After years of working with toxic chemicals in his bath tub repair and refinishing business, Wes Carter decided he wanted “a cleaner, less harmful occupation,” so he focused his attention on stone. “It could provide me not only with those options, but also a rewarding finished product,” he said. He opened Albemarle Countertop Company in 2003.
Having grown up only a half mile from Alberene Soapstone Quarry, Carter was familiar with the material, and, along with everything from granite and marble to limestone and onyx, it works its way into his projects on a daily basis. But that’s not to say it’s a “specialty.” That distinction goes to the company’s fabrication and installation, which Carter believes are second to none. “We’ve maintained continued education in our industry since we started, learning techniques from other fabricators across the country that makes our work stand out.”
Describe your aesthetic in five words or less. Timeless, functional, simple, natural, and exciting.
Where do you stand on form versus function? Being a minimalist, I prefer a more functional approach. That being said, we work daily with designers and architects who have much more of a form approach, and that is an aspect of my work that I really enjoy. Jumping on a creative bandwagon makes the jobs so much more interesting. Having clients who are excited and involved makes it even better.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever made? I created a drainboard for a client that was very interesting. We had an artist render a sketch of an oak leaf that I digitally applied to the material, and from that we created the sloping drainboard in the shape of the leaf.
What’s the first thing you ever made? A small stone vanity countertop and a matching oval mirror surround out of the same material. We still have them at our house.
What’s the process like when a client comes to you? It is always a collaboration for us. Certain clients ask us to do most of the design work and selection for them, but there are others who employ an entire team for their renovation, and that becomes quite the collaboration.
Anything else a reader should know about your company and the services it provides? We have really stepped up to the 21st century and outfitted our shop with new digital capabilities. We have implemented technology not used by anyone in the area, where we can take high-resolution photos of all stone slabs, and overlay a client’s digital countertop template onto their actual slab of stone to create a live layout that can be precisely adjusted by the client. I am also proud to say that we recycle 100 percent of the water we use in our fabrication process.
Get in touch
Have a project in mind for Albemarle Countertop? Visit albemarlecountertops.com to learn more or call 971-1602.