The beautiful stone countertop that you install in your kitchen or bathroom undergoes an extensive process of fabrication automation at ESF. You will get the most from your countertop for years to come because of this process and attention to detail.
ESF transitioned from manual fabrication to fabrication automation in 2014. They have grown this footprint with the purchase of equipment from distributor Park Industries. ESF has installed four Titan CNCs, one SABERjet CNC Sawjet, and one Fast Back Edge Polisher. The inventory management system is handled with Slabsmith and online inventory viewing with Slabcloud.
In this post, we will explore the steps between slab selection and countertop installation. Otherwise, the fabrication process.
Slab Inspection for Perfection
Natural stone contains characteristics related to the material type. Some of these characteristics include black spots, pits, directional veining, knots, and other natural formations. These features often give the stone its unique and beautiful characteristics. However, some customers may view them as unfavorable defects. These ares are marked during the customer consultation prior to templating.
After scheduling your appointment, a skilled technician will arrive at your home to take measurements. They will use a high-intensity laser pointed at the surface. The laser sends information to a computer which creates various points to create accurate dimensions.
Our technician will note and measure additional details such as overhangs, backsplashes, specialty cuts, cutouts for sinks and faucets, or seams that need to be factored in. Measurements are double-checked for accuracy and uploaded into our computerized system at our fabrication facility. Following this, the stone will be cut using fabrication machinery.
Automated Stone Cutting
Once the template is applied, the stone is cut with our SABERjet CNC Sawjet. This machine is programmed for the parts that need to be cut, where to use the waterjet, and where to use the saw. This achieves a higher level of quality. After the pieces are cut from the large slab, they are forwarded to the CNC machine for fabrication.
In this phase of stone fabrication, the cutouts for your undermount sink, cooktop, holes for faucets, or other design cuts are made. The CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine is programmed to know the size of the stone or stones on the table by reading a pre-affixed inventory barcode from Slabsmith. The machine is programmed to know where the stone(s) are located on the table and what to do with each stone. It can cut circles, radiuses, or any intricate pattern. Production runs smoothly and quickly with the four Titan series CNC router machines in production. They include both the 2800 and 3800 series.
Next, the edge is cut in by the CNC machine. We offer 5 different standard edges: eased, large eased, ½ bevel, bullnose, and Ogee.
Edge Polishing for Perfection
The Final stage of the process involves polishing and sealing (depending on the stone type.) When the stone arrive from the manufacturer from one of our suppliers, the face of the slab is already polished. However, the edge we created from the CNC machine needs to be polished. We use a Fast Back Edge Polisher from Park Industries. The Fastback edge polisher will edge, polish, and chamfer backsplashes, vanities, and countertops, often in one single pass. This saves a lot of time and labor.
Sealing for Longevity
Since stone surfaces are naturally porous, they may absorb liquids. This may result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market that may bring the stone back to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All granite and marble countertops are sealed during fabrication. This impregnating substance penetrates the stone, clogging most of its pores, making it impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, cleaners, coffee, food, and even oils.
Over time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, this sealer may wear off. It is recommended that your marble should be sealed at least once every six months and your granite should be sealed at least once a year. If the countertops are heavily used, it is recommended to seal them twice a year.
Maintenance & Care
Elite Stone offers a care plan. The same craftsmen that fabricate and install your stone can provide the proper maintenance to ensure that your investment stays as beautiful and vibrant as the day it was installed. To learn more, visit our site.
A beautiful countertop is just that, a piece of art created by the fabricated automation process at ESF.