Posted on 9/30/2013 7:42 AM by Adam

My second year at the Cersaie international tile and bath show in Bologna, Italy gave me a new appreciation for just how big it is. The sheer number of exhibitors (898), speakers and special exhibitions—spread out among 20 different halls, no less—make it impossible to see everything, so I quickly forgot about trying to cover every single new development and just focused on cataloging the many ceramic and porcelain designs that blew my mind.

That proved to be a bigger task than expected. Improvements in printing and production technologies have allowed Italian manufacturers to create tiles with intricate and inventive graphic designs, and make the ubiquitous stone and wood looks more realistic and nuanced. Beautiful décor tiles jumped out from every booth, while the unbridled mixing and matching of textures, colors and patterns made for a lush (and constant) visual experience.

We’ll break down some of the bigger trends from Cersaie in an upcoming issue of I&S, but for now, I wanted to share a brief look at some of my favorite products spotted from the show floor. You can see more shots at our Instagram feed and our Twitter account; if you were in attendance, share your favorite finds at our social media pages or in the comments below.

Loved the simple geometric effects layered atop a mixed stone look as part of Panaria Ceramica’s Utopia 0.3 ultra-thin line.

Here’s some similar (albeit more polished) geometric looks, as seen at Cerim.

Cortex from Ricchetti celebrates organic and rustic woods with five distinctive shades and a variety of nuanced markings.

Ceramica Sant’ Agostino’s Hejmo collection brought a new look to wood with these large hexagonal tiles.

One of my favorite exhibitors at the show, Gamma Due showed off a variety of bold and original designs, including the camoflague-inspired Camou, and Ornamenta (at right), which prints simple patterns on a surface reminiscent of cardboard.

Gamma Due also debuted Mix and Match, which allows designers to go bold or conservative with “waxy” solids and linear patterns.

Newcomer 41zero42 had a similar look on display, but took more inspiration from (colorful) parquet flooring.

One of my favorite graphical décor tiles came from Imola Ceramica; its 1874 line is made in the same format as the company’s original tiles, but has been updated with modern colors and patterns.

I also liked these colorful and intricate décor tiles as part of Cerdisa’s Formwork collection, which mimics the popular look of wood forms in concrete.

Meanwhile, Portland from Del Conca introduced a touch of Americana to the decor tiles on display with vintage graphics and a faded look.

Sant’ Agostino’s Italian Dream goes the other way, filling highly polished décor tiles with flowers and other soft, organic touches.

Sticking with the red theme, these striking red décor tiles captured my attention while running past Ceramiche Grazia—gotta keep to a tight schedule!

And then of course, there’s the always stunning Sicis booth, filled with some of the most intricate glass tile designs you’ve ever seen. Soak it in.