In the time of COVID-19 and ongoing ultra-cleansing or sanitising of all surfaces to remove viruses, we wondered what this means for the place where our feet go – sometimes barefoot. Surely this is a surface worth looking into?
We asked a local supplier of tiles what their take is on the answer to this…
Porcelain tiles are the answer
According to Italtile, porcelain tiles are so much easier to keep clean and disinfected when compared with carpeting or wood, and have become the floor and wall surface of choice in the fight against home contagion. What was previously the hospital’s fight for clean environments has now become the fight of the home, also.
Porcelain tiles can lead the way to a cleaner home. Among all the existing materials, porcelain is definitely one of the best solutions to create safe, hygienic spaces where we can also spend a lot of time with maximum peace of mind. It’s a material with natural origins, made from clay or kaolin, and does not contain plastic, asbestos, formaldehyde, radon or any other harmful substances.
Thanks to the firing process at between 1 200°C and 1 400 °C, which eliminates all biological residues and volatile organic compounds called VOCs, porcelain tiles do not release harmful or toxic substances, even in the event of fire. This process of heating and then cooling causes vitrification, which results in a compact surface – what we call non-porous – that does not retain water, dirt, dust, bacteria or dust mites.
Porcelain floor and wall tiles are perfect for environments where there is a constant water presence, such as bathrooms, swimming pools or spas, because they are impermeable to liquids, resistant to moulds, fungi and bacteria, and can have excellent anti-slip performance (provided the right surface is chosen). In addition, porcelain tiles are chemically inert substances that can withstand all the cleaning, sanitising and disinfectant products that seem to be multiplying during the pandemic.
Innovation in technology has enabled the development of gigantic tile formats. Monumental tile ‘slabs’, often referred to as XXL, that can create extraordinary floor spaces and wall installations. So, from a health and safety perspective, large format tiles require much fewer grout lines. In turn, this means far less space for dirt, grime and bacteria to get trapped. Many reputable high tech grouts are, however, designed to repel bacteria, but that is the subject of a further article.