Two Decades of Beauty in Stone: The CleftStone Works Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

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For 20 years, the Pennsylvania company has been a center for artisan stone products, serving tile and stone design clients across the United States.

The CleftStone Works, Kutztown, Pa., celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year as a leading North American supplier of premium imported stone tile. The business, founded in 1994 by Chuck Stiefvater and Peter Galgano, cuts and prepares imported stones in many stunning colors, patterns and finishes for design clients throughout the United States.

CleftStone’s initial offerings were quarry-cut 12” stone tiles from India – three slates, two limestones and three sandstones. Services immediately expanded to include hand selection and custom cutting, and the company’s second price list included many additional sizes. In those early days, CleftStone began to import Chinese and South African stones, while introducing tumbled finishes in all smaller sizes.

In the late 1990s, 16”x16” sizes were added for all stones, and European production equipment was brought on line. A large rotary tumbler and multi-blade saw made large quantities of many new offerings possible, including cut sizes as small as 2”x2” and tumbled finishes to 16”x16”.

Today’s CleftStone product line features 36 stone varieties from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and Turkey. A large stock includes natural-cleft and honed monochrome and multicolor slate, quartz, limestone, travertine and sandstone, in cut sizes from 1”x1” to 24”x24”.

Shapes in current stone collections include squares, rectangles, rhomboids, pentagons, hexagons and octagons in a variety of lengths and widths. Tumbled or cobbled finishes are available for most of these stones. A European stone brushing line makes it possible to provide an attractive, tactile brushed or “leather” feel on every stone tile size and variation, including combined brushed and cobbled styles.

To inspire dealers and end-user clients, CleftStone offers a Pattern Guide design manual illustrating hundreds of custom patterns and borders that may be specified. An Accessory Guide provides selection assistance for matching, hand-made stone accessories including delicate bar liners, wall cap, base, thresholds, fireplaces, even vanity tops, which may be produced to order, complementing the field tile.

“Over the past two decades, we’ve evolved from an importer of quarry-cut stone to a highly skilled and creative stone customization workshop,” said CleftStone President Peter Galgano. “We’ve become a center for artisan stone products for our tile and stone design clients.”

“We have been developing a new standard for made-to-order stone projects. That’s the way things are going to continue here."

“Our staff of American stone craftspeople take pride in being extremely reactive to our clients requests. This level of service and customization is unprecedented.”

“In an industry where the choices have been limited by inexpensive Asian manufacturing, we feel it is a great design advantage to produce and customize our offerings to the clients’ order. We have pre-priced more than 80,000 parts and patterns. Any cost difference is small compared to the flexibility of being able to dial in nearly any combination of stone, color, texture, shape and pattern for a project.”

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Michael Apgar
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