Thursday, April 07, 2005

Natural Surfaces

I have just read an article on "natural surfaces" in kitchens and it got me thinking about the same problem in bathrooms.

When it comes to choosing a work surface for the kitchen traditionally man-made surfaces were seen as cheap alternatives to natural products such as granite or marble. Similarly, kitchen units with foil wrapped doors were regarded as inferior to solid wood doors. This situation is starting to change as customers start to look for products that suit their lyfestyle rather than just opting for what is seen to be "the best" . Also, consumers are actually be seeking out different products and want an alternative look to what can be seen as standard/boring materials. Most people would not have even thought of having a concrete kicthen worktop a few years ago, but the effects that can now be achieved using this material pushes them to the forefront of modern design.

Many of the man-made products now outperform the natural ones - foil wrapped doors are more easily cleaned, hard wearing compund worksurfaces can be made much more resistant to heat and staining than marble or wood.

Customers face similar choices in the bathroom.

Ceramic tiles are still the most common form of bathroom wall covering used in the UK, but we know from our enquiries that many people are looking for an alternative, and bathroom cladding is usually the answer. Although there are several panels in our range that emulate the look of tiles and mosaics, many people actually want something that looks a bit different.

And let's not forget that ceramic tiles are not really a"natural" product. The marble effects common on many tiles are exactly the same as the marble effects used on many of our panels - a facsimile of the real thing.