Cecrisa S.A. of Brazil manufactures a tough and aesthetically dynamic line of porcelain and ceramic tiles for indoors and outdoors. Lorie Greenspan takes a tour of the company’s factories to find out how resilience, quality and design converge to produce unique lines of products.
Cecrisa S.A.’s outstanding ceramic and porcelain products will make you pay attention to what’s underneath your feet.
That’s because there are no flooring and wall covering products on the market that come close to what Cecrisa conceives, designs and manufactures.
Paulo Cesar Benetton, Cecrisa’s general manager, says Cecrisa’s product portfolio represents “the largest range of porcelain tiles on the market,” making the company Brazil’s foremost producer of porcelain and ceramic tiles, which are marketed under the brand Cecrisa.
That acumen for creating beautiful tile products got an unlikely start, however. Cecrisa’s roots were planted in the 1940s when businessman Diomício Freitas began extracting coal at the Santa Catarina carbon basin. The company opened Cricklewood Ceramics SA on June 8, 1966 by St. Catherine, which was founded by businessman Dilor Manoel de Freitas, son of Diomício Freitas. The first tiles came off the production line on April 11, 1971. Since then the company has followed an aggressive expansion plan in which innovation and ingenuity have coupled with originality to devise one-of-a-kind products in a range of decorative styles, colors and patterns for indoor and outdoor use. In July 2012, Cecrisa entered a new and challenging phase when it was bought by Vinci Partners.
“We have the largest market share,” Benetton says, adding that the company produces many high end products in formats as large as 90 by 90 centimeters. Ecologically savvy, Cecrisa also markets a very large range of mosaic and glass products in five facilities throughout Brazil.
It represents a large part of activity in the ceramic tile sector in Brazil, where Brazilian manufacturers produce billions of square feet of tile and export more than $200 million worth of product. Increased product quality and modernized production methods, all employed by Cecrisa, have helped to bring Brazilian ceramics to the world.
In fact, the company’s export business to more than 50 countries on five continents comprises $16 million of its revenues, although its main markets are its home country as well as the United States. To support this volume, Cecrisa operates five industrial units with modern factories that use state-of-the-art production methods to create the most fashionable and durable porcelain and ceramic tiles in the industry.
Making the Crossover
Among the variety of products offered by Cecrisa are the Crossover Portinari porcelain tile lines. Tough and durable, these are not traditional porcelain tiles. Produced with refined visual complexity, these tiles are elegantly crafted and make any room a standout.
Taking its porcelain tile platform to the next level, Cecrisa also has developed a line of tiles that connect you to the outdoors from the comfort of your living room; “crossing borders,” as the company stresses, “in order to connect with and share designs and concepts. This is crossover.”
Products also include tiles with cement and wood finishes that take your room into the outdoors, as well as tiles of very high definition, so that their colors and patterns create a rich texture on your floor. The company, Benetton stresses, spends a great deal of money and effort in research and development in mixing and blending colors. “We look to the fashion industry to tap into color trends,” Benetton says, adding that whites and grays are strong right now.
Cecrisa is also highly committed to the environment, as proven by the LEED certification it possesses. Through an ambitious recycling program, the company recycles all of the waste left over from production.
As proof of its status in the industry in Brazil, in 2011, Cecrisa obtained the highest revenues among all the companies in the sector, reporting R $747 million, confirming its leadership position. Its annual production is about 30 million square meters of porcelain tile coatings, wall coverings, flooring and special parts.
After 47 years in the market, Cecrisa’s mission is still to provide solutions with innovative coatings and value, exceeding the expectations of customers, professionals, shareholders and suppliers. With major awards won for its Portinari brand, Cecrisa will no doubt continue to re-invent the way tiles are made and designed … enabling all of us to take a second look at the floors and walls when we enter a room.