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Reconciling Promise and Reality with THIN PORCELAIN TILING By Neil McMurdie, PhD All images courtesy MAPEI Americas IN 2009, AMID GREAT FANFARE AND DRAMA, THE LATEST INNOVATION IN PORCELAIN TILE TECHNOLOGY WAS FORMALLY ANNOUNCED AND TOUTED AT THE CERSAIE EXPOSITION IN BOLOGNA, ITALY. MULTIPLE MANUFACTURERS HAD DEVELOPED AND LAUNCHED NEW COMMERCIAL TILE LINES THAT WERE BIGGER IN SIZE AND THINNER THAN ANYTHING ELSE CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET. The halls of the exposition buzzed with the news of tiles as thin as 3 to 5 mm (0.12 to 0.2 in.) in various sizes and patterns with the potential to revolutionize the industry. The new technology was expected by some in the industry to bring tiling back into a leading position as a ‘green’ wall and floor finish. Thin tiles weighed less per square foot, could be produced and shipped with a lower net carbon footprint, and produced with the consumption of fewer natural resources. Suddenly, thin was in. 22 the construction specifier | may 2013 CS_May2013.indd 22 4/16/13 3:32:21 PM