Discovering Wood-Inspired Wonders and Intense Patterns at TISE18 and unicorns, too!

When you come across unicorns – as we did during The International Surface Event (TISE) 2018 – you are sure to discover many unexpected and delightful surprises, including wood-inspired wonders and intense patterns, that we couldn’t wait to share with you.

Perspective on The International Surface Event

First, some perspective on TISE.

The International Surface Event actually consists of three world-class trade shows in one – SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomac, and Tile Expo. As such, it’s considered the ultimate yearly industry marketplace for floorcovering, stone, and tile industry professionals.

The show lasts four days and includes educational presentations, hands-on demonstrations, plenty of networking opportunities with manufacturers and industry suppliers, as well as the newest products, the most cutting-edge flooring and tile trends and even unicorns.

Although the Classique Floors + Tile team doesn’t attend every year, I try to attend every other year. In 2018, we brought several members of our team to explore in more depth.


SURFACES brings together buyers and sellers from around the world to see the latest floor covering products, tools, trends, services, and technologies. It’s the largest North American flooring event serving the entire floor covering industry.

The official sponsor of SURFACES is the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), the industry’s largest advocacy organization representing flooring retailers, contractors, and allied service providers throughout North America.


StonExpo/Marmomac is the stone event for the stone industry and features specialty stone and machinery areas with exhibitions of stone and stone supplies from seven countries, plus stone tools, equipment, services, and demonstrations from leading manufacturers and associations.

The official sponsors are the Marble Institute of America (MIA) + the Building Stone Institute (BSI), and the Natural Stone Council (NSC).


TileExpo is the newest tile industry event in the United States serving distributors, retailers, installers, builders, and design professionals. It features leading tile manufacturers and suppliers displaying products from artisan to ceramic, decorative to glass, and more.

Official Sponsors of TileExpo are the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and the National Tile Contractors Association.

Wood-inspired Wonders and Intense Patterns that Delighted Us.

In this article, I’ll focus primarily on the following:

  • Unexpected and attention-grabbing wood looks
  • Intense tile patterns
  • Interesting new tools for cutting flooring products

Unexpected and attention-grabbing wood looks

Wood that glows in the dark

This particular product and wood inspired wonder represents a type of unicorn: something you need to see to believe.

Imagine a wood floor that has been painted with colors. It looks like what you see in the image below.

Then, turn off the lights and you have a completely different effect on your floors! They glow in the dark as you see in the image below.

Colored Hardwoods

In addition to wood floors that glow vibrantly in the dark, we saw colored hardwood floors. Below you see a display of blue hardwood. We love the effect of pulling the blue color into the wall.

Next, you see red-colored wood floors. Here, too, the red has been pulled into the wall display.

Notice, too, the interesting weathering effect.

We saw many examples of extremely distressed wood looks. Notice the floors around the two images above, and the closeup image below.

(In 7 Tile Trends to Consider for Your Oregon Home, not only do wood planks play a big role but so do distressed looks.)

Wood Floor Patterns

As you can see from the examples above, color on floors is an important trend.

Here’s a different interpretation of color: colorful wood floor patterns that can be repeated in a tile-like fashion. Some of the patterns are quite colorful.

And others are more muted. The image below provides you with perspective on the range of pattern possibilities.

And, you’ll also find playful Trompe-l’œil patterns such as this image of a three-dimensional table and chairs on a patterned floor.

Intense tile patterns

All of these wood floor patterns call to mind the type of intense decorative patterns more typically seen in tile. For example, the patterns in the image below are variations on those marvelous bold hydraulic patterns.

>> See Create Bold Patterns with Hydraulic Porcelain Tile

However, they, too, introduce playful dimensionality.

They also can be intensely geometric and contemporary in feel as you see with this combination of different bold patterns.

For that matter, why go with just a pattern suggesting dimension. Why not take textured patterns to create a 3-d look (and feel)?

This next image is much more subtle. However, it takes the pattern concept and combines it with a weathered look and feel.

Imagine designing tile rugs and feature walls in your home with some of these examples… The effect could be truly one-of-a-kind.

>> See How to Design with Bold Tile Patterns: Tile Rugs and Feature Walls

Interesting new tools for cutting flooring products

From a practical perspective, attending a show like TISE is invaluable because we discover new tools that make us more efficient, more exact and better able to truly delight our customers.

The examples below are specialized tools made specifically to efficiently cut large format tile, including wood plank tiles.

This is a portable tile cutter.

The tool below is bigger, yet also portable (notice the wheels).

Finally, this tool makes it easier to cut wood planks and Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring.

Which Are Your Favorite Highlights from The International Surface Event?

What’s your reaction to these wood inspired wonders and intense patterns? Can you see using them in your home?

We invite you to visit our Portland, Oregon showroom to explore the many flooring and tile options we carry.

Or schedule an in-home job site assessment. Your Classique project consultant will guide you through everything from initial estimate to product selection to final installation, answering all your questions.

You’ll be delighted. We promise.

Thanks for reading,




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