Gauged porcelain tile (GPT) is a tile which is thinner than historic norms while possessing a larger trim size. GPT is reducing to a 1/8- to 1/4-inch gauge or thickness. The large tiles which are less than 1 square meter (or, 10.76 square feet) are classified GPT. Those larger than 1 square meter (or, 10.76 square feet) are classified are more accurately described as panels or slabs. Hence, another term which is new to the industry is gauged porcelain tile panels or slabs (GPTPS). Some panels may be 5' x 10'.
The motivation driving product demand for these super-thin-super-sized tiles is primary cosmetics. Designers and architects want the sleek aesthetics of modernity with minimized grout lines. A thinner tile also reduces overall weight and consumes less material resources. The thinner profile is helpful if a project has overall floor thickness limitations. (Although, this benefit may easily be lost by increased substrate preparation requiring leveling materials.) Installing thin porcelain tiles and panels requires
- more cautious hands to avoid damaging tiles or panels,
- superior substrate preparations,
- unique installation tools,
- special setting materials (e.g., possibly an epoxy mortar) and special grouts,
- increased mortar coverage ratios (i.e., 80% or more for interior walls and 95% or more for exterior and floor installations), and
- stricter quality controls to avoid lippage.