Latest launch from Lapitec joins full-bodied range free from crystalline silica and petrochemicals
The latest design in the white, marble-veined Musa Collection of sintered stone from Lapitec, sold in the UK by The Marble & Granite Centre in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, is Bianco Giulia, available in book-matched, large format slabs.
Unlike the porcelains with which Lapitec is often compared, the pattern is not printed on – it is full-bodied, so the slabs can be machined across their full thickness while maintaining a consistent appearance and performance.
The Bianco Assoluto-effect Musa Collection was launched in 2019. It is available in Lux, Satin and Lithos finishes with different levels of marbling. The latest addition of Bianco Giulia is pictured above.
The marble-effects were the first Lapitec products to be free of crystalline silica, but this year Lapitec has been pushing the message that all Lapitec products are now completely free of crystalline silica, so there is no danger of processing the slabs leading to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the air.
Inhalation of dust containing RCS, which is naturally present in clay, granite, quartz, sandstone, slate, concrete and other minerals and materials, can cause silicosis and other chronic respiratory diseases that can lead to premature death.
Lapitec says the removal of crystalline silica is in response to new, stricter health regulations, especially in the United States and Australia, and that it has been made possible by the development of a patented mineral formula it calls Biorite, which is a registered trademark.
Biorite is patented – one of more than 25 patents involved in the production of Lapitec, for which the brand thanks the advanced technologies of its parent company, Breton SpA, famous for its stone processing machinery and inventor of the original equipment used to make engineered quartz.
With Lapitec, it decided to keep the process to itself and control production.
As well as being free of crystalline silica, Lapitec is also free of any petroleum derivatives, such as resins and digital printing inks.
Marcello Toncelli, who heads Lapitec, says of the removal of crystalline silica: “We have been experimenting for a long time, and have invested significant resources over the past decade to achieve this outstanding result, which we are very proud of.
“Using natural minerals, we have found a way to synthesise a new mineral that we have called Biorite, a Lapitec exclusive that, together with the other components of the mixture, makes the material completely silica-free and safe for fabricators, installers and anyone mechanically processing the material, starting with our own workers.”
Some have said sintered stone is simply another name for porcelain, but Marcello maintains that the advances made with Lapitec make it a unique material, ideal for use indoors and out. And Lapitec is being used widely in the world for façades, floors, swimming pools, kitchens, bathrooms, decor and more.
And, adds Marcello: “The ability to create certain raw materials [in-house] also makes us more autonomous, allowing the company to respond to the current shortage of raw materials that is paralysing the global market.”
The Marble & Granite Centre says the demand for classic-veined white marble such as Carrara and Statuario, reflected in the Lapitec marble-look products, continues, but that there is also a big increase in demand for more dramatic natural stones – so much so, in fact, that it has just moved 5,000m2 of stone in order to install a new covered storage facility in order to be able to stock more of the luxury marbles and quartzites.
The Kopron cover's open sides still allow plenty of natural light into the area for ideal viewing of the materials.
The Marble & Granite Centre says it is seeing seeing many more interior designers being braver with colour and experimenting with more striking materials, creating increased interest in natural stones such as granites and quartzites, which are more colourful, as well as brighter marbles such as the purple and green Calacatta Viola Monet.