Archive | February, 2018

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FILA Surface Care Solutions Offers FILAMARBLE AID

Posted on 27 February 2018 by Sydne Unnerstall

FILAMARBLEAIDFILA Surface Care Solutions offers its surface treatment, FILAMARBLE AID. According to the company this product protects acid sensitive stone, travertine, limestone and marble against acid attack, alkaline cleaners and stains. The treatment delays the reaction of acids found in food, drinks, cosmetics and household cleaners, making it suitable for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. FILAMARBLE AID  prevents discoloration and etching that can happen when common acids come in contact with acid sensitive stone.

FILAMARBLE AID’s Micro-Coating Technology is certified safe in food preparation areas. It does not alter the stone, leaves the original surface intact and is thermal shock resistant and UV resistant. It is water based with low VOC emissions, has a polished surface finish that enhances the stone’s natural gloss level, forms a barrier against stains and can be applied on both matte and polished surfaces. FILAMARBLE AID is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

You may also be interested in this article Stone Technologies Supplies Sealers and Cleaners for Countertops.

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Stone Installers Discuss Their Jobs – Warning Strong Language

Posted on 26 February 2018 by CRadmin3

EDITOR’S WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL VIEWERS! Ever wanted to know what some fabricators/installers honestly think about their jobs? Well, here’s a video that may provide some insight. These two stone installers, who apparently work in Virginia, decided to record their drive to an installation site and post it on YouTube. From how they talk, they aren’t very happy with their work, they don’t care much for their customers and they feel overworked and underpaid.

While we don’t agree with the sentiments nor approve of the language and didn’t have to post this video, we felt it makes a strong statement about the countertop industry, and is something that should be addressed, particularly when the pool of available workers is nearing a 20-year low. We are not sure what this says about the company these men work for (which is not identified in the video), but their advice to any young people watching is to “get a job at McDonald’s” instead of being a stone fabricator and/or installer. In the midst of a market that is faring well and facing a growing labor shortage, this doesn’t bode well for the future of the industry.

We would be quite interested in hearing how you are dealing with the lack of available workers to fill your needs and how you keep your staff happy with their positions.

Once again, be warned they use what can be deemed as vulgar language in their discussion, so if you are offended by that, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO.

You may be interested in this article about labor and effectively handing your human resources.

You may also be interested in this article about hiring veterans to fill your countertop shop needs.

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The Natural Stone Institute Recognizes Industry Leaders

Posted on 23 February 2018 by CRadmin3

The Natural Stone Institute has recognized several individuals for their contributions to the industry and continued involvement with the association. Awards were given to the following industry professionals:

NSI 2017 Migliore Award

2017 Migliore Award winner Jim Hogan with 2017 BSI President, Daniel Wood, and 2017 MIA President, Jon Lancto.

Jim Hogan, Senior Vice President of Carrara Marble Company of America, is the recipient of the 2017 Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Hogan began his career in the stone industry in 1985 following an eleven year career as an airborne ranger in Special Forces for the US Army. Hogan applied his engineering degree to his job at Carrara Marble Company of America in southern California. His management helped grow the business into a powerhouse of the stone industry, now primarily involved in large scale commercial projects. Today, he is senior vice president, co-owner, and a member of the board of the directors of the company.

Hogan began his service on the board of directors of the Marble Institute of America in 2002 and served as its president in 2008. He made his work within MIA a priority and took on his responsibilities as president with enthusiasm and thoughtful management. As president, Hogan was greeted by perhaps the greatest crisis in the history of the modern natural stone industry—the radon crisis. He rose to the occasion, working nearly full time with MIA staff to lead efforts to fight back against false claims regarding radon emission in natural stone. Long after the radon crisis, Hogan continues to contribute to the industry in countless ways, including reviewing technical papers and traveling to Washington DC for legislative visits on Capitol Hill.

NSI Women in Stone Pioneer Award

Kathy Spanier with 2017 BSI President Daniel Wood and 2017 MIA President Jon Lancto.

Kathy Spanier, Director of Marketing for Coldspring in Cold Spring, Minn., is the recipient of the 2018 Women in Stone Pioneer Award.

For more than a decade, Spanier has made a powerful impact on the natural stone industry with her tireless efforts to position natural stone as a sustainable product within the building industry. She has been active in the Women in Stone initiative since its inception, and her vision and leadership were instrumental in creating the Women in Stone Mentorship Program. Over the course of her 35 year marketing career she has continually assumed leadership roles in a number of industry associations.

NSI Person of the Year Award

David Castellucci with 2017 BSI President Daniel Wood and 2017 MIA President Jon Lancto.

David Castellucci, Director of Business Development at Kenneth Castellucci & Associates in Lincoln, RI, has been named 2017 Person of the Year by the Natural Stone Institute.

Castellucci served as MIA president in 2016 during the first year of the association’s joint venture. In the past two years, he has also served as Chair of the Board Nomination Committee, Chair of the Branding Committee, speaker at Coverings and TISE, and advisor to the New England chapter. He has served on delegations to the Xiamen Stone Fair, Middle East Stone Show, Marmomac, Vitoria Stone Fair, and Carrara Marmotec. He also acted as chair of the 2017 Pinnacle Awards jury and as a legislative delegate to Washington DC to assist with industry promotional efforts. In March he will join several industry volunteers on a delegation to the IZMIR Fair (Marble 24) in Turkey. This will be the association’s first visit to the fair in several years.

You may also be interested in this article about ISFA’s 2017 Envision Award Winner.

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Guest Blog – Unique Grains vs. Flaws: Is the Customer Always Right?

Posted on 22 February 2018 by CRadmin3

By Abby Sanders of Stone Interiors

Across companies, industries and generations, one tenet of customer service has held strong almost universally: the idea that the customer is always right. Fortunately in the construction industry, at least when safety is concerned, we understand that there needs to be a compromise. Sure, the customer might demand that her dog stay in the home at all times, but we know all too well that we can’t have our installation crew tripping over a Shih Tzu while they’re navigating a home with a thousand-pound granite slab.

But what about situations that are less clear-cut? Things get especially complicated when dealing with natural stone, which is inherently unique from slab to slab. All fabricators have found themselves performing multiple home visits, ordering new slabs and even replacing an entire job after it’s completed, all to appease the whims of a client. When is the customer right, and when are they, (dare we say it), wrong?

Here are a few key questions you should ask yourself as a fabricator before scheduling your team to re-fabricate a job for a discerning customer.

Was your customer reasonably informed before they agreed to the installation?

This is a tricky one because it requires you to take an honest look at your sales process. Was your team available to answer the customer’s questions before asking them to sign anything? Were they given an opportunity to see the slab in person or, at least, see a photo of their slab before it was cut? Do your client-facing materials clearly indicate that there may be variations in the stone?

If your answers are “yes,” then you have likely done your due diligence to inform your client. But if they weren’t provided with all the information necessary to make an informed decision, they may genuinely feel that they have been misled and did not receive the product they expected.

Are you confident that the flaw doesn’t pose a safety hazard or compromise the life of the stone?

An experienced fabricator knows the difference between a fissure and a crack. But it’s important to ensure that whoever is making that call is knowledgeable enough to determine with certainty whether a flaw is purely aesthetic or not. If the job is already installed, visit the home in person to inspect the stone firsthand whenever possible (or assign an experienced, trustworthy representative to the task). Keep in mind that a determined homeowner may decide to get a second opinion and could challenge you if any representative of your company makes a false claim.

Would you be happy with the finished product in your own home?

This one should go without saying, but it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself this last question whenever a customer takes issue with your company’s work. Even if the new surface is perfectly safe and stable, you should still accept accountability if the work isn’t up to your usual standards. Even a superficial flaw may be noticeable enough that it impacts the overall look of the kitchen.

What to do when the customer is, in fact, wrong.

Plenty of customers request unnecessary or even impossible repairs. But some have a point. After considering the situation as objectively as possible, you may determine that the minor time or expense it takes to make them happy is worthwhile. If you can send a representative to answer questions and polish a new kitchen island, then you may have earned a five-star review that attracts new customers who more than make up for the additional resources you spent.

But if the time or expense is beyond what you feel is reasonable, then don’t be afraid to say “no.” In many cases, if you handle the situation in a professional, empathetic manner, you can help your customer put that small paint scratch into perspective without buying them brand new cabinets.  Prepare everyone on your team with key speaking points about the nature of natural stone and the inherent risks of an in-home construction project so that everyone feels confident speaking with disgruntled homeowners.

In the end, you have an obligation not only to your customers but to the future of your company and employees. Come up with a process that helps you determine when the customer is truly wrong, and your business will ultimately be more sustainable while still maintaining a reputation for quality and customer service.

Contrary to popular belief, the customer may occasionally be wrong after all.

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Join Coverings in the National Tile Day Celebration

Posted on 21 February 2018 by CRadmin3

Coverings, the largest international tile & stone show in North America, invites the industry to join in celebrating National Tile Day on February 23. Established in 2017 to recognize the value and importance of tile in architecture and design, the Registrar at National Day Calendar has marked the annual celebration of this timeless, global element of architecture and design.

Building on the tile industry’s “Why Tile?” initiative, National Tile Day champions the merits of tile that make it one of the most practical building materials. These merits include tile’s durability and sustainability; resiliency; versatility in use, indoors and out; ease of upkeep and maintenance; energy efficiency; and health benefits, including no VOCs. These factors, along with its beauty and flexibility, allow designers to utilize tile in its many forms to create unique and stunning installations that last a lifetime.

On Friday, February 23, National Tile Day will be celebrated with unique digital activations, providing special opportunities for trade and consumer audiences to learn more about tile. Members of the industry are invited to join the conversation on social media by sharing inspiring projects that showcase the many benefits of tile or new products and trends using #WhyTile, #NationalTileDay, and #Coverings2018. For full details regarding Coverings and National Tile Day, please visit coverings.com/nationaltileday.

Following National Tile Day, the 2018 Coverings show provides ample opportunities for its attendees to learn about installation standards and best practices, the merits of selecting tile, and the latest introductions to the tile market. Attendees will also have access to a thorough program of CEU-accredited seminars, demonstrations, and networking opportunities. Coverings returns to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from May 8-11, and will bring together exhibitors representing more than 40 countries.

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Caesarstone Appoints New Vice President Of Sales

Posted on 20 February 2018 by Sydne Unnerstall

Caesarstone announced the hiring of Tom Ellspermann as Vice President of Sales in the U.S. As vice president, Ellspermann will be responsible for sales leadership, driving revenue and enhancing the customer experience.

Ellspermann will focus on driving sales within the residential market, support kitchen and bath dealers and distributors, and advance the Home Center initiative.

Previously serving as the Vice President and General Manager of Mass Sales at MTD Products Inc., Ellsperman brings valuable experience in global and strategic sales. He also held several senior leadership roles during his 28-year tenure at Whirlpool.

You may also be interested in this article Tile of Spain Mourns the Death of ASCER President Isidro Zarzoso.

 

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NBMDA Announces 2018 Board of Directors

Posted on 19 February 2018 by Sydne Unnerstall

PresidentvMichael Donnelly, Metro Hardwoods, Sioux Falls, SD

The North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) has announced the organization’s 2018 Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of industry executives from both distributor and supplier member firms within the specialty building material, kitchen & bath and woodworking industries.

The 2018 NBMDA Board of Directors Officers are President Michael Donnelly, President-Elect Missy O’Daniel, Vice President Tom O’Neill, Treasurer Wayne Moriarty and Immediate Past President Ray Prozzillo.

Distributor Directors include Don Lorey, Steve Petersen, Craig Goodman and Emily Vella

Supplier/Service Provider Directors include Mike Purtell, Jim Houser, Kevin Shotbolt, David Noe, Rick Montoya and Chris Schlabach.

You may also be interested in this article Greg Flint Named President and Chief operations officer of Coldspring.

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Vadara Quartz Launches 18 New Colors

Posted on 16 February 2018 by CRadmin3

Vadara BIANCO MOLASA

Bianco Molasa

Vadara Quartz Surfaces announced the release of 18 new colors to its collections. Among the new releases are seven new premier vein colors that mimic the appearance of natural stone. Four new textured colors are also included and are designed to give any living space a sleek and contemporary upgrade. Vadara has also released three new translucent colors that, when backlit, give off a unique glow for a bold, grand effect.

Vadara Giallo Onyx Illumina Collection

Giallo Onyx Illumina Collection

“With these incredible new colors, Vadara is continuing its mission to disrupt the interior design space by not only staying ahead of the trends, but forging new paths for designers looking to try something new and different,” said Arik Tendler, CEO of Vadara Quartz. “We always strive for sophistication and elegance, and these new releases do an amazing job of fulfilling that commitment.”

Every new color is now available in Vadara’s four distribution centers, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Nashville.

You may also be interested in this article about new Q Premium Natural Quartz colors

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Health & Safety Watch: Pacific Coast Safety Fest Begins March 5

Posted on 15 February 2018 by CRadmin3

OSHA is offering health and safety training at the annual Pacific Coast Safety Fest, which runs from March 5 to 9 in select cities. The classes are available to workers, employers, safety professionals and anyone with a general interest in health and safety issues. The presentations cover a wide range of topics including the following:

  • The latest news from OSHA
  • Recordkeeping
  • Health and safety programs
  • Hazard recognition and analysis
  • Accident investigation
  • General industry

Cities participating in the event are as follows:

  • San Diego
  • Los Angeles
  • Phoenix
  • Las Vegas
  • Oahu, Hawaii
  • Dublin, California

Specific dates and courses vary in each city, but all are low cost at an average of $20 per person per course. Registration is required and can be completed on the Pacific Coast Safety Fest website. All attendees receive credit for sanctioned Education Center classes and a certificate of attendance.

About Pacific Coast Safety Fest

Pacific Coast Safety Fest is sponsored by OSHA and hosted by the Region IX OSHA Training Institute Education Centers. The event first started in 2005 in Denver, Colo., as a collaboration between the OSHA regional offices, several construction associations, an insurance company and the Colorado State University OSHA consultation project, and it focused on fall protection issues. This first event was called Safety Fest of the West, which continues to this day, but several other factions were created, including Safety Fest of the Great Northwest and Pacific Coast Safety Fest.

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Oneida Air’s V-System Includes New Steel Angle Bracket System

Posted on 14 February 2018 by Sydne Unnerstall

3HP V-3000 HEPA Dust Collector 35 Gal Freestand

3HP V-3000 HEPA Dust Collector 35 Gal Freestand

Oneida Air’s V-System dust collector works to provide clean air for your shop. Equipped with a new steel angle bracket stand, the V-3000 is easy to assemble, runs quietly, and aims to keep shops clean and safe.

Featured is a 3HP industrial U.S. made fan blower motor – 220v UL Listed Leeson® Motor with magnetic starter switch and overload protector. The patented cyclone pre-separator design, true-hepa media cartridge filter, compact freestanding leg kit and smooth-wall molded interior are also included.

Striving to be extremely quiet, V-System claims to be one of the quietest units, measuring only 75 dBA at 10 ft., with a motor specially selected for its low pitch noise level.

Recommended for woodworking shops that need dust collection for tools with 4- to 6- in. ports, including table saws, router tables, disc sanders, drum sanders, belt sanders and more.

You may also be interested in this article about Dust Right Solutions from Rockler.

 

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