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HomeFeatured ArticlesWhat’s trending in Italy: Top 5 ceramic tile trends for 2024

What’s trending in Italy: Top 5 ceramic tile trends for 2024

Kristin Coleman, senior vice president of Novità Communications, and representative for Ceramics of Italy, gives an overview of the trends and styles characterising the Italian market this year, first observed at last year’s Cersaie exhibition.

The 2023 edition of Cersaie – the world’s premier exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings – proved to be a pivotal one. On top of the show celebrating its 40th anniversary and the milestones the industry has achieved along the way, Ceramics of Italy exhibitors also signalled the dawn of an exciting new era. Tile products were imbued with a holistic sense of inventiveness: colour and pattern were bolstered by impressive surface technologies from extra soft finishes with high slip resistance to glossy matte effects. Meanwhile, a host of new prefabricated furnishing options and collaborations with the world’s leading design firms signalled the strength of the industry, while carbon-neutral collections and the workings of a new industry ISO standard for embodied carbon demonstrated meaningful contributions to the future of the built environment. To summarise this, here’s our take on the top five styles and themes trending in Italian ceramic design.

Color Stories
In the words of designer Ferruccio Laviani, “Color is itself a material thing, a pigment which penetrates the slab to become part of it, in tones and in touch.” At this year’s show, color was a powerful protagonist on porcelain as well as ceramic. Laviani, an ongoing collaborator of Lea Ceramiche, designed a new series of decorative effects overlaid onto 12 contemporary solid colors while Piero Lissoni developed a line for Atlas Concorde focused on a vast neutral color palette. And while dusty rose and mineral blue played starring roles, many companies developed collections specifically around color stories, from the chromatic effects of iridescence to the wide-ranging nuances of terracotta.

Additional collections include: Boost Color by Atlas Concorde, Caleido by Ceramica Bardelli, Concrete Art by Cerdomus, Italica by CIR Ceramiche, Iridea by Marca Corona, Halo by Ceramiche Refin, Colorstone by Tonalite, Aromas by Gigacer, Pigmenta by Dom Design Lab, and Capri by Antiche Fornaci D’Agostino.

The Third Dimension
After decades of innovating in two dimensions – producing thousands of tiles in unique formats, thicknesses, and patterns – Italian brands are looking to the third dimension as the next frontier in design. This year’s collections featured a plethora of three-dimensional tiles from fluted surfaces and protruding geometries to reliefs with explosive patterns that, when combined with light, create a constantly changing surface. And as manufacturers work towards producing tiles that look and feel like natural stone, high definition marble prints are now paired with low relief veining for incredibly realistic marble looks.

Additional collections include: Poetry Stone Reloaded by ABK, Ogi by Ceramica Fioranese, Impronte by Dom Design Lab, Supreme Memories by Flaviker, The Room by Imola Ceramica, Pigmenti by Lea Ceramiche, Vulcanica by Marca Corona, Solorovere by Ceramiche Piemme, and Namib by Ceramiche Refin.

Trompe L’oeil
From misty forests to overlapping sheets of corrugated metal, Italian manufacturers are producing a range of mind-blowing optical illusions on porcelain. One of the oldest tricks in the book – used in everything from painting and sculpture to architecture and set design since antiquity – trompe l’oeil offers an exciting opportunity for tile companies to create the look of three-dimensional spaces using two-dimensional surfaces. Designers can use these digitally printed tiles to their advantage given the technical benefits of porcelain: one can imagine a shower enclosed by billowy drapes or the floors of a spa covered in grooved wood planks.
Additional collections include: Atelier by Ascot Everytile, Wonderwall by Cotto d’Este, Alchymie by Naxos, and Lamatière by Panaria Ceramica.

With tile being an historically integral part of buildings, it’s no surprise that architecture is a muse for tile manufacturers, which was heavily evident this year. On one hand, Italian brands partnered with industry heavyweights including Zaha Hadid Architects, Nendo and Paola Navone to add a disruptive element to a classic shape or a poetic layer to the surface. On the other hand, many companies were inspired by historic buildings and architectural details from stained glass and milled panels to Byzantine cut mosaics and the floor of the Eden Theater in Treviso.

Additional collections include: Eden by Appiani, Tubes by Ceramica Bardelli, Poetry Stone Reloaded by ABK, Washi by Ascot Everytile, Collezione Cattedrale by Ce.Vi. Ceramica Vietrese, Windy by Decoratori Bassanesi, Dorset by Italgraniti, and Sasso Scritto by Settecento.

Evocative Stone
The allure of natural stone is hard to resist, propelling tile manufacturers to render the rich veining of marble and the preciousness of onyx and gemstones onto ceramic. However, this year brands turned up the volume, finding the rarest of stones – from a little-known quartzite in South America to exclusive cuts of calacatta – or creating evocative amalgamations of stone with bright colors and luminous veins conjuring scenes of the cosmos. The addition of innovations like soft finishes with high slip resistance, relief-matching graphics, and through-body veining make porcelain stone looks even more appealing for architecture and design.

Additional collections include: My Top by Ceramica Fondovalle, Onyx White by Atlas Plan, Dinamika by Ceramica del Conca, The Room by Imola Ceramica, Party by La Faenza, On Stage by Monocibec, Star by Ceramica Sant’Agostino, and Perpetual by Panaria Ceramica.
For additional products and inspiration, visit the product gallery on www.ceramica.info. For information on individual companies across the Italian ceramic sector, visit the Italian Ceramic Finder.

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