Solid surface specialists Tristone UK, based in Stockton-on-Tees, is the sole distributor of Tristone Solid Surface Products for the UK and Ireland.

The products, developed and manufactured in South Korea by Lion Chemtech Co enterprise, are designed to be used in kitchen, bathroom, shop and office design industries and are made from 100% acrylic. They come in a variety of colours, offering the same prestigious effect as other high-quality surfaces such as granite and engineered stone, but at more competitive prices.

The product is non-porous and NSF-51 Certified for food preparation areas, meaning it is hygienic by warding off mildew, bacteria and other harmful germs.

Additionally, inconspicuous seams, integrated sinks, bowls and covered back splashes make this product the ideal choice for both residential and commercial applications, says Tristone.

In a market where solid stone work-surfaces are highly sought after, Tristone offers an alternative which doesn’t compromise on appearance, with a number of benefits over granite and traditional quartz surfaces.

Due to the way in which the product can be thermo-formed, features such as completely integrated sinks can be installed in bathrooms and kitchens wherever Tristone is specified.

The company offers two products providing customers with a range of specifications for use throughout the home.

As well as Tristone Acrylic Solid Surfaces a pre-formed solid surface worktop is also offered, which covers a range of consumer and retailer needs. The Fortis range is a selection of acrylic solid surface pre-formed worktops for kitchens and bathrooms, installed in the same way as traditional laminate, but with the benefits of the acrylic solid surface, says the company.

It is a 38mm-thick worktop comprised of 6mm Tristone solid surface material with a choice of eight colours bonded to a 30mm, moisture resistant, MDF substrate.

It comes in three standard sizes and has finished edges on three sides. Fortis can be cut to size and re-edged according to customer preference, thus offering a practical solution for those who want to enjoy the benefits of solid surface and the bespoke look of quality. It can be joined seamlessly and can be incorporated with Tristone’s sink and bowl range.

“Our products offer a practical alternative to solid stone surfaces, but still offer that highquality bespoke finish,” said Howard Noh, Tristone UK managing director.

“Inconspicuous joins and thermo-forming techniques allow for a completely seamless appearance, offering endless versatility for our materials to suit any project, blending in perfectly with other materials such as glass or wood.

“In addition to the high-quality finish, these products offer better value for money than the solid-stone alternatives and are also easier to maintain, with less chance of cracking, chipping and scratching. That said, if they do get damaged, the surface can be easily repaired without leaving noticeable repair marks,” added Mr Noh.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Tristone has announced an expansion strategy into the Middle East, having now firmly established itself in the UK over the past 14 years.

Commenting on the expansion, Mr Noh said: “Expanding our brand presence into the Middle East is a hugely significant move for our business. We have worked tirelessly to ensure the planned Middle East expansion runs smoothly and we are confident that our partners out there are going to do a brilliant job of showcasing our product range, delivering great results for us in this exciting new market.”

Being a small, family-run, business Tristone says it fully understands the needs of the independent fabricator and that, with a comprehensive range of products – coupled with ease of order and delivery – the company is dedicated to offering all fabricators, both large and small, an unrivalled service.

“As solid surface specialists,” said Mr Noh, “we can offer fabricators a quality product at the best price, which is all backed with a rapid and convenient delivery system. These core Tristone values will be the same in the Middle East,” concludes Howard Noh.

It is fair to say that over the years the kitchen has emerged as the most popular room in the home. What was once seen as simply a convenient area for preparing and cooking food, is very much now the focal point of the home and used for large family and social gatherings.

The popularity of the kitchen as the ‘home hub’ is illustrated in a study by Lloyds Bank which reveals that the kitchen is now also the most valuable room in the house – worth an estimated £4,999 on average.

A third of those surveyed for the report said they spent most time at home in the kitchen and over half entertained friends there instead of the living/dining rooms. The report also revealed how, in the previous 12 months, UK homeowners spent an average of £413 on kitchen gadgets.

Furthermore, the Halifax home Improvement Survey, published in 2009, found that refurbishing your kitchen added an average of £7,666 to a home – making it the second most profitable home improvement after roof space conversion. So, with this extreme level of importance being placed on the kitchen, it’s not surprising that a high degree of thought, planning and detail should go into its design.

Key to the room design is the choice of worktops, which set the tone for the atmosphere of the whole area.

So, whether you choose wooden worktops (with a choice between beech, oak, maple, cherry wood, etc), natural stones such as granite, marble and slate, or laminate, glass, or even stainless steel or concrete, the final word comes from Mr Noh: “Whichever material you choose, the main thing is to make sure that it is good quality and installed professionally.”