Archive | May, 2014

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Staron Solid Surfaces Expands LEEZA Distribution in Northeast

Posted on 29 May 2014 by cradmin

Samsung has appointed LEEZA Surfaces as the authorized distributor of Staron Solid Surfaces in New York and a majority portion of New Jersey. LEEZA also distributes Staron throughout Canada from its distribution centers located in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, and will service New York and New Jersey from its New Britain, Conn., facility.

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Integra Adhesives Introduces Pre-tinted Bulk Adhesive

Posted on 28 May 2014 by cradmin

integra gallon-cansRecognized for its high-quality, pre-colored cartridge-based adhesives, Integra Adhesives now offers a line of pre-tinted adhesive sold in 1.25 gallon containers. Available in 11 colors specific to natural stone with color match cross-references, Integra Bulk eliminates hand mixing tints and allows for consistent color matches. With a working time of 10 to 12 minutes and a full cure in less than 30 minutes, it offers a strength of 3,000 to 4,000 psi on natural stone. It is also suitable for white marbles, as it includes true whites that won’t stain. The bulk adhesive is sold in packs of one, two or four and ships from the company’s multiple warehouses in the United States.

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Fabricator Profile: Incounters

Posted on 27 May 2014 by cradmin

incountersIncounters is a family-owned countertop fabricator that also “played a key role” in the development of PhotoTop, the popular digital measurement and templating system. The company is headquartered in Abilene, Texas, and is a founding member of the Artisan Group. However, another interesting innovation of Incounters is its system for compensating installers.

According to Ed Wright, president of Incounters, “We pay our installers on a sliding scale based on feedback from the customer and from the Incounters management team. It’s in the installers’ hands to determine whether they are paid at the highest level or something less than that, depending on their performance.”

This sliding-scale compensation plan is reset every two weeks, so each installer has a chance to start fresh and work his or her way to the top from a level playing field, but at no time are installers competing with each other. Each installer has the potential to earn the highest pay rate every period.

The compensation system used by Incounters has helped the company raise the level of service they provide to customers, and it has provided installers with incentive to do the best work they can.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Incounters

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Evo-Lite Offers LumiSheet for Backlighting Countertops

Posted on 23 May 2014 by cradmin

Lumisheet backlit countertopEvo-Lite, LLC, based in Denver, has been involved with the design, integration, distribution and support of a proprietary LED integrated light panel system known as LumiSheet for more than eight years. Evo-Lite’s combined experience backlighting translucent surfaces exceeds 70 years. One of the hallmarks of Evo-Lite is that the company recognizes that the backlighting of translucent surfaces is still an emerging technology, which requires education and support of new lighting technologies that make this possible.

LumiSheet is an LED integrated, edge-lit light panel that utilizes high-quality, high-brightness LEDs and an exclusive 3-D V-cutting system to evenly illuminate custom shapes in a slim profile that is unique in the backlighting industry. They key aspects of this system are the LED strips that are embedded directly within the light guide plate (LGP) and the patented integrated heat management system. This design allows custom shapes up to 59 in. by 118 in.

LumiSheet emits a bright, even light across the entire surface of the light panel that allows for the backlighting of translucent countertop materials without the need for added space. Onyx, quartz, glass, resins, translucent solid surfaces and semi-precious materials such as Caesarstone’s Concetto are commonly backlit using the LumiSheet technology. “Bring your ideas to Evo-Lite and feel confident that your project will be handled with the professionalism it deserves,” said David Brooks, president and senior integration engineer for the company.

LumiSheet panels can be made into any shape or design to support a variety of applications. Panels may include sink cutouts without any loss of light quality. Upon ordering, Evo-Lite will customize a panel according to the fabricator/installer’s specifications, which should include the following for best results:

1. Type of material to be backlit
2. Diffusion specifications if known
3. Power and control requirements
4. Mounting preference
5. Expected features or benefits

LumiSheet is 5/16-in.-thick and available in any width and length from 2 in. by 2 in. to 59 in. x 118 in. Brightness may range from 2,000 lux to 10,000 lux, and the patented heat sink technology provides an effective LED lifespan of 70,000 hours. The system requires no ongoing maintenance and includes an advanced three-year warranty.

For further information, visit Evo-Lite online at

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MIA Hosts ‘Women in Stone’ Event

Posted on 22 May 2014 by cradmin

MIA women in stone event

The event sponsor Patrick Perus (Polycor, Inc) with members of the WIS Steering Committee: Allyson Humphries, Brie Pfannenbecker , Kathy Spanier, Kathleen Carle, Tiffany Aryeh and Kim Dumais.

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) hosted the first gathering of its new “Women in Stone” group during Coverings 2014. This networking reception was sponsored by Polycor, while the overall initiative is also being supported by Blick Industries, Hanley Wood, OHM International, Rock of Ages, Polycor and TexaStone Quarries. The purpose of the Women in Stone group is to retain and advance women who have chosen a career in the stone industry, as well as to recruit new women into the industry. It hopes to accomplish those goals by such methods as increasing the number of networking opportunities available to women; expanding on existing educational offerings; and creating opportunities to serve on key industry committees.

Co-chair Brie Pfannenbecker of Connecticut Stone Supplies, Inc. said, “The Women in Stone launch was a tremendous success! Out of all of the wonderful happenings at Coverings, the Women in Stone event is the one I have talked about the most since returning home.”

Coldspring’s Kathy Spanier discussed the long-term effects of this effort, saying, “This is an exciting initiative that has lots of positive energy and momentum to become a resource for women to broaden perspective (personal) through meaningful strategic connections at any level of their career so they can reach their full potential and accelerate or enhance their career growth.”

More than 60 women attended the event and another face-to-face Women in Stone event is set for StonExpo East in Miami on October 19, 2014.

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ISFA Names New Executive Director

Posted on 21 May 2014 by cradmin

New ISFA Executive Director Keith Haight

New ISFA Executive Director Keith Haight

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced that Keith Haight has been named to replace Chuck Sawyer as executive director of the association. Sawyer, a 40-year veteran of the surfacing industry, has been executive director since 2012 and is retiring in order to enjoy more personal time with his family and expand his hobby of artistic woodworking.

Haight is owner of Maximus Operandi Consulting and a former fabrication manager with DuPont. His background and experience is in fabrication shop/business management. He will assume his new duties on July 1, 2014, following his relocation to the Pittsburgh area. For the past year Haight has been a volunteer project manager for ISFA, working on solid surface and quartz surfacing fabrication standards, as well as other initiatives.

“It’s truly an honor and privilege to become even more involved in the industry I have known and loved for the past 18 years,” said Haight. “I am humbled to come in after the incredible job Chuck has done to reignite ISFA and will do my best to keep his level of integrity, to work diligently and to grow ISFA into an even greater association than it already is!”

Haight will continue  initiatives revolving around fabrication and business training, standards, CEUs and other educational forums.

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MK Diamond Offers Portable Profiler

Posted on 20 May 2014 by cradmin

MK EZ ProfilerMK Diamond Products offers the MK-EZ Profiler, designed for initial shaping of tile, granite, marble and stone. This portable piece of equipment is made to provide fabrication quality performance on any jobsite. A complete range of standard profile shapes are available as accessories. Convenient access to the arbor shaft makes for easy profile tool changes. The adjustable head allows profiling up to 1-1/4-in.-thick. The cast aluminum control head has easy to adjust depth and location controls, and the profiler is housed in a thermoplastic pan for water containment and easy cleanup. It has a 1-1/4 horsepower, and the MK-Safeswitch™ prevents it from being operated when a locking key is removed. Built with a heavy-duty reinforced steel frame, the profiler, patent pending, is made in America. It includes a water pump and 3/8-in-radius, half bullnose diamond profile bit.

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Set Your Course with a Company Vision Statement

Posted on 19 May 2014 by cradmin

By Victoria Munro

You’d never dream of setting out on a trip without a specific destination in mind, yet many of us start businesses without a clear idea of where we’re headed, or what we want our company to look like in the future. If you want your business to succeed, it’s important to define exactly what success will look like for you and for your company.

The road map for your journey – the picture of your ultimate destination – will be set forth in your vision statement. Vision and mission statements are closely related and have similarities. Essentially, your mission statement is the “what” your business is all about; the vision statement is the “where” your company is headed.

A vision statement is a short, memorable and inspiring word picture of your company’s ideal future. A well-thought-through, carefully crafted vision statement will give shape, direction and continuity to your company’s future. It will inspire actions that will lead you in the right direction and discourage unproductive ‘short-term thinking.’

Without a vision statement, circumstances may take you where you never intended to go. Anne is a talented artist who began her business five years ago designing beautiful, unique websites for high-end real estate developers. She loved her work and looked forward to each day at the office. The business prospered and Anne soon had more work than she could handle alone. She hired a subcontractor, then another. Today, Anne plays the role of a project manager, supervising others rather than doing the creative work that is her passion. The company appears successful and provides a good living, but Anne is unfulfilled, has little enthusiasm and no longer enjoys running her business. There are no easy solutions. Setting out with a clear vision of what she wanted her company to become could have prevented her current dilemma. Creating a vision statement is a worthwhile investment of your time and energy.

Your vision statement should:

  • Be short and memorable
  • Describe in simple, very specific, powerful language what you want your company to look like in the future
  • Identify clear direction and promote laser-like focus
  • Be positive and inspiring, and generate pride and excitement in employees and team members
  • Encourage you to keep going through the tough times

Creating Your Vision Statement

We recommend that you first establish your mission statement, keeping your beliefs and core values in mind. This will provide the foundation for writing your vision statement. Crafting a vision statement can be done on your own, or you can brainstorm as a group with other key people in or associated with your business. It will take time, but it’s a rewarding and fun project.

Creating Your Vision Statement:

Take a large sheet of paper, or use a flip chart, and describe your desired future. Imagine that you’re looking at your business as you’d like to see it five years from today. What is it like? Where is it located? What sort of a building? What does it look like? Are there employees? How many? What is the annual revenue? Who are your biggest clients? What is your role in the company? Envision everything, down to the smallest details, exactly how you would like to see it. Record it all. Remember to consider your exit strategy. Be outrageously creative and think big!

As you brainstorm, beware of the following vision killers:

  • Thinking too small
  • Fear of ridicule – what others may think or say
  • Focusing on negatives and potential problems
  • Thinkng ‘inside the box,’ doing things the way they’ve always been done
  • Apathy – content with the status quo
  • Procrastination

Pulling It All Together

Review your descriptions, keep them all in front of you and begin to condense them into a clear and powerful statement of no more than one or two sentences. Refine and rewrite it. Make every word count!

It’s a good idea to occasionally review your future vision of the business, and make sure this is still the direction you want to go. Adjusting or changing your vision statement is easy, but without one, you significantly decrease the possibility of reaching your goal.

Don’t underestimate the power of a clear, well-written vision statement to guide you in the direction you want to take your business and your life! Don’t postpone this project. Set a date and time now to create your vision statement, keep it where you can see it often, and start moving towards your desired destination!

About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive free business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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How To Remove A Scratch From Granite

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How To Remove A Scratch From Granite

Posted on 16 May 2014 by cradmin

This video is produced by “ToolandMachineWorks,” and unfortunately, the company shares very little about itself. But the video is a pretty good one that shows the process for removing a scratch from a piece of dark granite. While the process uses Alpha Professional Tools equipment, I’m sure there are other brands of similar equipment that can be used for the same process, so this is a pretty good primer on the subject.

While the video is more than 13 minutes long, it actually condenses some of the steps for time. It also includes some convenient tips for better results during some of the longer segments with the guy performing the repair is just going over the area repeatedly, so there is still something there to keep your attention.

Let us know what you think about the video, or suggest a video of your own by emailing us at [email protected].

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Honors IceStone

Posted on 15 May 2014 by cradmin

Cobalt Ice IceStoneThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave IceStone a 2014 Environmental Quality Award. The annual award is given to businesses, non-profits, individuals and federal, state, local or tribal agencies that have created positive environmental and public health impacts in the last year. The award is a milestone for IceStone, which only resumed production one year ago after a six month hiatus caused by Hurricane Sandy. “This award not only highlights our mission and sustainable operations, it’s also further evidence of our resilience,” said CEO Dal LaMagna. “Since the storm we’ve hired new employees, invested in facility upgrades and new equipment, and debuted new products. It’s a testament to the dedication of the employees, and the support of our community.”

IceStone’s recycled glass and concrete countertop materials are made with the company’s social and environmental practices in mind, which include powering production with a water recycling system, skylights and electric forklifts, providing living wages to all workers and allocating 10 percent of the company’s shares for employees. “The outstanding efforts of EPA Environmental Quality Award recipients are fostering an environmental ethic in corporate board rooms, city halls and neighborhoods across the country,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck.”

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