A Groutless Wall Covering

Feb. 7, 2023
A wall covering product that is hygienic and has a circular economy.

Altro Tegulis is a new hygienic wall panel product from Altro USA. It was developed to offer the look of classic ceramic tile, without the presence of grout, which can harbor mold, mildew, and bacteria—an undesirable trait in every type of space where ceramic tile may be found from healthcare facilities to hospitality venues to homes. During this product’s development, Altro took into consideration that ceramic tiles can crack, chip, and break as they gradually wear down over time or from heavy impact. This degradation can allow water ingress and require constant repairs—issues that the new solution is also designed to address.

Manufactured from an extruded semi-rigid PVC sheet, the Tegulis wall panel is smooth with etched grout lines that resemble the porous grout present in a traditional ceramic tile solution, without the cleaning and repair issues often associated with traditional tile and the adhesive grout that mounts it to a surface. 

“Our engineers and designers considered the basic specifications our customers need to satisfy for their projects in the development of Tegulis,” said Rich Finnegan, market manager for the Americas at Altro. The result is a non-porous, hydrophobic material that resists bacterial growth. It is also designated as low VOC, lead-free, and phthalate-free, meaning that it contributes to healthy indoor air quality. These wall panels are Class A fire rated, CAN/ULC tested, and available in 8-in. and 10-in. standard panel lengths. 

“The PVC construction prevents water and bacteria from penetrating below the surface and allows thorough cleaning and disinfecting, reducing maintenance staff time and the cost of heavy cleaning products,” says Finnegan. 

Altro Tegulis is custom fabricated, allowing designers to select from the standard offering of over two dozen colors and patterns or specify a custom design unique to their installation. “They have their choice. There is no minimum on any stocking color,” Finnegan emphasizes. Turnaround time averages six weeks.

Four jointing methods are part of the customization package: half-lap, interlocking, two-part joint strip, or straight edge. “This level of jointing customization allows the panels to fit the needs of many area types, including wet environments like showers and tub surrounds,” Finnegan says. “Our jointing methods have proven to make installations simpler, and easier,” he affirms. The product can be heat-formed and bent around corners. 

A Circular Economy

Altro’s decision to produce Tegulis from some of their other wall products is in line with its corporate commitment to sustainability and a circular economy. The firm was a co-founder of Recofloor, the industry’s vinyl take-back collaboration that diverts safety and smooth vinyl offcuts and uplifted smooth vinyl from the landfill. Over 6,000 tons have been collected in the past dozen years and turned into such products as road cones and road sign bases.

For more: altro.com

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