A guide to large format porcelain slabs

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

Every once in a while, along comes a product that makes you say 'wow'. Super-size slab porcelains are fast becoming the go-to of interior designers and homeowners alike and we can see why. Limited originally to commercial projects, these statement making, decorative wall tiles have thankfully crossed over to our homes and are beautiful, practical and striking in equal measure.

The TIlePortfolio Forge Bronze 2780 x 1200mm slabs to walls and Forge Tungsten porcelain floor tiles 1200 x 1200mm both in Matt finish

1. Useful and beautiful

Porcelain is a brilliantly useful material. Made from a mixture of white clay, sand and feldspar and fired at very high temperatures, it is a dense, hardwearing product that is very easy to clean.

It is also a material that when done well, expertly mimics everything from metal, concrete, stone, cement, marble and more. That makes for maximum design flexibility with none of the ongoing maintenance that can come with some of these natural materials.

The TIlePortfolio Aria Luxury White 2780 x 1200mm porcelain slabs to walls and 1200 x 1200mm porcelain tiles to floors

2. Where would you use porcelain slabs?

At 2.7m x 1.2m high these porcelains are designed to create drama. These one-piece decorative wall tiles are equally at home in the shower, around the bath, in the kitchen as a splashback or as a feature wall in your home. You can even use slabs as artwork.

The TIlePortfolio Forge Bronze 2780 x 1200mm slabs in a bathroom

The TIlePortfolio Forge Blue Mottle wall slabs to feature wall with co-ordinating 1200 x 1200mm porcelain tiles to floor

3. Bathrooms

Bathrooms are tricky spaces to design. They are generally the smallest rooms in the home and can have some difficult angles. Size of tiles can make a huge difference to a small space and it's a common misconception that small space equals small tiles. Small spaces can benefit from larger format decorative wall tiles because there are fewer grout lines.

4. Feature Walls

Feature walls provide a chance to experiment with texture, colour and pattern and are a way to add the wow factor.

The TIlePortfolio Forge Mint 2780 x 1200mm slabs to walls

5. Subtle Backdrop

Porcelain slabs can also act as a beautifully subtle backdrop to spaces. These grown up tones can transform a room or space leaving furnishings and accessories to do the talking. Porcelain is considered one of the leading materials for innovation and practicality - it's versatile, unalterable and brings texture and tone to spaces, particularly in cool cement and concrete effects.

All the super size slabs in our capsule collection feature matching tiles for floors in 400 x 800, 800 x 800 or 1200 x 1200 options for a beautifully modular tile collection.

6. As Artwork

Framing slabs to create the equivalent of an artwork piece is a striking way to introduce colour and texture to spaces.

Forge Blue Mottle 2.7 x 1.2m slabs individually framed with Forge Platinum porcelain tiles to floor in 800 x 800mm and 800 x 400mm sizes.

7. In the kitchen

Super size slabs are brilliant for kitchens. They are super practical aswell as looking stunning and can be used for everything from kitchen splashback to cladding walls - the splashes and spills of every day kitchen life are no contest for porcelain and with minimal grout they are a cinch to keep clean.

8. Planning, handling & installation

So, you're smitten. We know. So are we. So there are a few things to consider, and as every project is different we'd recommend you seek the services of specialist installers.

These super-size decorative wall tiles don't bend! It's imperative slabs are moved with the use of a specialist handling frame to avoid bending and possible breakage. And make sure you check you can actually get them into the space. For new builds with a little forward planning slabs can be delivered at a time when access is more open. For refurbishments negotiating stairways, corners and tight angles may be tricky.

Planning sheet usage is key. Doing some groundwork with your installer to agree where each sheet will be placed ensures you know where grout lines will appear. It also means you can balance aesthetic and cost - this is particularly important for bathrooms or smaller spaces where there may be more cuts and angles which may impact wastage.

Slabs are delivered in a crate for added protection and whilst the 6mm thickness helps minimise weight, they are still heavy and can weigh around 60kgs each so specialist handling frames featuring suction cups are a must for lifting them.

For more information and things to consider with slabs around handling, cutting and installation please get in touch with us for further information or visit the Installation page on our website.

The TilePortfolio Aria Botanic Green 2.7 x 1.2m slabs to back wall and Aria Arabesque 1200 x 1200mm tiles to floor.

Need some more advice? We'd love to be your partner in design. For more information contact us. We would be delighted to help.

Please note: We strongly recommend using a professional tiler for your project. Slabs are heavy and it is important they are handled and installed correctly. Preparation, the correct adhesives, and correct application are essential to ensure a successful installation. Always check with your tiler regards suitability of slabs for your project and please do get in touch with us if you have any questions.

The TilePortfolio specialise in Italian and Spanish Porcelain and Ceramic tiles, in particular large format Porcelains and Porcelain tiles for inside and outside. Our carefully curated, stunning tile portfolios are beautifully presented online and supported by our fuss-free ‘go-the -extra-tile’ service and video design consultancy. Visit our website for unmissable interiors inspiration. The TilePortfolio team are always available to chat, we’d be delighted to help with your project so please do get in touch.

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