No one knows solid surfacing more intimately than fabricators — they're the ones who form it into gorgeous and durable countertops and other surfaces that delight homeowners. So it's no surprise that two fabricators have come up with a new way to do solid surface.
At 3 centimeters (about 1 1/7 inches), Eos is thicker than traditional solid surface, which gives it a weightier, more stone-like appearance. That extra thickness is impressive to customers, as is the price — just a bit higher than its thinner competitors, according to Eos founders, Ken Trinder and Evan Kruger.
The fellow fabricators were familiar with one another as colleagues, and had friends as well as a hometown — Norfolk, Va. — in common. When Trinder started thinking about a new kind of solid surfacing, one that would require less labor to create, he took the idea to Kruger because of his colleague's technical savvy and vast knowledge of the business. It took a year to perfect the 3-centimeter-thick surface. Eos, “the only solid solid surface,” as its slogan goes, was introduced in early 2005, and the company already has 50 stocking fabricators.
Trinder and Kruger aren't surprised at their quick and growing success. “The buy-in from the fabricators was instant,” Kruger says. He points out that when you look at all the labor, cutting strips, sanding, gluing, having to support the thinner material, and nitpicking fabrication issues of traditional solid surfacing, the slightly higher cost of Eos is offset by the savings in time and labor. Kruger and Trinder keep costs down by going overseas for manufacturing, handling their own distribution, and selling directly to fabricators.
For remodelers, the target market for Eos is clients who are looking at laminate or traditional solid surfacing. “When you hold the pieces up side-by-side, ours versus traditional solid, that's the part where the homeowner looks at [Eos] and is attracted to it,” Kruger says. That visual appeal, combined with the fact that Eos doesn't cost much more than laminate or traditional solid surfacing, makes Trinder confident that the product will be an easy sell to remodeling clients.
Remodelers themselves will find that Eos has some advantages. “We're getting remodelers something that has better value,” Kruger says. Less labor for the fabricator means that contractors get the product more quickly. Some remodelers Eos works with simply order sheets of the product to cut at the jobsite themselves, because it's so easy to do.
Currently shipping 17 colors, Eos plans to eventually offer 25. The company also sells stainless steel and solid-surface molded sinks.