Thirty years have passed since the invention of Lapitec, almost ten since the sale of the first slab made of this made in Italy material which has added new functionality and new decoration to the world of design and architecture. In between, the dedication and research that led a Venetian company from the intuition of the knight Marcello Toncelli in 1989 to the development of twenty-five patents up to expansion in over seventy countries around the world.
When we talk about Lapitec, we are referring to a "full body" material rigorously made in Italy, with all the characteristics that derive from its total non-porosity: easily workable and transformable into the most diverse products for construction and furniture, from internal and external wall coverings to flooring, from kitchen tops to ventilated facades, it is also a material that does not absorb, does not stain and is resistant to bacteria and mold. Lapitec's is one of the most interesting case studies in the design world of recent times, based on a combination of prerogatives increasingly requested by the market such as technical and aesthetic performance and a sustainable approach that is now a market standard.
In the kitchen
But what is Lapitec made of? We are talking about a sintered stone composed of a mixture of 100% natural minerals which, when fired at high temperatures, gives rise to full body slabs: the exterior and interior are identical, without enamel and digital printing on the surface. A feature that allows Lapitec to be worked to its full thickness while keeping its appearance and performance intact, without the need for resins, inks and other petroleum derivatives. Today, the Lapitec kitchen catalog includes 3365mm long by 1500mm wide slabs available in three collections (Essenza, Arabescata and Musa), seventeen nuance and seven surface textures, also made to measure. Lapitec can be easily engraved, cut, milled to create drainage channels, integrate coplanar levels and technologies typical of professional catering, such as warming plates under the counter, the cooled top for bottles and induction appliances.
For ventilated facades
Lapitec is also an excellent solution for architecture, as it is resistant, unalterable, anti-graffiti and available in a maxi format. One possible use is for mechanically fastened ventilated facade cladding. The high resistance to high temperatures, frost, UV rays and wind makes Lapitec ideal for cladding external walls. The self-cleaning feature of the material and the non-porosity give the slabs technical properties that minimize maintenance costs for the building: a Lapitec facade prevents dirt from settling and is antibacterial. The thickness of the sheets commonly used in ventilated facades must ensure resistance to the material and lightness to the entire structure. For this reason, Lapitec 12 mm thick sintered stone slabs are perfect to be applied with mechanical anchoring elements, guaranteeing structural standards at minimum weight. In summer, the facades in light shades of Lapitec reduce the internal temperature by reflection of heat and dispersion. In winter, the non-absorbency of the material keeps the underlying insulation dry.
In the bathroom
The Musa collection enhances the technical properties of Lapitec making the three shades with full body veins an excellent solution for coverings, shower trays, bathtubs and bathroom furnishings. Bianco Elettra, Bianco Vittoria, Bianco Giulia are the three chromatic variations of the collection with an elegant texture. The absence of pores on the surface maximizes the hygienic properties of the material which also resists thermal changes, UV rays, bumps and scratches, as well as extreme temperatures and acid and chemical products normally used in cleaning.
In the swimming pool
In swimming pools, Lapitec expresses its qualities to the maximum. The range of finishes includes extra-rough ones with a high coefficient of friction, while the surface is always completely free of pores and resistant to mold and bacteria. These two properties make Lapitec an ideal material for outdoor application, including underwater use. The sheets do not undergo alterations to the color in the event of exposure to the sun and are resistant to any temperature, temperature range and salt spray. If used as a swimming pool coating, Lapitec is also not altered by chlorine and by the products used for the maintenance of the systems.
Another prerogative that makes it appreciated by pool designers is the availability up to the maxi-size of 3365x1500 mm, which allows to limit the presence of joint marks and reduce the necessary maintenance interventions. The Essenza collection, with 11 shades inspired by the colors of the earth, is ideal for the design of tubs and swimming pools, thanks to the Lithos, Dune, Vesuvio and above all Meridio and Arena finishes, which have a coefficient of friction equal to R13, in the full compliance with the DIN 51130 standard. There are also glossy (Lux) and opaque (Satin) smooth finishes which, used for the flooring of the tubs, give particular visual effects thanks also to their ability to interact with light.