Crafting Custom Countertops in Durango

4/7/2021

Paul and Jackie Beasley purchased Tile Art & Light Art about 10 years ago with a fledgling workshop where the former owners had just started manufacturing quartz, quartzite and marble slabs into custom countertops. Now, it's a mainstay of their business, and they recently moved to an expanded shop in Three Springs. Sponsored by The Payroll Department and Kroegers Ace Hardware

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When Paul and Jackie Beasley purchased Tile Art & Light art in Spring 2012, the former owners told them they weren't sure that their new initiative to manufacture custom countertops would be successful. 10 years later, the manufacturing side is the mainstay of their business. And the Beasleys recently expanded operations at their shop in Three Springs. You're watch your Local News Network, brought you to by The Payroll Department and Kroegers Ace Hardware. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. When you walk into the showroom at Tile Art & Light Art, a dazzling display of light fixtures that looks like works of art hang from the ceiling and walls. Rows upon rows of tile and countertop samples line the showroom floor. But the foundation of the business can be found in the back, where workers cut slabs of quartz, quartzite, and marble into custom countertops for their customers. Owners Paul and Jackie Beasley moved to Durango in 2011, and purchased the businesses the following spring. Paul Beasley had been in the construction business in one way or another since he was a kid, so Tile Art & Light Art seemed like a rock-solid match for the couple.

And our industry is so fun, too, especially this, over the last 10 years of doing what we do now. You help make people's homes beautiful, and it's a lot of fun. And you take it from, quite often, we start way back in the process, way prior to even digging foundations, and we start to work with clients and the builders, general contractors, and retail traffic as well, retail people. And the gals here will design, and they'll do tile, they'll do the tile side of it, shower doors, countertops, and, of course, lighting.

Jackie Beasley runs the front end of the store, where she and her staff of interior decorators help customers design and pick the finishing touches for their homes. Paul Beasley keeps tabs on the rock slabs his workers cut and shape into countertops, using state-of-the-art computer-run saws, routers, and grinders. It's heavy work that requires attention to detail.

All the slabs come in by truckload. As you can well imagine, they're very heavy. Slabs on average are 120" by 60", and they weigh on average 1,000 pounds. So we have to, we have special forklifts with clamps on them that pull that off the truck, and then we stage it for sale. Sometimes slabs come right in and they're special ordered per client, and they get brought in and allocated right away. Others, we have a slab yard here. They get taken off that truck and put into our slab yard for sale, and people can come in and pick and choose.

Workers use thousands of gallons of water to wet the rock while they're cutting to reduce airborne particulates to a minimum. A series of drains in the shop floor carry the water to another machine, where the rock dust is filtered and the water recycled back into the system. Workers can finish countertops for a custom kitchen in about a day. They use primarily quartz, quartzites, and marble for the products, although manufactured quartz is the most popular among customers right now.

Quartz is the manmade product, so it's often called engineered quartz. And what that is is 93% rock, waste rock, and it's bound with 7% of a polyurethane resin, and then it's gone through a whole special process where they use pressure to form it, and heat to make an incredibly durable surface.

In addition to granite countertops, tile, and lighting, Tile & Light Art also offer flooring materials and shower doors. The shop is located at 20 Design Center Road in Three Springs. To learn more, visit tileartofdurango.com. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network, serving Durango, Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Talluride, and Farmington, New Mexico. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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