There is no doubt that the way customers choose their worktops is changing. The average value of a kitchen purchased today is significantly higher than before the economic downturn and clients are demanding better quality, choice and value.
The 'Got to have Granite' syndrome is gradually disappearing as customers recognise the wealth of alternative options available to them, but specialist worktops canít be installed by the majority of kitchen fitters as they simply donít have the tools or the training.
At Mitchells we have experienced a dramatic increase in the amount of customers wanting us not only to supply their worktops, but to cut and shape them too. The trend for curved doors, slab ends and wider island units have all fuelled this demand putting a strain on our relatively small workshop facility.
Recognising the changes in the market and responding accordingly, Mitchells have just made a significant investment in a MultiCam 3000 CNC Router. This impressive machine makes light work of most of the labour intensive jobs that have previously been done by hand. This includes cutting out holes for sinks and forming drainer grooves, and cutting shaped worktops.
The CNC is controlled by a computer running CAD software which converts drawings into machine code. In theory if itís possible to draw it, the machine can cut it. The programming is quite complex and we are still learning, but initial teething troubles are now sorted and the workload is easing.
Left: Acquastone solid surface with integrated vanity bowl. A popular choice for bathrooms and cloakrooms.
Centre: Solid wood table top waiting to be sanded and oiled by hand before going to site.
Right: Another Encore job ready to be packed and shipped.