The practicality and longevity of porcelain and ceramic tiles has never been in doubt but thanks to a new design-led focus, their beauty and versatility has now come to the fore.Yorkshire-based Lapicida, which sells to both trade and public, is showcasing this in a spectacular new exhibition at its Knaresborough headquarters.It is an eye-opener featuring everything from highly decorative tiles that reflect the interiors trend for jungle-inspired prints to huge tiles that look like antique carpets, glass-effect finishes and porcelain panelling.
Tropical tiles are on trend. This features in the Lapicida exhibition
Italian designer style
Everything on display is from Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, held annually in Bologna, Italy. It attracts buyers from all over the world.Lapicida’s Founder and Director Jason Cherrington chose 30 of the best ceramic designs for his show and these will form the basis of Lapicida’s New Decorative Collection.He says: “The scale of Cersaie is immense with 44 halls of displays. Not everyone in the trade can go, which is why I decided to do an edit of the showstoppers.“It’s the equivalent of the Spring 2020 fashion shows. This is the ceramic version of the catwalk, which reveals all the trends that are coming through.”
Antique rose tiles conjure up faded opulence and look set to be a big hit with buyers, say Lapicida
Jason, who is one of the industry’s leading figures, adds that alongside the head-turning designs are old favourites that have been refined.These include more realistic wood-effect porcelain, which mimics floorboards and is hard-wearing and non-porous making it perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.Marble-effect porcelain has also been given a makeover with new colourways - Soft, earthy brown veins are now more popular than the colder grey and there are more imperfections that render it more realistic.
Marble effects get softer and warmer
“Tiles have also got much bigger. Our best-sellers are now 90 cm by 90cm. They look good and they are also quicker and easier to lay,” says Jason, who also points to a sublime tile measuring 120cm by 120cm in soft grey and pink featuring roses - the look is faded opulence.Practicality is one of the biggest reasons to choose tiles over carpet, wood and other floor and wallcoverings.“The raised panelling in porcelain is a good example. It’s great for boot rooms and corridors. It comes in a variety of colours, it’s bomb-proof and you don’t have to paint it,” says Jason.
The Fluid tile that Jason has nicknamed "the Jimi Hendrix"
A sense of adventure
For the adventurous, his exhibition also includes what he calls the “Jimi Hendrix” tile, which looks like a colourful, psychedelic painting.There’s also remarkably realistic decorative tin tile-effect porcelain and ceramic tiles mimicking concrete, corten steel, copper and other metals for those who like the industrial look.Colour is much in evidence. “Most of the stands at Cersaie featured colour this year. One of the most dramatic is the jungle-effect tile, which allows you to create murals. There were also more coloured marbles and green onyx is becoming popular,” says Jason, who is in awe of the Italian tile designers.“They are the best in the world and I think that’s because they are surrounded by beautiful architecture every day.”*The selling exhibition runs until Christmas. Lapicida is at Grimbald Crag Close, Knaresborough, www.lapicida.com
Decorative tin-style ceramic tile £106.80 per sq. metre from Lapicida
Life on the tiles
Lapicida founder Jason Cherrington has been in the stone business since the 1980s and has built the business into an international brand.Along with a strong local market, it is the go-to place for top interior designers and exports to Europe, the Far East and America. One of its recent commissions was supplying and fitting tiles to Aston Martin in Beverly Hills.