Venkatesan Sethuraman
Venkatesan Sethuraman Image Credit: Danube

Milano, a brand owned by UAE-based multi-conglomerate Danube Group, has recently launched the world’s biggest man-made tile, which the company said will be a practical solution for both commercial and residential projects. Measuring 1.6m x 3.2m, the large-format tile comes in different finishes, including marble, granite and wood.

“As we have observed over the last 20 years in the tiles business, there is a great shift in consumer taste towards large-format tiles,” said Venkatesan Sethuraman, director of business development at Danube. “That’s why today we have tiles with bigger and larger formats than ever before.”

Sethuraman said advances in tile manufacturing technology have allowed the company to develop the record-setting large-format tile, which has resulted in various benefits, particularly in terms of cost.

“The tiles for a span of time have become slimmer and slimmer with the advance of technology,” he said. “The slimmer the tile, the more square metres per container when you ship it by sea or by road, thereby you burn less fuel and that is also our contribution to the green building concept. The economies of scale have worked in our favour and thereby we are able to offer these products at a fraction of the cost of the original products.”

PW_181205_MILANO_Venkat Sethuraman
Venkatesan Sethuraman stands next to the record-setting tile Image Credit: Danube

He added: “[Our] large-format tiles have the look and feel of marble or granite. As we all know, fixing, laying and maintenance of marble is a hard task, whereas the glaze porcelain and full-body porcelain is literally easier to install and to maintain.”

With many real estate projects related to the Expo 2020 Dubai set to be delivered in the next couple of years, Sethuraman said demand remains strong, as the company also expects the introduction of new products and innovations to generate added interest in the market.

“With many projects coming into the closing stage as we approach 2020, by and large we have found the demand has been very, very robust,” he said. “Milano has showcased the world’s largest and biggest-ever man-made tile at the [recently concluded] Big 5 exhibition. We have presented the largest slab in a format of 1.6 metres by 3.2 metres. They come as close as possible to natural marble or granite, however, their features and benefits are far, far superior than the natural products.

“[These tiles can be used] in entrances of large institutions and public places like shopping malls, while for huge villas you can even use them both for wall cladding and flooring.”