From Flooring into Stone
In 2010, Dallas Grubbs III started a flooring store as Quality Floor Covering. Customers started asking him “Do you do kitchen remodels too?” and Dallas wasn’t one to let opportunity pass.
He marched his company into the cabinet business and with that came stone. At first, they outsourced their stone fabrication, but Dallas quickly grew tired of it – trying four different local fabricators to no avail. In 2015, they launched their own stone shop and updated their name to Quality Floor Covering & Stone.
Manual to Digital
Dallas and his wife, Sharie, found a small shop for sale in Arizona. Soon its equipment, primarily an old Italian saw and Makita grinders, was on its way to them in Gillette, Wyoming. The former shop owner even came and trained them on how to fabricate stone for the next 4 months.
Dallas and his team caught on quickly, growing year over year and hitting the $1 million mark in stone sales by year three. However, they faced challenges getting parts for their saw and wanted to raise the bar. Dallas decided to attend the Digital Stoneworking Expo™ in Phoenix, AZ in February, 2020.
While at the event, it became clear to Dallas that most of the fabricators there were already digital and successful because of it. From a profitability standpoint, Dallas’s shop was doing well, though it was completely manual. He thought to himself, “Out of 100 fabricators, if 99 are doing a pretty good job while digital, I guarantee I can do even better. This is what convinced me on going digital.”
An act of fate, if you will, sealed it for him. On the shuttle back to the airport from the event, Dallas found himself sitting next to Park Industries® Co-Presidents, Mike Schlough and Joan Schatz. Dallas recalls, “I was extremely impressed from our conversations in that shuttle. I felt confident in partnering with Park Industries® as the right company to buy from.”
In September 2020, the VOYAGER™ XP 5-Axis CNC Saw and FASTBACK® II Edge Polisher were installed. Dallas describes the transition from manual to digital, labeling it “seamless” and “going extremely well”.
Leading the way for that transition is Jason, their shop manager. Jason describes why they chose the VOYAGER™ XP, “It has every capability we could’ve wanted – the router bit, [TightCut™] blade plunging, tilt table, miter cutting, arc blade cutting and more.”
Jason continues, “It’s was like going from a 1974 Pinto to a 2020 Maserati. Health and safety-wise, it’s been a huge improvement – our dust in the shop is virtually gone.”
New Machines, New Possibilities
Dallas and Jason share below what they are loving about their new VOYAGER™ XP CNC Saw.
Arc Blade Cutting: “We’ve done several large islands with a big radius on the end using the blade arc cutting…that to me is the cat’s meow. This is something we wouldn’t have dreamed of doing manually.”
TightCut™ Blade Plunge: “We’ve been able to get more parts out of a single slab thanks to TightCut™, it’s been a huge benefit.“
Tilt Table: “Just another awesome feature. It used to be a huge hassle loading our old saw. Now it’s extremely easy with no more back-breaking labor to handle slabs.”
Mitering: “Before, we were cutting miters with a rail and a wet skill saw…we used to shy away from anything with miters. Now, it’s bring it on – they are just like any other cut.”
On the FASTBACK® II, Jason details its efficiency, “Polishing manually prior to the FASTBACK® II, we averaged about 2” / min by hand. Now, we run everything through that FASTBACK® II at 60” / min or more. The polish is perfect every time. It saves us a ton of time and time is money.”
Dallas and Jason made sure to give a well-deserved shout-out to their Park Industries® installer, Ryan. Dallas explains, “We didn’t actually know a lot about their service prior to choosing Park, but as soon as our installer Ryan showed up, it was obvious Park’s service is top-shelf.”
Ryan made two huge impressions on them:
#1 – Jason shares that he still gets texts from Ryan consistently to check-in and see how things are going. “All on Ryan’s own accord.”
#2 – Dallas shares a story of integrity, “We received a check from Park Industries® about 40 days after our install for $1300. We couldn’t figure out why. When we asked, we were told we provided something during the install process that Park typically includes as part of the install. Ryan didn’t need to use what he brought, so he made sure we received reimbursement for this.”
He continues, “This wasn’t something we expected or would have ever even known about. Park Industries® could’ve easily kept the money and it would’ve been fine with us, but they refunded it. There’s no question that Park is the right company for us to be in partnership with.”
Results of the Change
The VOYAGER™ XP and FASTBACK® II have been a perfect pair for Quality Stone, as they’ve more than doubled their production capabilities without adding any extra manpower. Jason explains, “We were struggling to cut and finish 80-90 sq ft in an 8 hr day. Yesterday, we cut and finished 200 sq ft no problem.”
Dallas comments, “If I were starting a granite shop today, I would start with a FASTBACK® II and a VOYAGER™ XP. Cutting manual is no longer an option, it’s too dusty and too hard on your guys. And why would you want to, with some of the financing packages out there now? Start out right.”
Though all divisions (flooring, cabinets, and stone) of the business are doing very well, Dallas is 100% focused on continuing to grow the stone side of the business. Dallas jokes “We used to be a floor company that dabbled in granite, but now we are a granite company that dabbles in flooring.”