Trends for natural stone specifiers for 2019 and 2020.
At about this time of year, we like to look back at what our customers were buying over the course of the year and work out which way the trends might go over the next year.
This year, I am looking at this from two angles. Firstly, I'll review the materials that people were buying and work out if that pattern looks likely to continue into next year. Secondly, I will try to assess the reasons why certain choices were made to see if there is a trend being established.
Our most popular natural stone - materials:
Being a French limestone specialist, I suppose it's no surprise that French limestone, in its various forms, was the most sought after product in our range. There are many different types of French limestone that can be used for flooring, cladding, external paving, building restoration and for carving.
Chamesson French Limestone
For flooring, the limestone from the Chamesson quarry in Burgundy remained the most popular for internal flooring. Each of the 5 benches (layers) within this huge quarry produces a hard limestone that is perfect for high traffic flooring. The most popular bench is the one known as B2-B4 as it is the lightest. The late architect I.M. Pei was a fan of this stone and he used it several of his major works around the world.
This year, it was still the most popular but the slightly more beige coloured B5 bench was used on several projects for the first time in the UK. It was specified as the flooring in the main areas of the beautifully refurbished Julie's Restaurant in London's Holland Park.
Maybe next year, we will see the stronger colours gaining ground?
Ampilly French Limestone
The stone from the neighbouring Ampilly quarry in Burgundy was the preferred stone for external paving. Our year kicked off with the delivery of a container load of Ampilly to a private ski lodge in Utah, USA. The stone's high degree of frost resistance and ability to take knocks makes this the ideal stone for patios and copings in the colder climates of the world.
Lavoux French Limestone
Another French limestone, Lavoux, also known in the UK as Lépine, is being used by several renowned stone carvers as well as for the restoration of historic buildings and cathedrals in the UK. Several of the UK cathedrals are now using this stone for their restoration work. There are two benches in this quarry, the upper one produces a stone very similar to Caen limestone and the stone from the lower bench is finer grained and is popular with stone carvers looking for a uniform, reliable stone that holds an edge well.
Rosa Aurora Portuguese Marble
Although the volume of sales were not at the same level as the French limestone, our Portuguese pink marble was one of the most requested samples that we sent out this year. As in previous years, Rosa Aurora (also known as Estremoz or Rosa Portugalo) attracted many interior designers for several restaurant projects as well as for bathroom projects. Our latest project using this stone has just been delivered to a chateau in France for use as elegant kitchen worktops; one in the pink marble and the other in the blue version, Rosa Aurora Azul.
For next year, I'll take a guess that the Rosa Aurora Azul will start to gain followers. It has similar characteristics to some of the Italian Calacatta marbles but retains its own character. This is one to look out for.
Our most popular natural stone - reasons for choosing:
The aesthetics and price of the materials obviously play a large part in the decision making process for the buyers. French limestone is regarded as one of the premium limestones and is sought after for major projects all over the world.
Portuguese marble is famed for its colour and affordability, especially when compared with the Italian marbles.
This year, however, we've noticed that more and more of our customers are asking additional questions. In a trend that I believe (and I hope) will continue and strengthen, customers are taking notice of where the materials are coming from, how they are being produced and their impact on our environment.
This is where our membership of the Ethical Stone Register and the Stone Federation Great Britain becomes significant. Our ethical credentials were verified by independent consultants before we were allowed to join the Ethical Stone Register. It was an in-depth process that investigated every aspect of our business.
We joined as one of the first three pilot study companies and now we are proud to see more Stone Federation companies joining the ranks. The growth of the Ethical Stone Register is a trend will certainly continue into next year and the future.
We keep samples of most European stone at our samples showroom in Arborfield, near Reading, Berkshire in the UK. Please call, email or leave a message on the form on this page if you'd like to visit the showroom or receive samples.
If you have any other questions or need expert help with your natural stone project, please call us on 0345 260 80 70 or email email@example.com.
Thanks for reading.
Tel: 0345 260 8070
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