Pretty, practical porcelain growing popular
Variety of colours and patterns offer a rich design
The past decade has seen many beautiful additions to flooring products. The traditional quarried stones — granite, marble and slate have been made more affordable by manufacturing stone veneers. You have the look and feel without the weight.
This transition to veneer is gaining popularity as the manufacturing processes become more skilled, combining man-made and stone strata. Imaginative applications in colour and pattern offer us a rich design palette with which to work.
Porcelain tiles are also capturing the market. It’s a man-made product, a hard, white, translucent material that is fired at low temperature and then glazed at high temperature.
The most common usages for porcelain have always been household fine china and artistic objects such as figurines, pitchers and bowls.
Porcelain originated in China. By the Han Dynasty period (196 to 220 A.D.) glazed ceramic ware developed into porcelain. Over the centuries, trade brought it to Europe where such famous manufacturers as Royal Copenhagen in Denmark, Faience in France, and Aynsley, Royal Crown Derby, Wedgewood and Spode in Great Britain created fine porcelain wares that are still the benchmark of quality tableware.
But who would imagine that such a refined and elegant product would become a building material? Walking on the china service does seem ludicrous.
However, not to be confused with ceramic, porcelain is impervious to water absorption and stain resistant. Due to these practical characteristics, a porcelain floor makes sense.
Porcelain floor tiles hold up in high traffic areas and to changes in temperature, and it’s more versatile and durable than ceramic tile. Porcelain is man-made, not quarried, which brings the cost down.
Erthcoverings is a company that sells stone and porcelain tiles. Their Memento series shown here is a collaborative design between world-renowned natural stone artisan Giovanni Barbieri and Italy’s most respected porcelain company Ceramica Vallelunga.
Memento is a line of beautifully crafted porcelain tiles made in the tradition of time-worn natural stone.
The face of each tile features natural veins that mimic real stone. The surface of each tile is then “time-worn” to create an irregular surface finish that emulates the wear and tear found in centuries-old stone floors.
Memento’s floor tile has a luxurious pearlescent appearance that belies its hard-wearing qualities. The style is as compatible in a contemporary loft as it would be in a traditional home filled with wood and whimsy. The style comes in floor tiles as well as mosaics, so you can create patterns with borders or other designs within the body of the floor.
The wave wall panels are called Ambra, and exhibit a striking undulating pattern that can be natural or accented with coloured ribs. It makes a tactile focal point in any room, dramatic and modern, suited to decor that showcases hand-hewn wood pieces, rustic fabrics and contemporary art.
Even newer to the market are huge four-by-eight-foot porcelain panels that we will be seeing on floors as well as kitchen countertops and whole new worlds of backsplash and bathroom wall installations.
Historic examples of rooms decorated entirely in porcelain tiles can be found in several European palaces, including the Royal Palace of Madrid and The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing.
And not just for interior installation, high-quality porcelain tiles and panels are suitable for exterior cladding as well. Why not consider the porcelain touch for the outside walls and patio floor of your home to create the ambience of a European villa.
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Porcelain wall panels, known as Ambra, make a dramatic feature that is as tactile as plaster and as durable as stone.