As you know, we are constantly looking for new and interesting information on surfacing materials to bring you, and 2006 was another good year for it. We keep a close eye on what our readers are inquiring about, and this year we decided to share it with you. So, here you will find the Top 25 Materials (actually 26 as there was a tie) of the last 12 months as chosen by you.
Note: The surfacing materials represented here were based on Reader Service inquiries of editorial submissions and responses to advertising were not included for the sake of fairness.
Coming in at No. 1, garnering the most responses, was Aristech's Alura product. This product, which the company bills as "the next generation of solid surface countertops," is designed to combine the best features of solid surface and post-formed laminate. Alura is sold to fabricators as presanded blanks that are mitered together with the same equipment used to fabricate post-formed laminate tops and end capped before installing. The product is available in 26 colors, and countertop blanks feature coved backsplashes and a choice of three edge profiles. Please Circle 33 on Reader Response Card
At No. 2 on the list is OKITE Quartz Surfacing from Seiffe. This Italian quartz surfacing features the exclusive Venati Collection, which offers the industry's first veined quartz surfacing product and is available in 17 colors. OKITE is available in more than 70 colors and comes with the standard 10-year warranty. Please Circle 34 on Reader Response Card
The No. 3 most inquired about material was Shirestone Custom Countertops. They have the look of natural stone or slate and are created on-site without templates or fabrication. Edging forms are applied to the substrate; then a liquefied mixture is poured in place, creating a seamless surface and good fit. The tops can be installed over existing countertops without tear-out, custom-colored and sealed. The tops can be accentuated with custom backsplashes and decorative wall pieces. Creative design elements such as slate, tile or metal can be incorporated into the surface. The product is poured out 3⁄8 to ½ in. thick. Please Circle 35 on Reader Response Card
The No. 4 material was Formica's Veneer Wood Surfacing and DecoMetal. The wood veneer is offered in five collections: Modern, Traditional, Metropolitan, New Classic and Exotic; with a total of 30 distinct veneers. All wood veneers are derived from sustainable forestry practices. DecoMetal is designed specifically for adding a high-tech look to any vertical interior. It is available in solid metal or metal laminate and in nearly 50 patterns and colors. Please Circle 36 on Reader Response Card
Granite Certified by DuPont came in at No. 5, as the first-ever branded and nationally warranted granite. A proprietary sealant for the granite has been developed to fill in the natural cracks, which helps to repel stains as well as to maintain the stone's natural beauty and hue. The granite is 3cm thick, and the national color palette consists of 10 colors: Baltic Brown, Black Impala, Giallo Ornamentale, Gris Perla, Kashmir Gold, Santa Cecilia, Tan Brown, Tropic Brown, Ubatuba and Verde Peacock. Please Circle 37 on Reader Response Card
IceStone's concrete countertop slab material came in at No. 6. This slab product made from 100 percent recycled glass in a cement matrix comes in a variety of shades, ranging from soft, earth-toned neutrals to rich, saturated colors. As for texture, the surfaces can be honed or sandblasted to achieve the customer's desired look and feel. The product's surfaces do not fade with UV exposure. It is strong, heat- and scratch-resistant, and can be used indoors or out. The product can be cut, edged and installed by stone fabricators and is easily maintained using low-pH cleaners and low-VOC, water-based sealers. Please Circle 38 on Reader Response Card
WilsonArt's High Definition Laminates ranked No. 7, based in its introduction of two new series of patterns: Bella and Sedona. The patterns in both series are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural granite. The four Bella patterns — Capri, Noche, Reale and Venito — feature an Old World sensibility and can work both as neutrals and as focal points in any kitchen. The four Sedona patterns — Bluff, Spa, Spirit and Trail — are designed to emulate the patterns of the American Southwest. Please Circle 39 on Reader Response Card