Serving the High Desert area of Southern California
May 1, 2006
Since Ruben Arreola launched New West Tile in 1994, the company has rapidly grown and expanded from its location in the High Desert of Southern California to cover an area from the Los Angeles county line to the Cajon Pass and Barstow. New West Tile's main focus is kitchen countertop fabrication, along with other various types of countertops. In addition to two kitchen remodels per week, the company averages a project basis of six houses, which typically includes the fabrication and installation of a full kitchen and two bathroom vanity tops.
Arreola was born into the business and began working with his father, the owner and operator of tile distributorships, at an early age. In 1994, after running a tile distributorship for his brother, Arreola decided to start his own tile installation company.
As New West Tile began to flourish, it got involved with custom home installations. In 1999, as the demand for granite increased, Arreola hired outside fabricators to help keep up with production. During this time, he purchased a prototype bridge saw and Edgemarc Stinger portable routers to handle in-house fabrication.
The 7,500-square-foot facility, located in Hesperia, CA, comprises a showroom, warehouse and fabrication shop, which is equipped with a Sebring gantry saw and a Daytona XL Edge Profiling System, both from Matrix Stone Products of Rancho Cucamonga, CA. According to Gary Rogers, the company's marketing director, the purchase of these machines allowed the company to increase its production rate, and also allowed them to fabricate work that they would not have been able to handle in the past.
â€œWe had one week of hands-on training with a Matrix manufacturer here at our shop,â€ said Rogers, who added that Matrix followed through with a few follow-up visits to make sure all questions and problems were handled. â€œWe have a specialist who oversees the use of the machines in the fabrication shop, as well as others who operate these machines under his guidance. Matthew Arreola, our Fabrication Division Superintendent, is master of all machinery.â€
â€œWe are just now starting to bid for more work since we can handle more production with the new machines,â€ said Rogers, adding that the company purchases diamond tooling from Hard Rock Tool of Anaheim, CA, and Keystone Tools Co. of Commerce, CA.
The company's production is comprised mainly of slab fabrication with a small percentage being tile or cut to size. In addition to countertop fabrication, New West Tile also produces a variety of memorial markers and plaques. â€œOur largest market is our custom home division, but we are currently getting heavier in remodel countertops,â€ explained Rogers, adding that the company produces work for both the residential and commercial sectors.
New West Tile currently has 45 employees, including eight office/administrative personnel, 13 granite fabricators/installers and 24 tile installers. According to Rogers, employees are generally hired by referral through another company or employee. He also said that workers are trained in the fabrication shop, and then some graduate to the install crew.
Additionally, various employees are trained to assist homeowners in designing their new residences - including stone for kitchens, bathrooms with full custom showers, Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, flooring and tile or granite countertops.
The company's 3,000-square-foot showroom displays products from all over the world, including granite, marble, travertine and slate.
New West Tile purchases its slabs from local distributors, including Intertile, Import Stone and Dal-Tile. â€œWe are also in the process of setting up a slab yard here in Hesperia, in which we will be importing direct containers,â€ said Rogers.
New West Tile learns about new materials by maintaining good relationships with vendors, who keep them up-to-date with the newest materials, as well as by reading materials from the Marble Institute of America and other stone sources, according to Rogers.