German synthetic laminates gives its cabinetry a leg up, says Surge Homes
Surge Homes says it uses a German laminate for its Hashtag series, a weave design using both matte and high gloss overlays, and zero joint edgeband.
HOUSTON - Surge Homes says the technology and design behind its kitchen cabinetry create competitive European-inspired kitchens and baths for its homes sold in the Houston area. 
In February, Surge Homes released a collection of 70 interior design packages for its new homes, including ensembles for 41 kitchens and 29 bathrooms including selections for flooring, cabinetry, backsplash, countertops and wall tiles. A developer/builder launching nine communities in Houston, Surge Homes curated its interior design packages over a period of 18 months using a  crowdsourcing process that allowed 3,400 potential home buyers to rate preferences for design, materials and color palettes.
The interactive process also involved working European materials manufacturers who took participant feedback from the first round of selections and provided additional materials that corresponded to these preferences when presenting the final round of selections.
A statistical analysis of all participant ratings resulted in the top selections for flooring, cabinetry, backsplash, countertops and wall tiles, and provided the basis for a collaboration with in-house designers from Surge Homes and Sarah Ciesla of November Design Group to create coordinated ensembles for each new condominium, townhome or single-family home.
"We know our home buyers will like these interior design packages because we used designs and materials they selected through the many interactive events during our crowdsourcing process,” said Ben Lemieux, co-owner of Surge Homes.
Surge Homes then signed an exclusive agreement with Tendances Concept, a Montreal-area kitchen and bathroom cabinet manufacturer, to export cabinetry from Europe for all of the Surge Homes communities.
Tendances Concept also has an interesting background. It began in 1979 with founders Denis Cadieux and Robert Sigouin. Then known as Les Ateliers de bois 80, it manufactured kitchen units for the residential, commercial and institutional markets.
In 1992, the company moved to new premises and set up a showroom adjoining a fabrication plant.
In 1996, the organization diversified its activities to meet growing market demand, and it refurbished its showroom. As part of this makeover, it adopted the name “Tendances Concept”, which better reflects its distinctive character and upscale positioning.
In 2004, a fire totally destroyed the premises. It was at that time that a new shareholder, Diane Commerford, decided to get together with the Tendances Concept team to rebuild the organization and revitalize its development strategy. Becoming unprecedentedly successful, the company bought a 45,000 sq. ft. plant at Berthierville, increasing its total capacity to 65,000 sq. ft.
The year 2009 marked a new turning point for the organization when it opened a new showroom in Montreal, in the heart of the Plateau, called "Collection St-Laurent".
For Surge Homes, following its research of different vendors and manufacturers, it selected a variety of  German synthetic laminates that come in different textures, finishes and colors. Through its exclusive agreement with Tendances Concept, these state-of-the-art products and materials are available in its homes. 
One example is Thermo Structured Surface laminates, offered in textured wood grain surfaces that provide true-to-life characteristics such as ticking, knots and textures that mimic the realistic grain of natural wood by incorporating these features into the surface of cabinet doors. The look and feel of these cabinets resembles the real deal, says Surge Homes, yet is a better value and far more durable. Durability is a key factor in any kitchen or bathroom because of humidity, temperature and exposure to ultraviolet rays. Synthetic laminates provide better resistance to these elements and are also easier to keep clean.
Another available option is PET-covered gloss panels, which feature a high-performance, polyester film made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin. This film creates an 85 percent brighter glow to the cabinet's color and offers great depth in the reflection of the gloss. It is highly resistant to abrasions, non-toxic and offers protection against yellowing.
Surge Homes says a laminated panel is nothing without the superior and precise application of ABS edge banding, which is a tape with protective and decorative properties that allows for the finishing of narrow areas on panels. An advantage of ABS is that it combines strength and rigidity with rubbery toughness. (ABS can bend without snapping). ABS is a much harder plastic than, say, PVC, and typically smooth, which allows texture to be added. ABS ensures impact strength and consistent color of the cabinetry.
Surge Homes uses a branded SET (Sealed-Edge Technology), known generically as zero joint or laser edgebanding, to describe its cabinetry suppliers' process of combining high-tech machinery and the use of a very specific glue applied to the edgeband of the cabinet's components to guarantee a true sealed edge.
 The latest European designs combine ultra-matte and gloss finishes in a complementary way and Surge Homes includes these options in several of its 70 professionally coordinated interior design packages for kitchens and bathrooms. The latest German creation is the Hashtag series, a weave design using both matte and high gloss overlays on the same surface. This unique process creates a silhouette of weaves that changes in appearance when viewed from different angles.
Surge Homes offers an impressive collection of kitchen and bathroom design packages from which its home buyers can choose, allowing them to personalize to suit their taste.

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.