Where Every Floor Tells a Story

Bharat Floorings and Tiles, a 98-year-old company, has created many trends in interior design. With its constant focus on innovative designs, the company produces new product ranges every year, which are used in modern and upscale projects. Firdaus Variava, Vice Chairman, Bharat Floorings and Tiles, discusses the company's continued focus on Indian design sensibilities in their creation of artisan products.
Firdaus Variava
Bharat’s custom-designed tiles create stunning floors to suit eclectic tastes: each cement tile is individually hand-crafted from the finest, carefully selected ingredients, and aesthetically blended to create a high-quality tile of rich and glowing colours. The timeless elegance and durability of these tiles make them works of art and an invaluable part of the country’s architectural heritage

Firdaus Variava

Bharat Floorings and Tiles (BFT) has a rich history harking back to the Swadeshi Movement. Please elaborate on its inception and sustained growth over the decades.

Bharat Floorings and Tiles was founded in 1922 on the belief that to evolve as a nation, India had to innovate and become self-sufficient. As a part of the Swadeshi Movement, our founders spearheaded the cement tile manufacturing industry in India. They travelled across Europe and USA and brought the finest elements of this art form to India. They created fresh designs and modified the process to suit Indian tastes and environment. The patriotic trademark of the company, stamped on the back of every tile, was a map of India (including what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh). They produced tiles of world-class quality, so much so, that Bharat tiles came to be preferred over the imported ones, not only by the Maharajas and affluent Indians, but also by the Britishers!

In 1999, as a contribution to the heritage conservation movement, the company restored its original moulds and processes and introduced its original and expanded range of carpet pattern tiles under the trade name Heritage™ Tiles. These have been much acclaimed by architects, interior designers, and even UNESCO.

Over the years, an exciting new range of designs and colours, both classic and contemporary, have taken Bharat's floor art to new heights. Today, the company's manufacturing facility in Palghar has a capacity to produce 80,000 sq.ft of tiles per month, using advanced technology and machines. Products are being supplied pan India with our sales team present in Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Aurangabad, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bangalore, Chennai, and Goa, and we have plans to enter new regions like Punjab, Kolkata, and Kerala.

bharat tiles
What is the USP of the company's floorings and tiles?

Bharat tiles are handmade, artisanal and customised products. The USP of our Heritage tiles is that they can be customised to almost any design that the client has in mind. Our designers help in conceptualising the flooring based on the needs of the project. Furthermore, the tile colours can be varied as needed to match the decor of the establishment.

A Heritage™ pattern is formed by a combination of four tiles, and Bharat works closely with architects and interior designers to custom design floors that reflect the mood, values and aesthetics of the clients. In fact, through our revolutionary FloorIT app, anyone can create and customise their own floor, and then get the floor manufactured and installed by BFT.

Today, BFT makes handcrafted cement tiles in myriad patterns and rich colours to create beautiful customised floorings for an eclectic clientele. Some famous sites where you can see BFT tiles are The High Court, The Royal Opera House, BMC Head Quarters, The Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Pali Village Café, The Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Cathedral School, and in many hotels, luxury villas and homes of prominent citizens.

One would imagine that the price of handmade tiles that take 30 days to produce would be exorbitant, but they are priced only slightly higher than the machine-made alternatives. The average cost of our Heritage tiles is approx. ₹225 per sq.ft.

Please elaborate on the FloorIT app

We help interior designers and architects to design their floors using our tile patterns and our FloorIT™ floor simulator that helps them to choose design and colour combinations to create layouts. They can fill colours in the patterns and see how the floor would look. It's DIY for floors in 3 simple steps.

We would like our customers to get exactly the kind of floor that they envision, and to help them, we offer special design services (at a nominal fee), whereby they can either sit with our in-house designers to decide on colours as well as layouts for their floors, or e-mail their drawings to us for our designers and sales team to help them with the layout process. Samples can be made for approval and then once the design is finalised, production begins.

Once a layout has been finalised and the customer satisfied with the end result, the order for the required quantity of various tiles is made. This is often a lengthy process, but the end result is worth the wait! This innovative service offered by the company enables customers to design their own unique tiles, and since the whole process takes some time, customers are requested to plan their project timelines accordingly.

bharat tiles

What is the lifespan of Bharat tiles and floors?

Bharat's floorings have lasted for more than three generations. Our floors of the 1930s still exist. Our tiles can be re-polished 3-4 times and are easy to maintain by simple swabbing of the floor with plain water. This keeps them looking like new even over a period of many years. Our tiles are extremely durable when fixed and can take a large number of footfalls with ease. The long life cycle of the product makes them popular for users who do not want to change their floor again and again.

Please tell us about your wall cladding offerings.

Wall claddings are an abstracted concept to create versatile and strikingly beautiful textures for the wall or vertical surface they are installed on. This distinct design can be produced in all of Bharat's colours and produce a variety of patterns when rotated and installed.

bharat tiles

Walls are wonderful to experiment new techniques and designs to give your space a unique and bold look. They are a good place to start if you want to revitalize your interior decor. Cladding is almost always intended to be stylistic rather than functional and is usually designed to help accent a particular feature or room. Though it could conceivably cover every surface in a house or building, it's more common to find it in just one or two key areas. Decorative panels, wood panelling, and decorative stone and brick are always in demand. Our 3D textured wall claddings offer a wide selection of wall claddings.

What new trends do you see emerging?

BFT collaborates with young, visionary designers to create BFT+ contemporary floors that are ever young in design and innovation. 3D Wall Claddings, Concrete Furniture, Concrete Objects and Micro Topping are our latest offerings, which can turn any space into a vibrant and beautifully designed area.

Recently, BFT travelled back to its roots and created a tile range inspired by our country's diversity, heritage, culture and art. Every state and region in India has its own idiosyncrasies, which are inimitable and fascinating. Embodying this characteristic, and in keeping the specialty of each state, BFT introduced its ‘Made in India' series.