Closing system

Ceramic flooring that can be installed 8 times faster than conventional tile

Ceramic flooring that can be installed 8 times faster than conventional tile

Flooring can make or break a space. With proper design, it can enhance a room’s design, make a good first impression, and positively impact user experience. However, since floors must withstand damaging conditions such as exposure to humidity and heat, constant foot traffic and the movement of heavy furniture, it is natural for them to degrade over time. Therefore, floor renovation is crucial to keep interiors in good condition, especially those that are heavily used.

When selecting a new material to replace the old surface, building owners, architects and designers must consider many key factors, such as comfort, durability and aesthetics. But when it comes to buildings where daily functions are carried out and therefore cannot be closed for long periods of time – such as supermarkets, offices and restaurants – speed of installation often becomes the top priority. Ultimately, as the old saying goes, “time is money”.

With this in mind, recent flooring innovations have focused on quick, easy and efficient installation, but without compromising visual appearance and strength. For example, the ceramic tile company AGROB BUCHTAL has developed DryTile, a new high-quality flooring system that can be installed without adhesives and in record time, while maintaining the appearance, beauty and properties raw ceramics.

© Christian Daitche
© Christian Daitche

The components: ceramic, cork and system gasket

DryTile is essentially a ceramic tile system, which means it offers all the characteristic advantages of the material over other floor coverings such as laminates or vinyl. In addition to being UV, water and stain resistant, the tiles are odorless, non-flammable, lightfast, non-fading, recyclable, heat impervious and free from heavy furniture pressure marks. But what is unique about the composition of DryTile is that it includes a thin layer of cork under the tile which is specially developed. Free of PVC, chlorine and plasticizers, the layer is thermally generated under constant pressure and then permanently applied to the back of the ceramic. This ensures that the tile is firmly vacuumed to the floor without the need to use a bed of mortar and adhesives – a dry installation process, hence the product name.

© Christian Daitche
© Christian Daitche

The principle is quite simple: with a vacuum effect, the inherent weight of the tile presses the cork layer on the support where it adheres, ensuring that everything stays in place. Reinforced by the decoupling in the case of a floating installation, the cork also improves the installation to impact noises. And by protecting the tiles during transport, it also reduces the need for packaging. In addition, the cork layer has an exactly defined slight protrusion on all four sides. Therefore, a system joint is automatically formed by laying the edges tightly against each other.

Courtesy of DryTile |  AGROB BUCHTAL
Courtesy of DryTile | AGROB BUCHTAL

By combining the advantages of ceramic and cork, the result is an innovative large-format porcelain stoneware system that can be laid freely as a floating construction on new or existing subfloors.

Quick, easy and efficient installation

So how does dry tile installation actually work? Simply put, it all boils down to three simple steps. The only prerequisite for laying this type of flooring is to have a sufficiently smooth sub-floor, which implies that it must be examined for flatness and surface quality before laying. Thus, the first step is to check the flatness using the necessary measuring instruments. Sometimes, in order to ensure that this requirement is met, the floor must be reworked accordingly. Next, the joint grid is specified, and the edges of the cork are laid tightly against each other. Finally, the last step is to join the tiles using a special dispersion joint mortar, which must take into account the correct mixing ratio with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Before grouting, the surface can be walked on immediately, allowing other tasks such as painting, drywall work or electrical installation to continue. After grouting, it can be walked on after 12 hours and is fully resistant after another 12 hours. It is also virtually dust-free, reducing dust exposure for construction workers. And if certain areas are prone to change of use, breakage or any other kind of damage, the tiles can be fully reversibly removed and immediately replaced without too much mess and dirt – joints are easily cut, drying times are avoided and the new tile is simply repointed. At the same time, by simply being removed and reused, DryTile takes a step towards a circular economy.

Minimize business impact by reducing closing hours

All in all, DryTile saves construction time, provides flexibility and enables optimized installation. Compared to traditional tiling, the process is up to 8 times faster, making it ideal for buildings that need to minimize their closing times. For example, it is suitable for supermarkets, where renewing a floor usually requires great technical effort and consumes time which affects the business. This has already been successfully tested: At a food market in Much, Germany, 2,000 m² of DryTile flooring was installed in just four working days, a fraction of the time required for conventional flooring.

Frischemarkt in Dornseifer, Much, Germany.  Image © Klaus Stange
Frischemarkt in Dornseifer, Much, Germany. Image © Klaus Stange

Besides supermarkets, the versatility and durability of the product means that it can also be applied in many other projects. In a range of natural tones – from cream to clay brown and graphite – it can be used in all kinds of commercial interiors, showrooms, offices, museums, shops, schools and restaurants, among others.

Macrina Bakery, Seattle, Washington, USA.  Image © R. Floisand (Floisand Studio)
Macrina Bakery, Seattle, Washington, USA. Image © R. Floisand (Floisand Studio)
Changemaker Shop, Zürich, Switzerland.  Photo © Adriano Faragulo
Changemaker Shop, Zürich, Switzerland. Photo © Adriano Faragulo
Vinzenzmurr branch in DEZ shopping center, Regensburg, Germany.  Image © Herbert Burger
Vinzenzmurr branch in DEZ shopping center, Regensburg, Germany. Image © Herbert Burger
“Limbecker Platz” shopping center, Essen, Germany. Image © Ulrik Eichentopf

In a rapidly changing world where new design trends point to increased flexibility, flooring innovations like these hold great promise in allowing surfaces to quickly adapt to new necessities, providing timeless and versatile aesthetics. , improving working conditions and optimizing the entire construction process.

© Christian Daitche
© Christian Daitche

To learn more, visit the DryTile website or social media (Facebook and Instagram).