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Jimmy McMickle at Andrew Pearson Industries in Mt. Airy wondered if glass countertops would work on a big scale for regular homeowners.
“We were looking at ways to branch out in the architectural world,” says McMickle, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Up until then, we were primarily a furniture supplier of glass and also a fabricator of our own furniture design.”
McMickle spent a few years on the road visiting glass shops and galleries, only to realize what was lacking was a way to make glass slab thicker than ¾ inch, which is standard.
“We decided to venture out and explore possibilities of using heat to fuse glass layers together to create the thicknesses we want,” McMickle says. That exploration led him to the surface show in Atlanta, where he was asked to speak.
“The excitement level was rising. They were looking for something that could be the next big thing,” he says. “What I was hearing was that back in the 90s stone was the big thing to have. Now because so much granite was imported from China and other countries, it was a race to the bottom to see who could underprice the next guy.
“I realized we were onto something,” McMickle continues. “When I got back, we set out on this path to design and build a kiln that would be large enough to do the pieces we needed to use.”
Glass countertops are on their way to Raleigh, made right here in North Carolina. Although more expensive than granite (ranging in price from $150 to $225 per square foot) fused glass is just as hard as granite and can be customized in a way granite can’t.
“You take layers of glass, and you can incorporate color, texture or fabric; using an adhesive film in between the layers bonds them all together,” says McMickle.
For more information, visit andrewpearsonindustries.com
• Harder than granite
• Doesn’t need sealing
• Fusing offers color and texture
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