VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 1 • 2010 • SINGLE ISSUE $14.95
What’s Inside: 10 Reasons for Attending ICE
Industry Forecast - What Lies Ahead?
A Clear Look at Glass Countertops
Custom Countertops Shares its Formula for Success
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M agazine 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or to Letters, ISFA, PO Box 179, Lehi, UT 84043 or fax to (801) 3417361 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 email@example.com or mail to ISFA, PO Box 179, Lehi, UT 84043 or fax to (801) 341-7361 attention: Editor. Contacting ISFA Phone: (801) 341-7360 Toll Free: (877) 464-7732 Fax: (801) 341-7361 About This Magazine Countertops & Architectural Surfaces is published quarterly by the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). 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 (four issues) $30.00; ISFA members, one year free with every membership renewal. 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 2009. 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, PO Box 179, Lehi, UT 84043.
4 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
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: Smoke & Mirrors llc., Cosentino, Custom Counters by Precision. Magazine Credits Publisher & Editor Kevin Cole Creative Director Joseph Winters Contributing Editors Russ Lee ISFA Officers Of The Board Sid MacKay, President Evan Kruger, Vice President Hunter Adams, Secretary Ted Sherritt, Treasurer Todd Werstler, Past President Russ Lee, Executive Director of ISFA ISFA Directors Mike Nolan, Director Mike Langenderfer, Director Martin Funck, Director Dave Paxton, Director Joe Hoffman, Director Michael Job, Director Kurt Bonk, 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 Margaret Pettingill, Administrative Assistant Cover Photo: This cover celebrates the upcoming International Countertop Expo (ICE), which debuts in Las Vegas Feb. 7 with the Big Game Football Party and runs through Feb. 10. More information is available at www. CountertopExpo.org.
Table of Contents view ow Pre ICE Sh ns You Should o s d Rea ational 10 Goo e Intern ary nding th Be Atte p Expo in Febru rto Counte Page 20
Industry Forcast New reports and predictions that may provide some insight on what to expect this year and onward. Page 32
Exhibitor Showcase A sneak peak at some of the things exhibitors at ICE will be showcasing. Page 24
Bud Rh an dy Rho ode addi tionades Con sC l re Oft en venucrete Pr onc Rho calle ret e st oduc ream ts eP finis des st d the ar he fa with provid rod ther pre- d co ted the es a uct trai measu ncretea prod of the addi turn ne s tion key cons rs w red ea surfacuct an conc of hi solu iste ho of rthes. d trai rete co tio ncy, to gh T ni fe Boo qual n for Add prov r an al ne colohe Bud ng divi untert th # su ity op iti dy id l-y si rs on regu onal conc rface ing , af ou 410 repe -nee the be Rhode to he ter pi re lar rete fabr clas source lp fa onee atab d-to st no s sy coun icator ses With br le qu -kno ri n- st tert s lo held s includ w tr toxic em incl icator ng th ops. okin al desi a relia e ity ai onsi e a g to resu ning sealer udes s mee trend te or tech Arc gners ble br add lts on prog s, gl a co t mar 25 Boo hi ni na an at te nc ca ye as than cts, tionw d an th # ket re Bud l su ar ever ram. s ppor dy 406 y pr Bud fiber rete coun demans ago, fabr 20 ye design ide, d repu R t dy ho oj B ect. des line, and icator ars of ers an uddy tatio Rho inforc ter m d for Buddy n San how des emen ix, a uniq styl s to R ex The e co mat posu d hom hode built th prid Fran -to D ue ra uple ch cu re in eow s prov roug es itst and nge of Bud cisc VDs, Con ne dw o he The elf a team info dy Rho ith stomer home rs will ides a h 25 ye on adqubooks, cre rmat de dura s’ ex styl prod of edu Concr reco prov ar arte mar e ion s has te C bilit en s craf uct ketin rs. new cation ete C plea hi y an act sp media gnize de ting gm o se ca velo d cr ecifica . The the story conc you skills, and a untert oun ater pe an B ea ll 87 d sp ter r off tive tions Buddy uddy d ex rete d ials o 7-20 ecifi and Rho peri spar with coun t erin new p vocacy p Inst R o ho c 6en de ro p it k. gs. te conc des 5303 prod The u ce ject . Its s Ins uct rete syst style d repurtops . s an inte te is a tech Concr fo titu and an em , pr d n nsive lead ovid mak d namtation. r trai ew cou nique ete C ning ing es it e af pro , com ing pro te o an pack fits, pre and nterto s that untert vi appe possib ter m ages by hensi der o decr ps w expla op In alin le fo ore add f for ease on’t in gw st r ing ve train concr ISFA The arm cost crack not ju itute te ete an in th m diffe st h g e s, m or em a w, u pro coun bers ren akin curl. ow, ches fr niq gram tert ce o Sta . Fo bu T o ga ue rt p rm f co cou s will op posi he pro t why. m-scra ore rofi ncr n g d
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tc tert Yo iv u op e you imp ction u can h mixe tod will cho m act ay b s ma ice on ethod be con and e ke a y re to you s giste diffe r bo taughfident nginee ring ren rin ttom t in that ce in at w line crease your g-base ww you . .Co pro concr d r bu ncr duct ete sine ete ivity ss. Cou nte rtop Inst itute .com . ete
Fabricator Profile It’s all about personal drive with Custom Counters by Precision. Owner Bill Prusiensky opens his shop doors (and books) to give us a glimpse of his successful countertop business and the outlook he leveraged to get there. Page 40
Smooth As Glass An examination of glass as a countertop material with insight from experts in the field Surface Fabricators Association Smoke & Mirrors llc. Page 36
Table of Contents
Beck t En perc art o viro from ent w ffers a nm wate saw ater re 100 p ent r ba s, po cycl erce al ck fo lishe ing a nt ze The r use rs an nd cl ro-d se fab in th d CNC osed ischarg ri fully e fa e eq -loo sup cators auto b rica uipme p operawater ope port p deal mated re tion n ti pro t down on, th cycling tech ration hases direct syste cess nicia , and of a ly wit ms in to b e Hy- syst . elow Pack em. ns fo all ll crit h th clud 690 r ye syste ical e e ma e co 1m sy De ms quip nufa mpa ars icro stem signe Ken 0 46th d of re are nyn, a m ct fi Pho osha, St. nd lters for 10 liab back ent. T urer th engin W n in rou le se ed b hey rou eere Fax: e: 26 I 53 tes fluen 0 g a rvic y a the t info 262-6 2-656 144 fact re ava hout thd PLC e. clea co ory ww rmatio 56-76 -7680 n -tra ilable fr e plan ntrol w.b n 9 ined p n o eck @beck 9 netwm 10 ing, in anels, art.c a G st a rt P n ork a .com om of reM to 2 llation d gion 00 G and al su PM ppo rt
06 - From The Editor 08 - President’s Letter 10 - Executive Director’s Letter 12 - Safety Corner 14 - Calendar Of Events 16 - Industry News 19 - 5 Questions 46 - ISFA News 50 - Supplier Profile 54 - Product News 58 - Classifieds 58 - Ad Index
Supplier Profile: Cosentino A discussion with Mike Heylmun of Cosentino North America, the largest manufacturer of quartz surfacing in the world. Heylmun talks about the company’s history and its direction for the future, along with his thoughts on what the successful fabricator of the future will look like. Page 50
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 5
FromThe Editor From the desk of Kevin Cole, Editor & Publisher, and ISFA Communications Director
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Albert Einstein said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow,” which is a sentiment that seems more true than ever right about now. 2009 is now officially behind us; the holidays have passed and with them (hopefully) came the opportunity to relax a little among friends and family, reflect on all of the things we have to be thankful for and recharge after what was a very rocky year. And we all know that 2008 wasn’t much better, forcing us to deal with two rough years back-to-back. We’ve faced a tough recession, a world full of conflict, both militarily and morally, and some major changes to the way the world does business. A few prospered, more failed and most of us just held on waiting for the ride to end. But, perhaps we can grab onto that glimmer of hope emanating from the fact that we are told the picture looks much brighter ahead of us. Government statistics show us that business is stabilizing and the recession is “officially” over. Perhaps more significant than the facts and figures being thrown around is that, in talking to fabricators and manufacturers in the surfacing industry, it appears as though things are starting to rebound. Of course, not everyone is feeling good about the economy and we aren’t out of the woods yet, but there are some signs that things are improving. And, more importantly, we have endured and overcome. Most companies in the surfacing industry have become leaner and meaner than ever before, ready to grab hold of the opportunities that are surely coming their way. Efficiencies have been squeezed from the system and every “i” has been dotted and “t” has been crossed in the name of survival. We are poised on the edge of a future that looks a heck of a lot better than the ground we’ve all been forced to cover the last 18 months or more. Now, as an industry, we have to grab back onto the collective reigns and forge ahead ready for whatever challenges may come our way. And while it seems everyone has been working twice as hard just to hold the same ground, the really savvy business people have been plotting and planning to take advantage of the better situa-
tion that looks to be approaching. Here at ISFA, we have been working diligently to find new and better ways to serve the industry. We have a lot of great things planned for this New Year, all designed to help the industry grow and prosper. The ISFA Certified Countertop Professional program is expanding, as is our advocacy and awareness campaign. And, of course, the International Countertop Expo is only a month away, and that promises to be not only a good opportunity to learn from experts and peers, but also a just a good time among friends and associates. Plus, in 2010 we are launching our first ever Buyers’ Guide edition of this publication, which I think will be another useful tool in the hands of fabricators. Another first-class event in the works for this year is based on a new partnership with the International Woodworking Fair (IWF), in which ISFA will put on a series of seminars that focus on the relationship between cabinetmakers/ woodworkers and countertops. (Look for more information on it as we get closer to the August IWF show.) I’m excited about an approaching light at the end of the tunnel and hopeful that this year will be one that puts us all under a lot less strain. Of course everyone should know that while things may be getting better, it’s not going to be all parades and flowers, and that what was “normal” just a few years ago may seem like a dream even in a post-recessionary economy. Success is hard work, even at its easiest, but hard work seems a lot more enjoyable when the potential isn’t limited but rather buoyed by the prevailing winds of trade. So here’s to wishing you a productive and profitable year. May your path be green and golden and may we all be here next year thankful for the bounties we have enjoyed. As always, I look forward to your feedback. Sincerely,
Kevin Cole Editor & Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
6 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
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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FromThe President From the desk of Sid MacKay, ISFA 2009-2010 President and proud ISFA member since April 15, 1997.
An Eye To The Future
time with him. He likes talking about business so much you don’t even have to buy him a bunch of drinks to get him to tell you everything he knows. Here’s to a great 2010! I look forward to seeing all of you at ICE. . 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
I can’t remember when I have been so happy to see the end of a year. Compared to years past, 2009 was, by far, the most challenging I have had in all my years in business. But at the same time, the challenges have brought great opportunities for growth and learning.
Sid MacKay ISFA President email@example.com
I am really looking forward to the International Countertop Expo (ICE) and the opportunity it will give me to talk to other fabricators and learn from the things they have done to weather this storm. It always seems that whenever I spend time with fellow fabricators, I come out ahead. I know things are tough right now and it is hard to justify the expense of traveling to a show, but there is no better place than ICE to get the industry-specific information you need to survive in today’s business climate. We have put a lot of networking time into the schedule at ICE to give everybody the opportunity to share with each other on a personal level the things that have helped them get through and even be profitable in these tough times. Don’t miss this chance to rub shoulders with the industry’s best. As outgoing President I want to thank the ISFA staff for all their hard work. It has been a busy year with moving the IFSA offices to Utah, planning the ICE show and blending new staff members. Russ Lee has done a great job of assembling a team of very dedicated people with one goal in mind: To serve our membership and make ISFA the place where we can turn to grow our businesses and find the information we need as we move forward. Great job, Russ. I would also like to welcome the new ISFA President, Evan Kruger. I don’t think there is anybody in our industry that gets more excited about what he does than Evan. He is by far one of the most giving people I have met and never hesitates to share what he knows with anyone. He has a wealth of ideas hidden in his mind and all it takes is a little jog and they just roll out. I can guarantee you that your trip to ICE would be worth it just to meet Evan and spend some 8 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
YES, Mrs. Smith. Weâ€™ll be there on the first.
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FromThe Executive Director From the desk of Russ Lee, Executive Director of ISFA, Charter Fabricator Member (1997) and Industry Partner (2007).
Crisis Management About 10 years ago I visited East Asia shortly after that area had gone through a devastating economic crisis. The situation was so acute, in fact, that intervention from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was required to help shore up the rapidly disintegrating economy. The so-called “Asian Tigers” of Japan, Korea and Hong Kong took out what were considered massive loans at the time ($57 billion), which were contingent upon the implementation of severe austerity measures. While the Asian “IMF Crisis,” as it came to be known, was different in many aspects from the recent worldwide economic meltdown, I believe there is a common element in both scenarios: life was, and will be, much different in the aftermath of both crises than it was before. In Japan, for example, an effect of the IMF Crisis was the virtual elimination of the independent kitchen dealer. Large kitchen OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) gobbled up the retail kitchen market with wholesale-like pricing, in-house fabrication, direct purchasing and fewer color and design options. In Korea, banks were closed, corporations restructured, massive layoffs occurred and money policies became very tight (interest rates in excess of 40 percent were common). As a result, most fabricators lacked the credit and the resources to purchase their own materials. Rather, the local distributor would actively solicit projects, sell jobs and collect the money. They, in turn, hired the fabricator as contract labor to produce jobs on a per-foot basis.
demonstrated a marked preference for fewer options and better pricing, the economic crisis has influenced consumer tastes and spending habits. What does that mean for you and me? Simply put, it’s a different world out there, and we can’t always rely on “what has always been” to work for the future. I believe it will take a lot work and creativity for fabrication businesses in today’s world to map out an equitable plan for the future. I also believe it is critical for people in our industry to establish and constantly improve lines of communication with each other in order to share experiences and debate ideas. In that respect, it seems the upcoming International Countertop Expo (ICE) would be the perfect time and place to reach out to fellow fabricators and industry suppliers with the intent of forging relationships and exploring new opportunities for creating business. Everyone is scrambling to make sense of the immediate and long term future, and practically everyone is open to discovering new methods for not only surviving, but thriving in this vastly new world. I also believe many of the answers we seek will come, as they so often have in the past, from within our own community. And, I submit, ICE is the place to initiate the dialogue that could make much of it happen. 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, Russ Lee Executive Director, ISFA email@example.com
I’m not sure anyone really knows the specific ramifications 2009 will have on the decorative surfacing industry, but it seems pretty certain that changes are in the offing. Already, in practically every major U.S. market there are materials distributors who compete directly with their own customers for retail and commercial jobs by bidding and fabricating in-house. Certainly, credit restrictions make it much harder for fabrication businesses to expand and, in some cases, to even purchase materials for sold projects. And, just as in Asia when consumers 10 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
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SafetyCorner From the desk of David Mack, Senior Account Executive of Schechner Lifson Corporation. www.schechnerlifson.com
Time To Renew? “What is difficult to endure is sweet to recall.” A French proverb captures a year that most of us are happy to see come to an end. What have we learned? What will we do differently in 2010? How will we respond to important changes in the marketplace to ensure our stability and profitability? We need to ask ourselves these important questions and respond with dynamic changes that will increase our efficiency and ability to not only compete but grow, learn and prosper in the New Year and well beyond. If you are anything like me, you are ready to throw common sense and conventional wisdom out the window! Let’s talk about “risk transfer.” When you buy an insurance policy you are paying a premium to transfer risk to a third party – your insurance carrier. Are your insurance premiums going up or down lately? What can you do to influence the cost of your insurance? Did you know that in many cases the cost of your insurance coverage is directly related to your operating procedures? Insurance premiums are only part of the cost your organization will absorb at the time of a loss. Self insured retention or deductible is an example of an additional cost you agree to share with your carrier at the time of a loss. How much are you willing to pay out of pocket in order to reduce your annual premiums? Loss of productivity is another unexpected cost above insurance premiums when there is an accident. If you are serious about loss control and safety you may be spending a significant amount of money on driver training, protective equipment, safety meetings and presentations. Did you know that companies are more willing to finance your installments for a small service fee and provide additional installments to spread payments out? What about “pay as you go” options on workers compensation? This option is very helpful for cash flow because there may be no deposits and no audits, but watch out for hidden payroll processing fees. There are several different ways to rate your operational exposures in determining your annual premium. The most common way is rating based on annual sales. When your sales are up, your premium follows. When sales are down are you getting a reduction? In some cases we may be able to rate your policy on payroll or number of employees. Your agent should be exploring these options for you to determine the most cost-effective way to rate your policy. If
they are not, you are not in full control of your insurance costs. Dividends are another important part of consideration when purchasing insurance. Some insurance carriers offer a dividend based on loss experience. Is the dividend based on your individual account or part of a group program? If it is based on a group, what is the average dividend paid out over the last three to five years? If individually calculated, take a look at your own loss experience over the last three to five years dropping out any large claims that are not expected to occur and use the average to compare. Dividends cannot legally be guaranteed by an insurance carrier, so one should be wary of placing too much emphasis when considering their impact on your premium. Obviously, there are many different concepts to take into consideration when purchasing insurance. Have the industry associationapproved agency do a complete risk analysis and evaluation of your current program. Once exposures have been identified, you will be able to decide how much risk to retain and how much you will need to transfer. You can do this at any time during your policy period, but is critical when considering other proposals. Compare services that will be provided with your coverage. What loss control services are available and who will provide them? What other services are available like safety management? Who will handle claims and follow up on the process? Does the carrier have experience in your industry? You should understand the financial strength of the carrier; will it be there when you need them? Once you understand the price relationship from a coverage and service standpoint, you will be able to make an educated and informed decision. Once you have made your purchase you are probably thinking you can file it away and not have to think about it for another nine months. Don’t try it! Managing risk and controlling losses are paramount every single day in successful businesses. 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
David Mack joined Schechner Lifson in 2006, before which he managed a small insurance agency in Plainfield, N.J. He has a BA in education from Kean University and is a New Jersey certified Teacher of the Handicapped. He worked as a volunteer for Youth at Risk as a team Leader in charge of training and fundraising. He can be reached at 908-598-7875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
12 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Reliable and Direct Distribution
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US Warehouse Locations Anaheim, CA - 714.520.4100 | Boston, MA - 508.393.9600 | Charleston, SC - 843.928.3307 | Chicago, IL - 708.780.9700 | Dallas, TX - 214.256.9700 | Denver, CO - 303.895.3450 Detroit, MI - 734.946.4079 | Houston, TX - 281.207.4500 | Miami, FL - 954.486.2379 | Phoenix, AZ - 480.763.9400 | San Marcos, CA - 760.41.8000 | Seattle, WA - 206.762.8221 Spokane, WA - 509.893.3698 | St. Louis, MO - 314.426.1466 | St. Paul, MN - 651.602.3200 | Van Nuys, CA - 818.785.1100 | Willingboro, NJ - 609.877.1008
Ontario - 734.946.4077 | Quebec - 819.876.7111 | British Columbia - 604.852.8125
Mexico - 011.52.55.21665202
www.cosentinonorthamerica.com ©2009 Cosentino N.A. Silestone trademark and logo are the property of Cosentino N.A. under exclusive license from Cosentino, SA.
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Calendar of Events CHENG 1/2-Day Outdoor Living Essentials Workshop Jan. 8 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272 ext. 217
Vitoria Stone Fair 2010 Feb. 23-26 Vitoria, Brazil +55-27-3434-0600
CHENG 1-Day Concrete Countertops Essentials Workshop Jan. 9 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272 ext. 217
CHENG 1-Day Professional Mold-Making Workshop Feb. 24 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272 ext. 217
ISFA Total Fabricator Training Jan. 11-14 Orem, Utah 877-464-7732 www.isfanow.org CHENG 5-Day Advanced Countertop Design Training Jan. 11-15 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272 ext. 217
Calendar of Events
Buddy Rhodes Two-Day Concrete Training Jan. 15-16 Orono, Ontario, Canada 905-983-1001 CCI: Intensive Precast Countertops 101 Jan. 18-20 Raleigh, N.C. 888-386-7711 CCI: GFRC for Concrete Countertops 201 Jan. 21-22 Raleigh, N.C. 888-386-7711 International Builder Show Jan. 19-22 Las Vegas, Nev. 800-368-5242 Surfaces 2010 Feb. 1-4 Las Vegas, Nev. 800-547-3477 World of Concrete Feb. 1-5 Las Vegas, Nev. 972-536-6446 International Countertop Expo (ICE) Feb. 8-10 Las Vegas, Nev. 877-464-7732 www.countertopexpo.org Buddy Rhodes One-Day Concrete Training Feb. 20 Paulsbo, Wash. 888-497-3227 CHENG 1-Day Concrete Countertops Essentials Workshop Feb. 20 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272 ext. 217 CHENG 2-Day Fiber Reinforced Concrete: Indoor & Outdoor Applications Training Feb. 22-23 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272 ext. 217 CCI: Intensive Precast Countertops 101 Feb. 22-24 Raleigh, N.C. 888-386-7711
14 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
The Pinske Edge Fabrication Seminar Feb. 24-26 Plato, Minn. 800-847-6753 CCI: GFRC for Concrete Countertops 201 Feb. 25-26 Raleigh, N.C. 888-386-7711 CHENG 3-Day Professional Concrete Countertop Training Feb. 25-27 Berkeley, Calif. 510-849-3272 ext. 217 China Xiamen Int’l Stone Fair March 3-6 Xiamen, China +86-592-595-9616 Buddy Rhodes Two-Day Concrete Training March 5-6 Orono, Ontario, Canada 905-983-1001 ISFA Total Fabricator Training March 15-18 Orem, Utah 877-464-7732 www.isfanow.org The Pinske Edge Fabrication Seminar March 24-26 Plato, Minn. 800-847-6753 CCI: Intensive Precast Countertops 101 March 29-31 Raleigh, N.C. 888-386-7711 CCI: GFRC for Concrete Countertops 201 April 1-2 Raleigh, N.C. 888-386-7711 K/BIS (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) April 16-18 Chicago, Ill. 800-933-8735 Coverings April 27-30 Orlando, Fla. 703-683-8500 The Pinske Edge Fabrication Seminar April 28-30 Plato, Minn. 800-847-6753 Buddy Rhodes Two-Day Concrete Training April 30 – May 1 Orono, Ontario, Canada 905-983-1001 ISFA Total Fabricator Training May 17-20 Orem, Utah 877-464-7732 www.isfanow.org
INNOVATIONS IN DESIGN COMPETITION
INNOVATIONS IN DESIGN COMPETITION
Do you have what it takes to be the best in the world? • Open to all decorative surfacing materials • Live fabrication competition Visit ISFAnow.org/designcontest for details
The International Surface Fabricators Association (877) 464-7732 • www.ISFAnow.org
InTheIndustry In The Industry has the latest news and events for the decorative surfacing industry. Vetrazzo Partners With SEN Design Group
Products General Manager Chris Dennis. ‘With this partnership, we are able to represent an outstanding, unique countertop product to our current customer base as well as develop sales opportunities in both the residential and commercial market segments.”
Domain Offers New Wholesale Catalog
Vetrazzo LLC, makers of Vetrazzo Recycled Glass Surface, will now sell its material through SEN Design Group, a national organization of kitchen and bath professionals. The SEN Design Group represents 220 dealer members across the United States. Vetrazzo is the first sustainable surfacing product offered by SEN. Vetrazzo’s patent-pending formula transforms recycled beer and wine bottles, broken window glass, automotive glass and even decommissioned traffic lights into gorgeous and durable surface materials.
Eos Teams with National Wood for Distribution Eos Surfaces LLC, inventor of 3cm Solid Surface countertops, has appointed National Wood Products Inc. its new exclusive distribution partner for Eos Solid Surfaces in the markets National Wood covers. National Wood Products Inc., founded in 1984, is a subsidiary of one of the largest hardwood conglomerates in the United States. National Wood Products will provide sales representation and distribution of Eos products in the states of California, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. Both Eos and National Wood will be working directly with countertop fabricators, cabinet-makers, architects and other specifiers in both the residential and commercial market segments. “EOS is an excellent addition to our product line and fills a gap in the solid surface market,” said National Wood 16 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Offering an easier way to access the full lineup of surfacing products and accessories, Domain Industries, a nationwide supplier of kitchen & bath products, has announced the introduction of its new new dealer catalog featuring the latest lineup of stainless, copper, glass and vitreous porcelain sinks plus faucets and a full range of stone fabrication tools and accessories. This catalog features a completely restructured and redefined approach to the way products are showcased. The new catalog boasts 68-full color pages of high-end kitchen and bath products, a complete collection of sinks, an impressive offering of power tools specific to the surfacing industry and a sneak peak at the new 2010 Affinity Surfaces color line up. The new catalog also provides instant online access. Surfacing professionals can now browse the full catalog and print out specific pages they need to fill their demands instantly.
LG Surfaces Assumes Direct Distribution Role in Western States LG Surfaces is now directly distributing its HI-MACS solid surface and Viatera quartz surface products to fabricators all across the Western region, and provide ongoing market support to kitchen dealers, home centers and
the A&D community previously serviced by California Wholesale Material Supply LLC (“Calply”). This move reflects the changing market dynamics in the building materials industry and the commitment of LG Surfaces to service the market in the most cost-competitive manner possible while stimulating new growth possibilities for all of its customers.
partners that are seeking hard-surface solutions for residential and commercial interiors.”
Allied Stone Industries Launches New Web Site
Additional information regarding the change is forthcoming and a special Web site has been set up by the company at www.lgsurfaces/ westernstates to address transition questions.
Staron Expands North America Distribution Network
COUNTERTOPS & ARCH DESIGN MAGAZINE AD CMYK, 3.8125 X 5, 9/11/09
“These distributors give us even more geographic coverage throughout North America, resulting in easier access to our expanded product line,” said Dale Mandell, Staron’s North America sales director. “With them, we’re positioned to better meet the needs of trade
SELECT MACHINERY INC
Staron Surfaces, a division of Samsung, has expanded its market reach throughout North America by adding six new distributors to its team. Those joining the Staron Solid Surface and Radianz Quartz family are: Wanderosa – Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Radianz Quartz); Holdahl Co. – Plymouth, Minn. (Radianz Quartz); Youngblood Lumber Co. – Minneapolis, Minn. (Staron Solid Surface); Stone Connection Inc. – Norcross, Ga. (Radianz Quartz); Stone Source – Dallas, Texas (Radianz Quartz); and National Wood Products Inc. – Sacramento, Calif. (Staron Solid Surface and Radianz Quartz).
Free shipping + Free T Shirt with tool purchase.
“While this change in our distribution approach marks the end of a very positive relationship with Calply, customers will see very little change in the short-term,” said Gregory Vas Nunes, president and CEO for LG Surfaces. “We plan to continue servicing the industry with the same high level of commitment that Calply has provided customers to-date. We sincerely appreciate the Calply partnership and thank them for their dedication in growing our mutual businesses over the past decade”.
Allied Stone Industries has launched a new Web site at www.alliedstone.com. Allied Stone a not-for-profit organization formed in the 1950s to provide a venue for stone companies to gather together and discuss various topics related to the natural stone industry. Since its inception various members have been meeting once or twice yearly to help foster that mission. The membership today is comprised of firms from many different aspects of the natural stone industry. These include, but are not limited to, natural stone quarriers, fabricators, distributors, importers and equipment manufacturers.
Call for your free brochure 800-789-2323 NY 8:30-5:30 EST
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International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 17
Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement Winner Announced
Terry O’Neill, Columbia Marble Company of Pittsburgh, Penn., has been awarded the 2009 Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Marble Institute of America (MIA). The award is named for the late Vincent Migliore, long-time technical director and the first winner of the award. “During the mid-1990s, the Marble Institute of America was struggling financially with a meager bank balance, and deeply in debt when Terry O’Neill stepped up to provide outstanding and brave leadership during some very trying times,” commented MIA Executive Vice President, Gary Distelhorst. “His leadership was evident first and foremost in restoring the financial underpinning of the association.” O’Neill went to work for his fatherin-law who owned Columbia Marble Company in 1975, and served as vice president and president of the MIA during 1995 and 1996.
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International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 19
Top 10 Reasons For Being at ICE It’s Your Show The International Countertop Expo is all about the decorative surfacing/ countertop industry. Every activity, every event is planned with one goal in mind: To provide you, the countertop professional, with the best possible educational, informational and relationship building experience possible. The networking events are designed to encourage informal interaction among your peers. Even the type and location of the exhibit hall – Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino – has been carefully chosen to provide a more intimate atmosphere. The educational seminars have been designed to offer a comprehensive overview of the many options now available to countertop fabricators, while providing in-depth education on the finer points of running a decorative surfacing business. On the show floor you will find exhibitors that know the decorative surfacing industry and who offer products and services especially geared to help make you successful. To help facilitate making the connection between exhibitors and attendees, ICE will feature regular product demonstrations throughout the show. ICE is about you and your decorative surfacing business. It’s hands-on, up close and personal. And you can’t do any of this on the Internet. Details: International Countertop Expo (ICE) February 7-10, 2010 Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Las Vegas, NV www.countertopexpo.org 877.464.7732
Big Game Football Party Can you think of any place more exciting than Las Vegas during Super Bowl weekend? ISFA has you covered with the Big Game Football Party to be held at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on February 7th, starting at 2:30 p.m. We’ll have burgers on the barbee, brews on ice and the game on projection screens. Come hang out with 400 of your closest industry friends for the most exciting game of the year. Worried about competing with the rest of Las Vegas for a room on Super Bowl weekend? Don’t be. If you make reservations for your room today at the ICE Web site you are guaranteed a luxury room at a reasonable rate by taking advantage of the ISFA Room Block. Go to www.countertopexpo.org/travel to make your reservations online. Three-day conference pass holders enjoy free admission to the Big Game Football Party, as well as all the other activities featured during the three days of ICE. Details: 2:30 p.m. February 7, 2010 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Admission: ISFA Member $10, Non-member $35 Holders of 3-Day Conference Pass admitted free
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Networking Luncheon We think one party just isn’t enough for ICE. So on Monday, February 8th, come join us for a Networking Luncheon immediately following the first two sessions of the conferences and just before the exhibit hall opens. This is your chance to fuel up on some great tasting food and drink before the Grand Opening of the exhibit hall. The Networking Luncheon is located convenient to the registration area,
Details: 11:45 a.m. February 8, 2010 Admission: ISFA members, $5/ Non-members $15 Holders of 3-Day Conference Pass admitted free
20 Shop Tours in a Day Everyone loves a shop tour. How cool would it be to visit fabricator shops of every size and specialty from all over the world – and do it in a single day? That’s the concept behind “20 Shop Tours in a Day,” which will be featured in the ISFA booth. Come see video tours of fabricator shops from across the globe. And it’s not to late to submit a video of your shop for the edification of your fellow fabricators. The Spirit of ISFA is all about learning and growing through give and take experiences. The “20 Shop Tours in a Day” event is one of those opportunities to learn through sharing.
Details: Shop Tour videos streaming continuously all three days of the show in the ISFA booth (#201). Contact the ISFA office to submit videos/photos of your shop.
Get Answers to the Questions You Never Thought To Ask A wise fabricator said, “I don’t go to ICE to find solutions for problems in my business. I can do that on the Web or by talking with my suppliers. I go to ICE to get the answers to questions I never thought to ask. Those are the most valuable.” In other words, it’s the little nuggets of wisdom picked up in random conversation with other surfacing professionals that generate those “Ah ha!” moments. It’s like finding the solution to a problem you didn’t even know you had, yet when solved, could save – or make – you thousands of dollars.
You can’t do that on the Internet.
The Official Show of the International Surface Fabricators Association
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 21
Continuous Demos A prime reason for attending any trade show is to get a first-hand look at the products and services relevant to your business. Even better is to witness a demonstration of how that product functions in a real-time environment. ICE makes it easy for you to put a product through its paces through Exhibitor Demonstrations held on the show floor all three days of the Expo. Simply consult the Official Show Guide for times and locations of the events, which will be held in 15-minute increments during exhibit hall hours. It’s just another way to get the most from your expo experience. Details: Exhibitor product and service demonstrations will be conducted in vendor booths daily. The location of the demos will be announced at regular intervals during the show. The demonstration schedule will also be available in the Official Show Guide.
Win Big with the Dream Sweeps Giveaway Drawing Be sure to stick around for the final day of ICE and the Dream Sweeps Giveaway Drawing for a chance to win any of dozens of awesome prizes, which include trips, free materials, tools and supplies, gift certificates and more. The best news is that the more you visit the vendors during the three days of the show, the better your chances of winning. Details: Dream Sweeps Giveway Drawing commences immediately following presentation of awards for the Innovations in Design Competition on Wednesday, February 10. There is no purchase necessary to win. Three day Conference Pass holders receive an extra Dream Sweeps Giveaway ticket. Location: Exhibit Hall. You must be present to win.
Conferences: Learn and Earn Your Way to Profitability ICE offers an exceptional conference program full of information on marketing, best business practices, solid surface, laminate, stone, concrete, emerging surfaces and so much more. The conferences include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Advanced Selling Skills Bonding Dissimilar Surfaces Paper-based Products Shop Layout/Installation Trucks What Do You Mean by Green? Turning Scrap into Dollars Setting up a Concrete Shop Another Look at Laminates: The Journey from Everyman to Gotta Have Marketing to Architects & Designers Pricing Strategies Advanced Solid Surface Fabrication Advanced Quartz Fabrication Emerging Products Installation Techniques – Avoiding the Pitfalls How to Run a Countertop Shop Setting up a Successful Stone Shop - Hope is not a Business Plan ™
• • • • • • • • • • •
Making Money as a Green Fabricator Industry Panel Discussion Using the Internet as a Marketing Tool Beyond Countertops – Don’t Leave Money on the Table Glass Countertops, Backsplashes & Accessories Marketing on a Budget European Design: The WOW Factor How To Reach Specifiers – An Architect Tells All Concrete Sealers Laminate Fabrication Solid Surface: A Designers Dream
22 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Details: Three-Day Conferences – Includes 3 Days of Educational Sessions & 3 Days of Exhibits - ISFA Member: $175.00/$225.00 after January 5, 2010 - Non-Members: $275.00/$325.00 after January 5, 2010 - Buy two, get one free! Complete the registration form for each of the attendees (must be from the same company), and register all attendees at the same time. Two -Day Conference – Includes 2 Days of Educational Sessions & 3 Days of Exhibits - ISFA Member: $125.00/$175.00 after January 5, 2010 - Non-Members: $200.00/$250.00 after January 5, 2010 One-Day Conference – Includes 1 Day of Educational Sessions & 3 Days of Exhibits - ISFA Member: $95.00/$145.00 after January 5, 2010 - Non-Member: $145.00/$195.00 after January 5, 2010
Onsite Fabrication The industry design contest has always been a favorite among attendees at the Expo. This year at ICE we ratchet it up a notch by introducing a new category. Competitors will demonstrate their creativity and craftsmanship in full view of the rest of the industry while building a vanity right on the exhibit floor. This no-holds-barred competition is open to any combination of decorative surfacing materials. Fabricators are limited only by their creativity and a requirement that the vanity top conform to certain, pre-determined dimensions. Plus, it’s for a good cause, as all tops fabricated at the show will be donated to the local Habitat For Humanity. Come witness an award-winning countertop creation develop in front of your eyes.
Innovations in Design Competition The Innovations in Design competition is sponsored jointly by Surface Fabrication magazine and ISFA. This is the annual showcase of the most creative and well-crafted projects of 2009. The awards will be presented at 1p.m. Wednesday, February 10, 2010 in the ICE Exhibit Hall. Competition categories include: Residential Kitchen Residential Bath Commercial/Institutional Freestyle/Art Artisan Green On site Vanity Fabrication Best in Show
Details: Competition entry forms are available on the Web at www.countertopexpo.org/design_contest or by contacting the ISFA office at 877-464-7732.
Double the Show for Half the Price ICE is co-locating with Composites 2010, a production of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), which also includes the International Cast Polymer Alliance (ICPA). By special arrangement, anyone who purchases a pass to the ICE exhibits will receive free admission to the exhibits at Composites 2010 as well. Composites starts the same day ICE ends.
That’s two trade shows for the price of a single admission.
Details: Exhibit Hall Only – Includes 3 Days of Exhibits ISFA Member $25.00/$35.00 after January 5, 2010 Non-Member $35.00/$45.00 after January 5, 2010
The Official Show of the International Surface Fabricators Association
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 23
A lot will be going on at the upcoming ICE show; here you will find a small taste of what to expect on the exhibit hall floor.
Beckart Environmental Beckart offers a 100 percent zero-discharge water recycling system. Designed for 100 percent water recycling and closed-loop operation, the Hy-Pack system filters influent from saws, polishers and CNC equipment down to below 1 micron, and routes the clean water back for use in the fabrication process. These fully automated systems include company-engineered PLC control panels, and fabricators deal directly with the manufacturer throughout the planning, installation and support phases of all critical equipment. They are available from 10 GPM to 200 GPM operation, and all systems are backed by a factory-trained network of regional support technicians for years of reliable service. 6900 46th St. Kenosha, WI 53144 Phone: 262-656-7680 • Fax: 262-656-7699 email@example.com • www.beckart.com
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Booth # 410
Buddy Rhodes Concrete Products Buddy Rhodes Concrete Products provides a turnkey solution for surface fabricators looking to add an additional revenue stream with the addition of high quality concrete countertops. Often called the father of the concrete countertop after pioneering the trend 25 years ago, Buddy Rhodes started a product and training division to help fabricators meet market demand for unique finished concrete surfaces. The Buddy Rhodes system includes a concrete counter mix, a range of pre-measured earth-tone colors, the best non-toxic sealers, glass fiber reinforcement and a team of trainers who offer an all-you-need-to-know training program. Buddy Rhodes prides itself on product consistency, providing repeatable quality results on every project. Additional resources include a technical support line, how-to DVDs, books, marketing materials and regular classes held onsite or at Buddy Rhodes San Francisco headquarters. With a reliable brand and reputation built through 25 years crafting concrete countertops for designers nationwide, Buddy Rhodes provides a proven history and experienced reputation. Architects, designers and homeowners will recognize the Buddy Rhodes style and name after more than 20 years of exposure in home style media. The Buddy Rhodes system makes it possible for fabricators to match customers’ exact specifications with concrete, providing an appealing warmth and style coupled with durability and creative spark.
Booth # 406
Buddy Rhodes has developed specific product and training packages for ISFA members. For more information please call 877-206-5303. Circle Reader Service #16 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
The Concrete Countertop Institute The Concrete Countertop Institute is a leading provider of concrete countertop education and advocacy. Its intensive, comprehensive training programs will give you new skills, new projects and new profits, by adding a new, unique countertop choice to your offerings. The Concrete Countertop Institute teaches from-scratch mixes and engineering-based techniques that explain not just how, but why. You can be confident that your concrete countertops won’t crack or curl. The production methods taught increase productivity and decrease costs, making a positive impact on your bottom line. The difference of concrete will make a difference in your business. Start profiting today by registering at www.ConcreteCountertopInstitute.com. 888-386-7711
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24 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Booth # 320
Color Rite Color Rite Inc. offers:
used with a standard cartridge caulking gun.
COLOR RITE, an advanced formula siliconized acrylic sealant and adhesive caulk, which offers 450 exact color matches in stock. Color Rite is designed for use on interior and exterior finishing products such as solid surface, engineered stone, quartz, granite, and marble. Available in a 5.5 fl. oz. squeeze tube or a 10.5 fl. oz. cartridge for a caulking gun.
COLOR SIL, a 100 percent silicone manufactured in 44 solid colors that is available in a 10.3 fl. oz. cartridge. It comes in colors to coordinate with all solid surface, engineered stone, quartz, granite and marble products that require the sealant and adhesive qualities of silicone. 600 S. Ranchwood Blvd. Yukon, OK 73099 Phone: 405-354-3644 Fax: 405-354-3645 firstname.lastname@example.org
POLY-SIL, a 100 percent silicone caulk manufactured with suspended color granules or in solid colors to match all solid surface colors, engineered stone, quartz, granite and marble. Available in a convenient 6 oz. cartridge designed to be
Booth # 207
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Diamond Surfaces USA Diamond Surfaces USA is not just 1-¼ in. (3cm) sheets, but also 100 percent acrylic sheets and the lowest priced ½ in. Diamond Surfaces has them all: • • • • • • • • •
1-¼ in. (3CM) sheets 1-¼ in. (3CM) Ready-to-Install tops ½ in. and ¼ in. 100 percent acrylic sheets ½ in. Chemically resistant sheets Pre-made vanity tops with integrated sinks Solid surface sinks Custom colors and custom sized sheets Local distribution in 20 states Quality tools from Festool, Gem, Velepec and others.
www.diamondsurfaces.com Contact: Robby Rucker Phone: 800-984-9284 Fax: 316-283-2334 Email: email@example.com
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Booth # 317
Domain Industries, Inc. Solid Surface Redefined.
Domain Industries, Inc. is one of the leading suppliers of kitchen & bath products for the surfacing industry by providing customers with the key to quality, price and exceptional service. Domain paves the way for a new standard in how companies do business by offering affordable quality products. Domain boasts an ever-growing variety of products, such as stainless steel, copper, glass and hand-crafted stone sinks. Complimenting these sinks is the company’s very own Prism line of premium quality faucets. Additionally, Domain stocks an assortment of fabrication equipment, including a wide range of brand name power tools plus solid surface and stone supplies. Domain’s goal of a one-stop shop for all surfacing needs is proven in our 80-page full-color catalog.
Booth # 306
Domain’s innovation through research and development of quality products continues to shine prominently, as demonstrated by Affinity
Surfaces, a redefined approach to the look and beauty of solid surface. Affinity’s colors are offered in two new collections, Essentials and Surreal, both containing characteristics that allow fabricators to mimic the most natural looking stone and quartz products on the market today. Affinity Surface continues to provide the freedom and ease of fabrication that only a solid surface product can offer. To request a catalog and learn more about Domain Industries, visit www. FreeDomainCatalog.com today. Domain Industries, Inc. (866) 385-7775 PO Box 17066 Austin, TX 78610 www.DomainIndustries.com
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Festool Originally founded in Germany in 1925, Festool makes superior portable power tools to help professionals work faster, easier and smarter than ever before. Festool provides a complete system approach, from high-performance dust extraction to longlife consumables. For remodeling, finish carpentry, cabinet making/installation and professional woodworkers, discriminating professionals choose Festool. The USA headquarters for Festool is located in Lebanon, Indiana. For more information, call toll free 888.337.8600 or visit www.festoolusa.com. Circle Reader Service #21 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Booth # 407
Fishstone Concrete Countertop Supply Fishstone, www.ConcreteCountertopSupply.com, is a leading online supply store for anyone manufacturing concrete countertops or in need of polishing, profiling, tools and supplies. The company offers a low price guarantee along with excellent customer service to ensure you are purchasing only what you need. Whether you are just starting out as a concrete countertop professional or need solid advice on the best tools designed for the concrete countertop industry, check out the company’s extensive product offering along with advice and recipes to get you started in the concrete countertop business at www.ConcreteCountertopSupply.com 11299 Kiley Drive Huntley, IL 60142 Phone: 847-515-2232 Fax: 847-426-4094 firstname.lastname@example.org www.concretecountertopsupply.com Circle Reader Service #22 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Booth # 110
Integra Adhesives Inc. Integra Adhesives Inc is a leading adhesive manufacturer for the surfacing industry. Products include Surface Bonder Xi, Composite Bonder RTP-01, Rodding Compound and Substrate Bonder 40. Integra also manufactures static mixing tips and adhesive cartridges and supplies dispensing guns and bonding fasteners. Integra’s history of innovation and product development continues with a significant capital investment by the company in the newest generation of packaging and labeling equipment. The new machinery allows for the efficient bagging and labeling of static mixer tips with its 250 ml and 50 ml adhesive cartridges, effectively eliminating any instances of fabricators not having a mixing tip or not having the correct one for the cartridge at hand. Furthermore, as the company continues to develop mixer tip and cartridge technology, the inclusion of tips will ensure fabricators always using the latest and most efficient design. Finally, fabricators will no 26 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
longer need to buy tips in lots of 100 or 1,000, instead Integra will now supply tips in groups of 20 for fabricators to keep a few extras in stock. On the color match front, Integra continues to offer the widest range of colors in the industry furthering the best color matches available. In addition to the 120+ stock colors available for solid surface and stone products, there is a new program that provides fabricators access to more than 140 custom adhesive colors in any quantity they require. Fabricators can order a single 250 ml cartridge and get a perfect match on the hardest colors rather than “getting by” with something close. #4-33759 Morey Ave Abbotsford, BC V2S 2W5 888.862.6665 www.integra-adhesives.com
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Booth # 307
Karran & Lansen Sinks Karran USA, the nationwide distributor of kitchen and bathroom sinks, offers an extensive product line up. This offering includes Karran solid surface sinks, Lansen stainless steel sinks and Lansen Q quartz sinks. Working with distributors and fabricators across North America, Karran USA is proud to have served the countertop industry for more than 15 years with quality sink products.
Booth # 503
Known for its innovation with Karran sinks, the company has recently introduced the new Edge Sinks. These stainless steel undermount sinks have a solid surface resin rim allowing for complete seamless integration in solid surface, laminate and stone countertop materials. Currently available in the 100 Series, with new models in the 200 Series arriving mid 2010, these patented
sinks are beginning to change the way the industry integrates stainless steel sinks into countertops. Adding to the already extensive model offering in the Karran undermount sink line are the new Meridian double bowl and the Nova single bowl, both available now. To complete the company’s product line up, it offers a full range of Lansen stainless steel undermount and top mount sinks in 16-, 18- and 20-ga. For those looking for great granite composite sinks should check out the Lansen Q quartz sinks. They are available as top mounts and undermounts, and come in 4 colors. Contact the company at 866-452-7726.
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Laser Products Industries Since 1995, Laser Products Industries who develop the LT-55XL Precision Laser Templator, has focused on supplying lasers that provide accurate measurements of jobsites and assist in fabricating products to match. By continually developing and improving the LT-55XL, it is hard for competitors to keep up with the quality and features, which is one reason many customers claim the LT-55XL to be “the only real choice for digital templating.”
Another highlight is that it is made in the USA by American workers. Customers say that the support offered by Laser Products is by far the best in the industry.
The LT-55XL Precision Laser Templator lets you walk off any jobsite with a CADready .dxf file. Produce estimates on the jobsite and have the customer sign off on an estimate. You will improve your quality, accuracy and speed leading to quicker installations, less errors and virtually no scrap.
Laser Products Industries 630-679-1300 email@example.com www.laserproductsus.com
For those of you that have never seen the LT-55XL in action visit www. LaserProductsUS.com to watch videos of it or call and the company will send you out an informational packet that contains the video on DVD.
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Booth # 314
Moraware Join us at the Moraware booth during the International Countertop Expo and tell us why your business is unique, valuable, or just plain awesome. Since we love to help countertop companies make their businesses great, we want to highlight how each of our customer’s companies stands out. Come to ICE with a story about your business - we want to hear it. We’ll be videotaping at the show, and then we’ll be editing and posting your stories on the web. Don’t just limit your thoughts to our software – we want to give you a chance to show off what you do exceptionally well…. Is your customer service great? Do your employees love you? Are you incredibly successful despite the economy? What’s the best thing that happened as you were building your business? We want to hear it all. We’re looking forward to seeing you there. Web: www.moraware.com Phone: 866-312-9273 Booth # 321
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MR Direct Int. MR Direct Int. offers high quality sinks at affordable prices. The company manufactures and distributes its own brand so there is no retail markup on its products. It offer stainless steel sinks, porcelain sinks, granite composite sinks, and tempered glass sinks for kitchen and bath. All of the company’s glass vessel sinks (Model 609 shown here) are made with tempered glass and are very reasonably priced. This model is hand painted; the company also offers clear, colored, dual layered and foiled sinks. The black granite sink shown is Model 802 from the company’s TruGranite sink line. These sinks are 80 percent granite
composition and very resistant to scratches, stains, odors and heat. Silver ions added to the sink kill 99 percent of surface bacteria on contact, according to the manufacturer. Affordably priced, the TruGranite sinks are an innovation in composite sinks. More information on any of the company’s products is available at www.mrdirectint. com or by e-mail or phone. MR Direct International 877-946-5725 Toll Free 419-882-5600 Main Office 419-885-5601 Fax www.mrdirectint.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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Booth # 107
Northwood Northwood offers the Stoneworks SawJET (SJ-127/257). The SawJET combines the power of a high-pressure abrasive waterjet and a 360˚ Servo Controlled CNC Saw. The ServoSaw with SmartSaw Technology increases blade life and quality of parts. The SawJET has the ability to efficiently produce parts for a high volume growing stone shop. For even more demand, the dual-table model increases production to the highest level. The SawJet comes equipped with Stone Fabricators Interface (SFI) operation software, StoneVision programming software, barcode scanner for loading programs and overhead laser for part location. Artistic Photo Nesting is also available from Northwood. Check out the company’s Web site for more details and videos at www.northwoodmachine.com Northwood also offers the SW138 CNC Router and the New Ultimate FabCenter for profiling and polishing countertops. 11610 Commonwealth Drive Louisville, KY 40299 502-267-5504 email@example.com Booth # 315
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Park Industries Whether you saw, split, shape, polish, profile or rout stone, Park Industries has an affordable, reliable and proven machine tool solution for you. More stone fabricators trust Park to provide their shop machinery than any other brand in North America. No one offers more complete machine selection, better ways to fabricate stone and more dedicated customer support and service than Park. Our company slogan is “Precision. Performance. Peace of Mind.” We continue to be the leader in developing advanced stone machinery technologies and this year, we’ve got more new offerings to help you improve the profitability of your business! “Park-Precision” and “Park-Performance” will give your business a competitive boost. Let us earn your trust with “Park-Peace of Mind” support and the advantage of working with someone who truly knows your industry and your needs. www.parkindustries.com 800-328-2309 Circle Reader Service #29 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info 28 • Vol. 2, 3, Issue 4, 1, 2009 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Booth # 322
Performance Abrasives has been supplying the cabinet and countertop industry for more than 17 years and is proud to say that its products are made in the USA. The company’s product line includes the patented wavy edge design finishing process and the award winning 11in. Hi~Performance Sander. Other new items include products designed for the granite, marble and concrete segments of the countertop industry. The company’s expertise is expanded by the recent addition of National Sales Manager Bill Bailey, who has more than 30 years of abrasive product experience. Performance Abrasives’ tool line includes: Dynabrade, Fein, Metabo, Makita, Monument Tools and Alpha Professional Tools. In addition to its Hi~Performance line of abrasives products, the company is a distributor for: Deer, Flexovit, Indasa, Merit, Micro Surfacing, Mirka, Carborundum, SanCap and VSM. Performance Abrasives is truly a one-stop abrasives shop. 513-733-9283 Booth # 513
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The Pinske Edge The Pinske Edge staff is always happy to hear from fabricators and answer any fabrication questions, and help to improve your bottom line. With Pinske Edge solid surface fabrication tools, you can improve the quality of your countertops with fabrication that’s fast and precise, and you can reduce your project lead time, inventory and work in process. The Pinske Edge manufactures quality tools; its full line includes power grips, squares, straight edges, templates, coved backsplash equipment, thermoforming ovens, sanding equipment, seaming methods, shop workstations, carts, repair systems, material handling products, decorative inlays, hot rods, instructional videos, mixer tips, sand paper, adhesive supplies, fabrication seminars and much more. Professional fabricators and solid surface manufacturers agree that quality work depends on the accuracy of every cut, the precision of every curve and the perfection of every seam. Every step of the fabrication tells about your skill and materials, and it also tells a lot about the quality of your tools. Doing quality work shows up in customer satisfaction, your own sense of pride and your bottom line. Let The Pinske Edge show you a better way! 800-874-6753 www.pinske-edge.com Circle Reader Service #31 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Booth # 310
ITW Plexus ITW Plexus, manufacturers of Plexus Surfacing Adhesives, provides bonding solutions to fabricators of solid surface, natural and engineered stone. The adhesive technologies include: color matched seaming adhesives, clip and rod bonders and the wildly successful UV stone repair kits. Plexus’ SURFACING ADHESIVES provide virtually invisible seams on solid surface, natural and engineered stone. Hundreds of stock colors are available in proven dependable cartridge delivery systems that are offered in 50ml and 250ml cartridges. Plexus’ CLIP & ROD BONDERS bond sink clips, dish washer clips and rod reinforcement of natural stone. The adhesives bond in wet environments and are offered in standard size “caulk tubes,” 50ml cartridges and convenient one-time use 25ml cartridges.
Plexus’ UV STONE REPAIR KIT is used when a fast permanent repair is needed to fix scratches, chips, gouges, holes, cracks and nicks on natural and engineered stone. The kits include the adhesive, dispensing needles, polish, a UV curing light and proprietary “Curing Sheets” that ensure a tack free permanent repair. Industrial and consumer packaging is available. ITW Plexus is a business unit of Illinois Tool Works, a Fortune 200 company, and a worldwide giant in fastening, joining, sealing and coating technologies. More information is available at www.itwplexus.com. 800-851-6692
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Booth # 415 International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 29
Schechner Lifson Corporation Schechner Lifson Corporation is the leading provider of insurance and safety management for the countertop industry. The company currently works with more than 230 fabricator/installers and is the preferred provider of insurance by ISFA, MIA, NTCA and CTDA. They have educated their partner carriers on the unique exposures of the countertop industry. Whether it is liability, property, workers compensation or employment practice liability SLC has the expertise to enhance coverage while reducing premium. Call Marc Rosenkrantz at 908-598-7813 and take advantage of this member benefit. www.SLCinsure.com Circle Reader Service #33 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Booth # 112
SureCrete Design Products
48- to 72-Hour Precast Concrete System Many fabricators have wanted to use concrete as a casting medium but could not afford the time involved in its creation and the space it utilizes in your shops. SureCrete Design Products is proud to present to ISFA a complete precast concrete system that does not require the purchase of new equipment and offers 2 to 3 day fabrication turnaround time.
Booth # 206
The Xtreme Series product line delivers an incredible 4 hour cure time, high tensile and flexural strength and the ability to be tooled in 8 hours. If you currently use natural stone such as granite or marble in your fabrications, you can recycle your waste to create “Green” countertops, wall panels, fireplaces and bath surrounds. Xtreme Terrazzo allows 50 to 80 lbs. of recycled aggregate to be added to each bag mix delivering up to a 62 percent
recycled content load. Xtreme Series bag mixes include: Xtreme Countertop, Xtreme Terrazzo, Xtreme GFRC, Xtreme Lightweight and Xtreme Lightweight Plus. In addition the company carries more than 28 sink molds, 17 edge details and 7 reproducible coloring systems. SureCrete looks forward to the opportunity of working closely with your company and expanding your client base with the Xtreme Series precast product lineup. Phone: 800-544-8488 Fax: 352-567-6545 Whatsnew@SureCreteDesign.com www.SureCreteDesign.com www.SureCrete.TV
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Tuscan Stoneworx When one thinks of traditional concrete, visions of a sidewalk or driveway usually come to mind. This couldn’t be any further from the look achieved using the Envision Concrete Countertop Kit from Tuscan Stoneworx. The Envision system allows unlimited design options in shape, color, thickness, edge, inlay and finish. This customization means any style is possible from one kit, sleek and modern to time honored traditional. The kit separates its self from convention through its tested and proven components. The foundation for the Envision Kit is the mix. Unlike standard concrete countertop mixes, Envision’s optimized mix uses specific limestone aggregates as well as fiber reinforcement. This gives the mix incredible strengths, brighter colors and more vivid finishes. The Envision Filler was specifically designed for filling veins, 30 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
voids and seams. Envision Filler is easy to work with, strong and tintable. With 8 different color pigments included in the kit the color combinations are endless. Envision Sealers easy wipe on application protects countertops from stains while leaving a natural finish, free from the thick plastic look associated with some sealers. The kit also includes reinforcing mesh, faucet knock outs and single step polishing pad. Let the Envision system make you a concrete guru overnight. 165 N 1330 W, Unit C-4 Orem, Utah 84057 801-803-2298 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tuscanstoneworx.com Circle Reader Service #36 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Booth # 311
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Specialty Surfaces Fabricators, Manufacturers and Experts Membership Application 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
Main: (877) 464-7732 • Fax: (801) 341-7361 • www.ISFANow.org
To renew your membership with ISFA, simply fill out the Personal Information section, and Payment Method and that’s it! Fax it back to (702) 567-8145 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 (702) 567-8145 and we’ll do the rest. Your new membership packet will be in the mail shortly. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.
• CUT ALONG DOTTED LINE - FAX BACK TO (801)-341-7361
Company: Address: City:
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.
Renewing my ISFA Membership
Applying To Become A New Member
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Print Name On Card:
If Paying by check, fax copy along with this order form. You can also mail this form to: ISFA, PO Box 179, Lehi, UT 84043
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.
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
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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.
Trade Reference: Contact Person:
Proof of Insurance: A copy of your certificate of liability insurance must be attached to or faxed with this form to process this application.
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.
INDUSTRY FORECAST A Look At 2010 And Beyond By Kevin Cole, Editor & Associate Publisher
2009 is in the books and behind us, and it is easy to say that it was a pretty tough year for everyone. But what does 2010 and beyond hold for the countertop industry? The experts say it is likely going to be quite a bit better.
recession will be regained in 2010, and the economy will grow only 1.8 percent.” HIRI further predicts, “After falling 0.8 percent this year, real consumer spending will rise only 1.4 percent in 2010.”
The General Economy Is the recession over? Sounds like a yes or no question, right? Well that is not necessarily the case. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the group that officially determines when a recession starts and ends, said the recession officially began in December of 2007, but it was well after the fact when the announcement was made. And the truth is, that same group probably won’t decide when the recession officially ended until around June of 2010. But the consensus among economists is that we are indeed out of the recession. Robert Gordon, an economist at Northwestern University that sits on the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee said he personally believes the recession ended around June of 2009. However, Gordon said it will likely be until March of 2010 when the lagging employment numbers start to show any signs of improvement.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. GDP went from a decrease of 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2009 to an increase of 2.8 percent in the third quarter. So, by the official definition of recession (three consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth), it has ended. However, the GDP increase was likely bolstered by federal “stimulus” spending.
The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) in its latest forecast predicts, “Only about 1 million of over 7 million jobs lost during the
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke displayed guarded optimism in press reports from December and said, “Economic forecasts are subject to great uncertainty, but my guess is that we will continue to see modest economic growth next year.” “The economy confronts some formidable headwinds that seem likely to keep the pace of expansion moderate,” Bernanke told the national media, adding that the growth would be “sufficient to bring down the unemployment rate, but at a slower pace than we would like.”
32 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
The stock market also reflects positive changes over the past several months and is well above its low points in early 2009. However, the Dow index hasn’t hit its 14,000+ point high from where it peaked in October of 2007, either. There is also positive movement in increased home sales seen in the last half of 2009, which were largely spawned by a federal tax credit program. In August 2009, HIRI reported, “We expect existing home sales to continue to move up this year, but with a sluggish economic recovery we do not expect these gains to be extended into 2010. Existing home sales will not accelerate until 2011-2012 when we see growth of 10 to 15 percent.” Construction HIRI also made predictions about new home construction, saying “We still expect a strong rebound in housing starts,” and went so far as to predict an “annual increases in housing starts near 50 percent in 2010 and 2011.” Of course, that kind of increase is only possible because housing starts in 2009 were at their lowest point since they were first tracked and recorded in 1959. FMI, a consulting and investment banking services company for the construction industry,
released its Construction Outlook report and predicted a decline of 25 percent in the residential construction sector for 2009, hitting $268.5 billion (significantly lower than its peak in 2006 at $619.8 billion). It predicts recovery to start in 2010 with about a 3.4 percent increase in total dollars up to $277.4 billion. It further predicts about a 9.5 percent increase in new home construction in 2011 and an 8 percent increase in 2012. The news on the nonresidential construction side is not so rosy. “While there are some positive signs for the general economy, the construction industry should prepare for a two-year downturn in nonresidential construction,” stated the FMI report. “Nonresidential construction will decline 13 percent [in 2009], with an even further decline of 16 percent in 2010. The economy may show some signs of improving, but it is just the beginning of the downfall for nonresidential construction. Nonresidential construction typically lags the general economy by about 18 months.”
Fig. 1 - U.S. Home Improvement Products Market: 2007-2014 Billions of U.S. Dollars Perecnt of Change
Home Improvement In the most recent IHS Global Insight/HIRI “Home Improvement Products Market Forecast Update” it was predicted that 2009 will finish with a steep decline in home improvement products. The report forecasted that 2009 will end with $263.9 billion in sales, down from $287.8 billion in 2008 and well below 2007’s level of $306.2 billion (see Figure 1). That is a decline of 8.3 percent overall, with consumer market sales down 8 percent and the professional market down 9.3 percent. “An increase is not foreseen until 2010 but even then a quite weak one (+1.2 percent),” stated the report. “For the period 2010-2014, however, the expected average annual growth rate is 5.6 percent when the total market is forecasted to then reach a level of $346.4 billion 5 years from now.” “Since the bounce in existing home sales this year is not expected to be sustained next year and consumer spending will remain sluggish, we expect sales of home improvement products to increase by only 1.2 percent in 2010,” the report continued. “As employment growth accelerates and housing markets improve further in 2011 and 2012, we will see a cyclical rebound in home improvement product sales. We expect growth of 5.7 percent in 2011 and 9.4 percent in 2012, with growth then slowing to average 5.9 percent in the following two years.”
So What about the Countertop Industry Specifically? A look at cabinet sales, which is a somewhat good indicator of countertop sales, does not
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So, it looks like this year will be off to a slow start on the home improvement front, but should pick up steam as the year progresses.
Source: Global Insight/Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) forecast
The areas that will continue to hold their own, believes FMI, are healthcare, educational facilities and sustainable or “green” building. All said, construction looks to be a mixed bag, with new home construction rebounding and showing moderate growth, but commercial construction, excluding healthcare and education, to show continued weakness and declines.
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 33
bode well. According to the most recent available statistics from the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) at the time of this report, cabinet sales were still well below even 2008 levels. In August of 2009, the associations monthly Trend of Business Survey showed overall cabinet sales down 27.2 percent versus the same month in 2008. Stock cabinet sales decreased 25.6 percent, semi-custom sales decreased 30.6 percent, and custom sales decreased 21.9 percent. While these numbers look particularly dismal, one must keep in mind that these were the numbers from about the time that the economy started to pick up, so end of year numbers may be higher. More optimistic was a 361-page report issued by the Freedonia Group research firm at the end of 2009 titled “Countertops.” In contrast to Freedonia’s Countertops report issued in 2007, this looks at overall use of countertops in the United States rather than only those used in residential projects (see Figure 2). According to the Freedonia report, U.S. demand for countertops is forecast to increase 2.4 percent annually from 678 million sq. ft. in 2008 to 760 million sq. ft. in 2013. “Growth will accelerate from the pace of the 2003-2008 period, prompted by a rebound in housing construction from the depressed 2008 level,” stated the report. “While the residential remodeling segment will post below-average advances in demand
Fig. 2 -- U.S. Countertop Demand (millions of square feet) Item Total Countertop Demand Breakout by Material: Laminate Solid Surface Natural Stone Engineered Stone Misc. Cast Polymers Tile Others Breakout by Market: Residential Nonresidential building Nonbuilding Breakout by $: U.S. $ per Square Foot Countertop Demand (in millions of U.S. $)
% of Annual Growth 2003-2008 2008-2013 1.3 2.4
423 86 25 13 35 47 2
426 84 45 31 39 47 2
455 91 66 49 47 49 3
495 105 87 66 53 50 4
0.1 -0.5 12.5 19 2.2 ---
1.3 1.6 8 9.6 3.8 0.8 8.4
483 109 39
506 127 41
590 122 48
660 143 57
0.9 3.1 1
3.1 -0.8 3.2
Source: The Freedonia Group Inc.
through 2013, gains will be promoted by the large stock of homes requiring countertop replacement, as well as the desire of consumers to renovate their kitchens and bathrooms,” continued the report. “In many cases, these additional countertops will be fabricated from higher-value materials, so that in value terms demand for countertops is expected to advance 4.6 percent
per year to $19.6 billion in 2013.” Engineered Stone — The report claims that engineered stone will see the strongest growth, percentage-wise, with a predicted rate of 9.6 percent annually through 2013. However, e-stone currently has a low market penetration rate when compared to more common surfaces, and that 9.6 percent increase is a large drop from the 19 percent annual increase the material had been experiencing. Other Materials — “Other materials,” which includes by default concrete countertops, will see a large increase in annual growth through 2013 of 8.4 percent annually, according to the report, rising from 2 million to 3 million sq. ft. in demand from 2008 to 2013. However, it is still the smallest segment in the countertop industry. Granite/Natural Stone — Natural stone is also projected to see solid growth over the next 4 years, at a predicted 8 percent annual growth rate, but in the big picture this is significantly lower than the 12.5 percent rate seen from 2003 to 2008. Solid Surface — Solid surface should fair pretty well, going from a negative growth rate of -0.5 percent between 2003 and 2008 to a positive, although modest, annual growth rate of 1.6 percent per year through 2013. Laminate — Laminate, which commands the highest demand rate will continue to grow, according to the report, moving from a 0.1 percent annual growth rate between 2003 and 2008 to a 1.3 percent annual growth rate through 2013. Cast Polymers — Miscellaneous cast polymers, which reportedly outsold engineered stone in 2008, will see an increase in annual growth from 2.2 to 3.8 percent through 2013, but will ultimately be overtaken in popularity by engineered stone by that same year. Laminate, solid surface and natural stone (in that order) will stand as the three most popular surfacing options, according to Freedonia’s research, with engineered stone
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34 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
and tile matching up closely for 4th place and miscellaneous cast polymers to fall to 5th. Tile — Tile, which according to the report is currently just ahead of natural stone in countertop popularity, will fall behind natural stone by 2013, but will still see an increase in annual growth of 0.8 percent. “In 2008, the residential market accounted for three-quarters of overall countertops demand,” stated the report. “The residential market will continue to drive countertop demand through 2013, reflecting the rebound in housing construction and continued consumer interest in installing high-value countertops.” But, the nonresidential market will reportedly not fare so well. “The nonresidential market is forecast to contract through 2013, as decreases in nonresidential construction spending will limit overall countertops demand,” stated the report. “Best prospects for growth in the nonresidential countertops market will be the institutional segment, as medical and educational facilities install countertops in patient rooms, classrooms and food service areas.” The Big Picture Keeping in mind that forecasts are only general predictions, and at their root are educated guesses, it looks that 2010 will be a much better year than the previous two. It appears the recession is over and recovery of the general economy has begun, although it will largely be a so-called “jobless recovery” until the end of the year or even 2011. For those tied to new construction, residential is largely the place to be, with housing starts to rebound and growth to begin again. However, nonresidential construction will lag behind and even continue to decline throughout the year, with the exception of institutional work. On the home improvement/remodeling front, modest gains can be expected, with the real rebound to come closer to 2011. However, this is certainly a better position to be in than the losses experienced over the past year. When it comes to countertops in general, the best information we have is to expect trends to swing back toward higher end products and moderate growth that will increase each of the next three years.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which can be found at www.bea.gov. The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), a non-profit organization that represents companies that manufacture kitchen, bath or other residential cabinets, or produce decorative laminates, as well their suppliers. It can be found at www.kcma.org. FMI, a consulting and investment banking services company for the construction industry that can be found at www.fminet.com.
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Editor & Publisher Kevin Cole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 35
Smooth As Glass Life is full of contradictions. In the countertop industry we often describe the physical characteristics of our products by comparing them to glass. “Hard as glass,” “smooth as glass” and “shiny as glass” are all expressions in common use by fabricators. Interestingly enough, Stacey Caldwell of Smoke & Mirrors llc in Kirkland, Wash., quite frequently compares her glass countertop products to granite. In truth, there are similarities between glass and granite countertops when it comes to handling and certain machining functions. Like granite, glass should be stored and transported vertically. Glass is comparable in weight to granite. Glass can be cut and shaped using waterjet machinery or with diamond tooling, as may granite. And, like granite, glass makes an awesome countertop. But that is where the similarity ends. For starters, glass is very difficult to stain. It is a man-made product, using naturally occurring substances such as silica (typically about 70 percent) soda ash and lime combined with other chemicals used to to improve product performance or color the glass. It can be completely transparent, translucent or opaque. In its molten state it can be molded to just about any shape, texture or configuration. Unlike most other mainstream countertop materials, the fabricator who installs the product very rarely has anything to do with its construction. And every glass countertop is totally custom, with lead times ranging from four to 14 weeks.
“Smoke & Mirrors is akin to an old world guild house,” said Caldwell. “Before the Industrial Revolution, when you wanted any type of crafted materials you went to the Guild Master, who, in turn, went to the appropriate artisan within the guild to commission the work to be done. This simplified the process by only having to deal with one entity. That has been our way of doing business for five generations. We specialize in glass, stone, metal and wood.” Not All Glass is Created Equal Smoke & Mirrors mainly offers three types of glass products for use as countertops.
36 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Onami Glass is made from float, or standard window, glass. “It is then hand textured by our artisan Jim Duncan, using a special controlled glue chip process,” Caldwell explained. “We use Onami most often for our countertops for two reasons. First, it is the most cost-effective glass for countertops, but still very unique and artistic. Second, with the handmade texture, it is best for kitchens because scratches dissapear into the texture. It can also be back painted to any color if an opaque glass is desired.” Prices typically start at $125/sq. ft. Slumped Glass is float glass that is placed in a kiln on a specially carved “kiln mold.” As the
glass heats up it slumps into the pattern on the kiln board. “If desired, we can add paints that are baked onto the bottom of the glass,” said Caldwell. “We can even add metallic flare to the paint so that it shimmers. There are dozens of standard slumped patterns available, or we can make custom patterns. Slumped glass is a mid-range priced glass.” Starting price: $175 - $225/sq. ft.
fuses together into a single piece. “We can also add colored glass powders, called ‘frits,’ and/or various types of metals compatible with glass, such as copper, bronze, silver and 24k gold.” Caldwell continued. “Textures can also be added to the bottom of the glass similar to the slumped. Cast is our most durable glass, but scratches are more predominate than with the other two types.”
Cast Glass is fired in a kiln and is made from a combination of special fusible glass, lead-free casting crystal, cullet, shards of art glass and/or chips of float glass. The glass selected is layered in a kiln then fired until it
The Process When a potential customer comes to Smoke & Mirrors, the selection process involves determining the budget first in order to narrow the options. Caldwell then provides sample
photos of edges and glass types to further refine choices before providing a physical sample of the countertop material. Once the type of glass, the color, the texture and edge have been determined and the contract signed and deposit collected, Caldwell will take the project to the appropriate artisan for crafting into a finished countertop. “We mostly use George C. Scott Studios, Peter David Studios, Batho Studios and Duncan Glass for glass countertops,” Caldwell explained.
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 37
Because Onami and slumped glass begin as standard float glass, the initial shape is cut to size using standard glass cutting techniques, and run through special machines to polish the edges. The countertop is then textured and refined using the processes described above before readying for shipment. The edges of cast glass, which is kiln fired, are fired polished. What that means is when the cooled glass comes out of the kiln, there is some excess glass on the edges, making them rough and jagged. The excess glass is removed with a sander and the piece is then re-heated to roll the top edge into smooth glass. Before shipment is made to the installer Caldwell likes to inspect the finished countertop personally. She will either visit the artisan’s shop or have the countertop shipped to her office. Smoke & Mirrors uses its own crating firm to be certain the countertop is well protected. Installation Keep in mind that each glass countertop has been made to size at the artisan’s studio with a keen eye to detail – the installer is not expected, nor is he encouraged to make modifications on the job site. The countertop will typically be constructed in incremental sizes, which will be fitted together to create the finished installation. This is primarily because of the difficulty in handling large sheets of glass – both at the artisan’s shop and on the job site. “Glass is fairly easy to install as long as the installer is cautious,” explained Caldwell. “The back edge, seams and sink area is all sealed with a clear silicon, similar to the installation of a granite countertop or tub & tile surround.” Caldwell recommends using only top-mounted sinks rather than undermount sinks because the inside of the sink cutout is not polished and has a sand blasted look and feel. “It is also more likely to chip an edge of the sink if you have exposed glass, so this should be kept in mind when considering sink options,” she said. Durability, Heat and Scratch Resistance According to Caldwell, there is a difference of opinion among artisans as to whether glass is a suitable countertop material. From her perspective, the most important issue is choosing the correct material for the intended
application. “I have installed many different types of glass countertops and bars in the last few years, especially since they are becoming more popular,” she said. “Each type of glass has its pros and cons. We can usually recommend a specific type of glass to suit each client’s need.” In order to improve a countertop’s resistance to heat, sections may be tempered, usually behind a gas cooktop or in a small work area next to the stove. “If a small section is tempered then you can set hot pans on it with no problem,” said Caldwell. “However, tempering glass has it downfalls. If you were to hit the edge of the top with a pan, the entire piece could shatter. So, we do not recommend tempering ALL of the countertop.” Cast glass, she continues, cannot be tempered, but it is stronger than float glass i.e., Onami and slumped glass. The homeowner might be able to set a hot pan on cast glass for a few moments, but the use of a hot plate is highly recommended. The biggest danger of placing hot items directly on the countertop is the possibility of splashing water on a very hot spot, rapid heating and cooling could cause the glass to crack. Glass is also susceptible to scratching. Minor scratches can be polished out, but most problems with noticeable scratching may be averted by choosing the proper type and texture of glass countertop. Because of their prominent texturing effect, Onami and slump glass tend to show scratches less than cast glass, which can be very predominant, depending on color selection. The Aesthetic Onami 3/4-in. material comes in Clear (greenish glass) and Starphire (crystal blue). The term, Onami, is actually the trade name of a line of handmade textures by Duncan Glass. Duncan also makes Seafoam, Onami Mist and a few other texture patterns. They are all similar textures with slight variations. Slumped 3/4-in. glass is available in Clear or Starphire and can also be painted with a large selection of color options. There are roughly 50 standard patterns to choose from, with the ability to create custom patterns and textures. Cast glass is totally custom, from soup to nuts.
38 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
photo by Margot Hartford
For edge profiles, one can expect a flat polished, pencil polished (round over) or bevel edge from the Onami line. Slumped glass edges normally receive a flat/fire, high polish. “For cast glass it depends on the artisan,” said Caldwell. “Some will cut the slab and apply a high polish or satin polish. Mostly we use a fire polish, which is slightly rolled over on the top with a little bit of roughness toward the bottom. We can also make a kiln or free formed edge, which gives the piece an organic, wavy edge. Like so many other custom decorative surfacing options, glass countertops can be made to look and perform as needed, just as long as the customer has the time, patience and funds to allow the artisan to properly ply his craft. “Glass is timeless, unique and unexpected,” Caldwell said. “It can be made as individual as you are. It is like having a commissioned piece of art made just for you. No one else will have anything like it because no two pieces are the same.” INTERN ATION AL SURFACE FABRIC AT ORS ASSOCIATION
For more information, go to www.smokeandmirrorsllc.com.
Circle Reader Service # 10 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 39
Most companies begin their corporate lives as personal manifestations of the owner; if the founder is low key and laid back, then the company tends to be low key and laid back. Inevitably and quite naturally, this psychic connection between the owner and the company’s personality dilutes as the organization grows and the owner’s front line interactions lessen. That, however, is not the case with Custom Counters By Precision – a well-sized and well-regarded countertop fabricator/installer located in northern New Jersey. The part family caretaker, part young dreamer and all entrepreneurial hustler who created this outfit is as present as ever in its personae. Solely owned and successfully managed by William (Bill) Prusiensky since 1981, Custom Counters has weathered a near constant jet stream of industry changes and economic thunderbolts. Astonishingly, after 28 windswept years of exposure to the erosive effects of so many surfacing seasons, neither he nor his business are worse for the wear. Can a Child Train to be a Fabricator? If one can truly prepare to be a fabricator, Bill Prusiensky’s youthful path was amazingly effective. By age 10, Prusiensky’s entrepreneurial spirit had him delivering newspapers. Soon he learned that being the manager, the delivery team and the collection agent made expansion and profitable growth impossible and so his business model morphed, and he expanded his routes and subbed them out to friends and siblings.
PROOF POSITIVE: Custom Counters By Precision shows that desire and outlook are powerful business attributes and legitimate management strategies to adopt. By Chris Traynor, SPHR
By age 13, Prusiensky began apprenticing in a cabinet shop just three houses down from his own – working everyday and Saturdays too. Later, he attended a trade school for carpentry and cabinet making and, by the age of 19, he was a sought after freelance cabinet and countertop installer for area kitchen dealers working under the name Precision Installations. As a young husband to his bride and business partner, Karen, and a young father to a growing family in need of health coverage and a steady paycheck, Prusiensky also took on a 48 hour per week job at a local Grand Union grocery store – in addition to the 40 to 50 hours he was putting in as an installer. Recognizing a need in the marketplace for a customer and quality-oriented fabricator that truly understood the needs of the dealer, the installers and even the homeowner, Prusiensky made the investment and transformed his business into a high-growth shop. Amazingly, he managed to keep his full-time job at the Grand Union for eight more years after incorporating as Custom Counters By Precision. His sales revenue approached $1 million by the time he felt secure enough to leave Grand Union and handle the insurance premiums each month. 40 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
These nurses’ stations at Memorial SloanKettering healthcare facility utilize a mixture of solid surface and quartz surfacing.
Prusiensky credits much of his success to dedicated employees, such as Greg Milewski shown here routing another precise cutout.
International Surface Fabricators Association â€˘ Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 â€˘ 41
Desire and Outlook – A One-Two Punch Most companies have a couple of big essential “sails” that catch the gusts of revenue blowing by. Prusiensky employs desire and outlook. These untraditional mainsails are generally perceived as two of the more warm and fuzzy business elements, but in Prusiensky’s hands they are legitimate, powerful management strategies. Some might take exception to applauding a business owner’s desire because entrepreneurs are often defined by their appetite for continued achievement, but that’s an apple to his orange. Separating Custom Counters from other firms is the purity and concentration of desire daily manifested in the form of relentlessly attacking potential opportunities; not to mention the extended shelf life of this desire, which after nearly 30 years, remains passionate, potent and plentiful. Prusiensky has held onto his desire without suffering any evaporation from the persistent heat of business battle. You may ask how other dedicated owners can suffer a rupture in their desire? As Prusiensky explains it, the breach usually happens in the nearly imperceptible manner that accompanies “Prevent Defense.” Owners Lose Fire when “Prevent Defense” Smothers Desire Prusiensky has known his share of sharp, successful owners, across dozens of industries, who have worked so hard that they’ve been rewarded with significant revenue growth. As he describes it, the trouble begins when the hard-charging entrepreneurs begin feeling fulfilled and secure. “These guys were always the aggressive hands-on types – fighting in the trenches, building tops, dealing with customers, doing whatever was necessary,” he explained. “And then they grow bigger and the owners finally feel safe to breathe, but at the same time, they’re also dog-tired. So they pull back, spend more time at their desk and start delegating. The owner pulls himself from the front lines and without ever meaning to do it, the whole company ends up playing prevent defense – the exact opposite of what made them a success in the first place.” If you follow football you’ll know that when any team plays prevent defense they have fundamentally changed strategies from playing to win to protecting against defeat. Fans curse as their team, guarding against huge gainers, gives away the game in soul-crushing 20 yard chunks. As Prusiensky has witnessed, the gogetter spirit that once aggressively drove the business forward becomes overcautious and suddenly their policies and practices center on the word “NO” and the phrase “THAT WON’T BE POSSIBLE.”
Even though the company was on track for a record sales year in 2009, according to Prusiensky, the “Culture of No” that has plagued corporate America has been permanently banished from his small universe in the recent economic downturn. There is no such thing as a cushion or safety margin, or a moment to relax. Prusiensky sheepishly admitted to occasionally keeping an extra person on board to press himself into hustling harder so that everyone remains safely on payroll. He proudly reports that in the 28 years of operations, through three recessions and multiple industry pauses, Custom Counters By Precision has never let anyone go because of an economic downturn. Smash-Mouth Football Becomes SmashMouth Business Prusiensky played a lot of varsity football in high school. He played both sides of the ball and he loved it. Tight end. Nose guard. Smash-mouth football. About those glory days he recalled, “I wasn’t the biggest guy in the world but when I walked out on that turf before the game and looked at the other team, I’d think this is my field … this is my ball. What are you going to do about it?” Prusiensky was taught well how to prepare for a contest; it wasn’t all physical – it was about establishing a mindset. Game day was the essence of positive expectation. “In business, everyday is game day,” he said. “If you don’t believe you are going to win, you’ve already lost.” Black Monday, the 22 percent market value crash of 1987, coincided with Prusiensky’s first full year as a wholesale fabricator. “It was scary, but I learned how to work and run a business in a terrible economy – it made me a warrior – and I never forget the 22 families I’ve got counting on me.” He protects those families with his own brand of smash-mouth business because, at the end of his day, business is nothing but personal. How does Prusiensky communicate this extraordinary level of desire, enthusiasm and daily market attack to his staff, as well as display his hands-on personae to his customers? Here are some examples of his desire and outlook at work: 1. Last year, a modest corner of his shop was converted to a first-ever private office for Prusiensky. It allowed for confidential strategy sessions, employee conferences and some precious quiet moments. The new office was abandoned just three days later. He could not tolerate being separated from the buzz of customer activity and the constant flow of information. 2. Every single request for quotation (now totaling 50+ per day) is given a final once-
42 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
BUSINESS IN BRIEF •
• • • •
“Precision Installations” of Passaic, NJ, founded 1981 by William Prusiensky – age 20 First Year Sales = $120,000, Current Sales = $3,000,000+ Revenue has more than doubled since fiscal 2000 Average Invoice Value: 2005 = $1,156, 2009 = $1,043 Surfacing products offered – solid surface, engineered stone, laminate, granite (nominal) Sales Breakdown by Revenue – engineered stone 50%, solid surface 30%, laminate 20% Sales Breakdown by Square Footage: laminate 35%, engineered stone 35%, solid surface 30% Historical Sales by Market Sector: Residential 85%, Commercial 15% Sales by Customer Type (Top 3): 1. kitchen dealers 2. millwork houses 3. remodelers Full-time Employees 22: breakdown - office 5, outside sales 2, shop 10, installation 5 Employee Experience/Loyalty - average tenure of staff is 8.6 years Total Payroll (includes all officers & management) as percent of sales = 29.2% Total Operating Expenses (2008) as a percent of total sales = 47.3% Accounts Payable: 100% of material suppliers are discounted or within current terms
over by Prusiensky to screen for the possibility of improvement, which might include seeking a better buy price, alternate layouts, trimming material usage, saving shop time or pricing the job more creatively (without discounting every fabrication upgrade or making it a freebie) to enhance the chances of closing the job and “getting it off the street.” 3. Each Friday, outside salespeople report in and contact customers who recently received quotes. Calls are made and orders are asked for – resulting in increased closing ratios and always welcome new revenue. Even after 28 years, this business retains an extraordinary appetite for “the chase.”
William (Bill) Prusiensky, president & founder of Custom Counters By Precision, Passaic, N.J., shares his philosophy for success.
4. For many years, Custom Counters By Precision has
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P.O. Box 49518, Blaine, MN 55449 Phone: (763) 755-3425 / (800) 871-7516 Fax: (763) 755-5084 Circle Reader Service # 11 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 43
undertaken an annual effort to personalize the bond between themselves and their customers, as well as show their authentic gratitude for the loyalty their customers demonstrate each year by holding a highly anticipated annual Customer Appreciation Night. The event is held at a luxurious banquet restaurant and it features displays, industry speakers, executives from manufacturers, multi-media presentations, door prizes, live entertainment and a lavish dinner for upwards of 200 customers. While efforts are made to introduce certain key messages as well as fine tune brand awareness, the evening is dominated by just one theme – appreciation, recognition, gratitude and respect for the solid customer relationships that fill those big sails on Prusiensky’s ship. It is an expensive tribute to the intangible and completely irreplaceable human elements of business -- and it is worth every penny. 5. Concerned by his customers’ negative outlook for the economy and local business activity, Prusiensky commissioned a professional 30-minute PowerPoint presentation, using significant dollars of his own, to counter certain depressing financial forecasts and provide a strong counterbalance to the growing assumption that a
Got Good Shims
“great undefeatable recession” was upon the nation. Prusiensky firmly believed there was no forecaster to accurately predict his level of success, or that of his dealers, so his goal was to demonstrate how to outsmart the contraction while buoying the spirits of those on the front lines. Is it purely coincidental that Custom Counters revenue is on a record pace during this economic downturn? Outlook as a Weapon Desire, in its pure, ego-less form, fuels a unique kind of professionally aggressive practices (which, in Prusiensky’s case, center on his expert, high-impact involvement in the review of all quotations and material orders just prior to their release). Driving issues such as the closing rate on open quotations, as well as the belief that every market niche – along with every upcoming year – is theirs for the taking, are the attitude and outlook of Custom Counters, associates. Prusiensky, along with his entire staff, live and breathe in a world where “Yes” rules the day and inspires their policies and initiatives. Bill Prusiensky (regardless of his leading performance) would hate being portrayed as some saintly know-it-all or photo-shopped “surfacing superhero.” He’d be the first to dismiss any overblown praise in order to remind everyone that he’s simply a hard-working, imperfect business owner with a productive, Just Men and sometimes tion ISFA even chaotic, countertop shop in scenic Passaic, New Jersey. He’d own up to his company’s weaknesses, concerns and mistakes long before you would hear something remotely boastful come from him. And that definitely adds to his success.
F SA REE MP LE
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Circle Reader Service #12 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info
44 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Concerning current conditions, Prusiensky noted, “We’re busy – the shop’s working
six days a week – but I’ve never seen it like this out there – it’s a war.” Sobering words, indeed. The company prides itself on locating and concentrating on new market niches that no one else seems to be going after. Custom Counters has seen terrific new sales activity with plumbing wholesalers and architectural millwork houses since bringing its focus to bear upon them. Prusiensky’s warning came with a smile, “You can’t be meek – you have to dig into their world, learn what they do and then teach them everything that you do. You can’t be bashful – you have to ask for the order. I guess you could say we’re not bashful.” As for advice on how to uncover new growth, his message was twofold, “When you’re slow, turn first to your existing regular customers – there’s always more work in them! [Then] go hard after a new niche – learn all you can about their needs and then be their new best answer.” Sharing that goes Above and Beyond Custom Counters By Precision has enjoyed notoriety and growing sales volume in the last quarter century (see Business in Brief Sidebar). “All of it would vanish,” said Prusiensky, “without the caring and incredibly loyal staff that stand with me and fight the good fight everyday.” And when it comes to the financial view of his team, he was quite clear, “I’d rather pay the right money, give them the right equipment and training – so they stay – and they do stay. This is my competitive advantage!” In this age of the occasional corporate charlatan and business diva, Prusiensky’s genuine modesty, traditional values and easy likeability – coupled with his natural instinct to fly under the radar – is both welcome and sorely needed. The plain fact remains that Prusiensky, and other impactful people like him, are good for this industry and all those around them. 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: In addition to addressing a wide
range of issues affecting the surfacing industry today with his progressive writings and presentations,
Chris Traynor, SPHR, is the Director and Knowledge Scout for Whip-Smart™ Management Consulting
LLC., Wayne, N.J. (www.whip-smart.com) as well
as a board-certified Senior Professional in Human
Resources (SPHR). Chris has a total of 30 years of experience in the surfacing industry as part-owner and VP-Operations of Dolan & Traynor Inc., one
of the original and largest marketing distributors of DuPont Corian, as well as a leading industry con-
sultant (marketing and management) to fabricators, distributors, manufacturers and associated firms.
He can be reached at 973-831-4274 or ctraynor@ whip-smart.com.
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46 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Jeff Pease Joins ISFA Staff as Creative Director ISFA is pleased to announce the addition of Jeff Pease to the ISFA staff. Pease comes to the association with a solid background in print, Web and motion design, having worked in industry as well as a marketing professional. In addition to his creative talents, Pease has a firm background in computer systems and computer networking. He is a graduate of Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. Jeff’s responsibilities at ISFA include layout, design and production of Countertops & Architectural Surfaces magazine; creation of all print media; design and maintenance of the ISFA Web site (www.isfanow.org); all forms of electronic communications, including eblast creation and implementation, eNewsletters, and online learning modules. Jeff also serves as official videographer and photographer for ISFA events. “We are extremely pleased to have Jeff on staff,” said ISFA Executive Director Russ Lee. “In the few short weeks since his arrival we have been able to streamline a number of processes that will result in significant savings to our operating budget. He possesses a creative mind and a can-do attitude that combine to make him the perfect team player. His professional contacts and relationships in the local market have proved invaluable as we face the challenges of extending ISFA’s influence and reach in the decorative surfaces industry.” Pease replaces Joseph Winters, who tirelessly served ISFA for 4 ½ years as creative director. Winters left ISFA to accept a position as creative director for longtime ISFA Associate Member, Domain Industries. We wish Joe all the best in his new position.
Shop Tour: Atlanta Kitchen More than 20 fabricators, distributors and industry suppliers turned out for an informal ISFA meeting and shop tour at the facilities of Atlanta Kitchen in Decatur, Ga., last November. Atlanta Kitchen is part of Construction Resources Inc., which is owned by brothers Mitch and Sonny Hires. Construction Resources offers solid surface, cultured marble, natural stone, closet systems, faucets, hardware, fireplace mantels, shower door systems, mirrors and sinks, as well as other construction-related finishes. The company is active in both the residential and commercial segments of the marketplace.
The Atlanta Kitchen tour included three separate buildings that encompass nearly a quarter million square feet of showroom, shop, warehouse and office space under roof. A highlight of the tour was the rambling showroom, which somehow manages to effectively display all the products offered by Atlanta Kitchen without creating a cluttered feeling. Leaving the showroom, the visitor enters an impressive slab display area housed in an environmentally-controlled environment to make the slab selection process as convenient and hassle-free as possible. After visiting the showroom and slab selection area, the group had the opportunity to inspect Atlanta Kitchen’s solid surface and stone fabrication areas. Following the tour, members of the ISFA group assembled in the Atlanta Kitchen conference area for a discussion centering on the challenges and opportunities confronting Atlanta area fabricators. The discussion quickly focused on the competitive nature of the market, especially
with the influx of so-called fly-by-night, or gypsy fabricators selling hand-fabricated granite literally from the back of their trucks. A number of options were discussed about how fabricators and suppliers in the area might work together to stabilize the market through establishing minimum quality and legal business standards. At the end of the discussion, the ISFA group agreed to meet again for a follow-up meeting, this time at Oldcastle Surfaces Inc. Our thanks go out to Mitch and Sonny Hires for generously providing the facility and refreshments for the November meeting. Editor’s Note: If you are interested in putting together an ISFA meeting in your area, call the ISFA office at 877-464-7732 or email at russ@ isfanow.org
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 47
ISFA’s Countertops & Architectural Surfaces Magazine to Debut Buyers’ Guide As part of this magazine’s offerings for 2010, ISFA will be putting together a Buyers’ Guide issue to debut in the 4th quarter of the year. This guide will feature suppliers of goods and services for all aspects of countertop fabrication, and include full contact information for these companies. The guide will also feature specific product information on some of the industry’s newest, best and most popular supplies on the market. It will also contain company listings broken out by product category, to make it easier to locate the exact company, item or service readers are looking for. “It will be a great comprehensive resource akin to a phonebook for fabricators,” said ISFA Communications Director Kevin Cole. “We think this will be a valuable tool to members and the industry as a whole, when looking for products or services to improve their businesses.” Of course, ISFA will continue to offer its four regular issues of Countertops & Architectural Surfaces magazine throughout the year in addition to the new Buyers Guide issue. For more information on the Buyers’ Guide, contact Kevin Cole at email@example.com or by phone at 815-721-1507.
ISFA Announces New Training Dates for Solid Surface Total Fabricator Training January 11-14 March 15-18 May 17-20 July 19-22 September 13-16 November 15-18 For more information contact the ISFA office at 877-464-7732.
48 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
ISFA Board of Directors & Staff Sid MacKay President Creative Surface Solutions 2855 Coleman Street • Las Vegas, NV 89032 Phone: 702-365-6444 • Fax: 702-365-6798 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.creativesurfaces.com Evan Kruger Vice President Solid Tops, LLC 505 South Street • Easton, MD 21601 Phone: 410-819-0770 • Fax: 410-819-0783 Email: email@example.com www.solidtops.com Hunter Adams Secretary TRINDCO 1004 Obici Industrial Blvd. • Suffolk, VA 23434 Phone: 757-539-0262 • Fax: 757-539-8921 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.trindco.com Ted Sherritt Treasurer FloForm Countertops 125 Hamelin Street • Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T3Z1 Phone: 204-474-2334 • Fax: 204-475-9295 Email: email@example.com www.floform.com Joe Hoffman Director Hoffman Fixtures Company 9421 E 54th St • Tulsa, OK 74145 Phone: 918-627-3055 • Fax: 918-627-3560 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hfccountertops.com Michael Job Director Quality Surfaces, Inc. 2087 Franklin Road • Spencer, IN 47460 Phone: 812-876-5838 • Fax: 812-876-5842 Email: email@example.com www.qualitysurfaces.com Kurt Bonk Director Cabinets2Countertops 7142 Frank Avenue NW • N. Canton, OH 44720 Phone: 330-244-0221 • Fax: 330-266-7635 Email: CCBONKCO@aol.com Todd Werstler Immediate Past President Tower Industries P.O. Box 647 • Massillon, OH 44648 Phone: 330-837-2216 • Fax: 330-837-2642 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.towersurfaces.com Russ Lee Executive Director of ISFA 910 West State Street Unit 1 • Lehi, UT 84043 Phone: 702-567-8150 • Fax: 702-567-8145 Email: email@example.com www.issfa.org Mike Nolan Director Windbound Co. 113 Craftsman Drive • Morganton, NC 28655 Phone: 828-438-0892 • Fax: 828-438-0893 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.windboundhomes.com Mike Langenderfer Director The Countertop Shop Ltd 10406 Geiser Road • Holland, OH 43528 Phone: 419-868-9101 • Fax: 419-868-9104 Email: email@example.com www.countertopshop.net
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
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Harry Hollander Associate Member Representative Moraware 3020 Zeus Way • Reno, NV 89512 Phone: 650-242-4272 • Fax: 309-414-1013 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.moraware.com
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International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 49
50 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
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52 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
INTERN ATION AL SURFACE FABRIC AT ORS ASSOCIATION
International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 53
ProductNews Omni Cubed Offers Updated Seam Setter VCA
suitable for 1,000 to 5,000 CFM, depending upon the dust type. It features all welded construction. Standard hopper discharge options include a 55 gal. drum and 20 cubic ft. cart on wheels. Bags are easily accessed from the front via a large door. All SPJ-BL collectors are on-line self cleaning units with a solid state timer board. Circle Reader Service #38 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www. ISFAnow.org/info
The sinks are available in two colors – True White and Ivory – and five profiles: Double Equal Bowl, Left Offset, Right Offset, Single Bowl and Vanity Circle Reader Service #39 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Align-Rite Tool Offers Formrite Thermoforming Oven
Wilsonart Offers Undermount Sinks for Laminate Integration Now offering a new model for 2010, the Seam Setter VCA by Omni Cubed (replacing the Seam Setter VC2 model) joins seams, levels seams and stabilizes backsplashes. The vacuum pump operates on AC Power or a single 9V battery. The working area is easily accessible with the units in place, so removal is not needed in order to apply epoxy or scrape the seam. The seam levelers slide in tracks for custom placement on both sides of the seam, and feature nonspinning feet with replaceable vinyl caps to prevent scratching of surfaces. The durable tightening handles are anodized machined billet aluminum, and the large 6-in. cups handle heavy counter tops with ease. The set includes two seam setters, carrying/storage case, vacuum pump, AC adapter, 9V battery adapter, four thumb pump plungers (new back-up pumping option) and four cup covers. Circle Reader Service #37 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Scientific Dust Collectors Releases Baghouse Dust Collector Scientific Dust Collectors has announced a new addition to its line of baghouse dust collectors. The SPJ-BL Series Baghouse is a high ratio unit that features the company’s patented nozzle cleaning system and internal high side inlet baffles. The SPJ-BL Series is priced competitively yet offers a heavy duty and rugged design for various fibrous dust applications. This series is
Wilsonart has introduced a lineup of stylish, molded acrylic sinks specifically designed to be undermounted to laminate countertops. New Wilsonart HD Sinks now integrate the sink, along with the top and edge, into a complete, captivating piece. These sinks feature a softly rounded front and ergonomic beveled edge; an integrated faucet deck that holds soap and sponges and ensures water flows downward into the sink; deeper, roomy bowls leave more room for pots and pans; a drain position at the back of the sink that leaves more room underneath for storage, yet still accommodates pipes and disposal units; and the properties of strong, thermal-formed acrylic, such as stain-resistance, heatresistance and renewability. The real beauty of these sinks is that they can be integrated into Wilsonart HD Laminate countertops with no seams to trap dirt and moisture, providing a look that was previously only available with solid surface and stone countertops. Wilsonart has also developed a new installation system, including adhesives that ensure a strong bond between the laminate and sink, creating an integrated countertop that won’t absorb water.
54 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
Align-Rite Tool Co. is offering the Formrite Thermoforming Oven, available in 72-in. size. The oven will accommodate 6-in. wide strips of solid surface, and heat is generated by a direct heat strip. The unit runs on 110 volts and is made to help save time and material on inside and outside solid surface radiuses. Circle Reader Service #40 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Braxton-Bragg Picks Up New Line of Buddy Rhodes Artisan Concrete Braxton-Bragg announces a new product line: Buddy Rhodes Artisan Concrete. Buddy Rhodes produces everything for the concrete artisan, from their special concrete mix, to coloring agents, reinforcing materials and training information. A former ceramist with a craftsman’s interest in architectural integrity, Rhodes developed a way to meld the warmth and earthy handmade quality of pottery with the strength, versatility and architectural applicability of concrete. Experimenting extensively in the early stages of product development, he learned how to solve many of the problems of adapting concrete to new applications. Natural elements inherent in the material’s nature had to be addressed. The cracking, warping, coloring consistency, sealing and psi strength, which those new to concrete fabrication must address, were among the issues he worked hard to resolve.
Domain Offers Silicone
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CARPOREE Solid Surface Material Available
CARPOREE has broken the all traditional designs of solid surface materials with new, innovative collections which are colorful, dynamic and creative. CARPOREE comes in hundreds of patterns and colors ranging from natural marble and stone patterns, to richly veined designs. CARPOREE solid surface can be custom cut and installed for limitless design possibilities for kitchens, bathrooms and commercial projects. Most importantly, CARPOREE combines light penetrability with flexural property and the pattern’s appearance is identical from surface to bottom. The acrylicpolyester composite material is available in both 1/2- and 1/4-in sheets and comes with a 10 year limited material warranty. The company is also looking for candidates to help expand its distribution in North America. Circle Reader Service #42 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Groves Provides New Slab Picking Cart Groves new heavy duty slab picking cart can hold and transport up to five full-sized slabs securely with steel support posts that fit into rugged mounting points without tools. This cart allows fabricators to maximize their work flow by setting up shifts in advance and eliminating trips to the yard. The cart is designed to be forkliftable, but with the use of the optional CK-4, the cart is mobile without the use of a forklift. It has slots designed to hold 2x4s to protect material. It is 72 in. long and 48. in. wide, but ships knocked-down for freight savings. Circle
100% RTV Silicone Domain Industries’ Volcanic Silicone is a premium, high-performance, durable 100 percent RTV silicone available in clear and nine translucent colors suitable for use with solid surface, stone and cultured marble countertops. Each Volcanic Silicone cartridge features a screw-on tip with cap for easy use and storage. Domain offers same-day shipping. Circle Reader Service #44 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Park Industries Offers Slabsmith Software for Stone Countertop Fabricators Park Industries is now an authorized distributor of the Slabsmith stone fabricator software package, designed to reduce cost, increase the per-job value and raise the end customer’s satisfaction with the countertop creation process. Slabsmith offers many features including the creation of high quality digital slabs for use with the software’s inventory management features. The same accurate digital slabs are used for dynamic seam matching, 3-D countertop visualization and optimized layout. These tools help provide control over material use and give your customer an accurate understanding of the completed countertop. Circle Reader Service #45 on
And now his products are available through Braxton-Bragg. Circle Reader Service #41 on the
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Dynabrade Introduces New Air-Powered Vacuum Disc Sanders
Reader Service #43 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Dynabrade Inc. has introduced a new series of air powered Vacuum Disc Sanders. This new tool line features 2-, 3-, 5- and 7-in.-dia. vacuum International Surface Fabricators Association • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • 55
sanders for smooth, controlled operation. The Unique Vacuum Shroud of each tool diverts dust and debris to the vacuum source. The right angle design of each tool features a rubber over-mold on the housing for smooth operation and less vibration to the operator. The 2- and 3-in. tools are available in two vacuum styles: A Self Generated Vacuum model, in-which the tool’s exhaust directs contaminants to a portable self-contained vacuum system. A Central Vacuum model is available for connection to external or central vacuum systems. The 5- and 7-in. models are available in Central Vacuum models only. Circle Reader Service
work of cutting box joints. The solid aluminum indexing key acts both as spacer and stabilizer, ensuring speed and accuracy with every pass. The right-angle backer sled moves easily in lowfriction grooves. And to prevent over-sliding, stop dadoes in both grooves engage the sled shortly after the bit clears the cut. A piece can be fully machined within seconds. Circle Reader Service #47 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www. ISFAnow.org/info
#46 on the Reader Service Page (pg. 57) or go to www.ISFAnow.org/info
Rockler Releases Router Table Box Joint Jig
Rockler Woodworking and Hardware has released the Router Table Box Joint Jig, a timesaving solution for cutting perfectly spaced box joints on a router table. The new jig eliminates the hassle and guesswork of machining the joints on a table saw. Instead of setting up an expensive stacked dado set, adjusting (and re-adjusting) the fence, and finally trusting a miter gauge to maintain accuracy, the Rockler jig lets users cut notch after notch continuously with almost no measuring and minimal set up — all with a standard router bit and table. Capable of producing 1/4-, 3/8and 1/2-in.-wide joints — a range broad enough to cover most small to medium-scale projects — the jig secures to any router table with a standard 3/4-in. miter slot. Once tightened, the jig makes quick
56 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
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2003 floor model Polytherm 3000 Solid Surface Thermoforming Technology Size: 4x6 feet Two Units: Heat Press, Vacuum Table New $26,000, Asking $18,000 (negotiable) See Video: www.norford.com.au Contact: email@example.com or (570) 517-1387
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In Search Of Opportunity
Experienced distributor and fabricator commercial sales professional seeks challenging and rewarding sales position involving market development and expanding new business, negotiating, closing, customer service, problem solving, presentations, and relationship building/strengthening. Active in construction industry including membership in CSI and USGBC, pursuing LEED certification and OSHA “30-Hour” credentials. Developed and delivered presentations at surfacing expos, wrote magazine articles, created sales materials and aids. Prefer southeast U.S. location but will consider other areas. Call 919-801-8021 for more information.
58 • Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2010 • International Surface Fabricators Association
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KOHLER® Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks. Over 20 gorgeous colors to coordinate with today’s most popular kitchen cabinets and countertops and an enameled surface guaranteed not to chip, crack or burn. Circle Reader Service # 14 on the Reader Service Page or go to www.isfanow.org/info