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.”


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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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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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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GSF Tabansky

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Natural Stone Institute Coordinates with Gary Sinise Foundation for 40th Smart Home

Posted on 28 December 2021 by cradmin

The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services from Triton Stone Group, TexaStone Quarries and Unique Countertops for its 40th home with the Gary Sinise foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. R.I.S.E. builds 100 percent mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders.

After a September 19, 2015 routine demonstration of a Chinook helicopter in London, England, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jason Tabansky slipped and fell, injuring his right shoulder. Because of many complications after the injury, Tabansky became paralyzed from the waist down.

Remaining positive throughout his recovery and physical therapy, he spends time coaching and working with children. This specially adapted smart home will ease his daily struggles and mobility needs around the house, enabling him to spend more time with his wife and build upon their goals for the future.

Companies interested in becoming involved with future projects are encouraged to email [email protected] To learn more, and to see a list of all Natural Stone Institute members who have donated their time, products and services to this cause, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/RISE.

You may also be interested in this article: NKBA Names 2022 Board of Directors

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NKBA Names 2022 Board of Directors

Posted on 22 December 2021 by cradmin

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the authority on the residential kitchen and bath marketplace and owners of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), has announced the 2022 NKBA Board of Directors. These new board members will officially take their positions January 1, 2022.


Basil E. Larkin, Chair

Vice President of Sales, Hestan Commercial Corp., Anaheim, CA

Larkin is responsible for all sales at Hestan, a manufacturer of premium commercial restaurant equipment and residential indoor/outdoor appliances. He has been in the appliance business for most of his career, and has held key roles in sales leadership, marketing and product development. Before joining Hestan, Larkin was General Manager at BSH Home Appliances, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Lynx Professional Grills, and Vice President of Sales at Viking Range Corporation.

Randy Warner, Vice Chair

Vice President of Sales, Signature Kitchen Suite and LG Builder, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Warner leads the sales teams for both Signature Kitchen Suite, LG’s luxury kitchen appliance division and LG Builder. Previously, he was Vice President of Sales for the Luxury Division of Samsung where he integrated the Dacor brand into the parent company. Warner began his career at Maytag, working for 15 years in sales management positions, and then he joined Electrolux, launching and overseeing the West Coast Builder Division as well as managing the national Buying Groups. Later, he was named President of Distribution of the West and Southwest for Sub-Zero.

Kristen Elder, Secretary/Treasurer

Vice President of Residential Builder & Showrooms at Ferguson Enterprises, Newport News, VA

In her role at Ferguson, Elder is responsible for showroom and builder strategy and execution. An accomplished consumer product sales and marketing leader, she joined Ferguson in 2019 as Senior Director of Appliance Business Development. Elder has worked with the business groups, in sourcing, category management, marketing and the branch network to boost sales and profitability of Ferguson’s appliance business.


Jan Neiges, CMKBD

Principal of Jan Neiges, Highlands Ranch, CO

Neiges is an award-winning kitchen designer and past President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the NKBA. With 40 years of sales and 20 years of design experience, she is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges, home shows and at NKBA’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Neiges advises kitchen and bath designers on marketing and selling skills, helping to shorten the lead-to-sale cycle, improve the closing ration and earn design fees before they design.

Jan Heck

President & CEO, Miele USA, Princeton, NJ

Named President and CEO of Miele USA in 2016, Heck oversees all operations of the company’s consumer and professional use appliance and floor care products, including the 10 U.S. Miele Experience Centers. His career began at Bizerba, a weighing and food processing equipment manufacturer. He joined Miele in Ontario where he became President of the Miele Ltd. Canadian subsidiary in 1999. Heck was a board member of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto where he orchestrated a $100 million fundraising campaign.


Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, nobilia North America, Miami, FL

Akerberg, who has been CEO of nobilia North America since 2017, has over 20 years of experience as an international executive supplying products and services to the construction and remodeling market. At nobilia he has focused on building sales and expanding logistics to fulfill the demands of the retail and wholesale markets as well as the construction industry in multiple countries. Prior to joining nobilia, Akerberg held executive positions at Saint-Gobain S.A. and Jeld-Wen Inc. 


Chair and Founder, The House of ROHL, Irvine, CA

In his current position, Rohl serves as The House of ROHL’s strategic thought leader in the U.S. and is responsible for relationships with key vendors and customers. Rohl started his career nearly four decades ago, working at St. Charles Kitchens in St. Charles, IL, and at KWC Faucets in Switzerland before becoming a founding member of ROHL. He is an industry partner at the American society of Interior Designers, an Interior Design Continuing Education Credited Instructor, and a member of the executive coaching organization, Vistage International.


President, Delta Faucet Company, Indianapolis, IN

Promoted to President in 2018, Roberts has been with Delta Faucet Company for 22 years. Prior to his current position, he had been President of Masco Canada. Known for his ability to build teams and manage complexity, Roberts has held leadership positions at Delta in sales, international business development, manufacturing, engineering, forecasting, purchasing and logistics. He also spent three years overseas developing Delta Faucet Company’s China operations.


President, Caesarstone North America, Charlotte, NC

Williams, who joined Caesarstone in 2016, specializes in building strong teams with core values of high performance, people, innovation, customer focus and credibility. Previously, he held various senior executive level positions, including Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Masco Corporation divisions, and general management roles at Fortune Brands, Redhill Company Ltd., and Thorn Stevenson Kellogg Management Consultants.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association:

With nearly 50,000 members in all segments of the kitchen and bath industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The NKBA mission is to inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry through professional certification and learning, community and events.

For more information, visit NKBA.org or call (800) 843-6522.

You may also be interested in this article: Natural Stone Institute Announces New Board Members

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U.S. Customs Finds Additional Evasion of Antidumping/Countervailing Duties on Quartz Surface Products From China

Posted on 16 December 2021 by cradmin

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“Customs”) has been taking aggressive action under The Enforce and Protect Act (“EAPA”) against companies that are violating U.S. trade laws as they pertain to quartz surface products from China.

On November 26, Customs found that 15 U.S. importers were guilty of illegally transshipping Chinese quartz surface products through Malaysia to evade the payment of antidumping and countervailing duties.

Less than two weeks later, on December 6, 2021, Customs cracked down on two Texas-based importers, Vivaldi Commercial LLC and Vivaldi Interiors LLC (collectively “Vivaldi”), for illegally misclassifying their imports of Chinese quartz surface products as “crushed glass” surfaces. Customs’ aggressive actions are important because they hold these importers accountable for their illegal evasion, deter other importers from engaging in similar evasion tactics, and ensure that the domestic industry receives the relief to which it is entitled under the U.S. trade laws.

Customs’ announcement confirms that quartz surface products made in China remain subject to the payment of AD/CVD duties.  If you suspect an importer of duty evasion, you can submit an allegation through Customs’ online portal

You may also be interested in this article: Vadara Debuts New Brand Experience with Updated Website

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Bus Sense Dec. 21 Data Analysis

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Business Sense: It’s Time to Hire a Data Person for Your Countertop Shop

Posted on 15 December 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Not another person to hire! This one is different, I promise. 

To fully understand how your business is performing—whether it is weekly sales, material usage, or employee efficiency—analyzing the data is incredibly crucial for success. If you don’t know where your bottlenecks are, you can’t make the adjustments necessary for improvement. That’s where this role plays such an important part.

Hopefully by now you realize the importance of tracking all the processes in your shop. Now you’ve got the data, but who is pulling that data out so you can learn from it? 

By hiring a person dedicated to pulling out the information you need to make those crucial decisions for your business, you are making an investment in a job that will improve your profitability like never before. 

Why this role is important

A good data analyst will be able to provide valuable insights for your business and help strategize for areas of improvement. Tracking insights for every part of your shop will provide your business a greater ability to grow and succeed. And, you’ll all suffer less headaches! Data can let you see how well your business is doing as well as your employees’ performance. It can also be a powerful tool for motivating your team.

As your countertop fabrication business grows, delegating responsibilities will become more common. Just one of those responsibilities is keeping track of the data in order to gain insight on leads, sales, and employee performance all while communicating that in an easily digestible manner. Finding the right data analyst means putting in the work to effectively market the position, narrow down resumes, and conduct productive interviews. After hiring the right person, make sure to understand the best places to find the data.

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Cambria Introduces Inverness Collection

Posted on 13 December 2021 by cradmin

Cambria, a Minnesota-based, family-owned manufacturer of quartz surfaces, recently released its newest collection of designs. The Inverness™ designs feature innovative technology and gently textured debossing throughout the veining. The four new designs in the collection are inspired by forces of nature that change the landscape. Featuring debossed veining and gently textured compositions, these designs capture the beauty of disruptions in nature.

The Inverness Collection consists of:

  • Inverness Cobalt – Stormy-blue veins with subtle flares fracture a cool white canvas.
  • Inverness Gold – Molten gold veins fracture a cool white canvas.
  • Inverness Bronze – Deep bronze veins with rosy undertones fracture a cool white canvas.
  • Inverness Platinum – Soft charcoal veins scattered with hints of silver fracture a cool white canvas.

According to the company Cambria quartz surfaces are distinctively durable, nonabsorbent and easy to maintain. The company also backs its products with robust service and support and a transferable Full Lifetime Warranty.

You may also be interested in this article: Join.It Surfacing Adhesive Offers Free Dispensing Guns for the Holidays

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Join.It Surfacing Adhesive Offers Free Dispensing Guns for the Holidays

Posted on 26 November 2021 by cradmin

Join.It Surfacing Adhesive by Princeton Chemical Company is a methacrylate-based adhesive that produces strong, durable bonds for solid surfaces, quartz, natural stones, ceramic or sintered materials and a wide range of other surfaces. Join.It is made in America for professional use in seaming countertops, backsplashes, integral sinks and bowls, and wall panels, as well as on-trend designs that satisfy today’s discriminating consumers. The company developed a unique online ordering system that allows fabricators to order directly from the factory at wholesale prices in just minutes.

Princeton Chemical is celebrating the year’s end by offering a holiday special on Join.It Surfacing Adhesive that runs through January 1, 2022, or while supplies last. Customers can receive a free dispensing gun (a $65 value) with the purchase of a case (12 tubes) of Join.It adhesive at the regular factory direct price. The special is limited to one free gun per customer.

Customers can mix and match adhesive colors to make up the case and the offer includes free delivery, with shipping typically taking place within 24 hours of ordering. Each tube of the 10:1 adhesive comes in a 250ml cartridge along with two free mixing tips, for ease of use and for the confidence in dispensing the right proportional mix.

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Vadara New Brand Experience

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Vadara Debuts New Brand Experience with Updated Website

Posted on 24 November 2021 by cradmin

Vadara Quartz Surfaces, a manufacturer of artisan, handcrafted quartz surfaces, has debuted a new brand experience and accompanying website. The multi-faceted approach showcases the artistry of the natural world and is conveyed through the company’s new tagline, “We move mountains to bring spaces to life.” 

The brand’s collections are organized on the website according to the following themes, which weave throughout the brand story:

  • Threads of Nature – Dramatic designs and dynamic patterns
  • Ebbs and Flows – Flowing lines and subtle contrasts found only in nature
  • Divine Natural Majesty – A sense of still beauty in ethereal patterns
  • Infusions – A striking blend of natural patterns and divine backgrounds
  • Hidden Inspiration – Experimental and unique designs

Vadara’s mission is to create a bridge between the Earth’s majestic natural spaces and the company’s unique approach to crafting surfaces. According to the company this will inspire homeowners and designers to elevate their interiors from functional places into promising spaces of possibilities with Vadara’s diverse quartz surfaces.

The functional and visually pleasing website offers improved navigation which enables website visitors to preview and sort the brand’s collections, colors, patterns and styles according to tone, background color, vein color, thickness and special features such as book matching.

To learn more about the new Vadara website visit www.vadaraquartz.com.

You may also be interested in this article: MSI Presents Latest Quartz Long-Vein Marble Looks

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