Andrea Mensitieri, vice president, marketing and product development at RAK Ceramics on technology and the latest trends in tile design.
With the technology now available, tile manufacturers can produce tiles with more intricate patterns and textures in 3D, allowing the creation of unique and beautifully tactile surfaces. Andrea Mensitieri, vice president marketing and product development at RAK Ceramics, anticipates that the emerging trend of 3D tiles will continue to develop.
“Ridges, whirls, bumps, and shifts in grain are all possible, enabling manufacturers to create both unique visual experiences and more tactile surfaces.
“As one of the largest ceramics’ manufacturing plants in the world, with the latest technologies all under one roof, we have the capability to produce tiles of any size, colour or design, from the smallest 10x10cm up to supersized slabs of 135x305cm. This allows us total flexibility and the opportunity to create something unique and beautiful,” says Mensitieri.
With the rise in popularity in large-format ceramic tiles, Mensitieri says that the design possibilities are endless.
He continues: “Imagine a tiled space with virtually no grout lines. Imagine a kitchen surface made from a single piece of porcelain. Super-sized slabs make spaces appear bigger and brighter, reducing the need for grout lines, giving spaces a seamless look. Their extra-strong breaking strength also makes these large-format tiles an excellent choice for replacing surfaces such as kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity units or walk in shower cubicles.”
Large-format tiles have become particularly popular for use in hotels where they are being used in bathrooms, on walls and floors, to replace external façades and even to create steps and risers. RAK Ceramics was the first manufacturer in the GCC to introduce Maximus Mega Slab.
“This giant super-sized 135x305cm slab is RAK Ceramics’ most versatile product yet and is opening up new markets for us,” says Mensitieri.
Today outside living spaces are just as important as indoor spaces and blurring the lines between the two creates a seamless look, extending the living space.
“We know this trend is continuing to grow in popularity and last year our Product Development and Innovation department headed by Paolo Saielli developed many collections going in this direction,” adds Mensitieri. “In particular our wood and stone collections are catering for this trend. Hard Wood, Line Wood, Shine Stone or Fusion Stone are particularly popular. We also have our Surface 2.0 collection with a special 18mm thickness that allows a dry application directly on to grass, sand or gravel.”
He says there is an increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products.
“Sustainability is transforming the competitive landscape, and increasingly we see that customers are now placing a premium on features and products that promote energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Sustainability is very important to RAK Ceramics and as a company, we do not just produce and sell, but are committed to manufacturing in a sustainable way and contributing to the community in which we operate,” concludes Mensitieri.