In Review: Cosentino’s Sunlit Days

Cosentino, the global leader of engineered surfaces, made a wholly remarkable move of launching their first fully sustainable surface range, Sunlit Days by Silestone. We invited DLR’s Kinjal Porecha and ema.’s Maud Capet to Cosentino’s d3 showroom for a review of this beautiful collection.

We first introduced Cosentino via a review of its engineering marvel Dekton® Stonika Collection. For those of you not familiar, Cosentino is a Spanish company that produces incredibly high value, innovative surfaces for A+D projects around the world. It was started by a humble stonemason, Cosentino Morales, in a small factory in Spain. What began as a modest family-owned business has grown to be a market leader in marble, stone, and engineered architectural surfaces.

While the Dekton® collection was enjoying its fair share of success, Cosentino improved the production process of its other leading surface Silestone® by significantly reducing the presence of crystalline silica and making it a hybrid surface of premium minerals, quartz and recycled elements through Cosentino’s proprietary and innovative HybriQ® technology. Sunlit Days is their latest launch within the Silestone range and here is what we learned from our review.

The Review Crew

Above from left: Miraim Llano, Middle East Marketing Manager, Cosentino; Eddy Abou Khalil, Regional Director Middle East & India, Cosentino; Kinjal Porecha, Interior Designer, DLR Group Middle East; Maud Capet, Design Director, ema.

Sustainable and Stunning

So what makes Sunlit Days so unique? “Sunlit Days is our first carbon neutral collection,” explains Eddy Abou Khalil, Regional Director Middle East & India at Cosentino. “It’s our strongest commitment to sustainability yet. With Sunlit, we make a concerted effort to offset carbon emissions through our reforestation projects as well. We’re really looking at the entire supply chain. What’s more, the mineral composition of the end product creates previously unseen effects in colour, depth, texture and tone.”

Silestone gets its stunning finish through the use of exceptionally high-quality minerals, quartz, and recycled glass that makes up 20 percent of its composition. This is standard for all colours in stock. To further add to the sustainability value across this carbon neutral supply chain, the water is reused as much as possible. In fact, the brand has installed one of the largest solar plants in the manufacturing region, which in turn ensures that 98 percent of energy used in the manufacturing process is renewable. “We have no intention of greenwashing our processes just to brand ourselves as sustainable,” says Eddy. “We’re fully committed to truly making Cosentino a 100 percent sustainable company”. 

An interesting point to note is that the factory is located in a small village in Europe, and does their part to contribute to the local economy. The plant churns out 10,000 square metres of material per day and fills about 150 containers! That is a huge operation in itself, and most of it involves a fully sustainable process and a low carbon footprint. A truly impressive sight to witness.

Kinjal: I love the feel of it, the colours are so soothing. I think with this colour palette, you can design so many different themes. I also appreciate the range of sizes and possible applications – kitchen, bathroom, wherever. It’s beautiful, functional and durable, and it doesn’t stain or get roughed up. I’m sure any end user will appreciate it. And the fact that you don’t have to include it on counter tops only but can extend it to more parts of the design is really great and extends its practical use. It’s a beauty!

Maud: The colours are definitely the highlight. They’re not only trendy but feel warm and friendly. What I do admire is how they’re sustainable as well – you usually don’t get a choice of colours with sustainable products. I especially like how functional it is, how we can use it on the kitchen counter and also have them in the sink because they’re so high quality. That to me is amazing! And you can connect the veins and keep the minimal continuity without having to worry about bookmatch.

Shades of the Mediterranean

Aesthetically speaking, what really makes Sunlit Days stand out is the sheer brilliance of the colours and finishes. Leaving aside how it requires no maintenance and can stand abrasion to a high degree, the shades are simple and beautiful. Comprising five colours: Arcilla Red, Faro White, Cala Blue, Posidonia Green and Cincel Grey, the series takes inspiration from the bright hues and calm yet wholesome lifestyle of the Mediterranean.

The team explains to us the various inspirations behind the shades. Arcilla Red represents the earthy landscape, Faro White is inspired by lighthouses, Cala Blue evokes the sea, Posidonia Green honours the underwater blossoming plant along the channels of the Mediterranean, and finally Cincel Grey is a neutral tone to balance out the warm and cool colours. These five shades also take inspiration from real people and their stories. Faro White is the story of the last living lighthouse keeper in Spain, while Cala Blue and Posidonia Green draw from the real-life story of Marine equilibrists, Fernando and Marina. Cincel Grey is inspired by the life of David the musical instrument maker from Almeria, and Arcilla Red celebrates the life of vine growers Rober and Maria del Mar.

Cosentino’s team on ground here assures us that they do keep a healthy amount of stock in Dubai, but can also fulfill larger orders in good time if and when needed. While the company doesn’t do the installation themselves, they do work with the majority of fabricators and installers in the region. They also plan several training sessions to ensure designers and installers are well trained in the product and its capabilities and correct usage. The team here personally supervises each installation and are very hands-on to ensure that the high standards of quality are maintained from the factory right till the final project.

Our Thoughts

Cosentino is one of those brands that you simply can’t go wrong with. “We’ve never lost a project on price vs quality,” says Eddy, “and I’m confident that we are the best in class for our price range.” We are, of course, partial to this company’s quality, ethos, and product class. Now with Silestone Sunlit Days, not only are we getting premium quality surfaces, but a product that is sustainable through and through. It is quite literally a small price to pay for such a high ROI.

Kinjal: The durability of this product really lends itself to so many uses, especially if you want to extend the design. It’s great that it can take boiling water. The price might seem higher, but given the sustainability, durability, and aesthetic quality, I don’t think other products come even close. You cannot compare it to marble, because marble has different properties and it can stain as well. I believe, given the carbon neutral element, it shouldn’t be hard for us to convince our clients to use this product in their spaces.

Maud: While I’d appreciate more finishes, I think the suede matte finish works really well, especially if we have to use it in areas, such as the bathroom, because it needs anti slip finishing. It also is ideal for making custom elements, like vanity desks, where you want to have continuity of surfaces. I do believe the price is competitive based on my experience. You just have to design in a manner as to avoid wastage, as that’s where the cost builds up. But they’ve got such a supportive technical team, I don’t think this will be an issue. Given the price competitiveness and support, I would be super confident in specifying.

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