We invited Jenni Wellings from LW Design and Boutros Boutros from Brand Creative to explore Cosentino’s latest Dekton Stonika collection. Giving us insight into this versatile and beautiful surface product was Eddy Abou Khalil, General Manager Middle East for Cosentino, followed by a tour through their d3 space and ‘library’. Here is what we learnt…
The Review Crew
Above from Left: Jenni Wellings, Senior Interior Designer at LW Design, Boutros Boutros, Design Manager at Brand Creative, and Eddy Abou Khalil, General Manager Middle East at Cosentino.
Since ancient times, marble has been a symbol of luxury and fine taste, representing a class above others. That still holds true today, with interiors of several luxury hotels and residences incorporating dramatic elements of marble into them. However, any naturally occurring product, such as marble, comes with its share of limitations.
Enter Cosentino, the Spanish, family-owned, global company that produces incredibly high value, innovative surfaces for A+D projects around the world. Originally a group of first generation stone masons, the current generation of leaders have ventured beyond natural stone, understanding the limitations of the material and the market. Their Dekton range is an ultra compact architectural surface with advanced technical properties, and can be used for both interior and exterior applications, thereby increasing its range of use and versatility. And they recently launched the Stonika collection – their most impressive and advanced offering yet.
Engineered to Perfection
For their first engineering product, Cosentino’s Dekton is no doubt impressive. It has 21 inorganic materials but no lab created chemicals, and has gone through rigorous testing (pressed against 25 tons to test its strength and resistance, as compared to the normal 10 tons strength test of competing products).
“The Stonika itself is an advanced collection; contractors and clients love the stress free ownership that comes with it,” says Eddy, and he isn’t lying. There is a long list of properties that lend credibility to that statement. The Dekton Stonika collection has High UV Resistance, High Scratch Resistance, Stain Resistance, High Fire and Heat Resistance, Abrasion Resistance, and Resistance to Freezing and Thawing. This laundry list is miles longer than the properties offered by competing products. They may offer one or more combinations of these properties, but the degree to which the Dekton maintains them is what pushes up the value, offering the best resistance in the market.
The Dekton Stonika is so advanced that we truly did not realise it wasn’t natural stone until Eddy revealed that it was an engineered product. The depth of the vein is so deep, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for marble. The beauty of the product is in the near lack of pixelation or micro-perforations visible to the naked eye, giving an almost retina-display like resolution of the surface. Furthermore, the Stonika collection offers edge profiles upto the thinnest width possible (4mm). Add to that, its glossy appearance makes gives a distinct high end appeal.
However, it was the patterns that really impressed our reviewers. For a manufactured product to have natural patterns that did not repeat, was simply incredible. Stonika does a phenomenal job of imitating nature with a hyper realistic finish. “It is very encouraging for a designer to use it in a project,” says Boutros. The patterns change every few meters, giving it that natural look. The Stonika collection is currently available in 6 finishes – Olimpo, Bergen, Arga, Taga, Sogne, and Korso – each of them inspired by natural stones from around the world.
Jenni: “It’s a very versatile product, considering that it is an alternative to marble. I feel confident in specifying it, given the support available from the regional and global team. And I’d love to use it in hospitality projects, because of its resistance to the forces that usually wear out natural stone. There’s so much value in having it in a space, especially on custom furniture.”
Boutros: “I really love the patterns, they’re stunning and I would love to use them at fireplaces or in pools. The versatility of the product is great, plus I don’t have to worry about managing different suppliers or products, because I would be specifying it for a kitchen as well as an outdoor area. Also, I love the classic yet contemporary look!”
Why Dekton Stonika?
“Marble has a stunning finish that everyone loves. But it comes with quality control issues that can be hard to manage,” says Jenni.
The Dekton Stonika was engineered not only to amplify the beauty of natural stone, but also to address the issues when utilising it for interior spaces. The properties mentioned before are incredibly useful in the long run. According to Eddy, the surface is so strong that they even use thinner and spirit to clean it, and still saw no visible changes to the surface appearance.
Its strength and durability gives clients the confidence to have sleeker and slimmer profiles than other materials. It is not perfectly resistance to scratches, but is certainly far better than any other alternative. The Stonika isn’t just surface level beauty. In most engineered architectural surfaces, the top surface is laid on, or mixed with, a pattern underneath. Cosentino does no such thing. Moreover, this unique surface is not limited to indoor use. It can also be installed outdoors in swimming pools, barbecue sections and similar such areas.
Speaking of the company’s commitment to quality, Cosentino has a full engineering team based in Spain ready to provide support for all types of major projects. “We’re with the client end-to-end, from specification to delivery and installation,” says Eddy. “We take pride in our commitment to quality and support.” The company can also work with local fabricators and will even train them if needed.
The one USP of this product, and an underrated one quite frankly, is the size of slab. For this range, Cosentino offers large format slabs of 3.2 x 1.4 meters, possibly bigger, that can be laid down on the space. If it can fit through an elevator, or any other access point, they will make it. Designers and architects don’t have to compromise on size anymore when conceptualising projects.
As far as surfaces go, the Dekton Stonika is a phenomenal product. It is also comparable to marble, with amazing utility and durability. Plus, with its ease of specification as well as flexibility of use, the Stonika is a beautiful and practical surface. We will definitely be seeing this used far and wide in projects around the region.
Jenni: It’s great to know that the manufacturer is in control of the supply and distribution. It is also reassuring to the designer that the quality control aspect of the process is so strong. The one outstanding feature for me is how the surface remains constant over time, providing great return on investment. However, I’d definitely love to see more patterns and finishes (the six options currently available is a bit limiting). And maybe more exotic colours!
Boutros: The product is honest, I think that is the best way to describe it. It’s got depth and dimension to it, which I love. Marble can often be unpredictable, (what you specify and what actually arrives is not exactly the same) and clients don’t get this. It’s great to know that you can specify this product and know that everyone is on the same page. Plus the high definition finish is incredible! I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t be impressed with it. I would love to use it on a feature wall. I think adding more finishes to the collection would certainly help this product find a way into larger projects.
Jenni: Another point that should also be considered is how the properties of this product lend themselves to minimum wastage, which is always great, both in terms of cost as well as the environment.