Posted on 10/9/2012 11:01 PM by Adam

If there’s one thing that can be that can be said about the 30th anniversary of the Cersaie tile and bath show, it's that the offerings on display were both remarkably exciting and somewhat expected.

Counting more than 900 exhibitors across 20 halls within Bologna's expansive trade grounds, Cersaie was filled with stacks of the finest ceramic and porcelain tiles--not to mention the most advanced bath fixtures and furnishings--currently available to designers.

It was more than than we could ever hope to see, let alone digest, in the unforgiving window of three days. Every booth represented the chance to make a new discovery--and there were plenty. It's not an exaggeration to say that my camera and pen never took much of a break during my time at Cersaie (espresso breaks notwithstanding).

Yet, for the sheer number of new collections and updated lines on display, it appears that the same trends that have been moving the ceramic tile industry as of late are here to stay. Wood and concrete looks were de rigueuer, and neutral colors continued to dominate. And while many of the products on display were well-suited to the modern, monochromatic aesthetic espoused by many, we in the press corps did occasionally find ourselves gravitating towards products that dared to blaze their own trail—or at least attempted a new take on the same old trend.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite ceramic and porcelain tiles from Day 1—our Day 2 recap is available here, and our Day 3 recap is available here. Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below, or at our Facebook and Twitter pages. And look for more Cersaie coverage in our January Tile and Stone special section.


The Modern Color collection from Cerim works by mixing modern styling with vintage looks—could be a good choice for features/walls in public spaces. The rectangular tiles come in at 26 x 76 centimeters.


Alabastri di Rex from Rex Ceramiche is a beautifully colored porcelain line that captures the look of natural stones and minerals. The largest sizes are offered in 12 patterns, while the smaller-sized tiles are available in 24 patterns. It is offered in 80 x 180, 80 x 80 and 60 x 120 centimeter sizes.


The Emma collection from Love Ceramic Tiles includes a host of playful patterns and plaids in colorways like Bubble Gum, Coconut, and Cookies n’ Cream Milkshake. Available in 30 x 60 centimeters.


The Bio Plank collection from Lea Ceramiche combines realistic wood looks with Microban antimicrobial technology and a high-grip finish--a good choice for demanding environments that still want to feel welcoming.


Lea Ceramiche also gave us a sneak peek at its new collaboration with Lenny Kravitz and Kravitz Design: the Goccia collection of three-dimensional tiles. (Goccia means “drop” in Italian.) Very cool stuff, but we were disappointed Kravitz wasn’t there to tell us about the collection and hand out espressos.


While wood looks were everywhere, manufacturers added some subtle twists to their collections to make them stand out—here, Cisa Ceramiche’s MyWood line of plank tiles incorporates décor tiles that look like reclaimed crates.


Cotto d’Este showed off its technically advanced Kerlite tiles, which, at only 3 millimeters thick, are capable of covering just about any surface you can find. Three finishes provide a range of tactile experiences (Lux, Natra and Soft). The line also contains Microban to keep things clean.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Silvis line of wood plank tiles from Cotto d’Este. Silvis is available in two finishes; the Country option brings to mind artisanal planing with it's rough and uneven feel.


Trend introduced some color to the show floor with displays like this red feature wall--made with the company’s Liberty glass mosaic tiles. This designer collection uses hand-cut Karma glass, assembled in a repetitive, irregular module. Liberty also contains up to 75 percent post-consumer recycled glass.


Mutina had not one but two impressive designer collections on display. Here, Tex, designed by London design studio Raw Edges, finds its inspiration in textiles’ textures. The collection is available in 10 different colors, each of which contains a group of three shades.


Design Superstar Patricia Urquiola introduces her new line for Mutina, called Azulej. “The patterns deliberately combine different aesthetic languages: memories, geometrical schemes, floral design, all developed in a longitudinal and diagonal direction,” she says. There are eight patterns available.


The Echo collection from Monocibec won some second looks for its realistic wood looks and three surfaces (natural, honed and grip). I am told that the collection was inspired by the traditional, rustic residences found in the valleys of the Alps, but I unfortunately have never been. It is available in three colors.


Stone looks were ubiquitous, but Ceramiche Caesar’s Rockstone was one of the best. Based on quartzite stone, it is offered in five colors and two finishes: textured and soft. The spa setting is a perfect fit.


The fine people at FAP Ceramiche fear no color or pattern, making their booth one of the standouts. The Voyage collection on display here. 


Here’s another shot from the Voyage collection, which draws inspiration from nature and craft tradition--"refined hand-painted fabrics, ancient embossed glasswork, beautiful ceramics, rare historical lithographs, ornamental panels," says FAP. Bonus: the entire line meets Ecolabel qualifications.


Of all the concrete-inspired tiles at Cersaie, Brooklyn from Marazzi won the award for best execution. This porcelain collection features a slightly textured satiny surface finish, imparting a "metropolitan" feel; the range of sizes allows designers to go big and monolithic or break things up (six in all). Brooklyn is offered in six neutrals, and is suitable for walls and floor.


An honorable mention in the concrete competition goes to Ragno’s Transit_Slim line, which is offered in rectangular and large format squares, as well as 30 x 30 centimeter mosaics (Did I mention it’s 4.8 millimeters thick?) Transit_Slim is offered in three colors with concrete, metal and steel shades.


Bardelli displayed these colorful mosaics, which are part of the company’s Wallpaper collection. This decorative wall covering is double-fired and fully handmade on a glossy background. These 40 x 40 centimeter tiles are offered in eight colors.


Here’s a cool innovation with endless possibilities: Appiani can now take a photograph and transform it into a mosaic tile pattern--a little-known architectural gem pictured.


Here’s a close-up of that same mosaic.


Sicis celebrated its 25th anniversary at the show with a number of beautiful, shimmering glass art mosaics—perfect for that next rooftop pool! 


We closed the day with a look at Fabric from Cottoveneto. Designed by Elena Stratella, these mosaic tiles are perfect for warming up even the coldest of spaces. 

See more photos from the #Cersaie tradeshow at the Interiors & Sources Twitter page.