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Interior Design Magazine Honors BLANCO

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Interior Design Magazine Honors BLANCO

Posted on 13 January 2017 by CRadmin3

BLANCO Interior Design AwardBLANCO, the German manufacturer of sinks and faucets, announced the BLANCO IKON® Apron Front Single Bowl Sink and the BLANCO ARTONA® faucet as honorees in the Kitchen Fixtures and Kitchen Fittings categories at the 2016 Interior Design’s Best of Year (BoY) Awards.

The BoY Awards, hosted by Interior Design Magazine is one of the year’s most prestigious awards in design for architects, designers and manufacturers. Now in its eleventh year, the 2016 BoY Awards received over 80,000 votes for 2,000 of the year’s most renowned products. A full list of winners and honorees can be found in the December issue of Interior Design or by visiting interiordesign.net.

BLANCO IKON is the first Apron Front sink of its kind. Made of BLANCO’s patented SILGRANIT® material, the company states that IKON is the perfect combination of design, function and durability.

The BLANCO ARTONA® faucet with pull-down spray is offered in a variety of dual finishes to coordinate with BLANCO’s SILGRANIT colors.

You may also be interested in this article about the award and scholarship from MIA+BSI Women in Stone.

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Tips From Granite Grannies: Fabricating for an Apron Front Sink

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Tips From Granite Grannies: Fabricating for an Apron Front Sink

Posted on 07 July 2016 by CRadmin2

BLANCO interviewed Lori Hethmon, Founder, Owner and Lead Designer for Granite Grannies on her best tips for fabricating for an apron front sink.

IKON Apron Front Sink

BLANCO makes apron front sinks in fireclay, stainless steel and now, for the first time in granite composite with their groundbreaking IKON™ apron front sink.

Q1: What are the different installation methods for apron front sinks?

There are basically two types of apron front sink. Some apron fronts offer a frontal piece that wraps around cabinetry – basically a rectangular sink with a false front that makes it look like an apron front. Actual apron-front sinks require precise measuring to fit within cabinetry. These features affect the way the counter top is cut.

An apron sink must be on site, and sitting in the exact location preferred by homeowner before we can template the project. The farm sink can typically sit farther out from the cabinet or sit farther to the back wall. Additionally, the shape of the sinks will vary considerably and must be templated on site.

Q2: Do you review the desired reveal with the customer? Or do you prefer a reveal and just go with that.

Reveal or no reveal that is the question. Sink companies like the reveal, fabricators do not.  If the sink is showing under the countertop it should be a perfect 1/8″ or a perfect 1/4″ all around. This is a challenge considering the walls and cabinets are not perfectly square in a real house new or old. It also means the silicone used to seal the sink in place is visible. Most fabricators will advocate for the countertop material to overhang the sink. It is a clean crisp look and any slight variation in the overhang is not apparent. Additionally, a sink reveal leaves a ledge for soap and grease to collect. If you have ever seen a sink with a reveal in the normal home after a few months it looks messy. It is one more area to keep clean and shiny. A homeowner would want to raise the issue of a reveal and express their desire for this type of installation.

Q3.  With apron front sinks coming in different materials, what is your opinion from a fabricator perspective?

The SILGRANIT apron front sinks have added a wonderful option to the marketplace. Many people love the homey feel of the farm sink, but do not love the modern feel of the stainless nor the concerns about a porcelain sink. The color options are also a big deal. A white porcelain farm sink makes a big statement whereas a SILGRANIT can integrate better with the environment. The Truffle color, which will be launched soon is a soft tie-in to stainless appliances. Café Brown looks fantastic with a wood cabinet and wood floors. Anthracite is warm with a contemporary feel.  It’s often hard to choose the SILGRANIT color.

Q4. What counter surfaces do you recommend work best with Apron Fronts in general?

For the most part natural stone or any quartz type man made slabs are going to function the same as far as installation. A sintered or ultra compact surface or porcelains tops can be used – but it’s best to work closely with the manufacturer on fabricating thin surface materials.

Most good fabricators are more than familiar with the particulars of a farm sink installation by now. The trend has been growing steadily for five or six years now. It doesn’t show any signs of waning and I believe the farm sink will have a lasting shelf life decor wise.

Q5: Do you think the faucet has to be traditional in style? Or the kitchen? 

As with any type of sink the faucet should be functional per the homeowner’s preferences. The decor styles are considerably more eclectic today and a contemporary faucet model can look wonderful with an old style farm sink. What’s old is new. The farm sink itself is an historic look but considered contemporary in today’s decor. One note is that the bridge faucet with two holes means that the counter top seam is showing more. If the faucet is a single hole mount the fabricator can often drill the faucet hole through the seam leaving only an inch or so visible.

About Granite Grannies


Granite Grannies is a boutique fabricator of unique and exotic natural stones. They are a woman-owned, family-run shop focused on one beautiful space at a time – located in the greater Washington, D.C. area. http://granitegrannies.com/



For three generations, BLANCO has quietly and passionately elevated the standards for luxury sinks, faucets and decorative accessories. Proud of its European heritage and award-winning German engineering, BLANCO is steadfastly committed to their tradition of high quality, innovative design and unsurpassed service since 1925. Dedicated to quality without compromise, every sink is closely inspected many times before it receives the BLANCO name.  www.blancoamerica.com

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BLANCO PRECIS Medium Single Sink Wins Architizer A+ Award

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BLANCO PRECIS Medium Single Sink Wins Architizer A+ Award

Posted on 14 June 2016 by CRadmin3

Blanco Precis Medium Single SinkGerman sink manufacturer BLANCO announced that the BLANCO PRECIS™ Medium Single sink with drainer received the 2016 Architizer A+ award in the Plumbing and Kitchen Fixtures category. The BLANCO PRECIS offers a crisp angular design, durable SILGRANIT® surface and a unique wave-shaped integrated stainless steel grid that effectively doubles the drying area when the grid sits back on the sink’s functional ledge.

Tim Maicher, Marketing Director for BLANCO stated, “Being recognized as a winner in the Architizer A+ Awards is a true honor for BLANCO.”  Maicher added, “The PRECIS sink is the ultimate kitchen work area with its elegant, contemporary design and unique integrated features and we are thrilled that it caught the attention of the judges. We are proud to be associated with such a prominent publication and for being acknowledged out of hundreds of talented entries from around the world.”

The Architizer A+ awards are the largest program focused on awarding and celebrating the year’s best products in architecture and design.

You may also be interested in this article about a variety of kitchen sink options.

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BLANCO Introduces Multi-purpose Floating Grids

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BLANCO Introduces Multi-purpose Floating Grids

Posted on 06 May 2016 by CRadmin2

BLANCO Silgranit FloatingGridBLANCO, a German sink and faucet manufacturer, introduced its new Stainless Steel Floating Grids. These multi-purpose accessories expand the amount of prepping and cleaning surfaces available. The grids sit approximately 4 to 5 in. off the sink bottom providing an additional sink level that can be used for food prep or to seat heavy kitchen items. The floating grids are suitable for use on the counter as hot plates, racks to cool and store baked goods, or just additional space to reduce clutter in addition to being used as a second level within the sink. The grids are thin and have four rubber feet to prevent damage to the sink and counter. The new stainless steel grids are made  to fit the BLANCO SILGRANIT PRECIS, PRECIS CASCADE and IKON sinks.

You may also be interested in this article about The Galley Sink.

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Guest Blog: What’s Trending in Kitchen Sinks for 2016?

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Guest Blog: What’s Trending in Kitchen Sinks for 2016?

Posted on 19 April 2016 by CRadmin2

Eric Gunderson, product manager of BLANCO

Eric Gunderson, product manager of BLANCO

EDITORS NOTE: Last month, we presented an analysis of recent trends in kitchen sinks, and Eric Gunderson, the product manager of BLANCO, responded with another insider’s opinion, which we present in full as follows:

As new products begin to emerge in the kitchen sink and faucet market, we continue to see a pattern of certain trends progressing while others die down and new ones take their place. Eric Gundersen, product manager for BLANCO works with these trends on a daily basis and provides insight into where he sees kitchen design now as well as in the future.

Where do you see faucet trends right now?

We see a few different high-demand trends right now in the market. The first is Livable Design, a term BLANCO coined that really takes precedent in the kitchen design market. Livable Design refers to products that work well in the home, are convenient and also have a grand aesthetic appeal. We are seeing a lot of Livable Designs in the market today from dual-finish faucets to Semi-pro dual-finish.

Our new BLANCO ARTONA™ series is wonderful for adding a splash of color without having to redo the sink area while Semi-pro is great because it’s extremely functional for not only consumers in the home market but also commercial consumers like chefs. BLANCO is in the forefront of the Semi-pro products offering the BLANCO CULINA™ and the BLANCO MERIDIAN™.

What is a kitchen faucet must-have?

Pull-down faucets are a huge trend right now and a must-have in the kitchen. If you’re working in your kitchen, using your sink and faucet on a daily basis, a pull-down faucet is the most convenient option and also the most functional. Something to watch for in the future is a hidden pull-down – a cool element that we will definitely see more of in the near future.

In addition to pull-downs, dual-spray faucets are also a must-have in the working kitchen. They’re convenient, provide a contemporary design that is trending right now and create fewer holes in the counter deck.

442031_ARTONA_SOAP_AN-CR_CONCEPT black_5x7What are the most popular materials you’re seeing?

Finish preference often varies based on design style. Contemporary designs are on trend right now, so we’re seeing satin nickel finishes begin to make a comeback while chrome has and probably always will be a perennial favorite.

Where do you see the trends for kitchen sinks?

Right now, we’re seeing a large rise in demand for farmhouse and apron-front sinks. The trend is definitely on the rise in all mediums including fireclay and steel. They produce beautiful aesthetic appeal in addition to being great for working kitchens because they are large and sturdy.  Another style that’s trending is a rectangular bowl with a tight radius. Again, contemporary sinks and faucets are really what are hot in the market right now.

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Much Ado About the Kitchen Sink

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Much Ado About the Kitchen Sink

Posted on 29 March 2016 by cradmin

A couple of weeks ago, we published an article about a universal design for kitchen sink workstations developed with Ken Kelly using a sink from BLANCO, and I realized we have yet to provide an overview of the latest and greatest options for kitchen sinks. Not so long ago, the choices for sinks were slim, and nearly everyone was satisfied with porcelain, enameled iron or stainless steel drop-ins/top-mounts. Although the above styles still remain both common and  popular, several new types and models of kitchen sinks have entered the market and are making decisions tough for consumers and commercial building owners.

As our industry survey revealed last year, countertop fabricators hold a great deal of sway over their clients, so by understanding all of the options, you can stock kitchen sinks that both meet the needs of your clients and provides a solid profit margin for your business.

Stainless Steel

Wave_coverflow_371_259_Image2Stainless steel is still considered the mainstay of the modern kitchen sink. These sinks are affordable, and although they can scratch and thinner ones are more prone to  being dented, they do so without damaging their functional integrity. Stainless is also very versatile and can complement a wide range of décor and interior styles.

Just last year, MR Direct debuted a new series of budget stainless-steel sinks that are fully insulated, and Kohler introduced the Undertone Preserve series of stainless-steel sinks that have a special, scratch-resistant barrier. Other brands and series of stainless-steel sinks to watch for include the following:

  • Lottare – Stainless Farmhouse
  • Moen – 1800 Series with SoundSHIELD
  • Franke – Grande Series
  • Artisan Manufacturing Corp. – Frigidaire Collaboration Collection
  • Elkay – Slim Rim Sinks
  • Oliveri – 1100 Series
  • Ukinox – Micro Series

Enameled Cast Iron

Enameled cast iron was once the standard for kitchen sinks, and they’ve got a lot to say for them, namely durability. A well-made sink of this type could well last more than 100 years. At worst, it will need to be re-enameled, which is also this type of sink’s primary flaw.

Once the enamel chips, it is never quite the same again. Repairs may last a few years but will need to be repeated. The porcelain enamel, however, provides an appealing finish and is easy to clean. Because of their weight, cast-iron sinks are usually self-rimming, and these are simple to install. Undermount cast iron will likely require reinforced support. A few of the top manufacturers of these sinks include Kohler, Clarion, Song and American Standard. For a less expensive alternative, you may also want to explore enameled stainless steel.

Quartz/Granite Composite

Schock_lg(2)Quartz composite, also called Granite composite, is a relatively new material that is taking the kitchen-sink market by storm. Although every manufacturer has its proprietary formula, most are about 80 percent quartz/granite and 20 percent acrylic resin. It is compact, versatile and durable, being resistant to heat, chipping, etching and scratching.

The finish of these composites are typically slightly textured, and it is said to have the look and feel of natural matte stone, which may also work out to be a disadvantage because it cannot be polished smooth. Another disadvantage is that like many other types of sinks, some may eventually stain from water with high mineral concentrations, and the finish may dull over time.

A few of the latest options to watch for are the Granitali Collection from LOTTARE, BLANCO SILGRANIT sinks and Schock CRISTADUR. More recently, Domain Industries has unveiled its Lexicon Platinum Series quartz sinks.

Farmhouse Sinks

Fireclay_Image3One popular style of kitchen sinks that has come back into the spotlight like a blast from the past is the farmhouse sink with apron front. These large, deep, tub-like sinks originated in England more than 400 years ago. They were designed to hold large amounts of water, which often had to be hauled from miles away.

Farmhouse sinks are often the focal point of a kitchen, so many clients like to make them special. Stainless steel and enameled cast iron are both materials that are common used for these sinks, but several new materials are now available, including fireclay, hammered metal, concrete composite and quartz/granite composite (as outlined above).

Fireclay – Fireclay is very similar to porcelain and it appears nearly identical to enameled cast iron. The material is made when clay is glazed and heated at about 1,600° F until the glaze fuses into the clay. This makes the material extremely hard and durable. Last year, BLANCO added new colors to its fireclay CERANA series, and the year before, Domain Industries introduced Crestwood Fireclay sinks. Rohl now offers two styles, one with a flat apron front and one with a rounded apron front.

Hammered Metal – Hammered copper and bronze are also popular materials for farmhouse CPS291-Paragon-Copper-Apron-Front-Kitchen-Sink-vsinks that are durable and eye-catching. These sinks are also beloved because each one is unique. Houzer Hammerwerks copper sinks are one example, and Native Trails also creates a fine line of copper farmhouse sinks.

Concrete Composite – Native Trails has also pioneered a new material that is garnering some attention called concrete composite and branded as NativeStone. This material combines natural jute fibers with concrete for strength and sustainability.

Integral Kitchen Sinks

The last category we are looking at is integral kitchen sinks typically made out of the same material as the countertop, but not always. By strict definition, integral sinks are fabricated from a single piece so that there are no seams between the sink and the countertop, but we are including those with seams because truly integral sinks are rare.

A true integral sink can be fabricated from solid surface, and most of the large solid-surface suppliers have at least a couple line of sinks separate from their countertops, including DuPont Corian, LG  HI-MACS and many others. These sinks are lauded by those who purchase them because they are attractive, require little maintenance and are easy to clean. Another option is downloadgraphite-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC), which can be created onsite or offsite and cast to be part of the countertops.

Other integral sink options include natural stone and quartz. When it comes to natural stone, the top choices are marble and soapstone, but because these materials are both so soft, they are best suited for kitchens where appearance is more important than functionality.

However, a discussion of integral sinks would not be complete if it did not include Karran, who pioneered the process of seamless undermounting of sinks made of various materials to  countertops made of completely different materials. Karran’s Edge series of sinks can be undermounted to solid surface, laminate, engineered stone and granite tops in a virtually seamless manner (as shown in this video depicting a seamless integration of a Karran quartz sink to a laminate countertop). Karran even won a coveted ISFA Innovator Award for this line Edge of sinks in 2012. Originally in acrylic and stainless steel, there is also the Quartz Series from Karran, which has been on the market now for about two years. And of course, like any great idea, there are now other companies that are on the bandwagon trying to offer this same “edgeless” quality in combining sinks and countertops of different materials.

Upsell Jobs, Hike Profit Margins

The world of kitchen sinks has greatly expanded in recent years, and more end users have taken an interest in having specific types of sinks in their kitchens. As a fabricator, it is possible to use your knowledge of the latest trends in this niche to upsell clients and expand profit margins. After all, it is easier to sell a few bells and whistles to a client already in the bag, than sell a whole new client…

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Fabricating and the Kitchen Sink for Universal Design

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Fabricating and the Kitchen Sink for Universal Design

Posted on 16 March 2016 by CRadmin2

The BLANCO sink is recessed for easy roll-up use for a wheelchair bound client.

The BLANCO sink is recessed for easy roll-up use for a wheelchair bound client.

Recently, Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc. of Williston Park, N.Y., created a kitchen featuring universal design (for wheelchair accessibility) for a New York client on Long Island. The space allowed the client freedom of movement in a wheelchair from the kitchen to the media room and wet bar.

According to Ken Kelly, CKD, CBD, CR, lead designer and owner of Kitchen Designs, fabricators who are working on an accessible kitchen design should pay close attention to the sink workstation area.

“If the person uses a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, the sink workstation should be shallow enough in order to allow legroom and arm reach,” states Kelly. “The fabrication must conform to local building codes, and countertop supports should have a slim profile not to interfere with movement of the knees, hands or fingers. The countertop work area may have to be lowered, and it has to be easily accessible with ample turning room. Consider reach range and visual range dimensions so the kitchen is maximized for independence with all obstacles and hazards removed.”

When designing a kitchen for accessibility, a deep understanding of the client’s needs is imperative. The clean design of the newly remodeled space removes all obstacles by providing easy access to sinks, cabinets, counters and appliances, allowing enough turning room for a fluid transition to adjoining areas, which includes the media room, dining area and beverage bar.

Gropper-01-copyThe design created by Kitchen Designs is perfect for socializing and watching TV while preparing meals on expansive antique brown granite counters. The single oven is set at the most comfortable height to safely reach into, and the countertops were lowered, making it easier to reach the cooktop. The cooking area is fully open with ample knee space, allowing the client to wheel up to the island and under the unit.

The recessed BLANCO sink workstation offers easy access and is purposefully shallow in order to allow better legroom and arm reach. All pipes under the sink are covered, and an under-counter, single-drawer dishwasher and microwave are accessible.

Two high-tech, motorized wall cabinets can be lowered to countertop height, so the client can easily reach into the cabinets.

The custom cabinetry is Brookhaven by Wood-Mode in a textured laminate with brushed stainless handles. The snack-and-beverage bar is standard height and includes a full-sized dishwasher for extra cleanup space when entertaining. To accommodate the lower tops, Kelly used a single drawer dishwasher.

Options for accessible living are limitless, and everything about this kitchen is maximized for independence, convenience and functionality.

Article and images provided by Grace Kelly of Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc., Williston Park, N.Y.

You may also be interested in this article on how to organize a kitchen.

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BLANCO Wins PIA Award for ONE Collection

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BLANCO Wins PIA Award for ONE Collection

Posted on 22 January 2016 by cradmin

Blanco ONE sinkGerman sink and faucet manufacturer BLANCO has won the Architectural Products 2015 Product Innovation Award (PIA) for its ONE sink collection. The collection consists of three sinks and five accessory kits, all featuring the brand’s satin polished finish. Three sizes of bowls and a range of accessories allow the user to customize the sink for their individual needs.
PIA Awards are given to manufacturers of architectural related products that have displayed innovation and leadership. A group of 35 independent industry professionals judge the awards.

You may also be interested in this article on Gemstone’s sink additions.

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BLANCO Adds New Color to Fireclay CERANA Sinks

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BLANCO Adds New Color to Fireclay CERANA Sinks

Posted on 25 August 2015 by CRadmin3

Blanco Cerana BiscuitBLANCO added ‘Biscuit’ to its color offerings of the Fireclay CERANA sink. CERANA offers a reversible design and two different corner styles to feature either a contemporary contoured or a traditional rounded apron front.  According to the company, the sink is made of natural material that is fired at more than 2,100 degrees F. to make it resistant to acid, chips, discoloration, heat and shock. The sinks are available in a bar bowl style that measures 18-7/8 in. and two reversible apron front single-bowl styles that measure 30 in. and 33 in.

You may also be interested in this article about Laufen expanding its bathroom sink line.

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Fifty-millionth Sink Produced by BLANCO

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Fifty-millionth Sink Produced by BLANCO

Posted on 10 August 2015 by cradmin

Blanco 50 millionth sinkBLANCO German sink and faucet supplier BLANCO recently produced its 50-millionth sink. The 50-millionth sink model is the Metra XL 6 S, crafted of the company’s SILGRANIT® II. “Our aim is to offer the highest quality, best service and professional design ,” said CEO Achim Schreiber. “Fifty million sinks confirms that our strategy is the correct one….”

You may also be interested in this article on Native Trails’ concrete line of sinks.

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