Cutting-Edge Tiles from Fiorano, Italy

People / Places / Products / October 16, 2012

Fiorano, Italy may be known as home to Ferrari’s test track, to balsamic vineager and to Parmesan Reggiano as well.

But it’s also home to EmilCeramica, for 50 years one of the best-known, cutting-edge designers of porcelain ceramic tile in the world.

“It’s the headquarters for the ceramics industry,” says David Lang, vice president of EmilAmerica Inc., the U.S.-based arm of the company that’s been operating here now for 25 years.

EmilCeramica is known, he says, for developing the most current technology that often becomes standard for the industry.  The company is now using ink jet equipment for its porcelain tiles in a very sophisticated way.

“Others may use it, but ours stands out,” he says.

The firm positions itself at the upper end of the market, targeting architects who specify its tile, interior designers who select it for their clients, and homeowners who preview it at higher end showrooms.

“Our customers are at the higher end of aesthetic sensibility,” he says.  “About 50 percent are in the commercial end, and the rest in high-end residential.”

The company’s brands include its namesake, plus Stone Box, with ink jet graphics that combine 36 different looks for stone, in multiple colors and sizes.  There’s also Ergon, an engineered stone for heavy-duty commercial use, with its unfinished, textured look.  Finally, there’s Provenza Innessence, a blend of wood and stone graphics that looks like reclaimed, rustic stone.

“It’s combined with two colors of wood, like whitewashed wood and water-stained oak, with wood and stone graphics blended together,” he says.  “The technology allows an unlimited range of graphics and color, so it gives the designer the ability to mix them up – it’s more sophisticated and complicated, but flexible and unique.”

Not surprisingly, as the video above indicates, the company maintains a strong presence at the Cersaie Tile Show in Bologna every year.

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Mike Welton

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