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Blue Roma Quarry - A Definitive Guide to Quartzites

The Definitive Guide to Quartzite

Use Natural Stone is a great online resource for learning everything natural stone.  Here’s a great article we found on a Guide to Quartzites. It answers a lot of commonly asked questions about one of our favourite Brazilian stones.

Read the full article, The Definitive Guide to Quartzites by  Karin Kirk here.


The Definitive Guide to Quartzite

Quartzite may be the most confusing natural stone out there. A quick internet search will reveal an unsettling disparity of information. Some people say it etches. Some say it doesn’t. Sometimes you hear it’s a hybrid between marble and granite. Yet, others report that it’s harder than granite. Which is it? Why are there such conflicting reports about quartzite?

Let’s use my favourite tool – geology – to suss out the answer to this mystery.

I’ll get right to the point: quartzite is commonly mislabeled. Some quartzite is the real deal, but sometimes marble or dolomitic marble are labelled as quartzite. Because each of these stones behaves differently, people might understandably conclude that quartzite is variable. But it isn’t; quartzite has very consistent properties. Unfortunately, it has variable labelling.

Emerald Green - Victoria Stone Gallery

Emerald Green Quartzite at VSG.

What is quartzite?

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock made almost entirely of the mineral quartz. Quartzite begins its geologic life as sand grains, perhaps on a beach, desert dune, or riverbed. Over time, the sand grains become compressed and stuck together to form sandstone. If the sandstone gets buried ever more deeply underneath layers of rocks, it gets hotter and more compressed. With enough heat and pressure, the sand grains lose their original shape and fuse to their neighbours, forming a dense, durable rock. The process is similar to individual snowflakes merging into solid, glacial ice.

Quartzite is usually white or light-coloured because quartz sand is light coloured. Additional minerals carried by groundwater can impart hues of green, blue, or ion-red. Van Gogh and Azul Macaubas quartzites are examples of vivid colouring.

Regardless of colour, quartzite is made of one thing: quartz. That’s helpful because quartz has distinct properties that make it easy to tell apart from other minerals. (Note I’m talking about the mineral quartz, not the composite countertop material that is also named quartz.)

Properties of quartzite

Hardness

You needn’t be a geologist to appreciate the hardness and durability of quartzite. Not only does this make for a tough stone, but it also makes it easy to tell quartzite from the imposters. Quartz is 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. That means it’s harder than glass and harder than a knife blade. These things are easy to test with a sample of stone.

Mohs Hardness Scale - A Definitive Guide to Quartzites

If a rock that is labelled as quartzite is soft, then it was mislabeled. The unfortunate term “soft quartzite” has emerged to try to explain why a rock that is labelled quartzite is actually not hard and durable like real quartzite. There is no such thing as soft quartzite though. There is only one kind of quartzite and it’s hard. A rock labelled as soft quartzite is most likely marble.

Resistance to acids

Quartzite will not etch from acids like lemon juice or vinegar. If a rock labelled as quartzite becomes etched from acid, then it’s been mislabeled. Marble and dolomitic marble, on the other hand, will etch from these acids. Dolomitic marble etches slightly more slowly than regular marble. But quartzite will not etch at all from normal kitchen acids. Not one little bit!

Porosity

Quartzite has a range of porosities. Some, like Taj Mahal or Sea Pearl, have been highly metamorphosed, and the minerals are bonded together tightly. White Macaubas and Calacatta Macaubas have been exposed to less intense pressure, so they are more porous and will benefit from sealing.

Things that do not help distinguish quartzite from non-quartzite

The country of origin, price, or the name of a stone are not reliable indicators of what type of rock you’ve got. In many cases, it’s not even possible to tell marble and quartzite apart visually.

What’s the difference between quartzite and granite?

Granite is a whole separate category of rocks that form from liquid magma. Visually, granite has distinct flecks of darker colours in it, while quartzite has either no dark colours at all or has subtle, flowing areas of different colours.

Sometimes quartzite is mislabeled as granite, which is not the worst mistake because they have similar properties. Granite and quartzite are both harder than glass, and neither will be etched by acids. Geologically, they are different classes of rocks, but that is less important than how they will behave on a countertop or as floor tile.

Shop our range of Quartzites.


Related Posts

Super White Dolomite benchtops

Specialists in Super White Dolomite Benchtops

It’s no secret here at VSG that we take pride in our evergrowing selection of Super White Dolomite benchtops. This stunning, Brazilian natural stone is not only aesthetically pleasing but high performing too.

So, it comes with no hesitation when we suggest Super White to customers looking to renovate their kitchen and bathroom benchtops.

Super White Dolomite benchtops

Super White Dolomite bathroom

Quarry Photo Credit: Chris, Victoria Stone Gallery.

With our director based in Brazil, we are fortunate to be directly involved in the journey of the slabs. From the quarry process to the selection of the blocks, from the South of Bahia, Brazil to Victoria, Australia.

Quarrying in the process at the Super White quarry

When stone shopping we get a look into the Super White quarry itself. Here, Chris hand selects and shares with us the best of the best blocks. We narrow down our choices by discussing what’s important in having the right selection and what the customers want to see at VSG…

Large format slabs.

Variety in style.

Consistent quality.

A range of cost.

Currently, we have Super White slabs up to 3.25 metres wide which makes for a wow-factor kitchen island or benchtop. If you want larger, rest assured all of our slabs are processed to be bookmatched.

We stock a regular supply of Super White and Super White Calacatta. But over the next few months, we will be loading up our gallery with Super White Dark, Super White Arabescato,  and Super White Grey.

All of which come from the same supplier. And are quarried and processed by our Brazilian team with great care and love for the stone.

A hand picked bundle of Super White for VSG

VSG Directors on site picking out stunning blocks of Super White to send back to Melbourne

In terms of look, cost and quality, there’s a Super White for everyone. We ensure to stock a range that reflects a spectrum of cost, to cater all of our customers. The Quarry grades the product depending on its

What makes Super White Dolomite benchtops so special?

Super White is  a unique makeup of Dolomite  marble and Quartz. Dolomite is harder than your typical marble and being aided by Quartz veining, it makes for a strong, durable, less porous benchtop option.

Unlike the precious marble that it looks like, Super White is also less prone to staining and etching.

Super White Dolomite benchtops

Super White Dolomite stone slab available at VSG

Super White Dolomite benchtop maintenance.

SW is a great option for the household and outdoor application. But, it still requires care and maintenance.

It should always be sealed by your fabricator or installer and we recommend re-sealing it about once a year, depending on the usage and exposure to household products and sunlight.

Treat it like any other stone! Clean it on a daily basis, wipe spills up as soon as possible and don’t put hot pots and pans straight onto the surface.


Want to shop for Super White? Browse our Super White Dolomite selection or contact the team for more info.

Related Posts

Marble Benchtop with Lighting

How to Enhance Your Granite or Marble benchtop with Lighting

Author Bio: Lisa Wetherell runs the blog Lighting House – where she writes about her knowledge gained from 10 years of industry experience in the lighting and interior design field. To learn more about how lighting can improve your space, you can follow her blog.


When installing marble or granite benchtops there is more to think about that may be obvious. Choosing the type, size and shape of the marble or granite that works best in the property are main considerations. But in order to make the most of your final selection, you will need to pay plenty of attention to lighting.

When properly lit, your marble and granite benchtops will come alive. They are usually installed as a major feature of any room, be it a bar, hotel reception, nightclub bathroom or home kitchen. Granite and marble benchtops are not cheap, so it makes perfect sense to do everything possible to enhance them… and lighting is the best way to do that.

The below guide will help you to choose the perfect lighting to make your granite or marble benchtops the focal point you intended them to be:  

Take colours and styles into consideration

To ensure that your benchtops are the centre of attention, you will want to avoid installing very bright or bold. Your benchtops might contain subtle hues that are greatly complemented by the right level of lighting, so you won’t want to wash those out with blanket lighting.

For example, if installing a white marble slab with dark grey veins like this one, you would do well to go for stainless steel or brushed nickel light fittings, which will really make it shine.

You will want to try out a few different bulbs to see how varying levels of intensity and hues impact the look of your benchtop. The level of brightness and intensity you choose will be dependent on details like whether the room receives a lot of natural light, what colour the walls are, whether there are cabinets shading your benchtops, and what the benchtops are actually made of.

If your benchtop is made from light coloured or white material, it will benefit from brighter light; if it is made from a darker material like this Titanium Gold Polished Granite, softer light would complement it best. A dark benchtop is going to absorb more light, so install lighting that is bright enough to compensate for that.

The most important factor is to avoid glare, as that will detract from the aesthetics of your benchtop. A lighting level that highlights the finer details of the material is ideal.

Titanium Gold Granite polished slab

Titanium Gold, a translucent granite at VSG.


 

Under-cabinet lighting

As mentioned above, cabinets can cast shadows over your marble or granite benchtops, and that will detract from their brilliance. However, cabinets provide an ideal spot for placing lighting that actually illuminates the whole surface, so you can use them to your advantage. After all, there is nothing prettier than a marble benchtop with quartz crystals glinting in an ambient room.

It may be advantageous to have cabinets above and around your benchtops, especially as lights on the ceiling can’t always properly illuminate them. Depending on what you’re using the benchtops for, under-cabinet lighting acts as the perfect task lighting. This is also a remedy for lack of natural light in a room.

For example, if used in bathrooms, it not only highlights the benchtops; it also creates more visibility when washing your hands. In kitchens this kind of lighting helps with food prep and other kitchen activities. The proximity of under-cabinet lights to your benchtops means the hues, textures and unique details of the material you’ve used can be perfectly highlighted.

The best lighting for this is pucks – circular lights installed at regular intervals, such as every 6 to 10 inches. They create pools of light on the benchtop surface, which really makes it stand out. You can also install strips if you want to distribute an even amount of light. Lastly, note that the benchtop is likely to create some level of reflection, so you won’t want to install lights that shine directly onto it; opt for light fittings with a lens over the bulb, as those won’t create quite as much of a reflection.

Island pendants

Pendant lights have long been a top choice for kitchen task lighting, and in particular, to highlight a stunning benchtop. They are certainly one of the best options, especially when you select a fitting that goes with the style of your granite or marble.

Titanium Gold benchtop with island pendants.

You don’t need to choose just the one, of course. Installing a few smaller pendant lights can look even better. This works well in bars, but it can also do wonders for the look of a kitchen. When installing your light fitting, position it between 28 and 34 inches above your benchtop for best effect.

There is a world of lighting options to complement your benchtop, depending on the type of material you’ve used. Industrial-inspired fittings look wonderful with white marble, for instance… or perhaps you will want to go for an antique-style pendant with an ambient bulb to bring out the best in a dark and mysterious granite surface.

Marble benchtop with lighting

White Macaubas island benchtop

Backlighting with LED light panels

One of the best things about lighting today is that it is more versatile than ever. It is now possible to achieve all manner of wonders when it comes to lighting a room. And this is evident when you consider backlighting. A gorgeous, translucent marble benchtop with light shining through it is a sight you’ll never tire of looking at.

New York Marble transclucent

VSG’s New York Marble backlit on display at Victorian Kitchen Company, Springvale.

 

No longer is it necessary to depend on overhead lighting or wall-mounted fittings to make your benchtop shine. LED technology has stepped up to the plate and now there are many more options for lighting your benchtops in style.

You will surely have heard of LED light bulbs, but have you heard LED light panels? These are cutting edge lighting technology and a very popular choice with modern bars, hotels, restaurants and more. In those places aesthetics and ambience really count. And the establishments know they can’t go wrong with backlit marble or granite benchtops.

LED panels are flat light bulbs made from clear acrylic that is lit from the side using LEDs,  situated in a metal frame around the outside. You can source them in different shapes, from square to rectangle. And some specialist light providers even make panels with the LEDs embedded into the acrylic. That makes it possible to customise the panel shapes.

It is nothing new to backlight a translucent marble, onyx and resin benchtop. But LED light panels are now making it possible to light them in more uniform and practical ways. They can be placed flush under or against the benchtop, saving space; it also takes focus away from the lighting itself and puts it firmly on the particular assets of your benchtop.


Featured in this post is Titanium Gold Granite and New York Marble, two of our favourite translucent natural stones that we have in stock here at VSG. Be sure to also check out Azul Lago Marble and Himalayan Onyx to achieve that, translucent backlit effect as seen in the New York.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our selection!

 

 

 

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Author Bio: Nicole Andrews is the marketing manager for Euro Marble in Sydney, Australia. With a background in interior design, she enjoys writing about the latest industry trends. In her spare time, she walks her dog Rusco down at Bondi Beach.


In an increasingly crowded world, the minimalist interior design tries to bring a balance by reducing the amount of clutter in our homes. This trend promotes spacious rooms, with a focus on natural materials (mostly wood or stone) and clever arrangements that brings space separation without the use of walls or big pieces of furniture.

Modern minimalism dances around geometric shapes, neutral colours, and natural textures that give the room warmth. When it comes to the walls and floors, the textures should be natural and (especially for the floors) easy to clean and maintain. This is why you’ll almost always find natural stone and wood in a home with a minimalist approach (think about Scandinavian design).

Both materials can be used for floors and walls in a wide range of settings throughout the house or for the facades. However, natural stone is more durable and resists better to the elements and wear and tear, which is why we recommend it for most designs.   

How to Select the Right Stone for a Minimalist Design

Colour, texture, and lines are the primary elements of a design that wants to be simple, freeing, and welcoming. As such, these are the elements to consider when you choose the right type of natural stone.

Colour

Natural stone has the advantage of colour because it features hues of black, grey, and white. These are known to promote an atmosphere of calm and serenity, which makes the material perfect for minimalist interior designs.

For instance, if you decide to use predominantly white marble, this makes space feel clean and exquisite, with a note of elegance that’s difficult to obtain otherwise. Furthermore, you have the possibility to implement a monochrome palette (an all-white room), which are very popular in the Scandinavian culture.

Carrara Slab

Carrara Slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

But if you choose to go with a dark colour, it will make for a fantastic background while highlighting the other nuances used (whites and greys). A black marble floor, for instance, will bring a splash of colour in a minimalist setting. And it works in any room of the house (starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathroom).  

Nero Marquina slab

Nero Marquina Marble at VSG

Texture

The fundamental concept that represents the minimalist approach is simplicity. As such, the texture of the materials used for interior design should allow for easy cleaning and maintenance without the need for rugs, carpets, or other accessories. So, the subtle textures of natural stone will fit right in.

Thinking from an interior design perspective, the smoothness of marble or the rugged beauty of travertine are fantastic for day spaces such as the living room or a home office. For bathroom and kitchen areas you can always go with the durability and freshness of granite, while for the bedroom, you can choose a warmer texture, in a darker colour, such as quartzite in brown hues.

Palomino slab

Palomino Quartzite

Pattern

With natural stone as your go-to material, there is a plethora of lines and patterns from which to choose. As it turns out, minimalist designs are all about lines and patterns. Creating harmonious combinations that lead the eye and fill out space.

Patterns can be included in any type of design element, from countertops to backsplashes, to floors and walls, or you can use them to highlight the focal piece of a room. Regardless, the unique beauty of these patterns will be forever by your side, encouraging creativity and originality!

Wrap Up  

The minimalist approach is more and more popular these days, and that is due to its many benefits. Starting with a more organized space that invites to focus and productivity and ending with a house that helps you feel relaxed and balanced this trend can have a strong influence on our lives.

However, it’s important to understand how minimalism works and this includes learning about the right type of natural stone to select. Each home is unique, so the choices you make must be fit to your needs and the ones of your family.


Related Posts

Natural Stone Feature Wall

Natural Stone Feature Wall in Vogue

Interior Designer, Gregory Vaughn, sees the potential of a natural stone slab beyond its most common use as a kitchen benchtop, island or bathroom vanity. Gregory Vaughn is talking a natural stone feature wall.

After decades of specifying natural stone, he can truly appreciate a stone slab as a work of art from Mother Nature.

Challenging the common denominator of all types of natural stone in the home – its horizontal application, Gregory has called for more vertical application -in stone feature walls. We couldn’t agree more!

“Kitchens and bathrooms have been designed around natural stone for years but what’s really coming back into vogue now are feature walls where the stone slabs are applied vertically as an accent, sometimes being the design feature of the room.

Decor aficionados are taking note and filling their Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards with prime examples. It is literally one of the hottest trends right now in interior design.”

This trend is likened to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s work on the iconic Barcelona Pavilion, dating back to 1929.

In this article, Gregory shares his work on a client’s home to create a similar zen-like atmosphere. Finding a slab of Red Onyx too beautiful to cut up, the duo agreed on using it as a wall panel in the bathroom.


With some absolutely unique and stunning stone slabs at Victoria Stone Gallery, we would love to see the natural stone feature wall trend continue. Here’s some inspo.

Palomino Quartzite

A coppery-gold Quartzite, characterised by its large rings in white, gold and blue tones.

Palomino slab

Blue Mare Quartzite

A bright baby-blue Quartzite with smoky-coppery gold veining.  Particularly stunning in its leathered finish.

Rainforest Brown

A brown and green, heavily veined marble with blue-black undertones. If you like this, check out Rainforest Green.

Skyfall Granite

A heavily contrasted black and white granite from Brazil. Characterised by its dramatic, chunky white veining.

Nero Marinace Granite

A unique black granite, tightly packed with variously sized pebbles.

Nero Marinace slab

 

 

 

Brazilian Quartzites Quarry

6 Reasons Brazilian Quartzites Rock!

Brazilian Quartzites are fairly new to the natural stone application game.
These unique, high performing stones look like marble, act like granite but are yet to be fully recognised as much as its counterparts, for their worth.

We are pleased to stock a wide variety of the most exclusive and unique Brazilian Quartzites to Australia. Quartzites are a perfect option when shopping for a stone benchtop – here are 6 reasons why!


1. The most exclusive stone to come out of Brazil.

Brazil is famous for the hard quartzites that it produces and sends around the world.  There is a huge quartzite belt surrounding the state of Bahia, approximately 3000 square kilometres in size, hosting a huge variety of colours, ranging from the White of Macaubas to Nebula right through to the most amazing Emerald Green.

Photo Credit: Chris van der Linden, Director of Victoria Stone Gallery and Nova Stone.

2. Harder than granite.

On the Mohs scale of hardness of 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest), Quartzite measures in at 7, with Granite behind in between 6 and 6.5. This difference will give extra protection from scratching and etching when it comes into contact with acidic materials.

3. Most cost-saving natural stone.

Pricing within the Quartzite range can vary – there’s something for everyone! But even at the most higher end, the extra cost will be greatly compensated by the low maintenance and longevity of the material.

5. It can be applied anywhere.

Quartzites are a diverse natural stone option, suitable for both residential and commercial sites. The strength and durability of the stone make it a perfect option for kitchen benchtops, bathrooms, outdoors, or any high-use area.

Quartzites for bathroom

Nebula Quartzite used in a bathroom

5. You won’t find anything else like it.

Quartzites are a relatively new product amongst the oldest construction material known to man.  The hardness of this type of stone has always challenged the quarrying and processing engineering. The production of larger quantities has only recently become possible due to new resins, abrasives and block cutting technologies.

Brazilian Quartites

Nebula bookmatched in-store

6. It’ll last you a lifetime.

The only thing you need to worry about is blunting your knives!


Shop our Quartzite range!

Something to consider
When selecting a quartzite for your home or project, check that your stonemason has worked with this natural stone before. The harder the stone, the harder it is to cut!


Related Posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Roma Quarry - A Definitive Guide to Quartzites

The Definitive Guide to Quartzite

Use Natural Stone is a great online resource for learning everything natural stone.  Here’s a great article we found on a Guide to Quartzites. It answers a lot of commonly asked questions about one of our favourite Brazilian stones.

Read the full article, The Definitive Guide to Quartzites by  Karin Kirk here.


The Definitive Guide to Quartzite

Quartzite may be the most confusing natural stone out there. A quick internet search will reveal an unsettling disparity of information. Some people say it etches. Some say it doesn’t. Sometimes you hear it’s a hybrid between marble and granite. Yet, others report that it’s harder than granite. Which is it? Why are there such conflicting reports about quartzite?

Let’s use my favourite tool – geology – to suss out the answer to this mystery.

I’ll get right to the point: quartzite is commonly mislabeled. Some quartzite is the real deal, but sometimes marble or dolomitic marble are labelled as quartzite. Because each of these stones behaves differently, people might understandably conclude that quartzite is variable. But it isn’t; quartzite has very consistent properties. Unfortunately, it has variable labelling.

Emerald Green - Victoria Stone Gallery

Emerald Green Quartzite at VSG.

What is quartzite?

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock made almost entirely of the mineral quartz. Quartzite begins its geologic life as sand grains, perhaps on a beach, desert dune, or riverbed. Over time, the sand grains become compressed and stuck together to form sandstone. If the sandstone gets buried ever more deeply underneath layers of rocks, it gets hotter and more compressed. With enough heat and pressure, the sand grains lose their original shape and fuse to their neighbours, forming a dense, durable rock. The process is similar to individual snowflakes merging into solid, glacial ice.

Quartzite is usually white or light-coloured because quartz sand is light coloured. Additional minerals carried by groundwater can impart hues of green, blue, or ion-red. Van Gogh and Azul Macaubas quartzites are examples of vivid colouring.

Regardless of colour, quartzite is made of one thing: quartz. That’s helpful because quartz has distinct properties that make it easy to tell apart from other minerals. (Note I’m talking about the mineral quartz, not the composite countertop material that is also named quartz.)

Properties of quartzite

Hardness

You needn’t be a geologist to appreciate the hardness and durability of quartzite. Not only does this make for a tough stone, but it also makes it easy to tell quartzite from the imposters. Quartz is 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. That means it’s harder than glass and harder than a knife blade. These things are easy to test with a sample of stone.

Mohs Hardness Scale - A Definitive Guide to Quartzites

If a rock that is labelled as quartzite is soft, then it was mislabeled. The unfortunate term “soft quartzite” has emerged to try to explain why a rock that is labelled quartzite is actually not hard and durable like real quartzite. There is no such thing as soft quartzite though. There is only one kind of quartzite and it’s hard. A rock labelled as soft quartzite is most likely marble.

Resistance to acids

Quartzite will not etch from acids like lemon juice or vinegar. If a rock labelled as quartzite becomes etched from acid, then it’s been mislabeled. Marble and dolomitic marble, on the other hand, will etch from these acids. Dolomitic marble etches slightly more slowly than regular marble. But quartzite will not etch at all from normal kitchen acids. Not one little bit!

Porosity

Quartzite has a range of porosities. Some, like Taj Mahal or Sea Pearl, have been highly metamorphosed, and the minerals are bonded together tightly. White Macaubas and Calacatta Macaubas have been exposed to less intense pressure, so they are more porous and will benefit from sealing.

Things that do not help distinguish quartzite from non-quartzite

The country of origin, price, or the name of a stone are not reliable indicators of what type of rock you’ve got. In many cases, it’s not even possible to tell marble and quartzite apart visually.

What’s the difference between quartzite and granite?

Granite is a whole separate category of rocks that form from liquid magma. Visually, granite has distinct flecks of darker colours in it, while quartzite has either no dark colours at all or has subtle, flowing areas of different colours.

Sometimes quartzite is mislabeled as granite, which is not the worst mistake because they have similar properties. Granite and quartzite are both harder than glass, and neither will be etched by acids. Geologically, they are different classes of rocks, but that is less important than how they will behave on a countertop or as floor tile.

Shop our range of Quartzites.


Related Posts

Super White Dolomite benchtops

Specialists in Super White Dolomite Benchtops

It’s no secret here at VSG that we take pride in our evergrowing selection of Super White Dolomite benchtops. This stunning, Brazilian natural stone is not only aesthetically pleasing but high performing too.

So, it comes with no hesitation when we suggest Super White to customers looking to renovate their kitchen and bathroom benchtops.

Super White Dolomite benchtops

Super White Dolomite bathroom

Quarry Photo Credit: Chris, Victoria Stone Gallery.

With our director based in Brazil, we are fortunate to be directly involved in the journey of the slabs. From the quarry process to the selection of the blocks, from the South of Bahia, Brazil to Victoria, Australia.

Quarrying in the process at the Super White quarry

When stone shopping we get a look into the Super White quarry itself. Here, Chris hand selects and shares with us the best of the best blocks. We narrow down our choices by discussing what’s important in having the right selection and what the customers want to see at VSG…

Large format slabs.

Variety in style.

Consistent quality.

A range of cost.

Currently, we have Super White slabs up to 3.25 metres wide which makes for a wow-factor kitchen island or benchtop. If you want larger, rest assured all of our slabs are processed to be bookmatched.

We stock a regular supply of Super White and Super White Calacatta. But over the next few months, we will be loading up our gallery with Super White Dark, Super White Arabescato,  and Super White Grey.

All of which come from the same supplier. And are quarried and processed by our Brazilian team with great care and love for the stone.

A hand picked bundle of Super White for VSG

VSG Directors on site picking out stunning blocks of Super White to send back to Melbourne

In terms of look, cost and quality, there’s a Super White for everyone. We ensure to stock a range that reflects a spectrum of cost, to cater all of our customers. The Quarry grades the product depending on its

What makes Super White Dolomite benchtops so special?

Super White is  a unique makeup of Dolomite  marble and Quartz. Dolomite is harder than your typical marble and being aided by Quartz veining, it makes for a strong, durable, less porous benchtop option.

Unlike the precious marble that it looks like, Super White is also less prone to staining and etching.

Super White Dolomite benchtops

Super White Dolomite stone slab available at VSG

Super White Dolomite benchtop maintenance.

SW is a great option for the household and outdoor application. But, it still requires care and maintenance.

It should always be sealed by your fabricator or installer and we recommend re-sealing it about once a year, depending on the usage and exposure to household products and sunlight.

Treat it like any other stone! Clean it on a daily basis, wipe spills up as soon as possible and don’t put hot pots and pans straight onto the surface.


Want to shop for Super White? Browse our Super White Dolomite selection or contact the team for more info.

Related Posts

Marble Benchtop with Lighting

How to Enhance Your Granite or Marble benchtop with Lighting

Author Bio: Lisa Wetherell runs the blog Lighting House – where she writes about her knowledge gained from 10 years of industry experience in the lighting and interior design field. To learn more about how lighting can improve your space, you can follow her blog.


When installing marble or granite benchtops there is more to think about that may be obvious. Choosing the type, size and shape of the marble or granite that works best in the property are main considerations. But in order to make the most of your final selection, you will need to pay plenty of attention to lighting.

When properly lit, your marble and granite benchtops will come alive. They are usually installed as a major feature of any room, be it a bar, hotel reception, nightclub bathroom or home kitchen. Granite and marble benchtops are not cheap, so it makes perfect sense to do everything possible to enhance them… and lighting is the best way to do that.

The below guide will help you to choose the perfect lighting to make your granite or marble benchtops the focal point you intended them to be:  

Take colours and styles into consideration

To ensure that your benchtops are the centre of attention, you will want to avoid installing very bright or bold. Your benchtops might contain subtle hues that are greatly complemented by the right level of lighting, so you won’t want to wash those out with blanket lighting.

For example, if installing a white marble slab with dark grey veins like this one, you would do well to go for stainless steel or brushed nickel light fittings, which will really make it shine.

You will want to try out a few different bulbs to see how varying levels of intensity and hues impact the look of your benchtop. The level of brightness and intensity you choose will be dependent on details like whether the room receives a lot of natural light, what colour the walls are, whether there are cabinets shading your benchtops, and what the benchtops are actually made of.

If your benchtop is made from light coloured or white material, it will benefit from brighter light; if it is made from a darker material like this Titanium Gold Polished Granite, softer light would complement it best. A dark benchtop is going to absorb more light, so install lighting that is bright enough to compensate for that.

The most important factor is to avoid glare, as that will detract from the aesthetics of your benchtop. A lighting level that highlights the finer details of the material is ideal.

Titanium Gold Granite polished slab

Titanium Gold, a translucent granite at VSG.


 

Under-cabinet lighting

As mentioned above, cabinets can cast shadows over your marble or granite benchtops, and that will detract from their brilliance. However, cabinets provide an ideal spot for placing lighting that actually illuminates the whole surface, so you can use them to your advantage. After all, there is nothing prettier than a marble benchtop with quartz crystals glinting in an ambient room.

It may be advantageous to have cabinets above and around your benchtops, especially as lights on the ceiling can’t always properly illuminate them. Depending on what you’re using the benchtops for, under-cabinet lighting acts as the perfect task lighting. This is also a remedy for lack of natural light in a room.

For example, if used in bathrooms, it not only highlights the benchtops; it also creates more visibility when washing your hands. In kitchens this kind of lighting helps with food prep and other kitchen activities. The proximity of under-cabinet lights to your benchtops means the hues, textures and unique details of the material you’ve used can be perfectly highlighted.

The best lighting for this is pucks – circular lights installed at regular intervals, such as every 6 to 10 inches. They create pools of light on the benchtop surface, which really makes it stand out. You can also install strips if you want to distribute an even amount of light. Lastly, note that the benchtop is likely to create some level of reflection, so you won’t want to install lights that shine directly onto it; opt for light fittings with a lens over the bulb, as those won’t create quite as much of a reflection.

Island pendants

Pendant lights have long been a top choice for kitchen task lighting, and in particular, to highlight a stunning benchtop. They are certainly one of the best options, especially when you select a fitting that goes with the style of your granite or marble.

Titanium Gold benchtop with island pendants.

You don’t need to choose just the one, of course. Installing a few smaller pendant lights can look even better. This works well in bars, but it can also do wonders for the look of a kitchen. When installing your light fitting, position it between 28 and 34 inches above your benchtop for best effect.

There is a world of lighting options to complement your benchtop, depending on the type of material you’ve used. Industrial-inspired fittings look wonderful with white marble, for instance… or perhaps you will want to go for an antique-style pendant with an ambient bulb to bring out the best in a dark and mysterious granite surface.

Marble benchtop with lighting

White Macaubas island benchtop

Backlighting with LED light panels

One of the best things about lighting today is that it is more versatile than ever. It is now possible to achieve all manner of wonders when it comes to lighting a room. And this is evident when you consider backlighting. A gorgeous, translucent marble benchtop with light shining through it is a sight you’ll never tire of looking at.

New York Marble transclucent

VSG’s New York Marble backlit on display at Victorian Kitchen Company, Springvale.

 

No longer is it necessary to depend on overhead lighting or wall-mounted fittings to make your benchtop shine. LED technology has stepped up to the plate and now there are many more options for lighting your benchtops in style.

You will surely have heard of LED light bulbs, but have you heard LED light panels? These are cutting edge lighting technology and a very popular choice with modern bars, hotels, restaurants and more. In those places aesthetics and ambience really count. And the establishments know they can’t go wrong with backlit marble or granite benchtops.

LED panels are flat light bulbs made from clear acrylic that is lit from the side using LEDs,  situated in a metal frame around the outside. You can source them in different shapes, from square to rectangle. And some specialist light providers even make panels with the LEDs embedded into the acrylic. That makes it possible to customise the panel shapes.

It is nothing new to backlight a translucent marble, onyx and resin benchtop. But LED light panels are now making it possible to light them in more uniform and practical ways. They can be placed flush under or against the benchtop, saving space; it also takes focus away from the lighting itself and puts it firmly on the particular assets of your benchtop.


Featured in this post is Titanium Gold Granite and New York Marble, two of our favourite translucent natural stones that we have in stock here at VSG. Be sure to also check out Azul Lago Marble and Himalayan Onyx to achieve that, translucent backlit effect as seen in the New York.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our selection!

 

 

 

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Author Bio: Nicole Andrews is the marketing manager for Euro Marble in Sydney, Australia. With a background in interior design, she enjoys writing about the latest industry trends. In her spare time, she walks her dog Rusco down at Bondi Beach.


In an increasingly crowded world, the minimalist interior design tries to bring a balance by reducing the amount of clutter in our homes. This trend promotes spacious rooms, with a focus on natural materials (mostly wood or stone) and clever arrangements that brings space separation without the use of walls or big pieces of furniture.

Modern minimalism dances around geometric shapes, neutral colours, and natural textures that give the room warmth. When it comes to the walls and floors, the textures should be natural and (especially for the floors) easy to clean and maintain. This is why you’ll almost always find natural stone and wood in a home with a minimalist approach (think about Scandinavian design).

Both materials can be used for floors and walls in a wide range of settings throughout the house or for the facades. However, natural stone is more durable and resists better to the elements and wear and tear, which is why we recommend it for most designs.   

How to Select the Right Stone for a Minimalist Design

Colour, texture, and lines are the primary elements of a design that wants to be simple, freeing, and welcoming. As such, these are the elements to consider when you choose the right type of natural stone.

Colour

Natural stone has the advantage of colour because it features hues of black, grey, and white. These are known to promote an atmosphere of calm and serenity, which makes the material perfect for minimalist interior designs.

For instance, if you decide to use predominantly white marble, this makes space feel clean and exquisite, with a note of elegance that’s difficult to obtain otherwise. Furthermore, you have the possibility to implement a monochrome palette (an all-white room), which are very popular in the Scandinavian culture.

Carrara Slab

Carrara Slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

But if you choose to go with a dark colour, it will make for a fantastic background while highlighting the other nuances used (whites and greys). A black marble floor, for instance, will bring a splash of colour in a minimalist setting. And it works in any room of the house (starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathroom).  

Nero Marquina slab

Nero Marquina Marble at VSG

Texture

The fundamental concept that represents the minimalist approach is simplicity. As such, the texture of the materials used for interior design should allow for easy cleaning and maintenance without the need for rugs, carpets, or other accessories. So, the subtle textures of natural stone will fit right in.

Thinking from an interior design perspective, the smoothness of marble or the rugged beauty of travertine are fantastic for day spaces such as the living room or a home office. For bathroom and kitchen areas you can always go with the durability and freshness of granite, while for the bedroom, you can choose a warmer texture, in a darker colour, such as quartzite in brown hues.

Palomino slab

Palomino Quartzite

Pattern

With natural stone as your go-to material, there is a plethora of lines and patterns from which to choose. As it turns out, minimalist designs are all about lines and patterns. Creating harmonious combinations that lead the eye and fill out space.

Patterns can be included in any type of design element, from countertops to backsplashes, to floors and walls, or you can use them to highlight the focal piece of a room. Regardless, the unique beauty of these patterns will be forever by your side, encouraging creativity and originality!

Wrap Up  

The minimalist approach is more and more popular these days, and that is due to its many benefits. Starting with a more organized space that invites to focus and productivity and ending with a house that helps you feel relaxed and balanced this trend can have a strong influence on our lives.

However, it’s important to understand how minimalism works and this includes learning about the right type of natural stone to select. Each home is unique, so the choices you make must be fit to your needs and the ones of your family.


Related Posts

Natural Stone Feature Wall

Natural Stone Feature Wall in Vogue

Interior Designer, Gregory Vaughn, sees the potential of a natural stone slab beyond its most common use as a kitchen benchtop, island or bathroom vanity. Gregory Vaughn is talking a natural stone feature wall.

After decades of specifying natural stone, he can truly appreciate a stone slab as a work of art from Mother Nature.

Challenging the common denominator of all types of natural stone in the home – its horizontal application, Gregory has called for more vertical application -in stone feature walls. We couldn’t agree more!

“Kitchens and bathrooms have been designed around natural stone for years but what’s really coming back into vogue now are feature walls where the stone slabs are applied vertically as an accent, sometimes being the design feature of the room.

Decor aficionados are taking note and filling their Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards with prime examples. It is literally one of the hottest trends right now in interior design.”

This trend is likened to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s work on the iconic Barcelona Pavilion, dating back to 1929.

In this article, Gregory shares his work on a client’s home to create a similar zen-like atmosphere. Finding a slab of Red Onyx too beautiful to cut up, the duo agreed on using it as a wall panel in the bathroom.


With some absolutely unique and stunning stone slabs at Victoria Stone Gallery, we would love to see the natural stone feature wall trend continue. Here’s some inspo.

Palomino Quartzite

A coppery-gold Quartzite, characterised by its large rings in white, gold and blue tones.

Palomino slab

Blue Mare Quartzite

A bright baby-blue Quartzite with smoky-coppery gold veining.  Particularly stunning in its leathered finish.

Rainforest Brown

A brown and green, heavily veined marble with blue-black undertones. If you like this, check out Rainforest Green.

Skyfall Granite

A heavily contrasted black and white granite from Brazil. Characterised by its dramatic, chunky white veining.

Nero Marinace Granite

A unique black granite, tightly packed with variously sized pebbles.

Nero Marinace slab

 

 

 

Brazilian Quartzites Quarry

6 Reasons Brazilian Quartzites Rock!

Brazilian Quartzites are fairly new to the natural stone application game.
These unique, high performing stones look like marble, act like granite but are yet to be fully recognised as much as its counterparts, for their worth.

We are pleased to stock a wide variety of the most exclusive and unique Brazilian Quartzites to Australia. Quartzites are a perfect option when shopping for a stone benchtop – here are 6 reasons why!


1. The most exclusive stone to come out of Brazil.

Brazil is famous for the hard quartzites that it produces and sends around the world.  There is a huge quartzite belt surrounding the state of Bahia, approximately 3000 square kilometres in size, hosting a huge variety of colours, ranging from the White of Macaubas to Nebula right through to the most amazing Emerald Green.

Photo Credit: Chris van der Linden, Director of Victoria Stone Gallery and Nova Stone.

2. Harder than granite.

On the Mohs scale of hardness of 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest), Quartzite measures in at 7, with Granite behind in between 6 and 6.5. This difference will give extra protection from scratching and etching when it comes into contact with acidic materials.

3. Most cost-saving natural stone.

Pricing within the Quartzite range can vary – there’s something for everyone! But even at the most higher end, the extra cost will be greatly compensated by the low maintenance and longevity of the material.

5. It can be applied anywhere.

Quartzites are a diverse natural stone option, suitable for both residential and commercial sites. The strength and durability of the stone make it a perfect option for kitchen benchtops, bathrooms, outdoors, or any high-use area.

Quartzites for bathroom

Nebula Quartzite used in a bathroom

5. You won’t find anything else like it.

Quartzites are a relatively new product amongst the oldest construction material known to man.  The hardness of this type of stone has always challenged the quarrying and processing engineering. The production of larger quantities has only recently become possible due to new resins, abrasives and block cutting technologies.

Brazilian Quartites

Nebula bookmatched in-store

6. It’ll last you a lifetime.

The only thing you need to worry about is blunting your knives!


Shop our Quartzite range!

Something to consider
When selecting a quartzite for your home or project, check that your stonemason has worked with this natural stone before. The harder the stone, the harder it is to cut!


Related Posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granites to renovate your fireplace hearth with

6 Black Granites to Renovate Your Fireplace Hearth With

Winter is approaching in Australia, and homeowners are turning to comfort and warmth of their fireplace. But does your fireplace hearth look as hot as it gives off?


Natural stone is a perfect option to consider when remodelling your fireplace hearth. Natural stone is durable, efficient, long lasting and retains heat better than any other material. And most beautifully, it combines two of the earth’s greatest natural elements; fire and stone.

What’s particularly special about using granite for your fireplace hearth, is its formation. Formed under extreme heat and pressure, this dark, igneous stone comes full circle from the earth and into your home, giving direct relationship to your fire. There you can experience the warmth your fire will give with this igneous stone.

Amongst marble and quartzite, black granite is particularly on trend this year. A sleek polished, honed or leathered black granite can enhance the contemporary sophistication of any home.

Featured in this post is some of our favourite black granites at VSG at the moment!

Skyfall is a striking, black and white polished granite from Brazil. This is a very unique granite that you won’t find anywhere else.

Barocco is also new to the gallery. It’s brown and black with shades of orange rippling through the slab.

Our polished Black Forest, and leathered Via Lactea and Night Dream are three very popular black and white granites. Each unique in the pattern that they have carried throughout the slabs.

Titanium Gold, one of our favourite translucent stones, especially effective in its leathered finish.

Treat yourself this winter, after all, home is where the hearth is!

 

Carrara Marble Quarry

Builders Turn to Carrara Marble Quarry

The Carrara mountains in Italy have been producing beautiful white marble since antiquity. In modern times, they produce the most volume of marble in the world

Read the article below for an insight into how Italy’s Carrara Marble Quarry is standing now and still one of the most desirable choices of stone.

Browse our range of Carrara marble.

 


Builders Turn to Italy’s White Gold

There is no end to demand for ‘Italy’s white gold.’

For many people, that white gold is not metal but marble from the town of Carrara in Tuscany. The marble mining work in Carrara is ancient. Workers first began removing stone from the mountains of Tuscany more than 2,000 years ago.

The ancient Romans were the first to recognize the beauty of the marble. Millions of people still go to Rome to see famous monuments made with the stone. Two examples are the Pantheon and Trajan’s Column. And then there are famous statues like the David and the Pietà by the sculptor and painter Michelangelo.

So what is happening in Carrara today?

A visit to modern day Carrara

Sculptors, other artists and designers of buildings have never stopped making trips to the Tuscan town.

M.J. Anderson, an American, first visited Carrara 36 years ago, when she started creating sculptures. She loved the look of the beautiful stone.

Anderson says she likes to take things apart. “The great thing about carving marble is that once that stone is gone, it’s gone. You can’t lament about it and this keeps you moving forward in the creative process,” she said.

Sculptors like Anderson know they are dealing with something very special.

“There’s no surprises when you are carving it. The molecules are put together very well and there’s so many different kinds of marble here. That’s what’s so special.”

That is what is bringing in orders and big money from all over the world. Carrara’s marble is in great demand in the Arab world and in countries like China, India and Thailand. Buyers want the material to use in the rooms and floors of their homes. Others want art made of the stone. For example, a few years ago, a request came for a huge block of marble to be used in a massive statue of Buddha.

An increase in the building of mosques and Islamic centres, especially in the Arab world, has meant even more demand and big business for some marble companies.

The Saudi Binladin Group, one of the world’s largest builders, got control of 50 percent of Marmi Carrara in recent years. Marmi Carrara owns a third of the marble quarries that are operational in the area today.

“Just the name Carrara basically says it’s the world’s best marble. It is the most beautiful. It has a centuries’ long history of being the best marble in the world and people come here looking for and wanting the very best,” Anderson said.

Read the full article here.

Marble and Wood kitchen design

Marble and Wood – How To Have Both

Designing or renovating a kitchen can get homeowners stuck on what sort of look and feel to go for.

But, the latest in design trends are putting the unlikely together to curb that decision-making by blending two polar opposites – marble and wood!


The combination of marble and wood is the ultimate textural contrast. The cool look of marble paired with the warmth of wood opens a world of diversity when it comes down to accessorising your kitchen. It will allow you to mix traditional with contemporary, rustic with elegance.

Don’t be afraid to take this look outside of the kitchen. We’ve seen some great project plans come in. Pairing a marble fire surround with wooden floors or wooden floating shelves. Marble bathtubs with timber cabinetry.  The options are easy and endless!

Here are some of our favourite marble and wood schemes we’ve found online.

How wood you do it?

Shop our online catalogue to get this look!


 

Chris from Nova Stone, representing one of many Brazilian stone companies at the Atlanta Trade Show

Brazilian Stone ‘Rocks’ Another Big Trade Show in Atlanta

Great news for the Brazilian stone industry! Companies from all over Brazil made a large presence at the largest stone event in North America yet again.

Amongst over 70 Brazilian companies and their representatives, was our director Chris van der Linden heading the Nova Stone stand.  Here’s what he had to say about the ever successful trade show of the year, highlighting the Brazilian stone industry:

“Our company Nova Stone received such an overwhelming reaction to our collection of natural stone. It is clear that the entire global market, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, is experiencing a resurgence in natural stone.

The trends for 2019 are definitely forecast towards naturally inspired interiors. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be seeing a lot more Brazilian stones in homes reaching as far as Australia and New Zealand.”

At VSG, our stock of Brazilian stone comes in the form of beautiful Quartzite slabs. Quartzite has a marble-look but is as resilient as granite, making it perfect for a low-maintenance, affordable option for kitchen benchtops, islands and bathrooms.  Browse our Quartzite page for an idea of whats in store and whats to come.

Nova Stone Brazilian Stone at Atlanta Trade Show

Nova Stone Brazilian Stone at Atlanta Trade Show

For any queries on Brazilian stone that you can’t, but want to see in Melbourne – contact us! We strive to source and supply the best natural stone material to Melbourne.

Read more on the Atlanta trade show in the article below sourced from Global Atlanta.


Major events in Atlanta are becoming a key entree for Brazilian companies in the U.S.

 Coming off its successful presence at the poultry and processing expo in January, Brazil last week once again made a big bet on a major Atlanta trade show.

This time, rather than chicken feed and animal proteins, the Brazilian Consulate General in Atlanta was helping firms showcase their stone products at the annual Coverings conference, the largest tile and stone event in North America.

More than 70 Brazilian companies showcased more than 700 types of natural stone materials at the May 8-11 trade show, which  drew  exhibitors from more than 40 countries. 

Brazilian firms enjoyed more than 15,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to their country which presented products under one brand umbrella: Brasil Original Stones. Brazilian government agencies were on hand as well: Apex-Brasil promotes the country’s exports in general, while ABIROCHAS is the tile and stone industry association. 

A highly visible presence at the industry’s top event was a no-brainer for Brazil, in part because Brazil’s stone sellers need to understand the preferences of designers, architects, consumers and contractors in a vitally important market. 

This is how the Reinaldo Dantas Sampaio, the president of ABIROCHAS, the Brazilian Association of Dimension Stone Industry, put it in materials written for the show: 

“The event is of fundamental importance for the Brazilian stone industry, since it gathers the major global covering producers and receives visitors from our biggest buyer – the US. Presently, Brazil is the largest supplier of slabs to the American market, which answers for 65 percent of the Brazilian stone export sales. In 2017, Brazilian exported US$1.1 billion, of which $692 million were imported by the U.S.”

Mr. Sampaio said despite the hurdles facing Brazil’s economy, producers are investing in quarrying and treatment technologies to improve sustainability and meet the standards of the U.S., which is experiencing a new wave of construction growth.  

Brazilian slabs are mostly used in countertops for single-family homes, so Mr. Sampaio sees a big opportunity for Brazil to deepen its penetration in the commercial and multi-family segments.