Hotel Designs was invited to take an exclusive tour of RAK Ceramic’s impressive Design Hub in London, and was given the low down from leading commercial tile supplier CTD Architectural Tiles on the new tile collections available for the hotel and hospitality sectors. Paul Sewell, Specification Manager, CTD Architectural Tiles, was there to welcome Editor Hamish Kilburn…
“At CTD Architectural Tiles, we believe the specification of commercial tiles should be a tactile experience so that designers can not only see the colours but feel the textures,” Paul Sewell, Specification Manager, told Editor Hamish Kilburn. “This really gives a much better sense of how the product will suit a space. Samples are obviously important, but when there is a chance to see beautiful tiles up close and in situ, as demonstrated by the impressive Design Hub of our supply chain partner RAK Ceramics, the specification experience really comes to life.”
RAK Ceramics is one of the largest independent ceramics factories in the world, with the capacity to produce 123 million square meters of tiles per year. Over the years, CTD Architectural Tiles has developed a strong relationship with RAK Ceramics, not only holding significant stock of the manufacturer’s tiles in the UK but also working closely together to deliver on projects in London and the rest of the UK.
Some of the most sensory new products available are those that can be used safely in wet areas such as around swimming pools or in shower rooms, but that still offer a pleasant feel when walked on barefoot. RAK Ceramic’s new Lapideus range is a perfect example. This new range of stone effect tiles incorporates ‘Barefoot Plus’ technology, a special coating which delivers enhanced slip resistance in wet conditions. These tiles have a pleasant feel and a special roughness which is barely perceptible to the touch, making them ideal for areas where safety and comfort are paramount.
Sewell describes another impressive innovation from RAK Ceramics. “The development of its Klima technology is very exciting,” Sewell explains. “It can be applied to many of its core tile ranges. This is a new generation ceramic that, thanks to special materials, is able to absorb and repel heat according to individual needs. In the hotel sector, we see this technology being particularly effective when specifying tiles for around exterior swimming pools, as they will remain cool to walk on with bare feet, even on the hottest days.”
With safety a top priority in all areas of a hotel, not just those that are likely to become wet, both manufacturers like RAK Ceramics and suppliers like CTD Architectural Tiles understand the importance of being able to offer specifiers a number of solutions that combine aesthetics with practicality. Here, tile collections that offer exceptional slip resistance are vital and there are many examples on display at RAK Ceramic’s Design Hub and held in stock by CTD Architectural Tiles. “A great example is Imperial, a timeless collection of porcelain tiles that is available in five complementary colours and three different size formats,” adds Sewell. “Not only ideally suited for us in wet rooms and bathrooms thanks to its high slip resistance, Imperial tiles can be used throughout front of house and communal areas to offer a classically charming yet cost-effective solution.”
And then there is the versatile Paleo, a range inspired by the natural beauty of stone and available in a selection of calming shades, also offers a high slip resistance and can be used to great effect in many areas of a hotel to create a simple yet sophisticated finish.
Certain tiles transformed through the use of light to create different stunning effects. “Luce is a beautiful marble and onyx translucent tile which can be backlit to create a soft glow and a powerful style statement,” Sewell says. “Whether used as a feature in a bar or restaurant, to create an attractive focal point front of house or as a luxurious addition to a bedroom, Luce really showcases how commercial tiles can be used to create bespoke interior design schemes.”
Other designs simply need to be seen to be appreciated, and there are many stunning tiles on display at RAK Ceramic’s Design Hub. Maximus Mega Slabs, for example, which are shown in many settings and really demonstrate how they can be successfully incorporated into hotel designs. “One of my personal favourite designs within this range is the striking Calacatta Nero,” admits Sewell. “When you chose a marble effect tile like this, you benefit from the timeless beauty of one of the finest materials in nature, combined with all the advantages of porcelain tiles such as performance, durability and ease of laying and maintenance.”
Being able to actually see the tiles in situ and therefore more accurately visualise them in your own project is really beneficial to the specification process, particularly when the tiles, like the Maximus collection, are available in a variety of finishes such as marble, concrete, metal, stone, wood and unicolour finishes. There’s a striking book match display within the Design Hub, which is a great place to start your design journey.
Another tile design that really takes your breath away when you see it in situ is the fantastic Metamorphosi range. Inspired by nature and reminiscent of the intricate and detailed patterns found in Art Deco style wallcoverings, this range is truly spectacular and incredibly eye-catching. Available in a choice of colours and designs, the decorative geometric and floral patterns of this range can create a real feature wall and are great for bespoke designs and boutique hotels.
Between RAK Ceramics’ manufacturing expertise and CTD Architectural Tiles’ specification and technical knowledge, we can help specifiers and designers working in the hotel and hospitality sector from the initial planning stages to installation on site. And with such inspirational venues as RAK Ceramics’ Design Hub available to host meetings and design consultations, the specification process can become much more interactive, bespoke and above all, enjoyable.
CTD Architectural Tiles is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.
Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles