"We have no intention of fabricating [1⁄2-in. material] at this point," said Steve. "If you want to fabricate 1⁄2-in., you have to install, and we cover too large of a market area to be able to install a product. So, I've made the decision all along, and I keep making it year after year, and that's to stay as a furnish-only company and not get into the installation."
However, they are working to establish a distributor network and drive a lot of growth through providing their ½-in. solid surface to other fabricators, according to John. Additionally they are handling a number of molded products.
"We've gotten into a number of specialty applications," said John. "We're manufacturing quite a bit of material for commercial applications. We're large enough to handle the volume and small enough to want to do it."
These specialty products include a variety of different thicknesses of material, but also 20 matching aggregate sinks as well as 12 solid colors and numerous prefabricated accessories, such as shower pans, wall cladding and shower caddies, all of which can be made to match a particular color of vanity or countertop (see Figure 6).
While the company continues to produce approximately five miles of laminate tops a week, customizing the majority of them, and customizes most of its solid surface veneer product, it is looking toward a future where more and more material is supplied to outside fabricators.
John said the company is continuing to develop its network of fabricators and that the door is wide open for numerous potentials.
Because the solid surface veneer does not require any expensive or specialized tools, many laminate companies can add it to their lineups easily. Additionally, its price point is attractive in that it will give solid surface fabricators wanting a less expensive alternative an opportunity to provide it without entering the laminate market. Finally, hard surface fabricators wanting to be able to offer a solid surface option can buy into the product with a relatively low investment, all of which spells out growth for the company.
"You could set up a shop to do this very easily," added Steve. "It could be a really easy way for fabricators to enter the solid surface market without the huge expenses."
Whether this happens or not remains to be seen, but there is little doubt that the innovation the company has based its foundation on will continue to drive the business well beyond its current boundaries.