Your molds are the most important tools in your cultured marble factory. Buy molds that you know gives you the best opportunity to make you money; Sinks, Bathtubs, Shower Pans, Wall Panels, and accessories. All the molds can be used to produce marble, onyx, granite and the other formulas seen in the "Photos" page.
Click categories below to see mold drawings :
All Purpose (No Bowl) Molds
Modular (Speed) Molds
Floating Bowl Molds
Drop-In Bowl Molds
Undermount Bowl Molds
Pedestal Sink Molds
Kitchen Sink Molds
Bar Sink Molds
Shower Pan Molds
Wall Panel Molds
Window Sill Molds
Misc. Accessories Molds
Textured Flooring Molds
have been in the cultured marble business for over almost 20 years so I
know all of the major players. After leaving Tiffany Marble I have
taken the time to research this industry even further and have traveled
from coast-to-coast to meet more people who have something to offer
this industry. By knowing the industry thoroughly I can better serve
those who want to establish a new cultured marble factory and supply
them with all the latest style of molds, the most efficient equipment
and the latest techniques available.
Sink: Make your
initial mold package as versatile as possible. If you know
you will be
No-Bowl All Purpose Mold: As mentioned above, this is the mold that is either 10 foot or 12 foot long that makes the bathroom vanity tops, and they are available with several different finished edges, such as bullnose, blunt nose, O-gee, and dripless. By securing the floating bowls on this All Purpose mold and placing some divider bars at predetermined locations, you can make ‘any’ length of marble / onyx / granite vanity top your customer requires. It doesn’t matter if you want to make a standard 36" (1 meter) or a 12 foot vanity top with 5 sink bowls, you can make it. I strongly suggest that you buy the All Purpose mold with what I call a ‘dropped front edge’ or some kind of bullnose edge built in to it. This allows the countertop to hang down over the edge of the cabinet, giving it a thick, rich look. It will look like the marble counter is two or three inches thick, instead of giving it a cheap look with a skimpy 3/4" thick marble deck that you used to see in a typical marble shop in years past. If you look at any of the bathroom or kitchen countertops in a bath shop, a Home Depot or some building supply store, you will see that these thicker edges are all they offer today. The thin 3/4" countertop is pretty much obsolete and very outdated.
Floating Bowls: There are over 50 different floating bowl molds available and when you include drop in bowls, undermount bowls, bar sinks, and kitchen sinks molds, there are well over a 100. There are oval bowls, square bowls, rectangles, octagonal, shell shaped, scallop shaped, and some other nice designs. Obviously you’re not going to start with all of them, but it’s a good idea to start with a half dozen pairs of different styles and sizes and end up with no more than a dozen. You want to offer your customers a choice! Always buy your floating bowls in pairs. When you set up your All Purpose Mold to make a double bowl vanity top, you will have to have two matching floating bowls to pour that vanity top.
Drop In Bowls: These can be a big seller where your customer has already chosen an alternative (tile, laminate, natural marble) to your cultured product for their countertop. That is fine. You’re not going to sell ‘everybody’ your one-piece, no seams vanity top, so you’ll want to have a couple of molds to produce a drop-in sink for their countertop. Unlike the all-one-piece vanity top, you can make one undermount sink on one drop-in mold, pop it off, and make the second one, but it’s more faster, more convenient and better to pour two at the same time, from the same batch, to assure an exact color match.
Undermount: Some of these same customers may prefer an ‘under mount’ sink bowl. This bowl installs from the bottom of the countertop and won’t have the raised area around the bowl with a silicone line. The undermount sink makes a nice, clean appearance and makes it easier to keep the countertop clean since it won’t have the raised area around the bowl to catch water. You can simply wipe the flat surface into the sink bowl. These are very popular in hotels. If you're producing undermount bowls for a double bowl countertop, two matching molds won’t be required in this case either, but preferred for the same reasons stated above.
Pedestal Sinks: Pedestal Sinks are becoming more and more common here in the U.S., and are the most common sinks about everywhere else in the world. In many places such as Asia, Europe, and Africa, pedestal sinks are used 90% of the time. There are several choices of pedestal sink styles available. Do you like oval shaped, square, scallops, or something in between?
Kitchen Sinks: There is huge potential in manufacturing solid surface kitchen sinks, and there are over 15 styles of kitchen sink molds available. There are single bowl, double bowl and triple bowl kitchen sink molds, and there are some really cool designs. Go to a kitchen / bath shop and see some of the designs in porcelain coated cast iron. You’ll want to compete, so you’ll also want to offer some choices. You don’t have to settle for a boring boxy double bowl kitchen sink any more. Get something that has some smooth lines and is pleasing to the eye. It doesn’t cost you any more to make something attractive than it does to make a couple of square boxes for a kitchen sink. An important point though; if you’re thinking of making kitchen sinks, I’ll assume you’ll also be making solid surface / densified kitchen counters in addition to your cultured marble/onyx/granite. There are some great opportunities producing Solid Surface kitchen sinks. Get some prices on Corian Solid Surface sinks, and you will see what I mean.
Bar Sinks: You are in the business to make money so don’t overlook this opportunity. I checked out some bar sinks at Home Depot, and I found an Acrylic (Plastic !) bar sink selling for $69.00 bucks! How much could you sell a marble / onyx / granite bar sink for in your area? Do you know how how little you have invested in materials making a simple little bar sink? Very little. There are a variety of shapes and sizes of bar sinks. You can get one as small as 8" X 10" or large as 16" X 18", or anywhere in between. I'd prefer one that will accommodate a garbage disposal size drain.
Wall Paneling: I’ve changed my opinion on the glass wall panel molds. I know three people who have glass wall panel molds that are now broken and worthless. My opinion is to stick with the fiberglass wall panel mold. They may get tweaked a little bit and are a little easier to scratch, but they are easily repaired. With the glass wall panel molds, once they are broke, they are worthless.
Obviously, you’re in or want to get in to the cultured marble business to make money so it only makes sense to concentrate on making those products which can be most profitable. Wall panels! You will have to make bathroom vanity tops, but there’s huge potential in wall panels and shower surrounds. I always told the trainees to make ‘tons and tons’ of wall panels and shower surrounds. They are a piece of cake to make. With a couple divider bars, you can make a typical 55 square feet (7 square meter) small bath shower surround with little setup time involved. You only need to make them 3/8" (approximately 1 cm) thick, which is half the thickness of a vanity top. Plus, it is a single pour product, unlike a vanity top, where you have to make a second pour for the sink bowl hat mold. For example, a single bowl 48 inch (7.3 square feet or 1.2 Sq. M) bathroom vanity top requires about 85 pounds (38 Kg) with two mixes/pours. A typical shower surround for a 60 inch long (1.5 M) bathtub is 55 square feet of marble and requires 200 pounds (90 Kg) of marble matrix. That 48 inch vanity top requires more setup time as well. All-one-piece wall panels are a piece of cake to sell. The contractor likes them because they can be installed from beginning to end in a couple hours, where tile takes several trips in between tile installation steps. With tile, they have to prep the wall... let it dry. Then they have to install the tile...and let it dry. Finally they have to grout the tile... and let it dry. Give me a break! They go to all this hassle to have a tiled wall with all those grout lines for mildew, mold, and soap scum to hide it. When you eliminate these burdens the contractor ‘and’ the end user will love you.
Flooring: Speaking of flooring.... My opinion is "Don’t do it unless you make it in one piece and make a textured finish.” Man-made marble and granite are not the best products for flooring but it may work fine in a low traffic area such as the bathroom where you’re installing other matching cultured marble products. Natural marble and granite are much harder than the raw materials used to bind the limestone and granite fillers together so natural stone holds up to the heavier traffic areas such as entryways. Contrary to what some people may tell you, man-made marble won’t withstand a lot of foot traffic in these high traffic areas with all that sand and dirt between the shoe and the flooring. Rubbing a polished piece of metal over a textured marble floor tile is not going to damage it as much as sand will. Sand is the killer and basically acts like sandpaper. Unlike an entryway where you will be tracking in sand on the bottom of your shoe, the bathroom floor is not going to get this kind of abuse. By the time someone reaches the bathroom area of a house, most of the sand and dirt have been kicked off the shoes if shoes are worn in the house. Having the ‘texture’ in the flooring lessens the appearance of any scratches since the foot only hits the ‘high’ points on the textured cultured marble flooring. This makes any scratches less noticeable. The texture in the flooring also makes the flooring less slippery, which is important. There are some important facts you need to read about Flooring in the Textured Flooring section on this page.
Bathtubs and Shower Pans: Bathtubs and shower pans are great money makers! Again, go check out some of the prices of those cheap acrylic (plastic) bathtubs on the market. If you aren’t making cultured marble / onyx / granite bathtubs and shower pans, you should be. You can be so competitive and make some big bucks with tubs and pans, and like the wall paneling, bathtubs and shower pans are a ‘piece of cake’ to make. I like to use the term “spray and dump”. Of course you have to wax the mold, but since there is no other setup involved, you simply spray the gel coat and dump the marble or onyx, or granite in the mold. The same applies for the shower pan. There are fifty different styles and sizes of bathtubs, and as many styles and sizes of shower pans. Where can a customer go to buy a matching bathtub, shower pan, vanity top and shower surrounds decked out with soap dishes to match? Only in your cultured marble factory! And, you don’t have to stop there. You can spice it up with some decorative trims, do the window sills, the floor, (in the bathroom) and even jet the bathtub if they want a whirlpool type of bathtub.
I’ve touched on the major money making molds but don’t overlook the little molds that are required to finish the job and also have great money-making potential. Some of these include the recessed soap dish and soap / shampoo combination, the exterior corner soap / shampoo holder, trim molds, window sill, shower seats, etc. These require a small amount of material and you can realize some nice profits. There’s also some five-dollar plastic novelty sculptured type of molds you can pour leftover marble in, but don’t rely on these to make you much money. Instead of throwing left-over marble in the trash, you can pour them into these molds... then.. throw them in the trash.
If you’re considering getting in to manufacturing solid surface densified material, you may want to consider a stainless steel mold. The solid surface matrix, which is a more resin rich material and the higher catalyst requirement will generate a lot more heat than your gelcoated products. I prefer making the flat solid surface pieces on stainless steel molds and pour them very ‘hot’, meaning with a lot of catalyst. Long story short... the more catalyst you use, the harder the surface will be.
I think I’ve given a pretty good description of the most commonly used molds and a little bit about their potential. But, as I always told the trainees, the mold selection is the - first, most important thing they do. You've heard the expression, "measure twice, cut once". The molds are the most important tool in your factory so it's probably a good idea here to "think twice, buy once."