As expert natural stone and porcelain suppliers and masons, we work with landscapers and garden designers to help them create unique and beautiful projects which use the best possible products. Often, we are asked questions around stone and porcelain, and how we can help ensure successful outcomes. We’ve summarised our four most common questions in this article, with some short insights into each.
When it comes to natural stone and porcelain, there are a wide varieties of thickness available in the market, and which is right for which project can depend on a large number of factors. For example, the use for the stone; will it be in a high traffic area? Will it be subject to more intense changes in weather such as frequent heavy frosts? These can seem like small concerns, where a thinner slab can offer enough resistance and strength over time, however the lifetime of the slab will still be a consideration. While a 22mm riven or sawn sandstone slab can be laid, the impact of external forces can lead to defects such as cracking with freeze thaw cycles or extensive use can mean customers’ projects experiencing issues much sooner than initially thought. In these cases, we always suggest caution and a thicker slab, such as 25-35mm, in order to limit the possibility of disaster as much as possible. Nobody wants their brand new patio buckling after just a year or two.
Finishing touches/cutting porcelain
We are often asked about our cutting and finishing capabilities, in particular with porcelain. Often, it can be difficult to perfectly cut and finish on site with the equipment on hand, and also time consuming. This extra burden is something we hear about regularly, with tiles shattering or “pinging”, creating excess wastage and of course, the time and effort involved when this becomes an arduous process. Finding a company which can properly profile porcelain is front of mind in many conversations we have, and luckily at Stoneworld we are equipped with machinery such as our waterjet which is designed for this task. One example might be curved steps in a garden project, in which the task of creating the drawing and the product can be handed over to the supplier, allowing you to simply receive the finished product. Utilising an external business to cut and profile stone and porcelain means you can focus on the project, safe in the knowledge that the product itself is precision cut to perfectly fit the specifications of your customers.
Design sketches & drawings
Similar to the questions around finishing mentioned above, we also hear from landscapers looking for more detailed and accurate sketches and drawings, particularly when customers request bespoke features such as radius steps or copings. This can be difficult to do without CAD software, and also time consuming. The importance of creating the right design means that errors can lead to costly mistakes in fabrication, whether on site or with your supplier, costing you time and money. Every year, we help large numbers of landscapers create accurate and precise drawings for projects, from whole project, to bespoke features and designs, meaning that the stone can be fabricated correctly and match the demands of the end user.
Combining CAD drawings and purpose built technology, means that landscapers can approach suppliers such as Stoneworld with confidence.
Of course, this list would not be complete without questions around price. Prices will vary from one supplier to another, and of course getting the best deal is important to any contractor. But what considerations impact price, and when does a cost become an investment? We have already discussed thickness; where thinner slabs will present good value for money, yet can often prove a false economy when taking into account factors that impact the quality and lifetime of your customers’ projects. Additionally, the quality of the product will impact the final outcome visually, with one example being unwelcome colour variation in sandstones such as Raj Blend, where a higher quality slab has more consistent colouring and is more aesthetically pleasing. The quality of supply and range of formats available will also feed into the issues around the versatility and durability already mentioned.
There are other aspects of service will also impact price. These can include relationships that suppliers have with quarries, allowing for shorter lead times, and more flexibility with bespoke sizes and orders.
At Stoneworld, we pay particular attention to quality, and providing consistent and beautiful natural stone which will withstand whatever is thrown at it. Where we are asked about questions of pricing and the considerations in this article, we always offer advice and products which will help you keep your customers happy for years to come.
Visit stoneworld.co.uk or email us to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org