Ceramic tile, the importance of high-quality installation | by Andrea Serri
Ceramic floor and wall tiles are attractive, durable, healthy, easy to clean and maintain, resistant to frost, fire and smog, and ideal for covering large surfaces efficiently and with exceptional visual appeal. As explained in the series of videoclips entitled ‘The values of ceramic’, ceramic tile is the only surface covering material that brings together all these characteristics. But to make the most of these benefits, installation is an essential step.
Installation of a ceramic tile on a horizontal or vertical surface in an interior or exterior is far more than a simple mechanical process that serves to cover the surface. The installation layout, the arrangement and combination of different tiles and/or slabs, contributes to the aesthetic qualities of the finished surface in much the same way as the colours and surface designs. The old pavements in mediaeval Italian cities, which often consisted of fired clay “sestino” bricks laid in a herringbone pattern, are one example of the way in which the choice of product size and installation method come together to give surfaces an utterly distinctive look. In more recent times, the development of large slabs and the possibility of laying them with only the tiniest gap between the individual tiles creates the impression of a continuous surface, an effect that is extremely popular in modern architecture and interior design.
A perfect installation job calls for a unique skillset consisting of culture, expertise and technical proficiency. Discovering and learning from the best installations carried out in Italy and abroad is the first step in the vitally important process of training and education. The national tile layers’ associations, including Assoposa in Italy, UNECB in France, BOVATIN in the Netherlands, ASP in Switzerland and the NTCA in the United States, all play an important role in training skilled and highly professional tile layers capable of completing an installation that will look great and perform well for many years.
A perfect tile installation requires a combination of knowledge, expertise, culture and skill and is something that only a highly trained professional can achieve. This means that choosing the right installation professional is just as important as selecting the perfect ceramic tile to be installed in one’s home.