Native Trails has recently added to its luxurious line of kitchen and bath sinks. Customers can now opt for concrete sinks to complement the hand-finished copper fixtures and stylish bath furniture the brand is known for. NativeStone kitchen, bar, and bath sinks are made from a jute fiber-reinforced concrete that creates a beautiful and sturdy sink while playing into the maker's core values.

Attractive and sustainable

"Native stone came about for two reasons," explains Native Trails president Tim Blair. "First, even though Native Trails is well-known for our hand-hammered copper sinks and bathtubs, we had long been seeking another material that would jibe with our company ethos. It had to be sustainable, support artisans, and have a positive social impact. And, of course, it had to be really unique and beautiful."

Additionally, Blair says the company had been following an emerging trend of using concrete in the home, but found that traditional concrete was limited by its tendencies to crack and stain. In developing NativeStone, "we added jute fiber, making our concrete product much lighter, much stronger and more durable, plus giving it an environmentally friendly edge," Blair says. The addition of jute allows the material to weigh about 40% less than traditional concrete. The Morro vessel sink (right) weighs approximately 28 pounds, while the line's Farmhouse models (below) weigh 99 pounds. The 36-inch and 48-inch trough sinks (above) weigh 71 and 93 pounds, respectively.

Installation and Care

Considering the weight of the sinks, installers will want to take certain steps to ensure the sinks are secure. Most NativeStone sinks can be under-mounted or surface mounted, and the company recommends that surface-mounted sinks be held in place with silicone. For under-mount installations, the sinks need to be supported with bracing in addition to using silicone to avoid leaks. The company also notes that the hand-crafted nature of their materials may cause dimensions to vary by up to 1/4 inch, so hold off on cutting sink openings until you have the product in hand to confirm measurements.

Once installed, users will reap the benefits of NativeStone's protective nano-technology sealer, which forms a molecular bond with the concrete. The barrier withstands staining, scratching, and cracking. Blair says the sealing process was researched and tested for more than a year to determine the right formulation to render NativeStone "impervious to staining." If cared for properly - with just water and non-abrasive cleaners - the nanosealant is designed to last 10 years or more without resealing. Native Trails recommends wiping down the sink after cleaning, and allowing hot pans to cool before placing them in the sink.

NativeStone sinks are available in ash, slate, and pearl finishes to make a dramatic impact in any kitchen or bath. Homeowners looking for a focal piece for their designs will want to work that into the budget: list prices for items in the product line range from $435 to $1,685. "The organic beauty of the material is the focal point," Blair says. "Simple, functional design and worry-free maintenance renders each piece exceedingly practical to boot."