TrueStone a true hit
For many years, Randy DiDonato and his wife, Cheryl, owners of The Tile Meister, were the best customers of Palisade Marble, a local manufacturer of cultured stone.
The Tile Meister uses the product TrueStone, a polyester resin and marble composite imprinted with images of real granite, to complete their popular one-day bathroom remodels across the Grand Valley.
When Palisade Marble went up for sale last year, it only made sense for the DiDonatos to buy it.
“The company had been around since the 1970s but it was failing,” Randy DiDonato said, “We thought, ‘Why not own both sides of the business?’ ”
The DiDonatos bought the company last October, renaming it Infinity Surfaces, and began operating it as a division of The Tile Meister.
In just one year, Infinity Surfaces has boosted sales to $300,000 and hired three new employees.
TrueStone surfaces are similar to a DuPont’s Corian product, DiDonato explained while walking through the manufacturing facility at 587 1/2 N. Westgate Drive.
It has the look of real granite but with a number of advantages, including a lower price point.
“It’s 40 percent less than the cost of real granite,” DiDonato said.
The material also is less porous, making it cleaner and more durable than traditional countertops.
“Plus, it’s not an imported product. It’s made right here in Grand Junction,” DiDonato said.
The process is simple. First, polyester resin is mixed with crushed marble to create a base material.
The base material is poured into molds and allowed to dry overnight, hardening into a white cultured stone. The stone can be sprayed with a colored or clear topcoat, sanded and buffed.
The white pieces of marble are pretty, but from here, the combinations of images are endless, DiDonato said.
TrueStone pieces use a trademarked process called Photofuzion, which uses heat and pressure to embed an image into the plain white cultured marble. The patented process is owned by Design Imaging, and Infinity Surfaces is a licensed dealer.
Any kind of image can be used, from a favorite vacation photograph to a granite or wood pattern.
“It’s not on the surface. It’s actually inside, underneath the gel coat,” DiDonato said.
TrueStone is usually formed into custom tubs, sinks, windowsills, countertops and showers. But those possibilities are almost endless, too, DiDonato said.
Infinity Surfaces sells to homeowners and builders throughout the Western Slope. But The Tile Meister is still its own best customer.
“With the right website, though, I could probably branch out of the valley pretty soon,” he said.