Ceramics of Italy at Coverings 2019 | by Caroline Busch
From April 9-12 at Coverings – the largest international tile and stone exhibition in North America, taking place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL – the Italian Pavilion will showcase a vast array of cutting-edge tile and installation products in 140 among companies and brands from Ceramics of Italy member companies. The pavilion, organized by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics), will also offer a delicious respite for attendees and more information about the industry in Ceramics of Italy’s central stand (Booth 1225) designed by e+i studio.
In the middle of the Italian Pavilion, attendees will find the Ceramics of Italy booth “Strada Dinamica” situated like an open piazza. Designers at e+i studio modeled the exhibit after a lively Italian streetscape, with standing communal tables, landscaped benches, and a coffee bar and café, all clad in tile from Lea Ceramiche and Florim and set on a raised flooring system by Newfloor, to demonstrate the versatility and durability of Italian products. Fila Surface Care Solutions also provided cleaning products for the booth. The space serves as the perfect meeting point for attendees to network over coffee or take a break from the tradeshow floor. It also houses an information kiosk where visitors can learn more about exhibitors in the Italian Pavilion and initiatives the Italian industry is supporting to promote the benefits and use of ceramic and porcelain tiles, grouts and more.
Trends and Innovations
Visitors will find the Italian Pavilion full of inspiration and innovation this year, with a multitude of new products spurred by technological advancements and shifting cultural trends. As Italian companies continue to invest in new production equipment, their product lines are evolving into a whole suite of surfacing tools with a variety of sizes, thicknesses and finishes developed around a single design. At this year’s show, visitors can expect to find tiles ranging from 3-30mm thick, including a new 12mm thick tile specifically designed for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, tables and outdoor kitchens. Meanwhile, gauged porcelain tiles continue to grow in popularity, with designs ranging from hyper-realistic natural looks to dark florals and geometric patterns on wallpaper-like panels. Companies are also continuously expanding their systems of porcelain pavers, as tile is a natural fit for outdoor environments with its low water absorption rate and high breakage loads.
Installation & Design Experience
Ceramics of Italy is proud to support the Coverings Showcase for the eighth year in a row, which will be situated inside the new Installation & Design Experience (Booth 3538). Demonstrating the synergy between innovative products, creative design and expert installation, Glenda Wright of the Orlando-based architecture firm HHCP will work with a team from Five Star Contractors at Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Co. to create a hidden oasis vignette using Italian tile products. Attendees are invited to visit the space throughout the show to see the vignette come to life and meet the design and installation teams to learn about their inspiration, process, challenges and best practices.
Events and Sessions
Representatives from Ceramics of Italy will participate in a number of talks and educational sessions on important topics for all industry professionals, from the latest tile trends to changes in the marketplace and transparency in materials and shipping. On Tuesday, April 9 at 3pm in Room S230C, Donato Grosser, President of Grosser Consulting, along with Santo Torcivia, President of Marketing Insights, will offer updates on the current state of the ceramic tile marketplace during their annual presentation “The Changing Market for Ceramic Tile in the U.S.” On Wednesday, April 10 at 1:30pm in Room S230E, Luciano Galassini, Deputy Managing Director of Confindustria Ceramica, and Bill Griese of TCNA will participate in “Transparency in Materials” – the first of a three-part series – addressing the issue of material transparency across product categories. The second session on Wednesday at 3pm in Room S230G – “Transparency in Handling and Shipping” – co-presented by Enrico Lupi, Manager of International, Trade and R&I Department of Confindustria Ceramica, by Ryan Cerami, Vice President of Ceramics Tile Design and by Wendolyne Beltz, Field Operstions Director of APHIS/USDA – will explore the journey of products from the factory to point of sale, and how it should be traceable and safe for people and the environment. Then on Thursday at 2pm in Room S230E, Cristina Faedi, Manager of Promotional Activities for Ceramics of Italy, will discuss the latest tile trends, material innovations and creative applications with other tile industry experts during the annual “Global Tile Trends” session. Immediately afterwards, Coverings Ambassador Alena Capra will guide visitors on a walking tour to see the trends in person.
The Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference will take place on Wednesday, April 10 (4-5pm) in Room S210C. Members of the media are invited to attend and hear senior representatives from Confindustria Ceramica and the Italian Trade Agency discuss updates on the state of the industry and present the winners of the 2019 Tile Competition. Ceramics of Italy will honor a number of prestigious architecture and design firms from across Canada and the United States, as well as the winner of the student category. Following the press conference, Ceramics of Italy will present the new promotional video “Ahead of our time”, that combines the past and future of Italian ceramics. Then it will be announced the 2019 recipient of the coveted Confindustria Ceramica North American Distributor Award, which celebrates the close connection between Italian tile manufacturers and their valued North American partners.
Look for the “Made in Italy” trademark throughout the show to find products defined by high aesthetic quality, durability, and environmental responsibility. For those unable to attend Coverings 2019, follow along as we post live updates on Facebook (@CeramicsofItalyNA), Twitter and Instagram (@CeramicsofItaly).