Quality should be a factor when considering which supplier to use. There are different qualities in stone and this article will go through what to look for when choosing the right product for your project.
There are a few factors to look out for when determining the quality:
- Finishing – Is the finishing consistent throughout the material?
- Thickness of material – Unless specified, generally allow +\- 2-3mm in variation for flooring. Any more than this is suspicious. Naturally split surfaces also tend to have a greater variation.
- Durability – Take a full piece sample and test it out. Give it a pull, push and a wriggle to see off it breaks. If it does, we would recommend caution if considering that product.
- Colour consistency – Is the colour consistent throughout the material? If there are large variances, this could constitute a lower quality material.
One tip is to check the material in the crates to ensure that what you have seen on display is the same.
There is a misconception that there is no such thing as quality variation in stone. But it is similar to buying a t-shirt. You can buy a cheap one from a no-frills brand, or you can buy a more expensive one from a reputable brand. The reputable brand tends to use better quality fabric which is more durable and has a better fit.
But on the other end of the scale, if you see a product at a few reputable suppliers and one supplier is much more expensive than the others, this doesn’t necessarily mean it is a better quality product. Chances are it is similar or the same product, just priced higher.
Of course, for better quality material, the higher the price. If you had to pay an extra $5 or $10m2 for the material to be better quality and more durable, would it be worth it? For a project that is 100m2, this would be an extra $500-$1000. It could be 10% more than a cheaper quality material. You should weigh that extra cost for a better quality product and consider whether it’s worth it.
Another way to determine a supplier that provides good quality is to speak to your installer. They may have suppliers that they regularly work with and that they trust. They also have suppliers that they do not recommend using as the quality of the product is not up to their standard.
Looking online can be hard to qualify a supplier with good quality material. One way could be to look at the reviews they have. Previous customers’ experiences would provide a good insight into that supplier and how they operate. The better the reviews, the more credible the supplier.
Good quality material has consistent finishing, consistent colour variation, durability, and easy to work with and lay. These factors should be taken into consideration when choosing your material.