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STONE COLUMN: The “Typical” Stone Fabricator

March 13, 2006
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When I was growing up, I remember reading a survey that definitively stated: “The typical American family has two-and-a-half children.” Despite never having met a half-child, that number stuck in my mind. Recently, the market research department at BNP Media (Stone World's parent company) conducted a groundbreaking survey of stone fabricators to determine the most prevalent industry trends. In a way, I suppose, we were looking to determine what makes a “typical” stone fabricator.

Here's what we found about the “typical” stone fabrication shop:

  • Most of the materials fabricated are yellow/gold, green, brown, black and beige.
  • Pretty much everyone offers bullnose, eased, ogee and beveled edges. (I know, you already knew this. Better stuff is on the way.)
  • The average kitchen job is right around 60 square feet.
  • The average price charged per square foot is $60.
  • The average number of kitchens fabricated per week is about eight. (Yeah, that's less than I expected, too. But you will see that the “typical” fabricator is a lot newer - and smaller - than it used to be.)
  • The “typical” fabricator has been in business seven years or less.
  • The average fabricator staff today has less than 10 people. (When you think of all the new three-man to five-man shops starting out there, this number actually makes more sense than it does at first glance.)
  • A relatively low annual sales total of $1 million defines the “typical” U.S. fabricator. (Again, you have to remember that there are a lot of new, small companies out there.)
  • The typical fabricator still uses plywood for templating, but thinks about going digital.
  • CNC technology is at least a future consideration for the typical shop.
Summing up the other trends, the “typical” fabricator uses a water filtration system, rods his countertops, works in 3-cm granite and uses a sealer on the finished countertop.

In a VERY condensed nutshell, the “typical” fabricator is young and small, but is also looking to invest and grow. For a much more in-depth analysis of the stone fabrication sector, take a look at the complete survey results on page 54.

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