The journey begins from the earth to your home when blocks of stone are extracted from huge quarry beds by large cutting machines. These blocks are then transported to factories where they are cut into slabs by water-cooled gang saws. These slabs are then machined to give a honed or polished finish to the surface and cut into various size tile formats. Further specialist finishing methods can then be employed to produce a variety of antiqued surface and edge finishes, from tumbling by machine to hand-finishing techniques.
The geological complexity of stone results in natural variation from tile to tile; this is why all natural products exhibit their own individual characteristics. Whilst we work closely with suppliers to select our stone and take great care to show representative displays, images and samples, a degree of natural variation is beyond our control and will inevitably occur. This is one of the defining characteristics of natural stone and a major contributing factor to its beauty. To help appreciate the extent of any variation, it is important that you view as much stone as possible before placing your order and ensure enough stone is ordered, including extra, as subsequent orders may be subject to batch variation. On a final note you must ensure your stone installer blends the tiles prior to fixing, so that the full spectrum of shades within your consignment is distributed evenly.
Many of our stones are available in a variety of finishes, each of which will alter the appearance and shade of an individual stone type; a Polished finish will intensify the colour and any markings within the tile, whereas a Tumbled material will appear more muted and subtle. Shade variation can occur between different sizes of tile in the same stone, therefore we would usually advise against mixing individual tile sizes, unless they are purchased as a set pattern. Fissures, minor blemishes, surface pitting and edge chipping are characteristics of many of our stones. It is common practice to fill the face of natural stone using resin or cement fillers. These are to be expected and are not deemed as defects, once fitted and grouted such characteristics are virtually unnoticeable.
Stone tiles are often packed wet and do not dry out until they are unpacked, therefore some of your stone may appear darker in shade until thoroughly dry. A degree of variation in overall dimensions and thickness should be expected in all tiles, this may be more noticeable between batches. This may be due to their rustic nature or the edge finish of the stone but also because of wear on the cutting machinery and blades during the sizing process. Therefore all sizes listed within this brochure are nominal.
Most of our Stone and Terracotta tiles are supplied in their raw and natural state. Once fitted and sealed your tiles will have a far more finished appearance. For more information on fixing, sealing and maintenance please refer to the relevant section.