Granite may be all the rage these days, but there are far more interesting, innovative and unique surface materials out there that far outshine the boring and bland choices so often seen in homes and businesses. From shimmering recycled aluminum to sea grass embedded in clear resin, here are 10 beautiful and creative counter and surface material designs.
Corian Missoni-Inspired Surfaces
(images via: DuPont)
The DuPont? Corian® line of solid surface materials got a hip, modern makeover inspired by Italian fashion house Missoni in the ?CORIAN® loves MISSONI? series of designs. Unveiled at Corian Design?s Milan showroom in 2008, this series features fun, bright splashes of color and Missoni?s trademark stripes and patterns.
Recycled Countertops Made from Post-Industrial Scrap Waste
(images via: Alkemi)
What do you do with giant piles of post-industrial flake aluminum milling scrap? Turn it into a beautiful, eco-friendly surface material, of course. Alkemi turns this waste material, which commonly burns up as a heavy smoke pollutant when exposed to conventional aluminum recycling, into a strong surface available in a wide array of colors and finishes.
Pebbled Resin Surface Material
(image via: dornob)
Pebbled resin is a surface material that has the look of natural stone but is flat and smooth, making it far easier to clean and more durable. This ?Riverstone? resin-based natural stone material can be used for countertops, basins, furniture and fixtures.
Concrete Embedded with Fiber Optics
(image via: Concrete Network + Concrete Decor)
Cold, boring concrete is made a little more interesting with the addition of embedded fiber optics, which give the appearance of a twinkling night sky. Liquid Stone Concrete Designs creates custom-made fiber-optic-embedded concrete surfaces for businesses and homes.
Illuminated Semi-Precious Gemstone Countertops
(images via: If it’s hip it’s here)
Inlaid semi-precious gemstones and fossils create stunning surfaces for countertops, mirrors, tables, sink pedestals and other pieces of furniture and décor. Magestic Gemstone manufactures these natural surfaces that essentially act as jewelry for your home. The translucent stones can be combined with under-surface lighting for an enchanting, glowing effect.
Lumicor ? Organic Materials Encased in Plastic
(images via: Trendir)
Lumicor takes materials like sea grass, metal mesh and even wood veneer and encases it in recycled clear resin for a solid surface material that?s innovative, unique and highly versatile. It can be used in countertops, windows, showers, doors, light fixtures, partition walls and many other applications. The result is a fresh blend of organic and modern styles, with virtually limitless possiblities.
Pyrolave Lava Countertops
(images via: Pyrolave)
It?s hard as a rock but has a glowing, almost translucent quality similar to glass. Pyrolave is glazed and fired lava stone that has a very hard, resistant finish that holds up to freezing and heavy impacts. Because of its durability, it can even be used outdoors or in laboratories. The enamel coating comes in a variety of colors.
(images via: amberonyx.com)
This form of calcite is exclusively mined in the Uinta mountains of Utah at high elevations and has become a unusual and popular option for countertops, wall tiles and other architectural applications. The translucent stone, when lit from beneath, has a warm orange-red glow that highlights all of the natural veins that make each piece unique.
Concrete is solid as can be, right? Well, at least traditional concrete is ? but there?s a new type of concrete called ?LitraCon? that actually transmits light thanks to an embedded array of glass fibers. LitraCon is reportedly as strong as traditional concrete, but allows light to pass through it to brighten up what would otherwise be dark, dull rooms.
Kirei Reclaimed Fiber Board
(images via: Kirei)
Kerei reclaimed architectural fiber board turns a waste product into a stylish, organic surface material that can be used for a multitude of applications. Reclaimed stalks of the Sorghum plant are mixed with a formaldehyde-free adhesive to create a strong, lightweight yet durable material with lots of pattern and visual interest.