Largest Slabs In The World?! A Look At Lapitec.
As manufacturing technology grows, more ceramic suppliers are adopting creative and innovative processes to create seriously impressive surfaces.
These new materials, that are being produced in a range of colours, designs and sizes, are a true testament to the growth of our industry and are helping to change the design, architect and builder space.
‘Give me an example of one of these ground breaking surfaces then?!’ Easy — sintered stone.
What is sintered stone?
Sintered stone is created through sinterisation technology, that takes natural minerals and exposes them to extreme high pressure and temperature.
This makes the product outstandingly strong, with impressive mechanical properties in the way of compaction, resistance and durability.
One of the first companies to produce a full body sintered stone slab was Lapitec — an Italian surface brand that pride themselves on combining ‘technical properties with a contemporary design appeal, elegance and style.’
Lapitec is ‘an innovative full body sintered stone slab.’ Available in a large format slab, it combines modern aesthetics with high functionality.
So what are some of its pluses?
Largest size available on the market
Lapitec is ‘the sintered stone surface with the largest size available on the market.’ Boasting a XXL sheet size, the size of this material opens it up to applications not achievable before.
It’s available in 12, 20 and 30mm thickness.
The 12 and 20mm thicknesses guarantee a slab size of 3365x1500mm and the 30mm slabs guarantee a slab size of 1460x3365mm.
Some surfaces we work with are best suited for one function — whether that’s flooring, benchtops or externally — there are a few one trick ponies.
But Lapitech claim the opposite, happy to market their product as a versatile material that can be utilised in countless applications, including: internal and external cladding, pavements, kitchen tops and ventilated facades.
Don’t fret — it’s also hygienic
Unlike some natural products that compete in the same space, Lapitech is non pourous, making it resistant to stains, mould and bacteria.
These factors also make it easy to maintain and clean.
It’ll last the test of time
Now, nothing lasts forever — but Lapitech could be close. As it is ‘completely weather proof’ it is sure to be long standing.
Every slab is treated and manufactured in a way that makes it resistant to extremities that could age it, such as acids, alkalies, deep abrasions, fire, frost and UV rays.
Also, got some street artists in your area? Don’t fret — Lapitech is resistant to graffiti.
We know how highly people value eco-friendly alternatives, and Lapitech have nailed this too.
On their website they claim to ‘produce with maximum respect for both people and the environment.’
It contains no resins or petroleum derivatives.
But, no matter how much they’d like to claim it — nothing is perfect — so what are Lapitec’s negatives?
There are little veined options
If it’s a showstopping vein you’re after — then you might need to look elsewhere. Lapitech’s range is predominantly solid, neutral colours. And, although this may work for a lot of designers or homeowners, for some — it just won’t do.
In 2017 they did introduce three new colours that do have slight variations, Avana (a warm grey), Arabescato Bernini (a dappled grey with veining), and Arabescato Canova (a white with directional grey veining).
It doesn’t come cheap
Because of its incredible strength — not just any saw can cut this material. And when additional tools are needed for fabrication — additional costs will follow.
Not only are the slabs themselves pricey, but after you add the (large) mark up for manufacturing — you’re looking at some serious $$$ to get a slab of Lapitec in your home.
If money is no issue, then you’re fine, but if you’re designing on a budget then it might be time to consider some alternatives.
Getting it to Australia…
So, Breton (who make Lapitec) have held on tight to their prized product and do not sell the machinery to make or manufacture the material to just anyone.
That means, that if you want some Lapitec in your space — you’re going to have to import it from Italy. Remember how we were saying it was an expensive product? Well, guess what else costs money? Importing.
So — if you want a sintered stone product in Australia — what do you opt for?
Here at SteedForm, we currently manufacture, supply and install two sintered stone products that have changed the game for designers, builders, architects and homeowners.
Dekton, made by Cosentino, and Neolith, by The Size, are readily available in Australia (and at SteedForm), and have an array of aesthetic and physical drawcards.