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product line - fornace brioni glazed ceramic

fornace brioni features an extraordinary collection of both traditional terracotta and glazed ceramic tiles made in collaboration with architect and designer cristina celestino.

the traditional terracotta - or cotto - heralds from gonzaga, a small town in the lombardy region of Italy steeped in renaissance history and renowned for its terracotta. these tiles are still created by hand by the family-run company, now in its third generation, headed by alberto brioni.

created from the finest clays from the floodplain of the river po, cotto is nothing more than the combination of water and earth that when exposed to fire, creates a subtle alchemy that becomes embodied in each tile. both natural and ecological, each hand-made tile is unique and offers the best of italian craftsmanship.

as part of their collaboration, cristina celestino explores the traditional history of fornace’s cotto and teases out interpretations that are at once contemporary and rooted in familiarity. the further addition of glazed ceramic tiles round out the offerings with bright modern color choices and sleek lines. the resulting collections delve into themes of classical architecture, with nods to renaissance grottos and italian gardens, and a subtle playfulness enhanced by clean modern forms.

clé is pleased to be the exclusive seller of these tiles outside italy featuring both the traditional fornace brioni line as well as their recent collaborations with architect and designer, cristina celestino.

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what grout joint size, type, and color do you recommend?

clé recommends the use of mapei ultracolor plus fa grout and a 1/8" grout joint for glazed ceramic fornace brioni pieces. no grout is needed for decorative use. grouting is generally not done for dry applications of rocaille but if you prefer to grout, you will need to finger grout them due to the shape and depth of the tile. for glazed tivoli we recommend using a grout bag to fill the grout joints.

important: if fornace brioni glazed ceramic tiles are being grouted with a contrasting grout color vs. a matching one, then you must also apply a penetrating sealant or grout release prior to grouting in order to minimize the possibility of the contrasting grout curing in the inherent hairline cracks.
 

grout color selection is always up to our client and/or their design professional. however, clé is often asked for our opinion on best grout selections for our tiles. and due to the large array of grout colors that are now available, clé would like to offer this general guideline on a foolproof grout color selection for any of your clé tiles.

  • first, have your professional tile contractor complete your tile installation, except for the grout portion.
  • next, when ready to grout, ask your contractor to bring ALL grout color charts from his preferred grout manufacturers, for your review.
  • lastly, choose a time of day when you are most pleased with the lighting in your space (either natural lighting, installed lighting or a blend of both). during that lighting and time of day, select the grout color that best matches your tile selection.

note that the full mapei ultracolor plus fa color catalogue contains 40 colors to choose from. visit the mapei website to view.

for more information about grouting please see our fornace brioni glazed ceramic installation & maintenance guide.

do i need to seal fornace brioni glazed ceramic tiles?  

dry applications do not need to be sealed as the final step of installation.

IMPORTANT: if fornaci brioni glazed ceramic tiles are being grouted with a contrasting grout color vs. a matching one, then you should also seal before grouting because many tiles may have crazing without it being visible to the eye and would only come out with the grouting of the tiles as the invisible crazing absorbs the dye from the contrasting grout. 

for wet applications (backsplash, shower walls, steam showers) you must seal the grouted areas and areas of visible crazing as the final step of installation. sealant will not penetrate the glazed tile surface but it is important that all grouted areas and areas of crazing are sealed.

can only be installed on exterior walls and requires vertical weather flashing at the top and application of waterproof, penetrating sealant. installations in freeze/thaw locations the installation must be completely sealed and maintained with a waterproof sealant.

for more information about sealing please see our
fornace brioni terracotta installation & maintenance guides.

do you offer trim for your fornace brioni glazed ceramic tile?

at clé we follow the international model of no trim and highly recommend our clients to do the same. below are the trim alternatives we recommend for this collection.

- if your project needs to turn a corner either inwardly or outwardly, mitering the tiles to meet seamlessly in a corner gives it the cleanest, crafted finish.
- another way to complete your tiling is to run a bead of caulk or grout along the exposed tile edge.
- if you have a painted surface next to your tile, you can choose to paint the outer edge of the tile to match the painted surface.
- like with any of our tiles, you can also build out the sheetrock so that the surface of the finished sheetrock is flush with the surface of the tile.

how do i take care of my fornace brioni glazed ceramic tiles?

mild, pH neutral soaps should be sufficient for most cleaning—test before general use. clean using soft materials, like a cloth, instead of coarse materials. always avoid harsh chemicals and acidic or alkaline cleaning products. grout lines can be cleaned with warm water and a soft bristled cleaning brush. miracle tile & stone cleaner is effective as an ongoing maintenance cleaner and is gentle for everyday use.

single coat reapplication of the penetrating sealant is required once a year on all grout lines in shower applications due to the continuous exposure to water.
reapplication is needed more frequently if installed in a steam shower.

see fornace brioni glazed ceramic installation & maintenance guide for more information.

what type of finish should i expect with this collection?  

our fornace brioni glazed ceramic tiles have a smooth glazed finish. the forest pill and the shell shaped rocaille have a glossy surface, whereas the beige listellos and the rose rectangle have a matte surface.

how much variation should i expect?

all fornace brioni tiles are made by hand, therefore variations in thickness, depth, color, shade, size, texture and finish are to be expected. due to the noticeable color and shade variations, it is very important to blend the tiles from all boxes once they arrive and place them in their installation area to ensure you have the layout you want before installing. do not install without blending tiles from all boxes.

for color variation, tivoli and bibiena are rated 'level 3 medium', cotto variegatos 'level 4 heavy'. all fornace brioni floor and wall tiles are rated 'level 2 slight' for texture variation, and 'level 3 heavy' for size variation, as outlined in our tile variation guide.

what's crazing, and should this be expected with fornace brioni glazed ceramic tiles?

fornace brioni glazed ceramic tiles are made by hand and can show visible crazing. crazing refers to the hairline cracks which may occur in the glaze surface of tile after firing and is common in handcrafted tile.

why do you suggest i order at least 15% more than my measurements?

industry standard suggests adding at least 15% overage due to tile cuts, potential breakage, or future repairs. for more information related to ordering and shipping, please be sure to visit our shipping and returns and delivery information resource pages.

dimensions:


rocaille shell - 4”x 4"x5/8"  
ceramic tivoli bundle: overall - 4 1/4"x15 1/2"x3/8"
ceramic pill - 2”x8 1/2"x3/8"
ceramic listello - 7/8"x4 3/4"x3/8"
ceramic rectangle - 4"x8 1/2"x3/8"

disclaimer: please note all dimensions are nominal. additionally, dimensions between tiles can vary +/- 1/8 inch.

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interior wall, exterior wall, shower wall, steam shower, backsplash, kitchen, fireplace surround. Not suitable for floors. Limit all exterior usage to locations not affected by freeze thaw.

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installation & maintenance guides

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