Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs — porcelain tiles measuring as long as 15 feet, as wide as five feet, and as thin as 3.5 millimeters — are currently one of the trendiest surface coverings available, and we don’t just mean for flooring and walls. These big and beautiful tiles are also becoming a popular option for furnishings of all kinds.
Benefits of Gauged Porcelain Tile for Furniture Materials
You might be asking yourself, tile and furniture?
Porcelain tile isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think about common types of furniture, but that only makes its popularity as a furniture material option that much more impressive.
The explanation behind gauged porcelain’s rise to fame stems from its superior functional and aesthetic advantages over other (nonceramic) materials. For example, here are a few of gauged porcelain’s benefits as compared to traditional furniture materials:
- Gauged porcelain vs. wood furniture: Wood furniture is vulnerable to damage from moisture, fading from exposure to the sun, and scratches from sharp objects. Like all types of ceramic tile, gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs are water-, stain-, fade-, and scratch-resistant. Rings from coaster-less drinks aren’t an issue with gauged porcelain!
- Gauged porcelain vs. glass furniture: In addition to glass’s high-maintenance care (you know what we mean — near constant wiping to remove greasy fingerprints and smudges), the biggest downside of glass furniture is that scratching can be a concern and, of course, porcelain panels provide many more style options.
- Gauged porcelain vs. natural stone furniture: Natural stone cannot be manufactured to be as thin as gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs, making gauged porcelain easier to transport, handle, and install. Gauged porcelain may also have more consistent water and stain resistance, and can be more affordable than certain types of natural stone, such as marble and onyx. Sustainability isn’t a concern for gauged porcelain tile, either: You can get the look of rare gemstones without depleting these resources. Additionally, gauged porcelain can be manufactured in large quantities with consistent quality and appearance — something that’s more difficult with natural stone.
- Gauged porcelain vs. metal furniture: Some types of metal furniture may rust if regularly exposed to moisture — a concern for any furniture that is used outdoors. Rusting and other types of water damage aren’t an issue with gauged porcelain tile.
- Gauged porcelain vs. plastic furniture: Plastic furniture isn’t comparable to gauged porcelain in either durability or style, but the main concern here is the sustainability of plastic, some of which is difficult or even impossible to recycle. Like all types of ceramic tile, gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs contain no plastic, and all ceramic tile types typically meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) requirements for clean fill.
[Related: Low-Maintenance Benefits of Ceramic and Porcelain Tile]
Types of Gauged Porcelain Tile Furniture
Gauged porcelain tile furniture is largely custom-made, meaning that your options for style and use depend largely on your needs (and imagination!). Common types of gauged porcelain tile furniture include:
- Kitchen/dining tables
- Kitchen islands
- Kitchen cabinets
- Coffee tables
- Large planters
Keep in mind that gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs can be used to create original furniture for a specific space (such as the desk in the photo above), or installed directly over other surface materials. The best way to determine whether the gauged porcelain tile furniture you have in mind is possible is to work directly with a designer and tile installer.
[Related: Our Favorite Porcelain Furniture on Instagram]
Gauged Porcelain Tile Furniture Design Possibilities
Ceramic tile, including porcelain tile, can be manufactured in a seemingly limitless number of natural looks, patterns, colors, and even textures. Gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs take this versatility to the next level by showing off your chosen design on massive surfaces.
What this means for your gauged porcelain tile furniture is that any look is possible.
In general, marble looks are a popular choice for gauged porcelain tile, as well as the look of other types of natural stone and cement. Solid colors, metallic, and oxidized metal looks are also trending.
You may want to match your gauged porcelain tile design with the furniture application itself. For example, you might choose wood-look gauged porcelain tile for a kitchen table, cabinets, or built-in shelving, and granite-look porcelain for a kitchen island.
However, you may also choose a look (e.g., bright colors, patterns, or specific branding elements) that’s not traditionally associated with furniture, or choose a single look and use it for all the furniture in a room. One of the best parts of using gauged porcelain tile panels/slabs is the ability to be playful and push traditional design boundaries.
Sold on gauged porcelain tile furniture? Explore our Pinterest board for gauged porcelain tile design ideas and work with your tile installer or designer to determine the possibilities for your project. When you’re ready to make a purchase, visit the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) and Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) sites to learn where to find certified porcelain tile.