Urbanisation and the expansion of the middle class have seen increased investments in real estate from all sectors of the Kenyan population. This has led to more and more companies bringing in different products to tap into the ever increasing demand and giving consumers a wide choice.
Roofing tile material is crucial, in terms of offering protection, and a few years ago individuals who were building merely went for roofing material not bothering much about its aesthetic value.
Today, apart from durability, many consumers are also looking at the visual appeal of the products they opt for. Developers can opt for the traditional clay tiles and iron sheets but today there is more in the market to choose from.
Stone-coated steel roofing solutions are gaining popularity in the country offering a different option for those who are building. With different products available including Tactile by Tile & Carpet and Decra Roofing System, the tiles offer an alternative solution with different colours and durability.
This roofing material is mainly made from steel or other metals which are coated with stone chips. The manufacturing of these tiles started in the UK, after the Second World War. Over the years, the initial method has been refined and modernised offering a more aesthetic and durable product to consumers.
These roofing tiles are said to be noise-resistant, so you do not hear the rain pounding on the roof tiles as you would with a mabati roof. They are more durable, fire and water proof.
The technology makes them long-lasting with developers not having to worry about replacing or repairing roofing tiles every other year. The technology requires very low maintenance and increases home value due to its properties.
However, these tiles do not come cheap compared to other products already available in the market. Despite their average cost being high they are lighter thus lowering the total costs of roofing.
One such stone-coated steel roofing product is readily available in the market. Using Korean technology and Italian raw materials the roofing solution comes in three different designs and various colours to choose from. It retails at an average Sh690 per tile.
The technology has been in the country for years, with Tile & Carpet importing the tiles and selling them in their show room. With the tiles being assembled locally now, the cost is expected to come down and offer developers a wider range and increase availability.
The move to set up a local manufacturing plant for the product is expected to make them readily available for the consumer and be distributed across the region giving it competitive advantage over similar imported products such as Decra from the UK.
“There are several roof tile retailers who import the tiles, however, this is the first manufacturing plant in East Africa,” said Anupa Sanghrajka a manager at Tile & Carpet group.
Increased investment in the real estate industry has led to more international companies looking to bring in their products, offering different solutions, to suit different developments.
The tiles have been available in the market through retailer Tile & Carpet Group. However, the company has moved to setting up a 50,000 square foot factory, in Athi River, to manufacture the roofing tiles locally. This is the first factory of its kind in East Africa, with the others being based in Nigeria and South Africa.
Decra offers six different designs in various colors. Having been in the market for years the products are readily available locally through different distributors.
Increased investment in the construction industry has seen demand for materials including tiles and other finishing products. The market has seen an influx of different products to suit all pockets and designs.
Many of the new product in the market offer cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly solutions. According to the Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) of India, building materials account for approximately 60% of the total building costs.
There has also been an increase in the number of exhibitions showcasing the different products readily available in the market.
Tile & Carpet, a local company, started as a textile shop has grown to be one of the largest suppliers of building and interior products in the country.