This month, a cross-Canada seminar hosted by Azure editor Catherine Osborne will shed light on how technology has revolutionized the oldest building material on earth, and led to tiles that are able to clean the air, resist bacteria or double as solar-energy collectors.
The tile industry in Italy has been undergoing a technological evolution, engineering ceramic surfaces that are not only great for indoors and out – they’re resistant to scuffs, chips and staining – but are also an eco-option even more sustainable than wood.
Tiles + Trends 2013, an upcoming cross-Canada seminar, highlights the most advanced (and most beautiful) tiles launched at Cersaie, the world’s largest ceramic tile exhibition held each year in Bologna, Italy. Moderated by Azure editor Catherine Osborne and sponsored by Ceramics of Italy, the event takes place in Toronto on May 28, Montreal on May 29 and Vancouver on May 30.
The seminar will include insights from distinguished designers from each city: Laura Abanil, formerly of II by IV Design, in Toronto; Vincent Hauspy of Moureaux Hauspy Associés in Montreal; and in Vancouver, Cheryl Broadhead of BYU Design. Registration and event details are available at IDC Canada’s event calendar.
Here are a few innovations that represent next-gen tiles:
1 For Mutina, London’s Raw Edges created a bas-relief resembling folded paper. The tiles visually defy the hardness associated with porcelain.
2 Marazzi is a leader in manufacturing tiles that resemble wood or well-worn concrete. The Brooklyn collection is a porcelain stoneware (available in six “metropolitan” shades of grey) designed to give living spaces the look and feel of a warehouse studio.
3 Refin’s various faux surfaces mimic other materials, including well-worn concrete, steel grating, paint-smeared laminates, and stone with a faint impression of oriental carpeting.
4 From Lea Ceramiche, Slimtech’s patented process can produce tile surfaces just three-millimetres thick and up to three metres in length. The thinness allows the tile to be installed directly overtop existing flooring and walls.
5 Del Conca’s Monte Napoleone is a wood plank look-a-like that can be installed without using joints, adhesives or grouts.
6 Also by Lea Ceramiche, Bioplank uses a patented, antibacterial protection called Microban. It prevents germs from adhering to the surface, a great option for restaurants and cafes, where sanitation standards are high.