Tag Archive | "granite"

Groves Releases 2017 Stone Handling Catalog

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Groves Releases 2017 Stone Handling Catalog

Posted on 06 January 2017 by cradmin

groves catalogGroves Incorporated has released the new 2017 edition of its “Stone Storage, Fabrication and Transportation Systems” catalog. The catalog features several new products, such as its Heavy-Duty Bundle Rack-Long; Heavy-Duty Backsplash Cart; and Heavy-Duty Drywall Cart, as well as a variety of fabrication tables and storage/material handling products for granite, quartz and numerous other slab and countertop related materials. It can be downloaded at Groves website or the company will send a printed copy to those requesting one.

You may also be interested in this article on Wood Powr Grip Vacuum LIfters.

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Fabricator Profile: Crowley’s Granite Concepts Sets Standards of Excellence

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Fabricator Profile: Crowley’s Granite Concepts Sets Standards of Excellence

Posted on 12 December 2016 by CRadmin2

crowleys-standards-of-excellenceCrowley’s Granite Concepts, owned and operated by Aaron Crowley is one of the most successful countertop fabricators in the Portland, Ore., metro area, and much of it is because the company strives to live up to eight standards of excellence. Six years ago, Crowley began to focus on fast turnaround to gain an advantage over the competition, but as his company evolved, additional standards were set.

Crowley established his business in 1998 in Tigard, Ore., but it has since been relocated to nearby Tualatin. For many years, Crowley’s Granite Concepts focused on one particular niche: homeowners remodeling their kitchens without hiring contractors. Today, the company still focuses on granite and promises fast service, with a guarantee of installation within six days of templating, but it has expanded its mission to include eight standards of excellence in two select categories.

The two categories Crowley’s standards are “Excellent Experience” and “Fabulous Fabrication,” and each has four main points.

Excellent Experience:

  1. Provide guidance on choosing the best slabs
  2. Leave the kitchen functional
  3. Customer participation in layout design
  4. Coordination of all required work

Fabulous Fabrication

  1. Digital templating and CAD equipment
  2. CNC technology
  3. Mechanical anchors for undermount sinks
  4. Steel rods for strength and reinforcement

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Crowley’s Granite Concepts – Being Fast

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A Sad Reminder Why Slab Handling Safety Is Critical

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A Sad Reminder Why Slab Handling Safety Is Critical

Posted on 11 November 2016 by cradmin

This video put forth by the Marble Institute of America (now MIA+BSI) is a sad reminder of just why following the correct slab handling techniques with granite, marble, quartz or other heavy stones is extremely critical to the safety and health of fabricators and countertop fabrication businesses everywhere.

This is just the introduction to a much larger video offered by the association.

You may also be interested in this article on aerial lift safety.

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Fabricator Profile: KAT Fabricators Stays Organized

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Fabricator Profile: KAT Fabricators Stays Organized

Posted on 14 October 2016 by CRadmin2

product-main-granite-largeKAT Fabricators is known as “your source for custom countertops” in the Dallas, Tex., area, and the company prides itself in keeping highly organized at all times. In fact, because the company does such a high volume of sales with big-box stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, staying organized is a crucial element in maintaining customer relationships and honoring schedules.

Because KAT Fabricators does the majority of its business on the wholesale level, there is no need to maintain a showroom, and attention can be given to production and customer service. Stepping into the modest office, the company is all business. The customer-service department operates just behind the front door, and a few of the desks include state-of-the-art computer systems with dual monitors, which help to schedule up to 10 jobs each day with a high degree of accuracy.

Walking straight back through the office leads to the stone shop, which was originally dedicated to solid surface fabrication but now accommodates granite and engineered stone. Offering a wider variety of materials allows KAT Fabricators to act as a one-stop shop for dealers and builders with an assortment of jobs.

On the other side of the stone shop, is an open yard for warehousing slabs and remnants, and the solid surface shop is just past this. As of 2010, KAT Fabricators was using a CNC machine for sink holes while an advanced straight-line edger does most of the heavy work.

KAT Fabricators constantly and consistently works on improving efficiency and providing service and quality that surpasses that of the competition. This allows them to set competitive pricing without having to rely on low prices to gain new business.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Tour of KAT Fabricators in Dallas

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GranQuartz Offers New Edge Polishing Tools

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GranQuartz Offers New Edge Polishing Tools

Posted on 17 August 2016 by cradmin

GranQuartz edge finishing wheelsGranQuartz Offers two new edge polishing combo wheels. The ProSeries Fusion Combo Wheels available from GranQuartz are designed for single pass edge finishing on both bullnose and straight edge profiles. Suitable for Park Industries’ Velocity machines for both granite and engineered stone, they are 130 or 150mm in diameter with Snail Lock Connections. The second ProSeries wheels, the NTR2Combo, are made for made in the same sizes and for the same uses, but on backsplash machines. Best flat, it can be used for round profile polishing and requires very low pressure, reducing stress on spindle heads.

You may also be interested in this video displaying a variety of different edge profiles.

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Elkay Expands E-Granite Sink Line Collection

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Elkay Expands E-Granite Sink Line Collection

Posted on 09 August 2016 by cradmin

Elkay E-Granite Double Bowl newsletter versionElkay introduced new colors and models to its E-Granite sink collection. The company’s new E-Granite kitchen, bar and prep sinks include 10 new models and five new colors – Greige, Greystone, Sand, Putty and Pecan. With these additions, Elkay’s E-Granite portfolio now includes a total of 10 colors and 26 different models. They are stain and odor resistant, and easy to clean. Made from 80 percent quartz, they are durable and scratch resistant. They are also heat resistant up to 535 degrees F and UV stable, so the color will not fade. They come in top, under and universal mount formats with single-, double- and Aqua Divide bowls. The sinks also come with a variety of accessories, including coordinating cutting boards and rinsing baskets.

You may also be interested in this article about apron front sinks.

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Fabricator Profile: Southern Stone Surfaces Looks Forward to Growth

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Fabricator Profile: Southern Stone Surfaces Looks Forward to Growth

Posted on 12 July 2016 by CRadmin2

kitchen-travertine-countersSouthern Stone Surfaces, located in Nashville, Tenn., was founded in 2006, and today, it is one of the largest countertop fabricators in the region. The company’s specializes in granite, marble and quartz surfacing, and its primary customers are builders and cabinetmakers. However, some retail business is also done directly for homeowners.

In 2013, Southern Stone Surfaces had a banner year thanks to a healthy local construction market in the area, and it outgrew its old processes. At one time, Tom Grimm, the director of operations, and his team were using spreadsheets to calculate surface area, and as business grew, they began to lose track of critical information. In addition, the spreadsheets could in no way integrate with the rest of the company’s systems.

Southern Stone Surfaces met its growth by adopting advanced technology and increasing inventory, which allowed the company to reduce turnaround times dramatically. Among the equipment available in the shop are a digital Laser Templator from Laser Products Industries and a Fusion Saw Jet from Park Industries. Southern Stone Surfaces has also made a commitment to “invest in green, environment friendly tools and processes” and has streamlined its customer service experience with an efficient software system.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Southern Stone Surfaces

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Antolini Adds Black Absolute Gold to Natura Collection

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Antolini Adds Black Absolute Gold to Natura Collection

Posted on 16 June 2016 by CRadmin3

Antolini’s Black Absolute Gold DesignThe Natura Collection by Antolini was inspired by Antolini’s love of transforming surroundings by crafting natural stone in new and unique ways that enable the full potential of the materials to be realized. The Black Absolute Gold Design created by Antolini is a dark polished granite embellished with golden strands in a fusion of modern and classical.  This detailing evokes a sense of modernism that elevates and inspires.

The material is available in slabs of 51½ in. (nominal) height and variable length depending on block dimension, thickness ¾ in. or 1¼ in. (nominal). Upon request and for specific materials only, Antolini can produce up to 71 in. (nominal) high slab.

You may also be interested in this video about how granite is extracted and processed into countertop slabs.

 

 

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Fabricator Profile: Rock Tops Is a Full-Service Fabricator

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Fabricator Profile: Rock Tops Is a Full-Service Fabricator

Posted on 06 June 2016 by cradmin

quartz_2-lgRock Tops Granite and Stone, LLC was located in Clovis, N.M., three years ago, but the company has since moved to Plainview, Texas. When the company was in New Mexico, it focused exclusively on fabricating quartz, granite and solid surface countertops for customers at big-box stores, but after the move, Rock Tops expanded into the retail market.

The characteristic of Rock Tops that makes the owners and employees the proudest is the fact that the company is full-service countertop fabricator that offers custom work and can complete quality work at lower prices than the competition. The prices at Rock Tops are discounted anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent compared to the prices set by its competitors, and prices for granite installation start at only $35 per sq. ft.

The primary goals at Rock Tops Granite and Stone are to create beautiful countertops and to keep customers satisfied throughout the entire process. The company’s staff offers a diverse skillset and workmanship is always state of the art.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Rock Tops

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2016 Countertop and Kitchen Trends

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2016 Countertop and Kitchen Trends

Posted on 19 February 2016 by cradmin

Although we are less than two months into 2016, this year’s countertop and kitchen trends have already started to become clear, and the Internet is abuzz with all the latest developments. As in past years, our annual countertop and kitchen trend roundup will include all of the relevant information we have sourced from across the Web combined with what we have been hearing from our audience, industry suppliers, countertop fabricators, other industry professionals and consumers.

Kitchens Going From White to Gray

gray tilesSeveral general kitchen trends will play a role in the specific types, shapes and colors homeowners will be choosing for their new countertops this year, and chief among is a softening of colors. A recent article published by Houzz declares that soft color palettes have taken center stage, knocking out glossy whites and bold primary colors.

In another trend report, Daltile claims that white has officially been ousted by gray not only in the kitchen but also in other rooms of the typical American home, including the bathroom, living room and bedrooms. I must’ve been ahead of the curve because we just had our living room repainted in oyster gray and chose a similar gray to accent the white ceramic tiles of our new backsplash.

However, I am certainly not alone, as the Washington Post reports that 61 percent of renovators painted their own walls gray, beige or white within the last year, with green and yellow trailing at 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

“Charcoal, grays and even neutral pastels like pale blue, pale green-gray and tinted whites are the new alternative to the standard white,” said Jane Lockhart, a popular interior designer in Ontario, KitchenAid-Black-StainlessCanada. She also said that new and remodeled kitchens will include light wood tones, such as walnut, white oak and whitewashed wood in place of bolder accents.

In a sharp contrast to white and other lighter colors, all-black kitchens have begun to make an appearance this year, and the color is being contrasted with metallics to create a look of luxury. Decorator’s Wisdom, a DIY decorating blog, reports that Kitchenaid has already gambled on this trend by releasing a new line of kitchen appliances in black stainless steel.

Kitchen Becomes the Heart of Home

This year, the trend to transform the kitchen as a central meeting place and utilitarian common room as expanded beyond belief. With the ability to take in information at will and on the go thanks to smartphones, hanging out in front of the living-room television is largely a thing of the past.

Couples, families, housemates and even single individuals are increasingly forsaking the comfort of the living room and are going straight to the kitchen where freestanding tables are quickly becoming passé. People now want the convenience of upgraded countertops, and with the range of support brackets available for overhangs, it is certainly no wonder. Islands, side counters and nooks are making kitchen tables inefficient, impractical and obsolete.

Countertops: Thin Is In

When it comes to countertops, the word on the street is the thinner the better, and compact sintered surfaces have come in to fill that demand. However, not everyone has the moolah for such extravagance, and granite and quartz remain top competitors. However, before we get to specific surfaces, let’s take a look at colors and styles.

An Angie’s List article on 2016 countertop trends written by Haley Johnston of Moss Building & Design hits the nail on the head when it states that “white marble tops the list of the most popular kitchen countertop colors.” Every brand, no matter the specific material, has come out with a slew of white marble-like designs. Some people with money have sprung for actual marble, but those who know better go for quartz or solid surface, and upscale laminate designs have entered the market and infiltrated the homes of people who could afford much more.

When it comes to style, homeowners have followed the eye-catching, floor-to-surface design that has come to be known as waterfall countertops. This is really just a countertop that extends beyond the horizontal plane to include an integral vertical surface of identical composition and color. Even if consumers decide against waterfall countertops, the trend for 2016 is to choose mitered, yet inconspicuous edging, which is notable for creating a sleek appearance with continuous lines.

A final style guideline for countertops, which has been great news for fabricators, is that they are quickly replacing kitchen tables. Where kitchen tables once stood, countertop islands are being built to match the surrounding countertops. These islands often include overhands and stools, and in addition to kitchen tables, they have largely replaced home-office desks. Home businesses are more popular than ever, and the kitchen has emerged as a central workstation.

Countertop Surfaces for 2016

As far as surfacing materials go, the big winners in 2016 are as expected: quartz and granite. Quartz continues to make the strongest gains, but granite remains the most popular surface after laminate, which once held its position solely on price but has come into its own with the help of modern designers and improved durability.

  • Natural Stone – Beyond laminate, granite remains the leader in countertop materials, and with good reason. It looks fantastic, has durability and is more affordable than ever, not to mention unique. However, it is losing market share quickly as quartz takes center stage in the arena. When it comes to natural stone countertops, though, many of us forget that there are alternatives to granite. Soapstone and slate have garnered loyal followings, and some end users are adamant in their promotion and defense against criticism, which has newly emerged this year. While many prefer natural stone, 2016 has brought out the factions.
  • Engineered Stone – Not too many years back, quartz remained relatively unknown to the masses, but its exceptional properties and range of colors and patterns have quickly brought this surfacing into the mainstream. Many fabricators and designers reckon that quartz will take second place only to laminate in the next decade.
  • Concrete – Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) is also edging its way into the market, but it has not been gaining as much strength as it did only a few years in the past. Likely it is held back by its need for sealant and a slower fabrication process. However, those who do it well have found a solid niche for themselves, and the look of masterfully customized GFRC is incomparable to anything else.
  • Sustainables – Eco-friendly surfacing of all types is quickly gaining ground, but perhaps Butcher Blockmore so with commercial and industrial builders than in the residential sector. The odd aspect about the rise of environmentally friendly surfacing is that it is being driven by consumers while largely seen as impractical or too expensive for these same consumers’ homes. On the other hand, hundreds of communities across the nation have successfully promoted sustainable lifestyles, and the trend to do all that is possible for the perceived health of people and the planet has been taken up by both baby boomers and millennials. (Read more about sustainable and eco-sensitive countertop products here, at our sister website www.GreenSurfaceResource.com.)
  • Sintered Compact Surface –Sintered compact surface is, by far, the hottest countertop material available – on an upscale price point. This seems to be the future or next generation of countertop material and new competitors are entering the market to get a share of the spoils.
  • Solid Surface – Still holding onto third place in material popularity, is solid surface material, a close cousin or perhaps parent to the newer quartz surfacing/engineered stone, originally branded by 9203CE_Dusk_Ice_(3)DuPont as Corian. However, fabricators report it is being relegated more to the bathroom, and its real growth seems to be in the commercial sector. Like it’s younger quartz-based relative, in the past, it has been driven by its nearly unlimited designs along with its hygienic properties. However, many predict it will be overtaken in the kitchen by engineered stone, which is growing doubly fast as solid surface. That said, lately, there has been an influx of new companies into the solid surface market and some unique new color options, so perhaps, this will spawn awareness and a return to growth for the product, but that remains to be seen.

Consumer Reports Weighs In

Caesarstone Symphony GreyThis year, Consumer Reports broke out and published an article on the top countertop trends of 2016, and it was very specific. Rather than general trends, this most-respected of consumer-review organizations named names, and the choices were largely based on the new products presented at Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas.

Formica LaminateThe surfaces Consumer Reports is backing as this year’s trends are as follows:

  • Wilsonart Solid Surface – Dusk Ice
  • Formica Laminate – Gray Josef Linen
  • Caesarstone Quartz – Symphony Grey

But for all of the 2016 trends, the real question from most countertop fabricators is how to keep pace with the economic upswing. Both new structures and renovations continue to make a steady comeback, and the ability to read and forecast trends, while inherently risky, often works to increase revenue, no matter how you choose to go about it.

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