Cersaie, the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, is a platform for design-driven products and state-of-the-art architectural solutions.
Held from September 28 – October 2, the 2010 event is already generating a buzz as 90,000+ design professionals from all over the world are making plans to be in Bologna that week. With over 510 tile manufacturers present, the majority of which are Italian, the fair gives visitors a preview of the most innovative ceramic and porcelain collections before they hit the marketplace. On the style front, interesting cut-outs, lace, oversized flowers, skinny stripes and mid-century modern will make their way to the tile runway. In line with the times, visitors can expect to see a bounty of organic influences ranging from rustic wood-looks to natural stone. And who can forget about green design and technological innovation? New slim formats are guaranteed to make a big impact on the A&D community.
StyleWhat’s old is new again. With popular shows like “Mad Men,” the swinging 60s are making a big comeback. In the tile world, hard surfaces will be transformed into masculine stripes, delicate fabrics and muted metallics. The 2011 style forecast calls for everything from renaissance-inspired looks to patchwork patterns to what Pantone is calling “the mosaic of color.” Thanks to technology, all these archetypes have a new modern twist.
Lea’s “Lines” collection is backed by a designer label (Patrick Norguet) and features crisp, clean stripes of varying heights. Along with “Waves,” the two series are big (3m x 1m), bold (3mm thick) and beautiful. FAP’s “Nastro” ceramic tile and accessories bring Paul Smith’s stripes into the bathroom. La Fabbrica’s “5th Avenue” offers decors including moon, waves and stripes while it’s slim “Cathay 4 Fine” series is a ceramic alternative to ornamental latticework. Maison Sichenia’s “Jardin” series is dusted with delicate forms of barely-there flowers and interlaced brushstrokes that reveal a contemporary romanticism. The same classic elegance can be found in Phorma’s “Pietra di Damasco.”
With decors inspired by boiseries and Baroque coffered ceilings, ABK’s “Marbleway” gives a new twist to antique paneling. Like a modern quilt, Cir “Villa Emilia” pieces together tiles with lightly stamped floral and geometric silhouettes. Fondovalle’s “Metalgloss” and “Murano” each add a subtle and sophisticated metallic sheen to the glazed porcelain surface. Speaking of glazes, Cersarda’s “Cotti Glamour” blends traditional terracotta with a liquid metal mix to form a vibrant and luminous collection. Similarly “Flair” by Ceramica Cir, a brand of Serenissima Cir, presents a kaleidoscope of colors.
SustainabilityThis ever-expanding category deserves much attention. First, consider tile’s inherently green attributes like its durability, lifespan and resistance to extreme weather conditions, fire, water and moisture. Then think about it in terms of indoor air quality, maintenance and hygiene. It scores quite high as a clean, durable, hypoallergenic and low-maintenance covering solution.
Besides its innate eco-friendly characteristics, many Italian tiles manufacturers are using a closed-loop process that recycles 100% of raw material and water wastes back into the production cycle. And shipping? All tiles made in Italy are sent to the US by sea. From 100% recyclable packaging to tiles made with recycled content, the Italian tile industry is making a commitment to the environment. Novabell’s “Tuscania,” Verde1999’s “TT120,” Marca Corona’s “Marmo Ecologico” and Emilceramica’s “Blocks” are just a few of the many new introductions containing a percentage of pre-consumer recycled content that will be seen at this year’s show. In terms of grout and adhesives, MAPEI offers environmentally responsible solutions and manufacturers more than 130 LEED-compliant products.
Area Industrie Ceramiche [Tegolasolare – ceramic solar paneling], Refin [Pro-gres – 20% post consumer recycled content from TV screens] and Casalgrande Padana [Bios – antimicrobial tile] are gearing up for another homerun at the annual trade fair. Also be sure to check out Sant’Agostino. They are offering customers the possibility of using a tile with total compensation of CO2 emissions. The “Green Power” collection has been certified by the Bureau Veritas as the first ceramic product obtained by totally compensating the quantity of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere during the whole production cycle. Thanks to a complex action program called Ecoquality, the company can obtain a very high efficiency level in energy manufacturing cycles and self-produce it in a clean way through a recently installed photovoltaic unit. In addition to this, Ceramic Sant’Agostino contributes to safeguard the environment by financing green projects carried out by international bodies in world areas subject to desertification. In short, more trees less CO2.
SurroundingsSpeaking of trees, the natural environment continues to excite and inspire artists, designers and manufacturers alike. With the aid of digital technology, this reoccurring trend is taking a more sophisticated approach this season. Introductions mirroring natural stone and luxurious marble will rock the 2010 tile world.
Cisa and Casamood each produce a collection inspired and name for the layered rock better known as “Slate.” Gallura by Alfalux is based on the surface of Trachyte, a volcanic rock that has become very popular in modern interior design. In keeping with the style trend, Floor Gres’s “Pietra Piasentina” is inspired by ancient Roman limestone used throughout Italy during the Renaissance. Coem’s “Scabas” recreates the look of travertine. Replicating marble, Rex’s “I Bianchi,” opens a new chapter in the company’s line of products dedicated to natural materials. It seamlessly combines with their “Le Essenze” wood collection. Phorma’s “I Legni,” Emilceramica’s “GoldenWood,” Cedir’s “Bambú” Sichenia’s “Doghe” and Serenissima’s “Timber” are a few more standouts in the popular wood-look category.
SlimMore and more manufacturers are adding this new slim format to their offerings. In fact, the Italian tile industry is chairing the committee on thin tiles to develop an international standard for these slim products and their installation. The industry sees this sustainable solution as an important area for growth in the flooring and wall-covering sector. The ceramic tile’s slim size means less environmental impact due to the reduction in energy consumption, raw materials and transport costs.
Laminam pioneered this technology. Part of the System Group, it was the first to create the largest and thinnest ceramic surface ever: 3m2 and just 3mm thick. “Filo,” the company’s latest advancements, combines material innovation with a 3-D textured metallic surface. Cotto D’Este, another technological leader, has developed Kerlite’s offerings to include: “Kerlite 3mm,” a series ideal for walls; “Kerlite Plus,” the 3mm tile enhanced for floors with a .5mm fiberglass backing, Kerlite Twin,” a two-layer slab with high resistance.
Wondering about its strength? At Coverings, Lea Ceramiche took its “Slimtech” series for a test drive. Throughout the four-day show, guests were invited to hit it with a metal hammer. Unlike ordinary tile, which shatters on impact, the thin porcelain passed the test with flying colors.
At Cersaie, keep an eye out for new slender formats from Caesar [Plank], Capri [I Travertini], Del Conca [ThermoTile], Refin [Murcia], Mirage [Atelier] and Imola [Strobus]. Besides what’s brand new, best-selling archives have slimmed down and will be reintroduced in their new size. Examples include: Panaria’s “ZERO.3 Aisthesis”, Ergon’s “GreenLite Alabastro” and Cerim’s “I Legni Naturali Slim/4.”
These are just a few of the trends predicted for Cersaie 2010. With a show this size and so many Italian tile producers under one roof, it is hard to cover them all. To access and download more new products, visit the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Product Gallery (http://products.italiatiles.com). For more information on Cersaie, visit www.cersaie.it.