KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Mar 01 2016

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Tile 101: A Look at its Design, Health and Safety Properties


This bathroom, designed by Rabaut Design Associates, showcases tile’s stunning visual impact on the floors, wall and ceiling.

Today’s tile offers more design opportunities than ever, with astounding achievements including large-format, thin tiles; wood looks; geometric shapes; and a variety of attractive colors, finishes and textures. Beyond its good looks, though, ceramic tile brings another benefit to the table, as well as to the backsplash, floors and walls. Tile is a healthy and safe material.

This is so important to me when I design kitchens and baths for clients. I’m thinking through not just the aesthetics of the space but also how the building materials contribute to a healthy home and what impact the products make on the environment.

There are five main aspects to tile being healthy for families, which include:

VOC-free – Some VOCs emitted by non-ceramic building products can contribute to a wide variety of health problems and “Sick Building Syndrome,” according to various health experts.

Formaldehyde-free – Ceramic tile contains no formaldehyde, a chemical long associated with respiratory disorders.

PVC-free – Ceramics are also free from PVC, a resin used in some types of building products.

Hypoallergenic – Tile is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, an increasing concern among building product manufacturers.  

Natural ingredients – More than 95 percent of fired ceramic tile is made from clay and other raw materials found in nature. 


The bathroom design was awarded a 2015 Coverings Installation & Design Award, netting the honor in the Residential Tile Design category.

Tile is also safe for the home’s occupants.

• Slip/fall safety – Of the many hard surface flooring choices available, ceramic tile stands out when slip/fall safety is a consideration because of the thousands of floor tile choices that are slip-resistant when wet.

• Fire-resistance – Tile made of ceramic is non-flammable and does not produce smoke in a fire.

Finally, ceramic tile is environmentally friendly. With a 60-year service life, ceramic tile is both cost effective and a good choice for reducing negative environmental impacts, resource use and demolition waste.

To learn more about product transparency – how companies are reducing hazardous ingredients and minimizing pollution and waste – join us at Coverings for the conference session, “From Green Squared to EPDs and HPDs – A Snapshot in Sustainability for the Tile Industry.” To learn more, visit www.coverings.com.

– By Alena Capra, Coverings’ Industry Ambassador

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 at 12:53 PM and is filed under Bath Design, Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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