The annual Coverings show is the largest Tile & Stone conference in North America. Held this past week in Las Vegas, The Global Experience featured 750 vendors from more than 30 countries. Professionals from all segments of the industry participated at the show… seeking to re-connect and network with peers, learn about the latest products and solutions, as well as to experience design trends and innovations.

Educational sessions focused on Installation & Fabrication, Material Trends, and Workforce Profits. In addition, a full schedule of live topic-specific stages highlighted themes that included “Wellness / Environment”, “Timeless Luxury”, and “Outdoor Living”.

Following are just a few of the trends that caught our team’s eye.

Sustainable Beauty

A number of brands spotlighted products designed with the environment in mind.

Kohler WasteLAB debuted The Abstra Collection, a series of sustainably-produced brushed and matte tiles… designed for residential and commercial installations. The innovative new collection uses the company’s pottery waste to create products with rich texture and dimensionality that evoke the look of carved or sculpted clay.

Focused on reducing the production waste that all-too-often ends up in landfills, the WasteLAB utilizes a unique manufacturing process that incorporates landfill-bound pottery dry cull, spent foundry sand, waste glaze and enamel powder as well as foundry dust… to create its eye-catching designs.

The Abstra Collection by Kohler WasteLAB

MILE®stone, a brand of Florim USA — showcased “Plaster 2.0” — its first entirely carbon neutral porcelain tile product. The modern concrete design, which is available in a range of bold hues, artfully mirrors the layering effect of venetian plaster.

Committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, MILEstone designed the collection in response to growing concerns about climate change. More than 95 percent of the raw materials used in production of the tiles is sourced within a 500-mile radius of the company’s Clarksville, Tennessee factory… significantly reducing carbon emissions.

Plaster 2.0 by MILE®Stone

Pattern Play

NEMO Tile + Stone promoted its Jointed Collection, a fresh take on traditional mosaics. Going beyond chip size and rigidly-defined geometrical space, the collection is designed to bring to life the material’s expressive possibilities.

The 2×2 chips are engraved with a simple geometric graphic motif and finished in a high gloss. They are produced in sheets that can be rotated when installed, to create either a repetitive or random layout for a variety of design possibilities.

Jointed Collection from NEMO Tile + Stone

Flaviker showed off its Art Walls, reinterpreting wallpaper with ultra-thin, large format porcelain stoneware wall tiles. Available in seven distinctive designs intended to create a connection to nature, the lightweight material is resistant to humidity and brings a touch of originality to spaces such as bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms.

Art Walls from Flaviker

Time-Saving Innovations

Another common theme during the show was solutions that help make installation teams more efficient and profitable.

Laticrete introduced TRI-LITE™ Rapid, a multi-purpose mortar developed to streamline the installation of large tiles, vertical applications and thin-beds. Ready for grouting in less time, the mortar’s smooth, non-sanded texture promotes efficiency on the jobsite. A single bag of the lightweight material provides the same coverage as a 50-pound bag of traditional mortar… reducing the amount of product that has to be transported.

Merkrete showcased two tile setting technologies designed to reduce project times and help installers move on to the next installation site more quickly. The brand featured its slake-free grouts and mortars, which save installers up to 12 hours per pallet of material, along with its Dustless Technology (DLT). The patented DLT solution generates significantly less dust during transportation — and on the jobsite — creating cleaner work areas and reducing cleanup time.

The K&A team was thrilled to be engaged at such a vibrant industry event… and we’re looking forward to joining our clients and channel influencers at both the AIA Conference on Architecture and NeoCon in Chicago this June!