Porcelain is, by design, an imitation product. One of the most prevalent effects that is applied is to make it look like a natural stone tile. There are hundreds of marble, limestone, sandstone, slate and travertine effect products, in all sorts of varieties and colours, including several which are not naturally occurring.
The benefits of a porcelain product are the low level of maintenance and the guarantee of consistency, even over the life of the product itself. These are two things which make it a more practical material to work and live with, but the real reason that there has been a surge in sales of porcelain has all come down to how closely they are able to emulate a real stone.
These days, the image banks which the manufacturers carry for each stone effect porcelain are absolutely huge. Pair this with new techniques which are able to form undulations and edging in the tile surfaces before it is finished and porcelain tiles are exponentially advancing in how close to actual stone they can get.
We have found it surprising how often porcelain tiles in our showroom have been mistaken for natural stone.
It always used to be the case that porcelain tiles were a cheaper alternative to a stone tile, but these days, with the levels of intricate work and fine detail which is poured into making Grade A porcelain, there is really not a lot to choose from between the two.
In some cases, where the stone equivalents would be astronomically priced however (in particular, marble stones), the price still remains far more competitive, but for the most part, porcelain has come on so much that it has a similar value as that of the stone which it is aping.
The fixing is much the same as that of natural stone too, without the need to seal the tiles. A highly skilled tiler is the only person who you should consider to fit your porcelain floor. Fixing is as key to the finished product as the colour and finish of the tiles themselves. A great deal of porcelain tiles require patterned work, or highly consistent bonding, and the only way to achieve a high standard is to bring on someone who knows their stuff.
To learn more and take a closer look at our range of stone effect tiles, visit our showroom.