CHAPTER 4 – CERSAIE IN TEN TRENDS
1. Small, Colorful, Glazed
Small for all: a shower of full-color rectangles, it’s design, it’s material, it’s color, and above all, it’s contemporary and appealing. The format revolves around 6×24, and the vertical installation method erases the worn-out horizontal brick logic that was once associated with styles like shabby, urban, and industrial. The massive presence of these coverings may perhaps evoke some industrial regret for the “Made in Italy” label, which has long overlooked the production of bi-mono wall ceramics, leaving the realm to the Spanish and/or the Turks.
Multi-Use and Multi-Mix. With these little bricks, you can do it all: we’ve seen them on curved walls, backdrops, niches, countertops, and inserts. They come in multicolored or monochromatic mixes, but also in crossover combinations, serving as accents to enliven slabs and large formats with a stone, cement, or even marble effect. Because, more than ever, the interpretations of this ceramic-ceramic are multi-style, and this is quite something, hoping it’s just the beginning.
Fashionable Colors. Alongside the evergreen hues, the stage belongs to modernized pastel tones (sage, saffron, ochre, curry, denim) in matte, glossy, wavy finishes. These colors also feature geometric reliefs in Nordic-style (Elios, Marca Corona, Piemme, 41zero42, La Fabbrica), as well as effects that reinvent the finish of glazed lava or stone (Tonalite).
2. Oh my darling Travertine
One for all and all for one: the proliferation of travertine shows no sign of stopping. We deduce that the market desires it, and it prefers it with little characterization (more suitable for public spaces). Who knows, maybe travertine is the new concrete, and it will solidify its place as a universal architectural surface, with a natural look, delicately veined, and not flat.
The interpretation often leans towards a smooth surface and in the classic three “soft” colors with (inevitable) the two complementary versions cross cut / vein cut (it means: you’ll cut your veins because you see another travertine).
The architectural vocation is confirmed by the all-inclusive ranges: from h270cm slabs to classic medium formats for floor and wall, from R11 surfaces for exteriors to 20mm outdoor thicknesses. It doesn’t stop there… mosaics, grooves, and rigatoni are added.
Here and there, you notice some versions that are more textured and sophisticated, with reeded reliefs, structures, and lapped-antiqued finishes (La Faenza – Cocoon mood, Coem Fioranese – Senzatempo), or with multi-format poses and mechanically aged edges (Cerdomus Tibur). An outsider, not travertine but on the same wavelength, is Piemme’s limestone in cross-cut and vein-cut versions, a diversification that attempts to break away from the herd.
3.Soft Rock: Lightweight Stone
According to the cyclical nature of trends, after the flood of resins and cements, the mainstream at Cersaie converges on stone, flowing into the Po river Valley in a thousand streams: soft stones with smooth surfaces, featuring desaturated veining resembling breccia marble or sandstone-like limestone. There are many micro-variations on this theme, even within the same booth but not overly diverse. The interpretations revisit both old and new classics of stoneware: pietra serena, brecce, limestone, desaturated ceppo di gré, but also Burlington (English stone), Burgundy stones, and pierre blue …turned gray. It has the air of a trend, perhaps the market craves a bit more sensuality and materiality in surfaces, while still maintaining a non-invasive essentiality.
4. Progressive rock
Setting aside the spotted or rocky stones for a moment, the focus shifts to elegant mottling of materials. Crystal by Coem features realistic shiny veins inlaid, while Gascoigne (also Coem) offers a rougher, more textured surface. G-tech by Gambini (ADI award winner) is strategically enhanced in a private dark room (black walls and ceiling) and illuminated with clever grazing lights (hallelujah). Del Conca presents a very beautiful and surprising sandblasted onyx (in slabs), opening up a whole new world compared to the glossy finish. For us, it’s a top choice (travertine, step aside).
5. Cotto and more
Cotto effect awakens from obscurity, becoming raw (terra cruda). In doing so, it finds freshness and original material expressions even in the blending with other materials. The tones are brighter, seeking the flavor of craftsmanship (Fireclay – GruppoCerdisaRicchetti), even in the reinterpretation with revisited wood (Trick). Some expand the exploration with coordinated patterns, pastel colors, and granulated graphics (Pastorelli). Sant’Agostino (Duo) combines terra cotta and concrete but above all, it boasts an extremely rich graphic dynamism with modules decorated by contemporary and far from banal marks.
6. Wood morning
A new dawn in the infinite returns of wood. Knots, shabby spots, and rusticity are out; the look is sober but accelerating towards realism, thanks to applications that synchronize graphics and reliefs. The finishes are refined with the velvety tactility of extra-matte surfaces. Oak reigns supreme. Extra-long planks, chevron and diamond formats, and a return of inlaid decorations.
7. Heavy metal
Feisty or peaceful, the 2023 metalgres tiles exhibit a distinctive and lived-in personality, emphasized by next-generation textural details. Cerdomus reproduces a floor born from former political billboards in sheet metal (ok also in light colors which are usually flops). Keope (Plate-metal glam) boldly displays a partially glossy sheet metal on the front wall. Flaviker introduces a hyper-realistic and perhaps provocative corrugated sheet metal.
8. Color: Must-Have Porcelain Stoneware
The color line in 60x60x120x multiples has been upgraded and is now a must-have category, rising among the “big five effects” of marble, stone, wood, and concrete. The texture is uniform but often slightly textured, resembling resin or concrete. The palette includes compact tones like powder blue, red (or coral), sage, light yellow, ochre, along with some “meter” shades such as gray, ivory, tortoiseshell, and beige. Cerdomus is at the starting line with linear decorations in the style of De Chirico, and others in hydro-jet seventies style (Concrete Art). Atlas with Boost Color, Gardenia with Pigments, Imola with ample space for floor-wall combinations featuring Retina.
9. Artificial Intelligence, Natural Creativity
Stepping out of the traditional paradigms of “imitative” ceramics and ceramic-ceramics, here and there we find various original and intriguing proposals, along with some provocatively eccentric ones. Alongside “natural” creativity, the search for new signs and inspirations also brings artificial intelligence into play: GCR takes inspiration from water, with fluid movements generated by A.I. in “Fluids” (in the form of a “river” at the center of the booth), and from air and clouds with “Pearls“. Optical effects in large format for Moirè by Fioranese – designed by A. Pasinelli – offering diverse visions depending on the point of view. Shifting gradient for the Iridea covering by Marca Corona (ADI award), delicate and pleasant. A similar covering in a secluded area, by Wow.
10. 20×20 Mixed-Designs
AAA Seeking Heir to Cement Tiles. The game of mixed 20×20 decorations is still functional and versatile, but we’ve grown tired of cement tiles, now overused. Efforts are being made to modernize the concept. Italian Landscape (Fioranese – design by 23Bassi) is a broad project in various modular and fresh geometries. CIR – Terre dei Miti, stylized signs in warm and textured tones. Twist by Elios in a monochromatic key, chic and contemporary.