Home » Design Trends

Category: Design Trends

Tile, the Right Choice in a Post-COVID World

Veneto Floor and Wall Tile by GIO
Veneto Porcelain Floor & Wall tile in Bianco 24×48

The focus on clean indoor environments in all areas, both commercial and residential, has never been as great as it is now during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no secret that ceramic tile (and that includes porcelain) is one of the most sanitary surfacing choices available. Specifiers for commercial environments such as healthcare and food service facilities have long gravitated towards tile surfacing for both floors and walls for this reason. However, as we continue to evolve through this pandemic, there is a heightened interest in healthy design strategies for indoor environments. Here’s a look at why tile is the right choice in a post-COVID world.

The Advantages of Tile for Health & Hygiene


With a water absorption of 0.5 percent or less, porcelain tile is categorized as impervious. This characteristic makes tile inhospitable to bacterial growth, mold, mildew, fungi, and other irritants and contaminants. It also makes tile stain- and water-resistant (liquid spills won’t hurt tile!).

Easy to Clean & Disinfect

Ceramic tile is a material that has always enjoyed hygienic advantages. While simply cleaning tile with soap and water greatly reduces the number of germs, dirt, and impurities on the surface, the CDC recommends following up with a disinfectant to kill virus germs. Click here for a list of disinfectants that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Porcelain tile is not easily harmed by disinfectants, but keep in mind some disinfectants like bleach, for example, may compromise certain grouts, so be sure to test in an inconspicuous area or consult with the manufacturer.


Tile has zero allergens, and allergens in the environment such as dust and pollen cannot penetrate porcelain tile’s nonporous surface.


When exposed to fire, tiles do not emit toxic fumes.


Volatile organic compounds are harmful gases that cause a range of health concerns. Building materials with few or no VOCs are necessary for good indoor air quality. Virtually all flooring materials except ceramic tile emit VOCs (ceramic and porcelain tile products emit zero VOCs). Choose tile to easily meet the requirements of commonly-referenced emission specifications. (For a detailed look at the green and sustainable aspects of tile, click here to download the Ceramic Tile Green Guide by the Tile Council of North America).


Formaldehyde in high levels is associated with different respiratory disorders and according to the Center for Disease Control, is particularly dangerous to the elderly and children. Ceramic tile is completely free from the formaldehyde found in many other flooring materials.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a resin used in some vinyl flooring types and installation materials that is a concern among health experts (the health effects of PVC on humans and the environment is a contentious issue). Ceramic tile and its installation materials are completely free of polyvinyl chloride.


While wellness-focused architecture and design is not new (an Interior Design survey back in 2018 revealed that 69 percent of clients were “extremely” or “very” willing to invest in a wellness-promoting space), the Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. Its impact on global wellness has forced organizations in every industry to evolve and adapt, and there’s no doubt that interior design will play a major role in making the world a healthier place. Selecting tile for interior environments is without a doubt the healthiest choice!

Wood Look Tiles for the Long Haul

GIO Wood Look Tile Collections


Who doesn’t love the look of a beautiful hardwood floor? Whether it’s a rugged, reclaimed wood or a showstopping, exquisite rare hardwood, wood floors are undeniably attractive and desirable in many applications. But is real wood flooring what you really want for a demanding commercial environment that has to stand up to hundreds, if not thousands, of footsteps daily, wear from rolling carts and dollies, excessive dirt, spills, and worse? Probably not.

As lovely as authentic wood floors are, they’re more difficult to maintain, especially in commercial settings. Wood floors are easily damaged by foot and rolling traffic and require careful maintenance to keep up the ‘wow’ factor. They need specialist know-how, products, and equipment to keep looking great – all of which come at a price, not to mention the hassle.

Porcelain wood-look tiles are a boon to commercial environments where the style of wood flooring is desired. Wood-look porcelain is sustainable, incredibly durable, and extremely easy to maintain. Then there are the health benefits: because porcelain tile is non-porous and impermeable, it is sanitary, resisting germs and mold like no other.

Add to all those winning characteristics the stunning looks now available (thanks to the leaps and bounds made in print technology in recent years, the increase in plank sizes, and the wood-like textures that were added along the way), and the choice of wood-look over real wood for a commercial environment is practically a no-brainer. With all the fabulous options available, you definitely do not have to trade high style for practical flooring that can take a beating. You can have both thanks to the versatility of porcelain.

When it comes to wood-looks, GIO’s got you covered. Our selections capture wood’s appearance in a range of interpretations that will meet your demanding specification requirements as well as complement any design style. All of these tiles will continue looking great for the long haul and hold their own against countless assaults from foot traffic, sunlight, moisture, and even bleach. Click here to see all the styles we offer.


GIO is your gateway to beautifully designed, strategically selected collections of floor and wall tile sure to fit your demanding specification requirements and unique style. We look forward to working with you!




GIO Looks at Tile Styles: “Natural” Materials

An interior staple for centuries, tile has evolved into many formats and finishes over time. Tile technology has gotten so sophisticated that it’s often difficult to distinguish with the eye ceramic tile from the “real” thing.  Even the textures can be mimicked, so it’s possible a touch test might not reveal the surfaces’ true nature. Rare stones, exquisite hardwoods, and many other precious materials all find their doppelganger in tile these days.

Essentially comprised of dirt and water, and with no VOCs, tile promotes good indoor air quality. It’s also impermeable, which makes it water resident (and thus mold and mildew resistant) and sanitary. Tile doesn’t have to be replaced often, making its environmental impact low. There’s no doubt about it: porcelain tile is a beautiful and sustainable way to present natural materials without depleting the earth.

GIO offers a plethora of on-trend tile styles that provide the performance characteristics required for commercial settings, including a range of lines that closely resemble their more natural (and likely less durable) counterparts.  Let’s take a look at them.


Still on-trend for many years now, marble look tiles have proven to be timeless.  The latest technologies and newest technologies have led to endless possibilities on ceramic surfaces, including realistic reproductions of luxury marbles in very big sizes.


The classic, nuanced look and lustrous finish of premium Calacatta marble become a modern marvel when authentically interpreted in porcelain tile.



The elegant veining of Italian Carrara is interpreted in three luminous versions and large format sizes.

CARRARA by GIO in Grigio
CARRARA by GIO in Grigio


GIO_Thin 5.5

Revolutionary design, research, and technology have combined to create a timeless large (thin) format in a range of looks, including this lifelike marble.

GIO_THIN 5.5. by GIO in Calacatta



Wood looks have surpassed the trend stage and are now considered staples in the surfacing realm. Technological improvements in printing have made wood look tiles more and more realistic, but there’s also now a trend towards creative wood looks that lean more artistic than authentic. Whichever way you go, there’s no doubt that wood looks are here to stay.


Sourcing quantities time-worn, reclaimed lumber for a commercial project is a headache most would rather avoid. Our petrified collection offers the authentic look in versatile, durable, and easy-to-maintain porcelain planks.

Petrified Floor & Wall Tile
PETRIFIED by GIO in Cobalt



Authentic, centuries-old style reemerges in modern porcelain, available in 3″ x 18″ planks in five classic hues.

GIO Fountaine Warm Grey
FOUNTAINE by GIO in Warm Grey



This porcelain wood look tile captures the varied graining, rings, and wavy wooden hues of a dramatic and exotic Brazilian hardwood species, available in 6″ x 36″ plank sizes.

Tigerwood floor and wall tile
TIGERWOOD by GIO in Saddle


Large, rectified porcelain tiles echo the look of singed timber awash in a subtle metallic sheen, offered in four authentic hues and a generous 12 x 48 size.

Char floor and wall tile by GIO
CHAR by GIO in Auburn


Stone-look tile options can enrich environments with a chic artfulness. Stone-look tile is versatile, offering endless style choices with the benefits of extraordinary durability and simple maintenance.


Inspired by stone paths of centuries-old French vineyards, Chateau is a glazed porcelain in four sophisticated looks and three versatile sizes.

Chateau Floor & Wall Tile
CHATEAU by GIO in Noce



Is it stone or wood? Neolith combines the looks of both ancient stone and fossilized wood grain in a most modern tile collection offered in three neutrals and four sizes, plus bullnose and mosaic.

NEOLITH by GIO Floor & Wall Tile


Stone-look tile with authentic details, versatile hues, and urbane style. Verve is available in four modular sizes plus bullnose and mosaic.



Soho offers the nuanced, sophisticated look of volcanic basalt classically interpreted in large format and linear field tiles plus a mosaic option.

Soho by GIO porcelain tile
SOHO by GIO in Light Grey



Basaltina is a sophisticated granite-look tile more enduring than its true stone inspiration, offered in a spectrum of nuanced neutrals and modern sizes.



Basaltina by GIO in Anthracite


GIO is your gateway to beautifully designed, strategically selected collections of floor and wall tile sure to fit your demanding specification requirements and unique style. We’re here to help you stay on top of your design projects during these unusual times with digital resources, free sample delivery, and virtual presentations. We look forward to working with you!