Glossary and Technical Legend

ABRASION (RESISTANCE TO TRAMPLING WEAR)

resistance to trampling wear is the resistance of a surface to wear and tear (for unglazed tiles) or to change its appearance (for glazed tiles). According to UNI EN norms, abrasion resistance is classified with PEI grades, where PEI 1 corresponds to the lowest resistance and PEI 5 corresponds to the most resistant tiles. For unglazed tiles, abrasion resistance increases with the decrease of water absorption therefore it is high in the case of porcelain stoneware. The abrasion resistance value can also change depending on the treatments carried out on the tile surface: in the case of terracotta tiles, for instance, the impregnation using natural or synthetic substances and for porcelain stoneware any polishing treatment. For glazed tiles, abrasion resistance exclusively depends on the glaze: light colour glazes tend to show the effects of use more, also due to their more complex cleaning.

ANTI-SLIP

the key safety feature for a tiled surface is its slip resistance. A slippery surface creates an architectonic barrier making walking on the surface difficult and treacherous, particularly for those suffering from either a permanent or temporary physical disability.

ATOMIZATION

stage of the productive process that has the function of drying the ceramic mix (slip) following the wet milling of raw materials, in order to obtain atomized powders that will undergo a semi-dry pressing. The slip is sprayed in a hot air current, therefore the drops dry quickly and become spherical grains that are internally hollow and that contain a moisture residue (ranging from 4 to 8%) as this is useful as a lubricating agent during the following pressing procedure.

BIO-ARCHITECTURE

a branch of architecture that uses low environmental impact materials thus reducing the chemical-physical and electro-magnetic pollution. Bio-architecture examines every single possible method and measure to prevent and avoid damage to the eco-system, the risks to physical and mental health of people living in a building (from the people who are building it to the people who will eventually end up using it) and in general, it considers the relationship with the local, regional and global environment.

BULK MECHANICAL FEATURES (test method ISO 10545-4)

these features concern the resistance to loads (for example the weight of people, of furniture, of means of transport on a floor) that the tiles surface must withstand. They are called “bulk mechanical” features since they concern the whole tile and in order to distinguish them from “surface” features, which concern only the working surface of the tile.

CE Security Mark

is the safety product certification required by EU and it is finalized to preserve the people’s health and the goods in buildings. The new Regulation UE N. 305/2011 is valid from the first of July 2013. The most important news is the introduction of the Declaration Of Performance (DOP) with which the supplier communicates the safety requirements concerning own materials. ZERO.3 3plus – ZERO.3 5plus porcelain stoneware slabs have the CE mark (cf. DOP004PAN – cf. DOP005PAN). The application of a fiberglass mesh on the back confer to these products the categories of fire resistance indicated in the ZERO.3 technical tables.

CERAMIC

ceramic is a material which is obtained from clay pastes and other substances available in nature. In its natural state, ceramics is very ductile, while it becomes very hard after firing. Many products are made of ceramics – from cladding, covering products, bricks, sanitary wares, mechanical and aeronautical products and solutions used in the building industry. Ceramics offers countless decorative opportunities, it is resistant to abrasion and atmospheric conditions, to fire and to chemical attacks.

CERAMIC TILES

ceramic tiles are relatively thin slabs of ceramic materials in various sizes and thicknesses, made from a mixture of clay, sands and other natural substances. These pastes are prepared and then made into the required shapes. They are then fired at high temperatures.

CERAMICS OF ITALY

Ceramics of Italy is the institutional trademark that represents and promotes Italian ceramic industries on a worldwide level. Through Panariagroup SpA, Panaria Ceramica can label its products with the Ceramics of Italy trademark, which confirms their high standard of design, the use of the latest technology, concern for the environment and for safety at work and constant research for optimising the resources employed, in compliance with the highest performance standards.

Ceramics of Italy, promoted by Confindustria Ceramica, is a registered trademark of Edi.Cer. Spa, the organizer of Cersaie – the International ceramics exhibition.

CHEMICAL FEATURES (ISO 10545-13 – ISO 10545-14)

the resistance to chemical attack refers to the behaviour of the ceramic surface when exposed to aggressive chemicals which, due to their composition and chemical features, can corrode the ceramic surface and alter its technical and/or aesthetic performance. The chemical resistance can be distinguished into resistance to household chemicals, resistance to high-concentration acids and alkalis, resistance to low-concentration acids and alkalis and resistance to staining.

CLAY

raw material used for the manufacturing of ceramic tiles. Its most important features are: plasticity, hardening during drying, rigidity after firing, shrinkage during drying and firing.

CORNER TILE OR ANGULAR ELEMENT

trim tile for wall cladding, square-section junction element, it is used to clad the external edge created by two surfaces placed at right angles.

DEEP ABRASION RESISTANCE (ISO 10545-6)

or surface mechanical resistance, is the resistance of the ceramic tiled surface to wear and tear connected with the movement of bodies, surfaces or materials that come into contact with it; for example, the soles of shoes, the wheels of trolleys or other vehicles, furniture and other loads that may be dragged across the surface.

DOUBLE LOADED

the double-loading technology compacts two layers of powders with different granulometric values into the same ceramic body, thus giving the ceramic surface a high structural solidity and an intense, delicate aesthetic.

DOUBLE-FIRING

the firing of the ceramic piece and of its vitreous decorations can include more than one firing cycle, each generally (but not necessarily) occurring at a lower temperature with respect to the previous cycle. The firing cycles can create single-firing, double-firing or third-firing tiles. Double-firing can be divided into “quick double-firing” with both firing cycles lasting less than one hour in roller kilns and “traditional double-firing” where both cycles lasts for a number of hours.

ECOLABEL

Ecolabel is an environmental certification for a product, created by the European Union (66/2010/CE). It is done so as to allow all consumers to buy “green” products that are eco-compatible, and to contribute concretely to the safeguard the eco-system and improve our standard of living. All the Ecolabel products are marked with a clearly visible daisy. This label is a proof of excellence, because it is given after a thorough analysis of the product life cycle (LCA).

EPD (ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATION)

a transparency tool that communicates the environmental performances of Panaria porcelain tile through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This is a Sector-wide EPD, certified in October 2016 by an independent third party according to official guidelines (PCR), requested by the primary building certification systems such as LEED (international), BREEAM (England), HQE (France), and DGNB (Germany), as well as the legislative frameworks in Italy (requisites for sustainable public contracts). It is a voluntary certification that gives additional value to Panaria products because they are manufactured according to the highest standards of sustainability and responsibility.

FELDSPARS

raw materials that are widely present in the earth’s crust and do not yet run the risk of depletion, derived from the decomposition of rocks – such as quartz porphyry, granite, syenite, gneiss- rich in minerals that build clay. These materials determinate the vitreous process that ensures the compactness of ceramic products.

FOOTING

the footing, also known as concrete slab, is a building element of variable thickness from 4 to 8cm, created using cement mortars. It can be installed onto a load-bearing support (i.e. floor), onto a separating support (i.e. vapour barrier) or onto a thermal and/or acoustic insulation layer and depending on the aforementioned installations, the footing can be defined as “adherent”, “separating” or “floating” footing, the latter, if incorporated into heating coils is called “heating” footing.

FROST (RESISTANCE)

it depends on the porosity or water absorption of the material: the lower the water absorption is, the lower the damage due to frost.

FROST-PROOF

typical features of low porosity materials, resistant to frost and suitable for outdoor use.

GLAZED

glazed tiles are covered with a layer of coloured glass that gives colour, brilliance, hardness and water-proofing to them.

GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL ITALIA (GBC-ITALIA)

a voluntary board of companies and institutes that, via the development and implementation of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in Italy, share the goals of influencing the market and transforming it so that “green buildings” – low environmental impact buildings – become more and more popular and rooted in society.

GRES PORCELLANATO (PORCELAIN TILES)

ceramic tiles obtained via pressing, with low porosity and made of a bright mix that can be uniformly coloured or shaded using powder mixes and grains of different sizes. The composition of the mix is very similar to that of vitreous china but raw materials are selected in order to contain the minimum percentage of iron oxides. The mix is pressed, with specific loads higher than 50% compared to vitreous china. The firing cycles lasts less than one hour at a temperature of 1400°C. Tiles can then be polished, before or after their installation, in order to enhance their aesthetics. It is resistant to frost, to acids and bases and has an excellent mechanical resistance.

GRES PORCELLANATO 20mm (HIGH THICKNESS PORCELAIN STONEWARE)

tiles with an increased thickness (2 cm) as compared to traditional stoneware (1 cm). 20 mm thick porcelain stoneware is a highly durable product designed for external flooring of public and residential spaces: town squares, pavements, walkways, parking areas, terraces, poolsides, bathing facilities, public parks, and more. 

GRIP

the term 'grip' refers to a type of surface finish of Panaria Ceramica porcelain stoneware, characterized by a high slip resistance that makes it suitable for outdoor application.

GROUT LINE

is the distance separating adjacent tiles during installation. The grout line allows floors to have natural subsidence due to structural movements, moisture and thermal shock.

HONED

the term ‘honed’ refers to a type of finish of Panaria Ceramica porcelain stoneware in which the surface has been expertly abraded using diamond cutters and compressed air. The honed surface is soft to the touch and very bright, suitable for the most sought-after interiors.

INDOOR STEP

porcelain stoneware trim tile for floors used for indoor stairs. In order to encourage the continuous effect, it has the same look of outdoor steps but it doesn’t have an anti-slip finish. On its external side, it features a profiling that increases its safety properties making the treading stable and easy. The profiling is obtained via the fusion of more ceramic elements or otherwise creating a single-piece during the production process. Angular step, finished on two sides, is used at the ends of the stair that does not terminate against the wall.

KAOLIN

white clay used for the manufacturing of porcelain.

KLINKER (OR CLINKER)

small size tiles with high thickness whose mix is made of ordinary clays and kaolin, feldspar and non-plastic materials. It differs from porcelain stoneware as it has a heterogeneous body and is less vitrified but, just like porcelain stoneware, it is resistant to frost and to chemicals and has a high mechanical bending strength. Klinker products are obtained via pressing or extrusion and fired at more than 1200°C with long firing cycles. Klinker tiles are used for indoor and outdoor flooring. The main producer of this product is Germany, the country where it was invented in 1930.

LASER DECORATION

achieved via the use of a laser directly onto the fired tile, the ceramic decor is created with no need for further firing. There is no contact and no dyes or inks are required or any post-engraving treatments. In the point of contact between the laser ray and the glazed ceramic surface, there is a slight and rapid temperature increase, that can be controlled in terms of heat and duration and that generates a crystallization of the glaze giving an effect of brilliance. On glossy and/or matt non-textured surfaces, it is possible to create a depth effect, shades and detailing. The key strengths of this process are speed and high resolution.

LEED

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system created to encourage the construction of “green” buildings. Developed by the US Green Building Council and internationally recognized , it points out the necessary requirements to build eco-compatible projects, capable of functioning in sustainable and autonomous way in terms of energy consumption as well as having a low environmental impact throughout their entire life-cycle.

MAJOLICA

ceramic product made of a body covered with stanniferous glaze. The term derives from Majorca (a Balearic island) where this technology started.

MATT

the term "matt" refers to a type of surface finish of Panaria Ceramica ceramic products, it indicates the “natural” finish, the most functional and versatile surface finish for a universal use. The matt finish does not undergo any further treatment after firing.

MOISTURE EXPANSION

it calculates the expansion of tiles if exposed to high level of moisture and dampness. In general, it can be correlated with water absorption, even if there can be broad variations probably due to the effects of other micro-structural features such as the type of other processes involved.

OUTDOOR STEP

porcelain stoneware trim tile for floors, used for outdoor stairs or in areas subject to high slipperiness, it has an anti-slip finish on the ceramic surface to increase safety.

PENCIL TILE

trim tile for wall cladding with the same function of a listel, sometimes it can be glazed on the top therefore it can be used as a closing element for wall cladding.

QUARTZ SANDS

raw materials that are widely used in the ceramic tile industry, they have a structural function as they reduce dimensional alterations during firing usually due to the clayish ceramic mix. These sands, selected according to their pureness and fineness grade, are present across the world and in all European countries.

RAISED FLOORS

also called “floating floors”, are modular systems traditionally used for the flooring of interiors and that today are also being used for outdoor applications. Devised to solve the problems relating to office planning and to create an easily accessible gap below the treading surface, this system consists of: a bearing structure, a support panel and surface cladding, for which rectified porcelain stoneware slabs prove to be perfect. These floors are often completed using 60x60 cm slabs, but they can also be made to adapt to other sizes, ranging from 30 cm to 120 cm. 

RECTIFIED MONOCALIBER

the rectification is a process in which the tile edges are perfectly squared. In this way it is possible to install adjacent tiles with minimum grout lines. Rectified single work-size tiles mean that the tile edges are perfectly straight and with a single size of sides regardless of different production lots.

RESISTANCE TO TRAMPLING WEAR PEI (ISO 10545-7)

it determines the resistance of the glaze surface (glazed porcelain stoneware) to withstand wear and tear. According to ISO 10545-7 standard, tiles are divided into five grades depending on their destination of use:

     PEI 1: Products destined for areas exposed to light traffic with no abrasive dirt, for example: bathrooms, bedrooms.

    PEI 2: Products destined for areas exposed to medium traffic in presence of abrasive dirt, for example: study, living rooms

    PEI 3: Products destined for medium-high traffic in presence of strong abrasive dirt, for example: halls and kitchens in residential venues.

    PEI 4: Products destined for areas exposed to high traffic, for example: restaurants, offices, shops, public offices (except for floors that are installed below cash desks and public paths).

    PEI 5: Products destined for particularly high traffic venues.

SAFETY FEATURES (B.C.R.A. METHOD– ASTM C 1028 S.C.O.F. – DIN 51130 – DIN 51097)

the coefficient of friction measures the resistance of ceramic tiles to slipperiness. There are different methods used to calculate it: B.C.R.A. METHOD (measures the coefficient of dynamic friction (μ) that a surface must meet in order to be classified as anti-slip); ASTM C1028 METHOD (the American ASTM method measures the coefficient of static friction; DIN 51130 – DIN 51097 METHODS (the German DIN methods, often used in Italy, also called “ramp tests” or “inclined platform tests”). 

SATIN

this term refers to a type of surface finish of wall tiles characterized by a soft, opaque and sometimes iridescent surface. It differs from the Glossy surface finish as the latter has a bright and mirror-like effect.

SHADE

a chromatic tone that characterizes a specific lot of ceramic tiles. The shade is often indicated with a letter and stamped on the packaging; it is one of the most important pieces of information to check during delivery as shade can vary from one lot to another.

SILICA

a component of clay that determines its resistance and hardness.

SINGLE-FIRING

process in which glaze and clay are fired at the same time. Before the development of single-firing in the 80’s, the most common method was double-firing. The new technology allowed for the creation of a thinner product, reducing production and transport costs. Single-fired tiles are more resistant and can be used in commercial areas subject to high traffic.

SKIRTING

porcelain stoneware trim tile for floors, used as a cladding for the walls that are in contact with the ceramic flooring. The skirting can be profiled and used for stairs in contact with walls, its profiling adapts to the trends of the stair itself.

SLIP

watery suspension resulting from the wet milling of raw materials into continuous mills when water and raw materials are mixed.

SOCLE OR RAISE

trim tile for wall cladding, ceramic element mounted at the base of internal walls with a decorative function.

STRUCTURAL FEATURES (ISO 10545-3)

the structural features describe the structure of the material that constitutes the tile. The main feature is water absorption. Absorption occurs through pores in the material, the water absorption level determines the porosity of a tile. The water absorption value is referred to the body and not to the ceramic tile surface; therefore, in the case of glazed products its does not refer to the glaze as it is a vitreous water-proof, non-porous covering.

SURFACE FINISH

the surface finish is a special manufacturing process that ceramic tiles undergo to obtain a certain surface effect, leading to different aesthetic and technical properties.

SURFACE MECHANICAL FEATURES (EN 101 – ISO 10545-6 – ISO 10545-7)

these features refer to the surface of use of ceramic tiles in relation to resistance to scratching, and deterioration (use) due to hard bodies moving on the surface itself. These features are mainly affecting floor tiles. The most important one is abrasion resistance.

TERRACOTTA

a mix of natural clays that, following the drying phase, are fired at more than 1000°C and, depending on the origin of these clays, results in the final product being one particular colour or shade. The manufacturing process can be artisanal or industrial (drawn terracotta). If it is unglazed, it must be treated with impregnating substances after installation. 

THERMAL EXPANSION

it calculates the expansion of tiles if exposed to high temperatures. There are no significant differences between the various types of tiles even if this value can increase in tiles subject to a high vitrification process such as products with a vitrified and compact body.

THERMAL EXPANSION (LINEAR)

is the feature by which any material is reversibly altered in size when its temperature changes; more precisely, it expands when the temperature increases and contracts when the temperature falls. According to EN ISO 10545-8 industry standard, thermal expansion is measured with the coefficient of linear thermal expansion as the ratio between the amount that a test sample of the material lengthens when increasing its temperature and the initial length of the same sample.

THERMO-HYGROMETRIC FEATURES (ISO 10545-8 – ISO 10545-9 – ISO 10545-11 – ISO 10545-12)

these are features of resistance to specific temperature (“thermo”) and moisture (“hygro”) conditions, such as LINEAR THERMAL EXPANSION, THERMAL SHOCK RESISTANCE, FROST RESISTANCE, CRAZING RESISTANCE and Coefficient of linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8). 

THIRD FIRING

the word “third-firing” derives from the fact that ceramic pieces had already undergone a first firing cycle of the body and a second cycle to fire the layer of glaze. Originally, only decorations in pottery, crockery items and ceramic tiles were earmarked for third-firing.

TRIM TILES

complementary ceramic elements, characterized by a three-dimensional structure suitable for finishing the special elements of floor and wall coverings (for example steps, junctions, edges, corners, tops and closing elements). 

TUMBLED

referred to a surface which is smooth to the touch, as if eroded by the action of water. The tile edges are rounded and uneven, as if worn by the passage of time. Tumbled surfaces are suitable for rustic style areas and renovation works.

VEINING

is a characteristic of ceramic tiles reproducing marble. In veined porcelain stoneware the veining is also reproduced in the tile body.

VENTILATED WALLS

they represent the technological solution best suited to solving the problems relating to the thermal insulation of buildings. The system consists of three elements: a thermal insulation panel, a support structure and an external covering for which rectified porcelain stoneware products prove to be the most suitable. The fixing of slabs can be carried out using visible or hidden hooks.

VITRIFICATION

a partial and progressive fusion of ceramic mix, clay, feldspars, glaze, etc. caused by the temperature increase during firing. During this process, the vitreous amount increases and the apparent porosity of the material is reduced. A ceramic body is completely vitrified if the glass fills all the pores and cements them.

WALL COVERINGS

are the outermost external layer that can be applied to the walls in a building. A wall cladding meets precise aesthetic needs but also technical requirements, since it offers the wall resistance to strains and chemical agents. Wall coverings may be inside the structure or external. 

WORK-SIZE

is the manufacturing dimension of tiles, expressed in mm and stamped on the packaging.

Zero.3 (laminated stoneware)

is the result of exclusive "laminated stoneware" technology which results in slabs that measure 100x300x0.3 cm, a unique format which opens a  whole new world of possibilities to architects and designers. ZER0.3 is available in three thicknesses, 3mm, 3.5mm and 5.5mm.

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