The Finland-based Ylamaa Group dates back to the late 1950s, when Jaakko Tielinen began his career as a stone contractor. It was not until 1974 that the company purchased its first quarry in Ylämaa Hirvihauta, Finland. Further expansion came in 1980, when Ylämaan Graniitti Oy, which is now part of the Ylamaa Group, was established with the sole purpose of processing stone from the company’s own quarries into floor tiles and three-dimensional pieces for building projects. Not long after its inception, the focus of the processing plant shifted to countertop production. As a result, the company stands today as a leading stone countertop manufacturer in Finland. In addition to Ylämaan Graniitti Oy, there are also two other divisions within the Ylamaa Group - LT Granit Oy, which quarries blocks and Granite Development Oy, which takes care of international operations such as marketing and selling blocks.
The company’s operation includes two processing plants, which sit on a nearly 18,000-square-foot (1,650-square-meter) piece of property in Southeast Finland near the Russian border and Vaalimaa Customs. “The factory has a good logistic situation,” said Jukka Tielinen, Managing Director of Ylämaan Graniitti Oy. “It is 80 kilometers [50 miles] from the Port of Kotka, 225 kilometers [140 miles] from Saint Petersburg and 220 kilometers [140 miles] from Helsinki. Also, the company is situated in the middle of its own quarries.
” Ylämaan Graniitti Oy runs two production lines - one for granite and one for quartz surfacing. The granite production line includes a Hensel wire saw and a slab polisher, three GMM bridge saws, two Comandulli edge polishing machines and two Breton NC 250 CNC stoneworking centers. To process quartz surfacing, the company relies on a Breton Speedy Cut fully automatic bridge saw, a Comandulli Omega 60 edge polishing machine and a Breton NC 260 CNC stoneworking center.
In one month, Ylämaan Graniitti Oy produces approximately 380 countertops or 17,000 square feet (1,600 square meters) of material, which almost all have a thickness of 3 cm. A portion of these countertops are measured and installed by the company’s own installation crew.
“Our main market is Finland,” said Tielinen. “We also supply to Saint Petersburg, Russia, and Stockholm, Sweden. The farthest deliveries are made 1,000 kilometers [600 miles] from Ylämaa.”
While a majority of the countertops are fabricated from material extracted from the Ylamaa Group’s five quarries - including two Baltic Brown sites, a site for Karelia Red, a site for Baltic Green and a site for New Balmoral - the company also imports some slabs.
According to Tielinen, marketing objectives for Ylämaan Graniitti Oy include maintaining itself as a leading supplier for kitchen countertops in Finland and the surrounding area as well as working more closely with the Russian market.