Size Does Matter
By Bedrosians Tile & Stone | 4/3/2018
Defined by its grand dimensions, large format tile is one of the top contenders for homes and businesses. They offer sleek lines and minimal need for grout, plus go well with design styles from contemporary to traditional. Available in stone, porcelain, ceramic and glass, they lend themselves to creating spaces that are open, inviting, and flowing!
WHAT IS LARGE FORMAT TILE (LFT)?
Until 2011, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) handbook defined LFT as 8” x 8” and greater. Today’s definition is that a tile with any edge longer than 15” is considered a large format tile. LFT comes in rectangular sizes like 18"x36", 16"x32", 24"x28", plus in long, plank formats like 6"x24", 8"x36", 8"x48". It's also available in square sizes like 20"x20", 24"x24", and 30"x30". A newer option is large panel porcelain, which we call Plane and Magnifica, that goes as large as like 60"x60", 60"x120" and 60"x126".
Modern, minimalist appeal. Whether it’s used inside on the floors and walls or on an exterior façade, a large format surface will give your space a contemporary edge.
Fewer grout lines. The larger the tile, the fewer the grout lines. With less grout, your surface will be much easier to clean and maintain.
Makes your room seem larger. The large size transforms a space; these tiles create a smooth look and a feeling of spaciousness, bringing unexpected drama to your home. It's a myth that large scale tiles shouldn't or can't be used in compact rooms, when in fact, these spaces are perfect for them. Using oversized tiles in a small area tricks the eye into thinking that the room is much bigger than it is, so can help to create a sense of scale where it doesn't naturally exist
Makes walls and vertical surfaces soar. Create statement walls, fireplaces and shower areas with large ceramic, porcelain and even glass large format tile.
Use on counters and backsplashes. The larger sizes work well on counters and vanities, and create a sleek look on backsplashes. We offer many looks and sizes in our Magnifica® Porcelain and Plane® Porcelain series
Perfect for outdoor applications. Because most porcelain tile is frostproof and impervious to water penetration, you can tile your patio, walkways, pools, spas and outdoor walls. The large tile sizes can cover a lot of real estate, which will make your space feel larger and will be easy to maintain.
For proper installation, floors and other horizontal surfaces need to be level and vertical surfaces must be plumb. Height and depth variations will be noticeable. For floors that are not level, consider using a self-leveling underlayment and self-leveling spacer options. It is important to keep the variation less than 1/8 of an inch. For walls that are not plumb, the walls may need adjustment prior to installation.
With large format tile, it is imperative that the sub-floor or substrate is properly prepared before laying any tile, and the larger the tile size, the more essential this becomes. It must be completely level and flat. Any dips or humps can lead to lippage that large format tile installations are prone to. Lippage is when one edge of a tile is not level with the adjacent tile's edge. This leads to the finished surface having an uneven appearance, degrades the quality of the installation, and can be a tripping hazard.
Grout joint widths shall be three times the variation in the facial dimension of the tile and never be less than 1/16”. Facial variation commonly occurs when tiles are pressed and not rectified. The only instance where a butt joint can be used is when a manufacturer expressly produces a tile that is designed not to receive a grout joint. Please inquire if you are uncertain.
Discover more sizes, colors and ideas for large format tile!