This week’s blog post is part 1 of 2 from Ryan Fasan, @Tile_Trends, research consultant, trainer and partner of Professional Attention to Tile Installations, an internationally renowned tile consulting firm. Ryan Fasan has over 20 years experience in the ceramic tile industry. His divergent arena of experience comes from showroom & architectural sales with a major distributor; in the manufacturing sector as a specification consultant, as an apprentice installer under master European tile-setters and finally in product design and marketing with a Canadian manufacturer. This hands-on learning has given Ryan a uniquely encompassing command of all aspects of the ceramic tile industry.
Tile of Spain recently previewed exciting 2016 tile design trends in the form of 91 Spanish tile exhibitors on display at Cersaie. The advancements in design stem from innovation in machinery and finishes. This year there was even more than usual, featuring an exciting blend of revived classic techniques paired with cutting edge technology. The main advancements remain in the field of digital decoration of ceramics with new printers featuring multiple heads to deliver not only colors but also metallic finishes, glazes and even reactive inks that add dimension or relief in the surface glaze. The end result is a subtly nuanced product.
Some tile design highlights from Tile of Spain companies:
Their finishes are impeccable with a wonderful attention to detail. The tight cooperation with multiple glaze & ink manufacturers paired with the completely double-fired process of the Aparici factory. They featured one of the best ancient terracotta looks in an innovative wide plank.
The other standout was a design that resembled an intricate tapestry burned into ancient concrete. This was introduced in a new 36×36” format.
Apavisa has again created some of the most sumptuous metal and stone looks in the industry. The secret is in their “technical tower” a Geiger-esque monstrosity that towers, brooding in the center of the factory that creates some of the most detailed and innovative presswork ever seen. The cross-medium collection of terrazzo/cementine tiles is a perfect example of something that could never be made anywhere else.
Some wonderful industrialized versions of classic stones, wallpapers and cements were presented in this stand.
One of the most effective versions of a mixed pattern collection, this tile from Azulejos Alcor takes inspiration from both classic hydraulic cement tiles and tribal patterns. It is a wonderful example of an intentionally imperfect design that hints at hand-made artistry – another undercurrent in many collections this year.
The boutique design house of Dune Ceramica finds some of the most unique manufacturing houses to partner with on their products, and this year they did not disappoint. The standout for me this time was the dimensional and eloquently named Shapes collection of 3D decorative wall tile.
The other big standouts were the decorative tiles used as accents that actually embodied the feel of an oil painter working with a putty knife or multi-media street artists (depending on the collection. Once again showcasing the trend towards hand-made artistry that is prevailing more and more as technology becomes deeper ingrained in our daily lives.
Graphic decos, or decorative tile, were the attention grabber this year from Fanal. The feel of hand-done brushstrokes resonates well.
Natucer is never one to disappoint. This champion of extruded clinker tile has once again hit a home run. From their mixed width, rustic stained wood collection,
to a reboot in subtle neutrals of their dimensional off-center 3D hexagon collection
to the unfathomably detailed micro-textures in their newest hexagon wall tile collection – innovation seems synonymous with this factory.
Realonda is one of the most effective Tile of Spain mixers of eclectic material and pattern inspiration. The inspiration for their patterns, textures & colors span generations and borders to create this wonderfully diverse collection that you would never expect to work together as well as it does. The painted brick look tile was exceptionally well done.
An always edgy and interesting design; there is a plethora of new offerings each year from this factory and once again they delivered a staggering assortment. In probably the most graphic and bold collection to date, many of the collections featured the trademark Vives bird and high-contrast B&W combinations with almost fluorescent yellow.