If you’re in the countertop business as a fabricator or a construction general contractor, you’re doing a lot of countertop builds, finishes, and installations these days. The market is hot because, as you know, real estate agents advise homeowners to focus on kitchen improvements when selling their home: cabinets, appliances, flooring, and of course countertops. Beyond home improvements and house-flips, some homes need new countertops after natural disasters such as hurricanes, fires, flooding, and earthquakes. In some areas of the country – such as where Lane Supply Company is headquartered, Denver – construction is going gangbusters to meet a shortage of housing.
Building, finishing, and installing countertops can be costly, time-intensive, and require experts who specialize in the countertop craft. But great products can reduce time necessary to complete a job, decrease money spent, provide a high-quality look, reduce the number of experts needed, and even make your shop (and its workers) more efficient.
With more than 60 years in the industrial supply and countertop fabrication–supply business, Lane Supply Company (Lane) can help you get your job right from the very beginning.
Building the countertop
A good countertop starts with Integra Adhesives. In previous articles, we’ve covered Integra Adhesive’s features and benefits – how to get a quality color match for seaming and edge-banding as well as speeding up your fabrication time. Integra Adhesives is a brand known for quality.
But it’s not just their adhesives that make jobs easier. Integra Adhesives also features an exclusive mitreForma™ system of clamps to create perfect 90-degree edges when used with their surface bonder XI and Zero formulations.
The mitreForma™ system helps in many ways:
- Speeds up the process
- Reduces the need for experienced craftsman that would join perfect mitered edges with solid surface materials
- Decreases the cost
- Improves the finished look
The clamps are also high quality, meant to last, and are available in assorted sizes: small and large. Contact Lane to see if this system is right for you. http://www.integra-adhesives.com/products/mitre-system/
Finishing the countertop
Now more than ever, customers demand a high-quality look to their kitchen or bathroom, without the hefty price tag. What can make a difference? The finishing on a countertop – your abrasives. Various abrasive lines can ensure a “polished” finish, meeting grand expectations without being too expensive.
Here are a couple of brands Lane recommends:
Uneeda FILMTEK is the workhorse of any shop. These film–backed discs are available at paper price, making them a fantastic value. But these discs aren’t just inexpensive, they’re durable, completing even your most challenging projects. And these abrasives are also flexible. They’ll work in any shop, blending seams until they disappear.
Lane carries a wide range of grits and sizes to keep your shop running smoothly, getting your jobs out on time. Learn more about our product lines.
3M clean sanding system
Although 3M is a competing brand to Uneeda, there are good reasons to use one versus the other. Coupled with a specific, multi-hole sanding back–up pad and filter bag setup, these discs reduce dust. Why would you need an efficient dust collection? Here are just a few reasons:
- Increase disc life, reducing unnecessary expenses
- Do more finishing without changing worn or clogged discs
- Improve shop throughput and efficiency
Plus, this system has some ergonomic advantages — they’re easy on the hands.
Lane can advise you on how to increase your output as well as improve the quality of your finish.
After the countertop has been built and finished, it’s ready to be installed. Although Lane carries a variety of adhesives and sealants, such as Integra Adhesives, we recommend two products to include in your onsite installation arsenal.
Boss 850 RTV silicones
Boss provides silicone sealant in clear, white, and the most popular translucent white. Why is translucent the most popular color? The milky clear nature of the cured silicone does an excellent job of hiding or blending the visual seam where the backsplash meets the countertop.
The Boss 850 silicone sealant also meets USDA and FDA requirements for food contact, making it the perfect choice for sealing backsplashes in kitchen installations. Plus, the Boss 850 has excellent mold and mildew resistance, which is necessary for bathroom installations where there’s constant water contact. This adhesive is formulated specifically for sealing and adhering marble, granite, and cultured stone products — the majority of kitchen and bathroom countertops and backsplashes. And it adheres beautifully, connecting the countertop to the cabinets.
Boss 387 contractor grade silicones
Boss makes another product that’s an excellent value: the Boss 387. This sealant is an option for those less critical applications where a general silicone is needed, but high performance is expected
Undermount sink clip kits
During the installation process, you’ll need to consider how to mount sinks. Along with sealing the bowl of the sink, we’ve got easy, no–drill options to get a sink mounted quickly. One of our favorite products is the sink clip kit.
The sink clip kit has four parts:
The process is even simple. Just glue the bolt to the underside of the top, mount your sink, and use the clip, washer, and wing nut to secure the sink to the top. Using the clip, like many of our other tips, will reduce the time and expertise needed to get the job done right.
Countertop products that get the job done
The need for countertops won’t go away any time soon. The U.S. will continue to have natural disasters and need to improve housing inventory. And homeowners will always look at inexpensive ways to fix up their homes while making them look luxurious.
But what has changed over the years and will continue to evolve – products. The right products can get a project completed on-time and on-budget, even increasing the profit for your construction, contracting, or counter fabrication business.
Lane knows countertops and the products needed. We’ve been in the countertop and related supplies business for more than 60 years. We can keep your projects moving faster and easier, saving you time and money.