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HomeFeatured ArticlesThe Tiling Show – TSJ Reports

The Tiling Show – TSJ Reports

This year’s Tiling Show, held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole and hosted by The Tile Association, was bigger, busier and more international than ever. Many of you reading this now will have attended the show, but for those who didn’t make it this year, we’ve recalled a few of the highlights below, while many of the exhibitors have provided their own thoughts!

For anyone who is somehow unaware, The Tiling Show is the UK’s biggest annual trade exhibition dedicated specifically to tiling and related products. Although it has taken a couple of different forms over the years, the show’s most recent incarnation has seen it held alongside TTA’s popular annual Awards ceremony, taking place during the day before the hall is transformed for the black-tie event in the evening.

In recent years, the show’s exhibitors have primarily comprised manufacturers and distributors of tools, adhesives and sundries (with industry household names like Instarmac, Palace and Genesis – among others – in consistent attendance). And while those exhibitors returned in abundance in 2024, the most obvious and biggest difference at this year’s show was the addition of an entire second hall devoted almost entirely to Spanish tile manufacturers.

This impressive development, which saw the show rocket from almost no tile manufacturer exhibitors to more than a dozen – including high-profile names like Porcelanosa and TAU cerámica – came about through TTA’s deepening relationship with Spain’s own national association for tile manufacturers: ASCER. Over the past few years, ASCER and TTA have organised trips for TTA members to visit Spanish factories, helping to deepen the UK tiling industry’s understanding of and relationship with the Spanish sector. With the sometimes-fractious state of UK and European politics in mind, this kind of international collaboration can only be a good thing for tilers and tiling in the UK.

The addition of a second room populated by manufacturers not only bolstered the show’s size, but fundamentally changed its value proposition for visitors. While its last few outings have firmly established the show as a priority for tile fixers and contractors, who are able to meet many of their reps and contacts in the industry in one convenient location, the same might not have been said for retailers – at least until this year. Now, of course, with the ability to speak directly to manufacturers, discover new ranges and make invaluable contacts, retailers will find The Tiling Show a much more enticing prospect. Indeed, this year’s show saw a considerable uptick in footfall, immediately demonstrating the success of this wider-net approach.

Alongside the well-appointed tile manufacturer hall (which called to mind a miniature Cevisama) some highlights in the main hall included the relaunch of STS’s Beava brand, which took place with the support of a full social media entourage, as well as a rather compelling campaign for the Employee of the Year award which saw Jackoboard’s Mike McCann heralded around the event with bagpipes! (McCann went on to receive the highly commended award in this category later that evening.) Additionally, the event once again featured a demonstration zone, where manufacturers such as RUBI and Instarmac showcased developments in both product technology and tiling practice to the fixer audience, while TTA’s own Martin Pouncey explained some of the recent updates to British Standards.

Of course, beyond all its commercially beneficial aspects – the sharing of knowledge, the networking opportunities and sales agreed – the most striking thing about The Tiling Show is the genuine sense of community and camaraderie TTA has fostered among its attendees. Look in any direction at any point throughout the day and you’ll see participants sharing friendly conversation, helpful advice or simply having a laugh. While the exhibition has a lower footprint than many of its related contemporaries, that limited scope has allowed it to maintain a laser focus on the only audience TTA is beholden to: the UK tiling industry.

This atmosphere of collective optimism and enjoyment cultivated throughout the day is, of course, a perfect prologue to TTA Awards itself. The association has provided a full rundown of the night’s winners over in its Newsletter this month, so we won’t exhaustively recount the evening here, but suffice it to say 2024’s awards went down with aplomb. Deserving particular special mention were host Shaun Williamson, whose self-deprecating humour kept the audience attentive and amused throughout, as well as a series of charity auctions generously sponsored by various industry stalwarts, which raised a record-breaking total for TTA’s chosen charity, Children Today.

The Tiling Show was once again a fantastic event in 2024 and we can’t advocate more strongly that tile fixers, retailers, and anyone else involved in the trade do their best to attend when it returns next year. If the official TSJ stamp of approval isn’t quite enough to sway you, however, we’ve also collated comments from several exhibitors below, all of whom share the sentiment!

Josh Jinks, brand manager, Instarmac, “Everyone at UltraTile had a fantastic time at The Tiling Show. It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase the very best of the tiling industry and network with contractors and retailers from up and down the country. We can’t wait to exhibit again next year.”

Michael Gadney, sales director, Genesis, “The TTA Tiling Show 2024 was an event which has flourished year on year, it was an unequivocal success and we take tremendous pride in being a part of it.

“As the only dedicated UK tiling show, you are provided with a great platform to converse with the market allowing for knowledge and information to be exchanged with the trade.

“Supporting the TTA in their drive to improve standards in the UK and providing support to the industry is imperative, the tile hall this year meant the show could offer further encouragement for interactions with retail and specifications and the evening awards allowed for the industry to come together to collectively recognise success and excellence.

Richard Caygill, category manager, Profilpas, “The TTA Show was a whirlwind of activity! It was fantastic to reconnect with other suppliers and share valuable experiences. We learned about exciting new trends and developments in the industry, fostering a sense of collaboration and mutual support and respect.

“We also had the pleasure of presenting our latest innovations to the enthusiastic attendees. Together, through open communication and a shared commitment, we’re building a stronger future for the ceramics and flooring industry.”

Sam Hoffman, Tilers Community, “Adding The Tile Association Tiling Show to my diary is a certainty. Each year the show improves and grows and is a great opportunity to not only network and socialise but also visit the huge array of exhibitors supporting the tilers of the industry.

Demonstrations, prizes, free gifts, technical support as well as providing new innovative tools.
“It’s great to go and show as a group our support to the manufacturers who also provide this support to Tilers Community members every day. The show is the biggest tile industry show and free of charge for any tiler wanting to attend.

“A day that should not be missed, with so many benefits. With continued support from tilers and increasing numbers of tilers attending, the show can continue to increase in size each year. Full credit to The Tile Association in organising this show.”

Jack Bottesch, product marketing manager for tiling, Saint-Gobain Weber, said: “Weber joined forces with RUBI at The Tiling Show to demonstrate the co-created TECH-FLEX trowel. The new trowel works well with weberset SPF and has been designed to reduce effort, making it an ideal choice for professionals seeking efficiency and comfort.

“This partnership highlights both Weber and RUBI’s commitment to delivering high-quality, user-friendly solutions. We sought the feedback of tilers input every step of the way, from initial concepts and designs through to prototypes. Designed by tilers for tilers, the TECH-FLEX TROWEL is a must-have tool in any tiler’s toolkit.”

Vincent Marsh, head of marketing, STS, “Firstly, a massive thanks to TTA for the organisation of the Tiling Show. This year we had the privilege of being a double Gold Sponsor with our brands NoMorePly and Beava. The show was a great success in many ways from having quality time with tilers and showing them new products such as the Beava Tub to having the opportunity to meet with new and existing stockists of our tile backing and tiling tool ranges. Following the show we have had a high volume of quality enquiries from customers and tilers, and we are very much looking forward to being at the event in 2025.”

Sigma Tools, “The Tiling Show for us, is an exhibition that we always look forward to attending. Every year it only increases in size and from start to finish it’s run with precision. It allows to meet with all the professional fixers that we have talked to or have had dealings with throughout the year. We get to meet them in person to say thank you for their support and to meet with new tradespeople for the first time. Long may it continue as it will always have our support”.

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