The Content Of The Article:

Large-format floor tiles have become popular in many rooms of the house. Made of porcelain stoneware, it is economical, can be cut without difficulty and is quickly placed on a screed. Focus on eight models.

Porcelain stoneware floor tile

Large format floor tiles are usually reserved for medium to large size rooms, whatever their function. XL tiles or downright XXL seduce by their contemporary appearance, the variety of their decorations and textures, but especially because they bring a sense of space.

Wide or extra-large tile?

If tiles measuring 30 x 30, 40 x 40, 30 x 60 or 60 x 60 cm are widely used, the current trend goes further. The following formats are now commonly available in GSB and in the following formats: 40 x 80, 75 x 75, 80 x 80, 60 x 120, 120 x 120 cm, or even larger on order at specialist retailers. Manufacturers also offer tiles in the shape of parquet board 15 x 60, 15 x 90 cm. In general, their thickness varies from 5-6 mm to 10-12 mm, but some very large models (120 x 120, 100 x 300, 150 x 300 cm) are available in a thinner version: 3, 5 mm or less to reduce weight, since they are also intended to be placed on the wall. If there are large floor tiles in travertine, limestone and even slate, in 60 x 60 or 60 x 120 cm (the terracotta does not exceed 30 x 30 cm), the material that is required is sandstone porcelain. More economical, it is non-porous, frost-proof, very difficult to scratch and his interview is minimalist.

The star of the tiles

There are two types of porcelain stoneware tiles: enamelled, which can be stained in the mass, less resistant and more sensitive to impacts than the "full mass", made in one piece, but which offers fewer possibilities of decors. The GSB offer it from 4 € / m² approximately in 30 x 30 cm to almost 100 € / m² in 120 x 120 cm format. The range of colors is limited (white, beige, gray, brown and black most of the time), but the current demand for textured or smooth tiles with concrete, parquet or natural stone or even marble, is strong, and the manufacturers propose imitations of excellent quality.

Large tiles: fewer joints, more glue

When choosing, it is important to consider the different classifications and standards UPEC or PEI on the tiling packaging to determine if it is suitable for the room in which it is to be installed. If large tiles "enlarge" space, it is primarily because the number of joints is reduced and no longer "breaks" the perspective. Their "ground" finish (the edges of the tiles are resized after cooking) for the majority also allows make very fine joints, of the order of 2 to 4 mm. For the peripheral seal, a minimum of 3 mm must be provided, 5 mm for laying on a thermal floor (hot water); that on electric heating floor being excluded. But what we gain in grouting mortar, it is lost in adhesive mortar since for all tiles larger than 30 x 30 cm, the double gluing (glue on the support and on the underside of the tile) is essential if you use an adhesive mortar of normal consistency. It should ideally have high adhesion properties and be deformable, class C2 S1 / S2 (see packaging). It is even mandatory on a heated floor with hot water. The consumption varies from 6-7 kg / m² to much more for very large tiles... The simple sizing is only possible with a specific fluid-based adhesive mortar.

Specific tooling and laying for large tiles

The laying of large format tiles is regulated by the technical specifications book "Large Soils" of the standard NF DTU 52.2. The condition of the support (usually a screed) must be impeccable. A long-term implementation requires that it be plan, clean and has a maximum surface irregularity of 3 mm measured under a ruler of 2 m (1 mm under a ruler of 20 cm). In case of significant irregularity, a patching is required (self-leveling ready-to-use products). For the application of the joints, we use a comb of 8 x 10 x 20 mm or a half-moon of diameter 20. It is advisable to align the tiles by two rather than to shift them. For blowers, the maximum permitted offset must not exceed one-third of the greatest length. Laying is done with two suction cups and, for cuts, a special tile that can cut up to 120 cm (about 40 € per day rental) or a table saw are essential.

Take into account the UPEC classification

UPEC classification

The UPEC classification lists floor coverings according to their resistance to the most repeated attacks and allows them to be chosen according to the destination parts. It breaks down as follows:

  • U = wear (1 to 4),
  • P = punching, rolling (2 to 4),
  • E = behavior with water (0 to 3),
  • C = resistance to chemical agents (0 to 3).
The stronger the product, the higher the number following the letter. For tiling, the classification is not mandatory, the PEI standard (see below) can be substituted. It is the letter U - sometimes accompanied by the letter P - which is generally the only one given by ceramists. A product classified U3 is sufficient for domestic use. We also meet U4 tiles, more expensive...

Tile label

  • In GSB, the classification can result in small pictograms on the label. Like here, "intensive use".

Take into account the PEI standard

Measurement of resistance to abrasion

The PEI standard (Porcelain Enamel Institute) measures the abrasion resistance and the wear of glazed tiles according to the European standard NF EN ISO 10654-7, depending on the passage. It does not apply to full-body tiles and distinguishes five classes:

  • PEI I: very small passage Ex.: bathroom
  • PEI II: weak passage Ex.: room without direct external access
  • PEI III: moderate passage Ex.: living room, stay without direct external access
  • PEI IV: High Pass Ex.: entry, kitchen
  • PEI V: intense passage Ex.: professional premises

Two criteria of choice for large format tiles

Resistance and colors

The scratch resistance is defined by the MOHS scale (important data for a child's room or a kitchen for example):
  • MOHS 1 to 4: low resistance
  • MOHS 5 to 6: correct resistance
  • MOHS 7 to 8: good resistance
  • MOHS 9 to 10: very good resistance
In general, it is advisable to choose a light tile so that the wear is less visible in time. If for white tiles, a glazed stoneware quality is the case, it is better to opt for enamelled porcelain stoneware stained in the mass or even better, a full-body porcelain stoneware if one opts for dark tiles.

Watch out slippery floor!

The adhesion to paved feet is defined by the standard R:
  • R9: normal adhesion
  • R10: good adhesion
  • R11: very good adhesion
  • R12: strong adhesion
  • R13: very strong adhesion
In a bathroom, a type R10 is sufficient, beyond, the tiles are rather reserved outside. On the other hand, in a walk-in shower, it is advisable to choose a tiling type R11 or R12. The vast majority of commercial large format tiles are rated R9. It is strongly discouraged to choose a tile for which the standard R is not indicated.

Blade tile

  • The large format tiles also come in strips, like parquet and in similar dimensions.
  • Their textured decor mimics the grain and color of the wood to perfection regardless of the essence.

Leroy Merlin - "Maderas" -16 € / m²

Leroy Merlin tiles

  • Thickness 9 mm
  • 60 x 60 cm
  • Ground edges
  • Smooth surface
  • Marble look
  • Polished finish
  • U3 class, MOHS 4 standard
  • R9 Glide

The +: its brilliance for more brightness

Castorama - "Eli" - 20 € / m²

Castorama tiles

  • Thickness 9 mm
  • 60 x 60 cm
  • Unregraced straight edges
  • Smooth surface
  • Concrete gray color
  • Matte enamelled finish
  • PEI IV, MOHS 6 standards
  • R9 Glide

The +: smooth without being cold to the touch

Lapeyre - "Django" - 29 € / m²

Lapeyre tiles

  • Thickness 10 mm
  • 59.5 x 59.5 centimeters
  • Ground edges
  • Smooth surface
  • Anthracite, chestnut, gray and sand
  • Matte enamelled finish
  • U4 class P4
  • R9 Glide
The +: its cloudy appearance

Saint Maclou - "Tempo" - 40 € / m²

Saint Maclou tiles

  • Thickness 10 mm
  • 60 x 60 cm
  • Ground edges
  • Smooth surface
  • Color beige stone
  • Matte enamelled finish
  • PEI IV, MOHS 7 standards
  • R9 Glide

The +: on the floor as on the wall despite its thickness

Decoceram - "Uptown Silver" - 36 € / m²

Decoceram tiles

  • Thickness 10 mm
  • 60 x 60 cm
  • Ground edges
  • Smooth surface
  • Beige color
  • Matte enamelled finish
  • PEI IV standard
  • Slipperiness R11
The +: can be placed outside

Cedeo - "Eclipse" - 48 € / m²

Cedeo tiles

  • Thickness 10 mm
  • 60 x 60 cm
  • Unfinished edges
  • Structured surface
  • Pearl color
  • Matte enamelled finish
  • PEI V standard
  • R9 Glide

The +: its aged appearance

Century (at Point P) - "Proxima Oliva" -49 € / m²

Point P tile

  • Thickness 10 mm
  • 60 x 60 cm
  • Ground edges
  • Smooth surface
  • Concrete gray color
  • Matte finish
  • Class U4 P4, PEI V
  • R9 Glide
The +: anti-stain treatment

Porcelanosa - "Core" - 71 € / m²

Porcelanosa tiles

  • Thickness 10.4 mm
  • 59.6 x 59.6 centimeters
  • Ground edges
  • Smooth surface
  • Sand, white, gray and anthracite
  • Matte porcelain finish
  • U4 class P4
  • R9 Glide
The +: totally waterproof and very resistant


Video Instruction: How to Tile a Shower Wall (9 Quick Tips)