Cosentino Materials For Kitchen And Bath - It's More Than Silestone!

Last week I went to the latest Cosentino Center opening in Westchester. It was a good reminder that Cosentino, a name so often synonymous with Silestone, offers so many more materials than engineered stone. I mean, did you know that Cosentino offers soapstone? Luxury marbles and granites? And much, much more. 

And did you even know that Cosentino has 20 centers around the U.S. with material in-stock? I did, but I rarely thought about it since there was not one near me, until I received the invitation to come to the opening in Westchester and was so impressed to see this facility and all it offers designers, trade professionals and homeowners.

Usually, when a client considers engineered stone for their home, as one example, they see very small samples. To be able to see full slabs is an entirely different experience. It completely changes the look of the material's pattern and texture.

It's an enormous difference when one looks at a small sample compared to looking at a whole slab. What may have been a noticeable pattern in the material changes to a much smoother, flowing look. Trust me, it is critical to see a surface material for your home in as large a piece as possible. Tiny samples are misleading. Here is a look at a Cosentino Center!

There are many centers in convenient locations around the country - it's a valuable resource for a once-in-a-lifetime project!

Countertop Etch Drama - Can This Countertop Be Saved?

A reader asks:

"Hi there, I am house sitting for some friends whose kitchen counters are (I believe) a type of dark slate.I acidentally left a paper towel soaked in lemon juice (I was making lemonade) on the counter and now it seems as though it has etched into the counter...the stain is very noticeable and cleaning it just stripped the sealer!! What can I do? Does it need to be resurfaced?" Thanks for your help. (name withheld) 

Dearest Name Witheld, 

It's not your fault - who, really, would even be able to germinate the thought that lemon could possibly etch a hard countertop material? VERY few. Etching is different than staining, and you may want to tip off the homeowner that they should attempt to find solutions for the etching problem. 

Image from countertopnetwork.comTell them what substance caused the problem (was it only lemon juice?) How much lemon juice and how long was it sitting on the countertop? What did you do after you saw it/how did you attempt to clean it up? That will be helpful information. 

Beyond that, I am not a stone expert, and there are countless types of stone countertop materials which makes it impossible to understand the properties of all of them. 

Image by A Bluebonnet in BeantownBest piece of advice I can give is to recommend that they seek, probably several opinions of stone specialists but start with the stone fabricator or showroom which sold it to them. Me, I like concensus, so I would naturally seek out several opinions to find concensus.

I cannot say if the etch marks can disappear via a rejuvenation of the countertop or not, but that is one method that might be suggested to the homeowners. 

Countertop durability is no joke. A great looking countertop may just be waiting for the chance to turn on the homeowner...just because it can! 

A few tips:

  • Get large samples of the countertops you are considering
  • Put the sample through substance testing: add dabs of ketchup, wine, oil, lemon, wine vinegar, worsc sauce, mustard, more
  • Add those substances to one half of the sample, taping it off in half so that the original side may be compared to the side with substances on it
  • After 48 hours, remove the substances and view the good (or bad) behavior of the countertop sample

Purchase accordingly!

Sears are applied on to many types of countertop surfaces, and they work very well as a rule. One aspect of using a sealer makes me is often difficult to tell when the sealer has been worn away from use. The length of time that a sealer will last depends on:

the properties of the stone

the sealer

food products

other products having a home on the countertop or moving on/off/around the top

lifestyle use pattern (light/heavy use/in between.)

When should a sealer be reapplied? No one can advise a precise date based on the above variables, which partially defines the risk of installing porous countertop materials.

So, dear Namewithheld, it is not your had no idea of the properties of the countertop and unless you are a geologist or stone specialist, it's called an accident.



Where else could this be but Vegas?KBIS is always a carnival of great product discoveries to be found, and this year, although much smaller, it was no exception. The exhibitors had their best game on to present products that are beautiful, highly functional, and classic winners. 

I took 800+ pictures (I'm a little obsessive when I go to a design show) so the ones I show in this collection are those that truly spoke to me and which I feel are worthy to share. Also, take a look at the products that I will be entering in an ongoing basis in our New Products section. You may also find some connections to my previous post on KBIS trends. Enjoy the eye candy!!

And don't miss my post in the fabulous blog, Design Milk!

Below: I love this hardware, it's just my style - sort of organic yet whimsical and modern at the same time Schaub Hardware
schaub_resize Below: Kichler always displays beautiful and innovative lighting at KBIS. Definitely worth a close look.  kichler_resize Below: Edgar Berebi Hardware - New to KBIS, this hardware company displayed true jewelry for the kitchen or bath! Unlike hardware I have seen before. Edgar Berebi_resize Below: Corian displayed their new colors in very interesting and creative ways at KBIS - Corian Spice Collection corian_resize Below: Custom hand painted wallpapers add a strength and vibrancy to any interior - awesome papers! Vahallan vahallan_resize Below: Wow-Perhaps you can tell that I was very impressed by all the beautiful hardware at KBIS, this year more than others. Love: Classic Hardware classic hardware_resize Below: Multi Media materials were the hot trend at KBIS - I would not expect a leg such as this to be a huge, mainstream trend, rather, a peripheral trend - so you're safe! Osborne Wood osborne wood_resize Below: The rounded relief pattern of Context, an eco friendly tile by Ann Sacks Below: Thompson Traders simply has stunning products - from hammered sinks to lighting, a real treat for the eyes Thompson Tradersthompson traders_resize Below: Enkeboll has introduced several new collections and metallic finishes! Enkeboll enkeboll_resize Below: The Nebula series by Silestone has depth and movement with an organic point of view Silestone Silestone Below: Beautiful hardware Giusti Hardware Giusti

KBIS 2011 Decorative Details

I'm sitting at the gate waiting for a flight delayed quite a few hours. Let's take a look at random, decorative details in no order, seen at KBIS, for no reason other than I have time for a free form "gorgeous" fix.

Below, hardware from Schaub

Below, Calacatta marble from Italy Formica

Below, a fabulous sink by Thompson Traders

 Below, beautiful stools with no name at the Kallista booth


TPB Top Porzelanik Barcelona - A New Kitchen Countertop

It's my real pleasure to announce a brand new product for American kitchens! I've searched and searched and I cannot see where this product has been talked about in the US anywhere online up to now. 

It's a kitchen countertop that creates an entirely new category of countertop materials, starting now! It's beautiful, it's extremely durable and it will coordinate perfectly with any kitchen decor. I saw it at the kitchen show, SICI in Spain, and it's called TPB | Top Porzelanik Barcelona. It is a newly introduced product for this company. I attended the SICI show in Madrid as a speaker on American kitchen design, along with my colleague Roberta Kravette, courtesy of the top kitchen design software program, autokitchen which is based in Spain, but has software users around the globe.

NOTE: I have no ties of any kind to this company. I discovered it at the SICI show, love it and wish to share my find.

The TPB top is, essentially, a ceramic tile countertop, in slab form.  The top is light weight and possible to have 100 different finishes and textures. There are six different "bases" available, each of which will give a different look to this thinner-than-normal countertop. It's easy cleaning and highly durable. It is a natural product and completely recyclable. Take a look at the spec sheet. And here is a list of features and benefits of the countertop material. 

I have two samples that I was able to take back with me, and while some of my images below are very close up and the surface looks to have a textured relief, it is completely smooth with just a tiny textural feel. I encourage you to take a good look at the website to see all of the information about this very interesting and exciting countertop material!

Following are images that I took at the SICI show in Madrid a few weeks back. I predict that this material will receive a very enthusiastic greeting in the U.S. It is stunning.

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