The Power of Size: Large-Format Ceramics

Feb 3, 2022

The Spanish tile sector, more specifically, the Castellón tile group, stands out for their capacity to innovate and never cease in their quest to improve the possibilities of ceramic tile coverings.

For some years now, the tile industry has focused strongly on large-format ceramic materials, thanks to the introduction of slab pressing technologies. These advancements have resulted in the creation of formats of up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) in length and a wide variety of thicknesses, ranging from 3mm to 20mm. With this technology, all of the intrinsic characteristics of ceramic tiles are maintained and some of its properties are even improved. These new formats and thicknesses allow for a myriad of new possibilities in architecture and interior design, particularly when refurbishing or renovating the interiors and exteriors of commercial buildings.

Considering ceramic tiles are comprised of natural and organic ingredients, with no added resins or plastics, they boast a high resistance to changes in temperatures and weather, and are the ideal material for ventilated facades, one of the most sustainable systems in modern architecture. Thanks to the tiles low weight, ease of maintenance and durability, far fewer pieces, joints and materials are needed to cover the walls, floors or exterior surfaces.

Likewise, it’s imperative to remain mindful of the perpetual advancements and innovations that are being made to the production and manufacturing process of oversized ceramic collections including the integration of self-cleaning properties or the elimination of atmospheric pollutants. Furthermore, when these tiles are applied to the exteriors of public buildings, they help improve the carbon footprint and enhance the sustainability of cities and towns.

As a result, ceramics offer many functional benefits including resistance to scratches, abrasions and fire. In fact, pieces of higher thickness are currently trending in kitchen design, and are applied as countertop and multi-functional worktop surfaces. Likewise, due to its low porosity, large-slab ceramics do not absorb liquids, foods, or bacteria, and assist with preventing the spread of germs, helping to keep kitchen surfaces as clean and hygienic as possible.

Some architects and designers take advantage of the aesthetic potential of these sheets on other surfaces, installing them as cladding on furniture to craft one-one-a-kind contemporary settings.

With large-format ceramics, there is no limit to the seamless continuity that can be achieved, given its suitability for indoor and outdoor spaces. 

These considerable pieces also contribute to sustainable building design and establish a positive environmental balance. Given the slimline thickness of large-format ceramics, these types of tiles can be laid on an existing cladding materials without having to remove or demolish the predeceasing  surfaces, thus reducing debris and waste as well as installation time. Similarly, they lessen the load-bearing on the existing foundation, avoiding future structural problems and ensuring maximum safety for interior occupants. 

Finally, one of the most valuable benefits of these grandiose formats is the improvements they lend to the efficiency of building processes: a factor of increasing importance for the manufacturers, construction professionals and end-users. Sustainable construction processes have become a top priority for the tile sector, which will continue its tireless quest to innovate and invest in developing increasingly eco-friendly ceramic materials.

This story was originally published in Ceraspaña 47, a journal published by ASCER/Tile of Spain to promote the use and benefits of Spanish ceramic tiles in contemporary architecture and interior design. Read the article and view past issues HERE.

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