Engineered Surfaces: Why They're the Material of the Moment
Dark and light hues, sophisticated veining patterns and textured finishes stood out at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
Veiny marble-look whites and greys were popular among the products introduced at the show, including Dekton’s Rem colour, shown here as a bathroom vanity, sink and wall cladding. Dekton, an ultra-compact surface, is made through a process that heats and compacts raw materials used to make glass, porcelain surfaces and quartz surfaces.
But much of the excitement was generated by several new dark colours. We’ll return to the lighter shades later in this ideabook, but first let’s take a look at the darker ones.
One of the most noticeable trends at the show was the emergence of several lines of dark engineered surfaces, in colours such as jet black, charcoal grey and even dark green and blue.
One of the most captivating was Dekton’s Laurent slab, shown here in kitchen countertops, backsplash and island cladding. The dark-brown background with gold veining is part of the company’s new Avantgarde collection, which debuted at the show and features three dark hues.
If you were at KBIS and visited the Dekton booth, you might have seen the seemingly never-ending crowd gathered around the dark Laurent slab to snap photos of the material and touch it.
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Its Woodcroft colour, shown here, is a bold black with pale metallic streaks and sparkling golden veins, which is a veining colour we saw a lot of at KBIS. As this image indicates, the colour will be available from Cambria later this year.
In contrast, Cambria’s Charlestown colour is a dramatic charcoal grey with meandering grey-and-white veining.
For its Liquid collection, Dekton collaborated with pattern experts and designers at London-based Patternity to launch three new colours inspired by liquid. The carbon-coloured Liquid Embers, shown here, recalls swirling magma.
Finally, Dekton’s Chromica collection, designed in collaboration with Daniel Germani Designs, features two deeply saturated, European-inspired colours.
Baltic, a dark-blue surface, was inspired by the nuances of deep-ocean darkness.
Dekton’s Feroe colour, also part of the new Chromica collection, is a dark green inspired by “unexplored corners of nature,” says the company in a statement announcing the collection.
Several of the new quartz colours play to the recent rise in blue cabinetry by featuring wisps of navy veining as well as colours that complement blues, such as greys, taupes and warm gold.
Included in Cambria’s new collection of 20 colours is Portrush, shown here as kitchen countertops. Its white base supports crisscrosses of navy, grey and black veining, with finespun filaments of gold flakes.
Portrush shows its varied tones, which would beautifully complement navy-blue or even forest-green cabinetry.
Gold accents are showing up in the new countertop offerings as well, complementing the rise in satin-brass kitchen knobs, pulls, faucets and lighting.
Cambria’s Clovelly, used here for the countertops and backsplash, has a creamy background with copper and brown veinings that coordinate with the brass faucet and island pendants.
Similar to Clovelly, this colour offers a creamy background with rusty, brownish-grey veins that work well with warm wood tones.
Khalo, part of Dekton’s new Avantgarde collection, resembles the look of Patagonian granite. It features black, pale gold and coffee tones and shows a subtle gold and brown dappling. A glossy finish enhances the effect.
Grey tones on white backgrounds are also popular when it comes to engineered surfaces. The two colours naturally complement and coordinate with popular cabinetry colours, such as white, grey, medium-tone woods and navy blue. Here, Cambria’s Queensbury is used for the countertop and backsplash.
Cambria’s Queensbury colour highlights a feature that the company has spent years perfecting: the prominent grey veins include large pieces of real quartz, resulting in a sparkling, crystalline look.
Cambria’s Brittanicca Block, shown here as wall cladding, features recycled scraps of material discarded after fabrication, now reused to create a butcher-block-style design. Brittanicca Block features randomised grey tones on a milky-white background.
Its Clear Skies colour, shown here as an outdoor kitchen’s countertop, backsplash and dining table, has the look of pale-grey concrete. The outdoor products have been refined to account for high heat, harsh sunlight and temperature variations.
As we’ve seen, slabs of engineered-stone surfaces are the standard application for countertops, backsplashes, shower walls, fireplace cladding and more. But Spanish company Compac generated a lot of buzz at its KBIS booth with the angular island shown here. Designed by Arik Levy, the piece, called Mineral Mass, is made from cut quartz slabs set together to appear as if carved from a single block of quartz.
The image here, captured at Florim’s booth during KBIS, shows a floral print in the Lady Hamilton Vaniglia pattern.
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