92,000+ visitors enjoy today’s trends

92,000+ visitors enjoy today’s trends

March 2020

TSJ reports from Valencia on the successful 2020 edition of Cevisama, Spain’s top tile exhibition.

Cevisama, the international trade fair for ceramic tiles and associated industries, attracted a total of 92,435 visitors to its latest edition, which ran from 3rd to 7th February at Feria Valencia.

Encouragingly, this figure is 1.4% up on 2019’s event.  21,364 of these visitors were international professionals from 156 different countries; an increase of 5.86% on 2019, and an unprecedented figure in the 38-year history of the event.

“Cevisama has managed to attract the key markets for the ceramic tile and bathroom sectors,” says the event’s Director, Carmen Álvarez, “with 35% of all the foreign buyers who attended coming from the traditional European markets (the UK, Italy, France, Portugal, and Germany) and the USA, which is currently the world’s second largest market for ceramic tiles.”

Cevisama 2020 also attracted significant numbers of visitors from Russia, Morocco, India, Algeria, Poland, Belgium, Israel, and Ukraine; along with delegates from the Netherlands, Turkey, Ireland, Egypt, Bulgaria, Iran, and Tunisia.

The visitor profile for Cevisama spans retailers, distributors, manufacturers, sales agents, buying groups, and specifiers, particularly architects.

Indeed, specifiers are an increasingly significant target for Spanish manufacturers and is an audience that Cevisama’s organisers are endeavouring to attract in ever larger numbers.

Several new initiatives were launched to this effect for this year’s fair, such as the Design Hall  dedicated to product innovations aimed at architectural and interior design projects.  This proved to be an unusually well-curated space, offering a snapshot of current trends away from the commercial melee of the main exhibition halls.

Here the focus was on two main areas: boldly coloured small format tiles, many with 3D or structured surfaces: and XXL format tiles for worktop, façade, and furniture applications.  It proved to be a great space to see both the more avant garde propositions from the major manufacturers, and beautiful design-led pieces from smaller, niche producers.

The show’s President, Manuel Rubert, was satisfied with the positive attendance figures but, most of all, “on account of the quality of the visitors who attended, which meant that exhibitors did close significant business deals.”

Rubert also reiterated that the percentage of product specifiers visiting the fair, especially architects and interior designers, is growing every year.  “What is driving that growth is both the effort invested in the exhibition content of the fair and the extremely high level of the presentations given at the Architecture Forum, which has become the leading forum of its kind in Spain,” he stated.

Of course, as well as the value-added events, most visitors attend Cevisama to see the latest tile design trends at first hand, particularly those from the top Spanish producers, who continue to support Cevisama in great numbers.

This year the overall stand quality was exceptionally high, with companies such as Vives, Gayafores, Arcana, Aparici, Pamesa, Apavisa, Rocersa, Keraben, and Ceracasa leading the way.  Some of the smaller brands really impressed this year, notably Mainzu and Monopole.  For these brands, the turning of the trend wheel back towards small formats really plays to their strength and it showed, with many on-trend new ranges on display.

One of the best overall displays came from the three Peronda brands: Peronda, Museum, and Harmony.  All three offered really strong new ranges; from the achingly beautiful Raku effect tiles from Peronda’s FS suite, through to incredible metallic-effect tiles from Museum, to striking designer ranges from Harmony.  While it is hard to see the commercial justification or design distinction between many brands in the tile sector, Peronda’s really make sense and offer great choices for different sectors of the market.

The latest figures published by Ascer (The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association) highlight the enduring strength of Spain's tile sector.

In 2019, the Spanish tile industry surpassed the success of 2018, with overall sales increasing by 4%.  With approximately 75% of all sales made abroad, Spain currently exports to 185 countries world-wide, and has seen total exports grow 3% year-on-year.

The 38th edition of Cevisama saw 800 exhibitors make their pitch for a share of this growing market.  A number of prominent trends emerge: some building on design directions from 2018-19, others pitching something really new.

Neutral tones enhanced by metallic motifs shone strongly this year.  The iridescent reflections seen in the Akila collection from Azteca, Stardust collection from Fanal, Iron 4D collection from Museum, and Grespania's Patina collection bring an edge of luxury and reflect natural light to visually expand a space.

Once again geometric patterns and eccentric graphics were seen at the forefront of tile design.  After years of toned-down styles, this trend really helped inject life and exuberance into the halls at Cevisama.  Whimsical looks, including Vives' Art Déco inspired Pop collection, Aparici's Altea collection, and Arcana's uniquely designed wood-look collection Komi, made bold statements and demonstrated tile’s ability to turn spaces into true works of art.

Soft pastels and soothing hues were in abundance at Cevisama this year. However, many of these new colours are rich and warm, a long way removed from the rather insipid pastels of yesteryear. Travel from Emotion Ceramics, Clash by  Rocersa, and the Bow collection from Harmony all point to the gradual shift away from the neutral colour palette that dominated 10 years ago.  These tiles can all bring subtle colour to interiors.  The key tones are muted pinks, blues, and greens.  These 2020 hues visually enrich environments and lend a relaxing atmosphere.

It was not just colour and pattern that were making waves in 2020.  From curved ridges and beveled surfaces, to concave details, manufacturers are increasingly experimenting with texture and dimension.  The latest sculpted tiles quite literally raise the bar in interior design. Wall tiles, like the Donna collection by Peronda, the Underground collection from Keraben, and Natucer's absolutely fantastic Custom d'Autore series, expertly exploit this trend to create one-of-a-kind looks.

Alongside this, Cevisama also provided ample evidence that shapes and decorative tiles are enjoying a full-scale revival.  And what a visual treat this major trend provided for the show’s visitors.  Iconic and bespoke shaped tiles stood out among its conventional counterparts in eye-catching new ranges such as Cevica's Chintz collection, Roca Tile's Rockart collection, Apavisa's Intuition collection, and Onix's Hex XL collection.  These carefully-created new ranges allow for more interesting layouts and bring a sense of sophistication to tiled interiors that have not been seen in recent years.

In contrast to these unique shapes, traditional formats were in abundance with a return of the subway tile in small and square formats.  New collections, including Pierre by Small Size, Delice by Gayafores, and Antiqua by Equipe, offer both interior and exterior solutions for all types of surfaces.

But there are also innovations in this area, with elongated rectangular formats, like 75 by 400mm, really adding to the designer’s armory, with vertical, horizontal, and angled installation options all bringing a distinct flavour to the party.  Metro tiles have long been a great choice, but Cevisama saw many slightly deeper 150 by 300mm variants on display. These are great for creating a block of colour and require fewer tiles per square metre.

Another really strong trend was bold marble-effect tiles.  Marble-effects have long been best sellers, adding elegance and style to any surface.  At Cevisama this year, marble-effects came in bold colours, notable rich blues, with striking metallic veins and large format pieces adding to the visual impact of these statement designs.

Distressed-effect tiles, with care-worn decors, were also prominent, notably on stands such as Peronda; a brand that has perfected this design niche.   One of the hottest contemporary home trends is Wabi Sabi, the Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete."  

Tile manufacturers have really embraced the idea that imperfections and natural characteristics are something to be celebrated, resulting in tiles that offer a natural, lived-in look, distressed look for added interest.

Wood-effect tiles remain a major trend this year, with a vast number of styles and timber varieties available.  A great alternative to real timber, today’s wood-effect tiles offer unmatched durability and style.  The beauty of timber grain, now enhanced by dual-printer technology, comes to the fore in the new larger plank formats, but timber-effects can also play to the shabby chic and country cottage aesthetic, with distressed tiles and faux parquet looks.  At Cevisama, wood-effects also made an impact on wall applications, and were seen in unexpected forms, such as hexagons.

Wall tiles have long been a strength at Cevisama, but it was still great to see such a choice of kitchen tiles at Valencia this year.  Offered in a bewildering variety of shades, shapes, and colours, many of these kitchen design are also suitable for use in bathrooms.

Many of the new patterned tiles were delivered in interesting combinations of yellow and blue, adding a pop of colour.  One of the leaders in this area was Pamesa.

In contrast, grey tiles are here to stay. Today’s neutral colour of choice, there were hundreds of shades of grey wall tiles, but this hue also found its way into wood-effect and decorative tiles.  But for 2020, the secret is combining grey tiles with accent hues, such as the saturated pastels that featured in many stands.  Grey can work with mint, gold, and various green, blue and red hues.  Cevisama saw these 2020 colours used  together for a rainbow effect or in vibrant melanges.  But they were also toned down with white tiles, or used to add a subtle hint of colour, on stands like Fabresa.

Hexagonal tiles and fish scale tiles are still very much on trend.  They now come in all shapes and sizes, both plain and patterned.  It seems that the honeycomb look is still a firm favourite, but for 2020 the trend seems to be for elongated hexagons with a linear design.

They shared the limelight with more subtle rhombus-shaped tiles. These can be laid in a variety of ways and are ideal for feature walls or splashbacks.

The other geometric form of note was circular tiles.  Now available in a variety of colours and styles available, which can be complemented or contrasted with coloured grout, this is another form that helps tile installations to pop.

The last two trends were no surprise.  The first is, of course, extra large format tiles.  It appears that, every year, tiles get bigger and bigger.  At Cevisama, the main focus in the traditional tiling arena was on 1,200 by 1,200mm tiles.  These are great for large, open plan areas, reducing the number of grout lines and allowing today’s wonderful digital graphics - notably tropical flora and fauna designs - to really shine through.

Finally, the other area worth noting is 20mm  exterior grade tiles.  This was a top trend in 2019, and this year there were even more options available.  A practical and beautiful alternative to paving slabs, 20mm tiles are strong, durable, anti-slip, and offer great installation versatility.  They also play into the vogue for inside-out design.  Once again Rocersa, with its pioneering DDS technology, led the way..

Cevisama 2021
Feria Valencia’s Cevisama team is already working on the preparations for next year’s edition, which has been set fresh objectives “to keep improving the service we deliver to our exhibitors and the value we deliver to visiting professionals,” according to Álvarez.  The dates for the next edition are 8th to 12th February 2021.

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