The etymology of the word ‘surface’ – ‘on the face’ – suggests a certain tenacity. Combined with a physical consistency with outstanding properties, the matter becomes explosive. Matter, material, of different images and qualities, sets the tone in outdoor areas of the home, and also in public spaces. The results speak of excellent manufacturing, aesthetic research and attention to detail on the part of specialized companies that create high-performance products.
The chemistry of the parts is often mixed to achieve greater resilience.
Lapitec comes from the mixing of 100% natural mineral powders, with as many as 25 patents to ensure resistance to UV rays, temperature changes, scratching, impact and chemicals. Without pores, the material prevents the spread of fungi and bacteria. Agape uses an ‘evolved’ cement blended with resin – Cementoskin® – in the support of the irrigation tube of the Petra collection, designed by Vencato & Merendi: shaped by pouring, it permits great geometric freedom. A skidproof finish covers the Extragres2.0 monolithic porcelain stoneware slabs by Casalgrande Padana, made with an innovative process that offers exceptional hardness and strength. The Cover HD nanoresin coating, on the other hand, produced by HD Surfaces, covers any surface and all the mortars of the collection.
In many cases the difference is made by the installation of the single pieces, specially developed in the construction phase to offer particular types of performance or to achieve striking aesthetic effects. The patented Clip JuAn® attachment system by Listone Giordano in the Tek collection permits air to circulate under the planks, helping to conserve the wood while facilitating cleaning and maintenance. The designer Marialaura Rossiello (Studio Irvine) has applied completely irregular installation to the regularity of the tiles by Mosaico+: the result is P-Saico, reduced to fragments of 1×3 cm, for a random 3D effect with seams varying from 2mm to 6mm. The Techno patented attachment system reduces installation times by 50% for Externo, the high-tech decking line by Woodco: a superstructure composed of clips, recycled aluminium strips without preliminary perforation, and innovative adjustable supports for easy leveling.
Thicknesses become fundamental in the choice of the right facing. For example: Cotto D’Este with Pietra d’Iseo, with the image of the typical Lombard stone known as Ceppo di Grè, in the new 6.5mm thickness of Kerlite Plus and in the 75×75 20mm version; Ideal Work with SassoItalia®, natural paving that requires pour thickness of just 3 cm, ideal for existing surfaces and renovations; Margraf with marble in modular formats, all starting from 3cm of thickness, resistant to the lowest temperatures, in keeping with UNI EN 1341:2003 standards; Lea Ceramiche with the 20mm of the System L2 stoneware, which stands up to salt air and is perfect for seaside facilities, beaches or home swimming pools. Other compositions become stylistic exercises.
Antolini presents a game of interlocks, thanks to Elegant Brown from the Woodstone Collection, which frames buildings with a weave of nuances; the spatula-applied resin of the Monosint Rasante stone-effect line by Gobbetto can be customized with decorations, along with the design of carpets and applications. The graphic 3D effect of the Risseu line by Ceramiche Refin is based on the stones of Liguria decorating churchyards and urban gardens. A Norwegian theme, on the other hand, can be seen in Oppdal by Terratinta, a quartzite with a minimal look and calcareous veins. There are also particularly virtuous designs that put the accent on sustainability: Florim uses over 70% recycled materials in Icon Outdoor, a self-supporting solution in porcelain stoneware, certified by Bureau Veritas in compliance with the international ISO 14021 standard; while Unilin Italia utilizes a mixture of ecological resins and bamboo fiber for its Patio EcoDecking, eliminating the need to cut down trees.