HPP Logo
make it happen with hills panel products

Visit hpponline.co.uk

Metallic materials and finishes in the home - how the trends are changing

Metallic materials and finishes in the home - how the trends are changing

In this month's HPP Blog, Tina Crossley discusses the emerging trends of metallic materials and finishes...

Having a metallic finish to your interior décor is fairly commonplace in today's environment. Gone are the days when metals were viewed as too 'cold' or 'clinical'.

Metal and copper finishes are now seen as fashionably minimalist, cosy and rustic, as well as contemporary; even Apple adopted the trend, releasing their 2014 iPhones in gold shades and tones. So, in line with the release of our own metallic surfaces in the form of the Kronospan Trends 16/17 Collection, this blog takes a look at just how metals can transform your home and really create a 'wow' factor…

Using metal, copper especially, to decorate interior spaces goes as far back as the medieval period; uninspiring copper kitchens and bathtubs are probably springing to mind at this point, but nowadays, that couldn't be any farther from the truth.

Metallic surfaces add a whole new level of design, detail and interest to a living space, adding flair and style that is unique to most things currently in the market.

We've seen metallic finishes in handle design for many years but these are now being supported with a huge surge in demand for metallic appliances, light fittings and even metallised fabrics, which complement other pieces within the space and add a more cohesive feel to the design.

But the trend doesn't stop there either.

MFC board is now seeing a huge overhaul of its ranges, with the introduction of stunning new metallic faced boards that are vibrant, full of character and interesting to see and feel. A range of these are new to the market from the Kronospan Trends 16/17 Collection, and have the benefit of reduced dulling on saw blades and extremely clean, accurate cuts when installing.

We've seen metallic surfaces being used in the most unusual of places to add the finishing touches to the most contemporary of homes, and it's not just with predictable warm shades either… Cool metals such as aluminium, platinum, and steel are great for fulfilling a contemporary and minimalist design. Steel brushed staircases, aluminium shower curtains, platinum feature walls: metallic surfaces complement contemporary design like no other material.

But of course, metallic surfaces aren't only for the minimalist and contemporary. Warmer colours can transform any kitchen, living room, or even bedroom, into a cosy space. Covering a mantelpiece in bronze, copper, or gold instantly warms any room, and is perfect if you have a roaring fire burning. Adding smaller detailed metallic surfaces throughout bedroom spaces also gives a much warmer feel to the room, reflecting warm light on surfaces such as lamp stands, bookshelves, or decorative trinkets.

Metallic surfaces are also great for creating rustic looks, especially in country-style kitchens. Any metal, but especially coppers and bronzes, give kitchens a rustic flair when kept muted and natural. And traditional style kitchens aren't complete until they've got some suitably rustic handles - check out our handles selection which is very shortly to be doubled in size to give an even greater choice.

Minimalist, characterful, rustic or contemporary: isn't it time you introduced some metallic design flair into your installations?

Has Smart Home Technology really taken off yet?

Has Smart Home Technology really taken off yet?

In this month's HPP Blog, Mark Smith asks 'Has Smart Home Technology really taken off yet?'

The phrase 'Smart Home Technology' is an expression we have become more and more familiar with in recent years. But what does it actually mean, and where is it taking us?

There's pretty much an 'app' these days for everything but does this mean we're more attached to our mobile technology than ever before, instead of actively removing a repetitive task or making it considerably easier?

In theory, smart home technology is great. Smart homes are efficient, convenient and have increased comfort and security. You can control when appliances turn on and off, along with how much energy is being used; integrated sensors mean you can monitor your home no matter where you are; lighting can be adjusted according to the time of day, climate or mood; complex tasks can be made much simpler.

So, if this is the case, as promised by hi-tech companies and gadget start-ups, why isn't every home a 'smart home'?

The answer is simple: nobody really knows what smart home technology is offering right now.

According to industry analysts IHS Markit, 80 million smart home devices were delivered in 2016. Though most of these were home assistants, like the Amazon Echo, there is no doubt that smart home technology is simultaneously on the rise and at a crossroads. It has the power and potential to make 2017 the year of the smart home, providing it markets itself in the right way.

There is a danger of continuing down the route of being more of a 'fad' than a practical feature of the home. Recent smart home technology adverts show us more about how the technology helps us be lazy, rather than how it helps us day-to-day. Your smart home technology can turn on your light for you but is that really easier than just switching the light on yourself?

What we have already discovered with smart home technology is that it is primarily software. And as proved by the two main players of smart home technology, Nest (www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/fashion/nest-thermostat-glitch-battery-dies-software-freeze) and Amazon Web Services (www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/01/amazon-web-services-outage-smart-homes), software is susceptible to severe malfunctions (even from scheduled updates), which in these two cases, literally left users in complete cold and darkness.

The biggest problem with smart home technology seems to be that in order to take full advantage, you have to integrate systems into your home in a way that is going to be costly - or already have the technology integrated during construction. For the average household to get on board with such technology, it would require being able to get multiple devices to work together at an inexpensive rate.

So there again we have a problem with understanding what a 'Smart Home' actually is. Is it a fully integrated, all-singing, all-dancing technological system that runs throughout your home? Or could it just be multiple, cross-platform devices that work together to make your home more efficient?

It seems that for 2017 to really be the year of smart home technology, companies need to be smarter in educating their customers as to what they're really offering, as well as providing robust systems that don't leaver users in the dark when a software update fails or when there's no Wi-Fi signal. Promoting a technology that makes their lives easier, than just one more gadget to add to the 'Internet of Things' will be key: how to make smart technology in the home affordable, easily integrated and future-proof, whilst selling it to consumers as a commodity that brings value to peoples' lifestyles.

Music to our ears: an overview of the SensioSound Bluetooth Speaker & Light

Music to our ears: an overview of the SensioSound Bluetooth Speaker & Light

In this month's HPP Blog, Tina Crossley introduces us to music and light, in one compact unit...

If you're looking to create an ambience in your next kitchen project and create a clutter-free environment for your customers, the SensioSound Bluetooth Audio Speaker & Light might just be what you're looking for.

With a 334 lumen LED light and 85dB speaker integrated into one stylish unit, this practical device turns the kitchen into the perfect place to cook or entertain without the need for endless wires, docking stations and separate lighting solutions, as it all ties perfectly into one.

Key Features

Playing your favourite tunes through the speakers is quick and easy. Simply pair the device with a smartphone via Bluetooth and the wireless connection works its magic, allowing your customers to listen to their music and have a clear kitchen counter at the same time.

With an operational range of up to 10m and the ability to pair any smartphone up to two SensioSound speakers means that even if you have the largest of kitchens, these discreet and handy devices are suitable and easy to install.

The frosted lens gives the speaker a diffused light output to add an ambient atmosphere to any kitchen. There is a choice between either cool or warm white LED, and at 12V, it works at a low voltage too, keeping energy consumption at an all-time low.

Installation and maintenance

Installation is a total doddle, simply comprising three screws beneath the outer steel casing, which makes it compatible with any kitchen décor or layout. The unit is mains powered, which means you'll need a 240V supply, but if existing lighting is already in place, these drivers easily connect to a 5A circuit.

At a competitive offer price of just £35.50, a 13-year lamp life and 35,000-hour playback time, the SensioSound is built to last and will make your customers love their kitchens even more!

For full details on the SensioSound Bluetooth Audio Speaker & Light click here.

Emerging Trends for 2017

Emerging Trends for 2017

Emerging Trends for 2017

In this month's HPP Blog, Mark Smith gives a rundown of the latest trends expected to impact on the kitchen and bedroom industry in 2017.


2016 saw the market really focus on texture in a big way, and texture became as much a consideration as décor colours and styles.

The market for textured board, doors and worktops grew at a faster rate than anyone could have predicted, with designers, installers and consumers all seeing it as a must-have item for new kitchen and bedroom designs.

This rise in demand has brought about some exciting additional innovations to the marketplace, which will inevitably take the industry forward in this area throughout 2017.

We've seen the recent introduction of metallised melamine faced boards that use copper, stainless steel and other metallic surfaces that not only look and feel great, but don't dull blades when being cut. This means some outstanding interior design pieces can be created that are actually practical for the end installer to work with, and great for the consumer to enjoy each and every day.

This is a serious step forward for the industry and one that looks set to bring about some exciting finishes this year.


Lighting is also a huge part of any kitchen or bedroom design these days, and thanks to some pretty impressive developments in LED technology, the choices in 2017 are vast.

We now see everything from LED task lighting, right through to colour-changing mood lighting becoming not only a key part of design but more economical to purchase thanks to improved manufacturing volumes and processes. 2017 will also see the introduction of LED lights that allow the consumer to select from either warm or cool lighting from just the one bulb, rather than having to choose from one bulb type only.

Lighting is so critical in setting the right look, feel and tone of each design, that installers and designers alike are now using this to great effect, and we're pleased to see some latest COB (Chip On Board) lighting technology becoming more common place in the market. This reduces the need for separate transformers / drivers thanks to the chip being part of the fitting. This then allows for a more flexible installation approach, and means retro fitting certain items with the more efficient LED products is a much easier, quicker and more cost effective process.


Still linked with lighting, but working on a wider scale too, home automation is becoming a much more important element for designers and installers to carefully consider and read up on during 2017.

The market is seeing an influx of new home automation products such as automated lighting, smart heating that reacts when you're near to your home, wireless AV systems and smart appliances too.

Whilst this is still a relatively new and slightly more expensive area of the KBB market, consumers seem to be warming to the benefits of this area. Therefore, it's important for tradesmen to be aware of clever products such as the SensioSound all-in-one light and Bluetooth speaker, which allows users to play music from their under-cabinet lighting, something we feel works really well in a modern kitchen environment.

Style & Design:

The emerging styles and trends for this coming year seem to be twofold at present, very similar to 2016.

One area of the market is very much all about rustic, tactile and more natural finishes, which is why painted surfaces and heavily textured boards and doors are high on the agenda for most designers; but we're still seeing strong demand for popular slab-fronted doors, albeit with some subtle changes to this contemporary style in the form of matt finishes, ultra high gloss and mirror gloss.

Whatever trends take the lead this year, it's certainly looking set to be an exciting one with some real innovations in production techniques that are giving designers and installers much more scope to create something more bespoke and totally unique.

If you need any advice or inspiration on latest trends and products to help with your next installation, why not pop into our Trade Counter and let our team show you what we've got to offer?

The HPP Team Visit Kronospan

Kronospan Chirk timber yard

Our marketing team recently ventured out of the office to take a trip to Kronospan's production facility in Chirk, Wrexham.

The main aim of the trip was to learn more about some of their latest developments, new products and ideas, and to get a good feel for just what goes into making some of the most interesting and innovative boards on the market.

The site was a hub of activity, as the company are in the process of re-structuring most of their manufacturing facility to make it more efficient, and more capable to cope with growing demand for their vast range of boards for the KBB and construction markets.

We were first taken to a picturesque old farmhouse which sits in the middle of their huge 150+ acre site, which now houses their meeting rooms and product display suite.

The showroom featured some of the latest product ranges to come out of Kronospan's growing worldwide portfolio, and one that is due for imminent launch being the Trends 16/17 collection, which we'll be making available to all HPP customers in the coming weeks.

We were also taken on a tour of their site to see just what goes into making some of the leading board in the marketplace.

The first thing that caught our interest is how technology has leapt forward in recent years when it comes to recycled material for board.

For many years, recycled material in MFC products was seen as a bad thing due to blade dulling, split-out and so on, but thanks to new technology and intensive cleaning methods (both dry and wet), the Kronospan team were able to show us just how much work goes into ensuring that recycled product going into board is as pure, clean and contamination-free as possible.

It surprised us just what they were able to extract before a product is even started, with things like glass, metal, sand and large wood chippings being taken out at a very early stage, which is reassuring, as it guarantees that each board delivered from HPP will be fit for its application, giving our customers the confidence they need in using any of our products.

Another huge plus is that this more intensive and environmentally aware method of cleaning is helping to reduce our environmental impact thanks for more recycled product being able to be added, which in turn is helping to reduce the amount that goes into landfill, increasing recycling, and ensuring the KBB industry keeps a close eye on reducing the impact we have on our landscape wherever possible.

We also got to take a look at the sizeable manufacturing processes that go into making the likes of MDF and MFC board possible, and when we say the scale was huge, we really mean it... The walk along one production line was enough to work up a sweat!

Seeing the massive £150k plates that create textured woodgrain, the multi-million pound production lines and the hundreds of people that go into making each board as uniform and perfect as the other made us realise just what goes into producing some of the most innovative boards in the industry.

The experience was a great one for our team and gave us the chance to gain a better appreciation of the hard work and effort that goes into each and every Kronospan product.

Photographs: reproduced by kind permission of Jan Ford (http://janfordsworld.blogspot.co.uk)

A Look at the Difference Between PVC Edged, Vinyl Wrapped and Painted Doors

A Look at the Difference Between PVC Edged, Vinyl Wrapped and Painted Doors

A look at the difference between PVC edged, vinyl wrapped and painted doors for kitchens, bedrooms, offices and bathrooms.

Cabinet doors are key to the look and feel of kitchens, bedrooms and offices. They are the first thing that the eye is drawn to so need to look good, be durable, hard-wearing and resilient to everyday wear and tear.

When it comes to finding the right style and material there is a lot to choose from, which is why we decided to outline the most popular choices and applications in the industry.


Vinyl-wrapped doors are made from MDF panels that are cut and profiled as required, then glued and covered with vinyl.

Because the vinyl goes all the way around the door, it provides a nice neat finish, as there are no distracting joints to see. They are also versatile as the MDF panels that the vinyl is attached to can be designed and routed to lots of different profiles, from contemporary-look flat doors to more traditional themes and styles.

Vinyl can, of course, come in a huge variety of colours and textures (gloss, woodgrains, matt and even mirrored) giving customers an outstanding selection of colours and combinations to choose from.

Vinyl-wrapped doors are a very popular and economical choice.

Vinyl is durable and made to last - it’s also designed to be scratch and chip resistant, keep out moisture (especially important in kitchens), can be wiped clean and never needs repainting.

Look out for poor quality vinyl wrapped doors that can have an ‘orange peel’ like finish. If heat or moisture penetrates the seam at the back (where the vinyl meets the MDF) it can cause the vinyl to peel, so it’s always a good idea to buy from a manufacturer you can trust that uses the best possible products in the manufacturing process.


PVC-edged doors are made using MFC (melamine faced chipboard) with a matching PVC edging.

They give a contemporary look and are available in a large range of colours, different wood grain effects and textures – giving flexibility and variety.

These doors are probably the most durable cabinet doors available, as the edges, often the weakest area of the MFC, are covered in PVC and so prevents chipping.

They also do not require varnishing or repainting, and are ideal for high traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms as they can be easily cleaned, meaning they deal with the many tasks daily life throw at them effortlessly.

PVC edged doors are usually the most economical choice within the range of doors available and make an affordable option whatever the budget. They also do their bit for the environment too as MFC is a sustainable wood based product, meaning your cabon footprint per installation will be reduced. One thing to be aware of is that the quality and finish of the edging can vary from one manufacturer to another. Sometimes the edges can be visible especially in a light glossy colour if not manufactured to a high standard, so make sure to use a manufacturer you can trust.

Painted doors:

Painted cabinet doors offer a wide range of design options and provide truly customised finishes.

One of the many advantages of painted doors is the choice and flexibility that they provide – they are available in an almost unlimited range of colours, textures and design options, making them a popular option for both modern and traditional applications. Also, by using a colour matching service, your customers can achieve a bespoke and personalised design that will not be seen anywhere else.

This exclusivity is another big advantage for those looking to achieve a custom and premium look and feel, on top of the fact that painted doors often have smoother finishes, and non-fading, non-yellowing and offer more uniform textures.

Painted doors don’t tend to chip easily either, although wear might be more visible on lighter colours, which is an important factor to consider at specification stage. Don’t be put off though, as unlike many doors within the market, stains and smudges can be easily touched-up and repaired.

Painted doors do however come with a higher than average price tag due to the work involved in the process, which is why they are normally considered a higher end product than most mass-manufactured items.

With careful selection and professional help from the experts at HPP, any of these options can help you to create the style and design of your choice.

For more information on HPP’s door range please visit the website:

What's Cooking In 2016 - Kitchen Trends From The KBB Market

XyloCleaf Dark Lady Tranche

Let's start 2016 with some good news, consumer spending is on the increase, there's a rising demand for new homes, and people are increasingly recognising the value of updating their homes in order to sell them - all positive news for the kitchen trade and retail industry.

The key kitchen trends for 2016 are strong colours, the use of different materials - merging contemporary with traditional styles, 'zones' divided by statement pieces, smart storage, bespoke designs, and personalisation. One big trend for 2016 will be the increase in the use of technology and advanced appliances to create clever storage solutions and smart, integrated 'zonal' living spaces that make kitchens the hub of the home.


Let's begin with colours and materials. The now well-loved grey and associated muted tones will continue to be a popular choice this year following its popularity in 2015, but we will also see darker grey tones and possibly muted shades of blue and green introduced.

The use of warmer metals like zinc, brass, copper, and bronze will build steadily as an alternative to cooler metals like silver and stainless steel.

As for worktops, technological developments mean that man-made alternatives to granite and marble such as quartz and gemstone worktops are now becoming increasingly popular; especially now that there is a wider variety of colours, textures, and patterns available on the market.

Solid oak worktops will also play a key part for those wanting to achieve either contemporary or traditional looks, thanks to such a wide range of finishes and profiles. Check out our kitchen worktop range here to see our new range, launched at the start of this year.

Bespoke and customised kitchens including flexible sizing and colour matching services are increasingly expected as standard, with the momentum to continue in 2016. Customers want to be able to choose and personalise the colour of their units. Our custom painted door service allows customers to choose colours from popular manufacturers like Farrow and Ball, helping achieve the exact look they require that is unique and personal to them.


Also predicted to be popular during 2016 is the use of different materials for merging both contemporary and traditional styles. A sleek matt finish kitchen with handleless doors (using Blum's TIP-ON for doors which allow them to be opened with a light touch), combined with a Nordic-style walnut worktop or even a natural oak worktop centre island will combine modern and natural materials well.


Dividing rooms into 'zones' seems to be the buzzword for 2016 – going beyond the now, well-known concept of open-plan living. Varying materials, styles, and colours can be used to distinguish different zones within the home and kitchen space, but other interesting trends are the use of statement pieces such as islands, metal range hoods, freestanding units, and open shelving – all great for this type of new layout as they can act as room dividers without making the space feel small or crowded. Curved edges on units, larders, and islands create smooth transitions between zones, giving them a more fluid and natural feel, helping to achieve a more flexible living space.

Storage solutions are still an important part of good kitchen design and as we go into 2016, consumers are demanding that they be both cool and clever. Storage is now more 'on show' within the kitchen space, so needs to look good as well as be technically clever and functional. Blum LEGRABOX is an intelligent drawer system featuring the latest runner system technology that gives a smooth close, looks stylish, and has slim drawer sides on the inside and outside, meaning your customers gain the maximum amount of potential drawer space. AMBIA-LINE fits perfectly with LEGRABOX to give stylish, smart storage and organisation solutions where contents are always easy to find.

The merging of technology with the kitchen space is now more popular than ever. High-tech appliances and smart workstations are becoming the norm in many homes, including anything from built-in coffee makers, multi-purpose water taps, ice machines, and hidden charging stations for mobile phones and other devices, right through to automated lighting and smart ovens that can turn themselves on as and when needed.


There is a huge focus on convenience to meet the needs of the technically-advanced consumer, and we are seeing hidden and integrated appliances being used in designs. LED lighting and auto-controlled devices are also at the forefront of new kitchen design. The SensioSound spotlights go one step further by combining lighting with music played via Bluetooth. These dual-purpose intelligent spotlights are ideal for kitchen-diners and open-plan living spaces as they let you stream music while socialising and cooking; bringing entertainment to the hub of the home as well as providing energy efficient lighting.

It's clear that we'll see some exciting kitchen designs in 2016, using different materials to create a unique and customised look with technology playing a very vital role. Kitchens will continue to be both multi-functional and convenient as they increasingly become the place to eat, work, relax, and entertain within the home.

We've got the power!

SensioPod DATA

Give your customers’ kitchen the power with a SensioPod, which is a three-socket pull-up power solution that also comprises of several other smart, additional design features that make it more than your average retractable socket.

Key features

As well as the traditional power outlets, the SensioPod is also a USB charging station with two USB ports integrated into the product (maximum allowance 2100mA). The really clever thing, however, is that it can be fully retracted even with products still plugged in, which is ideal for keeping surfaces clutter-free from unsightly plugs and cables. Because the SensioPod is fitted within the worktop, it can really add value to spaces and is ideal for open plan living where it’s important to have wires and sockets hidden from view. A lot of our customers like to integrate these into centre islands and bar areas where people are likely to sit whilst using a mobile device or laptop.

SensioPod has a nice, sleek profile and an aluminium effect that gives it a modern, contemporary look. It’s also very user-friendly with a specially-designed, neat chrome handle that makes it easy to pull the fitting up, and a quick-release catch to ensure it will always close securely. A neon green control switch tells you whether appliances have been switched off when not in use.

Installation & Maintenance

There’s lots of flexibility over where the SensioPod can be fitted. Because it’s designed to use space efficiently, it can be installed in areas that are often under-used. This flexible space-saving product can be fitted within worktops, on kitchen islands, under cabinets (pull down) or fitted into desks. Plus, it’s IP54 rated and designed to withstand splashes too, so there is no need to worry about it being fitted too close to sinks or food prep areas.

Maintaining the SensioPod is easy too - fuses can be replaced without removing the plinth as they are built-in just below the on/off switch.

SensioPod Range

SensioPod+ pull-up socket has all the same features and benefits of the original but with a die cast metal top in a choice of three finishes; Chrome, Black Nickel or Stainless Steel.

SensioPod Eco is an economical option if customers do not require the ability to charge USB devices. This version has three power sockets only with a red neon on/off switch and a quick release catch, which has a plastic top in a matt black finish.

SensioPod DATA is a perfect solution for the home office that has two RJ45 ports for PC/Laptop connectivity. Even if wireless internet is not available, the SensioPod DATA means you can connect your laptop through a home internet router or network.

SensioPod Bluetooth has a built-in Bluetooth speaker that can be used with any Bluetooth-enabled audio device or 3.5mm headphone jack. It is ideal for open plan living with its multi-use functionality – power, Bluetooth and USB.

All the SensioPod product information can be found at https://www.hpponline.co.uk/cat/1119/sensiopod

Textured Worktops Like Nothing Else

Textured Worktops Like Nothing Else

This time we're taking a look at one of our exciting new worktop ranges from Egger, known as the Egger Premium range.

These are one of the new additions to the HPP worktop collection, and one that are going down a storm with our customers!

The premium range of worktops are unique in the market, as they offer a more realistic texture and visual appearance than previously available laminated worktops, making them a real hit for those who want the look and feel of real materials, but the benefits of a maintenance free laminate.

Here's a run down of what's available.

Key Features

Offering premium wood grain, stone and ceramic effects, Egger worktops allow consumers to select a style and finish that looks at the very top end of the market, without actually breaking the bank to achieve it.

Materials such as solid wood or granite can quite often go well beyond peoples budgets, which is where these worktops come into their own, thanks to still being at a more accessible price.

The woodgrain range from Egger Premium are great for a wide range of kitchens, and are virtually indistinguishable from solid wood, but with all the hardwearing, hygienic and easy to care for benefits of laminate. They come in a square edge at 38mm thickness.

Customers are given the choice of both rustic and exotic wood grains, as well as cool stones and urban finishes; all of which help to add a truly custom feel to any kitchen design. Available in 25mm and 38mm square edge.


Installation for these worktops is exactly the same as any other standard laminate worktop, meaning that kitchen installers existing tools will work perfectly on the range, and keep installation time, costs and lead-time down to a minimum.

What's in the range…

The range features some stunning wood grains, cool stones and urban finishes. These include:

  • Natural Halifax Oak
  • Sand Gladstone Oak
  • Tobacco Gladstone Oak
  • Tobacco Halifax Oak
  • Ceramic Chalk
  • Ceramic Anthracite
  • Cosmic Grey
  • Cosmic White
  • Pegasus Anthracite
  • Pegasus White
  • Black
  • Premium White

The Finishing Touches

To complete the edge grain look with this range, Egger have created a superb end grain edging product, giving a realistic end grain appearance to the edge of any cut worktop, meaning the quality look and feel won't be compromised at any stage!

Tantalising Textures for Every Taste

Registered Embossed Woodgrain Surface

We all know that consumer trends are moving towards a warmer, more tactile finish, but as this shift is taking place, we're also seeing a fantastic movement in the materials manufacturing market, developing products to a newer and more innovative route with textures and finishes that not only get the industry excited, but get consumers' minds working overtime too.

In the last two years alone, we've seen some stunning new products, ranging from highly textured surfaces, ultra smooth, mirror gloss, matt and everything in between; so we thought we'd outline some of the most popular products in the industry at present and illustrate the differences of each.

Gloss Finishes

Since the introduction of the contemporary gloss white kitchen, we've seen some real developments in this area to provide consumers with even better, more stunning gloss finishes that are durable and scratch resistant.

Now available as acrylic or PVC gloss finishes, consumers can select from a wide range of popular colours from leading brands such as Kronospan, Finsa, Pfleiderer, Egger and Décor Panels. With new colours and tones available, gloss is now not only appealing to the contemporary market, but also to those leaning more towards a traditional look and feel too, giving it a wider, all-round appeal.

Gloss is great for creating a sense of openness and flow, and helps to create the illusion of more space in smaller kitchen designs. It also helps to bounce light around the room, making the most of any natural daylight that is available.

Maintenance is easy with these products too, but fingerprints do show up more easily than non-gloss alternatives, so this is always worth baring in mind when designing for a busy family home.

Matt Finishes

As an increasingly popular alternative to gloss finishes, consumers are starting to demand more in terms of texture and feel, which is where a matt finish is coming into its own within the industry.

Whilst not currently as popular as gloss, demand for matt finishes is without doubt increasing, and becoming a more popular choice for those wanting something more innovative and unique for their kitchens and bedrooms.

Usually manufactured with a polyurethane painted surface, matt finish furniture generates an extremely smooth yet hardwearing surface that has a certain air of quality and sophistication to it.

The décor is relatively new to the market and appears to be very popular and certainly in demand. This looks set to continue for the longer term.

Registered Embossed

Registered embossed materials provide a sophisticated feel that is perfect for creating a high value and elegant look. Materials generate life-like knots, blemishes and grains in wood patterns to give a premium feel, and are perfectly suited to both mid-market and high-end installations.

Available as Egger Feelwood and Kronospan Natural Touch, both ranges are becoming increasingly popular for consumers, as they want a more rustic, homely, warm feeling to their kitchen, bedroom and bathroom installations.

The registered embossed materials are a real step up from standard MFC products as they add a feeling of quality and prestige. They do cost a little more than the traditional MFC products, but are becoming somewhat of an industry standard for many trade customers as the benefits significantly outweigh the drawbacks.

Highly Textured Thermo-structured board

The next step up from registered embossed MFC is the premium XyloCleaf range of thermo-structured boards; currently available to buy as full sheet material and also as part of the HPP Aspects Doors Range

The product uses unique thermal manufacturing processes to generate extremely deep and intricate textures that are difficult to distinguish from the real material it is designed to mimic.

Available in a wide range of life-like wood grains, linens and other unique materials for both kitchen and bedroom applications, these are becoming a very popular choice within the industry thanks to the great finished effect that can be achieved and the sheer durability and chemical resistance of the product.

The range does come with a slightly higher price tag, which is more in line with the premium end of the market, but the end result more than compensates for this price difference as the material is very unique and individual to each design.

Mirror Finish Gloss

Created to add a little 'wow-factor' to any kitchen or bedroom design, the mirror gloss range, which is primarily available from the Kronospan range, offers a superior mirror gloss finish that gives a premium appearance, as well as an extremely hard wearing surface, making them not only great for the design of any kitchen or bedroom, but also highly practical for any situation.

These products are great for spaces large and small, as they bounce light around and help to create a true feeling of open plan, contemporary living. Maintenance is relatively hassle free with these products too, but as with the high gloss range, fingerprints do tend to show more quickly on these products in comparison to ranges such as the matt or textured products, so sometimes aren't the most suitable for busy family life.

See the full range of full sheet and cut and edged materials available from HPP here

HPP Online