Mark Lauzon started Stone Works in 1997 with not much more than an old pickup and a tile saw. Since then, the granite slab business has boomed, and he and his partner, Pete Snegireff, now have 10 employees. In an average month, the company installs 50 slabs and lays 1,500 to 3,000 square feet of stone tile.
For the past few years, Lauzon has used only slabs that have been “resinated,” a process through which a penetrating epoxy resin is applied to granite slabs that have been honed and dried in a convection oven. After the epoxy has cured, it's ground off the face of the stone, leaving resin in the microscopic fissures. Once polished, says Lauzon, “the slab is as smooth as glass.”
What really puts Stone Works ahead of the pack, though, is an innovative method for top-polishing seams. “A few years ago, I flew to Italy to attend the world stone show in Verona,” Lauzon says, “and I watched an old guy removing scratches from the face of polished granite. In our trade, surface polishing is the most difficult task a fabricator faces. I had heard of folks polishing seams, so I started experimenting.” Early results were good but took too long — sometimes hours for a single seam. Finally, Lauzon found a combination of tools and technique that reduced the process to about 20 minutes.
“We now top-polish the seams on every job we install,” Lauzon says. “A seam that can't be felt is the detail that propelled our company from two guys and a tile saw to where we are now.”
Lauzon's top-polishing technique is no secret. He's posted complete step-by-step instructions at his Web site ( www.stoneadvice.com), which he started to help consumers and stoneworking professionals exchange ideas, and to promote the trade. A panel of expert volunteer moderators answers questions from all comers, and there are hundreds of photos of completed projects by Stone Works and other fabricators for visitors to look at.