Archive | May, 2017

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LG Hausys Launches HI-MACS Structura

Posted on 30 May 2017 by cradmin

hi-macs_structurar_zen_crafael_kroetz-framed_300ppi_rgbLG Hausys launched HI-MACS Structura®, a new 3D textured surface that can take on virtually any pattern. This new 3D textured material reportedly allows for custom-made solid surface creations to suit any project. According to the company HI-MACS Structura creates unlimited new possibilities.

The collection is created using a new technology offered by LG Hausys. HI-MACS Structura is different because it provides a textured surface that can take on virtually any pattern, allowing designers and architects to design their own surface in a simple way. The material can be utilized as wall cladding in bathrooms, en-suites and spas as well as showers and wet-rooms. It can also be used as an exterior cladding or facade with large-scale patterns.

This textured material can be used to highlight details of a project with bespoke patterns, drawings, fonts and logos reproduced into its surface. HI-MACS Structura can also be thermoformed, depending on the pattern and design selected. It is available in 10 colors and 10 standard surface designs.

You may also be interested in this article Aristech Introduces 12 New Design Options.

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The Stephens Group Acquires GranQuartz

Posted on 26 May 2017 by cradmin

GranQuartz norcrossbuildingThe Stephens Group, LLC announced that it finalized its acquisition of Pearlman Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of GranQuartz and Pearl Abrasive. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Pearlman, headquartered in Norcross, Ga., is a multi-channel developer and distributor of supplies, tools and equipment used in the fabrication and maintenance of hard surfaces for residential, commercial and industrial end-markets. Pearlman’s GranQuartz division is a distributor serving more than 8,000 stone fabricators, tile installers and concrete and monument professionals across the U.S. Pearl Abrasive is a developer and provider of high quality, branded abrasives and cutting tools to more than 5,000 distributor customers in construction and industrial end markets. The Company’s products include an extensive offering of proprietary, exclusive, and national branded products with more than 18,000 SKUs across multiple price points and applications.

GranQuartz recently acquired Granite City Tool. With the acquisition, an expanded product line and a focus on surpassing the expectations of its customers, GranQuartz has seen significant growth over the last several years.

“We are extremely optimistic about the opportunities presented to us by this investment by The Stephens Group,” said Dan Davidenko, GranQuartz president and CEO. “They know our industry extremely well, they have a focus on industrial distribution, and they understand how to help companies grow.”

You may also be interested in this article about Clio Holdings’ acquisition of US Marble.

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MSI Releases New Collections

Posted on 25 May 2017 by cradmin

M S International, Inc. (MSI) enhanced its porcelain and ceramic offerings with the release of four new collections: Optima, Livingstyle and Turin.


Livingstyle Beige

Optima distinguishes itself with a contemporary cement design. According to the company Optima is an option for architects and designers who want to give office buildings, retail outlets, hospitality projects, and other spaces a modern feel. The line includes finishes to accommodate high-traffic entryways (matte), interior spaces (polished), and outdoor areas (textured) — for a unified, professional look. Optima is offered in multiple colors and in 12- by 24- in. and 24- by 24- in. tiles, with coordinating bullnose trim and mosaic tile.

Livingstyle brings natural stone to the surface in a high-performance, large format porcelain tile collection. Designed for indoor and outdoor use, it’s a possible solution for customers who want to connect these spaces with a seamless, flowing look. This limestone-inspired lineup is offered in 24- by 24- in. and 18- by 36- in. matte tiles, 24- by 24-in. matte pavers, and coordinating bullnose trim.

Turin is a line of linear wood look ceramic tiles. Turin adds depth to floors, walls, and backsplashes. The collection is available in 12- by 24- in. matte tiles and 6- by 24- in. matte planks.

You may also be interested in this article on the Imprint Collection from Nemo Tile.

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Caesarstone Partners with Pratt Institute to Create Future Kitchen

Posted on 24 May 2017 by cradmin

Caesarstone will bring the “Future Kitchen” to life with help from the students of the industrial design department at Pratt Institute. The final design will be produced by Caesarstone and exhibited at WantedDesign Manhattan during NYCXDesign in May. IMG_6846-300w

As the kitchen continues to remain the heart of the home, industrial design students at Pratt Institute seek to understand how it will perform in a global society in the future, and what role the kitchen will play as we find solutions for sustainable food, water and energy supplies, as well as waste management and nutrition.

Under the guidance of New York based architect and designer Marc Thorpe, the students will research aspects of designing the Future Kitchen in relation to issues such as smaller spaces, changes in food consumption, waste disposal, water conservation, new kitchen technology, and the transforming role of the kitchen.

You may also be interested in this video: Kitchen of the Future Displayed by Panasonic.

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StoneTalk Episode 34: Carmina Mendez

Posted on 23 May 2017 by cradmin

In Episode 34 of the StoneTalk podcast, host Patrick Foley interviews Carmina Mendez of AMC Countertops. The two discuss a variety of topics, including the following:

How a partnership with a key vendor can help expand your business.

  • How a partnership with a key vendor (Cosentino) can help grow your business
  • Adding a showroom to expand your  customer base
  • The value of doing TV programs, such as Extreme Home Makeover
  • Balancing residential customers and commercial clients

Read the full transcript of this episode here: Stonetalk Episode 34 – Carmina Mendez

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GMR Quality Stone Products Announces New Merchandise

Posted on 22 May 2017 by cradmin

unnamedGMR Quality Stone Products announced the following new items as in stock and ready to ship.

The high performance pneumatic Grinder features an adjustable rotating exhaust, 1.4 HP motor with speed control governor, two auxillary handle positions,  a compact ergonomic aluminum body, reversible lever throttle, built in oil port and wet cutting kit.

The GMR Blue Light Chip Repair Kit is available in one color kits (one color of your choice) or three color kits (black, white, and clear). Individual refill colors are also available. Colors to choose from include: white, clear, light brown, red-brown, dark brown and black. According to the company the kits are non-toxic, dry in seconds and are easily sanded. The kits are designed to permanently repair small chips, nicks, scratches, gouges, cracks and holes in a variety of surfaces. They can be used on a variety of surfaces including natural stone, quartz, fiberglass and acrylic surface.

GMR kits include one Blue Light Glue (clear), one Blue Light Glue (black), one Blue Light Glue (white), one Blue UV Flash Light with 3 AAA batteries, one 249/400 grit nail file, one 1 oz. bottle Blue Light Polish, five plastic sheets and 10 straight razor blades.

Also now available is G-tape, a multi purpose masking, hard surface protection and repair tape. The tape is straight tear, waterproof, repositionable, all weather durable and UV resistant.

You may also be interested in this video of a UV Stone Repair Adhesive Demonstration.


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OSHA Promotes Safe + Sound Week, Encourages Employer Participation

Posted on 19 May 2017 by cradmin

Save-the-Date_Web-badge_for-web-programmersThe Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), in conjunction with its state-specific partners, is promoting a new annual event known as Safe + Sound Week and encourages employers of all types to participate in the event June 12 to 18, 2017.

Safe + Sound week was developed to raise awareness about three core elements of effective safety-and-health programs:

  • Management Leadership – It is dependent upon company leaders to deliver the message about the importance of safety and health, and they act as a “visible presence” in the promotion of this message. Management formalizes and publicizes the program and the company’s commitment to its employees and the community.
  • Worker Participation – Providing workers with information and asking for feedback are essential in empowering them to watch for their own health and safety. Individuals and teams should be recognized for all the contributions made in the sake of workplace safety.
  • Finding and Fixing Hazards – All hazards and controls in the workplace are spotlighted and evaluated individually and as part of the safety program. These evaluations are made periodically to identify new hazards.

OSHA now has a Web page dedicated to Safe + Sound Week, and it provides information on Webinars, such as Showing Your Commitment to Workplace Safety & Health, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 23.

The page also includes an interactive map of all the events being held across the country and gives an overview of the three steps to becoming an employer sponsor:

  1. Select activities that include at least one, but preferably all three, of the core elements of Safe + Sound Week.
  2. Plan and promote the event to ensure success with a variety of free tools, such as graphics and signage guidelines, communications essentials, social media tips and promotion ideas.
  3. Following the event, participating employers will have a chance to leave feedback and receive a certification of recognition, participant Web badge and other materials.

If you are interested in participating in Safe + Sound Week, fill out this short online application.

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Hastings Tile & Bath Expands Its Artisan Ceramic Collection

Posted on 18 May 2017 by cradmin

HastingsHastings Tile & Bath, an importer and distributor of contemporary bath products, introduced additional ceramic pieces to its Artisan Ceramic collection. The ceramic tubs and Totem basins are available in more than 12 colors and 12 ‘deco’ patterns. The ‘deco’ designs include intricate spirals, cursive writing, nature themes, delicate lace and linen patterns and a rainbow of stripes. The primary design colors are matte white, gloss black, matte black, orange, red, olive green, brown, gloss grey, matte grey, platinum outer/gloss white, gold outer/gloss white and gloss white.

The Ceramic Deco Tub’s interior is crafted using solid surface and the exterior panels are ceramic, each imbued with their ‘deco.’ The rectangular ceramic panels are attached to the exterior of the tub via magnets. The entire tub is supported by a non-showing aluminum structure.

The Class tub is a hand-detailed design. Hand-painted gold or platinum buttons punctuate the Capitone panels of the white ceramic bath.

All are available with one to four panels, depending on installation.

The Totem Basins, or Pillars, include durable basins crafted from a single ceramic mold to prevent forming any seams.

You may also be interested in this article Artaic Expands SPLASH! Collection

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2017 Outdoor Kitchen Trends

Posted on 17 May 2017 by cradmin

DKCR305H_Outdoor-Kitchen-Granite-Countertop_4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960Last year, outdoor kitchens hit their peak popularity, but the design is still going strong as we hit Spring 2017. Not much is really new this year, but focuses are shifting and specific materials are gaining support for their abilities to deal with the environment. To put it in other words, outdoor kitchens and countertops in 2017 are all about refinement.

“A satellite kitchen allows [the consumer] to spend time with guests rather than running back and forth to the house to prepare and serve the food and drinks,” Jennifer Uihlein Straszewski, executive vice-president of under-counter refrigerator manufacturer U-Line told Real Living. “Homeowners are going to great lengths to transform the traditional patio area into a fully functioning outdoor room.”

Trending Features

Following are the features consumers are looking for in their 2017 outdoor kitchens:

  • 62392The grill is the centerpiece of the kitchen. The grills in this year’s installations can do just about anything your stovetop can do and much, much more. Therefore, many households like to feature the grill as the kitchen’s centerpiece. Some prefer charcoal for its rustic flavor while others like the amenities of propane or a direct line of natural gas.
  • Comfort and entertainment are top priorities. Without comfortable lounging areas and several entertainment options, an outdoor kitchen is just a place to cook food. With these amenities, the kitchen becomes the hub of activity in the backyard. Sports, table games, TV and video games are all options today.
  • Find space for appliances…and the kitchen sink. The modern outdoor kitchen is just as self-sufficient as indoor kitchens, complete with refrigerators, dishwashers wine coolers, keg taps, ice machines and much more.
  • Make pizza the Old World way. One of America’s favorite foods is pizza, so it only makes sense that outdoor pizza ovens would eventually see a surge in popularity. Pizza ovens come in several types, such as wood-fired stone, gas-fired stone, stand-alone ovens, solar or stainless steel with a state-of-the-art digital controller.

Countertop Materials

outdoor grill ideas 7Outdoor countertops are not simply for food preparation. Like indoor kitchens, countertops provide a communal area where hosts and guests can gather, talk and enjoy company in the fresh air.

When it comes to outdoor countertops, granite is considered king, but several other materials have also come to the forefront of this milieu, including soapstone, concrete, stainless steel and tile.

While quartz is gaining on granite’s popularity indoors, it is not considered suitable in outdoor settings because the colors often fade quickly in direct sunlight. Along the same vein, laminate cannot be used because exposure to rain and humidity will cause it to bend and warp.

  • Granite – Granite is the top choice for outdoor countertops because it is durable and can withstand a wide range of environmental conditions. The heat of the sun will not damage granite, and it is unusual for colors to fade. With the proper sealant, granite can be protected from mold growth and stains. Finally, according to the average prices set forth by HGTV, granite is quite affordable at $50 to $100 per sq. ft. for the consumer.
  • Soapstone – According to Premier Surfaces, soapstone is an ideal choice for outdoor countertops because its high density makes this surface resistant to heat and stains, colors usually do not fade and it does not require any sealers. However, it is recommended to treat soapstone with a specialized mineral oil that enhances the maturation of the color.
  • Concrete – Although concrete tends to run a little pricier than other countertop materials, it is expected to make the highest gains of them all in 2017. As long as the concrete is reinforced with steel rebar, you don’t have to worry about it cracking. Concrete must also be regularly sealed to prolong its color, finish and overall lifespan.
  • Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is a great option because it is durable and looks great next to a barbecue grill. It is also easy to clean and maintain, and stainless stell can last a lifetime.
  • Tile – At $10 to $30 per sq. ft., tile is, by far, the most affordable option for outdoor countertops. In addition to creating an easy entry into an outdoor kitchen for those on a budget, tile also offers a wide assortment of colors and patterns. The bad news is that in colder regions, temperature changes can cause the grout to crack. The good news is that installers can upsell freeze-proof tiles and other protections.

If you are installing outdoor kitchens or fabricating outdoor countertops, we would like to hear from you. Send us photos of your work to [email protected], and I’ll post them right here with a caption.

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Laser Products Announces Canadian Expansion

Posted on 16 May 2017 by cradmin

laser-productsLaser Products (LPI) announced expansion of its sales force into Canada. The move is in direct response to the continuing growth of the countertop industry and is intended to position LPI to better meet the needs of its Canadian customers.

Eric Harrison, Northwest Sales Manager with more than 20 years of experience in solid surface applications, will be responsible for Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Northwest and Yukon Territories.

JT Hoffman, North Central Sales Manager and ten-year LPI employee, will bring his hands-on experience into Ontario, Manitoba, and Nunavut.

Matt Thomson, Northeast Sales Manager, a solid industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience, will help customers in Quebec, Newfoundland, and Labrador.

You may also be interested in this article Nicolai North America’s Team Grows.

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