The Italian ceramic tile industry reduces the environmental impact of its products and industrial processes along the entire supply chain. The use of natural raw materials that meet international health and biodiversity standards means that retailers, designers and end users can be certain that the material is safe for humans and the environment.

The raw materials of Italian Ceramics

What are Italian ceramic products made of?

Italian ceramic products are made of natural raw materials that are processed by means of dry pressing or extrusion, or casting in the case of ceramic sanitaryware. An average ceramic product that is representative of the Italian ceramic industry as a whole consists mainly of high-quality raw materials and contains clay, feldspar, sands, kaolin and other natural materials.

A production process based on water, fire and earth.  During wet milling, ceramic tile bodies are mixed with 25-30%1 water recovered from previous production cycles2. They are subsequently processed in spray dryers that utilise the thermal energy of natural gas to obtain a granular powder ready to be compacted in presses and fired in kilns.

All raw materials are tracked and monitored

The Italian ceramic tile industry’s commitment to sustainability includes checking the origin of mineral raw materials along the entire supply chain. Ceramic tile companies maintain up-to-date documentation with the names and compositions of the components of products placed on the market. Raw material tracking is a requirement for gaining ISO 17889-1 Certification, the first international standard certifying the sustainability of ceramic tiles.

No raw material originating from Natura 2000 protected areas

The raw materials used for the production of Italian ceramic tiles are chosen responsibly. No raw materials are extracted from the Natura 2000 areas, the network of protected areas created by the European Union to preserve biodiversity.

An ally for healthy and safe environments

Building materials and furniture may contain harmful substances such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), asbestos and mercury which have a negative impact on indoor air quality. Italian ceramic tiles are always a safe choice because they are made exclusively from natural raw materials. They create safe living spaces and qualify for credits in green building sustainability rating systems such as LEED, BREEAM, WELL and CAM.

What about materials for installing ceramic tiles?

Italian ceramic floor and wall tiles are installed using environmentally friendly and non-polluting materials. The cementitious adhesives used to install all types of tiles are made from silica sand-based powder and water, as stated on the labels of the individual bags.

Tile adhesive composition

Made of earth, respecting the Earth

In the Italian ceramic tile industry nothing is wasted. All unfired and fired processing waste, substandard products, dust, fragments and sludge are all recovered and returned to the production cycle, bringing environmental and management advantages to the entire supply chain. This benefits the entire industry in terms of sustainability because it conserves mineral resources and reduces the emissions associated with the extraction and transport of materials.