Archive | April, 2014

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Charles G.G. Schmidt & Co. Releases New Catalog

Posted on 28 April 2014 by cradmin

SchmidtCover1100Ver6FrontOnlyCharles G. G. Schmidt & Co. Inc. has released a new catalog, Number 1100. This new edition contains information on tooling, accessories and machinery  for all sizes of countertop and woodworking companies. New cutters and blades for shapers, moulders, CNC routers, planers, tenoners are included in this 60 page book. Insert tools, inserts, planer knives, solid carbide spirals, shaper cutters and accessories are among the new items. Power feeders and the Williams & Hussey Moulder are also included.

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Fabricator Profile: Counter Production

Posted on 25 April 2014 by cradmin

cp6-300x225Patrick McGrath began working with solid surface in 1984 as an employee of Bingley Son & Follet, one of the world’s largest Corian fabricators at the time. However, he soon recognized that the business was not operating very efficiently, so he formed a partnership with David Axworthy, another employee of Bingley.

McGrath and Axworthy founded Counter Production together in 1986 in a bid to bring a higher level of professionalism to the solid-surface fabrication and installation industry. They started by offering clients a strict installation schedule, and they began templating all of their projects to minimize on-site time.

Counter Production, based in the U.K., continued to grow, and in 2003, after Axworthy’s retirement, McGrath invested further capital into the company to upgrade equipment with the latest technology, including a CNC machine, thermoforming equipment and digital templating equipment.

Today, Counter Production employs 50 people and experiences annual revenue of approximately $5 million strictly from wholesale clients.

Read more of this Moraware Fabricator Profile here: Counter Production

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VT Stone Surfaces Now Offers Line of Quartz Surfacing

Posted on 24 April 2014 by cradmin

Bungalow - one of 8 colors of VT Quartz now available

Bungalow – one of 8 colors of VT Quartz now available

VT Stone Surfaces of Holstein, Iowa, now offers the VT Quartz line of countertops. VT Quartz is currently available in eight colors and will reportedly be expanding to 20 colors during 2014. Custom colors and patterns are also available for large projects. The quartz line features both 2cm and 3cm slabs in a 118- by 55-in. format. Slabs in a 126- by 63-in. format can also be manufactured for select colors. Another custom order option is 1.5cm-thick slabs. In addition, fully fabricated countertops for both residential and commercial projects can be ordered from the company’s production facilities in Rome, Ga., and LaMirada, Calif. Nationwide delivery is available for slabs and fabricated countertops.

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NKBA Seeks Speakers for KBIS 2015 ‘Voices from the Industry’

Posted on 23 April 2014 by cradmin

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) is calling for presentations for the Voices From The Industry Conference Series to be held during the 2015 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas, Jan 20 to 22.

“Our 2014 Voices From The Industry presenters were very well received. We collect evaluation feedback from the attendees and found that 87 percent of the 2014 presentations scored higher than a 4.0 out of a 5.0 scale,” said Nancy Barnes, Director of Learning at the NKBA. “For KBIS 2015, we’re looking forward to selecting 100 or more outstanding conference speakers, who will represent all industry segments and every level of professional.”

Voices From The Industry is a platform for industry peers to share new ideas and relevant topics on design and inspiration, business management and sales and marketing. The NKBA is looking for industry-relevant topics to be presented by experts from the industry that will significantly enhance learning opportunities for attendees.

The online submission form is now open on the NKBA website, and applications are due by May 28, 2014. Selected applicants will be notified by the beginning of August.

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MIA Presents Craftsman of the Year, Migliore Lifetime Achievement Awards

Posted on 22 April 2014 by cradmin

Jesús González III of Marble World in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico

Jesús González III of Marble World in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced its 2013 award winners for both the Migliore Lifetime Achievement Award and Crafstman of the Year.

Migliore Award

Jesús González III of Marble World in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, was awarded the 2013 Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement. González, who has been an active MIA member for more than 50 years, accepted the award at the annual MIA Awards Luncheon held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas. When González ‘ father became ill and passed away many years ago, he took over management of what then was a modest stone business in Northern Mexico. The firm had limited financial resources and its future at the time was uncertain. But, with his passion for stone, imagination and drive, and a dream to build Marble World into the best stone company in Mexico, he far exceeded his own ambitions. Today, the business has a worldwide presence  with numerous locations around Mexico.

González is a former MIA board member and has been an ambassador for the MIA in numerous ways. He helped attract other members from Central and South America and always represented the interests of contractors and fabricators on the board. His keen business acumen was always present at MIA board meetings and he has provided extremely valuable counsel to the association and staff leaders. A very sharp international business person with knowledge and insight that most domestic stone company owners do not have, Jesús’ reputation reaches far beyond the Americas.

Samy Beshara of Marmi Natural Stone in Norcross, GA

Samy Beshara of Marmi Natural Stone in Norcross, GA

Craftsman of the Year

Samy Beshara of Marmi Natural Stone in Norcross, Ga., was awarded the 2013 Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Award. Beshara, a native of Alexandria, Egypt, started in the stone business at the age of 21 as an apprentice to a family friend in Egypt. Because of an inherent drive to understand the intricacies of marble fabrication, he sought work in Italy, the epicenter of the stone industry. Armed with his apprenticeship and broad training in Italy, Beshara became interested in all areas of the stone trade: he bought blades, sold blades, designed and built his own equipment and fabricated a plethora of stone objects including columns, fireplace surrounds, fountains, corbels, and even complete building facades.

He came to the United States in 2003 and settled in Michigan where he worked in a small stone shop for about a year before moving to Atlanta to join Marmi Natural Stone. He has picked up a reputation for quality and a want for perfection that has served him well over the years. His passion has brought a lot of artistry into countertops, fireplaces and other types of stone installations.

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TheSize Offers Fusion Line of Neolith Sintered Compact Surface

Posted on 21 April 2014 by cradmin

neolith fusionNeolith, sintered compact surface material by TheSize, offers its Fusion line of material, which is designed to have the appearance of natural stone, minerals and industrial materials. The line comes in 10 colors imprinted onto the material: Arena, Barro, Basalt Beige, Basalt Black, Basalt Grey, Belgian Blue, Cement, Lava, Phedra and the newest addition, Beton (pictured here). Using Neolith’s Digital Design (NDD) decoration injection technology to imprint the rock-like features, it comes in a variety of thicknesses, including 3 mm (1/8 in.), 5 mm (3/16 in.) and 12 mm (1/2 in.) and in two different formats. The product is composed of clays, feldspar, silica and natural mineral oxides, and is recyclable. It has near-zero porosity, making the product hygienic, stain resistant, easy to clean and impervious to chemicals. The product is also wear-, scratch- and heat-resistant and it is not affected by UV rays, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

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Are Your Human Resources Being Handled Effectively?

Posted on 18 April 2014 by CRadmin2

Not only are your employees your most important business assets but they are also your most costly, so it only makes sense that your employees are managed by a team of specialists. For small countertop businesses consisting of fewer than 10 employees, you may be able to handle the specifics by yourself or through your managers, but when you grow larger than this, it is a good idea to have a dedicated human resources (HR) department.

At one time, HR was only concerned with hiring and firing, but today, this department is considered to be a strategic partner at the table with finance, operations and other business teams that are not centers of profit. The job of HR, as is the job of all such departments, is to ensure that the business gets the most out of its employees. Another way to put this is that HR needs to provide a high return on your business’s investment in its people. This makes HR management a highly complex function because it not only deals with management issues but human ones as well.

These two polarities are not always easy to balance, and human resource managers specifically try to maximize output from employees by instituting various schemes and policies. The following are some of the functions handled by human resources.

Compensation and Rewards

HR departments are responsible for tying incentives and rewards to certain positions and roles in order to maximize performance levels. This is a strategic thinking task because it affects every single person in the organization and has to be planned separately for each position, depending on the level, department and goals. Some jobs, such as sales, need to be more goal driven, so salaries can be basic and commissions can form the bulk of the remuneration, which leads to more incentive to work effectively and close sales. It is up to HR to structure this important aspect to everyone’s satisfaction.

Recruitment and Hiring

Another important task handled by the HR department is the selection and retention of employees. If the right employees do not enter the organization, its days are numbered because people drive most countertop businesses toward success. HR managers handle the searching, screening, testing and matching of all applicants. With knowledge of your shop or office atmosphere, job requirements and duties, they can successfully find entry-level to senior-level staff that will fit into your company. Typically, HR will handle the first interview, and if they feel that a person is a good match, they will send the owner or managers the details and contact information so that those directly overseeing the employee may conduct their own interview.

Performance Management

Regular, balanced and systematic appraisals must be administered consistently in order to evaluate the performance of each individual in the organization. This allows HR to pinpoint the weaknesses of an individual’s work style and the strengths. They can then share this information with the employees in order to affect a change in performance. This, in turn, will lead to more productivity and potentially better returns on employee investment.

Point of Contact

HR personnel form the point of contact for an employee with any type of difficulty or query about their remuneration or other aspects of employment with the business. It is essential for someone to be available to answer questions and provide guidance. This communicates to the employees that the business cares about their concerns and is available to address them.

Employee Expectations

HR managers fulfill a very important ‘soft skill,’ or unspoken task – that of balancing employee expectations and the organization’s expectations. Both need to be addressed and aligned for a business to be successful and to maintain employee satisfaction. Only a content and motivated employee will deliver good work, so it is the job of HR to keep track of the expectations of the employee and those of the organization to ensure both are met simultaneously.

Human Resources Consultants

Any company that wishes to maximize the potential of its employees may want to consider hiring the services of an HR consultant. HR consultants typically work for a consulting agency and are very skilled in recruitment, staffing and employee services.

Several consultant firms are available throughout the country, and starting the process of finding a good match for the countertop industry may not be quite as difficult as it seems. However, you must make sure that you review each firm’s record of success to ensure they will meet your requirements. Once you have selected a consultant firm, they will send you resumes of specific consultants for your consideration.

When using the skills of an HR consultant, you are not only freeing up time that other employees could use for tasks directly related to profit, but also getting someone who specializes and has experience in the services you require. This person knows about general industry trends and demographics and is well versed in state and federal laws and regulations concerning the rights of employees.

A dedicated HR department can be an invaluable asset to your business, and if you are unsure how to go about starting the department on your own, a consultant will be able to assist you in the endeavor.


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Polycor Introduces Recycled Materials Hardware

Posted on 17 April 2014 by cradmin

polycor Pierre-Habitat-Diamond-Ferrule-Hex-Palladian-GrayPolycor Inc. introduced Pierre Habitat, a new brand of hardware that uses materials from the manufacturing processes of Vetrazzo and Polycor. Raw materials, excess granite, marble, limestone and Vetrazzo recycled glass are combined to produce unique cabinet pulls and knobs. The collection includes 10 designs available in eight metal finishes. Customers can choose from 26 Vetrazzo colors as well as five white marble, two black limestone and four Canadian granites that will match and complement their countertops. Pierre Habitat will also custom manufacture hardware pieces from sink cut-outs or remnants provided by the customer.

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TylerCo Offers SLABlite Backlighting Panels

Posted on 16 April 2014 by cradmin

tylerco slablite LED backlighting panelstylerco slablite LED backlighting panels installTylerCo Inc. offers SLABlite, a system for backlighting translucent materials in countertops and other applications. Suitable for backlighting onyx, translucent quartz surfacing, translucent solid surface and other translucent materials, SLABlite produces even and consistent edge to edge lighting across the whole surface. Creative lighting effects can be achieved with SLABlite’s 12- by 12- by 3/8-in.-thick LED panels. They are waterproof, generate almost no heat, last 20 years and can be easily be cut to almost any shape to accommodate curved edges and fixtures, reports the company.

SLABlite is the only backlight that can be custom cut on site. An installer can cut and shape SLABlite to fit around the sink, overhangs and edges as well. There is no need for templates and trips back to the shop to cut and shape the lighting. The light panels run on a 12-volt system and requires only 2 watts of power per sq. ft.

SLABlite eliminates uneven lighting, dark spots and hot spots, and because the panels are waterproof, this makes the SLABlite suitable for fountains, pools, spas, etc. The SLABlite has a 20-year/200,000-hour lifespan, making them a solid choice for backlighting countertops.

TylerCo is proud to report that its SLABlite installations have surpassed a million hours of use without having a single failure.

For more information, visit

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Annual State of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Address at KBIS

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Annual State of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Address at KBIS

Posted on 15 April 2014 by cradmin

For those of you who were unable to attend KBIS 2014, or were there and missed the Annual State of the Kitchen & Bath Address, here is a video of it in its entirety shared by Cosentino. This year Francisco “Paco” Martínez-Cosentino, the chairman of Cosentino Group offered his perspective, as a global leader in the industry, on the current situation of the kitchen and bath sector, its evolution and the challenges that it faces and he presented the keys that business professionals must consider to further develop their businesses successfully.

It may be worth a watch to get his perspective…

As always, let us know if you have a video or have seen a video you feel is worth sharing, and we will take a look at it and maybe include it on the website.


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