Ceramics of Italy recently shared their trends for the 2013 Spring/Summer season. They are:


Italian ceramics are once again redefining "timeless" with tiles that look like they have existed for decades—even centuries! In some of their latest collections, companies took the popular material look-alike trend and infused its surfaces with the wear from thousands of footsteps and a little bit of Mother Nature's fury. Collections to look out for: ABK Ceramiche “Soleras”; Atlas Concorde “Sunrock”; Caesar “Root”; Fioranese “Old_Wood”; Leonardo “Plank”; Monocibec “Echo”; Vallelunga “Memento”.


Hi-tech meets prehistoric: using cutting-edge design and manufacturing technologies, some companies presented tiles with striking skeletal imprints on eroded stone surfaces, while others opted to recreate long-forgotten petrified woods that can only be found in dense Amazonian jungles. Collections to look out for: Artemateria “Kauri”; Ascot “P.Wood”; Cisa Ceramiche “Jurassic”; Ceramica Del Conca “Epokal”; Emilceramica “Petrified Tree”; Refin “Pangea Bavaria”.


Mixing and matching a lot of different stone-look tiles can add natural character to a space. Some companies perfectly replicate the mineral patterns of different classes of rocks—from igneous to sedimentary—all in a single collection unified by a coordinated colorway. Others create entirely new types of stone by melding together the most interesting colors and granulation from over thirty different stones. Collections to look out for: Emilceramica “Stonebox”; Fioranese “Wildstone”; LaFaenza “Pretiosa”; Mirage “Triboo”; Piemme “Geostone”.


One of the most prevalent patterns in nature has found its way to the ceramic tile industry. Hexagons were seen around the show floors, from tiny patterns seemingly chiseled into a solid piece of porcelain to large tiles cut into this bold geometric form, and are sure to be more prevalent in the coming season. Collections to look out for: Piemme “Geostone”; Provenza “Inessence”.


One highly decorative flooring style, first introduced in late 17th century Versailles, is being reborn in porcelain tiles: parquet. New collections from several companies revitalize the intricate designs that were originally made by hand-cutting small pieces of wood into geometric shapes pieced together like a puzzle, updating them with marble and stone inlay accents. Collections to look out for: Atlas Concorde “Marvel”; Fioranese “Inside”; Marca Corona “Atelier”; Refin “Mansion”; Ricchetti “Rinascimento”; Settecento “Vintage”; Tagina “Woodays”.


Tiles reminiscent of encaustic cement continued to have a strong presence this season. However, mellow, time-faded colors are making way for brighter colors that instantly enliven a space, and some companies have added a new rectangle format to the traditional square tile, opening up new possibilities for decorative arrangements. Cir Ceramiche “Cotto Vogue”; Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola “Habitat”; Faetano “Amarcord”; Mutina “Azulej”; Ragno “Concept”; Tagina “Deco Perlage”; Fioranese “Inside”.


The factory floor is going high-end with industrial chic collections from several companies.  Designs that are heading the trend: oversized tiles that are treated to look raw and unfinished; black and dark grey tiles proudly donning scuff marks; and three meter long porcelain slabs with textures reminiscent of poured cement sidewalks. Collections to look out for: ABK Ceramiche “Urban Concrete”; Floor Gres “Industrial”; Refin “Design Industry”; Sant’Agostino “Concept” & “Ferro”; Tagina “Hard Rock Beton”; Viva “Statale 9”.


Although this trend is riding on its second season, tile manufacturers have not ceased making technological improvements on the plank format. Beyond longer sizes, like narrow planks up to six feet in length, the variation of the high-definition printed patterns in the tiles are incredible—in most instances, there is no repetition in the pattern for 25,000 sq ft at a time, making each tile absolutely unique! Collections to look out for: Ascot “Planks”; Cotto d’Este “Silvis”; Lea Ceramiche “Bio Plank”; Settecento “Lodge”.