Stone Business 4/2010
The April 2010 edition of Stone Business. ©2010 Western Business Media Inc. Contents may not be reproduced (including Web republishing of PDF) without permission of the publisher.
april 10 sustainability coverings 2010:exhibition T h e M a g a z i n e Fo r S t o n e Pr o f e s s i o n a l s contents 22 8 32 ON THE COVER 4 42 SPALL Sustain to gain. Photo courtesy Historic Stone Co., St. Paul, Minn. 8 SUSTAINABILITY: OLD STONE, NEW USES Stone’s potential lifecycle beats any other building material ... or, for that matter, any builder. There’s plenty of prime granite, marble, slate and other natural stone available for a second life in exterior and interior applications. 22 FABRICATOR FOCUS: RUST BROTHERS CUSTOM WORKS, MINNEAPOLIS Stone plays a large role in this partnership’s product mix, but the push for green surfaces offers a market niche that they’re filling with some ingenious solutions. The results make for happy customers, even if some of the ideas seem a bit, well, nuts. 32 JOBSIGHT: EL TAJ OCEANFRONT, PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO A new project in this Yucatan resort area brings a touch of Bali to the Caribbean, including some attractive Indonesian stone. That’s mixed, however, with a large helping of natural materials found much closer to home. 42 COVERINGS 2010: WHAT’S ON THE FLOOR It’s on to Orlando at the end of the month, as the annual stone-and-tile event opens the doors at the Orange County Convention Center to a wealth of exhibits featuring materials, machinery and more. 46 INSTALLATION: BEST PRACTICES, PART II Jason Nottestad finishes his Top Ten list of how to plan and implement efficient and (hopefully) error-free countertop installations. A little bit of training, he notes, can make a big difference in avoiding costly errors. 54 A CLEAN PERSPECTIVE: BACK TO BLACK A strip of honed black granite sandwiched between carpet and limestone proved troublesome until Tom McNall composed a solution – although the original designer and installer should’ve been more in tune with the properties of stone. Vol. 8, No. 8 56 Stone Business (ISSN 1539-5480) (USPS 024-729) is published monthly by Western Business Media, Inc., 8 Country Club Plaza, Orinda, CA 94563. Telephone: 925-258-3800, Fax: 925-258-3802. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without written authorization. Opinions expressed in Stone Business do not reflect the opinion of the magazine’s editor, its management or its advertisers. Stone Business cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors or advertisers. Stone Business is sent free of charge to qualified readers. Publisher reserves the right to determine qualification. Non-qualified annual subscription rates: Single issue, $7 each; one year (12 issues), $48. Foreign: (including Canada and Mexico) $130. Periodicals Postage Paid at Orinda, CA 94563 and at Additional Mailing Offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Stone Business, PO Box 47463, Plymouth, MN 55447-9605. Copyright 2010 by Western Business Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. 2 | APRIL 2010 PRODUCT REVIEW The latest in materials, tools and services for the stone industry. 60 NEWS The Marble Institute of America made natural stone one of the affairs of state in Washington late last month. Also, the Xiamen Stone Fair in China breaks the 100,000 barrier in early March. 62 CALENDAR 63 ADVERTISING INDEX spall natural ire There’s a word that, for some of you, remains tiresome, if not downright infuriating. And it doesn’t start with an “r” – instead, it’s sustainability. It’s even a fighting word for some. So, I’ll have to don the gloves and go a few rounds here, because sustainability is the theme of this month’s Stone Business. No, it’s not the whole issue, although you’ll see the concept pop up throughout. That includes the Fabricator Focus, where this month’s shop – which works mainly with stone – is branching out and even inventing new countertop surfaces, including one incorporating recycled walnut shells. You don’t have to ask the obvious question; I will. Hey, are we nuts? No, we haven’t gone loopy over the parade of materials getting an eco-friendly stamp of approval. Although it’ll make some of you see red, we’re talking green because it’s finding its niche in our market. Over the years, I’ve heard plenty from folks in the stone trade about the green movement. For some, it’s just a fad. Others wonder how quarried stone – about as natural a material you can use – gets such low marks in sustainability tests. A few smell a set-up by competing forces charming their way into the green crowd by taking snarky pot-shots at 4 | APRIL 2010 By Emerson Schwartzkopf granite, marble and other natural materials. Backers of sustainability often see these arguments as a lot of hot air from disgruntled businesses. And that’s a bit of green arrogance; all of the points may not be gospel truth, but they have some merit. Granite, in particular, does get kicked around as cold and colorless, as if every countertop is Uba Tuba, Baltic Brown or Santa Cecelia. Arguments decrying stone’s carbon footprint often provide hand-standing logic to dress up other surfaces. And green’s impact with the general population may be vastly overrated, or the misidentification of thrifty habits in post-recession spending. (Those of us seeing CLF light bulbs burning out faster than those “wasteful” incandescents don’t see the savings in natural resources or our wallets.) However, there’s one set of opinions that really matters. A growing band of customers is searching for environmentally responsible products, including materials for countertops. And, they tend to be higher-income consumers looking to renovate current properties – the small-but-serious first wave in the recovery of the construction trade. That’s where the stone trade comes into play. Some of you can survive just fine by sticking solely with stone and an spall almost-recession-proof clientele. The vast majority of fabricators and installers, however, need to roll with that first wave of customers, and don’t want to see them head down the street to greener showrooms. In the past couple of years, stone shops rooted out those sample boards of – to toss another fuel-laden word out there – quartz surfaces from back storerooms and desk drawers to give customers fewer reasons to go elsewhere. Don’t be surprised to see all sorts of recycled, reconstituted and self-proclaimed renewable materials join those displays in the years ahead. It’s important, though, to keep stone in plain view as a product with some sustainable credentials, namely its natural origins and a lifecycle that stretches longer than any other material in the market. The Natural Stone Council continues to lead this effort, particularly in the commercial market, and it’s making inroads that need the industry’s support. The stone trade needs to be vigilant on the consumer side as well. While it’s asking too much to track down every article, blog post and Website offering varying levels of informed advice on sustainable goods for countertops and other hard-surface residential areas, it’s imperative to keep current on major sources your potential customers may consult. One of the biggest in the future may well be the Green Home Guide, now in “beta” status, from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) at greenhomeguide.com. The USGBC, as the developer of the LEED® guidelines on sustainable commercial/public buildings, will likely be seen as an important starting point for consumer education – especially as it develops LEED standards for residential construction. At least one article – “Choose the Best Countertop Material for Your Home and the Environment” – is sure to raise some eyebrows, if not a few hackles, with these statements in its stone section: • “Stone is a natural material, but is not renewable or recyclable; it can only be downcycled into smaller slabs for other applications.” • “Placing very hot materials on stone counters may damage the sealer used to increase water- and stain-resistance. Without being sealed, stone can easily be stained, especially by oils, and can be susceptible to bacteria if the type of stone is porous.” 6 | APRIL 2010 To be fair, there are other wide-swath comments on other materials, although few make the howler of the limited “smaller slabs” recycling status or the tired old saw on how all stone needs to be sealed. (Although, for stone purists, there’s one bright spot; Quartz surfaces make no appearance here, although the material’s mentioned elsewhere on the Website.) The point here is that stone’s going to get these sloppy shoves, and its our job – and that’s all of us, whether we’re all in for green or not – to keep people honest. You may not like hearing the s-word, but there’s no reason to allow some shaky uses of it to trump your main product. Finally, don’t blame me if those recycled-shell surfaces take off in the market, because I’m not providing any raw materials. I hate walnuts. With all the hoopla over the iPad and digital publications, it might seem that nobody wants a good, tried-and-true printed copy of anything. We know that’s wrong, give the responses that arrive here and with advertisers as a new edition of Stone Business hits the mail. If you get your mail via the U.S. Postal Service, Stone Business arrives via free subscription. However, to satisfy the post office, you need to tell us that you want to keep receiving the magazine every month. It’s not complicated to renew your request for Stone Business. Go to www.stonebusiness.net, and click on one of two items found on every page on our site; a small box at the top titled “subscribe,” or the “New or Renew” ad along the lower left side. It takes only a minute or two, but you’ll guarantee that you’ll continue to receive Stone Business. There’s not much you get for free anymore. Take it, with our compliments. Publisher Dave Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Emerson Schwartzkopf email@example.com Contributing Editor K. Schipper Contributing Writers Tom McNall, Jason Nottestad Art Director Brenda Cooke Advertising Director Jena Olsen firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising- Europe/Publisher’s Rep Marco Selmo email@example.com Chief Financial Officer Bob Riegg Subscriber Customer Service 1-800-869-6882 Fax: 651-686-4883 Stone Business Contact Information: Business Offices: 8 Country Club Plaza P.O. Box 709, Orinda, CA 94563 Phone: 925-258-3800 Fax: 925-258-3802 Editorial Offices: 1601-C S. La Reina Way Palm Springs, CA 92264-8675 Phone: 760-323-9554 Fax: 888-558-8721 Address letters to the editor to: P.O. Box 4620 Palm Springs, CA 92263 StoneBizMag Stone Business Magazine Emerson Schwartzkopf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read his blog at Stone Business Online (www.stonebusiness.net) and stonebusinesseditor.wordpress.com. And don’t forget to keep up with Stone Business on Twitter (www.twitter.com/stonebizmag) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/stone magazine). www.stonebusiness.net sustainablity stoneâ€™s repeat business By By K. K. Schipper Schipper 8 | APRIL 2010 For some, the mark left by a long-ago builder (left) can given additional historic veracity to a project. Others just like finding new uses for old materials, such as these millstones (above) (Photos courtesy Wood Natural Restoration) W ith durability that can stretch to centuries, why not think about giving stone a second life? There’s plenty of material that can be reclaimed and repurposed – and there are people doing just that, with everything from slate and marble to limestone and granite. Recycled stone isn’t necessarily going to save end users a lot of money. However, it can give them stone that’s no longer being quarried, or intricately worked by craftsmen from a different age. And, it also can provide a bit of a back story that, along with a rich patina, gives the material that extra panache. UNIQUE SOURCES Roofs and bathrooms may not seem like primary sources of natural stone, but it’s certainly possible, especially if the roofs are slate and the bathrooms are marble. Staci Staubmueller, formerly of Carrollton, Texas-based Floor Tile and Slate Co., says what that company calls “historical slate,” isn’t a large part of the operation, but a popular one. “We’re a stone-flooring business, and we also deal with clay tile,” she explains. “Most of what we sell is slate and travertine and marble.” The historical slate comes from roofing that’s been removed from churches, houses and even barns. While much of it is recycled back onto other roofs, other pieces fall closer to the ground. “What they can’t use for roofing is cut into flooring,” she explains. “I’ve personally used it for everything from flooring to wall cladding and backsplashes to countertops. And, I’ve also made crosses and coasters and candlesticks with it.” Originally quarried in Vermont, the slate – after years of direct exposure to the sun – has a tendency to fade and turn color, Straubmueller says. “The interesting thing is, if it’s been where it’s real cold, it will turn one color, but if it’s where it’s not as cold, it will turn something else,” she says. “That’s what’s so beautiful about them. Every piece is completely different, and a lot of times you’ll see spots of tar or paint or the overhang from the next piece.” Not only is each tile unique in appearance; typically, there’s no standard tile size. Installers need to improvise to fit the pieces together, using an acrylic latex additive in a thin-set mortar. Unlike some heavier stones, Straubmueller says it’s possible to ship slate all around the country. Today, many people find the company on the Internet, although it’s been featured in magazine articles on homes incorporating historical slate. “If people don’t want Indian or African slates, and they’re looking for something unique and different, this is it,” she says. The company gets leads on old slate from a Vermont quarrier who supplies new stone and a tile specialist combing the country for old slate that’s being removed. However, for Milwaukee Marble and Granite, people often contact the firm directly offering reclaimed marble. STONE BUSINESS | 9 Slate is a popular material these days; but, instead of sourcing the stone from a quarry in Africa, the pieces for this sharp backsplash literally came off someone’s old roof. (Photo courtesy Floor Tile and Slate Co.) “As older public buildings get demolished or renovated, we try to latch onto the material,” says John Schmidt, lead estimator for Milwaukee Marble’s commercial division. “Sometimes, they had bathroom walls 6' high that were all stone, and the stalls and partitions were made of marble” A recent case in point: work being done to the Milwaukee County courthouse in the namesake Wisconsin metropolis. “They were doing a remodel and I got a call that they had some marble they weren’t going to use,” Schmidt says. “They asked us to salvage that.” The most common stones the firm salvages are some of the older Tennessee gray marbles, although when Milwaukee Marble was helping restore the Chicago Board of Trade building a few years ago, it was able to find a match for an Italian-quarried stone. The most-common use for the stone, Schmidt adds, is to put it in other – also older – bathrooms being retrofitted to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “We don’t go out and look for this stone, but when it’s available, we usually take it,” he says. “If you don’t have a use for it, it’s going to take up space, but that’s where we’re at with the grays in particular.” ORGANIC EXPERIENCE Bob Beaty, founding partner of Philadelphia-based Provenance, picks up salvagable marble off the ground – literally. 10 | APRIL 2010 Provenance features all types of salvage, and included in the company’s offerings are marble doorsteps, as well as marble slabs pulled from Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. Beaty began his career operating a California landfill before returning to his Philly hometown; today, his goal is to keep much of the area’s history from being buried. “I think people appreciate the character of a lot of the older building materials,” he says. “Not only can these materials be reclaimed, but people want a story; they want to know where the material came from. Even with the economy the way it is, there’s a growing demand.” Philadelphia offers great opportunities for reclaiming outstanding architectural features, he adds. Not only did the city serve as one of the nation’s first capitals; for most of its history it was also a hub of finance and commerce, and the heart of a key industrial area. “For instance, we had a project on the Main Line, a mansion built in the 1890s,” Beaty says. “We took a sandstone fireplace out that had more than 3,000 pieces of stone. We took many photos and numbered every piece as we took it apart.” Beaty says his customers are a wide range of people, from architects and interior designers to regular homeowners. “There are the people who want something different, something chic,” he observes. “There are also the people who like the idea of reclaimed material.” Again, thanks to the Internet, more people know what Continued on page 14 Because recycled materials don’t always come in standard sizes, installation may require the ability to fit by eye, as with this recycled slate floor. (Photo courtesy Floor Tile and Slate Co.) 14 | APRIL 2010 he has to offer, although shipping weights do create some limitations. “We supplied an order for a thousand tons of Belgian block to a customer in Michigan,” he says. “He could probably have bought newer material right there for a third of the price, but he wanted worn cobblestones and they just aren’t in the Midwest.” Beaty sources his material in a number of ways. One is through demolition contractors; many are pleasantly surprised when, instead of paying a disposal fee, they make money on material they remove from a job. “We have a couple project managers who work with the demolition contractors to give them ideas on how to take something apart,” he explains. One person Beaty has worked with, as both a buyer and a seller of stone, is Bob Nonemaker, owner of OuterSpaces Inc. and Philadelphia Stone LLC, both based in Glen Mills, Pa. “We bought and used a bunch of the old marble from Independence Mall,” Nonemaker says. “We used that for a swimming pool surround in a home that was supposed to look like an English estate. We had these beautiful pieces of old marble that would have cost a fortune to get today. It’s 2" thick, and we paid about $10 a ft2 for it.” He’s also a fan of old street and curbing materials, including Beaty’s Belgian blocks and the granite curbs that were a long-time Philly tradition. More recently, he’s purchased a church. “I don’t have a client who’s going to buy it,” he says. “Instead, I think I’ll have multiple clients who want a piece of it. I’ve got some 35' arches and a bell tower and spire caps, wall capping, a bunch of Gothic doorways and some other neat pieces – all in Indiana limestone.” Nonemaker says he also expects to display some of them in his showroom, and he believes it’s a crime to simply destroy buildings that have held such important places in people’s lives. “When we buy pieces of city streets, there’s a good chance that Ben Franklin and some of the other Founding Fathers walked on them,” he says. “That marble from the Independence Mall might have been the spot where President Kennedy stood and gave a speech.” While many of his clients like the stories behind their material, he says the real draw for many is simply that it’s genuinely old, something he often tries to mimic in his landscape business with today’s materials. “Probably a third of my jobs incorporate salvaged materials,” Nonemaker says. “I’d do it on every one if I could, but some of our projects are contemporary and with others it doesn’t lend itself to the job, or it just doesn’t work.” He adds that many of his design colleagues aren’t experienced enough with the material to incorporate it into their own designs. “You really can’t do a set of blueprints in many cases for incorporating this stuff into a project,” he says. “It’s very hands-on, and you have to have people who work with this on a regular basis. A lot of times I’ll draw a picture and say, ‘This is what it’s going to look like.’” S O M E T H I N G F O R E V E RYO N E This marble patio isn’t a decadent use of expensive virgin material. Recycled from the Independence Mall in Philadelphia, the pavers stood up to many feet over the years. (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Stone LLC) 16 | APRIL 2010 Certainly, at least at this point, using recycled stone for landscaping purposes is definitely its most-popular use, and not just in the Philadelphia area, either, although it’s strong there because of the availability of materials. “We do have a lot of stone buildings in our area,” says Ken Muth, owner of Wood Natural Restoration in Orefield, Pa. Many stone recyclers simply don’t want to see landfills cluttered up with tons of natural stone that can easily be put to a second use. (Photo courtesy of Historic Stone Co.) “For instance, years ago, the Amish and Mennonites were tearing down old buildings and didn’t want anything to do with the old stone, so I’d get it for free. Now, they’re selling it.” As the company’s name suggests, Muth offers more than just recycled stone, and he estimates probably 70 percent of what he offers comes from old barns. “We get a little of everything: limestone, sandstone and quartzite,” he adds. Because he doesn’t palletize his materials, Muth says landscape contractors aren’t necessarily as enthusiastic about what he’s selling as homeowners who are looking for something that’s both old and unique. 18 | APRIL 2010 “People will come to our stoneyard, pick out their stones and load them,” he says. “Sometimes it’s 50 tons they’ll load by hand off the piles, but it’s also not uncommon for me to get $25-$300 for one nice stone. They’ll come looking for a particular cut piece. Sometimes it’s ornamental, and sometimes they use it in the building.” A little further to the west, Jason Reinhold of Cincinnati-based Land and Stones Co. says that, like OuterSpaces’ Nonemaker, one of his biggest concerns is that designers – and especially general contractors – don’t know what to do with the old stone. “As a mason, you have to go through the general contractor, and they’re so price-conscious they’re going to get three and four bids,” he says. “They’re always going with the low bid because they don’t care what it looks like.” He says it was probably luck on both sides that led him to a recent job he completed, installing landscaping and a driveway for a home that was built in 1881. “We were able to match the historic stone so you can’t tell what’s new,” Reinhold says. “Every stone was hand-cut, and we were able to lay 100 tons of it from buildings we salvaged within two miles of this mansion.” More recently, he’s been working up numbers on the cost of salvaging a local church built in the 1880s from Cincinnati fieldstone. However, he says it can be difficult if you don’t have a client (and a job already lined up) because of the cost of disassembling and storing the building. “You really have to have at least a Website where you can offer the surrounds and lintels and you can steer people toward the carved pieces,” Reinhold says. “They can save the expense of having something new carved, and it does take on a nice patina.” M AT E R I A L W I T H VA LU E Tom Bergin of Historic Stone Co., in St. Paul, Minn., reports much the same. His company reclaims everything from schools and churches to brick and cobblestone streets. “A lot of it is going into gardens and landscapes,” he says. “People like being outside and they’re putting more into their outdoor environments, upgrading their yards and creating living spaces that are nicer than what people did a few years ago.” However, another popular market he’s found involves the repair of older homes. “Maybe your building has shifted and broken a lintel or a front step,” he says. “If you need old stone – and especially if it’s an old stone and the quarry’s closed — you can still do a perfect match.” 20 | APRIL 2010 However, he says the stone doesn’t even have to be really old. He’s seeing buildings that were built in the 1960s and ‘70s now being torn down. “A lot of them have really neat granite,” Bergin says. “We just did a university project where they had a granite foundation and a lot of benches. There’s a lot of neat stone from that period; it just looks different.” Perhaps the best indication that Bergin and his partner in Historic Stone are on to something is the growth of the company itself. The two men both have other careers and originally began reclaiming stone for fun. Now the company has five full-time employees and Bergin is looking at adding a different type of reclaimed material. “I’m looking at an amethyst quarry where they mine amethyst crystals,” he says. “They have by-products with veining and some amethyst in it, so it’s a unique stone. “It’s using waste material from quarries that still has value.” That’s nothing new to Mike Harrington of Stoneyard Building Materials in Santa Barbara, Calif. Among the firm’s offerings is Santa Barbara sandstone that’s either been reclaimed from old buildings, or fabricated new from excavation sites in the area. Harrington says the company has grown about 15 percent in the past year, with more than half of that growth from Santa Barbara sandstone, which the company cuts, snap cuts and tumbles. “We’re really close to zero waste right now; we’re processing every little bit of it,” he says. “We’re making street cobbles out of it, and we’ve promoted the smaller materials for drainage ditch projects, culvert liner and as rock mulch.” Although Harrington admits that not every community has a stone that endemic to it, those that do – whether it’s sandstone, limestone or basalt – offer plenty of opportunities for people willing to work with excavators cutting roadways or building foundations, and even people just looking to clean up their property. “We’ll even take fieldstones that might otherwise be crushed onsite or thrown away,” he says. “It’s more economical for us to preserve the material and make it salable because it’s so heavy it becomes a liability at dumpsites.” At least in California, he says people are enthusiastic about buying the local stone and incorporating it into the landscape. “We take it, process it, and sell it as split-face wall rock or boulders or cobbles,” Harrington concludes. “It just needs someone to make it into a salable product, and it’s a lot nicer than concrete.” fabricator focus going with the green By K. Schipper MINNEAPOLIS – Two important things to know right away about Rust Brothers: first, the four partners aren’t brothers. Second, their color – if determined by their product mix – is, more-appropriately, green. Rust Brothers Custom Works is an eclectic mix of cabinetry and countertops, wholesale and retail, all crammed in a very small space. Although they all bring different strengths to the partnership, Jason Branson, Scott Brown, Troy Keyes and Brady Lenzen share an interest in sustainability and respect for the environment. The original “brothers,” Brown and Lenzen, started with an emphasis on custom cabinetry and light remodeling. Keyes’ specialty is historic restoration. Branson joined the operation four years ago, bringing with him a background in countertops and cabinetry, along with a major retail client. However, as time progressed, the business skewed toward countertops. Today, when Rust Brothers talks about making them, they’re not just talking fabrication; while 50 percent of their work is with natural stone, they’ve already launched two lines of green countertop materials, and more are on the way. 22 | APRIL 2010 A lot of Rust Brothers’ jobs fill the same bill as those of their more-traditional competitors – whether it’s a bathroom vanity with vessel sink (top), or a kitchen with built-in eating bar (above) featuring the company’s Element Surfaces™ product. (All photos courtesy Rust Brothers Custom Works) FOCUSED CUSTOM SHOP Take four youngish guys, a 3,000 ft2 work space, and plenty of ideas, and the end result is, more often than not, laughter. “It’s a bit of an in-house joke that since we’re not driving fancy new sports cars, it must be satisfaction that keeps us going at this point,” says Lenzen. “The get-rich-quick approach just hasn’t been working for us,” adds Branson. It’s not that they aren’t trying. But, it’s not easy building market share – even with green products. A fabricator focus The work in the shop is also much the same – including the polishing. A piece of Element Surfaces is polished in-shop after being hand-fabricated. year from now – certainly five years from now – they expect to be in a different place, but for now they’re a tightly focused custom shop. The company is definitely a work in process. After starting out with custom cabinetry, courtesy of Brown and Lenzen, things began to change when Branson became a Rust Brother. Although his college degree is in history and political science, his countertop background is mainly in concrete and Richlite®, a paper-based fiber composite manufactured in Tacoma, Wash., by Richlite Co. Branson says the more he worked with concrete countertops, the more he became disillusioned with the material. “Just in working with them, I realized that there are too many issues as far as fragility and staining,” he says. Branson had been doing countertop fabrication for Minneapolis-based Natural Built Home, which bills itself as an eco-friendly building supply company. Its products range from bamboo flooring to non-toxic paint to 24 | APRIL 2010 fabricator focus The coffee/beer bar for a Whole Foods Market is dry-fitted in the Rust Brothers’ storage area awaiting installation (above). Projects are moved into storage as soon as they’re completed because of the crowded condition of the shop (right). paper-based wall coverings printed with water-based inks. It also offers green countertops. By joining Rust Brothers, Branson brought Natural Built Home as a client, along with some interior designers with whom he’d worked. Today, Lenzen estimates 50 percent to 70 percent of Rust Brothers’ business comes from Natural Built Home cus- 26 | APRIL 2010 tomers looking for cabinets or tops. Another one of Rust Brothers’ product lines is green cabinetry which it private-labels for Natural Built Home. However, they’re also filling that company’s need for green countertop materials. “After I moved away from concrete countertops, I got interested in resin casting,” says Branson. “The first or second countertop job I did with Rust Brothers involved doing some recycled glass and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) resin. And, we’ve continued to grow in that direction.” A combination of circumstances fabricator focus (particularly Rust Brothers’ success with its own product – Element Surfaces™) – helped the brothers take a prominent place in the supplier’s showroom when it comes to countertops. “We were playing with the stuff, making it and installing jobs,” says Branson. “We kept telling Natural Built Home they should look at our product. Finally they gave us a shake, and out of all the recycled-glass countertops they have in their showroom, we probably get a majority of the sales.” 28 | APRIL 2010 EXPLOITING SKILLS Branson is quick to add that Rust Brothers’ success isn’t due to any business model moving the partners forward. If anything, they stared out with no firm goal in mind. “Basically, we know what our skill sets are and we’ve exploited them,” he says. “At the same time, we’re out there experimenting with new ideas and new materials and really focusing on the green market.” As with natural stone, it’s easy at first glance to think that cabinets are always green, but Branson says that isn’t always true. However, as with the interest in most everything else with a greenish cast to it these days, the availability of materials for green cabinetry has grown tremendously in recent years. While wood is certainly the key component of green cabinets, it can also encompass everything from the materials in the adhesives to the use of low-VOC and water-based finishes to the edge-banding material on the casework. “Within the line of cabinetry we private label for Natural Built Home, we try to constrain the wood species to those that are most likely going to be regional to our area,” Branson says. “A lot of the distributors in our area have come around and have started to stock FSC- (Forest Stewardship Council) certified hardwoods.” As for solidly Midwestern Minneapolis being a hotbed for the green movement, Branson says he has nothing to compare it to. However, he says green clients are definitely keeping Rust Brothers busy. “We’ve seen things change a lot just in the last three to four years,” he says. “Green products are on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days – industry-wide. Five or six years ago, designers were saying the green movement was taking root on both coasts and it would be only a matter of time before it became hot in the Midwest, and that’s definitely true.” Branson adds it’s also a misperception that green products are only for people in the upper-income brackets. “When we go out on installs, the types of homes we go into are often those of people with median-range incomes,” he says. “Quite often, the decision to go green is more about perceptions of what green is, and how important it is to them personally.” Besides Natural Built Home, Lenzen says a lot of the company’s clientele comes from word-of-mouth, both from end clients and from designers, architects and general contractors with whom Rust Brothers has worked. It’s those connections that provide the bulk of Rust Brothers’ work with both natural stone and quartz surfaces. Although Branson says there’s no denying stone is a natural product, it doesn’t necessarily match the perception of sustainability from some people – particularly Natural Built Home customers. “There’s also a ton of competition out there for stone,” he says. “It’s probably not seen as a cost-effective market for them to get into.” fabricator focus Rust Brothers has also done well at the Minnesota State Fair in recent years, displaying its wares in the Eco-House inside the Eco-Pavilion. Last summer, the company launched its new Nuxite™ product – crushed walnut shells in a clear VOC-free resin that can be fabricated like solid-surface materials – to what Lenzen calls “astonishing results.” “We’re still in the phases of doing product testing before we start to release it to potential customers,” he adds. “But, it’s a very sustainable product that looks a lot like cork.” And, having its own line of green countertop materials has started the company reaching out to distributors, as well. “We’ve started to look at distribution relationships, and we’re pretty confident we’re going to start to realize some definite changes in our sales volume through the relationships we’re building,” says Lenzen. DUAL NATURE The dichotomy of Rust Brothers becomes most apparent when they start talking about distribution relationships, because they still are – at least physically – a small shop doing 30 | APRIL 2010 A piece of the company’s Element Surfaces heading for installation as an island countertop before last year’s Minneapolis-St. Paul Home Tour. hand-crafted work. Although, notes Branson, “That’s what the marketing for the recycled glass speaks to.” Their shop really is just 3,000 ft2, with an additional 1,000 ft2 devoted to storage. “Everything is on wheels,” says Branson. “Our shop is as flexible as we can make it, given our current space constraints.” “When we need to do a big cabinet job or a large countertop job, as soon as the pieces are made, we can put them in storage,” adds Lenzen. “That kind of keeps the shop open.” Because they’re selling a mix of products, there is no typical week for Rust Brothers, although Lenzen says their schedule is driven – at least in part – by what Natural Built Home tells its customers when selling jobs. “We have to service them based on specified lead times, and we try to stick to industry standards as far as turning around countertops in two-to-three weeks,” says Lenzen. “And, we turn around our recycled glass countertops – which are made to order – in threeto-four weeks.” “Right now, we’re in the process of doing a set of countertops for a new Whole Foods store in Schaumberg, Ill.,” says Branson. “This week we’ve been casting for the coffee/beer bar. That’s about 120 ft2 of finished materials. It will take us about five-to-seven days to have that all cast and polished and put through our production process. “Then, we will send it over to our CNC partner, which is just down the street from us,” he adds. “Pollux Mfg. will convert it into finished pieces.” Not surprisingly, Rust Brothers’ relationship with Whole Foods is an important one. Branson says the brothers have developed a good relationship with one of Whole Foods’ store fixture manufacturers in St. Paul, and while the organic grocer is especially interested in using recycled glass material in its store counters, for its restrooms the choice often tends toward quartz surfaces, particularly DuPont’s Zodiaq®. Because their own shop holds strictly hand-tools at this point, and they have no showroom, Branson says the Rust Brothers-Pollux Mfg. relationship is also a beneficial one. “We sell natural stone, just as we’ve done jobs with engineered stone,” he says. “We have the ability to offer granite and Zodiaq because of them, and they have the ability to sell our Element Surfaces.” “It really depends on our volume, too,” says Lenzen. “We really prefer to have the conversions done outside our shop, but if the volume is there we can do a whole package of templating, manufacturing, fabricating and installing.” The Element Surfaces line is where Rust Brothers feels its long-term future lies. The line currently has 14 different designs incorporating different combinations of colors and sizes of recycled glass and named for counties throughout Minnesota. Branson says their five-year business goal is to have Element Surfaces operating as more of a formal manufacturer, including moving into a facility where both casting and polishing can easily be done in-house. “I hope it doesn’t take that long,” he adds. “It’s all going to depend on how we can leverage our relationships with sales representatives and distributors, and if we can grow without over-committing on sales.” Until then, there’s the satisfaction of a job well-done to think about. And, Rust Brothers is confident that the demand for green products will continue to grow. For instance, Branson notes the business’ sales dropped only fractionally in 2009 when some of its more-conventional competitors were going out of business. He also says the company was buoyed by having Element Surfaces specified for the countertops of a Microsoft® Corp. expansion in North Dakota, although a portion of the final work was value-engineered to other surfaces during construction. “We’ve seen the projections from different outfits over the last few years,” Branson concludes. “When it comes to LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) points for products, things are definitely in our favor, especially for people within our 500-mile radius.” STONE BUSINESS | 31 jobsight yucatan delight Client: Playa Associates, Playa del Carmen, Mexico Architect: Segura & Schreiber S.C., Playa del Carmen, Mexico Contractor: Aventuras Arquitectura y Diseno S.A., Puerto Aventuras, Mexico Bali meets the Yucatan in the rich bathroom of one of the El Taj units. The walls are a Mexican limestone known as Crema Maya, while the countertops are a Marmol Emperador from Indonesia. The vessel sinks in some of the units also come from Bali. (All photos courtesy Playa Associates) PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – For many people, the opportunity to visit a foreign country is the adventure of a lifetime. Here, you get two-for-one ... and that includes the stone. The impossible of being in two places at once meets with reality with the Playa del Carmen-based Playa Associates’ newest condo-hotel, the El Taj Oceanfront, which opened in February. Although located a short drive down the beach from Cancun on Mexico’s Caribbean, the resort owes its greatest influence to another seaside paradise – Bali. Helping to pull it all together and providing that extra touch of luxury guests demand: natural stone from both Mexico and Indonesia. UNIQUE STYLE El Taj Oceanfront –the entire Playa Associates complex, in fact – is a labor of love and a testament to understanding between developer Jack By K. Schipper Perlman and architect Sergio Segura. Perlman, a New York native who hasn’t left Playa since being stranded there more than 15 years ago, remains committed – through the development of four previously built luxury condominium complexes – to maintaining the town’s charm as a small finishing village while stabilizing its tourist economy. To help do that, he hired Segura, an award-winning designer and a partner in Segura and Schreiber S.C. Segura explains that he was working for the firm that constructed Perlman’s first building effort in Playa. “My company suggested that I come and meet Jack Perlman,” says Segura. “Shortly after that, we started doing our first building.” Until that time, the architect had mainly specialized in designing single-family residential units, particularly weekend villas. “But, I had always wanted to do something right next to the sea, and Jack and I match each other well,” he says. “I Continued on page 34 32 | APRIL 2010 jobsight The locally quarried Crema Maya provides a feeling that’s light and spacious to the living areas of the units, while the Marmol Emperador lends additional elegance to the kitchen countertops (below). understand the style he wants and the kind of work he wants to do. I love doing this. We work like a really good team.” That’s good, because Segura says Perlman is very much hands-on with his projects. “He tells me what he wants and what he needs, and I interpret that,” 34 | APRIL 2010 the architect says. “I present him with my ideas and after plenty of discussion we agree on something very, very nice. I do the architecture and the functionality, and he puts in a very good amount of taste and enthusiasm. “He’s always at the construction site taking care of every detail,” Segura adds. “He helps a lot.” The style Perlman desires is, says Segura, a unique one. He calls it “very special for this place,” although it’s expressed slightly differently in each of the projects. “For example, the Maya Villa is a little more Mayan in its finishes and in its details,” he says. “The El Taj Beachside and now the El Taj Oceanfront are basically the same style, but there are little differences in some of the details and in their smaller decorations, although both feel Asian.” Perlman, who’s responsible for the décor, brought many of the finish articles, such as furniture and light fixtures, from Indonesia, and the two men see a tie-in between the local Mexican materials and those from the other side of the globe. “If you go parallel to the equator, you find many places around the world where they have the same finishes and the same culture while sharing many things in architecture because it’s the same weather,” says Segura. “After thousands of years, they become somewhat the same.” Still, the El Taj Oceanfront also borrows heavily from its own locale. “We found just about everything else here in Mexico,” the architect says. “The design is a nice mix of a Mexican beachside building style and a very, very Playa del Carmen style. It really belongs to this city and this place.” SET IN STONE Quality is an intergral part of all Perlman projects, and that certainly includes the appearance of the projects – inside and out. Segura says that manifests itself in two ways: visitors to the town often stop to take photos, while those who vacation in the luxury condos have a high return rate. He adds that his design style isn’t one that’s necessarily popular among his fellow architects at the moment. One of his goals is to provide visitors with something he describes as “very sweet” in a look that they’re not going to see elsewhere. “We use a lot of curves and we use a lot of stone,” Segura says. “Of course, natural materials are much better for human beings because you have the feeling of nature.” Although the exterior of the El Taj is a painted plaster fairly typical of Mexican architecture, the building sits on Mexican black Cantera stone, which The exterior terraces feature a locally produced limestone called Marmol Aticato, which provides much the same neutral color palette as the interior stones. It’s finished with a non-slip surface that’s essential for safety during the rainy season. is also incorporated into the first-floor balconies of the four-story building. “We used stone in the base, which is about 3' high,” Segura explains. “It makes the building look not that tall. We didn’t want to have a tall building, so it looks like it has a basement.” Nor is that the only exterior use of stone. “We have a slate that Jack brought from Bali that we use for some of the details on the exterior,” he says. “For instance, we’ve used it to make human faces and for other decoration.” Nor is the use of stone limited to the vertical surfaces on the exterior. A local stone called Marmol Aticato is used on the terraces. Segura says the finish is such that it’s not slippery when wet. Inside the apartment is a STONE BUSINESS | 35 jobsight On some of the interior walls, a local fossil stone provides both color and decoration, as well as durability. similar-looking stone, a cream-colored limestone known as Crema Maya. “It’s really like a soft marble, and it’s very local – from the peninsula of 36 | APRIL 2010 Yucatan,” says the architect. “We’ve used that in all the bathrooms, both for the floors and the walls of the showers. However, for (some of) the showers, the floors are a black riverstone about the size of small eggs.” Segura explains that the riverstone provides a natural feeling that’s very jobsight The baths offer a mix of Mexican and Indonesian stone. Although the floor of this shower is finished in the local Crema Maya, others are done in a black riverstone to provide a passive foot massage for bathers. healthy for people’s feet, and acts almost like a massage. The same cream/beige color 38 | APRIL 2010 palette shows up again in some of the bedrooms and in parts of the building’s central patio, with another local lime- stone referred to as fossil stone because of the sea creatures imbedded in it. “Again, it’s a very nice, soft CAPTURE THE LANDSCAPE MARKET! Expand your business by reaching one of the hottest segments in the building industry. Contact Dave Anderson for details and your 2010 media planner: 925-258-3800, email email@example.com Subscribe at www.as-ld.com jobsight stone,” he says. “It’s used mainly as a decoration, but it’s not slippery and the color is similar. It just provides a very good feeling.” Other than the decorative slate on the exterior of the building, the only other place the Indonesian stone appears is in the sinks and countertops. “We used Marmol Emperador for the countertops in the kitchens and bathrooms,” Segura explains. “The bathroom sinks are made of stone from Bali, while some of the other sinks and the light fixtures are made of onyx, which is beautiful. All the stone is done in a leather finish, so the feeling is very nice.” In all his stone selections, Segura adds that developer Perlman was looking for something beautiful and natural. “The Mexican stone is not that expensive, but it’s very beautiful,” he says. “In Bali, they have miles of spaces where people are working with stone. In this case, it was a very good place for buying, but it also matches very well with our Caribbean style.” SOMETHING SPECIAL While finding the right stones to use for the project was an important part of the El Taj Oceanfront equation, 40 | APRIL 2010 finding people to build to Perlman’s required quality was also critical. “We started building in the middle of 2008 and finished in December,” says the architect. “Finding the labor to do the work has been very important. Particularly with the stone, we sometimes had to teach them a little bit. Or, it would break and we’d have to do it again until we’d get the high quality we want.” Aventuras Arquitectura y Diseno, a design/build firm from Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, was hired as the general contractor for the project. Ana Enriquez, an architect with the firm, says that, as with Segura, its background is mainly in doing residential projects – homes and apartments – but, “We’re among the leading builders around here.” One of its biggest projects: the main concept for the non-Segura-designed Puerto Aventuras. However, she adds that the firm was particularly pleased to be hired to work on a Segura-designed project. “Sergio is a good architect,” Enriquez says. “We were glad to work with him because of the quality of his designs.” At the same time, she says the timeframe, plus the quality of construction demanded by Perlman were challenges, as was training the construction crews to match the Bali look with the locally produced materials, such as the stone. However, in the end, Enriquez says El Taj Oceanfront enhanced the reputation of her firm and, “We would like to do more things with Sergio.” Segura says the end result was definitely worth the extra supervision the job entailed. “We really had to spend the time doing the supervision to get the best qualities for the job,” he says. “And, at the end of the day, our reputation is very important.” That, and a happy client, and the architect adds that Perlman often stops by his office to thank him for the finished project. “For all of us, it was a matter of teamwork,” Segura concludes. “We’re very proud of this building because it’s unique, even in Playa del Carmen. People here like it because it represents the Playa del Carmen style. It’s something very special, really.” coverings 2010 find it in florida Photos courtesy Coverings ORLANDO, Fla. – Coverings 2010 gets back to its Florida base and a climate much warmer than last year’s outing in a chilly Chicago. The stone-and-tile event, from April 27-30, will feature 1,000+ exhibitors from more than 50 countries, filling the Orange County Convention Center’s North-South Hall with 300,000 ft2 of goods and services. As in every year, Coverings features stone, fabrication machinery and other products allied to the stone trade, as well as the full line of materials and supplies for the tile market. Keeping track of who’s at the show can be confusing; several online tools can help. On the Website, there are guides designed for various groups of attendees – including fabricators – with an associated icon. Click on it, and you’ll get the details on areas and events of interest to that particular sector. To find a company quickly, there’s an interactive map under the Exhibitor List & Floor Plan section (available in the Attendees pull-down menu) to pinpoint locations to make navigation easier. Coverings also offers a presentation venue for some exhibitors online with its own YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCoveringsShow. Along with the exhibits, there’s a full load of educational opportunities (“Opportunities in Orlando,” Stone Business March 2010). Also, for networking, Coverings will have cash-bar “Happy Hours” on the exhibit floor from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. for the first three days of the show. Online registration for Coverings will be closed by the time this issue hits your mailbox. It’s easy to sign up on-site, however. The exhibition will be open from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. April 27-29, and from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on April 30. For more information on Coverings 2010, go to www.coverings.com or call NTP at 866-285-3691. 42 | APRIL 2010 The following is an excerpt from the complete listing of Coverings 2010 exhibitors, as of mid-March. PRODUCTION Alpha Professional Tools® Beckart Environmental Inc. Blick Industries Braxton-Bragg Breton SpA BVH Gregg dba Gregg Software Inc. Cepilleria Catalana, S.L. CMS Brembana Comandulli USA Diamant Venturi Diamond Discs International Diamut Dong Young Diamond Industrial Co. Ltd. ETemplate Systems Fabricator’s Choice LLC Flow International Corp. Fujian Huangchang Stone Machinery & Grinder Co. Ltd. Gemini Saw Co. Inc. Gmm Spa Granite City Tool GranQuartz L.P. Huada Superabrasive Tool Technology Co. Ltd. coverings 2010 Husqvarna Construction Products Inland Diamond Products Co. Intermac Italdiamant USA Inc. Laser Products Industries Marmo Meccanica S.P.A. MEC MK Diamond Products Inc. Moraware Northwood Machine OMAG S.p.A. Omega Diamond Inc. Park Industries Inc. Pearl Abrasive Pragma Srl Prodim USA Prussiani Engineering SRL Quanzhou Zhongzhi Diamond Tool Co. Rodia Rubi Tools USA Inc. Salem Stone Sassomeccanica / SassoAmerica Scandinvent, AB SL- Laser Systems Slabsmith SM DIA Stone, LLC Stone Pro Equipment Co. Stone Profit Systems Tyrolit Vincent S.r.l. U.S. Granite Robotics Vytek 44 | APRIL 2010 Water Treatment Technologies Wilson Industrial Electric Inc. Woods Powr-Grip Co. Inc. Xiamen Free Trade Co. Ltd. Xiamen Taiying Diamond Products Co. XinKe Diamond Product (Xiâ€™an) Co. Ltd. INSTALLATION/ MAINTENANCE Akemi Group Blanke Corp. Bonsal American / Prospec Bostik Inc. CEMIX Dry-Treat Pty. Ltd. Dural USA, LLC Elite Building Products Inc. Euroshrink, S.A. FILA Chemicals USA Fin Pan Inc. Genesis APS America Inc. Grout Boost Beno J. Gundlach Co. HMK Stone Care Homax InnoChem LLC Kiesel Bauchemie GmbH & Co. KG Loxcreen Flooring Group Mapei Corp. Mark E. Industries Inc. Masters Lumber & Hardware Miracle Sealant & Abrasives National Applied Construction Products Noble Company Proflex Products Inc. Protecto Wrap Co. QuickShelf (Wheeler Tile & Co.) Samich USA Schluter Systems SGM Inc. Sponga USA Starquartz Ind. Inc. Stone Care International Inc. Sun Touch Floor Heating Tavy Enterprises LLC TEC TENAX USA Wedi Corporation ACCESSORIES Amerisink BonTon Designs LLC Castel Chemcore Industries Inc. Discobath Fango Sink Design MR Direct International Soci LP PUBLICATIONS The Architect Newspaper Floor Covering Installer Luria Communications National Floor Trends Stone Business Stone World / Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Tile Edizioni TILE Magazine ASSOCIATIONS Colombian Government Trade Bureau Egyptian Exporters Association IMMIB (Turkey) Italian Trade Commission Marble Institute of America Palestine Trade Center - Paltrade Stone Fabricators Alliance Tile Council of North America Tile of Spain Veronafiere For a more-comprehensive listing of exhibitors, including stone vendors, go to Stone Business Online at www.stonebusiness.net. STONE BUSINESS | 45 installation best practices for countertop installs part II By By Jason Jason Nottestad Nottestad Editor’s Note: Last month, Jason Nottestad offered the first half of his Ten Best Practices for countertop installation. Now, he’s punching the rest of the list. 6. As soon as a piece is set in place, look underneath it. After placement, you need to verify that the bottom of the piece consistently touches the cabinet face frame or plywood sub deck. If it doesn’t, a shim needs to be placed in any gap while the pieces are leveled and set permanently. It’s never okay for any piece of countertop to “float” during the installation process. I’ve seen floating ends and corners of stone cracked off before being supported, or when someone took five and leaned on it. This is an especially painful reversal, since the piece was inevitably the right size and worked perfectly before the damage. The best practice is to have the entire countertop run shimmed into plane prior to any stone being set. In an ideal world, where the back of each slab is honed flat, this works great. As it 46 | APRIL 2010 You don’t need to look at the bubbles to see the problem here. It’s useless to worry about these pieces being absolutely level when a straight edge tells you the pieces are way out of plane. (All photos courtesy Jason Nottestad) is, the wavy bottom side of a granite slab is going to determine how and where you need to shim. Don’t take for granted that since you shimmed up the “low” spots, you can also remove your sink saver as soon as the piece is in place. Look underneath as soon as you set a piece, and you can avoid a stupid mistake. you just about the right gap to apply a bead of flowing seam adhesive. Make it a standard practice for your installers to use suction cups to move stone in the horizontal position. A suction cup will give them much more control than trying to move a countertop by grabbing the front edge or the inside of a cutout opening. 7. Never slide two pieces of stone together without a removable buffer. 8. Plane is imperative, level is a luxury. One of the most-common mistakes of a rookie installer is sliding two pieces of stone together too quickly and breaking off the front corner of the stone at the seam. This is an easily avoidable error: Simply place a buffer in-between the pieces as they’re slid together. I like to use a corrugated-plastic “For Sale” sign to separate the pieces. The durable material will give Stone countertops need to be set in a single plane. This is especially true when a seam connects two pieces that turn a corner; if the pieces aren’t in the same plane, you can’t level the seam. On a straight run of seamed countertops, a beginner’s mistake is to set and seam two pieces without verifying that they’re in plane. When the backsplash is set on the counters and there’s a nice gap in the middle or end of one piece, or the backsplash installation (Above) Look underneath a top as soon as you slide it into place, and get those shims in any gap. Letting a piece float without support is a sure ticket to some cracked stone. (Below) Use a suction cup to move stone when it’s in the horizontal position. The crew will have better control in making those small adjustments. high-centers like a teeter totter, it’s time to start over. Before applying seam adhesive, always check the plane of the pieces. I encourage trainees in my classes to place a piece of backsplash across the seam to verify the plane, and leave it on while gluing the seam. Any adjustments made during the seaming pro- 48 | APRIL 2010 cess that affect plane are instantly recognizable and can be corrected. There is a visual element to this exercise as well. A raised snack bar with seams has to be in perfect plane, or any reflection that spans the seam will appear “broken” due to the deflection of the light. If Ms. Jones has a modern kitchen with lots of windows, it’s imperative to concentrate on plane when setting her tops. When your stone countertops are replacing laminate or solid surface in a residential remodel, level is sometimes difficult to achieve without shimming the new countertops well off the top of the face frame. Ms. Jones might not like this, which is why it’s important to show her the necessary shims prior to gluing the tops in place, and explaining her options. As an installer, you need to set the pieces in plane, but you can set her counters out-of-level if it means they’ll sit closer to the top of cabinets and leave less of a gap. Once I need to shim above a quarter-inch, I’m calling in the homeowner to make the decision. If the countertops are going to be level, there are two choices – call in a carpenter to reset the cabinets, or cover the gap with a molding. Cabinet setters are usually pretty cool about making adjustments to cabinets they didn’t originally set. Be ready for conflict when the cabinets are new, and the installers were too lazy to check the slope of the floor. Make sure your measuring level looks more expensive than theirs. installation Using the backsplash to see if the pieces are in plane is a sure way find gaps or high-centering with a countertop. 9. Seam adhesive is for looks, not for strength. The install method I teach is aimed 50 | APRIL 2010 at removing all the internal stress from a countertop prior to applying seam adhesive. In other words, the stone needs to sit securely without any glue. Relying on glue to keep a countertop in a certain position means thereâ€™ll installation (Top) When you’re applying seam adhesive, remember that it’s a process of enhancing the appearance, not gluing pieces together to strengthen the countertop. (Above) I run a razorblade over the seam before applying adhesive. If the blade edge catches on either piece, it’s not ready for the glue. 52 | APRIL 2010 always be stress within the stone working against the bond of the glue. This could eventually lead to the seam failing, or the stress working out at cutouts for sinks or stoves. Completely leveling a seam prior to adhesive application means there’ll be no stress on the glue and the seam should remain intact for the life of the countertop. I use the plain, old-fashioned razorblade to test the readiness of a seam for glue. It’s not ready for the seam setter and glue application until I can pass a razor over the seam without the steel edge catching on either piece of stone. Remember to babysit a seam until the adhesive cures. I’ve walked away from a seam too early, only to have it shift slightly as it cured. The seam adhesive acts as a lubricant between the two pieces until fully cured, so always have a sample pool of adhesive to use as a test for the progress of the cure. Once the sample pool is hardened, the seam should be stable enough to leave alone. (Above) Another case of shimming the piece to avoid float. (Right) Don’t think you need a guide to drill faucet holes? You’re gambling on an expensive walk at the end of a job. 10. The job is only complete when you’re back at the shop. I’ve made the majority of my dumb mistakes at the very end of an install. Measure the last piece of backsplash three times, just to be sure. Double- and triple-check the spacing between faucet holes; Ms. Jones doesn’t like it when her left handle is 4" from the spout and her right handle is 5" away. Use a guide for drilling holes in stone. If your bit walks when you try to freehand a hole, you’ve no one to blame but yourself. Also, make sure the core of the faucet cutout falls out of the bit before you bring the grinder back over the sink. If the core falls in the sink, it can easily dent the steel or chip the enamel. Draw the outlet box on the front and the back of the stone before you try to cut it – and verify the measurements. There’s nothing like cutting through only to discover your lines didn’t match up. In short, remain focused and on task throughout the entire job. The time to relax is well after you’ve completed every install task correctly. All training is expensive and time-consuming, and can be difficult to fit into a busy schedule. But, for every top that’s not broken because of a well-trained employee, you’ll get a profitable return from your educational investment. Take training seriously, and you’ll see long-term benefits for your company. Jason Nottestad, a 15-year veteran of the stone industry, is National Customer Service Manager for VT Stone Surfaces; he’s now on his third year of “The Installer” columns for Stone Business. He can be reached at JNottestad@vtindustries.com. STONE BUSINESS | 53 a clean perspective unmade by the shade By Tom McNall (Left) Dealing with the side of the granite meeting the carpet didn’t pose much of a problem. The machines couldn’t reach the very edge; for that last little bit of stone, we blended in the compound by hand with steel wool. (Right) It’s not hard to care for a combination of carpet, granite and limestone like this – if a proper procedure is recommended right at the get-go. (Photos courtesy Tom McNall) I’ve written before about the joys – and challenges – of working on different surfaces. But, at a high-profile, high-end resort hotel, we recently tackled a multi-faceted problem granite. We encountered an originally honed black granite, surrounded by carpet and limestone (both polished and honed), that had been coated with a color enhancer. The color enhancer used was so weak that auto-scrubbers used by the in-house staff removed it instantly. Problem #1. Making the stone darker. Color enhancers are designed to be absorbed by the stone and harden (or cure) to give the stone a darker look. Most black granites won’t absorb anything – let alone a thick-viscosity oil-based product – so enhancers will always end up as a coating. And, as such, they’re easily removed and/or etched by chemicals and abrasion. Thus, the deep black look that the client wanted turned out to be very temporary. The solution here was to use a polishing compound to create a darker look without harming the surrounding areas. Problem #2. Working a high-friction granite compound that’s close to a very stainable carpet. The first part of the problem was easily overcome, as the compounds we used easily removed any leftover residue from the previous contractor’s color enhancer. There was, however, a slight residue close to the edge of the carpet where the heavy 220V machines did not go right to the edge of the stone. This was easily removed and blended in with steel wool by hand. Problem # 3. Not allowing the compound to stain or affect the look of the limestone. This was a little trickier – but, when you grow up in the frozen North, you’re used to thinking on your feet. On the polished limestone, we didn’t have much of a problem. The stone’s pores weren’t as open, due to the 54 | APRIL 2010 compact surface; therefore, the polishing effect of the compound wasn’t an issue, and the dark color of the compound didn’t stain the stone. On the honed limestone, the grey compound would’ve lodged in the rough-surface pores and stained the stone grey. Fixing this would have entailed re-honing the surface with diamond abrasives. Therefore, we masked off the area and sealed it with duct tape to prevent both polishing and staining. If just a polishing issue was involved, we could’ve re-honed the area with polishing compounds or better yet, the latest tool – abrasive injected nylon honing pads. However, masking off the area properly prevented the possible problem. So how did our client get to their present predicament? Precisely pointed preparation could have prevented this predicament (OK, enough of the Dr. Seussspeak ). For starters, the designers (or architect) could’ve researched this combination of stones and recommended a procedure for proper care down the road. Second, the initial contractor hired to achieve the desired look could’ve (and should’ve) realized that black granites don’t absorb color enhancer and suggested an alternative solution. So why wasn’t this foreseen? I wasn’t there for the discussion or research phase of the process, but I can speculate from years of experience (and from knowing my competition): The quicker, cheaper, less-labor-intensive solution is usually chosen by the inexperienced restoration contractor. It’s an easy fix (and more-profitable, long-term) to add a chemical requiring frequent application than it is to actually know how to use compounds. A bandage is something that anyone can use. A stitch requires a doctor (or someone who knows medical procedure). In this case, adding a chemical (a permanent solution, when used properly on the right stone) was easier than knowing how to really satisfy the customer’s need. And, of course, asking for $1 is so much easier than asking for $5. Our outlook is that it’s better to fill the customer’s need, making sure it’s a long-term fix and get well-paid for it, than to stay busy while working for chicken feed. Clients will recommend us for more work and refer us to friends, business associates and acquaintances. Plus, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we’re doing the job right. It’s an old saw, but it’s true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If designers and architects took advantage of available learning opportunities from the Marble Institute of America and other groups that offer courses on care and cleaning, they could prepare the client for the potential maintenance problems well in advance. How does this pro-active course help my business out? Yes, I could make more money from fixing the mistakes of the uneducated and make more money off of one or two clients if I allowed them to make costly mistakes over and over again. But if I milk the cow dry, I also become my own butcher. I want to continue to milk the clients but only for what they need, not what I want. It has to be a win/win situation; if I don’t show that I have my clients’ best interests at heart, someone else could (and should). When I look out for my customers, they’re more-apt to appreciate my honesty and continue to do business with us, regardless of all the low-ball quotes they receive regularly. They know that we know what we’re talking about and that our competition is only looking out for themselves, not them. They know that we’ll seriously fill their needs and not keep coming for handouts. It’s a business strategy that works. It keeps my kids in clothes and, hopefully, in the best schools. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice. Tom McNall is founder and owner of Great Northern Stone Care, a Huron Park, Ontario-based stone-cleaning and -restoration company servicing all of southern Ontario. Tom offers corporate and private consultations, serves as a trainer for the Marble Institute of America, and is also on the organization’s board of directors. McNall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. STONE BUSINESS | 55 product review Castelnuovo del Garda, Italy. The ready-to-use unit, designed specifically for the stone industry, attaches to any forklift, with a slab-lifting capacity of up to 1,100 lbs and quick vertical/horizontal tilting. Contact: GranQuartz, 800-458-6222 M AT E R I A L S WHITE QUARTZ SURFACE WALL-MOUNT DESSICANT DRYER cup wheels, vacuum-brazed profilers, antiquing brushes, and backer pads. The line also features the Houdini Collection of stock-removal pads and the Hex ultra-premium turbo dry-cutting blades. Contact: Domain Industries Inc., 866-385-7775 5 X 5 WATERJET CaesarStone, Van Nuys, Calif., introduces Pure White (1141), the “whitest white” in quartz surfaces. The material features a silk finish, and is scratch-, crack- and heat-resistant. The surface also is covered by the company’s lifetime residential and 10-year limited commercial warranties. Contact: CaesarStone, 877-978-2789 LIMESTONE Jet Edge Inc., St. Michael, Minn., offers the 5' X 5' Mid-Rail Gantry Waterjet System, featuring 60,000psi or 90,000psi intensifier pumps. The 72" X 72" exposed-tank surface accommodates materials up to 60" X 60". An industrial PC controller can be configured so that all three axes are fully programmable (Z optional). Critical bearing components are protected with heavy metal covers with brush seals for the U.S.-made product Contact: Jet Edge, 800-538-3343 Medstones Ltd., Latsia, Cyprus, introduces Caprice Limestone. The material is distinguished by its color uniformity, consistency, high density, and diversity for multiple applications. Contact: Medstones Ltd., +357-22461585 SLAB LIFTER EQUIPMENT DIAMOND-TOOL LINE Domain Industries Inc., Austin, Texas, offers the Voodoo line of premium diamond tooling for stone fabrication. Products include blades, core bits, nine types of polishing and finishing pads, GranQuartz, Tucker, Ga., introduces the Manzelli Basic Line 12-volt vacuum lifter from Liftstyle s.r.l. of Kaeser Compressors Inc., Fredericksburg, Va., offers a line of its KADW wall-mounted desiccant dryers for capacities from 7-50scfm at 100psig. The units feature a solid-state timer, and are based on a counter-flow design that leaves the driest desiccant at the top of the bed. The dryers are in ready-to-mount cabinets, and are completely assembled, piped and wired at the factory. Contact: Kaeser Compressors, 800-777-7873 THREE-STEP POLISH Braxton-Bragg LLC, Knoxville, Tenn., introduces the Viper® 3-Step System for cutting polishing time by up to 50 percent. The new pads (in wet and wet/dry versions) feature diamonds with multiple angles and a polycrystallized internal shape; the diamonds break easily to continuously expose new angles and lengthen pad life. Diamond concentration is 60 percent with the pads, with increased bond strength to hold the higher concentration; the longer life allows users to shorten the number of steps. Contact: Braxton-Bragg LLC, 800-575-4401 Get It Online! Product Review is available at Stone Business Online (www.stonebusiness.net) with direct links to manufacturers and vendors. Just click on the “Product Review” button of the Main Menu! 56 | APRIL 2010 HOIST-BASED LIFTER damaged components without having to ship the entire pod back to the factory. Contact: GranQuartz, 800-458-6222 INSTALLATION, RENOVATION, RENEWAL MULTI-SEAM SETTER Omni Cubed Inc., Placerville, Calif., introduces the new Multi-Seam Expansion Kit for the Automatic Seam Setter VCA, including two seam-setter Anver Corp., Hudson, Mass., introduces the Anver VB Powered Lifter-Tilter, a hoist-based vacuum lifter for building materials and textured surfaces. The device features pneumatic-powered tilting for material handling; with lifting capacities up to 500 lbs, it can be ordered with a selection of vacuum pumps (up to 8.5 HP) and suction pads to match the surface texture and porosity of specific loads. Contact: Anver Corp., 800-654-3500 DOUBLE-TANG BLADE Lenox, East Longmeadow, Mass., introduces the LENOX® DIAMOND Double Tang Reciprocating Saw Blade specially redesigned for longer blade life and less waste. The new design provides high performance with less wasted cutting edge by using the portion of the brazed diamond grit edge that typically goes unused; the ability to flip the blade doubles the available cutting surface as well as the life of the blade. Materials that can be cut with the blade include marble, other natural stones, ceramic tile and laminate flooring. Contact: Lenox, 800-713-2222 CNC VACUUM PODS GranQuartz, Tucker, Ga., offers the Diarex® CNC Vacuum System, with vacuum pods precision-manufactured in Italy to the exacting OEM specifications of the industry’s leading stone-machinery manufactures. The units feature anodized aluminum with vulcanized double-sealed rubber gaskets on the top and bottom plates; the modular design makes the pods some of the most-versatile and easiest to repair on the market. Fabricators can also replace the individual STONE BUSINESS | 57 product review units, coil tube, carrying/storage case, four thumb pump plungers and four cup covers. The kit enables installers to join and level two seams at the same time (up to 14' apart), or chain-link all 4 seam-setter units together for one large seam â€“ all with the use of one vacuum pump. Contact: Omni Cubed, 877-311-1976 SHOWER BASE Noble Company, Grand Haven, Mich., introduces a ProBase tub-replacement shower base thatâ€™s pre-sloped with an end-drain location and ready for tiling. A composite made from high-strength polypropylene honeycomb with a Noble Sheet Membrane laminated to the top side, it can be used with standard clamping ring drains and allows for up to 2" of adjustment in the drain position. Available in 48" X 48" and 32" X 60"; custom sizes are available for quantities of 50 or more. Contact: Noble Company, 800-878-5788 QUARTZ REPAIR KIT Dani Designs, Rochester Hills, Mich., offers the E-Stone Scratch Repair Kit, including 40-, 20-, and 10-micron diamond discs, along with polishing, restoration and finishing solutions and a 78-minute training DVD. A Porter-Cable 7336 sander, available separately, is needed for use of the polishing and sanding pads. Contact: Dani Designs, 248-852-9248 SEAM SETTER Applied Diamond Tools/ Toolocity.com, Chesterfield, Mo., introduces the MINI Seam Setter, featuring dual 4" suction cups, a manual pull-tight handle and a center leveler. The simple and functional design for the less-than-4-lbs device is useful for leveling and seam joining countertop tiles and granite. Contact: Applied Diamond Tools, 800-980-7808 FLOOR PATCH ProSpec, Charlotte, N.C., introduces Floor Patch Pro, a polymer-modified, cement-based patching compound. The single-component product requires no priming and is designed for use over concrete, wood and cement terrazzo substrates, as well as cutback residue adhesive. It contains no large aggregate, creating an ultra-smooth finish for final floor covering; stone and tile installations can be accepted in one hour. Contact: ProSpec, 800-738-1621 58 | APRIL 2010 E D U C AT I O N ONLINE COURSE The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS), San Diego, launches its newest online course, Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone. The comprehensive look at the stone industry is designed for salespeople, installers and design professionals, as well as business owners, and is available online. Topics include geology and formation, processing/ fabrication, countertops, exterior veneers/interior walls, selection/design and care/maintenance. Contact: UofCTS, 866-669-1550 P U B L I C AT I O N S FLOORING CATALOG ProSpec®, Charlotte, N.C., introduces a new flooring catalog featuring its complete line of surface preparation products. The publication contains the company’s Level Set® underlayments and wear toppings, as well as its patch and repair products. Also featured is a product selection matrix for easier at-a-glance product choices. As part of the selection matrix, users will also be able to determine the total number of LEED points that each product contributes. Contact: ProSpec, 800-738-1621 STONE iPHONE APP App House LLC, Miami, introduces Natural Stone Source, the first iPhone/iPod Touch app offering a reference guide for natural stone. Available through the Apple App Stone, the app connects with a database of more than 2,800 different stones in 52 countries; it also includes a glossary of terms for stone, an industry-news feed, stone tips and the ability to mark and recall favorite stones. Contact: App House LLC, 305-297-5150 PULSE-JET Scientific Dust Collectors, Alsip, Ill., offers a new technical paper describing the advantages of proper design for reverse pulse-jet baghouses used in dust-collection applications. Contact: Scientific Dust Collectors, 708-597-7090 STONE BUSINESS | 59 news M I A O F F E R S “ S TAT E ” O F N AT U R A L S T O N E The Marble Institute of America (MIA) went to Washington March 29 to address the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) on the use of natural stone. The training included discussion of stone properties, anchorage requirements and testing details for a group of architects, engineers and facilities managers for embassies and other State Department buildings worldwide. MIA President Brett Rugo and Technical Director Chuck Muehlbauer (standing, l-r) led the sessions. (Photo courtesy MIA) KRUGER NEW I S FA P R E S I D E N T EASTON, Md. – Evan Kruger is the new president of the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). Kruger, founder and president of Easton-based Solid Tops LLC, is also is a founder and director of The Artisan Group™ stone-fabricator network, and a member of the Marble Institute of America (MIA) accreditation advisory council. Kruger “I am very honored to become ISFA president,” says Kruger. “I now have the chance to give back to the industry that has meant so much to me.” Kruger will focus efforts on the ISFA website (www.isfanow.org), the Countertops and Architectural Surfaces magazine, the International Countertops Expo (ICE) and state/local ISFA chapter meetings. Kruger began working in traditional wooden boatbuilding and cabinetmaking in 1988, and then moved into countertops made of laminate and solid-surface materials, quartz, granite, marble and, most recently, NISA Jadestone and concrete. He also is cofounder of Eos Surfaces, the originators of the 3cm solid-surface concept. Solid Tops was the third shop nationwide to achieve MIA-accredited status. MAPEI SPONSORING P I N N A C L E AWA R D S CLEVELAND — MAPEI Corporation will sponsor the 2010 Pinnacle Awards from the Marble Institute of America (MIA). The Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based arm of the MAPEI Group will be the overall sponsor of the decade-old awards program that honors natural-stone 60 | APRIL 2010 companies, architects and designers worldwide in the residential, commercial and renovation sectors. In the competition, a panel selects the best entries and presents Pinnacle Awards and merit awards to the best in each of four categories: Commercial Interior, Commercial Exterior, Residential Interior/Exterior and Renovation/Restoration. To be eligible, projects must be completed from January 2007 to July 2010. The awards are open to all MIA member companies. Project entries must include at least one MIA member company, and comply with MIA standards as defined in the Dimension Stone Design Manual and MIA technical modules. The best-of-show Grande Pinnacle Award, given by the judges, will continued to be sponsored by the Marmomacc stone event in Verona, Italy. The deadline for all entries for the 2010 Pinnacles is August 6. For more information, go to www.marble-insti tute.com/awards/pinnacle.cfm. E D E N , VA L D E R S G E T S A F E T Y AWA R D S EDEN, Wis. – Eden Stone Co. and its Valders Stone & Marble Inc. division recently received seven honors for safety at its facilities. Five separate Eden/Valders quarries were noted by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Mining Association (NMA) with Sentinel of Safety awards. The program recognizes achievement of outstanding safety records. The company also garnered two awards from the Arlington, Va.-based Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association, an alliance of 24 national organizations representing the mining, metallurgical and allied industries. Eden Stone Co. and its Valders division maintain and operate eight quarries in the state of Wisconsin for a variety of stone products, including limestone building and landscape products. 2 0 1 0 X I A M E N FA I R TOPS 100,000 XIAMEN, China – The 10th annual Xiamen Stone Fair not only broke its own attendance record this March – it broke the six-figure ceiling for any international stone event. The show, on March 6-9, drew 101,526 attendees, with an international count of 20,168 coming from 130 countries. This year’s totals easily topped the 86,713 attendees in 2009; the event showed significant growth from the 70,981 count two years ago. The event featured 1,300 exhibiting companies (up from 1,211 in 2009) from 45 countries in 95,000 m2. The next Xiamen Stone Fair will take place on March 6-9, 2011. ARCHITECT PROGRAM OPEN FOR MARMOMACC WASHINGTON – Scholarships are now available for the “Designing with Natural Stone” course for architects to be held concurrently with Marmomacc in Verona, Italy, on Sept. 27-Oct. 2. Now in its 12th year, the session – approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) – helps architects learn advanced techniques in the use of marble, granite and other stone materials. This year’s course includes visits to a Botticino Marble quarry and a nearby stone processing plant, a case study on the stone use in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, and an architectural tour of Verona. Scholarships – covering tuition, hotels and meals – are awarded on a competitive basis. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to Verona, as well as a $450 registration fee. For more information, contact Toni Paniagua of the Washingtonbased Consultants International Group at email@example.com. I C E D R AW S 8 0 0 + IN FIRST MEET LEHI, Utah – The inaugural International Countertop Expo (ICE) held earlier this year drew more than 800 attendees and exhibitors from 17 countries. The event, held Feb. 7-10 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, included a slate of seminars and a ballroom-sized exhibition area. “Great things come in small packages,” said Evan Kruger, president of the event’s owner, the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). “ICE may not be the largest expo of the year, but I can guarantee you that everyone who came took away at least two or three nuggets that will save or make their companies thousands of dollars in the coming year.” PA S S I N G S Robert J. Zavagno Sr., 86, passed away on March 6. Zavagno was president of the Cleveland Marble Mosaic Co. in Cleveland and a long-time supporter of the stone industry. He served as president of the Marble Institute of America, presiding over its 1991 convention in Quebec City, Quebec. He also served as president of the National Terrazzo Mosaic Association and the Building Stone Institute. A graduate of James Ford Rhodes High School in Cleveland, Zavagno attended the University of Connecticut and The Citadel. During World War II, his service as a communications specialist for the U.S. Army Air Corps took him to the China-India-Burma theater. Zavago is survived by his wife, Lorraine M.; a son, Robert J. Jr., four daughters, Pamela (Beach-Reber), Deborah (Zola), Denise (ZavagnoSkibinski) and Nancy (Vitrano); a brother, Walter Savage; 18 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of the Cleveland Clinic, 6801 Brecksville Rd., Suite # 10, Independence, OH 44131. For up-to-the-minute industry news and expanded coverage, go to Stone Business Online at www.stonebusiness.net. STONE BUSINESS | 61 calendar APRIL 2010 of America, 440-250-9222. www.marble-institute.com Events 22-25 TechniPierre, Halles des Foires de Liège, Liège, Belgium. Foire Internationale de Liège scrl, + 32-4-227-19-34. www.technipierre.be 9-10 Stone Fabricators Alliance “Sales and Marketing” Workshop, Seattle. 503-333-2485. www.stonefabricatorsalliance.com 27-30 Coverings 2010, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. NTP, 703-683-8500. www.coverings.com M AY 2 0 1 0 Events 5-8 PIEDRA 2010, Feria de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. IFEMA, +34-91-722-30-00. www.piedra.ifema.es 19-22 CarraraMarmotec 2010 (International Fair for Marble, Machines and Services), Complesso Fieristico, Carrara, Italy. Internazionale Marmi e Macchine Carrera s.p.a., +39-0585-7876022. www.carraramarmotec.com Education 3-6 “Basic Fabrication/Hands-On Training,” Gilbert, Ariz. AZ School of Rock, 480-309-9422. www.azschoolofrock.com 6-8 Stone Fabricators Alliance “Owning Your Market” Workshop, Farmington Hills, Mich. USA Stone, 248-477-4044. www.stonefabricatorsalliance.com JUNE 2010 Events 10-12 American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2010 National Convention and Design Expo, Miami. AIA, 202-626-7300. www.aia.org Education 3-4 Restoration and Maintenance Seminar, Powell, Tenn. VIC International Corp., 800-423-1634. www.vicintl.com/Jan_San_Seminar.htm 7-10 “Basic Fabrication/Hands-On Training,” Gilbert, Ariz. AZ School of Rock, 480-309-9422. www.azschoolofrock.com 9 “Business Success for Fabricators: Marketing Your Company in Today’s Business Environment” with Tony Malisani and Marty Gould, Marble of the World, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Marble Institute 62 | APRIL 2010 30 “Business Success for Fabricators: Don’t Let Revenue Slip Away” with GK Naquin, Global Granite and Marble, St. Louis. Marble Institute of America, 440-250-9222. J U LY 2 0 1 0 Education 6-9 “Basic Fabrication/Hands-On Training,” Gilbert, Ariz. AZ School of Rock, 480-309-9422. www.azschoolofrock.com 8-10 Stone Fabricators Alliance “Shop Tech / Management” Workshop, Birmingham, Ala. Stone Concepts LLC, 205-836-6425. www.stonefabricatorsalliance.com 20 “Business Success for Fabricators: Don’t Let Revenue Slip Away” with Tony Malisani, Calgary, Alberta. MIA, 440-250-9222. www.marble-institute.com 22 “Business Success for Fabricators: Don’t Let Revenue Slip Away” with Duane Naquin, DalTile Stone Center, Denver. MIA, 440-250-9222. www.marble-institute.com AUGUST 2010 Education 2-5 “Basic Fabrication/Hands-On Training,” Gilbert, Ariz. AZ School of Rock, 480-309-9422. www.azschoolofrock.com 12-14 Stone Fabricators Alliance “Shop Tech / Management” Workshop, Bangor, Maine. Qualey Granite, 207-947-7858. www.stonefabricatorsalliance.com SEPTEMBER 2010 Events 29-Oct. 2 Marmomacc 2010, Verona Exhibition Centre, Verona, Italy. VeronaFiere, +390458-298-111. U.S. contact: Consultants International Group, 202-783-7000. www.marmomacc.it Education 2-4 Stone Fabricators Alliance “Importing / Marketing” Workshop, Morris, Ill. Morris Granite, 815-942-3347. www.stonefabricatorsalliance.com 7-10 “Basic Fabrication/Hands-On Training,” Gilbert, Ariz. AZ School of Rock, 480-309-9422. www.azschoolofrock.com 15 “Business Success for Fabricators: Don’t Let Revenue Slip Away” with Duane Naquin, Walker Zanger, Hayward, Calif. Marble Insititute of America, 440-250-9222. 22 “Business Success for Fabricators: Don’t Let Revenue Slip Away” with GK Naquin and Chuck Muehlbauer, Amsum & Ash, Fridley, Minn. Marble Institute of America, 440-250-9222. OCTOBER 2010 Events 19-20 Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference, Navy Pier, Chicago. Restore Media LLC, 202-339-0744. www.traditionalbuildingshow.com Education 4-7 “Basic Fabrication/Hands-On Training,” Gilbert, Ariz. AZ School of Rock, 480-309-9422. www.azschoolofrock.com 6 “Job Installation & Project Management,” Albuquerque, N.M. National Kitchen & Bath Association, 800-843-6522. www.nkba.org 6-7 “Quarry Tours,” Barre, Vt. Marble Institute of America, 440-250-9222. www.marble-institute.com 20 “Job Installation & Project Management,” Anaheim, Calif. National Kitchen & Bath Association, 800-843-6522. www.nkba.org 21-23 Stone Fabricators Alliance “OldSchool Hand Fabricating” Workshop, Palm Desert, Calif. DeMille Marble & Granite, 760-341-7525. www.stonefabricatorsalliance.com Have an event, classroom or workshop for professionals? Send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete, up-to-the-minute listing of stoneindustry events, go to www.stonebusiness.net. April 2010 Ad Index Company Page AMJ ...................................................................................... 44 AS&LD............................................................................ 39, 51 Anderson Bros & Johnson .................................................... 16 ANVER ................................................................................ 18 Beckart ................................................................................ 27 Blick Industries .................................................................... 17 Braxton-Bragg LLC .......................................................... 3, 49 Ceramic Tile & Stone Consultants ...................................... 44 Cemar Electro ...................................................................... 24 Chemcore ............................................................................ 57 Coverings ............................................................................ 41 Custom Building Products.................................................... 28 Daltile .............................................................................. 12-13 E Template Systems.............................................................. 35 Fabricators Choice .............................................................. 61 GranQuartz ................................................ Inside Back Cover Hi-Tech Fastener .................................................................. 59 ISFA ................................................................................ 45, 64 ITW Plexus .......................................................................... 26 Integra Adhesives.................................................... Back cover JMS Jura Marble .................................................................... 14 Jerong Products ...................................................................... 7 Kurt Nemi ............................................................................ 64 Laser Products Industries .................................................... 50 64 | APRIL 2010 Company Page Lustro Italiano ...................................................................... 36 MS International........................................................ Insert 2-3 Maas Companies .................................................................. 45 Marble & Granite Service .................................................... 29 Marmo Meccanica Spa.......................................................... 19 Marmo Meccanica USA ........................................................ 40 Marble Institute of America.................................................. 23 Master Wholesale ................................................................ 58 Meshoppen Stone ................................................................ 33 Monument Toolworks .......................................................... 38 Natural Stone Council .......................................................... 47 Omni Cubed Inc ............................................................ 11, 31 Pearl Abrasive Co........................................................... 15, 25 Regent Stone Products .................................................. 59, 61 Right Mfg .............................................................................. 20 Salem Stone/GMM .............................................. IFC, Insert-4 ScandInvent ............................................................................ 5 Stonebroker.......................................................................... 55 Stonexpo Marmomacc Am..................................................... 1 Teixeira Soapstone.................................................................. 4 Texastone Quarries .............................................................. 21 USG Robotics............................................................ Insert – 1 Wilson Electric...................................................................... 30 Wood’s Powr-Grip .............................................................. 55