Classic Marble Celebrates The Big 4 – 0

Classic Marble: Where it all began

When Donald Hackett came into contact with synthetic marble while building skyscrapers in Australia, he had no idea that it would be the beginning of a 40-year legacy.

Surrounded by the green hills of County Tyrone, The Classic Marble Factory provides a great place to work for local people and exports its award-winning products across the UK, Europe and America.

Classic Marble initially gained prominence among bathroom installers in ROI and NI. Each Classic Marble tray is meticulously handcrafted and inspected, creating products that are installed with ease, making it a firm favourite among installers.

External image of the Classic Marble Factory in County Tyrone.

The Classic Marble Factory in County Tyrone

Over the years, Donald continued to innovate his designs and manufacturing processes, helping Classic Marble remain relevant as an increasing number of mass-produced shower trays entered the market. In contrast to vacuum-formed acrylic Classic Marble pours its resin compound into moulds. This approach enabled Classic Marble to possess another distinguishing feature – custom-colour shower trays.

Many of 1990’s team members still work at Classic Marble today.

With Classic Marble producing impeccably accurate custom-colour shower trays, Donald’s focus shifted towards a universal challenge for all bathroom installers (aside from crooked trays, of course). Leaks! More specifically, leaks caused by settlement cracks or subsidence.

A Classi Addition

Time and again, bathrooms in newly constructed structures would begin to leak a few years after the building’s completion. Donald could see that if the shower or bath waterproofing was able to flex and move with the house as it settled, it would stop this kind of leak altogether. Thus, Classi Seal was born.

The Classi stand tours the UK and Ireland.

Classi made a significant impact as soon as it entered the market, with a broader range of sizes as its initial expansion. Within the coming years, Classi Plus (a version of Classi compatible with paint-on waterproof membrane) and Classi Neutral Cure 100% Silicone will be added to the product list. Finally, customers wanted to buy everything they needed in one place, so the Classi Waterproofing Kits were made.

SENSTEC: The Next Generation

The next bathroom innovation arose from another pressing issue: slips and falls within bathrooms. By this point, Donald’s sons, Christopher and Stephen, had joined the business, working in tandem to create SENSTEC.

SENSTEC started out as an interesting design project. Could you make a shower tray that has top-level anti-slip while still being comfortable to stand on and easy to keep clean? Well, after nearly 5 years of research and development and over 40 prototypes, the Hacketts answered that question – yes, you can!

SENSTEC Prototypes

A collection of samples made while researching and developing SENSTEC.

SENSTEC has gained extensive recognition within the KBB industry (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom), even securing the FSB NI award for innovation in 2022, competing against groundbreaking AI software and other highly innovative inventions.

The core of SENSTEC lies in its patented design. SENSTEC features hundreds of small protrusions that come up from the flat bottom of the tray, breaking the foot’s contact with the floor and providing vast amounts of grip. Each of these has to be precisely shaped and placed to achieve the perfect balance between comfort and safety while avoiding trapping dirt.

These protrusions were nicknamed ‘Dimples,’ a reference back to our manufacturing process and what makes Classic Marble uniquely qualified to create SENSTEC.

Remember the moulds that have been used for crafting the original Classic Marble trays since the 80s? Well, it is Classic Marble’s mastery of the moulding process that enabled us to create SENSTEC. Each mould is meticulously created, with perfectly sculpted dimples that, when filled, would become the grip or ‘Dimples’ on a SENSTEC tray.

A SENSTEC mould on the production line and the tray that comes out of it.

Having weathered the challenges posed by COVID-19 in 2020, Classic Marble and its associated brands continue to grow. The most recent addition is the slate effect trays – Classic M Slate – a driving force propelling Classic Marble into the future.

Thank You

To celebrate the 40th year of Classic Marble, Christopher Hackett MD, decided to take the whole team Rally Driving. Tools were set aside, answer phones activated, and the team assembled for a morning of enjoyment.

The Classic Marble Team in 2023

Despite the team’s relentless efforts to prevent skids and slips in bathrooms, the same principles can’t be readily applied on the racetrack. Cars slid, tyres squealed, brakes smoked, and cheers rang out. It was a rare occasion where the whole team could be photographed together. This encompasses salespeople from across the UK and Ireland, the office team who work at home and on-site, the factory team who contribute to all the Classic Marble brands, and even a surprise visit from one team member still on maternity leave, celebrating the arrival of their new baby to the world.

Classic Marble would like to take this opportunity to express gratitude to everyone we work with day-to-day – our steadfast suppliers and valued customers. We’d also like to thank the people who install Classi or shower with SENSTEC, the showroom staff advocating for the benefits of SENSTEC on our behalf, and the project managers who insist on Classi’s use in every bathroom project. The broader KBB industry united in camaraderie during awards nights and social media takeovers, commands our respect and gratitude. We also acknowledge all the unsung heroes who contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Classic Marble’s legacy.

Thank you.