This past January, Warren Lampert, Executive VP and CFO of Tile Outlets of America, and I attended The International Surface Event 2014 in Las Vegas, NV, where we spent several days connecting with current vendors, meeting with new ones, observing product trends and learning from the education sessions.
I'd love to share some highlights so you have a sense for the flooring and tile trends influencing some of the products you'll see when you next visit Tile Outlets of America in Fort Myers, Sarasota or Tampa...
What is The International Surface Event?
If you aren't familiar with The International Surface Event (TISE), it consists of several shows combined into one, all related to flooring surfaces. These different shows include Surfaces, StonExpo and the new TileExpo, "creating the ultimate event essential to flooring, stone and tile professionals. Together, these three world-class tradeshows will feature four impressive days of the newest products, hands-on demos, inspiring trends, key manufacturers, industry suppliers, along with unmatched education and networking. Elevate your business, your profits, your future. " TISE'14 took place January 27 - 30, 2014.
Flooring Product Trends at TISE'14: Laminate, LVT, and Tile
Warren and I saw a lot of flooring products over the course of the Surfaces show. What impressed us the most were the following:
1. The improvement in laminate flooring technology makes for amazing wood designs. This technology has evolved so much that you almost have to ask the question, is this laminate?
2. Luxury Vinyl Tile or LVT is a strong item at the show and a growing industry. There, too, the looks are evolving with fabulous designs in popular wood plank looks.
3. The inkjet designs on ceramic and porcelain tiles is becoming closer to natural stone looks. What this means is tile that looks like stone, but without the maintenance of stone. In this picture below you can see the actual real stone on the right side of the picture; the digital inkjet product on the left copies the beautiful real stone. Amazing! We believe this technology is going to continue to dominate the ceramic and porcelain market.
Glass Tile Trend: Mix Sizes and Textures
Both Warren and I stopped in our tracks when we came across the trend boards below in the Bedrosians booth. They demonstrate how glass tile in all sizes and textures can be blended together creatively in one installation.
This trend is becoming more and more popular for complementing a room and adding just the right splash of bling and color to complete your look.
What do you think? Can you imagine putting colors and textures together like this to create a one-of-a-kind look for your kitchen or bathroom?
The Surfaces 2014 Trends Hub: Discovery!
Every year, Surfaces offers a Trends Hub where major texture, color, material, styling and product trends from the show are showcased, offering visitors an opportunity to view what's new in a concentrated way. Victoria Redshaw from Scarlet Opus in the UK masterminds the Trends Hub.
The 2014 Trends Hub had 2 linked themes - at one end a Snug Library with comfortable seating; and the other a Museum mood with exhibitor samples displayed on large plinths under protective domes.
The overall feel was a delicious sense of discovery which encouraged everyone visiting the Hub to be curious, to explore the Hub and discover precious samples, secret displays and hidden information under display domes, inside a plain chest of drawers and tucked away on shelves in a museum-like space.
This slide presentation that Scarlet Opus created on the 2014 TISE Trend Hub gives you a good sense for the two themes in the Hub.
Be sure, too, to check out SURFACES, Las Vegas 2014 Show Review on the Scarlet Opus Blog. It summarizes Victoria Redshaw's favorite flooring product trends from Surfaces 2014.
New TIle Installation Product
TISE also covers tile installation products and tools necessary to finish the job. Warren and I reviewed a new product designed for installing split face like tiles with minimal grouting. The product is used as thinset and grout all in one, making the installation a one-step process. I look forward to sharing more on this product with you in the future.
Overall, the International Surface Event 2014 was a success. We discovered exciting flooring and tile trends, met with partners and friends and came home with many ideas for delighting our Tile Outlets customers. We look forward to getting your reaction!