This story was originally published in Builder.
As kitchen islands take center stage in many modern floor plans, countertops have evolved from simple prep surfaces into family gathering spaces and design foci for visitors and potential buyers. Choosing the right surface means striking the right balance between utility and aesthetics – and there are more on trend finishes and material innovations to choose from now than ever before.
The following are just a few of the colors, styles, and materials available as kitchen countertops:
Dekton by Cosentino
The Stonika Collection adds six new color options to Cosentino’s Dekton ultra-compact artificial surfacing, each one formulated with new advances in the company’s manufacturing process. Dekton is made from a blend of glass, quartz and porcelain, and resists UV rays, shock, stains, and scratches.
Stonika’s color palette ranges from light to dark surfaces. The collection includes shades based on Carrara marble and Portobello natural stone, plus two each based on Taj Mahal quartzite and Gris Pulpis stone. All feature improved resistance to thermal shock and impact, as well as sharper design details. cosentino.com
The 2018 Living Impressions Collection includes four new 180fx Laminate patterns, six new Formica Lamiante designs, and one new Formica Writable Surfaces design. Each is based on one of three global lifestyle trends: “Neo Chalet”, or natural materials, “Millennial Maker”, or craftsmanship, and “Modern Gentleman”, or dark, masculine looks.
The collection includes Quartz Composite, a man-made 180fx Laminate pattern with a blue-gray vein visual, and Stormy Night Granite, a Formica Laminate pattern that places beige, white, and gray accents on a charcoal background. Both product lines are made from concrete mixed with recycled glass. formica.com
Each of the 17 new high-pressure laminate surface patterns in Wilsonart’s “Nature Beckons” collection incorporates biophilic design elements, ranging from abstracted forest and feathered patterns to natural wood-grain tones.
Among the new designs are five new honeycomb patterns for Wilsonart’s Spectrum Line of high-pressure laminate surfacing, which make up the first new pattern profile in the Spectrum collection since its launch in 2016. The Dark, Pumpkin, Crimson, Teal, and Oat Honeycomb profiles feature a small-scale repeating hexagon design with a standard HPL matte finish. All profiles may be applied to any high-pressure laminate, including countertops and wall accents. wilsonart.com
Lapitec is in the process of developing a smart interface for its sintered stone kitchen worktops in partnership with Italian smart home provider Vimar. In the current prototype model, a wireless device charging station and a set of programmable touch controls are directly integrated into the surface of the stone. Vimar’s home automation system allows users to assign specific functions to each control, including spot lighting or small appliance activation.
The sintered stone itself is highly resistant to heat, scratches, UV rays and stains, and is completely inert with no resins or petroleum derivatives in its composition. For kitchen worktops, the manufacturer recommends the Satin finish, highly polished Lux finish, or Vesuvio finish, a finely textured anti-slip surface. Each one is available in a variety of colors and patterns. lapitec.com
Caesarstone has combined five new and four existing designs to form the Metropolitan Collection, a set of engineered quartz surfaces inspired by urban industrial interior trends. The collection’s new colors – Excava, Airy Concrete, Cloudburst Concrete, Topus Concrete and Frozen Terra - are designed after the “authentic textures of manufacturing”, which include raw concrete, oxidized steel, and plaster. Each is available in 2cm and 3cm thicknesses; Frozen Terra is available in a concrete finish, and the rest feature a rough finish.
Caesarstone’s surfacing is composed of 93% quartz blended with pigment and polymer resins. The surfaces are nonporous, durable, and stain-, scratch-, and heat-resistant. caesarstoneus.com
Neolith (TheSize Surfaces)
The product range for the Neolith sintered stone surfacing’s 200mm (3/4 inch) format, the thickest currently available, has been expanded from five patterns to 18, based on demand from consumers for thicker worktops and flooring. The finishes now available in the 20mm thickness include iron grey, iron moss, cement, barro, pulpis, aspen grey, and arctic white NanoTech.
Neolith is available in sizes ranging from 3mm to 20mm, with a total of 56 designs available across seven collections. The stone is made to resist stains, chemicals, scratches, UV damage, direct heat, and general wear and tear. neolith.com
Cambria’s latest natural stone design expansion includes five new designs across two collections. The Desert Collection’s Winterburne is a marbled white. Waterstone’s new additions are Wisley, a swirl of neutral tones; Crowndale, made of cream and beige splashes; Pendle Hill, which combines cream and beige with dark specks, and Havergate, a copper, gold, and tan mix.
Cambria’s natural stone is non-porous, stain-resistant, and maintenance-free, according to the manufacturer. Each of the five new profiles is available in a high-gloss or Cambria Matte surface finish. cambriausa.com
This story was originally published in Builder.