Archive | May, 2018

Gemstone Announces Changes in Leadership

Tags: , , ,

Gemstone Announces Changes in Leadership

Posted on 30 May 2018 by cradmin

Gemstone of Elkhart, Ind. announced that Larry Sensenbaugh, after 19 years of leadership, has decided to retire as president. Sensenbaugh will remain on the board with an ownership stake. “Larry has done a great job of leading Gemstone to where we are today. While he will be missed in day to day operations, I know I can always reach out to Larry when needed” says Jeffrey Smith, Gemstone’s Sales & Marketing Manager. Sensenbaugh joined Gemstone in June of 1999 and guided Gemstone’s growth from a regional manufacturer of solid surface countertops to the leading solid surface sink manufacturer that it is today.

At the same time as Sensenbaugh’s departure, Mr. Tim Cole is welcomed into Gemstone’s Management team as Operations Manager. Cole comes to Gemstone from Welch Packaging in Elkhart where he was most recently General Manager. Prior to that Cole also served roles as an Account Manager, Plant Manager and Quality Manager at Welch. “Tim Brings to Gemstone a rich production and quality background. While we believe we make the best sinks in the business, we know we can make our operations more efficient and we plan on leaning on Tim to help us do that,” says Ed Jarrett, Gemstone’s General Manager. In prior positions Cole has held, he has implemented Value Stream Mapping, ISO 9000 compliant quality control programs, and KanBan inventory management systems among other skills that will help Gemstone launch new and innovative programs in 2018 and 2019.

You may also be interested in this article about new members of Artisan Group.

Comments (0)

Dye Sublimation - Bringing Your Corian® & Solid Surface to Life With Imagery

Tags: , , , , ,

Dye Sublimation – Bringing Your Corian® & Solid Surface to Life With Imagery

Posted on 29 May 2018 by cradmin

Presented by

If you want to give your customers another option for adding more artistry and pizzazz to their business, home office, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, family room or bedroom, look no further than using a great selection of solid surface Corian®, HI-MACS, Avonite or any other brand for that matter.

Using a process called dye sublimation, you can transfer any design, logo, photograph or image (no matter how simple or complex) onto the solid surface material.

Dye Sublimation in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s offices at Inverdee House in Aberdeen, Scotland. Reception desk project by Keppie Design Architects; photo Simon Price. Photograph courtesy of DuPont.


How It’s Done

Although it may look complicated, dye sublimation is really quite simple and the results are impressive! And, as it turns out, solid surface is the perfect medium for the dye sublimation process. This is because successful dye sublimation is dependant upon an acrylic or polyester base for application due to its ability to bond with the gassed ink dyes that are used.

To start, have your customer provide you with their desired image or text–a photograph, digital or vector image. It’s important to confirm that the image meets the minimum digital or printed requirements to enable creation of a viable digital image file for sublimation.

After going through your quality check process, you can then print the desired image to an ink transfer plate and heat up both the plate and the solid surface material. Once the materials reach the proper temperature, a vacuum process is used to transfer the ink on the transfer plate (now in gaseous form) into the Corian® or other solid surface material. (Note: this process may vary slightly between dye sublimation specialists.)

Presto! The desired image or text is now permanently embedded into the surface, creating a very artistic and unique piece. This printed solid surface piece can now be fabricated, shaped and thermoformed, in the same manner as any other piece of solid surface material.

Think of the Solid Surface as a Blank Canvas…

Just like Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso or Warhol, envision the solid surface material as a blank canvas just waiting to spring to life with whatever imagery your customer desires. Through the dye sublimation process, virtually anything imaginable can be masterfully transferred into the solid surface. Possibilities range from larger endeavors like business signs, paneled installations, wall décor and artistic flourishes added to countertops, to smaller projects like promotional goods, coasters, hot plates, trivets or customized trophies or gifts.

Dye sublimation in various design concepts developed by R.D.Wing Co., Inc., for the AIA 2006 Convention, DuPont Corian Booth. Photo courtesy of R.D. Wing Co., Inc.

Dye sublimation is unique in that the process permanently embeds and preserves a selected image or text in the actual solid surface substrate. As a result, your customer can also have the creative flexibility to choose between a matte or high gloss finish for the final touch.

Quite literally, dye sublimation allows the imagination to be the limit on what is created. So bring out the inner artist in your customer and offer them dye sublimation on their next solid surface project.

Dye Sublimation in the Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Reception Area of the Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus, Spain, Decoration by; Photo courtesy of curArte and DuPont.

Comments (2)

Health & Safety Watch: Emergency Exit Compliance

Tags: , , , , , ,

Health & Safety Watch: Emergency Exit Compliance

Posted on 24 May 2018 by cradmin

Many employers believe that it is enough to post a sign over a door and call it an emergency exit, but OSHA sees it otherwise. Emergency exits are officially known as Exit Routes and consist of three parts, all of which must be in compliance with federal laws and regulations.

  1. Exit access – This is the part of the route that leads up to the exit.
  2. Exit – This part provides protection on the way to the exit discharge.
  3. Exit discharge – The final part leads outside or to an open space with access to the outside.

Exit Routes by Number

Generally speaking, most businesses are required to have at least two exit routes for employees, but more may be necessary depending on the size of the building, number of employees or other factors that would not allow for the safe evacuation of the workplace. On the other hand, very small companies in small but open buildings may only need one exit route.

In order to determine whether “the number of employees, the size of the building, its occupancy, or the arrangement of the workplace is such that all employees would be able to evacuate safely during an emergency,” OSHA refers to the employer guidance from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Life Safety Code and International Fire Code.

Key Requirements

The complete design and construction requirements for exit routes follow these key guidelines:

  • The exit access, exit and discharge must be large enough for all likely users to fit through safely. This means ceilings must be at least 7 ft., 6 in. tall and 28 in. wide. Additionally, the width of the exit and exit discharge must be equal in size or larger than the exit discharge in most cases.
  • Exit stairs to other floors must be closed by doors or partitions that indicate the safe direction of travel.
  • Exits must remain unlocked at all times, or a panic bar must be in place that locks the door only from the outside.
  • Exit doors must side-hinged and swing out toward the direction of travel if the area is designed to by occupied by more than 50 people.
  • Exits must be separated by materials that provide one hour of fire resistance for three or fewer stories and two hours of fire resistance for four or more stories.

Emergency Action Plan

All procedures for evacuation and the use of exit routes must be part of a company’s emergency action plan. Employers with 10 or fewer workers may communicate this plan verbally while those with more than 10 employees must have a plan in writing.

For further information, please read the official OSHA Fact Sheet on Emergency Exit Routes.

Comments (0)

Weha Introduces Redesigned Shop Cart

Tags: , ,

Weha Introduces Redesigned Shop Cart

Posted on 22 May 2018 by cradmin

Weha is now offering a redesigned version of its yellow granite shop carts.

This version offers four swivel wheels instead of two fixed and two swivel with a 2000 lb. capacity. It also comes with optional angle adjustment. The cart is made like a drywall cart but built for heavy duty work in the granite and stone environment.

The Weha Granite and Stone Drywall Fabrication Shop Cart is a great cart for moving stone around the shop or on the job site. It works well for moving stone from the saw to the bowl cutter, to the work tables, and then to the truck. The cart also is great for storing remnants or moving cut pieces from the shop to the remnant rack and back.

The cart dimensions are: Overall Length: 49″; Overall Height: 48″; Overall Depth: 23″; Surface Deck: 12″ x 44″; and measures 35 1/2″ from deck to top of shop cart.

You may also be interested in this article about Material Mate from Rockler.

Comments (0)

Caesarstone Introduces New Designs

Tags: , , ,

Caesarstone Introduces New Designs

Posted on 21 May 2018 by cradmin

Topus Concrete

Caesarstone has introduced the Metropolitan Collection, a unique collection leading the urban interior trend, along with new designs to the Classico Collection.

The Metropolitan Collection reflects the authentic textures of manufacturing, such as oxidized steel, poured plaster and raw concrete. These unpolished designs reveal variations in appearance and capture depth and movement throughout the surface. Caesarstone’s new cutting-edge technology achieves a weathered patina in quartz.

Excava, Airy Concrete, Topus Concrete, Cloudburst Concrete and Frozen Terra join Fresh Concrete, Raw Concrete, Rugged Concrete and Sleek Concrete to form the new Metropolitan Collection.

Excava: Deep auburns, chestnuts and coppers sweep across an unpolished canvas. The surface’s excavated look and feel were inspired by the intriguing manufacturing patinas of casting and oxidizing.

Topus Concrete: Rich shades of buttermilk overlay a cream-toned base creating a multi-layered effect. The subtle movement of the surface reveals depth and dimension as undertones reflect the pastels that are shaping interiors today.

Airy Concrete: A grey base enhanced by white and dark grey veins feature the interplay between water and air creating the appearance of waves billowing to the surface. Airy Concrete meets the ongoing demand for industrial design with a softened edge.

Cloudburst Concrete: Soft swells of pure white veil a creamy white base as rich tones and an innovative texture further define its beauty. Cloudburst’s sophisticated surface delivers a concrete-like feel.

Frozen Terra: A classic, neutral-colored white base is embellished by glimmers of black basalt and translucent grey quartz. Frozen Terra fuses the playfulness of terrazzo with the robustness of concrete.

In addition, Caesarstone added two colors to the varied assortment in the Classico Collection: Intense White and Flannel Grey.

Caesarstone surfaces are nonporous, durable, mold and mildew resistant, and scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant.

You may also be interested in this article about new Radianz Quartz colors.

Comments (0)

TCNA Publishes 2017 Tile Industry Update

Tags: , , ,

TCNA Publishes 2017 Tile Industry Update

Posted on 18 May 2018 by cradmin

The Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA) has published its 2017 U.S. Ceramic Tile Industry Update, and the news is nearly all positive. The general economy, construction market, housing market, interest rates and unemployment rate have all contributed to a productive year, surpassing 3 billion sq. ft. for the first time in 11 years. At 3.05 billion sq. ft., total consumption rose by 5.1 percent over the previous year and the fourth highest it’s been in history.

U.S. Tile Shipments

Domestic tile shipments increased by 4.1 percent in 2017, setting a new record of 946.5 million sq. ft. This marks the eighth straight year of growth, and the rise is being attributed to new production facilities for ceramic tile in Tennessee.

Tile manufactured in the U.S. is the most popular choice in the domestic market with 31.1 percent of the share, followed by China at 21.6 percent, Mexico at 13.1 percent and Italy coming in at 12.4 percent.

The value of FOB factory sales was also up by 6.1 percent, setting a record at $1.43 billion. By the value metric, U.S. tile accounted for 39.3 percent of the domestic market with Italy coming in second with a 20.5 percent share.

Tile Imports

Total tile imports are much higher than U.S. tile shipments, making up 68.6 percent of domestic consumption. Imports were up in 2017 by 5.6 percent to 2.10 billion sq. ft. China has been the largest exporter of ceramic tile since overtaking Mexico in 2015, and Chinese tile accounted for 31.3 percent of U.S. imports.

The next four largest exporters are as follows:

  • Mexico – 18.9 percent
  • Italy – 18.1 percent
  • Spain – 11.7 percent
  • Turkey – 6.2 percent

Tile Exports

The only bad news from TCNA Tile Industry Update is that U.S. ceramic tile exports fell by 21.3 percent to 28.5 million sq. ft.

Comments (0)

Video: Is Granite Overrated?

Tags: , ,

Video: Is Granite Overrated?

Posted on 17 May 2018 by cradmin

Vox , a sort of video guide to a variety of subjects, takes a look at countertops and what drives trends, particularly with a focus on granite. While the video makes an argument that granite may be “overrated,” we here at do not necessarily share that position, but do recognize that each material has desirable qualities from durability to cost to aesthetics. Interestingly, the video has been viewed more than 1 million times, lending it credibility in the form of widespread viewership. After all, as we have seen in the digital age, people will believe what they see.

Among the variety of premium surfacing options available, granite is a beautiful and viable choice with numerous benefits. That said, it’s not alone and the field is growing.

Check out the video and share your thoughts.

You may also be interested in this video on how to remove a scratch from granite.

Comments (0)

Natural Stone Institute Calls for Award Entries

Tags: , , , ,

Natural Stone Institute Calls for Award Entries

Posted on 16 May 2018 by cradmin

The Natural Stone Institute announced that the call for entries for several industry awards are now open.

The 2018 Pinnacle Awards is now open for submissions. The Pinnacle Awards honor projects where beauty, creativity, ingenuity, and craftsmanship exemplify professional mastery in the use of natural stone for commercial and residential applications.

Four new categories have been introduced this year, allowing for a broader range of natural stone craftsmanship to be showcased and honored. Pinnacle Awards will be given in the following seven categories:
• Commercial Interior
• Commercial Exterior
• Renovation/Restoration
• Residential Interior/Exterior—Single Family (New category)
• Residential Interior/Exterior—Multi-Family (New category)
• Architectural Carving/Lettering/Sculpture (New category)
• Public Landscapes/Parks/Memorials (New category)

The Pinnacle Awards are open to all Natural Stone Institute member companies, and will be recognized during the Natural Stone Institute Awards Celebration at TISE 2019. The winning projects will be displayed at TISE 2019 and promoted at other trade shows and in industry publications throughout the year.

A Grande Pinnacle Award (sponsored by Marmomac) will be presented to the best overall project. An award for the best use of Brazilian stone (sponsored by Vitoria Stone Fair) will also be available within each category.

The Natural Stone Institute also announced that the call for entries for the 2018 Industry Recognition Awards is now open.  Natural Stone Institute members are invited to nominate colleagues for the following awards:

Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement. This award pays tribute to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the natural stone industry.

Women in Stone Pioneer Award. Sponsored by TexaStone Quarries, this award recognizes a trailblazer within the stone industry for their role in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women. The recipient’s performance in promoting women should be exemplary, honorable, and inspirational.

Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Award. Sponsored by Polycor and Custom Building Products, this award was established to honor an individual whose craftsmanship in the natural stone industry stands out above all else.

Natural Stone Scholarship. Sponsored by Coldspring, Delaware Quarries, and the Natural Stone Foundation, this scholarship provides educational opportunities for aspiring stone professionals interested in furthering their careers within the natural stone industry.

Women in Stone Empowerment Scholarship. Sponsored by the Natural Stone Foundation, this scholarship provides a guided educational experience to one of three industry events to a woman showing a strong passion to grow their career within the stone industry.

Submissions for all awards are due Friday, July 20.

You may also be interested in this article about the BLANCO by Design Contest Winners

Comments (0)

NTCA Offers Free Webinar

Tags: , , ,

NTCA Offers Free Webinar

Posted on 15 May 2018 by cradmin

The National Tile Contractors Association announced that it will be offering a free webinar on May 22, 2018 at 1 p.m. CDT.

Kurt Zintner will present information about Fundamentals of Expansion Joints for the Tile Installer. The meeting topics will include: Terminology, applicable specifications, product chemistry, and the elements to successfully include expansion joints in ceramic tile installations.

Click Here for registration information.

You may also be interested in this article about the ISFA Countertops & Architectural Surfaces Symposium.


Comments (0)

Coverings Announces CID Award Winners

Tags: ,

Coverings Announces CID Award Winners

Posted on 14 May 2018 by cradmin

The Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards, which honor exceptional design and installation of tile and stone in the categories of Residential Stone, Residential Tile, Commercial Stone, and Commercial Tile were presented on May 9.

Ten outstanding tile and stone projects were selected as winners by a panel of prominent editors, top designers, and industry professionals. Submissions were evaluated based on execution, original usage, and overall design and purpose. Recognition was also given to those projects demonstrating outstanding tile and stone applications.

The 2018 CID winners and special honorees are as follows:

Design Grand Prize Winner

Project: Exclusive Residential Apartment
Designer: Farr Interiors
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Commercial Stone Design
Project: Kitchen and Bath Design Showroom
Designer: Empire Kitchen & Bath
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Commercial Tile Design
Project: Riverchase Galleria
Designer: Architecture Design Collaborative
Location: Hoover, AL

Residential Stone Design
Project: Luxury Modern Design
Designer: Gaskin Designs & Development
Location: West Hollywood, CA

Residential Tile Design
Project: Knollwood Kitchen
Designer: SOURCE
Location: Atlanta, GA

Project: Trinity Dome
Installer: Rugo Stone LLC
Location: Washington, DC

Commercial Stone Installation
Project: 609 Main
Installer: Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd.
Location: Houston, TX

Commercial Tile Installation
Project: Apple Campus 2 Gateway Tunnel
Installer: California Tile Installers
Location: Cupertino, CA

Residential Stone Installation
Project: Black & White Marble Bathroom
Installer: Columbia River Tile & Stone, Inc.
Location: Portland, OR

Residential Tile Installation
Project: Interference Pattern: Bold Colors Weave Together and Collide in a Vashon Island Home
Installer: Tile Design by Edelstein
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Six honorable mentions were given in two additional categories, recognizing international projects and projects creatively using tile in public spaces. These special recognitions were awarded as follows:

Special Recognition – International:
• Puritsu Façade: Designed by Anoma in New Delhi, India
• The Almost Invisible School: Designed by Imagen Subliminal in Salamanca, Villares de la Reina, Spain
• TUNATECA BALFEGO Restaurant: Designed by El Equipo Creativo in Barcelona, Spain
• Laan van Spartaan; Amsterdam Student Housing: Designed by Levantina The Natural Stone Company in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Special Recognition – Creative Tile in Public Spaces
• Hand Made Ceramic Tile Mural ‘City of Fog’: Designed by Linda Larson Art in San Francisco, CA
• The Great Wall of Zacatlan – A Monumental Mosaic Mural in Mexico: Designed by Trish Metzner in Zacatlan De Las Manzanas, Puebla, Mexico

The grand prize winners received $3,000, while prize winners in all other categories received $2,000. In addition, all winners won a free one-night stay in Atlanta to attend the Coverings 2018 show.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

The Countertop Industry Insider Monthly Newsletter


Subscribe to Get New Posts via Email

Enter your email address to receive new posts by email. You can choose to receive notifications weekly or daily, excluding weekends and holidays.




CountertopResource on Social Media





%d bloggers like this: