Top 9 advantages of porcelain stoneware tiles

May 4, 2021

Grès cérame : tous les avantages

by Sara Costi

But first, what is porcelain stoneware exactly?

Porcelain stoneware is a compact (non-porous) coloured material obtained by pressing the raw materials it’s made of. Porcelain stoneware tiles are highly vitrified and compact, which is what gives it its exceptional resistance to impacts, stains, chemicals, flexure, and abrasion.

The word “porcelain” underlines the refined elegance that characterises this material and derives from the use of kaolin, a type of white clay that is also used for making porcelain. Porcelain stoneware is obtained from a mixture of clay and feldspar fired in a kiln at extremely high temperatures (1200-1300 °C) until it reaches a level of non-porous vitrification and impermeability that makes the tiles highly water-repellent and with high mechanical strength even without glazing.

This material is natural, free of plastics and harmful substances. It’s also non-absorbent and ensures light fastness and wear resistance.

Porcelain stoneware remains unchanged over time under any condition. It’s frost-resistant, fully recyclable, and inert. It’s fire-resistant (it doesn’t release harmful substances in the event of a fire), non-allergic, antibacterial, and mould- and moss-resistant. It even has self-cleaning properties and can reduce pollutants.

But let’s take a closer look at the top 9 advantages of porcelain stoneware tiles (in no particular order).

1. They’re versatile

A wide variety of textures, colours, sizes, and thicknesses and outstanding technical features make porcelain stoneware tiles suitable for residential, commercial, public buildings, wet leisure centres, spas, and wellness centres, both indoors and out. Porcelain stoneware tiles are also ideal for façades and creating large vertical, sloping, or curved surfaces.

Hotel Hubertus – Italy – Pool coverings: Amazzonia Dragon Black
Flooring: Nature Sabbia

You can even unleash your creativity and use these tiles to cover tables, coffee tables, kitchen and bathroom countertops, shower trays, washbasins, shelves and wall units, worktops, partition walls, and even garden furnishings.

2. They’re ideal with underfloor heating

Porcelain stoneware features high transmittance and thermal conductivity (equal to about 1.3 W/mK), making it one of the best choices for underfloor heating. Large-format porcelain stoneware tiles only 6.5mm thick allow the heat to spread evenly and consistently, reducing dispersion. The small grout lines and a full bed of adhesive (i.e. an adhesive layer free of air bubbles underneath these tiles) promote optimal heat transmission.

Flooring: Geowood White Oak
Flooring: Terrazzo Beige

3. They’re ideal for automated homes

Porcelain stoneware tiles can be laid on screed using glue or interlocked and dry-laid. This way, you can place sensors and control units under the laying surface, thereby creating smart floors for automated homes. This system is a fast, technically complete, and aesthetically refined solution for automated homes. Cable raceways of varying sizes and electrical boxes can be installed under the porcelain stoneware tiles to make the wiring invisible.

Interlocking dry-laid tiles
Wiring
Wiring

4. They’re perfect for outdoor spaces

These perfectly squared and rectified porcelain stoneware tiles are versatile, sturdy, and feature an antislip finish. The perfect solution for public and residential outdoor spaces, such as terraces, patios, balconies, turf and gravel walkways, and even beaches.

In fact, these antislip outdoor tiles are thicker (20 mm) and can be laid on screed using glue, ensuring high load resistance, or dry-laid on sand, gravel, or turf. In this case, they can be walked on immediately, without the need for screed, mortar and glue. You can even create raised floors using fixed and height-adjustable polypropylene pedestals. This way, you can hide the electrical and water supply systems and quickly inspect them whenever necessary.

Flooring: Chalon Beige
Indoor and outdoor flooring: Nature Sabbia

5. They’re perfect for swimming pools

Thanks to their technical features, porcelain stoneware tiles don’t fear water and moisture, making them ideal for public and private swimming pools. These tiles’ mosaics, décors, trims, and grilles help turn wet leisure centres, water parks, spas and wellness centres, and private pools into spaces that evoke emotions and ensure a sensory experience. They’re the perfect choice for swimming pool floors, decks, locker rooms, showers, wellness areas, and even snack areas, relaxation areas, and waiting rooms.

Flooring: Nature Calce
Multiplexe Aquatique (France) – Interior and exterior pool coverings: Landscape in Tundra and Ocean
Landscape: Tundra – Bay, Tundra - Dune, Tundra - Ocean

6. They’re ideal for façades

Porcelain stoneware slabs are perfect for ventilated façades, glued façades, and insulated façades (with thin slabs). Porcelain stoneware’s outstanding technical features and innovative cladding systems help eliminate thermal bridges and ensure considerable energy savings. They also protect buildings from weather agents, pollutants, condensation, and localised mould. This way, they enhance their aesthetic value while maintaining all the technical features unchanged over time. Porcelain stoneware slab façades are perfect for public buildings, shopping and business centres, industrial complexes, and residential buildings. Plus, they ensure affordable and aesthetically pleasing results in both new and restored buildings.

Example of a façade in a residential building, La Barquière Marseille (France) - Ondina
Example of a ventilated façade in a residential complex, Flatmates Ivry-sur-Seine (France) - Beton Dark

7. They’re hygienic and have antibacterial and self-cleaning properties

Bios Antibacterial® is the most advanced generation of bioactive tiles for architectural applications. These certified, eco-compatible tiles with antibacterial properties can meet any requirement both indoors and out. Bios Antibacterial® uses a technology based on silver ions, which removes bacteria and prevents their proliferation by inhibiting their metabolism. Laboratory tests have shown that Bios Antibacterial® can remove up to 99.99% of the main bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa).

The Bios Antibacterial® shield is always active, day and night, with or without sunlight (even in the dark), and doesn’t need UV light. That’s because Bios Antibacterial® is made with an aqueous dispersion of silver nanoparticles which is irreversibly applied during the porcelain stoneware slabs’ production process.

In addition to its bactericidal properties, Bios Antibacterial® prevents mould, yeasts, and fungi, ensuring salubrious settings that are also pleasant to the nose.

The Bios Self-Cleaning® treatment has been used for façade cladding and ventilated envelopes for more than 14 years now. Its special Hydrotect® technology allows it to trigger a reaction in the presence of sunlight that reduces bacteria and air pollutants and decomposes dirt deposits. Bios Self-Cleaning® features the excellent performance and aesthetic qualities of porcelain stoneware tiles and drastically reduces cleaning and maintenance. All this translates into significant savings while maintaining the aesthetic quality and characteristics of a building.

In today’s world, one of the biggest threats to human health and the environment comes from NOx (nitrogen oxides). The active oxygen (O2-, -OH) produced by Bios Self-Cleaning® oxidises the NOx into non-harmful substances (NO3 water-soluble nitrate). The NO3 oxidised by the photocatalytic reaction has no effect on soil acidification but helps improve the environmental quality of urban settings. Did you know that using Bios Self-Cleaning® over a façade surface of 1000 sq.m purifies the air as much as a wooded area as big as a football pitch? It also eliminates an amount of NOx equal to that emitted by 70 cars in one day.

The main causes of façade deterioration in today’s urban settings are the organic deposits (stains, dust, and soot) resulting from the oils and exhaust gas from cars, boilers, and industrial plants. But with Bios SelfCleaning®, these deposits are decomposed and washed away by rainwater. All this translates into less cleaning and maintenance and more savings.

The Bios Self-Cleaning® process is completely natural and environmentally sustainable because it uses the sun to activate the photocatalytic reaction and rainwater to remove dirt.

Cladding: Limpha Gelsomino, Limpha Helix

8. They’re easy to lay and easy to clean

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces are paramount in private and public places, especially high-traffic ones. Porcelain stoneware tiles are naturally hygienic, water-resistant and non-porous. That’s why they’re so much easier to clean than any other material. Moreover, they’re long-lasting and allow you to use any detergent. Porcelain stoneware tiles are also easy to lay in any setting, including residential buildings and high-traffic settings, such as shopping centres, schools, offices, and restaurants.

9. They’re environmentally friendly

Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles are made using only a few well-balanced natural elements, such as earth (clay, feldspars, sand, and kaolins), fire, air, and water. They’re fully recyclable and fire-resistant. They don’t contain plastic and don’t release harmful substances, not even in the event of a fire.

Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles are made in a closed-loop production process, which means that any production waste, including wastewater, is treated and reused. Abatement systems purify the emissions resulting from the production process, exploiting the best technologies to comply with the limitations established by law. This way, all components are recycled and recovered with substantially zero emissions or dispersions: 0% harmful emissions, 100% environmental impact reduction, 99.5% waste recovered, 74% self-produced energy, and 100% environmentally sustainable packaging. This cutting-edge production process focuses on sustainability, scientific research, and the best environmental experiences. It also aims at reducing pollution as much as possible to protect the landscape and territorial balance. Casalgrande Padana’s environmental policy is also implemented through green procurement criteria, which means selecting sustainable suppliers and reducing the environmental impact of our activities and products.


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