Each type of stone is formed diﬀerently and features diﬀerent strength, colour, texture and composition. Understanding the beneﬁts
and features of diﬀerent stones are imperative to choosing the right stone for your project.
Whilst you can come in and choose your natural stone or porcelain slab from us, we strongly prefer to sell slabs directly to stonemasons. If you do not have a stonemason, we can recommend a stonemason for your project.
Tiles, coping etc. we can sell to everyone as they are a finished product.
We employ inspectors in several locations throughout the world & they and our Directors continually travel, sourcing & inspecting material and production standards. All materials are inspected and rated according to a strict set of SNB Stone guidelines. Where the material is sourced is actually less important than the technology used to process it.
There is a 15% return fee on all authorised returns. Not all material may be returned. Terms & Conditions should be read & understood prior to purchase.
If the size, finish or quantity is not available in any branch, then we can consider importing the material from overseas. This will depend on the quantity requested and the availability of the material from our supplier.
Also the time can be affected by the time it takes our inspector to inspect; often he will go on more than one occasion. Every country varies but it is common to say approximately 12-16 weeks.
Material is often available in all three branches. If there is a requirement, material can easily be shipped from one state to another. A freight charge will be added to the invoice.
Tiles can be held for seven days until we receive a deposit. If materials are to be held for a longer period, we require full payment.
Slab selection conditions are as below:
Due to the intricacies of warehousing, slab inspected may not be the slab picked up at the time of pickup but from the same batch.
Thickness ranges from 10mm to 20mm. All sizes can be used for floors and walls. There are considerations for wall tiles that should be judged:
Non-wet areas including bathrooms other than the actual shower walls & floors: Walls…All finishes Floors….All surface finishes depending on the required location and use. Showers walls and floors: Smoother stones Honed or Polished, Brushed.
There can be many reasons why the same material of the same name can vary in price. When natural stone is imported you can purchase it in several quality grades with the best being First quality. Unlike others, SNB Stone concentrates on importing first quality products.
Calibration will not always be perfect (or to agreed tolerances). In lower grades stone may be more or less busy (especially marble) Consistency of colour within the same batch of natural stone will vary more dramatically than expected (bearing in mind that stone is a natural product and will always have variation).
Travertine will have a larger amount of and much larger holes (either filled or unfilled) in lower quality grades. Also the quality of tiles depends greatly on the manufacturer and their equipment. Certain countries have limitations and others may have expensive Italian engineered manufacturing lines.
Fewer chips exist with arise edged tiles and when they are laid the grout join appears slightly larger than non-arised tiles. Non-arised tiles will have minor chips on the edges that are unavoidable due to the fine cutting of the edge. The non-arised tiles may create a tighter join.
No. Tiles become damaged due to extra handling, and individual selection of tiles is not practical. We can however remove a few tiles randomly from the crates for inspection prior to purchasing.
Tiles cut in specific sizes and laid in the below pattern…
It can be either unfilled or filled, this is the option of the client. It is common to use filled travertine for indoor areas, especially in bathrooms although some customers prefer to use the stone in its natural unfilled state as a feature.
With architectural waste grills, large tiles can be used. Achieving a fall to these grills is easier than the traditional waste pipes (small round) particularly if the bathroom floor is small.
We strongly recommend ALL Natural Stone should be sealed with Dry Treat Stain Proof™.
For Basalt and Granite – most household cleaners.
For Marble, Travertine, Quartzite and Limestone – a clean, damp cloth or, for stubborn stains a weak bleach solution, or a PH neutral detergent.
As you know, is difficult to remove a build-up of soap suds even from glass. It will require scrubbing and strong cleaners to remove. The same occurs with ceramic, porcelain and natural stone. The best method to prevent long term build up is by cleaning regularly and hosing or using a squeegee on the tiles after showers.
Yes. Even after decades these stones can be brought back to looking like new.
There are many natural stones that can be used indoors and out. Some tiles come in different finishes such as honed, polished and acid washed. It is important to be aware of the slipperiness of tiles and select the best finish for the required usage.
Thicknesses range from 10mm to 20mm. All sizes can be used for external floors and walls.
Yes. Over time, these stones achieve a slightly rougher surface texture and lighter appearance due to the heat, rain and other external factors.
Acid Washed Marbles, Acid Washed & Flamed and some Honed limestone, Flamed, Bush Hammered, Sandblasted and Sawn cut Granites and Basalts.
Should Travertine used externally be filled or unfilled?
Either can be used. When it is unfilled it will darken in the holes due to dust and dirt, but give a slightly different character.
We recommend all natural stones be sealed with Dry Treat Stain Proof™
Hosing with water on most occasions and sweeping up dust.
For build up of dirt and grime on Basalt, Granite and Quartzite – most household cleaners
For build up of dirt and grime on Marble, Travertine and Limestone – a clean, damp mop or, for stubborn stains including bird droppings and leaves use a bleach solution, or a PH neutral detergent
Natural Stone is a great product to use around swimming pools. Sandstones and Travertine are very common natural stone choices for swimming pools. Marble has increased its popularity around pool areas and is now available in many more colours and acid washed finishes.
Yes. Stonemasons or some tilers can profile the edges of tiles by doubling the thickness of the edge and honing it to the desired shape.
Note that not many can flame the edge to match a flamed surface finish.
Yes. Salt can attack softer Sandstone. Chlorine does not have a serious effect on natural stones. For protection these stones DryTreat 40SK and Stain Proof™ is recommended.
Less joins. It also distinguishes the coping from the rest of the pool. It is visually more appealing.
Yes. The tiler trims them to size.
It is sold Per Piece, not m2.
They range from 300mm up to 450mm.
Yes. Slabs can be trimmed by a stonemason and edge profiled to the required look. They can then be laid by the stonemason or the tiler.
Yes. The edge requires profiling to create the desired look.
Pavers can be laid on compacted road base, sand or concrete. Speak to your builder for specific recommendations.
Yes. Due to the thickness of these it is possible. If the Driveway has concrete, then 20mm cobbles can be laid using flexible glue after screeding a bed of mortar. The same method can apply for pavers. Thick pavers can be laid on road base without a concrete slab. Speak to your builder for specific recommendations.
Local councils may place restrictions on the outdoor areas when building or renovating by stating that a certain amount of area must be permeable i.e. allow water to drain into the ground and not into the storm water. Unlike concreted surfaces, pavers laid in road base allow the water to drain through the pavers and not just be directed along the surface to storm drains.
Commonly tiles laid outside have larger joins than indoor tiles. Speak to your tiler for specific recommendations.
Like all natural materials, natural stone (i.e. limestone, travertine, marble, slate and granite) requires a level of flexibility and movement. As such it is highly recommended that you use flexible adhesives and grouts. Please discuss your requirements with your tiler so that you can determine the right natural stone installation products for your project.
Screeding (levelling a bed of mortar with a flat board) is used on almost every occasion to level the concrete flooring indoors and out. Mortar is used and levelled over the surface using a flat board (screed). It also used to achieve the floor levels required for correct fall towards the waste pipes. Once it has set, tiles are laid directly onto it using tile adhesive.
This is when tiles are laid unevenly at the joins and can also be caused when the tile is bowed or badly calibrated.
Tiles are to be trowelled on using a 10-12mm trowel and the back of the tile buttered prior to laying. The whole area where the tile is laid is to be trowelled correctly and the tile pushed into the adhesive. Spot fixing occurs when blobs or spots of adhesive are applied to the surface and the tile pushed onto the substrate. This is not what is recommended by the Australian Standards for fixing tiles and tile adhesive manufacturers. Spot fixing results in drumming of the tiles, cracking as well as spot marks showing through moisture sensitive tiles etc.
Yes. This is often done with large tiles that are harder to lay completely level without lipping. The floor is then re-surfaced (honed or polished) using a machine. It is also beneficial as it grinds the tiles at the same level of the grout joins creating the appearance of a seamless floor.
Tiles or panels can be laid to great heights. City buildings are successfully clad using techniques to pin the tile to the supports of the building. Tiles that are being laid up to 3m high can be laid using normal tile adhesive. Over 3m in height, tiles require fastening pins as well as tile adhesive. Large heavy panels use both pins and adhesive even at lower than 3m in height.
The normal joint width is between 1.5mm to 3mm. No butt joining of tiles is permitted unless there are expansion joints based on Australian Standards recommendations.
Generally 10 percent based on the type of tiles and the shape of the rooms. If more cuts are required you may require up to 15%.
Designers and architects often refer to the ‘HB 197-1999 Pedestrian Flooring Guide’ and are specifying stones for residential and commercial flooring using this as a guide. If you require testing to be done on your behalf, SNB Stone can assist you in organizing the test.
Generally in this order but it depends on the type of stone…Flamed, Bush Hammered, Tumbled, Honed, Brushed and Polished. But the slipperiness can depend on the type of material as well for example marble in a honed finish is more slippery than Sandstone in a honed finish.
An R rating is a method of classification based on a slip test done on a ramp. Tiles are laid on an angle and oil is poured on to them. Two people wearing work boots are made to walk the tiles and are measurement is determined when they slip. This can be a very inaccurate way to to measure a tile and classify it. There are many factors such as age of the experimenters, their posture, their skills of balance etc that may affect the test result. This test is commonly used for determining surface finishes for commercial ramps. The R rating is commonly misunderstood in the industry and there are considerations that affect the slipperiness of wet tiles eg environmental factors (weathering) and the implementation of devices that can reduce the risk i.e. mat to dry feet at entry points of foyers etc.
A wet pendulum test is a universal procedure based on AZ/NZS 4586 Wet Pendulum Test. It requires 5 samples 150mm x 150mm to be tested using water on them and a Pendulum designed with a specific rubber. The pendulum is swung and measured as it passes over the sample. The 5 results are averaged and a letter of classification is given. Under the Booklet HB 197-1999 Pedestrian flooring Guide, there is a guide explaining the classification of the letter.
It comes down to which is more suitable for the look you want and the required usage. Many who love a Marble look can use it in a honed surface. Or, Granite’s available colour palette and strength may appeal. Granite & Quartzite are some of the hardest stones available.
Yes, we recommend a Marble with a honed surface sealed only with Dry Treat Stain Proof ™. Honed surfaces do not show up the etching from acid stains as much as polished Marble. Marble surfaces will scratch & mark over time, but that forms part of the character of natural stone (it is similar to the wear & tear you expect to see in timber floors, stainless steel products etc).
Most Limestone can be used as kitchen benchtops in a honed surface.
Travertine can be used if the surface finish is Filled and Honed and sealed with Dry Treat Stain Proof ™. We do not recommend Sandstones for food preparation surfaces, but it can be used for vanities and many other applications.
Seal with DRY-TEAT Stain Proof™
For Basalt and Granite – most household cleaners
For Marble, Travertine, Limestone and Quartzite – A clean, damp cloth or, for stubborn stains, a weak bleach solution or a PH neutral detergent
Staining is non acidic liquids that have been absorbed into the surface of the stone
When sealed with Dry Treat Stain Proof™ these stains can be easily removed
Etching is a chemical reaction due to acid contacting calcium in the Marble which results in dull spots.
Honed surfaces display etching (dull spots) less than polished surfaces due to the reflective surface of a polished surface. Use a cutting board to prepare food
Scratches is damages caused to the surface by using sharp objects
Use a cutting board when cutting and take care with scraping sharp products. Minimal care is required when using Marble for benchtops, but like floor boards and stainless steel, some scratches and marks are inevitable and are an accepted feature of the product. Traditionally it is the patina of
Natural stone can be repaired and re-polished/honed but usually people using Marble do not feel the need to have it re-honed.
Buff the counter top with a clean white soft cloth or paper towel.
Yes. This is required to be done by an experienced stonemason or stone restorer.
A crack is more usually a natural or accidental breakage of the stone. Many stones naturally come with fissures (open seams) which are repaired by most overseas manufacturers during the polishing process of the stone. These are widely accepted around the world and are characteristics typical in different types of stone. Slabs with more open cracks in the stones can most often be cut around to suit your requirements.
Yes. Any Marble can be honed by a quality stonemason. What must be remembered is that a skilled stonemason is required to manufacture Marble and Granites.
These unique surfaces are highly recommended and are becoming a new trend in the high end benchtop market. They are suitable for kitchens as long as they are sealed with Dry-Treat.
Natural stone is a beautiful product of nature. It is not a chemically processed product that is formed into a benchtop material. Stone forms over 60% of the earth’s crust and is available in thousands of different types and colours. Reconstituted stone suppliers market only about 10-20 colours and many of the darker ones scratch easily. They contain large amounts of chemicals and resins. Many natural stones possess better properties and perform better than reconstituted products in kitchens.
There are a couple of reasons; firstly, there is not as much skill required to install man-made products. Secondly, marketing has influenced the sale of engineered products and the buyer’s perceptions. Many consumers are now aware however that Granite is scratch resistant, heat resistant and when sealed with Dry Treat™, is stain resistant. Granite, through experience has proven to be one of the best products to use. Its demand currently is much higher than reconstituted stone around the world. Marble has been used for centuries on kitchen benchtops and a variety of other applications and remains extremely popular in Europe and many countries. Its use in Australia has been increasing due to high quality sealing products.
Even in the most expensive Calacatta and Carrara marbles, pitting is a natural occurrence and does not determine the purchase cost. These holes are sometimes filled by the Supplier during the polishing period of the stone. Otherwise, they can be filled by the stonemason prior to installing the kitchen. Some holes are so tiny they cannot be filled. Some Granite can also have minor pitting.
The hardest stones are Quartzite, Granite and Basalt. Marble, Travertine Limestone and Sandstone are softer. There are various densities in all of these stones, and a Limestone can be as hard as some Marbles.
Natural stone has a resistance to heat. Although many stones can resist very high temperatures, we recommend hot items are placed on heat mats.
It is not easy to chip natural stone. If chipping does occur, it will normally be around under-slung sinks (this also occurs with reconstituted material). We recommend you take care of hitting heavy metal objects on the sides of the sink edges.
It is possible to match the veins for a Book Match look on some stones that have been polished on opposite sides from overseas. Some stonemasons have the experience to re-surface the back side of slabs to achieve the book matching of panels. The most common materials that come already booked match are Calacatta and Statuario Marble.
Whether it is Marble or Granite, all stones can be utilised in both thicknesses. They are all strong enough, yet many times cupboards should be designed with extra supports. 20mm thick stone can be utilized as simply a 20mm edge or the edge is doubled giving you a 40mm edge. 30mm thick slabs are usually left as 30mm and both 20mm and 30mm can be mitred.
Unsupported 30mm thick stones up to around 300m. Unsupported 20mm thick stones up to 200mm depending on stone type although it may be best to support softer stones. Supported 20mm stone is not an issue.
What can be used for the bench tops can be used for splash backs as well. 20mm slabs are the norm, but 30mm can be also used. Tiles can also be used and may be a cheaper option.
Any natural stone in a polished, honed or pepper finish is suitable. It is not a food preparation area therefore it does not have to be honed if it is a marble.
Yes. There may be a lot of wastage, but you can achieve the exact look and colour. If price is a factor then selecting an off-cut from a stonemason is a better option.
All types as long as they are sealed with Dry-Treat Stain Proof, either polished, honed or pepper finish can be used. Marble becomes a feature in commercial environments and some designers like to book match the front and top of counters.
Both 20mm and 30mm are suitable – it just depends on the required look. 20mm for both the tread and the riser, 30mm for the tread and 20mm for the riser or 30mm for both.
All types of natural stones can be used for fire places. Surface finish can be polished, honed, pepper finish or flamed. 20mm is a very common thickness, but 30mm is also often used. The floor in front of a fire place, the ‘hearth’ is usually done in one piece of stone.
All natural stones can be used. They should be sealed with Dry-Treat Stain Proof or Meta Crème and are suitable in any surface finish. Slab panels are usually pinned to the wall using a fastening method as well as epoxy adhesive for strength and safety.
Yes. Book matching is a visual advantage including less joins compared to tiles. The cost of this type of work and the material is more expensive than using tiles. In luxurious and high budget jobs and commercial applications, this is a common procedure to achieve a higher and unique standard in appearance.