01 May 2008

New directions in tile

I spent Tuesday at Coverings, the tile and stone industries' joint trade show. It was held in Orlando this year and man! Whatta show! I have been meaning to write at length about the many amazing things I saw, but this work thing keeps getting in the way.

Anyhow, the big thing in tile this year is Victorian-ish fabric patterns on wall tile. These fabric patterns show up in metallics like gold and platinum (made with real gold and platinum by the way) and in charcoal gray and blacks. It's pretty neat stuff, and it looks as if it's a 2008 take on the old metallic, flocked wallpaper of the '60s and '70s.

The images I'm including here are from a company called Iris Ceramica. As you can probably tell from their photographs, Iris is an Italian firm. But as you look at these photos, keep in mind that this is wall tile and it's being used in way tile hasn't been used in quite a while, if ever. These are large-size, rectangular tiles and you will not find them at Home Depot any time soon. However, based on the omnipresence of these wallpaper-y wall tiles at the show this week, it will be interesting to see how they translate and trickle down through the market.

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