Stone Selection, Is It Important?

The main issues that people seem to run into when either importing natural stone or selecting natural stone for a product is consistency and quality.

The above issues come at a cost. When stone is quarried in blocks it is then selected and graded. The difference between a premium grade block and a block regarded as commercial quality is significant. With this comes a significant difference in presenting a final price to the end user.

If you haven’t been fortunate enough to visit a quarry on your travels they are always worth a visit. Large quarry’s like the one in Carrara, Italy are breathtaking both in their scale and how it looks within the surrounding landscape.

For those of you that are interested as to why the same materials can vary in cost so much it starts right here.

Let’s say block 'A' Costs 50% more than block 'B' this is before we even transport the block to the factory that will then process the raw marble material block into slabs or tiles. Where is the factory located? In the same country as its origin or abroad? More differences in costs again!

Does the factory have cost effective staff in place and the right machines to process it? Does the factory then have a dedicated team for checking each piece? YES, that’s right if like us at the company you use to purchase your tiles from employ people at source to check EACH TILE for quality or defects it can reflect the price.

When a company add's in quality checks you will sometimes pay a little extra. Ask yourself though if saving $10 m2 is worth the hassle of sifting through tiles at your project to select 'Tiles that are good enough to install' or even worse asking your $60 - $100 an hour stone mason to do this for you!

Many people often comment that some natural stone and marble products are expensive, but are they? Have a re - think when you have a look at the process below......

1. Marble Block is quarried

2. Marble Block is selected for use

3. Marble Block is transported to a factory (this can be anywhere in the world!)

4. The Block is then worked, often into slabs which then must be honed or polished, this will all be within a 2mm variance in the thickness.

5. The slabs are then often sold to a wholesaler or distributer (in some cases straight into stone yards in your country)

6. These are then made into whatever the client needs.

Let’s take our marble mosaic subway tile priced at only $110.00 m2 the above process is followed and then produces this.......

With over 500 individual tiles in a m2 of the tiles does less than 22 cents per tile sound expensive to you?

When you are choosing a company to provide you with any natural stone tile for your project it may be worth asking them.

1. What quality control do you have in place for stone selection?

2. What will happen if you receive the goods and the material doesn’t match the sample shown?

3. What grade of stone is on offer, is it commercial grade? We are not saying not to use commercial grade it’s just important to compare like for like when comparing prices from one company to another.

If you have any questions about natural stone selection get it touch, we are here to help.

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