June 13, 2018, will be marked as an important milestone for the India tile industry. In the recent past, most of the advancements were so thin and at a minuscule level that they escaped the attention of key tile buyers world over. But on this day a local factory called Lioli started production of the biggest GVT slab format i.e. 3200mm x 1600mm
Why is it so important?
The company (Lioli) has a strategic advantage because this size 320x160cm is only possible with the mouldless press (by System’s LamGEA press)
The porcelain slabs of size up to 120x240cm are possible to make with a traditional hydraulic mould type press (mostly made by HLT company of China). The majority of factories that offer 80x160 or 120x120 cm size use hydraulic mould type press. Some factory (e.g. Cruso) also makes 1200x2400mm size with the same. It should be noted that those mould based press (from HLT) are still relevant and proven press used by most of the factories globally.
Why this size is important?
There are other big format GVT slabs in the Indian market since 2016. Then what makes this size so important? The reason is this format became a norm among kitchen fabricators in most developed markets. The kitchen fabricators cut this slab horizontally and make two countertops. The kitchens made with porcelain slabs are gaining more popularity because it has zero porosity (and thus more hygienic) and impeccable material. This product has the potential to replace natural marble with many advantages.
A whole piece of NATURAL marble in a very large format is rare, costly, and not available in slim format (e.g. 6mm). It is only possible to manufacturer such sizes in a factory.
Though this factory currently makes this size in 9 mm thickness we found they will be ready with 6mm thickness by end of July 2018. Such slabs at 6 mm thickness will be lightweight and can be used with polyurethane (as reinforcement material) between two layers of porcelain slabs and make a thick, strong but very light countertop.
Remember: special handling and fixing care is required if you are thinking to buy these slabs. See this video to know about it