Building Materials

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Frequently Asked Questions: Quarrying

Day in and day out, the highly trained team at Coldspring fields questions from our customers about natural stone. In this new series, we focus on the most-asked questions topping the minds of the designers, specifiers and others we serve. In each article, we’ll drill down into a specific topic ranging from quarrying, manufacturing, finishes, installation, maintenance and more. In this first part of our series, we’ll cover your top questions related to natural stone quarrying and production. At Coldspring, our quarrying and production processes rely on advanced technology to increase efficiency and optimize our stewardship of the earth. Read on to learn more.

Q: How much does granite cost?
A: Depending on the scale and scope of the project or application pricing can vary drastically. Generally speaking, $25 to $50 per square foot will cover the material for many applications. Keep in mind that there are also installation costs to factor into the price of your project. A good rule of thumb used is to double material cost to get installed stone cost. It’s best to consult with an expert due to the variety of factors that can impact pricing.

Q: What are average piece sizes for paving and cladding? How big can I go?
A: The piece sizes are often dictated by the setting methods used. For example, an average piece size for paving in a mortar setting measures: 12” x 12” to 36” x 36. In a sandset or bituminous setting system, smaller piece sizes are much more common 12” x 12” or less.

university of kentuckyFor cladding, an average piece size measures: 18” x 36” to 4’ x 6’. Though in some cases, designers may choose to push extremes and utilize pieces up to 9’ in length for extra aesthetic purposes. While those larger panels can be accomplished in some colors, it is best to consult your Coldspring representative as each quarry yields different maximum piece sizes.

Q: What is the recommended piece sizing?
A: The recommended piece size varies, depending on multiple factors. Some key questions to consider include:

          • Is it a cladding or paving application?
          • If a paving application, is it intended for vehicular traffic, pedestrian traffic, or a mix? This will impact the thickness used.
          • Is it important to manually set the stone or machine set? This will also impact the piece’s thickness.
          • Will expansion joints be used?
          • What are the engineering requirements? (wind load factors, bearing heights, etc.)

Q: Does Coldspring provide other stone products beside granite and limestone? 
A: Yes, Coldspring offers a wide selection and can work with all types of natural stone, including sandstone, marble and more.

Q: Where is your closest quarry and fabrication facility?
A: This varies based on location. Coldspring has quarry’s that span North America in a variety of colors. View a map of our quarry locations across North America and learn more about our colors here.

Q: How well will new pieces match the existing stone on the site?
A: This is highly variable. Ultimately it comes down to the source that was originally specified and whether or not it is still available. If using a reliable source and a quarry with a history of performance, it becomes feasible to come up with a match. It’s best to work with us prior to production to properly sample the stone on our site.

Q: How can you control imported material?
A: It is difficult to control the supply chain with imported material, but strong coordination with good vendors and experienced importers is key to success. Due to the sheer amount of uncontrollable factors, impacting imported stone, controlling the supply chain is always a challenge. Strong coordination with good vendors and experience importers which proper supply chain management is a good start, however even the most reliable vendors cannot control issues at ports, government policies and regulations that can control how business is conducted in other parts of the world. Any project done with imported stone needs to assess the level of risk they are willing to take in regards to quality, delivery timeline, hidden costs, etc.

For more information about our natural stone quarries and production or to start your next project, contact a Coldspring representative.

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