Engineered stone has taken the look of marble into the kitchen without the problems of staining and acid-etching that can be faced with natural marble. But it is not only the marble look you will see at Hard Surfaces, the show that is co-locating with the Natural Stone Show this year in London's ExCeL exhibition centre from 30 April to 2 May. You will also see the latest interiors hotspot of industrial chic. This is being led by porcelain, quartz and sintered stone. It is the look of concrete, steel and wood reclaimed from an industrial environment.
Want to find out more about the new generation of engineered stones?
The trends will be explored in a free seminar programme of talks being led by Joe Simpson, the 'Diary of a Tile Addict' blogger and Editor of Tile & Stone Journal (TSJ). The seminar is being held in conjunction with the Natural Stone Show and Hard Surfaces on Wednesday, 1 May.
Joe is curating a series of talks on the most-advanced manufacturing technologies and the design trends they facilitate, presented by leaders in their specific areas of the market – Neolith, Domus, Rocersa, Vives and Grespania.
The programme looks like this:
11.00 to 11.45
Wonderful Worktops & Fabulous Façades, by Mel Marquard, Managing Director, Grespania UK
Why today’s XXL porcelain formats, both thin and thick, deliver exciting new surface options for bathrooms, kitchens, façades, and furnishing applications.
11.45 to 12.30
Commissioning Creativity, by Gary Drostle, Drostle Public Arts
The role of modern mosaics in contemporary architectural and landscape design. This session, hosted by award-winning mosaicist Gary Drostle, will explore the design philosophy, materials, technical capabilities, and aesthetic impact of contemporary commissioned public mosaics.
12.30 to 13.15
Inkjet & Other Innovations, by James Hartwell, Vives Ceramica
How advanced manufacturing techniques have given tile manufacturers new creative freedom and opened up fresh design directions for today’s ceramic tiles.
14.00 to 14.45
External Energy, by Jules Archard, Domus
How leading manufacturers harness the talent of external designers to enhance the creative impact of cutting-edge ceramic tiles.
14.45 to 15.15
Exterior Engineering, by Jordi Gil, Rocersa
Rocersa, the world-leader in 20mm porcelain tiles, explains why thick porcelain is now the preferred surface for patios, terraces, and urban landscapes.
15.15 to 16.00
Enigma Variations, by Andreas Manero, TheSize Surfaces
Neolith’s sintered stone provides the perfect backdrop for the outstanding culinary creations of one of the world’s most innovative and celebrated chefs, Albert Adrià.
You can also see the latest product developments in a feature showing 135 cutting edge material innovations curated by MaterialDistrict, probably the world’s leading match-making platform for materials. These are hard surfaces in the front line to excite and inspire designers and fabricators.
Plus a showcase of projects honoured in this year's Tile Awards, being presented by The Tile Association on 12 April, and December's Natural Stone Awards presented by Stone Federation Great Britain.
And it is not just natural and engineered stone you will be able to see from leading international suppliers and manufacturers like Beltrami, Caesarstone, CRL Stone, Quartzforms, Sapienstone, Ceramiche Keope among the 150 or so exhibitors. There will also be the latest developments in adhesives, sealers, cleaning products, enhancers, decouplers, handling devices and tools from major suppliers including Lithofin, Fila, Ardex, Kerakoll, Raimondi, Schluter, Stone Care Europe and Aquacut.