Explore the world of stone for your hospitality interior at the Natural Stone Show, ExCeL London, 6-8 June
FREE – register to attend now at tinyurl.com/NSS-HSregistration
Stone floors, feature fireplaces, tactile walls and gravity defying cantilevered stairs all provide the Wow! factor for hotels, restaurants, bars, health clubs and other hospitality settings. And you don’t have to be an enormous budget these days to enjoy the luxury of natural or engineered stone for your interior.
Modern, computer-controlled processing machinery using affordable industrial diamond tools and digital templating have sped up the processing of stone and brought the price to a level where natural or engineered stone horizontal and vertical surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms, and stone, or stone-look ceramic floors, are well within the budgets of most businesses.
And who doesn’t want a hard surface worktop? Whether it’s in your kitchen at home or the bathrooms at work and in hotels, who doesn’t prefer the look of natural stone, the predictability of engineered quartz or the café society chic introduced by latest generation sintered stones and ultra-compact surfaces. You will be able to see them all at the Natural Stone Show and Hard Surfaces exhibitions co-locating at ExCeL London exhibition centre on 6-8 June.
You will also see marble and polished limestones for floors, vanity tops and shower enclosures for the ultimate luxury in the bathroom and, again, within the price range of the customers of interior designers for every type of hospitality interior.
And interior design is no longer even restricted to interiors, with the barriers between interiors and exteriors being blurred as the stone look transfers seamlessly from floors to patios and into outdoor kitchens, where granite, quartz and ceramic worktops offer the ideal properties for all-weather units and worktops.
The stone look still exudes status, longevity, quality. It shouts style, demanding a place in the repertoire of interior designers.
And today, in a world of global warming and biodiversity degradation, it also has a new role. It is a building material with a low carbon footprint that can help designers achieve the sustainability demands of a new generation of caring clients keen to make their contribution to the aim of Net Zero.
As well as being a low carbon material in the first place, stone can play its part in reducing the energy consumption of interiors, both new builds and refurbishments, in use thanks to its thermal mass. As a floor or wall covering, it makes the ideal accompaniment to low energy consumption underfloor or behind tile heating, especially when used in conjunction with heat pumps. Less energy means lower fuel bills, and that is of growing significance to hospitality providers.
There are no man-made power-gulping high temperature transformations required in the making of natural stone. Nature has already provided the heat and pressure needed to convert its natural minerals into a finished product that is typically stronger than concrete. Even the makers of engineered stone are working towards Net Zero, some by as soon as 2030, with the use of renewable energy, water recycling and the incorporation of recycled products in their mixes.
The biennial exhibitions are returning this year after a Covid hiatus. They were last held in 2019, when Hard Surfaces co-located with the Natural Stone Show for the first time to complete the picture of natural stone that is flattered by the emulation of man-made engineered stone and porcelains.
Stone is so popular that the manufacturers of these man-made materials have encompassed its look wholeheartedly, further expanding the market for stone fabricators with new and innovative versions of what the planet produces naturally.
These new products have proved so popular that demand for them has encouraged the stone industry to adopt them – hence the connection between the two exhibitions at ExCeL. It also gives interior designers the chance to explore both sides of the surfaces market, making a visit even more worthwhile and cost effective.
The first day of the exhibitions, 6 June, is designated Architects’ Day, when the conferences associated with each show are of particular interest to architects and designers.
One feature of the seminars at the Natural Stone Show will be the presentation of ‘The Industry Choice Award’ to the overall winner of the projects that received category honours in the Natural Stone Awards presented by Stone Federation Great Britain at a glittering ceremony in London in December.
All the category award winners are impressive and outstanding examples of the contemporary use of stone in architecture. You can see them at https://www.stoneshow.co.uk/vote-industry-choice-award-winner?success, where you can also add your vote for the project you believe deserves the Industry Choice Award if you would like to. The categories include interior design.
Other subjects included in the seminar programme are listed below. They will also be on the websites of the exhibitions – www.stoneshow.co.uk and www.hardsurfaces.co.uk – where you can also find the full list of exhibitors at each with their stand numbers to help you plan your visit to the shows.
Free registration to attend the shows is now open tinyurl.com/NSS-HSregistration