Technology

Focus on new ceramic trends at TILE&STYLE

13/12/2019

Glazes, inks, grits and effects for trend-setting ceramic tile production took the spotlight during the Fritta open house event.

In October and November, Fritta opened the doors to its headquarters in Onda (Castellón) for the traditional Tile&Style open house event, where it presented its new ceramic collections in its large showroom. This year’s event saw less minimalism and a greater emphasis on the application of effect on natural materials, a choice dictated by the Spanish glaze and colour producer’s desire to cater more for the aesthetic tastes of this year’s most dynamic markets – North and South America and North Africa – rather than the more sluggish European markets, held back amongst other things by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The event saw a strong focus on large surfaces, a product type that is now being used in the widest range of applications including floors, walls, facades, bathroom and kitchen countertops and furniture, and to 20 mm thick tiles for outdoor areas and urban design. With these products in mind, Fritta has developed materials with specific technical characteristics including glazes with high scratch and impact resistance, non-slip characteristics and at the same time soft-touch and easy-to-clean surfaces.

Fritta has expanded its range of digital effect inks to cater for millennials, a generation who are keen to customise spaces with their own personal style. Along with glossy matt effects, these include a series of collections with microreliefs, from the opal series for applications on white backgrounds to digital glue for grit applications.

At Tile&Style, Fritta also presented a new high-performance metallic ink suitable for various firing processes with traditional ceramic materials. The most innovative effects include:

  • Chisel Ink, capable of creating a wide range of textures and microreliefs synchronised with the graphic designs, also available in Chisel Mate and Chisel Brillo versions;
  • Opal Ink, an ink with a high whiteness index and unique colour rendering, available in a range that includes the new Opal Soft and Opal White HT versions for polished porcelain;
  • Glue Ink, the digital glue that fixes grits selectively and, combined with the matt or gloss effects, enhances volumes by creating outlines synchronised with the design;
  • Metallic Ink, a metallic effect for porcelain that performs well on glaze-engobe or matt with suitable application weights for today’s printheads.

Given that digital technology is already capable of performing selective grit application for synchronisation with the graphic design or for creating high-definition reliefs, Fritta presented a new range of wet or dry decoration grits, including coloured grits and products with a “sugar” or metallic effect.

The latest product trends include polished, lapped and crest-polished surfaces, for which Fritta mainly proposes the use of glazes and grits in the form of a gel.

As already mentioned, current trends are turning away from minimalist zen environments in favour of lively and intense colours with a predominance of blue, green, reddish, ochre and violet tones. Here too, the use of metallic effects on marble, stone, concrete and wood look surfaces creates unique and highly distinctive details. Along with large size white and black veined marble, Tile&Style also showcased marbles with blue, green, ochre and reddish tones and gloss and matt finishes. 

The displayed projects also included terrazzo and concrete effect surfaces with natural textures created using metallic effects and grits in the Hurley, Slater, Shire and Dotstone collections.

For wood effect surfaces, the featured solutions concentrated on neutral, metallic and matt tones in the Preston, Marwood and Scarle collections.

And naturally there were also fabric and wallpaper effects proposed in the Penza, Lambra, Hypatia, Leak and Hand collections, created through the application of grits and digital effects.

Last but not least, a variety of surfaces with reliefs created in-press were presented, including Strata, Folds and Rutendock.

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