The 40th edition of Cersaie, the international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, closed with close to 100.000 visitors, confirming the growth forecasts predicted for the event. 99.319 registered visitors (+8.8% compared to 2022) populated the 145.000 square metres of exhibition space over the five days of the event. Interesting to note, the numbers relating to foreign attendance: on the company side, 27 countries were represented, with 245 foreign exhibitors, equal to 39% of the total of 633 companies present. On the visitor side, of the 99.319 visitors declared by the organisers, 47.634 (48%) came from abroad.
Cersaie today is a true international reference point for thousands of industry professionals, designers, architects and interior design enthusiasts. A unique opportunity to draw inspiration and discover the innovative solutions that will influence the way spaces of the future are designed and built.
Cersaie offers a complete overview of the world of floor and wall coverings. It is a constantly evolving reality where technological innovation always opens up new perspectives: it is here in Bologna that the rising trends in materials, colours and finishes are discovered.
The 40th edition of this event focused on ‘Made in Italy,’ with a strong emphasis on quality products and innovation. The President of Confindustria Ceramica, Giovanni Savorani, commented on the outstanding success saying: “We have to take note that things are working in the right way. Evidently, our innovative evolution and our stylistic proposal of new products are attracting interest from all over the world.”
In this article, we explore emerging trends and innovative ideas in the world of ceramic surfaces and coverings.
Ceramic floor and wall tiles, the best of Cersaie 2023
From material ceramic tiles recalling real ceramics to those replicating natural materials, Cersaie continues to amaze. Always with an eye on sustainability.
The timeless appeal of marble and stone effect stoneware
Porcelain stoneware maintains the starring role that it has earned over the years, thanks to the undisputed qualities of the material, both in terms of resistance and aesthetic performance. The new porcelain ceramic tiles offered by the world’s leading ceramic tile manufacturers faithfully reproduce natural marbles and stones down to the smallest detail.
The ceramic tile companies have carefully selected the finest varieties of marble in the purest shades, succeeding in reproducing their veining in an incredibly realistic manner. Among the most imitated marbles are calacatta, onyx, marquinia, arabesque and statuary.
In addition to marble, ceramic tile companies are also inspired by traditional stones with millennial appeal. Among the many proposals, those paying homage to the tradition of Tiburtine stone, famous for its use in Roman civilisation, commonly known as ‘travertine’, emerged particularly strongly. In addition, the ceramic tile companies worked with great skill to recreate the characteristics of natural limestone, accurately capturing the earthy tones and ancient fossil marks of the past. The warm and enveloping nuances of stones such as gré stone, limestone, travertine stone, basalt, slate, quartzite and numerous others provided the inspiration for the new stone effect stoneware ceramic tile collections.
Thanks to the technological evolution in reproduction, the latest generation of ceramics is able to evoke natural marbles and stones with all their nuances and details, in an incredibly realistic way. In fact, these ceramic tiles not only capture the outward appearance of stones, but are also able to replicate their tactile sensation, adding depth and realism to spaces.
The range of shades and surface finishes is very large and the same surface can be found in a variety of finishes: extra glossy, satin, matt, lapped, natural, to meet any need and style. This formal breadth makes marble and stone effect ceramic tiles extremely versatile and suitable for a variety of environments, from bathrooms to kitchens, from bedrooms to living rooms.
Ceramic wood more beautiful and more real
For those who love the cosy atmosphere and warm feel of wood, Cersaie 2023 exceeded all expectations. Wood-effect ceramic tiles have made remarkable progress in imitating the natural beauty of this incomparable material. From the lightest to the darkest shades, these ceramic tiles offer the opportunity to capture the aesthetics of wood without facing its practical challenges.
Thanks to new application technologies and digital materials, it is now possible to reproduce the texture, depth and even the grain of wood in an extraordinarily realistic way. The result is a floor that embodies the essence of solid wood, but with many added benefits. These ceramic tiles are wear-resistant, easy to clean and do not require the constant maintenance that real wood requires.
Cement-effect ceramic tiles: style and durability
The cement effect unquestionably dominated the scene at Cersaie 2023. These ceramic tiles accurately capture the look and feel of raw concrete, offering an ideal option for those who desire an industrial style without having to sacrifice practicality and durability. With a wide range of colours and finishes available, these tiles adapt with versatility to a variety of design styles.
Material and three-dimensional textures
Textures and patterns are central elements in the ceramics presented at Cersaie 2023. Modern technologies give ceramic surfaces extraordinary depth and realism. What is most impressive is the ability to faithfully reproduce the tactility and materiality of natural materials, creating a tangible feeling of authenticity.
Among the most interesting innovations observed at Cersaie is the research into surface textures. In addition to the various finishes (glossy, matt, lapped, etc.), surface reliefs add value and dynamism to surfaces. The most innovative ceramics feature micro reliefs, small incisions that follow circular trajectories or offer fascinating graphic effects.
The return of small formats: a vintage trend reinterpreted
One of the most interesting and surprising trends that caught the eye at Cersaie 2023 is the return of small formats in the world of ceramic tile surfaces. This trend, inspired by vintage charm and the feeling of craftsmanship, has won the hearts of many designers and interior design enthusiasts.
These small formats, ranging from mosaic tiles to more traditional but more compact formats, add a unique and cosy dimension to spaces. Their versatility is evident, as they can be used in a variety of environments, from kitchens to bathrooms to living areas. The ability to create customised patterns and intricate details has become an attractive feature for designers wishing to add a distinctive touch to interiors.
In addition, the small formats allow for play with the layout, creating designs reminiscent of floor and wall coverings typical of period homes. This return to the roots of craftsmanship gives spaces a cosy and authentic feel, reflecting the trend to seek connections with the past in an increasingly modern world.
Matt surfaces: looking for tactile sensation
One of the most significant challenges in the ceramic industry, as we have seen, is to faithfully recreate the tactile sensation of the original material. This aspect has become a focal point in the emerging trends at Cersaie 2023, often achieved through the use of matt finishes.
Ceramic tiles with matt finishes not only offer a softer look, but also contribute to a tangible feeling of authenticity. This tactile sensation is especially important when trying to emulate materials such as wood, stone or concrete. Matt finishes help capture the complexity of natural materials, offering a refined style and extraordinary depth to interior designs.
Warm colours inspired by the earth: the desire for nature at Cersaie 2023
The colour trends can be divided into three broad groups, all with a strong reference to nature:
- Neutral, warm and earthy colours: the irresistible appeal of neutral colours persists, sticking to warm, embracing tones that evoke natural, earthy beauty.
- Pastel colours: this category flaunts delicate, soft tones, ranging from powder blue to sage green, powder pink and salmon.
- Full, vivid and vibrant colours: here the palette opens up to a range of blues, greens, yellows, terracotta and orange, used in contrasting or tone-on-tone combinations.
The ceramics of the future is sustainable
The theme of sustainability was at the centre of the entire week-long exhibition dedicated to ceramic tile surfaces. Several companies are concentrating efforts on this aspect, promoting ecological practices at all stages of production. The search for the highest quality to ensure durability, the preference for zero-kilometre raw materials, the optimisation of production processes, the control of emissions, the use of clean energy and the recovery of residual materials are all elements that demonstrate a growing commitment to the environment to help build a sustainable future.
Ceramic, by its very nature, is an intrinsically sustainable product. As President Savorani points out: ‘Ceramic material absorbs energy for a period of 25-30 minutes, but its useful life extends up to 50 years. The useful life is a key parameter when evaluating energy consumption. Furthermore, one of the most significant steps we have taken is to reduce thicknesses and increase surfaces. This strategy has contributed significantly to the overall energy savings.”
Sicer: innovation in raw materials for the ceramic industry
In light of the fascinating new trends that emerged at Cersaie 2023, it is evident that the ceramic industry is experiencing a period of fervent innovation and creativity. Ceramic tiles are evolving in an extraordinary way, offering versatile and sustainable solutions for indoor and outdoor surfaces.
In this context of change and progress, it is important to emphasise the role of Sicer, a historic manufacturer of raw materials for ceramic companies active for over 30 years in the production of vitrifying materials for both industrial and artistic ceramic surfaces. Sicer plays a key role in the ceramic tile ecosystem, providing the essential raw materials that enable manufacturers to create innovative, high quality tiles. Sicer is an important link in the ceramic production chain, ensuring that the ceramic tiles produced reflect market trends and meet the required quality standards. Our dedication to the environment and sustainability helps to promote a greener future for the entire ceramic industry.