Cevisama 2008 - March 2008

By Anne Harr

This year’s Cevisama, held in Valencia, Spain, ran from February 5 to 9, drawing more than 96,000 visitors from across the globe for the very latest in ceramic tile manufacturing and design. It is safe to assume that those who came were not disappointed. There was tile that looked like marble, slate, travertine and sandstone. There was tile that looked like wood planks, parquet, animal skin, leather and fabric. There were lots of metallic and concrete looks and even tile that looked like…tile! 

Over the last couple of years, Spanish tile manufacturers have been working on the development of digital printing technology, and this is the first year where a number of manufacturers have come up with comprehensive collections using that process. Digital printing technology is a four-color CMYK process that replicates design with a precision previously unavailable to the industry. The process is also ideal for printing images on textured surfaces, because the design easily penetrates even the most recessed areas.

Digital technology also shifts the issue of repeats from the production process to the design department, since there are theoretically no limits on the size of a design or the number of subtle design variations. 

Urban simplicity was a strong trend at the show—oxidized metals, metallic textures and finishes, and concrete looks in basic colors such as white, gray and black. Large formats predominated and many styles came in several sizes that were modular so they could be combined to create different patterns. The wood look is still strong—and has grown in popularity in the U.S. market. The showrooms were for the most part exquisitely decorated and generally felt more like a visit to an upscale boutique or trendy nightclub.

Spanish tile officials admit that 2008 will remain a challenging year. While Spanish tile exports to the US are down, other markets remain strong such as France, Russia, and South America. The U.S. market currently accounts for about 6.5% of total Spanish tile exports.

Natucer, a producer of porcelain extruded tiles, introduced Laguna, a metallic look tile available in four colors and two formats—one flat and smooth and the other with a three dimensional ripple pattern with high and low gloss. Also new to Natucer is Piamonte in a 14”x14” tile. Piamonte looks like traditional terracotta tile and has beautiful hand painted accent pieces from designs of the Alhambra.

New from Saloni is Stone System. These glazed porcelain tiles look like stained concrete in eight neutral colors, and they’re available in three sizes: 12”x23”, 18”x36”, and 23”x23”. Stone System is rectified and is available in a polished or matte finish. Also new to Saloni is Metalia—a metallic look using real iron oxides. Saloni uses digitial printing technology to produce a realistic metallic appearance.

The largest Spanish ceramic group and one of the largest in the world, Roca introduced its New Look series. New Look does not imitate but instead celebrates tile for what it is—tile. The simplicity of the tile is modern and understated and it has a clean traditional look in nine colors with a matte finish. 

Also new to Roca is Savia, a tile that has the look and texture of natural wood. Savia is available in two lengths and six colors. Both the New Look series and the Savia series use the double pressed Rock and Rock technology.

Pret–A–Porter is a registered tile installation system created by Roca that is 100% dry laid. The tiles have a plastic interlocking base with a built in rubber polymer grout. It is easy to assemble and can be laid on any level floor surface. Pret-A-Porter is available in a rustic, stone and marble look in several colors and also in a plain white.

Alaplana Ceramica introduced several new lines in its Real Stone porcelain stoneware collection. The Strass Series is a dramatic marble imitation with pronounced variations in color and veining from tile to tile. It is rectified and super polished, and it comes in three colors and two sizes—17”x17” and 14”x23”. Also available in the Real Stone series are metallic finishes and textures as well as poured concrete looks in black, gray and white, and a selection of wood and stone look tiles in a variety of colors and sizes.

Alfa introduced its Linea Series, a through body porcelain with a metallic glaze. The high and low texture of the tile reflects the light and gives wonderful depth. It is available in 18”x18”.

Gaya has been creating tiles for almost a century in Castellon, Spain. For Cevisama 08, Gaya created the Bramante series—Gaya’s version of the classic Italian Calacatta marble. Calacatta marble is characterized by a bright white background with dramatic rivers of gray and sometimes gold veins running through it. Gaya has been able to realistically reproduce the classic look using digital inkjet printing technology, and has used the same technology to create the look of travertine in its Trevi series.

The Venus showroom was an experience in itself. It was elegant and trendy with crystal chandeliers, ultra contemporary furnishings and cutting edge style. The showroom floor tile was Boulevard—one of 16 new floor tiles being introduced by Venus. Boulevard is a large rectangular format porcelain tile with a metallic look and texture. The floor was dramatic in black, though Boulevard is also available in white and brown.

Another new porcelain style shown by Venus was Iron, which looks like oxidized metal and is only available in one color. Iron also comes in the large rectangular format.

Colossos looks like marble with rich natural looking veins swirling in random patterns. It is available in cream and beige in fashionable large squares of 19.3”x19.3”.

Onix Mosaico, founded in 1999, offers a modern approach to the 4,000 year old art of mosaics. Tiles made of recycled glass are combined in a wide range of colors and patterns that take the ancient art to a new level. The Onix Mosaico showroom was decorated with Glam Glass, an iridescent glistening glass available in eight colors. Several new series were being shown including Iridium Glass, Ice Glass, Crystal Glass and Classy Glass. Glass has 0% absorption and is 100% impervious, so it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Rocersa’s NeoTech collection utilizes digital printing technology to create ultra realistic slate, marble and wood effects. Another introduction by Rocersa is the Extreme collection featuring large format tiles with a polished finish. The Extreme collection includes Platinum, a porcelain tile with the luminosity of metal in pirita (pyrite), bronce (bronze), and cobre (copper). Rocersa’s new headquarters is scheduled to begin construction this month. It will have the largest press in the world for making large format porcelain tiles.

The precision of digital printing technology was again on display in Azuvi’s Nitra series. Nitra realistically creates the beautiful look of marble in a porcelain tile. The glossy finish, natural colors and finely veined design give Nitra a sophisticated classic look in a 19.7” square. Also new to the Azuvi line is the Oxi-de series. As the name suggests, Oxi-de has the look of oxidized or rusted metal. It is available in four neutral colors with a matte finish. 

Azuvi’s Art Tile combines the look of fabric and metal. It has a linen like look and texture with a metallic finish in black, gold or white in a large rectangular format. This through body porcelain is ideal for use in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Ceracasa’s digital printing technology is called Emotile. Emotile technology can decorate about ten square yards of graphics without requiring the edges of the tile to be rectified, and Ceracasa uses the technology to offer a customized program for the design community.

Concreto, one of Ceracasa’s series using Emotile, comes in a single color—gray—in several sizes. Travertino is another style in the Emotile series. As you might suspect, Travertino successfully replicates the look of travertine marble. It also comes in the large rectangular format and is available in beige, white and red.

Pamesa showcased ink jet technology with a series that looked incredibly like wood parquet. Pamesa also had a beautiful series of large metallic tiles, cement looks, and natural stone. However, the real eye catcher in the Pamesa showroom was the fun, bright look created by designer Agatha Ruiz. The whimsical patterns in a combination of stripes, dots and bright solids could brighten up any interior. Unfortunately, they’re only available in wall tiles.

New products introduced by Apavisa were the Patina and Beton series. Patina is a through body porcelain with the look of antique copper. It gives a surface appearance of something grown beautiful with age from wear and oxidation. It comes in four colors—green like patinaed copper, pure copper, black and white—in either a polished or matte finish. Beton, which means concrete in French, has the appearance of pre-cast concrete. 

Beton is a full body porcelain available in grey, white, brown and beige. Apavisa also has a collection of tiles using the digital printing technology called the Spectrum collection.

Inalco’s new series, appropriately named XXL, creates tile that when finished measures 32”x48”. The 80.1 series of the XXL collection has a metallic brush stroke texture. The high and low relief of this dramatic tile reflects the light and gives a striking dimension to its simplicity. The 80.5 series is a tone-on-tone damask-like design, and it’s available in 32” squares.

Inalco was one of the first Tile of Spain manufacturers to introduce digital inkjet printing to ceramic tile. The Atelier series uses Inalco’s Iplus technology to create stunning tonal stripes for the look of carpet tiles. The Iplus digital technology also creates looks of natural stone, slate, wood and concrete.

Tau has long been seen as a design and technology leader in the manufacturing of ceramic tile and this year was no exception. New from Tau were Carbono and Linnox, from the Tau Materia collection. Carbono is inspired by the effect of carbon fiber, with tiny geometric glints and shimmers. Linnox draws its inspiration from textiles. Both have metallic glazes in a sophisticated matte finish. Napa, another new tile, has the look of genuine leather.

Tau also introduced a one-of-a-kind product called Diet Tile. The ceramic tile is installed in front of the refrigerator, and it features a weight scale sensor and a microchip that controls several parameters, such as how much time one spends on the tile and the weight of the user. The tile will recognize when someone of a particular weight spends too much time in front of the refrigerator after lunch or supper. In other words, the tile “knows” if the person is snacking between meals.The tile then activates a loudspeaker that reminds the person that they are supposed to be on a diet! 

Grespania’s Kera Jet ink jet printing technology was used on the Montana and California series to recreate the look of natural stone, while Abadia replicates terracotta.

Also new is the Tanzania collection—wood planks in seven colors and a slip resistant finish for indoor or outdoor use. Tanzania is available in long rectangular “wood” strips and also in 12” squares divided into smaller strips that when laid on the quarter turn give the look of a wood parquet floor. Letonia is a through body porcelain in five colors with an industrial metallic look, and for the concrete look there is Lubeck.

Copyright 2008 Floor Focus