Tile style

We round up the top five tiles trends that emerged at the recent Cersaie international exhibition of ceramic tiles in Bologna, Italy.

If you want to know what will be trending underfoot when it comes to ceramic tiles, you have to visit the world's largest ceramic tile fair, Cersaie, held annually in Bologna, Italy. 

The fair brings together more than 500 exhibitors to showcase the latest the tile industry has to offer. 

Over the course of this year's five-day event, several trends emerged.

Industry advances have allowed producers to manufacture larger format tiles up to three metres long. Many producers also showed a 20-millimetre thick ceramic tile that is ideal for outdoor application. It can be laid directly on grass or gravel, or as a raised installation that enables rainwater to drain away or services to be accommodated below.

Beyond these technological advances, several style trends were apparent this year. We round up our five favourite tile trends below. 


Patterned perfection

The richly patterned and hand-painted tiles of Portugal inspired several ranges of decorative tiles. Coem showed its interpretation with the Cementine collection designed by Silvia Stanzani in classic black and white.
Ceramica Sant'Agostino's version of the Portuguese patterned tile trend comes in two shades: blue and grey.

Hexagonal heaven

Geometrical shapes and patterns have been a design world darling for a few years now and finally the trend has trickled down to flooring design. Many of the big tile brands presented their version of a hexagonal tile design or surface designs with geometric patterns. Imola Ceramica showed a range of glazed porcelain tiles in seven earthy colour ways as part of its Emotive Trace collection.
XGone for Mirage takes the hexagonal trend to the next level. Designed by the Italian duo Lavinia Modesti and Javier Deferrari the collection is a multi-coloured, modular patchwork of hexagonal elements in three sizes.
Marca Corona’sTerra collection combines two trends: the hexagonal form with patterned decoration. The terracotta-cement look tile is adorned with patterns that range from geometrical to stylised floral motifs.

Printed Pop Art

Digital printing has opened up a whole world of imagery that can be applied to ceramic tiles. Pop Art and cartoons proved popular at CERSAIE 2014. Imola Ceramica took its inspiration from American artist Roy Lichtenstein and created ten different illustrated tiles featuring details of characters and explosive exclamations from his work..
Del Conca launched its Lupin III range of wall tiles, inspired by popular Japanese manga cartoon.
The Lupin III range includes large-format features as well as individual tiles that can be used in a variety of ways.

Contamination and combination

While imitating the look of natural materials has been an ongoing process of refining the textures and colours of wood, granite and marble, the trend this year was to use these mock-materials in combination. Here Flaviker combines a hexagonal glazed tile with its Backstage floor tile in tan. Backstage is reminiscent of old worn terracotta tiles and shades of concrete.
Marca Corona proposes breaking up its Creation stone-look tile with its decorative painted and glazed Majolica Blu tile.
Marca Corona also combined coloured porcelain stoneware tiles in the Cubo design with its wood-look Atelier tile in beige.
Tile maker Unika combines its cement and wood finishes in the Decori collection.

Marvelous marble

Manufacturers are pushing the limits of producing ceramics that have the natural properties of marble. Many producers showcased examples that closely mimicked the texture, sheen and patterning of the real thing. New manufacturing technology also makes it possible to produce really large format tiles that allow for a monolithic finish. Seen here is Atlas Concorde's Marvel Pro in Statuario Select.
Manfacturers also introduced three-dimensional textures in their marble-look tiles. Here is Atlas Concorde's Marvel Pro 3D wall tile in Noir Saint Laurent.

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