Archive | November, 2012

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Colonial Saw offers 5 Models of STRIEBIG Vertical Panel Saws

Posted on 30 November 2012 by CRadmin2



Distributed solely by Colonial Saw Company in North America, with five models of Swiss-made STRIEBIG vertical panel saws, there is a version suitable for every size shop. The saws are known for their efficiency, seam-ready cut quality and durability in the countertop fabrication industry, and standard models can even v-groove in both directions (X & Y axes) and cove cut backsplashes.

“The primary advantages to owning a STRIEBIG include the facts that they require very little floor space and nearly everyone in the shop can use it to make straight, seamable cuts with high precision and ease”, said Dave Bull, STRIEBIG product manager. “Even if you already own a CNC, it’s the perfect complement to do the long, straight pieces and keep your CNC free for parts that need additional machining.” 

Colonial Saw also offers a Certified Pre-owned STRIEBIG Program in which the saws undergo extensive, multi-point inspections and testing processes by the company’s highly experienced factory-trained technicians. Currently available are two Optisaw 2 models, the long-time industry standard for solid surface and laminate fabricators. Visit this site for more info:

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Surfaces and Sustainability in the Home

Posted on 29 November 2012 by CRadmin2


More and more people are choosing to go green and live as sustainable a life as possible, and one primary way to achieve this is to invest in a sustainable home. Maintaining a home includes many interconnected facets. How food and water is brought into the home can affect how sustainable it is. The transportation used to arrive and depart a home is also a factor. Energy and waste disposal are even more essential elements to sustainability, and a critical element includes all of the materials that make up the home, including kitchen countertops and bathroom surfaces.

Sustainable Materials

A sustainable home must be built with sustainable materials. These materials have a lowor zero impact on the environment and are either renewable or made from recycled products. In addition, any coating or finishing on the materials must be organic, or at a minimum, water-based.

When it comes to the frame and walls of a home, sustainable materials include adobe, bamboo, rammed earth, straw bales and reclaimed brick, stone or metal. However, most of these materials do not make for decent countertops.

Some of the common sustainable materials used for kitchen countertops are as follows:

  • Recycled glass based materials – This is one of the most common materials used for green countertops. The recycled glass is mixed with concrete, resin or other solid surface materials, and it can comprise anywhere from 5 percent to 50 percent of the total mass of the countertop as a whole. It may also be mixed with other sustainable materials such as fly ash, which is a byproduct of coal fuel.
  • Recycled paper – Recycled paper has become increasingly popular in recent years. The paper is mixed with a resin base and fabricated into slabs ranging from 0.25 to 2.0 inches in thickness. The resin base from at least one manufacturer is made from cashew shells. Although made of paper, these countertops are surprisingly heat and stain resistant.
  • End-grain bamboo – These chopping block type countertops are a type of plywood made from thin, rectangular pieces of bamboo. Bamboo is considered one of the best substitutes for wood because it grows much faster than trees. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy to handle.

The NSF is currently working on guidelines for a Product Category Rule (PCR) for sustainable residential countertops.

More Than Material

As a fabricator, you may think you are covered by simply offering one of the above materials to your eco-conscious clients. However, there is more to sustainability than the types of materials used. For some of your customers, the background of the materials and the facilities where they are fabricated are vitally important.

Many people seeking to build a sustainable home or make their current home eco-friendly will only use locally sourced materials. The transportation of materials from distant corners of the country or from other countries creates a large carbon footprint, and it is even larger for materials that are sourced from one location and manufactured in another before entering into the consumer market.

Another factor that may concern some customers is the sustainability of the fabricator. If you carry sustainable products but your building and processes are not green or LEED certified, then you may miss out on some sizable sales.

Ultimately, if you want a piece of the growning “green” market, you have to cater to that market on some level, and many of those that do, have found it to be well worth the effort.

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MIA CEU Programs Adds New Course for Architects

Posted on 28 November 2012 by cradmin

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) is proud to announce that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has approved “Natural Stone Tile: An Overview” as a CEU course available to MIA members who are part of the MIA’s CEU Program. The MIA CEU Program helps participating MIA members connect with architects and design professionals by certifying them as approved providers of CEU courses. The MIA works to register these courses with the AIA and IDCEC (a consortium of interior design associations). “Natural Stone Tile: An Overview” is the 12thsuch course to be recognized.

“Natural Stone Tile: An Overview” is a one hour course that familiarizes design professionals with the resources available for installation methods and specifying standards for natural stone tile. The course reviews the characteristics of natural stone in order to explain how it may affect your project. The learning objectives are as follows:

  • Understand the basic stone types and methods of formation
  • Gain an understanding of the key aspects of Stone Tile Specification as introduced in the 2011-12 TCNA Handbook, ANSI  A 108/A118, and the MIA Dimension Stone Design Manual 7.2
  • Understand how the intricacies of Stone Tile Installation can impact your project
  • Learn key differences between the installation of Stone Tile and Ceramic/Porcelain Tile

Six months in development, the new course was developed by the MIA’s Stone Tile Presentation Committee.  The committee utilized feedback from a Coverings presentation on this topic conducted by Josh Levinson, Artistic Tile, and expanded the scope of the presentation to fit a CEU format.  Several industry leaders were involved on the project which included collaboration with TCNA (Tile Council of North America) to acquire images of methods discussed in the presentation. The new powerpoint presentation also includes a hand-out specific to the presentation content.

Committee member Vincent Moiso had this to say about the program, “For me this presentation is an essential addition to the Marble-Institute’s CEU program. It takes the Stone Design I and II presentations to the next level. It provides insight to proper stone tile installation methods and really promotes setting the proper customer expectations.”

Committee Chair Josh Levinson added, “In order to meet the expectations of the end user, this new CEU strives to educate the market on the nuances of installing natural stone tiles, and differentiate it’s application from man made products, at a time when these differences have been brought to the forefront by the inclusion of stone tile installation methods in the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation.”

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Buddy Rhodes, Delta Performance Products Team Up

Posted on 27 November 2012 by cradmin

Buddy Rhodes Concrete Products and Delta Performance Products LLC announced the finalization of a partnership agreement. Under the terms of the agreement Delta Performance Products will assume all logistical aspects of distribution while Buddy and team will continue to develop the product line and the delivery of Information for product users.

“I am very excited by the opportunity to utilize the Blueconcrete technology and advanced products that have been developed by the Delta Performance team” said Buddy Rhodes. “Our customers are really going to be the big winners as a result of this partnership.”

Shawn Hays, President of Delta Performance added “There is a great synergy between our Blueconcrete technologies and Buddy,” added Shawn Hayes, president of Delta Performance. “Buddy Rhodes has developed a great brand and reputation for quality products. We look forward to working with Buddy to grow and expand the product offering.”

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Ideas for Upselling Granite, Quartz or Other Countertop Materials

Posted on 26 November 2012 by cradmin

When it comes to surfacing, it is all too easy to become complacent and just take countertop orders, rather than really put your sales expertise to use, and this is true of granite (or other natural stone), quartz surfacing, solid surface, or really any other material. Upselling can really be the difference between a decent profit margin and a great one.

We ran across a video that is a good reminder not get lulled into just taking orders, but rather highlighting all of the great possibilities that can turn an ordinary countertop job into a memorable work of countertop art. The video, which was made by, is geared toward the homeowner, but is a good reminder to fabricators of different options that can be done. While the video focuses exclusively on granite/natural stone, many, if not most, of these options can also be offered with other materials.

You can view the video here.

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MS Int’l Appoints Co-Presidents

Posted on 25 November 2012 by cradmin

M S International, Inc., an importer and distributor of countertops, flooring, wall tile, and landscaping products in North America, appointed Rajesh and Rupesh Shah as co-presidents of the company.   Manu and Rika Shah, founders of MSI, made the announcement at a gathering of MSI’s leadership team.   Rajesh and Rupesh, both graduates of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, have been working as executive vice presidents of MSI for almost ten years.  In their new roles, they will be responsible for the growth of the company through strategic thinking, developing leaders, managing and expanding the distribution network, improving the supply chain and continuing to build MSI’s product portfolio.  Both brothers will also be responsible for evaluating and executing new opportunities in the marketplace.

“Raj and Rup Shah have successfully led massive efforts to make MSI a powerhouse in the flooring, countertop, wall-tile and landscaping industry,” said Manu Shah, CEO.  “They have been instrumental in developing many product lines with fresh approaches while streamlining product purchases from over 36 countries.”

“As the economy continues to improve, we look forward to working with our vendors and customers to continue to make our products more accessible and affordable in the marketplace,” said Rajesh Shah.  “We have been given a great foundation and thank the entire MSI team for the opportunity given to us.”

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Grenite Receives NSF ‘Food Zone’ Certification

Posted on 24 November 2012 by cradmin

Grenite, an engineered stone product from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics received “food zone” certification from NSF International

“Saint-Gobain’s Grenite certification underscores the company’s commitment in meeting the highest food safety standards,” said Sarah Krol, general manager of NSF International’s Food Equipment Certification Program.

NSF International approved the use of Grenite as a table or countertop for “all food contact types” at a maximum temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the following Grenite colors: Raw (tan); Viridani (green); Rouho (red); Azulize (blue); Celebrity (black and tan); Birch Prada (beige); Cinario (light grey); and Java (brown). Grenite also has an NSF International “splash zone” certification, which means it can be used on surfaces that are subject to spillage, splash or other food soiling during operation.

Grenite is eligible for LEED points through the USGBC, and features up to 85 percent post-consumer recycled content. Manufactured in the United States, Grenite is GREENGUARD certified, nonporous, and durable, according to the company.

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Google to Provide Grant to U.S. Green Building Council

Posted on 21 November 2012 by cradmin

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is set to receive a $3 million grant from Google, which will be used to develop new transparency tools, engage stakeholders across the United States and support research on building materials and health.

“Healthy, non-toxic building materials are a critical component in green building,” said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president and CEO. “Fostering awareness of the materials we put into our buildings is of paramount importance, since many materials can link to a host of environmental and health issues. Working with Google enables us to broaden our efforts in the materials industry as we prepare for the next version of the LEED green building program, LEED v4. This updated rating system will paint a more complete picture of materials and products, enabling project teams to make more informed decisions.”

“USGBC has a deep background in spearheading research, developing a rating system spanning the globe and engaging with the many stakeholders in the building industry, making them the perfect partner to help spur real change on the healthy materials front,” said , Google’s Green Team Lead Anthony Ravitz.

“Improving the indoor environment, increasing materials transparency and advancing the understanding of materials’ impact on health are critical targets for the LEED program as it continues to evolve,” said Scot Horst, senior VP, LEED, USGBC. “Ultimately, we are looking to create overall benefit for the environment and for human health.”

The new initiatives will be developed over the next two years.

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More on Thermoforming Solid Surface

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More on Thermoforming Solid Surface

Posted on 21 November 2012 by cradmin

We had a lot of people email wanting more information on thermoforming solid surface. We are working on developing some articles on the topic, but in the mean time here is another video providing more insight into the process. The video is from a manufacturer of thermoforming equipment – Global Vacuum Presses – so it is a bit promotional, but it also offers some good information and a look at the actual process (using Global’s heating system and vacuum press).

We will continue to develop other informational resources on this subject, but for now, enjoy:

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Caesarstone to Build U.S. Quartz Surfacing Plant

Posted on 20 November 2012 by cradmin

Caesarstone has announced that it will be opening a U.S. quartz surfacing production facility in 2014. Althought a location has not been named, the $75 million facility will eventually have two production lines for Caesarstone products, according to the company.

The U.S. facility will expand the company’s production by 50 percent. The first line is slated to be in production by late 2013, with the second line to be added in the future.

“We believe that expanding our manufacturing footprint into the United States will provide us with a number of competitive and strategic benefits that will serve our long-term growth plans, most significantly the related improvement in delivery times,” said Yosef Shiran, CEO.

The company also announced additional manufacturing equipment that will be installed at its Israel plant, incorporating a major part of a fifth production line. This $13 million addition will increase production capacity by 15 percent and is set for completion by October 2013.

“Our expansion in Israel will enable us to rapidly and efficiently expand our production capacity to meet the increasing demand for our products,” Shiran said. “We are excited about both of these projects, which are further steps in realizing our growth strategy and are expected to create value for our shareholders.”

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