Coverings 2010 took place from April 27 to 30 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, and it saw more positive energy and activity than it has in years. According to show management, the number of registered attendees was 5.1% above the 2009 figure, with a total attendance of 23,080.

Going purely by attendance figures, Coverings 2010 - which took place from April 27 to 30 - showed a considerable increase from 2009. But perhaps more importantly, the exhibition floor at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, saw more positive energy and activity than it has in years. Large-scale equipment was sold on the show floor, and stone suppliers reported that they enjoyed solid business at their stands during the four-day event.

According to show management, the number of registered attendees was 5.1% above the 2009 figure, with a total attendance of 23,080. Moreover, 90% of exhibitors at the tile and stone trade show already have secured space for next year, when the show moves to Las Vegas, NV, at The Sands Conference and Convention Center, from March 14 to 17, 2011. 

Stone suppliers from around the world were present at Coverings 2010, and many firms were organized in national pavilions.

“Exhibitors have been applying for space for 2011 at a head-spinning rate,” said Jennifer Hoff, President of Events for National Trade Productions (NTP), which manages and produces Coverings. “We see this as one more positive sign for the tile and stone industry.”

Hoff also noted Coverings exhibitors themselves said they saw encouraging signs at the event. “There was some definite buying and order-taking happening, and apparently discussions about stalled projects being re-booted.”

Hoff also reported that there was a noticeable spike in distributor attendance - up 20% from 2009 - and a rise among fabricators by 9%. She said that these stats were especially gratifying, and were attributed to a more aggressive campaign to build attendance among these sectors. In addition, a Regional Distributor Pavilion, one of the new 2010 programs, gave local distributors the opportunity to showcase their products.

Suppliers of quartz surfacing were showcasing products in new colors and with increased technical properties. Pokarna’s “Quantra” quartz surfacing was shown in new colors as well as an “Ardesia” finish, which mirrors the texture of slate. Moreover, the product can now be completed with UV-resistant properties. 

A full-scale exhibition

Overall, the exhibition floor featured stone suppliers from all corners of the globe. In addition to foreign stone suppliers, various delegations of exhibitors from countries such as Brazil, Italy, Spain and Turkey were presented in national pavilions.

Suppliers of large-scale fabrication equipment saw an increased activity at Coverings 2010, and machinery was sold directly on the show floor.

The foreign pavilions, as well as the other exhibitor booths, provided an opportunity for attendees to view numerous displays of stone and tile collections, which showcased new and innovative products. Included were traditional stone materials as well as an increasing range of exotic stone materials in formats including slabs, tiles, architectural pieces, mosaics and more. Also of note, suppliers of quartz surfacing were showcasing products in new colors and with increased technical properties.

As usual, the exhibition floor was filled with a host of fabrication equipment - from products such as CNC bridge saws and stoneworking centers to tools and accessories. Technology such as laser templating equipment was also available for attendees to view. Manufacturers of stone and tile maintenance and installation products were also among the exhibitors on hand at Coverings 2010, and many of these products are now being made with the environment in mind - offering the same benefits but without harsh chemicals or other non-environmentally friendly ingredients.

Leading equipment manufacturers from Europe relied on Coverings as a platform to showcase some of their latest developments.

(An in-depth report on the products on display can be found in the feature “Sampling the exhibits at Coverings 2010” following this article.)

Twelve tile and stone projects with a strong sustainability back-story were also featured in a “PROJECT: Green” exhibit produced by Coverings in partnership with Environmental Design + Construction (ED+C) magazine. In addition to enjoying exposure during the four-day period of the show, the projects also will be profiled in an upcoming issue of ED+C.

Addressing an ongoing issue among stone fabricators, a number of exhibitors were showcasing material that converts waste into decorative finished products, including Braxton Bragg (above) and GranQuartz (right).

Coverings 2010 also served as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees, with informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions conducted throughout the four days and all free of charge. Many of the educational sessions were offered specifically for stone industry professionals, including cutting-edge topics such as establishing a digital shop as well as sessions on how to maximize profits in a stone fabrication shop. A two-hour Fabricator Forum also addressed many of the issues facing the industry in today’s marketplace.

(Editor’s note: A run-down of the Fabricator Forum will be published in a future issue of Stone World.)

Coverings 2010 also served as a valuable resource for continuing education for all categories of attendees. A two-hour Fabricator Forum also addressed many of the issues facing the industry in today’s marketplace. 

Italian Trade Commission carries a captivating presence at Coverings 2010

A unique Italian Piazza, designed by Francesco Lucchese Studio, was the home of the Italian Pavilion at Coverings 2010, and it showcased an amazing variety of natural stones quarried exclusively in Italy. Organized by the Italian Trade Commission office of Los Angeles, CA, the Italian Pavilion was one of the focal points of the trade show for importers, distributors, architects and fabricators interested in acquiring the latest in stone technology, materials and design. Additionally, noted Italian architect Francesco Lucchese was at the Italian Pavilion to present a seminar on the latest innovations in stone processing and applications.

A total of 21 of the most innovative and internationally esteemed Italian exhibitors were located side by side at the pavilion, which also included a unique Marble Library displaying more than 500 Italian stone samples. This library, designed within the settings of the Luccehese-designed piazza, was conceived to create multi-sensory experience where patrons can see, feel and touch stones from all over Italy, many of which they have never known existed or they have only seen in pictures.

Participants in the pavilion included: Basaltina, Bresciana Graniti, Ca’ d’Oro, Campolonghi, Cons. Export, Consorzio Promex, Danesi Cargo, Marmi Zola, Eurograniti, FMS-Factory Marble & Stone, GDA Marmi E Graniti, Jovino Marmi, La Marmorera Cautanese, Landi Group, Madaschi, Marmi Manzi, Marvit, MEC, Metro Marmi e Graniti, Pimar, Savema and Veronafiere.

Donating to the cause

Upon the conclusion of Coverings 2010, a number of Italian exhibitors from the Italian Pavilion donated their stone samples to Tile Partners for Humanity (TPFH). The Italian Trade Commission noted that this worthy cause serves two important purposes: Providing relief to poor communities and helping the environment - considering that the samples donated to TPFH would otherwise end up in landfills.

TPFH was founded in 2003 as a partnership between the tile industry and Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit organization working to eliminate substandard housing around the world. Industry partners provide tile, setting materials, tools, floor preparation materials, cleaners and sealers, labor and installation training to Habitat affiliates interested in building with tile.

Since the organization’s inception, it has provided more than $17 million worth of tile and related products to those in need, both through Habitat for Humanity projects and other charitable organizations. And through the years, Coverings and its exhibitors have played a pivotal role in fostering both TPFH’s growth and reach.

Companys donating to TPFH included: Basaltina, Bresciana Graniti, Campolonghi, Marmi Zola, Eurograniti, FMS-Factory Marble & Stone, Gda Marmi E Graniti, Jovino Marmi, La Marmorera Cautanese, Landi Group, Madaschi, Marvit, Metro Marmi e Graniti, Pimar and Savema.

Sampling the exhibits at Coverings 2010

As always, suppliers of stone, technology, installation products and sinks relied on Coverings to showcase their latest products. The following is a look at some of what was on display in Orlando, FL:


Ancor - introduced several new stone finishes, including Antiqued, which offers a weathered look that evokes the natural forces of wind, rain and time upon stone - providing a soft, subtle yet textured appearance

Andrade S/A - Chocolate, which has a soft brown tone with darker brown accents; Giallo Ornamental, a consistent golden granite from a new quarry site

Antolini Luigi & C. - promoted its Precioustone Collection, which features materials such as amethyst, quartz, agate and jasper

Andean Stone Co. - introduced Marron marble, a dark brown stone with tan waves; Jurassic marble, a gray-and-white-colored stone with fossilization

Bestview International - showcased its Pebble Glass Collection that features interlocking pieces on 12- x 12-inch tiles as well as its Circle Mosaic Collection, including four sizes of interlocking circular mosaics

Bramagran - AJ Brown granite, which has a soft brown color with accent graining of gold, black and white

Cactus Stone - added many new stone slabs to its inventory of material, including Artscape, a natural soapstone for contemporary design

Caribe International - Desert Cream travertine, a new addition for stone and tile distributors nationwide, available in a Domed Trapezoid pattern, among other patterns and colors available

Carmel Stone - showcased its Forte de Marmi Collection - its exclusive white marble offered in a variety of sizes as well as trim pieces, mosaics and moldings

Compac The Surfaces Co. - introduced several new marbles, including cream-colored Crema Coto, and a marble-looking quartz called Botticino, which has a light caramel color and is suitable for those looking to have the appearance of marble counters, but with the characteristics of quartz

Diamond Tech - Impact, a mix of glass, metal and stone having a multi-dimensional look, but with a flat surface

Dimpomar - offered a broad spectrum of limestone varieties from the company’s own quarries in Portugal, including the introduction of Gascone Dark limestone, which has a rich tan color with brown accents

Gramil - Excalibur, which has a bone-colored hue with accents of black, gold and gray

Granitex - Green Iron soapstone, from the company’s Brasilian Selection

JMS - displayed a variety of Jura Beige and Jura Grey stone from German stone producers; promoted that the stone can be used in heavy-traffic areas, is frost resistant and can be used for wall cladding and flooring in all climate conditions

La Ponte Marmi - displayed its 2010 collection, which includes Namib Gold, a gold-colored granite with variations of brown and black; and Namib Green, a green-colored granite with variations of black and white

Levantina - promoted its TECHLAM Collection, which are porcelain slabs measuring 3 mm thick and 7.1 kg/sq.m that are able to be cut up to 1,000 x 3,000 mm in panels and suitable for a variety of applications, including ventilated facades and high-traffic floors

Mag-Ban - Avocatus from Bahia, Brazil, which features waves of light and dark green colors with white accents

Magnitos - Chrome, a unique material with alternating tones of silver, black and gray

Marbrasa - Juparana Imperial granite, which has waves of violet and light gold with maroon accents

Marcolini Marmi - Azul Macaubas in slab format, featuring colors of light and royal blue; materials treated with a technological breakthrough that allows for the stone to have oil-repellant, antibacterial and self-cleaning properties.

Mirasol Soapstone, LLC - seeking to add authorized dealers for its Brazilian soapstone, extracted from the largest quarry of its kind in Brazil, which is available in slabs, tiles and sinks in a range of formats

MS International - promoted the launch of “Premium Natural Stone from MSI” - a product line featuring 50 stone colors with a 15-year warranty; introduced 15 new colors to its glass tile line

Pemagran - Touareg, which has a distinctive veining pattern with waves of rust, black, gray and tan

Planeta Pedra - Ciantus from a new quarry site in Bahia, which is distinguished by a light black tone with accent waves of white

Pokarna Limited - New Colonial Cream granite from a new quarry site, which features a cream background with waves of light tan; additionally, the company’s “Quantra” quartz surfacing was shown in new colors as well as an “Ardesia” finish, which mirrors the texture of slate; moreover, the product can now be completed with UV-resistant properties

Polycor - introduced its 1-cm, ultra-thin composite reinforced slabs, which are now available in all Polycor granites, marbles and limestones; the proprietary composite backing adds 10 times the strength of stone alone, with one-third of the weight of 3-cm slabs, making them easier to cut and handle

Primestone - introduced Arco Iris, which has shades of green and brown in circular movements as well as a Vanilla-colored onyx

SMG-Saudi Marble & Granite - Tropical Brown granite, which has a light brown color with black accents

Vermont Quarries - introduced Montclair Danby cross cut, featuring the distinct horizontal veining that has the contemporary look that so many designers are now requesting; contains the same physical properties and low absorption rate as all Danby marble - making it highly suitable for kitchen use

Vermont Verde Antique LLC - featured its signature Vermont Verde Antique marble in 12- x 24-inch polished tiles along with its line of 12- x 12- and 18- x 18-inch tiles, and the company additionally reports having plans to introduce a brushed finish to its tile line

V.M. Kaldorf - made its Coverings debut, reflecting its emphasis on the North American market; showcased Jura limestone from the heart of Germany’s stoneworking region in a range of surface finishes, including polished, bushhammered, brushed, sandblasted, slightly sandblasted, “tooth chiseled” and combinations of the various textures

World Wide Stone Corp. - an exclusive quarrier and producer of Authentic Durango StoneTM, promoted its rectangle line, which is available in all quality finishes - standard sizes include: 18 x 48, 8 x 48, 24 x 36, 16 x 24, 8 x 16, 6 x 12, 4 x 8 and 3 x 6 inches, in addition to custom designs

Zucchi Granite - Fusion, which has a one-of-a-kind pattern with movement of tones of violet, rust, cream, gold and gray


Blick Industries - introduced the vertical splash suction cup, which holds stone vertically, enabling a thinner backsplash and turns a saw into a splash-splitting machine

Breton - the CountourFive NC700 CNC stoneworking center, which features five interpolated axes for cutting, contouring and turning

Braxton-Bragg - the Tomahawk Stone Splitter, which offers an economical concept in green fabrication by using leftover slab pieces to create split, measured pieces that can be stacked, laid or clad with mortar - creating a chiseled wall - or laid out flat to produce flooring and paving

CMS - the Falcon, a fully interpolated 5-axis bridge saw with a built-in “A.R.M.” (Auto Robotic Manipulator) for loading, unloading and manipulation of pieces within the nested slabs

Comandulli - the Spira automatic belt edge polishing machine, which can create and polish flat, bevelled or pencil-round edges; spindle equipment includes: one calibrating spindle, two spindles for bevelling at 45 degrees, five horizontal spindles for polishing the straight edges, six bevelling spindles at 45 degrees and one spindle for grooves

G.M.M. - the Toro Series of bullnose polishers, which features a body with an electro-welded structure that was machined using CNC technology; the user can work with the axis in vertical, inclined and horizontal positions, accommodating levigating heads, profiling tools, bushhammering units and discs for cutting

Groves - introduced its Universal Storage System, a low-cost, high-strength solution for storing finished pieces, cut-downs, remnants and more; Foldable A-Frames, which allow for a 12,000-pound total capacity - 6,000 pounds per side

Laser Products Industries - promoted its LT-55 XL Precision Laser Templator, featuring Samsung’s Q1 Ultra TabletPC, completely rewritten software, a larger screen, digital camera, wireless Internet capabilities and a physical keyboard

Marmo Meccanica - launched its e-commerce site for online ordering, featuring pictures of each item, so it’s easier for customers to locate products, according to the company, and it includes downloadable brochures and the sale of parts and tooling

Moraware - announced a new update for its JobTracker management software that can track sales activities

Northwood Designs, Inc. - Slabsmith, a suite of tools for the stone fabricator that includes digital slab creation from a photo, artistic and optimized nesting, photo station calibration, a “slab browser” of digital inventory and a “job browser” of saved jobs

Pearl Abrasive Co. - promoted its Tuscan Leveling System, which is a two-piece system that virtually eliminates lippage during tile installation; additionally, PA-7, a 34-pound 7-inch professional tile saw with a 20-inch rip and 14-inch diagonal cut was introduced

Prodim - the Proliner 8 Series of digital templating equipment, which features integrated CAD software

Sasso Meccanica - introduced its Plug N Cut monoblock bridge saw, featuring a 12-horsepower disc motor, blade inclination from 0 to 90 degrees and blade sizes from 12 to 24 inches

Scandinvent - the SX5, an interpolated, 5-axis, powerful (15- to 21-horsepower spindle) fully automated CNC saw

USG Robotics - VeinMatch, an integrated part of the USG Robotics Cutting System that allows users to nest and preview the placement of all parts of a DXF file across multiple slabs using high-resolution calibrated photographs

Wood’s Powr-Grip Co. - promoted its NHV11FAIR, a 10-inch flat, air-powered lipped vacuum cup with foam ring, metal handle and a 150-pound capacity that attaches quickly without any pumping and never needs to be re-pumped during operation


Dry-Treat - promoted its new generation impregnating sealer, Meta Crème, a LEED-compliant product that protects natural stone, tile, paving, brick, concrete and grout by creating a perfect chemical bond

Miracle Sealants - 511 Kleen & Reseal Spray, which can be used on countertops in conjunction with the 511 Sealers/Enhancers to clean, rejuvenate and reinforce the protection, making the surfaces easier to clean; the product will remove most common household dirt and grime on countertops, and it contains 511 H2O+ so it reinforces the protection of the sealer already in place

Tenax - celebrating its 10-year anniversary in the U.S, Tenax offered its Polyfast in a cartridge, which can be used for rodding as well as holding stone pieces together; Tefill to repair cracks and chips; Tepox V color for epoxy resin; Glaxs resin technology, which protects the material from yellowing when exposed to UV rays


Amerisink - introduced granite composite sinks that are made in Germany and are stain, scratch and heat resistant

Artisan Manufacturing Corp. - a 16-gauge, 304 stainless steel sink collection, which is stain and corrosion resistant and available in 13 styles and 22 sizes