UAE manufacturer RAK Ceramics is elated by the interest shown by local and export markets in its latest product, Continua+, which includes the world’s largest tile.
Continua slabs, part of the company’s high-end and innovative Elegance Ceramics urban boutique tile collection, boasts the gigantic tile of size 135 x 300 cm in 14.5 mm to 15 mm thickness. It features unglazed unicolours in matt and polished varieties.
Other tiles in the collection are also large and include the 120 cm x 240 cm glazed products in matt and lappato fully polished, 12.5 mm thickness; the 12 x 240 cm unglazed products in matt and polished, 12.5 mm thickness, and 120 cm x 120 cm, matt and polished, 12.5 mm thickness.
The Elegance collection offers customers products that have a long life and low maintenance and thickness levels and are practical and easy to handle.
Production of the collection began at the beginning of this year and already consignments have been shipped to the GCC region, Italy, Spain and India. These are among markets that buy RAK Ceramics products regularly and look for something new, exciting and interesting.
The company points out that the good thing about these new products is that they are ideal in several areas from kitchens and bathrooms to hotels, malls and airports. Use of big tiles means the number of joints between them is reduced.
Stefan Schmied, president of tiles and sanitaryware, RAK Ceramics, said customers could pick from a balanced product portfolio of 15 designs including the Solids Range, Stones Range, Marbles Range, Concrete Range, Wood Range, Metal Range and Maximus Unicolour. The designs come in different colours and are continuously developing according to customer needs.
“Tastes and needs are different across different markets, industries and individuals. Whilst it is usually very hard to comment on the performance of particular designs within a short period of time, we have seen strong demand for Maximus Unicolour in markets of the GCC, India and Europe because of their unique finish and designs which give the collection a distinct look,” he said.
“Also the Marble and Wood ranges are popular because of their realistic designs, giving a marble-like and wood-like finish which enhances the look of both residential and commercial interiors. These innovations are being showcased at international exhibitions and they are getting significant interest driven by their cost effectiveness and easy maintenance compared to others in the market.”
Elaborating on the Continua+ slabs, he said: “Hotels are indeed very interested in the wide range of quality products, services and added value that RAK Ceramics offers. This tile is also very popular for high-rise buildings as a façade and in high-traffic areas such as airports and malls where there is a need for very strong, durable, low-maintenance yet aesthetic products.”
The application areas for Continua+ are numerous and include residential and commercial floors and walls, outdoor floors and walls, facades, steps and rises, counter tops, vanity tops, partitions, waterjet cuttings, sinks, bathrooms, kitchens, hospitality, airports and public areas.
“Continua+ tiles are very unique and have opened up a lot of creative opportunities for architects that were not available before the launch of these new and innovative products. In terms of distribution, each of our target markets has its own unique requirements and specifications,” said Schmied. “In the Middle East and India for example, this product would be ideal for the application as ventilated façades as it resists heat and reduces energy consumption by 30 – 35 per cent. Whereas, in the West including Italy and Spain, this product would be promoted as cladding as well as counter tops, vanity tops and steps.
“We have an interesting pipeline for the remainder of 2015 and for 2016, with demand mainly coming from GCC and European markets.”
RAK Ceramics has highlighted Continua+ properties including a breaking resistance of more than 3,000 N/sq m; thermal expansion coefficient of 7 x 10.6/C, abrasion resistance of 150 cu mm, water absorption of less than 0.4 per cent and modulus of rupture greater than 40 N/sq mm.
“Continua+ technology is considered an evolution for next-generation ceramics manufacturing. The products which can be manufactured by Continua+ surpass international specifications and standards,” said Schmied.
Elegance tile ranges are made of superior quality raw materials such as kaolin, clay, feldspar and silica.