October 2015 – BETTY SULLIVAN TALKS ABOUT CERSAIE: INTERNATIONAL TILE FAIR – Bologna, Italy – I love Italy, the food, the ability of the sharply dressed Italian (men primarily) to romance the their products and the ancient architecture. Cersaie held few surprises this year, but love was in the air for product. Love was in the air with spacious booths deliciously inspired in design. Innovation was made in technology and design. Confidence in the market means trends are on the rise. A hospitality client accompanied me. She opened my eyes wider to the needs of their industry in regards to tiles and bathroom fixtures.
Innovation in Technology –
Tile businesses can’t sit on their laurels anymore in regards to innovation. They need to be educated in these areas and take the time to educate their clients on opportunities and how to use these products.
I’m most excited about Florim’s membrane system that allows tile replacement! This has tremendous applications for commercial spaces. I grinched it to death and I believe it will work.
Building facades are economical and practical. Many companies have façade systems. Laticrete also has a setting system for stone facades too.
Thin, thick, counter tiles. Geez. Iris nails it with gorgeous stones replicas. Lea has every size and thickness imaginable. Inalco is an up and comer with it’s countertop system. This point is meaningful. If you want a seamless look you can fabricate with a 6mm product, a 10mm, or use the traditional thickness as granite or quartz on the counter with Lea. Check it out below.
Design Innovation –
This green wall is the Iris’s Slide ceramic series. It has a translucent quality in eight colors. It feels like you’re underwater. The blue is divine.
Here’s a metal look from Apavista who always has a great 3D look each year.
Light airy patterns might be the next trend. This Persian rug design from FAP is delightful. The color ways of their field tiles are a break from the norm.
Saloni has a versatile brown patina porcelain wall deco that can be used as wall art. Depending on what’s paired with, it can be Modern, Zen, or African influences.
I’m a huge fan of the newer 2cm porcelain paver tiles. In particular, this Del Conca replica of Autumn Slate has a natural quality to it.
I went with the Florim light gray and white 2cm wooden outdoor tiles for my company. Lots of companies have great looks. Wood and concrete are the most prevalent. Ask manufacturers if it’s pressed or rectified. See what parts and pieces go with it.
The industrial look has been attempted many times. Here’s who’s nailing it best. Refin with their Garage District series, Emil with Metal, and FAP. This Metal series from the Emil Group is a gorgeous tone of copper. They nailed it. Their ghost was the most photographed of the show.
MARMI (STONE LOOKS) –
A note on Provenza Bianco series is a Marmi look with a lappato finish that meets DCOF. So spec away. I’m not aware of another manufacturer who has a near polished finish that meets DCOF.
Speaking of Marmi. How do we choose a good marmi look? With the inkjet technology many are nailing the look well. We need to go to the next level. We need parts and pieces to go with it. I never understood manufacturers thinking how we were going to build out a bathroom with one tile and if we’re lucky they have a 2×2 for the shower floor. So look for texture, shapes, patterns like a basketweave, and of course linear looks. Don’t just settle for a 3×6 but get a 3×9, an elongated brick.
A secret bullet is this idea of mixed materials in one series. It started with the White Experience with Italgraniti doing a Marmi version. Now this year Pemmie has done it quite well with a sandstone look. I believe this should continue. The public is bored with one texture.
The hex is still trying to make it as a trend. I hesitate on purchasing the hex in a porcelain. This wall hanging is the Natucer WOODLOOK porcelain series that’s made these large hexes palatable.
Here’s a painted look from Provenza called Patchwork.
This delicate shimmery metal look from Kutahya is just right.
Bricks, bricks, bricks! This has been building. Are we reaching its apex? I don’t think so. The public will be delighted with the new additions. Emil has a program that can take any pantone color with a minimum order and 57 colors already prepared. The cotto brick is on the up and not a second too early. We need a break from gray.
Wooden bricks from FAP. I’m buying this!
A classy rich wood look panel from Piemme with a rich matching floor.
Monocibec has a nice Cotto line that has a brick and field with it.
Zirconic has this Antique series. Affordable and classic.
This French limestone is from Desvres. A modestly priced limestone look.
Betty Sullivan is an owner of the family business Architectural Ceramics, Inc. selling tile to homeowners and the finest commercial installations in hotels, and buildings around the world.
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