Dezeen Magazine

Canal Grande tiles

Canal Grande tiles by Ceramiche Refin resemble the wood of Venice's boats

Promotion: Italian tile brand Ceramiche Refin has launched Canal Grande, a porcelain tile collection designed to recall the mahogany used to make Venetian boats.

The collection is the result of lengthy research by Ceramiche Refin's in-house design team into nautical craftsmanship, which saw them undertake fieldwork at a historic shipyard in Venice.

Canal Grande tiles that appear like timber by Ceramiche Refin
The tiles are intended to mimic mahogany

Canal Grande tiles are intended to bear the same rich characteristics as the mahogany boards traditionally used to build luxury motorboats and waterway taxis in the famous lagoon city.

"Fascinated by wooden boats, an integral part of city life and its glamorous imagery, we explored techniques for reworking this ancient Venetian art into surface form," the brand said.

Tiles that look like mahogany
Canal Grande is the latest tile collection from Ceramiche Refin

"We immersed ourselves in a universe of wonderful sights and historical traditions as we discovered the nautical sector with its excellent craftsmanship in this very special place."

The tiles feature parallel but irregular lines like wood grain, with a light blurring effect and the glossy finish giving surfaces an impression of depth.

At the Serenella shipyard, Ceramiche Refin's designers observed how boat builders construct canal vessels by hand over a period of six to seven months.

Glossy finish Canal Grande tile floor
The brand developed the tile after researching Venetian boat-building

They then sought to emulate this process in the brand's laboratory, testing different photographic techniques for printing the tiles to produce the desired mahogany aesthetic.

"After careful observation of the mahogany boards, the product was developed, which shows the peculiarities of the inspiring material on ceramic slabs with a targeted and intense appearance," the brand said.

Three colour variants are available in the collection: Rubino, Noce and Moro, with each shade intended to reference vintage boats.

Ceramiche Refin Canal Grande tiles
Three colours are available in the collection

Two tile sizes are offered, as are two finishes: the glossy Lucido and the matt-effect Soft that gives a more modern finish.

A version embellished with metal inserts called Club also features in the collection, as well as the mosaic-like Onda.

Like all of Ceramiche Refin's stoneware products, Canal Grande tiles are hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, fireproof and made from natural raw materials that are 100 per cent recyclable.

To learn more about Canal Grande, visit Ceramiche Refin's website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Ceramiche Refin as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

More images

Floor tiles from Ceramiche Refin
Canal Grande glossy tiles
Canal Grande tiles used in bathroom
Canal Grande tiles from Ceramiche Refin
Canal Grande tiles in bedroom
Example of Canal Grande tiles by Ceramiche Refin
Canal Grande sample
Canal Grande sample
Canal Grande sample
Ceramiche Refin designer in lab
Mahogany on Venetian boat
Mahogany on boat in Venice
Mahogany wood on Venetian boat