21 March 2011

Grespania's Coverlam stole the show

I saw a ton of new and exciting stuff at Coverings last week but more than anything, a tile series from Spanish manufacturer Grespania rose to the top and showed what I say was the best thing shown in Las Vegas. In recent years, advances in ceramics technology have allowed tile manufacturers to make larger and thinner tile.

Grespania's Coverlam is a series of massive and massively thin tiles that wouldn't have been possible a couple of years ago. Here's my shot of their Oxido display from last week.

Coverlam comes in in four sizes: 500mm x 500mm, 500mm x 1000mm, 1000mm x 1000mm and astoundingly, 3000mm x 1000mm. As impressive as the sizes are, what blew me away is that these tiles are 3.5mm thick. How thick is 3.5mm? Look.

Unbelievable. By making tile this thin and this large, grout lines are pretty minimized, obviously. But there are a few other things going on that are a bit less obvious. There's a serious reduction in the resources needed to make this tile when compared to more traditionally sized tile. The second big savings comes from their reduced weight.

That reduced weight has a cascading effect. Coverlam costs less to transport and it adds less weight to the load a structure has to bear. Load bearing is an issue in timber-framed homes, especially on their upper floors.

Coverlam can be used on floors, on walls, as building sheathing and intriguingly, kitchen and bath counters. Did I mention that you can cut it with a glass cutter? Here are some publicity stills that show the product in use.

You can learn more about Coverlam on Grespania's website. Here's the direct link to the Coverlam catalog. Coverlam is available worldwide and it represents something entirely new. Consider using it in a future project.


  1. This is a very intriguing product. The application shots are stunning. Will it be accessible to the North American market in the near future?

  2. Hello Handsome! (I'm talking to the tile but it applies to the blog author as well.)

  3. One of my card-playing buddies is a manager at a local tile shop. We were discussing kitchen renos(he's putting in porcelain floors in his kitchen right now,) and he was saying that when he does redo the whole kitchen that he'd be doing porcelain counters. I protested, "it doesn't come big enough, what about the grout?" and he replied, "They can make it big enough. You'll have to come over and see them." This must be what he was talking about. What a beautiful, clean look! Thanks for the gorgeous preview.

  4. It's already here Margaret. Anybody who sells Spanish tile can get their hands on it.

    Raina: And hello gorgeous! At first pass it sounds like a sleeper, but go to a tile show some time.

    LAX: This is probably what your friend is talking about. Although non-tile porcelain counter material's on its way to the North American market as well. In the kitchen shot above, the walls, cabinet faces, table top, counter and floors are covered in thin-format tile. It's amazing stuff.

  5. There are others with the same kind:



    and in no time other caramic makers will probably add it to their line of products.

    Personally it's mor impressive.

  6. I love large format tile. Unfortunately it would be really difficult to prep my floor for it so I will just have to dream up ways to use it on the walls.

  7. From the products I saw in our Reign in Spain trip, the Grespania Coverlam was by far the most exciting. I didn't know it was already available here - even better news.

    Thank goodness I read your blog or how else would I learn the latest and greatest things?

  8. Nice post Paul... It's great to see Lamina style product finally finding legs after struggling for about a decade. The advancements in glazing, like DOD Digital machines are making this style of material a breath of fresh air in the industry.

    Do you mind if I mirror a feed of this post on patti-tile.com? It's a great write-up and I'd love to share your wisdom!

  9. As I'm amazed that it can be applied to round (or bow) surfaces I personally find it VERY impressive. For being a ceramic tile, its application does appear unlimited!
    Thanks for sharing and as always broadening my knowledge Paul. :) -Brenda-

  10. Zé: Thanks for the additional sources.

    Ann: I love the idea of paneling walls in it.

    Bob: When we were looking at it in Spain I figured that we'd never see it here but it was terrific to see the Italian and Spanish manufacturers being so willing to unleash this stuff in the US and Canada. I hope it pays off for them.

    Ryan: I would be honored.

    Brenda: Thanks! It's an amazing material.

  11. These are great! I especially like how they are lighter.
    Another benefit? They won't make the floors as high on remodels. We've had issues where the tile is to thick so we've had to cut down cabinets, doors, etc. Thinner tiles would help!

  12. Paul
    You're welcome.
    One thing i know is that it wont be a first option in many cases due to it's price.
    I jsut know that the Recer one starts at +-60€/m2 (+-10€sqf) and that's considered expensive tile in Portugal, but you don't have top use it all over. There's samll renovations, remodels, acents, etc.

  13. Very cool, stuff! Love to see tile "evolve." Thanks for your insight.

  14. Ze: The prices you quoted are similar to what we find in the states and at $10/sf that puts it in the "better" category but it's not hard to spend more than that on quality tile.

    Bill: My pleasure! Did you find interesting stuff for Avente last week?

  15. I followed a link from p.a.t.t.i. over here, and I'm so glad I did. I missed this post. I LOVE tile, and I really like this product. Thanks for introducing me to Grespania and Coverlam!


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