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Surface finishes: a tactile experience

September 2021

Laminam’s research- and perfection-oriented approach allows it to offer an endless variety of solutions from an aesthetic, technical, material and tactile point of view

Choosing cladding is one of the most important steps in a design project, as it is an opportunity to put a unique, distinctive stamp on spaces from both an aesthetic and material point of view. But while in graphic and technical terms this choice is a question of image and application of use, from the point of view of surface effects it is also a question of sensation and touch.

When selecting a finish, it is vital to also consider what kind of material you wish to touch every day when you are, for example, preparing a meal on the kitchen countertop or working at a table. It is equally important to understand what you wish to feel under your feet each day, when you get up and get ready to face the day ahead.

With this in mind, Laminam offers four different types of surface effect: natural, polished, soft touch and structured. Consideration for the varying needs of its clients has led Laminam to offer different options for the same finish. This means it can be used for different applications within the same setting with a Laminam Effect approach, for both interiors and exteriors, in seamless continuity between indoors and out.

The natural effect results from the standard industrial production of the ceramic slabs. Finishes with this type of surface are highly versatile, can be used universally and are mainly distinguished by their designs and colours. Laminam offers a natural version for many of its surfaces within the various collections, for instance the Avorio and Nero finishes in the Blend series, the Bianco Assoluto and Nero Assoluto finishes in the Collection series, and the Diamond Cream, Emperador Extra and Pietra Grey finishes in the I Naturali series.

The polished effect is achieved through a series of processes carried out on the slabs after their production. The resulting finish, glossy and reflective, brightens up spaces, making it particularly well suited for indoor use. The polished versions of the Laminam finishes in the I Naturali series, inspired by various types of marble, are a case in point, and include: Arabescato Lucidato, Bianco Lasa Lucidato, Statuario Lucidato, Calacatta Oro Venato Lucidato, Staturarietto Lucidato, Noir Desir Lucidato.

The soft touch effect is an evolution of the polished finish, and is a smooth but non-reflective surface which offers an extremely soft sensation to the touch. It is used in particular, both indoors and out, as a top for refined and elegant tables intended for a wide range of uses, both private and professional. Examples of this include two highly requested finishes in the I Naturali series: Bianco Statuario Venato Soft Touch and Statuario Altissimo Soft Touch.

The structured effect, on the other hand, is achieved through a special process carried out during production of the ceramic slab itself. In this case the resulting surface is rough, uneven and rugged and is extremely pleasing to the touch. Structured finishes are highly appreciated for their distinctive aesthetic characteristics as well as their technical qualities, and are used in particular as kitchen and bathroom countertops and as indoor and outdoor flooring. They are particularly suitable for flooring due to their slip resistance.

The structured finishes are divided into three categories depending on how they are processed: Bocciardato, Fiammato and A Spacco. These names relate to the various processes carried out by craftsmen working with marble and natural stone. Laminam industrially replicates these effects on its surfaces extremely realistically, thanks to the extraordinary creativity, continuous pioneering technological research, and perfection-oriented approach of its Research and Development department. Examples include Pietra Grey Bocciardato and Ardesia Bianco or Nero a Spacco from the I Naturali series, and Porfido Marrone Fiammato and Pietra di Cardoso Nero Fiammato from the revolutionary IN-SIDE series.

The range is further extended by a set of series whose finishes cannot be classed as structured due to their inherent characteristics, but which still offer similar surface and material effects, thus expanding the range of available surfaces in terms of texture.

Particularly attractive examples of these finishes include those in the Seta series, inspired by the elegant texture of the fabric from which it takes its name; those in the Oxide, Ossido and Filo series, inspired by metals and the effects of the elements on metal; and those from the Legno Venezia series, whose colours replicate the effects of water on the surface of the wooden poles immersed for centuries in the Venetian canals.

Just as interesting and appealing are the finishes offered in the Calce and Cementi series, which replicate two of the most widely used construction materials in various colours. The Calce series includes surfaces which offer the tactile experience of the porosity of the lime walls and floors traditionally found in rural farm dwellings of old. The Cementi series includes finishes, all Bocciardato, which mimic in various colours the surface effect of concrete, so widely used by the great architects of the second half of the 20th century.

The Laminam catalogue, the largest in the sector, therefore offers multiple different solutions in terms of both image and texture, to meet not only any kind of technical requirement, but also to satisfy the most diverse aesthetic and sensory needs, meaning that each project is highly elegant, refined and individual.

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