Quartz Takes the Stage at K/BIS

September 2012

LAS VEGAS – Sure, there’s going to be griping and grumbling about giving the spotlight to products other than natural stone. However, when it comes to theKitchen and Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) this week, manufactured products took all the action.

The number of stone vendors at this year’s big designer/distributor event really didn’t even amount to a handful among the several halls of products at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Aside from Antolini Luigi & C.’s efforts, dimensional stone appeared mainly as part of the mix in exhibit booths, next to bits of ceramic tile in accent pieces.

The big countertop/vanity stars here are solid surface and quartz, with the latter making the most impact. From materials looking more like stone to a race for the purest pure white, quartz producers offered beefy amounts of new products.

HANWHA SURFACES – This Korean producer provided the biggest spectacle at K/BIS by taking its bringing-surfaces-to-live them literally, as three models posed in front of quartz slabs, with the models clad in skintight outfits corresponding to the slab color. Of more interest to the trade, are the sample pieces on the other side of those slabs.

Hanwha introduced a large number of new colors in February to its HanStone line; in April, it offered a selection of a dozen more new looks. However, not all of them will be available immediately; the company surveyed attendees at the booth to judge reactions and – in a form of vox populi – use the information to determine which colors go to market first.

Among the new colors are several with main bases of plum, lime and aquamarine, along with others following the trend to granite and marble motifs. Hanwha also two surfaces with 20-percent post-consumer recycled content, mainly from brown and green beverage bottles to give a brighter look to sustainable content. The company will be ramping up production with its new slab factory in Ontario.

Tales from the Stone Business Beat - (http://networkedblogs.com/hh152)