The pavilions at the fairgrounds in Bologna, Italy, had new life breathed into them, as Cersaie 2022 demonstrated members of the tile industry are once again attending in-person events after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The five-day international exhibition of ceramics for architecture and bathroom furnishings, which ran from September 26th to 30th, experienced a 50% spike in attendance from the previous year. Overall, the number of visitors climbed to a little over 90,000 -- narrowing the gap with 2019 numbers, which totaled a little more than 112,000.

"I am convinced that the investments made by the 624 exhibitors of Cersaie 2022 have had the best possible return from a fair that has confirmed its national and international importance among distributors, architects, installers and real estate professionals,” said Giovanni Savorani, president of Confindustria Ceramica. “Ceramic continues to increase its shares on international markets thanks to the intrinsic characteristics of the product, such as healthiness, hygiene and durability.”

An energy carried throughout the exhibition halls for the duration of the show, as visitors made their way from booth to booth – with one display dazzling more than the next. It was apparent tile manufacturers had been busy developing new product lines that they prominently displayed for attendees to view.

Large porcelain slabs for countertops and wall cladding continue to gain momentum in design. “We have an area highlighting large slabs this year,” said Nicholas Goodman, projects division manager at Atlas Concorde USA, Inc. “We made a big investment. It’s a growing trend in the U.S.” Goodman cited one reason they are being favored is for less grout lines.

Stone- and wood-look tile were also abound in exhibitor displays. Technology has pushed the limits and the aesthetic and texture of the tile surface appear more authentic than ever before. Floral patterns and tiles resembling wallpaper also adorned the walls of booths. Moreover, it was obvious that advances in technology have resulted in a plethora of surface finishes – from smooth and satiny to knotty wood.

Many tile manufacturers are talking about 100% carbon neutral tile in an effort to be environmental friendly. Along those lines, Savorani explained how this year sustainability was a top priority for Cersaie.

“The commitment to the sustainability of Italian ceramics was the leitmotif of the entire event, and it was also concretely reflected in the meeting held at the fair with regional and territorial institutions to monitor the progress and results of the agreement voluntary on the containment of district emissions,” he said. “The energy transition that we have started must not be thwarted by the dramatic consequences of the crisis on the energy markets, which requires urgent action at European and national level.”

Planning is already in the works for next year, which will celebrate Cersaie’s 40th anniversary. The international tile exhibition is slotted for September 25 to 29, 2023.