Engineered quartz is probably as familiar to most designers and householders as solid surfaces. Although it has been around a long time, the explosion in its use has taken place since the turn of the millennium.
For some companies traditionally supplying granite worktops, quartz has taken over as the most commonly required material.
Quartz is strong, resilient and consistent. Because it is held together by resin it can also be thermoformed, although this is not a property that is widely exploited. It can look convincingly like white marble, which is currently a popular look for surfaces in UK kitchens and bathrooms, taking over from the blacks and blacks with sparkly chips in them that marked the beginning of the rise of the popularity of quartz.
Silestone®, from Spanish company Cosentino is the market leader in the UK, but as sales have grown so have the number of brands. DuPont have rebranded Zodiaq® to Corian® quartz, Samsung promote Radianz® and there are plenty of specialist players too – Caesarstone®, Cambria®, Compac®, Arenastone, Cimstone®, Diresco, Hanstone®, Okite®, Quarella, Compac®, Stone Italiana, Technistone®, Trafficstone®, Unistone® and more. Some of the distributors have even created their own brands, such as CRL Quartz from CR Laurence company CRL Stone and International Stones' iQ.
Engineered quartz contains a high proportion of natural quartz, finely crushed, mixed with pigments and other ingredients to create solid colours or patterns and stuck together with resin. The mixture is vibrated to remove voids, heat cured, then polished or brushed to give it a smooth or textured finish.
Hard Surfaces will be complemented by the market leading Natural Stone Show, which offers an extraordinarily varied palette of stone surfaces from around the world, together with the latest ‘Fix, Seal & Maintenance’ solutions for the hard surfaces industry.
A packed education programme will also take place over the 3 days with 30 CPD-accredited seminars attracting over 5,000 building professionals. All visitors to Hard Surfaces will be able to cross over into the Natural Stone Show free of charge.