Archive | August, 2017

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Three Brands Establish Architectural Surfaces Group

Posted on 30 August 2017 by cradmin

ASG Press release imageThe new Architectural Surfaces Group (ASG) has been created as a comprehensive approach to interior surfaces. The consolidated company, comprised of Architectural Granite & Marble (AG&M), Pental Surfaces and Modul Marble, announced its new joint parent company name, Architectural Surfaces Group. The new parent company was designed to strengthen the organization via operational improvements, allowing the brands to focus on delivering a high level of service to their customers. Each business will continue to operate under their respective brands.

The new company name, ASG, encompasses all offerings and products from the brands it represents, which now includes a total of 13 distribution locations across the United States. AG&M imports and distributes natural stone, engineered stone and related products in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Carolina. Pental Surfaces is a distributor of natural stone, engineered stone and tile, with five locations in the Western United States. Modul Marble imports and supplies natural stone, marble and quartz slabs with locations in California and North Carolina.

You may also be interested in this article about the partnership between Wilsonart and Hanwha Surfaces.

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Incidents at Two Fabrication Facilities Lead to Fatalities

Posted on 29 August 2017 by cradmin

This year has proven to be difficult and heartbreaking for the stone and countertop fabrication industries after two separate safety incidents caused the deaths of two employees and the injury of another. CountertopResource.com would like to express our sincere condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of those who are no longer with us, and we hope these incidents can act as a reminder about the hazards associated with working with large, heavy slabs of natural and engineered stone.

The latest incident occurred on August 11 at NCO Custom Marble & Granite in Raleigh, N.C. Officers were called to the scene to find that one employee, 21 years of age, was killed when struck by a falling slab of granite and a second was hospitalized with moderate injuries. Although the employee who lost is life has not been officially named, company spokesperson Traci Hobcroft, noted that he was the nephew of the owner.

Hobcroft also released the following statement:

“We have suffered an accident at our facility today at approximately 12:30 p.m. There has been one fatality and another individual injured. The accident has been reported to OSHA. We are a small, family-owned business and trying to deal with this tragedy. We ask for your patience, prayers and that you give us the space and time to further investigate. We will release more information as it becomes available. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.”

OSHA officials reported to the site where they remained for the duration of the workday, and an investigation continues. However, according to state and federal records, the company has been operating since 2007 with no health and safety violations or complaints.

Investigation of January Incident Now Complete

On January 30, Johnnie Tharp, age 60, died of injuries after multiple slabs of marble fell on him at a warehouse operated by Dente trading Marble & Granite in Gloucester County, N.J. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene where Tharp was unconscious and unresponsive. He was quickly brought to a local hospital but died shortly thereafter.

After a six-month investigation, OSHA found that no citations were necessary, but the agency did issue three violations for other issues carrying fines that totaled $5,070:

  • Lack of fall protection on walking surfaces more than 4 ft. above the floor
  • Equipment storage in front of the electrical circuit breakers
  • No certification for overhead crane ropes

Even though none of the above violations pertained to the storage and handling of slabs, OSHA asked the business to take voluntary measures to limit employees’ exposure to hazards.

“Employees who move stone slabs throughout the warehouse are exposed to struck-by, caught-in-between and crushed-by hazards,” the inspection report stated.

Safe Handling and Storage Practices

While it is possible for injuries and even deaths to occur even when you do everything right in the safe handling and storage of heavy slabs, using true and tested procedures can minimize the risk. And a big part of these procedures is having the proper equipment available for the job.

For further information, you can check out some of the previous articles in our Health & Safety Watch series or seek additional information from trade associations, such as MIA+BSI – The Natural Stone Institute. You can also get relevant information about equipment from some of the industry’s top suppliers of handling and storage equipment, including Better Vacuum Cups, WEHA, Braxton-Bragg, Lackmond Stone, Regent Stone and one of our sponsors for August’s upcoming newsletter, Groves Inc.

Also, remember, OSHA has a consultation branch completely separate from its compliance/enforcement department. When you ask for a health and safety consultation, the consultant cannot report any offenses found, and your business can only be inspected if there is an accident or complaint. If you are not 100 percent sure that you are in full compliance, this free program is highly recommended.

Also, experts like Groves may be able to assist you in finding the safest equipment and processes for your operations to avoid future tragedies such as these.

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Blanco Launches New Valea Equal Double Bowl Sink

Posted on 28 August 2017 by cradmin

442198_SG_VALEA_ED_BS_GL_5x7BLANCO launched the Blanco Valea Equal Double Bowl sink with Low Divide. An expansion on a popular style, the Blanco Valea features a low divide, making it easier to transfer heavy pots and pans from one bowl to the other during clean up.

The sink features the durability of Silgranit®, the functionality of a low center divide and a transitional shape to fit any kitchen style. Silgranit features hard granite durability, a heat resistance up to 536 fegrees Fahrenheit and scratch resistance. The sink is offered in all eight Silgranit colors including Cinder, Truffle, Biscotti, White, Anthracite, Metallic Gray, Café Brown and Biscuit.

Specs include an undermount installation, bowl depths of 9.5 in., dimensions of 19 in. by 32 in., a low-divide height of 5.5 in., a required outside cabinet of 36 in. Additional available accessories include a stainless steel grid and a cutting board.

You may also be interested in this article about tile backsplash ideas.

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Laser Products Hires New Director of Marketing

Posted on 25 August 2017 by cradmin

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAvlAAAAJDZlMjgzOTUwLWMyOGEtNDFmZi04YTRmLTY4NTNlYTJkZmNkZQLaser Products has announced that it is significantly increasing its outreach to U.S. and foreign customers, the media and its partners with the hiring of Y. Kevin Yeh as Director of Marketing. In this newly created position, Yeh will be responsible for developing and leading the company’s  marketing initiatives and new product commercialization. He will direct and optimize the company’s advertising, public relations and digital assets and will be the primary corporate liaison with the media and trade associations in the stone and woodworking industries.

Yeh comes most recently from James Hardie Building Products where he led the marketing team for the country’s foremost siding company. Prior to that he served as the global strategic business unit leader for the Liftmaster and Chamberlain brands of garage door openers at the Chamberlain Group. He has a BS in Business Management and International Studies from Indiana University and is bilingual in Mandarin Chinese.

You may also be interested in this article Meganite Introduces The Movement Series.

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StoneTalk Episode 37: Aaron Dahnke

Posted on 24 August 2017 by cradmin

In episode 37 of Moraware’s StoneTalk podcast, host Patrick Foley speaks with Aaron Dahnke of MIA+BSI – The Natural Stone Institue. The two discuss a variety of topics including all of the following:

  • Why you should attend the MIA+BSI Stone Summits
  • Comparing national events, such as StonExpo, to regional events
  • Training resources available online
  • The importance of having a presence on Facebook

Read the full transcript of this episode here: StoneTalk Episode 37 – Aaron Dahnke

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Meganite Introduces The Movement Series

Posted on 23 August 2017 by cradmin

Meganite Movement SeriesMeganite Acrylic Solid Surface has introduced its Movement Series. The series consists of three new colors with distinctive vein designs.

Mt. Jade is a modernist white featuring soft sued textures and feathery white markings. The company recommends it for historic and urban spaces. Mt. Carrara is described as the essence of European modern classic as it encapsulates high fashion furniture and interior design. Mt. Vancouver is a bold modernist ebony black with a crisp wispy light grey pattern.

Meganite Movement Series is manufactured with a natural, random veining design that runs the length of the sheet and is directional and must be fabricated according to the direction of the veining.

Meganite’s high performance acrylic solid surface may be used as countertops, backsplashes, window sills, sinks, shower walls and transaction tops. It is suitable for both residential and commercial applications.

You may also be interested in this video about thermoforming solid surface.

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Coverings 2018 Calls for Speakers

Posted on 22 August 2017 by cradmin

Coverings 2018Coverings, the largest international tile and stone show in North America, invites conference presenters and industry leaders to submit educational proposals for the show’s 2018 Conference Program. Returning to Atlanta for the first time since 2013, Coverings will be held May 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Lauded for its dynamic and engaging educational programs, Coverings invites thought-leaders to share fresh and innovative content that focuses on the latest, need-to-know information relating to cross-segment collaboration and best practices; trends in products and design; innovative business and project case studies; installation techniques and evolving industry technologies; economic forecasting; engaging the millennial generation; health, safety and wellness; and more. Proposed programming should focus on how to help professionals grow their businesses and enhance the industry at large and must be submitted for review by 5:00 p.m. PDT on Friday, September 8, 2017. Proposals can be submitted online.

“Coverings offers a comprehensive conference program dedicated to educating and engaging professionals at all stages of their careers across numerous professional segments of the tile & stone industry,” said Michele Nebel Peake, VP, Conference Development at Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “We take pride in providing a broad range of educational options and formats which creates an interactive learning experience, generates discussion, and provides our attendees with tools and knowledge that encourage professional success.”

Access to all education is FREE to registered Coverings exhibitors and attendees. Coverings is a registered provider of AIA and NKBA continuing education and applies for CEUs for ASID/IIDA through IDCEC.

The complete Coverings 2018 conference program will be revealed in January 2018.

You may also be interested in seeing other upcoming events on our Calendar.

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Franke Launches Italian-Inspired Pescara Collection

Posted on 21 August 2017 by cradmin

SNX211_AMB_006S_2.1474614935550Franke introduced its new Pescara Collection, a contemporary family of sinks with clean lines and a large, open workspace. The collection is inspired by Italian tradition and its artisan culture. Now available in showrooms nationwide, Pescara sinks are made from Franke stainless steel.

Available in seven sizes that range from a 14-in. prep sink to a 31-in. single bowl sink, Pescara sinks feature 18-gauge Franke stainless steel. tight corners, square drain designs, and Franke’s patented integral ledge system that incorporates a shelf grid to create a raised surface, making it easier and more comfortable to work at the sink.

Consumers can transform Pescara sinks into multifunctional workstations with optional accessories designed for the countertop ledge or integral ledge, including a square drain cover, a stainless steel bottom grid to protect sink from scratches, tempored glass cutting board, stainless steel sink butler to store food scraps and a dual purpose grid shelf.

You may also be interested in this article BLANCO Adds Five New Colors to IKON Apron Front Collection.

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Tenax Introduces Titanium Glue

Posted on 18 August 2017 by cradmin

1AAA00BM01-2TTenax Titanium glue has been developed with the latest Vinyl Ester technology.  According to the company Titanium is ideal for seaming, laminations, miter cuts, and chip repair on all granite, marbles, quartz and quartzite materials.

Tenax Titanium boasts workability and easy ability to stir and spread. It is available in knife grade and flowing formulas. The material reportedly has excellent adhesion in a short amount of time which enables the stone to be handled quickly even at low temperatures. Titanium works on white and light colored marble, quartz, and quartzite materials and can also take color for darker stones.

After the addition of the hardener the glue will change color but will return to the original white color after a few minutes. This can be used as a catalyst indicator. To retain the white color after curing it is important to not use more than the recommended amount of hardener. Tenax Titanium contains a UV absorber.

You may also be interested in this article about sealers and cleansers from Stone Technologies .

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Video: Working with Porcelain Slabs

Posted on 17 August 2017 by cradmin

This video produced by MSI shows how to install gauged porcelain slabs, such as the company’s Stile® slabs, and to create beautiful countertops and edging without lines. Special handling of these porcelain slabs is required, and this short video aims to teach best practices that include preparation, cutting, placement and edge finishing.

You may also be interested in this video on TPB Tech porcelain-based compact surface that includes built-in induction heating.

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