A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!


Byzantine Design Director Dara Shashoua reports on her recent trip to Coverings – the annual tile and stone industry trade show held in Las Vegas.



May 27th, 2014

After 14 years in the Australian design industry and tile and stone industry I finally got to attend an overseas tile and stone fair.

Every country in the world that produces tiles or stone is represented at Coverings. To make the experience more fluid, stands are grouped together by nationality, and some of the stands are simply incredible. Coverings caters mainly for the North American market, with stallholders telling me that they rarely see Australians, however the numbers of Australian attendees is on the rise.

Held at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, the show extends over two very large levels as an additional area called ‘The Plaza’.


The ground floor was a trip to Europe, in particular Italy, then South America with highlights being Brazil and Portugal.  You then move through the fair to the back where the Middle East is represented by the likes of Turkey, Egypt and Israel.

On the Upper level we started our journey in Spain, then through to the Tile Council of America where many local artisan companies could show their stunning wares. We also spied representations from Mexico, Japan, India and then through to China.

Some of the top new trends I could see where:

  • Stone replications on porcelain, some of these were drop-dead amazing.  Even a veteran in the industry such as I was stunned by the replications.
  • Texture, texture, texture – in either mosaics, patterned tile or encaustic
  • Graphics – either printed onto tiles or large bold prints
  • Tiles as Art – there were quite a few tiles that you could simply hang on a wall
  • Shapes and print – there were some crazy shapes being Waterjet cut from porcelain tiles, as well as lots of printed mixed patterns on 200×200 tiles

And then there are also the current trends that I think will be around for a time to come:

Timber replicant tiles – almost every stand had a porcelain version of a timber tile.

My personal highlights included:

Turquoise mosaics – made from real turquoise, these need to be seen to be believed. Created in America by Gemstone Tile  


41zero42 – An absolutely stunning range of porcelain tiles in soft muted tones or stone replicant, all cut into different sizes which can be used together or on their own


Gold Encaustic – I must admit I am currently having a gold moment and this just knocked my socks off.


Natural Gemstones and Petrified wood in slab form fused with gold or silver. – these are made in Romania and are simply a work of art.


For something a bit different, a living tile!  This is a moss tile that survives purely upon the humidity of the environment.  And yes, it’s really spongey


Japanese mosaics – the quality of the glazes are simply incredible. The Japanese producers really are a cut above the rest when it comes to mosaics.


About  Dara Shashoua and Byzantine Design

Dara’s enthusiasm for her industry and Byzantine Design’s boutique product collections, within an industry not well known for its approachability, is refreshing. It has been her energy and authenticity, in addition to Dara’s passion for interior design, which have drawn both repeat clients and covetable suppliers to her doors. Dara is a design force to be reckoned with, with her company evolving into a design destination for exclusive product, outstanding product knowledge and opportunity to tap into Dara’s expertise.

Byzantine Design has just opened its first standalone showroom in Melbourne. Visit them at:

256 High St Prahran.
Corner of Hornby Street
03 9078 2811


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed