ARCHITECT's Ayda Ayoubi reports from the 36th annual Cersaie—held Sept. 24–28 in Bologna, Italy—where domestic and international manufacturers presented an array of porcelain products that were nearly indistinguishable from natural and manmade construction materials.

This year, 112,104 visitors explored 1,732,990 square feet of exhibition space packed with the latest products and advances in ceramic tile from 840 manufacturers. The five-day show also included cultural events and a keynote lecture given by Richard Rogers, Hon. FAIA, senior partner at London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate.

Below are five products from this year's show that each imitate the look and feel of wood, stone, marble, concrete, and metal. The versatility and durability of these porcelain tiles offer a potential advantage over less robust materials, making them a compelling choice for residential and high-traffic commercial and hospitality environments.

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