs for texture included Saloni’s Uchi, a subtle and refined texture designed to imitate Japanese paper panels, and Grespania’s Tunez, which replicates the look of natural leather with uncanny accuracy. Another innovative texture was Diago’s Novecento, a large-format wall tile that convincingly mimics the color and texture of wallpaper. One new texture this year was unfinished concrete, as seen in Rocersa’s Futura and Ceracasa’s Cemento.
Bolder colors bound for U.S. marketAlthough neutral shades of beige, gray and white continue to dominate the palette of product lines tailored to the U.S. market, many manufacturers indicated that this trend is slowly changing and that U.S. consumers are warming to bolder colors, particularly in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the country. Shades of brown are gaining popularity as a new neutral of choice, and blues continue to be popular. Some lines that emphasized bright colors were Keraben’s Pop, which featured bright oranges and blues reminiscent of 1970s designs, Roca’s Antares, and Decorativa’s Billancourt. In contrast with the sleek, modern styles and textures prevalent this year, renewed interest in traditional looks such as mosaic tiles and terra cotta emerged at this year’s show. Products such as Decorativa’s San Remy and Rocinate by Gres de la Mancha showcase modern applications of traditional terra cotta design. Mosaics ranged in style from ultra-modern glass and metallic styles to traditional designs such as Roca’s Pompei, which imitates ancient Roman mosaic tiles.
Greater diversity in formatsLarge formats -- such as 12-by-24 inches, 16-by-16 inches and 18-by-18 inches -- continued their increase in popularity, particularly in series that combine wall and floor tiles. There was also an increase in smaller formats such as 6-by-6 inches, 3-by-6 inches and 4-by-4 inches, as well as unusual sizes such as 4-by-24 inches and 6-by-24 inches. Another popular trend was the combination of multiple formats within the same design to create a variety of geometric patterns. These patterns were often seen in horizontal rather than vertical arrangements in wall-and-floor combinations.
The use of metallic inserts and accents showed no sign of slowing, with many manufacturers offering bold, modern designs incorporating all types of metals, such as stainless steel, copper, mirrored finishes, and even gold, as well as glass, metal, and natural materials such as gemstones and amber. Standout uses of metallic inserts and accents included Azteca’s Coimbra, Jupiter by Colorker, Grespania’s Gotha border accents, and Porcelanatto’s Durango series.