An Absolute Understanding

Founder and manager of Absolute, Sander Coovert, gives his insights on the stone fabrication business.

Edited by Moe Godat

Design by Douglas Properties. Countertops by Absolute.

Photography by Tom Chlebowski, That One Summer.


The Art of Fabrication In the countertop world, a fabricator is someone who takes slab goods and measures, cuts, finishes and installs them. I consider Absolute to be a customer service company. Yes, we are in the business of fabricating and installing countertops, but ultimately our ability to thrive is a direct result of the experience we provide our customers.

Creating a Fantasy I am partial to a stone called Fantasy Brown Suede; Fantasy Brown is a dolomitic stone from India. Dolomite can have the look of marble but the usability of Granite, due to its high content of Magnesium. Adding a suede finish gives it texture and depth, resulting in a very pretty stone that is also durable and usually doesn’t break the bank!

Withstanding the Elements Granite and quartzite are the best for outdoors because they stand up better to the elements.  Rain and snow will damage marble and the softer stones, and quartz countertops can’t withstand UV rays. However, Mother Nature is not kind to ANY countertop. Over time, even granite will show wear and tear.

Classics and Trends In my over 20 years in the natural stone business, there is only one design that transcends a “trend.” The white marble look is timeless. White background with gray or brown veins is a classic and sophisticated look. I don’t think that look will ever lose its appeal. However, certain color schemes come and go, and I think the black, gray and white combo is coming to an end.  Not that it doesn’t look fantastic, but warmer tones in tan and cream are in demand.

Minimal Maintenance Granite is the gold standard for being durable and low-maintenance. There is a common belief in the marketplace that granite is high-maintenance and requires frequent sealing. Fortunately, the impregnator/sealer that is applied at most quarries renders the stone maintenance free.  Marble, slate, limestone, quartzite and others do require more attention, and no product is 100% fool proof. Even quartz countertops have some restrictions.

Family Matters The Quartz industry has done an amazing job imitating the look of natural marble. Where marble is not a good product for families, quartz is. And as mentioned, you can’t go wrong with granite.

Finishing Touches Most products come with a polished finish. Some quarries are applying a honed or suede or leathered finish to give the stone a more casual and rustic look and texture. There are only a few stones that come with different finishes. If a stone does not come to us with the finish you want, we can have it applied!

Helping Hands Selection of countertops should be based on the look you want to achieve. Many customers have preconceived notions of what is best and that limits their possibilities. Lastly, don’t believe everything you read, get in touch with us and we will guide you through the process. Whether you use us or not, we are here to help.