Large-Format Porcelain Panels: Thin Is Beautiful
by Brent Ehrlich
Porcelain is often confused with conventional ceramic tiles, which are made with a combination of clay and sand, and fired at 1,900°F. After firing, ceramic tile can still be somewhat porous, with moisture absorption greater than 0.5% and as high as 20%, according to StonePeak. Porcelain contains sand, clay, and also feldspar and is heated to about 2,300°F. The high heat melts the feldspar and other ingredients together, leaving the final product with a moisture absorption of less than 0.5%—the ANSI standard for porcelain that is used by the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency and ISO (though ISO does not use the term “porcelain”).
Porcelain panels are very thin, similar to tile—at approximately 1⁄8" for Crossville’s Laminam (3 mm) and Daltile’s SlimLite (3.5 mm), and slightly thicker at 1⁄4" (6 mm) for StonePeak’s Plane. This thickness typically includes a thin fiberglass mesh backing for added strength. Porcelain panels are available as large as 5' x 10' for Plane and approximately 3' x 10' for Laminam and SlimLite and are available in more than 50 color and texture options for Laminam; 40 for SlimLite; and white, silver, and Calacatta Vena for Plane. Note that StonePeak uses an innovative large-format print process for Calacatta Vena that mimics the look of marble (real marble is expensive and difficult to maintain) and Plane panels can also be used for flooring—uniquely so.
Published March 1, 2013
Ehrlich, B. (2013, March 1). Large-Format Porcelain Panels: Thin Is Beautiful. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/product-review/large-format-porcelain-panels-thin-beautiful