Now in its 28th year, Cevisama - the annual International Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings Show - was held this year from February 9 to 12 at the Feria Valencia exhibition center in Valencia, Spain.  And as in past years, the show provided a platform for more than 600 tile manufacturers to display their most recent and innovative products to visitors that hailed from around the world.

When touring the exhibition halls, it was evident that technology is at the forefront of product development.  Tile manufacturers are creating new lines with fine textures, oversized formats and minimal thicknesses, and most importantly, they are demonstrating environmental awareness.

Many of the exhibition stands were promoting tile collections that contain a high portion of post-consumer recycled content.  And tile manufacturers are demonstrating that being “green” does not mean sacrificing aesthetics.  Tiles made with recycled material are not just limited to standard porcelain tile in basic colors.  They are taking the form of dazzling glass mosaics, large-format tiles and textured pieces that have a contemporary look.

Technological advances are also obvious in the tile product lines that resemble materials such as wood, stone and concrete.  Using inkjet printing technology, porcelain tiles can be produced with an authentic look of wood graining or stone veining.  The printing process ensures that no two tiles will look the same - further replicating the unique characteristics of natural material.

Overall, the exhibition halls of Cevisama 2010 were lined with an assortment of eye-catching tile lines, and one common denominator was certain: tile manufacturers are set on continually introducing high-quality products that offer beauty as well as durability.  Below is just a sampling of the numerous products that were on display at this year’s exhibition:

 A. Plaza, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, recently introduced its new Quartz Slate collection. Offered in shades of Sand or Gray, the porcelain tiles in this collection exude warm rustic tones that resemble the look of natural slate. Additionally, the strong and durable physical qualities of each tile make them ideal for both indoor and outdoor wall and floor applications.

B. Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Ceracasa has created the porcelain Nature series, a collection of wood-look ceramics for interiors that provides large benefits with a very authentic and non-repeating texture. The tiles are available in six warm shades that resemble various types of wood, including: Ebony, Walnut, Olive, Oak, Beech and Birch.

C. Green Urban is part of the Top Green series from Roca, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, which is made from 80% recycled pre-consumer material. Tiles in the Green Urban collection are sleek and contemporary - creating a minimalist appearance that is suitable as flooring or wall applications in any interior or exterior space. The tiles are produced with high-quality technical standards that provide sustainability, reports the manufacturer. Available sizes include 60 x 60 and 30 x 60 cm in rectified format. The tiles in the Green Urban collection are offered in Mist, Sand, Park and Midnight (pictured).

D. Apavisa, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, recently developed Nanotech, a sustainable product with a nominal thickness of 4.8 mm. Nanotech reduces environmental impact and offers economical advantages, according to the manufacturer, who adds that due to the tiles reduced weight, it is versatile, easy to handle and to work with. Nanotech’s thin thickness makes it easier to cut and drill, resulting in smoother installations.

E. Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Keraben introduced the Urban Collection, resilient porcelain material that is highly technical with strong aesthetic value. The technical properties make it highly resistant to scratches, heavy wear and tear and stress, reports the manufacturer. With 80% recycled material recovered during the production process for water, clay, combustible energy and raw materials, Urban also offers unique applications for sustainable architecture, ventilated facades and elevated technical floors. Tiles in this collection are available in six colors, six formats and two finishes.

F. Pyrene, one of the newest series offered by Inalco, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, recreates natural black slate using an embossed pattern to reproduce natural cleaving. According to Inalco, it is the first manufacturer to use white on black color with IPlus Digital technology to recreate the veining characteristic of the material. Tiles in the Pyrene series are offered in 23.6- x 47.2-inch format.

G. Ceramica Decoratíva, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, showcased its Soho Collection - a new line of floor and wall tiles that was inspired by the look and feel of New York City. Offered in two chromatic groups: “Black and White,” which integrates black, white, gold and silver, and “Interiors,” including white, beige, light gray, dark gray and wengué, the Soho Collection presents infinite aesthetic possibilities.

H. Pamesa showcased its latest digital printing capability with the introduction of porcelain tiles that mimic the look of stone such as onyx and marble. Rodas, Magna and Leptis in 11- x 33.5-inch formats illustrate the beauty of natural materials combined with the technical aspects of porcelain stoneware, reports the Tile of Spain branded manufacturer.

I. Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Tau introduced an innovative new product line called “Afterdark,” featuring tile that has varying appearances depending on the intensity of the light it is exposed to. Afterdark facilitates energy efficiency by accumulating light in order to subsequently release it at specific time periods which can represent major energy savings. Tau Advanced recruited a multi-disciplinary team of experts to apply cutting-edge progress in optics to create this intelligent ceramic tile.

J. Alcalaten, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, offers the beauty of natural stone with Skabos (pictured) and Tempus Red. The inkjet printing technology used to produce these series enables a wide range of variation in the same model. Available in several finishes - matte, gloss and tumbled - allows this product to adapt for use on walls and floor. Formats include 18 x18, 13 x 13, 12 x 24 and 6 x 6 inches as well as complementary pieces.

K. Natucer, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, earned the Alfa De Plato Award for its new architectural collection LifeArq, which offers innovative wall solutions for architecture and urban environments. A study of light and space resulted in four classes of ceramic, each with a specific characteristic and function designed to satisfy the needs of the construction and design markets for an active and dynamic society. They include: Bamboo, narrow porcelain columns in a variety of colors that when grouped together create a sunshade or can be used for architectural solutions; Ivy, available in a 2.2- x 7.1-inch format that can be stacked using an internal steel support structure to create a partially shaded wall or even an outdoor enclosure; Scale, offers a ceramic siding alternative with gently overlapping edges; and Channel, presents another exterior facade application but with a more angular approach.

L. Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Saloni presented its Ecotrend collection, designed by Roberto Verino. Inspired by environmental issues and climate change, the new collection showcases ceramic tile as a sustainable material with an important role to play in the future of the planet. Tiles in this collection are available in large-format 17.7- x 35.4-inch sizes as well as two patterns for floor tiles and two for wall tiles, accompanied by soft floral motifs and elegant glass mosaics.

M. The Rococo series from Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Navarti Grupo is a fit for those seeking a sleek contemporary style. Available in shades of black, silver, gold and magenta (pictured), the tiles in this series are ideal for both residential and commercial wall applications. The textured surface on each tile in the Rococo series brings depth and adds to the character of a space.

N. Ceramica Elias presents an array of products manufactured through both handmade practices and contemporary innovation. The various grades of roughness and flamed surface differ in each tile, enabling Ceramica Elias to create beautiful, warm atmospheres for both interiors and exteriors. The Provença Series appears as an aged, worn product with a very rustic appearance.

O. Tau Group’s subsidiary Porcelanatto, announced a partnership with prestigious international designer Karim Rashid in a line called “NO-Stalgia.” The four collections are created in a 23.6- x 23.6-inch format and four colors each. Using sinuously geometric forms and intricate lines to create impressive optical effects, they showcase a pioneering design concept in the international ceramic sector, reports the manufacturer. The collections include: Sensory, available in Gray, Nude, Pink and Blue; Poetic, available in Blue, Aura, Pink and Midnight; Emotion, available in Fire Orange, Gray, Lime and Carbon; and Desire, available in Violet, Jet, Gray and Lime.

P. Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Dune, known for its interplay of ceramics and fashion trends, showed an expansion of its popular Megalos wall and floor tile range, including “3D,” which uses spectacular ceramic relief in 11.8- x 23.6-inch format. Additionally, the 3D series includes new ceramic mosaics that are appropriate both for floor and wall use.

Q. The “Natural Slate” series from Italian tile manufacturer Unicom Starker is inspired by the texture and tones of the layered rock for which it draws its name.  Ideal for flooring, the porcelain tile collection is available in three colors: Multicolor, Autumn, Winter, and four sizes: 16 x 24, 18 x 18, 12 x 12 and 6 x 6 inches. The collection also includes a number of specialty pieces.

R. “Crystal” is the latest tile collection from the Rondine Group. The tiles in this collection consist of thousands of crystals, which bring life to a space, according to the Italian tile manufacturer. The product is made with 40% recycled material as required for LEED certification, and is ideal for both residential and commercial applications.

S. Italian tile manufacturer Klinkersire presents Macro, a range of nine tiles in 30- x 60.5-cm format with color tones reminiscent of quartz and limestone. According to the company, the product is recommended for interior and exterior floors and walls in residential and public spaces. Included in the Macro series is “Lumina,” consisting of photovoltaic cells that delineate the pool edge.

T. Eliane, a Brazilian porcelain tile manufacturer with a U.S. headquarters in Carrollton, TX, has launched the EcoStone collection of porcelain tiles for indoor or outdoor, residential or commercial installations. EcoStone contains up to 60% post-industrial recycled raw material, and is offered in four modern colors: Preto, Sepia, Mocca and Bianco (pictured). The product is manufactured in a sustainable process, with 90% of the water reused as well as energy savings of up to 50% each cycles, reports Eliane. EcoStone was awarded the 2009 Fritz Muller Award for being the first ecological porcelain from Brazil.