Period Marble Fireplace repair

We recently refurbished a lovely period marble fireplace. As you can see from the picture, over the years the heat from the fire had damaged the fixings and cracked the marble particularly above the fireplace opening. Our client wanted us to repair the piece but was of course concerned to retain the antique nature and feel of the piece.

Damaged marble fireplace

Damaged top section of marble fireplace

The white marble is Statuary from the Carrara region of Italy. The yellow marble is Giallo Siena. At the time this was made, probably late 18th Century, the  Giallo Siena had a lovely rich gold hue to it with difnitive streaks of black. This type is now very much more difficult to find. In this case there was no reason to be concerned about sourcing new as the plan was to restore the fireplace with what existed. We carefully took the existing piece apart and brought it to our workshops in Durham to rennovate.

dismantle fireplace

Part dismantled fireplace

Marble Fireplace in bits

Marble Fireplace in bits

The repair work started by cleaning all the different sections. Then repairs were made using the specialist glues and techniques of our trade. When the piece was made originally, you can see that the precious Giallo Siena was stuck onto ordinary stone and slate using plaster of paris and other old glues as an adhesive. It would then have been polished on that to create the smooth shiny finish, hence it is so thin.

Period marble fireplace in bits

Period marble fireplace in bits

The white mantles and dog toothing were carefully cleaned mechanically. You can see in the picture below the difference between the cleaned section and the uncleaned section of the mantle shelf.

Part cleaned marble mantle shelf

Part cleaned mantle shelf

The finished piece was then transported back to the customer’s home and carefully put back together. The many sections were dry wired together then grouted. Sometimes we are asked to repair fireplaces that have been moved and installed using modern resins. This can make the job of removal more difficult as the sections are much more likely to break and crack as the resin is sometimes tougher than the stone causing the actually marble to crack.  This should be avoided. Here you can see the final repaired piece back in situ. We were able to do all this without damaging the surrounding special wallpaper.

Compleat repaired period marble fireplace

Compleat repaired period marble fireplace


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 offer a marble floor polishing and renovation service. This includes grinding, de-lipping, cleaning and polishing. Stone floors can look tired and worn out over time if they are not cared for but our specialist service can transform such floors into a gleaming as new state. We use  specialist techniques and professional grade Klindex equipment. Our team is very experienced and can achieve unbelievable results.

Marble floors respond to this treatment in the most dramatic way. The nature of the stone is that it will take a high shine. We can vitrify some floors, this is where a special chemical is used along with the rotary polishing machine to really bring out the bling.

Limestone floors can attract a great deal of dirt over time as they are more porous than marble, in particular if they have not be treated with a stone inhibitor. Often this can cause an otherwise light coloured floor to look extremely dull and dirty. By using our specialist machinery and cleaning techniques we can clean these types of floor and leave them a nice honed finish that can be treated with stone stain inhibitor which makes for easier ongoing maintenance.

Travertine floors are a little more time-consuming to bring back to their original fine as new state. the nature of this stone is that it has many natural holes or a honeycomb effect in it’s structure. Often these holes are factory filled on the top surface and honed  to create an appealing and smooth tile. Depending on the quality and type of fill you can find that the filler pops out over time exposing the honeycomb effect of the natural stone. We can refill these floors and then polish them with our specialist equipment to get back to an as new state. There are many fill and finish choices for these types of floor so best to ring us and discuss your options in more detail.

cleaning marble floor

cleaning marble floor

marble floor polish after

marble floor polish after

Marble Floor refurbishment

marble floor before polish refurbishment

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.

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

Fitting Solar Panels to Marble Arts factory

Fitting Solar Panels to Marble Arts factory

Over the week-end we have been busy fitting 12 solar panels to the South side of our factory, We have another 12 being fitted to the small roof above the digital drawing room again on the South side of the factory this week. It was rather disappointing not to be able to get the panels onto the main factory roof, unfortunately following a structural survey of the 1968 structure we found that it would not take the extra weight. With little time to get them up before the 12th December, the date when the government FiT’s tariff is being halved, we have rushed to get them on where we can. We hope the system will bring in £2,000 of income and savings per year. This roughly equates to an 11% return on our investment. This all helps us to be more eco greener and competitive in the market for granite kitchen worktops and the other wonderful stone products we make here.

We use electricity during daylight hours, for instance our factory lighting, our cutting machines and water recirculation pumps. This makes us ideal candidates for investing in solar renewable energy. Not only do we get the government payment through the MCS scheme but also by generating our own power we save on having to purchase power in daylight hours from the grid at 9.5p per kW. When we are not working, for instance at the week end, the system will generate electricity and export it to the grid at about 3p per kW.

We got Maypower Ltd. to install the system for us. They specialise in Commercial installations. Call them on 0191 374 1556 for more information.


Putting a shine back onto an old marble floor

We recently refurbished the vestibule of the main foyer to the South Shields Town Hall. The floor needed sprucing up for an event taking place there in early November. The pictures show the before and after look of the floor which after our treatment came up to a high shine beautifully.

The stone was a orginally laid as a chequered floor, white and black marble. In parts some of the black squares have been replaced with a slate tile, presumably because of breakages. Slate does not shine up like marble but remains a dull honed look.

The pictures show our specialist Klindex grinding and polishing machine with interchangeable heads. We can simply scrub a floor or go the whole hog and diamond grind it followed by polishing and finally buffing. The wet polish system used provides superb results. The system is clean and efficient. check out our gallery of jobs which will be updated shortly.

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.