Moderno Porcelain Works Fabricates and Installs an Environmentally Friendly Hard Surface
Natural stone surfaces have met their match with the rise of new porcelain technology
After years of working in the hard-surface industry, CEO of Moderno Porcelain Works Roberto Contreras has shifted entirely to working with porcelain. “You can make porcelain look like anything you want,” says Contreras. In place of excavating natural stone from a mountainside, companies engineer an environmentally friendly way to mimic the texture and look of natural stone. “We’ve essentially created a man-made rock,” says Contreras.
In Contreras’ professional history, he’s watched the rise and fall of different hard-surface materials in homes. In the 1960s, Corian, an acrylic polymer, became the first solid surface to gain common use. Over the past few decades, more homes have featured natural substances like marble and granite. In today’s high-end residences, hard surfaces are found in nearly every room. Custom showers feature grand marble walls, and kitchen islands showcase shiny quartz counters. The seamless design of natural stone is a timeless addition, though these large surfaces require more care and transportation time. Recently, shipping delays have played a prominent role in what customers select for their homes. Seeing that there was a gap in the market for a hard-surface material that could be easily created and shipped led to the creation of Moderno Porcelain Works.
Contreras’ team took action, finding an environmentally friendly replacement for natural stone surfaces without sacrificing design. Made from powder, porcelain is melted together to form a hard surface. The material has no resin layers, making it a blank slate. “With new technology, we can digitize and print whatever look a customer wants to replicate onto porcelain,” says Contreras. “We can even emulate texture.”
In addition to the cost benefit, porcelain requires very little upkeep. “There won’t be any change in porcelain over time, compared to a piece of natural stone that will need heavy refurbishing after a few years of use.” Without the constraints of natural stone, customers can design their own surfaces, free from seams and long-term upkeep.
On October 12, the Denver metro area welcomed its first Moderno Porcelain Works showroom, becoming the company’s 13th location. The property announced its grand opening with a Colorado Avalanche watch party at the store.
“We’re a facility that dedicates 100 percent to porcelain,” says Contreras. “Our installers and fabricators handle porcelain every day, so we’re well-versed in the material.” For the Denver market, this means easy access to fabricators and installers specializing in the material. Contreras is excited about the opportunity for the brand to connect with local design professionals. “In five years, the bulk of the market is going to be porcelain,” he predicts. “Now the question is, who are the designers that are going to adopt this first?”