Glass has only recently been introduced to the work surface market, but is finding no difficulty making an impression. Many designers have found it to be stylish, versatile and strong enough for use in contemporary design. Glass worktops use a specially treated glass that will prevent scratches on kitchen surfaces when coming into regular contact with utensils and general living.
Again, glass is a material that is practically non-porous, is available in even larger sizes than other materials, can be cut to just about any shape relatively easily, is hygienic and easy to clean, durable, heat resistant and can be coloured and decorated in any way you like.
Glass entered the KBB market primarily as a splashback but is developing rapidly now for other surfaces, both vertical and horizontal. It has, of course, been used in rainscreen cladding and fenestration for many years.
Metal, like glass, is also starting to make inroads into the hard surfaces market. Stark, sleek and minimalist, metal lends itself to contemporary design, especially when used subtly to complement other materials.
Dimensional metal surface systems are now available on the market as panel-based applications. They can be used to create seamless feature walls, columns, dividing walls, ceilings and other innovative architectural applications.
In the worktop market, Stainless steel is the material of choice in the commercial kitchen sector. It is strong, durable and easy to clean, waterproof, not affected by most foods and cleaning materials, can cope with extremes of heat and is light. Designers are also now starting to see its potential as a feature on domestic kitchen islands and smaller workspaces and several specialists have emerged in the UK market to offer a bespoke design and installation service.
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.