Cersaie - one of the world's largest trade fairs for ceramics and bathroom furnishings – takes place annually in Bologna in northern Italy. The location is no coincidence because whereas in Germany the trade of tiling was still not very widespread even up to the eighteenth century, by this time it already had a long tradition in Italy in that painted and glazed tiles were used in many churches in order to illustrate Bible scenes for example, as well as in the form of floor or wall decorations. To the present day Italy has a large number of producers of ceramics who can build on this tradition. As we announced in advance of Cersaie 2010 Architonic now presents the best new products which we have researched for you at this impressive trade fair in Bologna.

'Wire' - the new tile collection of Tagina

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Wire' - the new tile collection of Tagina

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The firm of Tagina, which is following up the valuable heritage of the historic manufacturing school of Gualdo Tadino, can also look back on a long tradition of craftsmanship. Today Tagina has its own research laboratory in which a team of technicians, designers, chemists and artists develop and experiment with new ideas in ceramics.

'Wire's' texture resembles a knotted carpet

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Wire's' texture resembles a knotted carpet

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The two collections WIRE IN and WIRE OUT were developed together with Simone Micheli. As the name suggests the difference between collections is that one is for interiors and the other for external use. The traditional plaster cast technique has been transformed and developed to produce tiles with a wide range of possible applications. From private dwellings via applications in office or public buildings, spa facilities and in the garden its wide diversity of formats and surface textures enables WIRE to adapt itself to a multitude of environments.

'Folded' is the result of a collaboration of Mutina with the London based design studio Raw Edges

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Folded' is the result of a collaboration of Mutina with the London based design studio Raw Edges

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Mutina presented a new design developed in cooperation with the London design duo Raw Edges. The surface of the tile was designed by using folded paper which is then opened up to leave a geometrical pattern reminiscent of Arab tile designs. The result is an interesting amalgamation of Asian origami with Western ornamentation which has been depicted in a highly subtle form. The special attraction of the tile is that at first sight we see only a randomly creased texture, but a closer look reveals the geometry of the lines.

Detail of the tile 'Folded', the design is a result of a collaboration of Mutina with the London based design studio Raw Edges

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Detail of the tile 'Folded', the design is a result of a collaboration of Mutina with the London based design studio Raw Edges

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Much more concrete motifs were presented at the Sicis stand - for example a breathtaking view from the bathroom of the New York skyline. This is implemented by means of digital mosaics. The images are pixelled in the corresponding resolution, with each stone of the mosaic representing one pixel.

Digital mosaic: 'Skyline' by Sicis

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Digital mosaic: 'Skyline' by Sicis

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The mosaic '3D' by Dune looks as though it has been lacquered, with the gloss effect and the vibrant red making it look really sexy – not a bad attribute for the bathroom as a temple of beauty.

Super-glossy: Mosaic 'Red Pad' by Dune

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Super-glossy: Mosaic 'Red Pad' by Dune

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The brand 'Trevisoprogetto', which is owned by Ceramica di Treviso, relies on more natural images. The company produces mosaics consisting of natural clay. After the clay has been cut and shaped it is allowed to dry in the open air for up to 15 days before being fired in the kiln. This intensifies the natural character of the clay. The individual, irregularly shaped stones of the mosaic are then arranged by hand like a jigsaw puzzle and mounted on a net to make them easy to lay.

Mosaics consisting of natural clay: 'Kaleido' by Ceramica di Treviso

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Mosaics consisting of natural clay: 'Kaleido' by Ceramica di Treviso

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With collections such as 'èmetallo' und 'dialoghi' Mosaico+ (in other words 'Mosaico piu') has already left behind the usual mosaics and is demonstrating that small stones really are 'piu', in other words 'more' than a variable jigsaw puzzle. New forms and surfaces are used to create a kind of material mimicry which makes observers wonder what it is they are looking at: ceramics, metal, glass? One thing is sure and that is that Mosaico+ has a fascinating portfolio of products and is one of only a few companies which still produce exclusively in Italy.

Material mimicry: Mosaico+ presents a mosaic that looks more than a metal mesh than ceramic

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Material mimicry: Mosaico+ presents a mosaic that looks more than a metal mesh than ceramic

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INAX, too, played with visual similarities to other materials. 'Mogul', for example, is reminiscent of a knotted carpet and 'Crochet' is a visual replica of woven fabric. In spite of this, however, INAX leaves no room for doubt because the joints of the tiles clearly show that the surface is not a continuous expanse of material.

'Mogul' by Inax resembles a knotted carpet

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Mogul' by Inax resembles a knotted carpet

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Fap Ceramiche is committed to white tiles and reinvents this format in countless new ways by means of glazing and texture. The impressive feature of the 'Visionary' collection is the many and varied ways in which it can be combined, with plain tiles forming the base which is then supplemented by decorated ones. 'Tratto Azzurro' creates the effect of striped wallpaper in that the strongly emphasised vertical stripes visually submerge the joints in the tiles. As a result the impression of a change in material is suggested, even though the entire wall covering consists of ceramics – a highly sophisticated detail.

'Tratto Azzurro' of the 'Visionary' collection creates the effect of striped wallpaper

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Tratto Azzurro' of the 'Visionary' collection creates the effect of striped wallpaper

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'Tratto Azzurro' of the 'Visionary' collection creates the effect of striped wallpaper

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Tratto Azzurro' of the 'Visionary' collection creates the effect of striped wallpaper

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In contrast at Nextep the ceramic tile does not imitate a different material – instead it really does consist of leather. Special impregnation gives this natural material protection against stains and wear. The base of the leather tile consists either of stoneware to give it stability and enable it to retain its shape, or of PVC, which enables the tiles to be laid on top of existing flooring.

"Elegance" leather tile by Nextep: Special impregnation gives this natural material protection against stains and wear.

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

"Elegance" leather tile by Nextep: Special impregnation gives this natural material protection against stains and wear.

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With 'Plous' Cotto Mediterraneo presented and amalgam of mosaics and larger formats – small stones are integrated into a larger tile, a technique which with sophisticated decoration enables a wide range of new patterns to be created.

'Plous' by Cottomediterraneo: small stones are integrated into a larger tile

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Plous' by Cottomediterraneo: small stones are integrated into a larger tile

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Detail of 'Plous': small stones are integrated into a larger tile

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Detail of 'Plous': small stones are integrated into a larger tile

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Kalebodur uses a highly graphical approach which is reminiscent of the paintings of Vasarely. As we mentioned in the preview to Cersaie the company specialises in tactile ceramic surfaces, but here it demonstrates that tiles with a smooth, regular surface can also create a feeling of space by means of geometry and colour gradations.

Kalebodur uses a highly graphical approach which is reminiscent of the paintings of Vasarely

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Kalebodur uses a highly graphical approach which is reminiscent of the paintings of Vasarely

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The Italian firm of Florim represents a number of brands which specialise in different applications in the ceramics field. The Florim group's 'Casa Dolce Casa' and 'Casamood' brands specialise in high-quality wall and floor tiles for private homes as well as in combinations of stoneware with other materials. In contrast the other Florim brand of 'Flor Gres' covers an entirely different area, offering products made of stoneware and intended for the requirements of major projects such as hospitals, airports and other types of facility. Casa Dolce Casa presented 'Velvet', a new product consisting of a large-format tile with five restrained colour shades and inspired by the look of Venetian marble.

Casa Dolce Casa a brand by Florim presented 'Velvet', large-format tile with five restrained colour shades and inspired by the look of Venetian marble.

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Casa Dolce Casa a brand by Florim presented 'Velvet', large-format tile with five restrained colour shades and inspired by the look of Venetian marble.

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Installation at Florim's booth at Cersaie

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Installation at Florim's booth at Cersaie

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Eiffelgres, manufacturers of technical stoneware, also prefer a distinctive and reserved aesthetic. The 'Pietra d’Origine' collection designed by architect Mauro Bellei features delicate granulation and makes an especially natural impression. The collection consists of a number of formats and shapes and is available in four colour shades and three surface designs – natural, glossy and rough.

'Pietra d’Origine' collection designed by architect Mauro Bellei features delicate granulation makes an especially natural impression.

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Pietra d’Origine' collection designed by architect Mauro Bellei features delicate granulation makes an especially natural impression.

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With 'AzulCascais Slimm4' LAND Porcelanico presented an especially thin tile with a thickness of only 4 mm. This enables the creation of highly aesthetic wall covering with all the advantages of a ceramic surface – resistance against chemicals and dirt combined with easy cleaning.

Ceramic meshwork at Land's booth

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Ceramic meshwork at Land's booth

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The firm of Mipa specialises in the typical traditional Mediterranean type of terrazzo tile. In cooperation with the architect Laura Renna the company has used this terrazzo technique to develop a modern tile in a new graphic idiom and larger format: 'Spider Track' is available in the generous dimensions of 60 x 60 cm and three colour shades. Mipa also produces made-to-measure decorative tiling on the basis of customer-specific designs or templates.

In cooperation with the architect Laura Renna the company has used this terrazzo technique to develop a modern tile in a new graphic idiom and larger format: 'Spider Track'

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

In cooperation with the architect Laura Renna the company has used this terrazzo technique to develop a modern tile in a new graphic idiom and larger format: 'Spider Track'

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Valtile also uses marquetry, combining natural stone with a matrix of inlays (leather, glass, wood, metal) to produce a highly diverse range of material compositions.

Material fusion: 'Brancusi's Dream' by Valtile

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Material fusion: 'Brancusi's Dream' by Valtile

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Material fusion: 'Brancusi's Dream' by Valtile

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Material fusion: 'Brancusi's Dream' by Valtile

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Originepietra specialises in wall reliefs made of artificial stone. Apart from stylish replicas of natural stone walls the company also provides a service to customers with futuristic tastes: in cooperation with the M+A+Pdesignstudio it has developed the highly architectural collection 'Contemporary Mood', which gives the impression of being inspired by modular concrete walls in the style of Erwin Hauer.

„Contemporary Mood” by Originepietra seems to be inspired by Erwin Hauer

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

„Contemporary Mood” by Originepietra seems to be inspired by Erwin Hauer

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„Contemporary Mood” by Originepietra seems to be inspired by Erwin Hauer

„Contemporary Mood” by Originepietra seems to be inspired by Erwin Hauer

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However, Cersaie is not just a trade fair for ceramics – because almost all the main manufacturers of bathroom fittings are represented there it covers the entire spectrum of bathroom fixtures and furnishings.

Dornbracht's new IMO concept stands for 'In My Opinion'. The company's new collection of bathroom fittings has been modified in design and shape in such a way that it adapts itself to the most varied and changing styles of its users – which is ideal, for example, for families where the bathroom is shared by different generations with highly divergent aesthetic tastes.

Dornbracht's new IMO collection of bathroom fittings stands for 'In My Opinion'.

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Dornbracht's new IMO collection of bathroom fittings stands for 'In My Opinion'.

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In contrast Laufen produces bathrooms which are all of a piece. In addition to its harmonised and integrated overall concept of bathroom furnishings the Swiss company also presented an innovation: the cupboards below the sink have been combined with the waste trap, which makes it unnecessary for the drawers to be cut into shapes to accommodate the pipes. In practice this means more storage space for the user.

Bathroom furnishings of "Palomba" collection by Laufen

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

Bathroom furnishings of "Palomba" collection by Laufen

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Tubes specialises in radiators for low-energy houses. The company's 'Soho' model is especially suited for use in this new type of dwelling, in which rapid heat exchange, operation at low temperatures and a high level of heat efficiency have to be guaranteed while combining aesthetics, design and advanced technology.

'Soho' radiators are especially suited for use in low-energy houses

Review: Best products of Cersaie 2010 | Novedades

'Soho' radiators are especially suited for use in low-energy houses

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After this overview of the main impressions we received in Bologna we will soon, in a further article, be presenting the most interesting new products we saw at Marmomacc, the 'International exhibition of natural stone design and technology', which took place in Verona early in October!