Sophisticated equipment are being used by suppliers to produce models that closely replicate the look and feel of stone and marble.
Even with a multitude of nature-inspired designs already flooding the market, ceramic floor and wall tile suppliers in the Greater China region are developing their extensive selections further. Makers continue to focus on models with nature themes because they expect these to remain the favorites of foreign buyers for at least two more years.
Most of the latest releases feature swirls, veins and colors that resemble patterns found in real marble or stone.
About two years ago stone and marble patterns first became popular in ceramic tiles . These were initially used in models for spas and then extended to products for public and residential bathrooms.
With nature themes forecast to remain popular, suppliers in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan are upgrading their manufacturing facilities with new printers, kilns, cutters and other equipment. This is in line with plans to produce tiles that come as close as possible to the appearance and texture of marble and stone.
Hong Kong-based suppliers in this report said that despite substantial investment in machinery, nature-themed and conventional tiles vary little in price. This is because both types basically undergo the same production processes.
The extent of equipment upgrades, however, depends primarily on the size and capability of suppliers. In the mainland, where most ceramic tile makers are small, the bulk of investment goes to machinery that can be used in both nature-themed and conventional tiles.
Mainland suppliers are also collaborating with foreign design companies to create faux stone and marble patterns for ceramic tiles. These are usually produced using the silk-screen or roller printing methods.
Taiwan makers are more aggressive when it comes to product development efforts geared toward nature-inspired tile designs. In fact, many of these are purchased from designers in Spain and Italy, and suppliers in the island can release at least 30 new products every year.
Furthermore, Taiwan suppliers are investing heavily in manufacturing technology and process that can produce patterns with up to 90 percent similarity to real stone.
Ceramic tile production in Hong Kong in some aspects are similar to those in the mainland . Silk-screen printing, for instance, is also the most common technique of applying patterns to ceramic tiles in Hong Kong. Hong Kong makers like Taiwan suppliers makers are adopting manufacturing technology that can produce brighter colors and patterns that more closely resemble stone.
||Foshan Xinghui Co. Ltd.