Coverings, the huge tile love-in held last week at McCormick Place, is like a big ol’ candy store. I’ve never used a smidge beyond white hex or subway tile in all my decorating life so a few hours of tile peeping at the show turned into a 9 to 5 adventure. Tile has looked like everything but tile for a few years now, but it’s turned from looking like leather and wood flooring into pony, plush fabric (great as hotel headboards!), faux wallpaper, even stone. I fell for the cerused look of random width planked porcelains in grays. In fact I loved grey everything this show. It felt warm, modern, cool, new… especially for the floor. Tau and Inalco presented ink-jet printing on tile that made porcelain look exactly like marble (the photo above shows Tau in a grained Zebrano wood effect). A quick digital scan of a slab of stone is the newest slight of hand in the biz! Sparkle grout also caught my fancy—not sure where you’d use it, but a little glimmer in the grooves is way cool. As super-big as tile has been getting, ultra thin (4mm) options can be laid over old tile and floor, is less costly, and more green to ship. Micro mini tile from Frammenti (soon available at Luminaire looks like custom mosaics. Couldn’t get to Coverings? Check out The Art of Tile, a book by Jen Renzi, which includes more than 2,000 tiles and is a great resource.