Champions of Cevisama
Craig Kellogg -- Interior Design, 7/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
The long-running rivalry between Spanish and Italian manufacturers has all the intensity of World Cup soccer, complete with upstart challengers from Asia and South America. In the tile game, Spanish companies have a long history as bankable contenders, and the selling season kicks off each year with Cevisama in Valencia.
David Beckham was not in evidence, but manufacturers did display plenty of Moorish-derived wall tile and traditional red clay pavers. Retro mosaic remained a very visible trend. So did solid-body pastels simulating natural stone, for contract-quality durability at reasonable prices.
Beyond the widespread novelty patterns, glazed tiles offered photo-realistic flower motifs, wood grain, or—in several notable examples—the patina of Cor-Ten steel. High-tech scored high, too. The glaze on Porcelanosa Grupo's StonKer floor tile apparently becomes more slip-resistant when wet.
Many manufacturers flirted with new shapes: from tiny glittering squares to oversize rectangles. Measuring a giant 22 by 43 inches, Porcelanosa's highly polished Nieve Facade Collection tiles are intended to substitute for exterior metal siding. They'd work just as well for a palatial shower enclosure in Miami Beach.