Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUN 2018

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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surface in HPL would be betrayed by multiple seams and dark edges. But so much about laminates has changed over the years. New technologies have eliminated the seams and the ugly edges. ose technologies include miter-folds as well as new HPL that is made with solid color throughout. Formica and Wilsonart offer this technology, among others. Over the last decade, designers, remodelers and homeowners have come around to appreci- ate the looks offered by a raft of updated HPL styles. It is not uncommon to see HPL used in applications as varied as large-format back- splashes and cabinet fronts, as well as islands and countertops. Gerri Chmiel, senior design manager for Formica, says the increased residential use of HPL is due in some measure to its wide use in commercial spaces—especially in hotels and offices. is phenomenon even has a name: "resi-mercial," she notes. "We are inspired by commercial spaces in our homes. And also our commercial spaces are inspired by our home living," Chmiel adds. "ere's that big blending that's happening. I do think we will see different applications in the home. Maybe it's laminate cabinet doors like we have done in the past. at is a much more modern-looking kitchen than maybe a wood door. You can clad closet doors, you can make bookshelves, or you can use laminate in your home office and coat the whole wall with writeable surfaces. I just think that there are a lot of different things that we can do in the home, taking it from the commercial side." Others attribute the rise of HPL to the re- newed interest in design style from the middle of the last century, as well as the material's new technological enhancements. "We are seeing it used in a lot of places," says Grayson Braun, a specifications repre- sentative for Abet Laminati. "We are seeing kitchen, but mainly on the countertop. en, in the '80s and '90s, natural stone, wood, tile and other materials gained popularity for countertops. at trend today continues with the introduction of many categories of manufactured stone used as both countertop and decorative surface material. During this period, HPL was relegated to lower price points only. Its perception as a cate- gory was marred by unnatural seams and dark edges that were inconsistent with the patterns and colors of the surfaces. For example, even the most authentic marble or wood-patterned offered at very expensive price points. is article does not include veneers. Rather, it brings focus onto the category of bet- ter-known plastic impregnated paper or high-pressure laminates, HPL. is is the segment led by some well-known brands such as Formica and Wilsonart. But there are others, including Interior Arts, Abet Laminati and Arborite. In the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Formica drove an HPL countertop and cabinet trend in North America. ere are many among us who grew up with Formica all around the WILSONART's new Blurred Lines collection includes Marmo Bianco in an ultra-matte finish called Soft Silk. The grey, brown and bronze veining in Drama Marble by WILSONART evokes a Greek region's stone. Praline Antico from WILSONART is shown in the Soft Silk finish. WILSONART's Benjamin Grey pattern is a Jerusalem Stone look with ultra-matte finish. Circle 5 on inquiry card 38 June 2018 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com PRODUCT TRENDS: Laminates

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