Our Italian suppliers buy blocks from the different quarries around the world. They then check for any impurities, inclusions or inconsistencies. The stone is then graded, cut, filled, calibrated and finished with the most stringent quality checks. Unlike the majority of stone importers in Sydney, we pay more, to offer you the highest quality stone . We choose to buy from our reputable Italian suppliers than from companies at the source e.g. China, India, and Turkey etc. Other manufacturers of natural stone may offer you the granite by name, but not by quality.
Since 1974 FAQ’s
Gitani Stone has its name linked to landmark projects such as Powerhouse Museum & Star City Casino – Darling Harbour, Fairmont Resort – Leura and Sheraton on the Park – Sydney. Other projects such as Walaringa Mansions – Kirribilli, John Laws residence – Woolloomooloo, John Symonds residence – Point Piper, Andrew Johns residence – Newcastle and Barakat residence – Brisbane, are but a few of the many private residences in which we can proudly be associated with.
Since 1974 Gitani Stone has been proud to continue working with the industry’s leading architects, designers and developers. We know we can meet your requirements no matter how large or small the project.
Please do not rely on small samples viewed in a showroom for your final selection. One slab of stone can vary greatly from one block to another. There is little or no difference from one slab in a block to another slab from the same block. At Gitani stone you can view a full slab to ensure you know what the characteristics and veining are of the stone you are purchasing. Gitani Stone imports full blocks of book matched stone so your selection will be guaranteed.
At Gitani stone you only pay for what is used. We import and stock all materials in our own gallery so there is no need to charge you for unused material.
Basically the cost of the stone is due to availability of the material from the quarries worldwide. To give you an idea of how prices are determined, please study the following scenarios:
Italian granite Bianco Sardo (original) is one of the better granites for a kitchen bench top (in terms of surface hardness, colour consistency and low porosity) It also happens to be a granite in the low price range.
This is due to the fact that it is quarried above ground, the quarry is close to factories and the port of loading and is also in abundance.
Azul Imperiale granite is quarried in central Brazil, thousands of Kilometres away from any stone processing plant or port of loading. There are always political and environmental problems associated with the quarry. These factors have put this stone in an extremely high price range.
Black Galaxy is only quarried in India. We have the option of buying cheap directly from India or paying more due to freight and handling costs via our regular suppliers in Italy.
From Italian suppliers the process is as follows:
- The block is only selected from deep into the quarry
- The blocks are checked for any impurities, inclusions or inconsistencies.
- The Block is sent to Italy to be graded, cut, resin filled, vacuum sealed, mechanically polished and calibrated.
- The slabs are then catalogued and dispatched to prospective buyers through out the world.
Direct from India (or any other country such as China, Turkey etc), the process is as follows:
- The blocks rejected for export are taken to the many stone plants.
- The blocks are unchecked and cut in to slabs.
- The slabs are un-calibrated and then polished resulting in irregular thicknesses.
- The slabs are then coloured with a dye to achieve ultimate colour
- At times a resin is left on the surface to achieve a high polish.
- Slabs from numerous different blocks are amalgamated and sold off as one bundle. This results in variation of colour, vein and texture from one slab to another.
It would be cheaper for Gitani stone to buy direct from India and the like, but we choose not to as we strive to be the quality leader in our industry and therefore decided not to go the cheaper inferior options. Unlike all other stone importers in Sydney, at Gitani Stone, we pay more, to offer you the highest quality stone from around the world.
Other manufacturers of natural stone may offer you the granite by name, but not by quality.
The final shape and edge profile also determines the end cost of a stone bench top.
We have approx 42 standard edge profiles that vary greatly in price. Picking a cheap stone (scenario 1) with an expensive edge could have the same finished cost as an expensive stone (scenario 2) with a cheap edge.
Engineered stone (man made) has an advantage that the colour is consistent. It is available in many colours. Unfortunately it has a time limit as with all fashion trends. It is only suitable for indoor applications and contrary to common misconception, the man made stone can scratch, chip and stain. Engineered stone is not suitable for floors with under floor heating, whereas natural stone is suitable.
Natural stone is timeless. It will never date. It is full of character. Each piece is unique. It can be used anywhere in or out doors. Natural stone can be repaired or rejuvenated if damaged. Only your application will determine which the better suited material is.
Granite is a very hard stone that’s formed at very high temperatures deep within the earth. Its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots or pans. It’s unaffected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans, or spilled liquid. All granite repairs are possible but require experienced stonemasons to carry out the repair. Granite does NOT require sealing if the right quality of granite is used.
It would be more appropriate to use a good quality marble than cheap inappropriate granite.
There is no reason why it cannot be used. Marble is not as delicate as most people think. In Europe, marble has been used on bench tops for centuries.
Because marbles (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, a polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar & citrus acids.
It would be recommended for some marble to be honed as this surface is less likely to etch the stone.
One thing to keep in mind is that marble can be restored to its original condition if tarnished. Many repairs to marble or limestone can be carried out by the home owner.
All stone, even granite and engineered stone, is porous to some degree, and can absorb stains over time. Some stones are more porous than others, so it is important to select the correct stone and know its limitations for your application. We can seal the stone if requested by the client. This does not guarantee the prevention of stains but slows down the rate of absorption.
Remember that any stain on natural stone can be removed if the correct procedure is implemented.
This is where we mechanically remove the reflective polished surface of any stone giving it a softer, satin feel. Honing is controlled manually, therefore slight variation is to be expected.
Stone is flamed by applying flame heat to the surface of the stone. This causes the surface to flake leaving a highly textured surface which is ideal for exterior paving or wet areas where optimum non-slipperiness is required.
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are naturally occurring. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material.
A product of nature cannot be expected to look manmade. Some companies attempt to disguise such impurities by using lacquer which is NOT recommended as it will reduce the longevity of the stone and will result in very high maintenance long term. What we provide is stone in its natural state which will last forever!
Some green stones, such as the “jades” from Taiwan, are not truly marble, but a different material called serpentinite. Serpentines, (as they are sometimes called,) do not etch or react to acids the way limestone and marble do, and are somewhat harder. Green marble must always be installed with the correct adhesives. The use of incorrect adhesives will cause burning, warping and buckling of the stone. Please trust only a licensed stonemason to work on your project.
No. Not at all! There is some limestone such as Chaumont (France) that are very hard and dense, nearly as hard and resistant as granite, with extremely low porosity. Keep in mind that very hard limestone is still calcium-based and, if polished, is subject to damage from household acids.
Technically, travertine is limestone. It is formed when the extremely hot underground water dissolves the underlying limestone and carries it upwards via geysers. The water then falls to the ground and evaporates. This leaves behind the dissolved limestone which re-hardens into stone. The new stone is full of gas bubbles, which gives travertine its characteristic appearance.
When it is manufactured as tiles or slabs, travertine is generally filled with cement or resin and polished or honed. Please check with Gitani Stone for the correct filling product to suit your application.
“Crosscut” refers to a particular way of slicing a block of stone. The traditional way of cutting layered material such as Travertine is the “vein cut,” similar to cutting with the grain of a piece of wood, so that the layers of material appear as parallel stripes or layers. If the block is cut across the grain, it yields a very different look, more cloudy in appearance, like cutting across the grain of a piece of wood.
Onyx, like travertine, is the result of water dissolving existing limestone and re-depositing it as a new kind of stone, sometimes called sinter. In limestone caves, onyx is formed by drip water, as stalagmites and stalactites. It is a very soft stone, and somewhat brittle, and needs to be installed where it will not be subject to hard wear. This beautiful stone is characterised by its translucency, and can actually be backlit for striking, dramatic effects.
Technical definition = T
Layman’s definition = L
T – A common, coarse-grained, hard igneous rock consisting chiefly of quartz, and mica. It is formed by solidification from a molten state.
L – A hard stone used for domestic and commercial buildings and in monuments. Most granite is less porous than marble however there are exceptions to this rule
T – A metamorphic rock formed by alteration of limestone or dolomite.
It is often irregularly coloured by impurities, and used especially in architecture and sculpture.
L – It is very hard & smooth rock that has been altered by pressure and heat. It is generally more porous than granites.
T – A common sedimentary rock consisting mostly of calcium carbonate deposited by the remains of marine organisms.
L – It is generally the most porous of building stones apart from sandstone. Mostly available in light colours but occasionally in dark colours also.
T – A porous calcite, deposited from solution in ground or surface waters and forming, among other deposits, stalactites and stalagmites.
L – It is a light-colored stone much like cheese in structure.
T – onyx, a Chalcedony is one of the cryptocrystalline varieties of the mineral quartz, having a waxy luster. Chalcedony may be semitransparent or translucent and is usually white to grey, greyish-blue or some shade of brown, sometimes nearly red/black.
L – A translucent to transparent milky quartz-rich stone with distinctive microscopic crystals.