Blog: The science of matching stone

JPG chilmark-and-chicksgrove-quarry1

Stone is such a fascinating thing. It comes from the ground in its rawest form and with love and skill, is turned into something that brings a building and landscape to life. Historically, it’s been the most widely used natural material for constructing buildings and on a local level, using local stone has produced distinctive styles of buildings.

Its colours and textures change with weathering, with light and with time, making it something that only gets better with age.

Within the UK, we have specific regions of stone which has been used for centuries and tourists flock from far and wide to see villages, towns and Cities that showcase the best in local stone – Bath, Castle Combe, Laycock and Corfe amongst others.

But where specific stone has been used, there can sometimes be a shortfall in availability and quality making it difficult to build or restore buildings and in some cases, the original stone is just too expensive. There is an alternative. Stone produced elsewhere can be a certified match for local stone making it far easier to consider restoration and new builds.

Take for example our Chicksgrove & Chilmark stone which is an exceptional limestone. It is used extensively throughout the South of England in the building and restoration industries and there is still a great supply of both.

Although its quarried in Wiltshire, Chicksgrove is an approved match for Kentish Ragstone, Reigate Stone, Malmstone, Selborne Stone & Clunch and is known for being a durable stone suitable for a range of uses such as walling stone, fine masonry and paving.

It’s always important to remember that when specifying stone for new build, restoration or masonry there are lots of things to consider. Colour, texture, striations and sedimentary structures, grain sizes, porosities and cementation, and mineralogical incompatibilities. Selecting the stone requires expertise and experience to ensure you have the best match.

The moral of the story is that if you are planning on using stone, get expert advice and don’t rule out an approved match. The quality and beauty is still there, it’s just under a different name.

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