ExCel set to showcase stunning surface solutions

ExCel set to showcase stunning surface solutions

October 2018

The next edition of London’s Natural Stone Show will be joined at ExCeL by a new show called Hard Surfaces. So, from 30th April to 2nd May 2019, buyers will be presented with a powerful line up of porcelain, UCS and natural stone surface solutions, making this a must-visit event for retailers, distributors, contractors, and specifiers alike.

Barriers between natural stone and ceramics in the tile sector have long since broken down.  And with the advent of larger format porcelains, sintered ultra-compact surfaces (UCSs) and new diamond tooling to work them, the barrier has also broken down in the worktop, vanity and furniture sector.

Stone processors find an increasing proportion of their business is now coming from these new sources rather than the granites and quartz they have been working for 20 years.

That is why the next edition of London’s Natural Stone Show will be joined at the ExCeL exhibition centre by a new show called Hard Surfaces.

For many, the choice between porcelain, UCS or natural stone is one of aesthetic appreciation and application.  While many appreciate the truly unique nature of stone that only nature can achieve, others prefer non-porous, low-maintenance porcelains, many of which these days realistically reproduce both the colour and texture of natural stone.

That can be especially true with indoor/outdoor transitions, where interior floors carry out on to patios and increasingly sophisticated and well-appointed outdoor kitchens.

The porcelain and UCS materials have also made it feasible to use white and light coloured grey marble effects on high traffic areas and worksurfaces where it would be less advisable to use the porous natural materials that are susceptible to etching by food and its preparation.

The increased range of materials in this market has opened new opportunities for companies that were traditionally stone processors, as well as for KBB and tile showrooms, contractors, and tilers.

The hard surfaces market has grown substantially, especially at the expense of laminates when it comes to worktops and furniture. And there is no indication that change is slowing. After all, given the choice, most people would much rather have a natural or engineered stone finish than plastic-coated woodchip.

For the first time, the combination of the Natural Stone Show and Hard Surfaces brings together the production, design, specification and purchasing chain for this whole genre of materials under one roof at ExCeL London between 30th April and 2nd May in 2019.

Just as the introduction of porcelain and UCS, and before them engineered quartz, have expanded the size of the entire KBB and tile sector, which is why it is so beneficial for the Hard Surfaces exhibition to be co-located with the Natural Stone in order to build upon its success.

The Natural Stone Show is staged every two years.  It was launched In 1995.  At that time stone companies worked natural stone.  Their expansion into a broader range of engineered stone products has dictated the direction of the market that is represented and promoted by the Natural Stone Show. Which is why it is now joined by Hard Surfaces.

In tiles, the move was the other way: starting in ceramics and broadening out into stone because that was what customers demanded.  It has made the whole stone and ceramic sector one homogenous and complementary entity that can work together for mutual benefit.  The opportunities are limitless, especially as products continually develop, offering new designs, new colours, new patterns, new textures ... new opportunities at every turn.

Even the current trend towards industrial chic concrete and distressed metal finishes do not represent a threat to existing companies because it is the new UCS and porcelain materials in slabs and large format tiles that are leading the way by making the aesthetic practical and achievable.

Forget laminates.  Architects, designers, fabricators, fixers are excited by this new generation of hard surfaces with designs and textures that surprise, excite and inspire them.  And to really appreciate the quality of these products they need to be seen, felt, held, compared.  That is the opportunity offered uniquely by this combination of the Natural Stone Show and Hard Surfaces.

Conference programme

Visitors to the Natural Stone Show and Hard Surfaces 2019 can also enjoy three days of seminars offering expert guidance, advice and inspiration in more than 20 CPD-accredited presentations.

  • Find out about stone selection, sourcing, detailing and maintenance
  • Discover the latest technology shaping product design
  • Get ahead of the competition by exploring surface trends

The seminars are free and take place in the comfort of the South Gallery rooms at ExCeL on the floor above the shows, so the noise and bustle of the exhibitions themselves is not a distraction.
As well as being informative, these seminars present an excellent networking opportunity.

Places will be on a first-come-first-served basis. CPD certificates will be available for those who require them at the end of each session.

Who will exhibit
By co-locating with the Natural Stone Show at London’s premiere exhibition venue of ExCeL, Hard Surfaces offers an attractive proposition for architects, designers, developers, fabricators, specialist contractors and installers and KBB and tile outlets.

As well as the products themselves, suppliers of machinery, tools and equipment used to fabricate, fix, finish and maintain the products will be shown – and there are always special show offers.
Sectors covered by Natural Stone and Hard Surfaces include:-
Adhesives & Grouts
Sealants & Cleaning Materials    
Decorative architectural finishes
Kitchens & Bathrooms     
Feature walls    
Mechanical fixings
New Build    
Outdoor living    
Pubs & Restaurants    
Refurbishment & Renovation
Wall Coverings

To exhibit contact Anna:
T: 0115 945 3889 
E: anna@qmj.co.uk
W: www.stoneshow.co.uk     
W: www.hardsurfaces.co.uk

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