Surfaces ’22: Tile suppliers reinvigorate show presence

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Las Vegas—The International Surfaces Event has become a smaller player in the world of ceramic and porcelain tile of late—most likely due to the fact that Coverings is held a mere two months later. However, there were two powerhouse tile suppliers that made the trip and held nothing back in the way of showstopping new products and unique approaches to showcasing those products at the show.

Daltile’s Shop by Look wall features palette boards with QR codes to help guide consumers through the sale.

Dal-Tile, for example, revamped its show strategy and provided not only a way for dealers to find new products but a way for those dealers to experience the shopping journey as their consumer does. “Over the last couple of years, we have really homed in on the customer shopping journey and simplifying the customer experience,” explained Amber Leigh Martinson, senior director of marketing, Dal-Tile Corp. “We wanted people to be in the space and think of it like they are shopping in a catalog and getting their inspiration from us—not just here are new products and new displays. We’re really giving them inspiration and helping them to understand how the customer is going to shop—giving curated assortments and curated designs that help the customer make a selection without overwhelming them in a sea of products.”

One unique way in which the Daltile brand approached its new experience was to feature Shop by Look boards. “It’s an idea of a palette that can go in your home,” Martinson explained. “The QR codes on these boards take you to these products and products similar to these on our website. Say you scan the ‘Colorful’ palette because you want a space that’s colorful and vibrant, the QR code is going to take you to our website and give you this and other Colorful palette options that will help you home in on the selection there. You can also shop by room, or by look—like wood looks—or style—like modern farmhouse. This can also be plugged into our visualizer.”

The company’s visualizer is another innovative way it is helping its dealers ease the shopping experience, which will be launched in Q1 2022. “The visualizer will be live on our site, but what’s really cool about it is all of our dealers that would like to have the visualizer hosted on their website will be able to—free of charge,” Martinson said. “It will load all of the Daltile products, so we’ll have it, but all of our dealers will also have access to it.”

When it comes to the product itself, Daltile showcased several new ceramic lines as well as new additions to its Panoramic Porcelain line. In fact, its new Sapphire Status won Best of Surfaces for Style & Design.

Sapphire Status—part of Daltile’s Panoramic Porcelain Couture Collection—is a bold, deep, energizing blue marble look that is designed to add drama to a space or access the popular design trend of connecting with nature. The deep sapphire blue and black marble background is accented by prominent white and gold veining in a generous 10-foot, 6-inch x 5-foot, 3-inch slab, adding rich design, elegance and stylish intrigue to a space. Because they are made of porcelain, Sapphire Status panels are heat, stain, scratch and chemical resistant as well as durable and easy to maintain.

Surfaces 2022 tile
Emser Tile showcased new products within trend displays.

Emser Tile also came to the show with a new strategy. The company showcased its tile collections via inspirational trend walls that ran the gamut from Nordic to Authentic Materials to Biophilia, Artistry and Modern Industrial. “What we did this year was we focused on the trends and showcased the products that fit within those trends,” explained Kathy Greene, director of brand strategy and communications.

One of the most popular trends is Authentic Materials, which highlights natural, handmade materials with highly tactile textures, designed to add warmth and comfort to a space. Heirloom, a porcelain tile line, was featured under this trend and offers an elegant wood look designed for both floors and walls.

The Authentic Materials trend also housed Emser’s Passion line, which features seven colors—including its most popular Rosa color—and two sizes. The collection is now both floor and wall rated.

“We have a wide variety of colors, but Rosa seems to be one of our top-selling colors,” Greene noted. “It’s cheerful and it’s something different—if you do it as an accent especially. For a really long time, Emser was focused on the neutral colors—the whites and the grays and the creams—and we did really well with those. But we’re seeing people are craving color. So, as you see, we brought a lot of color into our line this year, and we’re doing really well with it.”

Under its Nordic trend Emser showcased several tile collections that fit the minimalist style. One such line was Erosion, which offers a distressed concrete look.

“We’re finding that people like that clean, very minimalist styling,” Greene explained. “I think, over the past two years, people have had so much overload, and they really want to go back to a simple, clean look and feel, but they don’t want traditional. They want something unique, different, modern and fresh, but with that minimalist feel. As we’re presenting the Nordic trend to customers, they’re really relating to it because it provides that. It’s that simple elegance, that classic, timeless look, but with that kind of quirky styling to it. It’s not just your traditional subway tile—it has that pillowed edge, high gloss, some texture and dimension to it, but it still has those clean lines.”

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Feb. 7/14, 2022

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