OF NOTE DIGITAL DIRECTIONS
NOT LONG AGO, DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
WAS A NEWCOMER to the field of ceramic tile.
Manufacturers and designers alike were fascinated
from first glance by the potential to recreate motifs
of all kinds and usher in a new era in the creative
development of this product category—and the
interest has only grown. When first introduced
to the marketplace, the question on everyone’s
lips was, “What can we do with this advanced
technology?” At the recent Coverings show in
Orlando, Florida, however, the question had vis-
ibly morphed to, “What can’t we do?”
Advances in digital technology have indeed
changed the face of the tile industry. Gone is the
need to travel the globe for perfectly aged terra
cotta; rummage through old barns for rustic,
distressed wood; or scour a city’s architectural
remnants on the hunt for a beautifully worn tin
ceiling. All these things and more can be carried
out with precision in tile. The technology that
paved the way for these visual advances has more
recently added texture to the game, upping the
believability quotient many fold. Think wood that
looks like wood and feels like wood but is non-
toxic, sustainable, and antimicrobial by its very
nature. Or, designs that mimic rusted metal but are
unsullied by the danger of actual rust. The advan-
tages extend well beyond the visual.
As the design factor increases in the tile sector, the standards that have made it a valuable
tool for healthy building projects remain intact.
Ceramic tiles contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allowing projects to gain the U.S.
Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED) credits for
their use; are resistant to even severe environmental stress, not to mention fire and chemicals; and
are made from natural raw materials, making them
easy to dispose of or recycle at the end of their use.
With wellness in design increasing its role in building projects of all sizes, advances within individual
product categories become ever more important.
The latest from the tile category is evidence that
beautiful design and healthy interiors can easily be
one and the same.
Jennifer Quail is the editor of ICON. She has covered
design and interiors for multiple publications and
websites, including Luxe Interiors + Design, FORM, Aspire
Design & Home, and Houzz.
Well Covered 1.