FAQ

In this section you will find the most frequently asked questions about porcelain stoneware and laminated porcelain Slimtech.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it difficult to manufacture opaque ceramic tiles with lively colors?

It is first of all important to distinguish between glazed and full body stoneware. With glazed products it is easy to produce lively colors and still have an opaque finish. The pigments used in the glazes are different from the ones used for the body of the product and offer a wide range of applications. Naturally to obtain lively colors on opaque surfaces it is important to use larger quantities of pigments in the glaze than in honed surfaces. In the case of full body products it is different (the ones in which the surface is very similar to the body of the tile)…. In this case the pigments are mixed in the body, and it is harder to reproduce lively colors because of the production process. Lively colors though can be obtained on full body stoneware products by surface finishing (such as honing).

How important is cleaning after the installation?

Cleaning “after the installation” helps remove residues of grout-joints, cement and lime. This is obligatory at the end of the installation, for glazed tiles and unglazed tiles. If the cleaning “after the installation” is not carried out properly or if is not carried out at all, is often a cause of marks that prevent the floor from being clean even if a good daily cleaning is performed. Whenever is possible, especially for medium to large surfaces, it is advisable to use a single-brush machine with soft disks (white or beige). The cleaning of cement-based grouts mixed with water it is carried out with specific detergents based with buffered and diluted acids (which are easily available in the market).

Here is some important information about the cleaning after installation:

– Clean 4-5 days after the grouting (the grout must be hardened); do not wait over 10 days. In addition to this period, the cleaning can become very laborious.
– Moisten the floor with water before cleaning. This way the groutings are soaked with water and the contact with detergents is reduced.
– Let the detergents operate for limited periods, hence rinse out with water as soon as possible.
– It must not be carried out if the tiled surfaces are very hot (i.e. exposed to the sun during very warm days); this must be avoided as the action of aggressive chemicals become very harsh. On the summer, proceed with the operation during the coolest period of the day.
– Make sure to always perform a precautionary test before using the product (on a tile that is not laid), especially for Lapped or Polished products.
– Cleaning epoxy grouts or cement-based grouts with additives (with Lattice, Resins, etc..): removing this type of grout residues must be done immediately and thoroughly because these grouts hardened very quickly, even after just a few minutes. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully.
– antislip tiles: “Antislip” tiles that are made with rough and/or textured surfaces must be cleaned very laboriously. Therefore, it is advisable to clean “after the installation”, quickly and thoroughly, using a single-brush machine with soft disks (white).

What is the abrasion resistance?

Abrasion resistance is the capacity of the glazed surface to resist the wear caused by foot traffic or the abrasion caused by mechanical equipment (lift trucks, etc.). The wear action is strictly linked the mechanical agent (rubber sole, leather sol, etc.), the material carried on to the surface (water, sand, mud, etc.) and classified in five categories depending on the areas they are be used in:

  • PEI I Tiles for areas with light traffic and without abrasive dirt, e.g. bathrooms, bedrooms
  • PEI II Tiles for areas with average traffic and medium to low abrasion, e.g. studyng rooms, living rooms
  • PEI III Tiles for areas with higt medium to high traffic and average abrasion, e.g. foyer, kitchen in private residances
  • PEI IV Tiles for areas with intense traffic, e.g. restaurants, offices, shops, public offices (exluding floors under cash desks and shop counters and narrow unavoidable passageways)
  • PEI V Tiles for areas with especially intense traffic.
Can tiles be laid without a joint?
No, a joint is always necessary, but depending on the lateral finish of the tile it is possible to have very fine joints (1mm) or larger joints (5mm). Laying the tiles and choosing the joint generally varies according to the characteristics of the collection. It is important to pay attention in harmonizing the product and to keep the tile separators tight while laying. Il the tiles are rectified (perfectly square), they can be laid with a minimum joint of 1 or 2mm so as to create a refined and elegant effect. This kind of solution is ideal for modern products in large formats. In the case of classical and rustic tiles, with non rectified edges, that remain natural after firing, it is generally advised to use a slightly larger joint between 4 or 5 mm in such a way that the esthetical characteristics of the products.
What is leed?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards are parameters for sustainable building that were developed in America and applied in 40 countries in the World.
Processed by USGBC in collaboration with companies and researchers of American and Canadian universities, LEED standards indicate the requisites for constructing eco-compatible buildings capable of functioning in a sustainable and self-sufficient way as far as energy is concerned. In synthesis, it is a rating system (Green Building Rating System) for the development of “green” buildings. The organization that defines and promotes the LEED standards is the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit association born in 1993 that today has 11,000 members. Apart from a technical role, the USGBC has also the task of informing, making aware and orientating the community towards eco-sustainable building. LEED is a flexible and articulated system that foresees differentiated formulations for new constructions (NC, New Construction and major renovations), existing buildings (EB, Existing Buildings), schools (LEED for Schools), and small houses (LEED Homes), although maintaining a basic setting that is coherent amongst the various environments. The system is based upon the attribution of credits for each of the requisites characterizing the sustainability of the building. The level of certification derives from the total sum of credits.


The criteria are grouped into six categories that foresee compulsory prescribed prerequisites and a number of environmental performances that together define the final score of the building:

  • Sustainable sites (1 prerequisite = 14 points): LEED certified buildings must be constructed on the basis of a demolition system that reduces the production of waste and uses materials recycled or produced locally.
  • Efficient water management (5 points): The presence of systems for the recovery of rainwater or with flow regulator taps must guarantee the maximum efficiency in the consumption of water.
  • Energy and atmosphere (3 prerequisites, 17 points): By utilizing energy as efficiently as possible from renewable and local sources, it is possible to significantly reduce the energy bill of buildings. In America, each year LEED constructions issue 350 metric tons of carbon dioxide less into the atmosphere than other buildings, thereby guaranteeing a saving of electricity of approximately 32%.
  • Materials and resources (1 prerequisite, 13 points): Buildings constructed with natural, renewable and local materials such as wood obtain a greater score in the LEED evaluation system.
  • Quality of the internal environment (2 prerequisites, 15 points): Internal spaces of the building must be planned in such a way as to permit a substantial parity of the energy scale and favour the maximum home comfort for the end user.
  • Planning and innovation (5 points): The use of improved construction technology in respect of best practices is an added value element to the LEED certification.

By totalling the credits achieved within each of the six categories, a specific certification level is obtained that attests the performance achieved by the building in terms of environmental sustainability. The LEED certification is subdivided as follows:

  •  Basic certification (Certified / 26–32 points)
  • Silver certification (Silver / 33-38 points)
  • Gold certification (Gold / 39-51 points)
  • Platinum certification (Platinum / 52-69 points)

Addressing the whole process (from the planning to the actual construction) and every part of the building, LEED opts for a global vision of sustainability, taking advantage of all possibilities to reduce various types of environmental impact and harmful emissions of buildings under construction. The best practices can therefore be identified and delineated for engineers, architects, professionals and the whole community of the building sector and these best practices can then become the guidelines in the certification of third parties. The competitive advantages for the companies and professionals who adopt LEED standards are identifiable above all by the certification by a third party authority, considered fundamental for obtaining a positive reaction in the marketplace. In fact, LEED certification supplies the market with a shared definition, a common objective and a measurable standard. It is a voluntary standard adopted by the market through a creation process of agreement. It can therefore be confirmed that LEED certification of buildings corresponds to the informative labelling on all food packets indicating the ingredients, calories, fats, etc. The aim is to have the same detailed information also for buildings, the value of which is normally estimated in hundreds of thousands of Euros. In the case of LEED certified buildings, the same evaluation method permits providing detailed information: the aggregation of LEED key-area criteria (refer to the indicated areas in the table to one side) permits identifying high-performance buildings.

What is stoneware?
Stoneware tiles are obtained by the synterization process of the clay bonding liquid. Firing occurs at a temperature of approximately 1,350°C in furnaces as long as 140 metres, where the raw material is gradually brought to maximum temperature, maintained at that temperature for a short period and gradually cooled until it reaches an environmental temperature. The firing process determines the ceramization/vitrification of the clay bonding liquid, giving the typical characteristics of toughness, impermeability and frost resistance. Various deformations of the previously pressed material occur during firing. The major deformations regard the planarity, calibration and warping. The above-mentioned deformations determine the quality of the finished product. At the end of the firing, the tiles are subdivided into homogeneous classes of size and tone. The material that does not fully conform to the parameters outlined by the UNI norms are declassed (2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc.). With the actual production technology, tiles can be obtained in various formats from 5 x 5 cms to 60 x 120 cms with thicknesses from 7 to 16 mm and be enamelled or not enamelled.
What is full body stoneware (UGL) ?
Full body stoneware is a product that shows on the surface exactly the colours that are throughout the whole body of the tile. This characteristic helps in rare cases when a tile splinters and therefore the aesthetic damage is kept to a minimum.
What is enamelled colour body grès porcelain (GL)?
Enamelled colour body grès porcelain is a product coloured in the mixtures of the tile’s body and further enriched by applications of enamelling on the surface.
Welche art von “rand” kann eine feinsteinzeugfliese haben?

By surface finish is meant the processing phase of a piece to obtain determined conditions of surface roughness and shape/dimension tolerances. Grès porcelain tiles can have two different kind of surface finish.

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Natural finish is very versatile and of universal use. Practically, the tile is not subjected to other processes following the firing.

Honed finish exalts the aesthetic valences of the material, increasing the brilliance and elegance.

What types of edging can grès porcelain tiles have?

Grès porcelain tiles can have two different types of edging.

Natural(NAT): Edging that comes exclusively from the moulding of the press.

Rectified uniform size(RECT): Edging perfectly straight (sometimes accompanied by a slight chamfer around the perimeter of the surface) coming from squaring procedures that bring the pieces to a uniform dimension of the sides, independent of productions lots.

 

What is tone?
Tone is the tonality of colour that characterizes a particular lot of tiles. Seeing that it is almost impossible to produce pieces with identical chromatic tonality in an industrial production, the tiles are grouped together regarding the homogeneity of colour (tone) before being packed.
What is shading?

The phrase “shading” is a denomination which means a passage of visible chromatic gradations that cannot be harmonized. It indicates the difference of tone of single tiles that are not homogeneous. Classes have been established within which the different collections of grès porcelain tiles are classified:

  • V1= uniform
  • V2= slight
  • V3= moderate
  • V4= strong
Where can Lea Ceramiche products be purchased?
Lea Ceramiche does not sell directly to the public nor has a factory outlet. Go to any one of the numerous retail stores that sell its products to purchase Lea Ceramiche collections of grès porcelain. To find the names of the nearest stores visit the “retailer” section (link to the section) and carry out a search by country/region/province/council area. The retailer will supply all the necessary information regarding prices.
How to choose the correct product to lay in a particular environment?
The choice of a ceramic product is completely subjective and personal, apart from the fact that there are products more suitable for using inside or outside as flooring or cladding. All Lea Ceramiche’s catalogues give precise information regarding this. Technical characteristics and factory/product certifications are reported. All grès porcelain products can anyway be used internally or externally but utilized differently depending on whether it is full body grès porcelain or enamelled grès porcelain.
How are Lea Ceramiche tiles laid?
The laying of Lea Ceramiche tiles varies on the basis of the collection’s characteristics. Attention must be paid to harmonizing the product and keeping the grout joints narrow. Furthermore, to ensure a correct fixing as in all Lea Ceramiche grès porcelain materials, it is necessary to add some additives to the setting area and the joints. These materials can be easily purchased in any retail store that sells tile laying products. Particular attention must be paid to cleaning; all traces of grout must be removed from the surface of the tile to simplify maintenance and cleaning.
How are Lea Ceramiche’s products cleaned?

All information, suggestions and products recommended for ordinary and extraordinary cleaning of Lea Ceramiche grès porcelain tiles can be downloaded in the “cleaning and maintenance” section.

What is rectification?
Rectification is a procedure by which the edges of the tiles are perfectly squared. The tiles can then be laid with minimum joints thereby obtaining an aesthetically refined and elegant result. Rectification is usefull especially forbathroom tiles and kitchen tiles.
What is the plus in the installation on exsisting floors?
The installation on existing floor is a great way to save time and money: no dust, noise, debris disposal costs, no modification to doors. Slimtech plus can be installed on existing ceramic, marble, stone, cotto, wooden or PVC floors. The existing floor must be dry, stable, sound, perfectly flat and clean, which means that there must not be brittle fragments compromising adhesion. Flatness checking should be performed using a screed with a length of at least 2 metres. Place the screed on the slab in all directions. Any differences in level must be corrected beforehand using suitable levelling products.Check soundness and adhesion. Wash glazed ceramic floors with a solution of water and caustic soda and rinse thoroughly before installation. If chemical cleaning is not possible, adopt mechanical abrasion techniques
How do I know if the tile I bought is really a first choice tile? Is there a code that identifies the choice?
All the packaging of stoneware produced by Lea Ceramiche indicate the choice of the tiles in the box. Therefore to be sure that your point of sales sold you first choice tiles, it is enough to control that on the box there is written “I” or “1°”. Depending on the collections, for flooring, decors or special parts, the first choice is indicated by the Arabic or Roman number.
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Slowing down today, to come back stronger tomorrow.

Today more than ever, doing business demands a strong sense of responsibility as well as the ability to be flexible, in particular at a time as dramatically complex as the one we’ve been living through over the past few weeks due to the Covid-19 situation.

Right from the start we instituted a series of strict rules for the purpose of safeguarding the health and safety of our employees in the workplace, in full respect of the regulations passed by the Italian government.

Now we have decided to temporarily halt manufacturing in our Italian sites, which will remain closed for three weeks as of this Friday 20th March because of an external economic situation that is momentarily impacting negatively the market.

Nevertheless, the company is not closing.

We are here for you, and for those who wish to continue choosing our products and to whom we will guarantee the best commercial assistance and an efficient delivery service.

We are still here, with our continuous innovation and our ongoing research into new products and solutions that we will soon be proud to launch.

We will come back even stronger than before, ready for the new challenges that await us!

18/03/2020