Spending two days at a tile and stone show may not sound like a great time to you, unless you're like me and you love rocks. Stone, after all, is just a fancy word for rocks. Rocks for your countertop, rocks for your backsplash, rocks for your walls. Rocks rocks rocks.
Subway tile is huge for kitchens right now. And for good reason — it looks good in traditional or modern kitchens, with light grout or dark grout. It looks pretty. It looks clean. If you love the look of subway tile but are searching for something just a little different, check out these alternatives from Coverings 2013, the international show that's all about tile.
This is the second of our reports from Coverings 2013, the show featuring tile and stone from all over the world. Previously, we shared our favorite picks for new tiles with interesting patterns. This installment is all about texture — tiles you just wanna touch.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend Coverings, the annual show featuring tile and stone from all over the world. I've separated my favorite tile finds into two groups — tiles with interesting patterns, and tiles with fascinating texture. First, the patterns:
In addition to the designs from Wa-Kei, the Japan Ceramic Tile Manufacturers' Association had a small booth at Coverings that held a wealth of unique tiles from various Japanese tile suppliers — I was especially interested in the AGPLUS tiles that are designed to help control humidity levels and odor!
After all the stone and tile at Coverings, it was a bit of a relief to see CORK! Made from the harvested bark of a cork tree (cork trees can be harvested about every 9 years without damaging the tree), the versatile flooring is more popular than ever. Familiar with its good qualities, I was most impressed by the variety of colors that are available…
Just as the traditional Spanish and Moroccan tiles were as intriguing as the latest and greatest, the Japanese tiles from Wa-Kei proved to be some of the best — porcelain, terracotta, ceramic tiles with an emphasis on textured surfaces.
As much as I heard about technological advancements in tile during Coverings, there is still room for the beauty of tile and tiling techniques that were popular at the beginning of the 20th century. Mosaic USA imports stunning cement encaustic, Zellige and terrazzo tiles from Mosaic del sur factories in Spain and Morocco for the US market.
A mixture of glass, metal, wood, stone — the possibilities are nearly endless with the options from Italian mosaic tile company Mosaico+. In addition to materials, colors, shapes and sizes of Mosaico+ tiles vary greatly and offer unique combinations (like the wood, glass and stone pattern shown at left)…
The beautifully matte surfaces of Dutch Mosa tiles demanded my attention — quite a feat for gray, beige and brown tile at a tile convention! Though primarily used in commercial and industrial settings, the smooth surfaces and calming palettes are a perfect option for modern residential spaces, too. The smallest 'XXS' are particularly attractive in the gray and brown & beige color palettes.