New from Keraben, Yosemite tile is designed to resemble natural wood.

Cevisama turns 25 this year. And with more than 97,000 industry professionals on hand, the 2007 edition of the show turned out to be one large birthday party. The Valencia, Spain-based ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings event celebrated its 25th in style, honoring close to 40 25-year-veteran exhibitors at a special dinner. Additionally, show organizers published a commemorative book, titled “The History of a Dream,” detailing Cevisama’s 25 years in the industry.

The Estonia series of wall tiles by Grespania features an earth tone palette for a nature-inspired look.

Business at the show was brisk, according to organizers. Close to 13,000 foreign attendees from close to 150 countries (including Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.) came to see the latest products and services. Additionally, representatives from the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association (ASCER) were on hand at the five-day event to promote Spain’s ceramic tile industry.

With the number of new products resembling stone, wood and textiles, it was clear that natural materials continue to inspire tile designers. Highly authentic visuals are the result of new technology, say manufacturers. “Digital technology allows us to recreate nature by printing it on tile,” said Mike Hammond of Inalco Ceramica, adding that his company’s IPLUS Digital Technology makes it possible to print designs on “even high and low reliefs.”

Tile maker Tau was also getting into the spirit of natural looks, introducing the Carbono series, engineered to feature unique “geometric glints” and “microtextures” in the tile’s surface. According to the company, the tile is inspired by the carbon fiber-derived materials used in the aerospace, automotive and nautical industries.

Alcalagres has taken the wraps off the Lifestone collection, a range of large-format wall and floor tiles.The Estonia series of wall tiles by Grespania features an earth tone palette for a nature-inspired look.

“Tau is sponsoring a TP 52 class racing team - the Formula 1 of sailing - and we are also an official supplier to the Spanish Challenger for the America’s Cup,” said Tau spokesman Manuel Llopis. “These partnerships have taught us an enormous amount about the fabrics, fibers, compounds and materials that are used on elite sailing vessels, and this has inspired us to come up with a fantastic ceramic collection.”

Larger formats are also making a splash, noted Sascha Alsdorf of tile maker Grespania. “Larger sizes are becoming a great fashion,” he said. At the show, his company introduced Rivoli wall tile in 12” by 18” and the Rainbow wall tile collection in sizes ranging from 12” by 24” to 25” by 40.”

He noted that larger format tiles are still a niche market in the United States, but consumer interest in heavier, thicker tile is growing.

“It’s well-known that in the U.S. people are still looking for smaller stone-look tile, but there is a smaller, growing market that is looking for something new and different,” he said.