how a Lakewood granite and marble countertop specialist simplifies an often overwhelming renovation process
by Jessica Jones-Gorman • Photos By Robert Nuzzie
More than two decades in to providing marble and granite to the residential and commercial industries, George and Catherine Gavallas understand the intricacy involved with building or renovating a dream kitchen or bath.
“When a homeowner is renovating their kitchen, for example, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the whole process,” George Gavallas said. “You’re choosing cabinets, countertops, paint swatches, wallpaper and tile…trying hard to visualize all the while how everything will come together.”
So, for the dual owners of Oceana Designs, a Lakewood-based fabricator of granite, marble, quartz and other solid surfaces, simplifying the process is their most important responsibility.
“It’s our job to make each kitchen renovation easy,” Gavallas said. “So, each of our employees—from the person who measures, cuts, and fabricates to the designer who sets everything in place—envisions how they would want any product in their own home. Anyone can learn how to polish a piece of granite, and you can have all the modern technology and templating tools in the world, but if you can’t get a return phone call from your fabricator or find a designer who understands and can bring forth your sense of style, it’s worth nothing.”
Founded in 1995 when Gavallas, a general contractor, decided to specialize, the business has since grown to encompass a variety of product options.
“I was intrigued by the product and really wanted to find a niche in the industry instead of offering every facet of construction,” Gavallas said. “Countertop offerings were much more limited back then; granite, for example, wasn’t as mainstream as it is now, and over the past 20 years we’ve added more options. Today we offer marble, granite, quartzite, and quartz selections that are hand-selected with your style and home décor in mind.”
In fact, Oceana Design’s 40,000-square-foot fabrication and showroom facility features hundreds of selections for service contractors, designers, and the public…and each process begins with analysis.
“We make sure the consumer brings all of their props with them, whether it’s a paint swatch, a piece of wallpaper, or cabinet sample,” noted Catherine Gavallas. “We review each kitchen carefully and pride ourselves on our coordination techniques and ability to create a unique look for each and every client.”
After product selection, the kitchen is laser measured and the customer is offered an individual layout review.
“Before we ever put a saw to material, we allow the customer to come in and see where they’re cutting,” Gavallas said. “That’s important to insure we meet their expectations. Once approved, we set up an appointment for installation. From the time of measurement, the entire process usually takes about five business days.”
According to Gavallas, the latest industry trend is quartz, mostly because it is maintenance free and the price point is right.
“One of the reasons quartz has become so popular is because companies are able to produce a slab that looks like marble but is more durable,” Gavallas said. “People love the look of marble, but it is not recommended for kitchen use because it can stain and etch. Customers like the clean fresh look of quartz, and are also swayed by its versatility.”
The co-owner added that homeowners should be happy to learn that there will be even more versatile options in the future.
“We are constantly changing and evolving with our industry, continuing to look for the latest technologies while improving the process,” Gavallas said. “Currently, we are seeing a lot of porcelain countertops emerge and there’s even buzz around ‘smart’ countertops that will charge your cell phone when it’s resting on top of it…others that have a heating element built in so that you can cook right on the surface. We move forward with tech; not only do we supply our customers with quality workmanship and design, we also remain on the cutting edge of product development.”
450 Oberlin Avenue South
Lakewood / 732.987.6944