Identifying a Quality Marble and Limestone Supplier
There are two aspects to finding a high quality supplier; the first is finding a trustworthy supplier and the second is finding top quality products.
The former should be a pre-requisite for the latter but let's start by examining what makes a good supplier.
Choosing a marble and limestone supplier:
Membership of a Trade Organisation
Look for a company that belongs to a respected trade organisation. To have any significant credibility, the organisation should be one where the member has to qualify or pass some criteria to be allowed in.
The Stone Federation of Great Britain is the flagship organisation for stone suppliers to belong to in the UK but getting accepted can be quite tough. The member has to demonstrate a sound trading history and has to have good references from a number of architects and designers and show a high quality of work on previous projects.
Direct Links to the Quarry
Your stone supplier should have direct dealings with the quarry that supplies the marble, limestone or other type of natural stone. Ideally, they will have visited the quarry to check the environmental credentials as well as examining the quarry's quality control processes. The advantage is that they will also then understand how the stone is produced and what the quarry's capabilities or limitations are. Some suppliers simply buy from agents and are detached from the source of the stone. It has been known for suppliers to be told that the stone comes from one source when, in fact, their agent has sourced it from an entirely different country. If the supplier doesn't really understand what they are buying, how can the customer have any confidence in the end result?
Unbiased Expert Advice
Your supplier should not simply be trying to sell you what is in stock but should have carefully considered the requirements of the project. The decision about which stone to offer should then be based on the performance of the stone as well the aesthetics and the budget.
Identifying good quality marble and limestone:
All natural stone (and, in fact, all construction materials supplied within the EU) should now come with a CE Certificate. This is a certificate which proves the origin of the material and, in the case of natural stone, gives information on the technical properties of the stone. This has been a legal requirement since July 1st 2013. Any supplier who fails to supply a CE Certificate is now breaking the law. Incidentally, specifiers (i.e. architects or designers) are responsible for ensuring that the products are supplied with the relevant CE certificate.
Where does the best limestone and marble come from?
This question is a little more subjective and comes down to which individual quarries have the best quality control processes, the best cutting and finishing equipment as well as access to the best raw materials. In our experience, the Italians produce world renowned marble, the French and Portuguese produce my favourite limestones and the Spanish have some of both. Let's not forget the British stone either. We have some terrific resources although they may not produce the vast quantities that the Europeans produce.
It's important to remember that a supplier who satisfies the criteria above will be an expert in the subject and can offer valuable advice.
It would not be reasonable to expect your builder, designer or even architect to have the same level of expertise in natural stone so it makes sense to make as much use as you can of your stone supplier.
If you'd like to discuss this further and see how Amarestone can add value to your project, please call 0345 260 8070 or email email@example.com.
To help you further, we have produced a short document that explains our top 5 hints and tips for choosing the right natural stone for your project. To download it, please click below:
Thanks for reading.
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