LTP celebrate 40 years in the tile and stone business

LTP celebrate 40 years in the business.

Tile and stone cleaning, sealing and aftercare products supplier, LTP is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Based in Somerset, it was founded by Anthony Robb in 1984 and today, the company now supply more than 700 stockists throughout the UK and Ireland and also export to countries including Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Ireland, Romania, Spain and the UAE. During the last three years, turnover has increased by over 300%.

The company's history dates back to the creation of Wellington Tile; a company founded by Anthony Robb to import terracotta from Portugal. Responding to the demand to give terracotta an antique finish, Anthony created a solution in his cement mixer, bottled it in one litre jerry cans and branded it LTP Oldtone Oil. The terracotta was sold as Lionheart Terracotta, so the sealer – and subsequent treatments - became known as Lionheart Terracotta Products, or LTP for short.  A few weeks later, he created a clear finish sealer called LTP Cleartone.

Today, production has moved to a specialist chemical packing company based in South West England – and the range now includes over 32 products formulated to seal, clean and maintain every type of natural and engineered tile and stone. In 2016, LTP also launched its ECOPROTEC brand – a range of products specially developed for the contract sector.

Its growing sale team is headed by Emma Lock while director, Mark Atkins – the first person responsible for LTP sales – now concentrates on research and development, marketing, export and expansion into other markets including white labelling and own branding formulas for other businesses.

“Over the past 40 years, the LTP range has been developed based on our first-hand experience of the tile trade and issues experienced by installers.  And, despite our rapid expansion, close ties with our customers are key; we remain a business that’s committed to offering a good after sales service and to developing products that customers need, rather than chemicals that we want to sell,” commented Richard Osborne, LTP’s managing director.

The business now offers a water-based equivalent alongside all its traditional sealers, with sales continuing to grow year-on-year.

“It’s taken some time but we’re now seeing an inexorable march away from spirit-based sealers,” explained Mark Atkins.  “Our own goal, over the next five years, is for 75% of our production to be of water-based, non-hydrocarbon formulations. The tile and stone industry still needs encouragement to support this strategy but the environmental benefits are irrefutable.”

Alongside the switch to water-based formulations, other LTP environmental initiatives include the development of new PFA-free stone and tile sealers (free from microplastics), a reduction in waste disposal throughout its production and reusing of pallets; the sourcing of cardboard packaging from FSC accredited suppliers and the use of bottles made from recycled materials.

“We’re dedicated to bringing along the next generation of LTP, through our apprenticeship scheme and recruitment.  We’ll also be growing our export network and manufacturing partnerships.  It’s been a fabulous journey to date and the future ahead, despite current economic challenges, looks very bright indeed,” Richard concluded.