Celebrating 40 years here last month, The International Exhibition of Ceramic Tiles and Bathroom Furnishings, Cersaie, showcased a variety of new tile trends at Bologna Exhibition Centre. FCW spoke with Emily Holle, creative director at MS International, about what she saw at the show and what retailers and consumers can expect to see in showrooms over the next few years.

Holle noted that a lot of manufacturers have shifted their focus to large format slabs. “The advantages to this are the full-bodied veining and that anything from dramatic marble, floral wall looks, etc. can be printed on these slabs. My favorite were the wall slabs that look like drapery,” she shared.

And, she said, some preexisting trends remain prevalent. “Subway tiles are still around, but their installation is being reimagined — there’s more modern stacking both vertical and horizontal and herringbone installations as well as elongated looks using long, skinny pieces.”

She felt this unique application stemmed from designers looking for more creative ways to reinvigorate subway tile. Wood looks remain fashionable. Holle remarked that “The tile community continues to be challenged by LVT (luxury vinyl tile), and they’re looking for ways to compete. Wood looks with texture, dimension and vertical applications remain popular.”

Other trends that Holle noticed throughout the fair were stone looks with bold and graphic prints, such as Violetta veining. Digital printing and 3D printing, she said, enabled manufacturers to capture the texture of stone’s veining.

As well, pastel colors were popular throughout the show — blues, greys and greens were seen throughout the show. Holle was surprised by the presence of a pastel yellow as well. Furthermore, burgundies, plums and ever-classic blackand- white styles made appearances. Holle also saw a “cool, misty grey-green. This color was almost a neutral color, and very calm and soothing.”

Regarding outdoor tile, she reported, “There was also a big focus on outdoor porcelain pavers — stone, white marble, wood looks and encaustic styles. Many were mixed with turf.”

Text: Suzy Krogulski (FCW)