How to choose the right surfaces for porcelain stoneware flooring and coverings

Aug. 5, 2021

How to choose the right surfaces for porcelain stoneware flooring and coverings

by Sara Costi

Thanks to its excellent technical performance, porcelain stoneware is now one of the most widely used materials for tiling floors and walls, both indoor and outdoor, in a variety of project areas that range from residential settings to commercial environments and public buildings.

Porcelain stoneware is resistant, inalterable over time and in all weathers, frost-resistant, non-absorbent, inert and fireproof. Made exclusively from natural raw materials and free from plastic and harmful substances, it is completely recyclable and eco-sustainable, resistant to chemicals, stains, wear and tear, abrasion and all kinds of external stress. In addition, thanks to Bios Ceramics technology, porcelain stoneware is also antibacterial, self-cleaning and able to reduce pollutants.

So there are many variables to consider when choosing to lay such a versatile material. First of all, it’s important to understand whether the tiles are to be laid indoors or outdoors, on floors or walls, and the mood we’re seeking to bring to the project. Not all products with the same performance are equally suitable, and a number of considerations are necessary to ensure the architectural intervention is in keeping with the style we’re seeking to give a setting.

The natural, glossy or polished, lapped or satin-finish and anti-slip surfaces for outdoors thus join the large variety of textures with a marble, stone, wood, concrete or metal effect, to design spaces with a rustic, country, classic, modern or minimalist flavour, or in Scandinavian, cosy, shabby chic, japandi, wabi-sabi, vintage, retro or Provençal style.

Flooring: Country Wood Greige Natural
Flooring: Kerinox Sabbia Satin-finish
Flooring: Marmosmart Tivoli Polished - Covering: Marmosmart Vagli Natural
Flooring and Covering: Petra Sabbia Grip Anti-slip
Flooring Onice Avorio Polished – Covering: Onice Avorio Natural
Flooring: Marmoker Travertino Miele and Marmoker Travertino Romano Polished
Flooring: Nature Sabbia Lapped

Suitable for spacious settings, such as the classic New York loft apartments or modern, open-plan living areas, metropolitan style is the one that brings a distinctive, strongly industrial allure. The recurring features in this mood are the large windows, uneven colour effects and perimeter walls left deliberately unfinished, with pale plaster, high ceilings, open beams and visible tubes and piping. Typical of industrial style are floors with a natural or lapped surface, laid with minimal joints for maximum continuity throughout the setting, with a concrete or metal effect.

Flooring: Beton Mud Natural
Flooring: Steeltech Grigio Lapped - Covering: Steeltech Corten Lapped

If it’s a minimalist style you’re looking for, with a rigorous, contemporary, Japanese air, featuring few objects and deliberately neutral tones, the best choice you can make for both floorings and coverings is a natural, lapped or satin-finish surface, with a metal or stone effect.

Flooring: Kerinox Bianco Lapped
Flooring: Petra Sabbia Natural - Covering: Petra Sabbia Brick-effect Decoration

When we think of Scandinavian style, with its clean-cut, sustainable look, we imagine relaxing living spaces and natural surfaces with a wood or concrete effect. With its simple lines, warm, light pastel colours and large, bright windows, the hallmark of Nordic style is the unfailing pursuit of inviting, comfortable settings.

Flooring: Tavolato Grano Natural - Covering: Atelier Ottanio and Cristallo Natural
Flooring: Country Wood Greige Natural
Flooring: R-Evolution Terra Natural - Covering R-Evolution Tortora Natural
Flooring: Geowood White Oak Natural

Anti-slip surface for outdoors

In the last year, we’ve become more acutely aware than ever of how much of a privilege it is to have a home with a comfortable, convenient outdoor area. When we’re thinking of designing or making changes to the flooring of a balcony, terrace, patio or walkway in the garden, or a pool edge, there are a number of points that should be considered. Before choosing the most suitable material for the specific purpose, we must first make sure it is anti-slip, resistant to thermal shock and the elements, frostproof, resistant to wear and tear and loads, and that the colours do not fade with the light.

Thanks to the anti-slip grip surface and the availability of the 20 mm thickness, porcelain stoneware tiles are also the ideal choice for laying outdoors, both with glue on screed, guaranteeing excellent load resistance, and dry, directly on sand, gravel or grass, to obtain flooring that can be walked on immediately.

Flooring laid on screed with glue: Nature Calce Grip Anti-slip
Dry-laid outdoor flooring: Nature Sabbia Grip Anti-slip

Finally, raised floors can also be created, using polypropylene supports, available in fixed or adjustable heights. Easy to remove for inspection, raised floors for outdoors make it possible to install electrical and plumbing systems in the gap below.

Flooring: Chalon Beige Grip Anti-slip

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