Anyone who follows the ceramic tile category knows the Europeans are primarily responsible for most of the cutting-edge designs and innovations that we eventually see in the U.S. market. One of the major shows, Cersaie, revealed quite a bit for 2017.
“This year, fresh styles emerged as materials were combined in groundbreaking ways, traditional stone and wood look tiles reached new aesthetic heights, and advances in performance properties affirmed that Italian ceramic tiles are some of the highest quality building materials in the world,” says Kristin Coleman, a marketing rep for Ceramic Tiles of Italy.
Trends, Coleman, included an emphasis on texture and a continued focus on brilliantly conceived high-profile designer collaborations. “These trends are sure to influence interiors and complement great architecture in the years to come,” She adds.
In previous years, large sizes, textile-inspired looks, and metallic looks emerged as hot introductions. Though these products are still popular in the residential (and hospitality) market, other innovations have emerged.
Marble inspirations were hot at this year’s show, as was rustic modern and retro-inspired tiles. Texture, which has been holding strong for many years, continues unabated and is one of the hottest looks from this year’s show.
Here are top 10 trends that came out of the 2016 show:
1. AGAINST THE GRAIN
Wood continues to serve as a major muse for the tile industry, with companies adding their own twist and utilizing new production methods to create a whole new typology of floor and wall covering. Some product draw inspiration from exotic woods, while others recreate the warmth and imperfections of wood in 2 cm outdoor pavers. Collections include I Gozzi by Antiche Fornaci D’Agostino, Natura 2cm by Cerdisa, Gran Paradiso by Del Conca, Wood_Mood by Fioranese, Essences by Marca Corona, Koru by Mirage, NewAge by Monocibec, Raw by Ornamenta, Komi by Pastorelli, Provoak by Provenza, Rivamancina by Tagina and Woodlines by Unica.
Pictured (L-R): Del Conca Gran Paradiso, Unica Woodlines, Cerdisa Natura 2cm, Marca Corona Essences
2. BITS & PIECES
Many companies introduced collections characterized by a random assortment of fragmented pieces, lending an eclectic and playful visual narrative to the surface. Some of the designs are inspired by natural stone, while others convey a sense of manual processing such as Venetian terrazzo and irregular stone mosaics. A couple of standout collections include Bits, a reinterpretation of terrazzo flooring with square and irregular polygonal shapes, designed by Gordon Guillaumier for Ceramiche Piemme; and Sant’Agostino’s Set collection.
Pictured (L-R): Atlas Concorde Marvel Gems, Sant’Agostino Set, Fioranese Marmocrea, Fap Maku
3. BLACK & BLUE
Iintense blacks with matte finishes made a strong statement this year. Meanwhile, blue is taking the tile industry by storm, expanding beyond last year’s marine palette to include dusty, vibrant, and sophisticated hues of blue. For devotees of Le Corbusier, his preferred shades of ivory black and ultramarine blue from "Polychromie architecturale” are now available in ceramic tile thanks to a new project from Gigacer called LCS Ceramics. Other collections to look out for include Hops by 41zero42, Texture by Appiani, Marvel Gems by Atlas Concorde, I Marmi by Ava, Layers by Caesar, Earth and Pietre di Paragone by Casalgrande Padana.
Pictured (L-R): Sicis Vetrite, Refin Arte Pura, Bardelli Sofia, 41zero42 Hops
4. GRITTY CHIC
Adding an edge to interiors, tile companies continue to experiment with plaster, concrete, metal, and resin. Some designs are elegant interpretations of industrial surfaces, offering a kind of raw sophistication, while others are intentionally corroded and weathered. One such collection is Archeologie designed by Franco Guerzoni for Cedit. Additional collections include: Crea by Ariana, Mood by Astor, Network by Cerdisa, Tr3nd by Ergon, Cor-ten by Faetano, and Raw Tech by Floor Gres.
Pictured (L-R): Supergres Art, La Fabbrica Lascaux, Faetano Cor-Ten, Cedit Archeologie
5. MEGA MARBLE
Digital printing has become so advanced that it’s hard to tell whether the calacatta you see is marble or ceramic. Being stain, scratch and chemical resistant, it gives clients freedom from fear (especially of red wine) and provides a low maintenance and low cost alternative to the precious material. Companies are producing these wunder objekts in sizes up to 5.25 feet by 10.5 feet and thicknesses ranging from a typical tile thickness of 10mm for heavy traffic floors to super thin ceramics that can be used to cover doors, furnishings and walls. Collections include: Marvel XL by Atlas Concorde, Copacabana by Ava, Marmoker by Casalgrande Padana, W_All by Flaviker, and FORMstone by Florim.
Pictured (L-R): Atlas Concorde Marvel XL, Italgraniti Mega, Ava Copacabana, Novabell Imperial
Even with metallics’ growing popularity, tile companies continue to add more products to the mix. Bronze, platinum and gold are the key players, often acting as inserts or decorative accents, adding a bit of glamour to collections often inspired by natural materials. Collections include: Loop by 41zero42, Alpes by ABK, Earth by Casalgrande Padana, Neutra 6.0 by Casamood, ColorNow by Fap, W_All by Flaviker, Swing by Petracer’s, Vetrite by Sicis, Brique by Unica.
Pictured (L-R): Unica Brique, Casamood Neutra 6.0, ABK Alpes, 41zero42 Loop
7. RETRO REVIVAL
Borrowing elements from the past and infusing them with contemporary ideas, manufacturers have been turning retro looks for years, especially with the graphic appeal of cementine and maiolica. Now other historical movements have joined the fold, from the elegance of art deco to the bold shapes and hues of Memphis. One collection that was completely revived from the 1960s is Blu Ponti by Francesco de Maio. Originally designed by Gio Ponti for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, the line features 30 blue and white decorations with geometric and naturalistic motifs faithfully reproduced on 8-inch-by-8-inch ceramic tiles. Other tiles that fit this trend include XO by 14oraitaliana, Paper41 by 41zero42, Firenze Heritage by Fap, Cementine_Retro by Fioranese, and Play by Imola.
Pictured (L-R): Francesco de Maio Blu Ponti, Verde1999 Aria, Ornamenta 80s, Petracer’s Swing
8. RUSTIC MODERN
Adding a new twist to country style, wood, stone, brick and cotto are invigorated by modern laying schemes, hues and patterns. Antique stone with metallic accents, terracotta in quatrefoil shapes, and geometric patterns overlaid onto distressed wood planks are just a few of the ways tile companies are blending farmhouse charm with modern elegance. Collections include Alpes by ABK, Listoni by Campani, Argille 2.0 by Casa Dolce Casa, Borgogna by Coem, Wornwood by Edilcuoghi, Arezzo by Faetano, Firenze Heritage by Fap, StonePit by Isla, and Rivamancina by Tagina and Trecentogradi by Viva.
Pictured (L-R): Settecento Proxi, Tagina Rivamancina, Fap Firenze Heritage, Novabell Materia
From large, thin porcelain tile panels and mesh-mounted mosaics to patterns that traverse a single tile's dimensions, Italian manufacturers are giving designers the tools to create a seamless surface. Cotto d’Este is one company combining artistic wall decoration with ultra-thin ceramic, offering 12 decorative patterns on large thin porcelain slabs with two distinct surface effects. Other collections include Paper41 by 41zero42, Texture by Appiani, Crea by Ariana, Eve by Bardelli, Mexicana by Cerdomus, Maku by Fap, and Marmonomarmo by Imola.
Pictured (L-R): Ornamenta Oplus, Panaria Urbanature, Cotto d’Este Wonderwall, Appiani Texture
10. WARP & WEFT
Texture is the defining character of this year’s tile collections. Designs range from lace, macramé, linen and madras to masculine suiting fabrics, leather, tweed and tartan. Whether woven, knitted, knotted, or layered, the designs add another tactile element to the hard surface. One collection that embodies this trend is Arte Pura by Ceramiche Refin. Also of note is Vetrite, which turns Sicis fabrics into luxurious cladding via large format thin glass panels. Additional collections include Crea by Ariana, Room by Atlas Concorde, Tesori by Cedit, I Tessuti by Cerim, Craft by Cisa, Stone City by Del Conca, Lin_Side by Edilgres, Tussor by Edimax, Dream by Fondovalle, Trame by Lea, Reve by Mirage.
Pictured (L-R): Ariana Crea, Sant’Agostino TailorArt, Fondovalle Dream, Del Conca Stone City