Over the last 20 years, the ceramic tile industry has navigated significant changes in technology and material engineering to now produce materials capable of being used in a multitude of applications not historically considered.
By manufacturing tiles that are larger, harder and with higher quality designs and printing techniques, the range of possibilities has changed with significance. We’ve rounded up our top 3 new tile applications for you to consider for your next project.
Although not new as of this year, the development of continuous porcelain slab manufacture and extra large slab sizes has greatly increased the use of seamless porcelain slab for countertops all over the country.
By increasing the size of porcelain slabs above the standard size of kitchen countertop lengths, you can now use porcelain, a material resistant to everything from scratching to staining, across every surface of your home. Porcelain countertops are the perfect choice for food preparation areas and can easily stand up to the day-to-day wear and tear of busy family kitchens.
More and more fabricators are becoming accustomed to manufacturing kitchens from porcelain, which will bring down the costs to manufacture and improve the finishing detail. Already there are fabricators focused purely on working porcelain slabs due to their many benefits.
But the benefits of porcelain countertops don’t stop at their resistant properties. As a material made from 100% inorganic raw materials, sintered into a single homogenous slab, Earp Bros porcelain slabs contain zero VOC’s, have significantly less respirable crystalline silica compared with alternative countertop materials and will last the life of your building.
The Earp Bros range of porcelain slabs features stunning designs inspired by the world's most iconic marbles, stone and finished concrete surfaces. We are continuing to innovate in this space, with the release of a number of ranges which are fully integrated with matching tile formats for floors, walls and decorative combinations.
Historically the building process of pools has meant that large porcelain tiles were rarely considered for use within their interior. However with advances in building techniques and installation systems, porcelain tiles are actually perfectly suited to these applications - when planned correctly.
By having your (concrete) pool constructed with square corners and angles, the installation of porcelain tiles is in no way different to the installation of porcelain on floors or walls - in fact the entire process is the same except for the use of epoxy grout (which we highly recommend). By using large porcelain tiles, you can greatly reduce the grout joints in your pool, these joints being traditionally the hardest to clean and prone to algae growth.
The application of large format porcelain tiles in pool interiors is still in its infancy, but interest in these pools is unsurprisingly growing at a rapid rate. Here at Earp Bros we are helping more and more designers, architects and homeowners plan their porcelain pools including timber look, stone and marble look, and even terrazzo look tiled pools.
With the advent of technology capable of producing porcelain at the scale of slab stone and larger, porcelain has had a resurgence of interest as a cladding material. Coupled with it’s inherent resistance to fire (porcelain is made of 100% inorganic minerals and is fired in a kiln at more than 1200 degrees), porcelain cladding now has a number of innovative fixing options taking the application of tile to facades beyond direct fix.
Working closely with partner brand Butech (of the globally renowned Porcelanosa Group), Earp Bros porcelain sheets are available for all scale of projects as a cladding material fixed with both visible, invisible and innovative new installation methods (including wall systems installed from inside the building itself).
When coupled with ventilated facade systems, porcelain facades can create energy savings of between 20-30% - utilising the chimney stack effect, where hot air rises through the facade to be replaced with cooler air in summer, and the opposite in winter.
Design is an important factor when building architectural homes. Replicating the best natural designs in large format porcelain can only be done by a handful of manufacturers globally, and none as trusted as Porcelanosa Group. Earp Bros and Porcelaonsa have worked tirelessly to bring the best materials to market for projects that have a higher need than price alone.
As porcelain becomes more widely used in non-standard tiling applications, the many benefits of this material will come to the fore. Porcelain offers so many advantages over other materials - especially when considered over the lifetime of a building. Why wouldn’t you use a material that was more sustainable, easier to maintain, cost effective and built to last?
Get in touch with your dedicated sales representative or local showroom to discover how you can use porcelain in your next project.