Eos Surfaces created a countertop product available in 3cm-thick solid surface slabs. Eos is a full 11/4 in. solid surface, but is comparable in price to conventional ½-in. solid surface. Eos is 3cm thick and requires no special glue-up or wooden supports. Available in 17 colors, Eos solid surface is popular with stone and solid surface fabricators because slabs can be machined wet or dry with existing Computer Numerical Control fabrication equipment.
“We’ve reduced the cost so we can rival laminate,” says Evan Kruger, chief operating officer for Eos Surfaces. “Laminate still makes up 68 percent of the market. The cost difference is huge between solid surface and laminate. Eos is close to laminate so it’s broadening the scope of solid surface.”
The Quartz Invasion
Quartz surfaces have been used in upscale homes around the world for more than 15 years but have more recently entered the American market. Thanks to increased manufacturer product development, quartz surfaces are in demand as a must-have in new and remodeled homes throughout the country. Quartz surfaces are experiencing incredible growth which is driven by the style, luxury and durability quartz delivers.
Argus adds, “Quartz surfaces are growing in popularity because although they have the appearance of natural stone, unlike granite, these surfaces never need to be sealed. Quartz is a nonporous material, which means it will not promote the growth of mold, mildew or bacteria.”
Staron Quartz countertops by Samsung contain more than 90 percent natural quartz crystals — a higher percentage of quartz than natural granite. The crystals are combined with technologically advanced polymers, resulting in a smooth, high-gloss surface.
“Quartz countertops have an aesthetic that can emulate the look of granite, but is also available in unique colors and surface effects not found in natural stone,” Mandell says. “The benefit of quartz is that it doesn’t have any of the drawbacks associated with materials such as granite.”
Samsung Staron’s new Tempest line is a solid surface alternative specifically designed to mirror natural stone and quartz. “Tempest is a unique and versatile surfacing product,” explains Mandell. “There’s a new visual dimension with Tempest that is like nothing else we’ve offered. While it has the look of natural quartz, it still offers the practicality of solid surface, making it ideal for any possible residential or commercial application.”
“More and more consumers and builders are demanding green products in new construction and remodeling projects,” says Peter Martin, director of marketing operations for Cambria. “Cambria is very proud of its certification by GreenGuard and its reputation as being environmentally conscious in the methods we use to produce our product.
“Cambria’s certification by GreenGuard will assist projects in qualifying for points under the United States Green Building Council’s LEED program. In addition, because Cambria is the only producer of natural quartz surfaces in the United States, additional LEED points are available for any project within the 500-mile radius of its Minnesota manufacturing facility,” Martin says.
Silestone recently introduced the Mountain Series and the River Series to its collection of colors. Silestone natural quartz countertops are infused with Microban antimicrobial protection. Silestone is also the only countertop surface certified by both the National Sanitation Foundation and GreenGuard promising a cleaner, safer countertop.
HanStone begins with the natural elegance of quartz, and then uses advanced technology to create its product with dramatic colors, vibrant patterns and a luxurious sheen. The product promises greater strength and resilience and minimal maintenance. HanStone gives design flexibility by offering 20 colors and patterns.
In color trends, the demand for subtle, neutral tones continues. Toned-down browns and greens and a continuation of the classic earth tones will populate the landscape. Ginguei Ebnesajjad, director of product styling and development for DuPont, conducts worldwide research to determine the colors and aesthetics that will be seen in the marketplace. Argus explains her forecast: “This year she believes we will be seeing consumers continuing to be drawn to materials that lend warmth and character and reflect even more natural movement and colorations.”