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Thin Is In: Get The Skinny on Thin Porcelain Tile

Gio_Thin 1.0 Tile for floors, wall and countertops
GIO _Thin 1.0 is on-trend, yet practical for floors, walls and countertops.

Thin tiles emerged as a hot trend in Europe a few years ago and are just now trending in the United States. These thin tiles start at thicknesses of about 2.5 mm for walls up to about 6 mm thick for floors and offer a range of advantages, including the ability to install over existing floor and wall tiles which eliminates having to rip out existing finishing materials in renovation projects, saving on renovation waste and time and money in labor costs.

Though it might seem that that thin tiles would be brittle, that’s not the case. They’re actually some of the most versatile surfacing products on the market. Just like traditional porcelain tile, thin tile is durable, hygienic and easy to maintain, but its thin profile creates a lightweight and flexible surfacing solution for floors, walls and countertops. And it is just as durable as its thicker counterparts.

Thin tile also has a positive impact on shipping and fulfillment. Because the thin tiles weigh less, up to twice as much product can fit in a shipping container, helping to manage shipping costs and reduce environmental impact, as well. Though the thin tiles may be up to half the weight of traditional tiles, you will not know how thick or thin they are when properly installed.

A big plus in commercial tile installations is that the lighter tiles mean less weight in and on a building.  And, as porcelain tiles have become thinner, lighter, and stronger, manufacturers are making them in larger and larger formats, as large as five by ten–-and that’s feet, not inches. These large panels can be used in elevators, main floors and bathrooms to tile over large areas.

From a design perspective, these large panels offer visual advantages. Used vertically on walls, the tiles can help add height and openness to a space.  The format also means fewer grout lines, which can help make a small room appear larger. The design capabilities of these super-sized panels are endless and the looks can span the range from sleek and modern to rustic and traditional.

GIO offers sophisticated large format thin tile for floors, walls and countertops, developed expressly for your commercial design projects.  The result of revolutionary design, research, and technology, GIO_Thin 1.0 is a lifelike marble porcelain stoneware, available in brilliant gloss or intense matte.  See more of this versatile collection here.

Bigger Is (Sometimes) Better: The Forever Classic Subway Tile Has A New Look


NY SubwayA Brief History of Subway Tile

Long recognized for its durability and ease of care, ceramic tile was a natural choice for the walls of the New York Subway system which opened in 1904. The shiny white tile was selected for its durability and stain resistance, and the light color and high gloss made it a good choice to brighten the dark, subterranean spaces. This underground transit system can be credited with helping to popularize the use of these tiles in subways around the world. The material’s clean lines, enduring nature, and low maintenance requirements allowed it to emerge from the underground tunnels into our bathrooms and kitchens, where it has remained a popular surfacing choice for over a hundred years.

The Subway Tile Resurgence

Freestyle Subway Tiles in Purple
A fresh take on subway tile: Freestyle Bright and Decoria by GIO in 5″ x 7″

Though subway tiles have been a staple of kitchen and bath design for decades, with the traditional brick-patterned 3″ x  6″ white rectangles being a perennial go-to, the tiles have seen a huge resurgence in popularity in the first decade of the 21st century. But as with many classics, it’s often the twist we place on “expected” materials that gives the designs longevity. We now see subway tiles in every color imaginable, often with contrasting grout, and we’re no longer obligated to arrange them in a traditional brick (offset) pattern–herringbone, crosshatch and even straight-set are just a few of the ways designers have been adding interest and dimension to subway tile installations.

The Latest Spin: Big Is In!

Retro 4" x 16" subway tile by GIO
Big is in: Retro subway tile by GIO in 4″ x 16″

The latest spin that’s keeping subway tile on-trend is the larger format. These oversized tiles, as large as 4″ x 16″, transcend the ordinary and add subtle drama to any space. Long and linear subway tiles can visually expand the size of a room and as an added bonus, fewer grout joints mean less maintenance. If you’re looking to add an interesting twist to any design, go BIG!


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!