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When choosing ceramic tiles, we mainly evaluate their appearance and size. These are the first and most striking characteristics of each tile. Only in the next step and after consultation with the seller do we find out whether it is a wall tile or a floor tile. However, the trained eye of a professional should not have much trouble recognizing wall tiles, as they are different from stoneware.

What are the differences between them, what to pay attention to when choosing them and what the wall tile market looks like today, we will tell you in this article.

Floor tiles are a material with high performance characteristics. The key elements are abrasiveness, slip resistance, as well as mechanical strength. Wall tiles are a strictly decorative material, they are not required to be resistant to external factors, frost resistance, they do not have a major impact on the safety or comfort of the premises, except for the all-important visual aspect. Speaking of the differences between wall and floor tiles, the first thing that comes to mind is the aspect of color. Due to lower firing temperatures at the production stage, wall tiles could have much more intense colors and more elaborate decorations than porcelain stoneware tiles. The lack of abrasion requirements makes it possible to use different materials for their finishing and achieve completely different effects on their surface.

Wall tiles are characterized by more intense coloration, colorful graphics, gold accessories and deep texture. In comparison, stoneware fired at temperatures as high as 1,200 degrees Celsius featured softer colors. While color differences were more of a problem in the 1990s, when builders opted for intense colors in interiors and it was difficult to match the color of the stoneware to the wall tile, today’s technologies allow stoneware to be significantly closer in color to the walls. Current trends in interior mean that the most popular shades are muted grays and subtle beiges, so stoneware no longer needs to have the intense hues that customers expected 30 years ago.

In recent years there has been a trend to use floor tiles on both floors and walls. This is due to the desire to achieve visual consistency between the two surfaces. Customers have also opted for porcelain stoneware on walls because of the prevalence of this type of tile in larger formats than wall tiles. While the upper limit for wall tile was the 33 x 90 format, porcelain stoneware could be purchased even in the 120 x 275 cm format. The use of porcelain stoneware therefore meant fewer joints.

However, the divisions described above seem to be slowly blurring, thanks to technological developments and bold investments. The Tubądzin Group has recently implemented a number of solutions to bring stoneware closer to wall tiles in terms of color and depth of structures.

A unique line for applying decorations to large-format porcelain stoneware tiles through a monoporous process will allow the creation of precise decorations on the largest format tiles. Using this technology to decorate large-format slabs allows us to offer customers a whole new level of decoration. Lower firing temperatures make it possible to achieve exceptionally intense colors, and precision printing guarantees exceptional accuracy previously reserved for wall plates.

The latest technologies for structures, the results of which were presented at the recent Bologna trade fair, will take the importance of structural tiles to a whole new level. The ability to combine different technologies, as well as the use of deep structures, will make it possible to create tiles with exceptional depth resulting not only from graphics, but from the layering of glazes.

So can we say that wall tiles will continue to reduce their market share, only to eventually fall out of it?

Wall tiles have many advantages. Strong color saturation and deep textures allow creating unique interiors full of character. They are lighter and easier to work with, which is certainly appreciated by contractors. The possibility of applying three-dimensional decorations on wall tiles is far greater than is the case with floors. Wall tiles often complement collections as a strong color accent or in the form of a distinctive structure.

At Tubądzin Group, we believe that wall tiles will continue to delight architects and investors. One of the novelties in the wall tile portfolio is the unprecedented 60 x 120 cm format. Such large tiles will allow to reconcile the intensity of pattern and color with a small number of joints, so liked and expected by investors. And at the other end of the scale are small wall tiles in the form of bricks, invariably liked and used in interiors.

A wide range of wall tiles in intermediate formats such as 30 x 60 30 x 75 and 33 x 90 allows to provide the architect and the customer with a full selection of products, in different price shelves and with different styles.

For more information on wall tiles, see our Vademecum of Ceramic Coverings.

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