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Why Tile is the Best Choice for Commercial Surfaces

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.


Known throughout the industry as Thin Porcelain Tile, or TPT, ultra-thin, large format porcelain tiles have been steadily growing in popularity since they first started finding distribution in the United States almost 10 years ago. Also called large porcelain panels or thin porcelain panels, these big tiles are a distinctive product characterized by minimal thicknesses of anywhere between three to six millimeters, with dimensions as large as five feet wide and ten feet tall. One thin tile panel can cover up to 50 square feet! Less grout lines create a modern, seamless look, and because they are less than a quarter-inch thick, they can be used on vertical surfaces without the worry of the unwieldy weight of full-thickness porcelain. And as an added bonus, thin porcelain tiles can often be laid right on top of old tile, eliminating costly (and messy!) demolition.

GIO_Thin 5.5 is, as the name implies, 5.5 millimeters thick, making it suitable for floors as well as walls, surrounds, and backsplashes. Like all porcelain, our thin tiles are nonporous and stain-, heat-, and etch-resistant, making them a durable and easy-to-maintain choice for commercial applications. And with their installation capabilities, they are also a cost-efficient option for renovations. Panel sizes up to 39″ x 118″ (that’s about 30 square feet!) make for fewer grout lines disrupting the flow and pattern of the design. The result is a modern, sophisticated look at an affordable price point. From stone and concrete looks, to everything in between, we offer a range of on-trend thin tile styles in both polished and matte finishes to suit any design scheme. Here’s a look at some great options from our GIO_Thin 5.5 collection.

Stone Looks

Gio_Thin 5.5 Lagos Grey Matte 39 x118
Gio_Thin 5.5 Lagos Grey Matte
GIO_Thin 5.5 Calacatta
GIO_Thin 5.5 Calacatta
GIO_Thin 5.5 Statuary Marble
GIO_Thin 5.5 Statuary Marble
Gio_Thin 5.5, Onyx Polished 39 x118
GIO_Thin 5.5, Onyx Polished
GIO_Thin 5.5 Crema Marble
GIO_Thin 5.5 Crema Marble


GIO_Thin 5.5 Pure Matte Black
GIO_Thin 5.5 Pure Matte Black


GIO_Thin 5.5 Innovation Black
GIO_Thin 5.5 Innovation Black

Concrete Looks

Gio_Thin 5.5 Cliffstone Silver 39 x118
Gio_Thin 5.5 Cliffstone Silver

Be sure to click over to the GIO_Thin 5.5 product page to see even more options!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at our innovative thin tile line! Samples for GIO_Thin 5.5, in addition all our tile collections, are available free to the trade. Contact us anytime – we’re here to work with you!

Cement vs Porcelain: Which is Better for Your Commercial Tile Projects?

Vintage Color Mix Set
Our VINTAGE collection, shown here in the Color Mix Set, has the aesthetic characteristics of cement tile but with all the benefits of easy-to-maintain, durable porcelain.

If you love interior design, your Instagram feed is likely filled with images of beautiful spaces, many of which show tile in use. And because Instagram is a land without borders, you probably see design and tile influences from around the globe that showcase tile surfaces rich in color, pattern, and unique style.

The Instagram influence is just one factor that’s sparking ever-increasing interest in pattern tiles, colorful tiles, and—specifically—surfacing options often referred to as cement tiles, encaustic tiles, and even concrete tiles. The visuals of these types of tile are often quite stunning and provide great eye candy for your Instagram scrolling. However, there’s so much more to the story if you’re looking for the right products for your demanding commercial installations.

We at GIO strongly recommend that interior designers, architects, and specifiers for commercial projects opt for porcelain tile products that offer not only the aesthetic preferred but also the performance required. Here are the top reasons why we advise to specify porcelain tile instead of cement tile for your contract installations.

Porcelain tile does not require sealing. Did you know that cement tiles must be sealed? Not only do they need to be sealed at the point of installation, but they also require resealing periodically throughout the life of the installation. Because of the porosity of cement tiles’ body, this level of maintenance is a must regardless of whether the installation is in a commercial or residential setting. Conversely, porcelain tiles’ extremely dense, impervious body does not require sealing, and this makes its durability and ease of maintenance all but impossible for cement tile to rival.

Porcelain tile is simple to clean and maintain. Cement tile is prone to etching by harsh detergents or acids. Even if sealed at the time of installation and then resealed periodically over time, the etching effects that appear on the cement tiles will remain. Also, because cement tile is porous, it can stain when exposed to liquids such as wine, soda, vinegar, as well as water. On the other hand, porcelain tile won’t stain and wipes clean with water—no harsh chemicals required. For demanding commercial spaces, this ease of cleaning and long-term maintenance are essential.

Porcelain tile’s appearance withstands high traffic and redundant or heavy use. Cement tiles are loved for their beauty, but the looks will likely be compromised through regular use, even use that is not deemed ‘extreme.’ Foot traffic—either redundant over time or heavy traffic, heel scrapes, even pets’ claws/nails have all been known to affect the look of cement tiles. Of course, some people like the style of worn tiles or tiles with accumulating imperfections. However, porcelain tile is the right choice for specifiers who seek looks that will last regardless of high traffic, redundant foot traffic patterns, or other factors. The way porcelain tile is manufactured ensures it will maintain its original appearance, presuming it’s installed properly to manufacturers’ installation guidelines.

Porcelain tile is well suited for a wide range of installation scenarios. Commercial specifiers are likely to find that cement tiles are not ideal for a host of applications for which they need to use tile. Because of possible staining due to porosity, cement tile is not ideal for wet areas such as bathrooms. Likewise, many designers opt to avoid it for high traffic areas such as kitchens and entryways. Additionally, it’s not recommended for exterior applications in climates that are prone to experience freeze-thaw conditions (makes sense that it’s so popular in countries/locations known for tropical and very warm weather!). Porcelain tile products have few limitations when it comes to offering the performance and technical specs needed for just about any given installation. There are even many options suitable for exterior use in freeze-thaw conditions.

GIO tile alternative to cement tileToday—thanks to advanced porcelain tile design and manufacturing capabilities, we have beautiful pattern tile and color options that are great fits for commercial design projects. Designers, architects, and commercial specifiers can get the looks they want without compromising the performance required. Explore our website for the latest porcelain tile options for your next installation needs!