Our five part series, Ode to the Tradesmen, celebrates our local tradesmen who make the gorgeous changes to our clients’ homes possible. Despite the domination of mass production in the world of manufacturing today, at Rollins Andrew Ltd. we pride ourselves on using quality local tradesmen who still consider manufacturing a craft. These are the men and women who source our favorite stone, fabrics, furniture, iron work, and more. Through this series, we hope to show the real people and processes behind the design of your home. We thank them for making our vision a reality!
BEST WAY FABRICATORS – DOWNTOWN, L.A.
In Part II, we are highlighting Best Way Fabricators in Downtown LA. They are the craftsmen behind your gorgeous stone or marble countertops. In your homey kitchen, elegant bathroom, or jewel box powder room, each slab of stone or marble is hand picked according to its intended use, level of quality, color, veining, and begins a journey across oceans, borders, or towns. Its is measured and cut to fit your space, fabricated, and installed in your home. We got an insider’s perspective to break it down. Our friend, Chris, from Best Way Fabricators reveals each step in this journey…
WHAT MATERIALS SHOULD I USE?
The process begins with selecting the right material that meets your needs. This includes colors, patterns, and type of material. If you are not sure what material is best for your space, designers and tradesmen work together to assess what material is the right fit. If pigmented spices like turmeric hit your kitchen countertops often, then white marble may not be the right choice for you. You may prefer a darker blue/green soapstone to mask any cooking flurries while still looking stunning. There is wide array of colors and patterns to work from in marble, granite, limestone, quartzite, slate, travertine, and the most acclaimed material, human engineered stone (a.k.a Quartz). Many of the selections are done by matching, combining, and contrasting other components being installed or used to achieve a desired look or style. Other elements to consider while choosing your stone: wall and cabinet paint color, backsplash tile (if you don’t use the stone), flooring, island paint color, and more.
WHERE IS IT SOURCED?
Material is outsourced from suppliers around the area including L.A., the O.C., San Fernando Valley and sometimes out of the state or country. Our suppliers source stone that comes from all over the world such as Spain, Italy, China, Mexico, Brazil, India, Israel and many other places. Price depends on how difficult it is to get, such as Italian Marble, which can be one of the most expensive materials to source. In fact, Carrara marble from Italy, was the popular medium among Ancient Roman architects and Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo. Watch how quarry workers in Carrara cut colossal blocks of marble off the side of a mountain in this short video by Nowness:
HOW DO WE KNOW IT WILL FIT?
Once you have selected your desired material, the stone fabricators will go on site to measure the areas for installation. The measurements are then drawn up, approved by all parties and submitted to the shop. This approval is to make sure the edge detail is correct so that the pattern in the stone will match together when joining pieces. Placing joints is another big factor to be approved. This means taking full advantage of the material by maximizing the slab size while making the finished product look seamless and discreet.
HOW IS IT BUILT?
Once our fabricator gets an order and drawings into their hands, the cutting process begins. The cutting process consists of cutting all the pieces including tops, surfaces, aprons (edges), backsplash, wall panels, seats, table tops, etc. Cutting is carried out using a human-operated table saw machine. The cutter will send these pieces to the fabricator who takes care of any specific cutouts, gluing, grinding, sanding, and polishing to achieve the desired design and shape. Before anything leaves the shop, the chief fabricator supervises and approves the work for installation.
HOW IS IT INSTALLED?
Pieces are sent out of the shop to start installation. Our installer will modify the fabricated pieces to fit them in place. When we leave, we make sure that everything is in place for plumbers, electricians , painters, appliance installer etc. to do their job.
For one of our current projects, we installed a gorgeous black soapstone to create a contrast with new white cabinetry. We added a bold paint color to elevate the sophistication of the kitchen.
Watch our behind the scenes footage to understand how this soapstone was made into countertops.
The entire process can take from 5 to 15 business days depending on the size of the project.
THE FINAL LOOK
Here is how Best Way Fabricators have transformed our projects…