DuPont Pilots Natural Stone Offering
DuPont is now in the natural stone business, offering granite certified by the company. Granite Certified by DuPont is treated with the company's special high-grade sealant that will reportedly help the stone retain its natural color and prevent dulling. The pilot program for this venture launched in June at 26 Lowe's Home Improvement stores in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia markets. The company plans to move forward with its granite offering, with a possible official launch in 2006. According to the company, it is introducing granite to round out its decorative surfaces offering and meet consumer demand. With this addition, it offers consumers a complete portfolio of surfacing solutions that includes solid surfacing (Corian), engineered stone (Zodiaq) and now natural stone. The stone is quarried all over the world, and the company reportedly maintains close quality control over granite slab selection for each color. Like all natural stone, Granite certified by DuPont must be sealed. However, the company's granite is treated with DuPont Natural Stone Sealer—a high-grade sealant that fills the stone's pores to help repel surface spills, retain its natural color and prevent dulling. It is recommended that the granite be sealed every one to two years. Granite Certified by DuPont is backed by a 10-year, limited, nontransferable installed warranty. The warranty covers fabrication, installation and some product defects. Like Corian solid surfaces and Zodiaq quartz surfaces, DuPont granite is installed solely by DuPont certified fabricators.
Rynone Increases Capacity
Rynone Mfg. Co., a Pennsylvania-based producer of cultured marble vanity tops, has spent more than $1 million to streamline production, boost capacity and enhance qulaity. As part of its investment, the company installed its fourth Respecta auto cast machine and a new Fanuc spray gel robot—the first in North America.
Habitat for Humanity
The Swan Corp., St. Louis, is helping Habitat for Humanity St. Louis with the construction of 20 new homes for local residents from April to October of 2005. The corporation volunteered to sponsor one of the homes, donating time, energy and effort to the project. In addition, the company is providing Swanstone bathtubs, vanity tops and kitchen sinks for each of the 20 homes being built. Swan employees and their families worked alongside other volunteers as well as the new Habitat homeowner to construct the home.
Samsung Adds Staron
Sales Manager for Midwest
Samsung, Los Angeles-based manufacturer of Staron solid surfacing, has added Scott Belasco as its newest regional sales manager. Belasco will oversee an 11-state territory that covers the Midwest. Belasco will manage Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. He brings more than 28 years of direct industry experience, ranging from owning his own fabrication shop to serving as a techincal and product manager.
Rosskopf & Partner Comissioned for Chipperfield Residence
Well known architect David Chipperfield has commissioned Rosskopf & Partner AG with the development and planning of an unusual project—relization of the kitchen and bathroom in his private residence in London. The work was carried out in collaboration between Rosskopf & Partner for processing the solid surface and the joiner's workshop of Benno Munzner for the woodwork. Both the kitchen area and the bathroom were finished in LG HI-MACS.
WI Changes Member
The Woodwork Institute's board of directors adopted a restructure of the organization's membership dues and certification/inspection services. These changes become effictive Jan. 1, 2006, for existing members and licensees. Under the new structure, companies will pay a yearly membership fee based on their annual income The new fee will be 70 to 80 percent less. The institute's certification/inspection services will now be fee-based and discounted for members or member licensees. It has also adopted a code of ethics and increased application requirements for licensees. The additional requirements include providing letters of recommendation, at least three years of architectural millwork experience and adherence to the code of ethics.
MIA Launches Accreditation Effort
The Marble Institute of America has organized a task force to develop an accreditation program. The eight-member group hopes to launch the program in 2006 for companies in all phases of the stone business. The four major goals for accreditation are: maintaining and increasing competency of the industry; increasing the consistency of practice by promoting consistent quality; protecting the consumer by providing access to companies that represent the best attributes of standard practices; and enhancing the industry's commitment to natural stone.