As a relative newcomer to the tile industry, John Ryan is looking at it with eyes wide open. While he’s been involved in high-end bathroomware for the last few years, for Ryan, entering the tile market has been an interesting experience thus far. The business he took over in early 2016, MC Tiles, has been in the New Zealand market for 25 years supplying European tiles to resellers and end users via their retail outlets in Howick and Albany.
One thing that has struck Ryan about the industry is the lack of branding. As he says, people don’t generally associate tiles with a brand; the most important thing being the country of origin. “What it comes down to, is providing a quality product that is manufactured to a high standard, and that it resembles what it is supposed to – for example, natural stone. What’s central to our business is quality, and we are ensuring that we work with only the best suppliers predominantly out of Italy and Spain.”
Over the last year, Ryan has done a lot of research into the tile market, both here and abroad, and in September last year attended the world-renowned Cersai Fair in Bologna, Italy. A strong trend at the fair is the emerging large format market, with 800×800 and 900×900 available in many of the ranges, which is a focus for MC Tiles this year. The larger 1200×1200 tiles are also available, although these require extensive labour and installation due to their weight and size. “In commercial settings, these very large format tiles are fantastic. They’re ideal for expansive spaces in large architecturally designed homes or buildings, both on floors or as feature walls inside and out.”