Robert Merry gives his views on the stone industry this month.
Robert Merry is an independent stone consultant and expert witness in disputes. He ran his own company for 17 years before becoming first an independent project manager and now a consultant.
Firstly, congratulations to Peter Harrison for receiving the Duke of Gloucester Gold Medal for lifetime achievement. Extremely well deserved. We will all miss him now he has retired... if he ever leaves the industry! I suspect he has access to some form of Kryptonite that gives him supernatural powers. Long may he continue in our midst. A Super (stone) man.
Did you enjoy the Stone Show?
Did you come and listen to my 20 minute ‘silent lecture’ on the Stone Federation stand? Of course you did. Now you know all the fantastic work the Stone Federation Interiors Group is doing to promote the use of natural stone.
The silent lecture is part of a longer CPD developed by the Stone Federation’s Interiors Group promoting the use of stone in interiors. It’s the cornerstone of a soon-to-be-announced new relationship with one of the top interior design organisations in the UK and will be offered to its members as their approved CPD on stone.
The hour-long CPD presentation deals with most aspects of using stone in interiors. Floors, walls, kitchens and bathrooms. Hallways, receptions, swimming pools and wet rooms. All in conjunction with the excellent publications produced by the Stone Federation – Natural Stone Flooring Code of Practice, Kitchen Counter Tops Code of Practice, Wet Rooms, Selecting Stone, A Guide to BS8298, Slip Resistance - A Guide, Fireplace Installation technical paper, Ethical Sourcing... to name a few.
The CPD gives an introduction to primary extraction of stone, secondary processing, fabrication, book-matching, vein-matching and rendering, as well as covering feasibility and selection processes.
It sets out a list of the basic questions you need to address before embarking on a project – What type of substrate preparations are needed for floors and walls? What are the different types of underfloor heating available and how can you install these successfully? The use of decoupling membranes, types of bedding materials, grouts, pre-sealers and the difference between sealers and impregnators... they are all discussed.
So are protection and breathable layers, commissioning of under-floor heating with the possibility of thermal shock and its effects on stone.
There’s a section on wall fixings for interiors. A section on mesh-backed stone. A section on CE marking and Declarations of Performance with advice on who should produce them and what to look out for.
It’s a great promotional tool for the stone interiors industry and particularly for Stone Federation members who sell stone to the interiors market, whether as suppliers, fabricators, installers or all three. If you have been um-ing and ah-ing about joining the Federation this should give you the final push.
And if you think you and your customers might benefit from listening to the full version of this CPD, join the Stone Federation GB, come along to the Interiors Group and get involved.
Your industry needs you.