September '14

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rv-pro.com SEPTEMBER 2014 • RV PRO • 55 with fiberglass or acrylic shower stalls, and to help complete the look, manufacturers such as DuPont also make solid-surface sinks. "We've made solid-surface sinks for decades," says Perich. "ey'll often include an integrated sink – a lave bowl – so you get that seamless, integrated look throughout the bathroom. It's easy to clean and main- tain, and it looks beautiful." A Step Beyond Although the look of natural stone is most popular with RV buyers at present, everyone agrees that solid-surface products offer a wide range of colors and styles that can complement just about any décor. LG Hausys' Braun used the word "neu- tral" to describe the most-popular palette his company offers to the RV industry. "The trend is still toward movement – the natural stone look," Braun says. "But, we're also selling a lot of the regular chip material." However, Robert Weed's Hosinski's says he's seeing the market moving beyond that. "Remember, there are all kinds of dif- ferent units out there with different décors in them," he says. "We're seeing everything from contemporary to traditional. ere are some leading-edge looks out there and some very traditional looks. It just depends on what the product manager decides they want the look to be for his or her brand." Keeping up with what's cutting edge in terms of consumers' desires for color is often a full-time job for the solid-surface manufacturers, although they broach the subject in different ways. Many – including DuPont – are members of e Color Mar- keting Group (CMG), an international association for color design professionals that identifies color and design trends. Still, with 110 different colors of Corian currently on the market, Perich says DuPont works closely with RV OEMs to discover which colors are going to be most relevant to them. "Certainly the RV industry looks at what's going on in the residential and com- mercial markets," Perich says. "However, we work with the RV OEMs to develop colors that fit their needs exactly, and occasionally you'll see some colors that are only used in the RV industry because they really meet an OEM's color palette." Although color is probably buyers' big- gest concern, some are also interested in buying environmentally friendly products, and solid-surface products have a mixed reputation for being "green." ose prod- ucts that are most frequently identified as being green tend to use pre-consumer waste as their recycled content. e advantage there, says Maxstone's Juang, is that it doesn't add greatly to the cost of the finished product. Robert Weed Plywood Corp. sells several surface products into the RV industry, including Hanex Solid Surface from Hanwha L&C Surfaces U.S., which RV manufacturers tend to mix with other surfaces. For example, manufacturers put solid-surface products in high-traffic areas while using high-pressure laminates in other areas of a coach. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBERT WEED PLYWOOD CORP.

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