Archive | September, 2017

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SurfaceSet 2018 by Formica Corporation Includes 32 New Designs

Posted on 28 September 2017 by cradmin

SurfaceSet® 2018 by Formica Corporation includes 32 new Formica Laminate colors, patterns and woodgrain designs, and one new finish. The collection features three palettes; all newly interpreted and curated for commercial surfaces.

The collection is the result of extensive design and style research by Formica Group’s international design team. Drawing inspiration from our ever-changing world, the collection offers a wide range of surfacing options, from Scandinavian-inspired maples, to artistic paint scrapes, to the look of raw materials reused. SurfaceSet 2018 is grouped into three palettes: Personal Sanctuary; Spectral; and Smart Organic.

The Personal Sanctuary palette includes colors and patterns in a mix of soft textures and smooth finishes that invite touch and interaction. The warm hues in Personal Sanctuary are balanced with soft tones that add an elegant feel to neutrals. Colors and patterns such as Just Rose, Danish Maple, Winter Sky and Blackened and Bronzed Steel refresh us, while three new Birchply designs add texture and the appearance of plywood in modern, light wood tones.

Inspired by art, the Spectral palette applies color in a free, unfettered fashion, revealing the maker’s hand. Brush strokes and textural daubs make for intriguingly tactile surfaces, heightening the sensory experience with strong, saturated color. This palette’s bold primary tones in contrasting combinations add rich depth and a contemporary vibe to surroundings. Chrome Yellow, Matrix Blue and Spectrum Green help us recreate the world in a bright new way. Two new Paint Scrape designs give the appearance of layered paint applied to a canvas and then scraped off to reveal a grid-like layout, revealing spontaneous pops of color.

The Smart Organic palette is designed with future generations in mind. Nature and man-made materials collaborate to create something entirely new. Recycling goes further as the company rethinks what it throws away, resulting in something totally original. The intent is not only to enhance resources, but also to manipulate and marry them with synthetic materials to create intriguing new composites.

For example, two Paper Terrazzo patterns utilize small fragments of post-production solid color paper from Formica Laminate that would otherwise have gone to waste. The palette also includes three Bubble design patterns, in which printing inks were mixed with soap and bubbles, then blown on industrial grade paper. Additional offerings include natural and man-made greens, grays and warm tones in colors such as Green Slate, Weathered Fiberwood and Enamel.

Joining the collection is Plex, a new small-scale, versatile surface finish with a textile feel that can be used to enhance all solid colors and patterns, including the new Paint Scrape laminate design.

You may also be interested in this article about metallic laminates from Finish Corp.

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StoneTalk Episode 38: Vinny Tavares and Jesse Miller

Posted on 27 September 2017 by cradmin

Welcome to episode 38 of Moraware’s StoneTalk podcast with host Patrick Foley. This episode features Vinny Tavares of Pacific Shore Stones and Jesse Miller of Integrity Enterprises. The trio discuss several topics about buying stone direct, including the following:

  • The value of purchasing stone directly
  • Challenges associated with buying stone direct
  • Teaming up on buying stone to increase purchasing power

Read the full transcript of this episode here: StoneTalk Episode 38 – Vinny Tavares and Jesse Miller

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Video – Impact Test Comparative for Top Porzelanik Barcelona Compact Surface/Ceramic/Porcelain

Posted on 26 September 2017 by cradmin

While Top Porzelanik Barcelona (TPB) is not yet a common compact surfacing material in the United States, this video shows the durability of the product and, in general, the product category.

You may also be interested in this video on fabricating Compact Surfaces.

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Hastings Tile & Bath Introduces Spanish Tile Collections

Posted on 25 September 2017 by cradmin

Snow and Duck Egg

Hastings Tile & Bath announced that it is distributing a new collection from Spanish tile manufacturer Inedita.

The tiles, collectively called Crafted, combine the beauty of handcrafted clay, the charm of timeless bricks and the boldness of turning traditional subway tiles on their sides. The collection includes of a number of nontraditional tiles. The collection of subway tiles are either 2 in. by 10 in. or 2 in. by 20 in. The handmade, hand-glazed tiles are available in five colors: Duck Egg Blue, Nude, Snow, Sage and Cloud.

For a more dramatic look, the handmade “Decor” black and white collection is comprised of 3 in. by 6 in. tiles, with patterns ranging from hand-drawn horizontal lines to more intricate horizontal and vertical lines combined. Dots and greater/lesser than symbols combine to create unique designs.

You may also be interested in this article Ege Seramik Introduces Epic Collection.

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Laser Products Announces Canada Sales Hire

Posted on 22 September 2017 by cradmin

laser-productsIgnacio-MansoLaser Products has announced the hiring of Ignacio Manso as its Central and Eastern Sales Manager. Manso will be responsible for the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.  Manso brings more than 20 years of sales experience with more than 9 years in the stone, quarry, and home improvement industries.

Manso comes most recently from Darusha Supply as an account manager, and has also held various sales and management roles with Emerald Tile and Marble, Urban Quarry, and Stone Design Concepts.

Manso will be located out of the Kingston, Ontario area.

You may also be interested in this article Festool Hires New Chief Sales Officer.

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Reduce the Strain from Manual Material Handling

Posted on 21 September 2017 by cradmin

In last month’s Health & Safety Watch, we took a look at how material handling and storage strategies could lead to fatalities in the countertop fabrication industry, and this month, we are going to continue with this theme by delving into injuries from manual material handling.

It is a little-known fact that the leading cause of disabling injuries in the construction industry is overexertion. In 2016, overexertion accounted for more than one-third of workers’ compensation claims in “residential construction, heavy construction and specialty trades,” and most of these injuries are caused by improper material handling.

Lifting, lowering, holding, carrying, pushing and pulling unbalanced materials in an unsafe manner stresses the soft tissues of the body, resulting in overexertion injuries, but there are only four specific reasons why these injuries occur:

  1. Bending and twisting the back when picking up materials
  2. Holding materials away from the body or over the head for prolonged periods
  3. Repeatedly lifting, holding and moving heavy materials without taking breaks
  4. Holding materials too far from the body

To reduce overexertion injuries in the workplace, all you have to do is follow a few simple rules.

Manual Material Handling Dos

  • Decide beforehand where materials will go when they are delivered.
  • Store materials off the ground to reduce the stress associated with bending and lifting.
  • When lifting, bend the knees and push up with the legs for maximum strength and support.
  • Hold materials close to the body and within the “power zone.”
  • Lift heavy materials at one end and walk to the center to balance.
  • Whenever possible, use machines or equipment to move heavy materials.
  • Use proper supports and other equipment to hold materials overhead.
  • Use mechanical equipment to lift and lower heavy materials.
  • Take several short breaks when handling heavy materials.

Manual Material Handling Don’ts

  • Do not lift or carry more than 50 pounds without the help of other workers.
  • Do not carry materials while going up or down a ladder.
  • Do not lift or move heavy materials while standing on a ladder.
  • Do not support heavy materials on your head.
  • Do not twist the body when lifting or moving materials.

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Franmar Offers Blue Bear Concrete Dissolver

Posted on 20 September 2017 by cradmin

Blue Bear Concrete DissolverFranmar offers its Blue Bear 770 CD Concrete Dissolver. According to the company, Blue Bear dissolves built up concrete and concrete dust from tools, trucks and other machinery so that it can be easily washed away. Application is made easy with the use of a pump sprayer.

Blue Bear is created from soybeans and natural elements and is 100 percent biodegradable. This provides a safe and effective cleaning solution that is also mindful of the environment.

Available one quart, one gallon, and five gallon sizes.

You may also be interested in attending the Concrete Décor Show 

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NKBA Establishes Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Posted on 19 September 2017 by cradmin

harvey_720As most of our readers know, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) does quite a bit to help countertop fabricators and associated builders and remodelers, but it also provides a platform to help communities in need. The latest effort of the NKBA is the establishment of a fund dedicated to helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund will mitigate some of the damage nature has wrought in Southeast Texas and along the Gulf Coast. This storm was one of the largest to strike the area, causing up to $190 billion in damage, killing 60 people over 11 counties and displacing tens of thousands of people from their homes.

Homes were not all that was damaged, however. Businesses of all sorts, including those of several NKBA members were devastated, and to do its part in helping to rebuild, the NKBA will match up to $500,000 in donations with a total goal of raising $1 million.

According to the association, “Contributions will go directly to helping our members get their businesses, livelihoods and lives back on track. Any funds not utilized by our members will be distributed to general relief agencies to assist the broader community.”

To make a confidential contribution, all you have to do is click here to donate and fill out the form. You may also contribute by sending an email to the project leader, Julie Figiel, at [email protected].

In addition, be sure to check out some of the publications offered by the NKBA, and visit the NKBA Connect Blog for the latest news and economic indicators.

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Finish Tech Corp Offers Metallic Laminates

Posted on 18 September 2017 by cradmin

Finish-Tech-Corp-LaminatesMetallic laminates from Finish Tech Corp. are available in a variety of polished and brushed metal patterns. Finish Tech’s high-gloss metallic polyester laminates offer versatility, durability and ease of application. Choose from copper, silver, gold, pewter and galvanized steel finishes.

Metallic laminates are ideal for value engineering store fixtures, POP displays, furniture, picture frames and many other products either as a replacement for wood, thermoformable vinyls and metals or as an embellishment. They are fabricator friendly and can be profile wrapped, miter-folded, sawn, perforated, drilled, routed, punched, etc.

Finish Tech’s metallic laminates work with a wide variety of substrates. They can be laminated to coil or sheet metal including galvanized steel or aluminum; flat laminated to particleboard, MDF and hardboard; or profile wrapped using PUR glue.

According to the company the laminates will not chip, crack or peel and the metallic sheen maintains more than 95 percent gloss level at 60 degrees. They are available with Finish Tech’s signature Scratch Resistant Finish(SRF) to add surface protection against heat, stains, solvents and scratching.

Most Finish Tech metallic laminates are available in a range of 4 to 11 mils thick, in 50 in. wide rolls. All products are available on flexible or rigid vinyl or as non-PVC products and can be ordered with Finish Tech’s Pressure Sensitive Adhesive.

You may also be interested in this article Wilsonart Adds Five New Decors to Traceless Laminate Range.


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Business Sense: Improve Customer Service With the 10-4 Rule

Posted on 15 September 2017 by cradmin

Some people have an innate knack for customer service. They simply understand how to make the most of a busy showroom by eagerly assisting customers in need of help and dissolving problem situations effortlessly and enthusiastically. Many of you may be this sort of person, you may be lucky enough to have one on your staff. However, it is rare to have more than single employee with a natural gift for customer service.

Once your business reaches a certain size, it becomes impossible for this one person to handle each customer, and you never know when he or she might leave to pursue another avenue. Unfortunately, there is no sure way to find another natural through the typical hiring process. The good news is that not every customer service representative has to have “the gift.” It is possible to train any employee with good intentions to provide top-notch service.

Identify the Skillset for Customer Relations

It’s not that difficult to identify what makes someone good at customer service. All you have to do is examine some of your own experiences as a customer – specifically the worst ones. First and foremost, a bad customer service rep, salesperson or even waiter will become visibly annoyed at your very presence, and heaven forbid that you try to ask a question.

These bad situations will help you see that excellent customer service is a skill that can be “taught, measured and rewarded.” And following is a strategy that will help you avoid your customers receiving similar treatment.

Applying the 10-4 Rule

The 10-4 Rule is simple: If you are within 10 feet of a customer, make eye contact as you would do to a close friend. In addition, don’t be afraid to smile. Establishing eye contact shows that you acknowledge the customer, and you are open and prepared for questions. You may not even be available at that particular moment, but the customer will understand the acknowledgement and will usually wait patiently until you to get to them. Furthermore, the quick act of eye contact and a smile will rarely disrupt the customer you are currently helping.

Part two of the 10-4 Rule is to make a friendly comment or ask a helpful question. Any of the following will do just fine:

  • May I help you?
  • Have you been here before?
  • Are you familiar with our products?
  • Hi!

The main point is to open an inviting dialogue rather than be dismissive by saying something such as, “We’re just getting ready to close.”

The above behaviors work well because they are observable and easy to read. Customers do not have to rely on their intuition. Another reason they are so great is that these behaviors can be taught, and they will go a long way when put into use. The 10-4 Rule can also be measured, which makes your staff accountable, and it can be rewarded to further incentivize your employees.

Read the original article by Kathleen Teodoro of Moraware here: The 10-4 Rule of Customer Service

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