The question “What is a tile?” is one of the challenges I face daily on Tile Addict. Back when I started it was all so easy. Tiles were 6in square and consisted of fired red clay biscuit glazed with a plain coloured gloss glaze. Simple!
Today the task is so much harder. Can a 4,800 by 2,400mm porcelain panel, even if it made using similar materials and methodology to the basic wall tile described above, still be called a tile. Is size important? What about 200 by 200mm squares formed from plastics, resin/stone composites, metal or concrete? The dimensions may suggests tile, the composition otherwise.
My rule is that I am happy to write about any material, in any format, providing the application method is similar to that of conventional ceramic tiles: i.e. adhesive-fixed to a solid substrate. And I make an exception for those tiles that could be fixed this way but are, instead, used as a component in a pedestal-based raised floor, loose-laid exterior application or mechanically-fixed façade.
Conveniently, this means that AirTiles fall within my remit. AirTiles are innovative, functional and decorative panels, made from Alumer; a polymer-coated aluminum sheet that creates the illusion of a metallic inlay. AirTiles panels are rigid and durable, yet only 0.65mm thick. This makes them and ultra-light weight at just 1.5kp per sq.metre.
The aluminum has two finishes – silver or gold; while the coating comes in 52 vibrant colours; so the graphic possibilities are virtually endless.
The panels come in various formats – from decorative borders to tile panels up to huge murals in which a large number of panels are combined to create a large-scale artwork.
The graphics are transferred from vector files, meaning that the image quality does not drop off as the size increases; a weak point of large-scale prints.
AirTiles offers an extensive collection of off-the-peg patterns and murals, but mainly specialises in bespoke works, offering one-of-a-kind wall coverings for public or domestic spaces, both internal and external.
The panels are extremely easy to install and do not require any professional knowledge or handling. As well a wall cladding and large-scale frameless artworks, AirTiles can be used to create murals in virtually limitless dimensions. They are also light enough to be used as ceiling panels or in the creation of bespoke furniture. Other areas with strong potential are yachts, cruise ships, airplanes and elevators; all locations where weight tolerance is limited. requiring minimum weight tolerance
The resultant panels are highly resistant to chemicals with anti-bacterial properties. They also have thermal and shock resistance, excellent resistance to abrasion, impact and cracking. Ideal for wet or humid, the panels are seamless and impermeable. Highly resistant to UV light, weathering and high-temperatures, the panels are also colour stable, and easy to maintain.
The Polymeric Coatings used in AirTiles metal panels and murals are available in more than 50 colours. The standard metal types used are polished aluminum (silver) and gold polished aluminum (gold); although stainless steel, copper, brass, coloured aluminum, coloured anodized aluminum and black anodized aluminum are also available.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, September 2017.