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Porcelain stoneware is one of the most widely used materials over the last decade in the building and design industry. Porcelain stoneware offers professionals and consumers countless technical advantages and superior aesthetic qualities... so many that some may go unnoticed or unrecognised. It's time to unveil all the little secrets and pluses of such a versatile and functional material!
If you are thinking of refurbishing the floors and walls of your flat, shop or club, invest a few minutes to discover the 10 things you may not have known about Made in Italy porcelain stoneware!
Porcelain stoneware is able to reproduce any natural material and aesthetic effect, enriching it with superior technical properties. Wood-look porcelain stoneware is undoubtedly the most popular product, thanks to its ability to transform any room into a welcoming space, avoiding the unpleasant inconveniences of wooden parquet, which is much more delicate, costly and difficult to maintain and clean.
Porcelain stoneware surfaces can also perfectly reinterpret precious marbles, natural stones, cements, resins and three-dimensional volumes. Porcelain stoneware can even evoke craftsmanship through retro patterns, material reliefs, desaturated colours and deliberately imperfectly applied glazes.
In short, ceramics continue to evolve technologically and aesthetically to meet any aesthetic taste, design requirement and new design trend. Like the Indoor Garden, which aims to reconnect man and nature through floral decorations, pastel colours or bright accents, capable of designing conciliatory and revitalising environments.
Many think of ceramics only as indoor flooring, to ensure a long life and to simplify the daily cleaning of a space. Actually, tiles are the best solution also and especially for cladding walls, especially in challenging environments such as bathrooms or kitchens, where there is a constant presence of water, significant levels of humidity, frequent changes in temperature and where maximum hygiene, resistance to mould and ease of cleaning are required.
But why relegate ceramic coatings to these areas only? Thanks to the multiplicity of effects, colours and patterns, tiles can be used to add character to the living area, enhance niches or anonymous corners of the house, and create entire spaces, including commercial ones, that are truly captivating.
What about outdoors? Grip or structured finishings and large slabs are available, all designed to guarantee maximum resistance to loads and weather agents, non-slip safety and durability in outdoor environments, where mechanical and atmospheric stresses are greatest.
Porcelain stoneware tiles offer not only an incredible variety of effects, but also a wide range of sizes, from the traditional small cementine tiles to the recently introduced large ultra-thin slabs, thus meeting any design requirement. The large size succeeds in fully enhancing the aesthetic qualities of the materials reproduced on stoneware, creating a pleasant effect of visual continuity thanks to the reduced number of joints.
Large slabs are the ideal solution for residential and commercial renovations, even of small dimensions, because they minimise cutting, waste, installation time and can be applied over existing materials. Small-sized tiles, on the other hand, allow for infinite installation patterns and lend themselves to optical illusions, colour combinations and ever new patterns. An essential choice for those who want to achieve a truly unique and personalised setting!
Porcelain stoneware, thanks to its resistance to temperature changes and discolouration by sunlight and weathering, is also frequently used to cover outdoor spaces, such as gardens, terraces, verandas or common outdoor areas subject to weathering.
Thanks to its technical characteristics, stoneware can be considered a ubiquitous material, which can reproduce the same look in different indoor and outdoor environments, creating a pleasant chromatic continuity and multiplying the perception of space. And if your home takes inspiration from the new Indoor Garden trend, with green materials and motifs indoors as well, the distinction between indoors and outdoors could really disappear!
Unlike other materials, which are more delicate and difficult to maintain, ceramic resists shocks, scratches, abrasions, chemicals, trampling and ensures maximum slip resistance. That's why it is suitable for flooring and cladding frequently trampled places such as retail outlets, bars, shops and restaurants, and even larger, more challenging projects such as shopping centres, offices, airports and hotels.
Ceramic is one of the most resistant and long-lived materials: the average life is really impressive, more than twenty years, and often when you change your stoneware floor or wall tiles you do it to suit a new style or personal taste, rather than because of the wear of the whole surface!
Ceramic is one of the most hygienic and safe solutions for health, because it is non-absorbent and counteracts the spread of mould, mildew, bacteria, fungi and invisible dirt, unlike other synthetic materials or fabrics. An indispensable advantage for the design of settings such as kitchens, bathrooms, restaurants, spas, medical centres and all locations where there is contact with food, constant presence of water, the need for maximum healthiness or even total sterility.
In addition to resisting dirt, ceramic is an ultra-hygienic and easy-to-clean material, regardless of the aesthetic effect or finishing chosen: even tiles that are apparently rough to the touch and more textured are actually incredibly easy to clean and treat.
In order to achieve excellent aesthetics and flawless surfaces, attention must be paid above all to end-of-work cleaning, which is of fundamental importance to avoid grout residues or dirt, which could create an unpleasant patina.
But once this initial thorough cleaning has been carried out, life will be much easier: ceramic coverings do not require any special products or treatments, nor do they require expensive and bulky cleaning accessories. All you need is water and a neutral detergent to keep the place spotlessly clean! Struggling to believe this?
Read our Cleaning and Maintenance Manual!
Ceramic is an inert, fire-resistant material that does not burn or emit toxic fumes in the event of a fire. This is why it is suitable as a splash guard behind the hob, as a kitchen countertop where liquids or hot pots are kept and even on the floor or coating of a fireplace. In short, ceramic is not afraid of fire, sparks... or accidents from the most clumsy aspiring chefs!
Ceramic tiles contain no plastic, are totally inert and do not release VOCs. Made from 100% natural, quality materials and with an increasing recycled percentage, ceramic wall tiles are one of the safest choices for your health, and sustainable for the environment.
In addition to ensuring maximum longevity thanks to their resistance, stoneware floor and wall tiles are recyclable, reusable for example as road surfaces, thus minimising the environmental impact of the disposal and end-of-life phase.
A final product that respects the environment, but maximum green attention is also needed for the entire production process: this is why Marca Corona is committed every day to 100% recycling of raw and fired waste, to fully reusing waste water, to differentiating waste and using grass-based or recycled paper packaging, pallets that comply with FAO ISPM 15 standards and FSC certified paper.
Ceramic is multifaceted, it can take on infinite shades, graphic patterns and material nuances. When people think about wall tiling, they focus on the colour of the ceramic, but they often forget an equally important decorative element: the colour of the joint!
In order to create a new setting in line with your personal taste, it is essential to choose the right colour of grout. Normally, tone-on-tone grouts are preferred, perhaps obtained by mixing several shades to obtain a tone exactly identical to that of the tile. A slightly lighter or darker shade of the surface can be chosen, thus changing the perception of installation continuity and surface brightness.
For many, the ton sur ton choice is more reassuring, destined to please in its simplicity and consistency even after some time.
Lately, however, architects and designers seem to want to play with grout for a more eccentric and original touch. Many contemporary projects thus dare to use contrasting grouts, deliberately different from the ceramic background, sometimes opposing or complementing that of the surfaces. For example, grouting white wall tiles with a contrasting colour, designed to recall that of other furnishing elements, can add a design accent to the project and enhance niches and walls that may be somewhat anonymous. In short, the choice of colour - of ceramics and joints - really makes a difference.
Yes, Italy holds the absolute record in ceramic production: about 40% of stoneware tiles are produced in our country and then sold and appreciated all over the world for quality, style and reliability Made in Italy!
And speaking of style and excellence, who better than Marca Corona can talk about ceramics? We are the oldest ceramic company in the Sassuolo district, founded back in 1741: for 280 years we have been investing in innovation, aesthetic research, human resources and quality raw materials, to develop cutting-edge ceramic products capable of anticipating new style trends and responding to the most challenging design requirements.
That is why international designers and architects choose every day our ceramic floor and wall tiles to create unique projects.
Discover the most futuristic and ambitious ones on #ProjecteMotion, our video story project dedicated to the most beautiful architectural references made with our surfaces in the world.