Archive | January, 2022

Jan. 22 Blog - Wilsonart Ari Kitchen

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Wilsonart Unveils Top Trends for Kitchen Surfaces

Posted on 20 January 2022 by cradmin

After a year full of unpredictability, many gained a newfound appreciation for our kitchens and the many purposes they serve. The heart of the home is getting the attention it deserves as homeowners realize the importance of having a multi-faceted kitchen and are ready to invest in new solutions for the way we now live. As we head into a new year, homeowners seek more space and sophistication in their kitchens while also creating a sense of sanctuary. Overall, aesthetics are becoming more adventurous.

“Spending more time at home has made us value an elevated home environment, and at the same time, there is a lingering desire and need for our homes to provide sanctuary and safety as an outcome of the pandemic,” said Danielle Mikesell, global vice president of marketing and design at Wilsonart. “People are eager to start welcoming friends and family back into their homes and are willing to splurge more on updates and upgrades to achieve the aesthetic they desire.”

This year, experts are predicting fewer homeowners will be embarking on entire kitchen renovations. Rather, many are likely to focus on upgrades such as countertops, backsplashes and other surface refreshes like island bases and cabinet fronts.1

“These relatively easy updates can be absolutely transformative,” noted Mikesell. “Countertops and cabinets are the first places visitors look when they enter a room, and surface updates can deliver a dramatic new look in days.”

Wilsonart has conducted research with both design and industry experts as well as homeowners to compile its forecast for five design elements expected to dominate kitchen surface trends in 2022.

Nature-Inspired Designs

As we all continue to spend more time at home, there has been a renewed sense of wanting to bring the outdoors in through nature-inspired design elements. We’ve never needed the healing powers of nature more than we do now, so it’s no surprise that biophilic design, the practice of creating a closer connection to nature through building, design and landscaping considerations, is set to be one of the top design trends this year.

Homeowners are choosing nature-inspired materials for all kitchen surfaces – from countertops to cabinets and islands. Products that deliver the appearance of natural elements are in significant demand. Stone-inspired looks, like marbles and granites, are highly sought after for countertops, backsplashes and islands, and can be found in new colors and patterns in engineered Quartz, Solid Surface and even in High Pressure Laminate (HPL) for more budget-conscious consumers.

Texture is everywhere, too. From the continued love of natural stones to the growing popularity of natural woven material and exotic woodgrain looks, a textured finish can provide a whole new look and feel to a space.

According to Mikesell, “We’ll be seeing texturized wood looks pop up everywhere. Matching refrigerator doors to cabinet facings is once again rising in popularity,2 and many designers are enveloping kitchens with natural materials and woodgrain interiors, balancing crisp white finishes with warm wood tones.”

Resi-mercial

Fueled by the drastic decline in travel during the pandemic, homeowners are looking to replicate the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their homes from the kitchen to bathrooms and beyond – further blurring the lines between residential and commercial design.

White marbles, especially Carrara marble, continue to be one of the most sought-after looks to achieve this clean, sophisticated, resi-mercial style and looks beautiful when incorporating the waterfall edge craze on both countertops and islands. Thanks to engineered materials like ultra-durable acrylic Solid Surface, homeowners can achieve the luxurious look of marble without the price tag and maintenance of natural stone, as reflected in Wilsonart’s Crafted Collection.

Industrial design is another staple in the resi-mercial trend that continues to evolve as a modern standard. Evoking a minimalist style, this look is softer, lighter and more delicate in direction and illustrated through sleek and sometimes darker surface selections for countertops and backsplashes, like Wilsonart’s ultra-thin European-inspired THINSCAPE® Performance Tops, which provide a strong and sophisticated look perfect for modern spaces.

Multi-Functional Formats

Our new hybrid schedules have created the need for “zoning” and creating spaces within our homes for each activity. More than any other space, the kitchen has taken on a multi-purpose role and the need for flexible design has become essential for today’s homeowners.

“From cooking and homework to Zoom calls and entertaining, having a countertop material with an on-trend look that can withstand the wear and tear from near-constant use and cleaning is a high priority,” explained Mikesell

But multi-functionality isn’t the only element in high demand. Homeowners are also seeking more elbow room, requesting larger islands and even double islands for added space to accommodate the range of activities.

Sustainable and Sanitary

Eco-conscious material options for kitchens are rising, with 97 percent of interior designers agreeing that sustainable materials will remain a popular trend in the coming year.3 More and more homeowners are showing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural products; alternative materials like laminate, solid surface and quartz mimic the best of Mother Nature without impacting the environment, offering appealing options for eco-conscious consumers.

The pandemic has also led to a focus on cleanliness and regular sanitation of high-touch surfaces like drawers and cabinets, yet not all surfaces are built to handle this challenge. Homeowners prioritizing this are seeking specific features like non-porous, high-performance materials.

High-Style, Low Maintenance

Our new home-centric lifestyles mean our homes need to perform as never before. Homeowners are increasingly seeking high-style surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life but which don’t require a lot of work to maintain. While granite, marble and other natural stones typically top homeowners’ wish lists for their aesthetics, not everyone desires the cost and ongoing maintenance that comes with such materials.

Also emerging from this low maintenance trend, traditional tile is out, and large-format slab backsplashes are in, made from countertop slabs that wrap around the back wall for a bold, grout-free statement.

“Besides being easy to clean, this look creates a natural design flow from countertop to wall for a clean, modern look that ties the entire room together,” commented Mikesell.

For those looking to give their homes a fresh look for the new year, Wilsonart offers residential inspiration encapsulating all of these top trends. For more kitchen, bath and design inspiration, visit www.wilsonart.com.

1 – 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study

2 – NKBA 2022 Design Trends

3 – 1st Dibs 2022 Interior Designer Trends Survey

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UGM Surfaces Partners With Lapitec as Midwest Distributer of Sintered Stone

Posted on 19 January 2022 by cradmin4

UGM Surfaces announced the introduction of Sintered Stone into their portfolio of silica-free products via a new partnership with Lapitec. Lapitec’s activities in the United States have become increasingly significant and frequent, bearing testimony to the company’s interest in the US market. As part of this policy of internationalization and consolidation of its position in North America, a collaboration has been initiated with UGM, one of the largest suppliers of natural stone in the United States, with locations in Chicago Ill., Detroit Mich., Cleveland Ohio, Milwaukee Wisc., St. Louis MO and Omaha, Neb.

UGM Surfaces has found the unique characteristics of sintered stone to be ideal for the professional market in the architecture and interior design sector. Lapitec is a high-performance material, which thanks to its non-porous surface and its full-body composition can be used both internally and externally; from ventilated facades to roofs, swimming pools, coverings, kitchen worktops and tables. It is free from crystalline silica (therefore safe from a health perspective) and made exclusively with natural materials without the use of additives. It can withstand thermal and climatic changes, UV rays, impacts, scratches and combats the formation of mold and bacteria on its surface.

You may also be interested in this article: MSI Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Las Vegas Showroom

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Natural Stone Institute Announces Scholarship Recipients

Posted on 17 January 2022 by cradmin4

The Natural Stone Institute has announced the recipients of the 2021 Natural Stone Scholarship and Women in Stone Empowerment Scholarship. Recipients will be celebrated during the association’s awards ceremony at StonExpo/Marmomac at TISE in Las Vegas this February.

Noe Cortez, Customer Solutions Manager for Quality Marble & Granite in Ontario, Calif. is the recipient of the 2021 Natural Stone Scholarship. The Natural Stone Scholarship provides a trip to TISE, where the recipient will gain valuable technical and practical knowledge regarding the natural stone industry and will meet and network with leading stone professionals. Cortez commented: “I’m really looking forward to attending TISE and getting a more in-depth understanding of our industry and all it has to offer. I’m humbled by the recognition and look forward to receiving the opportunity.”

Andrea (Andi) Carlson Claus, Senior Account Representative at Mont Surfaces in Grand Rapids, Mich. has received a 2021 Women in Stone Empowerment Scholarship. The Women in Stone Empowerment Scholarship provides a trip to one of three major industry events: TISE, Coverings, or a Natural Stone Institute study tour. The recipient is given the opportunity to shadow industry professionals within different sectors of the stone industry and explore her potential for leadership and her commitment to a career in the stone industry. Claus commented: “I am so excited for the opportunity to not only attend TISE, but for the connections that I will make, mentors I will meet, and education that I will gain because of the Women in Stone Empowerment Scholarship! I hope to leave Las Vegas as a more inspired and well-rounded version of myself with new lifelong friendships.”

Kristin Cannon, Project Coordinator for Continental Cut Stone in Florence, Texas has received a 2021 Women in Stone Empowerment scholarship and will attend the Natural Stone Institute’s Bluestone Study Tour in September. Cannon commented: “I love that this scholarship will give me the opportunity to meet other people in the industry and grow my knowledge of the stone industry. I can’t wait to see what I can learn thanks to this scholarship, and I am so grateful that programs like this exist to help women in the industry grow and succeed.”

Industry members are invited to attend the Natural Stone Institute’s annual awards ceremony at TISE on Tuesday, February 1 at 4:00pm PT in South Seas F at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

You may also be interested in this article: Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design Winners

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Business Sense March 2021_kpis-400x250

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Business Sense: A Quick Guide to Setting Goals For Your Countertop Business

Posted on 13 January 2022 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Goals are critical for any business, including the fabrication industry. Without them, it’s like playing a game of darts in a pitch-black room. You keep aiming and throwing, but you have no idea if you’re ever going to hit the bullseye.

That’s where KPIs come in. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are indicators that track your progress toward a specific goal. KPIs give your business focus – something to work towards. According to Peter Drucker, “What gets measured gets done.”

In this quick guide, we’ll go over how to set and track KPIs that matter for your countertop shop.

What are KPIs?

KPIs help you track the health of your company. For example, here at Moraware, we track new customer activity as a measure of success. Why? Because we’ve found that if our new customers aren’t active within the first few weeks, they aren’t likely to be active at any point and will cancel. 

That’s one KPI we measure and report on that directly affects the way we do business. What metrics are important for your business?

First and foremost, you want to make sure it can check a few boxes. Here are a few features of a great KPI:

  • You should be able to tell if you’re making progress toward your goal
  • Your measurements along the way should help you make better business decisions
  • You should be able to compare performance change over time – for example, sales this month versus sales this month last year

A KPI can track efficiency, effectiveness, quality, timeliness, governance, compliance, behaviors, economics, project performance, personnel performance, or resource utilization.

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Antolini Presents New Exclusive Stone: Cristallo Roots

Posted on 07 January 2022 by cradmin4

Antolini has introduced its newest member of the Exclusive Collection, Cristallo Roots.

The comfortable and grounding hues of this natural quartz intertwine with veins which connect across the surface like the very namesake of this stone: the roots beneath the earth. Through colors, patterns, and design, this stone brings forth oneness in the most beautiful of displays. Cristallo Roots can be backlit to further intensify the melodic effects of this material.

Antolini’s natural stone designs each stand for unconstrained stylistic freedom. With worldwide exclusivity over the materials and sole access to the quarries, Antolini is able to offer the most desired and recognizable natural masterpieces in multiple finishes through a network of distributors and partners.

You may also be interested in this article: Cambria Introduces Inverness Collection

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Water Treatment Solutions Case Study: Hard Rock Stone Works

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Water Treatment Solutions Case Study: Hard Rock Stone Works

Posted on 01 January 2022 by cradmin

Water Treatment Solutions presents this video case study of the installation for Michigan-based fabricator Hard Rock Stone Works. Robert Finn, V.P. of Operations, describes the issues the company was experiencing with water filtration and the seamless installation of new water treatment systems. Finn also discusses the customer service they received, cost effectiveness and ROI (Return On Investment) the company saw from the installation of a clean water system by Water Treatment Solutions.

Additional case studies and information on water treatment solutions can be found here.

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