Over the last few months we have discussed the different solutions that Emilgroup proposes for the surfaces of our houses, shops and exhibition spaces: walls, floors and shelves can easily feature trendy, contemporary elements thanks to porcelain stoneware tiles with varied and realistic textures. This time we are taking a step back by explaining what stoneware actually is and how it is made, while mentioning a few collection examples within an ideal furnishing project.
What is porcelain stoneware?
First let’s consider the technical side. Porcelain stoneware texture tiles that reproduce some of the various natural elements that have always been the most popular choice for surface solutions (such as wood, marble, stone, quartz, and concrete) are also made from a range of appropriately selected raw materials with an extremely low environmental impact at the earliest processing stages. In practical terms, a mix of clay and a few other elements, carefully measured based on the appearance of the material being replicated, is worked with exclusive attention down to the smallest detail and dose, avoiding excess or waste. This mix is obtained through a preliminary stage consisting of atomisation of all the constituent parts: a very fine powder that already contains some of the typical properties of porcelain stoneware, consolidated with subsequent processing.
How are porcelain stoneware tiles made?
Atomisation is the basic process by which, during the pressing and subsequent firing stages, each microscopic element fuses and binds indissolubly with the others, guaranteeing an exceptionally robust result. Firing is of course also a key and delicate moment: it is carried out in large kilns at exceptional temperatures of almost 1300°C with gradual temperature variation that allows the product to form in line with high control standards. The very high temperatures ‘ceramicize’ the compound, which – once cooled – should have acquired certain distinctive characteristics: almost zero water absorption and evident resistance to shocks and physical and mechanical stress, while also giving the obtained porcelain stoneware realistic textures and effects.
Porcelain stoneware: texture
Ultimately, this is the point that decisively determines the choice of use: porcelain stoneware with accurate, realistic and unusual textures allows distinctive aesthetic solutions that are unprecedented in the more traditional combination of other materials. Moreover, it is long-lasting: such a complex process inevitably leads to a product with exclusive and permanent qualities that allow it to be extensively used across multiple surfaces and for multiple purposes. For example? The solutions proposed in the Elegance Pro by Ergon collection inspired by the natural vein patterns of sandstone, which offers a wide range of combinations. It is available in five sizes (a maximum of 120x120 cm and a minimum of 30x60 cm) in seven colours (Taupe, Sand, Ivory, White, Grey, Dark Grey and Anthracite) with four different surfaces: natural, semi-polished, bush-hammered (a structured surface) and mural (which creates a lively contrasting and overlapping effect with the light). The abundance of textures allows many different combination options that boast stoneware’s renowned performance. However, there is a significant addition to guarantee hygiene and protect personal health: ‘Shield’, a silver ion-based antimicrobial production process, applied by Emilgroup to the product, which helps to block the proliferation of bacteria by reducing the risk of contamination from one surface to another. A ‘double-edged’ advantage, in other words when you choose a floor texture for a playroom or space that will be subjected to high footfall, you can count on guaranteed hygiene, which is simply made easier with regular cleaning