On the Radar: Top 10 Tile Trends for 2016

Hello design & tile lovers!

If you’re wondering what new Italian tile products will be popping up in 2016, here’s a round-up of the ten most popular trends we saw at Cersaie – the world’s preeminent exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings held in Bologna, Italy from September 28 – October 2.

With over 850 exhibitors and 100,000+ visitors, the mood of the show was very positive and brimming with designer collaborations, craftsmanship and innovation.

(Trends and images compiled by Novità Communications, New York, NY)

Playing with the idea of modularity, Italian ceramic companies are designing fragmented patterns on square and rectangular tiles to produce large dynamic compositions. By randomly mixing and matching geometric shapes, the tiles pop with vivid, kaleidoscopic effect. Of special note is Flaviker‘s Supreme collection, produced with the new Wall&Porcelain ceramic technology from ABK Group that combines the best qualities of ceramic and porcelain stoneware to create a whole new typology of tile. Additional collections include: Bardelli Tangram,Casa Doce Casa Pietre/3, Ceramica Vogue Shade, Gardenia Orchidea Mood, Marca Corona NewLuxe, Naxos Surface, Ornamenta Frames, Refin Labyrinth, Sant’Agostino DigitalArt, Sicis SICIStone and Tagina Details.

Top 10 Tile Trends.FRAGMENTS - L-R Bardelli Tangram, Refin Labyrinth, Sicis SICIStone, Ornamenta Frames
FRAGMENTS – L-R: Bardelli Tangram, Refin Labyrinth, Sicis SICIStone, Ornamenta Frames

Each season a shape naturally emerges as a tile industry favorite. Last year was the hexagon; this year is all about brick! From micro to macro, polished to rustic, and designs ranging from faithful interpretations of old brick walls and brick with mortar spills to painted brick and marble and wood designs in a brick format. A few stand-out products include a new miniature brick collection (Micro-Brick) designed by Nendo for Brix, brick tiles that can be custom ordered in 150 colors from Emilceramica (Brick Design), and L-shaped tiles designed to wrap corners such as Del Conca Cantina, Cir Recupera, and Marca Corona BrickLane. Additional collections include: ABK Do-Up,Ceramica Incontro Muretto, Coem Bricklane, Elios The Wall, Isla Pietra Triburtina, Marca Corona Brickstyle, Monocibec Eclipse,Ornamenta Pick ‘n Brick, Rondine Brick Generation and Vallelunga Creo.

Top 10 Tile Trends.HIT THE BRICKS - L-R Marca Corona BrickLane, Cir Recupera, Brix Micro-Brick, Monocibec Eclipse
HIT THE BRICKS – L-R: Marca Corona BrickLane, Cir Recupera, Brix Micro-Brick, Monocibec Eclipse

Drawing inspiration from an age-old pattern, designers will love dressing up floors and walls with these eye-catching porcelains. From rustic and painted wood looks to resin, brick and stone, Italian companies are producing chevron and herringbone tiles across all scales to create visually striking patterns that are easy to install. Collections include: 41zero42 Rigo, Atlas Concorde Etic Pro, Coem BrickLane,Fioranese Chevron Chic, Flaviker Place 2B, Italgraniti Spatula, Mirage NooN, Novabell Firestone, Refin Chevron, Rondine Brick Generation, Sant’Agostino Shadewood and Unica Lacche.

Top 10 Tile Trends.CHEVRON CHIC - L-R Sant'Agostino Shadewood, Novabell Firestone, 41zero42 Rigo, Atlas Concorde Etic Pro
CHEVRON CHIC – L-R: Sant’Agostino Shadewood, Novabell Firestone, 41zero42 Rigo, Atlas Concorde Etic Pro

This year we saw endless variations on the most basic and powerful element of design: the line. Thick and thin, vertical and horizontal, straight and intersecting, flat and three dimensional, linear designs are definitely in vogue with the ability to add depth, movement or focus to a room. Notable designer collections with a linear bent include: Naive, Patrick Norguet’s second tile collection for Lea Ceramiche‘s Slimtech line, reminiscent of carefully drawn pencil lines; Earth, designed by the famous Italian car design firm Pininfarina for Casalgrande Padana; and Rombini, an alphabet of shapes and colors designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Mutina. Additional collections include: 41zero42 Otto, ABK Interno, Ariana Canvas, Cerdomus Verve, Ergon Limestone, Fap Lumina, Imola Q-Style, Italgraniti Couture, Leonardo Update, Naxos Fiber and Unica New Direction.

Top 10 Tile Trends.ALONG THE RIGHT LINES - L-R Mutina Rombini, Naxos Fiber, Lea Naive Slimtech, 41zero42 Otto
ALONG THE RIGHT LINES – L-R Mutina Rombini, Naxos Fiber, Lea Naive Slimtech, 41zero42 Otto

One trend that’s been embraced by several Italian companies is the transformation of tile into objet d’art. Continuing its Game of Fifteenseries dedicated to contemporary artists, Ascot‘s second line features the work of Dutch street artist Boris Tellegen. ABK and Imola were also inspired by street art, offering graffiti-style decors with their Do-Up and Kuni lines, respectively. Settecento also treats several of its tile collections as canvases, from the stencil decors in Bistrot to the pop art of Steve Kaufman.

Top 10 Tile Trends.OBJET D'ART - L-R Ascot Game of 15, ABK Do-Up, Settecento Steve Kaufman, Imola Kuni
OBJET D’ART – L-R: Ascot Game of 15, ABK Do-Up, Settecento Steve Kaufman, Imola Kuni

There was an overwhelming warmth to the tile introductions this year, lending an undeniable softness to the hard surface. From designs with distressed and tactile effects (sandblasted marble, stripped wood and fabric) to warm shades, watercolor and velvety textures, it was a welcome reprieve from the minimal aesthetic of recent years. One of the most celebrated product launches came from Ornamenta whose porcelain Paper tiles act like a chalkboard thanks to a specially formulated soft glaze finish. Additional collections include: ABK Do-Up,Appiani Allure, Ariana Canvas, Astor Context, Bardelli Colour Tiles, Brennero Terra, Cir New Orleans, Edimax Texture, Fap Roma,Fioranese Painted_Wood, Fondovalle Infinito 2.0, Imola Kiko, Italgraniti Couture, Keope Prime, Novabell Montresor, Ricchetti Soft,Supergres Remake and Verde 1999 Passepartout.

Top 10 Tile Trends.SOFT SPOT - L-R Fioranese Painted_Wood, Fondovalle Infinito 2.0, Astor Context, ABK Do-Up
SOFT SPOT – L-R: Fioranese Painted_Wood, Fondovalle Infinito 2.0, Astor Context, ABK Do-Up

Despite the color’s recent meteoric rise in popular culture, grey has always been a modern designer’s best friend. And this year an entire spectrum can be found in the latest Italian tile introductions, from cooler slate tones to that perfect portmanteau of grey and beige. With the addition of texture, chromatic variation and overlaid patterns, these tiles prove that you don’t need color to make a statement! Del Conca‘s GA by Giugiaro Architettura, Transition by Mirage and Labyrinth designed by Giulio Iacchetti for Refin are a few prominent collections that exemplify this trend. Additional collections include: 41zero42 Signs, Brix Brush, Caesar Eclipse, Coem Reverso, Cotto d’EsteLimestone, Emilceramica Milestone, Italgraniti Spatula, La Fabbrica Fenis, LaFaenza Ego, Novabell District, Provenza Gesso, SettecentoGea, Sintesi Planet and Vallelunga Base.

Top 10 Tile Trends.GREYSCALE - L-R Sintesi Planet, Brix Brush, Cotto d'Este Limestone, 41zero42 Signs
GREYSCALE – L-R: Sintesi Planet, Brix Brush, Cotto d’Este Limestone, 41zero42 Signs

With continuously evolving technologies, Italian companies are able to create ceramic tiles with three dimensional folds, wavy ridges, raised geometry and asymmetrical profiles. Fitting these tiles together creates a three dimensional wall with a seamless sculpted surface that naturally draws the eye. Collections include: Ascot Game of Fifteen Boris Tellegen, Atlas Concorde 3D Wall Design, Cerim Timeless,Coem Reverso, Ergon Limestone, Fap Frame, Mutina Numi, Piemme More, Sicis Meteors and Tagina Details.

Top 10 Tile Trends.3D WALL - L-R Sicis Meteors, Fap Frame, Atlas Concorde 3D Wall Design, Piemme More
3D WALL – L-R: Sicis Meteors, Fap Frame, Atlas Concorde 3D Wall Design, Piemme More

Tiles continue to get bigger every year, bringing a torrent of new design possibilities. Thin, large porcelain slabs – which can be used to cover all manner of surfaces including countertops and furnishings – are now available in sizes up to 5.25′ x 10.5′ from companies like Avaand Floor Gres. Wood-look tiles are being produced in formats as large as 4’x4′ and as long as 8′ (such as Komi from Fondovalle). And porcelain pavers, which were typically 20mm thick, now come in a 30mm thickness (such as Aextra30 by Caesar) for high-traffic outdoor flooring. Additional collections include: Ava Aesthetica and I Marmi, Casamood Neutra 6.0, Flaviker Place 2B, Floor Gres Styletech,Fondovalle Acidic, La Fabbrica Amazon, Leonardo 3Wood and Mirage Na.Me.

Top 10 Tile Trends.SUPERSIZE ME - L-R Fondovalle Komi, Caesar Aextra30, Ava I Marmi, Casamood Neutra 6.0
SUPERSIZE ME – L-R: Fondovalle Komi, Caesar Aextra30, Ava I Marmi, Casamood Neutra 6.0

Conjuring images of Mediterranean life, this marine palette of greens and blues is perfect for a pop of color! From large-format and modern surface effects to more traditional shapes and motifs, these cool colors are bringing a coastal vibe to the interior. Collections include: Atlas Concorde Dwell, Cerasarda Sardinia, Imola Kiko and Shades, Lea Ceramiche Bio Recover, MIPA Puerto Rico and Tagina Details.

Top 10 Tile Trends.LIFE AQUATIC - L-R Atlas Concorde Dwell, Tagina Details, Cerasarda Sardinia, Imola Shades
LIFE AQUATIC – L-R: Atlas Concorde Dwell, Tagina Details, Cerasarda Sardinia, Imola Shades

Attendance at Cersaie 2015 exceeds 101,000 over five days

Increase in numbers of international visitors to 48,235 (+3.5%), 47.4% of the total.

The most significant statistic from this year’s Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings which ran from 28 September to 2 October in Bologna, was the attendance of more than 101,000 visitors. As usual, the commercial side of the show was complemented by events catering for the world of architecture, interior design, installation and end consumers.

Representativeness and international scope are always the key characteristics of Cersaie, which this year saw an even stronger presence of exhibitors from other sectors, especially wood. There were a total of 872 exhibitors at the 2015 show, including 319 foreign companies from 39 different countries (1 more than last year due to the addition of Sweden). At the same time the event attracted a total of 101,809 visitors (+0.8%), including 48,231 international visitors, 1,632 more than last year (47.4% of the total). The numbers of Italian visitors remained stable at 53,578. The media was also out in force with a total of 694 participating journalists, including 257 from outside Italy. There was a particularly sharp rise in numbers of Italian journalists (+27.4%), largely due to the fact that the International Press Conference was held from the first time in the Ducal Palace in Sassuolo.

These figures confirm Cersaie’s status as a key venue for developing global business in the ceramic floor and wall tile and bathroom furnishing sectors and its important function as an engine for international trade. This role was underscored by the more than 150 countries of origin of the visitors and the many visits to company stands made by international delegations, organised as part of the Cersaie Business programme in cooperation with the Italian Trade Commission ICE and the Emilia Romagna regional government.

Cersaie is a vital appointment for architects, interior designers, tile fixers and the general public. This year Glenn Murcutt became the seventh consecutive Pritzker prize winner to deliver Cersaie’s keynote lecture in front of an audience of more than 1,300 people. The installation ‘Day Off’ by Diego Grandi in Hall 29 and the exhibition ‘Cer Stile’ curated by Angelo Dall’Aglio and Daniele Vercelli in Hall 30 attracted keen interest. All the other conferences in the ‘building dwelling thinking’ cultural programme were strongly attended, as were all the initiatives qualifying for training credits organised in cooperation with the competent professional associations.

Also popular were the various works in progress and meetings held at Tiling Town, the location for training young tile setters and presenting installation techniques. ‘Cersaie designs your home’ attracted strong participation by homeowners and on Thursday received a celebrity visit from Italian TV host Paola Marella, who was also the face of the event #selfeet.

Bologna Design Week made a very positive debut, attracting a steady flow of visitors to the cultural events held in the evenings in prestigious locations in the city.

Cersaie website: www.cersaie.it/en/index.php

Ceramics of Italy website: www.laceramicaitaliana.it/en