David Beckett, Director for CRL Stone, explains the benefits of the increasingly popular large format tile category.
Our busiest interior and exterior spaces require wall and floor surfaces that combine visual appeal with high durability. Highly visible and so often on show over large expanses, walls and floors, whether in the kitchen, bathroom or even the garden should blend seamlessly with the aesthetics of a property, while being tough enough to last the test of time with minimal maintenance.
Large format, or big slab tiles, have grown in popularity over the past few years, led by the shift towards wet room-style and open-plan interiors and full of practical advantages that ensure this look remains as popular as ever.
One major benefit of large format tiles is the visual impact; the larger the tile the more it will visually expand the space, making it an ideal option in smaller rooms. And because large tiles mean fewer grout lines, cleaning is made easier too, with the uninterrupted look streamlined and hygienic. This uncluttered, minimal approach is less busy than opting for lots of pattern and lends itself to contemporary interior design.
Large format tiles are a great look for a larger space or an open plan area, contributing to the feeling of space and airiness, but smaller areas can benefit from larger tiles as well.
For these reasons, CRL Stone, with its range of Ceralsio and Inalco MDi surfaces, offers the ideal floor and wall covering solution for virtually any project.
Two ranges and a wealth of advantages
Ceralsio ceramic is a beautiful, hard wearing and versatile range of surfaces, inspired by nature. Often referred to as sintered stone, Ceralsio is available in a range of colours and a choice of three thicknesses, including a slim 6mm profile which is ideal for walls, flooring and interior and exterior wall cladding. Despite its slim profile, the material remains just as solid and impact resistant.
Sharing similar functional qualities, including exceptional durability and ease of maintenance, Inalco MDi from CRL Stone is a range of large format surfaces combining cutting edge technology with continuous innovation in production processes. The result is a collection of unique products that meet the latest design trends. Using nature as its source of inspiration, Inalco MDi creates sustainable products by selecting the finest materials, to offer beautiful textures, colours and finishes.
With full digital technology used throughout the manufacturing process, total control of the end design is ensured, with an amazing definition and a luxuriously smooth feel. Through the use of 360° design, the inner core and outer surface are fully integrated to ensure visual continuity between the two.
Ceralsio and MDi share many qualities that make CRL Stone surfaces so popular: water resistant, heat, scratch and stain resistant, non-porous, UV resistant and high durability. In fact, all the advantages that make these surfaces so suitable for use in the kitchen, bathroom and even outside.
The scratch and stain resistance of the materials mean they can be used for splashbacks in the kitchen and bathroom, or even whole feature walls. And because the materials are weather resistant, they won’t be impacted by frost and ice or direct sunlight. This is why they are now often chosen as an outdoor flooring option for patios and rear garden spaces, seamlessly leading on from the kitchen for an on-trend indoor-outdoor look.
Seamless design with minimal grout lines
Large format slabs reduce the amount of grout needed and on large expanses of walls and floors. Where a seamless finish is important, CRL Stone slabs offer the perfect solution.
Tapping into the trend for wall cladding, for feature media walls in open plan kitchens, for splashbacks, for wet room style bathrooms and even for a building’s exterior, CRL Stone offers the opportunity to use a floor to ceiling panel with no horizontal joints or grout lines. In a slim 6mm thickness, the surfaces can also be fabricated to a required size, tailored to fit precisely even in awkward spaces.
For seamless, minimal styling in the bathroom at just 6mm thick, Meteora Gris is an MDI surface from CRL Stone that is just one of the many perfect wall cladding solutions offered by the company.
The textured finish of the material enhances its natural beauty, adding to the feeling of wellness in the bathroom, while the distinctive stone-effect patterning in on-trend grey, combines harmoniously with a myriad of colours and materials, acting as a blank canvas in the modern home. Named Best Bathroom Surface at the Living etc Style Awards 2022, Meteora Gris has practical appeal too, supplied in a slab format to make installation cost-effective and simple, particularly over large areas.
Extending interior design trends outdoors
The move towards home entertaining and making the most of our outdoor spaces has led to a growing trend for inside outside kitchens. Here too, CRL Stone offers the perfect flooring solution, with its range of materials creating a seamless sense of flow when the same flooring is used for the kitchen and the adjoining exterior space. Such continuity helps to draw the eye outside from the kitchen and vice versa and results in a cohesive look.
The flooring chosen must be suitable for all weathers, of course. It should be frost-proof and slip resistant but also UV resistant too, so the colour of the tile won’t fade from direct sunlight. CRL Stone offers all these qualities and more, making it ideally suitable solution for use outside.
Choose a natural effect tile, like MDi Ocean Stone for example, to bring the outdoors in and vice versa, while options such as Ceralsio Croma White and Ceralsio Croma Grey are ideal for creating a contemporary indoor-outdoor space that runs on a continuous finish. Combining different shapes and even finishes of tile can divide a large, paved patio area into several zones depending on what it will be used for, e.g cooking, dining, relaxing.
Climbing the walls with street credibility
The high level of durability and ability to withstand changing weather conditions throughout the seasons, makes the surface range from CRL Stone ideal for exterior cladding too.
Cladding can make a property stand out and enjoy extra prominence, giving it enormous street cred while also protecting and preserving the quality of the bricks and mortar beneath. Choosing a material that is not only available in a range of styles so it the property remains in keeping with its neighbours, yet is also highly durable and weather proof is extremely important. CRL Stone surfaces are therefore a viable option for all of these reasons, not to mention their ease of installation too.
In a natural finish, MDi Nero, for example, is a dark, modern surface that works in harmony with natural materials such as wood and the raw finish of brickwork. The material’s low water absorption rate of less than 0.2% makes it ideal for outdoor environments where it won’t be impacted by frost and ice, while its UV resistance makes this a colourfast surface that won’t fade over time, even when used outdoors and in direct sunlight.
Style-led walls and floors
Alongside the many practical advantages of CRL Stone surfaces, the range also offers a great deal of versatility in terms of style options. From classic soft and neutral shades through to bold marble-inspired patterning, there is a surface to suit all tastes and all decors. Walls and floor surfaces become a design focal point, with the opportunity to add vibrancy and personality, as well as to ensure the whole look works together well.
New flooring or a change of splashback can add new life to an existing setting too and with so many styles to choose from, the latest trends in interior design can be incorporated into your home with ease. Opt for a stone-effect ceramic to bring nature indoors and create a sense of calm, or choose a bold marble-effect pattern to make a visual statement on a feature wall, with more muted tones elsewhere for a timeless look that is easy to live with.
To find out more about the wide range of floor and wall surface solutions from CRL Stone, visit www.crlstone.co.uk or call 01706 863 600.