Seen at Cersaie 2019

by Ofentse Sefolo
Seen at Cersaie 2019

Cersaie 2019 was held in Italy in September and the event attracted 112 340 visitors over the five days of which 52 997 were international visitors. There were 889 exhibitors from 40 countries, which is 49 more than at the 2018 event.

With over 450 ceramic tile companies showcasing their latest product innovations, ceramic tile was the best represented sector at this year’s event. Over 500 people attended the inaugural conference entitled Ceramics: from healthy environments to sustainable growth and trade wars. Other keynote speakers included the Chairman of Confidustria Ceramica, Giovanni Savorani, the Minister for Economic Development, Stefano Patuanelli, and the President of the Emilia Romagna regional government, Stefano Bonaccini, among others esteemed presenters. Over 2500 people attended the “building dwelling thinking” cultural programme which consisted of five presentations. Prominent architects presented at The cities of the future conference and over 400 consultations were provided at the Tiling down exhibition, which featured technical seminars on large slabs and demonstration areas.

Attendee Comments
Geoffrey Green, Marketing Manager at Mapei, attended the event. He says he was impressed by the capabilities and offerings related to large format tiles. “I spent quite a bit of time in the equipment and technology section of the exhibition and I paid a lot of attention to the solutions for large format tile installations. While things like spacers, levellers and tools for large format tiles are still very limited in South Africa, there’s definitely a wide variety of systems and options available in the global market.”

Patrizia Cortese, Product Development Manager a Ceramic Industries, says that many trends were strengthened and consolidated at this year’s event.

Monolith Marbles
“The polished monolithic marbles in large format stood out the most this year. The classic Carrara marbles were complemented by strong and vibrant coloured marbles, from blue to green, as well as sophisticated Onyx and precious geological jewels in large slabs,” says Patrizia.

“The noble floor covering Terrazzo, first seen at Marazzi and Ceramica Sant’Agostino, were revisited by many manufacturers this year and presented in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. In my opinion, the best design was presented by Ceramica Sant’Agostino with the ‘New Deco’ range. The reproduction of natural stones and cement screeds is still very strong, but there is a clear trend towards neutral products, with a selection of sophisticated ‘calm’ stones and cement screeds. Thanks to the latest ink jet technology, special effect inks and new glazes, we have also seen an extremely high level of refinement in the design, textures and finishes. Some of the best examples were found at Impronta and Porcelanosa,” adds Patrizia.


Frida Tugnoli, Merchandising Executive for Tile Africa, says the trend in tile design at this year’s show was replicating and embracing popular seamless and terrazzo flooring with a large number of cement-look tiles.

“Colours ranged from cool greys to the warmer shades of greige. New inspiration was shown by the inclusion of an exposed aggregate in the patterns, replicating terrazzo-look flooring. Larger formats are also still very trend-forward, particularly in the marbles which focused on the warmer brown tones of Pulpis and Onyx marble this year in addition to the traditional Cararra. Similarly, stone-look designs included bolder, and more defined veining in the pattern,” says Frida.

Tile Africa

Cement-look Tiles
Susan Oosthuizen from Johnson Tiles says that cement-look tiles are still a very strong trend, used alone or in combination with other looks and patterns including wood. “Encaustic and geometric-inspired patterns in a smaller 200 x 200mm format were a stand-out for me. These were often shown in combination with cement, wood and marble-look tiles to deliver a fresh new take on traditional cementine-inspired designs. It is clear that botanical, or biophilic-inspired patterns are on the rise, with florals and strong colours featuring in a number of displays. Naturally, green is a strong theme in this trend,” says Susan.

Copper and Rust
A novelty at this year’s event was the imitation of metal sheeting that allowed the introduction of strong colours like copper green and iron rust to the range of mono-chromatic greys. There was also a decrease in the number of wood inspired tiles and ranges, which are still present but available mostly in natural oak wood and neutral colours.

Revival of traditional motives
The revival of traditional motives and floor decoration is still very prevalent with a variety of cementine inspired tiles, which have evolved to a more modern interpretation.

One of the most interesting and original examples was the new range from Ceramica Sant’Agostino called ‘Intarsi’, a modern yet bold interpretation of wood inlay designs. The small sizes and traditional format, like hexagon and subway tiles, are still widespread. Art Deco and Mid-Century interiors-inspired decoration and patterns were also seen throughout the exhibition.


The importance of biophilic design
The importance of biophilic design interiors has influenced a wide variety of nature inspired decoration with exotic foliage, water colour mega-size flowers and monochromatic botanical designs.


The most refined examples of this trend were presented by Ceramica Ragno and Serenissima.

“From geometric patterns to full textile feature walls, the most popular tiles seen were leaves and florals with strong colours and contrasting designs. These beautiful feature tiles were full of detail and special effect inks that made them stand out,” says Jacolette Kriel Ceramic Industries Designer.

Beautiful products and unique innovations

The Ariostea stand, called Loto Pavillion, resembled a lotus flower and was chosen to highlight the technical and mechanical features of Ariostea’s maxi slabs, which can even be applied to curved surfaces. The large slabs from the Ultra collection that echo finishes such as marble (Capraia, Bianco Statuario and Dark Emperador), natural stone (Pietra Piasentina) and precious minerals (Crystal, Agata and Amazonite), are able to bend and flex like the petals of a lotus flower. Besides using the porcelain tiles as wall or floor tiles, they can also be used to create interior design elements such as seating, consoles and flower boxes.


Bestile presented their stylish, high-polish Natural Charm collections. Ideal for modern living, these classic black-and-white tiles offer dramatic looks with a warm essence. The brand also showcased their new 3D collections of porcelain tiles that are focused on stones and evoke a time of renewal and the fleeting nature of life.


The Retour collection from Flaviker symbolises a “return” to cementitious stone through recycled materials. Retour focuses in particular on Montpellier stone, revisiting the material in accordance with the industrial moodboard typical of the latest generation of bestselling Flaviker products. The company also previewed the Navona range, which provides a unique three-dimensional look, and Savoy, which is inspired by grey marble from the French Alps.


Fincibec presented its Fire and Over collections, which focus on the future of ceramic tiles and on their aesthetic research to create exclusive original inspirations for designers. Both slabs displayed interesting colours, details and textures, with the Fire collection being mainly inspired by rare, almost unobtainable materials and the Over range taking its cue from exotic varieties of marble.


Panaria Ceramica’s new range takes inspiration from the most diverse natural stones and rock formations. The range reinterprets these traditional stones in an unprecedented composition of colours, surfaces and finishes. Panaria was driven by a deep passion to make ceramics as well as the great ability to transform the raw material into artefacts with an original look and flavour.

Panaria Ceramica

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.bestile.es, www.ceramic.co.za, www.confindustriaceramica.it, www.delconcna.com, www.fincibec.it, www.floornanture.com, www.ibagnnonews.it, www.johnsontiles.co.za, www.mapei.co.za, www.panariagroup.it and www.tileafrica.co.za.

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