TILES have evolved far beyond their traditional square-format, nondescript nature into versatile products that are safe and durable and offer enhanced aesthetics and design flexibility to cater to the latest trends, says RAK Ceramics, which continues to be a front-runner in the tile manufacturing sector.
The Ras Al Khaimah-headquartered tiles and sanitary ware leader offers a diversity of products that respond to market trends and meet the requirements of virtually any application – whether in a private residence for applications ranging from bedrooms to kitchens and swimming pools or in hospitals demanding antimicrobial tiles.
“Tiles now dominate our living space, coming in various sizes, colours, textures and matching decors to enhance the look of the interiors,” says Abdulla Mahmood, general manager, marketing and corporate communications. “They are not only considered safe and durable but also offer multiple aesthetic opportunities.”
He continues: “Tiles have various advantages like durability, frost and fire resistance, ease of maintenance and cost-effectiveness, making them a popular choice over other alternatives. Global design influences and the wide choice available have made tiles a complementary product for both interior and exteriors.”
In response to design trends, RAK Ceramics offers products that offer an eco-friendly option to the latest preferences in interiors towards ambiances that are inspired by nature, featuring wood, natural stone and marble.
Its Stone Art Collection comprising Deep Stone Rustic, Urban Stone, Thick Strip, Canyon Stone and Sienna Stone tiles that feature a natural stone finish are frequently used in hotel guestroom walls, lounges, corridors and exteriors of buildings.
Silkywood, Birchwood, Westwood, and Soulwood from its Wood Art Collection, which have the texture of natural wood, are suitable for interiors and exteriors, and lounges, among other applications; while Bianco Vena, Crema Royal, Emperador, Onyx Ivory and Statuario Bianco from the Orion Collection are alternatives to marble flooring and can be installed in lounges
In response to the trend towards the use of colourful and child-friendly tiles in children’s areas, RAK Ceramics recently introduced the Junior Tiles Collection, which include six different tiles, namely Panda, Sweet Apple, Bumpy, Pug Mark, Cheeky and Baby Ted. The entire collection reflects beautiful images with healthy colours that create a distinctive place for children, in toy shops, kindergartens and children parks, Mahmood says.
“With an anti-slip resistant surface, and stain-proof and durable features, Junior Tiles Collection is a better alternative to wallpapers and paints,” he adds.
A choice of sizes, shapes and design is another major strength of RAK Ceramics’ range of tiles.
According to Mahmood, today’s consumers are demanding and seek a variety of textures and colours in various sizes rather than the traditional square-shaped tiles.
“RAK Ceramics offers trendy tiles in the unique sizes of 25 by 70 cm and 20 by 50 cm to appeal to the urban consumer. Adding various tile shapes and sizes to kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms and laundry spaces confers style and increased value to any living space,” he says.
Kitchen areas require functional, easy-to-clean, durable and long-lasting surfaces, for which RAK Ceramics has an extensive range of patterns available in various sizes, including Jaquard, Diana, Silex, Rainbow, Patines and Unicolour that provide complete tiling solutions for shelves, walls and floors.
“These tiles are heat and frost resistant and cost effective, which make them a better choice in the kitchen segment compared to other alternatives,” he states.
The company offers large-format porcelain tiles that boast a long life span, and a multipurpose porcelain series that provides tiling solutions in lobbies, corridors, lounges, laboratories and other rooms.
“These tiles have durable features like high impact strength and resistance against stains, scratches, thermal shocks, frost, acid and alkali chemicals and come in a versatile range of shades and colours, which make best suited for flooring areas,” says Mahmood. Some of the best porcelain floor tiles include the best selling Lounge, Pizzara, Sparko and Verona.
RAK Ceramics offers various water jet decorative floor designs, which can be installed at entrances to enhance the appeal of the flooring. The company recently launched natural stone slabs called Versatile that can be used in a wide range of applications, from steps and risers to vanity tops and façades. These slabs are stronger than natural stones and are resistant to scratch, stain, frost or chemicals.
Meanwhile, RAK Antimicrobial tiles are designed to promote a healthy environment and protect against microbes, providing protection for floors and walls from a number of harmful bacteria, mould and yeasts especially found in clinics, medical research laboratories and hospitals, he says.
“RAK Antimicrobial tiles are protected by an innovative antibacterial shield that inhibits the growth of microbes on the surfaces of tiles and guarantees long-lasting protection against wear and tear, climatic conditions and repeated cleaning in any application,” he explains.
Among other products, RAK Ceramics’ specialty products include the RAK Luminos series, which is widely used in the hospitality segment. Created using ‘photo luminous technology’, the product glows in the dark, releasing the light energy it has stored from its surroundings during the day time.
“Special signs can be created for emergency exit and directions with these tiles which glow in dark indicating the escape routes. The series is neither toxic nor radioactive but a perfect eco-friendly product. RAK Luminos creates fancy interiors and exteriors for fun spots like discotheques, night clubs, besides facilitating the safety and security of guests during power failures and emergencies,” Mahmood says.
In addition, RAK Ceramics also offers a durable swimming pool tile series in various designs, colours, patterns and sizes that provide a mix-and-match option to create the preferred look.