Design

Materials: what is Cristalplant?

DR

Innovative and elegant, the Cristalplant invests kitchens and bathrooms in the shapes desired by the designers. Only downside: its price ...

How was the Cristalplant born?

It is in the province of Treviso, Italy, that Nicos International, a company specializing in the manufacture of materials and customized products, developed in the late 1990s the Cristalplant at the request of equipment companies halls bathrooms and high-end kitchens. Its composition based on natural mineral materials and resin gives it an important malleability to give it original shapes. Thus, the Cristalplant was immediately appreciated by designers and architects for the realization of shower trays, bathtubs and sinks! Inda's "H2O" sink designed by architect Antonio Citterio, or Agape's "Spoon" bathtub by architect Benedini, was among its first applications.

How much does it cost ?

The Cristalplant seems to have only one drawback: its price! Made in small series of products (only 200 to 800 units per year, according to its manufacturer) and according to a traditional know-how, this material is sold by specialists of the kitchen or high-end bath, as Boffi, Cesana , Aquamass ... Count € 9,000 for a bath (2 x 1 m) and € 2,000 for a basin at Aquamass, or € 2,000 for a shower tray (1,20 x 0,80 m) at Cesana.

How is it made?

The raw materials are first mixed: a large amount of aluminum hydrate with a small amount of acrylic polyester resin to obtain a medium density liquid. Then, the solution is injected into molds that are tailor-made for the manufacturers. The mixture is then allowed to stand for one and a half hours, then the part is demolded. Finally comes the time of finishing: the pieces are sanded by hand to obtain a peach skin look very soft to the touch.

What does the Cristalplant look like?

Smooth and elegant, this material resembles natural stone, but has all the qualities of an industrial product. It fits perfectly in contemporary environments. It can be dyed in any color, but it is frequently (95%) used in white.

Are there limits to the forms that can be given to him?

No, we can do everything with Cristalplant, without limits of shape or size, because we can assemble several molds if necessary. This is his main advantage. Moreover, it is easily machinable. This is why, in recent years, designers and interior designers have praised it and have developed ranges of products to decorate and decorate every room in the house: chairs, tables, worktops, lamp components ... but also accessories for the bathroom (mirrors ...).

Why is it ideal for bathrooms and kitchens?

This material is non-porous and therefore particularly hygienic. Easy to clean, it cleans with soapy water. To remove stains and other dirt, it is possible to use a scouring cream and an abrasive sponge. Finally, unlike other composite materials, Cristalplant, compact and homogeneous throughout its thickness, can be repaired by superficial aggressions (scratches, burns or stubborn stains), or deeper, sanding and polishing. Well maintained, it is a durable material that retains its original appearance for more than twenty years, according to its manufacturer.

What will be its future applications?

Nicos International is currently working on the development of a mold for making an all-in-one work plan. The goal is to offer a modular product with an integrated sink. This material with multiple possibilities has not finished overcoming us.