Coverings 2010: Gira de España (Tour of Spain)

A media tour around the Tile of Spain exhibitors at Coverigns 2010 this week revealed some beautiful and innovative products:

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The first stop was at Natucer, which debuted its Alfa De Plato Award-winning LifeArq Collection. The Ivy (shown above left) and Bamboo (shown above right) series are an example of innovative applications for porcelain as room dividers. The tiles are wrapped around metal support poles to offer a variety of architectural solutions. Also, the company has designed Scale and Channel, tiles cut in the form of long rectangles that function as exterior siding via stacking and/or overlapping edges.

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Family-owned Rosa Gres presented a large-format tile line called Imagina. the commercial ceramic, launching in the U.S. for the first time this year, can withstand heavy traffic and comes in five formats that range in size up to 47.2-in. by 47.2-in. It is available in five natural stone shades.

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Pictured above left, Jean Philippe of the Navarati Group shows us Calacatta HD, a new line that features what the company calls "the next generation of high definition printing technology." The line, as well as their Daino Reale Series, feature realistic stone and marble patterns in matte and polished finishes in three sizes. The company also displayed Serie River Stone (show above right). The "pebbled" tiles, created using ink jet technology over embossed three-dimensional ceramic, offer immensely realistic texture and visuals that made me have to reach out and touch it. Available in three color collections.

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More ink jet technology was highlighted at Grespania. The new Krimiss Series (above left), the company's first wall tile utilizing the digital patterns, emulates the look of marble and travertine in three colors and four sizes. Additionally, the company had multiple trims and decorative tiles, such as Astorga Negro (above right) that offered textured looks and feels to walls. Astorga comes in black or white hues, and in 30-in. by 40-in. sizes.

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Inalco's new products aim to show that tiles can be used in a range of applications. Wood (shown above) is part of the Sensations Collection, created in collaboration with architecture studio Bunch, S.L. The tile emulates single tone, distressed wood in look and texture. The full series, with Concrete and Clay, evelopes natural elements for a timeless look. The tiles use SlimmKer technology, meaning they are ultra-thin at 4mm, come in sizes up to 32-in. squares. Additionally, Inalco launched Pyrene Negro (shown below), the first tile to utilize white on black ink jet technology to rreplicate veining found in stone.

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Iridio (above left) by Apavisa is a fusion of semi-precious stones, metals, and natural stone in a highly technical porcelain tile that shines with a hint of metallic sheen. The line looks very Avant Garde and replicates Brazilian granite. Outdoor (above right), as it's name suggests, is suitable for external applications. It mimics the look of white or gray concrete and is made from 40 percent recycled materials.

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 Porcelanatto, a subsidiary of TAU, showcased its NO-Stalgia series, designed by Karim Rashid. (Read mor eabout the presentation and Karim's comments at ContractDesign.com.) TAU also presented its Afterdark project (shown below in a provided image), the first intelligent, photo-luminescant tile. The product accumulates and stores light from the sun or artificial lighting installations and later releases it, which is ideal during emergencies or for public spaces, such as metro stations, movie theaters, etc.

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— Stacy Straczynski

 

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