CHOOSING THE RIGHT GRADE OF STONE
Not all stone is the same. In fact, when stone is quarried it is generally classified into different grades. The biggest factors that determine the grade of stone are colour selection and general quality. It’s important to investigate to ensure you’re paying a fair price for the right grade of stone.
Let’s explore this with two different stones.
Turkey is renowned for their world-class travertines. But did you know travertine comes in three different grades being premium, standard and commercial? A premium grade has less colour variation and smaller holes which warrants a higher price. Whereas, an economic grade has a lot more colour and larger holes. It may be that a commercial grade is more appropriate for your job, but you don’t want to be paying a premium price.
A lot of the Bluestone used in Australia comes from China. In China, there are several Bluestone quarries and their location plays a large part in the stone’s quality. The first quarry is in the Fujian province and produces only one grade, premium. The other major quarry is situated on the island of Hainan which produces three grades of quality, first, second and third grade. A lot of the bluestone brought into Australia is from the Hainan island because a lower grade can be purchased at a cheaper price. However, Hainan bluestone has issues adhering to the mortar bed and requires additives in the mix to strengthen the bond. The addition of additives is often an expensive and unforeseen cost to the project. Therefore, it’s important to closely examine and ask questions about the stone you’re purchasing to ensure it’s a fair price.
The two criteria in shopping for stone are price and quality.
If price is the largest factor for you, shopping around solely on price is a good approach.
If quality is the biggest factor for you, carefully examining the stone is key. This is not simply a matter of comparing photographs on a website and choosing the one with the best photo, but visually inspecting the stone on display and in crates to get a better understanding of its qualities.
At Edwards slate and stone our objective is to clearly display the stone, it’s colour, quality and price for easy comparison. Furthermore, our knowledgeable staff can demonstrate the differences in quality and a visual inspection of the stone in its crates are welcome.