StepWise™, the new Marazzi technology
reading time: 9 minutes
For soft-touch surfaces with amazingly improved slip-resistance properties
Not a new product but a new patented production process: StepWise™ is the technology Marazzi has developed applied to some new collections, demonstrating its efficacy on high-performance products like Terratech technical stoneware, new stone-look stonewares in the Mystonecollection, and the Crogiolo D_Segni Blend highly decorative small-size tiles.
A genius for innovation
Marazzi Group’s established position as a model company in the global ceramic industry is due to its technological leadership, the result of continuous and on-going research into aesthetics and innovative product and process solutions.
Key innovations include the use oftunnel kilnsin the 1950s, the revolutionary patent for single-fired tiles – which went on to become world's most widely used production process – and the first large sizes in the 1970s, the “Enduro” patent in the 1980s, which expanded the technical performance and range of application of ceramic tiles, and the SistemA crystallised stoneware patent.
Recently, it has developed the leading-edge StepWise™ technology, which delivers products with a high degree of slip resistance and a surface which is soft to the touch and easy to clean, since it has no superficial roughness.
StepWise™, depth of surface
The leading-edge StepWise™ technology gives products a high degree of slip resistance combined with a surface that is still soft to the touch and easy to clean, since it has no superficial roughness.
Manufactured with state-of-the-art technologies, porcelain stoneware provides outstanding resistance to mechanical stresses, chemicals, wear, scratches, deep abrasion and bending; it is easy to disinfect, and withstands frost, fire, mould and UV radiation. All the characteristics and colour properties of stoneware surfaces are immutable, remaining unchanged over time and in all weather conditions.
Perhaps surprisingly, StepWise™ is not a surface treatment: it is an intrinsic technical characteristic of the new products concerned.
Marazzi has succeeded in modifying the material's characteristics by innovations in every industrial phase: from research into materials and glazes, to the type of grinding and pressing processes, through even to the firing procedure.
The new Marazzi stonewares, made using the StepWise™ technology, also undergo a mechanical treatment across the entire surface which maintains their soft "feel", combined with a high dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF, ANSI American National Standard). This coefficient measures tiles' performances when their surfaces are wet: 0.42 Newton is the standard value for surfaces installed indoors. StepWise™ has a DCOF of 0.60, well above the standard.
Identikit of a revolution
The benefits of installing products manufactured using the StepWise™ technology are obvious: full compliance with the friction values required by the toughest standards is combined with very attractive, soft-touch, easy-clean surfaces.
With its combination of high slip resistance and exceptionally easy care – these new surfaces can be sanitised with just water and a delicate cleaner –, StepWise™ stonewares are the ideal solution for heavily used locations: transit points, commercial kitchens, swimming-pools, public toilets and showers, private and hotel outdoor areas, etc.
The collections manufactured with the StepWise™ technology provide compliance with very demanding performance specifications while still enabling a "total look" across large architectural spaces, where continuity between indoor flooring and outdoor paving is increasingly central to the concept.
Decors and colours, textures and shades already in the catalogue are unchanged, with the added potential for expansion into new architectural dimensions.
Collections manufactured with the StepWise™ technology
The use of the new technology does not modify the textures and colours of the series to which it has been applied. It simply enhances their technical characteristics and their potential for installation in locations which require the highest performance and quality standards.
A very fine classic French stone, rediscovered by the latest surface design trends, inspires a new ceramic synthesis that combines aesthetic appeal and performance. Soft surfaces with a mottled and compact taupe grey background, embellished with thin copper vein patterns, in different sizes, including the 20 millimetre-thick 60x120 centimetre slab. The surfaces boast very high performance and exceptional anti-slip properties.
Three shades - Taupe, Ivory and Sand - modernise a stone of ancient origins with a design distinguished by its natural and minimal patterning, which features subtle inclusions. Three finishes, including soft Velvet and a structured finish, two 20-millimetre thick sizes and, among the decorations, the new Foglie mosaic. Versatility and contemporary taste in a version ideal for residential and commercial surfaces.
Marazzi reinterprets Moongrey stone with a versatile and very technical collection: three colours and multiple sizes, including the striking 90x180 centimetres, which is accompanied by the 80x80 centimetre and 60x120 centimetre slabs, with 20 mm thickness. Discreet elegance and a very technical tactile surface combine with a concrete texture and create neutral tones for a minimal design, or design schemes characterised by strong contrasts in the textures of wood.
Il Crogiolo, the oldest part of the Marazzi headquarters site, provides an historic link with the Thirties factory, where the first tiles were manufactured.
In the Eighties it became a brand in its own right and functioned as Marazzi's “experimental” division, hosting architects, artists and potters invited to use the location to work with ceramics.
The Crogiolo is the inspiration for some of the brand's new collections, including D_Segni Blend, which reinterprets the beauty of historic hand-made cement tiles in stoneware in the 20x20 cm size. Seven colours and 18 patterns for creating surfaces and coverings with a welcoming mood but a contemporary graphic design look.
Creative experiments with clays inspire a collection that investigates the bond between matter and colour.
Seven colours, in earthy shades with recently developed powdery variants, are supported by an assortment of decors that explore irregular patterns and graphic motifs with a handmade touch. In this collection, tasteful design and experimental use of material and colour are merged to perfection.