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Suitable for floors and walls, new production and transportation techniques allow for more expansive and extra-large sized tiles. Products with a Large Format / XL classification have a dimension of between 120cm and 320cm and some with reduced 6mm thicknesses to make them less heavy and easier to handle and transport.
Extra-large format tiles and porcelain slabs allow for near seamless continuity of finish across floors and walls, providing a clean and minimalist surface, in some cases with virtually no grout lines.
On floors, extra-large format tiles create the impression of expanded spaces with fewer visual breaks in the desired design. Used throughout a living space or transitioning between inside and outdoor areas, porcelain slabs create continuity, joining-up rooms and offering exciting new opportunities to create stunning, uninterrupted environments.
Used on walls, extra-large format tiles create truly remarkable vertical surfaces that draw the eye like no other traditional finish. Slabs with subtle, more muted tones create a contemporary backdrop against which pictures, furniture and accessories can really stand out. Patterned tiles or those with brighter colours create visual impact on their own, especially when carefully lit and used as feature areas within a larger room.
Choice of finish
As extra-large format tiles and porcelain slabs become more popular, so production plants look to satisfy demand with extended ranges and sleek new styles. Whether for a residential project or a commercial premises, architects, interior designers and specifiers are enjoying a far wider choice of finish in these outsized product lines.
The endless colourways available today mean there are extra-large format tiles available to fulfil almost any design direction. From natural stone, soft industrial concrete and marble effect, through to more vivid hues, with artwork-like imagery and some with a radiance and sparkle that emulates gemstones.
The diversity of surface texture available across different ranges also allows for increasingly interesting and unique effects, created with these substantial slabs. From high-gloss, through to a more satin-like sheen, extra-large format tiles can help reflect natural and artificial light, so brightening hallways, staircases and rooms with less windows.
Porcelain slabs with a natural stone finish create a more organic warmth with a tactile texture that calls out to be touched. Plus, increasingly sought after by interior designers and architects, new ranges include products with natural and geometric 3D patterning across which light falls in captivating ways, creating focus areas within kitchens, bathrooms and living areas.
A sound solution
Beyond the aesthetics, the benefits of using extra-large format tiles are manyfold. Once found only in high-end hotels and the most desirable residences, as more and more fresh designs are launched, these expansive porcelain slabs are set to remain sought after for years to come.
Practically, given the scale of these particular products, they are easy to clean, more hygienic having less grout lines and offer reduced installation time, with less pieces to fit. They are also durable, scratch and fade resistant, are available with different surfaces and anti-slip qualities and as such, are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Forward-thinking architects and designers are also using extra-large format tiles and slabs as exterior facades to contemporary buildings, counter-tops in cutting-edge kitchens and as signature statements in themselves, as designs and colourways become ever more adventurous and avant-garde.
Whether a housebuilder, developer, professional or private homeowner, extra-large format, tiles and slabs offer endless opportunities to create impactful, uninterrupted surfaces within commercial and residential settings, and with benefits that find balance in both beauty and budget.
Creating Consistency and Cohesion
Previously a challenge for architects and interior designers, natural materials have always had inherent limitations in terms of size, thickness and uniformity of colour and pattern. However, with new manufacturing technologies and digital printing capabilities, porcelain tiles can now be produced to replicate stone and other organic finishes, but without the characteristic imperfections of their natural counterparts.
Extra-large format tiles can now be decorated in such a way that allows for an almost infinite application of a consistent design across an unprecedented expanse of surface. For example, in the case of slabs that emulate marble, clever designs allow the impression that the veins in the rock extend endlessly across adjacent tiles.
Likewise, large format tiles with a 6mm thickness lend themselves to a wide range of different surface applications depending on the chosen fixing solution. For instance, in a bathroom, a single porcelain tile design could be applied to a vanity unit top, cabinet doors, washbasins, splashbacks, floors, walls and even within a shower enclosure.