There’s no denying there are a lot of products and materials available to help kitchen and bath designers take client spaces from ordinary to extraordinary. Throughout the year, KBDN highlights hundreds of products in its Product Trend Report and Product Review sections, everything from appliances, hardware and Universal Design accessories to sinks, faucets, cabinetry and lighting. But if KBDN’s annual “Most Asked About Products” list is any indication, countertops were of special interest this past year.
At the end of each year, KBDN provides a review of the hottest, most interesting products, the most-asked about items as selected by tallying reader requests throughout the year. This year, countertop materials – anything from glass and quartz to wood and stainless steel – garnered six of the top 10 spots, and were represented in an additional four places in our top 20.
While half of the most-asked-about products came from one category, the remaining 10 products provide a mix from six different categories. Likely to no one’s surprise, Universal Design products showed a strong representation, with four products designed to promote safety and ease of use for clients of all ages and abilities. Hardware, which historically generates a lot of interest, was well represented in 2012 as well, with styles that offer a high level of personalization.
Peruse this and the following three pages to find out more about which products and materials captured the most interest among dealers and designers this past year.
For additional information about these and other products, visit ForResidentialPros.com.
Stone Countertop Guide
(tie) 1. The Convenient Guidelines for Stone Countertops technical guide from the Marble Institute of America provides standards, guidelines and recommendations for residential natural stone countertop installations.
“We’ve taken the ‘technical speak’ out of countertop installation and tailored it to the residential audience,” says Garen Distelhorst, communications director for the Marble Institute of America. “We’ve made those specifications more readable. That’s important because everyone wants to make sure countertops are installed correctly.”
Several specification sections have been updated and include clarification on the differences in lippage on countertops vs. islands and peninsulas.
Recycled Glass Surface
(tie) 1. Curava is a recycled glass surface available in Standard and Splendid Collections in 20 colors. Each slab is made from at least 70% recycled glass. The manufacturing process allows for particulates to be spread throughout the product for a three-dimensional quality.
Artistic Glass Countertop
3. ThinkGlass Artistic glass countertops are custom designed and manufactured using 100% recyclable glass. Painted to suit client specifications, they create a surface that is also a work of art.
“There is certainly a trend toward adding a glass accent piece in the kitchen,” says Bertrand Charest, president, ThinkGlass, noting that the addition of lights is becoming increasingly popular. “Seventy percent of our sales include LED [lights] for lighting the tops, and for changing the mood of the kitchen.”
“Glass is a wonderful material,” he continues. “It will not change under sunlight, or with age or exposure to the environment. It is always present in our lives (windows, drinking glasses, etc.). Selecting it to be visually more present is an obvious choice.”
ThinkGlass recently added side panels to its product line. “The streamlined look leaves the kitchen open and uncluttered,” he continues. “The glass is beautifully textured and scatters the light in a continuous flow, adding drama and interest. The transparency of glass countertops and their continuous side panels illuminated by LED lights literally lights up any kitchen with sophisticated style.”