12 Jul 2017

Design & Installation of Natural Stone Flooring Course - Review

Flooring Course - A Huge Success

July saw the Federation welcome members to the Thistle Euston Hotel for our annual, member-exclusive Design & Installation of Natural Stone Flooring Course.

Thirty one delegates representing over 15 member firms came for a day of presentations from some of the industry's experts.

David Richardson of Diagenesis Consulting and Chairman for the event opened proceedings and was followed by Chris Kelsey of The Marble & Granite Centre providing a look at laying stone from the contractor’s perspective. After Chris, BRE's Rupert Pool spoke to delegates about site investigations and the importance of installation sticking to best practice guidelines.

Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman Design Consultants looked at current Product Standards as well as workmanship on building sites. The final session before lunch was taken by Ian Knifton of Schlüter-Systems and looked at de-bonding membranes with underfloor heating over timber substrates.

Lunch provided delegates with a great opportunity to network with other members and ask the speakers some of their project specific queries.

Bob Sewell of Lithofin took the first session after lunch and spoke on the impregnation of natural stone including preparation and aftercare. Peter Harrison returned to speak to delegates about guidance on design and installation based on failure investigations. This was followed by Diagenesis Consulting's David Richardson who looked at the latest requirements for slip and CIRIA publication and its influence on design and selection. The final seminar was taken by David Wilson of Ardex UK who spoke on adhesives and grout.

The day finished with the speakers forming a technical panel, giving delegates a chance to ask their project specific questions.

The Federation would like to thank each of the speakers for their part in making the event such a resounding success.

Delegate feedback:

"Speakers all very knowledgeable on the subject matter and communicated effectively."

"Very informative series of talks. Good to have interactive sessions of experienced personnel to discuss and overcome everyday work issues."

Members' News

Stone Federation are a member of EuroRoc, an organisation made up of the various European Federations for the dimensional stone industry.  The aim of the group is to coordinate questions of common interest and find solutions while promoting the use of dimensional natural stone.


The Federation's EuroRoc representative, Michael Poultney of Albion Stone along with Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman, attended the latest meeting held at the Verona Stone Show in October.


There were a range of topics discussed, but shown are four discussions points that will be of particular interest to members.


1. Ethical Sourcing - There are various different degrees of controls of ethical sourcing across Europe and some is at a very local level.  It was accepted that the EU should be encouraging stones from ethical sources but there was some scepticism that a system with a high degree of certainty could be found in the short term.  It was agreed that the starting point should be to pool all the experiences from the differing methods currently being used by different, Countries, companies and organisations.

2. Geographical Protection - There was considerable support from across the EU and the robust comments from the UK were considered positive.  It is back with the European Parliament on what could be a long journey to possible implementation.  

3. Reporting Figures - There was concerns that the code numbers used for reporting production, imports and exports are not recording the dimensional stone figure accurately.  It was suggested that these should be related to the harmonised Product Standards (BS EN). Michael Poultney has been in dialogue with BGS and Eric Bignell at the Natural Stone Specialist magazine about the topic earlier in the month. Euroroc will progress the matter with the relevant authorities.

4. Silica Dust - There was a mixed response about the danger of the implementation of the dust regulations and the prospects of reducing the code.  It was agreed that the experiences from the implementation from national authorities will be requested.


With the island of Portland, from which the famous Portland limestone comes, being just off the Dorset coast from Weymouth, there could not have been a more appropriate material to use for a sculpture of the Olympic rings that has now been installed in the town that is hosting the Olympic sailing events. 

Burlington Stone has acquired the rights to quarry at Petts Quarry on Kirkstone Pass and Brathay Quarry near Ambleside following the regrettable demise of Kirkstone Quarries Ltd.

This new monument, costing £5 million, will commemorate the 55, 573 crew members of the RAF's Bobmer Command who were killed between 1939 and 1945.  The average age of those who lost their lives was just 22.

Albion Stone has recently purchased a new ‘JCB Fantini’, tractor mounted stone saw which will be used to increase efficiency in the Quarry & Mine.  This is the first machine of its type to be imported into any UK stone extraction operation. 


TV presenter, journalist and former conservative politician and Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo made a fascinating tour of local natural stone producer, Burlington Stone of Kirkby-in-Furness, shown on 26th January on BBC2 at 6.30pm, as part of series three of the BBC’s popular travel documentary, Great British Railway Journeys.


A £500,000 investment into an innovative new roof for Albion Stone’s Factory is set to save thousands of pounds a year on their electricity bills.

Albion Stone supplied over 3m³ of Jordans Basebed and Jordans Whitbed in the form of treads risers, paving and memorial stones.

Taking centre stage on The Marshalls Garden That Kids Really Want! at the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May the company utilised its own indigenous natural Yorkstone block to create two striking central features in this amazing organic playground.