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VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 1 • 2011 • SINGLE ISSUE $14.95

What’s Inside: Outlook 2011 What’s in Store for the Surfacing Industry Page 30

The 5 Biggest Business Blind Spots Page 40

Inside a NIOSH Inspection of a Cultured Marble Facility Page 48

A Who’s Who of Sustainable Surfacing Materials Page 44

A Hot Project with a Cool Design Page 26

INTERN ATION AL S U R FAC E FA B R IC AT O R S A S S O C IAT IO N

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Magazine Credits Letters To The Editor Countertops & Architectural Surfaces welcomes Letters to the Editor. If you have questions about the magazine, or would like to make a comment, or voice an opinion about the magazine, ISFA, or the industry in general, please feel free to write to us. Please send letters to editor@isfanow.org or to Letters, ISFA, 165 N 1330 W Unit A3, Orem, UT 84057 or fax to (801) 341-7361 attention: Editor. Include a telephone number and address (preferable email address). Letters may be edited for clarity or space. Because of the high volume of mail we receive, we cannot respond to all letters. Send queries about Countertops & Architectural Surfaces to editor@isfanow.org or mail to ISFA, 165 N 1330 W Unit A3, Orem, UT 84057 or fax to (801) 341-7361 attention: Editor. Contacting ISFA Phone: (801) 341-7360 Toll Free: (877) 464-7732 Fax: (801) 341-7361 editor@isfanow.org www.isfanow.org About This Magazine Countertops & Architectural Surfaces is published quarterly by the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA), with a fifth “Buyers Guide” issue publishing in July. Individual copies of Countertops & Architectural Surfaces are available at the non-member “newstand” price of $14.95. Countertops & Architectural Surfaces is also available by individual subscription at the following rates: ISFA non-members, one year (five issues) $30.00; ISFA members, one year free with every membership renewal.

ISFA Directors Mike Nolan, Director Martin Funck, Director Dave Paxton, Director Joe Hoffman, Director Michael Bustin, Director Harry Hollander, Associate Member Rep. Bryan Stannard, Associate Member Rep. ISFA Staff Russ Lee, Executive Director Jeff Pease, Art Director & Web Services Kevin Cole, Communications Director Sandy Milroy, Membership & Event Director Andrew Bowman, Development Director Margaret Pettingill, Administrative Assistant Cover Photo: Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects specified LG HI-MACS solid surface for the Ernie Davis Dining Hall at Syracuse University. The project was well suited to thermoforming, and fabricator Sterling Surfaces put its skills to the test.

Special rates and charges apply for orders outside of the United States. Call for details. To subscribe, call (877) 464-7732. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright © International Surface Fabricators Association 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without publisher’s written permission. Countertops & Architectural Surfaces and The International Surface Fabricators Association assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Materials will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. For change of address, please include old label with new information, including both old and new zip codes. Allow 3-6 weeks for address change to take effect. Periodicals postage rate is paid at the Lehi, Utah, post office as well as others. Opinions expressed by writers in this magazine are not necessarily the opinions of Countertops & Architectural Surfaces or the International Surface Fabricators Association, but rather those of the individual writers. Postmaster: Send address change to Countertops & Architectural Surfaces magazine, 165 N 1330 W Unit A3, Orem, UT 84057.

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Photography: Photos in this publication may not depict proper safety procedures for creative purposes. ISFA and Countertops & Architectural Surfaces support the use of proper safety procedures in all cases and urge readers to take steps to institute such procedures. Photography Provided By: Jon Blassius, Sterling Surfaces, LG Hausys, Fred Hueston, the Concrete Decor Show, L.E. Smith and NIOSH. Magazine Credits Publisher & Editor Kevin Cole Creative Director Jeff Pease Contributing Editor Russ Lee ISFA Officers Of The Board Hunter Adams, President Russ Berry, Vice President Mike Langenderfer, Secretary Evan Kruger, Immediate Past President Russ Lee, Executive Director

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 3


Table of Contents Rodding Granite Countertops Value or Waste? Page 38

Industry Outlook 2011 What does the future hold? Page 30

Other Features 36 - Concrete Countertop Professionals Gather in Nashville 42 - 2011 Design Contest Call for Entries - Innovation in Design Contest 48 - Potential Occupational Exposure Hazards in Cultured Marble Manufacturing

Syracuse University Syracuse University’s Ernie Davis Dining Hall gets a makeover in LG HI-MACS. Page 26

Departments 06 - From The Editor 08 - President’s Letter 10 - Executive Director’s Letter 11 - Calendar Of Events 12 - In The Industry 16 - Education Connection 20 - 5 Questions 22 - Shop Management Matters 52 - ISFA News 58 - Product News

Business Blindspots The L.E. Smith Company shares some of its insight on the blindspots in today’s business world. Page 40

Sustainable Products Interest in eco-friendly materials continues to grow, and new ones come to market all the time. So, here’s the scoop on the options available and what differentiates them. Page 44

4 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

66 - Classifieds 66 - Ad Index


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From The Editor From the desk of Kevin Cole, Editor & Publisher, and ISFA Communications Director

Making Today Work

A

nother year has passed into the history books, and I’m finally feeling a bit better about where the U.S. economy is headed. As a nation, we stood on the edge of a chasm, not knowing if we were going to keep our footing on the unstable ground of recession, or tumble into depression. Thankfully, after looking over the edge, we were able to keep our economy from falling completely apart.

The experts told us at the end of 2009 that the recession was officially over, but more than a few in the surfacing industry still had a tough 2010. Thankfully, the picture is looking a little better and the general sentiment on the street seems much more positive. The downs seem to be as far down as they are going to go, and slow gains are predicted for the foreseeable future. However, there’s a lot of work ahead as this industry adjusts to the new normal. If the experts are right, levels of activity won’t return to the highs of 2006 for quite awhile. Most companies are now leaner and more efficient, and while the economy slowly rises, they should be working on transforming their thinking from survival mode to how to prosper in the current economic landscape. The savvy business owners of today understand the benefits to diversifying. The smart investor wouldn’t put all of his or her savings into just one investment, whether it is playing the stock market or establishing a retirement account. To do so invites the chance of losing big if that one investment should falter. Along the same lines, it might be advisable for companies to consider offering multiple product lines to help balance out the business. Surfacing companies may be able spread out the risk by offering a range of products from the inexpensive to the luxurious. Companies need not offer every product out there, from tile and laminate to solid surface and concrete to quartz surfacing and granite, but a mix of a few products can help balance out the highs and lows of a particular material or brand of material. Along the same lines, too many times over the past several years we’ve seen companies that have leveraged themselves into a single market and suffer for it. How many fabricators were caught in a bad spot when the builder segment of the residential housing market died? There are numerous ways to reach customers, whether it is direct sales, working with K&B outlets, commercial work, residential builder business or even a careful foray into the big box store market. 6 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

But those using only one route to market, should hope that route doesn’t go downhill, or their businesses will be going downhill along with it. That’s not to say fabricators should be spending all their efforts trying to be players in every single market segment; that leads businesses spreading themselves too thin and spending too much effort on projects that may not be the best fit for their core competencies. The idea is just to be well rounded, so a fluctuation in the sales of one product line or a drop in sales in a single market doesn’t become a potentially catastrophic event. Another key to moving from survival to prosperity is to take advantage of the developments of the age. In the post-recession world of the 2010s, technology is king. The companies that are able to master new technologies will be the ones on top. Whether it’s more efficient production equipment, better back office tools or new tech-based marketing methods, utilizing the available advancements will become ever more important. Things are moving from where tech-savvy companies are the exception, to where they are the norm, and those unable to shift their strategies and methodologies will find themselves in scary positions. It’s now 2011, so businesses should be using a strategy based on the conditions of 2011. Anything else won’t do…. As always, I look forward to your feedback. Sincerely,

Kevin Cole Editor & Publisher kevin@isfanow.org

I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N


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From The President From the desk of Evan Kruger, ISFA 2010-2011 President.

An Honor to Serve

H

ow time flies. It’s been a year since I became president of ISFA, but it seems like just yesterday. It was a privilege to serve our membership and a terrific personal learning experience for me as well. I thank the membership for having the faith in me to guide ISFA this year. The task was made all the easier and more enjoyable by having great people to work with along the way. The only down side has been having to sit still long enough to write this column for Kevin Cole, our talented and patient editor of this magazine. I want to thank the entire ISFA staff, and Executive Director Russ Lee in particular for his tireless efforts, his focus and his timely communications and updates about all the things ISFA offers us. It’s been a tough time for all our businesses, and trade associations in general, but with Russ, the ISFA staff, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors we have been able to contain costs while improving services for our membership. The magazine, training and mentoring programs, website and International Countertop Expo (ICE) are all on good footings and growing. We as ISFA members have a lot to look forward to despite the struggles we all face as the economy slowly climbs back. I want to congratulate Hunter Adams, CEO of Trindco Premium Countertops of Tidewater, Va., as he assumes the presidency of ISFA for 2011. Folks, you are in very capable hands and I know because Hunter and I have become good friends and colleagues over the last four or five years. Our relationship could be the poster child for what

it means to be involved in ISFA. Hunter has a strong background in finance and business management, while my background is based in hands-on fabrication. We seek out each other’s expertise on a weekly basis and our varied strengths and our willingness to share them have benefited each of us immensely. We all have this same opportunity by being ISFA members – making friends and learning from each other. ISFA means partnering with other fabricators, and with suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, architects and designers to grow our businesses and our industry. With this in mind, I look forward to seeing our entire growing membership next October 20-22 at the ICE Show at the Rio in Las Vegas. ICE is the ultimate one-stop shop for all things countertop and the only show of its kind this fall. I hope to see you there for the exchange of ideas, the discovery of new products and new techniques, and that special something that benefits each of us only when we are face-to-face with our industry peers. I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N

Sincerely,

Evan Kruger ISFA President evank@solidtops.com

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I N T E R N AT I ON A L   S U R FAC E   FA B R I C AT OR S   A S S OC I AT I ON

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From The Executive Director From the desk of Russ Lee, Executive Director of ISFA, Charter Fabricator Member (1997) and Industry Partner (2007).

The Winds of Change

D

o you remember the scene in Mary Poppins where a whole flock of stern and solemn nannies are queued up in front of the Banks’ home all the way down the street? Suddenly Bert, the Jack-of-all-trades, lifts his eyes to the clouds and says, “The wind is changin’.” Accordingly, the weather vane shifts to the east and all the somber would-be nannies are carried off, while Mary Poppins floats in on the same breeze from another direction. Beginning with that seminal moment, the Doom and Gloom existence of the Banks children gradually changes for the better. From where I sit, it appears the winds are starting to change ever so slightly for the decorative surfacing industry. The Doom and Gloom atmosphere of the past couple of years is giving way to an air of cautious optimism, even outright hope for the future. I hear fabricators talk more openly of greater demand for their products and services. I hear tales of companies landing big projects and even increased profitability. Probably the biggest harbinger of change I see is the resurgence of innovation within the industry. I hear less of “hunker down” and more of “gear up for growth” these days, and I have to tell you, it is music to my ears. There is a raft of new products just waiting to hit the market, which is good news for anyone looking for the Next New Thing to help jumpstart their marketing program. I’d like to tell you about two of those materials. The first is a composite product that combines just about all the desirable properties of the ultimate countertop material. It is homogenous (solid all the way through), is highly stain resistant, extremely scratch resistant, is sustainable (Green), can be fabricated using standard woodworking tooling, doesn’t require finishing, sealing or buffing and is relatively affordable. It comes in just about any color you can think of, can be produced in a number of finishes, comes in a UV-stable grade for exterior applications, can have digital imaging embedded in the countertop material at a nominal cost with no minimum quantities and is available in a wide range of thicknesses. The other product is amber onyx, mined not two hours from the ISFA office here in Utah. This translucent material can be fabricated like granite and delivers fantastic aesthetics when used in backlit applications. There exists, reportedly, 1 million tons of the material in the Wasatch mountains, just waiting to be brought to market. From a fabrication standpoint, innovation is becoming a commercially hot property. One example is thermoforming of solid surface materials. The wave that began in Europe has finally washed onto North American

10 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

shores and is lifting the boats of forward-looking fabricators as they become more proficient and more creative. Mix designs for concrete are now more consistent, and stone fabricators are turning out some incredible projects on a scale much larger than the traditional individual kitchen. There are innovations on the supply side as well. One company has a new product/procedure for polishing quartz surfacing that makes it possible for any fabricator to repair a scratch on site, in the consumer’s home, and match the factory finish. Adhesive manufacturers are pushing the glue envelope as new uses for the many iterations of decorative surfacing materials and applications emerge. Even the machinery sector, which was nearly declared DOA through most of 2009 and 2010, is bringing new ideas and techniques to the market, such as a production v-groover for stone. So, here is the question: Where can you see, feel, heft and learn about all these new innovations? This magazine, of course, is one excellent resource. But, all of the products, techniques and services described above will be at The International Countertop Expo (ICE) in Las Vegas this October. More and more exhibitors tell us they plan on using this venue to launch their new products and programs. Why? Because, they tell us, it is at the right time of the year for them to get a jump on the competition, that traditionally wait until January/February to unveil their new offerings, and it reaches the market they most want to influence – the countertop and decorative surfacing fabricator. Which means, if you are not at ICE this year, chances are you will be at a disadvantage to your competition, simply because you will not be made aware of the latest products and innovations our industry has to offer. The buzz has already begun. We have more people registering online for the show at www.countertopexpo.org than ever before. Companies with new products, new ideas and new routes to market are contacting ISFA as they search for the best way to introduce their offerings to the industry. The conference program, crafted by a group of industry leaders, is set, including a whole program of demonstrations and competitions featuring every material. Excuse me if I wax poetic. The winds, they are a changin’. Sincerely,

Russ Lee Executive Director, ISFA russ@isfanow.org

I N T E R N AT I O N A L SU R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A SSO C I AT I O N


Calendar of Events Dollars & Sense of Going Green Conference March 17 – 18 Indianapolis, Ind. 765-494-3644 CHENG Concrete Countertop Essentials Workshop March 26 Atlanta, Ga. 510-849-3272, ext. 217

ISFA Stone & Quartz Total Fabrication Training May 10-13 West Jordan, Utah 877-464-7732 www.isfanow.org Hermance Expo May 12 - 13 Williamsport, Va. 570-326-9156 AIA National Convention and Design Expo May 12 – 14 New Orleans, La. 972-536-6424

Pinske Edge Fabrication Seminar March 30 – April 1 Plato, Minn. 800-874-6753

CHENG Professional Concrete Countertop Training May 16 – 18 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272, ext. 217

AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training April 4 – 7 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422 Park Industries Thin Stone Conference & Expo April 7 St. Cloud, Minn. 800-328-2309 CHENG Outdoor Living Essentials Workshop April 12 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272, ext. 217 CHENG Concrete Countertop Essentials Workshop April 13 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272, ext. 217 CHENG Forming Essentials Training April 14 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272, ext. 217 CHENG Professional Decorative Fiber Reinforced Concrete Training April 15 – 16 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272, ext. 217 Gore Design Fabric-Forming & GFRC Workshop April 19 – 22 Tempe, Ariz. 480-209-4241 Stonetech April 20 – 23 Beijing, China +86-108-460-0802 CHENG Concrete Countertop Essentials Workshop April 23 Atlanta, Ga. 510-849-3272, ext. 217 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) April 26 – 28 Las Vegas, Nev. 800-933-8735 AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training May 2 – 5 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422

AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training Sept. 12 – 15 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422 ISFA Solid Surface Total Fabrication Training Sept. 12 – 15 Orem, Utah 877-464-7732 www.isfanow.org Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo Sept. 20 – 21 Chicago, Ill. 203-371-6322

ISFA Solid Surface Total Fabrication Training May 16 – 19 Orem, Utah 877-464-7732 www.isfanow.org

AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training Oct. 3 – 6 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422

CHENG Professional Decorative Fiber Reinforced Concrete Training May 19 – 20 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272, ext. 217

Int’l Countertop Expo (ICE) Oct. 20 – 22 Las Vegas, Nev. 877-464-7732 www.countertopexpo.org

CHENG Professional Mold-Making Workshop May 21 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272, ext. 217

2011 Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo Oct. 27 – 29 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 866-967-2015

Interzum Furniture Expo May 25 – 28 Cologne, Germany 773-326-9920

AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training Nov. 7 – 10 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422

Ligna Woodworking Expo May 30 – June 1 Hannover, Germany 609-987-1202 AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training June 6 – 9 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422

AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training Dec. 5 – 8 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422

Calendar of Events

CCI Ultimate Concrete Countertop Training March 28 – April 1 Raleigh, N.C. 877-386-7711

AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training Aug. 1 – 4 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422

Submit your event for consideration in our Calendar by e-mailing Editor Kevin Cole at kevin@isfanow.org.

Stone+Tec June 22 – 25 Nuremberg, Germany +49 (0) 9 118-606-8108 AZ School of Rock Stone Fabrication Training July 11 – 14 Phoenix, Ariz. 480-309-9422 ISFA Solid Surface Total Fabrication Training July 18 – 21 Orem, Utah 877-464-7732 www.isfanow.org AWFS July 20 – 23 Las Vegas, Nev. 877-303-0711

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 11


In The Industry In The Industry has the latest news and events for the decorative surfacing industry. Cosentino Appoints New CEO for North American Arm

Cosentino, a provider of natural stone, quartz surfacing and recycled surfacing, announced the appointment of Eduardo Cosentino as the new CEO for Cosentino North America. The North American arm of Cosentino has been under the leadership of founder Roberto Contreras Jr. since its inception in the United States more than 12 years ago. This comes after the Cosentino Group acquired full ownership of Cosentino North America at the end of 2009. “Roberto has been key to the success of Cosentino in North America, and we’re forever grateful for his contributions,” Francisco Cosentino, president of the Cosentino Group, commented. “He’s been a true partner whom we respect, appreciate and will forever maintain contact with.” In 1996, Contreras and Cosentino first opened Cosentino North America as a joint partnership and have received awards and recognitions over the years. Contreras stated, “I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments made with Cosentino and feel confident that under Eduardo’s leadership, they will reach a new level of success.” Eduardo Cosentino has served as the corporate sales director for the Cosentino Group for seven years, overseeing sales and marketing efforts for the multi-national company across the globe, including North and Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. His responsibility to the executive committee has permitted him to acquire experience in the aspects of design and implementation of the business strategies. “This is a very exciting time for a global company like ours as we focus on developing the U.S. market,” said Eduardo. “We are

confident that with the experience of our U.S. leadership team, our production capacity and our strategic business model, we will continue to be a leader in the kitchen and bath surfacing market.” Cosentino, with its current count of more than 650 U.S. employees, runs and operates 13 distribution centers and 12 fabrication shops across the United States, and markets its products through a network of about 3,000 independent stone fabricators. Its expansion plans in the United States include the opening of Cosentino Centers, which are designed to support, promote, and educate trade professionals by integrating distribution facilities, exhibition areas, workspaces for designers to bring clients, classrooms for continuing education, and fully functioning kitchens and event space for demonstrations.

Gemstone Solid Surface Moves to Eco-Friendly Resin

GEMSTONE Solid Surface has announced that effective immediately all of the company’s solid surface sinks and bowls will be manufactured using an eco-friendly resin comprised of 15 percent post consumer material and 5.5 percent readily renewable material content. This step in providing an environmentally improved product was made possible by the company’s supplier partners in the cast polymer industry, and coincides with many of the current offerings by the major solid surface industry sheet goods manufacturers. These sinks and bowls are compatible with all major brands of solid surface materials and are available nationwide regardless of fabricators’ other product alliances. “Making this change in the way we produce our product allows us to offer our fabricator customers a product that will help them and their construction customers in qualifying for LEED points on any project,” said Richard Magee, national sales manager. “Combined with our central location, which reduces transportation distances, and our national distribution network, we feel this is a welcome step in helping to promote environmental responsibility in an area not normally considered as adaptable to the ‘Green’ initiative sweeping our country.”

12 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Moraware Launches RemnantSwap

Moraware, the maker of Moraware job tracking software, has launched a free new service called RemnantSwap. RemnantSwap is an online service that allows fabricators to buy and sell granite remnants. To use the service, fabricators must sign up for an account at www. remnantswap.com. A video showing how the service works is available on the company’s website.

Samsung Offers Free Continuing Education Courses

Samsung Chemical (USA) Inc., parent of Samsung Staron and Radianz Quartz surfacing products, is offering two free online continuing education courses. The courses, offered through AEC Daily’s Online Learning Center, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by visiting www.aecdaily.com. Both one-hour courses offer approved continuing education units (CEUs) for several industry organizations and professional development requirements, including AIA, NKBA, NARI, BOMI Institute, HSW, IDCEC, NAHB and AIBC, among many others. The first course is titled “Acrylic Solid Surface Solutions in Commercial Settings,” and provides an overview of the characteristics of 100 percent acrylic solid surface compared to other surface materials and the driving factors that contribute to its growing role in sustainable design strategies. It also discusses the manufacturing, fabricating and thermoforming processes of the material and the related green standards and certification programs. The majority of this course is made up of sustainable design information. The courses in this level will offer more detailed and new information on a product, construction or manufacturing process, LEED credit achievement and other green organizations. These courses qualify for AIA/SD LU’s. The second course, titled “An Overview of Engineered Quartz Surfaces,” provides an overview of the characteristics, features and benefits of engineered quartz surfaces. This course contains a minimal amount of introductory sustainable design information.


Transolid Hires Gerald Bass as Northeast Regional Sales Manager

Gerald Bass was named Northeast Regional Sales Manager for TSHS LLC, manufacturer of Mystera and Transolid solid surface products, which was created when Hudson Surfaces and Transolid merged in 2009. Bass has more than 20 years of sales leadership in the solid surface industry, including experience at DuPont, LG Chemical and Aristech Acrylics. He served as regional sales manager at Aristech where he managed multiple accounts and independent distributors in the Northeast and Canada. He also worked as director of sales & marketing for Mobile Fab Inc., a patented on-site solid surface fabrication system. Most recently, Bass was regional sales manager for Nichiha, a producer of fiber cement siding. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Georgia and is a member of the American Institute of Architects, International Surface Fabricators Association and National Home Builders Association.

Flow Partners with USG Robotics

Flow International Corporation has partnered with USG Robotics Inc. to provide stone industry fabricators machinery that combines waterjet cutting technology with that of saw cutting. This partnership is also designed to bring suitable software capabilities to the industry to accompany the waterjet/saw technology. Flow and USG Robotics will be collaborating to bring new products to the stone market within the Mach Series of Flow waterjet cutting equipment.

Chemical Concepts Catalog Available for Download

Chemical Concepts, suppliers of a variety of equipment for the surface fabrication and other industries, has announced the availability of the company’s fabrication catalog for download. The fabricator’s catalog, found on the company’s website at www.chemical-concepts. com, features diverse lines of products specifically for those in the surfacing industry, such as adhesives, abrasives, chip repair kits, dispensing guns, high bond tapes, mixing tips, fasteners, sealants and more.

Hanwha Surfaces Launches Online Ordering for Product Samples

Hanwha Surfaces, a global manufacturer of solid surface and quartz surfaces, has launched a new online fulfillment ordering system designed to provide a quick and easy way for distributors and clients to order quartz surfacing

product samples. In an effort to streamline orders, distributors and clients can now order product samples online by visiting the Hanwha Surfaces website (www.hanwhasurfaces. com), selecting the color swatch they would like to order and adding the sample product to their shopping cart. With more than 50 color variations and hues in the quartz product line, customers can sample a variety of colors before making their selections.

The NKBA Elects 2011 President, Executive Committee

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has elected the 2011 NKBA Executive Committee, which will be led by 2011 President David Alderman, CMKBD of Chesapeake, Va. The 2010 Vice President Alan Zielinski, CKD, of Niles, Ill., will become President-Elect, while 2010 NKBA Secretary John Morgan of Glyndon, Md., has been elected Vice President. Mark L. Karas, CMKBD, will serve as Immediate Past President. New to the Executive Committee, Carolyn Cheetham, CMKBD, of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, was elected 2011 Secretary, while John Petrie, CMKBD, of Mechanicsburg, Penn., was elected Treasurer.

Meld USA Adds New Philadelphia Area Sales/Marketing Representative

In an effort to expand the Meld brand into the Philadelphia market, Meld USA along with its distribution partner Caragreen, recently added Ethos Sustainable Finishes to its sales/ marketing team. Ethos offers representation in the Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and Delaware territories. Ethos Sustainable Finishes works with manufacturers whose materials emphasize performance, environmental responsibility and improved indoor air quality. “We are excited to have a company like Ethos on our team that is dedicated and passionate to bringing sustainable materials to the A+D communities in the Northeast region of the United States,” said Michael Bustin, CEO of Meld USA.”

Tile Professionals Join Efforts in Habitat for Humanity Homes

Karran Increases Internet Presence

Sink producer Karran has added a zip code based dealer/fabricator locator to its website to quickly allow consumers to locate a local source for Karran sinks. As an additional information source for local retailers and fabricators the local master distributor for each region will also be listed. Additionally, the company has joined the social networking movement and can be found on Facebook. The company is embracing the world of social networking to help build and grow its brand, to inform and to educate. Its page will be regularly updated with videos, photos, tips, new product launches and other items of interest to the industry. Further expanding its Internet presence, Karran has posted its sink installation videos online. Interested parties can now find them on the company website (www.karran.com), the company’s Facebook page or on Youtube. Each video clearly and precisely details how to install one of the company’s acrylic undermount sinks onto laminate countertops, both custom squareedge tops and postform countertops.

As part of Habitat for Humanity’s 27th annual “Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project” (JRCWP) Tile Partners for Humanity today started its week-long tile blitz in the project homes in Washington, D.C. Throughout the week numerous tile professionals from across the country installed more than 3,000 sq. ft. of donated tile in the kitchens, washrooms, bathrooms and front foyers of eight homes. “We’re very proud of all of our Habitat builds, but to be a part of one that has so much history and global significance makes it that much more meaningful,” said Curt Rapp, founder of Tile Partners for Humanity. Typically, a tile installation project of this magnitude would take weeks, if not months, to accomplish. Spearheading this project in support of Tile Partners has been Laticrete International, manufacturers of tile and stone installation systems. Laticrete supplied all the installation materials for the project. Florida Tile donated the ceramic tile, which was used on both floors and walls. The National Tile Contractors Association has also supported this effort and two of its members in the area, the David Allen Company (Bristow, Va.) and Collins

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 13


Tile and Stone (Aldie, Va.) had crews assisting in the installation. Backerboard for the floors and walls was supplied by Fin Pan and grout sealer was donated by Miracle Sealants. “Without the support of donors and sponsors like Tile Partners for Humanity, the important work we are doing to serve lower income families in Washington would not be possible,” said Kent Adcock, president of D.C. Habitat for Humanity.

the Artisan Group Products: Artisan Stone Collection, Saratoga Soapstone, Modesto Granite and Heritage Wood, as well as Firstline care products and Kohler sinks and faucets. The company currently has 85 employees and fabricates and installs 3,500 to 4,000 sq. ft. of stone and quartz surfacing per week.

vanity tops. Basix and Prima Decora will be served in the Eastern United States from a new distribution warehouse in Chambersburg, Penn., beginning in January, 2011. Additional distribution warehouse locations planned for 2011 include the Seattle area, the Southeastern United States and Texas.

LEEZA Announces Staff Promotion, Restructuring Plan

Top Master Recognized as One of Largest Contributors to Habitat ReStore

New Officers Chosen for MIA

Gasper “GK” Naquin, founder and president of Stone Interiors, Loxley, Ala., and Gaston, S.C., has been chosen as the new president of the Marble Institute of America (MIA). Naquin has also served on the MIA board of directors as treasurer and secretary. Other officers chosen for the MIA’s Board of Directors at the association’s annual meeting held in Las Vegas in January are: • Vice President, Michael Twiss of Columbia Stone, Tualatin, Ore. • Secretary, Jonathan Zanger of Walker Zanger Inc. Perth Amboy, N.J. • Treasurer, Tony Malisani of Malisani Inc., Great Falls, Mont. David Castellucci of Kenneth Castellucci & Associates, Inc., Lincoln, RI and Patrick Perus of Polycor, Inc., Quebec City, Quebec were elected to the board of directors. They will serve terms expiring in 2015. Luca Burlamacchi of Decolores Marmores de Granitos, Cachoeiro do Itapemirim, Espirito Santo, Brazil, was elected to fill the vacant Central/South American board seat.

Designer Surfaces Joins Artisan Group

Designer Surfaces, of Frederick, Md., has been selected as a member of the Artisan Group, a national organization of 36 independent countertop fabricators who have joined together to offer their own brands of premium countertops. “Joining the Artisan Group is a great way for us to differentiate ourselves from our competition,” said Greg Fisher, Designer Surfaces president. Serving the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Metro area, including parts of central Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, Designer Surfaces was founded in 1990 by brothers Greg and Don Fisher. It began as a fabrication and installation business for Corian, but has since expanded to include other surfaces, which now include

LEEZA, a Montreal-based supplier of surfacing materials, has promoted National Sales Manager Mark Murphy to the new role of VP of sales and marketing, as part of a new corporate restructuring. Teaming up with Mark will be the new VP Finance and Operations, to be announced in the forthcoming weeks. Founding Partners Mark Hanna and Jack McDonald will increasingly focus on strategic growth including the introduction and development of new products. This significant restructuring plan will form the foundation for future expansion, and will underpin all strategic partnerships, such as LEEZA’s recent extension into further U.S. territory with Hanwha Surfaces. LEEZA is a supplier of such surfaces as Staron by Samsung, elements by Durcon, Eclipse Stainless, Accolade Quartz and Premium RF Marble Tile Collections, as well as HanStone Quartz Surfaces by Hanwha.

Basix International Announces New Eastern U.S. Warehouse Basix International, a joint venture California Corporation between Durasein, an international manufacturer and provider of solid surface and quartz products based in Hong Kong, and Basix Americas, a marketer and supplier of solid surfacing products, has implemented a national distribution agreement with the L&W Supply division of USG Corporation. Under this new relationship, L&W supply (CALPLY in Southern California) initiated the management of national distribution of Basix and Prima Decora products from their Pico Rivera, California distribution center. Products include acrylic and acrylic blend solid surface sheet, sinks, shower bases and wall systems as well as quartz slabs and

14 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Kansas-based Top Master Inc., one of the largest commercial and residential countertop fabricators and installers in the Midwest and an Artisan Group member, has been recognized by Habitat ReStore of Kansas City as one its largest contributors. Since 2008 Top Master has partnered with Habitat Restore to coordinate picking up its leftover granite pieces and select remnants. Customers can then purchase the pieces that are perfect for vanity tops, small bar tops or table tops. To date these donations have kept in excess of 91, 000 tons of scrap material out of the landfill and generated more than $50,000 for Habitat Restore. Kansas City Habitat ReStore, founded in June 2000, accepts donations of new and used building materials from individuals, contractors and retailers. The materials are then made available to the public at a deeply discounted price. ReStore operates on a Triple Bottom Line philosophy: “People, Planet and Profit.” People seeking building supplies can find what they need at ReStore. ReStore seeks to be a good steward of natural resources and energy provided by the planet as thousands of tons of useable building materials are diverted from landfills each year by ReStore. Finally, ReStore profits are transferred to the Habitat for Humanity Kansas City affiliate to further its mission. Through this Triple Bottom Line philosophy, the Kansas City Habitat ReStore has experienced phenomenal success and serves as a model of sustainability to the surrounding Kansas City metropolitan area.

KBIS Unveils New Look, New Tools

The 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), in Las Vegas from April 26 to 28, has enhanced its attendee experience with the introduction of


mobile applications, interactive and hands-on displays and an expanded array of conferences and events. In 2010, research was initiated to help re-define the strategic direction of the show for the future. Focus groups were conducted with hundreds of past and present exhibitors, attendees and NKBA members, which resulted in new exhibits, speakers and education, as well as a re-branded strategic position. KBIS Connect, an online scheduling and mapping tool, will allow attendees and exhibitors to plan and update meetings and classes, as well as research and review exhibits and products. And for the first time, a KBIS smartphone app will be available, beginning in January. Attendees will also be able to download a KBIS QR (quick response) code to access show guides and materials throughout the venue. Also new this year will be the Industry Segment Connection, a networking and educational event targeted to professionals in all segments of the kitchen and bath industry. The conference and education slate has been greatly expanded, with a number of conferences available to view online, another first for KBIS.

Glue Warehouse Launches Online Store

Glue Warehouse is now offering its products, such as Seam-it surfacing adhesive, for purchase through a dynamic Web environment at www.gluewarehouse.com. The website features product information, safety information and testing data, and utilizes the latest communication and e-commerce tools available. The “My Charts” function on the site allows fabricators to edit adhesive charts to create a personal reference page that is saved for future visits to the site. Purchases can be made directly from various locations and are streamlined to reduce processing time. Access is always available and the site is protected by VeriSign, Authorize.net and an SSL certificate to ensure stability and security.

2010 Rockler Master Catalog Released

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has issued its 2010 Master Catalog, a compilation of the company’s products with more pages than any previous Rockler catalog. In addition, the catalog serves customers as a shop reference tool featuring the most complete selection of the company’s woodworking supplies and tools. Although the catalog has more pages than previous versions, it still is unable to compile the company’s complete 30,000-product inventory.

A request for the catalog may be made at the company’s Web site at www.rockler.com.

The Tile Doctor Honored at Floor and Décor Outlets Vendor Appreciation Event

The Tile Doctor, producers of cleaning and protection products for hard surfaces, received two awards at the Floor and Décor Second Annual Vendor Appreciation Event. The company took home top honors in the Innovative Product of the Year and Contractor Event Vendor Support categories. The company’s Grout Admix product was deemed the most innovative product for its ability to seal, protect and strengthen cement grout. The grout additive contains the company’s proprietary organosilane technology, Shield, which is designed to provide long-term effectiveness against bacteria, fungi and algae and their byproducts such as odors, deterioration and harmful health effects. The company was also recognized for its continuous support at Floor and Décor contractor events. The event took place on Nov. 17 at the Commander’s Place in New Orleans. Award nominations were submitted by company buyers and the final selections were determined by the company’s executive team.

Elite Crete Offers New Series of Decorative Concrete Brochures

Elite Crete has produced a variety of decorative concrete brochures that are now available. The brochures include: Decorative Concrete Finishes, Commercial Flooring Solutions, Residential Flooring Solutions, REFLECTOR Enhancer Flooring Systems, Finishes Overview, Industrial Floor Coatings, Pool Deck Finishes and Garage Floor Coatings. The full-color brochures are free and can be viewed at the Resource Center on the company’s website at www.elitecrete.com.

Cosentino Partners With Christopher Peacock

Cosentino has formed a new alliance with home decor brand, Christopher Peacock Home. The joint venture officially kicked off at Culinarium 2010, the kitchen design and epicurean event in October, sponsored by the San Francisco Design Center (SFDC). Two of Cosentino’s leading product lines, Silestone and ECO by Cosentino, are now available to purchase at all Christopher Peacock showrooms nationwide for the first time. This collaboration broadens Christopher Peacock’s current surfacing offerings from traditional natural stone products to include quartz and sustainable solutions.

“More and more I find myself favoring solid surface countertop materials, and Cosentino continues to lead the pack. The design capabilities are endless,” said President & CEO of Christopher Peacock Home, Christopher Peacock.

Hanwha Surfaces Hosts Industry Focus Group to Gear Up for 2011

Hanwha Surfaces, a global manufacturer of quartz and acrylic solid surfaces, has announced the results from compiling information via a recent focus group conducted with industry architects and commercial and residential designers. Held in Atlanta, this focus group was conducted to gain feedback about new product colors and upcoming trends in the quartz and solid surface marketplace. Co-hosted by Hanwha Surfaces distributor, Wilsonart International, the focus group was comprised of commercial and residential designers and surfaces industry leaders. The participants’ goal of the focus group was to share information and offer valuable insight into the ever-changing quartz and solid surfaces marketplace. “Creating products that stem from industry leaders’ feedback ensures that Hanwha Surfaces is providing the quartz and solid surfaces products that will help the end user achieve their goals. We understand the value of listening to new ideas and feedback from industry leaders and welcomed the opportunity to meet with them to learn what we can do to help them be successful,” said Hanwha Surfaces Product Designer Lisa Herreth. “Listening to our clients is paramount to our success and we look forward to incorporating many of their suggestions in the coming year.” Participants engaged in a variety of surveys and discussion groups where they had the opportunity to provide insight about the latest industry trends and applications. As a result of these in-depth discussions, the focus group participants said 2011 is trending toward more monotone colors, layered and unique patterns, as well as the growing need for products made from recyclable materials. I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 15


ISFA member Bedrock Quartz will host ISFA Certified Granite and Quartz Surfacing training.

Total Fabrication Training of Granite and Quartz Surfacing I

SFA is excited to announce the formation of its newest training module, Total Fabrication Training of Granite and Quartz Surfacing. The first session of the four-day training module is slated for May 10-13, 2011, in West Jordan, Utah. Fred Hueston, well-known author, stone industry educator and talk show host, will be the instructor. “We are extremely pleased to partner with Fred in what is destined to become the industry standard for basic stone fabrication training,” said Russ Lee, executive director of ISFA. “Fred has taken an active role in designing the curriculum for the course, which will take students through the essentials of stone fabrication/installation, material handling, safety and shop through-put.” Local fabricator, Bedrock Quartz, has agreed to host the ISFA training at its West Jordan, Utah facility. A fully automated, family-owned shop, Bedrock Quartz stands as a model for anyone looking to enter the stone industry or to expand their current involvement with stone products. “We have been helped by many people along the way in our growth as a company,” said Dave Jorgensen, who, with his three sons, owns and manages Bedrock Quartz. “We view

hosting ISFA training as an opportunity to pay that forward by helping others gain the critical knowledge and insight they need to succeed as stone fabricators.”

consultant and the founder of Stone Forensics ( www.stoneforensics.com), where he and his colleagues provide specification consultation, failure analysis, and expert witness services.

Holding stone fabrication training within the confines of a working stone shop offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge through theory, hands-on fabrication and real world observation. “We have made our people available to students to answer questions and demonstrate techniques during all four days of the course,” Jorgensen stated. “We are very proud of our employees and the level of experience they possess. In addition to the instructor, they represent a gold mine of knowledge.” Students who successfully complete the course qualify for ISFA Certification as Fabricators of Granite and Quartz Surfacing.

Hueston has served as a consultant to This Old House, has hosted radio shows and is a prolific writer on the topic stone fabrication, maintenance and restoration. He has trained thousands of stone craftsmen on fabrication, installation, inspections and restoration of natural stone and quartz surfacing products. “We have been pleasantly surprised at the high level of interest that exists for basic stone fabrication and quartz training,” Lee said. “Our

Dr. Fred M. Hueston is the Chief Technical Director at stoneandtilepros.com. He is a nationally known

16 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Students have the opportunity to learn basic stone fabrication techniques in a working, fully automated shop environment.


Product Knowledge A discussion of the properties, features and benefits of natural stone and quartz surfacing materials.

techniques covering diamond polishing pads, backing pads, variable speed grinders and polishing the exposed edge for an undermount sink will be discussed and practiced. The discussion will also cover application environments, cleaner application, enhancers, sealers, waxes and caulking.

Basic Productivity Concepts An introduction to direct, indirect and non‐ contributing labor concepts and the thought processes for getting the most out of what you have. Templating A discussion and demonstration of hard templating as well as digital templating. The students will template the project top for production. Seaming A discussion covering material layout for yield, color matching, tricks of the trade, adhesives and adhesive delivery systems, preparing the material for seaming and clamping methods. A variety of stone fabrication techniques are taught, including grinding, polishing, routing and hole coring.

initial plan is to hold the class quarterly through 2011, but we will step up the frequency if there is sufficient demand.” For more information and to register for the course, contact the ISFA office at 877.464.7732 or visit the ISFA website at www.ISFAnow.org.

Elements of the course include: Safety A review of basic shop safety procedures, material safety data sheets including dust and fume issues, safe material handling, training shop safety rules, setting up a shop safety program and suggestions for reducing shop insurance costs.

Cutouts A discussion covering sink cutouts, faucet cutouts and cooktop cutouts. We will also discuss rodding and the importance of proper support. The students will perform a sink cutout as well as a cooktop cutout in the kitchen project. Bowl Mounting Processes Attaching an undermount bowl to the countertop, including faucet layout and hole coring. Repairs Basic techniques for chip and scratch repair, including face polishing to match the existing finish. Finishing A discussion of the proper techniques for producing a professional finish. Polishing

Installation This section is a condensed version of “The Job Management & Installation” Seminar. We will discuss installation as a part of total fabrication. We will review tools and materials, loading sequence, customer relations, field seams, caulking, finishing, care & maintenance, warranty information and consumer completion. The students will install the project countertops on the mock‐up cabinets. Support Systems This discussion will focus on various methods and materials to provide for support for countertops including overhang applications. I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N

Details:

When: May 10-13, 2011. Where: Bedrock Quartz, West Jordan, UT. Cost: ISFA members - $1295. Non-members - $1695. Transportation & Lodging: Convenient to the Salt Lake City airport. ISFA has negotiated special rates at a local hotel. Transportation to and from the host hotel is provided by ISFA. Snacks and lunch are provided. Certification: Graduates of the course become ISFA Certified Granite and Quartz Surfacing Fabricators.

While learning the basics of stone fabrication, students have the ability to observe automated fabrication in a production format. International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 17


O

“Superior” Solid Surface Training

ne of the first things a visitor to fabrication shops in Hawaii notices is their propensity for creative problem solving. Perhaps it is cultural, or maybe it is because of their isolation from the “Mainland,” and hence the necessity to “make do or go without.” Whatever the reason, Hawaiian fabricators are known for their ability to think outside the box. Thus, it is no surprise that when the folks at Superior Solid Surface in Honolulu wanted to get the workers in their shop up to speed on the finer points of solid surface fabrication, they worked out the most cost effective solution available. Rather than taking on the time and expense of sending eight people to ISFA headquarters in Utah for four days of intense training, they invited ISFA to visit their shop and put on a special, two-day condensed course using Superior’s materials, tools and equipment. By limiting hands-on fabrication experience

to an environment of “extended demonstrations,” course instructor Russ Lee was able to cover all the elements of Total Fabrication Training of Solid Surface in half the time of the traditional course. As in the fourday course, each of the students also qualified for certification, which is recognized by all major manufacturers of solid surface materials.

Participating in the class were (back row, left to right): Curtis Akiona, Larry Lee, Bobby Tamayo, Russ Lee (instructor), Henry Higashi, and Elesio Tamayo, (front row, left to right) Ruby Fukuji and Rodelio Viernes.

“The objective was to cover required warranty issues first and then demonstrate accepted industry practices for fabrication,” Lee explained. “We covered all the essential elements of material handling, templating, fabrication, installation, shop process and

customer relations. The main difference was that, while the students each practiced handson fabrication techniques on demonstration materials, they didn’t have the opportunity to fabricate and install their own projects.” The impetus of Superior Solid Surface seeking instruction on fabrication techniques was the sudden influx of commercial projects utilizing solid surface. “A high percentage of military and government projects in Hawaii require union installers and Superior Solid Surface is a union shop,” said Ruby Fukuji, project manager for the company. “We wanted to be sure our people understand the proper techniques and best practices for a long lasting and beautiful solid surface installation.”

Bobby Tamayo applies build-up to the underside of the countertop.

18 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

“It was a mission of mutual discovery,” said Lee of the training class. “I was able to share my knowledge of nearly 30 years in the industry with the participants, yet they showed me a few things I have never seen before. I came away


Larry Lee cuts out the corner blocks for a high strength cutout.

from the experience as much a student as the instructor.” According to Lee, providing customized training for shops that want to bring their entire staff up to date on the latest warranty requirements and fabrication techniques is a versatile, yet underutilized training tool. “Sometimes it makes a lot of sense from a time and cost perspective to send the ISFA instructor to a fabrication company’s shop to provide training,” Lee explained. “The burden of cost is shared even more when two or more shops combine to send

people to a class in their own city. As long as there are a minimum of six people participating, the savings can be significant.” Student ratings for the class in Hawaii were uniformly excellent. What might they suggest to Elesio Tamayo machines a decorative bullnose edge improve the course? One student wrote, “More on the countertop. time to pick the instructor’s brain.” For more information on scheduling customized certification training on solid surface fabrication and installation at your shop, call the ISFA office at 877-464-7732.

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Curtis Akiona cleans up a seamed undermount bowl prior to final sanding.

Circle Reader Service #04 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 19


Five Questions For

Jon Blasius

“I grew up farming,” explained Jon Blasius. “We milked cows until 1976, and cash crop farmed until 1990. I went to Michigan State, then came home to Vassar and started my own business working closely with my dad’s business doing kitchen and bath remodeling, ceramic tile and countertops. We incorporated the two companies in 1996 and formed Blasius Inc. with four partners, Dad (Val Blasius), myself and brothers-in-law, Mike Damm and Dave Bogert. At the time we had three employees, now we have around 60. By 1999, we were doing only solid surface countertops. In 2005, we added our stone shop. Granite and Quartz now comprise 55 percent of the business. We still enjoy making maple syrup in the spring, and all of our designer customers get a Blasius branded bottle of syrup each year. When time permits, I enjoy flying a Cessna 172. When I’m really lucky, I find a way to use the airplane for business, such as templating a job on Mackinaw Island. “The business relies on digital templating and uses laser layout and CNC machines in solid surface and stone,” he said. “The stone shop is currently operating three shifts per day, five days a week. When demand exceeds our capacity, an expansion is planned. Waterjet cutting will be added at that time.”

1. CAS: As a large fabricator in a state that, arguably, has been the hardest hit in the U.S. by the economic downturn, what changes have you implemented to make your company profitable? Blasius: I think we are accustomed to the economy in Michigan being a struggle and wouldn’t know how to handle it otherwise. We are not as profitable as we would like to be, but we are making improvements constantly. We actually had 5 percent growth in sales in 2010. One thing we see as improving profitability is focusing on our core products. Trying to do every available product in quartz and solid surface is expensive, because of yield and the difficulty in getting material. We think we have chosen the best solid surface product, the best quartz product and the best supplier of granite, and our dealer customers accept that we prefer to work with them. Another move made during 2010 was reducing home center business while increasing our emphasis on kitchen and bath. We backed out of quartz at 50 Home Depots in Michigan and Indiana because there was no profit there. 2. CAS: What opportunities have you uncovered that will make your business even stronger? Blasius: We are constantly marketing. When our installers cover the customer’s floors with drop cloths, that’s marketing. That customer tells the dealer how good the experience was and helps give the sales person even more confidence to sell another job using us. We are always aware that our customers need marketing materials in their stores. Large format samples, edge boards, Blasius product manuals and built-in displays help our dealers show the value they are selling. 3. CAS: What advice would you give to anyone interested in either starting or expanding a decorative surfacing fabrication business? Blasius: Be bold, but make sure you can pay for your overhead, even if a little downturn in business happens. Be focused; be the best at what you are doing. Don’t be a jack of all, master of none. Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who are smarter and better than you are. 4. CAS: How much of your ability to survive and thrive in a recession would you credit to the opportunity to network with fellow industry professionals? Blasius: I have always come back from the countertop show with something useful. We investigated, and later purchased Park Industries stone equipment after seeing them at the countertop expo. The same thing is true of the Fabricators Choice solid surface CNC machine. Sometimes it is something much smaller, such as a new way to do cove splash or sand tops. But when you are doing a lot of tops, small improvements can have a big impact. 5. CAS: What is your all-time favorite business book? Blasius: I can’t answer with just one. The Art of War by Sun Tzu for strategic and tactical ideas, and all of Harvey MacKay’s books, such as How to Swim With the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive, for motivation and entertainment. But my favorite book is Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Through that book, I’ve learned that there are “producers and looters,” and it helps to recognize them in business. I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N

Photo by: Jess VanLue Photography 20 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


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Outdoor Kitchens with Stone/Quartz

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The Business of Concrete

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ICE 2010 Review

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A Clear Look at Glass Countertops

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Custom Countertops Shares its Formula for Success

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Shop Management Matters

Figure 4 - All storage racks must be visibly labeled with their weight loads.

Taking a Look at Solid Surface Thermoforming By Jon Olson

H

ow many surfaces can be heated in an oven, briefly cooled, and then shaped and twisted into countless designs? Not many; and solid surface is one of the few. This makes solid surface a material with truly unlimited design potential. Think about the possible applications of this technology. Thermoforming can produce furniture, sinks, bathtubs, cabinets, benches, lampshades and coved backsplashes. And that is only scratching the surface of the endless possibilities. Kitchen designs can really benefit from solid surface thermoforming. How about an island top with a thermoformed edge that drops to the floor? (See Figure 1.) That look gives a countertop design a high drama, one-ofa-kind look that adds tremendous value to the finished product. I can’t over emphasize how important solid surface thermoforming is to our industry. The

beautiful lines and shapes that we create bring out the aesthetics of a design. Shapes are crafted that are pleasing to the eye and add to the daily enjoyment of using and living with the design. Who doesn’t enjoy it when their surroundings are as beautiful as they are functional? The Process of Thermoforming Many people recognize that solid surface thermoforming can produce some really cool projects with unique selling opportunities, but may wonder how practical it is to attempt. Is it attainable for only a few select companies? To address these concerns, let’s look at the process of solid surface thermoforming a little more closely. The key to thermoforming, as with any process, is to do your homework. It is always a good idea to talk with the manufacturer of the material to find out suggested procedures. You may

Figure 1 —This kitchen countertop with an eye-catching drop apron utilizes Figure 2 —When solid surface is thermoformed, it goes from a durable sheet to the thermoforming capabilities of solid surface to take this project beyond something the consistency of cooked spaghetti, and after cooling, once again just another flat countertop surface. retains the sought-after properties that has put solid surface among the premium surfacing options.

22 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


Figure 3 — Vacuum forming heated solid surface material is a great way to achieve complex 3-D shapes.

also want to talk to fabricators who are familiar with the process. Additionally, be prepared to do some trial-and-error practice on scrap material. Thermoforming is both an art and a science, and hands-on work experience can’t be replaced. There are really three types of solid surface material, acrylic, polyester and acrylicpolyester blend surfaces. Each type can be thermoformed, but the process will vary from material to material. When bending acrylic surfaces the general rule of thumb for heating the material is 330 degrees

F for about 10 to 12 minutes. When it’s taken out of the oven it has the flexibility of cooked spaghetti (see Figure 2). The remarkable part of this is, after cooling for just 30 to 40 minutes, it is rock solid again and retains the strength of a flat piece of solid surface but in the new form it has been shaped to. Please note, however, that heating times can vary greatly depending on the type of oven used. For instance, a convection-style oven, which circulates heat around the sheet, can take 45 minutes, while platen ovens, which have a heating element actually touching the material, are significantly faster.

When it comes to polyester material, it can be bent, but there are some restrictions when compared to acrylic solid surface. Polyester, for example, can’t be bent into the 3-D shapes you can achieve with an acrylic surface because it can be prone to tearing or even burning. Also, material with larger particulates tends to have problems with those particulates popping out during the forming process. Additionally, polyester solid surface has different heating and cooling times than acrylic. The general rule of thumb for polyester-based solid surface is to reduce the heat by 30 degrees F and plan on heating the material 10 to 15 minutes longer

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 23

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Figure 4 — Some thermoforming ovens, such as this platen-type system, are large enough to heat an entire 30- by 144-in. sheet of solid surface.

than acrylic. Of course, please make sure to check with your supplier of polyester sheet stock for its recommendations. Acrylic-polyester blends of solid surface will fall somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum when it comes to thermoforming, depending on the exact content of the material. Generally speaking, the more acrylic included in the product, the shorter the heat times required and the more radical the bends can be. Once again, make sure to check with the supplier for recommendations on thermoforming. There are different ways to form solid surfaces. Some ovens come with a vacuum table, which is very handy when working with complex 3-D bends (see Figure 3). But, these types of complex projects can also be done by building male and female forms or stand-alone bending forms. Some fabricators even form the material right to the project they are building. There are many different types of ovens

available for thermoforming that come in different sizes and shapes. Smaller so-called “strip” ovens are typically used just for heating build-up pieces to be formed, whereas some ovens are large enough to accommodate an entire sheet of material that is 30-in.-wide by 144-in. long (see Figure 4).

Good molds are as important as a good oven. If you minimize how strong a form needs to be while bending, you might crush the form under the stress a vacuum table puts on it. Some ovens are similar in nature to those you would find in a home. Others can be opened by lifting the top section which is attached to the bottom section by hinges, mimicking the way

24 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

a clam looks, which is why they are referred to as “clamshells.” They have heating elements on both the top and the bottom part of the clamshell, and generally have a smaller footprint in the shop for space savings. Many times a vacuum table will be underneath the oven for even more economical use of space and easier transfer of material. Platen ovens would usually have the vacuum table next to the oven. Good molds are as important as a good oven. If you minimize how strong a form needs to be while bending, you might crush the form under the stress a vacuum table puts on it. Also, whatever your mold looks like is what the piece of material will look like after it’s bent. The form will decide how successful you are with your solid surface thermoforming project. We should emphasize that a good knowledge of engineering, CAD design experience and mold-making skills are important if you’re to be successful in 3-D solid surface applications. I suggest starting slow, working on bends that aren’t as difficult. This will allow you to build


your confidence and skill before moving onto 3-D work. Thermoforming from a Designer Perspective For designers who are thinking of developing a project using solid surface thermoforming, there are a few essential things to be aware of that will help bring a design to fruition. First, for complex projects the cost to create the base form can be one of the largest expenses involved. The fabricator has to engineer the forms to fit your design. Many times, the type of 3-D form will require the use of a CNC machine to cut the parts. They also require skilled craftsmen to build them. All of this has to happen before you even get to the thermoforming part. This isn’t meant to scare you off, just to make you aware of what goes into the process. Another important thing to remember is that most projects bent in a form still require some additional fabrication. As they cool, they may need pieces trimmed off so they can be properly seamed to other pieces. Keep this is mind as you design. Consider how many steps will be needed to create your design. More steps equal more labor which, of course, equals higher cost. Some forms can be used as part of the project, such as in thermoformed walls. But forms that will be used more than once can give you a lot of bang for your buck. Offering thermoformed products that are repeatable in nature and can be incorporated into a variety of projects will allow you to amortize the cost of the mold over

multiple parts. Also, when approaching a fabricator to discuss a thermoforming job, ask what they have already made for forms. You may be able to design your project off of a mold already made that will lower the cost significantly. I hope that keeping in mind these tips will help you get you designs off the page.

When bending acrylic surfaces the general rule of thumb for heating the material is 330 degrees F for about 10 to 12 minutes. The Growing Value of Thermoforming Thermoforming in the solid surface segment of the industry is starting to move along at a rapid pace, and a lot of people are taking notice: “Thermoforming is a differentiator,” stated Russ Berry, president of A.S.S.T. a large commercial fabricator based in Hannover, Pa. “Thermoforming is valued by the design community. Young designers understand thermoforming and will be incorporating applications that require the technology. The industry needs more great fabricators embracing and using all of the attributes of solid surface. It’s not just a counter ... solid surface applications are growing.”

a solid surface fabricator based in Sheffield, U.K., said, “We are seeing an increasing amount of designs which require advanced thermoforming skills. I believe this will continue to advance as more and more high profile projects are completed.” And from a manufacturer’s perspective, Joseph Elia, of Wilsonart Int’l, based in Texas, said, “In many ways I see our industry still looking at solid surface the way we did 10 years ago. Innovation and the way we use the material will define the next 10 years. The use of solid surface as a millwork material for instance is one of those ways. It’s time to go beyond countertops alone. The versatility of this material is only limited by one’s imagination ... Showing that to our customers will only strengthen our industry.” The scene of the solid surface world is changing rapidly. Convincing evidence of this can be seen at any trade show you may attend. Whether at ICFF, Neocon, KBIS or Green Build, the value of solid surface thermoforming is front and center. Designers are certainly taking note, the quotes are coming in and the sales are being made. Perhaps all fabricators aren’t yet ready to purchase their own thermoforming ovens, but why not collaborate with companies that already have one in the mean time? After all, solid surface thermoforming is what allows solid surface to have unlimited design potential, far beyond just flat countertops. I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A SSO C I AT I O N

The same seems to hold true in Europe. Jeff Vickers, director of Solid Surface Solutions Co.,

Thermo-Forming Equipment for Solid Surface

www.schultzform.com USA 800-822-2875 Int. 928-345-8717

Schultz Form LLC has put durable forming equipment that is simple to use in your price range. Our Ovens and Vacuum Formers come in two basic sizes for Solid Surface material, but we are happy to custom make any size needed, from shower pan ovens to strip ovens. Manufacturing Thermoforming equipment is more than our specialty…Itʼs all we do and weʼre good at it. Let us help you. Circle Reader Service #05 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 25


A Hot Project with a Cool Design Solid Surface Specified for Syracuse University Dining Experience

A

tlanta-based Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects was contracted by Syracuse University, in Syracuse, N.Y., to create a state-of-the-art design program for its new 500-seat dining hall. The designers wanted a clean, upscale look for the new Ernie Davis Dining Hall, which was named after the school’s gridiron great of the ‘60s, who became the first African-American to win the coveted Heisman Trophy. The design needed to include the common focal points associated with educational dining halls, such as overall aesthetics, handling of distinct traffic patterns and providing adequate lighting, but the treatment for the project, which included a new servery, also had to be complementary in appearance with the overall building. The design also sought to include a “healthy” aspect, which meant nonporous surfaces and a lean toward green construction. The materials specification process by Mack

Scogin Merrill Elam Architects took into buffed for a look that’s brand new. consideration the constant foot-traffic and overall wear-and-tear that the sizable volume Complex Designs of students and faculty would place on the “The architect’s hallmark is sculpted geometries, dining facility’s primary surfaces. After looking many times consistently dynamic,” said Grant at all the various options of surfacing, the designers specified 150 sheets of NSF and GREENGUARDcertified LG Hausys solid surface materials. There were many reasons for this specification; certainly a prime rationale was because the project called for a seamless, easyto-clean and cheerfully attractive food service build-out (see Figure 1). Additionally solid surface provides life-cycle costs Figure 1 – Boston-based Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects came up benefits because of its with a complex design in LG HI-MACS solid surface for the new 500-seat ability to be sanded and dining hall at Syracuse University.

26 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


created, Sterling had the job of making it a reality (see Figure 2), which was easier said than done. “There were two major challenges with this project as far as Sterling Surfaces was concerned,” stated Garcia. “The first was the complex 3-D geometries, and the second was the time frame.” Garcia explained that the servery counters had a conical shape that required large amounts of material to be thermoformed (see Figure 3). To make the project work, a 3-D substructure was built as a frame to hold up the finished surfacing material and to facilitate the forming process itself, as well as to provide forms for matching concrete curbs before the servery installation started.

Figure 2 – This schematic provided by Sterling Surfaces illustrates the complexity of the project required that a sub structure be built to not only support the surface, but also to form large pieces of solid surface.

As for the time frame issue, Sterling had another large solid surface project that required thermoforming going on at the same time. “Our thermoforming oven is used about all the time as it is,” said Garcia. “But to make matters

Garcia of Sterling Surfaces, the Massachusettsbased fabricator of the project. This project was typical of that philosophy, with the architectural designs including serving areas consisting of complex geometric shapes. LG HIMACS solid surface was chosen as the material because its thermoformable properties allowed for precise fabrication resulting in a tight, custom-fit solid surface installation in virtually any shape. “The dramatic curves and sweeping geometries [possible from solid surface] make for a designer’s dream material,” added Garcia. The architects wanted a very specific color for the cafeteria tables, bar tops, register stations and the conical-shaped food service features throughout the brightly lit student dining hall. As a result, LG’s custom color program was utilized to create the HI-MACS color “Milkweed,” which was subsequently produced at the LG Hausys manufacturing facility in Adairsville, Ga. This color was used to help the design flow in harmony throughout the dining facility’s “open market” concept. Once the color was decided upon and the product had been produced, materials were shipped to Sterling Surfaces’ facility outside of Boston. It was there that the complex process of cutting and shaping took place. Fabrication Challenges With the material chosen and the design

Figure 3 – The servery counters had a conical shape that required large amounts of material to be thermoformed. To make the project work, a substructure was built not only as a frame to hold up the finished surfacing material, but also to be used in the forming process itself.

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, 4, Issue 3, 1, 2010 2011 • 27


worse, we had a second large thermoforming job hit at the same time. In addition to the Syracuse project, we had what we affectionately called ‘Darth Vader’s bar’, an indoor bar in LG HI-MACS Black for a major hotel in NYC that required intense 3-D thermoforming.” In spite of the demanding time frames, Sterling’s craftsmen rose to the occasion and the pieces for both projects were cut, heated and shaped, and shortly thereafter, the ready-to-be-installed geometric shapes duly arrived at the Syracuse jobsite. The pieces were all put together and the finished project has garnered much attention, not to mention the Ernie Davis Hall dining facility at Syracuse University has been certified as LEED Silver (see Figure 5). Response to the installation has been excellent. The transition by students, faculty and visitors from using former dining halls to this new one, has been, well, seamless. I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N

For more information on LG HI-MACS, go to www.lghi-macs.com. For more information on Sterling Surfaces, go to www.sterlingsurfaces.com.

Figure 5 – The large scope of the facility and the number of people potentially using it along with the complex work, added to the need for suitable material properties. Subsequent to the installation, the Ernie Davis Hall dining facility at Syracuse University has been certified as LEED Silver and the response by students, faculty and visitors has been very positive. 28 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


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Industry Outlook

Examining 2011 and Beyond By Kevin Cole, Editor

E

conomic forecasting, even in the most stable years, is tricky at best. So, given the economic climate of the past several years, it is difficult to put too much faith in anyone’s predictions. However, as our best guesses based on the available information and indicators, they can give some insight into what the future may hold. What are the experts saying relative to the surfacing industry about 2011? The short answer is cautious optimism. In addition to the general economy, the surfacing industry is influenced by a number of

Kiplinger, a well known economic research firm, concurs with the Federal Reserve, stating in the February update of its Economic Outlook, “The economy has turned a corner. Although the pace still isn’t what it should be, a healthy mix of consumer spending, exports and business spending is evident. And in real terms…GDP at the end of last year finally recovered the ground it lost during the recession, indicating that the economy is once again in an expansion phase.” Goldman Sachs 2011 Economic Forecast (see Figure 1) predicts, “Stronger real GDP growth, ranging between 3 and 4 percent over the next two years.” The report also states, “We

U.S. Output & Spending (% change on previous period) 2011 Forecast 2009

2010

2011

Real GDP

2012 Forecast

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

3.5

4

4

4

4

3.5

GDP Year-to-year change

-2.6

2.8

3.4

2.7

3.3

3.6

3.9

4

3.9

Consumer Expenditure

-1.2

1.8

3.6

3.5

4

4

3.5

3.5

3.5

Residential Fixed Investment

-22.9

-3.5

3.1

7.5

12.5

15

15

15

15

Business Fixed Investment

-17.1

5.6

7.1

5

5

7.5

12.5

7.5

10

Industrial Production, Mfg.

5.9

5.9

4.5

4

5

5.5

5.5

5.5

4.5

Source: Goldman Sachs Global ECS Research, Dec. 2010

Figure 1

specific markets: housing, construction, home improvement and cabinetry, to name a few. So while it is difficult to find any one economist or researcher making predictions specifically for the countertop and architectural surfaces industry, looking at predictions for these various subgroups can shine a little light the proper direction.

The General Economy

First, a look at how the general economy is expected to fare this year is necessary. The overall consensus of economists seems to be that the U.S. economy will experience slow but steady growth in 2011. Both the Federal Reserve and such well know researchers as Kiplinger, Goldman Sachs and others line up behind this idea of cautious optimism. The Federal Reserve’s official forecast updated in January projects the GDP to run between 3.4 and 3.9 percent growth in 2011. And while that is a pretty positive sign, The Fed also forecast that unemployment would be 8.8 to 9 percent at the end of this year. That is a step in the right direction, but they are predicting the unemployment rate will drop to 6.8 to 7.2 percent by the end of 2013.

30 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

now estimate that real GDP is growing at a 3 percent annual rate in the [Q1 2011], and we think it will accelerate to a 4 percent rate by the second quarter of 2011.” It goes on to forecast a “very gradual, drop in the jobless rate, to 8-1/4 percent by year-end 2012.”

Housing

Housing is not only a big factor for the general economy, but specifically for the decorative surfacing industry. The consensus when it comes to the housing market for 2011 seems to be a rough start followed by a gradual positive movement in housing. Most economists and housing experts seem to believe existing home prices will continue to fall, at least through the first half of 2011 if not all of it, dragged down largely by foreclosures still making their way through the industry. While that is not a good thing for homeowners, it is fuel for potential home buyers to act, along with the low interest rates available (for those that qualify for much stricter loans). “A housing recovery is taking place, but will be choppy at times,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Yun added that this recovery is largely because of the affordability of housing, rising


Figure 2

forecast growth of about 20 percent for singlefamily residential building in 2011 bringing totals to around 575,000 units versus the 471,000 for 2010. He also predicted a 16 percent increase in multi-family home building up to 133,000 units in 2011 and up another 53 percent in 2012.

U.S. Housing Starts Historical Data Year

Total

Single-family

Multi-family

2006

1,801,000

1,465,000

336,000

2007

1,355,000

1,046,000

309,000

2008

905,000

622,000

283,000

2009

554,000

445,000

109,000

2010

587,000

471,000

116,000

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

rent prices and low interest mortgage rates. “Look for a slight improvement in the housing industry this spring, though the sector is still likely to be bumping along at a low level,” concurred the Kiplinger report. “Prices, on average, continue to drift lower after appearing to improve last spring and summer. Expect a decline on average of an additional 3 percent with a bottom around the middle of the year.

“Look for housing starts to increase to about 650,000 this year, compared with about 590,000 in 2010,” stated the Kiplinger report. “Reaching 1 million starts will have to wait until about 2013.” And Fannie Mae’s housing forecast lines up well with the NAHB’s, calling for an increase

2011 Housing Starts Forecasts vs. 2010 U.S. Census Data # of Housing Starts

2011 Forecast Data

2010 Data

800,000 700,000 600,000 500,000

National Association Mortgage of Home Builders Bankers Association

Activity will pick up when job creation shows more strength, likely during the second half of this year.” Additionally, those regions hit the worst, such as Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, will take longer to recover, according to the experts. And many suggest these areas won’t hit bottom until the foreclosures have worked their way completely through the system. On the residential construction front, the predictions seem to be along the same lines – movement in the right direction, but slow movement. Production of new homes improved by 6.1 percent in 2010 over 2009, and further improvement is expected in 2011 (see Figure 2).

587,000

Figure 3

Fannie Mae

650,000

0 National Association of Realtors

658,750

100,000

708,000

200,000

710,000

300,000

769,5000

400,000

Kiplinger

2010 Official U.S. Census Data

to 559,000 average monthly starts for singlefamily homes and an average of about 151,000 monthly starts for multi-family dwellings in 2011. (See Figure 3.)

Non Residential Construction

When it comes to the commercial sector of the building industry, once again a mixed bag is in store. FMI, a consulting and investment banking services company for the construction industry in its 2011 Construction Outlook Report (see Figure 4) stated, “Commercial construction will not return to high levels until the employment situation improves. Commercial construction will follow a turnaround in the housing market by 12 to 18 months and is not expected to pick up until late 2012.”

The FMI report suggested that the current market is shifting from new constructions to focus more on improvements to existing structures. “Owners are expanding and upgrading current facilities rather than investing in or securing funding for new projects,” stated the report. “Hospitals, offices and educational facilities are strong examples.” FMI pointed out that FDIC documents show that 16.8 percent of outstanding construction loans are more than 90 days in arrears, leading to more stringent loan qualification measures. “Even for those owners with excellent credit and good projects on the boards, there is a growing interest in alternative financing,” stated the report. “Owners continue to have difficulty obtaining funding for their construction projects, and many owners are reluctant to borrow until markets show signs of significant improvement, such as rising plant utilization rates and low vacancy rates.” Hotel construction will likely be one of the areas negatively impacted in 2011, according to FMI. “After three years of extremely high growth, lodging peaked at $35.8 billion in 2008,” stated the report. “Ending the year in 2010 at $14.3 billion, it will see another 1 percent decline in 2011, recovering to a projected 7 percent growth rate in 2012.” However, FMI did point out a few bright spots in non residential construction. “The scarcity of private work has led to strong sectors (or those less impacted) now becoming everybody’s expertise,” stated the report. “Nowhere has this been more visible than in the vertical-building sector in the healthcare, education and federal segments of the industry.” According to FMI’s figures, healthcare construction grew only 0.5 percent in 2010, but will double that growth to 1 percent in 2011 before returning to much higher growth levels in 2012. “Despite slower growth, the sector remains at a historically high level,” stated FMI. “Hospital construction will allow the segment to maintain its volume. Special-care construction will help to drive future growth.” However, the report also pointed out that like

Nonresidential Building Construction (in millions of U.S. $)

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist, David Crowe, said that the lack of home builders’ confidence is a clear sign that there are still problems in the residential building sector. However, he did

Type

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Lodging

35,806

25,064

14,287

14,144

14,134

16,193

17,489

Office

68,563

52,108

36,997

36,257

38,069

40,354

42,775

Commercial

85,200

55,380

39,874

37,880

39,774

42,160

45,533

Healthcare

46,902

44,557

44,780

45,277

49,298

54,721

61,834

Educational

104,890

101,743

94,621

96,514

102,305

110,489

120,433

Source: FMI 2011 Construction Overview

Figure 4

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, 4, Issue 3, 1, 2010 2011 • 31


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FROM

58.

$

Figure 5 Home Improvement Products Market 2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Billions $

265.7

270

285.5

301.6

322.7

341.1

% Change

3.8

1.6

5.9

5.5

7

5.7

Source: IHS Global Insight/HIRI Home Improvement Products Market Forecast

other sectors, healthcare will continue to expand into more renovations, clinics and smaller projects. Educational construction is another area that FMI feels will do somewhat well in 2011. The report noted that educational construction was down 7 percent in 2010 even though federal aid was flowing, and blamed this largely on diminishing state revenues. However, it also suggests that recovery in the stock market will increase educational spending through endowments and spending at universities. Lastly, FMI sees the industry more fully

billion in 2009 to $22.7 billion in 2013. The report suggested that in 2002, total green construction represented 1 percent of U.S. total nonresidential construction put in place, but by 2013, it is predicted to increase to more than 5 percent. Hank Harris, president and managing director of FMI, summed up the company’s feelings toward the green movement when he said, “There continues to be much discussion about green construction and the growth of the market associated with it. The issue of sustainability reaches far beyond the construction industry. It is a core value for younger people in U.S.

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Figure 6

embracing “green construction practices.” “The majority of contractors are continuing to see robust demand for green construction in their backlogs, even if those backlogs are down,” stated the report. “While some predict green construction practices and mandates will lead to tighter margins and higher costs overall, others believe that green equates with affordability, thrift and reuse of older structures.”

society and is not likely to abate anytime soon. Many architects are solidly onboard with the concepts of sustainable design, which in turn will continue to influence many institutional and similar owners, several of whom will be increasingly receptive to the concepts. In short, we feel that the momentum behind this trend is significant and likely to remain so.”

FMI predicts that total U.S. green construction put in place will increase from $19.7

The home improvement/remodeling sector of the economy is another area of great import

Home Improvement/Remodeling

Cabinet Sales in Billions of U.S. Dollars Year

AUSTIN, TX - 866.243.6267 ATLANTA, GA - 866.645.2007 www.chemcore.com

Total Sales

Overall % change

stock cabinets % change

semi-custom cabinets % change

custom cabinets % change

2010

$4.5

-4.1

-6.7

-0.5

-13.2

2009

$4.8

-28.3

-24.1

-30.2

-37.2

2008

$6.7

-19.3

-18.5

-19.9

-20.6

2007

$7.9

-12.3

-19.8

-4.7

-5.2

2006

$9.0

Source: Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), www.kcma.org.

Figure 7

32 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


In the latest available release of the Home Improvement Research Institute’s IHS Global Insight/HIRI Home Improvement Products Market Forecast, the 2010 home improvement market was estimated to finish up 3.8 percent to a total overall size of $266 billion. However, the forecast for home improvement product sales have been revised downward in 2011, based on the lagging housing market, to only a 1.6 increase over 2010. But, the prediction for beyond 2011 (up until 2015) is an optimistic average of 5.6 percent per year, with the total market expected to reach $341 billion (see Figure 5). Although in agreement that 2011 will show growth, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University predicts a much more robust 2011 when it comes to remodeling. The center’s Remodeling Futures Program estimates via its Leading Indicators of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) that the first quarter of 2011 will reach a growth rate of 9.6 percent, followed by an even better second quarter at 12.7 percent, and then slowing a bit to 6.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011 (see Figure 6). “Remodeling contactors are feeling much more positive about the outlook for home improvement projects,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “Low financing costs and a wave of previously foreclosed homes coming back on the market, and in need of renovation, are expected to generate healthy growth over the next several quarters.” “After an initial burst in activity, the recovery may lose some steam later in the year as continuing problems with weak house prices and large numbers of distressed properties keep home improvement gains in check,” Baker continued. “But the overall trend is for continued growth in 2011.” Also, according to a study titled “A New Decade of Growth for Remodeling,” released by the center in January, “Over the coming years, remodeling expenditures are expected to increase at an inflation-adjusted 3.5 percent average annual rate, below the pace during the housing boom, but sharply recovering from the recent downturn.” “The industry, which saw a double-digit decline since its peak in 2007, is beginning to return to a more typical pattern of growth,” states the report. “In the next five years, the focus of remodeling spending will shift from upper-end discretionary projects to replacements and systems upgrades. Remodeling contractors have a number of growth opportunities generated by underinvestment in distressed properties, lower mobility, changing migration patterns, and the rise of environmental awareness.”

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Cabinetry

Getting even more specific, what happens with the cabinetry industry is often reflected in the countertop industry, and the news on this front has not been too positive. But,

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to those in the surfacing industry. Several resources have the United States poised for growth in that area. The real question is how much growth.

33


predictions are that the cabinetry industry has hit bottom and will return to a growth mode in 2011. According to the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s (KCMA) monthly Trend of Business Survey, participating cabinet manufacturers reported sales totaling $4.5 billion for 2010, down 4.1 percent compared to total sales for 2009 (see Figure 7). Stock cabinet sales were down 6.7 percent; semicustom sales were down 0.5 percent; and custom cabinet sales were down 13.2 percent. While these numbers are less than the industry had hoped for, there were some positive signs in 2010. In March, April and May of 2010 the industry experienced its first months of growth in cabinet sales since at least 2007 (+0.8 percent; +1.2 percent; and +6.7 percent, respectively), which bodes well for those relying on some kind of a return to normalcy in the sector. However, the new normal is not likely to be near the $13 to $14 million in sales of 2005-2006. “A cabinet market in the $6 to $7 billion range seems more realistic,” said Dick Titus, KCMA executive director. “Predictions for 2011 are for sluggish and slow growth, in the 1 percent to 3 percent range in terms of units sold.”

Summing It All Up

Keeping in mind that forecasts are only general predictions largely based on educated guesses, the view of 2011 looks a little cheerier than 2010. Unemployment should drop somewhat, giving the economy a small boost, and GDP will continue to grow at a decent rate. For those tied to new construction, residential is largely the place to be, with housing starts predicted to show some gains. However, nonresidential still lags behind and will likely not see real growth until 2012. On the home improvement/remodeling front, modest gains can be expected with growth increasing the closer we get to 2012. Of course, this is much better than the decline the industry has largely faced over the past 3 years. When it comes to countertops in general, if cabinet sales are any indication, we should expect 1 to 3 percent growth this year with bigger gains coming in early 2012. Certainly the view of 2011 the experts have laid out could be brighter, but slow growth is better than no growth at all.

Editor & Publisher Kevin Cole can be reached at Kevin@isfanow.org. The author would like to thank the following sources used in the creation of this article: FMI, www.fminet.com, a consulting and investment banking services company for the construction industry. Goldman Sachs, www.goldmansachs.com, a global investment banking and securities firm. The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), www.hiri.org, a membership-based, independent, non-profit organization of manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry. The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), www.jchs.harvard.edu, Harvard University’s center for information and research on housing in the United States Kiplinger, www.kiplinger.com, a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), www.kcma.org, a nonprofit organization that represents companies that manufacture kitchen, bath and other residential cabinets, or produce decorative laminates, as well as their suppliers. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), www.nahb.org, a trade association that helps promote the policies that make housing a national priority The National Association of Realtors (NAR), www.realtor.org, a trade organization for real estate agents The U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov

Circle Reader Service #08 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info

34 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


ISFA MEMBERSHIP ISFA MEMBERSHIP Itʼs more than just learning how to be more profitable, saving money on the bottom line and getting great referrals and discounts. Call ISFA today and find out how to make your world a better place.

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International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 35


Concrete Countertop Professionals Gather in Nashville T

he 2011 Concrete Decor Show and Spring Training brought the decorative concrete industry together in Nashville on March 14 to 18. The event featured hands-on training offered by some of the most renowned decorative concrete experts in North America. It also offered an exhibit hall full of the latest developments in tools and materials. Additionally, there were inductions made into the Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame, networking opportunities and more.

Building on the success of the first Concrete Decor Show in 2010, this year’s show featured expanded exhibit space, technical and creative presentations, inductions into the Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame, continuing education courses and numerous opportunities for handson training. The trade show and conference took place at the Nashville Convention Center with workshops scheduled inside the Exhibit Hall and at Rocketown, Nashville’s youth center a few blocks away. Seminars, keynote addresses, and the Welcome Reception took place at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, the official headquarters hotel for the show.

Alongside the booths of materials, tools and equipment manufacturers in the exhibit hall, live demonstrations by artisans showcased talent and materials. The New Product Pavilion in the heart of the exhibit hall provided trade show visitors a chance to select the products deserving Artisan’s Choice and Best of Show awards. This year’s hands-on training sessions were organized around a major community service project, a “Decorative Concrete Makeover” for Nashville’s Rocketown Community Youth Center. The space includes a coffee bar, indoor skate park, music and dance performance spaces, music recording studios, and more, providing multiple opportunities for decorative surfaces. Designs for the project were developed by volunteers from the Nashville design community in the months preceding the show. They were executed in hands-on training workshops held during three days of the show, led by some of the most prominent artisans and experts in decorative concrete. The workshops provided educational opportunities for every level of experience, from the contractor just entering

36 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

the decorative field to the seasoned expert interested in cutting-edge techniques. Materials for the projects were donated by national manufacturers and local suppliers. Scheduling was arranged so that attendees were able to attend training sessions and presentations, and still had ample time to see the trade show floor and experience the range of decorative concrete options and possibilities. And, of course, ISFA was in attendance at the show. ISFA staff discussed with interested attendees the benefits of membership and took suggestions as to what they would like to see accomplished in the future. For more information go to www.concretedecorshow.com or call (877) 935-8906.


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Rodding Granite Countertops: The Pros and Cons

W

hile attending a trade show several years ago, I had the chance to sit in on one of the fabrication seminars. The advanced fabrication seminar was conducted by three fabrication experts who were obviously very knowledgeable. The seminar was going smoothly until someone brought up the question about rodding granite countertops. It was apparent there was a split opinion on rodding. Some thought it was necessary while others thought it weakened the stone. Even the panel of experts couldn’t agree. Before discussing the pros and cons of rodding, I want to begin by providing a definition. Rodding is the practice of inserting a rod (typically made of metal) into stone at its weakest points (such as around sink cut-outs) in order to provide strength and avoid breaking of the stone during transportation. The rod is inserted into a groove that is cut out in the bottom of the stone. The Perceived Pros and Cons of Rodding The controversy with rodding falls into two camps, although naysayers are becoming less common. Some believe it provides strength, and others believe it weakens the stone. I spoke to a number of fabricators and found that some rod all of their granite countertops, while others never rod. Then I asked them about their reasons for rodding or not. The following is a brief list of their opinions:

By Fredrick M. Hueston, Ph.D.

So, whose opinion should you abide by? I would suggest you do some testing and come up with your own opinion. Informal Testing To find out if rodding provided additional strength I conducted the following crude experiment. Two strips of 2 cm granite were cut measuring 44-in.-long by 2-in.-wide. A slot was cut in one of these strips and a long 1/8- by 1/4-in. metal rod was inserted and epoxied into it. The rod was inserted on edge so that the 1/4 inch side was vertical. The strip without the rod was placed across two 4x4’s. A flat, thin metal plate was place on the center of the granite to serve as a point load. Weight was placed on top of the metal plate until the granite broke. The unrodded granite broke when the weight on it reached 80 lbs. (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 —To test whether rodding strengthens thinner sections of granite, a strip was placed a few inches off of the ground and weight was added to it. The granite strip broke at 80 lbs. of weight.

• •

This procedure was repeated with the strip containing the reinforcement rod. The rodded piece held up to 80 lbs. of weight with no problem. Additional weight was added and the rodded strip never broke, although it did develop a crack once 120 lbs. of weight had been placed on it (see Figure 2).

On the con side, fabricators who do not rod believe it:

I repeated this experiment three different times with similar results. You can see one of the experiments like the one described above on You Tube at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=GzFBmEsEDHg.

On the pro side, fabricators who rod believe it: Provides strength to granite countertops Makes safe transportation of the stone easier • Generally makes the granite sections subject to rodding more difficult to break

• • •

Weakens the stone Leads to cracking along the weakened portion of the stone; and Adds unnecessary time and cost to the fabrication process

This experiment, along with years of experience, has led me to believe that rodding plays an important and necessary role in countertop fabrication. But, if you do rod, it is also important that you use the proper

38 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

procedure and the correct type of rod. Proper Rodding for Stone First, there are some considerations to take into account when rodding. Of primary importance is that the stone be thick enough to accommodate the rod without requiring a cut more than one half of its thickness. Additionally, the stone must not be translucent, so that a rod and adhesive will not show through the exposed face. Sometimes it may be necessary to lay out and rod a slab before cutting it into the desired pieces. If this is done you must lay out the slab using extreme caution, allowing for blade thickness, cracks or other imperfections you plan to avoid. Rod selection can also be an important factor. The most widely accepted rod is a 1/8- by 1/4-in. stainless steel flat bar. The rod should


Figure 2 —A subsequent test used a strip of granite that had been reinforced with a metal rod. This strip did not break, although it did crack once 120 lbs. of weight had been placed on it.

be inserted on edge (with the 1/4” inserted as the depth or the thickness). Finally, you should follow the proper technique for proper rodding.

About the Author Frederick M. Hueston is the founder of Stone Forensics and has more than 30 years experience in the stone business. He has written more than 30 books and hundreds of articles on the subject of stone. He currently is technical director for Stone and Tile Pros (stoneandtilepros.com) and hosts a weekly radio show, The Stone and Tile Show, at www.blogtalkradio.com/drfred. To contact him directly, send e-mail to fhueston@stoneforensics.com.

Rodding Technique Follow these steps to correctly rod a countertop: 1.

After cutting the stone to size, layout the piece for additional cutouts such as sinks cooktops, faucets, outlets, notches and other cutouts. 2. Once you have completed the layout of any cutouts, then layout the location(s) for the rod(s). Be sure that the rod(s) will extend beyond the cutout area by at least a couple inches on each side. 3. Place the top face down on a smooth, soft, flat and clean surface on a work or saw table. 4. Select a blade that is 1/32- to 1/16-in. thicker than the 1/8-in. width of the rod and mark the blade about 1/16- to 1/8-in. deeper than the ¼-in. depth of the rod. 5. Cut the rod slot in the marked section on the bottom of the stone. Be sure to extend your cut far enough for the full length of rod to fit in (allowing for the curve of the blade). 6. Check the rod in the slot to verify the fit and remove it with a putty knife or a screwdriver. 7. Clean the stone and allow it to thoroughly dry. 8. Abrade the rod with a course grit abrasive, clean it and allow it to thoroughly dry. 9. Mix a flowing consistency adhesive (or use a cartridge-type rodding compound specially made for this process) and pour it into the slot of the stone. 10. Quickly insert the rod fully into the slot. Then wipe the excess adhesive over the slot to completely cover the rod. 11. Allow the adhesive to cure completely before moving the stone. By following these steps for rodding, you should find that you have fewer breaks in the countertops you provide. And for those of you who may feel that rodding is not necessary, the next time you’re transporting that countertop into someone’s home and it snaps and breaks into a million pieces, you may want to reconsider your position on rodding all of your countertops. I N TE RN ATI O N AL S URFACE FAB RI C AT O RS AS S O CI ATI O N

Circle Reader Service # 09 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 39


The 5 Biggest Business Blind Spots By Laura Juarez

I

n today’s business environment, you must have eyes wide open, anticipate the next curve and adapt quickly. Speed is no longer a choice, it is a necessity. There are risks at every turn; compliance, global competition and slow market recovery to name a few. However, there are five risks that are easy to ignore but completely within your control. Five things that leaders know exist but rarely have a plan for. Never has there been a better time to do amazing work in each of these areas to turn the risks into a massive competitive advantage. Alexis Martin Neely, author of the LIFT Manifesto, coined the term “shadow businesses.” These are businesses that appear to run well but are actually on an irreversible death march if they don’t make immediate change. They have an invisible cancer they are ignoring, even though symptoms have emerged. Size doesn’t matter (think GM and Enron), industry (think Lehman Brothers) or popularity (think Blockbuster and Mrs. Field’s Cookies). It has everything to do with leadership and proactively grappling with their true business risks. Are you running a shadow business? You are if: • You cannot read your balance sheet, cash flow statement and income statement as easily as you can read Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. • You are not actively courting your bank and shopping alternatives to insulate your credit facilities.

• •

You have not intensely evaluated the competition or the true needs of your clients in the last six months. You have no budget or resources allocated to research, development and innovation.

What are the 5 Business Risks that You Must Mitigate Immediately? 1. Shaky and unpredictable access to credit; 2. New world talent management; 3. Extinction of traditional marketing; 4. Death of relationships as a key buying criteria; and 5. Extreme cost cutting that bludgeoned the core of your company’s value. Shaky and Unpredictable Access to Credit With all of the money pumping into the system courtesy of our government, this risk is counterintuitive. Yet, regulation and the banks’ extreme caution and effort to clean up their balance sheets have resulted in monstrous decreases in available credit for businesses. Companies that could always access credit are experiencing a slammed door.

The days of loyalty are over. So, stop expecting it and start building a culture and employee engagement program that stimulates your existing team and attracts high performers. Some optimistically believe the worst is over. However, data may indicate otherwise. In a comprehensive study, Ernst and Young stated, “Executives in the financial sector were more concerned about credit crunch aftershocks and unrealized or unrevealed losses. One interviewee noted that US$1.4 trillion in commercial real estate debt will require refinancing between now and 2013.” What does this mean? It means you need a fool proof, comprehensive plan to protect the credit you have, and if you have growth plans, you need a plan to secure additional credit. This involves formal courting of your existing

40 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

lending partner and dating alternative lenders should your life-long lender pull the plug. You must have an emergency plan if your credit is withdrawn without notice. You must be prepared to sell your story to the bank and support it with detailed analysis. You are no longer first and foremost a customer to the bank. They view you first as a liability risk and then as a customer. Present your needs to them with that perspective, and you are much more likely to get what you need. Managing Talent One in four employees in the United States has been with their current employer for less than one year, and one in two for less than five years. This is radical turnover that has resulted in eroding knowledge, business process confusion and low employee morale; not to mention a workforce that has never taken the time to develop mastery and managers who no longer know what to do. The days of loyalty are over. So, stop expecting it and start building a culture and employee engagement program that stimulates your existing team and attracts high performers. (Are you recruiting on Craig’s List yet? Everyone else is). This includes an awesome communication plan, as well as a way to challenge employees, stimulate them and give them unique opportunities. (No more “Gotta’ make the donuts” day after day.) You need a plan that you execute with laser accuracy, and you must be willing to invest in resources to make this happen. This means spending money on your people without strings. Your business results mirror the state of your team. Is your team bored? Are they providing ho-hum customer service? Are they disengaged and frustrated? Are there high stress and mistakes? Are your workers poorly trained? Are they Web surfing and resume polishing between customers. Your culture and your employees’ experience are yours to control, 100 percent. Choose well.


Extinction of Traditional Marketing When is the last time you read the advertisements in the newspaper? How about watched a commercial on TV? Used the yellow pages? Responded to a telemarketing phone call? Checked your spam mail for “interesting product and service opportunities?” Never. And neither are your customers. Those beautiful glossy tri-fold marketing pieces that you labor over are dinosaurs. Your website that is really an electronic billboard is useless. Your LinkedIn account that you passively visit once a week is shadow effort. Worse yet, that marketing professional you pay tens of thousands of dollars is a profit drain unless they’ve consciously re-engineered their skills in the last 12 months. Not just upgraded their skills, but thrown away their old skills and replaced them with new. Consider this: In 2007, Facebook had 50 million users and in 2010, it had 500 million users. Nielsonwire reported, “57 percent of online shoppers consider other’s product reviews prior to buying.” And according to www.emarketer. com, “... worldwide social network spending is expected to reach almost $6 billion this year.” What is your plan to capitalize on these trends? Have you required that your marketing team retool and spent money to do this? Do your marketing professionals talk intelligently about search engine optimization, affiliate marketing and customer acquisition costs? If not, your marketing function needs immediate triage. Death of Relationships as a Key Buying Criteria I know this one is difficult to stomach, and yet we all know it’s true. When is the last time you made a purchase based primarily on a personal relationship? Don’t get me wrong, relationships are still king but they have become a prerequisite versus a decision point.

the value we think our clients need, but what they perceive they need. They want value that addresses their deepest fears and improves their sleep at night. In business-to-business situations, it’s value that cuts their cost, streamlines their route to market, enables them to move faster, adapt more quickly and knock the socks off their customer with awesome information and service. In business-toconsumer situations, it’s value that saves their time, gives them 24/7 access, educates on options and fills their need for significance and meaning. You need a system to create value. And then you need a system to deliver value. Both must be institutionalized throughout your organization for flawless execution. I guarantee you, if your competition is not already doing this, then they are working on this exact same execution.

You need a system to create value. And then you need a system to deliver value. Both must be institutionalized throughout your organization for flawless execution. Extreme Cost Cutting that Bludgeons the Core of Your Company and its Value Have you cut costs in customer services, sales and marketing? Reduced headcounts and hours? How much are you spending on innovation and R&D now compared to five years ago? Gut check these decisions. Every successful organization has significantly adjusted their cost structure in the recent years; however, the vast majority have overcorrected in areas they should consider an investment versus an expense. How do you view it?

People are bombarded with input. Texas A&M estimates Americans are exposed to more than 850 commercial messages a day. And they label their estimate “conservative.” The average executive deals with 110 e-mails per day, according to the Raticati Institute. If your sales team is still riding the relationship coattails, they are obsolete. I guarantee those sales professionals who pride themselves on their likeability are wandering aimlessly through their day.

How have your cuts impacted your customer pipeline? What about your time to service? Today’s investments are paving next year’s road. Even if you are not feeling the impact of cost reductions yet, dive into your numbers to understand how your sales and marketing wheel is working. Don’t assume that fewer quotes and prospects are because of a lousy economy. Instead, assume they are controllable. Own the decline and change it.

The money is in creating real value, and not

Cost cutting is a double-edged sword; one edge is stalled sales and the other edge is operational

mayhem that actually costs more than simply making appropriate investments. Rushed, overextended employees increase errors. The well-intentioned reduction of quality inspections, detailed analysis of business statistics and metrics create blind spots for leaders, and continuous improvement efforts are treated like a luxury when they are actually mandatory survival tactics. Correcting excessive cost cutting requires careful analysis of expenditures to determine the best adjustments to catapult the company forward. Your financials, however, may not support additional investments. If that is the case, you can either swap out dollars from other expense buckets, tap into your line or secure additional funding. In today’s market, you can also invest in “free” sales by hiring professionals at 100 percent incentive. If you are like many companies, you are facing more than one of these challenges. Now is the time to take BIG action. How? You have options. You can work this out internally with your team, call in a favor from an advisor, engage your board of directors or hire a professional consultant. The only option that is not a choice is the status quo. Choose the solution that you know with 100 percent certainty will deliver breakthrough results. This is your life and your business. Whatever your choice, make sure your eyes are wide open and your mind adaptable. The old rules of running a business no longer apply. We are operating in a new world with new leadership requirements. The first step is to acknowledge this and then ACT. Choose well and prosper. Remember: Eyes wide open. About the Author Laura Juarez is the president and CEO of the Ohiobased L.E. Smith Company, a countertop company servicing Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Northern Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania and Chicago. She has led the company through two intergenerational business acquisitions to become the 60-year-old business it is today. Prior to joining L.E. Smith in 1997, Juarez worked for Anderson Consulting, now Accenture, as a consultant doing strategy and organizational design work with Fortune 500 Companies. She can be reached at 419-636-4555 ext. 3107 or via e-mail at ljuarez@lesmith.com. Her blog is published at www. lesmith.com, and can also be followed at laurajuarez. wordpress.com.

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 41


42 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


2011 Design Contest Call For Entries Innovations in Design Competition For years ISFA has issued a simple challenge to fabricators: Show the world what you can do! And that call has once again been made. Entries for the 2011 Innovations and Design Competition are now being accepted. This perennial favorite gives fabricators the opportunity to show their creativity, artisanship and engineering skill using any of a number of products, including stone, solid surface, quartz surfacing, wood, recycled materials, laminate, stainless steel, concrete and anything else that can be considered a countertop material. This is your chance to demonstrate your design skill and fabrication ability. Those wishing to compete, must fill out an entry form and submit high resolution images of their entry. Images will be used to judge the contest and also will be displayed in this magazine. The categories in 2011 are similar to previous years and include the following:

• • • • • •

Residential Kitchen Residential Bath Commercial /Institutional Freestyle/Art Green Applications On-Site Fabrication

show visitors, who returned often to see the progress of the pieces being fabricated. In 2011, the show attendees will not only witness the creation of the items that are fabricated in the on-site category, but will vote for a winner. The winner will be announced before the close of the show. A panel of industry experts will judge entries for all other categories and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on Oct. 20, 2011, just prior to the opening of the ICE show. Criteria for selecting winners will be based on the overall impression of the project, aesthetic appeal, attention to detail and use of materials in unusual and inventive applications. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the International Countertop Expo (ICE), at the Rio in Las Vegas on Oct. 20, 2011. All winners will be featured in the fourth quarter edition of Countertops and Architectural Surfaces magazine. Additionally, contest winners will receive a trophy and news releases will be issued. The deadline for receipt of entry application and competition materials is September 2, 2011. For more information on entering the 2011 Innovations in Design Contest visit www.isfanow.org/designcontest or call the ISFA office at 877-464-7732.

The on-site fabrication portion of the design competition that was held on-site at the International Countertop Expo (ICE) in 2010 garnered a great deal of attention from International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 43


Sustainable Surfacing

Material Options for the Earth Conscious For both building and remodeling, one growing area of interest among designers and architects continues to be more eco-friendly building options. Consumers and businesses are buying into the “green” movement and suppliers of surfacing materials are stepping up to offer a variety of options for the environmentally conscious home or business owner. Materials touting recycled content or more sustainable make-up are entering the market at an amazing rate. And while it may not be possible to compile an exhaustive list of the options out there, given the pace at which new materials are coming to market, CAS is giving it a try. This list includes “eco-friendly” versions of some of the more common surfacing materials, as well as a number of new options for those geared toward more Earth-conscious projects.

Alkemi Solid Surface

Artisan Heritage and Reclaimed Wood

All of the Artisan Group’s North American hardwoods come from sustainably managed forests. Additionally, the line’s bamboo surfaces, as well as a variety of reclaimed wood species, satisfy the requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The bamboo countertop product, manufactured in China, has a factory that is centered in the middle of a sustainably harvested bamboo forest. Artisan’s Reclaimed Wood has seven types to choose from and comes from original U.S. sources including barns, factories, warehouses, textile mills and other commercial buildings. All of the stunning options in this line, each with its own unique characteristics and history, meets LEED specifications as eco-friendly. Circle Reader Service #11 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Avonite Recycled Solid Surface

Alkemi solid surface material is a form of solid surface that includes recycled materials. Certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), a leading organization in the evaluation of sustainable materials, Alkemi contains 34 percent post-industrial scrap by weight. This means by volume, Alkemi contains 60 percent post-industrial scrap. Made from fine flake aluminum milling scrap, which the company says commonly burns up as a heavy smoke pollutant when exposed to conventional aluminum recycling, Alkemi is available in a variety of colors and surface treatments (Textured, Classic and Honed), and may be fabricated and installed using standard solid surface fabrication methods.

Avonite Surfaces Recycled Collection of solid surface contains 11 color choices in two groups. As the first solid surface company to offer recycled content in 1996, the Studio Collection Recycled Colors Group has been certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) to contain a minimum of 40 percent pre-consumer recycled content. It has seven colors: Palm Desert, Kaleidoscope, Cottonwood, White Sands, Crater, Cozumel and Crushed Lava. The second, acrylic, group is the Foundations Collection Recycled Colors Group, which contains four colors with a minimum of 16

More specifically, it comes in 14 colors, and in either 1/2- or 3/4-in. sheets that are 36 in. wide

Cosentino’s ECO

by either 120 or 96 in. long. Circle Reader Service #10 on the Reader Service Page or go to www. isfanow.org/info.

44 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

percent recycled content. Circle Reader Service #12 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

ECO by Cosentino is composed of 75 percent post-industrial and post-consumer recycled raw material, including: mirrors salvaged from houses, building and factories; glass from windows and bottles; granulated glass from consumer recycling practices; porcelain from china, tiles, sinks, toilets and


decorative elements; and industrial furnace residuals from factories in the form of crystallized ashes. The recycled content is then mixed with 25 percent natural material including: stone scrap from mountains, quarries, manufacturing and fabrication; and is bonded together with a proprietary eco-friendly resin made in part by corn oil. It is available in two color palettes - the Revive collection and the Green collection - totaling 10 individual designer colors, suitable for both commercial and residential projects. It is also available in both a polished and a matte Leather Texture finish. It is available in jumbo slabs of 63 by 128 in. and standard tile sizes of 12 by 12 in., 18 by 18 in. and 24 by 24in. The jumbo slabs allow for a higher square footage of material per container, therefore minimizing the product’s carbon foot print, and provide a higher yield of material during fabrication, minimizing seams and waste. The slabs are available in 1.2cm, 2cm and 3cm thickness to respond to varying market needs. ECO is GREENGUARD certified for low chemical emissions and offers points toward LEED certification. Circle Reader Service #13 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Coverings Etc. Bioglass

Bio-Glass from Coverings Etc. is a “future friendly” material made of 100 percent recycled and recyclable glass with no colorants or additives. It has cradle-to-cradle Silver Tier third party certification and may help contribute toward LEED credits with USGBC project certification. Sheets are available in 110 by 50 by 3/4 in. and weigh 470 lbs. without crating. They are suitable for countertops, worktops, interior flooring and walls. Bio Glass has a multidimensional appearance and its coloring varies with direct and indirect light. All the colors are made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled content. It has a matte finish. Fabrication of the material is similar to that of natural stone. Circle Reader Service #14 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

DuPont Corian and Zodiaq Terra Collection

DuPont Corian includes the Terra Collection, which has been certified by SCS to contain 27 shades of

solid surface made with pre-consumer recycled content. Seven of the colors have a minimum of 13 percent recycled content and 20 have a minimum of 6 percent. The Zodiaq Terra Collection has 8 colors with a minimum of 25 percent post-consumer recycled content: Licorice, Wintergreen, Coriander, Moroccan Morning, Mossy Green, Calm Springs, Warm Taupe and Flax. Zodiaq quartz surfacing is also GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified and has received the GREENGUARD for Children & Schools

material is initially available in 10 colors. Circle Reader Service #17 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Hanwha Surfaces Hanex Solid Surface, Hanstone Quartz Surfacing

Certification. Circle Reader Service #15 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

EnviroGLAS Recycled Glass, Porcelain Surfacing Products

EnviroGLAS offers a variety of post-use recycled glass and porcelain products for decorative and practical use. New among the company’s offerings is EnviroMODE, a new terrazzo surface made from recycled sinks and toilets. Designed for easy maintenance and durability, the product is eco-friendly and beautiful. It is available in an unlimited range of non-voc epoxy resin colors, including neutral and earth-toned resins, as well as bold colors. The patented application also offers EnviroSLAB countertop slabs and EnviroPLANK floor tiles, which are made with 80 percent recycled glass and/or porcelain and 20 percent non-VOC colored epoxy resin. EnviroSLABs measure 27 in. by 84 in. by 1 in. thick or 60 in. by 84 in. by 1 in. thick. EnviroPLANK recycled glass and porcelain Terrazzo floor tiles are 1/2 in. thick and come in three sizes: 6 in. by 36 in.; 12 in. by 36 in.; and 24 in. by 36 in. Shower walls measure 60 in. by 72 in. Circle Reader Service #16 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Eos Surfaces Geos Recycled Glass Surfacing

Eos Surfaces offers Geos, which is a hard surface made from a combination of recycled glass, quartz and resin. With a carefully chosen mixture of both post-consumer and industrial use glass, GEOS gives new life to a cast-off

resource. The material is designed to fabricate like quartz surfacing, and is comprised of a minimum of 50 percent recycled glass, quartz as a filler material and a resin binder. Projects in Geos can currently qualify for 4 LEED points, but additional certifications are in the works. The

Hanwha Surfaces Hanstone quartz surfacing includes five colors that have pre-consumer recycled content: Genesis has a minimum of 20 percent pre-consumer recycled glass content, and Specchio White, Passion Rouge, Mystic Blue and Obsidian Black all have a minimum of 24 percent pre-consumer recycled mirror content. The company’s Hanex solid surface includes six colors that have pre-consumer recycled content: Honey Wheat, Mist and Stone Hedge all have a minimum of 3 percent pre-consumer recycled chip content; Havana Sand and Desert Castle both have a minimum of 8 percent pre-consumer recycled chip content; and Terra Sienna has a minimum of 10 percent preconsumer recycled chip content. Circle Reader Service #18 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

IceStone Recycled Glass, Cement Material

IceStone manufactures its products with 100 percent recycled glass in a cement matrix, diverting hundreds of tons of glass from landfills each year. IceStone has a recycled content of approximately 75 percent of the product by weight. Of the recycled content, the majority is pre-consumer/post-industrial waste with the balance being post-consumer waste. The material is available in 21 colors, and the company has received Cradle to Cradle™ Gold certification, which is given out by McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). Cradle to Cradle assesses products on a number of

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 45


criteria, such as the use of safe and healthy materials, design for material reuse and recycling, efficient use of energy and water throughout production and the instituting of strategies for social responsibility. Circle Reader Service #19 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Kirei Sustainable Surfacing

Kirei produces four wood alternative sustainable surfacing products. Kirei Board is a strong, lightweight and durable environmentally friendly substitute for wood usable in furniture, cabinetry, casework and interior design elements. It is manufactured from reclaimed sorghum straw and no-added-formaldehyde adhesive. Kirei Bamboo is an eco-friendly panel material with a variety of surface and millwork looks. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable, sustainable resource and Kirei uses low or no-added urea formaldehyde adhesives for the production of the panels. The company also offers Wheatboard MDF replacement material and Coco panels and tiles made from reclaimed coconut shells. Circle Reader Service #20 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

LG Eden Solid Surface

LG Hausys offers its Eden Collection of HIMACS solid surface. The material is available in 17 colors and has been certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) to contain a minimum of 12 percent pre-consumer content. And HI-MACS Eden Plus acrylic surfaces feature up to 41 percent certified pre-consumer recycled material. Circle Reader Service #21 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Meld USA Eco-Sensitive Concrete Surfacing Materials

Micro is one of the most recent additions to Meld USA’s lineup of award-winning

eco-sensitive concrete surfacing materials. Produced in Raleigh, N.C., Micro is a cement-based, fiber-fortified eco-composite containing up to 74 percent of recycled materials. Of the aggregate used in Micro, 100 percent is recycled glass, ranging from post-consumer curbside bottles to pre-consumer window and container glass. To reduce Meld’s carbon footprint, most of the raw materials are extracted from within 500 miles of Meld���s manufacturing facility. Micro also qualifies for potential LEED credits in the MR4 and MR5 categories. Available in standard slabs measuring 30 in. by 96 in. by 1/5-in. thick, the material is machined using stone and quartz tooling and equipment. Custom slabs up to 60 in. by 108 in. are also available for oversized applications. Tailor-made and ready to install surfaces can also be manufactured to any spec and shipped safely to any destination. Colors range from a neutral palette to unlimited bold and custom hues. Circle Reader Service #22 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Paperstone

Paperstone Certified has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to contain 100 percent post-consumer recycled waste paper. It comes in nine colors. Paperstone Original contains 50 percent post consumer recycled waste paper. Both are made using the company’s own PetroFree™ phenolic resins and natural pigments. Standard panels of the material come in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from 1/4 in. to 1-1/4 in. and in dimensions of 5 ft. by 12 ft., 5 ft. by 10 ft. and 5 ft. by 8 ft. When using 3/4-in. material, it allows for cantilevered designs of up

organic compounds (VOCs) are incinerated. The heat from that incineration is used for the drying process to minimize thermal pollution. There is no hazardous waste generated. Richlite is made from FSC-Certified paper sources and/or recycled paper. The company offers two products that contain recycled content; r50 contains 50 percent old corrugated cardboard (post-consumer waste), while r100 is made with 100 percent recycled paper (post-consumer waste) and is certified by FSC. The material comes in 12 colors and is available through authorized dealers in 3/4-in.- to 1-1/2 in.-thick sheets up to 5-ft. wide and 12-ft. long. In addition, thinner backsplash material is available. Circle Reader Service #24 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Samsung Staron Encore Series Solid Surface

Samsung’s Encore Series of Staron solid surface are SCS Material Content Certified. They are manufactured using pre-consumer content, resulting in a reduction of industrial waste and energy consumption utilized during the manufacturing process. In addition, the series features GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD Children & Schools certification and is listed as a low-emitting interior building product, further adding to its eligibility as a contributing product toward LEED points. Seven colors are included in the series: Pebble Seastar, with a minimum of 5 percent pre-consumer recycled resin and chip content; Aspen Mine and Aspen Snow, with a minimum of 10 percent pre-consumer recycled resin and chip content; Pebble Basalt and Sanded Wheat, with a minimum of 25 percent pre-consumer recycled resin and chip content; and Pebble Fennel and Sanded Noir, with a minimum of 30 percent pre-consumer recycled

to 18 in. of unsupported overhang. Circle Reader

resin and chip content. Circle Reader Service #25

Service #23 on the Reader Service Page or go to

on the Reader Service Page or go to

www.isfanow.org/info.

www.isfanow.org/info.

Richlite

Teragren Bamboo Surfacing

Richlite is a composite paper surfacing material. It is primarily paper treated with phenolic resin and baked to create a solid sheet. During the saturation and drying process, more than 99 percent of the volatile

46 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Teragren’s bamboo countertops are a beautiful and durable alternative to traditional hardwoods for counters, kitchen islands and table tops. Manufactured to exacting standards


for quality and environmental safety, these furniture-grade products are made with rapidly renewable Optimum 5.5 Moso bamboo, a naturally bacteria-resistant material. They are available unfinished or prefinished with a food-safe mineral oil/beeswax finish. Circle Reader Service #26 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Terrazzo & Marble Supply (T&M) Rinato and Difiniti

Terrazzo & Marble Supply (T&M), offers two surfacing materials with recycled content. The first is Rinato, a line of 13 colors of cementitious recycled glass for use in countertops. Previously destined for the landfill, 100 percent of the glass has been recycled as a raw material and the cement matrix that binds the recycled glass also includes recycled fly ash and slag to help fortify the cement and to replace non-renewable and petrochemical based resources. The material has a recycled content of approximately 75 percent by weight. The recycled content averages more than 80 percent post-consumer content. Under the LEED Ratings System for New Construction, Rinato may help to contribute toward Credits 4.1 & 4.2 for Recycled Content, and Credits 5.1 & 5.2 for Regional Materials. The material is manufactured in Wisconsin, and is available in 62- by 96- by11/4-in. slabs with a polished finish. The slabs weigh approximately 14 lbs. per sq. ft. T&M also offers Dinfiniti quartz surfacing and tile. These quartz countertop and flooring products are comprised of 93 percent quartz, granite or recycled glass held together with a pigmented binder. Available in an assortment of slab and tile colors recycled content of some of the offerings range from 11 to more than 45 percent. Circle Reader Service #27 on the Reader

Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

TorZo Surfaces

TorZo Surfaces is a U.S.-based manufacturer of sustainable surfaces manufactured from agricultural by products and recycled wood materials. These materials are suitable for both residential and commercial countertops, tabletops, tiles,

vanities and flooring. In addition, Torzo Surface product can be used for vertical applications such as paneling, dividers and cabinets. The company has seven lines of sustainable surface products made from infused, sustainable composite board materials. The seven surface product lines are Indure, Orient, Seeta, Durum, Tiikeri, Parda and Hemp. All seven TorZo products can help a project qualify for LEED points and are offered in four standard colors: Onyx, Cocoa, Copper and Natural. In addition, the Orient, Parda and Seeta lines offer four custom color lines available with a minimum order of 15 sheets: ruby, sapphire, amethyst and turquoise. All of the TorZo Surface products can be fabricated using standard carbide based tooling and gluing can be done using a Titebond III adhesive, or a 2-part solid surface epoxy. Fabricated projects can be coated using any urethane or conversion varnish. In addition, all TorZo materials are compatible with most all lines of sustainable water based coatings that are on the market. Orient is a Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified recycled wood chip based board material that has been infused with an acrylic polymer using a proprietary infusion process, and is made up of more than 75 percent recycled chips. Indure is a made of more than 65 percent recycled, formaldehyde-free wood fiber based MDF boards infused with acrylic polymer. Durum is more than 70 percent pressed wheat straw that has been infused with acrylic polymer using a proprietary infusion process. Wheat straw is a rapidly renewable material and the material is formaldehyde-free. Seeta is made from more than 70 percent pressed sunflower seed hull board material that has been infused with acrylic polymer. Sunflower seed hulls are also considered to be rapidly renewable, and the material is formaldehyde-free. Tiikeri is made from more than 50 percent pressed reclaimed sorghum stalk material that has been infused with acrylic polymer. This sugar cane stalk is also considered a rapidly renewable resource and the material is formaldehyde-free. Parda is more than 65 percent recycled, formaldehydefree wood fiber based particle board infused with acrylic polymer for durability. Lastly, the company’s Hemp line of surfacing material is made of 60 percent rapidly renewable hemp infused with acrylic polymer. The “hemp hurds” used to make the material are a by-product of the manufacture of hemp fiber for clothing and

Totally Bamboo

Totally Bamboo offers sheets of solid bamboo material. Bamboo, which is actually a grass that grows to a harvestable height between 3 to 5 years, does not require replanting because it has an extensive root system that continually sends up new shoots, naturally replenishing itself, and making it one of the most renewable resources known. The countertop sheets are constructed with cross-band laminates, designed to keep the sheet both flat and true, as well as to lessen the tendency to twist or warp. It is currently offered in four different grain patterns: Flat Grain Dark, Vertical Grain Dark, Dark Parquet and Natural Parquet. Sheets are 1-1/2-in.-thick and come in dimensions of 30-in.-wide, by 96-in.-long, 25-1/2 in.-wide by 96-in.-long and for islands, 36-in.wide by 72-in.-long. Circle Reader Service #29 on

the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Vetrazzo Recycled Glass Material

Vetrazzo is a material made of 100 percent recycled glass in a cement-based, resin-free binder. It is available in 19 colors and has a recycled content of approximately 85 percent of the product by weight. The largest proportion of the glass comes from curb-side recycling programs with the balance coming from post-industrial manufacturing. The material is NSF-certified, and because of its high recycled content, using Vetrazzo can help your project qualify for LEED certification. Using Vetrazzo can contribute to getting points in Recycled Content Credit (MR Credit 4.1 or 4.) and Regional Materials (MR Credit 5.1 and/or 5.2 if within 500 miles of Richmond, Calif.) Circle Reader Service #30 on the

Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

fabrics. Circle Reader Service #28 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 47


Potential Occupational Exposure Hazards in

Cultured Marble Manufacturing T

he National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), conducts research and makes recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. The NIOSH health hazard evaluation (HHE) program is available for employees, employers or union representatives to ask our comprehensive team of experts for an investigation of their health and safety concerns. Our team contacts the requestor and discusses the problems and how to solve them. This may result in sending the requestor information, referring them to a more appropriate agency or making a site visit

(which may include environmental sampling and medical testing). If we make a site visit, the result is a report of our investigation that includes recommendations specific to any problems found, as well as general guidance for following good occupational health practices. This article will discuss an HHE conducted at a business in the cultured marble manufacturing industry. Included in this article are findings and recommendations provided to the company in our report. This and other HHE reports are available online (see Additional Information Resources sidebar).

48 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Cultured Marble Manufacturing HHE We received a request for an HHE from a producer of cultured marble vanities, bath tubs and shower walls and floors. The company manufactures products that resemble quarried marble, but are man-made by combining a number of chemical compounds. At the time of our evaluation, 15 to 20 employees produced cultured marble pieces. On an average day the company produced three showers, three whirlpool tubs and 15 to 20 vanities. The facility is composed of two areas: 1) production of raw cultured marble products, and 2) product finishing. Employees at this facility were concerned about chemical exposures and


General Recommendations for Your Facility

were having symptoms of itchy skin, breathing problems and headaches. They were concerned about exposures to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) glue, fiberglass, acetone, organic peroxide and unsaturated polyester resins. During our initial visit, we collected general area and personal breathing zone (PBZ) air samples for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We collected a bulk sample of cultured marble dust to analyze for fiberglass and we identified areas within the facility where employees perceived elevated noise levels. We also interviewed employees about health problems (work-related and non-work-related), work practices and workplace personal hygiene. During our follow-up visit, we collected PBZ air samples for total and respirable particulate, and for styrene, α-methyl styrene and methyl methacrylate (the major compounds detected from our initial sampling for VOCs). We also placed noise dosimeters on selected workers to measure their noise exposure. We concluded that a health hazard existed at the facility from exposure to total particulate, styrene and noise. In evaluating the hazards posed by workplace exposures, we use both mandatory (legally enforceable) and recommended occupational exposure limits (OELs) for chemical, physical and biological agents as a guide for making recommendations. The below section, “Health Effects and Occupational Exposure Limits” further explains the limits we use as a guideline when making our recommendations. At this company, we found that respirable

particulate, α-methyl styrene, and methyl methacrylate air sample concentrations were all below relevant evaluation criteria. However, the product grinder’s total particulate exposure exceeded the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists® (ACGIH) 8-hr time-weighted average (TWA) exposure limits. Depending upon the cultured marble piece and the position of the worker, the rotating grinding wheel forced generated particulate against the ventilation booth airflow. The ventilation booth captured some of this particulate and transported it across the grinder’s breathing zone, so we advised managers to contact the ventilation booth manufacturer to discuss options for additional particulate control during grinding. Styrene concentrations for two employees casting cultured marble exceeded the ACGIH® 8-hr TWA of 20 parts per million (ppm). We recommended the company contact the manufacturer of the gel coat ventilation booth and oven to discuss options for control of escaping chemical emissions, specifically styrene, for the gel coat, oven and marble casting operations.

Dust and Chemical Control • Don’t use compressed air to blow off work clothes; rather, use a high efficiency particulate aerosol (HEPA) vacuum cleaner and wash face and hands with soap and water at the end of the work day. • Consider the use of directly ventilated sanders to reduce dust concentrations. An experimental study reported that use of directly ventilated handheld sanders reduced inhalable dust concentrations by 93 to 98 percent. • Isolate any ventilation booth used for grinding from the main workspace, as this operation produces a great deal of dust and noise that may affect other employees in adjacent work areas. • Use ventilation to control chemical emissions, especially styrene, for gel coat, oven and marble casting operations. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Assessment of PPE Use • Complete a comprehensive assessment (required by OSHA for all employers) to determine if hazards are present, or likely to be present, that would require the use of PPE (such as safety glasses, protective gloves, respirators or other PPE). • Employees must be trained in the use and maintenance of the PPE. OSHA requires written documentation that PPE hazard assessment and employee training have been completed. Information about PPE can be found on the OSHA website (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ personalprotectiveequipment/index.html). Skin Protection • Polyvinyl alcohol or Viton® gloves should be worn in gel coat and casting areas to protect employees from chemicals used there. • Consult a reference guide such as “Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing” (see Additional Informational Resources) to determine appropriate gloves and other PPE to use depending on the chemicals used at your facility.

Noise monitoring data indicated that the daily noise doses of the product grinder and product buffer exceeded the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL), and 10 of 11 evaluated employees exceeded the NIOSH-recommended daily allowable noise dose. We advised the company to institute a complete hearing International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 49


Hearing Protection • Consult OSHA guidelines for hearing loss prevention programs if necessary. The OSHA noise regulation and hearing conservation amendment can be used as a minimum guideline for such a program. Additional information on hearing loss prevention programs that goes beyond OSHA requirements has been published (see Additional Informational Resources). • Wear hearing protection devices if necessary. Moderate, flat-attenuating devices (referred to as musician earplugs) can improve communication and one’s ability to hear warning signals by attenuating noise in a more uniform manner in noise environments that are generally less than 90 to 95 A-weighted decibel (dBA). They can be found on the Internet at www.etymotic.com or www. aearo.com under musician earplugs or high fidelity earplugs. Respiratory Protection • Provide employees with respiratory protection if a hazardous product cannot be substituted with a less hazardous product. PPE is the least effective means for controlling employee exposures because it requires a high level of employee involvement and commitment. It should not be the only method for limiting exposures. • Employees wearing respirators must be properly fitted, receive training on their use and undergo medical evaluations. Companies requiring respirator usage must prepare a written respirator program that documents how they comply with OSHA respiratory protection program requirements. If you use a respirator or other PPE, consult Federal standards for proper use, maintenance and storage. Refer to the OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) if you are required to wear a respirator, or to Appendix D of the standard if your use is voluntary (see Additional Informational Resources). • Make sure employees wearing respirators do not have facial hair, because it prevents the respirator from sealing to the face and reduces its effectiveness.

loss prevention program for all production employees. Employees should be required to wear hearing protection devices. Employees not affected by the grinding operation should be offered different hearing protection devices to improve communication between employees. We recommended the company investigate changes to the grinding ventilation booth and the process itself to reduce the grinding operator’s exposures. We also suggested moving the grinding operation to a location away from the rest of the operations to reduce noise and dust levels also affecting other workers in the main workspace. Health Effects and Occupational Exposure Limits OELs have been developed by Federal agencies and safety and health organizations. Generally, they suggest levels of exposure to which most workers may be exposed up to 10 hours per day, 40 hours per week for a working lifetime without experiencing adverse health effects. However, a small percentage of workers may still experience adverse health effects even if they aren’t exposed to substances at levels higher than the OELs because of individual factors such as their personal susceptibility, preexisting medical conditions or hypersensitivity (allergy). In addition, some hazardous substances may act in combination with other workplace exposures, the general environment or with medications or personal habits of the worker to produce health effects even if the occupational exposures are below the exposure limit. Also, some substances can be absorbed by direct contact with skin and mucous membranes in addition to being inhaled, which contributes to the person’s overall exposure. OSHA mandates legally enforceable PELs for workplaces covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. However, not all hazardous chemicals and physical agents have specific OSHA PELs, and the legally enforceable and recommended limits for some substances may not reflect current health-based information. To eliminate or minimize identified hazards, we encourage (in order of preference) the use of the traditional hierarchy of controls: 1) substitution or elimination of the hazardous agent; 2) engineering controls (for example, local exhaust ventilation, process enclosure, dilution ventilation); 3) administrative controls (for example, limiting time of exposure, employee training, work practice changes, medical surveillance); and 4) personal protective equipment (for example, respiratory

50 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

protection, gloves, eye protection). This approach groups actions by their likely effectiveness in reducing or removing hazards. In most cases, the preferred approach is to eliminate hazardous materials or processes and install engineering controls to reduce exposure or shield employees. Until such controls are in place, or if they are not effective or feasible, administrative measures and/or personal protective equipment may be needed. Primary Concerns for Workers Who Manufacture Cultured Marble There are a number of things that workers in the manufacture of cultured marble should be concerned with. Respirable Particulates Not Otherwise Regulated Workers who manufacture cultured marble can be exposed to dusts, or mixtures of dusts, not associated with a specific toxic chemical. Occupational health specialists refer to these as particulates not otherwise regulated. Although larger dust particles are trapped by the body’s natural defense mechanism (e.g., the mucous lining the upper respiratory tract), respirable dust particles are small enough to penetrate to the deepest parts of the lungs and cause more harmful health effects. OSHA has mandated generic criteria for airborne particulates that do not produce significant disease or toxic effects when exposures are kept under reasonable control. Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs are chemicals that release gases into the air at room temperature. They are emitted in varying concentrations from numerous indoor sources including carpeting, fabrics, adhesives, resins, solvents, paints, cleaners, waxes, cigarettes and combustion sources. Some researchers have compared levels of VOCs with human responses (such as headache and irritative symptoms of the eyes, nose and throat), but the highly variable nature of these complex mixtures can greatly affect their potential to cause irritation. Styrene, methyl methacrylate and α-methyl styrene were some of the VOCs detected during our case study. These compounds and symptoms of overexposure to them are discussed below.

Styrene – Styrene is a volatile, colorless to yellow, oily liquid with a sweet, floral odor. Its use in industry includes synthetic rubber and resins, as a chemical intermediate and in polymerized synthetic plastics. Exposure to styrene reportedly causes eye and


respiratory irritation and central nervous system effects. People exposed to styrene concentrations at approximately 100 ppm and greater have reported symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. α-Methyl Styrene – α-Methyl styrene is a colorless liquid used in the production of polymers and resins. Exposure to it has been reported to cause eye, skin and upper respiratory tract irritation and potentially central nervous system effects. Methyl Methacrylate – Methyl methacrylate is a colorless liquid with a strong fruity odor. It is used in production of acrylic products, printing inks and in dentistry. Methyl methacrylate has the potential to cause eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation. Allergic dermatitis and sensitization resulting from exposure to this chemical has been identified in occupational settings. Fiberglass – Fiberglass is a known skin irritant, and exposure to fiberglass greater than 3.5 micrometers (μm) in diameter has been associated with severe itching, burning of the eyes, sore throat and cough. Smaller diameter fibers (<3.5 μm) can enter gas exchange regions of the lung.

Noise Hearing loss caused by excessive noise exposure is an irreversible condition that gets worse the more a person is exposed. Noise produces hearing loss greater than hearing loss caused by the natural aging process. It damages nerve cells of the inner ear, and unlike some hearing disorders, noise-induced hearing loss cannot easily be treated medically. While hearing loss may sometimes result from one exposure to a very brief loud noise or explosion, it typically begins to develop at 4,000 or 6,000 Hertz (Hz) (the hearing range is 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz) and gradually spreads to lower and higher frequencies. Often, significant hearing loss has occurred before the person recognizes their condition. Such impairment is usually severe enough to permanently affect a person’s ability to hear and understand speech under everyday conditions. I N T E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B R I C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N

About the Author This report was put together by Maureen Niemeier, BBA (a freelance technical writer); Robert E. McCleery, MSPH, CIH; and Randy L. Tubbs, PhD, working with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This article is based on a health hazard evaluation NIOSH conducted at a cultured marble manufacturing facility and is designed to be an educational resource. More information on NIOSH is available at www.cdc.gov/niosh.

Additional Informational Resources NIOSH HHE reports: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/

OSHA noise regulation and hearing conservation amendment: CFR [2003]. 29 CFR 1910.95. Code of Federal Regulations. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, Office of the Federal Register. Additional hearing loss prevention program information: NIOSH [1996]. Preventing occupational hearing loss – A practical guide. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 96-110. Royster JD, Royster LH [1990]. Hearing conservation programs: practical guidelines for success. Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers. Suter AH [2002]. Hearing conservation manual. 4th ed. Milwaukee, WI: Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation. Respirator Usage OSHA [1998]. OSHA Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Revised Respiratory Protection Standard. http://www.osha.gov/Publications/ secgrev-current.pdf. OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and Information for Employees Using Respirators when not Required Under Standard - 1910.134 Appendix D. http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/ owadisp.show_document?p_id=12716&p_ table=standards. PPE Guidance OSHA guidance on PPE: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/ personalprotectiveequipment/index.html Forsberg K, Mansdorf SZ [2007].Quick selection guide to chemical protective clothing. 5th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 51


Here.Now.News. The ICE room block is now open at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, and attendees can register for rooms on-line at the ICE website, or call directly to 888-746-6955 and refer to group code SRICE11.

International Countertop Expo (ICE) Show Update Mark your calendars because the International Countertop Expo (ICE) is approaching. Scheduled to kick off on Oct. 20, 2011, and run through Oct. 22, the show is being held this year at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Convention Center in Las Vegas.

On-site registration will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. on Thursday October 20th. The ISFA Members Only General Session will be held at 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, October 20th, followed by a brief “meet and greet” where ISFA members will have the opportunity to speak with members of the ISFA Board of Directors. There will be an awards presentation following the General Session and will include the announcement of the winners of the 2011 ISFA Innovations in Design Competition, as well as the ISFA Awards for Associate of year, Innovator of the year, the Envision Award, the Fabricator of the Year and the ISFA Hall of Fame.

In addition to an exhibit hall showcasing the latest and greatest supplies and services for surfacing professionals, the show will feature a number of interesting and useful events all against the backdrop of exciting Las Vegas. And, there is no better place to interact with your peers to get the valuable insight that only comes through networking.

Following the awards presentation a Keynote Luncheon has been planned, which will be free to attendees with a three-day conference pass. For those not holding a three-day pass, the cost to ISFA members is $5.00 and for non-members the cost is $25.00. Conferences are scheduled for Thursday afternoon, with five-breakout sessions scheduled at 1:15 – 2:15, 2:30 – 3:30 and 3:45 – 4:45.

Attendees of the show can now register for the conferences and expo online at the ICE website located at www.countertopexpo.com. ISFA member companies that choose to register two attendees for the threeday pass can opt to register a third attendee free.

Friday registration will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Conferences will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the exhibit hall will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There is a reception scheduled to be held on the exhibit hall floor Friday afternoon between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

The show’s advisory council, which is made up of industry leaders, has dedicated countless hours to make sure that every moment of ICE 2011 packed with value. The council, along with show organizers, has created a world-class conference program that will allow attendees to take what they learn and implement it into their business processes immediately to improve their bottom line.

Saturday registration will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Conferences will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the exhibit hall will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. It will be a day full of excitement as attendees cast their votes for the winner of the on-site fabrication category of the design contest. Winners will be announced just before a must-be-present-to-win drawing for prizes.

In addition to a variety of educational break-out sessions, the council has planned informational clinics that will be offered on the show floor. Hands-on demos will also be available to exhibit hall attendees and will include challenges on sanding techniques and exhibitor demos on templating.

Certain to be a great time full of useful activities designed to improve any surfacing operation, ICE is a must attend event for those wanting to advance their countertop and architectural surfacing businesses.

There will also be a live Fabrication Challenge, where design contest entrants will be fabricating items on site, to be judged on the final day of the expo by show attendees.

52 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

For more information contact ISFA Membership & Meetings Director Sandy Milroy at Sandy@isfanow.org or by phone at 702-240-1660, and check the ICE Show website for additional updates at www.countertopexpo.org.


ISFA in China In November of 2010, then ISFA President Evan Kruger, while on personal business in China, coordinated his visit to make a presentation at the first meeting of the newly organized China Solid Surface Fabrication Technician Training and Certification group (CSSFTC). The focus of his remarks was on the current state of solid surface fabrication in North America and Europe. Approximately 200 Chinese fabricators and manufacturers of solid surface products were in attendance at the multi-day affair.

Kruger’s presentation centered on standard fabrication techniques that have helped raise the level of quality and service in North America and Europe. He also touched on modern tools and equipment that help improve the fabrication process, which was of considerable interest to the attendees. The two-hour presentation was capped with a photo essay of installed projects, followed by a question and answer session. Kruger’s business partner, Penny Cho, served as interpreter at the conference. “I came away with the impression that Chinese fabricators are very enthusiastic about improving the quality of solid surface for their own domestic market,” Kruger explained. “There is a tremendous market for solid surface countertops in China, and the level of expertise and consistency currently available to Chinese consumers still has a lot of room for improvement. They are very interested, in particular, in obtaining the right hand tools for the job and implementing proper techniques.” Organization of the CSSFTC, which is sanctioned by the Chinese government, came about through the efforts of Guangzhou Gelandi Polymer Material Co. Ltd., located in Guanhzhou, China. Gelandi is a leader in the manufacturer of solid surface products in China. ISFA is currently participating in talks with the CSSFTC to provide formal fabrication training, ISFA certification and Chinese language communication tools to fabricators who become members of the CSSFTC.

International Surface Fabricators Association Installs New Board of Directors The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced the changes to the association’s Board of Directors for 2011. Directors on the ISFA board are chosen by association members, and can sit on the board for up to 3 years, with the option to renew for a second consecutive three-year term. Changes to the association officers include Hunter Adams as President, with 2010 president Evan Kruger, of Solid Tops in Easton, Md., moving over to the position of Immediate Past President. Adams, of TRINDCO, in Suffolk, Va., a fabricator of solid surface and hard surfaces, previously served as Vice President. That role has now been filled by Russ Berry of A.S.S.T in Hanover, Pa. Mike Langenderfer, of The Countertop Shop, in Holland, Ohio, will now serve as Secretary. Four directors left the Board this year, having faithfully fulfilled their terms. Sid MacKay, of Creative Surface Solutions of Las Vegas, served as Immediate Past President in 2010 and President in 2009. Also Ted Sherrit, of FloForm Countertops in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, stepped down from a Director position. Sherritt served for many years as the association’s Treasurer. Also leaving the board were Michael Job, of Quality Surfaces in Spencer, Ind., and Kurt Bonk, of Cabinets2Countertops, in North Canton, Ohio, who previously served as Secretary. Rather than replace the outgoing members, the Board voted to diminish the number of board members in order to make the group more cost-effective and less unwieldy. Rounding out the Board are Joe Hoffman, of Hoffman Fixtures Company in Tulsa, Okla., Mike Nolan, of Windbound Co. in Morganton, N.C., Dave Paxton, of Paxton Countertops in Grand Ledge, Mich., Martin Funck, of Rosskopf & Partner in Augustusburg – Hennersdorf, Germany, Michael Bustin, of Meld USA in Raleigh, N.C., and as Associate Member Representatives Harry Hollander, of Moraware in Reno, Nev., and Bryan Stannard, of ITW Plexus in Danvers, Mass., all of which are retaining their directorships.

Board of Directors Votes to Move Annual Meeting to Coincide with Expo Annual Meeting

The ISFA Board of Directors voted to move the date of the Association Annual Meeting from the first quarter of every year to coincide with the annual trade show and conference, regardless of the time of year it is held. “The previous version of the bylaws stipulated the annual meeting to be held in February or March because that was when the trade show was being held,” explained ISFA President, Hunter Adams. “With the trade show now being held in October it makes sense to move the General Session to that same date in order for the greatest number of ISFA members to participate as possible.”

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 53


The new bylaws verbiage, which was approved by unanimous vote, is as follows: “Section 7.1. Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the members, shall be held as established by the Board of Directors upon timely notice to members. The specific date shall be established at the preceding annual meeting but may thereafter be changed upon the consent of a majority of the Board of Directors and upon timely notice to all members. At such annual meeting, the members shall elect a Board of Directors and transact such other business as may properly be brought before the meeting.” Consistent with the change in bylaws, elections to the board of directors and ISFA Awards nominations/selections will now coincide with the October date of ICE as well.

Associate Member Board of Directors Elections

The ISFA Board of Directors also voted to amend the procedure whereby ISFA Associate Members are elected to the ISFA Board of Directors. The revised text, as excerpted from Sections 8.2 and 8.3 of the ISFA Bylaws reads: “Section 8.2. Procedure for Elections of Directors. Additionally, two board member seats shall be reserved for representatives of ISFA Associate Members. Associate Member nominees shall be appointed by the aforementioned nominating committee and shall appear on the slate of nominees and shall be submitted to the President at least 60 days prior to the annual meeting.” “Section 8.3. Term of Office. The term of office of a Director shall be three years. No Director retiring from a service of two full terms, without interruption, shall be eligible to hold office as a Director until one complete Association fiscal year has intervened from the date of retirement, provided however that an officer of the Association may hold office as a director for consecutive terms as long as he shall be an Officer of the Association. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to retain any director, otherwise departing, for an additional term of one (1) year. The term of each Associate Member shall be limited to 1 year, with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms.”

Industry Leaders Advisory Council Formed for International Countertop Expo (ICE) The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced the formation of a blue-ribbon panel of decorative surfacing industry leaders as Advisory Council to the 2011 International Countertop Expo (ICE), to be held October 20-22, 2011, at the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas. ICE is the only trade show and conference for the entire decorative surfacing industry, and as such the advisory council is representative of all segments of the premium decorative surfacing industry. The council’s objectives include designing educational conferences, exhibit hall demonstrations and clinics for the three-day Expo that appeal to attendees, which include surfacing fabricators, cabinetmakers,

54 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

millwork houses, kitchen & bath professionals, architects and designers. Members of the ICE Advisory Council include: Hunter Adams (Council Chair), TRINDCO Inc.; Craig Francisco, L.E. Smith; Tony Leff, Surcrete Design; Kirk Olsen, Envision Concrete; Jon Olson, Sterling Surfaces Inc.; Bob Paradiso; Dave Paxton, Paxton Countertops; and Marc Rosenkrantz, Schechner Lifson Corp. The education program for the three-day Expo is geared to help attendees make their businesses more profitable. The conferences cover topics ranging from trends in the countertop industry, technical sessions on the craft of countertop fabrication, business management and leadership courses, case studies and hands-on training. Exhibits feature products and services relevant to industry professionals and draw vendors from all across the globe.

New Development Director ISFA is pleased to announce the addition of Andrew Bowman as Development Director. Though new to the decorative surfacing industry, Bowman has extensive experience in sales, marketing and merchandizing in a variety of business models. Bowman is responsible for magazine and electronic sales, new members, marketing of ISFA training and booth sales for the International Countertop Expo (ICE), to be held October 20-23 at the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas.

ISFA Calls for Member Volunteers ISFA is seeking member volunteers to assist with the International Countertop Expo (ICE), 2011, that will be held at the Rio in Las Vegas, October 20-22. Volunteers would help to assist with the conferences as both Emcees and Room Monitors. The Emcees will meet with the speaker for a few minutes before the conference to get some background information and then introduce the speaker at the beginning of the session. This position will also involve passing out speaker evaluation forms. The Room Monitors will scan each attendee’s badge as they enter the conference room and collect the speaker evaluations forms as the attendees leave the room. Volunteers will be rewarded for their assistance with a conference pass. Those interested in volunteering should contact the ISFA office at 877-464-7732.


ISFA New & Renewed Members West Coast Countertops 43085 Business Park Dr. B Temecula, CA 92590

Blume’s Solid Surface Products 904 Freeport Road Freeport, PA 16229

Extreme Adhesives, Inc 63 Epping Rd Raymond, NH 03077 Performance West 422 South 24th St. Yakima, WA 98902

Bisley Fabrication, Inc. 700 Industrial Street Gresham, WI 54128

Executive Millwork #5 1212 38 Ave N.E. Calgary, AB T2E 6N2 Worts Engineering 5 Middle Park Lane Pembroke, Bermuda HM07 Floor Covering Express 3143 Bridgeport Way West University Place, WA 98466 Finishing Touch Millwork 1240 Activity Dr, Ste C Vista, CA 92081 Northern Woodworker Ltd PO Box 1045 Fort Nelson, BC V0C 1R0 Chuck Sawyer 4802 Au Sable Dr Gibsonia, PA 15044 Builders Warehouse 4600 N Second Ave. PO Box 1895 Kearney, NE 68845 Morris Craft LLC 2700 Smith Rd Charleston, WV 25314 Ball Consulting, LTD. 2301 Duss Ave Building 1, Suite 21 Ambridge, PA 15003 Masco BCG - Masco Cabinetry LLC 440 Oberlin Ave S Lakewood, NJ 08701 M & W Countertops, Inc. 11934 Witmer Road Grabill, IN 46741 Cardinal Kitchens, Inc. 230 Hiawatha Avenue Louisville, KY 40209 Sheppard’s Countertops & Floors, Inc. PO Box 957 Benton, LA 71006 Colonial Saw Company P.O. Box A 122 Pembroke Street Kingston, MA 02364 Solid Surfaces Unlimited, Inc. 6689 Sterling Drive South Sterling Heights, MI 48312 Innovative Surfaces, Inc. 515 Spiral Boulevard Hastings, MN 55033 Countertop Shop Ltd 10406 Geiser Road Holland, OH 43528 Advanced Surfaces, Inc. 130 Plastics Road Corry, PA 16407

Top Shelf Laminated Products 400 Dietz Road Warren, OH 44483 Counter Creations, LLC PO Box 314 Marengo, IL 60152

RR Laminates 1403 Nichols Dr Rocklin, CA 95765

Paragon Surfacing Ltd. 6720 Graybar Rd, Unit 110 Richmond, BC V6W 1J1 Penn Fabricators, Inc. 100 Bellport Avenue Yaphank, NY 11980

J. Dougherty & Son/JDS Supply 337 North Main Street Glassboro, NJ 08028

J&M Lifestyles, LLC 215 Route 10 Bldng 3 Unit 3 Randolph, NJ 07869

Stevens Industries, Inc. 704 West Main Street Teutopolis, IL 62427

Omni Cubed, Inc. 1390 Broadway Suite B155 Placerville, CA 95667

McDermott Top Shop LLC 200 A Main St Sullivan, WI 53178

SL Laser Systems LP 8107 Arrowridge Blvd, Ste Q Charlotte, NC 28273

InPro Corporation S80 W18766 Apollo Dr Muskego, IL 53150

ACT-Advanced Counter Technology, Inc. 427 Saint Johns Avenue Billings, MT 59101

BKA Builders Inc. dba Paradise Hawaii Countertops P O Box 241019 Honolulu, HI 96824

Spaulding Fabricators, Inc. 1136 Industrial Parkway Brick, NJ 08724

Kirk’s Cabinets & Countertops (Kirk Construction LLC) 4807 Highway 95 Parker, AZ 85344

Stonex Systems Ltd 725 Great South Road, Penrose Auckland, New Zealand Statewide Restoration 2151 Brookfield St Vineland, NJ 08361 Phillips Countertops dba Countersync 1296 Jones St Augusta, GA 30901

Specialtytools.com PO Box 600696 Jacksonville, FL 32260 Block Tops, Inc. 1560 Harris Court Anaheim, CA 92806 FloForm Countertops 125 Hamelin Street Winnipeg, MB R3T 3Z1 Fischer Tile & Marble 1800 23rd Street Sacramento, CA 95816 GEM Industries 5030 Hiatus Road Sunrise, FL 33351 Dynabrade 8989 Sheridan Drive Clarence, NY 14031 Park Industries PO Box 188 St. Cloud, MN 56302 Meganite, Inc. 1254 East Lexington Ave. Pomona, CA 91766 Mountain Tops LTD 6605 Arctic Spur Road Anchorage, AK 99518 Laminated Tops of Central Indiana, Inc. 711 E. Dillman Road Bloomington, IN 47401 Gemstone 435 Harrison Street Elkhart, IN 46516 WoodCo LLC P.O. Box 30254 Billings, MT 59107 ITW Plexus Surfacing Solutions-Europe Unit 3, Shipton Way, Northhampton Rd Rushden, NN10 6GL United Kingdom Integra Adhesives, Inc. PO Box 970 115 First Street Sumas, WA 98295

Beverin Solid Surface 1108 Palmetto Avenue Lehigh Acres, FL 33972 J R Stephens Company 5208 Boyd Road Arcata, CA 95521 Diamond Surfaces USA PO Box 604 Newton, KS 67114 King County Library System 960 Newport Way NW Issaqua, WA 98027 Bledsoe Cabinets 2990 Wise Way Boise, ID 83716 Metro Stone Works, LLC 9115 Digital Dr, Unit 12 Manassas Park, VA 20111 Countertop Solutions, LLC 11915 Drexel Hill Dr Houston, TX 77077 Kitchen Bath & Beyond Specializing In Solid Surface 1440 Corona Fort Mojave, AZ 86426 Borey & Sons Construction, Inc. 445 Hanson Loop Burbank, WA 99323 MR Direct Int. 7610 New West Road Toledo, OH 43617 Absolute Concrete Works 5795 NE Minder Road Poulsbo, WA 98370 Heritage Marble Inc 7086 Huntley Rd Columbus, OH 43229 Marker Systems Inc 940 River Rd North Tonawanda, NY 14120 Cutting Edge Countertops, Inc 1300 Flagship Dr Perrysburg, OH 43551

Buck, Jason (Superior Surface) 3609 Crow Court Antelope, CA 95843

Outrank.com 9300 United Dr, Ste 180 Austin, TX 78758 Marble Unlimited & Cabinets Inc 2210 E Pettigrew St Durham, NC 27519 Reall Cabinetry 1985 Cattlemen Rd, Unit D Sarasota, FL 34232 RS Hughes Co, Inc 5916 NE 112th Ave Portland, OR 97220 Lincoln Laminating Inc 5010 Rentworth Dr Lincoln, NE 68516 Creative Counter Tops 1056 Hunley Sullivan Rd Awendaw, SC 29429 Prodim USA LLC 424 4th Lane SW Vero Beach, FL 32962 John Bania PO Box 541 Wrangell, AK 99929 Bluemar Marble & Granite 8201 Jane St, Unit 2 Concord, ON L4K 5P2 Pelican Sinks Int’l 10286 US Hwy 19N, Unit 110 Pinellas Park, FL 33782 On the Mark Construction 16886 Eldorado Ct Piedmont, SD 57769 Bicknell Inc PO Box 33517 Juneau, AK 99801 VanSetten & Walker Construction 821 1st Ave NW Great Falls, MT 59404 Refresh Interiors Inc 4641 Lown St. North St. Petersburg, FL 33714

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 55


ISFA STAFF Russ Lee Executive Director Email: russ@isfanow.org Office: (877) 464-7732 ext. 12 Direct: (801) 735-7606

Meg Pettingill Administrative Assistant & Registrar Email: meg@isfanow.org Office: (877) 464-7732 Ext. 10

Andrew Bowman Development Director Email: andrew@isfanow.org Office: (877) 464-7732 ext. 13 Direct: (801) 623-3335

Kevin Cole Communications Director Email: kevin@isfanow.org Direct: (815) 721-1507

Jeff Pease Creative Director Email: jeff@isfanow.org Office: (877) 464-7732 ext. 11

Sandy Milroy Meeting & Membership Director Email: sandy@isfanow.org Direct: (702) 240-1660

Main Office Toll Free: (877) 464-7732 Direct: (801) 341-7360 Fax: (801) 341-7361 Email: info@isfanow.org Web: www.ISFAnow.org 165 N 1330 W. #A3 Orem, UT 84057

Board Of Directors

Hunter Adams President TRINDCO 1004 Obici Industrial Blvd. Suffolk, VA 23434 Phone: 757-539-0262 Fax: 757-539-8921 Email: hunteradams@trindco.com www.trindco.com

Russ Berry Vice President A.S.S.T. 805 West Elm Ave. P.O. Box 144 Hanover, PA 17331 Phone: 717-630-1251 Fax: 717- 630-1271 russberry@asst.com www.asst.com

Mike Langenderfer Secretary The Countertop Shop Ltd 10406 Geiser Road Holland, OH 43528 Phone: 419-868-9101 Fax: 419-868-9104 Email: mike@countertopshop.net www.countertopshop.net

Evan Kruger Immediate Past President Solid Tops, Inc. 505 South Street Easton, MD 21601 Phone: 410-819-0770 Fax: 410-819-0783 Email: evank@solidtops.com www.solidtops.com

Mike Nolan Director Windbound Co. 2171 NC 18 US 64 Morganton, NC 28655 Phone: 828-4a38-0892 Fax: 828-438-0893 Email: windboundco@bellsouth.net www.windboundhomes.com

Dave Paxton Director Paxton Countertops P. O. Box 174 Grand Ledge, MI 48837 Phone: 517-719-0146 Email: paxtoncountertops @yahoo.com

Martin Funck Director Rosskopf & Partner AG Bahnhofstrabe 16 D 09573 Augustusburg - Hennersdorf Germany Phone: 493-729-12524 Email: martin.funck @rosskopf-partner.com www.rosskopf-partner.com

Michael Bustin Director Meld USA 3001-103 Spring Forest Rd Raleigh, NC 27616 Phone: 919-790-1749 Fax: 919-790-1750 Email: mb@meldusa.com www.meldusa.com

Joe Hoffman Director Hoffman Fixtures Company 9421 E 54th St Tulsa, OK 74145 Phone: 918-627-3055 Fax: 918-627-3560 Email: joehoffman@hfccountertops.com www.hfccountertops.com

Bryan Stannard Associate Member Representative ITW Plexus 30 Endicott Street Danvers, MA 01923 Phone: 210-389-2917 Fax: 978-774-0516 Email: bstannard@itwplexus.com www.itwplexus.com

Harry Hollander Associate Member Representative Moraware 3020 Zeus Way Reno, NV 89512 Phone: 650-242-4272 Fax: 309-414-1013 Email: harry@moraware.com www.moraware.com

Russ Lee Executive Director ISFA 165 N 1330 W #A3 Orem, UT 84057 Phone: 877-464-7732 Fax: 801-341-7361 Email: russ@isfanow.org www.isfanow.org

56 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


CUT ALONG DOTTED LINE - FAX BACK TO (801)-341-7361

Specialty Surfaces Fabricators, Manufactures and Experts Membership Application

I NT E R N AT I O N A L S U R FAC E FA B RI C AT O R S A S S O C I AT I O N

Main: (877) 464-7732 • Fax: (801) 341-7361 • www.ISFANow.org

Renewal Instructions:

To renew your membership with ISFA, simply fill out the Personal Information section, and Payment Method and that’s it! Fax it back to (801) 341-7361 and we’ll do the rest. Please allow 2-4 weeks for your membership renewal packet to be delivered.

New Member Instructions:

For Surfacing Experts wanting to become a new member, please fill out the entire form. Membership in ISFA is the industry endorsement of high quality. This endorsement cannot be purchased for the price of membership, but must be established by the company and upheld by each member of the organization. Fax this form back to (801) 341-7361 and we’ll do the rest. Your new membership packet will be in the mail shortly. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

Personal Information

Name: Title:

• CUT ALONG DOTTED LINE - FAX BACK TO (801)-341-7361

Company: Address: City: State/Province:

Zip/Postal Code:

Country: Phone: Fax: By providing your fax number, you are giving ISFA permissioon to send you information via fax.

Check here if you do not wish to receive education & event information via fax.

E-mail: Check here if you do not wish to receive Product and Service information from ISFA and our industry partners via e-mail.

I Am: Renewing my ISFA Membership

Applying To Become A New Member

Method Of Payment

I am faxing a copy of the check along with this form. (required if paying by check) Card Type:

Visa

Mastercard

American Express

Discover

Card Number: Print Name On Card: Expiration Date: Official Signature:

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If Paying by check, fax copy along with this order form. You can also mail this form to: ISFA, 165 N 1330 W #A3 Orem, UT 84057

New Member Information Type of Membership: (please select one)

Sponsorship Information: In order to become a member of ISFA, you need to provide information

ISFA Membership: $400 - Any Specialty Surfaces company that has been in business at least two years and carries appropriate liability insurance.

Sponsor Company:

Subscriber Membership: $400 - Applicant companies which meet all other qualifications, but have been in business for less than two years shall be eligible for Subscriber Membership in the Association

Trade Reference: (Please provide a trade reference, generally your distributor of solid surface.)

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Branch Membership: $200 - Branch Membership is available to companies having more than one location. Each location must fill out seperate membership applications. Branch Membership annual dues are one-half that of the headquarters location. Each location wll be treated as a seperate member in all respects except only headquarter locations may vote in General Elections.

regarding an ISFA member or company willing to sponsor you in. If you do not know what to put in this section, just leave it blank. We will help you with this.

Contact Person: Telephone:

Trade Reference: Contact Person: Telephone: Proof of Insurance: A copy of your certificate of liability insurance must be attached to or faxed with this form to process this application.

Monthly Membership: $35/Monthly

Code Of Ethics Agreement (Please Sign Below)

Each member of the International Surface Fabricators Association agrees to observe high standards of honesty, integrity, and responsibility in the conduct of their business. By adhering strictly to the highest quality standards of fabrication, manufacturing and installation. By promoting only those products and services that are proven quality and value. By writing contracts and warranties that are clear, honest, and fair to all parties involved. By honoring all contractual obligations in a reasonably prompt manner. By quickly acting on and attempting to resolve all customer complaints, and in situations where complaints appear unreasonable and persistent, by encouraging the customer to initiate and approach third party dispute settlement mechanisms. By being fiscally responsible and honoring all legitimate financial obligations; By maintaining all required licenses and insurances; I,_______________________________, do hereby certify that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and do agree to abide by the Code of Ethics of the International Surface Fabricators Association for as long as I hold an active membership therein.


Product News Cosentino Launches New Silestone Commercial Series

surfacing product line. The new colors,

splash zones. Circle Reader Service #33

manufactured at the company’s North

on the Reader Service Page or go to www.

American manufacturing facility, are

isfanow.org/info.

Emerald Isle, a deep dark surface embedded with flecks of emerald green and gold tones; Antique Sable, a rich

Omni Cubed Offers New Anchor Machine

surface with hints of copper and grays and Bianco Canvas, a soft multi-toned white. The new colors of quartz surfacing are in addition to six new colors of Hanex solid surface recently released by the company. The solid surface product additions are in Cosentino has launched the Silestone Commercial Series, comprised of six colors that offer entry-level pricing for projects being specified in the commercial sphere. The new series is specifically designed for commercial settings with colors that naturally adapt to high traffic areas. The six colors in the series are: Blanco City, a light cream hue that evokes the serenity of Capri Limestone; Niebla,

two collections — Solo and Constellation. The Solo Collection features a translucent, pale series and the Constellation Series features a more modern pattern brought to life with a subtle metallic shimmer. Circle Reader Service #32 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

InPro Offers 1/4-in. Prism Solid Surface Wall Panels

Omni Cubed Inc. is used to easily and

a soft gray tone that blends with a wide

precisely cut curved T-slots in the back

array of colors; Crema Urban, a cream

side of stone pieces for the attachment

hue with natural elegant tones; Van Night,

of anchor bolts used in bottom-mount

a deep black with natural clear, white and

sink or architectural facing systems.

cream tones; Marengo, a raw gray tone

The machine is available with both

inspired by concrete; and Toffee, a rich brown hue. Circle Reader Service #31 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Hanwha Surfaces Increases Color Offerings

Hanwha Surfaces has introduced three new colors to its HanStone quartz

The Pro-Anchor T-31 Anchor Machine by

pneumatic and electric grinders, and Prism Solid Surface non-porous wall

with or without a vacuum-powered base

panels from InPro create sterile surgical

(four models available). The machine

suites and exam room with decorative,

features a split-clamp design for

clean and protective wall cladding. The

optimum grinder stability. Two separate

1/4-in. wall panels are available in the

vacuum zones on the base can be

complete Prism color palette – 70 colors.

turned on or off, enabling the machine

Sizes are available up to 48 in. by 144 in.,

to be used near cut outs or edges (i.e.

resulting in fewer field seams for reduced

the entire vacuum base does not have

installation time, cost and waste. Solid

to be in contact with the surface). The

Surface Decorative Panels with optional

machine also features quick-couplers

patterns and listellos are also available

for both air and water, and the efficiently

from the company. Optimized sheet

designed Venturi vacuum generator

sizes are delivered manufacturer-direct

creates high vacuum pressure with very

to your project. Prism Solid Surface is

low air consumption. Circle Reader Service

GREENGUARD certified to be low-emitting

#34 on the Reader Service Page or go to

and passes NSF Standard 51 for food/

www.isfanow.org/info.

58 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


Combilift Offers the CombiCB Multi-Directional Forklift

to seam or cut to length a top with a

Gemstone Offers New Square Vanity Bowl

coved splash. The fixture also allows the fabricator to cut the top a few degrees

Combilift offers the Combi-CB multi-

out of square if needed. The fixture is

directional forklift designed for confined

also being tried on post formed plastic

operations. The lifts have capacities of

laminate tops. It comes with a mirror seam

6,000 or 8,000 lbs. and are available in

template, positioning spacer, router bit,

LP gas, diesel and electric models. They

four Solo clamps, a template guide and

provide multi-directional/4-way capability

a 1/2-in. router bit. It seams a standard

and can lift heights up to 25 ft. These lifts

25-1/2-in. top with splash and build-up

drive all three wheels, have 8-in. side shift

attached. Circle Reader Service #38 on the

as standard and a 55-in. fork carriage.

Gemstone offers the new #1514 Square

They also have fully enclosed cabins with

Vanity Bowl, made from non-porous solid

cabin heaters, hydraulic fork positioners

surface material. The bowls are made

and detachable four-fork spreader bars.

using an eco-friendly resin, which contains

Circle Reader Service #35 on the Reader

15 percent post-consumer and 5.5 percent

Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

rapidly renewable material that can help

Domain Adds New Vessel Glass Sink Models

earn LEED points. Each bowl features a front that slopes away from the user, which eliminates splash back and allows for easy ADA-compliant installation. The bowls also have offset, no-direction splash drains that keep mold or bacteria that may accumulate in the drain from splashing back into the bowl. They are suitable for hospitals or hospitality areas, where cross contamination is a major concern. Circle Reader Service #37 on the Reader Service Page

Domain Industries Inc., a nationwide supplier of kitchen & bath products and fabrication accessories, has introduced 17 new glass sink models to its Santa Fe collection of contemporary vessel

or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Basix International Introduces Quartz Surfacing, Solid Surface Sheets, Bowls Basix International has introduced a line of products for the kitchen and bath, including solid surface sheets, quartz surfacing slabs, solid surface bowls and quartz surfacing vanities. The Basix line of solid surface sheets and bowls are a series of polyester-acrylic blend products in a variety of colors and styles. The company’s Prima Decora solid surface is 100 percent acrylic. The company also offers Quartz Effects quartz surfacing in 1, 2 and 3cm slabs, in addition to a line

Specialtytools.com Introduces New Solid Seaming Kit

of standard-sized, prefabricated quartz surfacing vanity tops. The company also offers private labeling capabilities, in

mount sinks. The new models include

which it can create private brands with

dramatic colors, textures and patterns.

customized collateral materials and

Part of the new lineup includes the Mosaic

samples. Circle Reader Service #39 on the

Collection of Santa Fe Glass sinks – six

Reader Service Page or go to

sinks built around a swirl effect with crisp

www.isfanow.org/info.

grooves and extreme attention to the depth of detail. The six colors that make

Braxton-Bragg Offers Stain Sponge

up this collection include Mosaic Silver, Cinnamon, Ore, Copper, Forest and Smoke. Other examples include Sorrel and Antiquity, both layered with rich, earthlike qualities. Sorrel conveys a granite stone

Specialtytools.com has developed and

look, with flecks of shell and natural color

introduced what is termed as a “fool

tones. Antiquity has deep graphite grays

proof” way to seam together solid surface

and places them within a satin gold swirl

countertops with attached splashes, even

of random debris. Circle Reader Service

those with coved splashes. The Seam Kit

#36 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.

is similar to the company’s Mirror Seam

isfanow.org/info.

kit for seaming flat tops but this one works from the back side, allowing the fabricator

After years of research and experiments,

International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 59


Dr. Fred Hueston, of Stone Forensics,

mantels, fountains, light fixtures and

has invented the Stain Sponge, which is

sculptures, all of which can be enhanced

applications. Circle Reader Service #42 on

offered by Braxton-Bragg. The product

through lighting to provide a rich warm

the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.

combines the necessary stone-safe

glow. The material is available in 2- or

org/info.

surfactants and diatomaceous earths

3-cm slabs in varying dimensions up to 4

with the ease of a bag similar to those

by 8 ft, and can be fabricated by standard

used in teabags, to offer an easy-to-use

stoneworking equipment. Circle Reader

poultice stain remover for stone products.

Service #41 on the Reader Service Page or go

By utilizing the stain process reversal

to www.isfanow.org/info.

technique, the patented Stain Sponge is designed to draw the stain from inside the stone.

durable coatings for interior and exterior

Concrete Countertop Institute Provides Sludge Buster Wastewater Handling and Recycling System

MóZ Introduces New Color Schemes for Wall Surfacing

The bag is soaked in water and placed on the dampened stain, then covered with a piece of plastic wrap. A few holes are punched in the wrap to allow for slow drying of the bag. As the bag dries, the stain is drawn into the poultice inside the

The Concrete Countertop Institute (CCI) now offers the Sludge Buster, a

bag. After 12 to 24 hours, the bag should be dry, and is removed. There is no

Móz Designs has introduced new

new product for handling and recycling

poultice powder to scrape off and scrub

colors for its wall surfaces and trims for

wastewater in concrete countertop shops.

down. If additional treatments are needed

hospitality, healthcare and commercial

The system is designed to provide a

(sometimes the case with serious stains),

installations. Manufactured from recycled

simple, inexpensive and compact way

just use a new bag. Circle Reader Service

aluminum and brought to life with

to collect, treat and recycle wastewater.

#40 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.

hand-etched patterns, the colorful Móz

It consists of a 23-in.-dia. three-stage

isfanow.org/info.

surfaces are used in a range of creative

barrel that weighs 34 lbs. A shop vac or

applications, including wall panels,

other means is used to collect wastewater

elevators, counter facings, bar dies and

in the barrel. Within minutes, the

many other public installations. Double-

Sludge Buster filters out and separates

sided Móz metals can also be placed as

aggregate, sand and fine particulates,

room dividers or infill panels. The new

and chemically treats the water.

tones include the Minerals Collection with

Treatment by a special filter pod removes

vivid accent colors and too-cool neutrals.

remaining sediment, reduces turbidity and

A bold new Arctic Blue series offers

reduces the pH to meet EPA standards

sophisticated impact with shimmering

for construction water discharge.

shades of gray, pewter, ice blue, ice

The resulting water and particulate is

Amber Onyx is a translucent calcite

green and silver rose. Along with the

captured for reuse or disposal. Circle

mined exclusively in the Uinta

array of Móz colors, new Blendz overlays

Reader Service #43 on the Reader Service

Mountains of Utah. Similar to marble

with unique patterns and variegated

Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

and travertine in strength and other

chromatics are also available. All Móz

traits, it has translucent, rich colors,

architectural metals are composed of

distinctive patterns and a readily

80 percent post-industrial recycled

Rockler Releases New Dust Right Air Filtration System

polished surface. With colors of varying

aluminum and contribute to LEED 2.0

Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has

degrees and a hardness that allows a

MR Credit 4– Recycled Content. Móz

released a new air filtration system, the

high level of polish, Amber Onyx can

metals are available in any thickness, but

Dust Right 1200, designed to remove

be used for countertops, wall tiles and

standard laminates are 0.040-in. Sheet

up to 98 percent of 5 micron particulate

other architectural applications. It can

sizes include 4-ft. by 8-ft. and 4-ft. by

and 85 percent of 1 micron particulate.

be carved and cut into a variety of

10-ft. Custom sizes are available. Gloss

The system comes equipped with a

decorative accents, including windows,

or satin finishes are offered, along with

three-speed 1/3 HP motor that filters

Amber Onyx Stone Offered

60 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association


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up to 1,185 cubic ft. per minute (CFM),

polishing. The pad’s unique triangular

top-mounted sinks can be positioned

completely cycling the air in a 20 by 20

shaped segments are designed to

easily and secured with mounting clips

ft. room in less than 3 minutes. The new

produce a swirl-free polish while providing

or alternatively, can be installed as

system can be operated continuously or

effective channels for slurry removal.

a traditional flushmounted sink by an

can be set, with its built-in timer, for 2,

The pattern has just enough overlap to

experienced solid surface specialist.

4, 6 and 8 hour intervals. It can be hung

prevent swirl marks and create an outward

Circle Reader Service #49 on the Reader

from the ceiling joists, saving space in

force throwing the slurry away from the

Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

smaller shops, and is operated with a

polishing area. The TARPON polishing pad

standard equipped remote control. Other

is available in 5-in. round, a full 6mm thick

features include all-steel construction

and is made from high quality industrial

Zapkut Offers Vertical Panel Saws

with a durable finish and tool-free filter

diamonds for long pad life. Circle Reader

Zapkut offers the Zapkut ZM low-priced,

changes, and it does not affect ambient

Service #46 on the Reader Service Page or go

moving-column vertical panel saws. The

room temperature. Circle Reader Service

to www.isfanow.org/info.

panel saws are available in three sizes,

#44 on the Reader Service Page or go to www. isfanow.org/info.

Ralpha Stone USA Introduces 1mm Natural Granite Veneer

BLANCO Offers Ronis Entertainment Sinks with MicroEdge Technology

catering to 4- by 8-ft. sheets, 5- by 10ft. sheets and 7- by 10-ft. sheets. The saw head is mounted on the moving column by way of a custom-designed turntable mounting plate that allows for quick removal of the saw head to allow

EarthAnatomy is a natural thin stone

it to be used as a traditional hand-

veneer with a supportive fiberglass

held circular saw, or to fit the optional

backing that is offered by Ralpha Stone

router head. It offers plunge capability

USA. The veneer is translucent and

to more than 1.5 in. in depth and can

consists of a thin layer of granite veneer

also bevel cut up to 45 degrees. The

(0.3mm) laminated to a think layer of

BLANCO offers the award-winning Ronis

saw’s moving column means that once

fiberglass (0.5mm) for support and

entertainment sink that features the

on the machine, the workpiece need

durability. Standard sizes for the material

company’s MicroEdge technology, which

not be moved. In particular, there is no

are 24 by 48 in. at 1/32-in.-thick. Ten

gives the sink a seamless, flushmount

need to feed sheets through the machine

colors are available: Carmen Red, Spray

look, and includes an accessory tray that

when rip cutting. The saw’s bottom rail

White, Juparana California, China White,

effortlessly floats in the inside rim of the

features movable workpiece supports,

Verde Butterfly, Tigerskin yellow, Black

sink, a glass cutting board with non-slip

and they come with high-grade solid

Galaxy, Ripple, Tan Brown and China

rubber feet and two round stainless steel

bearings, cable management, and a

Silver. A sandstone (SandFlex) version is

bowls. The integrated accessories rotate

DeWalt circular saw. They provide for

also available in 17 colors. Circle Reader

in a complete 360-degree circle. The sink

the integration of a range of popular dust

Service #52 on the Reader Service Page or go

offers a steep bowl wall in combination

extraction systems and use a standard,

to www.isfanow.org/info.

with a concise base radius and large

single-phase power outlet. Circle Reader

bowl diameter. The sinks feature a bowl

Service #47 on the Reader Service Page or go

depth of 6-5/8 in., requiring an outside

to www.isfanow.org/info.

Fishstone Concrete Countertop Supply Provides Tarpon Polishing Pad

cabinet of 24 in. and a cutout size of 20-1/4 in. They are made of 304 series, 18-gauge stainless steel, and have a satin

Kohler Introduces New Sinks

polished finish. MicroEdge overmount sink technology creates the illusion of an expensive flushmount installation. Designers and homeowners can now achieve the highly coveted flush look for less time and money as MicroEdge can Fishstone Concrete Countertop Supply

be installed over virtually any counter

has introduced the TARPON polishing

material. MicroEdge’s 1.25 mm rim gives

pad, with a new design in concrete

this sink its near seamless edge. The

62 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Kohler has recently introduced three


new sinks. One of its most popular sink

new Renegade saw, which is a basic saw

custom-crafted thermoformed shower

designs, the Staccato kitchen sink, is now

manufactured in the United States that

bases for 20 years. Offering these

available for undercounter installation.

performs a variety of functions. It features

shower bases allows fabricators the

It features attractive curved basins

a unique table locking device that allows

potential to do the walls and ceiling in

and durable 18-gauge stainless steel.

very positive cuts at various degrees.

matching or contrasting solid surface

Maximizing basin space, the Hartland

The Renegade operates on 220 V, three-

acrylics. Orders for multiple shower

sink features a narrow saddle and 9-in.-

phase or 220 V, single-phase electricity,

bases are special priced. Circle Reader

deep curved basins providing plenty

and offers 11-ft., 4-in. by 11-ft., 4-in. cuts

Service #50 on the Reader Service Page or go

of room to work. Guaranteed to deliver

and a hydraulic tilting table that can be

to www.isfanow.org/info.

modern style, the Vault fabricated kitchen

purchased separately if needed. Circle

sink features a low-profile rim for a

Reader Service #45 on the Reader Service

choice of self-rimming or undercounter

Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

installation. Precise tight corners and a 9-in. depth provide loads of room to work. Circle Reader Service #48 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

SL-Laser Laser Templating Equipment

KORMAX Offers Custom Thermoformed Shower Bases

Vic International Introduces New Saw

SL-Laser has introduced the ProCollector LT, a 2-D laser measuring device for collecting templates in the field. It can be VIC International has introduced the

KORMAX has been producing beautiful,

Circle Reader Service #54 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info

used in a manual “point and shoot” mode

Circle Reader Service #55 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • 63


for simple collections or a “hands-free”

panels and other surfaces. It is suitable

Units come in two basic sizes: Model

setting with a hand-held controller for

for cast polymers, acrylics, polyester

SSVF8, 103- by 48-in. inside, and Model

auto scanning to scribe a backsplash or

blends, engineered quartz and natural

SSVF12, 150- by 48-in. inside. They open

sheetrock wall. Circle Reader Service # 51 on

stone, and comes in 250 ml and 490

28 in. and have silicone membranes.

the Reader Service Page or go to

ml cartridges. Available in numerous

The equipment also has large reserve

www.isfanow.org/info.

standard colors, the 10:1 ratio adhesives

tanks so the pump doesn’t need to run

are designed to color match to all major

all of the time. Both models also come

brands of surfacing. Custom color

standard with gauges to allow the user to

Extreme Adhesives Offers SeamWelder Solid Surface Seam Adhesive

matching is also available. Circle Reader

keep track of how much vacuum is being

Service #53 on the Reader Service Page or go

worked with and a release switch so the

to www.isfanow.org/info.

vacuum can be cleared quickly to raise

Schultz Form Produces Vacuum Formers for Solid Surface

the membrane. Custom sizes can also be manufactured. A video demonstration is available on You Tube. Circle Reader Service #56 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.

Extreme Adhesives Inc. has introduced SeamWelder adhesives, designed for use on countertops, bathroom vanities, wall

S Stone Forensics F

The marble, stone and tile experts

Stone Forensics is comprised of engineers, scientists and geologists with an expertise in natural stone installations and failures relating to natural stone installations. We provide stone- and tile-related examination, evaluation and advisory services including: • Specification Writing • Failure analysis • Project review and analysis • Surveys • Job problem analysis • On site testing • Installation inspections • ASTM testing • Non-destructive testing • Training • Boroscope Examinations • Insurance claims • Infrared Thermography • Stain removal testing • Repair Feasibility Studies • Hazcom Programs • Sample Collection • Façade inspections • Expert witness testimony • Petrographic and other laboratory testing • Owner representation / supervision of installations • Restoration procedures and recommendations • Historic preservation and conservation • Slip / Fall testing and prevention programs

740 Nelda Ave., Palm Bay, FL 32907 828-301-9796 • www.stoneforensics.com fhueston@stoneforensics.com Circle Reader Service #57 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info. 64 • Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2011 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Circle Reader Service #58 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info.aspx


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Distributor/Manufacturer of Sheet Goods Other (please specify) Which one category best describes your job title/function? Owner/Partner/Corporate Management and Related Personnel Production/Plant Management and Related Personnel Design (includes staff designer/architect and related personnel) Purchasing/Specifier and Related Personnel Marketing & Sales Management and Related Personnel Other (please specify) Information By Category If you want more information from several advertisers in a category, circle the category number that matches up with the category below. C01 Abrasives C02 Adhesives C03 Air Quality Equipment

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Ad Index Referral Number 58 55 08 04 03 06 01 60 59 07 02 09 54 05 57

Page

Number

64 Align Rite 63 Axiom

34 Beckart

19 Concrete Countertop Institute 7 Concrete Decor Show 32 Chemcore 2 Domain

68 Integra

67 ITW Plexus 33 Karran 5 KBIS

39 Omni Cubed

63 Performance Abrasives

25 Schultz Thermoforming 64 Stone Forensics

Attention Fabricators ISFA Fabricators, do you have used equipment taking up space in your shop that you would like to sell? Are you looking to fill a key position in your operations? We have 10,000 readers that might be interested. Why not submit a FREE classified ad? That’s right, classifieds in this publication are free to ISFA fabricators! Just send us the text you’d like us to run, and we will do the rest. Email us today at editor@isfanow.org. To place your ad or for non-member classified rates, e-mail us at editor@isfanow.org or call 877-464-7732.

Classifieds Major international manufacturer/marketer of solid-surface and quartz surfacing is seeking qualified candidates for a Regional Sales Manager position. The ideal candidate will already reside in the northeastern area of the US and have extensive experience promoting surfacing materials through various commercial distribution channels. Direct experience in developing B2B distribution channels, specifications, and dealer networks is required. A Bachelors degree in Business, Marketing or similar is a definite plus. Please email resume and salary history to: career@samsungchemicalusa.com 66 • Vol. 3, Issue 4, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association

Diamond Surfaces is looking for an experienced solid surface sales rep for one of our Western regions. Call 800-984-9284 (Robby or Russell) or e-mail resume to sales@diamondsurfaces.com


Circle Reader Service #59 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info


N

E

W

N

E W

A complete solution

for a seamless surface To learn more about how Integra can provide solutions for your business needs: Call toll free (North America) 888.862.6665 - Fax (1)604.850.1354

www.integra-adhesives.com

Circle Reader Service #60 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info


ISFA Countertops & Architectural Surfaces Vol.4, issue 1, 2011