Archive | November, 2019

MSI Sponsors Home for the Holidays Showhouse

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MSI Sponsors Home for the Holidays Showhouse

Posted on 27 November 2019 by cradmin

MSI, a North American Supplier of premium quartz, natural stone, porcelain, ceramic and luxury vinyl tile, is a Silver Sponsor for the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Home for the Holidays Showhouse.

Not only is MSI a proud sponsor for this much-anticipated annual event, several MSI products are used throughout the home—including the company’s best-selling Q Premium Natural™ Quartz, and Arterra Porcelain Pavers.

Emily Holle, Director of Trend & Design for MSI, said, “We are thrilled that architectural designer Frank Heery of Harrison Design chose to incorporate several of MSI’s most innovative products into this truly exceptional 5,000 sq.ft. home.” Holle adds, “And as one of the sponsors, we’re proud that this event benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and I encourage our clients and customers to attend.”

The 1950s-era Saltbox home features several stunning additions and layout modifications which give it a sense of history. “You can imagine that it was added onto over time,” Heery says. “We wanted to show people what you can do with a renovation…You don’t always have to build new.” The home has a focus on wellness with a spa dedicated to health and mediation. The sense of nature flooding in through all the expansive windows is breathtaking.

The showhouse welcomes visitors from November 14th to December 8th. It’s located at 4825 Woodvale Drive NW Atlanta, GA 30327. Each room is uniquely designed by several of the top Interior Designers in the South East.

Visitors can find the home’s featured MSI products—along with a full line of the company’s natural stone, decorative mosaics, luxury vinyl tile, and more—at the nearby MSI Atlanta Showroom and Distribution Center located at 7950 Troon Circle Austell, GA 30168.

You may also be interested in this article about Blanco’s Product Innovation Award

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Parson Adhesives Introduces ChromaLok

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Parson Adhesives Introduces ChromaLok

Posted on 26 November 2019 by cradmin

ChromaLok is a line of high quality color matched adhesive specially designed for the surfacing industry. These adhesive are available in more than 45 colors and specifically designed for laminating, V-grooving, mitering and integral mounted sinks and bowls.

According to the company advantages of ChromaLok adhesives include:

  • Adhesive supplied in 2-part cartridge system for consistent application
  • No hand mixing is required
  • Reduce Waste
  • Excellent UV stability, resistance properties and durability
  • Matches the gloss of surrounding material after polishing
  • Low odor formulation
  • Fast cure speed with excellent flexibility

Applications include fabrication of laminations and seams for Solid Surfaces, Quartz Surfacing and Natural Stone.

You may also be interested in this article about Glue 360 Universal Adhesives.

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Video: Solid Surface Cove Routing and Sanding

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Video: Solid Surface Cove Routing and Sanding

Posted on 25 November 2019 by cradmin

This video put out by fabricator Olive Mill, in California, shows the basics of how to route and sand a solid surface, cove countertop.

The video begins with a fully fabricated countertop with the cove insert and backsplash glued up for the purposes of time. The demonstrator uses a specialty Betterly Cove Router, and shows the cove routing itself, followed by the basic sanding process to complete a smooth, contoured cove radius.

Cove backsplashes are a great upsell in solid surface and can increase the value-add and the profits per job, making both the fabricator and customer happier.

You might also be interested in this video on granite chip and crack repair.

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SSG-GrayType-Blue-6300wide-1000dpi

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Stone Services Group Directs Debut of Hot Sauce Software System

Posted on 22 November 2019 by cradmin

The newly formed Stone Services Group (SSG) has announced its immediate engagement with Ignite Consulting Group (ICG) to sell and market ICG’s industry-specific selling software, Hot Sauce. SSG is a fabricator-focused services company that partners with countertop fabricators to implement new tools and processes that grow sales and increase profits.

SSG was formed when industry experts came together to identify the unique needs of countertop fabricators. SSG is led by Rich Katzmann, former President of Laser Products Industries; Kyle Welker, General Manager of Precision Measuring & Training (PMT); and four other individuals who offer more than 50 years of industry experience in operations, customer service/sales, templating, scheduling, and programming.

ICG, designer and developer of Hot Sauce, the comprehensive, easy-to-use software system that can boost profit immediately, has partnered with SSG to officially launch its revolutionary product. The system is entirely turnkey with pre-set software built for customer interaction and purchase. It also includes more than 50 unique, upsell items collected over the years to immediately add profit. In fact, more than 75 percent of the items in the collection have no cost of goods and generate pure earnings.

“SSG’s launch is already at fever pitch,” explains SSG’s Katzmann. “Not only have we launched a much requested and entirely unique business services company in the stone industry, our first client, ICG’s Geoffrey Gran, is a true leader and innovator. We are thrilled to partner with him, and sell and market his Hot Sauce software.”

“The countertop industry can be difficult, and many fabricators are excellent at producing countertops but sometimes struggle with sales, marketing and improving profits,” explains Gran. “Our goal at ICG is to provide simple solutions that provide instant returns for our Customers. SSG has an experienced knowledge base of our industry and combines that with strategic thinking and best practices. We know how powerful the Hot Sauce software is and the immediate impact it makes on a company’s bottom line, and SSG will help get the word out to the entire fabrication network.”

For more information about Stone Services Group, visit stoneservicesgroup.com

You may also be interested in articles in our Business Sense series.

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Winter Weather Advisory from OSHA

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Winter Weather Advisory from OSHA

Posted on 21 November 2019 by cradmin

Although cold stress is not usually a hazard for countertop fabricators, winter weather provides obstacles for everyone in any business that requires travel. Installers must often drive in snow or have snow removed from their place of business.

Of course, fabricators cannot control roadway conditions, but they can promote safe driving behavior when winter hazards are present. These hazards include driving in snowy and icy conditions. Employers are recommended to promote safe driving at all times, and an effective maintenance program is prescribed to limit crashes and injuries.

The following vehicle systems should be regularly inspected to ensure they are working properly:

  • Brakes – Brakes should be even and balanced, and brake fluid should be at the required level.
  • Coolant – A recommended mixture of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water prevents overheating. Ensure coolant is at the proper level.
  • Electrical – Always make sure that the ignition works without fault and that the battery is fully charged with clean connections. It is also a good idea to check the alternator belt for wear.
  • Tires – Tires should have decent tread depth with no unevenness or damage.
  • Oil – Oil must be within the indicated range.

In addition to vehicle safety, winter poses other safety threats. Shoveling snow in the cold can be particularly taxing on the body. Use of proper lifting techniques and taking frequent breaks in warm places are crucial.

To prevent slips on snow and ice, walkways should be cleared with the help of a deicer. Wearing proper footwear is also essential. Boots that are insulated, waterproof and have good, rubber soles work best in snow and ice.

For other recommendations about safely working in the winter months, read the full article on the OSHA website.

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Coldspring Receives Recognition of Excellence Award

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Coldspring Receives Recognition of Excellence Award

Posted on 20 November 2019 by cradmin

Coldspring Egineering Group

Coldspring®, a quarrier and fabricator of natural stone and bronze manufacturing in North America, was recognized by Xcel Energy for its outstanding achievements in energy efficiency. Xcel Energy presented the “Recognition of Excellence Award” to Coldspring at the utility’s annual Energy Solutions Expo at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

The Recognition of Excellence awards honor Xcel Energy’s Minnesota business customers that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to energy efficiency. Six organizations received awards for their efforts completed in 2018 and 2019 using Xcel Energy’s portfolio of energy solutions, long-term strategies and leadership.

“Coldspring was founded in 1898 with a commitment to good stewardship in every aspect of our operations,” says Ray Jaeger, Engineering and Environmental Manager. “Today, we continue this mission by taking our commitment to the environment very seriously at every location. Coldspring has made significant advancements in energy reduction in recent years, and we’re honored to receive recognition from Xcel Energy for our efforts.”

In 2008, Coldspring implemented a long-term plan to reduce energy usage by 2 percent every year and to date their annual average energy reduction has exceeded that goal with an anticipated 10 percent reduction for 2019. These achievements are a result of the completion of a wide variety of innovative projects including wide-scale custom equipment upgrades and energy-efficient LED lighting.

In addition to implementing custom equipment and lighting, Coldspring has added new processes to save energy, including renewable wind through Xcel’s WIndsource program. In August 2019, Coldspring installed more than 3,000 solar electric panels at its Minnesota headquarters. The 1-megawatt ground array system covers approximately 5 acres and – along with renewable wind energy – is helping Coldspring achieve an estimated reduction in energy consumption of 12 percent each year.

“Coldspring has a history of demonstrating leadership for the environment not only in the state of Minnesota but also within the natural stone industry,” says Kathy Spanier, Director of Marketing at Coldspring. “In 2006, we began working within the stone industry to form a sustainability committee which would later implement the industry’s first third-party-verified standard to recognize the sustainable production of natural stone, ANSI/NSC 373. Reducing energy consumption has played an important role in Coldspring’s ability to achieve ANSI/NSC 373 certifications at various locations.”

You may also be interested in this article about BLANCO’s Product Innovation Award.

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BLANCO Earns Product Innovation Award

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BLANCO Earns Product Innovation Award

Posted on 19 November 2019 by cradmin

BLANCO, the German manufacturer of finely crafted sinks and faucets, has earned an Architectural Products Magazine Product Innovation Award (PIA) for its QUATRUS®R15 ERGON Apron Super Single stainless steel sink. Now in their ninth year, the PIA awards honor innovation in the development of buildings-related products and are judged by a group of 14 independent industry professionals.

“For generations, BLANCO has focused on material development and lifestyle trends, enabling us to consistently design sinks that deliver superior functionality with beautiful styling,” notes Tim Maicher, Director of Marketing for BLANCO. “In the case of the QUATRUS®R15 ERGON Apron sink, we transformed a classic style into a more modern look while enhancing its functionality and we’re honored to have industry professionals recognize these innovations with this award.”

With a generous R15 radius, rear-positioned drain hole and a high ledge for custom accessories, the QUATRUS R15 ERGON offers users maximum workspace in, under and on top of the sink. Optional accessories include a grid, steel colander and wood cutting board – the QUATRUS R15 ERGON elevates a kitchen’s workspace and limits countertop clutter.

You may also be interested in this article about Domain’s Lexicon product line.

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Remodeling Industry Experiences Continued Growth

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Remodeling Industry Experiences Continued Growth

Posted on 18 November 2019 by cradmin

Early this month, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), in conjunction with John Burns Real Estate Consulting, released the Third Quarter Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI), which shows positive growth in the remodeling industry. Scores that are above 50 indicate growth while those below show decreased activity, and the score for Q3 2019 was 65.4. This is consistent with the Q2 2019 score of 65.7.

This index looks at the “economic pulse” of the kitchen and bath industry, and it is also used to gauge larger macroeconomic conditions, such as consumer confidence and discretionary spending.

According to the study on which the index is based, the current major concerns of the industry are as follows:

  • Rising cost of materials
  • Customer budgets
  • Fear of recession
  • Labor costs

In addition, 54 percent of NKBA members have cited that tariffs have had a moderate, high or significant financial impact to their businesses, and manufacturers were hit hardest with 59 percent reporting financial impact. One in three members have had to raise prices on products and materials due to tariffs.

“The KBMI arms consumers and our nearly 50,000 industry members with the knowledge they need to best understand the remodeling market and economic climate,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “We’re pleased to find the industry is still growing and that future conditions are optimistic. The KBMI also sheds light on industry challenges, such as the labor shortage, which we hope to support through our NextUp program by educating youth on the many career opportunities available in the kitchen and bath space.”

“Our partnership with the NKBA allows us to monitor the kitchen and bath industry, which is a valuable housing indicator for our clients,” said Todd Tomalak, Senior Vice President of Research for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “Remodeling spending is shifting as fewer homeowners choose to move and instead improve their existing homes.”

Following are several other key takeaways from the Q3 report:

  • The Q4 outlook is optimistic yet cautious. Experts forecast a KBMI score of 61.7.
  • Sales growth is expected for the rest of 2019 at a rate of 3.5 percent for the full year although earlier predictions were at 4.7 percent and 5.4 percent.
  • The kitchen and bath industry is stable.
  • Products made in the U.S. are booming even though one third of members have had to raise prices. Another third of NKBA members have stated that they’ve been offering different products because of trade issues, which has increased sales of domestic brands. Higher-quality U.S. products are now in the same price range as entry-level imports, especially regarding quartz countertops.

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Federal Brace Debuts Versa Bracket

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Federal Brace Debuts Versa Bracket

Posted on 15 November 2019 by cradmin

Federal Brace has debuted the newest addition and comprehensive solution for mounting of commercial work surfaces, counters and reception areas. The Versa Bracket is the Swiss Army Knife of commercial counter support. Utilize this bracket for retrofit over pre-existing fascia by mounting through the down flange into the front of studs. For a nearly invisible installation, on open stud wall applications mount the Versa Bracket to the side of your studs and install fascia so that only the support is exposed under your work counter. The Versa provides solid support and long lasting service in your home, office, hotel, hospital, school or other commercial facility.

You may also be interested in this article about the Wet Blade Cutting Kit from Alpha Professional Tools.

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Antolini Introduces Black Ice Linen

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Antolini Introduces Black Ice Linen

Posted on 14 November 2019 by cradmin

Antolini has added a variety of new textures to its Textures+ collection. The company’s latest introduction is Exclusive Stone: Black Ice, outfitted with the “Linen” texture.

Antolini’s description of the stone is as follows: Immersed in the deep universe’s darkness, millions of comets and asteroids pierce through the infinite beauty of space. The closer you get the more you will notice a plethora of lines cutting through the backdrop of this beautiful granite.

You may also be interested in this article about the Dekton Chromica collection.

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