Established countertop materials like granite, laminate, wood and composites certainly have their place in the kitchen, but homeowners looking for the latest in kitchen countertop trends may wish to consider fiber optics. Simply put, fiber optics consist of fine strands of spun glass, which are capable of transmitting light. When woven through concrete or certain other materials, these strands can illuminate kitchen countertops. The effect can range from subtle to dramatic depending on how the system is designed and the preferences of the homeowner.
While the idea of fiber optic kitchen countertops may sound complex -- and expensive -- it's surprisingly simple. A device known as an illuminator box supplies the power while the fibers transmit the light -- often from a single light source. You can choose from manufactured versions of this product, or make your own. Need some inspiration? Read on for ideas on incorporating fiber optics into your countertops.
If you arrange single fiber optic strands throughout a concrete countertop and let the concrete set, the resulting effect will be a subtle twinkling appearance. Each individual fiber will deliver a pinpoint of light, making your countertop resemble the night sky full of stars. Depending on how you program your illuminator box, the lights may glow steadily or twinkle on and off like real stars.
For a slightly bolder effect, mix chunks of colored glass into the concrete, and position the strands of fiber optics so that they illuminate the glass from below. This directs light over a larger area, but also creates a more muted and colorful effect. It recreates the look of a recycled glass countertop, but takes it to the next level by illuminating the glass.
While random chunks of colored glass can add color and light to a fiber optic countertop, it's also possible to arrange these chunks of glass in the concrete as it sets to create patterns and designs. Food-based images like grapevines or fruit are popular in the kitchen while some homeowners may prefer glass arranged to form a flowing, glowing river, or geometric pattern. Others may wish to craft their family name or a favorite phrase using chunks of glass, which are then illuminated with the fiber optic strands.
Glass and Acrylic
Though fiber optic kitchen countertops are primarily crafted from concrete, it's also possible to use these lighted strands with a glass or acrylic surface. In this type of application, the glass or acrylic countertop is installed over a substrate like concrete or plywood, with the fiber optic cables placed onto the substrate. The lights glow through the glass or acrylic above, which may be clear or colored. The fiber optics themselves can also be colored or color-changing to create a whimsical effect.Share
30 December 2015
Hello, I am Deborah Stillen. My passion for hardwood flooring began at a hotel on my first vacation as an adult. The gorgeous hotel flooring was made of a mix of mahogany, walnut, and teak materials that looked exotic to my eyes. Before that, I had only lived in places with wall-to-wall carpet. Upon coming home, I began to devise a way to cover my floors in wood materials. I became an expert on all of the wood flooring options available on the market today. I also studied different installation techniques and the tools used to create amazing patterns with the wood. My house now features a fine mix of bamboo and recycled wood flooring to create a layout I adore. I hope you can use the information on this site to bring wood floors to your home. Please visit often and learn all you can about wood flooring.