Tag Archive | "natural stone"

Antolini Introduces Bronze Amani

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Antolini Introduces Bronze Amani

Posted on 18 October 2016 by CRadmin3

antolini-bronze-amaniAntolini’s Exclusive Collection is a unique offering of natural stone surface materials designed to complement today’s modern residential architecture. Among these stone designs is the newest addition, Bronze Amani, a variation that originates from a quarry in Spain and contains an assortment of rich earth tones. The color palette of Bronze Amani is cohesive with classic, bold patterns and textures. Antolini states that the material can also enhance the characteristics of contemporary, minimalistic interiors. Bronze Amani makes surroundings welcoming and relaxing.

Available in Polished, Lether and Antique finishes, Bronze Amani displays a color palette of classic yet bold patterns and textures, and works well as a complement to contemporary minimalistic interiors. In rooms where Bronze Amani is applied as the primary material or as an accent —in either horizontal or vertical applications—the impact can be remarkable, as the material has a variety of distinctive traits.

According to Antolini, the material can be a highly effective design treatment. “Bronze Amani’s warm, embracing earth tones and golden hues embody romance, elegance, and tranquility,” says Antolini, “while at the same time, it is remarkably dynamic and has the ability to reflect light and enlarge any surrounding where it is applied. It can make surroundings welcoming and relaxing, turning them into a unique oasis of peace and relaxation.”

You may also be interested in this article about Fusion WOW Quartzite from Antolini

 

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MS International Expands Natural Stone Countertop Collection

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MS International Expands Natural Stone Countertop Collection

Posted on 08 December 2015 by cradmin

MSI New natural stones - Agusta White Marble

Agusta White Marble is one of the new stone slabs added to MSI’s collection

M S International (MSI) introduced more than 30 new colors to its natural stone slabs and countertops collection. Included in the expansion are unique granite slabs, marble and quartzite. This increases the number of natural stone colors and patterns offered by the company to more than 350. The new additions include a variety of colors and were hand-selected to match up with the latest countertop trends. Blacks, grays, whites, subtle earth tones and dramatic, exotic stones are included. Because of their growing popularity, a priority for the additions were high-movement white and gray natural stone slabs, including 15 new exclusive granites and marbles .

You may also be interested in this article about Antonlini’s new stone colors.

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Fabricator Profile: Stone Masters Goes Green

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Fabricator Profile: Stone Masters Goes Green

Posted on 10 September 2015 by cradmin

images (1)Stone Masters, Inc., located in Kennett Square, Pa., does not only work with eco-friendly materials but has also adopted green business and management practices. However, the company deals with nearly all natural and engineered stone, including granite, marble, soapstone and quartz.

Among the highlights of Stone Masters’ green facilities is a design that maximizes the use of natural lighting with 132-foot by 4-foot translucent light panel. This panel has allowed the company to eliminate the use of electric lighting during 95 percent of its operating hours, and its supplementary lighting for the other 5 percent comes from high-efficiency T5 fluorescent fixtures.

Stone Masters also recycles its water with on-site equipment for reuse in the fabrication process, and all plastic, paper, cardboard and metal is recycled through Allied Waste. Small stone remnants and waste are compacted to reduce landfill impact, and the company even recycles waste oil from its fleet to heat the neighboring building in the business park where it is located.

Dan and Ann Marie DiTomaso founded Stone Masters after working in the real-estate industry and as remodeling contractors. They would buy houses, Dan would fix them up, including fabricating countertops and setting tile, and Ann Marie would sell the renovated houses. With help from Dan’s cousin Phillip, they conducted extensive research into stone fabrication, and opened their first shop in Aston, Pa.

Shortly afterward, the couple moved to Kennett Square, automated the shop and hired a team of designers, and the rest is history.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Stone Masters, Inc.

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New Freedonia ‘Countertops’ Report Now Available, Predicts Increases in Coming Years

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New Freedonia ‘Countertops’ Report Now Available, Predicts Increases in Coming Years

Posted on 08 September 2015 by cradmin

Freedonia countertops study 2015 chartThe Freedonia Group, an independent research firm, released its new “Countertops” report, which examines numerous areas of the countertop industry and makes predictions for future growth. The 389-page study, which the company sells, forecasts an overall countertops growth average in the United States of 4.2 percent through 2019. The prediction claims quartz surfacing (or engineered stone) will be the fastest growing segment, followed by granite/natural stone and then solid surface. It predicts laminate will be at the bottom, just above tile, when it comes to growth in the countertop segment. The report also makes claim that “niche materials” are will do very well in coming years.

You may also be interested in this article about 2015 Kitchen & Countertop Trends.

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Antolini Introduces Multicolored ‘Fusion WOW’ Quartzite

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Antolini Introduces Multicolored ‘Fusion WOW’ Quartzite

Posted on 16 June 2015 by cradmin

Antolini Fusion Wow_Dark Antolini now offers a select line of its new Fusion WOW slabs, which are rare multicolored quartzite. The company has the exclusive rights to this Brazilian stone, which it classifies three ways: Light, Dark and Multicolor. Each variety of this unique stone offers a palette of maroons, blues, coppers, whites, greys and greens among Earth tones, all shifted in gorgeous blurred patterns that nearly defy description.

You may also be interested in article on MSI’s 7 new quartz colors.

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A Look at the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard ANSI/NSC-373

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A Look at the Natural Stone Sustainability Standard ANSI/NSC-373

Posted on 23 December 2014 by cradmin

In 2014, after 5 years in development, the ANSI/NSC-373 standard for “Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone” was released, and recently TexaStone Quarries was the first to be certified under that standard. So, we thought we would share with you this video that explains the standards developed by the Natural Stone Council (NSC) and the reason behind them. This video, put out by BillLevyProductions, offers interviews with a variety of industry players and some of the folks behind the development of the standard explaining why it was developed and gives a very good review of what types of things are part of the certification process and how it works.

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the program, the video or stone in relation to sustainability, so drop us a line at info@countertopresource.com.

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TexaStone Quarries Named First Company to Meet NSC Sustainability Standards

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TexaStone Quarries Named First Company to Meet NSC Sustainability Standards

Posted on 19 December 2014 by cradmin

TexaStone Quarries, based in Garden City, Texas, is the first company to achieve the level of certified stone producer under new sustainability standards. The creation of the program – ANSI/NSC-373 Sustainable Production of Natural Dimension Stone – was completed earlier this year, following several years of development using the consensus-based American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process. Achieving the voluntary standards allows six quarries operated by the company to receive “Gold” certification, and its closely-allied fabrication plant to receive a “Silver” certification. The certifications came after facility inspections and paperwork verification by NSF Sustainability. And, there are reportedly several other stone companies that have begun the certification process.

The ANSI/NSC 373 standards cover nine facets of a quarrier and fabricator’s operation, including water usage and recycling, custody and transportation, site and plant management, land reclamation and adaptive use, corporate governance, energy use and conservation, management of excess process materials and waste, safer chemical and materials management and human and health considerations. There is also an optional “innovations” standard. There also are chain-of-custody certification standards for stone distributors.

Four levels of certification are available for quarriers and fabricators: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each individual entity can be certified individually. Transparent, credible standards and independent third-party certification are important to those in the construction industry seeking more sustainable stone products. This includes local, state and federal government agencies and others seeking to comply with U.S. Executive Order 13514, which sets a goal for 95 percent of government contracts to include products and services with sustainable attributes, as well as a U.S. General Services Administration standard for sustainable construction (GSA PBS-P100 facilities standards for the public building service).

There are 18 requirements under ANSI/NSC-373 with a total of 41 possible points. The more points a company earns, the higher designation it receives. The maximum points will earn the platinum level. Companies can upgrade to higher levels by improving in various areas of the program, and each facility must be re-certified every four years.

“The growing ‘green’ movement required us to develop standards that allow us to compare out products with others in the marketplace,” said Duke Pointer, Natural Stone Council (NSC) executive director. “Certification of TexaStone as a sustainable producer of natural dimension-stone products is a major milestone for NSC’s nearly five-year program to develop sustainability standards that dovetail with natural stone’s inherent qualities of beauty, durability and variety.”

“The industry wanted to identify how the stone was processed from the quarries and the processors,” said Tom Bruursema, general manager of NSF Sustainability. “As the first to earn certification to ANSI/NSC 373, TexaStone leads its industry in adopting more sustainable practices that help its customers and organizations meet the continued growth in green buildings.”

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MIA Releases ‘Stones of North America’ Version 3 App

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MIA Releases ‘Stones of North America’ Version 3 App

Posted on 22 September 2014 by cradmin

MIA SoNA AppThe Marble Institute of America has released Stones of North America Version 3, an iPad® app that gives design and construction professionals quick, easy access to detailed information about natural stones quarried in North America. Version 3 of the app includes 31 new natural stones, various programming updates to ensure proper functionality with iOS7, and a new companion website that makes this information available to everyone with internet access.

The app features natural stones from more than 100 quarries in North America. Stones of North America gives architects, builders, designers, homeowners and others shopping for natural stone an easy way to view and select locally sourced natural stone. Users can search natural stones by type, color, intended use, location and distance from a project. Stones are displayed in vivid color and are showcased through stunning photos of their use in commercial and/or residential applications.

Technical specifications, physical properties and details on recommended use make it easy to investigate natural stone for any project. Sophisticated mapping technology enables users to measure the distance from the stone’s quarry and processing centers to a job site for sustainable projects. And a care and maintenance tab includes a comprehensive guide for how to care for and maintain all varieties of natural stone.

“Stones of North America is quickly becoming a go-to reference for information about the North American stone market,” said James A. Hieb, MIA executive vice president and CEO. “The new companion website, however, is what we are most excited about. For the first time, the information previously available only to Apple users is available to anyone.”

The Stones of North America iPad app is available for free download on iTunes. The companion website can be found at www.stonesofnorthamerica.com.

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TheSize Introduces New Collection of Exotic, Natural Granites

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TheSize Introduces New Collection of Exotic, Natural Granites

Posted on 19 September 2014 by cradmin

GranITH TramontoTheSize, Spain-based parent company of sintered compact surfacing product Neolith, is launching GranITH: a collection of 11 exotic and exclusive natural granites for commercial and residential countertop, flooring and wall cladding use. Each model of GranITH is composed of granites carefully selected from controlled quarries located in Angola, Brazil and Zimbabwe. From extraction to distribution, it is produced within a carefully managed value chain process that maintains strict sustainability and resource protection controls in an effort to ensure minimal impact on the environment. The collection’s 11 colors are: Nero Kariba, Nero Infinito, Habana, Mare, Tramonto (shown here), Torroncino, Dark Pearl, Brown Amber, Verde Floresta, Sahara Winds and Bianco Macchiato. All are available in a polished finish. Brown Amber is also available in a satin finish. GranITH products will be available in December 2014.

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The U.S. Has Granite, So Why Aren’t We Buying?

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The U.S. Has Granite, So Why Aren’t We Buying?

Posted on 11 August 2014 by cradmin

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI recently returned from a camping trip in Northern California’s Trinity Alps and was awestruck by the natural beauty of these lands located north of Weaverville and southwest of sprawling, ominous Mt. Shasta. As I hiked up the cliffs overlooking the aptly named Granite Lake, it struck me that the natural forces of the earth could produce such a magnificent material and that human hands and ingenuity could refine it into such an attractive yet practical product like a kitchen countertop.

After the hike, while floating on the lake with a cold beer, I wondered what, if anything, could be produced from the type of granite that surrounded me. Weaverville and the other small communities in the vicinity were born as mining towns during the gold rush, but many other mineral deposits could also be found.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

On the drive in, down Highway 3, it was apparent that crushed rock and gravel were dominant. Piles of rocks more than 100 ft. high stretched along the road for miles at a time, and after a short break, there continued several miles more of nothing but quarried, crushed rock.

Upon reflection, I noted the natural formations on the cliffs were mostly cracked and broken. And although some large veins of pure quartz sparkled fantastically in the sunlight, the granite was somewhat dull and less than lustrous. When I returned home, I put my research machine into action, and discovered that my hunch was correct. The granite deposits in the Trinity Alps had experienced tremendous pressure during their formation, and the compression made them unsuitable for use as dimension stone. So, if U.S. granite doesn’t come from here, then from where do we get our slabs?

The United States mines an exceptional amount of dimension granite and other dimension stone. In fact, this country is one of the leading producers of natural stone in the world, but this only makes it more shocking that our dimension stone imports average at about 80 percent of our consumption.

According to the 2014 report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2.17 million tons of U.S. dimension stone valued at $460 million was sold or used in the U.S. in 2013. A total of 208 companies produced the stone from 276 quarries in 34 states, and the leading producers were Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin. In addition, the tonnage of dimension stone produced has been increasing each year since at least 2009, when the total was 1.62 million.

Granite_slabs_standing_vertically_in_a_warehouse

Although these numbers seem promising and look good without any comparisons, the $460 million of dimension stone used or sold by U.S. producers is dwarfed by the $1.86 billion in dimension stone imports.

Of the total dimension stone sold or used by U.S. producers in 2013, 41 percent was limestone, 23 percent granite, 15 percent sandstone, 3 percent marble, 2 percent slate and 15 percent miscellaneous. By value, 50 percent of this stone was dressed, and 46 percent of dressed stone was sold in partially squared pieces or slabs.

Looking more specifically at granite, 500,000 tons was produced in the U.S. by 39 companies operating 57 quarries in 15 states, and 80 percent of that was exported. The rest of the granite used in the U.S. was imported from Brazil (42 percent), China (23 percent), India (14 percent) and Italy (13 percent). Even with a median tariff of 3 percent on dimension stone, it still somehow makes more sense to go with the imports rather than with domestically produced stone.

Many environmentalists in the U.S. would agree that this country should be spared from increased mining, which could disrupt natural ecosystems and become an eyesore on the landscape. However, the environmental impact of transporting these slabs from halfway around the world could, arguably, be causing much more damage.

In addition, some reports have stated that some overseas granite operations are funding terrorism, and the granite coming from China is of inferior quality and cannot be used domestically.

So, what is it that makes granite imports so popular?

The leading factor, of course, is price, and following close behind is the fact that we do not have the infrastructure in place to meet such high demand. The United States is the world’s top market for dimension stone. Since the economy recovered, demand for dimension stone has increased not only for construction but also for use in existing structures.

Some people say that U.S. granite just doesn’t exhibit the vibrant and unique color patterns of imported stone, but is this truly the case? While certain colors and patterns are unique to locations overseas, it seems that the United States has slabs of equal or even greater brilliance.

Kurt Swenson, president of one of the largest granite quarries in the U.S., Rock of Ages in Vermont, says that much of the demand for overseas granite is black granite. However, some of this demand is for block granite or decorative granite that is to be etched, which is not typically done on slabs for countertops.

Chuck Monson, president of Dakota Granite, is in agreement with Swenson. He states that the demand for black granite rose when the U.S. decided to use such slabs imported from India to build the Vietnam Memorial. But again, he was referring to granite to be used for monuments and statues rather than countertops.

So, is it simply price that is driving the market for imports? Many U.S. granite producers think so. However, another factor may simply be ignorance by the average consumer. Perhaps an education campaign can bring U.S. production up and help to further stimulate our economy.

If you have any thoughts, questions or answers to those posed here, we at CountertopResource.com want to hear from you.

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