It is always fascinating to see what the world’s leading manufacturers choose to highlight in the run up to the major international tiling exhibitions. It not only highlights the key new ranges from these top factories, but also provides an insight into what are predicted to be the major tile trends for the next 12 month or so.
Currently, Tile Addict’s in box is awash with preview press releases for Coverings; the USA’s major tiling event set to open in Atlanta on 8th May. I will start with one of the top Italian brands, Ceramiche Piemme. This company is set to unveil three collections at the Georgia World Congress Center: Stone Concept, Freedom and Fleur de Bois. These are all porcelain stoneware tiles for residential and contract floors.
Stone Concept takes its inspiration from the trend of recycled stone; in this case a white Burgundy stone that features in medieval French chateaux from the Loire region. It is a sedimentary calcareous rock with faint veins. The colours span from white to beige and on to grey, thus offering a range of modern neutral shades.
Stone Concept tiles can be used as both indoor and outdoor flooring, and also as a wall covering. There are eight sizes and two décor options, making this range particularly suitable for recreating the installation patterns and surfaces of yesteryear.
In the new Freedom range, digital decoration technology has been harnessed to recreate the natural effects of the stone from Hautville, which was used on the façade of the Empire State Building and as the base of the Statue of Liberty. The colour palette contains six shades, which range from white and beige through to hazelnut and grey. Freedom tiles can be used as a wall covering, and also for indoor and outdoor flooring.
Fleur de Bois is a walnut-inspired wood-effect collection that features a new mix of American walnut and Italian walnut. It’s key selling point is the highly naturalistic look delivered with the aid of advanced digital technologies. These enable the Fleur de Bois tiles to feature the timber’s longitudinal veining, which are more marked in American walnut; as well as other special effects, such as a slight artisan planed look or the typical worn, trodden finish of ancient floors.
Fleur de Bois is designed for use in more traditional environments, including hotels, public spaces and homes. The sizes available make it suitable for traditional installations. They also include large slabs (such as a 1,700mm slab). The Fleur de Bois tiles can also be laid in a chevron pattern, or French herringbone, for which a special size 600 by 1,200mm format is available. The range of colours spans from lighter, more modern shades (Gris, Blanc) to the ultra-dark Brun tone; with more natural effects in between (Naturel, Beige).
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, April 2018.