Designing usable spaces – including office ones – is the architect’s bread and butter. How to make modern offices pleasant, comfortable and friendly for both users and their guests? How to ensure office spaces originality and uniqueness, while caring for guidelines coming of regulations? How to guarantee the investor the durability of the proposed solution?
In this article, we will discuss all these issues by looking at ceramic tiles with the appearance of natural wood, to be used in modern and traditional offices. We will show both aesthetic and functional features of wood-imitating ceramic tiles, the patterns in which they can be attractively arranged, as well as their compliance with the requirements of a specific investment.
Nature to the office
One of the ideas to provide offices with excellent visual and utility values is the choice of the ceramic floor with the look of natural wood.
It may seem that the advantages of real wood are endless – it is a guarantee of elegance and at the same time cosiness, as an expensive material it is a means of high social status of the owner, it looks noble and natural, and so on.
On the floor, however, a place exposed to frequent contact with the outside world (and office space has such character), the sensitivity of natural wood makes it worth looking for its deserving substitute.
And such substitute could be the floor in the form of ceramic “boards”.
Wood – an inimitable pattern?
One of the aspects which affects the beauty of wood is its absolute uniqueness. To find in nature at least two identical twigs, knots or trunks with a uniformly cross-grained view is just impossible.
Luckily, the innovative technologies of decorating ceramic tiles allow to capture this unparalleled beauty of nature. Photorealistic digital printing, used in the production of tiles, faithfully imitates the appearance of wood, derived from any tree species. The unique graphics of each tile make that the flooring laid out of them resembles a natural prototype.
Diversity of the colouring, structure, texture, and uniqueness of each tile make them visually indistinguishable from the original prototype.
Stylistic flexibility of wood-imitating tiles
Ceramic “wood” is a very grateful arrangement material. Depending on its color, the format, as well as structure and particular composition, we can unrestrainedly shape the space, giving it the desired character. For instance, again wildly fashionable “herringbone” parquet arrangement brings a new dimension of elegance to the interior, just like “chessboard” layouts do.
The traditional “chessboard” parquet pattern works well, for example in noble offices of lawyers and managers who value tradition.
Wood-imitating collections of Ceramika Paradyż: HASEL, PAGO, and THORNO, with the tiles format of 16×65.5 cm, 16×98.5 cm and 21.5×98.5 cm, can be arranged both in parallel (irregularly or in an ordered “brick”) and also in “herringbone.” From the 16×98,5 cm and 21.5×98,5 cm sizes of these collections, we can also arrange a “herringbone” combined with small and large tiles
Parallel arrangement of tiles, both ordered and in a chaotically deliberate way, works perfectly well in modern office interiors.
Nothing stands in the way to decorate the selected office walls (or their fragments) with ceramic boards.
Because it is a material that lies in the hands of a creative designer, which – while being mostly functional – can equally decide on an aesthetic dominant of the interior.
Ceramic tiles with the appearance of natural wood, laid on the wall, can be used in the office as an aesthetic dominant.
Eco office – Eco company
Ceramic tiles imitating the appearance of natural boards perfectly match offices arranged in a fashionable eco trend. Designing an office in eco style affects the perception of the company as functioning in harmony with nature and caring about the environment and sustainable development. Here, probably more than anywhere else, a special care is taken with the recycling of materials, the sensible use of energy and other resources.
Requirements for buildings with a specific purpose clearly specify what features and technical properties the tiles should have to be installed on the floor in a particular room. The starting point is, of course, the mechanical impacts that the floor will be subjected to.
For office areas, the parameters regarding abrasion resistance are crucial (marked by the PEI abrasion class and the number of revolutions). The slip resistance of tiles is also important (marked with the letter R – the higher its numerical value at the letter, the greater the anti-slip properties).
Office spaces do not belong to those with extreme traffic intensity, with a lot of abrasive impurities, therefore what will be suitable here is glazed porcelain with abrasion classes from PEI 3/1500 and above (namely PEI 4/2100, PEI 4/6000, PEI 5/12000).
When choosing the tiles for a given office, it is necessary to check this parameter, taking into account the amount of traffic and the anticipated amount of pollution, such as sand or mud. To compensate for the abrasion phenomenon, you must also remember about the wipers in the entrance zones.
If the office space is also intended for people with disabilities, the anti-slip R parameter may be of particular importance. This parameter plays a significant role in case of proximity to the entrance zones and the possibility of moistening the floor surface (rain or snow, for example, carried under the soles on a slippery surface can cause real danger).
The tiles from the ROVERE Bianco by My Way collection have great functional parameters: PEI 4/2100 and R9.
Resistance to mechanical damage
Ceramic tiles are by no means much less susceptible to mechanical damage than natural wood. Owing to their hardness, for instance, there is no groove on the floor from the wheels of swivel seats, no surface clashes in passageways or scratches from moving office equipment elements (e.g. furniture). The tiles are not sensitive to moisture and temperature changes – they do not “swell” under the influence of spilled liquids and do not change their dimensions. They do not require troublesome care (such as varnishing or oiling of parquet floor), they also do not need to be renovated (by scraping).
Preserving the appearance of natural wood, wood-imitating tiles are resistant to destructive factors, and this will be for many years.
Ceramics perfectly conducts heat – the ceramic tiles will be an ideal cladding in offices with underfloor heating.
Wood-imitating tiles TAMMI Grys in 29.4×180 cm size have PEI 4/2100 abrasion class.
Pure beauty of wood-imitating tiles
The ease of keeping an office clean lined with ceramic cladding is unmatched. Dry and wet cleaning does not cause us any kind of trouble. Typical cleaning products intended for cleaning tiles cope perfectly well with dirt on the glazed surface.
Before the name of the tile appears in the project
It is worth remembering that the appearance of tiles on the Internet or printed materials is of an illustrative nature. Responsible designers always watch a specific ceramic collection “live” at the place of the exhibition or the sale point, to make sure that its color, size, texture, tactile and visual qualities correspond to their creative concept and fit the designed space.
Before the purchase recommendation for the investor, the architect’s task is to also check the declaration of performance for a given product (for the Ceramika Paradyż products, they are available at www.paradyz.com/deklaracje).
When a specific wood-imitating collection is already selected, it is worth using it by arranging the tiles in the interior design programs. Archicad and Revit programs are suitable for such applications, allowing for the preparation of various tile arrangements.
By checking the various options, we have the opportunity to choose the best one for the investor – both in terms of aesthetics, as well as functional and economic aspects.
More and more collections of Ceramika Paradyż are available to designers and investors in the BIM database. Ceramika Paradyż, as a pioneer of innovative, valuable solutions, supports the development of BIM technology (Building Information Modeling), successively implementing the new products (http://www.paradyz.com/bim).
To sum up:
- Arrangement of office space using wood-imitating ceramic tiles is a great concept for both modern and traditional offices.
- Ceramic tiles look no less in line with their natural prototype, but they outperform it in terms of strength and resistance to mechanical damage.
- The ceramic surface is easy to keep clean, using standard detergents.
- The parameters for wear resistance (PEI) and anti-slip are crucial when selecting tiles for office use.
- Ceramic wood-imitating cladding is ideal for offices with underfloor heating because it conducts heat very well.
- A beautiful and durable floor is the showcase of the office for many years, therefore it pays to rethink its choice and arrangement.
For more advice and technical information about the products, please visit www.paradyz.com.