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Why Tile is the Best Choice for Commercial Surfaces

green-squared-porcelain-tile-products-by-GIO
GIO offers a range of products that are Green Squared certified to help you meet your clients’ demands for sustainable, healthy, functional, and beautiful building materials at a desirable price point.

Sustainability, health and wellness, value engineering (satisfying the product’s performance requirements at the lowest possible cost), and functionality combined with exceptional aesthetics are what commercial interior design clients are demanding when it comes to building materials. With client expectations at an all-time high, it’s becoming more important than ever to provide your clients materials that provide the sustainability, wellness, and performance characteristics they require, along with the look they want to achieve, at a desirable price point.

While the supply of materials that satisfy these demands is still somewhat inadequate, ceramic tile (and that includes porcelain) is the surfacing solution you can depend on to meet all these  expectations.

Tile is Sustainable

Composed of natural clay and other raw ingredients, ceramic tile doesn’t require the destruction of other natural resources like wood or plant material. Tile lasts a very long time and can easily be recycled when replaced. For those who value sustainability when it comes to construction or remodeling projects, porcelain and ceramic tiles are some of the best options available. 

Tile is Healthy

Because ceramic and porcelain tiles are kiln fired at very high temperatures they don’t emit any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the indoor air of a building. VOCs can lead to a range of health problems and are commonly linked to “sick building syndrome.”

Additionally, glazed tile offers a surface that cannot be penetrated by odors or other contaminants. For this reason, tile can be cleaned with nothing more than warm water (you can add in a little vinegar or mild detergent), eliminating the need for harsh cleaners that contain unhealthy or dangerous chemicals.

Finally, ceramic tile is non-combustible; it doesn’t emit toxic fumes when exposed to fire.

Tile Saves Money

Invulnerable to stains or absorbing odors, ceramic tile is also very hard and dense, offering a much longer lasting surfacing option over other materials which makes it a money-saving material in the long-term.

Tile Can Satisfy Any Design Aesthetic

New technology in digital decoration techniques are bringing the highest aesthetics and emerging formats, making tile a great candidate for many areas inside and outside of a building. High-definition printing allows manufacturers to supply high-quality floor tiles that have the appearance of natural materials such as wood and stone. The digital printing process has become so sophisticated that manufacturers can create tiles that vary from piece to piece, much like their real counterparts. Digital decoration offers a potentially unlimited variety of graphic solutions such as three-dimensional tiles with a greater tactile appeal and large-format thin porcelain panels that can even be installed over existing tile, thereby resulting in less construction mess and down-time.

Tile is Functional

High-traffic commercial environments require extremely durable surfacing materials that are also easy to maintain, and commercial-grade porcelain tiles are truly up to the task. Hard, dense, and solid, porcelain is resistant to most heavy-impact stresses. Its density also makes it impervious to liquids and stains. Porcelain tile is fireproof, has a long lifespan, and if cracking from impact does occur, tile is repairable because it’s easy to remove and replace the damaged tile (save an extra box or two of the product during installation to make color matching easier).

Making tile your first choice of materials for commercial surfacing is a no-brainer! GIO brings you a carefully curated selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Our looks cover a range of styles to transform commercial spaces, from retail and restaurants to hospitals and hospitality. And while all our tile is inherently “green,” we also offer a large selection of products bearing the Green Squared Certified logo which are manufactured according to rigorous sustainability criteria and have been verified by an independent 3rd party to be in conformance with ANSI A138.1. You can see all our Green Squared offerings here.

Tile Talk: Green vs Green Squared

Tile is Naturally Green

All ceramic (which includes porcelain) tile is inherently green. It’s basically made of dirt and water, after all. The natural materials have a number of environmental qualities that make tile a great choice for eco-friendly design projects:

  • Ceramic tile is sanitary. It’s easy to clean and resistant to dust mites, mold, and bacteria.
  • Ceramic tile has no VOC emissions. Because it is fired at very high temperatures, the final product is virtually inert, with no off-gassing.
  • Ceramic tile is non-combustible; it doesn’t emit toxic fumes when exposed to fire.

How are Green Squared Products Greener?

ANSI A138.1. is the voluntary industry standard that outlines the environmental and social criteria for sustainable ceramic tiles, glass tiles, and tile installation materials. Titled Green Squared American National Standard Specifications for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles, and Tile Installation Materials, it is the world’s first consensus-based sustainability standard written exclusively for tile and installation materials.

The Green Squared initiative was developed under the guidance of Tile Council of North America who relied on the expertise of its Green Initiative Committee and members of the greater green building community to draft the standard for submittal  to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A108 Committee for review and approval.

Not only does Green Squared encompass a full range of products within an industry, it is a multi-attribute sustainability standard that takes into account not only product characteristics, but environmental and social issues such as environmental product manufacturing and raw material extraction, end of product life management, progressive corporate governance, and innovation.

Products bearing the Green Squared Certified logo are manufactured according to this rigorous sustainability criteria and have been verified by an independent 3rd party to be in conformance with ANSI A138.1.

So while all tile is green, products that are Green Squared (since August 2016) qualify to contribute toward a LEED Pilot Credit offered under the category of certified multi-attribute products and materials. To achieve a LEED point under this credit, at least 25 per cent of the cost of permanently installed building products on a project must meet a USGBC-approved product sustainability standards, like Green Squared, and have third-party validation to prove it. USGBC included Green Squared as an approved multi-attribute sustainability standard because the criteria are rigorous and fully in-line with the intent of the credit.

EPA Includes Green Squared Certification

In recent news, Green Squared was added to the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing. The recommendations are for U.S. government purchasing officials to aid in identifying and procuring environmentally sustainable products and services.

Jim Jones, assistant administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. EPA, commented, “By allowing federal buyers to make more informed decisions on environmentally preferable products and services,” Jones continued, “federal agencies are leading by example, stimulating the supply of greener products and services, and protecting our health and the environment.”

You can depend on GIO for your sustainable design projects because many of our products are Green Squared certified. Green Squared provides all tile producers, foreign and domestic, with a clear benchmark for designing sustainable products which can be accepted by North American green building programs.

GIO Looks at Tile and Sustainability on Earth Day

earth dayTile is Inherently Green

Ceramic, or porcelain, tile is inherently green and an important part of sustainable construction. The all-natural materials have a number of environmental attributes that make it a great choice for eco-conscious specifiers:

  • Because it is fired at very high temperatures, ceramic tile inherently has no VOC emissions. The resulting final product is virtually inert, with no off-gassing.
  • Ceramic tile is easy to clean and inhospitable to dust mites, mold, and bacteria.
  • Ceramic tile is non-combustible and does not give off toxic fumes when exposed to fire.

Tile and LEED® Green Building Rating Systems

Contrary to what many people believe, products themselves are not LEED certified; only buildings can be LEED certified. The products specified, however, can contribute points toward different levels of certification. Tile produced in North America can contribute to long life cycle, indoor air quality, and potentially offer regional manufacturing benefits. Credits can also be earned for recycled content, reduction of heat island effect , and construction wastes management.

Green Squared

While all ceramic tile is a green choice, tile specifiers also have the option to select products which have been verified by an independent 3rd party to be in conformance with ANSI A138.1, the industry standard for sustainable tile and tile installation products.

Green Squared is a multi-attribute, industry-wide standard that underscores the North America tile industry’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing. Products bearing the Green Squared Certified logo are manufactured according to rigorous sustainability criteria that address a broad range of considerations, from extraction of the raw materials needed to reuse or disposal at the end of a product’s life. Manufacturers of Green Squared certified products invest considerable resources to ensure their facilities and manufacturing practices are socially and environmentally responsible, and to obtain third-party certification.

 

Revised_Final_Green_Squared_PMS Color_and_Black.aiYou can depend on GIO for your sustainable design projects because many of our products are Green Squared certified. Green Squared provides all tile producers, foreign and domestic, with a clear benchmark for designing sustainable products which can be accepted by North American green building programs.