Archive | October, 2012

Stone Forensics Offers Stone Inspection Training During StonExpo

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Stone Forensics Offers Stone Inspection Training During StonExpo

Posted on 30 October 2012 by cradmin

Stone Forensics will be conducting a Stone Inspector training program in January, 2013, during Stone Expo in Las Vegas. The program is designed to teach the basics of inspecting stone and ceramic tile installations. According to Fred Hueston, who will be conducting the training, “The amount of failures, poor installations and other issues with stone and tile flooring are on the rise. There are only a few qualified inspectors in the United States and there are unfortunately few quality training opportunities in this discipline.”

The program is being offered in Las Vegas so students can observe failures of stone and tile installations in real time. “We will spend an entire day going on inspections as part of the class,” said Hueston.

The program is a a full five days with the certification test on the last day and is only offered once per year with the class size limited to 10 students. The cost of the class is $2,500 per person.

The following will be covered: the geology of stone; understanding the structure of different kinds of stone and marble materials; identification of stone and tile types; quarry techniques that affect the final product; production of tile and slabs; fabrication and installation requirements; physical and chemical testing; stone and tile forensic investigation; diagnosis of problems; stone and tile restoration; repair and replacement; stain removal; troubleshooting; report writing; expert witness testimony; slip resistance; and laboratory testing.

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Subscribe to Countertop Resource Via Email

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Subscribe to Countertop Resource Via Email

Posted on 30 October 2012 by cradmin

We have a great feature here at CountertopResource.com that allows you to sign up to receive all of the useful information posted on the site directly in your inbox.

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MIA Broadens Safety Initiatives with Canadian Outreach

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MIA Broadens Safety Initiatives with Canadian Outreach

Posted on 30 October 2012 by cradmin

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced plans to broaden their outreach in Canada with a comprehensive Canadian-centric safety program. The program looks to leverage the success of the MIA’s safety program in the United States and will include a partnership with Safe at Work Ontario. Safe at Work Ontario is the Canadian Ministry of Labour’s compliance strategy. It is designed to improve the health and safety culture of workplaces, reduce workplace injuries and illness, lessen the burden on the health care system, avoid costs for employers and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and provide a level playing field for compliant companies.

The MIA’s safety program in the United States has resulted in the creation of an ongoing series of safety meetings (available in the Members’ area of the MIA website), a video detailing the proper procedures for safe slab handling, a video and technical module on the dangers of silicosis, and much more. Presently, the MIA safety committee is working to create an industry standard for container loading and to design and implement a safety certificate program for companies who demonstrate a base level of safety training at their facilities. MIA’s goal with the Canadian outreach is to tailor each of these programs to the various Canadian provinces.

MIA Industry Research & Information Manager, Mike Loflin said, “None of these projects or programs would be possible without the time, energy and capital investment of the MIA Safety Committee. The committee is happy to welcome several new Canadian members to the team whose goal will be to help drive this initiative in Canada, ensuring the subtle differences in the US and Canadian markets are recognized. We’re hoping that a successful program in Ontario will lead to subsequent programs in each Canadian province.”

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How Stainless Steel Countertops are Fabricated

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How Stainless Steel Countertops are Fabricated

Posted on 30 October 2012 by cradmin

This video, by Tigpro, is a bit promotional, but it shows the process of creating a stainless steel countertop, which I’ve never seen before. It goes through the selection of material, cutting (shears), bending (press brake), welding of integral stainless steel sink (TIG welding), creation of the wooden substrate (very quick look), and then shows the final installation.

Compared to the process of making a solid surface or granite countertop, stainless steel countertop fabrication looks relatively simple. Let us know your thoughts…

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How to Acid Stain a Concrete Sink

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How to Acid Stain a Concrete Sink

Posted on 29 October 2012 by cradmin

This video, produced by Expressions Ltd., shows the process of acid staining a concrete sink from beginning to end. The process produces a ‘mottled’ effect that is actually pretty cool looking. For concrete countertop fabricators this instructional video is worth a watch.

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University of San Francisco Case Study: A look at the usage of the Avonite Wet Wall System

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University of San Francisco Case Study: A look at the usage of the Avonite Wet Wall System

Posted on 29 October 2012 by cradmin

Avonite wet wall CS picIn fall of 2011, first-year students selected to live in Phelan Residence Hall were welcomed by a long-awaited change. As the oldest operating hall on campus since 1955, it’s one of the most popular for young student placement, but was also one of the most unlivable.

The most anticipated renovation was that of the bathrooms. Many Phelan residents were disturbed by the overall cleanliness. “I didn’t like Phelan because of how dirty and smelly it was. I remember in the shower, I would stay in the middle because I was disgusted by touching the walls,” said junior Philip Sy.

The massive scope of work included gutting the interior structure, building a new entrance, and adding seismic reinforcements to the exterior. All of this had to be done in just eight weeks.

This challenge went to the design and construction team of Oculus Architects Inc. and Turner Construction. Avonite® reps Priscilla Miranda & Lisa Meenan had visited Oculus and highlighted the advantages of the Avonite® wet wall system. Solid surface walls were already being considered for the showers, but when Steve Connelly of Oculus learned that the Avonite® wall panels came in 60-in. widths, he began to consider covering all the wet area walls with the Avonite® product. The wall panels could be installed faster than tile and would last longer. However, Turner Construction wondered if it had been done before.

Fischer Tile was just finishing a similar installation at the Veterans Administration Medical Complex (VAMC) in Palo Alto, Calif. Fischer Tile ordered 60-in.-wide panels and custom heights of 108 and 105 inches. Mike Betschart of Turner Construction was introduced to John Salmon of Fischer Tile and allowed to tour the VAMC installation site. Turner was impressed with the clean look of the panels and the quality workmanship. Betschart decided this was the solution he was looking for, but was concerned about the products being ready in time. The owner and designer wanted a color called Cordoba, which is not one of the standard wall panel colors.

This presented a new twist on the timing challenge: custom size orders generally take six weeks. So, with the understanding of the customer’s constraints in mind, Aristech proceeded with the Avonite® panel production preparation so it would be ready to produce and deliver once the order came through. The anticipated order was delayed by several weeks, but once the order was placed, Fisher Tile received the custom color, custom-sized panels in just three weeks.

Then the real fun began. “We only had three and a half weeks to install more than 30,000 SF of solid surface on all of the wall surfaces,” Salmon explained. “We ended up hard seaming everything so it really looks nice. My crews were working seven 12-hour days and even had me helping Thursdays through Sundays.”

“With such a tight time frame, this job could have gone south with a delayed shipment or anything at all,” Salmon continued. “I give special thanks to our Avonite® Surfaces Regional Manager Priscilla Miranda and the production crews back at the Avonite® facility. They really pulled through on their end. After completing our second major project using Avonite® Wall Panels, I told Priscilla we love working with the 1/4-in. wall panels. They have great traits you probably really wouldn’t understand unless you had to sling as much as we have on the walls.”

For more information, go to www.avonitesurfaces.com.

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Large Granite Repair

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Large Granite Repair

Posted on 26 October 2012 by cradmin

This video shows how one company, Rembrandt Countertops, repairs a granite slab. It actually looks like they are joining two pieces of similar granite, but they call it a repair, so it is probably safe to assume this is their repair technique.

One thing of note is that this is a black slab, which is typically one of the more difficult to get the proper polish on. I’m not sure if this is a standard technique, but it is certainly an interesting one to watch.

We’d love to get some feedback on the methods used in this video. Please share your thoughts.

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Indian Publication to Hold ‘World Stone Congress’

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Indian Publication to Hold ‘World Stone Congress’

Posted on 25 October 2012 by cradmin

Natural Stonage, a publication based in India, is organizing a “World Stone Congress” in New Delhi, India, on Jan. 29 and 30.

The agenda for the event includes discussions on sustainable trends in the natural stone industry; standardization of quality in quarrying and processing; technologies for improving production and efficiency; facilitating international trade; and there will also be an open house session with government officials.

In addition to the meeting, there will also be an “International Natural Stone Awards” presentation and a networking event.

Check out the CountertopResource.com Calendar of Events page for more details.

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Utilizing Granite, Quartz and Solid Surface Repair Services

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Utilizing Granite, Quartz and Solid Surface Repair Services

Posted on 24 October 2012 by CRadmin2

Many countertop owners are surprised to learn that damage to granite, quartz and solid surface countertops can be repaired, often without having to remove and reinstall them. While fabricators are aware that these repairs are possible, the work may require some of their best employees, and it detracts from the primary task at hand, which is fabricating new countertops.

One solution to the dilemma caused by damaged countertops is to hire a repair specialist. A specialist, such as Surface Link Corporation, can complete repairs on countertops from most major manufacturers, and can help fulfill warranty service work that would otherwise detract from new countertop fabrication. The service has the potential to save fabricators time and money while keeping their customers satisfied.

Countertop repair firms that hire only professionally trained and certified technicians can complete any type of granite, quartz or solid surface repairs with minimal disruption to the lives of the customers requiring the repairs. Restorations, refinishing jobs and repairs can be completed onsite, and most jobs can be done in a single day, especially if they are only crack and scratch repairs.

Although they are still relatively unknown, specialist countertop repair companies seem to be catching on with both consumers and fabricators. When asked about the current market, the national account manager at Surface Link, Marty Vatis, said, “Many people are surprised to hear that their countertops can be repaired or refinished to look like new and that all the work is done without removing the countertop. In addition, many are surprised to hear that we can replace their sink without removing the countertop as well.”

As proof that the market for these specialists is improving, Surface Link has just expanded to offer service in all 50 states after 15 years as a certified warranty agent. Previously, residential and commercial restoration services were only offered by the company in a few select markets.

Before and after photos:
Countertop                                  Corian shower pan
Before                                                Before

            

After                                                   After
           


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Silestone Quartz Partners with Poggenpohl

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Silestone Quartz Partners with Poggenpohl

Posted on 23 October 2012 by cradmin

silestone quartz Poggenpohl US photo

Silestone by Cosentino, producer of quartz surfacing, announces a new partnership with Poggenpohl, a worldwide German kitchen brand, by becoming the exclusive quartz surfacing material on display at all Poggenpohl Corporate showrooms nationwide.

To kick-off the partnership, Poggenpohl’s top designers and showroom managers were recently invited to visit the Cosentino Group international headquarters in Almeria, Spain. There, they were immersed in the heritage and culture behind the family-owned company and given an exclusive look at the making of Silestone via a tour of the factory and a new product presentation from the RD+i team.

“We’re proud to have this nationwide partnership with Poggenpohl’s Corporate showrooms,” said Lorenzo Marquez, VP of marketing for Cosentino North America.  “Silestone and Poggenpohl are like-minded brands that share the same passion for superior performance and design.  This natural alignment highlights Cosentino’s commitment to expanding its presence in the US market over the next few years.”

“Quartz is increasingly the surface of choice for our client base of architects, designers, and design savvy consumers,” said Janine Flamer, VP marketing & PR, Poggenpohl U.S., Inc.  “Silestone is a trusted brand partner producing a high performing product that perfectly complements our modern and innovative cabinetry.  We look forward to extending our product offerings through this partnership and continuing to offer our customers incredible kitchen design possibilities.”

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