Cersaie in Bologna: oversized ceramic and increasingly perfect copies of other materials

Hall 22, reserved for vendors and producers of natural stone, wood and hard floor coverings has found acceptance by exhibitors and visitors alike

No big surprises at this year’s Cersaie International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings from September 28th to October 2nd 2015 in Bologna. On the contrary: the trend of the recent past continues: ceramic tiles are becoming bigger and thinner; the surfaces of many tiles are no-longer smooth; emulation of other materials continues to be perfected and includes imitation of natural stone, wood, even cast-iron and brick to name but a few examples.

Ceramic tiles are becoming bigger and thinner. Photos: Peter Becker

The imitations often go hand-in-hand with shabby-chick „used“ or „vintage“ appearance.
We were surprised to note that many imitations bear the names of the original natural stone. With the use of Geographical Indications Protection (GI), a geographical trade mark, the stone branch would find protection from this type of plagiarism.

For the past two years, Cersaie has made valiant attempts to distance itself from a focus on ceramics. The aim is to offer an all-round information platform for architects and interior designers of bath rooms. Hard floor coverings have been added to the gamut of the Trade Fair.
This year saw 10 or so natural stone producing companies and a lot of firms for wooden products exhibited their wares in Hall 22.

The Testi Group showed continued development of their groundbreaking „Hyperwave“-wall covering by Pongratz Perbellini architects. „Breeze” was the name for the new design.

Two suitcases entitled „Orient Express“ in which architect Eve Marie Larquetoux combined marble with wood and metal.

Pibamarmi was also represented.

For further presentations of natural stone producers, see below.

Some 101,809 visitors were welcomed to the Trade Fair, practically the same number as last year. But the quota of foreign visitors increased by 3.5% to 48,235. Some 872 exhibitors presented their wares of which more than 1/3, i.e. 319 were from abroad and represented 39 countries.

A word on the near mammoth-sized ceramic tiles, e.g.: 3.20 x 1.50 m. According to the trade journal Cer (No. 36, international issue) a popular implementation is for restoration work where the tiles are simply mounted in front of existing cladding, or in projects where mass is an issue, e.g. door cladding, exterior façades or in yachts.

A new use is the result of anti-bacterial coatings: this and the large surfaces devoid of seams or joints make the material interesting for e.g. hospitals.

The thickness has been reduced to 3 mm. No more than 6 mm are required for even the largest formats, so mass is down to 7.5 kg/m² and 11-14 kg/m² respectively. The maxi-tiles are especially composed and usually fiber-glass reinforced, pressed under high pressure and fired at temperatures of some 1.200 °C.

Trade magazine Cer writes: „This process has outstanding green credentials thanks to its limited use of raw materials, energy resources and water and consequently low environmental impact.“

Cersaie also presented special means of safe transportation for the giant slabs.

Cersaie 2016, September 26th to 30th

Products by Italian ceramic manufacturers

Tureks. Photo: Peter BeckerTureks. Photo: Peter Becker

(29.11.2015, USA: 11.29.2015)