Cool New Product
Countertop selection has been one of my biggest challenges. The characteristics we all want -- durability, ease of maintenance, natural beauty, and, yes, affordability -- are hard to find. So is simplicity. Recently, we discovered a new product that might fit the bill. Years ago when the size of tile started to get much larger, I imagined using giant tiles as flooring and even wall panels. Well, the technology has caught up with our imagination and now you can get large-scale porcelain slabs in a variety of colors and finishes like concrete, metal, wood, and linen. It’s called Neolith, from Spain. Made from environmentally friendly materials (natural clay, feldspar, silica, and mineral oxides), it can be used for countertops, fireplace surrounds, wall panels, siding, and flooring. They have managed to achieve the large thin sheets by using a process known as sintering, which turns a powder to a solid through high heat and pressure without crystallization or melting, thus allowing all ingredients to retain their natural properties. An extra reinforcement of a fiberglass mesh fabric is then bonded to the back of each panel. We saw it in person at the Stone Collection here in Denver. In contrast with the enormous collection of granite and marble at the Stone Collection’s warehouse, Neolith is the quiet, understated, modern option. The applications where I see it best are for fireplace surrounds and countertops. You can get it in 5 mm or 10mm. The product is stunning. The price tag you ask? (Material prices: countertops are comparable to low to mid range granite; walls/large format flooring is less then granite or quartz, but higher than standard tiles). I look forward to using this product!