But the long anticipated second installment of this year's Cersaie files is here... FINALLY!
Of course I'll get into everything else happening in the industry eventually too but this installment is all about the manufacturers from Spain exhibiting at the fair. Every manufacturer I focus on in this post have distribution in North America and a focus on our market (despite the poor numbers our building sector is still posting)
Expands its mastery of digital glazing this year. With new glazing machines they can achieve finer resolutions and operate from a larger pool of jpegs creating greater variation. In order to decrease production costs and offer a better-priced product to market they are utilizing reactive mineral glazes to add texture to simple flat molded bisque instead of molding texture into the tile itself. In some cases the texture and depth is purely illusionary, so good are the digital reproductions. Also to keep costs down for consumers there is a line of floor and wall tiles produced in red bisque from the renowned local Spanish clay.
Unveils some new weathered metals along with some subtle concrete looks that both have a raw and aged feel to them. The metals are subtle this year, merely hinting at a metallic glint with little or no sheen. The new collection is all about the 3rd dimension with complementary mosaic pieces in overlapping waves or multiple thicknesses to create shadow and depth. The new revolution is their bent or warped pieces. Apavisa is proposing options to bump, warp and twist any of their porcelain material for wall installations to create a whole new category of decorative ceramics.
Builds on their reputation of innovation by providing objective research with the commissioning of a 1000 square foot dwelling utilizing their revolutionary ECOM4TILE. The study will be monitored year-round to provide empirical data on ECOM4TILE’s ability to regulate indoor temperature. The material has been making waves since it’s unveiling this year at Cevisama and was recently awarded the 2011 innovation award from Architectural Products.
Also improving on their digital capability Ceracasa has implemented a state of the art digital plotter with 6 color-bands capable of astounding variation and resolution on large format tile. Unveiling 3 new lines (weathered metals, concrete and bluestone) of porcelain floor and wall material aimed at the architectural specification market. The integration of new technology and research will keep Ceracasa at the forefront of innovators to watch especially in solutions offered to design specifiers.
Brings out some larger formats this year playing with some new takes on traditional refinement. Three separate collections offer large formats of classic glamour finishes in a more approachable way for 2011. Gold, silver and turquoise play in graphic reinterpretations of sophisticated damasks and geometrics, which portrays an understated opulence that belies Dune’s deft artistic touch.
The Emphasis series takes mixed medium mosaics to a new level. Mixing metals, stone, glass and ceramics embues a modern twist to classic mosaic patterns creating a whole new look in multiple finishes. The new collections, like a Chanel suit, breathe an undeniable timeless luxury into any space without being pretentious or flashy.
Eureka! Expands Dune’s complementary bathroom fixture program. Classic claw-foot tubs and vessel sinks are the perfect complement to the “new luxury” tile programs presented this year. Like many manufacturers Dune has also created a low-cost for high value collection of styles. These offerings present unparalleled aesthetics in more scaled formats. All of Dune’s 2011 offerings present an amalgamation of past, present and future to create a new definition of exclusive timelessness for all price points.
Creates some simple digital solutions in natural materials. Woods, concretes and natural stones all in straightforward mattes with subtle textures provide spaces with an understated neutral canvas. One unique preposition is a plank-style porcelain wood siding tile for residential use. The uncomplicated, intelligent displays propose the clever functionality of their material.
Continues doing what they do best this year- Creating impeccable texture in the most architecturally approachable neutral palette. Three new collections arise from their partnership with the Spanish design collective ‘Bunch’. Each series evokes the experience of basalt or lava stone.
They have also proposed a custom, sustainable public art solution for commercial spaces re-creating classic artworks in multiple tiles with their iPlus digital technology. Known for their large formats, Inalco has also developed more innovative furniture solutions such as tables and bookshelves, which provide durable hygienic surfaces without any joints. Two of their new series also feature large-scale water-jet cut “mosaics” for subtle floor and/or wall decorations within the field.
Magna is making high fashion accessible to the growing market of price-conscious consumers today. Employing cutting edge glazes paired with non-rectified locally sourced clay bodies, the tiles look like a million bucks without costing it. Creating multiple scored mosaic lines evoking stone, ceramic or glass, Magna is providing both material and installation savings to the client.
The iconic Spanish extrusion factory has been a reliable innovator for years and 2011 is no exception. Natucer chooses to continuously search for new looks, functions and ideas for their age-old production process. The Life-Arq collection’s modular siding and steel framed screening options have created a new area for ceramic specification beyond traditional floor and wall installations. This year’s addition of ‘Cube’ to their repertoire brings a more austere geometric version to the line of screen material.
This year Natucer has also pioneered a technique to bring the power of digital ink-jet glazing to the world of extruded ceramics with ‘Ink-Klinker’. The high moisture content of the unfired extruded bisque has, in the past, kept extruded ceramics from taking advantage of this new technology.
Also, keeping with the trend of creative low-cost material Natucer has re-introduced 2 modular geometric series that re-interpret classic tile patterns like fish scale into modern compositions. These programs have been updated with new colors and glazes from an existing line ensuring costs can be kept lower while delivering a beautiful of-the-moment look.
Pamesa continues to expand their digital technology division. Creating realistic stone looks and wood grains for both residential and commercial projects. The subtle textures and perfect color combinations combine for an approachable collection that appeals to a wide customer base. Many stone and painted wood programs harness digital glaze technology to offer a multitude of chair-rails, wainscoting panels and various other trim options. Digitally produced trims have graphic design or classic photography inset within the field proposing ceramics as a permanent artistic cladding medium for many styles of design.
With deep roots in fashion and modern art, Peronda is uniquely setup to be an industry trendsetter. The wildly successful ‘Museum’ collection of high polished iconic marbles gets an update with new relief decor pieces and a new size 44x120mm, the largest to date for the company. Innovative resin & porcelain modular décors in metallic finishes round out their glamour collections with a feel of 70’s costume jewelry. These 3-D materials are glitzy without looking fussy and can be paired with much of Peronda’s collection to add a “wow” focal point in any composition.
The wood series “Timber” creates one of the best representations of distressed or reclaimed planks on the market this year. This scratched, weathered and salt-stained series appears as if it was re-cycled from shipping palettes; a feeling enhanced by the ‘handle with care’ and “fragile” décors available.
This industry leader once again had one of the busiest booths at the show and after seeing their new collection there was no question as to why. Even as a late adopter of digital glazing, Porcelanosa’s offerings were some of the best at the show. Subtle weathered textures combine with impeccable stone and wood representations to create a nuanced feel. Masters of textured wall tile, Porcelanosa also showcased beautiful white on white textures evoking re-mixes of classic patterns and natural phenomena to add sophistication and interest without adding color to a space.
The sanitary wear giant is also an innovation contender in the ceramics world this year. In a year somewhat light on revolutionary products, Roca came out with 18 novelty collections including multiple low-cost options. ‘Pietra Nero’ a technical through-body material is available in four finishes including a décor. The double pressed method of dry glaze imbedded in the body creates the most realistic black galaxy granite in porcelain seen to date.
High contrast was another prime focus for Roca with the Calypso series. The high gloss black & white collection presents an edited, everlasting face to interiors without feeling aloof or austere. Multiple decors and trim pieces have the feel of classic couture design that will never go out of style.
Keeping with the trend of approachable luxury Roca is offering many of their sophisticated wall tile collections in a new smaller size of 25x70mm. They are also providing a red-bodied floor tile option in many non-rectified tile programs, once again providing top-quality aesthetics at diverse price points.
In a new venture last year Roca partnered with Armani to create an exclusive collection of tile featuring Armani’s sartorial palette, patterns and textures. Available with corresponding bathroom furniture and sanitary wear, this new collection epitomizes the understated luxury of today’s elite.
The Spanish commercial pool tile giant creates waves again this year. In an effort to propose new solutions for their target market they have introduced a beautifully refined solid color porcelain line to compliment their pool-tile collections. Like all of their current programs, the material is produced in one size, 48x48” which creates un-matched color consistency in their multiple-sized collections replete with unique technical trim pieces. With one size of production Rosa Gres can easily guarantee dye-lot consistency for projects as each smaller size and trim piece required can be cut down from the larger format. It also lowers productions costs making them one of the most competitive suppliers for this market with the higher cost field tile being more than balanced by the substantially lower cost trims. Some of the innovative solutions proposed this year are multiple infinity-pool options and large formats for pool walls and bottoms all with corresponding porcelain coves and grates from the same material.
The entire booth this year showcased ceramics with empty frames hanging on the walls, reinforcing the message that modern ceramics are not just a functional cladding material but artwork. With a strong project-based collection Saloni once again has many wall tile programs with simple textured décors at square meter pricing to keep project costs low and aesthetics high.
A master of multiple layered glazes, Saloni has once again created some of the most complex geometries, textiles and floral patterned tiles for sophisticated decoration. Even though Saloni makes some of the most realistic reproductions of natural material they seem to relish making tile programs that are so uniquely ceramic that they are purely a celebration of the material.
Has put forth a strong environmental commitment this year with their ‘Feeling Eco’ Program. By certifying and quantifying all their environmental initiatives throughout their manufacturing process, Vives has become a leader in ceramic tile’s environmental story. As members of both the Spanish and US Green Building councils they are aggressively working to elevate ceramics as the green material choice for technical cladding materials. Aesthetics have not been sacrificed with these initiatives. In fact, Vives had two of the most beautiful wood parquet programs at the show this year showcasing unique colors and textures.
Rounding out their 2011-2012 novelties are stone and concrete inspired programs in modular formats equally suited for commercial and residential use. With their strong environmental message and beautiful aesthetics Vives has become a ceramic house to watch this year and will continue to grow even in this less than bullish market.