Granite and quartz or solid surface materials dominate the countertop scene for kitchens, but a recent NKBA study indicates that granite may be peaking in popularity. If you are specifying or fabricating countertops for kitchens, it’s a great idea to invest time to learn more about innovative new options that are available in the market. It’s always important to stay on top of new developments and to be ready to implement them as they grow in popularity.
Advances in thin tile countertops
According to Neolith, slim tile is an exceptional counter surface material, it has near-zero porosity, making the product hygienic, stain resistant, easy-to-clean and impervious to chemicals. The product is also wear, scratch, heat resistant and its all-natural colors do not vary when exposed to UV rays. Additionally, the thin product is lightweight and easy to install, making it suitable for virtually every indoor and outdoor home surface. Neolith also launched a 3200x1500mm (10.5’x4.9’) slab with a 12 mm (1/2”) thickness. The new size allows for better utilization of the surface, as well as reduced waste. For instance, one large slab can be utilized for two full countertops.
In 2012, Inalco (a Tile of Spain manufacturer) was the first company in the world to bring textures and relief patterns to its large-format slimline Slimmker tiles. These slim tiles allowed greater flexibility for walls, backsplashes and countertops in porcelain. Recently, Inalco launched a 12mm (1/2”) thick ceramic slab measuring 1500x3000mm (4.9’x9.8’). Available in 10 colors with a natural or bush-hammered finish, it’s a step forward for thin tile countertop ceramic surfaces.
What’s next in solid surfacing?
Dekton by Cosentino is an innovative ultra-compact surface capable of seamless use both indoors and outdoors. By utilizing Particle Sintering Technology, a proprietary technique that mimics the metamorphic change that rocks and stone undergo in nature when subjected to heat and pressure over thousands of years, Dekton has unique technical properties, including UV and thermal shock resistance, superior strength, high resistance to impact, scratches and abrasion, and low water absorption. Produced in large format slabs, measuring approximately 126 inches x 56 inches, Dekton allows for large-scale interior and exterior applications. Dekton is available in 12 white, grey, black, and natural stone hues and in three polished, matte, and slate finishes.
“It is vital that the tile installer secures specific tile and installation material manufacturers product and installation recommendations, and takes the necessary time to invest in the proper tools and equipment for installing these innovative products,” states Bart Bettiga, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association and publisher for TileLetter Magazine. “Several of the manufacturers of these products produce detailed installation guides and product recommendations, and the NTCA recommends careful study of these before beginning the installation.”
BLANCO has a newly updated Mobile Color App that lets you mix and match countertops with BLANCO sinks. You can even customize the countertop choices in the App by uploading any countertop material, using your mobile camera! To learn more or download this free App, click here.