Special commission

We were asked to produce the Ying side of a Ying and Yang feature (or was it the Yang side…) in a garden in Richmond North Yorkshire. We were kindly sent this picture of the installation some years later. This demonstrates just how effective granite can be as  a feature in your garden. The granite is Nero Assoluto, polished finish. The other side of the feature is stainless steel. In each case the eye is the opposite material to the body.

We were able to process this using our digital technology, including our Prodim digitisers and our CMS Speed 3 CNC workstation.

We recently installed these wonderful granite worktops onto a working display kitchen at the Cavendish Kitchens Benton showroom East of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Granite worktops on display kitchen at Cavendish Kitchens Benton Showroom

Granite worktops, Cosmic Black, Newcastle

The granite is Cosmic Black which comes from Brazil. The kitchen is a working display where cookery  and appliance demonstrations take place from time to time. Contact Cavendish kitchens for more information on this. www.cavendish-kitchens.co.uk

We think the sink splash back works particularly well where the dramatic veining of the stone is on display. The up-stands around the rest of the kitchen and the splash back behind the hob up to the wood serving shelf bring a sleek continuity to the display.

More of this stone is available to view at our Durham showroom.

Cosmic Black Granite worktop

Granite worktops, Cosmic Black

To keep your stone floor looking as good as the day it was first installed you need to maintain it.

Limestone floor

honed limestone floor

Follow these few simple rules and you will keep your floor in tip top condition for  years to come.


  • Treat. Make sure your floor is well sealed by a professional as soon as it is laid. Often damage occurs whilst builders are still present, treading builders dust plaster etc. into untreated floors can be very difficult to extract later.
  • New floors should be protected professionally as building work continues. Do not simply cover with hardboard, grit trapped between hardboard and the new polished floor surface will cause a lot of scratch marks. Use a soft layer between such hardboard and the floor surface and make sure you brush it clean first.
  • Brush or dry mop regularly with a soft bristle dry brush or day mop, once a day is good but it really depends on how much use the floor gets. dirt and grit carried in on the soles of your shoes can take the shine off a floor. Keeping this grit and dust off the surface will prolong the shine and patina of your floor.
  • Door matts. It is really good practice to put a door matt at outside entrances for people to wipe their shoes on to get rid of what dirt and grit you can.
  • Furniture avoid dragging across the stone floor. This can cause scratches. best to put felt pads under metal casters.
  • Plants should be placed on special base containers that are watertight. Water stains from plant pots can be very deep as often they go un-noticed for weeks.
  • Cleaning detergents should be specially designed for stone floors that will not harm the surface. These will be PH neutral. Other detergents can cause a great deal of irreparable harm either because they re too acidic or too alkaline.
  • Do use detergents that have been socially formulated for keeping your floor in pristine condition and read the instructions. PH 7 is a good neutral level.
  • Do NOT clean with water only. Water contains all kinds of minerals and salts that can harm your stone. Do NOT use other detergents.
  • Do damp mop the floor in small areas at a time. Be sure to change the water as soon as it looks dirty.
  • Do NOT clean a floor using dirty water. This more than anything else will leave the floor streaky.
  • Do use a designated mop for cleaning your floor and clean it after use. Store it carefully.
  • Do NOT use a dirty mop. This will cause streaking. Do NOT get a dry dust mop wet.
  • Do dry dust the floor before you wet clean it.
  • Do NOT skip dry mopping before wet cleaning otherwise you are simply pushing the dirt into the floor
  • Do have a cleaning schedule and a system you should follow, this keeps the maintenance process simple and trouble free.
  • Do NOT skip cleaning days as this can lead to dirt buildup that is more difficult to cleanup.
  • Do get a professional (Marble Arts) to clean the floor once per year. The extra machinery he can provide and knowledge will help maintain the floor as new.
Polished marble floor

Polished marble floor

honed marble stone floor

honed marble stone floor

Buying Stone Floor Tiles

  • Natural stone has been used in flooring for centuries. Commonly older properties used stone that was locally quarried because it was hard wearing and practical. Today we choose stone more for aesthetic qualities of beauty colour and feel. There is now a far wider choice imported from around the world.

Choosing your stone

  • Type – there are many types of stone each with different mineral compositions and structure. If you are not familiar with these differences we strongly advise you to ask us for more information so that we can help you make the right choice for the area to be fixed.
  • Colour – within stone types there are many different colours to choose from. Being a natural product quarried from the hills consideration should be given for natural variances in tone and colour within a type. Often stones within a type will vary considerably from box to box, pallet to pallet and batch to batch. Fixed properly this characteristic is what defines natural stone when compared to man made products. See the notes below about installation to avoid the problem of varying colour across a floor.
  • Size – there are many size formats but not all tiles come in all formats. The look of a floor can be altered very effectively by how the tiles are fixed, for instance fitted square or brick bond or on the diagonal. Generally the larger the tile format the thicker the tile needs to be to avoid breakage. Some stones require greater thickness because they are fragile.
  • Weight – natural stone is generally heavier than ceramic tiles. Consideration should be given to the load bearing capacity of the floor onto which stone is to be fixed. As a broad rule you can calculate weight as 30kg/m2 for each 1cm thickness of tile but the total weight of a floor will also depend on the thickness of adhesive used. So for a 2cm thick tile the weight will be approximately 60kg/m2 plus the adhesive. If in any doubt about your floor strength seek professional advice.

Delivery and handling

  • All orders will be delivered on a large lorry so it is important that any information you have with regards to restricted access are advised prior to the delivery. The load will be placed, at the driver’s discretion, to the nearest safest point to the delivery address. This would usually mean roadside pavement or road itself. It is not possible for the driver to use his pump pallet truck on hardcore and gravel driveways so please be aware that you should make arrangements to accept the load where this is the case. The delivery driver cannot help handle the goods.
  • When unpacking stone, care should be taken not to damage the tiles. Often the stones will be tightly packed and the spacers may need to be carefully removed. Stone should be stored vertically on its edge but on a surface that will avoid chipping the edge, old carpet or timber is good.
  • All orders must be examined for shortages and damage on delivery. Any problems should be notified in writing within 48 hours.
  • If collecting the goods from our yard, goods must be checked before loading. Goods collected are transported at the individual’s own risk.
  • Installation of the goods is viewed as acceptance of the goods supplied. No claims after this stage can be accepted.

Before installation

  • Stones are often packed very tightly and are wet from the process of cutting. They may not have had time to dry out until they are unpacked again. As the stone dries out it will often lighten in colour. It is advisable to let the tiles dry so that a clear picture of the tonal variation within a batch can be seen prior to fixing. This way any unusual markings can be identified and used as cuts or put in a place less visible.
  • When working with the tiles the installer should always ensure the batch is mixed up to ensure an even distribution of the inherent colour variation within the batch. So they should pick from a number of boxes at the same time, or if working from pallets then pick from a number of pallets at the same time.
  • Minor damage such as edge chipping is often caused in the packing and unpacking of tiles but it is quite normal practice for these tiles to be used either as cuts or in areas not sensitive to this look.
  • Uncalibrated tiles should be sorted by the installer so that the thickest tile governs the finished height of the floor
  • Dimensions listed in the quotation are nominal as slight variations in the size and thickness can occur as with most natural materials.

Treatment of Stone

  • All natural stones are porous and therefore we recommend treatment to help protect and maintain the stone finish.
  • We recommend that most tiles be fixed (but not grouted) clean and dry prior to any treatment. An exception would be unfilled travertine which by it’s nature requires cement grout to be slurried into the holes and sealing this type of stone before this process would inhibit the cement taking hold.
  • When treating stone always read the label of the product and apply as instructed. It is strongly advised that a sample tile is treated as it would be when fitted so that you can inspect the effect to check if that particular treatment gives the look desired.
  • It is recommended that stone be treated once before grouting and at least once thereafter. The first treatment can prevent “picture framing” where grout soaks into the stone, causing discolouration around the edges of the tile. Additional treatments should be carried out after grouting. Apply until the stone does not accept any more. It is important not to let any treatment puddle as this can lead to a shine left on the stone that is not always desirable. This can be avoided by wiping the treatment into the stone with a suitable lint free cloth. Always allow each treatment to dry out before applying the next unless specified differently by the manufacturer.
  • Please note that there are many types of sealants and treatments. These can alter the finished look of the stone from matt to satin to shiny. It is important your fixer knows what to apply.
  • All installations require some kind of maintenance. This will vary according to stone type and location. Heavily trafficked areas will require reapplication of treatments from time to time. Abrasive cleaners should always be avoided as they can remove the sealant. Never use bleach or acid cleaning products.
  • All treatments are a help to prevent problems but they have their limitations. Carboniferous stones are particularly susceptible to marking from acids and so spills of wine and acidic foods should be wiped up immediately.
  • Some stones are softer than others, for instance limestone is softer than granite, so care should be taken when moving furniture so as to prevent scratches.




We were asked to provide a new marble back and hearth for this firepace when the existing stone had been accidentally broken. The wooden fire surround was fixed in place and the cleint did not want to remove it, so we measured inside the frame and created the same stepped back panel that was originally there.

The client chose Maron Imperial stone which comes from Spain. This stone is petrographically classified as a limestone but is commonly known as a marble, taking a high polish.

This stone marries well with lighter brown shades, suh as Crema Marfil marble. In this instance, the dark stone clashes a bit with the dark surround – but it is close to what the customer had originally and was preferred.

Contact us to discuss your fireplace refurbishment needs 0191 3757545




Botticino Classico marble hearths

Botticino Classico marble hearths ready for despatch

We manufacture fireplace backs and hearths. This pic shows a some of a batch of Botticino Marble fireplace hearths made for a client installing new fireplaces in Sunderland. Botticino marble is a stone that comes from around the Verona area of Northern Italy. We import slabs of the stone in both 2cm and 3cm thickness for turning into made to measure items such as the hearths shown but also marble bathrooms, table tops and other decorative furniture.

For information about how to buy a made to measure fireplace surround, back and hearth from our works, please contact us and we are happy to discuss your requirements. 0191 375 7545. we service the North East, Newcastle, Sunderladn, Hexham, Richmond and other surrounding towns and villages.