Holidays and more holidays - it certainly feels like our children are off school more than they are there these days. Historically, half-term weeks are usually relatively quiet compared to the rest of the year (although it’s never that quiet here) as people are on holiday or have other stuff occupying their mind; quite often, decisions regarding the purchase of tiles are put on hold whilst the kids are off and you're challenged with entertaining them for a week or two.
That didn’t appear to be the case this year at Stone headquarters. Week 23 was nearly the busiest week of the year so far, which is good in one sense, but not so good when you’ve given half the sales team the week off. Still, we coped pretty well with the continuous influx of orders and we will be back up to full strength next week.
So what's been happening?
There was the culmination of a few months of work on a large order to Finland. Our customer isn’t quite ready for the 8 pallets of marble and travertine tiles she committed to this week, but her new build project will be ready in September and we will have shipped everything in good time. Long distance deliveries aren’t unusual for us, but this one was a bit special with 4 different products making up over 200sqm being delivered to Finland. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t happen every day, but is logistically straightforward for the team to deal with. We look forward to seeing the pictures of the completed rooms, in particular the fantastic tumbled silver travertine pattern set.
That leads me nicely onto the next bit of news – in a couple of weeks we will be getting the silver travertine tumbled tiles in 610x406 as well as the opus pattern set. There has been significant demand for the single size in this for a while, so we’ve put some stock on the floor ready for the next enquiry.
Advising on tile projects
We spent a significant amount of time with an architect who had specified Jura Grey limestone for a new chiropractors practice in Jersey. Eventually they went for the Jura Grey limestone honed in 610x406 for the main floor areas, and we had to source a small amount of the Grey tiles in a non-standard “sandblasted & brushed” finish for the floor of a hydrotherapy room. This special finish increased the slip-rating from R9 (which is typical for normal floor areas) to R11, which provides a significantly higher slip resistance for the wet areas in this room.
There was a fair amount of toing and froing going on, but we got there in the end. We’ve also supplied all the adhesive and fixing products from our premium Kerakoll range. Kerakoll is Italy’s largest adhesive manufacturer and widely recognized as a leading manufacturer of high-spec adhesive and fixing products. Their entire range comes with complete test data and benefits from a lifetime guarantee - perfect for architects and specifiers. It’s not the cheapest product around, but do you really want to skimp on a few quid using cheap adhesive that’s prone to failure? Nobody wants tiles falling off their walls or the risk of somebody getting one on the head – this has happened more often than you can imagine.
As part of our continued effort to keep you informed, there are 3 new info and advice posts up this week in the advice section of the website. They are:
• Using your tile sample as a reference point and not an absolute guarantee.
• What is the best way to order from StoneStore.co.uk - can I order online?
• Which tiles are suitable for which applications?
Some excellent bedtime reading for all here but as ever, extremely useful if you are considering buying natural stone or porcelain tiles from StoneSuperStore.
New tile ranges
We’ve introduced a fantastic new contemporary wood-effect porcelain tile range called “Rametto” – meaning branch in Italian. There are three glorious colours – Beige, Grey and Teak. Personally I think this is our best range to date, and it all comes direct from arguably one of the best porcelain factories in Italy. Looking at the sample request statistics since launch, I think this one is going to be a big one - at an incredible £29.90/sqm, nobody does wood like this for less.
Porcelain wood tiles continue to lead the way in popularity at the moment. While they have been available en-masse for 3 or more years, this year really has been the year of wood-effect. As such, we have plans to introduce at least two more wood ranges:
1. A basic entry-level short plank, probably 600mmx150mm or possibly 200mm wide.
2. A long length ultra-plank, probably 1200mm long by 200mm wide. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough skilled installers around capable of installing tiles over 1200mm long, so we’d recommend exercising extreme caution before you get somebody to lay these for you. There’s nothing quite as uninspiring as a badly laid wood-effect floor!
Finally, we’ve hooked up with a prolific house-builder in the south of France. He’s been happily building houses over there for a number of years for all manner of clients including many Brits. We sent out the first order of 100sqm of premium classic travertine tiles direct to site this week. I’m sure this will be the start of a very beneficial arrangement for all of us. I’m off to the south of France myself this summer for the first time in four years. I’ve already got two customers lined up that I’m going to see, although my wife doesn’t know that yet…
That’s it for now - more exciting news from Stone HQ very soon..
Remember, if there is anything you want to discus on a technical nature or regarding placing an order, please email or call the sales team and we’ll be happy to help.