Confindustria Ceramica

Italian ceramic tiles and quality

Ceramic tiles are essential components of both interior and urban design, so they must be of high aesthetic quality and beauty. They are essential finishing elements for all surfaces, in all living spaces where aesthetic quality can be fully expressed.

If we think of the key strengths of Italian ceramic tiles as a metaphorical polyhedron, aesthetic quality – as perceived by discerning customers and end users – represents just one of the faces. Now a polyhedron is a solid with many faces, all of which are essential for its geometric construction and structural harmony. In the case of Italian tiles, the faces of the metaphorical polyhedron can be grouped into families such as aesthetic research, technological innovation, attention to the environment and performance. Each of these families forms a large face of the polyhedron, which in turn is divided into numerous smaller faces that represent the specific characteristics of individual products. The final result is a large, multifaceted structure that embraces aesthetic taste and creativity.

In our metaphor, the functional polyhedron representing ceramic tiles is intentionally asymmetrical, just like any object born of creativity and imagination. Some faces are stable (e.g. attention to the environment), while others are constantly being created through hard work (e.g. technological innovation). Yet others are in a state of flux (e.g. aesthetic research).

Others still, after a long period of development, are now finally stable and clearly defined like the structure of a crystal. These are the aspects concerning the technical quality of products and definition of the basic performance requirements subsequent to installation. They are essential factors for guiding customers in choosing the right product for a given application.

In our metaphorical polyhedron, this collection of faces can be grouped under the general heading of “technical quality”. This concerns not only tile standards but also installation material standards, guidelines for installation, certification (system and product), and the role of test laboratories.
These are the essential elements underlying technical product quality certification. It is important to realise that tiles are not in themselves the finished product. The finished product is the perfectly executed tiled floor or wall, which must be capable of withstanding the various forms of stress (mechanical, chemical, hygrothermal) that arise at the site of installation.

Assopiastrelle has always been attentive to these issues. It has been actively involved in the standardisation activity in its broadest sense to ensure that standards, rules and certification tools of national and international scope are made available to the sector. It offers support to all parties that are interested in finding out more about ceramic tiles to take full advantage of aesthetic and technical qualities of this product.