Cersaie – Top Tile and Bath Trends from the Show

I just got back from Italy, where I had the pleasure of attending Cersaie, one of Europe’s top tile and bath shows. In this massive expo, I saw the latest industry innovations, products and trends.

Today, I’ll share the trends I spotted while wandering the acres of displays for three exhilarating and exhausting days. Ceramics of Italy was our host and sponsor for the trip and their brands are included in the coverage.

Cer Trends - Alabaster - Rex

Alabaster looks added luxe style to the show
(Photo Courtesy:  Rex Ceramiche Artistiche)

Style trends

Wood looks dominated the show, but with some interesting updates. In addition to the very rustic styles we’ve gotten used to seeing recently, this year saw the introduction of highly polished wood looks. Unlike real polished wood, though, the tile equivalent won’t wear down or need reapplication.

Cer Trends - Stonewood - Italgraniti Grp

Wood went high gloss this year,
seen in this Italgraniti Group‘s Stonewood series

Another wood-look trend was the rustic/vintage look combined with other elements. Wood and fabric was well represented. So was wood with metallic elements. Some tiles combined rustic with fabric and metallic or rustic with high gloss.

Cer Trends - Cortex - Ricchetti

Fabric and metallic blended with wood,
seen here in Ricchetti‘s Cortex
(Photo Courtesy: Ceramics of Italy)

Alabaster, as shown in the top photo, was another popular glossy look at the show. As they have with natural stone, production technology has made the resemblance rich and convincing.

Graphics and hexagons continue to be popular, with a lot of tone-on-tone neutral looks.

Cer Trends - Neutral Graphics (TriBeCa) - NovaBell

Graphics softened into tone-on-tones and neutrals,
shown here in NovaBell‘s TriBeCa series

But there were also some flamboyant patterns, like camouflage, Burberry plaid, broken plate-style mosaics, comic book accents featuring scantily-clad women and Americana labels.

Cer  Trends - Plaid - Gamma Due

Patterns got playful, too,
like this Burberry style from Gamma Due

Technology trends

Tiles that can be installed without grout were a welcome trend at the show.  (Regular readers know I’m not a grout fan!)  There were models for both indoor and outdoor use, with different types of installation systems being offered. I’ll be sharing my favorite next week in my Top Products post.

Cer Trends - Icon Outdoor

One of the several grout-free offerings
(Photo Courtesy:  Casamood)

Another trend was the inclusion of permanent anti-microbial protection built into the tile. Cosentino has been doing that for years by adding MicroBan to its Silestone countertops. It’s interesting (and potentially useful) to see the trend expanding to floor and wall tile.

I also liked the continuing trend of tile sets with indoor and outdoor (slip resistant) options. That helps create a strong visual tie between the two spaces.  In so many residential projects today, entertaining flows easily between inside and outside rooms… It’s nice to see the design industry make that look seamless.  One manufacturer even offered a line of mosaics for floor and wall, indoors and out. Versatility rules!

Cer Trends - Indoor-Outdoor - Appiani

There were numerous indoor-outdoor series,
including this Memorie series from Appiani

Sheet-mounted tile and ultra-thin tiles continue to be popular trends, both speeding up the installation process by offering simpler and lighter handling. I particularly liked the sheet-mounted subway tile-inspired rustic bricks.

Cer Trends - Bricks - 41 Zero 42Sheet tiles took new forms,
like this Muro 41 series from 41 Zero 42

If you’ve been reading Gold Notes for awhile, you know I’ve been following the development of porcelain and ceramic slab countertops.  Initially, only linen-textured neutrals were available.  More recently, European lines started offering them in natural stone and rustic metallic looks. Can our American manufacturers be far behind?

Cer Trends - Ctops - Neolith

Porcelain gives counters a new stain-resistant marble look,
shown here in Classtone from Neolith

Word is, some European brands are setting up American factories, so I’m hoping to see more leading European trends, products and technologies come to our side of the pond, too.

Next week:  Top Products from Cersaie

Photo Note:  Any images without a “Photo Courtesy” credit were taken by me on my iPhone 4S.


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Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS,  MCCWC

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC
San Diego, CA

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