The Worktop Fabricators Federation (WFF) has launched an all-industry guide to help showroom staff better advise consumers when buying stone worktops.
The WFF’s ‘Guide to Engineered and Natural Stone Surfaces’ was launched at the kbb Birmingham show on March 7 and has had more than 200 downloads from the organisation’s website.
“Too often, consumers are led to believe that because an engineered or natural stone worktop is the most resilient, it must therefore be bullet-proof,” said owner of work surface fabrications company, Stone System of London, and WFF director Mark Mills. “Only to end up disappointed after children have climbed on it, hot pans have been placed on it, harsh chemicals have been used to clean it or the supporting cabinetry has shifted in response to floor-compounds or plaster drying and shrinking.
“Call backs and disappointments are costly and uncomfortable for all concerned — especially when we know so many of them could have been avoided by better hand-holding during the selection process.”
The WFF says the guide steers a road between manufacturers’ detailed cutting instructions on the one hand, and customers’ unsubstantiated assumptions on the other. And that the result is an “authoritative, readable, no-nonsense guide to the selection, care and maintenance of worktops in quartz, granite, marble, quartzite and sintered stone materials.”
To back the launch, and to encourage showrooms to join in with educating their customers, the WFF has produced A6-sized point of sale displays. Designed to stand discreetly on in-store displays, the mini-posters carry a QR code which enables customers to download the detailed guide directly from the WFF’s website.
“We know professional kitchen studios share our concern when customers feel they have been oversold the benefits of a stone worktop,” said Mills.
“None of us want disappointed customers. And none of us benefit when the stone industry seems to be failing to live up to its promises — even if they are promises nobody who understands stone would ever have made in the first place.
“The answer is to work together to manage customers’ expectations and better professionalise the whole process of choosing, specifying, maintaining and above all enjoying a well-performing, fit for purpose stone worktop. This guide is a first small but vital contribution to helping our industry’s customers along that journey.”
The WFF guide can be downloaded free of charge at: https://www.worktopfabricators.org/surfacesguide