Design: Size doesn’t matter

„Dew“, Bianco Carrara marble.(December 2009) At last: an idea distinguishing stone tiles from ceramic not only on the basis of material! Cersaie Fair, end of September in Bologna: a fledgling company by the name of Q-BO Project introduced itself by displays of stone tiles in very individual sizes. The tiles can even change size to accommodate smaller or larger patterns, just as the customer wishes.

It should prove difficult for the ceramic industry to imitate this type of flexibility, what with their rigid machine production. Q-BO’s products, by contrast, are hand made. By the way, the name is pronounced „Cubo“ derived from „cubic“.

The manufacturing process, too, is new. Patterns on the tile’s surface are sand-blasted and not, as is usually the case, routed or etched reducing costs and ecological stress. The method was developed in house by Q-BO. „We want truly ecologically irreproachable products, which entails the production process as well“, according to one of the company’s four founders Fausto Costi.

Materials used are Bianco Carrara marble, Crema Luna limestone and Ligure slate. „We use only top quality types“, he impressed. The products may be used for walls as well as for flooring as their surfaces are brushed leaving rounded edges which cannot chip under stress.

The design is Michaela Costi’s, another of the four founders. In part, patterns are derived from nature, e.g. the „Dew“ line or „Floreale“. Trendy is more fitting a term for „Wave“ where strass or rhinestone powder is applied to the sand-blasted line giving it a modern glitter.

Fausto Costi is quick to stress that the company can realize clients’ wishes as well. The only limitation is the maximum size of 120 x 60 cm. Next to standard sizes of 50 x 50 cm or 50 x 25 cm any size is possible.

Q-BO has been on the market since June 2009. It transcended form Eurosab S.r.l., a company well accustomed to sand-blasting techniques in glass and ceramic. The name also includes the word „Project“, implying that the company is ever-willing to produce new ideas. „We do not want to sell mass-produced products. Rather it is our aim to develop ideas from research and passion“, according to Fausto Costi.

Q-BO Project

Photos: Q-BO Project

The ceramic industry produces increasingly thin tiles in larger dimensions as shown at Cersaie. One example is Stonetech Slim/4 by Floor Gres a mere 4 mm thick but over 1 m² in dimension. This type of ceramic requires much less energy during production and produces less waste to dispose of at the end of its life cycle. They are also lighter to transport and thus easier to apply to walls. This is possible because polymers are added to the ceramic mass during production.

The concrete industry is also producing ever-larger slabs, very popular in the construction of city places.