OGDEN -- When it comes to solid surfaces for countertops, vanities, and tub and shower walls, customers are beginning to feel like there are slim pickings and what is available is rather plain-looking, says Corey Erdmann, the owner of Sand & Swirl, who decided to do something about it a few years ago.
"The products were 'you get what you get, and you don't throw a fit,' " said Erdmann. He felt he could make a significant difference in the industry by developing some new products to change up the look. So Erdmann started his own business in 2003 to do just that after being on the installation side for 22 years.
Erdmann built his own equipment and began experimenting with new materials. After many trial and error sessions, he finally developed a new realistic marble product with a veined look and different color options that customers love, said installer Dan Mitchell.
"Everybody wants the new stuff, and they get excited about it while I'm working on it," said Mitchell, who has been installing solid surfaces for 16 years. "Customers don't want the old stuff anymore."
Erdmann says the new product, known as Realistic Marble, is unique because no other company that he knows of has been able to replicate the look. Because the material is so unique, manufacturing needs to be done by hand and can get rather messy.
Made with a combination of calcium carbonate, limestone, resin and a gel coat, the raw materials are poured into the molds and set out to dry. Once the materials are set and cured, Erdmann's three production specialists polish any rough edges and inspect for any defects in the solid material.
Erdmann is not done creating new products. "I will never stop trying to create," he said. "I will always be looking for something different and cool."
Pivotal to his discoveries has been listening to what customers want and providing them with products that fit their needs.
One of the many benefits to the Sand & Swirl's Realistic Marble is its relatively low cost when compared with actual marble or stone solid surfaces. At half the cost of its look-alike products, Realistic Marble is easy to clean and has no grout lines. Additionally, Realistic Marble is nonporous, which means it is mold-resistant. Eighty percent of Erdmann's sales are the Realistic Marble.
Many of Erdmann's jobs involve large apartment complexes trying to upgrade their looks for potential renters. The significantly lower cost of Sand & Swirl's Realistic Marble makes it possible for apartment complex owners to offer a nicer appeal for their renters when it comes to countertops, vanities, tubs and shower walls.
Sand & Swirl does offer other products as well, including Cultured Granite and TruStone, a material with the look of full-slab stone, but with the function and durability of cultured marble at half the price.
Sand & Swirl
Owners: Corey and Rebecca Erdmann
Location: 1339 W. 3300 South, Ogden
Type of business: Affordable, easy-to-clean cultured marble with custom colors and styles
This is a periodic series profiling businesses featured on the www.Utahfindit.com website. For more information about the website, contact Laura South at 801-625-4346 or email@example.com.