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Defy time safely

18 November 2021

A durable, resilient material that's easy to clean, safe, and versatile. Porcelain tiles simplify the daily management of restaurants, bars, shops, production spaces, or hospitality businesses. Settings that benefit from Atlas Concorde's wide range of products that perfectly combine durability, practicality, and design.

The choice of a porcelain tile floor can never be based solely on esthetic criteria. The type of environment and its function impose constraints that must be considered. It's actually pretty intuitive: the technical characteristics that the floor of a living room must have are not the same as those needed for a terrace. For an access ramp exposed to the elements you'll need slip resistance that aren't necessary in a boutique located inside a shopping center. Many of Atlas Concorde's floor and wall tile collections are so broad and versatile that they meet most practical needs, which translate into strictly regulated design requirements when it comes to public spaces. This category includes a wide variety of settings: from the shopping center to the small shop, from the restaurant to the hospital, from the railway station to the airport, from the hotel to the convention center.

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Combining design and functionality is therefore a challenge that particularly involves designers: the flooring of a large commercial environment plays a very important role in the design of a place that is structurally responsible for accommodating a large number of people. Since it is constantly visible to everyone, the floor helps to determine the ambiance as a whole but must also protect the safety of users, simplify cleaning and maintenance operations, and stand up to multiple stresses for many years: heavy foot traffic, the passage of trolleys, machinery, and other loads on wheels, falling objects and food, spilled drinks and other liquids. Which characteristics of porcelain tiles make such ceramic tiles a preferred choice for a public space? Let's take a look at the main properties.

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Resistance to breakage and loads

The process for producing porcelain tiles gives them a high degree of consistency and compactness. These characteristics give laid ceramic tiles an extraordinary resistance to mechanical stresses due to traffic.

Resistance to abrasion

Ceramic tiles are exceptionally resistant to wear and tear caused by frequent repeated contact with other moving materials. This means that the appearance of the surface doesn't change over time, maintaining its original sheen and color brilliance. The resistance to abrasion derives from the hardness and compactness of the surface layer, which also determines the behavior of porcelain tile floors with respect to stains and chemical agents.

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Resistance to chemicals and ease of cleaning

These are well-known properties of ceramic tiles, and, as just noted, are determined by the compactness of the surface: the more compact the surface the less chance that aggressive or staining substances (but also fungi, molds, and bacteria) have of penetrating it. This includes water: the water absorption of porcelain tiles – a parameter that is dictated by regulations – is in fact close to zero. These characteristics make ceramic tiles a hygienic material that is practical and extremely easy to clean. For stains, surface roughness is also an important factor: a smooth surface is certainly easier to clean than a highly textured one, which instead may be preferable where a non-slip surface is a priority.

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Resistance to slipping

This depends on the roughness of the ceramic tile surface and the presence of reliefs able to ensure the drainage of liquids, for a good adhesion between a shoe's sole and the wet surface. These are physical characteristics that are the opposite of those necessary for a high ease of cleaning (low roughness and absence of reliefs). An irreconcilable conflict? Not necessarily. All the products with a textured surface in the extensive Atlas Concorde collection catalog have excellent levels of resistance to abrasionand chemicals. This means that they are able to withstand particularly vigorous cleaning by machines and chemicals without deteriorating in any way.

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VOC emissions 

For some time now we have all been much more sensitive to the impact that products and materials have on the indoor environments we live in. Volatile Organic Compounds are extremely volatile pollutants, that is, they can spread in the environment very easily. They are mostly found in solvent-based materials such as paints, adhesives, and wood treatments. But not in porcelain tiles. In fact, ceramic tiles are essentially mineral products that have nothing to do with organic chemistry. Moreover, firing at 1,200°C ensures the total destruction of any organic residues and therefore also of VOCs.

Resistance to fire

As they decompose some materials can contribute to fueling fires. They are therefore divided into fire resistance classes that are carefully assessed when designing places open to the public. Porcelain tiles are one of the safest materials in the event of a fire as they are classified as non-combustible (class A1). As we have seen, the temperature in a kiln is much higher than a normal fire. Explore our gallery of environments and find inspiration for your project whether it be retailhospitalitywellness, public, or private.

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