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How do we do it

Some of the prices seem almost too good to be true, so how do we do it?
Jun 14th

TL;DR

Stone professionals always order extra material for large jobs in case something happens on the job site. Material that isn't used for the job often sits at the installers facility until they need to `throw it out` to make room for another job. It's not Trash, it's Stone Trash.

How we got started

StoneTrash was founded by Chris J. McConnell. He's a 3rd generation stonemason with over 40 years in the industry. As his business grew and he started taking on larger and larger projects, he found himself with a problem . . . what to do with all the extra material? To understand why he has this problem, lets take a look at how some commercial projects are built.
Lobby Birds Eye

Commercial Construction / Ultra High End Residential

In the photo above you'll see a beautiful lobby. Just look at all the stone! But in order to get there, a lot has to happen. Below is an abridged (very abridged) order of what happens on a project of this scope.

  1. DESIGN - Designer / Architect settle on the look and feel for the space. Materials species / manufacturers are selected.
    • Note there's a lot of back and forth between designer, architecture and contractors to ensure the materials work for the applications.
  2. SOURCING - Material is sourced. For natural material this means not only finding the quarry, but also selecting the blocks to be cut from. Depending on the design, sometimes this is very challenging. Natural material can have a lot of variation, even from block to block. (You can read more about natural stone HERE: TBA). So when material is finally found that'll actually work, the order is placed and material is sent to the fabricator.
  3. FABRICATION - Once material arrives at the fabricator, it's cut to final size and refinished if necessary.
  4. INSTALLATION - Material arrives on site and is installed.
  5. INSPECTION - Designer / Architect arrive on site to see finished product installed. Permitting everything goes great, they smile and open the doors. Job done

What I described is a prefect scenario. At any point things can go wrong. In sourcing, one block could have a vein that the designers don't like so it can't be used, but you don't know until after it's be slabbed (to go from a block to a slab). Sometimes cutting material in Fabrication could run into issues. Full slabs could be wasted. Material could be damaged in transport or on site when trying to be installed. It's not easy hoisting material 25' in the air. And lastly, during inspection, if the designer / architect don't like a particular pattern or hue, they could request that panels be swapped.

Lobby Fire

So for all of the reasons mentioned, and more, the professionals always order extra material. Even if you're working on a small DIY tile job in your house, you should order 10% extra material to account for waste. Often times this extra material just sits in the warehouse of the fabricator. But because space is limited most times, fabricators end up THROWING AWAY perfectly good material because they have to make room to store material for new jobs. We felt there's got to be another way.

StoneTrash was started to solve this industry problem: Excess Waste

Reception Desk

Even a small job like a reception desk at a corporate office will result in ordering extra material. Especially when the job requires long runs without a seam. The only way to do the job is to order sometimes 2X the footage required so you can avoid seams.

Our prices reflect the fact that, for some sellers, they are more interested in getting the material out of their shop then they are recouping the cost of the extra material. And remember, even when they throw this material out, it's not cheap. They pay per pound the dispose of excess material and stone is very heavy. For example, natural stone is 18lbs per sq. ft. for 3CM (1 1/4") thick material. That puts your average slab at almost a 1/2 TON!

I hope this post sheds some light onto why some prices of material seem so good. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us. And if you'd like to see some of our best deals on stone material, click the links below.