ORLANDO, FL -- From April 4 to 7, 2017, Ceramics of Italy will bring one of the largest international contingents to Orlando for the 28th edition of Coverings -- the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America. Organized by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) with support from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the Ceramics of Italy pavilion will feature 76 booths and 116 brands introducing the latest designs and technical innovations in tile and installation products. Returning for a second year, the Ceramics of Italy central stand, Strada Dinamica, serves as an industry information hub and authentic Italian cafe, bringing a fresh look and energy to the show.

Ceramics of Italy Pavilion

Strada Dinamica, the central booth and heart of the Italian ceramics industry at Coverings (booth #1222) is designed by New York architecture and design firm, e+i studio. Italian for “dynamic street,” the space is modeled after a lively streetscape with landscaped benches, standing communal tables and two kiosks housing a cafe, coffee bar and information desk. The space will host lunch with authentic Italian pasta served daily by Ceramics of Italy’s long-running culinary partner, Sputino Catering. Designed to inspire, nearly all of the surfaces are clad in Italian tile, from the thin, large porcelain slabs from Florim’s Magnum Oversize collection covering the benches, tables and countertops to the thick, large-format floor tiles from Lea Ceramiche that are set on a raised flooring system by Newfloor. With its essentially Italian neighborhood vibe, Strada Dinamica is the perfect place to pick up the latest copy of Cer magazine and take a break from the busy tradeshow floor.

Surrounding the Ceramics of Italy space, Italian manufacturers will showcase the latest design concepts and technical advancements in tile and adhesives in the Ceramics of Italy pavilion. From artisanal ceramics, high-end mosaics and ceramic-porcelain hybrids to oversized porcelain slabs, antibacterial grouts and easy laying floor systems, hundreds of innovative products will be shown. This year, textured textile and wood-look designs, matte blacks and deep blue hues, 3D and large-format tiles and rustic styles invigorated with a modern touch are expected to dominate the show floor. Visitors are encouraged to follow the distinguishable “Made in Italy” trademark throughout the show to find products of superior quality and environmental responsibility.

Launching in the U.S. market at Coverings, Ceramics of Italy is proud to announce the “Italians Make the Difference” ad campaign. The campaign emphasizes the dedicated and passionate people such as Davide, Marco, Giordano, Loretta, Gianluca and Roberto that work hard to ensure that Italian ceramics are the finest in the world. Only the very best manufacturers of Italian ceramic tiles, sanitaryware and tableware are entitled to use the Ceramics of Italy logo, which certifies Italian quality, design and style. Coverings attendees are encouraged to get their photo taken in the Ceramics of Italy photo booth (booth #2115) then follow Ceramics of Italy on Facebook (@CeramicsOfItalyNA) to find their photo and share their love for Italian ceramics with the Coverings community and beyond.

Installation Design Showcase: “Tiny House Edition”

For the eighth consecutive year, Ceramics of Italy will participate in the Coverings Installation Design Showcase, an initiative that allows the association to highlight the vast and extensive uses of Italian ceramics in tandem with creative design and expert installation. This year for the first time, Coverings partnered with Orlando Lakefront -- a tiny home and RV community in College Park, FL -- to create small spaces that will be moved to the tiny home community at the show’s conclusion.

Ceramics of Italy’s display is designed by tiny home expert, Kim Lewis (formerly a designer on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and FYI’s “Tiny House Nation”), who has developed a modern retro bungalow concept titled “Palm Springs.” Ceramics of Italy products will bring the concept to life with colorful, three-dimensional and marble-look tiles from Atlas Concorde and tiles with naturalistic motifs from Gruppo Ricchetti brands (Cisa and Cerdisa) that will be installed in the space (booth #458A) in real-time. Visitors will be able to observe the step-by-step construction by the NTCA Five Star team of contractors from Visalia Ceramic Tile through a spacious double front door that will open out to a deck, bringing the display to life throughout the show. All installation materials have been generously donated by Coverings sponsor, USG, and sustainable grout has been provided by Mapei. At the IDS Deconstructed (Thursday, April 6 at 3 p.m.), the Installation Design Showcase team will present the project and invite attendees to explore the space and ask questions.

Special Events

Following the success of previous years, Ceramics of Italy will host a VIP Lunch + Tour at Coverings, offerings specifiers an insider look at the Italian ceramic tile industry. On Tuesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 6 from 1 to 3 p.m., registered industry professionals will be treated to an authentic Italian lunch, special goodie bag and trend presentation in room S310A, followed by a guided walking tour of the Ceramics of Italy Pavilion. Interested participants can register at bit.ly/coveringsvip. They will also be entered into a drawing to win a trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie -- the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings.

The Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference will take place on Wednesday, April 5 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in room S210C where representatives from the association will discuss the state of the industry and present the winners of the 2017 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. Afterwards, Ceramics of Italy will host its annual Serata Italiana and honor the 2017 recipient of the coveted Confindustria Ceramica North American Distributor Award, which celebrates the close connection between Italian tile manufacturers and their valued North American partners.

Representatives from Ceramics of Italy will also participate in the robust conference program at Coverings. Cristina Faedi from Confindustria Ceramica along with other tile industry experts will lead a lively discussion called “Trends in Tile: Moving Forward” on April 4 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in room S320E on how tile trends have changed and where they’ll go next. Donato Grosser American Market Consultant will present the current situation of the ceramic tile market and a short-term forecast called “Ceramic Tile: Market Forecast and the Economics of Distribution” on April 5, from 8 to 9 a.m., in room S330C. Additionally, sustainability experts including Confindustria Ceramica’s Andrea Contri will lead a discussion called “Health, Safety, Environment, Design: Selling Tile Sustainability” on April 7 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in room S320E on today’s architectural demands and perceptions associated with greener, healthier products, and how the inherent sustainability properties of tile, promoted in combination with leading industry environmental standards and certifications, make tile an easy sell to clients and customers.