Archive | February, 2013

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Polycor Offers New KarmaStone

Posted on 26 February 2013 by cradmin

Basalt Black KarmaStone concrete countertop slabs from Polycor

Polycor introduced its new KarmaStone surfacing material collection. The product is a line of concrete slabs made with recycled natural stone to the tune of 70 percent of its content. It comes in three colors: Basaltic Black (pictured here); Soho Grey; and Dove White. All colors are available in 9-ft. by 5-ft. slabs, 3-cm-thick, and in a honed or antique finish. The company also supplies a topical sealer that cures in 48 hours and can be used to customize the color of the slabs.

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DuPont Introduces New Corian Solid Surface, Zodiaq Quartz Colors

Posted on 25 February 2013 by cradmin

DuPont introduced nine new colors of solid surface and three new colors of quartz surfacing as 2013 additions to the product lines. The new Corian colors are: Whipped Cream, with light sliver micas accenting rich and creamy veining; Seafoam, with frosted, frothy textures accenting tonal veining and natural white color; Pebble, with large soft brown and pearl flecks suspended in textured micas; Desert, with textured micas complementing soft browns and shimmering veining; Deep Sea, with ripples of blues and frosted grays with silver micas; Luna White, with lightweight ripples that meld with ice white; Stardust, with smoked gray mica fused with tinted pearl and blue flecks; Mineral, with large flecks of blues and grays with silver micas; and Silver Gray, an opaque cool gray.

The new colors of Zodiaq are as follows: Snow Flurry, with intricate flecks that combine with whites and grays; Coarse Carrara (pictured here), with frosted grays in bright white with scattered veining; and Coarse Marfil, with an organic effect veining in light cream and coffee tones.

“As we developed these new colors, our priority was to help architects and designers understand what their customers will be looking for today and in the years to come,” said Elizabeth J. Lawson, strategic project manager – DuPont Building Innovations.  “We’re rigorous in our pursuit of bringing the most powerful and inspiring trends to life for the commercial and residential marketplaces.”

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Tile Backsplash Ideas for Showrooms

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Tile Backsplash Ideas for Showrooms

Posted on 23 February 2013 by cradmin

It’s not always possible to sell every customer on that full height granite or coved solid surface backsplash, no matter how hard one might try, which often makes tile the go-to product. And for tile countertops, a tile backsplash is only natural. Many types of tile also make a great option. Not only are there very durable, sanitary options available for this aspect of the countertop that generally doesn’t receive a lot of wear, but there are just a lot of tile options overall.

Tile comes in numerous textures, colors, materials and patterns. Plus, it can be laid in any number of unique ways that can really set off an otherwise hum-drum kitchen and bring a uniqueness that may not be there otherwise. There are even many choices available when it comes to the grout and groutlines that can help make for a one-of-a-kind kitchen.

As such, we ran across a nice video put out by Fireplaces & Granite, of North Carolina, that shows dozens of ideas on how to showcase tile backsplashes in different and inventive ways that might make the sale that much easier. Hopefully, you can gather some ideas that will benefit your own operation by giving it a view:

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MIA Pinnacle Awards Announced

Posted on 22 February 2013 by cradmin

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) announced the winners of the 2012 Pinnacle award winners. The awards recognize excellence in commercial, residential, sustainability and renovation/restoration of natural stone projects worldwide. Projects selected as winners must demonstrate exceptional beauty, creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship in the use of granite, marble, travertine, limestone and other natural stones. The competition was open to all MIA members.

The 2012 Grande Pinnacle Award winner is Grazzini Brothers & Company of Eagan,Minn., for the amazing interior work on the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis (pictured here).  Challenged with adding a large structure to a much-beloved place, a strategy was developed that protected and enhanced the cemetery’s historic landscape.  At the mausoleum’s entry, an intricately patterned white mosaic rendered in infinite loops across white billowing surfaces re-imagines the historic 1910 Lakewood Chapel’s colorful mosaic interiors. The interior committal space is clad with Alabama White marble walls. Horizontal bands of split-faced gray granite tie the structure to the earth. Bronze doors usher visitors into a serene space of mahogany walls, marble floors and abundant daylight.  Throughout, the contrast of textures – light and dark, rough and smooth, rustic and refined – calls upon both visual and tactile senses to offer a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.  At this cherished haven within the city, architectural progress meets history with grace and a new found vitality.

The architectural firm of HGA Architects of Minneapolis, Minnesota was also presented with a Grande Pinnacle Award for the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum.

The 2012 Pinnacle Award winners are:

Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence to Cold Spring Granite,Cold Spring, Minn., for the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis.

Commercial Exterior Award of Excellence to Port Morris Tile & Marble, Bronx, N.Y., for the National September 11 Memorial in New York City.

Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Excellence to Picasso Tile & Stonework of Tempe, Ariz., for the Desert Courtyard in Scottsdale.

Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Excellence to Stones and Roses International Co. Ltd. of Samutprakam, Thailand for the Muang Thong Thani Residence in Samutprakam, Thailand.

Renovation/Restoration Award of Excellence to Rugo Stone, LLC, of Lorton,Va., for the Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg,Va.

Renovation/Restoration Award of Excellence to Tennessee Marble Company of Friendsville, Tenn., for the Harris County 1910 Courthouse Restoration in Houston, Texas.

Renovation/Restoration Award of Excellence to Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. of Houston, Texas,  for the 1910 Courthouse Restoration in Houston, Texas.

Commercial Interior Award of Merit to Twin Stone Designs & Installations, Inc. of Hollywood, Fla., for the St. Regis Spa in Miami Beach, Fla.

Commercial Interior Award of Merit to M&G Contracts (S) PTE LTD of Singapore for the Ocean Financial Centre in Singapore.

Commercial Interior Award of Merit to Superior Tile and Stone of San Leandro, Calif,  for The Smith Center for Performing Arts in Las Vegas.

Commercial Interior Award of Merit to Intertile Natural Stone Surfaces of San Leandro, Calif.,  for The Smith Center for Performing Arts in Las Vegas.

Commercial Interior Award of Merit to Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. of Houston, Texas, for the El Paso Energy Building in Houston.

Commercial Exterior Award of Merit to Titan Stone, LLC of Pompano Beach, Fla., for the Brickell World Plaza in Miami.

Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Merit to Creative Edge Master Shop, Inc. of Fairfield, Iowa,  for the Masterpiece of Saddle River in Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Residential Interior/Exterior Award of Merit to Stones and Roses International of Samutprakam, Thailand for the Residence Krungthep Kreetha Living Room in Bangkok, Thailand.

Renovation/Restoration Award of Merit to Polycor of Quebec,Canada for the Cleveland Museumof Art in Cleveland, Ohio.

Special Pinnacle Award of Merit for Hand Craftsmanship to Titan Stone, LLC of Pompano Beach, Fla., for The Annunciation at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla.

Special Pinnacle Award of Merit for Sustainability to Las Vegas Rock Inc. of Jean, Nev., for the MDA Expansion Project at the Rachel Ann Perkinson Center in Jean, Nev.


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Vetrazzo Introduces 3 New Colors

Posted on 21 February 2013 by cradmin

Cement Surfacing Material Vetrazzo in Amethystos color

Vetrazzo introduced three new colors of its concrete-based, recycled-particulate surfacing material. The colors are: Umbo White, which mixes particulate from soda and beer bottles with oyster shells, pieces of jars and crushed marble; Bretagne Blue, which is an azure-tinted color that includes pies of oyster shells, crushed marble and architectural float glass; and Amethystos (pictured here), a white-gray colored material, which contains oyster shells, crushed marble and cranberry glass. The slabs are 9 ft. by 5 ft. and 3-cm-thick.

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Steps to Sustainability from Upper Management to the Bottom Line

Posted on 20 February 2013 by CRadmin2

by Steve Richerson

Several big companies, such as GE, IBM and Walmart, and many smaller companies, including Tenant, Centiva and Stonyfield Yogurt, have recently locked their GPS coordinates on a really intriguing destination: market profitability through ecological sustainability. And fabricators can also benefit from taking this route.

Ecological sustainability refers to the way we choose to use Earth’s natural resources. If we use resources in a way that doesn’t harm future generations’ ability to use those resources, that use is considered sustainable for generations to come. If we harm future generations’ ability to use those resources, it’s not sustainable.

Why should fabricators choose sustainability?

  1. It allows fabricators to cut overhead costs for everything they take, make and waste. These savings can go directly to the bottom line.
  2. Sustainability allows companies to build a successful enterprise they can be proud of. This leads to increased employee productivity, retention and attraction.
  3. It allows fabrication firms to build reputations for being good corporate citizens. This results in loyal consumers and fans who can determine questions of zoning, taxes and community support.

So, what are the steps we have to take to get our GPS pointing toward sustainability?

Step 1 – Get support from the top. You’re going to have to make a pitch, presentation or proposal to convince upper management that sustainability is good for the bottom line of the company. Simply making the argument that going green is the right thing to do won’t cut it. You need to make the business argument for it. Make the case in dollars and cents.

Step 2 – Engage everyone on the team. Now that you know the front office has your back, it’s time to engage the team. Build a group of middle and senior management from all departments, including sales, HR, facilities, retail and fabrication, that will focus on efforts to save the company money by saving resources and preventing pollution.

Even members of the team that are environmentally agnostic, such as those who are skeptical of global warming or think recycling is a waste of time, can understand that waste equals inefficiency, and inefficiency costs the company money. Saving the company money through saving resources is the goal.

Step 3 – Get it on the company map. Get an official sustainability statement from your team on the company’s strategy map. This will allow your integrated sustainability to be an aligned priority at every level. You’ll get support from everyone because it’s on the map. Employees up and down the ladder want to know that sustainability is important to the company and that they’ll be rewarded for spending time on it.

Step 4 – Take, make and waste. Have the team focus on areas of take, make and waste. Create a list of opportunities for each of these areas. Waste is inefficient. If you can cut down on inefficiency, you grow your bottom line and help reduce impact on the planet. Here are a few questions that should be asked:

  • Can transportation costs be reduced by getting smaller or more fuel-efficient vehicles? Maybe planning out installation routes more efficiently could cut fuel costs?
  • Can we cut our waste-removal costs by recycling scrap, water used in stone/quartz fabrication or other areas? Rather than shipping scrap to the landfill, many companies store it for future use, or have regular sales to the public to buy the scrap. Vanities, paving stones and cutting boards are several products that many fabricators now offer from their scrap rather than paying someone to haul it off.
  • Can we choose an option for shipping that uses less packaging?
  • Is it possible to offer a new product that is within our core competencies but has a lesser impact on resources?
  • Can we source surfacing materials or fabrication supplies closer to our facility to cut shipping costs?

When everyone gets focused on the take, make and waste areas, the result is a freely flowing stream of new ideas for continued sustainability and profit.

Step 5 – Measure immediately. Once you’ve found the areas of focus, begin to measure them. If possible, integrate automated measurements of all input and output. Even very competent managers and front line employees can get it wrong. It’s easy to overestimate or underestimate how much energy, how many raw materials and how much water is wasted if there’s no real data on it. Collect the data right away.

Step 6 – Set goals. Now that you have the data, set your goals for sustainability. Make these goals specific and measurable, and make sure they are of strategic, bottom-line value to your company.

Step 7 – Execute. You’ve set your goals. Now, make them work.
Remember to make steps towards this goal every day. Continue to ask yourself, “How can I make this just a tiny bit better?”

Step 8 – Share progress. Be honest with shareholders, employees and customers about the results. The public will appreciate your honest attempts to be more sustainable even if you’re not totally successful. Be honest about the results, and you’ll be better off. They want to know you’re on the right road and will support you for that.

Step 9 – Conduct an annual review. Have the team review the improvements that were made over the course of the year. Ideas that worked in one area may spur improvements in other areas. Keep going; there’s always room to do a little better.

Many of the world’s smartest companies are working toward better sustainability. It’s good for people, the environment and, most importantly, it’s good for profit.

About the Author
Steve Richerson is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, National Recycling Coalition and the North American Environmental Education Association, he is spearheading the campaign to reduce corporate waste and promote environmentally sound business methods. To learn more about Steve, visit

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ISFA Announces Upcoming Networking Event in Tampa

Posted on 19 February 2013 by cradmin

The Int’l Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced that it will be holding a regional “Grass Roots” fabricator meeting at Dixieply in Tampa, Fla., on March 21. The event will feature guest expert Keith Haight, specialist in shop optimization, networking, lunch, vendor exhibits, a tour of the Dixieply facility, door prizes and a discussion of ISFA intitiatives.

The event is free to all fabricators, cabinetmakers, millwork professionals and technicians in the surfacing industry. RSVP to [email protected] is requested.

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New FOCUS CNC Saw Available from Park Industries

Posted on 18 February 2013 by cradmin

Park Industries’ new FOCUS is a fully digital CNC Saw that is designed for easy programming via the company’s exclusive Quick Cut programming. The fully programmable miter feature allows fabricators to cut mitered angles with a click of the mouse. Whether straight or miter cuts, it has full table coverage. It has one-piece design for easy installation and the hydraulic, powered tilting table allows for easy loading of stone.

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Omni Cubed Offers No-Spin Backer Pad

Posted on 15 February 2013 by cradmin

Omni Cubed’s new No-Spin Backer Pad is designed to provide faster results and less damage to surrounding vertical surfaces during polishing or refinishing. It has a rigid aluminum Velcro backer, with the addition of a free-floating disc on top. A protective rubber bumper surrounds the disc so when it is pushed against a backsplash, wall or other surface, the disc stops spinning while the pad continues to spin beneath it. It acts as a built-in roller guide to allow fast and precise cut patterns, while reducing the damage caused by the edge of spinning polishing pads. The backer has 5/8-11 threads and includes an aluminum spacer washer to protect against wear caused by polisher spindles. They are available in 4-, 5- and 7-inch sizes and have a maximum RPM of 3,000. A patent is pending on this product.

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Cosentino Extends Transferrable Warranty for Silestone to 15 Years

Posted on 14 February 2013 by cradmin

Cosentino, maker of Silestone quartz surfacing, has extended the owner-transferrable warranty for the Silestone product to 15 years. The warranty extension also applies to its line of Integrity sinks. The products must be purchased from an authorized dealer or installer and permanently installed in a single-family residence for the warranty to be applicable.

The warranty must be activated no later than 60 days after installation, which can be done online or by contacting the company directly. When a home is sold, the warranty transfers to the new owner if a “transfer of ownership” form is filled out and filed with Cosentino.

More information is available at

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