From the department of surprises: ceramic countertop edges out natural stone

On the basis of my previous post on alternatives to carrara marble counters, a client and I set out for a stoneyard in Brooklyn with the express intention of purchasing quartzite (a natural quartz slab) for her kitchen counters.  Much to my surprise (and hers), she left there that day having decided against the quartzite in favor of a ceramic countertop product I have never even heard of before:

White Neolith CountertopThe product is called Neolith, and it is made by the Spanish company Thesize.

My client chose it because she was looking for an all-white countertop and liked the clean, modern look of the ceramic.  She chose this white color which the company calls Nieve.  She also liked the fact that Neolith is a matte finish and that it is zero maintenance.

After further research, I can report some other advantages as well: Neolith is lightweight, environmentally friendly (and does not release fumes or use harmful sealants), fire-resistant, hygenic, easy to clean, extremely durable (with no scratching or chipping), and will not fade in sunlight (a problem with some resin-based countertops like Caesarstone).  You can use knives directly on the surface and place hot pots right on it.  It comes in a variety of widths and colors.  My only caveat: the edges of the counter are mitred together, so you can’t have a bullnose or round edge; it can only be a square.  However, most people who would want this look would want a clean, modern edge in any case.

While the Nieve was the choice for her, I actually loved the some of the darker color choices for modern kitchens which looked like cement or basalt:

The company also has some bright color options for the superdaring, like this cobalt blue:

What do you think of this look?  Is this something you would use?  Please comment and let me know!

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8 responses to “From the department of surprises: ceramic countertop edges out natural stone

  1. Looks cool! How is it priced compared to other counter materials?

    • Yes, the salesperson at the granite yard said it is comparable to an engineered countertop like Caesarstone. I can let you know the exact price per square foot when I get it from the fabricator though…

  2. I know this post goes way back–this sounds like an interesting material! How does it price? Where do you find it?

    • Thanks for your comment!

      I saw this material at Hindustan Granites in Brooklyn, NY, but you can find all the North American distributors here:
      http://thesize.es/web/index.php?pg=4&spg=2&area=02

      I believe the price was similar to Silestone ($90/square foot).

      The only thing I meant to add regarding this material, is that you can see from some of these photos that it can be used in very thin slabs (as thin as 8mm) which could make your countertop a slightly different height than other materials (eg granite us usually 1 1/4″ thick), so the counter could be a full inch lower than usual. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but we are so used to a standard 36″ counter height! So my client was speaking with a builder about using shims on top of her cabinet bases to raise the counter to 36″ or making the kick of the cabinet a bit higher than usual.

      Just something to keep in mind. 🙂 Hope your project goes well, please send photos!

      • Thank you for that excellent additional info! I am in the early research stages so my project is quite a ways off but I’ll keep you posted:)
        Thank you for providing us with all of your excellent insight. I really appreciate your blog! Take care and keep up the good work!

  3. The company I work for just became Authorized Neolith Dealer and will be offering the material as an additional option to our Southern California Market. I’m excited to see how the reaction will be. I’d say 60% of our customers are requesting a man-made product already (i.e. quartz, corian) and I’ve had many request for a matte, honed finish as well. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you for your posts!

  4. I am considering Neolith for a kitchen countertop and wondering what the construction specs are: What thickness is used? I see that they do 3+5 and 5+5 etc what is the supporting material inderneath? ie. plywood?. Are there any guidelines as I see that The Size offers a warranty and I assume that there must be specifications to guide the construction and installation of a countertop.

    Thanks for any help from this forum! I’ve contactde The Size and they suggest contacting distributors as well for this info.

    Love the potential of Neolith!

    • Thanks for your comment Alan! I’m so sorry but I’m not sure I can answer all these techical questions, I would refer to your contractor/countertop fabricator.

      I am excited about this new material… please send us after photos if you decide to use it!

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