FAQs Natural Stone Tiles and Pavers


What are the benefits of natural stone products over man-made products?

Nothing adds value to your property like natural stone. Natural stone is visually appealing, every piece isn’t identical so the appearance is more natural. If a piece gets chipped, the same colour goes all the way through. Products such as granite are extremely dense which greatly increases stain resistance and durability.


Will there be much colour and texture variation?

This depends on which stone you choose. Please satisfy yourself about the colour consistency of each choice prior to ordering. We cannot accept any claims about colour or texture after the stone has been laid. Where possible we try to show typical colour variations in brochure photos, on the web and in our showroom.

 

Are your products available ex-stock?

Yes, they are usually available. We have Australia’s largest range of stone pool copings and matching surround tiles, with over 70,000m2 in stock. If your product isn’t in stock, it will normally already be on re-order and shouldn’t be far away or we’ll have a close alternative that should meet your needs.

 

Can I buy custom sizes and finishes for my project?

Absolutely. Getting stone cut to size has a number of benefits. The pieces can be made to suit site restrictions or personal taste. Pools being renovated often need sizes that are uncommon and also require bullnosing to two edges. This is best done by bringing in sizes to suit each individual pool. Granite in particular offers a great scope for customisation with sizes (up to one metre in length), thicknesses and edge profiles. As most of our natural stones are imported there will be a lead time. This is around 8-10 weeks from China
(Granite), 14-16 weeks from India (Himalayan Quartz) and 12-14 weeks from Europe (Travertine and Limestone).


Can you supply different surface finishes?

Granite can be supplied with the following finishes: flamed, bush hammered, sandblasted, sawn, sparrow pecked, pineapple, water jet, honed and polished. The list goes on. Basically if you have seen something you like, we should be able to source it.


Can The Pool Tile Company source other materials not shown in the brochure?

We are often asked by clients to match a particular product. We have an extensive array of contacts and significant experience with sourcing products both locally and globally. So we welcome the opportunity to work with you on your project.


Care Section - Natural Stone:
How do I maximise the longevity of my natural stone pool coping and surround tiles?

There are many ways you can maximise the longevity of natural stone.  The aggressive environment of a swimming pool requires some special attention and consideration:


1. Natural stone should be sealed following installation with a consolidating, penetrating sealer such as Environex CSIRO tested ‘SYNERGY’. All exposed surfaces, including the underside of the coping that hangs over the edge of the pool must have adequate sealer applied, which varies depending on porosity of the stone. Please click here to view application and demonstration video for Synergy Sealing. All surrounding stone should be grouted. To protect your investment, it is recommended that resealing occurs every 2-3 years to mitigate the water ingress into the stone.  Professional approved applicators follow key guidelines to ensure that the stone is correctly cleaned and sealed that may facilitate longer intervals between resealing. Resealing is required when the stone allows water to rapidly penetrate, giving a wet darkened look. Most penetrating sealers are semi breathable thus some water ingress does occur over time, however the water penetration is greatly reduced.

 

2.     It is recommended that pool owner should keep the water level at a minimum of 100mm from the pool coping. To help you do this, you can speak to your pool builder about the possibility of fitting a 40mm overflow pipe. Coping that is semi submersed in the swimming pool’s corrosive environment is extremely susceptible to salt attack as it will impact all sealer resins and allow rapid water ingress into the stone. If you observe the pool coping appearing damp due to a high water level, lower the water level immediately to prevent water ‘wicking’ into the stone and causing damage.

 

3.       Remove staining matter quickly before it penetrates into the stone.  Sealing does not make Natural Stone ‘stain proof’ but it gives a window of opportunity to remove the stain and facilitate easier cleaning of the stone. If stone is not sealed some regular household stains may be difficult or impossible to remove.

 

4.       Use a pH neutral cleaner such as Environex ‘REFRESH’ for regular cleaning and maintenance for the stone.  Avoid using acids or strong alkali products to clean as these will reduce the effectiveness of the sealer and may damage the stone.


 

Do I need to seal Natural Stone?

Yes, we recommend sealing of all natural stone products. Sealing does not make Natural Stone ‘stain proof’ but it gives a window of opportunity to remove the stain before it penetrates into the stone. Sealing also helps protect it from salt attack and pool chemicals. Also, many types of stone contain small amounts of minerals that may oxidize when exposed to the air and cause small tea like stains on the surface. Although these stains will disappear naturally over time, sealing can prevent them from occurring.


Is sealing difficult?

Not really, the most difficult job about sealing is the cleaning prior to sealing. For this reason it is best to stay on top of keeping your paved areas cleaned and sealed. We have recommended cleaners and sealers for each type of paving material we sell. Please click here to view application and demonstration video for Synergy Sealing.


Can I seal my Natural Stone myself?

Absolutely. Sealing is very easy to do. After cleaning the stone and allowing it to dry completely, two to three coats of sealer are usually applied with a garden sprayer or lambswool applicator, leaving a couple of hours between coats. In general, we recommend a ‘penetrating & consolidating’ type sealer that blocks the pores in the stone but doesn’t change the appearance of the product. This product does not need to be removed prior to resealing. Surface sealers are not recommended as they can decrease the slip resistance of the stone and may go milky when wet.


How often do I need to reseal the Natural Stone?

This depends on the type and quality of sealer used. In general, most sealers last two to three years depending on the type and brand. You need to reseal when you notice that it takes longer to dry out after it gets wet and/or water doesn’t bead on the surface.


Can I seal the stacked stone walling on my water feature?

No, we do not recommend sealing stone on water features as the constant water running over the stone can cause the sealer to look milky (i.e. white in appearance), which is unattractive, particularly on dark stones.


Can I lay natural stone products on top of crusher dust or road base instead of concrete?

Yes you can but they generally need to be thicker in height than our standard products to stand up to the greater movement. The thicker the product, the more expensive it is to buy but they can be custom ordered if you can afford to wait 8 – 14 weeks. The vast majority of professional layers only pave onto a concrete base. This eliminates the risks of movement and weeds.


My stone has only recently been laid but is showing some brown discolouration. What Is happening?

This is not uncommon. According to the Australian Stone Advisory Association, this is often caused by moisture percolating through concrete (in this case, the pool shell and/or surrounding slab) from which soluble alkali salts are leached. The salts are then carried by the moisture through the stone, where partially oxidised organic matter is picked up. This is then transported to the surface of the stone, where it is deposited as a stain as the moisture evaporates. It does not harm the stone, and if left alone the stain is removed naturally by the elements, usually in the course of a few months.

 

This is a natural reaction in a natural product and it is completely beyond our control as to when and where it may occur. If you wish, you can speed nature along by having the stone professionally cleaned and then sealed.



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