(New York, NY - February 2019) 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 over 75 booths from Ceramics of Italy member companies. The pavilion, organized by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) with support from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, 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. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the show, the Italian Association of Ceramics will also introduce a new two-volume book, Mater Ceramica, which delves into the history of ceramics and Italian tile design over the past 70 years.
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. 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, 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, Ceramics of Italy 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 – “Transparency in Handling and Shipping,” co-presented by Confindustria Ceramica and CTDA – 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, 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.
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).