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News

Why standardised tiles are a smarter solution for everyone

06.2020

As a company that both designs and manufactures our products, we sometimes find ourselves wearing two very different hats. There is the creative one which is all about aesthetics and then there is the more pragmatic, workmanlike one which has to consider practical aspects such as logistics, economics and production efficiencies.

With our textured stones from our Walls&Floors collection, we provide tiles only, and these are cut to standard sizes. When clients ask if they can have bespoke measurements, unfortunately, much as we would like to say yes, we are generally unable to do so without slowing down production, which would lead to higher prices.

With our textured stones from our Walls & Floors collection, we provide tiles only

Production efficiency

Standardisation allows us to be more efficient in terms of cutting the tiles, handling them and also packaging them. Every tile that comes off our proprietary machines, designed specifically to create a certain texture in a certain size, is checked by hand and packed immediately into solutions designed to protect the contents from breakage. Once we start changing the dimensions of our tiles, even by a couple of centimetres, we open a Pandora’s box of packaging challenges. Anything is possible, but there will always be a cost implication which unfortunately would be reflected in the price.

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Sustainability

Bespoke requests are almost invariably for oversize pieces of stone as designers want to create an uninterrupted surface. An unwelcome side effect of this, however, is an increase in offcuts. The dimensions of our tiles have been calculated down to the millimetre to optimise every slab of stone and minimise wastage. Our mountains may seem vast, but we have a commitment to respecting them as a natural resource, and that starts with doing all we can to limit the amount of stone that gets thrown away.

Smart design

As noted above, the requests we receive are for larger tiles in order to minimise the effect of joints. The good news here is that many of our textures are designed specifically to do so anyway. For example, our Bamboo is calibrated using precision engineering rarely found in the stone sector, cutting the ridges in such a way that when tiles are placed next to each other you can barely discern where one stops and another starts. The same approach applies to textures such as Infinito, Rain and Plissé where the fluidity which defines the aesthetic is not compromised. Then, once you add the magic ingredient of lighting, the textured surface is highlighted and any joints become even less visible.

Other textures, such as Raw, actually use the “disruptive” nature of the joints as a feature, to increase its hewn effect. Tratti, with its metal inserts between tiles, is all about highlighting the joints and transforming them into a design accent to create a striking feature wall.

A selective range of stones

Another common request we receive is to have tiles in different thicknesses, and this, again, usually depends on the nature of the stone. Stones such as Crema d’Orcia, Gris du Marais® and Travertine are more fragile than others, so need to be thicker if they are to stand up to wear and tear.

We are often also asked if we can produce textures in different stones. The answer to that is that it depends. Some stones are too brittle to undergo the cutting technique we use to create our various finishes, whilst others are too abrasive and could damage the machines. However, for certain minimum quantities, we can consider such requests, but one of the main reasons we have developed a limited palette of core stones and colours is to limit waste. Not only from a cost point of view, but with a close eye on sustainability which, after all, is as important as great aesthetics.