At Stone & Tile Studio, we love rocks of all shapes and sizes. We believe all the lessons are in nature and appreciate the time it takes to form natural stone – the wind and the water hitting them, the pressure of the earth transforming them – those things take time. So, on Collect Rocks Day on September 16, a day to celebrate all things rocks, from precious stones and beach pebbles, to rocky mountains and quarries, let’s get back to basics and study up on natural stone and how natural stone tiles are made.
How is natural stone made?
Although the smooth and luscious surface is deceiving, stone tiles aren’t man-made. They are formed over millions of years by water, minerals and lava. Stones, such as travertine, are formed through slow build-up of layers of materials (hence the layered look) while marble is altered by extreme compression and temperature. Finally, everyone’s favourite kitchen counter stone, granite, is created when rock is melted by magma and reformed into stone once cooled down. Whether granite, marble or travertine, no stone is alike and one can find its beauty in the unique variations in colour and veining.
Turning quarry stone into stone tiles
As many of our long-term customers know, Stone & Tile Studio love to find exclusive quarries and handpick natural stone from around the world and in Australia to deliver unique, exquisite stone for our tiles and stone customers. How stone is extracted is quite simple. Enormous blocks are cut from quarries using diamond coated saws. The reason stone is cut into large blocks is because it’s more efficient and reduces the likelihood of large unbroken surface. The diamonds on the saws help to provide strength needed to cut through stone.
Removing the blocks from the quarry is no simple task either, with some of them weighing as much as 18,000 kilos. Using heavy machinery, the blocks are carefully rolled down to ground level and transported to via trailers to the local factory.
Once at the factory, the blocks can be cut one of two ways: Cross cut or vein cut. Cross cut stone tiles slices across the layers, exposing swatches of colourful variation whereas vein cut is sliced along the layers and highlights the long veins of colour.
The final step is creating a finish worthy of a stone wall tile. The process involves finely sanding the surface of the stone to create a smooth, polished look. By minimally sanding the surface, one is left with a smooth look (also known as honed tiles). Other finished features can be tumbled, split, faced, hammered or brushed, creating a dramatic look and feel.
Celebrating Collect Rocks Day
Collect Rocks Day is celebrated on September 16th each year. On this day, we encourage you to get outside and take some time to investigate, study and collect rocks. The best part is, you only need to walk into your back yard to find natural Australian stone.
About Stone & Tile Studio
We are Queensland’s most exclusive stone and tiles showroom, with locations in Bowen Hills and Stafford. Feel Australian Stone tiles under foot when you visit us and see your tiles and stone vision come to life with the help of our expert team. To book an appointment, contact us today.