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Category: Commercial Design Specifications

Big Trend: Big Tile

The past three decades have seen new manufacturing techniques and cutting-edge printing pushing porcelain tile into the forefront of design and innovation. Porcelain tiles are also getting larger and larger. Tiles equal to or greater than one square meter (almost 11 square feet!) are designated “Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs” by  ANSI A137. 3. Additionally, while standard-body porcelain tiles are thicker than 7mm, porcelain panels range from 3 mm to 6.5 mm, with the thicker slabs (used for countertops and the like) around 12 mm thick.

When porcelain panels first arrived in the U.S. from Italy, there were no product standards or guidelines for transporting, cutting, and installing the material. The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) soon realized they needed to create guidelines for installers and the architecture and design community. After more than four years of cross-disciplinary industry collaboration and 4,000 hours of research, in 2017, the TCNA unveiled two new standards for the materials:

ANSI A137.3, the American National Standard Specifications for Gauged Porcelain Tiles and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs

ANSI A108.19, Interior Installation of Gauged Porcelain Tile and Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels/Slabs by the Thin-Bed Method Bonded with Modified Dry-Cement Mortar or Improved Modified Dry-Set Cement Mortar.

Now that the industry had both product standards and installation guidelines for this new porcelain product, the mystery surrounding the panels was removed, with porcelain panels and slabs increasingly selected by designers and specifiers for both commercial and high-end residential projects.

Due to advanced manufacturing processes, the panels can be installed with minimal grout widths, and thanks to their large size, the number of grout lines is minimized, allowing for a clean, modern look. The designs available are nearly endless, and many patterns can be book-matched. Also, installing directly over other surface materials is often possible with proper substrate preparation.

Let’s look at all the great reasons to love porcelain panels!

Porcelain Panels are Stylish and Modern

Available in a vast array of colors, patterns, and finishes, porcelain panels offer a modern, luxury aesthetic.

Porcelain Panels are Durable

Unlike some natural stones, porcelain panels are extremely durable, water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and easy to maintain (with fewer grout joints to clean!), making them perfect for high-traffic commercial spaces. They are also UV – and weather-resistant, making them suitable for outdoor installations.

Porcelain Panels are Perfect for Sustainable Installation Projects and Economical, Too

Porcelain panels are a smart, sustainable surfacing choice as they are long-lasting, and their manufacturing process consumes less energy due to their reduced thickness. The thinner construction means less material is used, reducing the cost per square foot. It also means the weight of the panels is also lessened for more economical shipping.

Porcelain Panels are Versatile

Porcelain panels can be cut into virtually any size and shape; this includes varying thicknesses and even curved edges. Commercial designers have welcomed the panels and specify them as an alternative to standard-body commercial tile on floors and walls in elevator banks, reception areas, guest rooms, bathrooms, and more.

Porcelain Panels Offer the Possibility of Tile-Over-Tile Installation

Installing porcelain panels over existing floor and wall materials is often possible. Tile-over-tile installations are a boon for commercial projects because they create an excellent opportunity to eliminate demolition with its associated expense, mess, and downtime.

Slab _48

Slab_48 is an extraordinary large format porcelain panel offering vibrant visuals and stunning designs.

GIO Slab_48, Onyx Green 48 x110 Polished
GIO Slab_48, Onyx Green 48 x110 Polished slab

 

Slab_48, Calacatta Gold 24x48 Polished (Floor) and 48 x110 Polished (Wall)
Slab_48, Calacatta Gold 24×48 Polished (Floor) and 48 x110 Polished (Wall)

 

GIO Slab_48, Invisible Light 48x102 Honed slab
GIO Slab_48, Invisible Light 48×102 Honed slab

Statuarietto Bianco Floor & Wall Tile

Statuarietto Bianco offers bold sizes, beautiful marble veining, and a range of sizes for endless porcelain project possibilities. 

GIO Statuarietto Bianco, 30 x 30 Polished & Rectified (60 x120 slabs available)

Like What You See?

Great design starts with a sample — and samples are always free to the trade! It’s easy; just click here to submit your sample request.

Gio brings you only the finest commercial-grade products, hand-picked from global sources, based on our focused knowledge of what you need to transform commercial spaces. Contact us anytime – we’re here to work with you!

GIO’s Top 10 in ’23!

Top 10 in 23 graphic

As this year comes to a close, we’d like to highlight our top 10 products of ’23. So many great new products launched this year, but here are the ones that we feel are “best in class.”  As always, feel free to reach out to us for complimentary samples (free to the trade).

Best New Outdoor Product

Jura Porcelain PaversGIO Jura, Light Beige 24x48 Rectified Field Tile

Jura porcelain tiles offer rich, neutral, and light organic tones blended with fossils and shells in a timeless limestone interpretation. The 20 mm thick porcelain pavers match the field tiles and mosaics, so your designs can seamlessly flow from indoors to out.

Best New Large Format

Ony_Lux Porcelain Floor & Wall TileGIO Onyx_Lux, Dark 29 x 58 Polished & Rectified

Luxuriously large, elegant Onyx_Lux offers rich, contrasting colors and stunning swirls in a polished finish.

Best New Porcelain Panel

Slab_48 Porcelain Panel GIO Slab_48, Onyx Green 48 x110 Polished

Slab_48 is an extraordinary, large format porcelain panel displayed in lightweight, vibrant visuals,. The modern design is versatile and ready to enrich any style of space.

Best New Wall Tile

Shades Ceramic Wall TileGIO Shades, Light Verde 3 x10 Field Tile (Wall) and Coccio, Light Grey Field Tile (Floor)

With a handmade look, Shades has refined effects of shimmery glass, glimmer, and vibrant color.

Best New Grip Finish

Slate_Ardosia Floor and Wall TileGIO Slate_Ardosia, Charcoal 24 x 48 Honed & Rectified Field Tile

Slate_Ardosia offers four stunning slate interpretations inspired by South American origins. This timeless tile delivers superior porcelain performance.

Best New Subway

Chroma Subway TileGIO Chroma, Taupe 3x8 Glossy and Matte Field Tile

Chroma offers a  trio of versatile finishes, classically designed in handmade artisan style blended with creative contemporary colors.

Best New “Statement Stone”

Varenna Porcelain Floor and Wall tileRoom scene with GIO Varenna,Bianca 24 x 48 Honed & Rectified Field Tile

Inspired by materials quarried near the luminous Lombardy region of Italy, our Varenna collection is a dramatically veined duet of timeless black and white marble porcelain — perfect for a bold statement in any setting.

Best New Terrazzo Look

Padana Porcelain Floor and Wall TileGIO Padana, Pearl 24x24 Rectified Field Tile
Design, innovation & history converge on this timeless terrazzo tile trend. Our Pandana collection offers four colors vibrantly styled for a variety of venues.

Best New Concrete Look

Chalk Porcelain Floor and Wall TileGIO Chalk, Tan 12 x 24 (Wall) and Terrazzo, Fleck Bianco 24x48 (Floor)

Chalk is a collection of hip hues of classic concrete colors, ideal for sleek, standard, or sophisticated spaces.

Best New Patterned Tile

Mia Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile

GIO Mia, Bone 5x5 Cross and Terracotta 6x6 Star

Moroccan-inspired, with artistic decorative porcelain patterns in 4 classic-turned-trendy tones, Mia can be featured for fabulous floors or wonderful walls!

Let us hear about your favorite GIO products! Email us with your feedback and project photos. We’d love to share your ideas and images on our social media profiles.

Thanks for specifying these top 10 products, as well as all GIO tile collections!

CHEERS TO A NEW YEAR!

We wish you all a happy and healthy new year! We’re so grateful to each and every one of you —for the dedication of our interior designers and for the persistence of our contractors. You have helped make 2022 a phenomenal year! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your commitment to GIO.

Let’s Talk About Grout!

Let’s talk about grout! While not the most exciting component of a tile installation, grout is an important piece of the big picture. Choosing the right grout for your project, budget, and performance requirements is essential. Let’s look at the different types of grout and when to use them.

Standard Cement Grout

Mia in Bone 5x5 Cross and Terracotta 6x6 Star
Mia in Bone 5×5 Cross and Terracotta 6×6 Star

Standard cement grout is the most common and most economical of all the grouts. It’s been around forever, and all installers are familiar with it. Installation is straightforward, and it’s easy to clean up after installing. The downside is this grout is porous and should be sealed with good quality sealer (which adds to the labor costs). And the sealer will likely need to be replaced every few years. Standard cement grout is a solid choice if you are on a budget, but it is best suited for areas that won’t get wet or soiled.

Within the standard cement group category, we have two types: sanded and non-sanded grout. Sanded grout is sand mixed with portland cement. The sand adds strength and helps to reduce joint shrinkage. Use sanded grout in joints 1/8” or greater. It’s appropriate for floors, unpolished porcelain tiles, and natural stone tile.  Use non-sanded grout when the joints are 1/8” or less or for tile that scratches easily, like glass, marble, metal, mosaic tile, and highly polished ceramic or porcelain.

High-Performance Cement Grout

GIO Pastel in Aqua 2.5 x10
Pastel in Aqua 2.5 x10

High-performance cent grout is what it sounds like — it’s a premium grout with higher performance because it is less porous and has more strength than standard grout. They are harder and denser, with better stain resistance, and are more consistent in color. They are more expensive than regular portland cement grouts, but with typical joint widths today between 1/8″ to 3/16″ (versus the 1/4″ average width used in the past), and with large formats more on-trend, the cost per square foot becomes less, making high-performance grouts only slightly more expensive.  Use high-performance cement grout on floors, walls, backsplashes, bar backs, countertops, shower enclosures, steam showers, and tub surrounds.

Ready-To-Use Grout

GIO Padana in Pearl 24x24
Padana in Pearl 24×24

Ready-to-use grout (RTU) from the pre-mixed grouts of yore into high-performance material that is faster to install, and in terms of stain and chemical resistance, this grout has been compared to epoxy grout. But unlike epoxy grout, RTU is much easier to install. There are different types of RTU grouts and are comprised of either a urethane, acrylic, or hybrid chemistry. RTUs are also a good choice if you want brightly colored grout.

EPOXY GROUT

Varenna in Bianca 24 x 48
Varenna in Bianca 24 x 48

Epoxy grouts meet or exceed industry standard, ANSI A118.3. Epoxy grout is considered the most durable and robust of all grouts and has superior stain and chemical resistance. Installation, however, is more challenging as epoxy grouts are generally two- or three-component mixtures that require special mixing and handling at the job site. Use epoxy grout for backsplashes, floors, high-traffic areas, and demanding commercial environments such as healthcare, commercial kitchens, restaurants, and schools.

Do you have grout questions? 

The tile pros at GIO are ready to answer all your questions about tile, grout, settings materials, and more.  Contact us anytime – we’re here to work with you!