We continue our recap of the top trends and best new products from last week’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) with a look at the handsome and high-performance surfaces and finishes that grabbed our attention. What’s interesting about this category is that, you’ll find, cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and R&D have enabled some of these products to be used in exterior applications, too. So whether you’re interested in specifying a kitchen countertop or cladding an entire building façade, you’ll want to know about these finishes. (If you missed our KBIS report on fixtures, fittings and cabinetry, click here.)
The concrete trend we first started seeing a few years ago is still on the rise, with more manufacturers jumping on this bandwagon, and some “easing” homeowners into this industrial aesthetic by introducing softer or subtler concrete-evoking colors and finishes.
Classic white Carrara and Calacatta marbles will never really go out of style when it comes to residential kitchens and baths. But at this year’s KBIS, they’ve been making room for Nero Marquina, a beautiful black marble that’s extracted from Basque Country in northern Spain. Many of the major quartz and solid surfacing brands presented their takes on the dramatic stone, a few of which you’ll see below.
The general public’s fascination with weathered and worn materials continues to grow, and we saw this in spades on the show floor, from distressed concrete tiles to simulated metal patina panels.
As mentioned earlier, some of the surfaces that are traditionally specified for kitchens and baths — from countertops to floors and backsplashes — are being touted as high-performance materials that are suitable for exterior use, too. To demonstrate the point, Neolith brought its Tiny House — a rolling house entirely clad in Neolith materials — to Orlando.
OUR TOP PICKS: FINISHES AND SURFACES
Ann Sacks: Itai Bar-On Collection
Israeli product designer Itai Bar-On collaborated with Ann Sacks on a concrete tile line that’s at once honed and smooth yet riddled with random pits and marks created during the pouring and curing process. In a sense, it demonstrates beauty in imperfection. Ideal for feature walls, the tiles are also well-suited to fireplace surrounds given their high heat resistance.
Ann Sacks Itai Bar-On Collection
In addition to basic rectangular field tiles, Bar-On created two special versions — one that lifts at a single corner of the tile, another that bends outward at the center to form an undulation — for designing dimensional walls. The tiles come in white, gray or black.
Ann Sacks: Paire
Stone and brass are deftly melded together in this patterned tile collection. The three distinct line patterns — Ascend, Strobe and Horizontal — are rendered in brass inlaid on black limestone, white marble or verde marble.
Ann Sacks Paire
Ascend and Strobe come in 6-inch-square tiles, while Horizontal measures 6 by 12 inches. Solid stone colors sans pattern come in both formats. Paire’s brass details will naturally patina over time but can also be maintained to keep luster. Keep in mind that these tiles are not recommended for submerged areas.
Ann Sacks Paire
Caesarstone: White Attica and Georgian Bluffs
The quartz surfacing brand unveiled two new colors that are on trend yet timeless, too. White Attica (5143) presents a white ground with modern black patterning and touches of gray. Meanwhile, Georgian Bluffs (6134) is a warm, neutral gray with a refined yet gentle veining.
Caesarstone White Attica
Caesarstone Georgian Bluffs
Greatly reducing construction cost and duration, Caesarstone’s Transform is an overlay solution that installs right over existing countertops. The 13-millimeter quartz overlay surfaces are available in select colors and boast all the same characteristics of the solid slabs including scratch, stain and heat resistance.
Caesarstone Transform before and after
DuPont Corian: New Colors
In addition to showcasing smart-kitchen ideas such as induction wireless charging in countertops, the solid surfacing giant exhibited a range of new designs for Corian including trending concrete looks in four neutral shades, ornate marbleized colorways and translucent onyx-mimicking products.
DuPont Corian Ash Concrete and Neutral Concrete
DuPont Corian Deep Smoky Pearl and Dune Prima
Geoluxe: Pyrolithic Stone
Big win for a new brand: The Siam Cement Group of Asia developed a new type of surfacing product made from 100 percent mineral-based materials called Pyrolithic Stone, which ended up taking home not only the Best of KBIS Gold award for Kitchen, but also the coveted Best in Show. Made under a new brand called Geoluxe, Pyrolithic Stone is produced using a sped-up version of the metamorphic processes that create marble.
Geoluxe Pyrolithic Stone
Unlike similar innovative products that have come to the market, which feature a printed textural design on the top surface only, Pyrolithic Stone boasts a through-body color and pattern. At this official launch, Geoluxe introduced seven colorways that emulate exotic marbles and two sizes of up to 55 by 126 inches.
Geoluxe Pyrolithic Stone
Island Stone: Reclaimed Teak
Although Island Stone has made a name for itself in offering natural pebble and stone mosaic products, its latest venture into wood caught our eye at the show. The reclaimed Indonesian teak planks sport distressed beauty, some with pops of vibrant color. The pieces are arranged in an interlocking pattern on mesh backing that allows for easy installation and creates a random appearance.
Island Stone Reclaimed Teak
Móz Designs: Laser Cut Collection
The company’s laser-cut metal was actually launched a couple months ago but was exhibited at a major show for the first time with this KBIS. A range of laser-cut patterns is available on a variety of colors and finishes, from powder-coated solid colors to gradients and metallics. Constructed with recycled aluminum and finished for rust resistance, the panels can be used in residential and commercial applications such as partitions, fences, wall décor and façades.
Móz Designs Laser Cut
Móz Designs: Blendz Patina
Released at the same time as the Laser Cut Collection, Blendz Patina recreates the look of weathered materials in 12 colorways ranging from copper to blue marble. Perfect for feature walls, backsplashes, bathroom elements and more in both interior and exterior settings, the line is made with solid core recycled aluminum and finished to resist rust and maintain color integrity.
Móz Designs Blendz Patina
Neolith: New Fusion Collection Designs
Spanish manufacturer TheSize once again showcased its sintered compact surface brand Neolith to unveil new designs and formats for its existing collections including Fusion. Among them, Zaha Stone pays homage to the late great Zaha Hadid by putting a spin on Iranian gray stone with a richer, industrial, almost concrete-evoking tone and enhancing it with white veins in haphazard directions.
Neolith Fusion Zaha Stone
Also new to the Fusion collection is Concrete Taupe, which sports an all-over brown wash and micro flakes that add a bit of sparkle. Both designs are well-suited to exterior or interior cladding, furniture applications and more.
Neolith Fusion Concrete Taupe
Neolith: New Classtone Collection Designs
Neolith’s Classtone Collection also expanded to include some new finishes and designs that simulate the world’s most luxurious marbles. Blanco Carrara is actually offered with two different vein styles, one of which is subtler than the other. These make for gorgeous floors, walls, backsplashes and countertops, among other applications.
Neolith Classtone Blanco Carrara
Meanwhile, Nero Marquina mimics Spanish Marquina marble and its stark contrast of black with bright white veining. It comes in silk or polished finish and, like Blanco Carrara, works well in various kitchen and bathroom applications, as well as on furniture and floors.
Neolith Classtone Nero Marquina
Silestone: Eternal Collection
Cosentino launched a palette of new colors within its Silestone quartz surfaces brand that, as its name suggests, references timeless stone finishes such as Calacatta and Marquina marbles. But the collection also boasts Cosentino’s new N-Boost technology, which modifies the surface at a molecular level to provide both greater color saturation and resistance to impact and scratching. One of the more striking colorways, Eternal Marquina mimics black Marquina marble with intense white veining.
Silestone Eternal Serena
Silestone Eternal Marquina and Charcoal Soapstone
Silestone Eternal Statuario and Calacatta Gold
Silestone: Iconic Black and Iconic White
While the difference may seem subtle to most, Silestone is proclaiming its Iconic Black and Iconic White to be the most intense black and purest and brightest white quartz surface on the market. Like the Eternal line, these two colors are made with Silestone N-Boost technology, which enhances the color and gloss finish in addition to water repellency for easier cleaning.
Silestone Iconic White and Iconic Black
Last year, we told you about this company’s peel-and-stick wood product that affords speedy interior wall face-lifts. While there are no new products to report, we wanted to keep Stikwood’s eye-catching offerings on your radar. In particular, we love the Reclaimed Weathered Wood series in white, which looks just at home in an industrial space as in a shabby chic bedroom. It comes in 5-inch planks with lengths ranging from 1 to 4 feet.
Stikwood Reclaimed Weathered Wood White
Walker Zanger: Andalucia
This stunning new collection’s patterns draw on traditional Moorish architecture and old-world Spanish ornamentation, yet, with larger scales and a cool neutral color palette, they possess a more modern appearance. The hand-finished hexagonal tiles are composed of terra-cotta and coordinate with non-patterned field tiles available in rectangles, squares, hexagons and arabesques.
Walker Zanger Andalucia
Wilsonart: New Laminate and Quartz Designs
Wilsonart unveiled not one, not two, but 24 new laminate patterns, 20 of which recreate stone looks, while the remaining four mimic wood grains. We were impressed with the resolution of the marble-simulating Marmo Bianco in particular, which Wilsonart spokesperson and lifestyle expert Danny Seo was also excited about when we saw him at the show.
Wilsonart Marmo Bianco
On the quartz surfacing side, the manufacturer debuted eight new patterns that offer something for everyone: extra-large veining, smooth styles with finer particles, industrial looks, etc. Our favorites — Empire State (Q1015) and Manhattan (Q1016) — boast urban gray tones with flecks reminiscent of New York City sidewalks and buildings.
Wilsonart Empire State and Manhattan
Be on the lookout for part three of our KBIS 2017 coverage, which will focus on tech and appliances.