For a few years now, we’ve been seeing a renewed interest in small ceramic tiles. These, alongside gigantic thin slabs, are capturing the attention of architects and interior designers. But what’s so appealing about these reduced proportions? What do professionals and consumers alike find so attractive about small tiles?
As we’ve always produced small tiles, we’ll try and give a few answers.
Three stand-out features of small tiles
First of all, small tiles are unbeatable for practicality and versatility. “Size matters” as the saying goes, but here it’s because you can always cover large surfaces with small tiles but the opposite is not always true. Small tiles allow even little alcoves, counters, columns, woodwork, strips and borders to have their own aesthetic appeal.
Secondly, it is worth remembering that a small size is always associated with a central theme in interior design: colour. Majolica and cementine tiles aside, small tile can express nuances of colour to the full.
Finally, a small tile makes it possible to create the most diverse laying patterns, often going beyond simple compositional geometry thanks, once again, to colour. If we take into account the two features shared by three of our most recent collections – a size in itself as modular as a 5×15 tile and a large enough range – then the possible laying patterns are virtually endless.
The new 5×15 size
In this atmosphere of growing popularity for small tiles, we took advantage of the Coverings 2022 showcase to expand the range focussing on the 5×15 size, which we launched last September at Cersaie. The Wabisabi series was joined by the Shibusa and Senren collections. They share a connection to the Italian ceramic tradition, an intense focus on surface quality and a penchant for colour, which broadens and diversifies the palette available to architects and interior designers. The three collections can be used for floor and wall coverings in both domestic and commercial spaces.
Colour combinations and material expression
The Shibusa range offers 16 colours: an extensive colour scale focused on pastel, powdery, compact shades, all of which can be combined with the other. Its sleek, essential lines and matt finish give the tile – which can be used on a floor or wall – a contemporary, minimalist look.
In contrast to Shibusa, the Senren and Wabisabi collections produce surfaces with a marked shade variation. The colour shades fluctuate nicely from tile to tile, but also within the tile itself which, for example, has a different colour intensity between the edges and the centre.
Senren’s 14 graduated, nuanced shades have a glossy surface. Their typically handcrafted imperfections are accentuated, enhancing both the visual and tactile aspect of the surface when laid. The overall aesthetics of the collection hints at ceramic tradition, while updating it with particularly on-trend colours like Ottanio, Fiordaliso and Platino.
Wabisabi, which was launched at Cersaie 2021, is the collection with which we introduced our 5×15 tile to our range. Its 15 colours also offer a broad spectrum of delicate, powdery shades, available here in a matt finish. Wabisabi is inspired by the features of handmade ceramics and presents an idea of beauty whose very imperfections make it unmistakable. Each tile’s subtle surface movement and slightly irregular edges render it unique.