Have you ever wondered where a natural stone wholesaler sources their products from? If natural stone is so natural, where does it come from? How does it get to us in Sydney, Australia?
Before we dive in. Let’s cover some stone basics.
What is natural stone?
There are a number of types of natural stone that have been used in construction for thousands of years and are still commonly used today. The term “natural stone” simply refers to the product that is quarried directly from the earth.
From granite and marble to limestone and onyx, there’s a whole variety of natural stones and each offers a unique combination of beauty, elegance and practicality. Even engineered stone which is manufactured in a factory contains quartz, one of the strongest minerals in the world, as a key component. This quartz, like other natural stones, also needs to be physically cut out from the ground in a quarry.
Why use natural stone?
Natural stone is used for a variety of purposes in both interior home design and exterior house construction, including flooring, benchtops, stairs, splashbacks and vanity tops. While other materials, such as porcelain, wood or concrete, can be used for these applications, there are many reasons why natural stone is so popular and has been for generations. It’s why there’s an entire global industry of stone quarrying, production, exportation and wholesale. Some of the benefits to using natural stone include:
- Durability – natural stone is one hardy material making it perfect for application in the home.
- Beauty – not only does stone provide an elegant aesthetic that is unmatched but there’s so much variety in colour, pattern and shading that there’s something for everyone!
- Maintenance – in addition to its hardiness, the ease with which natural stone can be maintained and cared for is a wonderful benefit.
- Investment – natural stone may not be the cheapest of building materials but its longevity makes it a smart long term investment.
What are stone wholesalers?
Much like wholesalers in other industries, stone wholesalers buy stone slabs in large quantities and in a range of styles to then provide other distributors, construction companies, designers and manufacturers with the natural stone they need.
Where do stone wholesalers source their stone?
There’s simply no single answer to this question. Natural stone can be sourced from pretty much anywhere in the world. Of course, there are countries that are famous for providing certain kinds of stone. For instance Italy is famous for its travertine quarries, while onyx is often sourced from various countries in the Middle-East. Granites and quartzites, in comparison, are often sourced from South America. Marble, probably the most instantly recognisable of natural stones, can come from Italy as well, or Portugal, France, Greece and Spain among many others.
Sometimes the very name of a certain type of stone will indicate where it’s been sourced from, like the Irish Green Marble found off the coast of Ireland. Not all stones are named this way though, like the Calacatta Marble: there’s no place called Calacatta, but rather it refers to the pattern of the actual stone.
It’s probably no secret that we have a deep and special love for stone, especially marble, sourced from Europe’s famous quarries. After all, it’s in our name! If you’re looking for stone from a particular place or would like to know the original source of a particular slab, feel free to ask our team.
A quarry in England, on the Isle of Portland. Source: Wikipedia.
Why do Australian wholesalers import stone?
Due to the fact that specific types and styles of stone are found in specific locations across the globe, personal preference often means that stone needs to be imported, as opposed to sourced locally. There are other reasons too: certain stones from special quarries offer greater hardiness and higher quality than other places. Put simply: wholesalers source the best stone from the best sources, no matter where that is.
It’s important to note that many quarries also reflect a local building/quarrying system that has evolved over many years into the efficient, cost-effective enterprise of today. Due to the costs, financial and otherwise, of setting up new quarries, wholesalers prefer to go with trusted, reputable sources who also offer lower prices than some newer quarries.
How is the stone quarried?
Stone is shipped to wholesalers in the form of slabs from which your benchtop or vanity is then cut. A stone block is cut from the very crust of the Earth and then processed–which basically just means cut from a block into usable and transportable slabs–to be exported around the world. This is really the only ‘processing’ that takes place when it comes to natural stone.
The stone sourced in a quarry is hand chosen and reviewed to ensure high quality both in appearance, hardiness and consistency.
The famous Carrara quarry in Italy. Source: Wikipedia
Do stone slabs from the same quarry all look the same?
Like the Earth itself, the natural stone it contains comes in a wide range of colours, textures, patterns and shades, even when sourced from the very same quarry. This is another attractive benefit of natural stone: every slab and every construction application using natural stone boasts a unique, distinctive design that is not replicated in any other slab.
How do stone wholesalers get the stone?
Once quarried and processed, the stone slabs are then trucked from the quarry and shipped overseas to a number of wholesalers. Stone wholesalers often work with partner companies to ensure industry-leading delivery times. The stones not being displayed in showrooms, such as ours located at 11 Rich Street, Marrickville, are stored in large warehouses allowing as many slabs as possible to be available to customers as quickly as possible.
Euro Marble – Your #1 Stone Wholesaler
We’re passionate about all things stone here at Euro Marble. Thanks to our strong ability to source quality stone we’re able to bring you the best natural stone materials at industry competitive prices. If you’d like to know more about our 150 different variations of available stone or just want to have a chat with us, visit our website today.