Rhapsody in blue

As the lockdown restrictions begin to be eased in the UK, my mind has naturally wandered to the possibility of seeing new tile designs in the flesh once more, and therefore to Cersaie in November.

What surprised me was that one product group I’m really looking forward to exploring afresh are the new generation of marble-effect porcelains.  This may seem strange from someone who has long and consistently urged tile manufacturers to move on from ever more accurate facsimiles of basic and natural construction materials – stone, wood, cement, plaster, terrazzo – to create tiles that are novel surfaces in their own right.

But Cersaie 2019 and Cevisama 2020 witnessed a new wave of marble-effect tiles that really excited with their exuberant figuring, confident colours, metallic highlights, and sheer graphic impact.  With highly-commercial companies like Pamesa clearly embracing this design trend, I am anxious to see what new marble nuances will emerge next from the leading Italian and Spanish design studios.

I am hoping for more collections along the lines of Rhapsody by Naxos.  Here this Italian brand – a Tile Addict favourite – offers inspiration for contemporary interiors by interpreting some of the world’s most spectacular marbles in fine porcelain stoneware.

Rhapsody’s smooth surfaces echo the bright colours and a wealth of detail with each type of marble, ranging from elegant classic pale stones, through to arresting dark varieties.  But the real eye candy is provided by a few striking tiles where cobalt blue is the predominant shade.

As a collection of 7mm thick tiles, Rhapsody promotes the advantages of using porcelain stoneware for floors and walls.  The reduced weight of the tiles simplifies handling and laying, and has obvious benefits in both new build and refurbishment projects. This range is, of course, also technically excellent, functional, low-maintenance, safe, hygienic, and adaptable: in short, porcelain.

Naxos draws on the natural veining of the marbles that inspired the collection to create fascinating and unusual decorative solutions; with stylised floral elements, geometrical modules, and metallic highlights.  Nine colours/designs – Universe, Caravaggio Gold, Dark Wave, Fantasy, White Beauty, Allure, White Fun, Emotion, and Brown Wave – are available in 600 by 1,200mm and 600 by 600mm with a smooth finish and rectified edges.  Three – Emotion, White Beauty, and White Fun – are also available in rectified 1,200 by 2,600mm slabs with a smooth finish; and 600 by 1,200mm, and 600 by 600mm tiles with a matt finish, and rectified edges. 

Added design options are provided by special pieces, matching mosaics, and other decorations such as Outline, Fascia Floreal, and Fascia Twist.


A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, June 2020.

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