Advances in technology and modern production methods have guaranteed porcelain floor tiles a prominent position in today’s homeware market. The ever-increasing range of tasteful designs is just one example of the increasing popularity of this product, and the Indigenous porcelain tiling collection with its selection of urban, luxe and natural effects illustrates just how tantalising some of these options can be.
The anatomy of a porcelain tile
It’s tempting to think porcelain and ceramic tiles are different names for the same product – and they do look somewhat similar. However, there are some
Standard ceramic tiles with a glazed top surface have traditionally been used in bathrooms and kitchens. Made from clay fired at relatively low temperatures,
they are durable but actually quite soft and not really suited to areas of high traffic.
Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are made from dense clay and have a hard, granite-like surface. They are baked at high temperatures, which makes them
stain and scratch resistant, and with a water absorption rate which is below 0.5% they are also the perfect choice to guarantee excellent water resistance.
A low-maintenance option
Porcelain tiled flooring has acquired an easy-care reputation which is entirely justified. Other flooring can sometimes seem to forever demand attention
– wood flooring can pick up marks and dents, laminate surfaces can be prone to warping in damp environments, and marble tiles will need to be well
sealed to preserve their look. But porcelain tiles will cheerfully weather the usual spills and stains children and pets can produce with little more
than some light attention from a brush, sponge or mop.
While porcelain retains all the advantages of any ceramic tile, it is also far more durable. And in addition, a porcelain tiled floor can offer the same
exquisite visual charm as wood and marble tiles.
With so many positive attributes, porcelain tiles can be freely used in a whole host of interior and exterior locations. Naturally, they will work well
in areas which demand tiling for functional reasons, such as kitchens, bathrooms and en-suites. However, porcelain flooring is also a good choice for
halls, bedrooms and utility rooms, or perhaps flowing on through an adjacent patio area to create a natural inside/outside effect. And some living
spaces which demand a consistent backdrop may look best with the seamless continuity of tiled walls and floors.
The same tile finish may not suit every context, and though some decorative interiors requiring a luxury floor may look great with polished tiles, for
other areas such as a bathroom, a tile with a matte finish may be a far more practical option. And, as a further consideration, patios and some high-traffic
areas may need a textured finish to provide a measure of non-slip protection.
The Indigenous porcelain tiling collection offers a broad palette of interior design options. So tiles can be precisely chosen to create a certain effect,
or to capture the essence of a specific look:
Cement effect tiles
such as the dark grey Anthracite
pattern can offer a contemporary style for smart, modern living spaces – especially when used in larger formats. If the aim is to reference the high-gloss
concrete surfaces found in modern, industrial-style interiors, this can be achieved with a concrete effect tile
such as the off-white Pearl
. And likewise, a metal effect tile
such as the evocative Gunmetal Blue
can be used either as flooring
or wall cladding to complement several kinds of raw urban look.
Where the intended ambience is more elegant and sophisticated, something like an Arabescato marble effect tile will replicate the visual appeal of Carrara marble, while stone-inspired tiles such as a timeless Jerusalem Limestone, or perhaps some
wood effect porcelain floor tiles, will introduce the warm, calming influence
of natural materials.
Some practical issues
Porcelain floor tiles are entirely compatible with all forms of underfloor heating, though it is always important to prepare the subfloor as recommended.
For instance, placing thermal insulation boards below the tiles will significantly improve the heating response times and overall efficiency of the
All Indigenous porcelain tiles have a sharp, straight edge, which requires just a small grout joint and helps to achieve a more contemporary style. And
here, choosing grout in a contrasting shade will highlight the joints and give prominence to the layout pattern itself. Conversely, using grout in
a colour which matches the tiles will help create the desired seamless look for wall-and-floor tile designs and interior floors where a tile scheme
cascades from room to room.