Each year, thousands of tile manufacturers from around the world convene in Valencia, Spain, to display their latest collections to an international crowd at Cevisama - the International Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings Show. The exhibition, which was held this year from February 10 to 13, 2009, never ceases to disappoint with its expansive halls filled with innovative product lines that offer dazzling aesthetics as well as functionality.

The 2009 event sprawled approximately 550,000 square feet, of which 57% was occupied by ceramic tile displays. It also drew close to 13,000 foreign visitors, who came to Cevisama to view the latest tile trends.

Innovation was clearly evident when touring the exhibition halls. Tile of Spain-branded manufacturers as well as foreign tile manufacturers outdid themselves with numerous tile lines that consisted of a range of textured surfaces. Recalling the look of everything from fabrics to hardwood planks to natural stone, many of the tile pieces offered an authentic look and feel.

Glitz and shimmering effects were also a reoccurring theme throughout the show floor. It is apparent that metallic tile continues to grow in popularity, and the selection of formats and finishes further expands each year. Offered for both floor and wall applications, metallics are now available in large formats as well as small mosaics - making them ideal for almost any design. And while the sheen of metallics can be attention grabbing, these tiles are also offered in a matte finish for those designs that require a more subdued look.

Additionally, geometric shapes and raised patterns were on display throughout the exhibition - illustrating how tiles have depth and can bring a room to life with their textures and colors. Whether for a commercial or residential application, these fresh tile designs can add flare and inspire a unique style in any space.

While walking the exhibition halls, it also was apparent that tile manufacturers are developing new products with the environment in mind. In an age where green building is at the forefront, it is important that new products hitting the market are environmentally friendly, and judging by some of the new introductions at this year’s show, it is evident that tile manufacturers realize this.

Here is just a sampling of the many intriguing products that were launched at Cevisama 2009:

A. Roca Ceramica displayed their most creative and ground-breaking “green” styles to date at this year’s Cevisama, according to the manufacturer. The Top Green collection includes the Green Earth (shown) and Green Urban series - tiles produced with 80% recycled pre-consumer waster. The Green Earth series, reflects earth colors, including ochre-brownish tones, and it is available in 17- x 17-, 17- x 29- and 12- x 12-inch formats. The Green Urban series creates a concrete stone finish. The porcelain tiles are offered in shades of anthracite and gray and 19- x 19-inch format.

B. The Xian series from Keraben was inspired by Asian influences, according to the manufacturer. This is evident in the floral patterns and metallic sheens of the tiles, which are offered in six formats. The selection of tile sizes makes the Xian series ideal for a host of applications - from ventilated facades to floor and wall coverings - reports Keraben.

C. The Urban series in Azuvi’s Geotech collection reflects the busy lifestyle and diversity to be found in the world’s major cities, such as New York, Madrid, London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona and Sydney - cities that have become the cultural, fashion and leisure capitals of the world, reports the manufacturer. The Urban series is quintessentially cosmopolitan - avant-garde design in its purest form. Designed and produced as floor and wall tile, the series is available in eight colors - Red, Black, Gold, Cobalt, Silver, Bone, White and Cream - which are all perfectly in tune with the latest trends in furniture and décor, according to Azuvi. Tiles in the series feature geometric shapes such as waves, ovals and circles, and decorative accent pieces with texture and sheen (pictured) are also offered.

D. Tau recently launched a new line of wood-look tiles, which was developed with the environment in mind. While the finish tries to mimic the characteristics of the raw material as much as possible, the tiles are also made with all the technical advantages of ceramic, reports the manufacturer. The tiles in this new line are available in several different looks - from traditional to the more exotic, such as Deco (shown). This pattern evokes the grain of Zebrano wood, sharply defined and arranged in multiple directions - creating a fresh unique approach to design.

E. Inspired by a timeless city, Marazzi brings a rich luxurious style to tile with its Paris series. Tiles are available in four different textures - two ribbed and two that resemble quilted and boiserie finishes. The Paris series is available in varying colors of gold and ivory and a satin finish that incorporates delicate iridescent effects.

F. In addition to ceramic tile, Decorativa now offers a full collection of natural stone products. Among the new lines is Dunas, comprised of pieces of limestone that have been hand carved by artisans to create the effect of desert dunes. The stone tiles, which are available in two colors and two patterns, measure 60 x 60 cm. And if installed correctly, the textured limestone pieces can create a stunning feature wall in both residential and commercial applications, according to Decorativa.

G. Onix’s Geo series contains a revolutionary treatment of opalescent circle glass mosaics tile, which is shown in turquoise that reflects the colors of the ocean. Reminiscent of Caribbean waters, this glass tile creates an ethereal feeling in any space - large or small - and is available in an assortment of shapes and sizes.

H. The Tresor series by Azteca has been designed to cover walls with a classic looking tile made from one of the most modern and technological materials available, digitally decorated white cement. Technology allows the company to present this piece as is, with no rectifications for the marketplace, because its value lies precisely in its extremely original design, reports the manufacturer. The Tresor series is clear proof that ceramics are no longer limited to the kitchen or bathroom, and that they are, in fact, a major element in the decoration of any room, according to Azteca.

I. Dune offers a collection of ceramic pieces in 15- x 60-cm format, which are available in different colors and reliefs. Among the series in the collection is “Moon.” The ceramic tiles in this series simulate craters found on the moon - giving the series its name. Colors in the Moon series include iridescent black, white, gold and silver.

J. Microcement is one of the latest collections launched by Apavisa. The tiles are made of polished cement resins, according to the manufacturer. Available in both natural or “laptto” - meaning “shiney” - finishes, the tiles in this collection are offered in 12- x 14-, 12- x 24-, 24- x 24- and 24- x 48-inch formats.

K. The contrasting colors and geometric designs of the Black and White series by Mirage are ideal for both floor and wall applications, according to the manufacturer. Tiles in this series are offered in 60- x 60- and 60- x 120-cm formats (24 x 24 and 24 x 47 inches) as well as two colors: Extrawhite and Superblack (shown). The aesthetic qualities display exceptional purity of form and refined minimalism, reports Mirage, adding that the collection is suitable for use in high-trafficked areas.

L. The Sahara desert is the inspiration behind the Imazi series by Vives. The ripple texture of the tile surface was designed to resemble the sand dunes found in the desert’s landscape. Tiles in the Imazi series are offered in a warm neutral color palette, including Blanco, Crema, Nuez, Perla, Marengo and Negro. The wall tiles are available in 20- x 50-cm format.

M. Symphony is the latest series introduced by Peronda. The ceramic tiles in this product line are inspired by the most classical natural stones and provide luxury for all design styles, reports the manufacturer. The range of tiles span from warm well-finished pieces mimicking the look of various types of marble to ones that look like steel. All of the tiles in the Symphony series are designed to go together, according to Peronda. The product line is offered in 30- x 90-cm wall format as well as 32 x 59 and 32 x 32 cm sizes.

N. Gres Catalan displayed a variety of metallics with a great deal of texture and sheen at Cevisama 2009. Among the company’s lines was Puzzle, featuring tiles with surfaces made of a pattern resembling a jigsaw puzzle. Available in Blanco (white, which is shown), Negro (black) and Plata (silver), each tile pattern consists of varying shades of one color - giving the pieces a sense of depth. The tiles, which are available in 57 x 57, 43 x 58 and 10 x 58 cm as well as 57 x 57, 42 x 57 and 10 x 57 cm rectified pieces, can be used to clad entire walls and floors. Additionally, they make ideal accent borders and bands.

O. While enhancing a beautiful landscape, this wood-look tile from Gomez y Gomez’s Teka Tecnic series is not only aesthetically pleasing, but a practical choice with anti-slip properties. Formats include 3.1 x 17.3 inches.

P. Grespania’s Toldeo collection is a silver ambient backdrop for floral design work in a subtle shimmer tone. Easily found in a luxury hotel or in a home dining area, this tile is available in 11.8- x 23.6-inch format.

Q. Inalco has designed a light, versatile product called SlimmKer. At only 4 mm thick, the tile is easy to cut or perforate - eliminating complications - reports the manufacturer. Because it is lighter weight, it is also easy to handle and lay, but easily meets all technical and sustainability requirements. Using IPLUS digital printing technology, it can achieve unlimited decorating potential, including a variety of designs, more natural-looking tiles and greater realism, according to Inalco. The first five series in the SlimmKer range are available in an 18- x 35-inch format. They include: Elisia, consisting of subtle embossed patterns, colored with lines in dark shades; Ethnic, which shows randomly distributed scratching; Facet, a series with different surface reliefs for creating avant-garde settings (shown); Foster, inspired by polished cement surfaces, it can be mixed and matched with any of the other series; and Ginza, a series inspired by modern wood. Each series is available in a variety of colors.

R. Compac Marmol & Quartz, a Spanish manufacturer with a long tradition of producing high-quality decorative solutions and coverings, recently introduced Absolute Blanc to its Karim line. This color is the whitest available in quartz surfaces - making a dramatic entrance in the most minimalist and avant-garde designs - according to the company. The entire line is known for its durability, and ideal for kitchen surfaces, reports Compac.

S. The Tune series from Atlas Concorde is offered in a range of colors, including Polar, Sand, Oyster, Cinnamon, Wood, Coke, Sun, Sea and Rubin. The single-calibre, edge-ground, through-bodied porcelain tile is also available in a selection of sizes: 24 x 24, 12 x 24, 18 x 36, 9 x 36 and 18 x 18 inches.

T. Terracota Pavimentos De Gres brings heritage and provenance to any modern estate or commercial building with an antiqued terra-cotta tile. Available in 13- x 13-inch format, it can make a grand statement in any design, according to the company.

U. Ceracasa uses digital printing technology to create an intriguing ceramic floor tile depicting “the running of the bull.” Any photo or image may be recreated with this 4-color process, and is an especially fun treatment for restaurants, bars and other hospitality spaces, according to Ceracasa. Shapes and sizes of tile vary.

V. Exagres’s extruded ceramic from the Italica series is an extremely durable design choice for any pool area. From residence to resort, this easy maintenance terra-cotta tile in a 4.7-x 39.4-inch format is a smart option for most outdoor specifications.

W. With alluring magnetism, this turquoise mosaic Konik tile, which is part of the Kubik Collection from La Platera, becomes the perfect selection for any spa area in a .8- x 1.3-inch format. It is also available in a .8- x 19.7- or 6- x 39.4-inch format.

X. Tau now offers Carbono, a nod to the latest trends in metallics. This shimmering floor tile brings understated glamour to any space, and works well for both residential and commercial installations with its easy-to-maintain, non-slip surface, reports the manufacturer

Y. The Imperiale series from Azuvi combines elegant lines with a natural touch. It is a symbol of elegance and harmony produced in a rectified porcelain tile, and it is complemented with borders and square decorative pieces. The Imperiale range consists of two models: Imperiale Sacro, which is produced with Salem as its base tile in two colors, Avorio and Pearl, and it has a metallic finish; and Imperiale Rosae, which is produced with the Padova range as its base tile and only available in the color of Avorio with a shiny finish.

Z. Dune offers pieces with geometric reliefs that form. The series, which is called Medussa, is available in four colors: gold, silver, copper and pearl.