Over the last two years, the Australian stone market has seen a rapid increase in demand for sintered porcelain surfaces, such as Dekton & Neolith.
This situation is a repeat of the changes we saw in our market in 2002 when the stone market was dominated almost entirely by the use of natural stone products. During that year, there was a huge amount of marketing targeted at interior designers and developers which created an immense demand for reconstituted stone products.
What appealed to these people was that reconstituted stone was completely uniform in texture and available in a whole spectrum of colours.
This caused a dramatic shift in demand towards engineered stone products, and by the end of 2002, the ratio had changed so that engineered stone had become a key part of the Australian market.
That was 14 years ago.
The interesting thing is that today we are seeing this revolution all over again.
One thing that is clear is that it’s fairly safe to say that sintered products are here to stay.
Porcelain has a number of distinct advantages over reconstituted stone including hardness, scratch and heat resistance, and the ability to be used for outdoor applications. Designers describe dekton as the new "super surface," an "ultra-sophisticated material for busy everyday life."
The downside is that these new materials have also brought fabricators a whole set of different challenges, including the fact that they can be quite different to work with and less forgiving than reconstituted stone.
Waterjet is an ideal solution for fabricators working with these new generation materials as it enables fabricators to efficiently cut, mitre, cut under mount sinks and tap holes all in one operation, without chipping or cracking.
This is one of the many reasons why waterjet has been proven to be by far the best way to process this material.
Daniel of Gosford Marble & Granite, says he had been giving away a lot of work as it was not feasible to cut new generation stones (such as Dekton and Neolith) with their existing bridge saws. Waterjet was a solution that would allow them to cut consistently with an excellent edge finish, as well as eliminating breakages and chipping.