Dekton Manufacturer/Supplier: Cosentino, Mt. Kisco, NYLarge-format materials — commonly referred to as “ultra compact surfaces,” which generally span the height of an average-sized grade school student — have been growing in popularity over the last several years. And while these materials are often a prime choice for commercial applications, more recently, they are being incorporated into a variety of residential projects.
This was the case for designer and builder Anthony Carrino, when it came to the recent renovation of his 1,200-square-foot loft in Jersey City, NJ, which formerly served as a historic telephone building. Carrino, a HGTV design and construction personality, who is currently featured on three of the channel’s shows with his cousin, John Colaneri — “Kitchen Cousins,” “Cousins on Call” and “Cousins Undercover” — was looking to create a space that would both highlight his personality while also feature materials that were versatile and durable enough to allow for entertaining without any worries.
Although Carrino completed a full renovation of his loft, with work done in both the kitchen and adjacent outdoor area, he focused mainly on the “heart of the home,” where most of his entertaining occurs. “I was drawn to the unique historical elements of the building,” said Carrino. “When designing the kitchen, I had a unique opportunity to incorporate modern and innovative design elements into the space without losing the feel of its roots.
“As I was creating the designs for this project, Cosentino had just introduced Dekton,” Carrino went on to explain. “As a fan of Cosentino and the Silestone brand, I knew that Dekton was going to be a game changer. From the moment I saw the Dekton product line, I knew right away that it had to be the surfacing used throughout the space — thanks to its performance and the unique industrial aesthetic that its colors offer.”
To construct the kitchen’s island, cooking area and accompanying wet bar, Carrino chose three slabs of Dekton — each measuring 56 x 126 inches with a thickness of 2 cm. The island, which incorporates a sink and built-in, pop-up power outlets, is the lengthiest Dekton countertop. Carrino designed it to be the focal point of the kitchen. Additionally, a unique table made from the cross section of a tree trunk extends from the end of the island like an extra limb — adding a bit of a rustic charm to the contemporary feel that the loft conveys.
The cooking area, which runs parallel to the island, features a Dekton countertop with a built-in gas cooktop — complemented on all sides by highly-veined hardwood cabinetry. On the opposite side of the kitchen, on another wall closest to the outdoor area, is where Carrino built a separate wet bar, which is topped with Dekton and includes a built-in sink.
For all three applications, Carrino chose Dekton’s “Sirius” color, a near black tone, in a matte finish. The look has been likened to that of slate, given its dark, yet somewhat textured and rugged appearance.
One of the main reasons Carrino decided to use this material for the kitchen is because of its extremely durable characteristics, including its high heat resistance, scratch resistance, stain resistance, abrasion resistance, and notable resistance to ice and thawing. “Dekton is a great surfacing option for a kitchen that belongs to someone who loves to entertain and really live in and use the space,” said Carrino. “It’s great to know that it can withstand heat from a hot pan or won’t scratch when you’re working on it with knives.”
Once Carrino devised his design for the loft, he turned to a reliable fabricator that he’s worked with on prior projects, Peter Brooks, owner and president of Peter Brooks Stone Works in Wood-Ridge, NJ, to complete the last leg of his project. Brooks, who was one of the very first certified Dekton fabricators in the Tri-State area, explained how he went through an aggressive two-week process in order to become officially certified by Cosentino. “They have a special certification process, where Cosentino has certifiers that come out to do the certification,” explained Brooks. “They run a course at their facility, then after that, they send you to a test lab and recommend certain tooling you purchase. [Next], they send their company technician down to inspect the pieces, then they go over any questions you may have.
“It’s a two-week process from when we first started the initial class,” Brooks went on to say. “They give you a certain time period to work with the [pieces of Dekton] in the shop, and then the certifiers from Cosentino come out and take pictures to send back to their technicians to review.”
According to Brooks, the process is crucial for any fabricator handling the material, since it has special mechanical properties that require a certain fabrication process separate from other similar large-format materials in the industry. After completing the process, Brooks said he was better educated and more apt to handle the project at hand. “It’s an extremely dense product, and you just have to take your time with it and understand that it’s a product, which requires intensive care,” he said.
To complete the kitchen installation, Brooks explained how it wasn’t an overly complicated process. “We use similar techniques to installing quartz or stone countertops,” he said. “The training is more in the fabrication; since it’s dense, it requires special blades and training to cut it and drill the holes.
“There are a few tool vendors that develop tooling specifically for Dekton because it’s such a dense product,” Brooks went on to explain. “Regular diamond bits and blades were not designed to cut this type of material, so companies are constantly improving them. Cut rates were slower, but blades have improved — even in just a year that this product has been on the market. To even make one cut has improved significantly. The Terminator [from Continental D.I.A.] that I get through Stone Boss was developed for Dekton. And, Alpha Professional Tools also makes tools specifically for Dekton.”
Brooks and his team of three installers completed the installation relatively smoothly in about two weeks. “The cabinets were already installed; we had to make a physical template of the countertops that we were going to fabricate, then come back to the shop and use two or three whole slabs and cut them to size,” he said. “Then, we finished the edging and did the top cut outs — the top, pop-up outlets in countertop. After that, we returned to the jobsite to put the Dekton slabs onto the cabinetry, and then we put silicone to secure it in place. And, we also attached the undermount sink to the bottom of the stone to the Dekton.”
Given Dekton’s unique, dense nature, the fabrication of the material is what presented more of a challenge for Brooks, rather than the installation. “The installation was pretty standard,” he said. “The challenges were more on the fabrication side, in regard to cutting it and edging it, as well as putting in the special, pop-up outlets.”
Since the project’s completion, both Carrino and Brooks are overjoyed with the end result, which is exactly how Carrino pictured it from the start. “Ultimately, it all went according to plan,” said Brooks. “The client was happy and that’s what’s important.”
Jersey City, NJ
Designer: Anthony Carrino, Jersey
Fabricator/Installer: Peter Brooks Stone Works, Wood-Ridge, NJ
Dekton Manufacturer/Supplier: Cosentino, Mt. Kisco, NY