Sergio Galli was educated in the south of Johannesburg at Sir John Adamson High School, while his co-director Paul Couzis was schooled at King Edwards in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs; both currently reside in the Cape.

Their paths were linked from an early age. Both began working as students in sales for the Italtile group and together have over 45 years’ experience in the industry. They grew from sales assistants to store managers and then joint venture partners and franchisees – subsequently they were appointed as directors in 2008.

Italtile specialises in middle to premium-end imported products from predominantly European suppliers, supplemented by selected product from the East. Long standing, trusted relationships with innovative international suppliers allows them to curate an exclusive product offering. This also ensures that the latest international trends are available nationally through all Italtile outlets in the shortest time possible. Thought and research culminates in an offering that caters for a discerning clientèle, and importantly which feeds the inspirational dream.

Says Sergio Galli: ‘These premium products are brought to life through dynamic showrooms, in exhibits and combinations of lifestyle displays; all topped off with good Italian coffee. Italtile’s impeccable service raises the benchmark and adds an imprint to our quality; this filters through not only from our product but also via the staff.

‘We’ve noted recently that our clientèle are stepping out of their comfort zone and exploring more, researching extensively and identifying international trends. This works well within Italtile as we offer leading varied ranges, which falls in line with our customer’s expectations.’

What are the most notable trends ongoing?

Sergio Galli: ‘The wood look, although on offer for quite some time now, seems to have accelerated within 2016 and will likely still be trending through 2017. Décor-orientated feature areas are growing in popularity currently, resulting in Italtile stocking the widest range of 3 Dimensional and patchwork tiles; mosaics and / or décor pieces, with waterjet cutting as a bespoke option.’

Paul Couzis adds: ‘There is still plenty of focus on cement and the screeded look for 2016 / 17. Varied ranges of tiles feature in a major portion of this current trend; in varied shades and also in large format. The natural stone look is also at the top end of our collections and we’ve seen a surprising growth for this option – allowing indoor / outdoor variations, seamless flow, versatility and low maintenance – which remains a major selling point.

‘Exploring the appeal of mixing mediums is also on the current trend menu: glass mosaic with wood-look tiles, or hexagon cuts with cement looks. There is a definite boost in confidence within the market and we are extremely excited to be able to support and supply all of these trends.’

Italtile was established in 1969 and grew rapidly as a fashion leader in the upmarket ceramic tile market. It has performed well throughout its history, firmly establishing itself through widely respected brands. Its products range from ceramic tiles, vitreous china, sanitaryware, bathroom furniture, brassware, fittings and accessories, to other related products.