High performance with elegance

15 November 2018

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces manufactures and distributes high pressure laminate, quartz, solid surface, coordinated TFL and edgebanding as well as other engineered surface options for use in the office, education, healthcare, residential, hospitality and retail markets.

For more than 60 years Wilsonart has conducted business in 100 countries and currently manufacture in 16 locations globally: North America (6), UK (4), France (2), Germany, China, Thailand and Australia. Wilsonart UK, a business unit of Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces was, at one time, all about laminate worktops. Though still claimed to be the UK’s largest manufacturer of laminate worktops – producing 66 miles of them on average every week – Wilsonart UK has, since the acquisition of its site in Shildon in 1998, evolved as a producer of so much more. They are now the creators of an array of decorative surfaces in laminate, ‘superhardwearing’ AEON laminate, Earthstone

and Gemstone solid surface materials for a whole host of different applications.

Its UK based marketing and purchasing teams are continuously researching new decors and materials to keep in the forefront of new and upcoming trends and thus bringing ranges packed with the latest colours, designs and textures. The company supplies product-only and supply-and-fit surfacing solutions for a wide range of residential and commercial projects right across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

While Wilsonart UK manufactures all of its products in the UK, as part of a global Wilsonart Group under their US parent company, Wilsonart UK benefits from sharing technologies and new product development insights with its Europeanbased sister companies, Polyrey in France and Resopal in Germany.

The company’s Zenith range is a collection of solid compact worktops available in three distinctive ranges: Zenith Classic, Zenith Pure and Zenith Revolution. At just 12.5mm thick, Zenith is made up of a solid core available in one of three colours, black, white and grey, and creates a contemporary and cuttingedge design statement.

Zenith’s solid core offers complete design flexibility and the 100% waterproof surface is ideal for any kitchen or bathroom design. There is a multitude of realistic styles and sensual surface textures to choose from. Zenith Classic is the original collection from where it all started. This collection of solid laminate worktops has a solid black core, combined with innovative surface designs and textures.

Zenith Pure offers an elegant ultra-matt finish and comes in solid decors: black, white and grey. The Pure collection also benefits from anti-fingerprint technology and has solid monochrome tones.

Pure is so silky to the touch that Ruby Larvin, marketing communications manager for Wilsonart says: “It adds another style dimension to kitchen design. The feel of this product is so engaging it will add a tangible sense of elegance, drama and luxury.”

Zenith Revolution aims to change the way we look at design with a collection of next generation’s decors, from striking marbles to fossils and sediment stones. Revolution signifies a huge leap forward for solid core, ultra slim surfaces, says the company.

Business manager Gemma Barratt, who is responsible for trend tracking and research, explains: “Thin remains the driving influence in worktop trends. As the first to market we needed to make sure we had the next massive thing in our armoury.

“The three Zenith collections we now have available allow designers even more creativity with innovative, hardwearing surfaces that replicate luxury brands and materials at a fraction of the cost”. Earthstone work surfaces are a stylish and practical alternative to quartz or granite work surfaces. Bridging the gap between laminate and granite, Earthstone work surfaces are engineered to meet the everyday demands of the kitchen environment all the while providing a stunning surface appearance. There is a selection of 10 distinct designs.

The full collection is available in a combination of sizes from work surfaces to breakfast bars, all supplied semi-finished, ready for installation.

The key benefits of Earthstone: it’s a fraction of the cost of quartz, almost as easy to install as laminate and, unlike real stone, has virtually indistinguishable joints and can easily be repaired if chipped or scratched over time, says the company.

Traditionally, tiles have always been the number one choice for finishing the walls surrounding the kitchen area. However designers are beginning to realise the benefits of incorporating splashbacks or upstands into the kitchen design as they can play a key part in the overall look and feel of a kitchen, as well as providing day-to-day maintenance benefits.

These complementing accessories are available throughout Wilsonart’s kitchen worktop collections, including Synergii, Earthstone and Gemstone, to name a few. Splashbacks provide a continuous run of the worktop design up the wall, creating a seamless finish, and are available in 1200mm heights to allow flexibility to cover the entire wall.

Upstands are the perfect alternative to the bold statement of a splashback but still offer the seamless continuation of the worktop design.

UK producer of laminate work surfaces is Wilsonart’s sister company Bushboard which has introduced a new Omega collection. Launched using the existing Omega brand, the entire range has been reconsidered to include genuine innovations in edging design, new finishes and decors as well as new profiles.

Neil Horton, commercial director UK and Europe for Bushboard said: “Omega has been much envied and replicated over the years. We have ensured the new Omega collection holds true to its original design integrity and values and advanced it with new decors and textures. New end-grain detail on edging strips to coordinate with the oak finishes really enhances the completed installation”.

Bushboard has recently launched Evolve, which comprises ultra-slim solid core work surfaces. Made from a 100% solid core laminate which is just 12.5mm thick, the new surfaces come in a choice of 15 dual-faced, contemporary designs and feature five complementary core colours: white, cream, light grey, dark grey and extra black. And finally there’s Wilsonart’s visualiser tool which allows the company’s range of surface materials and designs to be applied in real-life environments, from work surfaces within residential kitchen spaces to countertops in a commercial retail space.

It also offers the flexibility to change aesthetic elements to create the perfect design that can be saved, printed and shared. The incomparable matt fish of the Pure monochrome collection of laminate worktops is best reflected by Gemma Barratt in setting trends for 2018: “Across many cosmetics, cars, consumer electronics, matt is the dominant look. We are seeing a clear steer away from high-gloss and not just for work surfaces but for cabinetry, flooring, and wall coverings too. Combining the light-enhancing colour-free beauty of Pure with striking marbles, rich woods or opulent statement colours creates a sleek look that works for all kitchen design themes”.