As with almost anything, over time things and people evolve and change. What was popular at one time, might soon be a thought in the past. Often technology contributes to these transitions. This definitely holds true in the fabrication world. While many fabricators say they still prefer to cut natural stone, they can’t ignore the rising demand for quartz surfacing, as well as products such as sintered compact stone and porcelain slabs. Research and development in recent years has led to these product lines, and now tooling manufacturers are pushed to develop blades and other tooling and equipment to cut them. But even though these alternative products are surfacing more in today’s designs, fabricators also say there are some hesitations from customers because of the “unknown” factor.
“We work with several porcelain and sintered materials,” said John Kilfoyle of United Marble Fabricators in Watertown, MA, adding that the brands he cuts most often are Laminam, Neolith and Dekton. “There is a strong curiosity toward these materials. We are a resource mainly to the residential market and there is still a big hesitation to commit to these new materials and clients often want to be convinced of the benefits.”