After thousands of years, stone has become ultra-fashionable again. The main reasons stone has become a preferred building and decorative material are its pure class and character. There really is nothing like natural stone for both construction and aesthetic values. After generations of using artificial materials, professional architects and designers have returned to stone as a preferred option for their work.
The return to stone as a preferred medium is also a result of drastically improved technology. CAD design has opened the floodgates for creative expression in all forms of construction. With this huge revolution in design has come a demand for high-quality, high performance materials. Stone is perhaps the only type of material which can match the standards created by the new design ethos.
Consumers have also played a very large part in the revival of stone. Homeowners and commercial building owners have driven a major paradigm shift, which has seen stone replace many conventional materials as the preferred choice in a demanding market.
The reasons for the sudden return to traditional building material are as much practical as aesthetic:
• Stone is a particularly reliable construction option in any environment.
• Stone is extremely low maintenance and hard wearing.
• Stone provides multiple creative options for design.
• Stone is fire-resistant.
• Stone is easy to maintain and restore.
• Stone is naturally weather resistant.
• Stone is thermally neutral, which assists environmental management.
• Stone is strongly impact resistant.
In terms of product life, stone is incredibly cost-effective. Whether you’re using stone for slate roofing, outdoor tiles or any other purpose, stone will outlast any other building material, including bricks. Hard stone like granite can quite literally last for centuries, even in polluted, dirty urban environments.
All homeowners and property managers will be well aware of the costs involved in maintaining interior and exterior surfaces. Even good quality natural materials like wood require extensive maintenance over long periods of time. Stone can simply be cleaned and restored. The nearest thing to complex maintenance required is that some forms of stone flooring need to be sealed, but even that is a particularly straightforward, easy process.
Stone in the marketplace
The popularity of stone produced some interesting results in the marketplace:
New stone coming on the market, like the fabulous Chinese and Indian slates, is truly revolutionizing the whole concept of interior design around the world. These incredibly beautiful stones have created an upmarket stampede. The vibrant colours and the extraordinary richness of these stones are fascinating designers around the world.
In Australia, a country in which the design and construction values and costs can truly be considered a science, stone is perhaps the most popular upmarket design choice in one of the world’s most truly demanding retail markets. The first choice in even the most grandiose mansions is stone, simply because the fantastic new stones totally outclass anything else on the market.
If you’re thinking of upgrading any building, and/or looking for better options for flooring, tiling or decorative surfaces, start with stone as your first selection opportunity. You won’t be disappointed.