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Tile Power Limited - 18 Kelso Crescent, Moorebank - NSW 2170 T : 02 9734 9200 - F : 02 9734 9211 - www.tilepower.com Tile Power Limited is a ceramic retailers buying group.
99 RETAIL FOCUS 8
Beaumont Tiles franchisee, Neil Gilroy owns six stores and considers himself a life-long member of the tile industry despite a brief detour in roofing.
INDUSTRY ROUNDUP 14 A tile and lighting store is seeking to franchise its
business; National Tiles releases new products including a collaboration with Grand Designs; Laticrete appoints a new sales manager; and mosaic art is being made in the Gold Coast.
SHOW REPORT 22 International correspondent Joe Simpson brings his
perspective of Cersaie 2018.
SPECIAL FEATURE: GROUT 32 Coloured grout can make rooms cool, according to trend
analysts. It can be paired with standard tiles to lift the look while staying on budget or add substantial bling for those who like to stand out.
TILE ASSOCIATION 42 The Australian Tile Council has launched a digital guide
and a new website.
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FO REWOR D
This edition of Tile Today brings you the latest local and international developments in the tile industry. On the home front, Beaumont Tiles franchisee Neil Gilroy talks about his dedication to tiles and what makes being part of the group work so well for him. A tile and lighting store in Canberra is looking to franchise its business model, and National Tiles has launched new products into the market. Maurimosaic is a Gold Coast based company producing mosaic art with a European sensibility. An aquatics centre close in Scarborough along Perth’s coastline gets a major tile revamp, and the Australian Tile Council has made a significant digital investment with its new guide and website. Cersaie remains an influential event on the global stage and international correspondent Joe Simpson was there to see it all and report back to Tile Today readers. No one in the tile industry gets left behind by reading Joe’s show reports. The special feature on grout looks at coloured grouts and the different products and their benefits for end-users. This new trend is gaining traction with an increasing number of professional designers and savvy renovators. Once again, Tile Today will be visiting The International Surface Event in Las Vegas in early 2019. We would be happy to hear from anyone from the Australian industry who will be attending the trade show so they can be part of our coverage. We also wish our readers, advertisers and supporters a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Look forward to working together in 2019. Until next time,
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FRONT COVER IMAGE An almost basic white tile is combined with the exuberance of colour and the freshness of a detailed mural, complete with illustrations of exotic plants and birds with bright plumage. The Livorno Mural Sonata tile series from Spain-based Mainzu Ceramics can give spaces an air of happiness and tranquillity.
6 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
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This Beaumont Tiles store is located at Unit 11/1845 Ferntree Gully Road, Ferntree Gully (VIC)
Life-long commitment to tiles Tile Today spoke to Beaumont Tiles franchisee, Neil Gilroy, who owns and operates six stores located in Victoria.
eil Gilroy is dedicated to the tile industry. Even a brief experience working outside of tiles led him straight back to the industry. Gilroy’s stores are currently based in the outlying suburbs of Ferntree Gully, Dandenong, Frankston, Mentone, Mornington and Narre Warren. They cater for first time DIYers through to professional tradespeople. Here, he responds to questions about his retail stores and how bathroom products have boosted tile sales.
1. Please describe your target market in your area or region. Local builders and tilers are our main trade customer across the stores. We, like the wider Beaumont network, really enjoy supporting these businesses by providing them with quality products and great service. From a consumer perspective, our customers are people who have done their research and are looking for quality and expertise. As opposed to low-quality “bargains” that may well ruin their dream renovations.
2. What is the percentage split between professional endusers (tradies, builders etc.) and DIY consumers? It varies slightly from store-tostore but our trade versus consumer split is around 55/45.
3. How has trading been for the last quarter period?
Beaumont Tiles franchisee, Neil Gilroy
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This last quarter has been really strong with a significant uptick compared to the previous quarter. Though for me, more importantly this growth has remained steady moving into the next quarter period which suggests that the industry is in a reasonably healthy state.
4. What is your point of difference from other tile retailers and how has it helped? Looking internally, we really get a big kick out of supporting our local builders and tradies. Even on a quiet day, we have over 30 people walking into our stores, and our team always strives to go above and beyond to make sure that everyone gets what they’re after. From an external perspective, Beaumont Tiles as a brand is recognised as being a leader in delivering the best quality products and offering the best range reflecting local and global trends We also stand out when it comes to customer service and product knowledge, with our logistics being a great strength. I believe we have the best warehouses, marketing team, admin and execs in the industry. All our head office staff are always accessible. It’s great having that sort of quality at the top and the ability access to it whenever you need.
5. How long have you been a member of the retail group? The tiling industry is in my blood. I started working in Beaumont’s 10 Clearance Warehouse in 1994.
MATT P2 / P5
Three years later, Bob Beaumont asked me to open the Oakleigh showroom, and how could I say no? In 2003, I was proud to take over the existing company showroom at Mentone, changing it to my first franchise. And as they say, the rest is history. This year will mark my 23rd year with Beaumont Tiles, 16th as a franchisee and seven years prior to that in corporate (head office). I jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the brand and have loved growing with the business.
6. What was your reason for joining it in the first place? I was around 22, and just back from overseas when I started working for Beaumont Tiles in Adelaide. I soon found a genuine passion for the industry. There was a small hiatus for a few years where I worked in the roofing industry, and even the guys that I worked with during that time said that I needed to go back to Beaumonts. So I did.
7. How does your membership continue to help you in your business today? The model we are given from Beaumont works! It really is a complete package. I like the security associated with being part of a large trusted brand, the processes, the advertising and guidance provided by head office. I believe that it is a true business collaboration and it makes our job of selling the best products to the market much easier.
8. What in-store promotions have worked well for you? January and June are often the months where we’ve found our instore promotions have worked well for us. The promotion of Beaumont’s bathroom ware range, via a catalogue promotion has also been a big hit across all our stores.
9. Do you provide training for your store staff? Please provide details. Training is certainly very important to us and Beaumonts as a brand. It’s a mixture of company and 10 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
Top: Sales of bathroom ware have done well for the store. Above: An interior view of the Ferntree Gully store.
store-led development, that always has the aim to increase our knowledge on products, new technologies and the latest style and trends. And on a franchisee level, a lot of the store owners also share and learn from each other. It’s a very collaborative group to be a part of.
10. What are your strongest departments or core ranges? It varies from store to store but, I would say, that large format or slab tiles, timber look tiles, subway tiles and Terrazzo have been popular. Interestingly, in one of our stores, European porcelain tiles are one of the strongest ranges. Our bathroom ware is also quite popular. I think
this is because when our customers purchase tiles, they also consider how they would complement their bathrooms.
11. Do you specialise in any niche categories? Beaumonts caters for all individual styles and as a result, it provides customers with a wide range of tiles – both in terms of style and budgets – and bathroom ware. I think our niche is that we give our customers the best experience across the board, then help them select products that suit their particular needs. In addition, we are a true one-stop-shop for tiles and bathroom ware, making it super easy to design an amazing bathroom. ■
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Canberra retailer eyes franchising future After 40 years of helping customers bring authentic Italian flair to their homes, Cirillo Lighting and Ceramics in Fyshwick (ACT) announced plans to franchise. It believes it would appeal to people who have an appreciation for quality and innovative design, and who want to own a business. The company says building industry experience is not required. The cost of a franchise starts from $450,000, with options to scale up or down, and territories are available in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. Cirillo Lighting and Ceramics sees itself as a one-stop shop for customers wanting to build or renovate their home. “Our model combines tiles, lighting, bathroom ware, kitchen appliances, tap ware, door furniture and interior design services for a range of budgets,” explains managing director, Joe Cirillo. “It is this diversified and exclusive product offering that provides franchisees with a business model capable of maximising their return on investment and building capital for themselves and their families.” Joe Cirillo believes franchising is the next step for his company. “The Canberra business is a gem, but with the city’s population under 400,000, further expansion in the ACT is difficult. Additionally, there is a clear gap in the market in other states, as no one is offering a boutique onestop shop solution. Franchising the business means homeowners in other states can benefit from our model. “Franchising allows us to partner with genuine business people who share our drive and passion, and who want to establish an outlet in a location that is convenient for them,” he said. Potential franchisees are not limited to retail only. “Our model encourages franchisees to access 14 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
Cirillo’s tiles are sourced from its hand-picked manufacturers.
the B2B market by working with developers, builders, architects and interior designers,” he adds. Cirillo’s tiles are sourced from its hand-picked manufacturers that are steeped in history yet are at the forefront of innovation and design. One Italian-based company that it deals with still creates products by the traditional, slow double-firing process. The technique guarantees the maturation of the glaze on the tile through several cycles of firing. This gives rise to colour variants that have complexity and depth. The company continually source environmentally friendly products from Australia and around the world, so that customer can reduce their carbon footprint. In keeping with its values, Cirillo’s manufacturers and suppliers have developed a green philosophy where constant research into the new technology results in industrial production more compatible with the environment. It allows the development of products that have a low environmental impact, and be a part of sustainable building projects. The functionality, hygiene, safety and long-lasting durability of the tiles they stock make them a green, ecological alternative.
The Cirillo range includes tiles for floors, walls, outdoor, as well as mosaics, natural stone tiles such as marble and granite, and large format thin tiles. Some remain exclusive to Cirillo. The Cirillo family embodies some of the best elements of the Australian migrant experience. In 1966, Calabrian born Domenico Cirillo travelled to Australia in search of a better life. Domenico quickly recognised the opportunities it had to offer, and sent for his wife and children a year later. Like many migrants, he initially worked in construction and then started a plumbing business. It was during this time that Domenico and his sons recognised that Australians had limited access to the latest Italian designs, and decided to create a tile and lighting business, which they initially ran from his eldest son, Cos’ garage. Together their aim was to supply high quality tiles and lights that were both unique and affordable. In the beginning, it was not just a matter of selling the products, but also of educating homeowners about Cirillo’s beautifully crafted products, that were very different from other tiles and lights available in Australia at the time. In the beginning,
Domenico and Cos travelled from one construction site to the next, selling site-to-site and tile by tile. It was a proud moment when Domenico and his sons, opened the first Cirillo Lighting and Ceramics showroom in 1978. Cos worked alongside his father since the inception of the business and is considered a co-founder alongside younger brother Naz, who still plays an important role in the business as distribution director. Throughout the seventies and early eighties Cirillo Lighting and Ceramics continued to flourish and in 1980, it moved to a new showroom and warehouse. By 1988, the business had again outgrown its premises and moved to its current location at 173 Gladstone Street, Fyshwick. Soon it was time for the next generation to make its mark. Cosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; children, Anthony, Joe and Maria all worked in and around the business while they attended school and
university. Today, all three provide expertise in design, finance and marketing. As the Cirillo range expanded and diversified, it became a place where high quality tiles, lights, bathroom ware and kitchen appliances were available under the one roof. This happened at the same time as the ACT underwent major developments in the nineties. Over the years, it has been involved in major projects including the Canberra International Airport, Parliament House, and several embassies and hotels. The store has interior decorators on hand to help with design of any project, from jobs as small as choosing a colour scheme to full-scale home renovations. A dedicated project manager is also available, and can work on anything from demolition, rubbish removal, plumbing and electrical through to tiling, vanity and PC item installation and fit-out.
Joe Cirillo is managing director at Cirillo Lighting and Ceramics in Fyshwick (ACT).
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Timber-effects flooring range National Tiles has responded to what it perceives is the demand for natural timber and timber-look flooring products with hardwearing and longlasting solutions for residential and commercial builds, and renovations. These products are the result of major advancements in technology and manufacturing. Laminate emulates timber flooring without the price tag of timber. With an aluminium oxide coating for protection against wear, stain and fading and HDF (high density fibreboard) core creating a high resistance to indentation, laminate floors are ideal for high traffic homes or commercial environments. Available in a European Oakinspired palette of eight mattefinished colours, the Residence Laminate series captures the warmth and sophistication of timber flooring. It features an AC5 abrasion rating. The Cottage line has 13 colourways replicating European Oak. It has a matte finish and bevelled edge with an AC4 abrasion rating for wear resistance. The Cabin series is available in five European Oak-influenced colourways with a matte finish as well as a bevelled edge, and has an AC3 abrasion rating.
Designed to endure the hustle and bustle of modern life and busy families, the engineered timber range is ethically sourced and environmentally sustainable. Available in eight matte-finished colours with a bevelled edge and a high-density Hevea core, Aspen Oak uses French Oak and carefully crafts it with technological processes. To achieve the warmth and comfort of a timber-look floor without the cost and ongoing maintenance, Vinyl Plank is designed to be softer, quieter and more comfortable than most other flooring types. It comes in two versions, Vale 3mm and Vale 5mm. They both have a commercial grade wear layer and provide a versatile alternative to real timber. The Hybrid flooring collection combines the benefits of laminate and vinyl plank to produce a floating floor suitable for residential homes. Built for harsh Australian conditions, it has an OptimCore substrate layer that remains stable in extreme climates. Mistura Hybrid has embossed textures that simulate timber grains and a micro-bevelled profile creates an authentic timber flooring look. With a pre-adhered acoustic backing, Mistura meets the acoustic requirements for apartment living applications.
National sales at Laticrete
Ross McNeil is the new national sales manager at Laticrete Australia.
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LATICRETE® Australia recently announced that Ross McNeil has been appointed to the position of national sales manager. McNeil will be reporting directly to general manager Emma Tschannen. She said of the appointment: “With a wealth of senior sales management experience in the building and construction industry, Ross has developed and implemented successful sales initiatives and strategies across multiple industrial, commercial and retail construction channels. “Ross has 23 years sales management experience within the technical and specification,
architectural and trade sectors. This makes Ross a perfect fit for the Australian team.” As the national sales manager, McNeil will focus on developing sales strategies and formulating business plans, while driving the company forward in Australia. Proud to be a West Australian, McNeil is a passionate fan of the AFL but also enjoys a variety of other sports, including rugby league and union, basketball, motorsports and golf. On weekends when he is not driving his teenagers around, McNei is working on his renovation project in the southern suburbs of Queensland.
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Mosaic art, made in Queensland Maurimosaic is a company with more than 15 years’ experience in crafting and designing mosaic art. All of its manufacturing processes are done manually from its Gold Coast (QLD) base, adhering to the specifications and requests of its customers. Named after its designer, Mauricio Aybar (or Mauri to his friends), is a specialist in art mosaic. Shortly after beginning his art studies, Aybar spent a significant period of time in Barcelona (Spain), home to Gaudi and other modern mosaic artists, where he acquired much of his technique and spirit as an artist. His works are based on the modern versions of the ancient craft.
According to Aybar’s business (and life) partner, Andrea Castiglione, the business is known for its production of high quality, hand-made tiles. “We have distinguished ourselves by offering customised tiles using hand cut patterns with various combinations of colours from our classic Italian colour palette,” she explains. “Our handmade mosaic artistic tiles are made on the Gold Coast
to request and also, our lead time is between 10-15 business days. We can also customise any of our designs with the colours chosen by our clients. This is a big strength that distinguishes us from other suppliers.” Castiglione also holds an MBA and Bachelor of Business and Management. She oversees the commercial and marketing sides of the company. “Our product is for those who enjoy art and want to create a singular and featured space. We produce the tiles with 3mm Italian stained glass,” she adds. In Europe, the pair made mosaics for public and private spaces. In Australia, they restored the mosaic waterfall (55 sqm) of the Palazzo Versace boutique hotel on the Gold Coast. They have also made more than 500sqm of custom mosaics (including arches, murals, bathrooms, kitchens, floors, interior and exterior pools, outdoor and indoor areas) for a private residence located in the hinterland. The company was established in November 2015, one year after arriving in Australia. Prior to this, the couple worked together in the European mosaic industry. By then, Aybar had gained extensive experience working for himself making mosaics, mosaic tilings and restorations.
Pictured (clockwise from top): Mauricio Aybar (left) and Andrea Castiglione are behind Gold Coast business Maurimosaic. A residential project featuring work from Maurimosaic. Maurimosaic is also involved in commercial projects.
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IF ONLY THEY KNEW... Meet Ed and Sarah. They love their home and recently retiled their balcony. The job was perfect and they were thrilled. But 1 month later, they started to get leaching so they had their tiles professionally cleaned. The efflorescence returned so they cleaned it again. And again, and again.
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Grand Designs collection In a first for the tile industry, National Tiles has collaborated with Grand Designs (from the popular TV series) to release a specially curated tile collection called, The Grand Designs Capsule Collection for National Tiles. It brings together quality and design as well as practicality and affordability. With a focus on tiles for floors, walls and splashbacks for indoor and outdoor use, the range also includes National Tiles newly released timber flooring range. (See story on page 16). Each tile and timber flooring design has been selected for its relevance to the Australian marketplace, in keeping with the design excellence and cutting-edge creativity the Grand Designs (GDA) brand is renowned for. The Grand Designs Capsule Collection for National Tiles features tiles from significant manufacturers around the world, along with ethically sourced and environmentally sustainable timber. The range offers consumers, architects, builders and interior designers a selection of tile and flooring solutions that suit a variety of aesthetics, from classic and Hampton-style to contemporary coastal, modern farmhouse and midcentury interiors.
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Liz Burnett, brand partnerships manager, Fremantle Media, said: “We are excited to be working with market leader National Tiles on our first venture into the building category. The partnership comes at an exciting time for our globally recognised Grand Designs brand with evergreen content on Foxtel and ABC with locally produced programs from Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Interior designers and homeowners are increasingly looking for interesting aesthetics to enhance their space and we’ve worked with National Tiles to curate a range that we are all really proud of. This collaboration with National Tiles utilises colour, texture and beautiful pattern design...” Darren Taylor from National Tiles, explains: “At National Tiles our expertise in tile selection is unrivalled. We work closely with our supply partners so that we always offer Australia the best possible tiles from
around the world. We work alongside our customers to specify, supply and install an incredible variety of tiles to every sector of the market from home renovators to trades, interior designers, architects and builders. “We are proud to be collaborating with Grand Designs, one of Australia’s most loved and trusted home design brands. They are at the cutting edge of innovation and understand how Australians live, making them the perfect partners for a specially curated collection – so that every Australian can have the very best in tiles and flooring at the very best prices.” The Grand Designs Capsule Collection for National Tiles will be featured in associated publications over a 12-month campaign including Grand Designs Australia magazine, GDA Source Book, GDA Kitchens & Bathrooms, and via social media on GDA and National Tiles platforms, and in store around Australia. ■
Polar White Ceramic Mosaic Available in a range of sizes and styles Perfect for bathrooms or commercial spaces Contact us today for more information.
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Cersaie 2018: Lavish and luxuriant
International correspondent, Joe Simpson reports from the show and provides an overview of this major, global industry event.
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Cersaie 2018 delivered once again, with an impressive 900 exhibitors and some stunning new collections. But this year’s show was more about evolution than revolution, with the reinvention of existing surface effects and added spice in terms of colour injections and decorative patterns. Luxury looks If one word summed up the overriding feel of Cersaie 2018, it would be luxury. XXL slabs aimed at the worktop market, 20mm and 30mm exterior tiles cashing in on the inside-out lifestyle trend, and ventilated ceramic façades – as well as majestic marbles, cementine decors, and grungy concrete-effects – the overall trend was towards rich, embellished and confident designs. This is a significant contrast to the conservative feel of the event in 2016 and 2017.
Marble-effects in 2018 trended towards more strongly veined forms, although white Carrara-style and near black riffs on nero marquinia, still led the way. This year the veining was often picked out in golden hues, or else the tiles were embellished by thin metallic listelli. Quartzite and highly polished onyx both featured prominently, while impressive book-matched (two tiles with mirror images) and endmatched (a four-tile symmetrical pattern) XXL slabs, were displayed by several manufacturers to illustrate the sheer power and realism of the latest marble-effect porcelain tiles. There appeared to be fewer chevrons, and other unusual geometric tile formats. However, hexagons are still very popular, as are triangles. One outcome of this was that there were fewer parquet-style wood ranges, and multi-format floor and wall tile displays. Apart from marble- and cementeffects, the dominant floor tile trend was quite plain and conservative. There were grey and beige designs
that fall somewhere in the stone to cement spectrum but appear to have no specific material inspiration. The trick seems to be to offer surfaces with just enough variety – be that speckles, lustre highlights, mottled colours or simulated ageing – to make the finished floor both visually interesting and practical in terms of maintenance. These “composite” looks seem set to grow as a category, both in floor and, increasingly, wall tiles. One consequence of this composite trend was that simulated terracottas, lighter cottos, sandstone, and limestone looks were harder to find. They were squeezed out of this neutral space by light grey tile styles. When it came to wall tiles, structured white tiles remain highly popular, with manufacturers reporting significant interest in matte and satin ranges in the medium and larger formats that have heavily structured relief decoration. Basically, these are tone-on-tone mosaic surfaces. Striped surface effects, where texture again provided the visual interest, were also major trend. www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au | TILE TODAY #99 | 23
Clockwise from top: The Dekorami range is designed by Marcante-Testa for Ceramica Vogue; Denim is a mosaic tile by Appiani; Marazzi unveiled its Grande range of slabs at Cersaie 2018; Onici Bianco Quarzo is a stone look tile from Casalgrande.
Blue and metallics Blue was the stand-out accent colour at Cersaie 2018. It came in many different hues, from powder blue right through to intense cobalt, and classic Oxford blue. It was prominent in everything from XXL porcelain slabs right through to the displays created by mosaic specialists. Rich blues were used to pick out the detail on white and neutral tiles, and it was also the go-to colour for the brush-effect decors seen throughout the show, adding an artisanal touch to many commercial ranges. Curved edge framing in tone-on-tone blue was one favoured way to bring this accent hue to the wall. This year, Cersaie also had some surprising pops of bold colour and design. Multi-pattern melanges and vibrant mixes of primary colours were evident in some of the bolder displays, most notably by Codicer, Ornamenta, and Keros. While these eye-catching wall tile ranges may never be volume sellers, they can certainly provide an attention-grabbing display in any showroom. The other main wall tile trend was a renewed focus on metallics. The widespread adoption of digital inkjet technology has broadened the range of potential applications for metallic effects. With many inkjet stations that have dedicated metallic printheads, 24 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
often bringing low temperature inks that vitrify at around 700oC, it is now possible to use metallic lustres as a decorative enhancement on many more ranges. This has resulted in gold veining on marble-effects, mica highlights on quartzite-inspired ranges, and a raft of pure metal designs including corten steel wall tiles, metallic glazed reproductions of embossed pressed tin tiles from the early 1900s, and satin steel forms that work with industrial chic styles. These affordable metallic looks seem set for star billing at the cutting edge of wall tile design for years to come. Right now, gilded highlights seem the most likely of the current wave of metallic possibilities to make it to the mainstream. This is another clear sign of Cersaie 2018â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nod towards glamour and decadence.
Extra large tiles XXL tiles and porcelain slabs were, as expected, at the fore. Marazzi unveiled its Grande range, including 1,600 by 3,200mm slabs in 6mm thickness and 1,620 by 3,240mm slabs in 12mm thickness. The emergence of thicker products demonstrates that manufacturers have realised that the perfectly flat subfloors required for laying thinner slabs are somewhat elusive. This makes the products harder to install and, therefore, less commercially attractive. 26
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Marble effects in slab format were almost omnipresent and with more colours than ever. Casalgrande Padana, alone, had 34 different colours on display. The real wow factor came from book-matched and end-matched installations. While XXL formats were a defining trend in 2017, other hot tickets from last year were less in evidence. Terrazzo, which featured so heavily in 2017, seems to have dropped off the radar although it will still be pushed for commercial projects. At Cersaie 2018, terrazzo and stracciatella options really only had star billing on some of the nonEuropean manufacturers’ stands. This is an indication that while many countries have invested in the advanced production technology to produce such ranges – continuous pressing, double charging, powder depositors, and digital inkjet decoration – Spain and Italy still have the edge when it comes to recognising and exploiting cutting-edge design trends.
Clockwise from top: Hi-Wood by Cerim in a Walnut shade is a wood-effect floor tile; Soft Onyx by Fiandre is a marble-effect floor and wall tile; RAK’s M-Project integrates materials such as stucco, spatulated resins and woods, co-ordinated in a single colour palette; Woodtouch Miele by Ergon is a wood-effect tile for walls and floors.
Below: The Venice Villa range by FMG is a granite-effect tile; Onice Pesca from Ariostea is a large marble-effect porcelain slab.
Wood-effects There are more European interpretations of wood-effects in evidence at Cersaie, although they were not as prominent as they have been over the past decade. Still, just when you thought every wood type had already been digitally printed onto tiles, this year saw bamboo (yes, I know, it’s a grass not a wood) and the Japanese charred wood-effect Shou Sugi Ban, among other off-beat takes on timber. Marazzi offered an interesting timber twist with ranges that are 100mm and 150mm wide but come in differing lengths. These are sold 26 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
in pre-packed boxes to allow easy creation of a random planked floor. Another development in woodeffects was longer planks that utilise Continua+ cut slab production. This offers competition for the now dominant 200 by 1,200mm plank format. These larger plank formats, notably 300 by 1,800mm, re-emphasise the super realistic graining, knots, and natural colouration of the best porcelain imitations. Highly polished wood-effects also convey a “just oiled” look and recall experiments carried out some 10 or so years ago with extra thick, high gloss, flowing glazes.
Clockwise from above: The Lombard stone directly influenced the Pietra d'Iseo by Cotto d'Este; Worn by Ariana is inspired by leather and an example of the novel ceramic surfaces at Cersaie 2018; Pinstripe Dark from Keope is a marble-effect wall tile; The cement-effects in Porcelanosa’s HighKer series of XXL format tiles blur the lines between stone and cement; Panaria’s Context draws inspiration from cement mortar;
New surfaces Contemporary surfaces such as cement, plaster, concrete, and resin have been selling well, and there were many fresh takes on them at the show. However, unless viewed as large tiled areas, these designs can be difficult to visually understand, as one tile on its own looks much like another. It was also interesting to note that, alongside the ubiquitous greys, some manufacturers are starting to experiment with concrete-effects in other hues including blue, green, brown and even pink. Overall, concrete-effect designs have become even more sophisticated. Some of the brush-effect horizontal stripe decors – a development from the more vertically-oriented shuttered concrete look – were particularly effective. They added a subtle, visual punctuation without weakening the sought-after industrial aesthetic.
Other trends include alternating plain strips with raised strips in a heavy texture, and décor inserts with plain glazed ceramic tiles or woodeffect pieces. On a similar theme, Verde 1999 have combined three material effects – stone, metal and concrete – into one tile for its Matrix series, which has a large pentagon shape. These material mixes were one of the main design directions at Cersaie 2018, and looks likely to be a continuing area of experimentation in the years ahead. There were many examples of coloured decorative patterns for flooring, such as Marazzi’s D-Segni range that introduced hues such as dusty indigo, tangerine, and mustard. Spanish manufacturer Equipe’s Art Nouveau collection demonstrated the trend for the softening of monochromatic patterns, with subtle use of colour, all suited to creating repeating patterns from groups of
smaller tiles. An increasing number of factories offered collections of encaustic style multi-pattern floor tiles. So it is safe to say that this look is not going away any time soon.
Concrete-effects The pairing of concrete-effect tiles with contrasting material influences was a notable trend. They were paired with wood-effect tiles, as well as marble-effects, stone-effects, and metallic-effects. There were a lot of material fusions with tiles that fuse parts of natural stone with elements of concrete. The result are neutral colourways, unexpected subtle surface patterns, and engaging textures. These materials point one way forward for tile design. Digital scanning, image manipulation software, and digital inkjet technology are combined to offer tile designers another set of aesthetic options. www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au | TILE TODAY #99 | 27
Clockwise from above: Hyper by Flaviker is a concreteeffect tile that is not sterile or minimalist; To Be Marble + Concrete tile by Cercom reflects the marble-effects trend seen at Cersaie 2018; The Jungle tile for Valentino by Ceramiche Piemme. Piemme gained the licence to use the Valentino fashion brand over 40 years ago; Gemme by Serenissima looks to marble for inspiration.
Ariana proved a case in point as it showcased a number of novel ceramic surfaces at Cersaie including Worn, inspired by leather. When realised in cement tones, notably in the Shadow design, this range enhanced the neutral industrial palette by adding this unexpected surface texture. This stylistically eclectic combination would look equally at home in residential, commercial, or public spaces. 28 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
The larger Worn tiles have 30 “leather” patches in four colours, the rectangular tiles 11 patches. It comes in four rich earth tones: Stone, Mud, Copper, and Shadow. Ariostea displayed Ultra Con. Crea Maxi Slabs alongside 1,200 by 600mm, 600 by 600mm, and 600 by 300mm formats for more compact architectural spaces. It has four colours – Cloud, Earth, Ink and Talc – in traditional sizes. In addition, Dove Grey, a soft, neutral shade, comes in all sizes. Concrete-effect does not have to be sterile, minimalist, and surfaces without personalities. One of the most imaginative ranges comes from Hyper by Flaviker. This is provided in “Wide”, the term used by the company to refer to the large, lightweight porcelain slabs produced in a 7mm thickness using Continua+ production technology. The same pressing system, based on dry compaction of raw materials, is also used to produce the 9mm thick sizes. Hyper displays all the signs of the natural ageing process in concrete blocks used in industrial building. Cracks, holes, and stains are accurately reproduced using latest-generation digital technology. The three main colour options – taupe, grey, and silver – are complemented by some very powerful decors – Street Lover, Tiger, and Rose – that bring an urban, street art, graffiti vibe. There is even a cut piece option – Hyper Slim Pack – that set these neutral tones against contrasting or statement grout colours. A variation on the concrete-effect theme is provided by Artifact of Cerim, a glazed porcelain range that offers a different take on spatulated
cement. Its aesthetic impact, antiqued and imperfect, is enhanced by shade variations spanning cool and warm tones. The names – Worked Charcoal, Vintage Taupe, Crafted Graphite, Used Grey, Worn Sand, and Aged White – refer to the manual plastering technique that influenced them. Iris’ Downtown transfers concrete to porcelain surfaces for projects with a minimalist, contemporary character. It comes in four contrasting shades, ranging from grey to brown, and three sizes, 1,200 by 600mm, 600 by 600mm, and 300 by 600mm. The retro effect, obtained through scratches and colour contrasts, gives the collection a naturally worn look. The Ikon collection, new to Ceramiche Keope's portfolio, has the soul of concrete. Drawing inspiration from urban style, this range reinterprets the raw reference material as porcelain stoneware. With its new 1,200 by 2,780mm maxi size, Ikon is ideal for creating continuous walls and floors. Keope has a selection of neutral tones: Sky, Grey, Beige, Silver, and White. These are available with a matte finish, and to complete the line, it offers trim pieces and decors. Resin-effects form a selective, yet important, sub-class of the concreteeffect trend. A good example is Paris by NovaBell, a modern design that evokes the paired-back beauty of resin surfaces to bring about spaces with an urban-chic allure. The Paris colour range has five natural, dusty shades – Plume, Amande, Ash, Ciment, and Noir – conceived for use in combination, or for monochrome spaces. The full appeal of the Paris tile is best seen in the 1,200 by 1,200mm
size, that constructs a visual continuity to the vibrant patterns and tactile variations. Panaria’s Context is based on cement mortar, a traditional building material based on pure cement and fine inert minerals. Panaria has enhanced this material’s qualities to create a surface with a different aesthetic and texture. It is available in five shades of grey – Square, Loft, Store, Hangar, and Mansion – with mosaics and decors adding extra design scopes. Context introduces the 6mm thickness in 1,200 by 1,200mm, and 1,200 by 2,600mm laminated porcelain panels. In addition to thin slabs, the range is also available in the more typical porcelain stoneware thickness of 10mm, plus 20mm for outdoor use. All the products in Panaria’s latest collections feature Protect antibacterial shield, and are part of the selection of products with Microban anti-bacterial surfaces. The cement-effects in Porcelanosa’s HighKer series of XXL format ceramic tiles blur the lines between stone and cement. With four finishes and several different formats, its surfaces generate an optical continuity that maximises the feeling of spaciousness. TexCem, a Ragno tile collection, reflects the retro look of dilapidated concrete with a fine fabric weave. A single, rectified 325 by 977mm size is used across the five colours: Avorio, Cotto, Ottanio, Grigio, and Bianco. Available in a thickness of just 6mm (8mm for structures), it is intended for residential and light commercial use. This range has two 3D structures, three decors, and one mosaic option. The Groove 3D structure emphasises the flaws of concrete. The Tria 3D structure consists of triangular and square shapes that emerge on the surface of the material and underline its form. TexCem is completed by various decors. Patch consists of a mix of ornamental geometrical patterns simulated by the world of fabrics. Esagone alternates decorated and solid colour modules with a vintage flavour while Magnolia, a decor in the large 1,300 by 977mm size, comprises four elements and
reinterprets the floral motifs of wallpaper. RAK’s M-Project is an exclusive concept that integrates materials such as stucco, spatulated resins and woods, co-ordinated in a single colour palette. Floors and walls gradually combine into a single stylistic solution, something really evident in the M-Project Stucco variant. The theme continues with M-Project Spatolato where the look and surface effects of spatulated resins and woods show the passage of a craftsman’s hand.
The future shape of tiles One of the features at this year’s Cersaie exhibition was floor and wall tiles that featured multi-shape plain colour decoration. Here triangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, rectangles or simple strips – among other shapes – are used in contrasting or complementary colours to provoke interest on the face of individual tiles. There are virtually limitless pattern possibilities when creating multi-tile wall or panels. They usually have two or three colours per tile, and the same geometric design often has different colour choices. This allows home owners or designers to select neutral decors to sit against plain neural field tiles, or more vibrant options to provide a pop of colour on a splashback or border.
A good example is Play by ABK. This 200 by 200mm range upholds the playful and decorative spirit of ceramics. It portrays patterns, graphic effects, and colours of majolica and cement tiles, as well as more modern elements. With its distinctive shabby chic aesthetic, Alba Naya Sand by Bestile builds on the recent fashion for hydraulic tiles. Alba Naya Sand is 15mm thick and has a chameleon surface. It is billed as “a tile with a shabby-hydraulic soul”. The format is 200 by 200mm, with a variety of geometric shapes that can be used to achieve complex floor patterns. Curves rather than straight-edged geometrics, are the key element of Paris by CIR. This range offers a highlyrefined interpretation of living spaces through a selection of soft, welcoming colour shades, and exclusive texture. Paris’ metropolitan colours, ranging from classic black and dark grey, through to midnight blue, light blue, green, white and old rose, are a real eye-catcher. The range is completed by artistic elements in geometric and floral forms, ideal for creating bold inserts and stylish details. Oslo by Codicer 95 is a 250 by 250mm range of decorated tiles, that riffs the geometric forms in an on-trend blue palette. With a matte finish, this tile can be used on both
Italian design studio 41zero42 created biscuit-shaped ceramic tiles.
www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au | TILE TODAY #99 | 29
floors and walls. What really makes this range stand out, however, is the Cage décor that features a series of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines cut into its surface. The resulting surface has great tactile appeal. A similar decorative device is used to very different effect in Iris Ceramica’s Arqui range; a new collection of 200 by 200mm tiles with surfaces full of detail and eclectic elegance. Arqui reinterprets the ornamental richness of Venetian terraces in a contemporary key, combining the crushed porcelain of Italian tradition with colourful, superimposed geometric figures. It can transform surfaces into precious tapestries. Panaria’s Even range is another to play with multiple geometries as a decorative device. Working alongside designs such as Cherry and Shapes Snow in 350 by 1,000mm, the 350 by 350mm Geometric décor, which comes in Warm (red and beige) and Cold (green and blue grey with beige). This range also offers a striking colour palette in both 350 by 1,000mm plain and 3D relief tiles – Snow cream, Ivory beige, Cherry red, Dove taupe, Leaf green, and Ocean grey/blue – alongside three medley decors that nod towards the hydraulic trend. Falling somewhere between this geometric vibe and the on-going encaustic/hydraulic trend, Rondine’s Swing collection has evolved from the Portland cement looks of the 1930s into a retro modern range in a classic 203 by 203mm moulded format that recalls Op-Art and Art Deco. The single decors and 19-piece mixes, in the three beige, blue and black and white ranges, are accompanied by five matching plain-coloured tiles. At the high end, this décor direction is being followed by aspirational brands such as Ceramiche Piemme’s Valentino. It was back in 1977 when Ceramiche Piemme obtained the licence to use the label of one of Italy’s great fashion designers, Valentino. For over 40 years, Piemme has presented high-end tile designs using this brand. One of the latest examples is Incipit. Here restrained floor tiles, such as Incipit bone in 600 by 30 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
Clockwise from right: Play by ABK is a 200 by 200mm range that delivers patterns, graphic effects and colours; Abitare by Ragno is a tile series inspired by the colours and patterns of grit-stone; Iris Ceramica’s Arqui combines crushed porcelain of the Italian tradition with colourful, superimposed geometric figures; Paris by CIR offers curves rather than straight-edged geometrics; Spainbased Vives has a Resort range that experiments with sizes, finishes and aesthetics.
1,200mm, provide the ideal backdrop for the cool elegant patchwork 400 by 1,200mm wall tiles of Incipit brancato. Using special glazes and the precision of the latest-generation digital decoration, the ceramic surfaces re-create the delicate effect of linen, arabesque silks, and even the metal meshes of contemporary fabrics. Now firmly established at the cutting-edge of tile design, Spain’s Vives is one of the pioneers of this geometric fusion trend. It is best seen in the Resort range in which Vives further experiments with sizes, finishes, and aesthetics. Delivering avant-garde and timeless settings with a discreet elegance, the Resort
designs include Nassau, a porcelain range that draws on the character of cement with graphics full of rich nuances and details. The matte finish and a subtle neutral colour range, is put together with white, cream, grey and graphite shades. One of the tile ranges that really captured the prevailing mood at Cersaie 2018 was Dekorami, a collection of glazed stoneware tiles designed by Marcante-Testa for Ceramica Vogue. The collection is made up of three designs – Kolonne, Koriandoli, and Kodici – in a 250 by 250mm format. They are available in five colours with a gloss surface including blue and three lighter hues with a satin surface. ■
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COLOUR MY GROUT Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just fill joints, celebrate them! Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what international correspondent Joe Simpson encourages the tile industry to do after writing this story. As digital inkjet printing and continuous pressing technology have altered the formats and finishes of tiles forever, tiling grouts have undergone a revolution of their own with significant advances in performance, sustainability and, above all, colour choice.
Colour matching grouts (and silicone sealants) to the base colour of both floor and wall tiles is also becoming popular. This is only possible now that major manufacturers have extended the grout palette far beyond the limited hues of yesteryear to 150 colours or more.
Once viewed as a niche product and no threat to the predominance of white wall tile grouts and grey floor tile grouts, coloured grouts are now seen as an integral part of a complete surface system.
Sceptical traditionalists may take some convincing, but coloured grouts are now a significant influence on new tile designs. Pre-scored large format tiles, designed to emphasise the grout lines, are now a mainstream product. There is a growing trend for coloured grouts in glass and ceramic mosaic installations, while metallic and glitter effects are being used to add a fresh zing to wall tiling.
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There is a growing recognition that coloured grout is a great way to make a statement in any kitchen or bathroom. These days there is a whole rainbow of colours to choose from, and even glitter options. As home interior magazines are starting to show, the chosen shade can dramatically change the look of tiles, transforming even the plainest ceramic tiles into something glamorous or dramatic. Used carefully, grout can be instrumental in either creating a seamless finish through a coordinating shade, or adding structure and definition through a contrasting
tone. One example that is commonly cited is pairing a standard white Metro tile with a dark grout or, for the more adventurous, a bold, bright colour, such as lime green. Dark grey grout is particularly popular with white tiles, adding a defined edge to the tile, and creating a strong, geometric look. Other pairings worth considering are white tiles with blue grout, black tiles with golden grout, orange tiles with bronze grout, or dark tiles with bronze grout. Bold designers are also pairing red grout with subtle tile colours, such as off-white or grey. Coloured grout can also take advantage of well-established colour theory, with energising coral, calming turquoise, or sophisticated anthracite now just a tile joint away from any interior.
Below & opposite: Litokol advocates using specific colours to achieve specific effects.
There can also be practical advantages to using coloured grout. A darker grout used on a floor tile installation, for instance, can help to mask any build-up of dirt between cleaning. One of the companies that has been setting the agenda in this design space is Litokol with its Starlike collection, a two-component acidresistant epoxy mortar for the installation and grouting of ceramic tiles and mosaics with joints of 1 to 15 mm width. Litokol advocates using specific colours to achieve specific effects. For instance, it notes that teal can help to highlight tile colours that are less explosive and bold, such as white or grey. Teal can work equally well on a kitchen backsplash, in the bathroom, or in other rooms. It is a great colour for outdoor tile work around a swimming pool because it highlights the aquatic aspect of the design. Today’s tiling accent colour of choice, true blue is another grout colour choice in pools, saunas, showers, or entire bathrooms. It is also possible to
grout blue tiles with a complementary shade of blue for a really striking effect. This trend is all about using grout as a fashion statement, and is one of the simplest ways to elevate a design. If this colour choice is not enough, glitter grout, and its near relative, grout glitter, can add sparkle to the plainest of tiles and, in small spaces, also help to reflect light.
COMPANY COLOURS One company that has led the way in coloured grouts is Mapei. It bands its vast range into four colour families: serene, traditional, romance, and glamour. The colour’s names really speak for themselves: Moon White, Silver Grey, Vanilla, Crocus Blue, Tormaline, Bardiglio Grey, Golden Dust, Terracotta, Cappuccino, Sahara Yellow, Jasmine, Pink Powder, Cherry Red, and Lime Green to name but a few. Mapei’s Ultracolor Plus, available in 35 colours, is a fast-setting, high performance, polymer modified, antiefflorescence, water-repellent, grout for joints from 2 to 20mm.
Above: Mapei’s Ultracolor Plus is available in 35 colours.
Keracolor SF, available in seven colours, is a fine grained, high performance, polymer-modified, water-repellent cementitious mortar for grout joints up to 4mm wide. Keracolor FF, available in 17 colours, is a high performance, polymer-modified, water-repellent, cementitious mortar with DropEffect for joints up to 6mm. Keracolor GG,
It was back in 2010 when Laticrete launched SpectraLock Pro Premium Grout: a high-performance epoxy grout designed for use on porcelain, ceramic, glass, and natural stone tiles, in both interior and exterior floor and wall applications. This formulation offers the colour consistency, strength, and ease-of-use of SpectraLock Pro, plus advanced stain protection, improved non-sag performance, and superior workability. From day one it was available in 40 lifestyle colours, and 220 Dazzle options, providing design flexibility with vibrant, consistent, long-lasting colour.
Mapeiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kerapoxy Design is a two-component, decorative, epoxy resin-based grout, with silica sand and other special components.
in 14 colours, is a high performance, polymer-modified cementitious mortar for grouting 4 to 15mm joints. Keracolor Flex, available in seven colours, can be used with a wide range of surface finishes for interior and exterior installations for grout joints up to 6mm.
resin grout. It is water repellent with DropEffect and BioBlock anti-mould technology. This grout is suitable for joints from 2 to 10mm wide.
Davco Easy Grout is a premium, pre-mixed, ready-to-use wall and floor tile grout suitable for interior tiling applications. It offers easy and fast application, and is resistant to stains, mould, and bacteria. This grout is bright white so it has no efflorescence for maximum colour consistency. 36
Kerapoxy, available in 20 colours, is a two-component, acid-resistant, epoxy grout for joints over 3mm. It is used for internal and external grouting of ceramic floor and wall tiles, and stone materials, that are subject to heavy traffic or where complete hygiene and string chemical resistance is required. Kerapoxy Design, offering in 32 colours plus 23 MapeGlitter colours, is a two-component, decorative, translucent, acid-resistant epoxy mortar for grouting glass mosaic, ceramic tiles and stone. Kerapoxy CQ, available in 19 colours, is a two-component, acid-resistant epoxy grout that is particularly easy to apply and clean. It also has an antimould capability due to the use of BioBlock technology. Flexcolor, available in eight colours, is a flexible ready-to-use acrylic
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Laticreteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SpectraLock Pro Premium Grout offers the colour consistency, strength, and ease-of-use.
Fusion Pro is a single component grout, made by Custom Building Products, and available at ACT Australia.
Davco’s six new Easy Grout colours can be used to match, complement, or contrast any tiling project. Integral Microban anti-microbial protection inhibits the growth of stain-causing mould and mildew. Laticrete SpectraLock Pro Premium Grout can be used for commercial and residential tile designs, including swimming pools, and other permanent wet areas. This premium grout is also ideal for re-grouting projects. GRT-20 from ACT Australia is a high quality, flexible, high strength, hydrophobic, sanded grout suitable for grout joints between 2 and 20mm wide. It can be used both internally and externally, in both wall and floor applications. GRT-20 has stainresistant hydrophobic qualities that enable easier application and clean off of grout residue from tile surface leaving fuller joints. With coverage 80% plus greater than standard sanded grouts, GRT-20 is claimed to be the most economical and user-friendly grout on the market. Also available from ACT is CEG Lite 100% solids commercial epoxy
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grout manufactured in the USA by Custom Building Products. It provides chemical- and stain-resistance with a fast cure time. The lightweight formula makes that it is easier to spread than typical epoxy grouts, and is water-cleanable. The twocomponent formula combines a pigmented hardener with a resins and lightweight aggregates. CEG-Lite can be used as both a grout and as a setting mortar with virtually any tile, including ceramic, mosaic, quarry, pavers, cement, porcelain, glass, brick, terrazzo, and natural stone.
temperature or humidity. The rapid setting formula results in high early strength and dense joints for the highest stain resistance in grout joints up to 12mm. A blend of lightweight recycled glass and fine aggregate sand creates a smooth consistency that is easy to spread and clean. ■
Fusion Pro single component grout, by Custom Building Products, is billed as the original stain proof, colour perfect grout. This sanded grout can be installed in commercial and residential environments, interiors and exteriors, and on walls and floors; specifically shower floors. It offers built-in Microban antimicrobial protection. Prism Ultimate Performance grout, another product from Custom Building Products, is said to set a new standard in cementbased grout technology. Prism's calcium aluminate cement-based formula offers consistent colour with no shading regardless of tile type,
Prism Ultimate Performance grout, another product from Custom Building Products, is said to set a new standard in cementbased grout technology. Available from ACT Australia.
Sticking to concrete substrate Understanding the effects of the amount of water or additives used with renders, mortar beds and skims is important for a successful installation.
reater surface flatness tolerances for the direct adhering of tile using the thin-bed method to concrete and other substrates is increasing with the growth in tile size and rising consumer expectations. More recent specifications for substrate flatness, like that in the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) handbook or Gauged Porcelain tile panel/slabs manufacturer’s manuals, are far tighter than the current suggested surface tolerance of 5mm in 3m for thin-bed fixing in AS3958.1 – 2007. In fact, the TCNA calls for a flatness tolerance of 3mm in 3m from the required plane and 1.5mm in 600mm from the high spot to lay such large format tile (any tile with one edge longer than 381mm) and no doubt is commensurate with what should be stated in any Australian tiling standard of the future. With the ever-increasing tile format sizes, a greater level of dimensional correction will be required for these substrates, and needs to be allowed for. These tighter tolerances have to be incorporated in any application of waterproof membranes, uncoupling mats, sound mats and other system components used with a large format tiling system when using the thin bed method of installation. In the normal course of tiling, we correct surfaces with applications of mortar beds, renders, skims and selflevelling compounds to bring them in line with the required tolerances prior to installing system components or tiling. For mortar beds and renders, you have a choice between site mixed sand/cement mortars or higher performing proprietary mortars. Proprietary products come with far better physical properties and capabilities and they generally exhibit better bond and compressive
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strengths, are more flexible, normally denser and can facilitate shorter wait times to the next stage of the installation. They are the preferred choice, particularly where permanent or “heavy duty” installations are required. Most are capable of being used from feather edge to the desired thickness resulting in the ability to do localised surface correction only, not the whole job. These products are designed and more suited for surface correction, unlike tile adhesives. (Note: Many tile adhesives can be used thin skims or shallow patching and allowed to dry prior to the tile laying operation. However, they are generally not designed to be used during the actual tile laying process to correct substrates tolerances or build in falls. Many tile adhesives also make good slurry bond coats. After all, if we have to bond tiles to surfaces to a standard, why should that not apply to a mortar bed which is part of the tile system?)
So after surveying the area to be tiled, decisions can be made regarding the level of correction required, ie. which process or processes can be used to bring the work into tolerance, and how best to prepare the surface. Ideally, concrete surfaces should be free of crystalline waterproofing additives and have a clean, dry, tight wood float or open pored steel trowel finish prior to correction. Curing compounds, sealers, oils or any other surface contaminations that inhibit bond will need to be removed. I have found that self-dissipating sealers and bond breakers need to be mechanically removed. Concrete surfaces that have been screeded or tamped only, are regarded as not suitable for bonded systems and will need to be rectified prior to commencing work. This will generally require mechanical removal to expose the aggregates in the concrete surface. As a matter of course, surfaces to receive self-levelling compounds generally require bead blasting.
The resulting delamination is attributed to an otherwise good render application being installed over a pure latex that was painted to the wall and allowed to dry.
Necessary guidelines When using mortar beds, bond coats, renders or skims, it is important to follow guidelines on performing the specific process, as misuse can result in problematic installations like delamination, drummyness, lifting, cracking and the like. For instance, mortar beds/renders can lift due to; insufficient preparation, incorrectly batched and mixed materials, working in extreme climate, differential drying and the like. However, the main point is to ensure end-users have the correct moisture content for the thickness of the mortar being applied and that it is able to wet out the surface to which it is to be applied, whether that be a render, screed or skim. A large percentage of my experiences with problematic renders/screeds has generally been to do excessively thick applications over both adequately or inadequately prepared
Lifting corners of excessively wet mortar bed work not protected from excessively hot winds. The contractor saw cut the corners to get them to drop back in place.
surfaces. For correctly graded site mixed sand and cement or proprietary mortars, wet plastic renders need to be applied initially in a 12mm
layer and allowed to dry before the application of any subsequent layer where a build-up is required. It’s not too hard to go to a job where render has delaminated to find the
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affected areas are in fact single layers very much thicker than well bonded adjacent areas of the correct thickness. If using wet plastic mortars to render walls and floors, stick to the proper application thicknesses. It’s often best to look for the low or depressed areas and fill them first in how many layers required so an even and more consistent float coat can be finally applied. Scratch the surface and allow to dry between layers. Wetter plastic applications of proprietary mixes don’t generally require a bond coat and should be able to be applied directly to the prepared surface. For correctly graded site mixed sand and cement or proprietary mortars, semi-dry screed beds need to be applied over slurry bond coats. This is because they typically don’t have the ability to wet out the surface they are being applied to and in particularly, site mixed sand and cement mortars don’t have sufficient binding ability to provide any meaningful bond on their own. Typically, proprietary bonded mortars can be applied from featheredge to 50mm in a single layer. For layers greater than 50mm, apply in multiple layers not exceeding 50mm or in single layers incorporating wire mesh centrally. I have a preference for multiple layers, they seem to a more reliable way of building the beds.
When applying from feather-edge to 12mm, use wetter plastic mixes like that of a render. Layers over 10mm thick should be of a semidry consistency. This is a mix that will hold together in a ball when squeezed in the palm of your hand and present with a slight sheen. These types of mixes work well with a straight edge, compact easily with a float and finish to a smooth finish with a trowel. The danger is over wetting thicker mortar beds. This may result from incorrect mixing or a belief that increased workability will increase productivity. Either way, over wetting thicker beds is likely to result in delamination. This delamination, amongst other reasons, is generally due to differential drying causing warpage or drying shrinkage over stressing the bond coat or both particularly when subjected to rapid drying. One way to control the wetting out of the mix is to use a forced blade static drum mixer. These machines are excellent at maintaining consistent, workable mixes with the prescribed liquid. Hand mixing, especially in larger batches, generally encourages the installer to use more liquid than needed just to facilitate the mixing. Once again, scratch and allow to dry between layers where appropriate.
The floor of a pool where an excessively wet 20mm topping was applied in a single layer. See the shrink cracking and excess latex on the surface.
“With the ever-increasing tile format sizes and consumer expectation, a greater level of dimensional correction will be required for these substrates, and needs to be allowed for. These tighter tolerances have to be incorporated in any application of waterproof membranes, uncoupling mats, sound mats and other system components used with a large format tiling system when using the thin bed method of installation.”
Step-by-step The following points and guidelines will help ensure a successful permanent installation; 1. Inspect the substrate and report or repair any condition that needs to be rectified before the work commences. Remove contamination or anything that may inhibit bond. Substrates should be structurally sound and dry. Then clean and hydrate the surface prior to application of render, mortar bed or skim. 2. Ensure there is enough material to complete the work at hand. 3. Work in conditions suitable for the materials you are working with. Protect from excessive heat, cold, wind, rain and the like during the installation and for a period after the installation. Consider working in temperatures that suit the work, even if it means working out of hours. 4. Condition materials before use. Hot or cold liquids and powders behave differently when not conditioned. Temperature condition substrates if possible. 5. For best results, good workability and economy of admix, semi-dry mixes are best when mixed in a forced blade, static drum type mixer. Wetter, plaster type mixes are best when mixed in a rotating drum mixer. Do not mix semi-dry mixes in a rotating drum mixer. 6. When using wetter plaster type mixes for wall or levelling bed application to horizontal surfaces, do not apply greater than 15mm per lift after an initial first
coat of 12mm. Scratch and allow to dry between lifts or coats where required. 7. Work and force the material into good contact with the surface to be covered. 8. Where bonded semi-dry mortar beds are greater than 50mm in thickness, use suitably graded aggregates in the mix and install wire mesh centrally as outlined in AS3958.1. Alternatively, install mortar bed in multiple layers less than 50mm thick. Scratch and allow to dry in between layers. Slurry bond coats are required between layers. 9. Do not allow slurry bond coats to skin or dry out; reapply fresh slurry bond coat over skinned or dried bond coat before applying fresh mortar. Do not apply slurry bond coats to areas that are not going to be immediately covered with mortar bed. 10. Do not apply neat latex or additives as bond coats on their own unless advised by a manufacturer. May create plastic skins that are hard to bond to. 11. Do not load surfaces and keep construction traffic of new applications till cured. In the case of proprietary systems, speak to suppliers about training on the correct ways to use their products. Story by Fred Gray, technical service manager, Laticrete Australia.
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A digital guide to tiles and tiling In a major initiative by the Australian Tile Council, an online guide has been produced that is both flexible and comprehensive.
or more than 10 years, specifiers and industry professionals have relied heavily on Standards Australia AS 3958.1 – 2007 “Guide to Installation of Ceramic Tiles” and AS 3958.2 “Guide to Selection of a Ceramic Tiling System” for information about products, tile installation, materials and techniques. These documents are still available but there have been significant changes in relation to the size and thickness of ceramic products, which has created a need for new fixing materials and systems. Furthermore, standards are relatively expensive which can deter some specifiers, tile fixers and others from investing in a guide, which they may only require on an infrequent basis. The Australian Tile Council (ATC) recognised the need for a document that could be amended and improved when required. It has created the online Tiles & Tiling Guide, a comprehensive 130-page fully illustrated resource. It features the key ceramic products most commonly used in this market, explains where and how they can be used, installed and maintained.
Australian Tile Council president, Peter Carter.
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The Australian Tile Council’s 130-page, digital Tiles & Tiling Guide will be subject to constant review and contains information on all aspects of tile selection, installation and maintenance.
ATC president Peter Carter from Crosby Tiles in Western Australia said, “The ATC is proud its first edition of the Tiles & Tiling Guide, which was created to fill a gap in the market, by supplying specifiers, industry at large and the public with much needed technical information on ceramic tiles and tile laying in one easy to read document.” The guide was two years in the making. Peter said, “This living document will keep pace with developments within the everchanging tile industry.” The guide was authored by Tony Stock, the former publisher of Tile Today magazine, with support
from industry professionals in subcommittees in every state around Australia. “A lot of work has gone into the creation of the guide, and we thank Tony and all involved for their efforts,” said Peter. Tony explains, “By their nature standards are reactive, they are created at a certain point in time and they often require frequent amendment. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. By contrast, the ATC guide is designed to be proactive in the sense that it can be quickly updated to reflect the introduction of new products and the fixing methods and materials required to successfully install them.”
SECTION 1 TILE SELECTION
Updated and amended June 2018 Please check you are using the current edition by visiting the ATC website
QUICK LINK TO PAGES IN DOCUMENT
Tile selection Tile production technology has currently reached a point where manufacturers can produce slim tiles and panels of porcelain in thicknesses which range from 3mm to 7mm, in sizes which can exceed 3 metres x 1 metre. In addition thicker slabs of 12mm porcelain can be produced for use on bench and vanity tops. These avant-garde products have multiple applications in practically every element of our built environment, including the facades of public buildings and private residences. (Image courtesy of Beaumont Tiles).
QUALITIES AND BENEFITS OF CERAMIC TILES Ceramic materials are timehonoured, ancient products, which are used extensively in every internal and external aspect of our built environment.
Today, tiles can be purchased in an extensive variety of formats which vary in size from tiny mosaic tesserae to giant pieces of porcelain.
Tiles vary in thickness from 5 mm to 25 mm. Products are manufactured from mixes of clay, sand and a variety of natural substances which are fired at extreme temperatures which frequently exceed 1200 degrees Celsius. The blend of raw materials and the temperature they are fired at determine the nature of the tile, and its suitability for use in specific applications. The firing process produces hard, rigid products which are fragile in certain circumstances. However, once tiles are correctly installed, they are capable of withstanding heavy loads, and substantial levels of foot traffic, without bending or deforming. At this stage they are highly resistant to abrasion and their resistance to impact is increased. While the pressing stage initially sets the hardness properties, it is the final stage of the firing process that ultimately determines the hardness of the product. The high temperature production process produces a surface finish which is easy to clean and maintain. Ceramic tiles are inert, they can be fully immersed in water without any change occurring. Significantly, the flames of a fire will not alter their structure. Consequently, tile can be adhered to any internal or external, vertical or horizontal, wet or dry surface that has been correctly prepared.
TILES AND TILING GUIDE
Leading the Industry
An example of the modern layout of the guide.
The ATC would like to emphasise that the guide is not a standard in itself, but it does refer to the main local and international standards which relate to tile production, installation and maintenance. Key chapters address the various qualities of tile, and the standards required to create an optimal product. There is information on choosing the right tile for a specific environment, identifying a suitable tile fixer and the dos and don’ts preand post -installation. All the essential physical characteristics are addressed including dimensions, mechanical, chemical, water absorption, fire rating, and slip resistance. The tile’s green credentials are examined and ceramic products such as porcelain are explained in detail. Installation of tile on walls, floors and pools is covered in depth including adhesive selection, application and grouting methods.
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Slim tile products and their installation are also covered as is waterproofing, movement joints, tile lippage, and care and maintenance. There is a section devoted to problem solving which deals with issues like grout haze, mould, wax coatings and efflorescence. Contemporary images complement the modern layout of the guide that includes useful tables and a glossary. The ATC website has also been updated. “The Tiles & Tiling Guide now forms a significant part of the new site that has been live and ready to go since November. “We anticipate that it will become a very valuable technical reference for our members and the design and construct communities. Regular changes to the guide will be made to ensure its validity as an accurate, up-to-date resource,” said Peter. ■
Coloured grout system Ten popular modern colours available in all three custom grouts including PRISM, FUSION PRO, CEG-Lite 100% solids epoxy grout along with the S-25 German acetic cure silicone. The GRT-20 hydrophobic sanded grout is available in four colours (light grey, mid grey, dark grey and charcoal) that match the greys in the S-25 silicone. ACT AUSTRALIA 1300 794 321 www.actaus.com
Levelling tiles The Clip-It Tile Leveling System is a unique design that assists tilers to achieve quick, seamless installation. The clips have an easy-break design and they double as a spacer. Available in various sizes, this system is 100% Australian made, owned and patented. NATIONAL TILES 1300 733 000 www.nationaltiles.com.au
Crack solution HYDRO BAN® is a single component, selfcuring, liquid rubber polymer that forms a flexible, seamless, waterproofing membrane that bonds directly to a wide variety of substrates. It is a low VOC emitting product that has been GREENGUARD certified, and features rapid drying for less down time. LATICRETE AUSTRALIA 1800 331 012 www.laticrete.com.au
Contemporary and classic Inspired by traditional Italian flooring of the early 20th century, the porcelain I COCCI series of wall and floor tiles emulates the fragments, flecks and flakes of marble and other recycled materials bound by cement. The four dusky base colours come in shades of grey. NATIONAL TILES 1300 733 000 www.nationaltiles.com.au
Sleek exposure Pier 17 is suitable for both floors and walls, and echoes the characteristics of underwater elements and celebrates aqueous hues. Each shade within the range – Copper, Turquoise and Zinc – illustrates how the sea can transform artefacts into something rugged yet beautiful. BEAUMONT TILES 08 8292 4444 www.beaumont-tiles.com.au
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Six-star Scarborough fair
Pictured above: (Left) Scarborough Beach Pool is a world class recreation facility, and the first beachfront pool in WA. (Right) The exterior cladding features the Buildtech collection by Floor Gres in a melange of White, Sand, and Mud colours, and both matte and gloss finishes.
One of Perth’s favourite beaches now has a tiled jewel to add to its picture-perfect location, writes Joe Simpson.
he beachside community of Scarborough in Western Australia has recently undergone a multi-million dollar beachfront transformation. It now also boasts a fitting centrepiece: Scarborough Beach Pool. WA’s first beach front pool, this world-class venue features two geothermally heated pools, restaurant, café and many other amenities. Leisure architects Christou were commissioned by the City of Stirling to design the new facility, and it features a series of pools for both sporting and recreation, as well as commercial areas. The conceptual approach encompassed both the built form and the coastal geology, creatively exploring the tension between the natural and the man-made.
Pool tiles The aquatics centre forms an essential part of the Scarborough beach regeneration project. And ceramic tiles were absolutely fundamental to the design. The exterior cladding features the Buildtech collection by Floor Gres in a melange of White, Sand, and Mud colours, and 46 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
both matte and gloss finishes. The Buildtech tiles offered a surface solution that is the ideal for this kind of application, thanks to its high technical performance. The Buildtech collection perfectly complements the aesthetics of the pool complex, which also features wood listels and wide windows.
Buildtech was conceived as a broad portfolio of products for project applications. It comes in many colour variations and finish options in order to meet the technical and aesthetic requirements of most architectural applications. The current range has nine formats, 18 colours, four surface finishes, and three different thicknesses.
The restrained yet sophisticated style affords the possibility of multiple combinations of effects and different surfaces that was brought to the fore on this project. The range of modular sizes allows new patterns and laying surfaces to
The aquatics centre forms an essential part of the Scarborough beach regeneration project. And ceramic tiles were fundamental to the design. The exterior cladding features the Buildtech collection by Floor Gres in White, Sand and Mud colours.
be created, while the thicker slabs meet the needs of large urban and industrial areas. The neutral pallet includes White, Bone, Sand, Clay, Mud, and Coal each in three variants. The modular formats are 1,200 by 1,200mm, 1,200 by 2,400mm, 800 by 800mm, 600 by 1,200mm, 600 by 600mm, 600 by 2,400mm, 400 by 800mm, and 300 by 600mm. The surface options are matte, polished, slate-hammered, and slip-resistant matte. There are also a range of special trim pieces that provide matching details and edges. More Florim group products feature inside Scarborough Beach Pool, with the elegance of Alabastri di Rex range enriching the toilet areas. Alabastri di Rex is an exceptional ceramic material made with advanced production. It is a collection characterised by a wide variety of sizes and Rex's usual attention to detail. Made in 10mm thickness in traditional sizes, Alabastri is also part of Florim’s Magnum Oversize 6mm large slab project. At Scarborough, 1,600 by 3,200mm tiles were used on the walls.
Tiling professional The tiling contract was undertaken by All Class Tiling. Founded by Charles Foster in 2001, the company has built its reputation on a great support structure and a team of talented tradesmen. All Class Tiling’s commercial arm has extensive experience of similar complex jobs, ranging from public swimming pool, retail, commercial fit-outs, and large-scale residential developments. All Class Tiling has worked on some of Perth’s premier leisure sites including Altone Leisure Centre, State Swim East Fremantle, Meath Care Retirement Village, and the Starwood Westin hotel. “Our main aim is to ensure that we always provide our clients with a superior level of service, quality work, scheduled project management, technical advice, and round the clock service backup,” explains Foster. “We always maintain a system of checklists – from the beginning of each project right up to completion – which is implemented and monitored by the site foreman and our company project manager.”
Florim group’s Alabastri di Rex range enriches the toilet areas.
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Project accolades The project has achieved 6-star Greenstar certification, the first of its kind in Australia. It utilised a first principle approach, with sustainability integral to the design, rather than an add-on extra. Overall, Christou has delivered a dynamic structure, but one that is immersed in, and sympathetic to, its surrounding landscape. The quality of the building has already been recognised, receiving the John Septimus Roe Award for Urban Design, plus a commendation for commercial architecture, from the Australian Institute of Architects WA chapter. The Scarborough Beach facility will be fully functional all year round, offering a range of activities and experiences for both summer and winter seasons. The main pool has eight 50 metre and four 25 metre lanes. Multiple configurations are possible to cater for a wide variety of 48 | TILE TODAY #99 | www.tiletodaymagazine.com.au
pool-goers, with depths ranging from 1.2 to 2.2 metres. The facility also has a separate leisure pool suitable for teaching; plus a 200 seat grandstand and spacious open air seating areas. Scarborough Beach Pool is designed to be fully accessible. Both pools have ramp entrances and it has universally accessible toilets and changing rooms, equipped with a ceiling hoist. There is even lift access from the Esplanade car park to the pool entrance. The $25 million development took four years of planning and construction; funded by local, State and Federal government grants. One of its stand-out features is the use of geothermal heating. It is estimated that this renewable energy system will save 1,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere, and an estimated $500,000 in energy bills. And this is with the larger pool and the leisure pool being kept at a
constant 27°C and 32°C, respectively, all-year-round. City of Stirling appointed Pritchard Francis to provide the structural, civil and stormwater engineering consultancy. Pritchard Francis then engaged sub-consultants to advise on geotechnical, wind and environmental engineering issues for this iconic project. And in October 2018, the team’s achievements were recognised when the Scarborough Beach Pool project picked up the Sustainable Projects award at the 2018 National Australian Institute of Project Management Awards. Pritchard Francis said in a statement: “This is a huge honour and we would like to take the time to recognise the entire team behind this community shaping project…The Scarborough Beach Pool has become the pinnacle of Scarborough and the northern beaches of Perth. Not only is it architecturally striking, the sustainability initiatives that The City of Stirling enforced are innovative, more relevant than ever before, and set a new bar for Australian aquatics. “Delivering this project and being part of the journey including the public’s response and reaction to their new pool has been both rewarding and inspirational. This national award is just the tip of the iceberg.” The Scarborough Beach Pool aquatic centre confirms Christou’s reputation for innovative design, and expert delivery of projects of every scale. “Our designs are defined by sustainability, seeking to enhance the sense of place and identity. Sustainability and social responsibility principles are embedded in our process as we work to create regenerative designs that enhance our community. To positively shape the built environment, we must collaborate with clients, users, contractors and stakeholders. Together we observe, analyse, seek and explore, to uncover the most intelligent design solution – sustainability is essential to achieving this. We are constantly exploring advantages presented to us by different technologies and strive
to provide innovative, responsible design responses on projects of all shapes and sizes,” explains Christou. Scarborough Beach Pool is living proof that this ethos is capable of being carried though to achieve outstanding architecture that truly enhances a community and its commercial potential. ■
“Alabastri di Rex is an exceptional ceramic material made with advanced production. It is a collection characterised by a wide variety of sizes and Rex's usual attention to detail. Made in 10mm thickness in traditional sizes...” Project contacts Christou: https://www.christou.com.au/ Pritchard Francis: https://www.pfeng.com.au/ Floor Gres: https://www.florim.com/en/floorgres/ All Class Tiling: www.allclasstiling.com.au Scarborough Beach Pool: www.scarboroughbeachpool.com.au
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index ACT Australia
Australian Tile Council
Clear Software 39 Colortile 11 Discovering Stone 43 Efflock 19 Europe Imports Everstone Laticrete Australia
12-13 7, 21 37
Mapei 35 National Ceramic Industries
Orientile 5 RLA Polymers 31 Starstile (Fenice International) Back Cover Tile Power
CeramBath ends on a high note The 32nd China International Ceramic & Bathroom Fair (CeramBath) held in October 2018 welcomed 186,152 visitors, up 1.6% from the previous event. It hosted over 795 brands across ceramics, sanitaryware, software, ceramic accessories and machinery categories. However overseas buyers from 169 countries were down 2.2% compared with the 31st CeramBath trade show. Many were affected by global economic trading conditions. This did not stop highly regarded international companies such as Italy’s Versace Tile, Gardenia Orchidea, MarazzI, Emil, ESP LOLAND, Slender Stone, REBEKAH Tile displaying their products alongside domestic suppliers. New to the show include the Projects’ Products Hall and Tile Auxiliary Material Zone. Organiser, Foshan China Ceramics City Group strongly believes
CeramBath has a growing influence on emerging markets in Southeast Asia, North Asia and Eastern Europe. For the next event in early 2019, it will continue to be located in Foshan, Guangdong Province and held in three major venues: China Ceramics City, China Ceramics Industry headquarters and Foshan International Conference & Exhibition Center. It will also receive ongoing support from the China Building Materials Circulation Association and the Bureau of Commerce in Foshan City. The hosts are still the China Building Ceramics & Sanitaryware Association and China Ceramics Industrial Association. The exhibition plays an important role in promoting the development of the industry, and bringing Chinabased ceramics onto the world stage. The 33rd CeramBath will be held during April 18th -21st, 2019. ■
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Distribution of overseas buyers from CeramBath in October 2018.
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The Large format tile-Slab Handling and Cutting experts 90°
Power RaIZOR Universal multi-angle cutting unit with angle grinder to be used in combination with the cutting guides. Power Raizor performs cuts with the following angles: 45° (“jolly”), 90° (standard cut); 180° (incision and/or side shaping). Tilting movement (plunge cut) to adjust the depth of cut, to make cuts in multiple passes, and to perform cuts in the middle of the slab (square and rectangular holes).
The Raizor cutting guide has a compact and practical design while providing superior performance. A generous 332cm cutting length and six quality suction cups makes the Raizor an ideal choice. Padded carry bag included.
The most complete range of equipment ever developed for the most innovative porcelain slabs. Our range of products for use with the handling and installation of large format tiles includes 8 different lifting frames, modular work benches, cutting devices and transportation cart.
Easy-move This system is designed for the safe handling of large format tiles up to 3200mm in length. Available in 6 different versions – speak to us about a system to suit your needs.
This modular cart is designed for both transport and storage of one or more slabs. Easily apply adhesive to the slab whilst in position. Much more than just a trolley!
The ideal light weight work bench for cutting and processing large format slabs. Easy to assemble and transport with folding legs, units can be joined to create a larger workspace.
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