Kitchen & Bath Design News

NOV 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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of maintenance has it being placed on surfaces other than countertops," says Talbot. "From fireplace surrounds to accent walls, cabinet and drawer fronts to showers, the range of places quartz can go is vast and finally being uncovered." Martinson also sees a trend toward slabs moving beyond countertop applications, such as walls and floors. Countertops are being installed beyond the kitchen as well. "We are seeing the emergence of new kitchen spaces, like butler's pantries off the main kitchen to help keep kitchen messes and clutter out of sight as many people use their kitchen for entertaining," says Chmiel. "These ancillary spaces are perfect for hardworking laminate counter- tops that are easy to maintain and keep clean. Consumers continue to demand that all of their surfaces perform – and that means [they must be] easy to clean, maintain and care for, and they needs to keep their 'looks' over time. Consumers don't want their tops to show wear or dirt, and they need to look clean." The demand for durability even extends to the outdoors. "People are looking for countertops that can withstand the elements as outdoor and indoor/outdoor entertaining spaces are growing in popularity," Garcia points out. Additionally, he says, easy-to-clean surfaces are more and more important, making finishes like the firm's Nboost, which makes the surface hydro-oil repellent, important. ▪ TOUGH AND RELIABLE It's not enough for a countertop to look great. If the surface can't with- stand constant use, or is difficult to keep clean, the impressive look will fade, leaving consumers unhappy with the product. "Durability is always a big trend, and is becoming even more import- ant," Congress says. "Consumers want a countertop that will stand up to life's daily usage. As the kitchen becomes more of a multi-purpose room, the countertop needs to stand up to many different uses – from arts and crafts to food prep and wine spills." "Because the kitchen is the heart of the home for many families, it must stand up to daily wear and tear. From sliding your keys across the counter to staining and dropping heavy objects, countertops must be built to endure," agrees Mays. She adds that engineered surfaces like quartz have improved the performance expectations of homeowners. UNIQUE APPLICATION It's not just in kitchens that surface performance is key. Manufacturers are seeing the emergence of surface materials being used in other areas as well, and durability is still a top demand for these other applications. "The extent of quartz's design flexibility is just beginning to be ex- plored. No longer viewed as a one-trick pony, quartz's durability and ease Walker Zanger now offers Secolo Porcelain Slabs in colors such as Calacata Borgia, Calacata Firenze and Winter White Oak. Thinner than traditional stone slabs, Secolo Porcelain Slabs provide the look of marble in a wide range of applica- tions – from countertops and walls to large-scale fireplace surrounds. Circle No. 184 on Product Card Radianz natural quartz countertops from Lotte Advanced Materials are non-porous and impervious to moisture and staining. Because of their high density, Radianz materials are resistant to marring, physical impact and high tempera- tures. The line consists of over 50 nature-inspired colors available in a multitude of unique patterns. Circle No. 183 on Product Card Brooks Custom's Bistro Collection offers an alternative to many of the design restraints posed when work- ing with sheet metal. The Artisan Cast metal line, available in eight metal finishes, includes counter- tops, bar tops and range hoods. The metal replicates the look of sheet metals and are meant to represent a bistro metal aesthetic. Circle No. 186 on Product Card Meganite's new color collection provides the looks of marble and concrete in a solid surface material, while the non-porous surface limits bacteria and mold growth. The flowing veins can be seamlessly joined and thermoformed to create shapes, which reduce fabrication difficulties. Circle No. 185 on Product Card Calacatta Laza QTM Premium Nat- ural Quartz from MSI boasts a milky white background accented by soft brown through-body veining, reflecting an authentic marble look. Heat-, stain- and scratch-resistant, the surface is showcased in this California kitchen and was installed by LL Design Co. Circle No. 190 on Product Card Merge Design's extremeconcrete is an LEED-contributing, eco-sensitive material that can be infused with a variety of pigments and recycled ag- gregates to create unlimited com- binations. Containing up to 85% recycled content, the proprietary extremeconcrete mix incorporates pre- and post-consumer recycled/ reclaimed elements. Circle No. 188 on Product Card LumiSplash is a one-of-a-kind, multilayered, ultra-thin ¼" (6mm) decorative laminate from ATI Deco- rative Laminates that combines art and lighting with impact-, scratch-, chemical- and abrasion-resistant properties. LumiSplash can be used to create illuminated bar tops, back- splashes, kitchen islands and more. Circle No. 187 on Product Card The Emerald Coast countertop from Vetrazzo incorporates recycled tempered glass bits in cool green and blue tones to provide a seaside vibe. U.S. artisans craft each indi- vidual slab with care, placing each piece of glass by hand. Circle No. 189 on Product Card 52 Kitchen & Bath Design News • November 2018 PRODUCT TREND REPORT

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