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2020 Announces Design Inspiration Award Winners

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2020 Announces Design Inspiration Award Winners

Posted on 10 December 2019 by cradmin

The 2019 winners of the 2020 Design Inspiration Awards have been announced.  The 2020 Design software allows kitchen, bathroom and closet designers to create visualizations using actual materials and finishes from a selection of manufacturer catalogs. Interior designers from all over North America submitted their best designs using the software.

There were five main categories for which designers could submit their entries: 2020 Inspiration, BLANCO America, Amerock, Kohler and Avanity. From almost 500 submissions, the winners of each category, as well as Voter’s Choice and an Expert’s Choice winners, were selected by a panel of experienced design judges.

The winners of the 2020 Design Inspiration Awards for 2019 are: 2020 Inspiration Winner Catherine Ouimet, Cuisine 3d360; Amerock Winner Kayla Herrick, Maureen’s LLC; Kohler Winner Steven Buck from Cabinets & Granite Direct; Avanity Winner Charity Faith Gilsdorf from Dream Kitchen & Bath; BLANCO America Winner Carolina Rivera from Armando Garcia Custom Cabinets (AGCC); Experts’ Choice Alex Légaré Grondin from Dkor.A; and Voters’ Choice Chris Purdy from TheRTAStore.com.

You may also be interested in this article about the Tile of Spain Award Winners.


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Kohler Offers Sinks with Neoroc Composite Material

Posted on 09 October 2017 by cradmin

 KOHLER offers Kennon sinks featuring the company’s Neoroc  composite material with matte finish. According to the company, the Neoroc material has been designed for extreme durability and functionality and has resulted is a collection of sinks that are intended to endure for years to come.

Neoroc is a proprietary material that is colored all the way through. It is reportedly resistant to scratches and stains and highly impact- and heat-resistant to 750 degrees F.  Neoroc is constructed with built-in UV inhibitors to prevent fading so it can maintain its color.  The Kennon Sinks are available in Matte Black and Matte Brown color options.

The Sinks are available in two configurations: a double-equal sink and a single bowl. Each design comes with one sink rack for protection. The double-equal sink has a slim divider that makes it easy to completely submerge pots and pans. Both models are designed to fit a standard 36 in. base cabinet, and feature offset drains to allow for a more generous work space in the basin. The collection’s design includes one faucet hole on rear deck (three more available for knockout), allowing for top- or under-mount installation.

Kennon carries Kohler’s Lifetime Limited Warranty for as long as consumers own their home.

You may also be interested in this article about Using Onyx for countertops and backsplashes.


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Much Ado About the Kitchen Sink

Posted on 29 March 2016 by cradmin

A couple of weeks ago, we published an article about a universal design for kitchen sink workstations developed with Ken Kelly using a sink from BLANCO, and I realized we have yet to provide an overview of the latest and greatest options for kitchen sinks. Not so long ago, the choices for sinks were slim, and nearly everyone was satisfied with porcelain, enameled iron or stainless steel drop-ins/top-mounts. Although the above styles still remain both common and  popular, several new types and models of kitchen sinks have entered the market and are making decisions tough for consumers and commercial building owners.

As our industry survey revealed last year, countertop fabricators hold a great deal of sway over their clients, so by understanding all of the options, you can stock kitchen sinks that both meet the needs of your clients and provides a solid profit margin for your business.

Stainless Steel

Wave_coverflow_371_259_Image2Stainless steel is still considered the mainstay of the modern kitchen sink. These sinks are affordable, and although they can scratch and thinner ones are more prone to  being dented, they do so without damaging their functional integrity. Stainless is also very versatile and can complement a wide range of décor and interior styles.

Just last year, MR Direct debuted a new series of budget stainless-steel sinks that are fully insulated, and Kohler introduced the Undertone Preserve series of stainless-steel sinks that have a special, scratch-resistant barrier. Other brands and series of stainless-steel sinks to watch for include the following:

  • Lottare – Stainless Farmhouse
  • Moen – 1800 Series with SoundSHIELD
  • Franke – Grande Series
  • Artisan Manufacturing Corp. – Frigidaire Collaboration Collection
  • Elkay – Slim Rim Sinks
  • Oliveri – 1100 Series
  • Ukinox – Micro Series

Enameled Cast Iron

Enameled cast iron was once the standard for kitchen sinks, and they’ve got a lot to say for them, namely durability. A well-made sink of this type could well last more than 100 years. At worst, it will need to be re-enameled, which is also this type of sink’s primary flaw.

Once the enamel chips, it is never quite the same again. Repairs may last a few years but will need to be repeated. The porcelain enamel, however, provides an appealing finish and is easy to clean. Because of their weight, cast-iron sinks are usually self-rimming, and these are simple to install. Undermount cast iron will likely require reinforced support. A few of the top manufacturers of these sinks include Kohler, Clarion, Song and American Standard. For a less expensive alternative, you may also want to explore enameled stainless steel.

Quartz/Granite Composite

Schock_lg(2)Quartz composite, also called Granite composite, is a relatively new material that is taking the kitchen-sink market by storm. Although every manufacturer has its proprietary formula, most are about 80 percent quartz/granite and 20 percent acrylic resin. It is compact, versatile and durable, being resistant to heat, chipping, etching and scratching.

The finish of these composites are typically slightly textured, and it is said to have the look and feel of natural matte stone, which may also work out to be a disadvantage because it cannot be polished smooth. Another disadvantage is that like many other types of sinks, some may eventually stain from water with high mineral concentrations, and the finish may dull over time.

A few of the latest options to watch for are the Granitali Collection from LOTTARE, BLANCO SILGRANIT sinks and Schock CRISTADUR. More recently, Domain Industries has unveiled its Lexicon Platinum Series quartz sinks.

Farmhouse Sinks

Fireclay_Image3One popular style of kitchen sinks that has come back into the spotlight like a blast from the past is the farmhouse sink with apron front. These large, deep, tub-like sinks originated in England more than 400 years ago. They were designed to hold large amounts of water, which often had to be hauled from miles away.

Farmhouse sinks are often the focal point of a kitchen, so many clients like to make them special. Stainless steel and enameled cast iron are both materials that are common used for these sinks, but several new materials are now available, including fireclay, hammered metal, concrete composite and quartz/granite composite (as outlined above).

Fireclay – Fireclay is very similar to porcelain and it appears nearly identical to enameled cast iron. The material is made when clay is glazed and heated at about 1,600° F until the glaze fuses into the clay. This makes the material extremely hard and durable. Last year, BLANCO added new colors to its fireclay CERANA series, and the year before, Domain Industries introduced Crestwood Fireclay sinks. Rohl now offers two styles, one with a flat apron front and one with a rounded apron front.

Hammered Metal – Hammered copper and bronze are also popular materials for farmhouse CPS291-Paragon-Copper-Apron-Front-Kitchen-Sink-vsinks that are durable and eye-catching. These sinks are also beloved because each one is unique. Houzer Hammerwerks copper sinks are one example, and Native Trails also creates a fine line of copper farmhouse sinks.

Concrete Composite – Native Trails has also pioneered a new material that is garnering some attention called concrete composite and branded as NativeStone. This material combines natural jute fibers with concrete for strength and sustainability.

Integral Kitchen Sinks

The last category we are looking at is integral kitchen sinks typically made out of the same material as the countertop, but not always. By strict definition, integral sinks are fabricated from a single piece so that there are no seams between the sink and the countertop, but we are including those with seams because truly integral sinks are rare.

A true integral sink can be fabricated from solid surface, and most of the large solid-surface suppliers have at least a couple line of sinks separate from their countertops, including DuPont Corian, LG  HI-MACS and many others. These sinks are lauded by those who purchase them because they are attractive, require little maintenance and are easy to clean. Another option is downloadgraphite-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC), which can be created onsite or offsite and cast to be part of the countertops.

Other integral sink options include natural stone and quartz. When it comes to natural stone, the top choices are marble and soapstone, but because these materials are both so soft, they are best suited for kitchens where appearance is more important than functionality.

However, a discussion of integral sinks would not be complete if it did not include Karran, who pioneered the process of seamless undermounting of sinks made of various materials to  countertops made of completely different materials. Karran’s Edge series of sinks can be undermounted to solid surface, laminate, engineered stone and granite tops in a virtually seamless manner (as shown in this video depicting a seamless integration of a Karran quartz sink to a laminate countertop). Karran even won a coveted ISFA Innovator Award for this line Edge of sinks in 2012. Originally in acrylic and stainless steel, there is also the Quartz Series from Karran, which has been on the market now for about two years. And of course, like any great idea, there are now other companies that are on the bandwagon trying to offer this same “edgeless” quality in combining sinks and countertops of different materials.

Upsell Jobs, Hike Profit Margins

The world of kitchen sinks has greatly expanded in recent years, and more end users have taken an interest in having specific types of sinks in their kitchens. As a fabricator, it is possible to use your knowledge of the latest trends in this niche to upsell clients and expand profit margins. After all, it is easier to sell a few bells and whistles to a client already in the bag, than sell a whole new client…

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Kohler Launches Sink Line Designed To Improve Workflow

Posted on 20 February 2015 by cradmin

kohler Prolific_sink2Kohler launched the new stainless steel Prolific sink line to address the varied needs of kitchen tasks by offering three work zones and five accessories that allow users to customize the sink to their needs. The sink is made with three tiers that allow tasks to be completed in an ergonomic way for each user, regardless of height, age or ability. Five accessories fit securely on the edges of the tiered levels and customize the workspace to the specific user. A bamboo cutting board provides a sturdy, portable work surface that is easy to clean. Both a  bin and colander can be used for washing and soaking dishes or rinsing produce. Also, two durable, grated racks provide a drying rack for dishes or can be placed in the basin of the sink for protection. The sink’s large, deep single bowl allows space to soak and clean large bakeware, while a beveled cone-shape around the drain allows for quicker debris disposal down the drain. The sink’s stainless steel construction is resistant to staining or rust.

You may also be interested in this article about BLANCO sinks.

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Kohler Offers Undertone Preserve Damage-Resistant Stainless Steel Sinks

Posted on 07 January 2015 by cradmin

kohlerKohler introduced the Undertone Preserve series of kitchen sinks designed with a scratch-resistant barrier, protecting the stainless steel. Preserve is a factory-applied surface treatment that offers scratch-resistance while still wiping clean as easily as any stainless steel sink. All Undertone Preserve sinks include a bottom basin rack and they are currently available in four sink configurations: 3356-HCF-NA – XL Offset (pictured here); 3171-HCF-NA – Double Equal; 5290-HCF-NA – Large Single Bowl; and 3325-HCF-NA – Medium Single Bowl.

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Kohler Whitehaven Sink Offers Apron-Front Style with Double-Basin Design

Posted on 06 May 2013 by cradmin

Whitehaven_Smart Divide_sink_1In an effort to provide consumers with options that fit their design preference and lifestyle, Kohler Co. added a double-basin to its line of Whitehaven apron-front, farmhouse style sinks. The half-saddle design allows users to easily fit and move large pots and pans around, and still fill a basin with soapy water. By designing the divider to be lower than traditional basin dividers, the sink is better suited to accommodate larger pots and pans with extended handles. The challenge with apron-front sinks has usually been installation, which often required replacing cabinetry. To alleviate this concern, the Whitehaven Self-Trimming apron-front Smart Divide kitchen sink is offered with a 7-in. apron, which is ideal for homeowners who want to achieve a farmhouse look without replacing their cabinetry, along with a conventional 9-in. apron, which fits on an apron-front sink base cabinet. The sink basin is 9-in.-deep on both versions.

The self-trimming apron feature on this sink only requires a rough cut to the cabinet for installation. And because it is made from cast iron, the installer can be assured that the dimensions are perfect every time and that it will install with a predictable fit and finish. No additional trim work or caulking to fill cut lines is necessary.

Kohler enameled cast iron is guaranteed not to chip, crack or burn and comes in 18 colors to create a personalized focal point in the kitchen. The sinks are made from at least 80 percent recycled materials.

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