5 Show-Stopping Tile Trends From The Cersaie Trade Show In Italy

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    5 Show-Stopping Tile Trends From The Cersaie Trade Show In Italy

    Modern living and dining room with ceramic tile floors with a concrete finish
    Leonardo Ceramica

    Interior design has a long history. People have likely been decorating homes and other buildings for almost as long as they've been building them. As a result, some of the most fundamental pieces that we build our rooms on - like rugs, pottery and textiles - have been around for thousands of years. Tile is another piece of decor that has long roots, stretching back as far as Egypt in 4000 BC and even beyond. Like pottery and rugs, tile continues to be a part of our daily lives. And even...MORE though artisans, designers, and engineers have literally been refining the process of making and decorating tiles for millennia, our fascination with tile, and our reliance on it, shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, business is booming.

    This year, the About Interior Decorating team had the pleasure of traveling to Bologna, Italy, home of several of the nation's most famous culinary traditions such as Bolognese sauce and mortadella, from which we get our American version of balogna. In addition to it's fabulous cuisine, however, Bologna is known for one more thing. Every year the medieval city plays host to Cersaie, the world's largest showcase of international tile designers. Manufacturers come to exhibit at the show from all over the world, with many of the best known being based in Italy themselves. Divided into roughly a dozen sections, spread out over a massive complex of more than twenty separate pavilions and highlighted by a diverse array of talks, presentations and events, Cersaie is the perfect place in which to explore both the traditional aspects of tile that that have stood the test of time, and all of the fascinating new innovations that promise to keep the industry fresh and exciting for even more years to come.

    As with so many other aspects of decor, advances in digital printing, new materials for manufacturing and an increased focus on environmental sustainability have all had a major impact on both the ways in which tiles are produced and on the amount of creativity that manufacturers can bring to their product. From the work of talented in-house design teams to collections designed in collaboration with well-known fashion designers, the variety of different approaches on display was truly staggering. And while there was far too much to see to capture it all in a single article, there were certain trends that stood out above the others. These are the directions that will determine the colors, styles and finishes that we'll be using to define our spaces in the year to come. We're very excited about what we saw and we're sure you'll love it too. Here are 6 of the biggest, show-stopping trends that we saw coming down the pike at Cersaie.  

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    Texture: Flaviker W_ALL Collection

    Stylish modern bathroom with textured wall tiles from Flaviker

    One thing that has remained more or less consistent about tile over the course of it's century-spanning lifetime has been it's texture. Simply put, tiles look and feel like the ceramic material that they are. But now, new manufacturing techniques have opened up an entirely new world of possibilities, and with it has come a range of new inspirations that are changing one of tile's longest held traditions.

    Flaviker, an Italy-based tile company that opened in the early sixties is among...MORE the leaders in using new technologies to create contemporary surfaces with tile. The W_ALL Collection uses this new technology to create delicately patterned tiles with a slightly raised surface, adding a tactile dimension to the tiles through the inclusion of various textures. The bathroom above features a wall covered in several different types of bifurcated tiles from this collection, offering a selection of varied patterns and textiles, all subtly included and perfectly mixed.

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    Texture: Leonardo Ceramica District Collection

    Studio space with metallic inspired porcelain tiles from Leonardo Ceramica
    Leonardo Ceramica

    The District Collection from Leonardo Ceramica is an excellent example of the new textures that modern tiles are able to emulate. Going as far against the norm as they could, the company describes the goal of the collection as nothing less than developing a metal tile. Inspired by the industrial metalwork found in modern cities, this tile incorporates the patterns found on city grates, manhole covers, and other functional elements of daily life, elevating the patterns to the level of design...MORE while taking the look and feel of their tiles in a whole new direction. 

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    Texture: Atlas Concorde 3D Wall Design Collection

    Bathroom with 3-dimensional wall tiles from Atlas Concorde
    Atlas Concorde

    Atlas Concorde, one of Europe's largest tile-producing companies and the founding member of Gruppo Concorde, the continent's second largest tile group, is a company accustomed to thinking big. So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that, when it came to adding texture to tiles, their offering in that area would be next level as well. With their 3D Wall Design Collection, Atlas is upping the aesthetic stakes with a selection of tiles that do exactly what their name suggests -...MORE adding a 3-dimensional element that literally pops off of the wall. The collection offers a range of options - from simple, industrial looking grids to intricate lace-inspired designs and a series of organic-looking waves that evoke a feeling of sand and surf that can take any room to a desert oasis or the sands of your favorite beach.

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    Flora: 41Zero42 Paper 41 Collection

    Floral patterned ceramic wall tiles from 41Zero42

    Tile has always brought a strong element of design to its highly functional role in homes. Color and pattern have long been hallmarks of spaces featuring tile from ancient mosaics to contemporary kitchen backsplashes. Beyond the point of altering the texture and feel of the tile, however, modern manufacturers are beginning to view tile as a canvas on which to paint a much broader expression. New digital printing technologies are combining with the current resurgence of the floral trend to bring...MORE us some very exciting new possibilities. 

    41Zero42 is one of the youngest and most innovative new Italian tile companies. Named for a zip code, the company, which considers itself a collective of storytellers as much as a tile company, is fast becoming known for its unique view of the medium and it's artistic approach to using tile at home. It's Paper41 Collection is a perfect example of this perspective - using HD printing technology to create a fantastic wall mural of photorealistic florals.  

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    Flora: Ava Ceramica Eden Collection

    Bathroom with floral inspired porcelain wall tiles from Ava Ceramica
    Ava Ceramica

    Florals are making a splash on the subtler side of tile decoration as well. As part of its Eden Collection, manufacturer Ava Ceramica offers this light floral patterns in a variety of colors and finishes. Available in floor as well as wall tiling, this beautiful pattern looks even better when mixing and matching the different styles.

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    Wood: Monocibec New Age Collection

    Cool bar with ceramic tile floors with a hardwood appearance from Monocibec

    One of the biggest trends on display at the show was the ability of tile designers to create tiles that resembled other materials, surfaces and finishes. Easily the most popular of these new looks was wood, and a number of companies put forth a variety of remarkable options for creating the illusion of high-end or vintage wood floors and walls using digitally printed ceramic tiles.

    The New Age Collection from Monocibec brings tile into the world of modern design for spaces with a  more industrial...MORE aesthetic. Created with an eye towards a new kind of "causal elegance,"  the tiles resemble slats of vintage or reclaimed wood. The result is a warm and lived-in feel that brings an extra layer of comfortability to any space. The design is available in a number of natural wood tones including pecan, ebony and ash. 

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    Wood: 41Zero42 Yaki Collection

    Ceramic floor tiles with a hardwood appearance from 41Zero42

    41Zero42 makes another appearance with the Yaki Collection, a digitally printed group of tile designs with the appearance of smooth, well-finished wooden flooring. The Yaki Collection is perfect for modern spaces that can benefit from the slightly rustic feel of wood floors in neutral tones. With the modern twist of being digitally printed tile, this collection offers a more sustainable option for homes where reclaimed wood isn't an option for floors.

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    Wood: Leonardo Ceramica More Collection

    Ceramic wall tiles with a wood-inspired design from Leonardo Ceramica
    Leonardo Ceramica

    Leonardo Ceramica makes its own foray into the emerging world of wood-themed tiles with the artistically appointed More Collection. These tiles have a delightfully minimalistic feel of wood carved with simple motifs that only serve to emphasize the wood grain pattern that has been printed onto the ceramic surface. Combined across the wall these tiles create an intriguing combination of natural and carved effects - the perfect backdrop for any well-decorated room.

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    Stone: Cooperativa Ceramica D'Imola

    Modern living room with concrete inspired ceramic floor tiles from Imola Ceramica
    Imola Ceramica

    Coopertiva Ceramica D'Imola, also known as Imola Ceramica, has been crafting high-quality tile products since the late 19th century. As the oldest Italian tile coopertive, the company has thrived for years by combining old-world standards of quality with an eye towards the future of both creativity and manufacturing in their industry.  With the Creative Concrete Collection Imola delves into the exciting new world of tiles that can take on nearly any appearance by developing a series based on...MORE the various textures and forms of concrete. Printed with a matte finish and available in both square and rectangular tiles, this is another ideal option for spaces that are want to create a contemporary, industrial look, but without the effort and expense of laying concrete floors. 

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    Stone: Flaviker W_ALL Collection

    Kitchen with digitally printed mosaic tiles with a marble finish from Flaviker

    Flaviker uses its printing technology to create the Supreme Collection, a selection of porcelain tiles designed to mimic the appearance of natural stone. From distinctive white and blue-gray visage of Carrara Marble to the eye-catching metallic highlights of Golden Calacatta stone, the Supreme Collection emulates the look of many of the most sought-after natural stones for use in home decor. One of the most engaging aspects of this collection is the inclusion of the smaller, hexagonal...MORE "mosaic" size for the tiles. Best suited for spaces intended to showcase a mixture of different tiles, the small size and naturally geometric aspect of these tiles opens the way to incredible moments of creative freedom while developing modern "stone" mosaics such as the one shown in the image above.

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    Textiles: Ornamenta

    Ceramic wall tiles with a tartan-inspired design

    Possibly the most interesting innovation of the show was the number of new tile offerings that were designed to emulate the look of textiles rather than stone or metal. The Tartan tile collection by Ornamenta plays with the iconic, chequered pattern of Scottish Tartans for wall and floor tiles that take on the look of fabric. Similarly the company's Paisley tiles create a similar effect with their titular pattern to give the effect of a seamless, area-spanning wallpaper design.