CERSAI Tile Trend Report

December 02, 2013

This past September the 31st edition of CERSAIE, the exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, showcased the latest innovations in Italian ceramic design, technology and craftsmanship. With an average of 20,000 visitors a day and 900 exhibitors from 35 countries, this year’s show largely revolved around planks, patchwork, patterns and pavers.


Building on the already popular trend for sophisticated faux wood parquet patterns, ceramic wood planks are now entering a new phase of innovation. Some tile companies are focusing on the more technical side – making planks as long as six feet and as thin as 5mm – while others are taking a more playful approach, experimenting with layers, colors and texture.

                                                      Century Two

Meanwhile, the look of ancient stones, rustic wood and terra cotta has been used to add instant warmth and character to a space. For example, Abbey by Monocibec is inspired by ancient stones whose colors – Canterbury, Cluny and Westminster – correspond to famous abbeys around the world. In terms of shabby wood looks, Ricchetti was inspired by wooden barrels used to distill grappa to create Barriques. Another line is Vintage by Astor, whose 8-in. x48-in. glazed porcelain tiles look like wood planks affected by other materials including varnish, plaster and cement.


Moving beyond the confines of a backsplash, companies are also introducing a multitude of decorative patchwork collections. Continuing their collaboration with the Milan-based graphic design firm, Studio FM, Refin added four new designs to its Frame collection that place an inventive and graphic spin on historical patterns. ImolaCeramica also reached back into its own archives to rejuvenate 100-year-old designs.

                                                       Gamma Due

Twice as thick as most tiles, porcelain pavers have the same benefits as regular porcelain – frost resistant, skid resistant, easy to clean – but their incredibly high breakage loads (up to 2,000 pounds) provide for gardens, terraces and high-traffic outdoor areas. Mirage was one of the first companies to introduce this super thick tile and now offers EVO_2/e with 10 of its collections including Norr – a new series featuring a distinctively random pattern of pebbles. In terms of new design concepts, Cotto d’Este offers a rich palette of color and texture with its new Plein Air line, available in a 20mm thickness.

                                                        Imola Ceramica

Other noticeable trends include fashion-forward tiles that took inspiration from some of the hottest trends on the runway and lines with an industrial mix that capitalized on architecture's obsession with converted factory spaces. Meanwhile, a few manufacturers decided to go against the grain with original show stoppers that defied categorization, including large faux gemstone panels from Mirage and a glazed porcelain tile series from Settecento that evokes a terrazzo.
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