Here at BBK we all love to watch how home design trends change over the many years we have been in the home improvement supply industry. Our aim has always been to be the authority on home improvement products in the UK, so watching and adapting as trends change are extremely important, but being a driving force for trends is even more important as this means our product offerings must always be what the UK public is looking for.
So what was the past trends in kitchen design and especially when it comes to work-surfaces?
2014 and 2015 was definitely the year for chunky thick work-surfaces with big contrasts in colour and textures. For example our customers would choose very light units (light cream or even ivory white), Dark wooden flooring with dark coloured tops or even blue or red just to stand out more. Standard worktops are generally 40mm thick but during this time people were requesting deeper downturns on materials like granite, quartz and other composite materials. The worktop in essence remained 40mm thick, however the deeper downturn gave it the chunky look of being 60-100mm or even 150mm thick. Sparkles in the surface was also a big request especially in the man-made materials as they wanted to mimic natural quartz and granite colours, this intern lead many manufacturers to create entire ranges of work surfaces around this demand and was even available in laminates.
What are the latest trends in worktops now 2017-2018 in the UK?
Well this was a big turnaround from the years before, which trend changes generally are. 2016 till now has seen a huge uptake of customers wanting thinner worktops in more subtle colours with veining in them, weather natural stone or man-made. There is still a big demand for surfaces with a sparkle in them, but natural veining affects are definitely a top contender for the number 1 position, especially in different shades of white, grey and even browns. Anything from 25mm to 12.5mm thickness, is now the first choice for 70% of our clients. Manufactures in the UK have responded to this demand with some amazing and innovative materials, designs and colours that the UK building, contracting and private DIY consumers are absolutely loving. Granite and quartz will always be the good old go to material but Solid Surface and now even more innovative laminate materials are fast catching up as they look like the real thing but in truth are easier to work with, cost effective and have more benefits and attributes than the natural stone products.
So what are these new amazing products and materials we are talking about?
Minerva Solid Surface:
Minerva is manufactured by Sylmar surface technologies and is by far one of our most popular materials at the moment, with it being a true solid surface. Minerva’s kitchen worktops are 25mm and their bathroom range is 12mm thick. We refer to it as a true solid surface as it has no sub-frame or chipboard and the material runs through the thickness of the surface. This is great because unlike other composites surfaces that have to be re-edged after cutting to size or adding radius corners this material simply needs to be sanded for a perfect finish. Other added benefits is that it is 100% non-porous making it 100% hygienic, which truly helps when cleaning and maintaining it, but also prevents staining of the surface.
All the Attributes of Minerva
1. More cost effective than Corian, Granite and Quartz especially when it comes to the installation costs and time involved
2. Can be seamlessly joined and does not require re-edging, making installations quicker and easier.
3. 100% waterproof and non-porous surface, making it 100% hygienic and easy to maintain
4. Comes in a wide array of sizes including sink modules, making installations even easier.
5. No specialist tools are required, only standard wood working equipment.
6. Scratch, impact and stain resistant. Also it is a renewable surface, so if anything does happen a simple sand of the surface returns it to original condition.
7. Lighter than granite and quartz, no kitchen unit reinforcement required.
8. Surfaces only manufactured when ordered insuring correct batch match and uniformity in colour across different worktop sizes ordered. 7-10 day lead time well worth the wait to insure there is no colour differences between different worktop lengths.
9. Less expensive than Granite and Quartz but more expensive than laminates.
10. Thickness of Minerva is 25mm for kitchen and 12mm for the bathroom
View all available Minerva Bathroom, Kitchen and Wall Panelling available
Metis Solid Surface:
The fact of the matter is that most composite and solid surface manufacturer’s products are basically the same thing, with minor tweaks to the composition of the material, but all have the same great attributes. Sizes of the worktops available and colour and thickness are the main deciding factor when clients are choosing which brand to go for but many times companies offer very similar colours which makes the decision process slightly harder. So with this mentioned we thought that it would be good to mention this product because even though it has a limited colour selection, it does offer a nice selection of countertop sizes and it is only 15mm thick so if you are looking for ultra slim countertops then this could definitely be a choice.
View All Metis Solid Counter-Tops Available
Zenith Laminate Surfaces:
We were very excited when this laminate came out, as laminates are well, just laminates. Yes manufacturers made huge leaps and bounds in printing technology and textures etc. But it was still just on a mdf sub-frame which really limited design possibilities when it came to sink options, joints and radius corners etc.
So what is Zenith laminate surfaces?
The surface layer is the same thing as most laminate worktops (What is a laminate worktop?), with the same attributes being scratch, heat and stain resistant with a non-porous surface making it 100% hygienic and easy to clean. However with Zenith the magic comes with its core, a 100% solid, waterproof, black core. Now so much more is possible with this surface, from under-mounted and Belfast sinks to perfect radius corners or even using offcuts for windowsills. Now you can have all the extra attributes of more expensive products at the fraction of the cost and with the surface being 12.5mm thick you can now finally achieve that slim minimalistic look with piece of mind as the surface is extremely strong, durable and hardwearing. This product also requires no specialist tools for installation making DIY projects so much easier and more cost effective.
We truly believe that Zenith fills that void between Laminates and Solid Surface, now you can have the best of both worlds when it comes to worktop performance as it is also slightly more expensive than laminate but considerably cheaper than Corian, Granite and Quartz.
View All Zenith Laminate Worktops Available
So what is the conclusion to the entire 2017-2018 Work-surface trend question?
Well to put it in a nutshell, Thick is out thin is in with more subtle colours and contrasts, shades of white, grey and brown with either veining, sparkle or natural stone mimicking being the trend when it comes to work-surfaces in the UK.
View All Kitchen Worktops Available