ISFA Magazine Article

Glowing Reviews

Have you ever been caught in a power outage and had to grope your way out of a building or woke in the middle of the night and be forced to stumble blindly to search for a light switch or into a dark bathroom? Vistas Group and Tower Industries Ltd., Massillon, Ohio, are working to make those situations things of the past by introducing Lumistone™ into the solid surface market. Their product has not gone unnoticed as people are beginning to see the light, so to speak.

Lumistone is a traditional Class I (flame retardant) acrylic solid surface that contains the characteristic of long lasting (8 to 10 hour) photoluminescence. The line consists of full size sheets, strips, bowls, liquid inlay cartridges and joint adhesive. In the light, it is virtually indistinguishable from standard SS materials, and in the dark it has a cool blue or green afterglow.

hall with glow-in-the-dark solid surface material

same hall with lights on

Glow-in-the-dark solid surface material is finding its way into sinks, exit signs and exit corridors where its properties come in handy in dark situations.

light sink dark sink
With Lumistone you can safely put away your nightlights and still find your way around the bathroom at night.

Lumistone 6-inch wide strips are ideal for usage as floor moldings, door trim and tread risers. In public institutions, these strips provide demarcation in darkness in the event of a power failure in corridors and stairwells when elevators are not available. Other ideas include signage, switch plate covers, window sills, chair rail moldings, inserts in hand rails and accent strips between bowls and decks, etc. Full-size 36- by 144-inch sheets are also available.

Sound Performance

Kevin Wyatt, vice president of Kedo Designs in Royal Palm Beach County, Fla., has mingled his love of music and solid surface to come up with a one-of-a-kind electric guitar.

Having been involved with music since he was a child, Wyatt said he has wanted to fabricate a solid surface guitar since he got involved in the industry. With 10 years of pondering the project, he finally dug into it and managed to put together a prototype in two or three days. He then used that to make necessary adjustments to come up with a more fitting version. However, it wasn't without its trials.

Kevin Wyatt with guitar guitar made from Floranata solid surface material
Kevin Wyatt shows off the guitar he created from Floranata solid surface material. Wyatt said he was able to get the weight down to a manageable level and found that SS has great sound properties.

"This material is very heavy, so I had to do a lot of configuring inside the body to reduce weight," explained Wyatt. "The completed, fully-assembled product is at just about 8 1/2 pounds which is within the standards for the weight of a guitar."

He said to deal with the weight he had to hollow some sections of the guitar body. "Making sure that the material I was taking away from the inside didn't interfere with the integrity of the hardware that had to be mounted on the outside was the only real tricky part of the project," said Wyatt.

It is made from a test piece of Florenata that has a metallic red coloring, giving it a look that even Jimmi Hendrix would be happy with, but more important are the fringe benefits when it comes to the sound..

"The sound of a solid body electric guitar is based on the density and porosity of the material it is made of," he said. "This material is nonporous and the density is consistent piece after piece so it is possible to reproduce the same sound again and again. Whereas with a piece of wood, every piece is different so you can't reproduce the same sound. Every one is going to sound different. This material also allows for sustained sound, which is very valuable to a guitar player."

Although he fabricated the guitar for his own use, it's getting some good reviews on the local music scene.

"It's been seen by some local guitar technicians and musicians and so far the feedback on it is that it is an awesome instrument and it looks like it has marketing possibilities," Wyatt added. "I'm going to need to make a couple more before I can go further with it just to make sure that all the bugs are worked out of it and everything is 100 percent."

In the Red?

Sometimes innovation isn't where it goes but what goes there, and this Zodiaq kitchen will have people seeing red—but in a good way.

use of the color red in a kitchen use of the color red in a kitchen
The use of an atypical color in this modern kitchen turned out beautifully and has an eye-catching appeal for designers looking for something different.

When it comes to which color choices work and which do not, it's all about context. While in a commercial setting, flamboyant countertops with flashy colors are more of the norm, but when it comes to the kitchen in a home, most designers call for less intense colors. That being said, few would argue that the beauty of this kitchen is not enhanced by the bold choice of DuPont's Zodiaq Indus Red.

This dazzling kitchen catches the eye and shows the beauty associated with engineered stone. Used in conjunction with more subtle colors, this kitchen grabs your attention but looks fabulous, and definitely leaves an impression with the viewer.

A Splash of Innovation

Grifform Innovations has put together some unique backsplashes and splash guards to make any kitchen or bathroom stand out. Grifform took a component that is not normally associated with 3-D or radius shapes and created a colorful and curvaceous backsplash, which was made to fit with a standard fabrication and added at installation.

backsplashes and splash guards backsplashes and splash guards
Custom backsplashes and splash guards were used to make these sinks more unusual and appealing to customers. Clear acrylic material, thermoformed shapes and inlayed brass have made a noticeable improvement to more typical designs.

Another interesting sink accessory is the clear acrylic splash guard. Grifform basically uses acrylic plastic that actually looks like glass because of its green edge, and cuts out the splashguard on CNC equipment. Then the splash guard is polished and fixtures are developed to allow a fabricator to install the guard into a sink unit. The backsplash has a brass molding inlayed and pocketed into the Corian, which was then installed by the fabricators.

Going with the Flow

DuPont is boiling over with excitement about its new Corian bas-relief panels, an innovative product offering that incorporates textures and patterns onto solid surface, such as this panel featuring Pompeii Red in a "flow" pattern.

bas Pompeii Red flow pattern behind countertop
A bas-relief panel in a Pompeii Red flow pattern was added behind this countertop to give an original look and feel to this kitchen area.

The 9- by 18-inch panels are available in stock and custom patterns and can be used for backsplashes and other vertical applications.