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First, let's see what the main technical characteristics of porcelain tiles for outdoors are.
Starting with the thickness, there has been a significant evolution in recent years, also linked to improved finishes. For example, the 9 mm size with the grip finish has expanded from indoor (for wet areas) to outdoor use.
At the same time, the outdoor range was extended with greater depths for an even more solid and versatile result.
We are talking about porcelain stoneware tiles for outdoors with a thickness of 20 mm (2 cm) and a textured finish, specially manufactured to meet the specific requirements of architecture and landscaping, whether in residential, commercial or public areas. This means:
In fact, it is important to consider that these surfaces must perform well over the long term and it is precisely in winter where their reliability is crucial.
Frost and rain/snowfall can prove to be serious enemies, especially in driveways, walkways and other pedestrian areas.
Having porcelain stoneware tiles for outdoors with impeccable technical characteristics helps to combine maximum strength with durability.
Think for example of water drainage, which in addition to being facilitated by the design of the walking surface with the appropriate transverse or longitudinal slopes, can certainly benefit from the use of outdoor flooring with a high drainage advantage. In this regard, the typical advantages of porcelain stoneware include:
Moving from thickness to size, 15x30 cm or 15x15 cm are frequently used in porcelain stoneware for outdoors. In this respect, too, there is no shortage of innovations, and the range of porcelain stoneware for outdoors is constantly expanding, offering sizes from small to large to suit different uses.
Possibilities, even rectified, to date include:
What is the advantage of using a larger surface area as opposed to a smaller one?
As with large slabs, the advantages are manifold. In addition to the aesthetic impact of better homogeneity and optical effect, there are also technical superiorities concerning cleaning, maintenance and installation. A larger surface is in fact easier to wash, as there are fewer joints; it also has a greater grip and is therefore safer against slipping or coming into contact with water or other liquids.
Speaking about installation, waste is greatly reduced and it is also easier to give continuity to the flooring without the need to supplement with very small cuts.
The popularity of this option is therefore certain, but what makes stone-effect porcelain stoneware better than its natural counterpart?
First and foremost, ceramics is more resistant to atmospheric attacks and harsher thermal differences, thus guaranteeing constant and continuous reliability over time. Added to this are the waterproofing and anti-slip, anti-mould and anti-stainproperties, which are really essential in every season. Last, countless porcelain stoneware stone-effect tiles today:
In this sense, the Arkiquartz porcelain stoneware collection expresses a very contemporary and technologically advanced material, inspired by the natural stone of Mediterranean origin Kavala Stone.
As such, this collection is characterised by a strong three-dimensional appearance, with the traditional cracks and indentations typical of the inspirational material re-proposed to the utmost reality, conveying all the typical flavour of rough stone.
In fact, Arkiquartz renders the appearance of quartzite, thanks to careful graphic processing and top attention to detail, which brings all the characteristics of this mineral to life on a visual and factual level.
But this is not the only reason. An important consideration on the subject of safety and reliability is also necessary.
Porcelain stoneware is completely fireproof, hypoallergenic, does not emit harmful substances and is very resistant to shocks and abrasions, as well as to temperatures of up to 150°C.
On the other hand, temperature sudden changes are not a problem even when falling, because this material is not afraid of frost or ice; shape and colour remain unchanged over time, which is not really the case with "standard" concrete where shrinkage, cracks and loss of strength are the order of the day.
Also in this line, another advantage of concrete-effect porcelain stoneware is that of usability and user experience. Ceramic surfaces are more pleasant to touch, especially when this is not mediated by other objects.
Reasons why stoneware is often used in outdoor flooring adjacent to pools or other environments, even non-water environments, where "walking barefoot" is the norm.
Finally, the very low moisture absorption index (less than 0.5%) gives porcelain stoneware a liquid-repellent identity, making it particularly suitable for outdoor floors that are highly exposed to atmospheric precipitation and the use of chemicals.
Returning to industrial style, concrete-effect porcelain stoneware is the material that best expresses the evolution of this trend, which is still very much in vogue and among the most sought-after on the Internet.
The industrial style is slowly moving away from the style we all knew, made up exclusively of minimal atmospheres and recurring shades of grey. Aesthetics became softer and lighter, at times also influenced by the natural world, both outdoors and indoors.
In fact, we are now talking about industrial green, as a more adaptable proposal that includes the warm shades of beige and brown (resulting, for example, from the combination with wood-effect surfaces) together with more comfortable decorative elements that interact with the surrounding nature, also to facilitate maintenance and routine cleaning.
This softer interpretation explores the concept of "subtraction" that adds value to environments: there is a return to less is more.
The aim is to have a more liveable and functional space, reducing waste and pollution.
Hence, the increasingly common direction in architectural and landscape design is that of sustainability. Even outdoors, the materials used for flooring are environmentally sustainable, produced responsibly and with an essence that combines strength and durability.
In this sense, Marca Corona has for decades been creating porcelain stoneware collections for outdoors and indoors that are the result of a sustainable and conscious process, where material recovery and recycling is almost total.
In fact, the fired and unfired scraps of the processing are totally reintroduced into the production process to make new bodies.
Among the latest collections launched at Cersaie 2022, Multiforme Dune fully responds to these best practices, being made of porcelain stoneware from recycled material, with a significant reduction in environmental impact.
With its multifaceted soul, the Multiforme Dune collection blends perfectly with manifold materials and colours, adapting to different situations and styles. This allows a great deal of design freedom, for intervening in the most diverse contexts and create interesting realisations characterised by the seamless combination of indoor and outdoor surfaces.
Multiforme Dune is therefore designed to give full expression to the concept of maximum continuity between outdoor and indoor.
The availability of 9 mm and 20-mm thick surfaces dedicated to outdoor use, including trims for swimming pool settings, makes it possible to rely on high-performance materials, as they are unaffected by temperature sudden changes and frost, can preserve their aesthetic features over time, and are extremely safe in terms of slip resistance.
In this sense, the Multiforme Dune collection is equipped with multiple finishes in the range.
grip (9-mm thickness) is particularly suitable for environments characterised by the presence of water and humidity
the textured finish, in sizes 120x120 cm and 80x80 cm, is extremely compact and highly resistant to loads and impacts.
In contrast to its natural antecedent, wood-look porcelain stoneware is a very practical and easy-care material. By exploiting the astonishing technical properties of the 20 mm (2 cm) thick surfaces mentioned above, it is indeed possible to bring all the nuances and textural sensations of authentic wood into exterior realisations.
An example of this possibility is the Elisir Royal collection by Marca Corona.
Elisir Royal is Marca Corona proposal for interior design projects between memory and future. These wood-effect porcelain stoneware flooring represent an extraordinary execution, thanks to technical excellence with an ultra-realistic appearance:
Elisir Royal stands out for its refined colour variation and incredible versatility of installation, which allow the creation of decorative carpets in the most different styles.
Why choose HiThick?
And last, raised installation is facilitated by the HiBase system.
For raised installation projects with uneven floor levels, Marca Corona offers HiBase, an innovative raised installation system consisting of a load-bearing structure and height-adjustable supports that ensure perfect flatness and stability of the walking surface.
It can be shaped during construction, is practical to install and easily repositionable over time. HiBase is suitable for multi-size installation and is resistant to different types of load, depending on the actual weight distribution on the surface.
Raised installation with HiBase can also include the use of sound-absorbing panels to improve floor insulation and geotextile to prevent insects from rising and dirt from falling through the clearances.
This state-of-the-art installation system developed by Marca Corona allows irrigation, lighting and piping systems to be housed below the floor level, thereby optimising space. Tiles are installed on load-bearing supports and are easily removable to allow inspection and maintenance of the elements underneath.
Specific solutions that make the difference and provide answers to the most specific and advanced outdoor furniture needs: from installation systems to facilitate application to trims to finish any project and embellish any outdoor relaxation place.
HiThick is therefore ideal for:
In the spirit and code of conduct of Marca Corona, HiThick is also about reliability and respect for nature. A state-of-the-art technical solution with reduced environmental impact: the HiThick collections are all fully recyclable, hypoallergenic, free of asbestos and chemical surface treatments, and therefore safe for man and the ecosystem.