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 is an extraordinary large format porcelain panel offering vibrant visuals and stunning designs.
Statuarietto Bianco Floor & Wall Tile
Statuarietto Bianco offers bold sizes, beautiful marble veining, and a range of sizes for endless porcelain project possibilities.
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