Design trends with Ryan Fasan, Part 2

Feb 3, 2016

This week’s blog post is part 2 of 2 from Ryan Fasan, @Tile_Trends, research consultant, trainer and partner of Professional Attention to Tile Installations, an internationally renowned tile consulting firm.


The Tile of Spain 2016 showcase of new designs at Cersaie in Bologna Italy offered exciting and different trends.  Many of the macro trends continue to deepen from the past couple of years with a heavy emphasis on salvaged materials, weathered or rusticated looks, burnished antique metals and graphic patterns with a preference of mixing multiple patterns to create a cohesive look. The hydraulic cement or encaustic looks are still around but with a fresh, refined subtlety of modern style. There is an explosive return of the artisanal small format tile such as subway & bevels.


These collections often feature rich trim packages and wonderful glazes only possible in bi-cottura production. This brings back a classic look that celebrates tile, rather than imitating something else. Shapes continue to heavily influence decorative elements in even the simplest of collections with hexagons remaining king of the geometrics. As a fresh face on the geometric scene, we see a rise in triangles and diamonds. In contrast to many of the design predictions over the past few years, chevron seems to be on the rise again with a preference for multiple stripe widths to freshen up this classic look.


Overall, the collections this year seemed more cohesive & refined than ever before with often times the entire stand seeming to work together in a multitude of styles and design possibilities.



Wonderful mechanically fastened wall system specifically for interior environments with thought for the use of traditional fiberglass insulation. Pairs perfectly with their 2cm pavers, which also feature a mechanically fastened system of adjustable pillars. Now there is the offering of a full compliment of drainage, coping and tread options to coordinate with the 2cm pavers and all the necessary installation kits for their mortarless system.





The moulded dimensional wall tile that first debuted in their Arch Concept collection is still impeccable for what is possible in ceramics for decorative wall cladding. Like many other factories this year, Apavisa has found great success with a classic – corten steel has found its way back to the limelight.

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This manufacturer perhaps best known for licensing juggernauts like Disney and Barcelona F.C.B. has branched out with some edgy high-contrast looks aimed at commercial specs. The unique, off center beveled subway tile was an original thought that stood out successfully. It paired wonderfully with a technical, unglazed commercial porcelain offered in a both glitzy and understated lapatto finish.


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This factory was a great example of an understated and inexpensive wall tile collection employing cutting edge digital decoration. The surface of this wall tile is perfectly flat and the entirety of finely detailed surface dimension is executed solely with reactive inks.





This featured a refined elegance and obvious refinement of their collections. Their development process screams of; “what can we delete while keeping the soul of this product”. The end result is a plethora of composed design. Their two new collections stood out.


Verve on the walls gives the barest nod to a handmade look but the simple details like subtly rounded corners and gently waved surface create a unique look that is perfectly on-trend. The large format at 8×24” is another thing that made this collection stand out in the small format wall category.




The wildly varied Firestone collection breathes new life to a quartzite look and brings back the chiseled edge look of the 90’s. Again, something that others are doing this year, but this iteration had something special.





Small format wall tile done impeccably well. Nothing new for Decocer, who have been on the radar of small-format aficionados for years now. With the procurement of a new, longer, Sacmi kiln and top of the line inkjet machine, Decocer has found the perfect mix of modern and artisanal cache. The ancient wood look, impeccable glazes and frits and even Japanese prints conspire to create a diverse and wonderful collection.


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Another giant in the small-format world, this tiny stand is a must-visit for many North American buyers. Micro-scale patterns and textures reigned in this year’s collection with biscuit styles ranging from modern to VERY rustic and manual looking.


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Gaya Fores

The two standouts here were the rustic, painted wood flooring in an impeccable stonewashed denim color and the rustic subway tile with an attention to detail that only comes from working with the actual handmade material. The edges on this tile are raised as if it were formed in wooden trays and sun-baked… you can even see thumb-prints in some biscuits!





The showstopper was a study of contrasting ideas. Rustic metals presented in the cleanest formats and palettes I’ve ever seen in this look. The only other version of this look I’ve seen is the Ferroker collection from Porcelanosa but the palette here is perfect for the moment. The greys are spot-on and wonderfully broad to take advantage of the entire array of predominating accent colors this year.


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New Ker

As the name suggests, this is a new kid on the block – sort of. Their mastery of inkjet decoration belies the company’s 3 year age with an inviting range of inkjet collection with inspiring yet cost effective deco options.





The rich collaboration with up and coming European design professionals has created this rich and intoxicating creative cocktail. From their dimensional wall tile to their graphic and wild additions to the museum collection of polished porcelains, Peronda was a standout once again. Notable mention goes to the modern take on a fish-scale shape in a whimsical Miami Beach of yesteryear art deco palette.







Their stand nearly doubled in size this year, spilling across the aisle with their luxury collection. This side featured sumptuous stones, metals, ceramics and woods while their traditional space hit all the high notes you would expect. Some of the best textures at the show: large format dimensional whites and uncanny representations of stone and wood. Another home run for the entire group.

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Up! Up! Up! With a plethora of decorative geometric 3D wall tile showcased this year, Saloni’s Up! Collection was a definite standout. Perhaps it was how it pairs with their elegant & simple technical porcelains. This one captivates in forms, finish and presentation.




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