Coveringstook place at the George World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, from April 29 to May 2, and it drew more than 22,000 attendees. In addition to a broad range of stone materials from around the world, the event offered a variety of stoneworking technology — from equipment to tools and accessories.

Stone could be found in all formats at Coverings, including slabs, tiles, architectural pieces and mosaics. Many of these suppliers were showcasing materials not seen before in the marketplace.

Additionally, stoneworking machinery and accessories were being exhibited on the show floor, with an emphasis on the equipment and technology used for countertop processing. In addition, stone care and maintenance products were represented at the event.

Also of interest for the stone fabrication sector, an extensive conference program included many stone-specific sessions, including an open “Fabricator Forum” that discussed labor issues and other business topics. In all, Coverings 2013 provided an extensive educational program — with more than 70 free sessions, many of which offered CEUs.

According to National Trade Productions (NTP), the show management company, this year’s exhibition attracted an increased number of architects, designers and other specifiers than in previous years. The audience segment grew by 3%, and attendees had the opportunity to see the latest stone and tile innovations by more than 950 exhibitors from over 35 countries.

“Coverings has engaged with the robust community of architects and designers in the Southeast for the past 12 months, and we are pleased that they took advantage of all the show has to offer,” said Karin Fendrich of NTP, Coverings Show Director. “We know our exhibitors appreciate the added opportunity of reaching the growing specifier audience. At the same time, all our audience segments enjoyed robust programming and educational opportunities.”

One of the many ways Coverings built support among the local design community was by sponsoring for the first time a special “Best Use of Tile or Stone” category in the ASID Georgia Chapter annual design competition. “Our ASID chapter greatly appreciated Coverings’ support of our design contest,” said Janie K. Hirsch, ASID, of J. Hirsch Interior Design in Johns Creek, GA. “The special category drew attention to the rich and varied design possibilities of tile and stone. We, of course, went to the Coverings show and it was fantastic — so many amazing new products to see.”

Awards and recognitions

In addition to the exhibits and conference program, Coverings once again presented its PROJECT: Green — recognizing sustainable new and remodeled commercial, institutional and residential projects featuring tile and stone — and the Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards — celebrating creativity and technical know-how in the use of tile and stone in residential and commercial projects.

Fifteen outstanding tile and stone projects from across the country and around the world were recognized in the second annual CID Awards. The grand prize in the residential category was awarded to Phoenix-based installer Alpentile and designer Wendy Lesueur of Mesa, AZ, for a pool and deck in Scottsdale, AZ. Lesueur and Alpentile’s project at a ranch in Scottsdale involved replacing a sun-damaged pool and deck with an all-tile spa, an elegantly shaped swimming pool with a 25-foot-long raised water feature and an expansive stone deck for entertaining. Materials included hand-textured porcelain tile, glass mosaic tile and natural stone. The sparkling, iridescent finishes of the pool and spa tiling are brought to life at night with a single LED spotlight positioned so that the undulating surface of the water feature can be viewed from the patio.

“With these two programs, Coverings is proud to recognize excellence in the entire tile and stone community by saluting professionals for their design creativity, craftsmanship and environmental stewardship,” said Fendrich. “Recognition of the projects selected for PROJECT: Green and winners for CID Awards has become a much-anticipated highlight of the show.”

The next edition of Coverings will take place from April 29 to May 2, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.


Organizations collaborate to host a  first-class BBQ 

At the close of the second day of Coverings, a large gathering of attendees took part in a barbecue that was jointly hosted by Cosentino, GranQuartz and the Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA).

The event was held at Cosentino’s facility in Norcross, GA, and it featured a top-notch barbecue buffet prepared by Brian Briggs of GranQuartz and the SFA, who personally drove his commercial-grade smoker from his home in Florida to Cosentino’s facility in Georgia.