This issue ofContemporary Stone & Tile Designis certainly rich in stone and tile products. Not only do we illustrate the latest introductions that were made at Coverings — the annual U.S. International Tile and Stone Exhibition — this past spring (page 10), but the summer edition once again presents a roundup of the latest decorative and glass tile collections that are currently on the market (page 34). And as you will observe, they are plentiful.

As a source of information for the architecture and design community, we believe it is important that we bring awareness to all the new stone and tile products that are out there. We hope that this will inspire fresh and exciting designs.

The summer issue is always fun to put together because of all the colorful and shimmering tile products. In addition to the product roundup, we also have included several features that demonstrate these decorative and glass tile products in specific applications.

In particular, what caught my attention this time are the custom handmade tiles. It is refreshing to see that the art and craftsmanship is still alive. Companies such as Rookwood Pottery Co. and Lilywork are just two examples of true artisan shops that actually can tell stories through their work.

On page 28 of this issue, there is a feature about how Rookwood Pottery Co. recreated the original tile floor of the Monroe Building in Chicago, IL, which had been laid in the early 1900s. Extensive research and development was dedicated to determine the best way to achieve the closest match. Because the project was originally completed 100 years ago, one of the more challenging aspects for the artisans was to figure out how to create varying shades of one color using today’s processes and technology. In the end, the hard work paid off, as they produced an exact replica of the original handcrafted tiles.

I think it is important to mention that the Monroe Building is one of two projects in this summer issue recognized in the Coverings Installation & Design Awards. This year marked the first time the annual awards program was held. The purpose is to not only honor excellence in design, but to also acknowledge superior installation. After really considering what goes into stone and tile design, the show wanted to emphasize the importance of a successful marriage between architect/designer and installer. The other winning project featured in this issue is the residential design beginning on page 14.

Taking the relationship between a design professional and stone/tile installer a step further, Coverings also held an Installation Design Showcase on its show floor during the four-day event. “The special combined live-action demonstration and exhibit underscores how critical skilled installation is to realizing any design project,” according to National Trade Productions (NTP), the show’s management. The Showcase was launched three years ago with the help of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). To participate, installers were required to have NTCA Five Star Recognition, the association’s highest ranking, and be certified by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.

One of these design showcases is featured on page 44. Senior Associate Foreman Rogers, ASID of tvsdesign in Atlanta, GA, teamed up with David Allen Company, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, to realize a “sophisticated and luxe” look for an exemplary hotel guestroom.