Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Innovation, Design Take Center Stage at Cersaie

Cersaie Exhibition entrance

With the close of the 30th edition of Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramics for Architecture and Bathroom Furnishings held annually in Bologna, Italy, once again proved itself as the launching pad for newly developed ceramic, porcelain, glass and mosaic tile products that will soon hit showrooms and the marketplace.

Boasting more than 900 exhibitors from all corners of the globe, and 176,000 square meters (577,428 square feet) of exhibition space, Cersaie is a not-to-be missed event for distributors, retailers, interior designers, architects and installers.

The Trends

The latest trends for Italian ceramics include nature-inspired materials, a rediscovery of terracotta, monolithic tiles, textures, and cutting-edge design that remains environmentally conscious.

In terms of colors, powdery tones from grey-blue and clay, to mauve and lavender seemed popular, as did warm greys and ivory, clay and jade.

Italian manufacturers have also seemed to embrace the warmth and appeal of terracotta. Combined with modern shapes, new colors and up-to-date finishes, terracotta has been revived with a fresh, modern image.

Gaining popularity in the architecture and design fields are cement and resin, so it’s befitting that these modern, industrial, and high-impact finishes have been reinterpreted by Italian ceramic tile manufacturers in various ways.

Not to be outdone are reproductions of wood grains, or the rich veining and shading found in natural stone.

However, perfection is only one aspect of these trends. Mismatched patterns and irregularity is another facet. Imperfections such as surface-skimming cracks, and the faithful reproduction of river pebbles, added to the textural mix available at Cersaie.

Thin, monolithic tiles have also found their place in the industry in both outdoor and indoor environments, as has the need to practice good environmental stewardship. An increasing amount of manufacturers now reincorporate their processing waste back into the production process, while others use recycled glass from screens or monitors from obsolete PCs previously destined for landfills.

Let’s take a brief look now at the latest Italian tile products unveiled during Cersaie 2012.

Designer Collections

Designers and architects have unleashed their creativity with tile with several new collections made specifically for Italian tile manufacturers.

Minoo – Ornate 8"x8" porcelain floor tiles designed by Marcel Wanders, reminiscent of Persian rugs. Available in 5 decorative patterns and 8 colors, silkscreen printed on a matte background.

Bardelli's Minoo porcelain tile
Designed by Marcel Wanders, Bardelli's Minoo is reminiscent of Persian rugs.

Starck Collection – Designer and architect Philippe Starck has collaborated with Sant’Agostino to create “Flexible Architecture,” a new collection of ceramic tile that offers designers, interior designers and architects the ability to offer new possibilities where tile is no longer decorative, rather, it becomes part of the architecture, according to Starck. 

Concrete & Cement

With the popularity of concrete and cement floors gaining ground among designers and architects, Italian tile manufacturers are offering products that mimic the look and texture of these finishes. 

Gate Mark – A new textured surface for indoor and outdoor applications with a special anti-slip surface (coefficient R11 A+B). Inspired by board-formed concrete, it’s available in a range of neutral colors (Jet Black, Tube, Downtown, Breath, Broadway, Greige and Licorice) and two sizes, 24”x24” and 12”x24”. Also available in a natural or honed finish.

Gate Mark by Caesar
Gate Mark by Caesar is inspired by board-formed concrete.

Urban Concrete – Colored-body porcelain tile for interior floors & walls. It comes in 6 colors, 4 sizes (24”x24”, 12”x24”, 16”x32”, 6”x24”) and two finishes. The Natural finish enhances the delicate colors and deep shades of the collection to imbue spaces with a sense of sophisticated neutrality. Meanwhile, the Frame finish reproduces the wood textures imprinted on concrete by formwork, lending dynamism and personality to interiors. A range of graffiti and floral decors complete the line.

Flaviker's Urban Concrete
Flaviker's Urban Concrete reproduces the wood textures imprinted on concrete by formwork.

Nextra – Porcelain stoneware collection that captures the density of cement, expressing all of its strength and unprecedented smoothness. The five colors of the collection are available in a natural or polished finish and can be used in both residential and commercial environments. It is made with 40% recycled content and comes in 4 sizes (18”x18”, 12”24”, 24”x24” and 32”x32”).

Monocibec's Nextra collection
Monocibec's Nextra collection captures the density of cement.

Ink-Jet Splendor

An artist with a full palette is limitless in their creations. The same holds true for these Italian tile manufacturers who have utilized ink jet technology to much success.

Headline – A digital glazed porcelain tile that’s made in the U.S. The collection is characterized by harmonious graphics, elegant veining and unusual shades of color to renew the mood of residential and commercial spaces. Available in 6 sizes and 4 colors using Ink Jet technology, the end result is a surface that boasts high-definition design.

Signum – Porcelain tiles for floor and wall, residential, outdoor and light traffic areas; uses digital HD printing (up to 100 different graphics) unpolished/rectified in 2 sizes (9”x36” and 6”x36”) and 4 colors (Larice Sbiancato, Rovere Grigio, Olmo Selvatico and Palissandro Brasil); two geometric decors.

Silvis – A collection of full-body porcelain stoneware inspired by four unique types of wood (Humus, Cortex, Candeo and Robur) and made of 40% pre-consumer recycled content. It has incredible richness and variety of veins thanks to high definition inkjet printing based on 40 accurately selected patterns. Available in two sizes (6”x48” and 6”48”) and two finishes: Classic, with a more refined appeal and Country, which is more rustic. 

Silvis by Cotto d'Este
Silvis by Cotto d'Este is inspired by four unique types of wood.

A new collaboration with mosaic artist Carlo Dal Bianco using 4mm thick glass mosaic. The new collection is lightweight, dynamic, modular, geometric and highly decorative.

Mosaico+ collaborated with mosaic artist Carlo Dal Bianco for its latest collection.

Large Format

Graniti Fiandre
Maximum – Measuring 300x150cm (approximately 10' x 5'), Graniti Fiandre combines proven porcelain tile technology with new high-performances qualities: strength, lightness, flexibility, adaptability. With a thickness of only 6mm to 3mm, Maximum features a polished finish. 

Maximum by Graniti Fiandre
Graniti Fiandre's Maximum is light, flexible and strong.  

Tactile Textures

Convivium – A colored body porcelain tile for residential interior floors and walls. The collection combines numerous textures with 6 color options inspired by different natural surfaces (terracotta, stone and concrete) that can be used individually or in two-tone combinations. Available in 3 sizes with natural edges (12”x24”, 24”x24” and 16”x32”), 4 sizes with rectified edges (12”x24”, 24”x24”, 6”x24” and 12”x12” mosaic) and a wide range of accent tiles.

Convivum by Ariana
Convivum by Ariana is inspired by various natural surfaces.

Frame – A new ceramic tile collection conceived by Studio FM that reinterprets traditional decorations (from the ancient Azulejos to Bauhaus). It features four compositions (carpet, geometric, weave and majolica) that have sophisticated “patchwork” effects. 

Frame by Rex
Frame by Rex reinterprets traditional decorations (from Azulejos to Bauhaus).

New Collections

Trend Stone – A colored-body porcelain tile available in a range of neutral colors (Charcoal, Cinder, Dove-Grey, Beige and Ivory), natural and honed finishes, square and rectangular sizes and a 12”x12” mosaic. Also comes with a range of decors (Damasco, Raku, Geo and Palace) and special pieces. Manufactured using 17% pre-consumer recycled content.

Trend Stone by Cedir
Trend Stone by Cedir offers a full range of neutral colors.
Claystone – Produces a feeling of extreme softness with neutral, almost pastel colors and the strong yet fluid grain. The surface – natural or polished – is also slightly textured, which amplifies the soft effect. Available in 4 colors (Dark, Shadow, Ray and Desert) and a range of square and rectangular sizes.

New Yorker – Pure white body wall tiles in size 4”x12” and a range of 7 dusty colors: matte white, bright white, taupe, caramel, smoke, charcoal, and night. The edges are straight for easy installation but the surface is slightly wavy, reminiscent of the classic subway tiles with a rich and soft glaze that gives nice shading effects.

New Yorker by Settecento
Settecento's New Yorker features a slightly wavy surface.

Wood Looks

Arbor – A collection of sustainable, wood-inspired porcelain floor tiles for residential and commercial spaces. Made with 40% recycled material, it comes in 5 modern colors (white, black, brown, grey, beige) and 2 “plank” sizes (6”x39” and 4.8”x39”).

Project – A collection of porcelain wall tiles where the concepts of wood and stone come together to create a whole new style. The range of 6 colors inspired by Leccese stone comes in 3 sizes (13”x13”, 13”x39” and 10”x24”) and can be combined with two 6”x39” oak-inspired tiles. The choice of materials and formats – all perfectly rectified and satin finished – creates endless design opportunities.

Project by Naxos
Project by Naxos skillfully combines the look of wood and stone.
Taiga – Porcelain tiles that exploit the inherent beauty of irregularity through the use of a chromatic design that evokes the warm colors of woodlands and unspoiled natural settings. Available in 4 colors that recall the warm hues of the seasons, 2 rectangular sizes (6”x24” and 6”x36”) and a grip finish for outdoor surfaces

Taiga by Rex
Taiga by Rex boasts an irregular design  
Woodays – Porcelain tiles with 7 wood-mimicking looks – from Sycamore and Chestnut to Oak and Beech. It’s available in a variety of sizes (as large as 24”x36” and as small as 3¼“x 36”), as well as a variety of trims and ornate compositions.

Woodays by Tagina
Tagina's Woodays offers seven wood-mimicking options.

Visit Cersaie for more information about the show, or visit Ceramic Tiles of Italy for related information about the Italian tile manufacturing industry. 

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