Businessman says new technology offers an alternative to granite
Leslie Giscombe, of Palm Coast, has started a business that takes advantage of improvements in laminate manufacturing that he says make the product an affordable alternative to granite for kitchen and bathroom décor. Countertop Designs, headquartered in Palm Coast, offers a variety of colors and patterns that can be customized to meet the customers’ needs. A series is available that is scratch proof.
“I want to educate people about what laminate is all about,” Giscombe said.
Years ago, laminate edges were always square. The latest technology allows Giscombe to offer a designer edge, with six different shapes.
Examples include soft or traditional ogee, bull nose and quarter round. An ogee is a curve, somewhat like an “S;” bull nose is a rounded, convex trim; and quarter-round is a well-known molding shape.
Giscombe said the designer edge capability has been around for a long time, but the company that holds the patent never marketed it extensively.
Another technological change that has boosted the product is digital photography. The manufacturer photographs sheets of granite so the patterns can be reproduced. Also adding to his product viability is that the laminate now comes in 5-by-10 foot sheets, so there are fewer seams.
Giscombe said he’s done a lot of work for builders, as well as individuals who want to remodel.
Giscombe started his kitchen and bath business in Palm Coast in 2003. When the recession slowed business in 2008, he made good use of his time by getting a degree in marketing at the University of Florida. He is now, as of February, taking his 20 years of experience into the cabinet and countertop re-facing business, using laminates.
He has partnered with the company that holds the patent to the method of bending the laminate into the corner shapes.
Giscombe handles the entire project for the customer, from design to installation, and prides himself on the customer service he provides. He has testimonials on his website.
The product is also available at Lowe’s Home Improvement stores for do-it-yourselfers.
Palm Coast is at the age when remodeling starts to take place, Giscombe said. It’s typical for a house to need updating after 15 to 20 years.
“We’re hitting that marker,” he said.
Giscombe has been in Palm Coast since 1991.
“All my kids grew up here,” he said.
Homeowners should research the various materials available for countertops, and make the choice based on their own tastes and budget.