CERSAIE is an annual exposition of ceramic tile in Bologna, Italy, where over 800 manufacturers gather to showcase their latest technological and design advancements. And it’s pretty astounding just how far the simple ceramic tile has come. New rolling presses mean that the size of each piece is just about limitless (well, a truck still needs to be able to carry it, and installers to get it on the wall), and printing advancements mean that just about any colour is doable.
I was there in late September, and these are the top 7 trends I discovered amongst the literally hundreds of gorgeous new tiles I obsessively snapped on my iPhone.
1. Ceramic Wallpaper
These elaborate, floral- and jungle-print ceramic panels transform a surface. In general they’re oversize, so seams disappear. Stunning.
2. Retro Palettes
From soft, ’80s colour palettes to vintage ’60s-style imprints, these ceramic tiles evoke the feeling of yesteryear.
3. Perfect Pairs
Much like a perfect piece of stone from a marble quarry, Italian ceramic tile manufacturers are creating oversize “marble” stones that appear book-matched—perfect above a modern fireplace.
4. Feeling Rusty
With the appearance of a well-weathered, oxidized Corten steel, these ceramic tiles add a touch of industrial edge to a space.
5. Heavy Metals
Metallic inserts—bands, stripes, even geometric shapes—sparkle against classic ceramic tile in this shiny new trend.
6. Shou Sugi Ban Tile
The Japanese method of charring wood to preserve it—so popular in west coast architecture—makes it way into ceramic, though the range of colours is more flexible in this medium, of course.
7. 3D Vision
The 3-dimensional tiles add texture and a little play to wall treatments.