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BBA Designer Sent to Spain

BBA's own Madeline Eng, along with 11 other Designers, was hosted by Fontile to tour the factories and showrooms of Porcelanosa, one of the world's largest manufacturers of porcelain tiles, located in Castellon, Spain.

Started 40 years ago from humble beginnings, the Porcelanosa Group is a family-owned company. Once a porcelain tile company with a single brand, Porcelanosa has expanded to a billion dollar enterprise with 8 international brands encompassing floor and wall tiles, wood and laminate floors, natural stone tile, building system components, plumbing fixtures, kitchen system, wardrobe and furniture.

Now employing over 3,000 people at it's Castellon headquarters, the Porcelanosa factory is so large that each staff member is assigned a bicycle with their own nameplate to navigate the factory floor. Although the manufacturing process is automated, final inspections are still handled by individual inspectors.

Sustainability has always been a consideration at Porcelanosa. To this end, they have implemented taps that restrict water flow to reduce waste. Heat created as a by-product from the tile kilns is sold back to the city. Natural resources are being saved as designers opt for natural stone and wood tiles that look so real, its nearly impossible to tell them apart from the real thing.

New technology is allowing Porcelanosa to create tiles nearly the size of panels. Large format tiles in sizes of 48" x 60" plus, are becoming common. Read more about this new trend in this issue's BBA Design Challenge.

The showroom tile installations were also very impressive as was the workmanship; Grout joints were 1/16"... or less. The skill required for these corner details was something to behold and something our installers will hopefully strive to achieve. The combination of attention to design, environmental sustainability and the quality and craftsmanship shown during installation made the Porcelanosa tour a definite standout. Thank you Fontile!

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