Large size tiles for covering floors, walls and furnishings, more in-depth information:
defining ceramic slabs, why and how they are used, the benefits,
the infinite technical and design potentials, the ever-more realistic material effects and the easy care.
There are a number of essential factors in the creation of a beautiful, seamless surface.
First of all, the use of rectified large size tiles, or ceramic slabs, with joints no more than 2 mm thick, right through to the use of cement grouts in a shade which matches the floor covering.
The secret is that since the tiles are very large, far fewer of them are used, and so there are also very few joints.
The joint is the gap between one ceramic slab and the next, and its function is to guarantee the material’s stability, considering its mechanical characteristics.
Rectified tiles, on the other hand, are trimmed so that they have straight edges, which create perfect 90° angles.
More and more architects are choosing to install the same collection of stoneware slabs or tiles both inside rooms and outdoors, on balconies or terraces or in gardens.
This is not only for the aesthetic impact of the floor covering or paving, but also because this strategy gives the surface visual continuity, and provides the impression of really large spaces with high-class design.
The appearance of the outdoor slab is exactly the same as that of the material used indoors: the only difference is a higher level of grip, to provide more friction and thus less risk of slipping in case of contamination with water, or liquids in general.
The architectural context may be public or private, urban or rural, outdoor or indoor, rustic or contemporary.
In all cases, the total look effect achieved by using the same ceramic slab to cover floors, walls and furniture delivers an unprecedented aesthetic result.
More and more architects are deciding to experiment with this look, as they can design a whole building and its rooms with the same texture throughout, for absolute uniformity of style.
The performances of the current range of large size stoneware wall tiles are constantly improving in both technical and aesthetic terms; the old stylistic rules are being overturned in a major evolution of interior design.
The creative design of large size stoneware ceramic surfaces is even challenging the long-established role of wallpaper itself.
Tasteful, colourful and incredibly contemporary, they leave it to the architect’s inspiration to choose the most attractive combinations, able to transform the vertical character of an empty wall waiting to be filled.
Large-size decorated wall tiles can make a whole side of the room the focus of the design scheme, leaving the other surfaces to highlight and support it.
Whether the chosen decoration consists of flowers or abstract patterns in which relief features and inlays dialogue, the result is an eye-catching stoneware picture, able to create a real bas-relief effect.
The marble effect is one of the floor and wall coverings most popular with architects.
A timeless style, the basis for designing glamorous interiors with a rich appeal.
There are some collections freely inspired by the finest, often Italian, marbles, and others springing from the creativity of in-house research laboratories, which use latest-generation technologies to develop original, particularly striking textures.
Some marble effect ceramic slabs feature a blend of characteristics and veining from different types of marble, combined to create a unique pattern which recurs throughout the collection.
The marble effect may be mat or shiny, light or dark, minimal or rich in deep veining.
Explore the Boutique collection
Once stone floorings were only used in specific types of buildings, and above all only in some fairly small geographical areas.
Nowadays, stone effect porcelain stoneware tiles are a popular stylistic choice with architects and interior designers.
In fact, no-one could deny the beauty of a travertine or pierre de Bourgogne effect ceramic slab, apart from the fact that, with the outstanding technological levels now achieved, surfaces are becoming more and more realistic and similar to the natural product.
Whether the chosen effect is a breccia or a Luserna stone, thanks to their incredible shade variations modern, joint-free stone effect floor coverings can be mixed with a very large number of even highly diverse other surfaces.
Explore the Stone Edition, Lavaredo and Wild collections
For anyone seeking a floor covering that does not steal the show from the furnishings and fittings but rather provides a neutral background for interior designers’ creativity, concrete effect is by far the best choice.
In this case the choice of colour is fundamental, as it will define the room’s entire style.
Every possible shade of grey for an industrial chic allure or simply a discrete, elegant mood.
Colourful to infuse the interior with joy and energy. More and more often, large size stoneware tiles are combined with slabs decorated like wallpaper, with flowers or abstract textures.
Explore the Timeline collection
Large size slabs must be handled by two people and with specific equipment, both because each slab weighs more than 50 kg and because they may warp or break if lifted incorrectly.
Suction cups should be used, preferably mounted on metal frames which limit bending and twisting of the slab during handling.
Slabs in size 120x260 cm are carefully packaged in crates or on A-frames for safe, protected transportation.
Packaging is in IPPC/FAO heat-treated wood, allowing its exportation to all countries.
Forklift trucks are required for handling crates.
As for every other type of floor and wall tiles, porcelain stoneware slabs final appearance, durability and performance depend on meticulous design, preparation of the substrate and the correct installation procedure.
Slabs must be installed using adhesives, grouts and joint sealants suitable for the type of covering and its intended use.
The installation of ceramic tiles is regulated by the UNI 11493-1 standard issued in 2013, which also contains specific recommendations for the installation of large sizes.
The obvious intended use for slabs is as a wall covering, but they can also be installed on floors, bearing in mind the heavier stresses involved.
For routine cleaning, slabs can simply be cleaned with a non-abrasive cloth, water and a neutral detergent; acid or alkaline additives should not be used.
For cleaning after installation, or for stubborn dirt, specific detergents can be used to clean the surface without damaging it.
With these detergents, it is fundamentally important to comply with the dilution ratios stated on the product’s label, and to test the detergent in advance on a small area of the slab, before proceeding on the entire surface.
Highly concentrated acid or alkaline solutions should not be used for the extraordinary cleaning of shiny slabs, as they may permanently damage the surface. Abrasive materials must not be used on these slabs.