Finding a niche in exotic stone

September 1, 2006
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Stone Age Tile is located on a 3-acre site in Anaheim, CA, which includes a 20,000-square-foot fabrication facility. Among the equipment in the shop are two Brembana Maxima CNC machines, which were supplied by CMS North America, Inc. of Caledonia, MI.


Since 1999, Stone Age Tile of Anaheim, CA, has been catering to the high-end market of Southern California. Specializing in exotic stones and upscale custom designs, the company has significantly expanded over the last several years. Its investment in state-of-the-art technology has further enhanced the quality of its work and boosted sales.

The company's most recent investment is an Omax 80160 waterjet from Omax Corp. of Kent, WA.
“It was a good business to get in to,” said Hatem Hajali, found and owner of Stone Age. “I owned property on State College Blvd., which is known as 'Tile Mile.' I started with slabs, and then a design center.”

The waterjet machine allows Stone Age Tile to create intricate radius and design work, while also cutting kitchen countertops. Additionally, it also allows the company to make custom medallions and listellos as well as working freely with metals and glass.
In the beginning, the company only had five employees, but today it has grown to over 60, and includes a 20,000-square-foot fabrication shop as well as two design showrooms - measuring close to 12,000 square feet combined.

A Marmoelettromeccanica Dynamica bridge saw is also among the line-up of machinery in the fabrication shop.
According to Larry Hajali, the owner's son, Stone Age Tile is a direct importer of stone from countries such as Italy, Brazil and India. “We specialize in exotics,” he said. “It works in our favor catering to the clients who are looking for something unique. With the housing values skyrocketing in California, and the re-financing boom, things have been great for us.”

Two Brembana Maxima CNC machines, which were supplied by CMS North America, Inc. of Caledonia, MI, also add to Stone Age Tile's overall efficiency in production.

Investing in machinery

One of the keys to the company's success is its state-of-the-art fabrication facility, which sits on 3 acres of land. Machinery includes three bridge saws, two Brembana Maxima CNC machines supplied by CMS North America, Inc. of Caledonia, MI, and an Omax 80160 waterjet from Omax Corp. of Kent, WA. Tools and accessories are supplied by Hard Rock Tool of Anaheim, CA; Keystone Tools Co. of Commerce, CA; and Granitek Stone Tools.

The CNC machines allow the company to output between 40 to 50 kitchens per week.
According to Hatem Hajali, the CNC machines and waterjet were purchased within the last three years. “The newest piece of equipment that we have is the Omax 80160 waterjet,” he said. “This machine allows us to create intricate radius and design work, while also cutting kitchen countertops.

A vacuum lifter is used to move slabs around the shop.
We can also save these designs via AutoCAD and incorporate them into future projects. [Additionally], we now make custom medallions and listellos, and work freely with metals and glass.”

To better serve its customers, the company maintains a stock of approximately 2,500 slabs of exotic material, which were imported from countries such as Italy, Brazil and India.
Stone Age Tile also considers itself innovative because about 70% of its countertops are 3 cm thick. “We are one of the few fabricators in Southern California who have switched to 3 cm,” said Hajali.

Stone Age Tile covers an approximate 150-mile radius in Southern California, including San Diego and Santa Barbara.
“We have the equipment to do it, and it's more efficient. Southern California being a predominantly 2 cm market motivates us to spend time with the homeowners and educate them on the benefits of using 3 cm granite.”

In addition to the fabrication shop, the company operates two design showrooms, which total almost 12,000 square feet combined.
For installation, the company employs 12 teams with two to three workers in each, depending on the size of the job. The company produces between 40 to 50 kitchens per week, and its market spans about a 150-mile radius, including San Diego and Santa Barbara. While the company still utilizes plastic and wooden templates, it is considering the purchase of laser templating devices, according to Hatem Hajali.

The company specializes in projects catering to the high-end custom home market.
Primarily, the company's market is countertops and flooring for custom homes. “We work with many designers and architects,” said Hatem Hajali. “We are user-friendly. They come in with floor plans and their clients and sit with us.”

Many designers and architects bring their clients to Stone Age Tile's showrooms to look at the numerous design possibilities.
To further serve its customers, Stone Age Tile maintains a stock of approximately 2,500 slabs. “We don't like to send homeowners to other slab yards,” said Larry Hajali. “We have more control over the product this way, and it is more cost effective.”

“We are user-friendly,” said Hatem Hajali. “[Architects and designers] come in with floor plans and their clients and sit with us.”

Sidebar: Stone Age Tile: Anaheim, CA

Type of work: countertops and flooring for custom homes
Machinery: three bridge saws, two Brembana Maxima CNC machines supplied by CMS North America, Inc. of Caledonia, MI; an Omax 80160 waterjet supplied by Omax Corp. of Kent, WA; tools and accessories from Hard Rock Tool of Anaheim, CA; Keystone Tools Co. of Commerce, CA, and Granitek Stone Tools

The recent purchase of the Omax waterjet has allowed the company to create custom designs in stone such as this curved center island.
Number of Employees: over 60, including 12 installation teams
Production: 40 to 50 kitchens per week

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