fbpx

CERAMICS OF ITALY ANNOUNCES 2020 TILE COMPETITION WINNERS AND FIRST EVER PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition Commercial Winner

(New York, NY – April 2020) Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Agency are proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. After reviewing a record number of outstanding projects from all across North America, the international jury of design experts selected four winners and three honorable mentions. The chosen projects demonstrate creative use of Italian ceramic tile, representing all three built project categories – commercial, residential and institutional – and one student category. For the first time this year, the competition also featured a People’s Choice Award. Following a two-week period of public online voting, the honor was given to a multi-family housing project that garnered an overwhelming total of 396 public votes.

This year’s project submissions revealed an elevated degree of innovation and design, with inventive tile applications like countertops, custom furnishings, exterior façades, and bespoke feature walls. Joining the ranks of esteemed past winners like Gensler, Snøhetta, Renzo Piano Building Workshop and more, the 2020 Tile Competition winners were revealed during a virtual press conference hosted by Coverings on April 20, 2020 The winners will also be honored during an awards ceremony in Bologna, Italy at Cersaie – the world’s premier exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings – taking place in the fall. In addition to this 5-day, CEU-accredited trip, built project winners will also receive a check for $2,000. The contractor and distributor teams involved with each winning project will be awarded an additional $1,000.

COMMERCIAL WINNER

Commercial Winner Garden City Shopping Center, Manitoba, Canada

Firm: Ruscio Studio
Project: Garden City Shopping Centre
Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Tile Manufacturers: Alfalux; Casalgrande Padana
Distributor: Italbec
Contractor: Fabris & Watts

The Garden City Shopping Centre in Manitoba, Canada had not been renovated since 1989, so in 2017 Ruscio Studio was tasked with developing a sleek, contemporary new design that would stand the test of time. Through the use of floral upholstery, Canadian oak wood, and colorful lounge areas, the designers created a modern space that plays into the “garden” theme. Stone-look floor tiles byAlfalux Ceramiche were installed in various colorways and configurations throughout the mall, serving as a way to visually separate and connect different spaces. A uniform installation in the main aisles creates the appearance of wider corridors, while a patterned installation in the center court represents the convergence of shoppers as they flow from one aisle to the other. Finally, black Casalgrande Padana tiles were selected for the bathroom floors. Ruscio Studio was very careful to choose timeless, durable floor tiles that could withstand the next 20 years of heavy pedestrian traffic.

COMMERCIAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: Design Continuum, Inc.
Project: Hotel Bennett
Location: Charleston, SC, United States
Tile Manufacturers: Ceramiche Caesar; Ceramiche Coem; Emilceramica; Florim; Marca Corona; Ceramiche Refin
Distributor: Ceramic Technics
Contractor: NTCA Five-Star Contractor, David Allen Company

Commercial Honorable Mention, Hotel Bennett, Charleston, S.C., installed by NTCA Five-Star Contractor David Allen Company

Adapted from the old Charleston County Library, Hotel Bennett is now a 175,000 square foot luxury hotel with 179 guest rooms and suites. The architects at Design Continuum, Inc. were challenged with designing a European-style space, imbuing it with historic charm inspired by several different time periods. To that effect, era-appropriate Italian tile is featured extensively throughout the building and amenities, each installation demonstrating superior craftsmanship and thoughtful design. Ceramiche Caesar tiles cover the rooftop pool deck and terraces, and floral Ceramiche Coem tiles decorate the floors of a French patisserie. Wood-effect tiles from Emilceramica andRefin Ceramicheadd warmth in the rooftop bar area, while stone-look Florimtiles are used throughout the public areas. Finally, a herringbone installation with marble-effect tiles from Marca Corona brings European glamor to the guest bathrooms and spa retail floor.

RESIDENTIAL WINNER

Firm: Bolivar Arquitectos
Project: M+B Residence Club de Golf la Herradura
Location: Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Tile Manufacturers: Florim; Provenza

Residential Winner, M+B Residence Club de Golf la Herraduraemodies, Monterrey, Mexico

Nestled in a picturesque valley in Monterrey, Mexico,M+B Residence Club de Golf la Herraduraembodies luxury to the max. The design by Bolivar Arquitectos is sleek and minimal, but clever contours and unexpected material choices make this single-family home extraordinary. The façade, which is clad in almost 13,000 square feet of quartzite-effect porcelain tiles from Provenza, has a jagged silhouette that mimics the topography of the surrounding mountains. Matching tiles are also carried through to the backyard terrace and pool area, and a mosaic version adorns the walls of an ellipse-shaped guest bathroom. In keeping with the muted, monochromatic color palette, the architect used gray marble and stone-effect tiles by Florim to cover the floors and walls throughout the interior spaces.

RESIDENTIAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: STUDIOSC
Project: 426 Tompkins Ave
Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States
Tile Manufacturers: Fioranese; Ceramiche Refin
Distributor: Highstyle Stone and Tile
Contractor: ABF Tile Installation

Residential Honorable Mention, 426 Tompkins Ave., Brooklyn NY

STUDIOSC designed this multi-family residential building for a transforming neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. 426 Tompkins Ave is elegant and modern, distinguished by a vaulted entrance, double-height ceilings, and a bold choice of tile. The terrazzo-effect floor tiles by Fioranese serve as a visual focal point in the lobby and provide a sense of human scale to counteract the vertical space, which spans three stories. Paired with coordinated gray tiles from the same collection, the Fioranese tiles continue throughout the floors and walls of the lounge area, hallways, and recreation spaces for a stylish and cohesive design. In the apartment bathrooms, a fossil-inspired collection from Ceramiche Refin decorates the walls, floors, and shower ceilings.

INSTITUTIONAL WINNER

Firm: Perkins and Will
Project: NYC Healthcare Clinic
Location: New York, NY, United States
Tile Manufacturers: Laminam; Saime Ceramiche
Distributor: Nemo Tile; Stone Source
Contractor: Wilkstone

Institutional Winner, NYC Healthcare Clinic

This NYC Healthcare Clinic is an active outpatient facility located in a 25-story commercial building in Midtown Manhattan. Natural daylight permeates the public spaces, and views to the outside provide simple and efficient wayfinding in this bustling medical center. Through the use of Italian tile and smart architectural details, Perkins and Will designed a space that was unique to the neighborhood yet visually consistent with the client’s vast network of care centers. Gray, stone-effect tiles from Saime Ceramiche were specified for the lobby flooring, providing a hygienic, high-performance solution that is guaranteed to last a lifetime of heavy use. A striking feature wall installation, inspired by the local urban landscape, showcases large-format Laminam tiles in the recessed light niches.

INSTITUTIONAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: uoai architects
Project: Nathan Phillips Square Bicycle Station | Archive 513
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Tile Manufacturer: Lea Ceramiche
Distributor: Ciot
Contractor: Thin Tile Canada

Institutional Honorable Mention, Nathan Phillips Square Bicycle Station, Toronto, Canada

Situated one level beneath Toronto City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square Bicycle Station | Archive 513 is a key component in the revitalization of Canada’s largest city square. This subterranean facility provides 200 secure bicycle parking spaces, which are separated from the adjoining car parking garage by a panel of metal mesh. Challenged with creating a unique way to display archival materials from the 1958 New City Hall International Design Competition, uoai architects worked with Lea Ceramiche to produce 22 custom-printed, large-format ceramic slabs. These yellow, 3.5mm-thick tiles cover the walls inside the station’s two-story central vestibule, featuring excerpts from the 1958 competition brief and high-definition images of the original design proposals submitted by 513 international entrants. Using over 60 linear feet of digitally-printed ceramic, this project explores the intersections between contemporary urban infrastructure and a pivotal moment in Toronto’s modernist architectural history.

STUDENT WINNER

Entrants: Carolina Cardona, Gabriela Mesquita, Rachael Cowan, Mariapia Sierra
University: Florida International University (FIU)
Declared Major: Interior Architecture
Project: …sensuum spa
Tiles Used: Valentino by Ceramiche Piemme; Abitare la Ceramica; Rondine; Ceramiche Coem; Italgraniti

Student Winner…sensuum spa, Virgin Voyages cruise line

Conceived as an exclusive amenity on the Virgin Voyages cruise line, …sensuum spa is a holistic approach to wellness through an experience of the senses. It offers a pause in the midst of constant frenzy, represented through the use of curvilinear forms, natural materials and a serene color palette. FIU students Carolina Cardona, Gabriela Mesquita, Rachael Cowan and Mariapia Sierra imagined a thoughtful placement of Italian tile throughout the rooms, creating a restorative atmosphere for the guests. A rich onyx-look tile from Valentino by Ceramiche Piemme adorns the walls in the hammam and couples treatment rooms, complemented by a beige stone-effect tile by Ceramiche Coem. Rondine tiles line the pool, while 3D wall tiles from Italgraniti add textural interest. A stone-look tile by Abitare la Ceramica provides general flooring.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Firm: Vida Design
Project: The Rodney
Location: Portland, OR, United States
Tile Manufacturer: Appiani
Distributor: Statements Tile
Contractor: Floor Solutions

People’s Choice Winner, The Rodney, Portland, Oregon

Upon entering The Rodney, a high-end multi-family high-rise in Portland’s Pearl District, residents are greeted by a custom Appiani mosaic on the lobby floor. Working closely with their Statements Tile representative, the team at Vida Design was able to create their own mosaic that reflects Portland’s rich heritage and future growth. The one-of-a-kind installation is durable and slip resistant, creating a powerful visual impact that brings edge to a classy interior space.

In a video, Francesca Molteni shows the uniqueness of Italian ceramic



For over 40 years, Ceramics of Italy has been the trademark that symbolises the Italian ceramic industry both in Italy and throughout the world. It is synonymous of ceramic bearing the Made in Italy label and of the core values of our industry. It is used for all the promotional initiatives of the association itself and the individual companies that manufacture ceramic in Italy. It now appears in the title of the advertisement campaign video that film director Francesca Molteni has been asked to produce.

In just over one minute, the video “Ceramics of Italy – Ahead of our Time” expresses, in an evocative and emotional manner, everything that only Italian-made ceramic can represent: the richness, uniqueness and beauty typical of Italian ceramic tiles (not only those made in the past, but also those produced in the modern age), and the core values of the Made in Italy label that distinguish them. View it at https://www.ceramica.info/en/articoli/ceramics-of-italy-ahead-of-our-time/

“Ceramics of Italy -Ahead of our Time” expresses the cachet of Italian ceramic tile in a one-minute video

Tradition, history, culture, design, quality, beauty, product innovation and innovation of technological processes: all these values are universally attributed to the Italian ceramic industry alone.

The narration of the video explains, in an elegant, intuitive and unambiguous way, the extraordinary ability of Italian ceramic to bring together the opposites of past and future, which are represented by highly iconic landscapes (from the Mediterranean to the hills of Emilia, and finally Florence), historic ceramics and modern tiles used in major works of architecture (Hotel Parco dei Principi Gio Ponti + Dallara Parma 5+1AA + Teatro dell’Opera of Florence ABDR).

Finally, the payoff of the video: “Ahead of our Time*, a highly meaningful heading that enshrines what has always animated the very spirit of Italian creativity. According to one of the most authoritative dictionaries in the world, it means: *To have new ideas a long time before other people start to think in the same way (Collins English Dictionary)”.

This message is aimed at a North American audience and intends, in just a few seconds through a social media campaign, to promote the Italian ceramic tile industry and gain the loyalty of buyers of ‘Ceramics of Italy’, underlining that in this way “they are taking a piece of Italy home with them”.

It is the second film on ceramics directed by Francesca Molteni, who last year produced the docu-film Timeless Tiles: The Italian Legacy to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Design Competition in North America, the objective of this campaign is that of making Made in Italy ceramic more competitive at international level, focusing on its totally unique and outstanding properties.

This promotional tool goes hand-in-hand with two further projects launched by the Italian ceramic industry, in other words the video of the campaign entitled The values of Ceramic and Mater Ceramica.

The advertisement campaign ‘The values of Ceramic’ is dedicated to the great number of positive and particular aspects of the material and involves 8 video-clips that will be distributed on social media to consumers and professionals. This promotional activity was created and developed in Italy and will be distributed on the European and the US market in spring.

The Mater Ceramica project has been devised as a historical and geographical map of Italian ceramic, constructing a virtual network of the hundreds of artistic and industrial hubs that are present throughout Italy, connecting cities, areas and regions.

International campaign promotes the ceramic tile as the “safe choice”; extols distinctive universal qualities


A communication campaign to expand the product’s potential market
A recently-launched communication campaign aims to promote awareness of the positive values of ceramic amongst end consumers by using video clips posted to digital and social media channels. First introduced to the Italian market by the Italian ceramic manufacturers’ association, the initiative is being developed internationally through collaboration with Spanish, German, French and American partners, who are working together with the exclusive aim of promoting the unique, universal values of ceramic.

A new campaign will post video clips about the safety and hygienic properties of ceramic tile to social media.


The starting point of the campaign was the observation that end consumers are increasingly responsible for their own purchasing decisions and that they use the internet to acquire information on product characteristics and applications and to explore the various options available to them.
With this in mind, eight 15-second video clips were produced in collaboration with the agency Exprimo to illustrate the distinctive qualities of ceramic (hygiene, durability, fire resistance and much more). These videos were uploaded to the website www.ceramica.info, where they appear on dedicated landing pages with links to articles relating to the various topics.

Along with these original eight themes, a further four will be added by the end of April to explore outdoor ceramic applications, including facades, swimming pools, residential driveways and raised floors.

The messages are disseminated exclusively through the digital channels YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the website www.ceramica.info using the hashtags #ceramic and #asafechoice to maximise visibility and reach the target audience effectively.

Ceramic is a durable consumer good, a one-off purchase that is nonetheless influenced by fashion. And given that on average an individual makes a house purchase or renovation once every 19-20 years, just 5% of the total population is interested in purchasing floor or wall tiles in any given year. Choosing digital media that are capable of accurately targeting people who are in the process of choosing floors or are interested in renovating their homes is therefore the most effective communication strategy.

For a sector that has always been strongly B2B oriented, conducting a campaign targeted at end consumers may be challenging. This problem can be resolved by using two different channels. The first consists of direct communication campaigns targeting end consumers and featuring sponsored advertisements on the three above-mentioned social media channels as well as indirect campaigns conducted through commercial and design intermediaries. This second approach involves sending out Direct Email Marketing (DEM) messages at 10-day intervals to the 40,000 contacts (architects, distributors, construction firms, installers and the general public) contained in the CRM database of ceramica.info. The second channel involves the active collaboration and engagement of Italian ceramic companies, who have posted the information and videos of the campaign on their corporate websites, their newsletters and their social media channels.

Following the Italian launch, the next step was to widen the campaign to the important European markets and the United States. The same messages – suitably translated into English, French, German and Russian – and methods of dissemination were used for these markets, but they involved cooperation with different players: the ceramic tile producers’ associations of Spain (ASCER), Germany (BKF) and the USA (TCNA), the Dutch tile layers’ association (BOVATIN) and the ceramic tile distributors’ and installers’ associations of France (UNECB), Austria (OFV) and Switzerland (ASP).
This wide-ranging multi-player communication campaign spanning two of the most important continents for ceramic tile consumption aims to promote awareness of the many positive values of ceramic. The first step focuses on knowledge as a starting point for business development.

Confindustria Ceramica honors Centura with 2020 North American Distributor Award

(Sassuolo, Italy—April 2020) This year, Ceramics of Italy is pleased to announce Centura Tile as the 2020 recipient of this coveted award. In light of the cancellation of the 2020 Coverings show in New Orleans due to COVID-19, the award was announced today at the virtual press conference on April 20 during Coverings Connected, the digital edition of the show, which will run April 20-23.  

Each year, Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) honors an exemplary North American tile distributor with the prestigious North American Distributor Award. The winner represents a company that not only has a rich history and sells a diverse array of Italian ceramic products but also demonstrates a deep passion and knowledge of their trade and a desire to build awareness around the lasting and superior quality of Italian-made design. Through this dedication, these distributors make the influential presence of Italian ceramic tile in North America what it is today.

Centura at night

A jury including members of the Confindustria Ceramica Board of Directors and representatives from Italian tile manufacturers carefully deliberated and selected Centura as this year’s winner based on the following criteria: consistency, exemplary service as an Italian tile importer and distributor, a high caliber corporate image, inclination towards Ceramics of Italy products in recognition of their innovative design and technical qualities, and fair trade practices in relation to Italian manufacturers. Centura represents a brand that lives and breathes a dedication to sharing ceramics with North America, coast to coast. Not only do they have many long standing relationships with Italian tile manufacturers that date back up to 30 years, they also plan annual trips with architects and designers to the factories/showrooms of Sassuolo, Italy; host frequent seminars promoting Italian tile; and produce their own publications, Centura Magazine and Centura Outdoor Tile Guide, which feature many Ceramics of Italy brands front and center. While the award will be announced virtually at Coverings Connected, it will be presented in person to Ross Keltie, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, at  Cersaie – the world’s largest international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings – taking place in Bologna, Italy from September 28-October 2, 2020.

Centura was founded in 1933 in Toronto as Central Supply Company, and changed its name to Centura in the 1980s.

Centura was founded in 1933 in Toronto, Ontario by Don Cowie as Central Supply Company, and then changed to its current name in the 1980s. Since its founding over 80 years ago, Centura now has 13 locations and employs over 550 people across Canada, including Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Halifax. The company is now co-owned by the Cowie family (Toronto), DelNet family (London) and the Maddalena family (Halifax). They have been carrying Italian products since the 1960s and today, ceramic tile makes up over 65% of the company’s sales.

Ceramics of Italy Participates in “Coverings Connected” Showcasing New Products, Trends and Initiatives from the Italian Tile Industry

(New York, NY – April 2020) Ceramics of Italy – the trademark for Italian manufacturers of ceramic tile, sanitaryware and tableware – will take part in Coverings Connected from April 20-23. Hosted by Coverings – the largest international tile and stone exhibition in North America – this brand-new digital experience will take place in lieu of the physical trade show that was planned for New Orleans, providing access to virtual learning opportunities such as live webinars, tile and stone trend presentations, on-demand content, and a robust online products showcase from tile and stone brands from around the world. 

The multi-day online event will commence with a joint virtual press conference between all of the show owners on Monday, April 20 from 11am to 2:20pm EST. From 12:30 to 1pm, representatives from Ceramics of Italy will officially announce the 2020 Tile Competition winners and Confindustria Ceramica’s North American Distributor Award. They will also provide updates on recent initiatives undertaken by the Italian tile industry, including: the new Contract Hall at Cersaie 2020; the #DesignStandsTogether and #OneWithItaly social media campaigns; “A Safe Choice” video series that promotes the health and hygiene benefits of ceramic tile; and “Ahead of Our Time” – a poetic film that conveys the beauty and cultural importance of Italian tile. 

“We are so pleased to be able to present some exciting news about our North American Distributor Award and the winners of our Ceramics of Italy 2020 Tile Competition through Coverings Connected,” says Emilio Mussini, Vice President of Promotional Activities at Confindustria Ceramica. “Although we are disappointed that we cannot be together in person to celebrate, we are excited to explore this new digital venue as a way to stay informed and connected during this difficult time. We believe it will open the door to countless more attendees who might not have been able to visit the show in New Orleans.”

Coverings Connected will offer learning opportunities for a range of tile and design industry professionals, covering important topics presented by notable thought leaders and industry organizations. One of these opportunities will include Coverings’ annual Global Tile Trends Presentation with representatives from Ceramics of Italy, Tile of Spain, and TCNA. During this time, attendees will enjoy inspiring images and applications from a wide range of Ceramics of Italy members and discover this season’s top six tile trends. Those unable to attend the webinar can look forward to Ceramics of Italy’s Spring/Summer Tile Trends report, which will be released after the show. 

Attendees of Coverings Connected will be able to engage with Ceramics of Italy exhibitors and explore new products and releases through online Exhibitor Galleries and the New Product Showcase. Exhibitor information will be made available during and after the Coverings Connected event dates for attendees to search products, view exhibitor press releases, set appointments, watch exhibitor videos, and learn about the latest trends in the industry.

For more information about Coverings Connected and to view the schedule, visit coverings.com

Visual and tactile texture, speckled surfaces, terracotta and sage color combos tantalize in tile

The Fall-Winter Trend Report has emerged after Cersaie in Bologna, Italy, last fall, and it predicts what Italian tile manufacturers will be producing in the year to come, in terms of style, color and format. 

One of the dominant trends is a leaning towards warmer tones, including terracotta and sage, and other earthy colors like olive, blush, ochre and rust. And this year among the Ceramics of Italy booths, warm blush tones and muted green hues definitely took center stage. The palette included a wide variety of iterations – from blue-greens and dusty jades to rich corals and earthy oranges. 

Read on for more information about this trend and six others. From a design standpoint, the new collections from Italian tile producers were full of striking patterns, saturated color and interesting surface effects made possible by new technologies and collaborations with famous design studios and fashion houses such as Mendini, Lissoni, Versace, Valentino and Rubelli. Italian brands also demonstrated their expanding library of product offerings with sinks, shower floors and kitchen countertops made of porcelain tile slabs.

Coverings Commemorates National Tile Day, Announces 2020 Tile Trends

Coverings 2020’s National Tile Day Begins with Release of Top 10 Tile Trends from Ceramics of Italy, Tile Council of North America and Tile of Spain, Celebrated by Engaging Social Media Activations. 

ARLINGTON, Va. – Feb.12, 2020 – Coverings (coverings.com), the largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference in North America, today announced the fourth annual  National Tile Day celebration scheduled for Feb. 23, 2020. Brand-new, inspiring imagery of creative tile designs, installations and applications will be shared across Coverings’ social media channels in observance of the holiday. Social media fans and followers are invited to take part in the National Tile Day discussion, using the hashtags #NationalTileDay, #Coverings2020 and #WhyTile. 

ELLE Collection WOW Design – Tile of Spain
WEWOOD, KERABEN GRUPO – Tile of Spain

Members and enthusiasts of the tile and design industries can celebrate National Tile Day 2020 by tuning into Coverings’ KBtribechat Twitter chat Feb. 19, 2020, at 2 p.m. EST and watching Architectural Record’s Facebook Live Tile Trends session with Coverings’ ambassador Alena Capra Feb. 23, 2020, at 11 a.m. Other ways to engage include viewing Interior Design’s Facebook Live Tile Trends interview with Capra Feb. 23, 2020, at 1 p.m. and interacting with the tile community on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, using the three National Tile Day hashtags.

Grey Beauty, Fiandre – Tile Council of North America
Cortina Rectified, Interceramic USA – Tile Council of North America

“National Tile Day is an incredible way to spotlight a timeless element of architecture and design that connects members of the tile community and its supporting industries,” said Alena Capra, Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer and Coverings Industry Ambassador. “This National Tile Day, we are excited to share with everyone the progress and importance of one of the most practical and beautiful building materials through some highly engaging and unique social media activations and programs.” 

Porcelain Countertops, Crossville – Tile Council of North America
Oro di, Ce. Vi Ceramica Vietrese – Ceramics of Italy

Capra and Coverings’ sponsors Ceramics of Italy, Tile Council of North America and Tile of Spain collaborated to gather and report this year’s top 10 Tile Trends for 2020, in an effort to celebrate tile’s aesthetic elements, durability and versatility for National Tile Day. The following tile trends are a precursor to the nine miles of tile to be seen at Coverings 2020, April 20-23, in New Orleans. 

GRUNGE, PERONDA GROUP – Tile of Spain
Fluid, APAVISA – Tile of Spain
  1. Mixed Color Palettes: Consumers are currently crazy for Pantone color of the year Classic Blue, blush pinks, sage green, and dusty orange hues for a calming look. 
  2. Refined Natural Wood Looks: Thanks to evolving digital printing technology and innovations in ink and fit technology, mimicking natural wood remains popular in 2020.
  3. Precious- and Gemstone-style Made Sustainable: From designs emulating rare marbles and semi-precious stones, such as onyx and agate, to tiles with an iridescent finish reminiscent of Akoya pearls, precious material styles are set to make a splash in the tile industry in 2020.
  4. Non-Rectangular / Mixed Geometrics: Trapezoid, rhombus and diamond-shaped tiles allow for more interesting layouts than simple grids and running bonds.
  5. Counter Culture: The durability and stain-resistance of porcelain make it an excellent countertop choice, which is why this type of gauged porcelain’s expanding applications will continue to be a 2020 favorite.  
  6. Psychedelic: Expect bright, psychedelic colors, playful geometries and trippy patterns galore this year!
  7. Industrial Chic: Concrete- and stone-look tile options enrich environments with a chic artfulness while opening the door to endless, unique style choices.
  8. Modernized Marble: Traditional-inspired ceramic materials, such as emulated marble, have been modernized to adapt to today’s contemporary styles.
  9. Speckled Surfaces: This trend features technicolor dots and specks, and modern interpretations of terrazzo in 2020.
  10. Large-Scale Patterns: We will see a shift towards ceramic tiles with big, bold patterns that instantly catch the eye this year.
Terrazzo MaxiMini, Fioranese – Ceramics of Italy
VERSAILLES NATURAL-HERMITAGE, MAINZU – Tile of Spain

For in-person looks and examples of each trend, as well as the opportunity to experience the nine miles of tile and stone, network with more than 26,000 colleagues, choose from more than 50 educational opportunities, participate in brand-new business-building workshops, and more at no cost, attendees can register for Coverings 2020 today by visiting coverings.com.


Coverings Social Media: 
Facebook: facebook.com/CoveringsShow
Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2020 
Instagram: instagram.com/CoveringsShow
YouTube: youtube.com/TheCoveringsShow
LinkedIn:RequestGroupInvite – Search for “Coverings – The Global Tile & Stone Experience” group.
Blog:coverings.com/blog

CERAMICS of ITALY ANNOUNCES COMPETITION WINNERS; FILM TRACES HISTORY OF THE COMPETITION OVER ITS 25 YEARS

The 25th anniversary of the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, sponsored by Confindustria Ceramica and the Italian Trade Agency, was an immense success, attracting inspiring and innovative projects from designers and architects throughout North America. Ultimately, four winners and three honorable mentions were selected among the steep competition by an international jury of design industry experts across four categories: residential, commercial, institutional, and a newly introduced student category. Each of the finalists demonstrated how Italian tile plays an important role in the realization of thoughtfully conceived interior design and architecture.

As a way of honoring the past, present, and future of the competition, Ceramics of Italy also created a film directed by Francesca Molteni and architectural historian Fulvio Irace. Timeless Tiles: The Italian Legacy tells the story of the competition from its inception in 1994 to present day, featuring dozens of inspiring projects and interviews with architects Daniel Libeskind, Jennifer Carpenter and Michael P. Johnson.

 

Following are the winners:

COMMERCIAL WINNER

Firm: Studio Libeskind

Project: Sapphire

Location: Berlin, Germany

Tile Manufacturer: Casalgrande Padana

Distributor: Casalgrande Padana

Contractor: Medicke Metallbau GmbH, NL Berlin

 

The Sapphire project involved building 73 desirable, 1-4 bedroom apartments on a plot less than half an acre, whilst promoting new technologies and sustainability. One of the most important design elements were the tiles used to cover 2,600 sq. m. of the building’s exterior. The three dimensional, geometric, patterned stoneware tile was a signature design feature for this project. Designed by Daniel Libeskind for Casalgrande Padana, the Fractile tiles are technologically advanced to self-clean and aid in air purification. The tiles were also used on the balcony wall creating a continuous surface extending from the building’s façade. Around 3,600 tiles were used in the project. The Fractile series continues on the building’s interior, through the bathrooms, resulting in a vibrant metallic finish for the floors and the shower walls.

 

COMMERCIAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: Kay Green Design

Project: Venetian Isle Clubhouse

Location: Windermere, FL

Tile Manufacturer: Floor Gres, Ergon, Marca Corona

Distributor: Ceramic Technics

Contractor: Martin’s Flooring

The Venetian Isle Clubhouse is a multi-family community clubhouse in Windermere, Florida that is an elegant entertaining space for all ages. Tiles from Floor Gres and Ergon were used throughout the space due to their high quality, yet resilient surfacing. The  project  was   inspired by the city of Venice, therefore Italian tile was naturally the most authentic choice. The designer also felt confident that  tile from Italian companies would ensure a  high  level  of  quality and aesthetic  that she was seeking for the project. Floor Gres’s Floor Tech tiles were used as the main overall floor tile while Marca Corona’s Terra collection was used for the vanity wall in the restroom and Ergon Elegance Engineered Stone was used as a floor mosaic.

 

RESIDENTIAL WINNER

Firm: Ziger/Snead Architects*

Project: Baltimore Slate House

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Tile Manufacturer: Imola Ceramica

Distributor: Conestoga Tile

Contractor: Custom Concepts by Greenwalt

Setting Materials: MAPEI

*2009 Residential Honorable Mention

The Slate House is a contemporary retreat that respects nature and the legacy of the vast and densely wooded site. The 7,000 sq ft building was destroyed by a recent house fire, however the design team set out to reconnect the site to the existing contextual environment. The design embodies an archetypal gable form, a geometric extrusion that is both reductive and minimal that yields cathedral ceilings. Tiles from Imola Ceramica Concrete Project were selected for all of the flooring throughout the home, and Mapei products were used for the setting materials. It was chosen due to the seamlessly transitional ability to use same product inside and outside and support the  architectural vision to blur the interior and exterior spaces. Italian tile was selected due to its quality and the large format size options which were needed for the design of this private home.

 

RESIDENTIAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: DI Group

Project: Norwich

Location: West Hollywood, CA

Tile Manufacturer: Refin

Distributor: DI Group

Contractor: Darmont Construction Corporation

The Norwich proiect is a contemporary family home in West Hollywood, California, made up of open communal spaces ideal for entertaining and family life. With lots of windows allowing for natural light throughout the space, light colored neutral tiles were used to reflect the light and translate the openness of the interior across the flooring. Three tile collections from Refin (District, Larix and Barrique) were used in the interior and exterior of the home demonstrating the versatile properties of Italian tile.

 

INSTITUTIONAL WINNER

Firm: ZAS Architects + Interiors

Project: Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University

Location: North York, Ontario

Tile Manufacturer: ABK

Distributor: Division 9

Contractor: Gem Campbell Terrazzo & Tile Inc.

Setting Materials: MAPEI

For the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University, the client wanted to demonstrate sustainable building practices, while utilizing the advantages of an existing campus energy system. The project has been registered with the CaGBC and has targeted LEED Gold certification along with Toronto Green Standard Tier 2. ABK Downtown tiles were used on the ground floor, throughout the corridors and in the social spaces with MAPEI products completing the space as the setting materials. Tiles were also installed in assembly and exhibition spaces, as well as the student café and the orientation room. Although polished concrete was considered for the project, porcelain tile was chosen in the end due to its durability, low porosity and stain resistant properties. Italian tile provided a clean, simple and contemporary look matching that of natural concrete but captured tonal and pattern variation achieved through the latest technology.

 

INSTITUTIONAL HONORABLE MENTION

Firm: O’Brien & Keane

Project: Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Tile Manufacturer: Provenza, Ergon

Distributor: Architectural Ceramics

Contractor: David Allen Company

Setting Materials: MAPEI

The design for the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral builds on the heritage of classical sacred architecture arranged in a cruciform layout, with the main axis of the building placed in an east to west orientation. The building is approximately 43,000 square feet and has a seating capacity of over 2,000 people. The main building announces the design theme and introduces classical order. The client wanted to focus on environmentally conscious and resilient materials for the project, therefore Italian porcelain tile was chosen as an ideal material for sustainable building. Beautiful tiles from Provenza Q-Stone as well as Ergon’s Silverstone and Back2Back collections were used on the floor throughout the Nave, Transepts and Narthe. Various products from Mapei were used as setting materials including grouts, sealants and self-leveling underlayment. Additional benefits of tile that were a consideration when selecting a flooring material were the low water absorption due to its compact and non-porous structure.

 

STUDENT WINNER

Entrant: Raquel Raney and Brennan Broome

University Name: Florida International University

Declared Major: Interior Architecture

Project: Dover Street Market

Location: Miami, FL

Tile Manufacturer: Atlas Concorde, Ceramica Vogue, Ornamenta

The Dover Street Market offers an environment where the classic, elegance of art and fashion collide with an industrial aesthetic. The use of ceramic and porcelain tile, as pictured in the renderings, allows for the desired aesthetic to be achieved, while using cost-effective and environmentally-friendly materials that will hold their integrity for many years. The variety of colors, patterns and textures of ceramic tiles, create endless opportunities for juxtaposition of the industrial-like materials with polished, sophisticated surfaces. A mix of collections from Atlas Concorde, Ceramica Vogue and Ornamenta were selected to complement the interior design. Due to its consistency and composition, tile is one of the most durable floor materials and lasts much longer than traditional glazed tile, making it a great selection for a high traffic retail store.

 

# # #

 

Ceramics of Italy is the trademark for Italian manufacturers of ceramic tiles, sanitaryware and tableware, that are members of Confindustria Ceramica. For more information visit ceramica.info or follow Ceramics of Italy on Facebook (@CeramicsOfItalyNA) and YouTube (@LaCeramicaItaliana) as well as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (@CeramicsOfItaly).

2012 CERSAIE TILE TREND REPORT

At the end of September, thousands of visitors – including a record number of international attendees – descended upon Bologna to see the latest designs and technical innovations from ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings manufacturers from around the world. The 30th edition of Cersaie served up a visual feast of pattern and color with geometric graphics, intentionally random patterns, and encaustic-inspired tiles filling the aisles. In terms of shapes, hexagons, squares and planks were popular while super slim (3-4mm) and thick (20mm) were also in. LEED-compliant and Ecolabel certified tiles were on the rise in addition to new sustainable initiatives such as antibacterial, anti-pollution and self-cleaning ceramics.

Mix & Match

Giving designers an opportunity for increased self-expression and creative freedom, many companies introduced patchwork tiles and compositions of varying color, size and material in one collection.

“Minoo” is Marcel Wander’s third decorative tile collection for Bardelli that was intentionally designed for patchwork. The ornate 8”x8” porcelain floor tiles are available in five silkscreen patterns reminiscent of Persian rugs and a range of four neutral and rich colors.The company also launched two new lines by Davide Pizzigoni designed to be mixed and matched. “Orchestra” is a set of 15 4”x4” glossy white wall tiles, each with a different musical instrument, while “Ventagli” features a colorful array of fans on 16”x16” glossy white wall tiles.

For Mosaico+, renowned mosaic artist (and former creative director of Bisazza), Carlo Dal Bianco, used mosaics from the company’s various lines to create a series of new decorations. For “Lacquer” and Inlay”, he used iridescent mosaics from the Perle collection and square glass chips from Concerto to invoke ancient Chinese dynasties. Also of note is “Cloud” designed by Aki Motoyama for Brix, consisting of square tiles in five different sizes that appear to float on the surface.

Casamood offers a rich palette of mixable colors and surfaces with “Materia Project.” Inspired by everything from rough cement walls to irregular panes of glass, the collection features eight colors and six surfaces with matching grout that can be coordinated or mixed and matched. Provenza “Inessence” looks like a collection of different recycled materials from recycled oak to a stone-cement mix while Fioranese “Blend” melds the look of concrete, colored wood and even cardboard. Viva “Statale 9” also offers a full package of urban looks – from square tiles that look like stone-cement to ceramic planks inspired by water stained and stripped wood. In addition, Ariana “Convivium” is freely inspired by different natural surfaces from the timeworn artisanal appeal of terracotta to the modern character of concrete.

In terms of stone looks, Cerdisa “Archistone”, Ceramiche Campogalliano “Rox” and Floor Gres “Floortech 1.0” offer a wide range of stones to choose from. LaFaenzaCeramica “Pretiosa” is a glazed porcelain tile collection featuring a mix of natural stone looks tied together by a single chromatic range while the design of Marca Corona’s “Planet” tiles are inspired by a mixture of stones. With “Stonebox”, Emilceramica gives designers two options to choose from: 36 different types of marbles and natural stones (“Stonebox Concept”) or 40 different graphic variations of the grey tau stone (“Stonebox Basic”). Ergon goes a step further by presenting both sides of the cut stone in one collection. “Back2Back” features both the rich and elegant front side and the rough and minimal backside, available in three colors and three formats.

For a mixed color palette, Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s“Abita” collection of 8”x24” white body wall tiles are available in a diamond effect version in three chromatic mixes of beige, lilla and menta. Ceramica Vogue alsolaunched two innovative collections focused on color: “Transparenze Mix” with a glossy surface and 17 color options; and “Interni Mix”, available in a range of 21 colors, each containing a random patchwork of three shades of color.

To create a mixed wood effect, Impronta’s “Listone D” collection comes in an 18”x36” Patchwork module. Meanwhile, Emilceramica uses HD technology to transform photographs of 50 fossilized wood blocks into the “Petrified Tree” collection. “Bark” reproduces the bark of fossilized wood with a rough-hewn, anti-slip finish while “Core” (in a natural or polished finish) reinterprets the petrified core of wood.

Industry First: Philippe Starck plays with the idea of joints for his first-ever ceramic tile collection for the Italian manufacturer Ceramica Sant’Agostino. The joint, which is typically minimalized or hidden entirely, becomes a central feature and decorative modular element for “Flexible Architecture.” It can be specified on one to four sides of the tile or on no sides at all to create an endless array of architectural compositions. A variety of thicknesses (7mm and 12mm), surfaces (matte and glossy) and colors (white, yellow, grey and greige) also add to the product’s flexibility.

Antibacterial & Self-Cleaning

Ceramic tile is naturally hygienic and contains no VOCs that release gas prior to, during, or after installation. On top of that, Italian manufacturers continue to innovate and partner with biotech companies to offer products that actively contribute to a person’s health. Demonstrating this trend was the presence of many antibacterial, antipollution and self-cleaning ceramics at the show.

Fincibec announced the launch of “Antibact” – a proprietary antibacterial technology that significantly enhances the sanitizing effects during cleaning and does not require sunlight to be activated. “Technica” by Century is the first tile collection from the Fincibec Group that features this technology. The LEED-compliant porcelain tiles are available in six colors, three modular rectified formats and four different finishes.

As part of the company’s “CaesarTech” division focused on innovative solutions for the building industry, Ceramiche Caesar introduced a new triple-action antibacterial treatment for its ceramic tiles called “Care24”. It can be used on outdoor walls and floors and for various indoor uses. Meanwhile, Refin announced that its “Cromie” collection is now available with a special Ecosan24 treatment. Using titanium dioxide charged with active metallic elements, the tiles are anti-polluting, self-cleaning on ventilated wall facades, and sanitizing even without light.

Mirage launched a new tile collection especially useful for the residential sector that provides “zero maintenance decking.” Treated with a special Hy-Pro24 process, the 24”x24”x¾” porcelain “Sundeck” tiles have antibacterial and antipollution properties equal to a medium-sized tree for every square meter of tile. Panaria, Lea Ceramiche and Cotto d’Este, all part of the Panaria Group, also offer antibacterial floor and wall tiles for residential and commercial applications.

Industry First: Casalgrande Padana unveiled “Bios Self Cleaning Ceramics” that uses HYDROTECT technology from the Japanese brand, TOTO, to create self-cleaning, anti-bacterial and pollution-reducing tiles. The HYDROTECT coating contains two active agents: titanium dioxide, which is photo-catalytic; and a well-balanced formulation of metals that offer antibacterial and antivirus properties. The technology is especially useful for exterior cladding and can be applied to all Casalgrande Padana products.

Encaustic & Majolica Looks

Square ceramic tiles with bold, solid colors and mesmerizing patterns could be seen in every corner of the show. Some companies introduced traditional majolica motifs in new blown-out sizes and patchwork effects while others were inspired by vintage encaustic tiles with a timeworn appearance. In either case, Italian companies are using high-tech printing to put a contemporary spin on a handcrafted process, invoking the character and old world charm of these historic tiles.

One of the collections that embody this trend is “Azulej” – the latest porcelain tiles designed by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina. Inspired by ancient handcrafted majolica made of hydraulic cement, the 8”x8” glazed porcelain tiles are available in three neutral base colors (white, light grey and dark grey) in a choice of nine patterns or as a combination of 27 different designs. The result is a deliberately random patchwork of tiles for floors and walls, both indoors and out. Another avant-garde example is the Majolica pattern of Refin’s “Frame” collection. Designed by graphic design firm Studio FM, the large 30”x30” square tiles feature traditional decors from majolica tiles of the 19th and 20th centuries but presented in a more graphic light.

Fap Ceramiche also offers a colorful Maiolica décor as part of its “Base” collection while Ceramiche Supergres completes its “Smart Town” line of porcelain tiles with a Marmette décor. Viva’s“Statale 9” Pittura tiles and a few of ImolaCeramica’s “Habitat” decors look like decorative cement tiles while “Docks Combi” by ABK features a patchwork composition of 16 8”x8” tiles with an encaustic look. Similarly, “Amarcord” by Ceramica Faetano is a collection of 8”x8” ceramic tiles that reinterprets antique encaustic floors with an invigorating mix of 12 patterns in various shades of white, brown and blue. “Vintage” by Cerim, “Cotto Vogue” by Cir and “Concept” by Ragno are a few other collections featuring this unique look.

Planks

As the market moves towards longer slabs, tile companies are responding with a range of plank-sized tiles – some as long as six feet! Though wood is still a popular design choice, manufacturers are also offering these new plank sizes with their stone and concrete inspired collections as well.

“Sunrock” by Atlas Concorde, a doppelganger for Travertine, is available in a range of formats including 6”x36” and 9”x36” while Coem’s “Pietra del Friuli”, inspired by stones found in the northeast of Italy, also comes in a 6”x36” plank size. ImolaCeramica’s“Vein” collection, that looks like vein-cut or cross-cut marble, is also offered in a trendy 6”x36” plank size.

ABK “Soleras” is a collection of porcelain tiles inspired by the wooden staves from barrels used for “Criaderas y Soleras” – a technique for aging prestigious wines and spirits such as sherry, madeira and brandy. With a beautiful patina, the tiles are available in two plank sizes with a hand-planed appearance. Other porcelain planks with a hand-planed effect include: “Root” by Ceramiche Caesar; “Planks” by Ascot; “Silvis” by Cotto d’Este; and “AllWays” by Mirage.

For Roberto Cavalli’s newest collection for Ricchetti, he reinterpreted the wood planks from his Florentine home into a series of 39” long porcelain tiles in six different wood looks. “Nuances” from Fap Ceramiche is also offered in a range of six wood designs and is the first time the company is producing a porcelain tile collection intended for floors and walls.

Lea Ceramiche uses sophisticated digital printing techniques to reproduce the knots and grain of various woods for its new “Bio Plank”collection. Available as 48” long (and 6” or 8” wide) planks, the tiles are available with antibacterial protection for indoor environments and a special anti-slip deck finish for outdoors. “Atelier” by Marca Corona, “Newood” by Casalgrande Padana and “Plank” by LeonardoCeramica are a few other plank sized tiles that come in a special grip finish for outdoor installations.

Lighter-colored wood such as oak was another popular trend at Cersaie and served as the basis of many ceramic plank collections. Ceramiche Caesar “Wabi” is inspired by oak and offered in three 48” long plank sizes with a matte, textured, or saw-cut finish. Refin “Trail” also recalls the look of oak in eight shades and comes in plank sizes as long as five feet. “Tree” by Ceramica Sant’Agostino and “Signum” by Coem are other collections featuring an elegant oak option.

Additional tile collections offered in plank sizes include: “Vintage” by Settecento; “Seasons” by Serenissima; “Mywood” by Cisa Ceramiche; “Cottage Wood” by Fioranese; “Listone D” by Impronta; “Woodstyle” by Ragno; “Treverkatelier” by Marazzi; “Echo” by Monocibec; and “La Premiere” by Ceramiche Supergres.

Industry First: Floor Gres and Rex introduced impressive six-foot long ceramic planks with the formwork cement-inspired “Reverse” and oak-inspired “Selection Oak” collections, respectively.

Ceramic Fabric

The influence of fashion on the world of interiors could be seen in this year’s influx of tactile collections. From the femininity of lace to the luxurious sheen of silk, many ceramic tile manufacturers launched new collections inspired by the texture or appearance of a variety of fabrics.

Raw Edge’s second collection for Mutina called “Tex” is a rich, three-dimensional and multi-colored collection of 4.5”x8” rhombus-shaped glazed porcelain tiles. Each of the eight available colors is made up of three shades and a range of textures taken from textiles that are randomly mixed. “I Tessuti” is another designer collection, created by Elena Strafella for Cottoveneto, which features an interesting fabric-inspired composition of micromosaics. The range of decors includes: Scottish; Tweed; Shantung; Tartan; and Twill.

From the pizzo décor of Cerdisa’s “Archistone” tiles to the new “Décor Lace Flowers” composition from Mosaico+, lace is still a fashionable muse for designers. Novabell also pays homage to the material with its “Rainbow” and “Ravello” white body ceramic wall tiles while the Canapa décor of its new “Energy” collection is an interesting rendition of a 1970s textile print.

Other fabric-inspired products getting rave reviews include Marazzi’s “Silkstone” line whose decorative ceramic wall tiles are inspired by Indian saris, Japanese kimonos, tulle and silk and the knit pattern of “Studies in Gouache” by Lea Ceramiche whose repetitive weave is intoxicating. In addition, Fap Ceramiche’s “Supernatural” Charme décor recalls the look of quilted fabrics, creating elegant and luxurious surfaces.

Installation Made Easy

From 2cm thick porcelain tiles to clip systems and quick laying floors, Italian companies offer a variety of products that make the installation process easier than ever. Monolithic porcelain slabs were especially popular at this year’s show with a large number of tile producers adding a 20mm option to their collections. Twice as thick as most tiles, they have the same benefits as regular porcelain tiles but with an incredibly high breakage load (up to 2,000 pounds) and can be dry laid on grass, gravel, dirt, and cement without grout or adhesives.

One of the first companies to introduce ¾” thick porcelain tiles with its Compact 20 range, Tagina now offers five tile collections in this monolithic size. Novabell’s “Avant” collection is also available in a heavy-duty 20mm paving version in a 24”x24” format and special R12 anti-slip finish while Ceramiche Keope’s “Pecorsi SMART” tiles are available in five stone looks and a 24”x24”x¾” size. Available in large modular formats, Pastorelli’s new “Quartz Design” series is 2cm thick and features the same sparkling reflections as quartz flecks. “Sunrock” from Atlas Concorde, based on the look of Travertine stone, is the newest addition to the company’s “Lastra 20mm” line while Marca Corona “Stone Line” and Cerdisa “T20 Project” are both available in a 2cm thickness and grip finish for outdoors.

In addition to monolithic porcelain slabs that look like stone, Mirage offers two wood-look collections – “AllWays” and “Sundeck” – that come in a 2cm outdoor version while Floor Gres’ new cement-inspired “Industrial” line is available in three thicknesses including a 20mm bush hammered edition.

Offering another veritable revolution for the building and construction industry, “Del Conca Fast” is a new, patented system for quick laying ceramic floors. Suitable for residential and light commercial projects, the system creates a new floor in a matter of hours without joints, adhesives or grout. It is currently available with Del Conca’s “Monte Napoleone” collection that mimics wood in two planks sizes (6”x48” and 8”x48”) and four colors.

For tiles that do require grout, MAPEI introduced a revolutionary new epoxy grout that makes installation cleanup trouble-free. Available in eight colors, “Kerapoxy CQ” contains quartz that makes it easier for installers to remove grout from the surface of tile during application. Another timesaving product from the company is “Mapesonic 2.” The patent-pending design for the sound-reduction and crack-isolation sheet membrane is lighter and thinner and allows installers to just prime, peel and stick before installing the tile.

Industry First: Searching for new ways to solve installation problems, Trend introduced a prototype of a new quick laying system called “Clip To Go.” Part of the company’s “Advanced Rapid System”, it features glass tiles preinstalled onto a dense foam support, which provides insulation, sound proofing and water proofing. “Smart To Go” is a similar product from the company specifically made for mosaics.

Size Matters

Super thin tiles and giant slabs are two innovations pioneered by Italian manufacturers whose popularity continues to grow. While thin tile provides a versatile covering solution for nearly every surface, large format tiles are typically easier to maintain and allow designers to concentrate on the lines and flow of a space.

The newest addition to Cotto d’Este’s super thin (3mm) and large (1mx3m) Kerlite series, “Exedra” offers six types of marble looks and three finishes (natural, soft and lux). Because Kerlite is durable, light, and easy to cut, the thin tiles can also be used for kitchen counter tops, basins, doors and other furnishings. Similarly, “Lightquarz” is the fourth collection of large and super thin laminated porcelain stoneware tiles from Panaria that are extremely versatile. Part of the company’s ZER0.3 line, the 3mm tiles can be used for an infinite number of custom solutions for the bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room.

“Micron 2.0” by ImolaCeramica is a new series of full body porcelain tiles up to 4’x4’ in a palette of eight colors and three finishes (natural, polished and bush-hammered). “Gli Alabastri di Rex” by Rex is inspired by alabaster, with its natural luxury and symmetrical geometries, and is available in large 31.5”x71” slabs. Also from the Florim Group, “Industrial” by Floor Gres reinterprets cement in porcelain slabs as large as 1.2m x 3m.

Industry First: “Studies in Gouache” – the latest innovative product designed by Diego Grandi for Lea Ceramiche – is the first slim tile with a contemporary bas-relief design. The four decors (grid, scratch, weave and moire b) feature geometric and abstract patterns engraved and sanded into the 3mm tiles. They are offered in the same chromatic range as the company’s “Gouache.10” collection.

Countdown to Cersaie! What to expect from tile’s hottest event

This year marks the 30th edition of Cersaie – the premier international ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings exhibition in Bologna, Italy – that will take place from September 25-29, 2012. Promoted by Confindustria Ceramica in cooperation with BolognaFiere and organized by Edi.Cer SpA and Promos, the show features nearly 1,000 exhibitors from 31 countries and a sprawling 176,000 square meters of exhibition space. Like the Milan Furniture Fair of the ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings industry, companies will use the show to introduce cutting edge designs, designer collaborations and new technological innovations to the world.

Highlights of this year’s “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” conference program include: a keynote speech by 2011 Pritzker Prize winner Eduardo Souto de Moura (on Friday, September 28), a talk on “Design Goes Sci-Fi” with American science fiction writer Bruce Sterling and Italian designer Cini Boeri (on September 25), a lecture on emergency and intervention architecture with Shigeru Ban (on September 26) and a presentation by Heike Hanada on her design for the new Bauhaus Museum in Weimar (on September 27).

For more information on the exhibitors and the full conference program visit www.cersaie.it