|Q 2356: I wish to
know the radon exhalation from the granite tiles, limits specified
for them if any and if the limits vary from country to country. With
regards, BALA SUNDAR, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, INDIA.
July 30, Reply
Dear Sir: If you work at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research
and do not know that granite does not emit radon, then what i can
say. Mike, USA,
Dear Bala Sundar: Get real, will ya! All that big name and intimidating
qualifications for some caca-baloney like that?! It's been proven
time and again that granite has no radon to speak of. It's actually
one of the best material to insulate a room from radon gas coming
from the ground. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
|Q 2353: Dear Experts,
I would like to draw upon your combined expert knowledge on whether
a cause and effect relationship exists between water and marble stains.
Specifically, a cold water pipe embedded in our concrete flooring
ruptured unknown to us until the water surfaced through the entire
first floor white Carrara marble. Afterwards, about a thousand square
feet of the marble displayed mostly yellowish (and some rust) stains.
The insurance company will consider paying for it's replacement if
I can get an expert authority to state a cause and effect between
water and marble stains. Since findstone.com is well reputed as a
standing authority on marble, would you be able to kindly reply in
a sentence or so to this. Your most gracious and needed reply would
be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly for your time. Respectfully,
Giovanni, July 30, Reply
Giovanni: Many a type of White Carrara marble have a certain percentage
of iron mineral within. When water migrate from the bottom, through
to core of the stone, onto its surface, such iron oxidizes (it rusts,
that is), and the stain is permanent, being through and through. Some
other components of the stains are more of an inorganic nature, therefore
the stain may be removed (at least to a certain degree) by using a
poultice of Hydrogen Peroxide 30/40 volume. Considering that we're
looking at a surface of over 1,000 square feet, and that the rate
of success for the stain removal would be no more than 70% (at best),
the only possible solution is the replacement of the whole floor.
You also have to consider that the considerable amount of water involved
and the length of time it's been sitting under your tiles, may have
jeopardized the soundness of the whole installation. Ciao and "buona
fortuna"! Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
I found your site this morning and
I must say I really enjoyed some of your comments on the Q&A pages.
Especially the comment to the fabricator “new in the business” that
couldn’t even understand a request on a dimensional quote! And you
are very correct, many Americans find themselves in the stone business
when they have no business at all being there. It seems to me that
the bulk of your site id devoted to stone tile, slabs and dimensional
stone. Is natural cleft irregular flagstone, boulders and veneer stone
outside of your interests? How can your site help a new stone business
market its products? Joe, July 24, Reply
Dear Joe: I don't think we can say that the types of stone you listed
are outside the
interest of this site, because it indeed is interested in any type
of stone, including pebbles!! It doesn't look, however, that there
are many experts in that particular section of the trade who are interested
at answering questions on this particular subject. Personally, I don't
consider myself qualified enough to answer questions on those stones.
Ciao and good luck,
Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
|Q 2267: I am new to the
business and my clients want the following quotation:
100 LF, 3/4" X 20 1/2", kitchen counter top w/ bullnose, G603,
polished finish. What does it mean? Especially "100 LF, 3/4" X
20 1/2" " ---- what are the actual dimensions? And, then, "w/
bullnose" ---- is FOUR SIDES or not? Thank you for your help. Warrenz,
July 19, Reply
Dear Warrenz: Under certain circumstances, I do admire the American
entrepreneurship, by which sometimes people get into the action right
away, and -- hopefully -- will learn as they go. But that, I feel,
was good some 200 years ago.
I do despise people like yourself that get into an extremely complicated
business without even knowing the basics of it. Do me and the whole
society a big favor: Take your "professional abilities" somewhere
else. The stone industry is bad enough as it is, we don't need an
extra "Michelangelo" like you. Ciao and good look in your next, different
endeavor. Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
LF - linear foot.
201/2" - 20.5 inches long
G603 - chinese granite
bull nose - see edges in our
|Q 2246: I am concerned
about fabricating three slabs of Seafoam Green that have
been filled with epoxy and covered with mesh at the factory prior
to shipping. The supplier refuses to warranty the slabs and my
client loves the color (these particular slabs are very unique in
that they have a lot of olive in them). The contractor wants me to
warranty to installation- but I'm worried about cutting them. What
do you think? Thanks- Kam, July 16, Reply
Dear Kam: Lots of olive? I like them a lot in my Greek salad!!
Joke aside, if the supplier refuses to warranty the slabs, tell the
contractor to try to force them, not you. Do NOT do any stupid thing
like that. You're a working guy, you don't need that kind of responsibility,
do you! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panhelist.
|Q 2217: Hi, I need to
know if there are any toxicity considerations that I should
be aware of when working with or fixing natural stone? Regards,
Jo, USA, July 15,
Dear Jo: The dust of the marble and granite (silica) is harmful to
your lungs. You should protect your respiratory system all the time
when working dry (thus generating dust). Ciao and good luck, Maurizio,
US, Expert Panelist.
|Q 2211: We are in the
homebuilding business. Granite has exploded in popularity for kitchen
countertops. I am interested in developing a Scope of Work for
the purchase and installation of granite. Please recommend where
I can gather the information. Peter,
July 12, Reply
Dear Peter: Send an E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll be glad to point you in
the right direction. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelist.
How to convince an owner of granite tonality which quite natural
but not easy to convince them. Any good description to influence.
I am a contractor. Thank You, Lai. June 5, Reply
Dear Lai: English is not not my native tongue, but I made it my priority
to learned ever since I moved to this country, and I manage to get
understood quite well all the time. Unfortunately I have no idea what
you're talking about. Get help with your language problem, then I
will see if I can help. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
My husband and I are to be joining the ranks of marble and granite
professionals, and we would like some advice from those who
have been there, done that. We are establishing our business in
the eastern US. Also, if you could send us any relevant information,
we would greatly appreciate it! Thank you, Emery, June 3, Reply
Dear Emery: A lot of people can claim to have been there. Nobody can
honestly claim to have done that! What I mean by that is that nobody
will ever complete learningin a complex (yet fascinating) field like
natural stone! I know that I'm still not done, despite my over 40
years of experience (alas!), and the fire that I have within to learn
new things every day is still very much alive and burning high!
As you can understand, the answer to your question can't be concentrated
into a simple answer posted on this (wonderful) site, since it inherently
implies a long term involvement.
Hit the "Reply" link at the end of your very question and
ask to get directly in touch with me. I'll be glad to help for what
I can. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
I have been in the marble business
for 18 years, please advise if you are to open a small factory or
shop and what type of market are you aiming to. I will gladly share
my views with you. Filipe, Portugal
Maurizio, Hi, My name is Todd I own a Countertop shop in Northern
My countertop shop has recently added granite and marble to what we
offer as options for tops, I have fabricated and installed solid surface
for years as well as plastic laminates.
I have hired a guy who seems fairly knowledgeable about the Granite
end of things, However, I am very anxious to learn all I can about
the fabrication and installation techniques, as I will be doing most
all the sales end and occasionally fabricating with him.
I learn very well from videos and reading and have progressed my cabinet
making skills very nicely with Videos and Instructional books, and
then I tend to take things from there and when I have spare time to
get the artist out in me, I do a lot of lathe work and xyz axis milling,
spirals , twists etc. ANYWAY.....
I have looked pretty hard on the web and Amazon.com etc. and I can't
find any really good books on Fabrication techniques for Granite and
Anyway could you help me out, as I would just like to be very, very
familiar with the product I am selling and making. I'm sure you can
understand why! Makes sense, Yes?
So anyway, any help or guidance I could get from you on where
to locate good books or videos, I would really appreciate it!
Thanks a bunch, Todd, USA, May 31. Reply
Dear Todd: I have the answer for you, but it would interfere with
the policy (and a right one at that) of this site to advertise somebody
else's web site. Do get in touch directly with me by hitting the "Reply"
link at the end of your very question and ask to communicate with
me. They will gladly do that for you. I like your attitude and will
to learn what you're about to do. It does make sense, but, alas, is
rather unusual!! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1962: Do
you know where and how I can learn granite fabrication techniques
to further my carrier. I am new on the job and nobody wants to help
me. Miguel, May 25, Reply
Dear Miguel: There
are professional training classes being held on fabrication on a regular
basis. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1961: What
do you recommend as the best respitory protection mask for grinding
granite and marble? Inhaling silica can be fatal. Miguel, May
Dear Miguel: Your question
was open to several comments and interpretations but I assume that
you wish to protect yourself from the potential long-term dangers
of inhaling silica dust. Several years ago I undertook an exercise
to investigate (a) the short-term dangers of compositionally specific
dust inhalation, (b) the long-term effects, and (c) most of the readily
available respiratory protective gear, for its effectiveness. Without
going into detail there is no question that you should protect yourself
whenever you are undertaking an activity that will generate dust that
contains silica. This is particularly important when the activity
you are about to undertake is generally considered to be minor. It
is so easy for most workers to find excuses for avoiding the donning
of protective gear, such as, it will only take a short time, I couldn't
be bothered going all the way to the back of the factory to get the
gear, It doesn't feel comfortable, etc. These excuses pale into insignificance
when you discover that permanent damage has been done to your lungs
(it is not reversible) and that you might die from it in 15-25 years.
This type of disease is significantly exacerbated if you are a smoker.
Some debate still surrounds the use of such protective gear when working
with marble because the calcium carbonate can be dissolved to a certain
extent by your body. However, many marble varieties contain a small
amount of free quartz so it is always safer to don protective equipment
whenever you are generating dust. As for the best respiratory gear
- it is an interesting exercise to examine the specifications provided
by the makers. Some makers will not inform you of the filtration effectiveness,
others will give you information such as - "all particulates
above 10 microns will be screened". What happens to all those
particles below 10 microns?? Keep in mind that it is the fine particles
that enter the alveoli (the deep, delicate parts of the lungs where
much of the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange occurs) to cause the permanent
damage! Some makers claim some effectiveness at excluding 3 micron-sized
particulates. The maker that provided the most extensive information
(including test data) was 3M and it is their twin respirator (7000
series) that I use when underground, visiting dirty quarries, or quarrying
siliceous granite. I find it effective, durable and comfortable in
all weather conditions (except for the plastic clip behind the head).
(Dr. Hans), Australia
|A 1936: I financial persuing
my PhD on critical appraisal of marble industry of Rajasthan, in this
regard, I require annual reports of big companies involved in the
trade. It will be very nice of you, if you may please arrange
the same. If you require any details regarding my identity I can submit
it to you. Sincerely, Gagan, India, May 20, Reply
My name Vincent, my company is a stone supplier in Singapore. I've
encountered with some problems in supplying the Botticino Light
Cremo and Cream Nacar, where the Italian fabricator had introduced
the netting behind the tiles.
Could your good-self kindly enlighten me to the following:
1. what is the purpose of having the netting behind the marble tiles?
2. I was told that the netting is glued to the tile by using the product
name EPOXY SYSTEM KK + KKB. now (a): with this epoxy, how easily does
this netting be deattached from the back of the marble?, (b): does
this epoxy easily be debonded from the back of the marble tile?, (c):
does this epoxy used is compatible to the cement or adhesive, does
it cause debonding?
3. Now I've these materials in Singapore, how am I to convince the
general contractor to accept these materials? The above-mentioned
tiles are used it for the bath-room. We appreciate if you could reply
to us the soonest. Thank you, Vincent, May 20. Reply
Dear Vincent: The netting
behind the tiles is applied to help reduce the risk of cracking.
The net also grants a better bondage, especially when the tiles are
installed on walls. I really can't see the reason for your concern
about the netting. It's good thing with no cons!
As far as using Italian Botticino in bathrooms (shower stall and all)
you'd better learn what to do to properly maintain them!
Should you be interested at receiving our free guidelines for maintenance
of residential stone installations, hit the reply / contact button
at the end of your own question and ask for it. I'll be glad to E-mail
them to you. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1915: Hi!
We recently bought $1,250 of what we thought was Italian travertine
for a bathroom floor and shower surround installation. Turns out that
it was from Mexico. We have no problem with that, but many of the
tiles are unusable (corners chipped, or full of holes too big to be
patched). The problem is that we purchased the tile about six weeks
ago and it has since been sitting in wrappers in our garage while
the new bathroom was being framed etc. Should we still expect
the dealer to replace the defective tiles or give us a partial refund?
Or are we basically out of luck? Agnus, May 16,
A typical answer to
that question is that you probably got a great deal on the Mexican
travertine which is probably Durango if that is the case you will
have to account for some waste, but typically there are many cut tiles
on a job and that is where we use these tiles that are not acceptable
to use in their full state. Good luck and please reply Gino
no! you probably bought the cheapest price you
could find and you get what you pay for next time use a reputable
supplier and check your product at time of purchase. As for the tile
you have, install as is use grout to fill all voids and then have
your floor ground down to a flat surface and polish up to a honed
finish, then apply a color enhancer to bring out the natural beauty
of the stone, travertine is a very imperfect stone and fragile, holes,
chips, and cracks are part of what makes travertine what it is. If
you were looking for perfection you should have chosen a different
stone, or consulted a stone professional for advice. Kenny
Dear Agnus: Just because
you could not inspect the tile right away doesn't -- which is
quite typical -- doesn't mean that you have to accept defective tiles.
The dealer must replace the damaged ones for you: It's your legal
right. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
want to get into the stone surface restoration business. How
do I get started? what do I need to know, Jagoutz, May 15.Reply
Dear Jagoutz: The first thing you need (I do mean NEED) to know is
how to recognize all different types of "marbles" and "granite"
by their names, so that when you'll start your training you will get
to learn what to do with each and every one of them (providing that
you have what it takes). Second, if you can't think of any other source,
you can hit the "Reply" button at the end of your very question
and ask to get in touch directly with me. Among other things I do
training. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
|A 1808: Email
me relevant information about stone symposiums.Metod, May 14.Reply
|A 1788: I
am considering building pressure treated wood a-frames for storing
bundles of granite slabs for kitchen countertops - six slabs
on each side. Does anyone have any pointers such as proper size and
connections? . Thanks, Thom, May 14.
Use steel. Regards, Steven,
|A 1775: Hi,
I just started in the tile business and would like a simple comparison
of granite, marble, travertine, other natural stone, and slate for
household applications. I work in a home improvement store and
its hard to acquire the parameters and advise the customers on matters
applicable to their home stead parameters should include wear and
tear (high traffic areas), scratch removal, porosity, sealing, cleanliness,
durability, crack potential cost, and installation for all set up
in a matrix You may have answered these questions before but I need
answers now. Thanks, John, May 2. Reply
Dear John: I particularly like Steve, Florida answer. My take in this
subject is the following:
1. Koodos to you, John for your desire to learn (trust me, you represent
the exception that confirms the rule, if you know what I mean!...)
2. The classification of the rocks into metamorphic, sedimentary and
igneous, while representing a solid basic information, won't do you
much good if you can't translate such information into practical usefulness.
What's more, the geological classification of rocks doesn't seem to
be of much interest to the recognized stone industry authorities.
In fact, they have them all mixed up, in order to "keep things simple"
3. And this is the real sore point in the whole picture. The stone
industry is just about totally unregulated, and it becomes even more
so as time goes by. You can't get any serious guidelines from its
recognized authorities, just some toothless, "politically correct",
mild recommendations, which talk a lot while saying absolutely nothing.
I'd love to help you, John. Do get in touch with me through the reply
link at the end of your answer. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA
Dear Sir, there are
two way of answering your questions:
a) a book with the technical details of each material
b) experience. We would be pleased to supply the first at cost price
(I think now about
USD 100) and the second free of charge in the hope of a future co-operation.
Dear John, Do you have
about four days to sit and consume the amount of information
that you would need to receive in order to cover all of the areas
you need answers to? That's a heavy load my friend. There is really
no simple comparison. If you go back to 9th
grade earth science, you will get a general understanding of sedimentary,
metamorphic, and igneous stone that will get you started on understanding
limestones, marble, and granite respectively. However, that's only
touching the surface.
This industry is extremely complicated, and after 27 years I am still
learning something every day. There really is not short term seminar
that can be given. How do you suggest I can help? Sincerely, Steve,
|A 1763: I would like
to open a cemetery plot making and monuments could u help
find a place to help me or someone I could contact. Ken,
April 26. Reply
|A 1725: We are looking
into rehabilitation of a sandstone quarry that was blasted with high
explosives (ANFO). The stone is thinly bedded with beds from a
centimetre thick to 15 centimetres. About 15,000 metric tons was blasted
in one blast from a quarry face about 10 metres high for use in road
construction. The largest blast pieces are from the thicker beds and
are about one half a square metre, most of the pieces are less than
25 centimetres and the quarry is a mess. The quarry face is severely
fractured and the top one third of the layering appears to have been
loosened and dislocated (lifted?).
Formerly, sandstone slabs of a square metre or more were quarried
for tiles and flagstone. The engineering properties of the stone were
excellent with absorption averaging less than 3% and the compressive
strength exceeded ASTM minimum requirements by over 300%. It is what
we call "Bluestone", very attractive and is a quartzo-feldspathic
sandstone with a ferruginous cement. The bedding planes are easily
separated because of a micaceous coating on the beds. The blaster
tells us that damage to the remaining stone goes in only one or two
metres into the quarry face. Since blasters know little about dimension
stone, (stone producers either avoid explosives or use small amounts
of "soft" explosives) I don't trust his judgment.
I realize having not seen the site, you can't be expected to provide
much information but I would be most interested in your opinion on
high energy blasting effects on such stone. Could it damage the stone
for a considerable way into the deposit? Could there be invisible
damage that would show up in production and use? I suspect a sculptor
is more demanding of care with stone than other stone workers. Gary,
Ottawa, Canada. April 18. Reply
Gary. what a dilemma! Yes it is possible that if you remove a few
meters of the face, you may get back to undamaged stone, but that
is a big ? Generally in the dimension stone industry, we do not like
to hear of explosives being used to quarry the stone, and in a few
cases where it was tried, the results were considerably less than
desirable. What usually happens, is that the shock of the blast travels
through the formation and "frizzels" the stone. Small unnoticeable
fractures through out the stone that can and do weaken the structural
integrity of the stone, causing sudden and unexpected failure during
the milling process or later. You have every right to be concerned
about this. I have no idea as to how extensive this might be in your
situation as there are so many variables involved. One thing you may
be able to do is to take some core samples back from the existing
face, and have them tested for compression and sheer strength. Good
luck I certainly hope that a good building stone has not been ruined
for some quick road base. JVC, USA
Hi Gary, we have recently been through a similar situation in Australia.
Subsequently, the State Government stepped in and halted usage of
high strength explosives in the extraction of sandstone. There was
very strong evidence that up to 2 years after initial explosive use,
stones fell apart. Some of the stones that had been cut into paving
stones and had been laid in place fractured into small pieces and
had to be replaced. Because of the makeup of sandstone, shock waves
are sent through the stone that can travel for many meters causing
hairline fractures of the stone, rendering the stone from the area
around the blast useless. If you want further detail you are welcome
to contact me directly on email. - Libi, Australia
|A 1653: We are interested
in Stone care products, please mail us your Product Detail
and there respective prices. We are based in Delhi, Roopesh. April
Dear Roopesh: Do get in touch with me directly through the Reply link
at the end of the question, and I'll be glad to discuss with you a
possible business relationship. I do look forward to hearing from
you. Ciao, Maurizio, USA
|A 1608: I am planning
to start a stone shop. I would like to know the inspection procedure
of stones. Marc. March 28. Reply
I agree with Maurizio but I would say 5 - 7 years in the fab shop
first, so your boss can eat all the mistakes made by everyone involved
and not you. Alex, USA
Dear Marc: This is the best piece of advice that you will ever get:
Go to work for a reputable fabrication shop for ... oh, say, 3 years
or so. At that point you will have achieved at least the 10% of the
experience that you need to start a fabrication shop on your own,
without the need of asking silly questions whose written answers,
no matter how well articulated they may be (and Vinay's are very much
so indeed), you will never be able to understand. By the way, why
don't you open a medical clinic? I've heard it's more profitable!!
Get real, will you! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA.
Inspection of Stone:
Sorting: First the stone must be sorted by its natural variations:
Every stone can be sorted in three shades - light, medium,
Stone either has crystals or waves. If the stone has crystals, then
by grain size - small and large - also.
Then are defects - patches or lines or cracks. They can be
accepted at lower prices or not accepted.
Notes: Quarries in one area have only one type of stone. That stone
does not occur elsewhere in the world. All of the above are known
and specifiable by the quarry owners.
Blocks: Biggest cuboid is measured leaving out cracks. 5 cm / 2" allowance
is given in each dimension for transport damage, cutting losses, etc.
Slabs: Biggest rectangle is measured leaving out cracks. If a crack
slab is to be accepted, then 3" is left out on either side of the
crack and the two resulting rectangles are taken.
Tiles: These are cut-to-size and are thus already pre-measured.
Monuments: Exact size within specified tolerances.
Gloss level: by a gloss meter
Right angles: +/- 1 degree
Thickness: +/- 0.1 mm for tiles, 0.1 cm for slabs
Other inspection parameters:
Polish: No scratches or polishing abrasive marks.
Edges: No chipping.
Everyone in the industry knows and understands these points. They
can all sort and give. Since they don't know how to sell the rejects,
hence they resort to cheating and hence the need for inspection.
For those in the trade, stone is a commodity. There is no touch and
feel aspect. That is only for the end-consumer. Vinay, India
|A 1605: Can someone explain
the definition of gangsaw, block cutter, monument sizes, etc.
in respect to natural stones available? Ajit, India, March 28. Reply
Stone sizes: Blocks / Slabs: gangsaw size: 8'+ x 4'+
block cutter size: 6'+ x 2'+
Slabs are 2cm thick, edges are not cut.
Tiles: 1'x1'x3/8", 1.5'x1.5'x0.5", 2'x2'x3/4"
or 30.5 x 30.5 x 1 cm, etc.
In India, there is another size of 2'x1'x1cm for the local market.
Strips are tiles with free lengths i.e. 1' x free length.
Monuments (tombstones): Specific sizes and shapes for each
Cobbles have standard sizes e.g. 6"x6"x6", etc. Jayant, India.
|A 1600: First
I want to say that your site is very impressive.
I have been shopping for stone in Asia, not as a main business, but
to help an associate, and realize that it has re-awakened an interest
I had as a young "rockhound." Now I am
becoming more involved in continuing this work, but realize I
have none of the knowledge needed to contribute what I would like.
My only asset at the moment is that I can be trusted, as opposed
to many of the people in business overseas.
In buying slabs of granite, are there certain things you would look
for in a supplier? Should I only use suppliers with their own quarries,
or would I be better off with one who can choose from several quarries?
When I visit the factory, what kinds of things can I keep an eye on?
I might get 5 different prices for the same stone. Are there deficiencies
(outside of appearance flaws) that might make one less valuable?
I realize these are broad questions, but I would like to get the most
out of my visits to quarries and factories, and not just be lead around
by the nose by an eager seller. Best Regards, Yank. March 27. Reply
|A 1569: I want to
go into the Marble and other stone floor cleaning business. How
can I learn this skill, and where do I go to learn it? I've read often
that marble and other stone floor cleaning is very profitable. Thank
you, Jesse. March 21. Reply
Dear Jesse: Yes, the trade is very profitable indeed. Being a surgeon
is very profitable, too! Why don't you become a surgeon? Marble "cleaning"
(as you call it) it's easier all right, but not THAT easy, believe
you me. Nobody pays top dollars for an easy trade!!
Stone restoration / refinishing is the very pinnacle of all activities
related to stone. You can't be just so-so. Either you're good, or
you're not. To be good, you have to get to the point -- among other
things -- to be able to recognize all the different marbles available,
and know what to do with each one of them, because stone refinishing
is way far from being a standard procedure.
It makes sense. You don't need to know stone, finished in some mysterious
way, in some far off factory, if you just buy and sell it. factory
if you just install it. You don't need to know stone finished in some
.. etc. if you only cut it into shape and learn how to polish its
edges (a standard procedure, totally different from surface polishing).
But when it comes to TREAT stone, which is what stone restoration
/ refinishing is all about, then either you know stone or you get
out of the way. As simple as that. That said, if I didn't scare you
off, I do do training. Contact me through the reply button and we'll
talk about it. Ciao, Maurizio, USA
|A 1421: I
want more information about trade-magazines, journals and
publications that serve the stone fabrication (countertop) industry.
I want access to information on the "How-to" and the necessary tool
etc... involved. Brett. Feb 8. Reply
can I find volcanic rock cut into tiles? I saw this used in
Mexico city and it is very beautiful. Rebeeca. Feb 6. Reply
Dear Rebeeca, Because of their mode of formation chemically intermediate
or siliceous volcanic rocks are not well represented on the world
market. Mostly they come with features that can be regarded as problems
for stone processors (small blocks, fractures, veining) and undesirable
aesthetic features for architects and builders (colour variations,
textural heterogeneities). Australia has a superb volcanic rock (rhyodacite)
that is dominantly grey in colour, is very hard and resistant to everyday
things, and has a myriad of structures, inclusions, etc. that make
most geologists eyes drool when they come into my office. It is called
Steel Grey and is available in tiles and slabs. Hans, Australia. Reply
Rebeeca.. what you are looking for is probably what is call "Cantera
Stone" It is a volcanic from Mexico, and comes in all sorts of colors.
See if a local tile store or findstone can find it for you. Good luck,
JVC, USA. Reply
|A 1406: My
father and I are skilled stone masons and would like to satisfy
some our local customers wants by installing granite counter tops.
We have the granite fabricated at a local stone shop and do the installations
ourselves. I think we have installed 4 so far and would like to do
more but are hesitant following our last attempt. We had our sink
cut out scored to half the depth of the stone and the corners cut
completely away with a diamond hole-saw. Once on site our plan was
to attach angle to each long edge of the stone with C clamps and then
move the stone to a flat surface and cut the remaining 5/8 inch with
a diamond saw. Once the cut out was clear we would carry the stone
inside, set one edge on the cabinets, carefully remove one of
the angle iron pieces, and slowly slide the top into place, removing
the final piece of angle iron last. But alas the stone broke in half
when we first tried to attach the angle iron while still half
palletized. We never even got to cut the rest of the way through the
stone or transport it into the house. We salvaged the job by cutting
out the center where the sink hole was and using 2 of our 3 backsplash
pieces as replacement strips in the front and the back of the sink.
Of course we had joints on either side of the sink but the clients
were happy and our joints were tight. We only ended up eating the
cost of the two new pieces of back splash, a small cost for such a
huge mistake. Had we had less flexible, less friendly clients we would've
eaten the whole thing and they would've waited another three
weeks for production. We now stand on the brink of our fifth installation
and are very hesitant about the correct installation methodology.
My questions are about both fabrication and installation. We found
through our mistake that the ease of handling four pieces of stone
rather than one was an enticing idea. The thought of our counter having
less of a chance of cracking seemed like a good selling point when thinking
about the four piece method. On the same token I know many people
wouldn't go for a counter unless it was jointless around the sink.
That's the standard isn't it? Our way is safer but not near as nice
a finished product. I would like to achieve the cut out with
out joints or any more broken stones.
Fabrication: Do you recommend that all cut outs leaving less than
3 inches to the front and back of the sink be rodded? How far the
left and the right of the opening does the bar extend into the slab?
What is the diameter of the rod and is it standard rebar? Is it epoxy
into a groove so that its flush with bottom of the counter? Do you
make your sink cut outs on a rodded stone on site in place, on site
and then move it into place or does a rodded cut out have enough
strength to be transported and then installed? Do the pre-drilled
corners and half thickness cuts seem like a good method to apply during
fabrication to lessen the cutting on site? Visually we cannot
have a 3/4" sheet of plywood underneath our top as it would highly
visible under our 25 1/2" deep counter. We have used 1 1/4" stone
on all our counters and thought the plywood would be excessive. Our
main problem lies in unrapping the stone and moving it.
Is our angle iron reinforcement sufficient once a hole has been cut
or are there other methods employed for transporting the stone from
the cutting area to the cabinets? My only hesitation about doing all
the cutting in place is the mess. Wet seems impossible and dry
seem way too dusty for finished cabinets and appliances. Where is
most cutting of sink holes done; in the shop or on site? Do most installers
use a special dolly/rolling apparatus to move the stone from
place to place and from vertical to horizontal cabinet top height?
I can't think of any more questions that aren't repetitive. I'd really
appreciated any help, technical information is great. I'd be more
than willing to reciprocate the favor with masonry heater information.
Thanks again, Scott, USA, Feb 6. Reply
|A 1401: I'm
a new dealer of stone with no any experiences in this field, would
you please let me know how to tranship a rough block abroad (export
business)? I don't think that the shipment would be by container,
maybe by conventional vessel or by others. What does it mean of (+)
240 (+130) and (-) 240 (-) 130? I would appreciate your help. B.rgds
Dai. Feb 6. Reply
is by container or as break bulk cargo. 240 x 130 is length x width
in cm. (+) means more than. (-) means less than. Vinay, FindStone.com,
|A 1400: The
most frustrating part are the fixers. In my 12 years of experience
in this field, I find that fixers simply do not want to learn the
concept of timing. How important time is. As this industry has no
branded material it is difficult to convince the customers regarding
the quality of the material. With Best regards, Nagesh, India. Feb
Dear Nagesh: And what exactly would you like me -- or anybody else
for that matter -- to do about it? Ciao, Maurizio, USA, Reply
|A 1392: We
are really having quite a debate in our shop on how to properly
and profitably price out a subcontractor's installation plus template
fees. Any particular rule of thumb to follow? We bid the complete
job, schedule and collect all funds plus provide the guarantee work.
Our main work comprises of kitchens. Jan 31. Reply
Depending on the geographical area, you should
be considering anywhere between $ 10 and $ 15 per square foot. Ciao,
Maurizio, USA. Reply
Installed $150k worth of "natural" limestone in a bank foyer. The
architect says it does not look like what he expected when he
specified "natural." The owner refuses to pay for it--he says it looks
"dirty." We are trying to resolve this short litigation. We are
looking for downloadable technical data which can be used in a presentation
to show the owner that they got what was ordered. Also that the quality
of the vapor barrier in the substrate has a direct effect on the staining
effect which can show up on natural stone use as a floor covering.
Jan 30. Reply
Dear in LA: This is a typical example of the
reasons why I've learned to decline any installation job that involves
limestone. You never know which limestone you're dealing with, to
begin with, and you never know (until it happens) if something is
going to go wrong. And, to top it all, when it happens, you will never
know exactly what went wrong, nor if there's any chance (usually,
there isn't one) that it can be rectified. Conclusion, to me it's
too risky a proposition, and the contractor is usually the one who
gets the rap (translation: who gets screwed!). The contractor is always
the weakest factor in the equation. The architect is untouchable (he
or she knows everything all the time!), and the owner holds the money
I don't believe that there's any technical solution to your situation.
I sure wouldn't want to be in your shoes! The only advice I can give
you is to try to find out if your liability insurance will pick up
the tab for ripping out the whole darn thing and pay for the tiles.
I could help you with that, by arguing -- as an expert -- that the
unpredictable nature of many a limestone excludes any provable negligence
for your part. That is, I'm afraid, all you can hope for. Do contact
me directly (through findstone.com) if you feel I could help. I'm
really sympathetic with your situation. Sorry. Ciao, Maurizio, USA,
Hello, As a former contractor in the area as well as Vegas & Phoenix
I got to tell you that you have an uphill battle here. The Architect
& Owner will tell you that you are the flooring expert. So when
you lay stone over a substrate and you don't use an isolation or waterproof
membrane you are basically s.o.l. The care and maintenance guidelines
will be from the company that will provide your sealers and cleaners.
I'm not trying to drill you but I have been doing this for several
years and want you to have eyes wide open. Sorry, Steven, USA, Reply
|A 1382: We
have been in the vinyl installation for the past 10 years and like
to add on this new business into to our service line. We like to
learn more on this business, in areas of skill development and product
knowledge. We see a potential business opportunity in the stone
restoration in our country Malaysia. Any information and advise rendered
will be very much appreciated. Jan 28. Reply
I do offer training on stone refinishing on
location. I can supply plenty references.
Contact me if you're interested. Ciao, Maurizio, USA, Reply
|A 1375: I
have a question for the experts. This summer in June I got a job working
in a showroom selling various natural stone products. I would like
to get some concrete information concerning the different types of
stone. I have been told many different things, but I would like
to go out and research the facts myself, I have found many of the
things I have been told concerning the different stones is false.
I was wondering where I could go to get information on the different
colors of granite. I was told that all granite was the same, but through
reading your advice to peoples questions I have
found that they are not and that some of the pieces that I believed
to be granite are not in actuality granite. Thank you in advance for
any answers you can give me. Corie. Jan 28. Reply
nice that someone in the retail end of the business actually wants
to learn something about the stone. You are absolutely right about
there being all sorts of misleading and blatantly false information
out there. All granites are not the same as the chemistry of the magma
pool from which they were formed is not the same, and many stones
marketed as granite are not even in the same geologic ball park. The
same is true for marble, and maybe even to a larger extent. And most
importantly, granite is
not marble, and marble is not granite, although many people do not
know the difference, and think that any stone with a high polish is
Granite, (or marble). Here in my area, a major granite quarry is located
in a town called Marble Falls. Does that ever lead to a lot of confusion!
It is important to realize that marble is a carbonate based stone
and highly reactive to any thing acidic, and it is relatively soft
since the hardness of the main mineral (Calcite) is only a 4 on the
hardness scale. Granites are silicates, less reactive to acids, and
much harder. A knife blade will always scratch a marble, but not a
true granite. Maurizio's lemon juice test (described elsewhere on
this site) will tell you a lot about the nature of a stone, and its
appropriateness for certain applications. You could take a basic geology
class at a local community college, or at least see what books are
available through your library. This would give you some of the fundamentals,
however it would take a major course of study in things like petrology
and geochemistry to really understand the stone from a geologic view
point. Find a mentor, an old timer who has been in the fabrication
end of things for a long time, and learn from his experience, and
most of all, listen and learn from your own experience as to what
the end user has to say about maintenance, durability, staining, scratching
etc. etc. etc.
Good luck, JVC, USA. Reply
Dear Corie: I really wish that everybody were
like you! You don't accept the "truth" as it is delivered
to you in a pre-packaged, condensed version. You perceive that there's
much more to it that meets the eye -- and not certainly glamorous
-- and you want to know the facts. So far, nobody had either the knowledge,
or the motivation, or the guts to publish what you're seeking, but
if you get in touch directly with me I will be happy to help you at
my best (no charge, relax!). Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA. Reply
|A 1316: I
am an Earth Science teacher working with a Consumer Science teacher
to develop an instructional unit about using rocks and minerals
in interior and exterior home design. We would greatly appreciate
it if you could send any information about products featured on your
website so we can get our students excited about stone! Thanks for
your assistance in this area. Dr. Lee, USA. Jan 10. Reply
Dear Dr. Lee, It is a great combination. I
am crazy about stones. We deal in chemicals used for stone fixing
and preservation. If you desire any information or presentation etc.
on stone, please feel free to get in touch. Arun, India, Reply
|A 1314: I
got into the granite business two yrs. ago and it has been a disaster
because no one I have met has a sliver of a clue or a professional
approach. I purchased a small business and received no credible info.
I am determined to become a "pro" but it is very difficult
to get genuine knowledge. Please point me in the right direction
for texts, courses, people and other sources for learning the stone
bus. properly. I realize it takes time but I am not intimidated.
I currently have a two man fabrication setup but I feel so inadequate
when trying to answer questions and make accurate suggestions. Everybody
has a 5 cent opinion on every matter but nowhere have I found credible,
in depth, resourced information. Please help me! McKendry. Jan 9.
Dear McKendry, I read your submission
with interest and feel for you but do not despair. As you said,
you are not alone. The situation you describe is the situation
world-wide. As a stone fabricator you are not expected to know
much about stone. You are expected to purchase a nice-looking
slab of stone for a client from a wholesaler. It doesn't matter what
it is technically. All you need to know is how to use a tape-measure,
how to make up templates for more complicated jobs, how to cut the
stone to the right size, and how to use the right tools for finishing
the edges. In this context the stone is no different to a sheet
of wood, plastic, aluminium, or petrified dung. It is how well
you do the job and the installation that determines your immediate
professionalism. With time you pick up little bits of information
that help you to make better commercial judgments in your business.
For example, you learn about the stones that break during fabrication
(and cost you both money and grief), stones that chip, stones that
have been resined, stones that are difficult to polish, etc. Your
wholesaler isn't going to tell you about the problems (because he
also is unlikely to know anything about stone) and your competitors
sure-as-hell aren't going to tell you. One way of fast-tracking
this sort of information is to employ a wily old bastard who has been
in the trade for a long time. But then he has also picked up
a fair bit of misinformation in his time and you will have trouble
discerning what is right and what is crap. The point that I
am making is that this sort of information is acquired - it cannot
be learnt from a textbook or from a course. Of course, a course
in stonemasonry will give you a bit of additional advice that will
add to your overall knowledge about stone and maybe a bit more professionalism.
The in-depth stone information is gained via a tortuous path
- firstly through a science degree majoring in geology, then honours,
then a Ph.D, covering a wide range of subjects which includes a wide
range of rock types (this makes you understand the conditions of formation,
how they get there, why they are what they are, and what makes them
tick). But this is still insufficient because it might not have
any practical relevance to your business. A good understanding
of engineering geology helps with the geotechnical aspects of stone
(strength, abrasiveness, absorption, dimensional stability, etc),
but it is only when that academic geoscientist has consulted on numerous
practical jobs (and nearly all projects are different), has worked
in a multifaceted stone processing plant, has worked extensively in
his own and many other stone quarries, that provides him with the
experience and knowledge to make in-depth judgements and enables him
to provide reliable advice on many stone matters. Even then there
are problems that arise in certain situations where some homework
has to be done. How many of these people have you come
across in this stone game? These people are precious and can
save potential quariers, architects, construction managers, designers,
etc. considerable amounts of money by providing informed advice. It
remains a mystery as to why such a wealth of information is not regularly
tapped before a project commences rather than when it has hit problems.
So, should you ever require well-informed advice about a stone
in your business go to an experienced stone geoscientist, never a
geologist! (Dr.) Hans,
Dear McKendry: I wish everybody in
the stone industry were like you! The fact itself that you recognize
your lack of professionalism makes you a true professional! I'm sure
you understand that your problem can't be solved with an answer posted
on this board, no matter how comprehensive, but I'd love to help you
a lot. Do get in touch directly with me, then we'll take it from there.
Ciao, Maurizio, USA. Reply
Thanks for responding. I am desperate for some direction with regards
to stone knowledge (i.e., Proper Care, Proper Installation, Selection
and Recommendations for clients and their applications, etc.). There
are so many "care of stone" recommendations and so many
conflicting lessons that my head spins. I want to recommend stone,
identify quality from inferiority, and leave my clients with a feeling
that they have definitive, proven methods for caring for their investment
and a sense they made an informed choice and dealt with a caring professional.
Post sale I want to feel I gave service, knowedge and no fear of complaints
later. In fact, I want everyone to recommend me to their friends.
Additionally I would like to expand beyond just kitchens but I am
short of knowledge. If you can recommend refernce texts, etc. I would
like to invest in them. Any other info would be most appreciated.
Thank you! McKendry. Jan 19. Reply
McKendry: I like you already! Our beloved stone industry should be
all made of guys like yourself! You do remind myself at the beginning
of my career (A few months ago ... you know!!). I WANTED to know what
I was going to get involved with! I've got to realize that stone was
a very complicated subject (it's a whole science, for crying out loud!),
but instead of trying to simplify it with "blanket rules"
that wouldn't work (which seems to be the politically correct thing
to do, nowadays), I accepted the facts, and went to the only possible
way: getting specifically educated. The secret is to not overdo. In
other words, as you go through your studies, you have to be able to
understand which one information will help your professional activity,
and which one is only academic (you don't really need that). Please,
do contact me directly. I'll be glad to take you under my wing (if
you care to) and do anything possible to help you out at my best.
Ciao, Maurizio, USA. Reply
helpful and user friendly I will use your sight for various things in the
future, Thank you for this resource. Randy, CLEANING CO. , FL, USA.
The views expressed in this section are not of FindStone.
just spent about ten minutes looking at your site, but from what I
did see I am very impressed. It looks very helpful and user friendly
I will use your sight for various things in the future, Thank you
for this resource. Randy, CLEANING CO. , FL, USA.