Preview: The World of Stone
Stone from around the world
Nearly 90 per cent of all natural stone used in the UK is imported and this is reflected at the Natural Stone Show with exhibitors offering a truly global range of materials sourced from over 60 countries. Come and see for yourself the extraordinarily varied palette offered by different granites, marbles, limestones, sandstones, travertines, quartz, terrazzo, slates… you name it.
The show is about an industry that is rapidly evolving, even though its stock in trade is raw materials that were millions of years in the making. Even the latest generation of engineered stone slabs – quartz and sintered stone – have at their core the same raw materials the stone industry has been turning into some of the world’s most desirable building and interior decor products for thousands of years. They are transforming and expanding the industry, especially in interiors although also increasingly in hard landscaping, even a little cladding.
Wholesalers and importers with outlets in the UK offer a massive range of stone sourced from quarries all over the world. Beltrami and Stoneasy team up to show their new range of quartz and marble composite products, along with an enormous choice of high-end natural stones; hard landscaping company CED provides expertise in natural stone paving importing sandstones for public and private places; The Ethical Stone Company offers European stones that avoid activities that could harm people or the environment; In Opera partners Agglotech to offer Terrazzo for use in facades, flooring and tiles; Ca’Pietra Stone & Tile looks to inspire with its premium interior collections; Century Stone specialises in stone cladding products, including its DecoStone, Eldorado and Mathios ranges; Rocks Forever presents materials directly from its own factories in India; Stone Consulting will display hand-finished limestone flooring from its Moroccan factory as well as large, lightweight natural stone Marmo Panels measuring 1200mm x 2400mm x 12mm thick. There are lightweight honeycomb panels from Hycomb UK; Global Granite presents marble, quartz and its exotic granite selection that includes Fusion Gold, Stonewood and Antique Brown Leather; and Trans-European Stone will be showing its Pierre Bleue Belge limestone.
Granite Granite will promote the American-made Cambria range of quartz that has more than 100 designs, which you can see in the palm of your hand through the company’s interactive App; RHF Stone from Australia and Sidera from Romania will market their own manufactured quartz ranges, while Asian player Xinyun Stone (Yunfu) which boasts a production of 3million square metres of quartz a year, will exhibit together with fellow Chinese producer Yixin quartz. CRL Stone, a division of C R Laurence, has developed the CRL Quartz range with 32 colours, and also offers Ceralsio porcelain slabs in 27 colours. Porcel-Thin returns to the Stone Show to unveil its latest ultra-thin marble / stone-effect porcelain tiles; newcomer Stoneware is exhibiting Geoluxe, which it describes as a breakthrough in ‘Pyrolithic Stone’. Caesarstone, MNM stone and Creative Quartz complete a strong showing from the composite stone sector.
A range of companies will be able to facilitate your ‘big project’. Chesney’s Architectural provides a complete service from design through sourcing, carving and manufacture, to installation. It is renowned for its spectacular stone staircases. Stone Partner has 20 years of project experience in the UK having just completed 15 Clerkenwell London. Traditional Stone Restoration and Ateliers Romeo all provide stonework for both historic restoration and new build using the latest techniques in 3D modelling.
Two of the industry’s most respected consultancies, Sandberg and Harrison Goldman, will explain how their services can help ease the path to a successful project and even save money with value engineering. You can even seek out specialist software and technology at the show to help streamline your stone and tile business through Stone Profit Systems.
As well as the wide range of imported stones on the UK wholesalers’ stands, there are many overseas producers exhibiting in their own right. Indigenous stones are vital for maintaining the character and vernacular traditions of the British Isles, but the stone industry is international and most of the stone used in the UK is imported, which is reflected in the international representation of exhibitors once again at this year’s Natural Stone Show.
With its rich stone tradition, Italian stone is well represented. The famous white and blue-grey marbles of Carrara will be displayed by GDA Marmi e Graniti, including Bianco Carrara Venato, Venatino, Arabescato and Statuario from their Madielle quarry. Basaltina Stone exhibits for the first time. Fontanili holds an impressive stock of high-end materials, including eight varieties of Palissandro from a quarry in the north of Italy. It was used at the Hilton Hotel in Shekou, China, the Radisson Royal in Moscow, as well as the Marriot in Baku.
And Marmi Colombare exhibit for the first time, combining tradition and innovation with natural stone design.
Closer to home, McMonagle Stone from the Republic of Ireland will present the versatile walling stone of Donegal Quartzite and award-winning sandstones from the company’s Mountcharles quarries.
MB Stone International represents a consortium of French producers. It supplied the Caen Stone for the Award Winning East Elevation Quadrangle at Buckingham Palace. Carrières Plo from France returns to the Show with its celebrated Sarrancolin Versailles and Opera Fantastico marbles.
Portugal is the third largest exporter of stone in Europe and one of the largest European suppliers of stone to the UK. It is famous for its pink Rosa marble and beige Moleanos and Moca Creme limestones. There will be examples of these stones from Portugal at the Natural Stone Show alongside some of the country’s stones that have yet to make as much of an impact on the stone industry internationally.
The companies taking part from Portugal include Natural Stone Show regulars Dimpomar and MVC, Marmores de Alcabaca, Granitos do Norte, Pedrantiqua, Pardais Granites, Polimagra, Pragosa and Ruipedra also all return, joined by Farpedra, Istone, Marmalcoa, Marmoguia and Piramide Stone Solutions.
Dimpomar is well known in the UK Market, thanks, no doubt, to having exhibited at each of the Stone Shows in London since the 1990s. Its materials are often specified in high profile projects.
MVC returns to promote Portuguese limestone in a variety of finishes it offers and examples of the variety of work it can produce on the CNC machines in its factory. There will be a photo gallery of buildings for which the company has supplied the stone.
Marmalcoa Stone Works also promises a gallery of its work. Pardais granites and Granitos do Norte are displaying granites from their own quarries in Northern Portugal, including Gray Alpendurada and Yellow Mondim, which gets its name from the yellow phenocrysts that give it its distinctive look. Ruipedra owns three limestone quarries providing a direct supply of Moca Crème, Zambujalstone and Moleanos.
From Spain, Europe’s biggest supplier of stone to the UK, granite quarry owners Granichan exhibit for the first time and Bagia Stone Group represents a consortium of companies including Solancis, Pedreres Incomar, Hontoria Calizas De Burgos and Areniscas Juanes.
Greek marbles, increasingly popular in the London residential sector, are represented again by Manologlou.
In line with global trends, the emerging economies of China, India and Turkey have taken a leading role in the UK, either through distribution agreements with UK companies or by direct entrance on their own behalf to the UK market.
The Zirve Natural Stone Gallery from Istanbul, Turkey, hopes to establish itself in the London interiors market with a wide range of exclusive materials including its semiprecious collection.
Major granite, slate, limestone and sandstone paving projects can be realised through a variety of Indian companies, including Malbros, Mehta Export House, Stone Trading, R R Paving Stones and Natural Stone Concepts.
China also continues to help grow the UK stone market with its wide range of lower price stones available in large quantities. The Natural Stone Show this time sees more than 20 Chinese companies exhibiting with stone products ranging from paving to slate roofing tiles. There are granite worktops, marble memorials, stone furniture and fireplaces and various ranges of engineered stone.
Many stone companies are bombarded with emails from China but relationships are usually easier following face-to-face contact, so if you are in the market for dealing directly with a Chinese stone supplier, the Stone Show can give you that first point of contact.
The list of exhibitors goes on and a full list will be included with a short description of each company in the Natural Stone Show Official Catalogue. This will be available free-of-charge to all visitors that have pre-registered for the show.
And there’s plenty of free CPD opportunities at the show too to improve your knowledge of stone. Click here to choose from 30 seminars over the three days.
Whatever your involvement with the stone industry you’ll find something at the show that you’ve never seen before, something innovative that your business will profit from for many years to come.