Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Patterned Tiles are Power Play at Coverings 2014


While Coverings was celebrating its 25th anniversary in Las Vegas, I was celebrating something I hadn't seen much of at this annual tile and stone trade show since I've been attending: patterned tiles. Lot's of patterned tiles!

Apavisa's Hydraulic Blue pays homage to Classic Cement Tile Designs
Apavisa's Hydraulic Blue pays homage to Classic Cement Tile Designs

I was thrilled to see patterned tile proudly promoting artisanal looks almost everywhere. While last week's post, New & Old Cement Tile Patterns Heat up the Strip, was supposed to be the last in a series to focus entirely on pattern and tile design, you'll see why this week's post is devoted to pattern once again: it shows how pattern is playing a big part in both design and tile trends.
Aparici Vanguard embraces bold pattern
Aparici's Vanguard embraces bold pattern and placement

Tile Returns to Its Artisanal Roots

Those of you who follow our blog know that I'm a big proponent both of color and pattern in design. So, I was thrilled to see many manufacturers embrace pattern in their 2014 tile designs! While pattern definitely took center stage, the underlying theme was a trend to create tiles with an artisanal look. I was thrilled to see porcelain tiles paying homage to traditional and contemporary cement tile patterns. A well-executed example of where pattern took precedence is with Apavisa's Hydraulic series.

Apavisa uses classic patterns and a straight-forward palette
Apavisa uses classic patterns and a straight-forward palette

Cement Tiles are often called hydraulic tiles in Spanish-speaking countries. To create cement tiles, each tile is hydraulically pressed as part of the manufacturing process. This is often called a "hydraulic look." Apavisa isn't shy about letting us know that the inspiration for these tiles comes from the cement tile manufacturing method that was first developed in Southern France during the mid 19th century. The tiles break from tradition using a larger 12-inch format,  and are available in four pleasing but limited colors of patchwork natural, grey natural, black natural and blue natural. 

Apavisa's Hydraulic Natural Patchwork has 27 random patterns
Apavisa's Hydraulic Natural Patchwork has 27 random patterns
The patchwork natural colorway comes with 27 random patterns in each box! And remember, while the look is that of hand-crafted cement, these tiles are made entirely of porcelain.

I want to thank Lori Dolnick and Katie Sikorski for inviting me to participate in the Tile of Spain Press Conference and tour hosted by the always-insightful Ryan Fasan. As an advocate of hand-crafted ceramic and cement tile, I felt more connection than ever to these new porcelain tiles. Finally, a tip of the hat to Tile of Spain for exhibiting distinctively unique ceramic innovations at Coverings 2014!

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