Choosing porcelain stoneware for the floors and walls of your home is very often an excellent decision, ideal from various points of view. After years when it seemed impossible to opt for materials other than wood, marble and small-size ceramic tiles, deeply embedded in the residential building tradition, stoneware has gradually broken into the market, offering new visual effects and leading-edge technological characteristics.
 

Modern porcelain stoneware proudly lays claim to performances able to meet a variety of needs. Its most important qualities are:

  • high mechanical strength, meaning that it is not broken or damaged by knocks, chemicals or the weather, with positive implications in terms of durability, value for money and sustainability
  • versatility in installation and a virtually infinite choice of colors, textures and sizes
  • easycleaning and care, with the possibility of virtually 100% sanitisation

Now let’s take a detailed look at each of these positive aspects of porcelain stoneware, to build up a checklist of reference for any future project for the real application of this invaluable modern material.

 

Modern porcelain stoneware, perfect combination of beauty, strength and durability

Very often, porcelain stoneware is chosen for the floors of the home for practical reasons, and above all due to the commonly held belief that it is a virtually indestructible material. This idea is actually quite true, since nowadays stoneware is the perfect choice for anyone who, once their floor has been installed, wishes to enjoy its attractive appearance without having to undertake frequent maintenance or replacement works.

Stoneware, produced using state-of-the-art industrial techniques in plants equipped with the very latest machinery, is sold in slabs of various sizes, ranging from small size tiles to large pieces (in Ragno’s case up to 120x278), which may vary in thickness depending on requirements and the place of installation: the assortment runs from very thin stoneware, which can also easily be applied on walls, to the type 20 millimetres thick, perfect for floating installation and dry laying on grass, gravel and sand.

 

Both indoors and outdoors, stoneware guarantees excellent performances in terms of strength, provided a few precautions are taken during installation:

  • the joints between slabs (even rectified ones) must be at least 2 millimetres wide, to avoid breakages around the edges in case of small shifts in position
  • the installation substrate must be perfectly flat, firm and continuous, to provide good support for installation of the flooring
  • after installation, porcelain stoneware must be thoroughly cleaned with specific detergents which ensure the complete removal of any construction site residues and thus protect the surface from the subsequent appearance of stains and smears
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Different shades, textures and sizes make porcelain stoneware a design material in its own right

Nowadays, the term modern porcelain stoneware floors may to refer to a wide variety of products with very different appearances. In fact, the material has gradually been the subject of specific design research, not necessarily intended merely to offer a new version of an effect such as wood, concrete, marble and many others, although they are still in the catalogue of many slab collections in outstanding interpretations.

Stoneware has thus acquired its own independent status and value as an innovative floor and wall covering material, able to decorate the spaces where we live our daily lives with shades, textures and patterns it would be difficult to achieve with other materials.

What’s more, the already excellent standards reached by stoneware on the strictly visual sensory plane are now combined with particularly impressive tactile qualities. To mention just one example, we might refer to the fabric textures which characterise the slabs of someRagno collections:in both overall perception and details, they are richly, substantially communicative and able to interact with their context, the light, other objects and architectural features.

Porcelain stoneware indoor floor tiles with particularly distinctive decoration are also very popular in cases where the use of another, more delicate or rarer, material would be unfeasible in terms of both cost and durability.

In abathroom or spa or outdoors, a stoneware which reproduces the appearance of a precious marble, for example, may fulfil the needs of a specific architectural or inspirational concept without drawbacks relating to the project's success and the long-term use of the location, thanks to its incredible resistance and immunity to mechanical, physical and chemical stresses.

 

How to clean and sanitise porcelain stoneware surfaces

Modern wood effect stoneware floors without joints are often adopted in situations where the use of real wood cannot ensure specific cleaning and hygiene conditions.

Public locations with functions which imply use by a large number of people, who may spend considerable time in some areas, require frequent sanitisation to ensure optimal conditions for users.

To meet this real need, Ragno has developed a new technology which, applied to the slabs of some collections, guarantees a virtually absolute level of hygiene, and thus reduces and limits the need for continuous maintenance of surfaces for this specific purpose.

This leading-edge technology is called CleanOut Antibacterial and involves the application of a silver ion treatment to slabs actually during production. This treatment is up to 99.9% effective in the elimination of bacteria and microbes, in the short and the long term, since it is incorporated in the substance of the ceramic material itself.

However, even porcelain stoneware slabs not treated with the CleanOut technology offer easy cleaning and care throughout their life cycle.

When cleaning, as well as the surface of slabs it is also important to thoroughly clean all discontinuities in the surface: joints, corners (between vertical and horizontal surfaces, such as around the skirting) and all lines along which two materials meet (stoneware and paintwork, stoneware and fabric upholstery, etc.).

When cleaning and caring for stoneware, we advise you to make regular use of professional detergents which will restore surfaces’ vibrancy and conserve their most specific qualities intact.