KBB - September 2010 - (Page 12)
Kitchen countertops get personalized
Yes, white kitchens are still very much in fashion and thus the interest in white countertops continues. But if you feel a groan coming on with this bit of nonnews, you may want to take a breather, as the story with today’s kitchen countertops is much more complicated. With more homeowners remodeling for their own personal enjoyment, “the idea of one size fits all, or a single material for a kitchen, is waning,” said designer Lisa Wilson-Wirth, CKD, president and owner of Arclinea San Diego. • White and black. No, granite has not gone away, but depending on whom you ask, many are seeing a decline in its popularity, especially in upscale kitchens. According to designer Marsha Fried, of Kitchens by Deane, and Chad Seiders, executive director of the Artisan Group, the new must-have among consumers is honed white marble—be it Calcutta Gold, Calacatta Gold, Carrara or the more wallet-friendly Danby. Although porosity once made marble less desirable as a countertop option, industry experts have noticed a “trend toward aesthetics over functionality,” said Seiders. Plus, “the sealants available now do a good job against staining.” Beyond white marble, darker stones with less patterning are ﬁnding increasing favor, thanks to a move toward a more streamlined kitchen aesthetic. Lanny Danenberg, of Danenberg Design, has noticed this preference among her clientele, and Fried continues to do “a fair amount of Absolute Black as an accent.” Similarly, soapstone, once a staple of Victorian-style homes, is making its way into contemporary environments. In addition to its visual appeal, its impermeability may be “a great selling point” for those who don’t want to worry about stains, said Seiders.
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Maple countertops as accents are ﬁnding their way into many a kitchen, thanks to a protective oiled ﬁnish that allows them to be used as cutting surfaces. John Boos’ Hard Rock Maple kitchen countertops feature an edge-grain construction and come in 11/2-in., 21/4in. and 3-in. thicknesses, as well as a variety of lengths and widths. Circle No. 200 Quarried in Italy, Artisan Group’s Calacatta Gold (not to be confused with Calcutta Gold) is a creamy white stone with heavy dark-gray veining and an occasional gold highlight. It and other marbles were once considered less than ideal for countertop applications. However, improved sealants, such as Artisan’s Firstline, ensure better durability and protection in the kitchen. Circle No. 201 Flash may be out of style, but sparkle in solid surfaces isn’t. LG Hausys Surfaces’ latest is HI-MACS Galaxy, which incorporates shimmering particulates in random sizes and colors to emulate the look of quartz. Available in eight colors, including blackhole (shown), it is nonporous and comes in a standard 1/2-in. thickness and 30-in. x 145-in. sheets. Custom lengths are available. Circle No. 202
+ K BB
September 2010 / www.kbbonline.com / The Ofﬁcial Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com July 2004
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