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It’s a Jungle out there!

Dec 15, 2022 | Blog, News

It’s a Jungle out there!

By Peter Vann, Director of Ceramique Internationale

Well, after 25 or 26 Cersaie shows the next one never actually seems that appealing, but with a gap since 2019 we were quietly looking forward to tramping the halls of the exhibition centre once again.

43,000 steps and four days later, we ended up subjected to the hell that is the last (delayed) flight from a woefully facility-lacking Bologna airport to Manchester, and got home at 3.30am Saturday morning. 

I wonder if we’ll feel the same mild enthusiasm next year?

Mild enthusiasm to be there was also evident in 2022 from producers – as a growing number of major Italian factories chose not to exhibit. Marazzi Group, Emil Group and Florim group to name but three.

Instead, they offered their customers an evening 50 minute taxi ride up to Sassuolo, to meet and greet, spend time in their showrooms and view what’s new. We took up the opportunity of course, but we felt, as most customers we encountered did, that after six or seven hours of exhibition halls it was a bit much. We were done in!

The wider issue their absence presents for the future of the event is the willingness, or even necessity, to exhibit there at all. It looks less attractive if the big guns are not supporting.

It does make us wonder if the long-suggested bi-annual, rotating Cersaie and Cevisama could be the future? It would make a lot of sense but would require the Italian and Spanish producers to agree with one another!

The energy crisis remained in every conversation, and one large Spanish group played a wild-card offering a new price list that included gas surcharges, removing the instability of the varying monthly increments we have been faced with for so long.

All that said, the show itself was great and the three-year gap made it easier to spot what is trending and what is coming up in 2023 and beyond.

Whilst large slab-tiles are still very evident, the move upwards from, what we thought were large enough squares at 800x800mm and 900x900mm, to floor tiles of 1000x1000mm and 1200x1200mm squares was obvious.

Casalgrande Padana’s excellent Stile collection was typical and featured different natural stone surfaces in six colours, with seven finishes of surface structure, and seven sizes and shapes.

In particular we thought the ‘rustic edge’ look in 1000x1000mm looks especially suitable for the UK market.

Similarly, marketing business Verde 1999/Campogalliano showed the really stunning 1000x1000mm Borgo Italiano stone option with rustic edge and an indoor-outdoor 2cm thick option.

The anti-slip glaze technology which started appearing in 2019 is now prevalent. Smooth surfaces which are easy to clean but become grippy when wet – and achieve the all-important PTV rating +36 that UK specifiers require – was a commonplace element in sales presentations throughout the show.

From a style perspective a recurring theme, which these large format floors are being produced in, was the Industrial-Grunge look – an oxidised metal effect in all shapes and sizes for floors. It could be a pretty ‘heavy’ effect for UK consumers, however the look is trendy and there were softer versions of it evident to appeal to the less brave.

The reappearance of terracotta was another style which shone through. The clever glazes and digital printing offering a cornucopia of realism from Marca Corona’s Terracreta range stood out. An addition to their 1741 collection it includes 200x200mm squares and hexagons with minimalist, but high-relief, décor options for walls.

Large hexagonal options for the rustic earth-look, like the 500x485mm Palma from Real Onda, showed this trend is on the comeback trail.

Returning to the subject of size, and bathroom wall tiles are getting larger and larger. The typical mainstream format of 300x600mm was less evident with 300x900mm and 400x1200mm featuring frequently.

The very strong Onyx style, originated by Emil, with bright pink and strong jade, appeared across many alternate factories as the usual plagiarism for a new trend abounded. The colours and effect even reached the small format metro style this time around.

Azteca’s excellent Nagoya series offered striking colours with a well-researched crossover look of onyx/veined marble in 600x1200mm lappato, with cut-down size options that make highly attractive features.

Baldocer offered an accurate Burlington Stone replica in 600x1200mm format with natural and lappato finishes available.

There was an abundance of wallpaper-effect feature tiles, centred on jungle themed flowers and repeating leaf patterns. Many will be far too ‘out there’ for the UK consumer but the trend will carry through into 2023 for sure. Will this supplant structured and split face feature walls in bathrooms? We’ll see.

The Industrial-Grunge metallic look featured heavily in metro style wall tiles too. Fuoco by Marca Corona was a strong example.

And this effect prevailed amongst the many, many small format, coloured wall tile ranges proposed by every manufacturer – many of which added square options as well as the oblong. It seems they are all still trying to capture the success of the award winning Marazzi zellige style, pioneered a few years ago. 

One addition to this look, in smaller sizes, was the use of linear structured decorative tiles in matching colours. An interesting and different look but a headache for stockists who face 12 SKUs instead of six.  The Glace series in 75 x 200mm by Ragno was a good example and perhaps the most powerful version was the Abacus series from Settecento, with a severe linear pyramidic structure and a stunning red colour amongst the palette.

So, many things to look forward to in terms of trends and developments from this year’s Cersaie. The worn shoe leather and long days may not be relished quite so much.

Italian wall and floor tiles Italian wall and floor tiles

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