Native Trails has recently added to its luxurious line of kitchen and bath sinks. Customers can now choose NativeStone modified concrete sinks in kitchen, bar, and bath styles and sizes. Native Trails developed the new material to complement the hand-finished copper fixtures and stylish bath furniture it's known for.
Attractive and Sustainable
"Native stone came about for two reasons," says Native Trails president Tim Blair. "First, even though Native Trails is well-known for our hand-hammered copper sinks and bathtubs, we had long been seeking another material that would jibe with our company ethos. It had to be sustainable, support artisans, and have a positive social impact. And, of course, it had to be really unique and beautiful."
To that end, Blair says the company had been watching the growing use of concrete in homes, but found that traditional concrete wouldn't work as a sink material due to its tendencies to crack and stain. In developing NativeStone, "we added jute fiber, making our concrete product much lighter, much stronger and more durable, plus giving it an environmentally friendly edge," Blair says. The addition of jute allows the material to weigh about 40% less than traditional concrete. The product line's Morro vessel sink weighs approximately 28 pounds, while the line's Farmhouse models weigh about 99 pounds.
Installation and Care
Installers should consider the weight of the sink, especially when using undermount techniques. Most NativeStone sinks can be undermounted or surface mounted. The company recommends that surface-mounted sinks be held in place with silicone. For undermount installations, the sinks need to be supported with bracing and secured to the underside of the counter to avoid leaks. Native Trails also reminds customers that the dimensions of the sinks may vary by up to 1/4 inch because of their handmade nature. It advises installers to wait to cut installation holes until they have the sink in hand to confirm measurements.
Once installed, users will reap the benefits of NativeStone's protective nano-technology sealer, which forms a molecular bond with the concrete. Blair says the sealing process was researched and tested for more than a year to determine the right formulation to render NativeStone resistant to scratching and cracking, and "impervious to staining." A simple soap and water mixture is all that's needed to clean the surface, and the nanosealant is designed to last 10 years or more without resealing. Native Trails recommends wiping down the sink after cleaning, and allowing hot pans to cool before placing them in the sink.
NativeStone sinks are available in ash, slate, or pearl finishes to make a dramatic impact in any kitchen or bath, and especially those that call for a focal piece for the design. "The organic beauty of the material is the focal point," Blair says. "Simple, functional design and worry-free maintenance renders each piece exceedingly practical to boot."