Visit to CERSAIE 2105

I was invited to CERSAIE 2015, the world's largest international trade fair for ceramic tiles and bathroom products, held in Bologna, Italy, so I went to see them.

It's not possible to look around all the booths due to the size of the booth, but the exhibition trends are almost the same, so it's very easy to understand the trends. In about two years, Japan may also be in line with this trend. There were three major trends.

1 flooring style

wood tile

The most noticeable thing is the wooden tiles. Above all, the ones that expressed a vintage feeling were putting effort into each company. I was particular about the touch.

2 Cement tone

cement tile

Cement (mortar-like) tiles were always on display along with wooden tiles. This is also the main product with a vintage feel.

3 Rusty

Ra stick tile

There were many tiles that expressed a weathered texture not only in flooring and cement, but also in stones, bricks, and textiles.

■ Italy and ceramic tiles

Recent digital printing technology (inkjet) has made it possible to easily reproduce any pattern in a realistic manner, revolutionizing the world of ceramic tiles. Currently, production in China, Brazil, India, etc. is also booming, but why is Italy at the forefront?

Cersaie's opening celebration was held in the great hall of a historic palace in Sassuolo (about an hour's drive from Bologna), where the tile factories are densely packed, and you can admire the wonderful frescoes painted on the ceiling. I fell in love with it.

Chelsea celebration
(The venue is Palazzo ducale. The huge sculpture that greets you looks like a Nio statue.)
Inside the Chelsea celebration
(The great hall where the celebration took place, filled with frescoes.)
Chelsea Efresco painting
(Awesome frescoes on the ceiling. Can you tell from the horizontal molding up that it's not real?)

Japanese fusuma paintings are similar in that they construct an imaginary space, but frescoes are more realistic and fusuma paintings are more abstract.
Also, for example, the plaster on the wall in Japan is just white and flat, and is pressed down with artistic craftsmanship.
On the other hand, Italy invented marble-like stucco (Venetian stucco) with marble powder instead of expensive marble. (This is also a painstaking job.)
This sensibility has something in common with the passionate pursuit of ultra-realistic ceramic tiles.
Of course, due to fierce competition with other regions with cheap labor, the need to pursue technology and differentiate is also a background.
However, I believe that Italy will continue to be at the forefront of ceramic tiles because of this sensibility.
As an aside, there are realistic wooden sheets in Japan, but they are limited to reproducing the texture of wood. If it were Italy, there would be no doubt that they would take a few more steps and be particular about not only the realism of the materials, but also the reproduction of the vintage feel and the texture of the worn paint. No matter how long you wait for the seat, the taste will not come out.

■ Super large tiles

In addition to the trends mentioned above, Italy's technical prominence in recent years is the increasing size of tiles.
Several companies are commercializing giant tiles as large as 3.2mx1.6m.
With this size, you can create a kitchen counter like a monolith.
Moreover, with tiles, you can use soft stone types that are not suitable for counters.
Ultra-large format tiles have the potential to open up new markets that have never existed before.

super large tile
(A gigantic large-format tile. Although it is as thin as 6mm, the back is reinforced with resin.)

I immediately began observing and researching the details of the ends and rome of the large tiles to see if I could use them in my current project, but my honest impression is that it is quite difficult.
Even with a full-body tile (a tile that is made of the same material as the surface even on the inside and has little discomfort in the cross section), it is difficult.
Even if it is fastened, the texture of the slightly visible edges will be different.
I once again realized that the 1mm at the edge is the key to the solid texture of natural stone.

tile corner
(Counter example. The texture of the edge part is inferior to that of the tile surface.
At the very least, I want the pattern of the tiles to be continuous on the top and sides. )

However, I found a product with a continuous pattern all the way to the inside!
It belongs to FMG, and ABC Shokai is the distributor in Japan.

solid tile
(Solid, super-large marble-like tiles with continuous patterns all the way to the inside.)

From next year, system kitchens with tile counters are likely to appear, so first of all, pay attention to their quality.

This visit was a valuable experience that allowed me to deepen my knowledge of ceramic tiles.

Chelsea venue