Hard Surfaces - break out of the box and let your designs fly

Hard Surfaces at ExCeL in London 30 April - 2 May.

Schlüter, the market-leading tiling systems manufacturers with their UK base in Coalville, are selective about the national exhibitions they attend. But they have identified Hard Surfaces, the new exhibition co-locating with the Natural Stone Show at ExCeL in London from 30 April to 2 May, as an excellent match for their solutions and sphere of work.

Carl Stokes, Head of Marketing at Schlüter-Systems Ltd, says: “Our solutions come alive when people see how they work together in the context of an overall design and Hard Surfaces 2019 is the perfect stage for our ambitious and eye-catching centre-piece.”

They promise a unique stand with a functioning wetroom as its focal point, tiles strategically cut-away to reveal Schlüter solutions for substrates, waterproofing, uncoupling, under-surface heating, drainage and profiles. The latest Schlüter-Troba-Level, a pedestal system for loose-lay tile and pavers, and the Schlüter-Shelf range of designer shelving solutions will be included.

Lithofin is introducing Lithofin FVE, a colour enhancer for worktops, vanity tops, floors and smaller areas of stone such as shower trays. It joins more than 60 other advanced cleaning, protecting and maintenance products at the show.

And when you visit the Lithofin stand, don’t forget to hand in your Golden Ticket that will be on the front of the Natural Stone Show / Hard Surfaces Official Catalogue, available at the Show. With it you will be able to enter the Lithofin Prize Draw that has more than 50 prizes on offer.

On the ASM Suuplies stand, three new Dry Treat products are being introduced: Stain Proof PQ, Stain Proof WB and Stone & Masonry Cleaner. 

Stain Proof PQ has been specifically designed for the latest generation of porcelain, engineered stone and quartz surfaces, sealing micro pores to create a unique molecular bond for long lasting protection against oil and water stains. Stain Proof WB does the same job on stone and masonry. Stone & Masonry Cleaner is a deep-penetrating foam that lifts dirt from stone. With a pH of 7.5 it can be used safely on most substrates, even historic structures. It is ready to use straight from the can and works quickly – a true labour saver.

That's just a taste of what you can expect from the exhibition. Other consumables companies at the shows include well known names such as Ardex, Kerakoll (with Aquacut), Fila and Faber. There's Trimline, Aquacut, Tilers Tools, Raimondi and St Astier, all with their own products and offers to tempt you with.

You will be able to see Jupiter's underfloor heating, Ferrari & Cigarini tiling lines and accessories, Fondovalle's tile collections, Pyro + Echo highest calibre tile ranges and stone slabs, from across the globe.

Large format porcelain slabs are transforming the stone industry and blurring the barriers between the tile and stone industries, which is why the two shows have joined forces for the first time this year.

A popular look in porcelain is that of white marble, although an industrial look is growing rapidly in popularity among the urban chic. It has the look of wood, iron and steel, concrete and other materials with a distressed, industrial appearance.

One of the companies offering such looks at ExCeL is Caesarstone, which is fighting hard to become the UK’s market leader in quartz, distributing its ranges from its warehouse in Enfield.

Another is CRL Stone, showing its complete range of more than 75 colours of Ceralsio ceramic and CRL Quartz surfaces, including 12 new colours – six Ceralsio and six CRL Quartz colours. There will also be an area of the stand displaying the company’s extensive range tools and accessories – and there will be plenty of competition from others on the tools side.

Italian company Ceramica Fondovalle will show its My Top brand of large format 12mm and 20mm thick slabs with its Naturtech technology that allows sophisticated material mixes.

Baked Earth offers natural, handmade terracotta tiles made in its family-owned factory, while Ceramiche Keope is thinking big with Emotions, a new range of extra large porcelain stoneware slabs, including the new PLUS extra large slip resistant tiles specifically for indoor-outdoor applications to maintain the visual aesthetic and functional continuity between interiors and exteriors.

Chinese company Zhongguanshi Stone Industry Company is showing quartz, glass and composite engineered marble, while quartz company Quartzforms introduces a whole new solar system of marble-effect quartz with its Planet collection – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto.

In addition to the show itself there is an associated seminar programme being chaired by Tile & Stone Journal's Editor and 'Diary of a Tile Addict' blogger Joe Simpson.

The CPD presentations go under the collective heading of: 'Marrying Tradition to Innovation', with presentations from: Mel Marquard, Managing Director of Grespania UK; Gary Drostle, Drostle Public Arts; James Hartwell of Vives Ceramica; Jules Archard of Domus; Jordi Gil from Rocersa; and Andreas Manero of TheSize Surfaces. They will explore and explain the latest developments in tiling and hard surfaces.

What's next? Find out in a feature of 135 of the latest innovations in hard surfaces curated by MaterialDistrict, probably the world’s leading match-making platform for innovative materials. These are hard surfaces at the cutting edge to excite and inspire designers and fabricators.

Plus a showcase of all the winners in this year's Tile Awards, being presented by The Tile Association on 12 April.

And in case you want to take a second look at the Tile Awards winners or did not attend the gala presentation this year, there is a gallery of Tile Award-winning projects. There is also a gallery of projects honoured in the Natural Stone Awards in December to inspire you and perhaps suggest new avenues for you to explore. And, yes, there will be a lot of natural stone to see as well, along with the machinery for processing it.

The Natural Stone Show is always an exciting mixture of construction industry professionals and those from the trades, networking and exploring ideas. The addition of Hard Surfaces makes it an even more attractive proposition.

Get your ticket to the shows now from bit.ly/StoneShow2019.