Returning to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, Coverings 2012 is slated for Tuesday, April 17 to Friday, April 20. The international stone and tile exhibition will feature a host of new stone and tile collections, fabrication machinery and installation and maintenance products from manufacturers around the world. Additionally, the four-day event will offer an extensive education program for industry professionals as well as members of the architect and design community.

Last year’s edition, which was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, included more than 100 first-time exhibitors, and at the end of the show more than 90% of Coverings’ exhibitor space had been pre-sold for Orlando, reported National Trade Productions (NTP), which manages and produces Coverings.

“Coverings brings together under one roof — and from all corners of the world — the greatest resources of ceramic tile, mosaics, natural stone and slab materials, plus those who deal in the adhesives, accessories, tools and equipment that are installation essentials,” said Jennifer Hoff, President of Events for NTP. “We layer in an incredible conference component with top-of-their-game industry authorities, skill and technique-building live-action demonstrations, plus a host of other accredited professional development presentations. And, for the icing on the cake, we serve up tremendous business networking opportunities. All this, completely free of registration fees or charges, explains why Coverings is on the agenda each year for distributors, retailers, contractors, installers, builders, fabricators, architects, interior designers and anyone who’s in the industry.”

Online registration

Online registration for Coverings 2012 has been up and running since October 2011. Those interested in registering can visit

“With no fee to register or attend, this easy access system avoids waiting in lines onsite and offers numerous other advantages which make planning ahead literally payoff,” reports NTP. Once registered, Coverings attendees receive e-mail updates on events, conference sessions and information on contests and giveaways. Registering online also allows attendees to directly reserve a hotel from among those participating with Coverings in offering discount packages. The lineup of hotel partners includes: The Peabody Orlando, Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Orlando and Hampton Inn. A new and noteworthy benefit of Coverings’ online registration is a “set-it-and-forget-it” feature that saves the details and information you’ve input for future show registration.

“Online registration is, by far, the most convenient, paperless and greenest way to get the ball rolling on travel plans to Coverings,” said Hoff. “People are making Coverings a priority for 2012 and booking their travel in advance to get the best deals possible.”

The show’s return to Orlando in 2012 is appealing to veterans of the show, said Hoff, who expects exhibitors to top 800 from more than 50 countries. The conference program, one of Coverings’ most distinguished assets — and also totally free — is shaping up to be as compelling as ever, with timely topics and sessions headlined by renowned industry authorities. Other special events scheduled throughout the four-day expo promise to be educational and enlightening as they help add a competitive edge for all those in the tile and stone business.

Project: Green

Coverings will once again be holding the Project: Green contest, which is sponsored by Environmental Design + Construction Magazine — a BNP Media publication and sister publication to Stone World Magazine. The contest is open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, manufacturers and installers, and projects must have been completed within the past two years (January 2010 to January 2012), and may be located either within the U.S. or internationally.

An independent panel of judges will evaluate entries based on the following criteria:

• Use of tile and stone in the project areas being considered, including where and how much

• Aesthetic Design: Aesthetic attractiveness and/or uniqueness of the installed finish (0-20 points)

• Positive Environmental Impact: Environmental effectiveness and/or significance of the project design, installation and/or operational strategies not regularly addressed by green building standards or rating systems (0-5 points)


Additionally, entries will be evaluated on the use of tile/stone products with environmental benefits, including:

• Products with recycled/reclaimed content (0-10 points)

• Low/no VOC adhesives, grouts or sealers (0-10 points)

• Salvaged/refurbished/reused materials (0-10 points)

• Use of tile or stone products instead of competitive coverings to achieve better performance-based benefits: such as extended material longevity and durability; reduced maintenance; lower replacement frequency; enhanced user safety (0-10 points)

• Products with other third-party environmental acknowledgements and/or LCA reports (0-10 points)

• Products designed to reduce building energy loads (0-10 points)

• Products with innovative environmental technologies not addressed in items listed above (0-10 points)


Installation and Design Awards

This year, the exhibition will host the Coverings Installation and Design Awards. The competition — open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers and installers — will award winners in two basic categories: Residential and Commercial.

An awards reception will be held on Thursday, April 19.

“Over the years, Coverings has acknowledged outstanding and innovative projects featuring tile and stone,” said Hoff. “The Installation and Design Awards is a distillation of the past Spectrum and Prism Awards together with the TileLetter & NTCA Installation Awards. The CID Awards will spotlight contractor/designer teams who, respectively, have the demonstrated talent and skills to bring to life an exceptional aesthetic vision.”

Coverings is sponsored by ASCER (Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain), Confindustria Ceramica (Italian Association of Ceramics), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) and National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).