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Our Story

What began as a boutique, decorative ceramic tile business in 1987, is now launching an omni-channel brand,Sanctuary Makers-which has an incredibly unique offer to market.

From early techniques of emulating popular European third fire decors using transfers, screen printing or hand-painting with brushed on coloured glaze, to screen printing glaze to replicate a hand painted look, Sanctuary Makers can now produce decorated indoor and outdoor floor and wall tiles in any design, in any colour and in an impressive amount of tile sizes, in just a few days.

Early on, the Company invested in quality equipment such as kilns, triple roll mills and a glaze laboratory and wrote pioneering software solutions in the early 90s that facilitated the transition to mass production.  By the late 90s, a make-to-stock business model was implemented, and mass production accelerated. Many talented sales, production and design staff were employed, and designs could now be fully tailored to Australian market trends and less reliant on European designs.  Successful expansion into the US market initiated more investments in machinery, including a larger kiln, a four head print line, a state-of-the-art tile cutting machine and a world-class research and development glaze laboratory.

Financial pressure on the building and other industries in Australia due to the introduction of the GST in 2000 sparked the pursuit of ‘Operational Excellence', and ‘Lean Thinking’.  New ground-breaking techniques including use of Murano glass on porcelain tiles was the catalyst and inspiration for many award-winning ranges. In 2006 the Company began focussing on the vision of creating a vertically integrated business and the highly successful MATRIX™ range, supported by pioneering software, inspired merchandising and web design, was launched.  The website enabled the customer to choose from an offering of 50 fashion colours in 16 formats in three simple steps.  This was a world first for the Australian Tile Industry and has set the Company apart from its competitors. The benefits of vertical integration are still being realised over a decade on.  

Soon after, the Company landed profitable commercial contracts, expanded their range of stone and glass mosaics and released their first field tile (plain tile) as fashion steered away from listellos towards feature walls and decorative strips. By 2009 the first retail showroom, ‘Southern Cross Splashbacks’ was opened which showcased unique designs in real room settings using an interactive visualiser.  The visualiser remains the best of its kind on the market.

A new era followed and was marked by the transition to digital printing in 2016 which offered benefits such as printing any design, short lead times and accuracy of colour and effects. The talented R&D and Product Design team repeatedly produced winning designs which feature regularly on many Australian reality home renovation television shows and in over half a million residential and commercial installations across Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  Ultimately, the team’s inspiration and innovation are realised by the creation of beautiful spaces which ‘delight’ the customer. 

Over three decades on, Australian Made products are in demand more than ever.  Sanctuary Makers fills a gap in the market for quality floor and wall tiles that can be designed rapidly in response to local and overseas trends and be manufactured within days. Sanctuary Makers is a new era of decorating spaces that delight and will continue to transform and lead the ceramic tile manufacturing and decorative tile industry in Australia. 

Sanctuary Makers is open for business for all customers, including architects, builders and interior designers who are passionate about high quality Australian Made products. 

We are the people ‘who sell the product and make the product’ and can ‘transform the way you create and decorate’ your indoor or outdoor space to make it a Sanctuary.

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