LOVELAND – When you walk into the new Manstone showroom in Loveland, you will see everything from a traditional bathroom setup with shower stall and vanity, to a more customized look with a tub-shower combo, pony wall (half wall), and bench top seating inside the shower.
Manstone opened a new 2200-square foot showroom in Loveland on Feb. 1, its first expansion since the original owner opened the first location in Colorado Springs in 1972.
The showroom has 10 different displays exhibiting engineered marble and engineered granite showers, tubs, vanities and cabinets, everything you could want for the bathroom, according to J.D. Sauer, General Manager of Manstone.
“We have lots of custom colors, several tub styles, several shower base configurations and a lot of different vanity configurations,” Sauer said. This includes 5-foot tubs, oval soaking tubs and hydro-systems that can be fitted to make any tub a jetted experience.
The engineered marble products are all custom-made and manufactured in Colorado Springs. Sauer said that crew members pour the shower bases and vanity products, mixing marble dust and drums of resin with pigment to make a product. And the pieces are poured in wide sheets, without the use of grout. They pour pieces as big as they can fit through a doorway, eliminating the need for grout that must be maintained. The engineered granite products are custom made and ordered from the Onyx Collection, a nearby company in Kansas.
“Most people are looking for the ease of maintenance and the one-piece construction,” Sauer said. “Probably the second biggest thing is the custom sizing so they don’t have to buy a standard shower base and try to fit it to their configuration.”
The new owner, Patrick Bray, decided it was time to expand because the company services customers all over the state, and many from Northern Colorado.
Bray said they carefully studied the market in Loveland and recognized it as having lots of similarities to Colorado Springs in size and demographics.
“I believed it was about getting a presence up there so customers could touch and feel the product without having to drive all the way to Colorado Springs,” Bray said. “You can’t go and redecorate a bathroom without being able to look and feel what’s going to be in there. It’s like trying to pick out a tile floor on a computer screen; you just can’t do it.”
The company invited Pat Osiecki to serve as their Regional Manager in Loveland, as he had been working with the company for 30 years. He used to buy material from Manstone and install it in Northern Colorado and Denver as part of his own small company.
“We asked him to come work directly for us,” Sauer said. “He knows this area and contractors around there well. We are lucky to have him.”
The company does residential work, new construction and commercial work, some of which includes hospitals, college dormitories, and senior assisted living facilities up and down the Front Range. Customers can order custom pieces and pick them up to install themselves, or have professional and experienced Manstone crews do the installation work.
Bray, who has owned Manstone since 2015, has a manufacturing background and was looking to buy a manufacturing company.
“I noticed it was a really high quality product. The customers were raving about the product,” Bray said. “The real upside to it was no one really knew about the company so it was just a matter of getting the name out there to get the business to grow.”
So he hired April Sauer, J.D. Sauer’s wife, as their first hire to market the company. April quickly updated the marketing of the company in two ways. She increased their online presence, which included updating and optimizing their website, expanding social media, and adding search engine marketing. She also started advertising on television in the Colorado Springs area.
“That accounted for about 40 percent of our revenue,” Bray said. “Since 2015, our revenue has increased by about 50 percent.”
April Sauer said that expanding to Loveland fills a much-needed niche. “Not a lot of people know about the many benefits of engineered marble or granite,” she said. “It’s non-porous, non-staining and is just about the easiest thing to clean you’ll ever have in your bathroom.”
She said that many customers walk in their doors because they’ve had problems with grout. It has leaked and they are dealing with mold or structural issues. She added that their sales people aren’t on commission and don’t do the “hard sell.” They are there to help people with their bathroom projects and make their vision a reality.
The business has done well, since they opened in February. There have been a lot of customers visit the showroom and a lot of people drive by and stop because they see the sign.
“The quality of our products relative to the other companies is high and we also offer a 10-year warranty on our product,” Bray said, which he doesn’t think many other companies do. “That’s our confidence that when we install a product, it’s going to last a long time and customers are going to be satisfied with it.”
J.D. Sauer said that a couple hundred people have visited the showroom already. The average price of a bathroom is $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the scope of work.
“Being a small company, we pride ourselves on our customer service, our attention to detail and the superior quality of our materials and workmanship,” J.D. Sauer said.
By Wendy McMillan for At Home, Photos by Tim Seibert