Homeowners and designers alike all want to tap into the latest trends. One of the big trends going on today is a new one and it is changing the way people look at the tiled surfaces.

The trend: large-format thin porcelain panels. These products give you the look and feel of porcelain tile, but in one large piece instead of a bunch of smaller pieces.

Since the panels are super thin-just a quarter inch thick-they can be used on walls and other vertical surfaces without having to worry about the unwieldy weight of full-thickness porcelain. And because of the large size, you can cover a lot of territory with one panel.

Homeowners love these panels because they look great and go with any wall surface that is usually tiled, such as your bathroom and your kitchen. One reason the look so great is they allow for seamless tiling without as much grout. When you see these large panels in place, you get a nice look without nearly as many grout lines.

You can also use these panels to replace heavy and expensive counter tops made from quartz or granite. They’re thin, but strong and made to last. Additionally, you can save money on tearing out your old tile because these thin porcelain panels can go right on top of the old stuff. They come in a variety of finishes, colors and styles, and you can do anything from replicate the look of stone to provide you with a solid front color. They are being used for floors, walls, furniture and counter tops, showing the versatility of these slabs to create a clean and sleek look. These large panels can stretch from floor to ceiling with no interruption creating a continuity of style and taking a small space and making it look much larger than it really is.

Ink jet technology continues to evolve allowing manufacturers to create visuals that are more realistic than ever. From stone looks, wood looks and even textured looks that replicate linen(fabric) and carpet looks to cement and metallic with ease of maintenance.

Finally, large format porcelain tiles are durable. They are spill and scratch resistant, which means cleaning up is a breeze and your fantastic look will last longer. Porcelain panels are a game changer as the industry continues to grow, providing all the beautiful replications of stone designers are looking for, to adding the texture of carpet to any room but having the health benefits and easy care of tiles, porcelain panels are making an impact.

Huss Tile & Stone now has two employees who went to the training for the gauged porcelain panels. They learned the tile industry standards and methods for installing gauged porcelain panels and how it is made, where it can be used and special tools, setting materials and techniques required to install it.