As one of the charter members of the Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA) and a frequent user of the StoneAdvice.com Forum, I have had ample opportunity to see what the end users biggest complaints are. Customers are continually complaining about the seams in their new countertops.
Question: How are people templating their countertops these days? It seems more shops have gone digital, but it is not universal - even when people have CNC machines, waterjets, etc. For fabricators who are using digital templating systems, how long did it take for you to learn? Were your templating employees hesitant to make the change? Were there any mistakes or lessons to be learned? For folks who are templating manually, what are you using, and what has prevented you from making the switch to digital?
This past spring, stone fabricators from around the country gathered at Cadenza Granite & Marble Inc. in Concord, NC, for a Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA) Workshop. As part of the extensive program, two SFA members offered a hands-on demonstration of their techniques for seam setting and top polishing.
When evaluating a hotel, the bathroom - and especially the shower - really make a statement about the quality and comfort of the room. Hospitality showers today are more than just necessary amenities. They can be beautiful and luxurious mini-escape locations. And, nothing makes this statement better than natural stone. With that in mind, it is critical to construct the wet area at optimal levels to create a long-lasting and durable installation.
For some time now, the “Fabricator Forums” held at trade shows around the country are among the best-attended events in the stone industry. One of the most recent large-scale Fabricator Forums was held at the last StonExpo trade show in Las Vegas, NV, and attendees discussed a wide variety of topics.
I have received numerous calls lately concerning the fading of dark granite countertops. The most common complaints seem to be on Absolute Black, Black Galaxy, Zimbabwe Black and a few others. I have heard many fabricators try to blame the fading on the misuse of cleaning chemicals, acids, etc. While one should not use inappropriate chemicals on granite surfaces, this is often not the reason for the increase in black granite fading.
Q: How do you make true radius cuts without a CNC machine? Right now, I use a grinder and get them close, but they are not near perfect. I explain this to my customers who want a radius before we go ahead. This is very time consuming, and we still get flat spots on it.
More and more in the stone fabrication industry, companies are looking to take extra steps to ensure that the seam is as smooth as possible. Seam polishing is one technique, although many of the seams I polished were to fix someone else’s mistakes. You may also have to seam polish if you have a bowed slab.
In this issue of Stone World Magazine, read about the upcoming TISE show, we provide solutions for protecting and maintaining natural stone, see the results of Stone World’s annual Purchasing Plan Survey, and much more!