Bill Castonia, a Michigan-based builder of custom homes, is a self-professed lover of wood. Yet when a client requested white, high-gloss kitchen cabinetry for a luxury waterfront home being built on Crystal Lake in northwestern Michigan, Castonia knew wood was not the best solution for the cabinet doors. His search for the right material brought him to RAUVISIO crystal, a back-painted polymer glass solution from REHAU that offers maximum flexibility for giving a glass effect to door and drawer fronts, backsplashes and side walls.
“RAUVISIO is anything and everything you could hope for in a material. It fabricates well, it cleans exceptionally and the durability on it is tremendous,” Castonia says. “This material has the truest reflection rate you’re ever going to find in a high-gloss. It’s like looking into a mirror. You couldn’t ask for anything nicer, and the look on it just screams luxury.”
He used nearly 400 ft2 (37 m2) of RAUVISIO crystal in the kitchen of the Crystal Lake home, which is the third project he has completed for the same client. A 16-ft (4.9 m) wall in the kitchen features upper and lower built-in cabinets on one end. There is also a 9-foot (2.7 m) island with a dishwasher and a recycle center behind RAUVISIO doors, and an L-shaped wall with 12 x 4 ft (3.7 x 1.2 m) of cabinetry.
RAUVISIO crystal is easier to process than real glass, has much higher impact resistance and is lighter in weight. It is easier to work with than glass, which typically requires custom sizing, pre-planning of handle positioning and electrical outlet cutouts, as well as consider¬able stocking requirements for each variant.
“All of this product came to us through a cut-to-size program where we provided them with the dimensions of the parts we needed. We had to machine in hinging and other details and install them. The dimensions were right on the money. It was a flawless install,” Castonia says.
REHAU LaserEdge perfectly matched to the RAUVISIO crystal surface was used to finish the edges of doors and drawers. The result is a seamless “invisible joint” between the surface and the edge.
All of REHAU’s finished doors and components are designed to withstand heat and steam from cook tops and dishwashers in close proximity. Castonia says his first project using RAUVISIO could not have gone smoother and the finished look surpassed his lofty expectations. Castonia would love to keep RAUVISIO as his signature look, but he’s confident it will quickly become other builders’ go-to product to dazzle clients.
“It is the most unique look you are going to find on the market. I expect to see a lot of it once the market figures it out and realizes all of the possibilities it presents.”