What are Porcelain Panels?
As one of the latest materials to the tile world, few companies are equipped to produce the large porcelain panels and also get enough out to distributors to bring to the retail market like they do standard size porcelain. To keep the product consistent, standards must be enforced for tile professionals to be up on installation training and production lines to meet manufacturer’s specifications. Although choices are limited, these panels are quickly finding their place in the tile market. The largest influential factor for panel production is the consumer’s push for smaller grout lines or no grout lines.
Most panels take on the appearance of a natural stone and the pattern runs from one panel to the next to match upon panel installation. Popular styles range from quartz, granite, marble or travertine to solid colors.
Porcelain Panels range in thickness and weight. A typical panel usually weighs around 140lbs, so the professionals install panels with suction cups just like they do granite or quartz countertops. Panels can be as small as 30” x 30”. A common thickness for a panel is 6mm. Thin Porcelain Panels are 3mm thick or 1/8”. The panels above are approximately 4′ x 8′ and weigh about 115lbs.
Installation of Porcelain Panels
Porcelain panels can be installed on floors, walls or countertops. Their uses are not limited. They resist scratches and stains just like porcelain and have the same hardness and water resistance. They are more expensive to install than porcelain tile simply because they require special equipment to install and it is new to the industry. If the large porcelain panels trend like other materials new to the market, we can safely guess prices will eventually come down. There will be plenty of professional large panel installers on the market competing and well equipped to install panels just like there are for granite and quartz.