Tradesman spotlight: 

Eduardo Davalos, owner Slate River Marble & Granite

By Katherine Nettles 

Most anyone renovating or building a new home in or near Crested Butte will at some point depend on the precise expertise of Eduardo Davalos. Davalos’ stone countertop business, Slate River Marble & Granite, is located in the Whetstone Industrial Park near Riverland and he is the authority on countertop installation in Crested Butte.

Davalos established his business shortly after arriving in the Gunnison Valley almost 20 years ago. Originally hailing from Jalisco, Mexico near Puerto Vallarta, Davalos moved to the U.S. in 1996, starting with high school in California. “Then I ended up coming to Colorado with a cousin of mine,” he says. He moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1996 and got involved in home construction and remodeling there. 

“I learned the home construction trade in the Roaring Fork Valley, at that point I was a man of many trades,” he says. He started taking more interest in working with stone and gradually began to specialize. “It’s just something that you learn and then follow it.” 

When Davalos moved to Gunnison in 2005, he and his wife Maria started the business. Maria does the bookkeeping, his oldest son Christian helps him with estimates on the client side of things and Davalos has a crew of about six others who work together on installations.

 Davalos describes the process of choosing and installing a countertop, whether for a kitchen, bathroom, workshop or commercial business. “We talk to customers and find what they like or would like to put in. We get the stone shipped up to us from our supplier, cut it at the shop, then fabricate and install it.” He custom measures everything using lasers and computer technology, and large installations often require a crane for placement. 

Having worked with stone for decades now, he has some opinions to share. “In terms of being beautiful, quartzite is good and it’s really durable,” he says. “Natural stone is my favorite, but it’s also one of the most expensive options.” In terms of trends, he says people continue to show a mix of preferences. “But lately people are leaning toward more quartzite—sometimes dark, sometimes light.” Davalos installed quartz countertops in his own home in Gunnison several years ago. “I wanted to see how it reacted to use and I wanted to know what to tell people about its durability. It’s a good material, and it still looks good,” he concludes.

Davalos says the thing he most enjoys about working with stone is, of course, the finished product. “When places are finished, most of the time it’s a beautiful piece of art.”

Davalos and his crew install around three to four countertops each week, and in his spare time he enjoys hiking with his wife and three children, camping in the summer, spending time at the park or Blue Mesa Reservoir and going to the pool. He does a little deer and elk hunting as well. 

“I enjoy the beautiful mountains here. That’s what I really enjoy,” he says. “Every place you go throughout the valley is a different experience.”