Long the workhorses of finishes, composites have come a long way. Mineral- or wood-based, polymers, ceramics—new chemistries and production methods have expanded the both the performance range and the aesthetic qualities of these surface materials. Here are six new products that are as durable as they are attractive.
Neolith (pictured at top) combines some of the finest natural raw materials available with the most advanced industrial technology to provide cutting-edge surface materials for both interior and exterior installations. The products combine functionality and beauty in sintered porcelain slabs of 5mm or 10mm thicknesses for cladding and countertop surfaces, respectively. The natural materials include clays, feldspar, silica, and mineral oxides for exciting color options all of which contribute to excellent wearability and a long life that does not require any special care, just water and a mild detergent for cleaning. In addition the material is lightweight, waterproof, hygienic and resistant to high temperatures, scratches, and abrasions.(Courtesy LG Hausys)
TechTop is a surface with wireless charging capabilities. The technology is seamlessly embedded into the HI-MACS surface with a single hidden connection to the outlet. TechTop utilizes Qi inductive charging technology—the universal standard for wireless charging of battery-operated mobile devices. Electricity is transmitted wirelessly via electromagnetic fields instead of cables. HI-MACS surfaces hold a transmitter coil that generates a magnetic field through an alternating current. The field resonates with the receiver (in this case, a mobile device) and induces up to 5 watts of voltage. TechTop surface-embedded wireless charging maintains a safe transfer of power thanks to an integral high voltage and overheating detector. Without an exposed conductor there is minimal risk of fire hazard or electric shock.(Courtesy Arborite)
Fashion meets interior design with Twill, a new laminate pattern from Arborite. It combines the warmth of fabric with the playful nature of graphics to create a friendly and visually soft surface. By making the texture more illustrative, Twill becomes a versatile pattern, suited for formal and casual environments alike. With seven color options ranging from vibrant to neutral, it can be used as a background texture or pulled to the forefront for a friendly, confident effect.(Courtesy DuPont Corian)
Deep Nocturne is a classic jet black solid surfacing that utilizes proprietary DeepColor technology from DuPont Surfaces to achieve greater depth of color and improved durability. Other attributes include improved colorfastness in hot and wet environments and ease of fabrication and installation. In addition to the new aesthetics and functionality the material is more durable, reducing the scratch appearance by fifty percent and increasing resistance to impact whitening. There are eleven new colors with Corian DeepColor technology: Deep Anthracite, Deep Bedrock, Deep Black Quartz, Deep Caviar, Deep Espresso, Deep Mink, Deep Nocturne, Deep Night Sky, Deep Sable, Deep Space and Deep Storm.
The Formica Laminate Jonathan Adler Collection comprises nine bold new color and pattern combinations designed to make countertops pop and surfaces shine. The collection is the combination of Formica Corporation’s unmatched design flexibility and performance with Adler’s signature aesthetic of irreverent luxury. The new color and pattern combinations are perfect for countertops, backsplashes, vanities, cabinets and more. “Lacquered Linen”, inspired by mid-century modern furniture, is available in green, orange, charcoal, and crème. It features a glossy finish for a new spin on a classic texture. “Malachite”, inspired by precious stones and patterns of the 60s and 70s, is available in crisp blue and a subtle charcoal, both with a glossy finish. “Greek Key”, a timeless motif made modern with bold color and scale, is available tone-on-tone with a matte finish in orange, blue, and charcoal.(Courtesy Smith & Fong)
Smith & Fong
Inspired by the depth and movement of hand loomed fabric, the Linear Line of bamboo panels feature a carved face layer that is perforated to reveal a graphic inner core. For interior use, the collection is available in six architecturally inspired styles. The Linear Line is made from 100-percent FSC-Certified bamboo, which is also rapidly renewable and free of urea formaldehyde. The ¾-inch-thick sheets are 4-foot by 8-foot and are available pre-finished or unfinished in Amber or Natural colors. Linear Line panels can contribute toward three different USGBC LEED credits (MR 6 Rapidly Renewable Materials; MR 7 Certified Wood EQ 4.4 Low-Emitting Materials, Composite Wood). Panels can be specified CARB Phase II-compliant or100% FSC-certified bamboo/urea formaldehyde-free.