Porphyry is a very resistant, natural stone.
This natural stone is often used outdoors, thanks to its high levels of resistance against very cold and very high temperatures.
Hence it is used for various kinds of outdoor flooring, laying the the small porphyry cubes, known as sanpietrini or small plates.
Porphyry is suitable for outdoor works and roads also thanks to its natural roughness, ensuring a slip-resistant surface, thanks to its multi-mineral nature, with components with different wear and tear coefficients.
Its range of colours and possible finishing and applications make porphyry a very versatile natural stone, capable to meet aesthetic and functional needs.
The porphyry is broken and sifted to produce granulates, gravel, stabilized materials and porphyry cobblestones.
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Porphyry may be used in floors in the following ways:
They are square tiles, cut with machineries which split the slates with compression procedures. Their surface is naturally anti-slippery.
They are divided into three groups, according to their thickness:
Thin (1.5 to 3 cm thickness); normal (2 to 6 cm thickness) and thick (5 to 9 cm). They are available in different widths (from 10 to 40 cm), with 5 cm increasing variations. The length may vary, but fix measures may be required too.
They are often used for restoration works, for architectural reasons, in floor coverings of the city centers, pedestrian areas, paths, porticoes and courtyards.
They are produced with sawing machines with diamond tools. They must have parallel sides and 90 degree angles.
The cutting regularity allows for the installation with minimal gaps among the tiles.
They are grouped according to their thickness and width. Their length may be fixed or varying.
They are used to furnish squares, roads, porticoes and pavements, in all climates.
They are produced by sawing them out of a block, they undergo the flaming procedure which results in a colour and texture of the surface very similar to the natural stone, yet smoothing the intrinsic roughness.
The sides are milled. Their thickness is fixed (2, 3 or 4 cm).
The width varies from 20 to 40 cm. The length varies according to the needs or may be fixed as well.
The flamed tiles are used mainly for covering entrances, terraces, interiors and vertical coverings.
Tiles with brushed worktop
The brushed tiles are also called "antiqued tiles".
They are obtained from slates sawn from a block, flamed and brushed with diamond tools with different granulation sizes.
The brushing procedure removes the surface roughness which may have survived the flaming procedure. The result is a closer and smoother surface, which is also polished thanks to the wearing action.
The surface of the antiqued tiles is easier to clean than the natural tiles and tiles with flamed worktop, because it does not attract dust and stain.
They are used to pave the floors of the entrances, terraces, interiors and for the worktops of bathrooms and kitchens.
Irregular porphyry slates
The irregular slates (also known as mosaics, Palladiana, opus incertum) because of the irregular shape of the porphyry slates, result directly from the first selection of the raw materials extracted from the mines.
The upper worktop is natural, it does not present extreme roughness or surface irregularities. The sides are naturally slit.
This kind of material is used to pave courtyards, paths, terraces, gardens, thanks to its resistance, colours and simple effect. The result is a touch of beauty with a hint of antiqueness.
The cubes are hand made, one by one.
The worker is supported by specific machineries. However, the worker’s skill will determine the precision of the cut and of the selection, according to the thickness of each slate.
The fixed measure cubes are 10x10 cm. They are used to be laid down in straight rows (Roman style) or in orthogonal rows.
There are also cubes with flamed worktop or sawn worktop, to be then polished. Their thickness is fixed.
The cubes are supplied loose, in wooden boxes or in big bags.
In Italy they are known as "Bolognini" or "Sanpietrini". Their are versatile and can be used on all kinds of surface.
Their shape is obtained through mechanic splitting. Together with the wide range of available colours allow the craftsmen to obtain many different aesthetic solutions, spanning from the traditional contrasting arch laying, to more refined designs like peacock tail or geometric shapes.
The porphyry cubes are elements used to pave surfaces. It is possible to obtain evocative geometric designs and gorgeous symmetric effects: fan shapes, peacock tails, contrasting arches or parallel rows.
Every cube is the result of the cutting techniques of skilled craftsmen which work the porphyry slates. In this way the original worktop of the natural stone is preserved.
The various dimensions allow for their laying in all outdoor environments, granting a comfortable walking surface.
Porphyry cobblestones are elements marked by a round shape. They are usually found in rivers and may immediately be used without further processing, still obtaining compact and adequately flat surfaces.
They are particularly used to pave or finish sidewalks or paths.
They recall the past if they are used for a floor in porphyry cobblestones or an old style dry fence.
Their roundish shape creates stunning visual effects. The decorative features of this product is therefore fundamental.
Their shapes roughly recalls a parallelepiped, produced with mechanic splitting.
The standard sizes are: normal (10x5/8; 10x8/11 and 12x10/15) and giant (12x15/20 and 14x15/20).
They are used to compact the borders and fix the limits of floorings or as integrative paving element to pave. Their upper worktop is natural, well squared with parallel sides.
They are used as embroidery elements which designers use to design squares, floors or to give shapes to flower beads, pedestrian areas and gardens.