S&P reflects growing world of laminates

As you browse through this edition of Surface & Panel, which is our fourth and final issue of 2016, I hope you take note of the depth and breadth of subjects, materials, companies and more that are included in its pages.

S&P has been around since 2003, and we have continually worked to grow the franchise and expand its reach in terms of articles and pictures that are featured, readers who are targeted and advertisers that use the publication to connect with their customers and potential customers.

Some thought Publisher John Aufderhaar was stretching when he first launched a magazine devoted to the panel-processing world. Laminates were established and becoming more prevalent, but not everyone was as confident as Aufderhaar in their boundless potential and the growth that would occur in the industry over the next decade and beyond.

Some 13 years later, it’s clear that he was on to something. Composite panels and other laminates have fully established themselves and continue to grow in markets such as retail, office and health care, and they are making bigger inroads in areas that still offer much untapped opportunity, such as residential.

The success should be no surprise, given the consistency, durability, cost-effectiveness and burgeoning beauty of panel-processed goods. As Aufderhaar likes to say, they are taking over the world of cabinets, countertops, millwork and more, and there is no end in sight for the market expansion.

In this issue, we offer many prime examples of the industry’s strength. Richard Christianson’s feature on Stevens Industries and its work on the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System’s hospital lobby and new regional cancer center in Mattoon, Ill., begins on page 12. Also in the health care realm, starting on page 50, we showcase how Wilsonart materials were used throughout the new NEA Baptist Medical Campus in Jonesboro, Ark.

As for office furniture, Leah Wheeler’s story beginning on page 26 details how National Business Furniture is bullish on the attributes of laminates in the products it sells and what it recommends to its clients.

While those markets are well-established, the residential area is beginning to come into its own, but much potential remains. In my story “The mHouse inspires” starting on page 44, a top fabricator, a big-city architect and her clients reveal how education is the key to ensuring that more laminates are used in houses of the future.

At S&P, we’re committed to continuing to do our part to educate and spread the word, and we’ve got big plans to expand that effort in 2017. Beyond our quarterly issues, we’re planning a “Master” edition that will explain the industry from beginning to end and top to bottom and provide a comprehensive directory of the many companies that contribute in a wide variety of ways – from forest products companies to machinery companies to resin providers to board makers to d├ęcor paper producers to hardware companies to fabricators and other end users and more. To put it simply, this Master will be a keeper.

We also plan to seriously ramp up our digital content by providing more news and information on a timely basis on our website, surfaceandpanel.com, and by increasing the quality, quantity and frequency of our social media offerings, with special emphasis on our newsletter.

As Aufderhaar predicted it would be, this is a happening business as head toward 2017, and we’re happy to be in the middle of it.

 

Composite panels and other laminates have fully established themselves and continue to grow in markets such as retail, office and health care, and they are making bigger inroads in areas that still offer much untapped opportunity, such as residential.