FABRICATOR FOCUS: StoneMag.com Highlights Rocksolid Surfaces in Their Summer 2020 Issue
Rocksolid Surfaces has become a premier fabricator in Cleveland, Ohio specializing in a vast array of materials for both residential and commercial markets. The company began in 1979 fabricating woodwork and millwork under a different name then expanded into the countertop and surfacing business to fabricate laminates, then in the early 1990s evolved again when the market went from laminate to solid surfaces to stone.
Today, Rocksolid Surfaces is still doing some millwork and cabinetry, but the owners of the company, J.B. and Jim Walsh believe they have the entrepreneurial skills to take what was already a successful countertop business and move it into the future.
“Jim and I were looking at other businesses at the time,” said J.B. “We had known the previous owner of Rocksolid for a long time who was planning on retiring or stepping back his involvement in the company to let someone else run it.” “It was the right fit for our manufacturing and business management backgrounds and we all agreed to acquire the company.”
Even with that relationship, the purchase took almost two years and was finalized on March 1, 2018. Today, the operation is owned by Walsh Commercial Group and does business strictly under the Rocksolid Surfaces name, with J.B. as president and Jim as vice president of operations. Both men’s fathers are also involved.
“The acquisition of Rocksolid Surfaces provided several things, including an established customer base, a strong reputation and a solid workforce of more than 80 employees,” said J.B. “However, the business needed new energy, it needed some fresh ideas, strategies and processes, and it needed some new technology.”
Today the company runs two Park Industries® TITAN® 2800 CNCs and a Baca Systems dual table Robo SawJet, and recently switched to digital templating. “Implementing more computer automation along with digital and laser technology is more accurate, reduces waste and is safer for our employees,” said J.B.
Plans are underway to introduce Slabsmith™ to the operation, a process the duo sees as a win-win for both their customers and the business. “It will have an up-to-date inventory of our full slabs and remnants,” says J.B. “We can do digital layouts for our customers so they can get an idea of how their countertops will appear.”
It also helps in the Walshs’ desire to do a better job of material management by controlling waste and yield.
Rocksolid Surfaces also has a showroom that has recently been remodeled and is open to the public. Walsh says the showroom features all the products Rocksolid sells, and it’s an extensive list that includes not only natural stone and quartz surfaces, but recycled glass, recycled wood products, soapstone, quartzite and even ultra-compact materials. The company is also one of a handful of certified Dekton® fabricators in northern Ohio.
QUALITY & CAPABILITY
“We pride ourselves on our quality,” J.B. Walsh says. “We’re investing in the best tooling and the newest machinery. Our edges and seams are second-to-none. A lot of companies that are doing this by hand cannot get the quality we produce.”
As for customer service, Walsh says it’s not unheard of to measure a job on Monday and have it installed by Friday. “That’s if there’s a super rush, and everything is perfect and the materials are available,” he says. “Typically, we say five-to-ten business days.” And, that’s over a market area that extends across all of northern Ohio, parts of northwestern West Virginia and as far as Pittsburgh, or approximately 120-150 miles from Rocksolid’s shop.
Part of the company’s secret – besides its automated shop – is nine installation crews. Walsh says one of the crews installs cabinets and the other eight install countertops; two of the eight deal strictly with solid surfaces such as DuPont Corian and the rest install stone. That’s another thing the cousins are still working on – how to cross-train the crews so they can install the whole spectrum of the company’s products.
Rocksolid Surfaces is also a Natural Stone Institute Accredited fabricator. “We were the first in Ohio to become accredited,” said Walsh. “It was received from the previous ownership. We think it’s extremely important to be accredited and it has led us to a lot of opportunities. It allows us to be different. We also strive to be at the forefront of what is happening in the market. That’s why we choose to fabricate alternative materials and will continue to experiment with different products.”
In the short term, the company hopes to become completely paperless. “This is one of the big things that drives us,” said Walsh. “When Jim and I took over the company it’s one of the ways we could make the company more efficient. There are obviously environmental benefits to it as well, but whatever it takes for our company to be more efficient, that’s what we want to do.
“Our long-term goal is to grow 20 percent each year,” Walsh went onto say. “It’s something I believe our company can do and with that, we want to be the best fabricator in the area.”
ABOUT ROCKSOLID SURFACES Rocksolid Surfaces specializes in creating superior natural stone, granite, quartz, solid surfaces and woodwork and millwork for kitchens, baths, home remodeling, new construction and commercial markets. Rocksolid is the first stone fabricator in Ohio to be accredited by the Natural Stone Institute and is a member of the Artisan Group, a premier network of stone fabricators in North America. Rocksolid Surfaces is located at 4031 West 150th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. For more information please call 216-251-5509 or visit the company website at WWW.ROCKSOLID-SURFACES.COM.