The finishing touch, in 3D

In Clarion, Jon Ruba is planning dream kitchens and baths

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Jon Ruba, owner of Ruba Kitchen and Bath, displays a variety of tile samples at his business in Clarion recently.

CLARION — Jon Ruba has taken his passion for designing kitchens and bathrooms to the next level.

Ruba is the owner of Ruba Kitchen and Bath. He expanded his business in Clarion during the spring.

The business is located at 215 Nelson Ave. S.E. in Clarion’s industrial park.

“We were leasing a building across town,” Ruba said. “When our lease was up, we decided if we are building a new building, let’s go all out and have a nice, big showroom.”

Ruba, a 2002 Webster City High School graduate, has been in business for about 11 years. He specializes in cabinets, countertops and millwork.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Jon Ruba talks about kitchen design options at his business, Ruba Kitchen and Bath in Clarion, recently.

“We are a dealer for Bertch (cabinets),” he said. “We do pretty much anything with interior finish.”

After completing Iowa Central Community College’s building and trades program in the early 2000s, Ruba got his start as a carpenter in Forest City.

“I was doing side work as well, knowing I would someday own my own business,” he said.

Through his job, Ruba found that he was drawn more to interior work.

“I had always wanted to do carpentry and once I started doing it, I had the urge to do finish work,” he said. “I wasn’t into the whole house building. I decided I really wanted to lean towards finishing.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Jon Ruba shows off different variations of door styles at Ruba Kitchen and Bath recently.

In 2006, Ruba started his own business.

“I was working out of a four seasons room with my displays and having a lot of mini displays that I was able to bring to clients’ homes,” he said.

The displays showed items such as cabinet door styles and countertop samples.

In 2010, he and his wife, Adrianne Ruba, a Humboldt native, moved to Clarion in an effort to grow the business.

Ruba said he will take on projects throughout the state, but primarily conducts business in The Messenger region.

He employs two full-time workers and hires some part time help throughout the year.

“Because we kind of go all over, this is kind of a central location for us,” he said. “Being right off of (Iowa) Highway 3 has been huge for us. We do a lot of work in Clarion, Belmond, Webster City, Humboldt and Fort Dodge. It’s been a nice area to sit.”

He is looking forward to the prospect of population growth in the region.

“I think the more people come to town to buy things, and want to remodel could be a huge deal for us,” he said. “Or when people sell their home. A lot of times people want their kitchens and bathrooms done when they move into a house. With more people wanting to sell or move in, I think that will be good for us.”

Inside Ruba’s new 1,300-square-foot showroom is where customers can get an idea of what their kitchen or bathroom will look like when finished.

“We used to do the design on black and white on paper,” he said. “Now we put it in full color on a computer. We come to your house, measure it up, and we come back and design it. We can show exactly what it will look like in your house, in color, in 3D, from different viewpoints in the house. People can really see exactly what their kitchen will turn out like when it’s done, and it’s the same thing with bathrooms.”

Ruba has plans to improve how clients can view their prospective kitchens and bathrooms.

“I am going to install a big screen where people can sit down and see what their whole kitchen will look like,” he said. “We are going to have a system where you can actually see your whole kitchen in 3D on a big screen. You put these headsets on and you can spin and see what it would look like as if you were standing right in the middle of it.”

“We have some more displays coming and will continue growing in that way,” he said. “The biggest thing is our design. People are wanting to see more realistic views, so we hope to advance that in the next year or two.”

Ruba said what sets his business apart is that clients get to work with the same person throughout their remodeling process.

“It’s the whole idea that we are kind of a one-stop shop,” he said. “You are pretty much working with me the whole time.”

He likes to take the measurements of kitchens and bathrooms himself.

“A lot of times you have to bring the measurements to get the ball rolling,” he said. “I want to come out and see the area and get a feel for the house, so I know how to design it that way. That’s always been the one thing I have always done. I go out right away and that makes things on the design end a lot easier. They don’t come to the showroom until the second meeting, when the drawings are done.”

He said the showroom is by appointment only.

“Eventually we plan to open more regular hours,” he said.

Ruba said he enjoys the creativity in his work.

“I don’t see this as a job,” he said. “I have always loved to do finish work. It’s awesome at the end to step back and see the transformation of a kitchen and see the look on clients’ faces. We have had some literally cry because they just couldn’t believe it. It was so amazing to them. That’s the huge reward for the whole thing. When you can turn around a kitchen and when people are surprised at the possibilities.”