KBB 2022 saw REHAU and Decorative Panels announce a new industry partnership, designed to circumnavigate the fallout from Brexit and Coronavirus. This union will ensure REHAU’s UK customers continue to receive its high-quality edgeband, surface and tambour door solutions. 

Here, Scott Williams, national sales manager at REHAU, and Michael Sawyer, MD of Decorative Panels Laminations, shed light on the partnership and its aspirations ... 

Introduce the partnership and what it means for the furniture production industry …

Scott: “The partnership came out of our realisation that in the post-Brexit market, it’s no longer as easy to supply surfaces into the UK in a cost-effective manner without local stock and lamination facilities. By collaborating with Decorative Panels Lamination, it will allow us to grow our UK presence and facilitate the more efficient supply of materials across the country. 

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside a business which has long established itself a leader within the sector. Having been in the industry for over 100 years, manufacturing and distributing laminated sheet materials throughout the UK, the company are the ideal choice for our furniture division.”

Michael: “As a business we are constantly adding to and evolving our collections to enable us to keep our product offering up-to-date and relevant for our customers. The latest noir and brilliant matt designs from REHAU do just that and are the perfect addition to our dp-limitless range.”

How long has Decorative Panels been a supplier of REHAU products?

Michael: “Decorative Panels has been a user of REHAU products since 2001, over 20 years now! And the partnership has grown from strength to strength – we most recently started introducing their first-class surface ranges to our customers and they’ve gone down so well.” 

What products does it cover and how are they different to others on the market? 

Scott: “The main offering is acrylic and high-pressure laminate (HPL) from our RAUVISIO range. RAUVISIO crystal décor uses a 2mm transparent PMMA (Poly(methyl methacrylate) surface over a high quality impregnated digital print stone décor, giving it a depth that looks like the real thing – be it wood or stone.

“Then there is RAUVISIO crystal mirror which has unrivalled light and flat reflection values that compare with a real glass mirror, but with half the weight and 10 times more break resistance. 

“Detail is everything in this industry, and because we scientifically test in lab conditions to meet or exceed the highest standards from the German kitchen industry – as set by AMK and TUV – this sets out products apart from others on the market. 

“For example, we know there are other brands that offer vertical and horizontal surfaces in a soft touch with a scratch resistant surface. However, when you measure the light reflection at acute angles, some products on the market no longer look matt and you can see a reflection, as well as scratches not rubbing out with a sponge, or marks being left upon impact. None of these issues arise with our RAUVISIO noble matt collection.”

Michael: “REHAU’s products look to offer something different, yet still appeal to the masses, which is why they are perfect for the dp-limitless range of specialised, decorative, and high-performance products available in a limitless number of possibilities. There is no commitment to purchasing in bulk and the offer is deliverable in quantities from as little as just one board. 

“Combining the robust surface of RAUVISIO noir HPL with the matching economical surfaces of RAUVISIO brilliant matt makes this collection unrivalled within the market for its endless applications, exclusively available from dp-lamination.”

What is currently in demand from furniture and joinery manufacturers, and what are the key applications you’ll be tailoring to? 

Michael: “We’ve seen a major global trend moving from high-gloss to soft-touch flat matt surfaces in the kitchen, and consumers also seem to be feeling bolder with introducing colour into their home. The colour palette on offer from REHAU is very appropriate for the market from the dark shades of After Dark, Olive Detour and Midnight Dash through to the contemporary take on greys and whites. Applications include doors throughout the home and all worktops including kitchens. You can easily achieve the “all over” trend within a kitchen using the matching horizontal and vertical finishes.”

Scott: “Applications have also diversified so it’s not just traditional KBB – manufacturers need versatile products that can go in different places around the home, such as media walls, offices, utilities and hallways.

“There is also increased demand for technical surfaces that offer the manufacturer and retailer a USP for the end-user, so scratch and chemical resistance is expected as standard now, not as an option. Most importantly, manufacturers want quality materials that can be sourced and processed easily, with a consistency that compliments their workmanship and allows them to offer a perfect finish on every product – which is what this partnership is all about.”

What’s the buying process? How can furniture and joinery manufacturers get their hands on the new products?  

Michael: “RAUVISIO noir HPL and brilliant matt are all available from stock here at Decorative Panels Lamination. These can be supplied laminated onto board and direct to the customer ready for processing. For cut and edged panels, we can put the customer in touch with one of our regional conversion partners. All surfaces can be laminated as sheet size 2800mm x 1300mm on MDF.

“If a customer is unsure of what exactly it is they require, they can arrange a visit to our Marketing Suite where our sales and design team are on hand to support and advise on every project. Whether it is a high-volume kitchen or bedroom carcase, a fascia panel or intricate branded projects, we can help develop products for both home and commercial environments. 

“The entire REHAU range is also available to view on www.decorativepanels.co.uk where you can order your complete set of samples.”

Scott: “For consumers interested in edgeband or any of our other product ranges, they can always contact REHAU direct at enquiries@rehau.com where we will happily advise and support.”

How quickly will customers get their hands on new products? 

Scott: “It’s in stock now! The RAUVISIO noble matt collection is ready to go, it’s held in the UK with nationwide delivery along with the matching edgebands.”

Michael: “Lead times are around four to six weeks, and we’re confident we can satisfy all the requirements every individual customer may have.”

What in store in the future, how will the partnership evolve?

Scott: “Plans are already underway to expand the RAUVISIO range, and the partnership leaves us perfectly poised to get these products into the UK market quickly and effectively.

“For instance, you will hear more about our new RAUVISIO crystal deep collection in the coming months, building on the popularity of our Titanio décor with a subtle metallic effect. 

“Over time we will also expand our network of local fabricators who will be able to produce RAUVISIO components using zero-joint edging capabilities. Now that we have a trusted and reliable supply partner for laminates, it will also allow us to start talking to customers about the wider range of noble matt products, such as roller shutters, in a perfectly matching finish.

“The concept of homogeneity across the kitchen fronts and surfaces has become very important in Europe, and we see the UK market following this trend over time.”

Michael: “As a core supplier of REHAU materials going forward, we eagerly await any future developments, new colours and surface materials from the company. It would be great to see the addition of the extra four colours to the brilliant matt collection to make a complete set of 12 designs which match the noir HPL perfectly.”