What is Porcelain stoneware “Gres Porcelánico”?
Despite not being enamelled, these tiles have a very low water absorption and a great resistance to dirt and abrasion.
Porcelain stoneware is characterized by being a material of "very low water absorption, dry pressed, not enamelled and subjected to a single firing". This is what is described by the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Ceramic Tiles and Pavements (ASCER), which also highlights its resistance to adverse weather conditions, such as frost.
Porcelain stoneware is a compact and hard, coloured, non-porous ceramic. The word "stoneware" means that the ceramic mass of the tile is extremely compact, hence its exceptional strength.
It is a pressed material with water absorption less than or equal to 0.5%. A porcelain mass is composed of a finely atomized mixture of clays, feldspars, feldspathic sands and, sometimes, kaolin, phyllites and colouring additives, when necessary. The atomization is carried out until a homogeneous particle size of powder is reached, suitable for pressing. The cooking is carried out at a very high temperature of around 1150-1250 ° C in long kilns of up to 140 m. The raw material is gradually brought to the maximum temperature, holding it for about 25-30 minutes, and it is always gradually cooled to room temperature.
In these types of tiles, the whole piece is made of the same material (i.e. what you see on the surface goes right through its thickness).
In the normal clay tiles a vitrify layer it is found on the surface on a harden clay below.
Which type shall I buy?
Porcelain stoneware can be used both in floors and walls tiles. It is usually sold in square format and, and no long ago to a lesser extent, rectangular. However, there has been a big increase the last few years of different sizes and now you can find them even up to 3m high. The most common sizes measure is from 10x10cm and 60x60 cm, although the large formats reach 90x120 cm, with a thickness of less than 8 millimetres.
Regarding its appearance, the colours are very varied since they depend on the addition of dyes to the dough. Also, porcelain tiles can be used without undergoing a polishing process. When this is done, they are placed directly after baking, so the surface lacks brightness, but has reliefs and grooves that mimic natural materials such as stone, slate, marble or granite. If it is polished, on the contrary, it acquires an extreme brightness of great decorative value.
They can be used in floors, walls and facades
In this sense, the edges can be bevelled so that the pieces are placed without separation joints. However, it is advisable to make joints with a minimum width of 2 millimetres, since any expansion movement could affect the placement of the pieces. The joints absorb the deformations.
Compact and very resistant
The fact of being a material with low porosity favours a very low water absorption of 0.1%. Thanks to this, the porcelain stoneware gets compact pieces, non-slip and very resistant to chemical agents, cleaning products and abrasion. Its hardness makes it an excellent material for exterior cladding, in cold or on areas with heavy traffic.
Its surfaces difficult the presence of bacteria so they are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
10+1 reasons to use porcelain stoneware
- Wide range of colours, formats, thicknesses and finishes. The technical-aesthetic characteristics of the material allow such a wide variety that allows extreme versatility and coordination.
- It is antacid. t is insensitive to the most widespread acids: vinegar, lemon juice, cola (orthophosphoric acid) and hydrochloric acid do not leave signals while corroding the calcium carbonate present in the marble. It does not resist the attack of sulphuric acid.
- It is resistant to abrasion and wear more than any natural material.
- Incombustible. The material does not burn or produce toxic-harmful gases or fumes in case of fire or exposure to flames.
- Can be sanitized. It does not retain organic substances and bacteria, cause of allergies. It is possible to use strong detergents or disinfectants freely.
- Easy to work on. The product lends itself to be worked (cut, perforated, etc.) as the natural stone to satisfy any type of customization.
- Fire proof. No problem with hot pots or lit cigarettes, which on the contrary damage wood, plastic laminates or agglomerates with resins.
- Do not stains. Any stains from the kitchen, oil, wine, coffee and other substances can be easily wash. Cologne, creams, nail polish do not stick and do not stain the surface. It is possible to use very strong detergents or solvents without the danger of damaging the material.
- Ice resistant. The material is resistant to cold and ice.
- Chromatic stable. The colours are completely stable and are not altered by exposure to the sun, atmospheric agents or smog.
- Ecological. It does not contain chemical waterproofing, varnishes or resins, it does not emit temporary exhalations with the heat of a flame. Unlike some natural stones Radon or other radioactive gases does not emanate and is not polished with lead. It is produced respecting the environment.