Natural materials… what does this mean? Most of us take it to describe material formed from organic matter or that which is produced geologically by Mother Nature. Sometimes though, a cost-effective alternative can provide almost the same aesthetic feel as truly natural product, but with less worry about care and maintenance.
Porcelain is just one of those substitutes, and Claybrook has been working hard to find the best of the best over recent months.
The tiles needed to be both beautiful and hard wearing, with a high-level capability for use in both domestic and commercial situations. This means slip-resistance good enough for hospitality where wear and tear can be greater with heavy daily use. This can also be an added benefit for clients using the same tile at home.
Over the years we have built up an enviable little black book of contacts, so we turned to them for the widest variety of choice. These makers worked with us directly to drive down cost pricing, whilst developing looks that work brilliantly in British properties. Cutting out middlemen definitely helped reduce costs and also speed up communication, unfortunately lockdown then ocurred. This forced us to find new ways to launch new product, including alot of Zoom calls and the shipping of samples back and forth. It was a new way of working, but then the whole world has had to adapt in order to eradicate Covid 19.
Marble, stone and wood are often a go-to option for residential use in the UK, and we felt we needed a name to sum up these porcelain ranges, ranges that reflected the natural world. The name? Ditto; essentially - the same. The same as naturally occurring material in terms of appearance and style.
One great side effect of low pricing is there is no need to hold a seasonal SALE, with all the annoyance that ensues for clients tying to monitor price fluctuation. It also saves the office team at Claybrook amending all the prices and then amending them all back again. A win all around.
Larger formats were also a priority when designing our latest tiles as the market moves steadily towards more organic spaces. Many of us now like to have a kitchen and dining space within one seamless open area. Tiling with fewer grout joints creates more openness to these rooms. Most of the new ranges therefore incorporate larger than average formats, with some also available in thicker sizes suitable for exterior use. These are particularly useful for when the room continues out into a patio or outside dining area.
There will of course always be demand for actual wood or stone flooring and for clients who want a truly natural feel to their properties have the pick of these from the Claybrook portfolio. For those in search of porcelain, we think the work over lockdown has proven well worth the effort with the launch of our series Ditto.