We all know that the increase in natural stone consumption in the U.S. has been remarkable over the past few years. The use of stone products - particularly in a slab format - has been exploding, as homeowners are considering granite kitchen countertops to be a staple of their residential projects. However, rise in slab consumption - coupled with the increase in new companies dealing with slabs - has led to a major issue that our industry needs to face: SAFETY.
Park Industries' high-production Prestige CNC stoneworking center produces curved edgework and complete sink cut-outs with touch-screen simplicity, the company reports. The machine was engineered to be a fast, easy-to-use work center, utilizing Park's proven, easy-to-operate CNC controls.
The AlphaÂ® VSP 110 variable-speed wet polisher was designed to be the standard for wet polishing applications. As an option, the company's newest wet polisher comes with a step-down gear set to reduce spindle RPMs.
Specially created for the medium-small marble-shop, the Comandulli Penta edge polisher, available in North America from AGM, is a small-sized conveyor belt machine for straight edges, which assures high production with low energy consumption, the company reports.
When I was growing up, I remember reading a survey that definitively stated: â€œThe typical American family has two-and-a-half children.â€ 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.
It is no secret that the Brazilian granite industry has grown tremendously over the course of the last decade. In the early 1990s, Brazilian granite suppliers began seriously marketing material to the American market, and exports of granite from Brazil to the U.S. reached a total of $19.5 million in 1994. Five years later, that total reached $42.9 million, and by 2004, a total of $267.9 million worth of Brazilian granite was exported to the U.S., placing Brazil a close second behind Italy in terms of granite exports to America.
No matter how many times I travel to Italy, it never gets old -- and not just because of the excellent food and wine I enjoy while I am there. As editor of Stone World Magazine, I am fortunate enough to travel to Italy at least two or three times each year, and every time I go, something new seems to be taking place in the stone industry.
The American Red Cross estimates that 275,000 homes have been destroyed by Katrina and the flooding that followed in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. More than 1 million people have been displaced, their homes unlivable and likely to be demolished. Rebuilding these homes and helping these families represents a staggering challenge, especially when you attach names and faces to the evacuees.
For this issue, we are excited to share with you four features that focus on using compact and ultrathin slabs in both residential and commercial projects. As these products continue to gain popularity, we wanted to share different ideas of applications, including an upscale dining environment in the interior of a Saks Fifth Avenue.