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New Black Granite Skyfall Quarry

New Black Granite Exclusive to VSG

Exclusive to Victoria Stone Gallery, from Brazil, is our new favourite black granite, Skyfall.

This low maintenance, high-performing, jaw-dropping, black granite is perfect for those wanting a real statement piece – suitable for any application.

Skyfall is a new material quickly gaining recognition, come and see it for yourself!

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

The stunning Skyfall quarry is located near Cachoeiro, Brazil.

Our suppliers visit the quarry weekly to check out the blocks being produced, before selecting them for VSG.

The journey is inspected closely throughout its processing stage.

New Black Granite Skyfall Quarry

It is followed right up until it is seen out the door by VSG Brazilian-based director, Chris.

We’re proud to bring Skyfall Granite to Australia.

Get in touch with the team for retail or trade pricing, and sizes.

Shop Skyfall and the rest of our Granites!

Granite Benchtops Slabs Row

Granite Benchtops – Hard To Beat!

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard already the advantages of Granite benchtops. Strong, durable, and little maintenance required. Have it in your Melbourne home or bathroom for life!

We have over 15 styles and counting for your Granite benchtop dreams at Victoria Stone Gallery. Read on and shop our Granite product catalogue.


What type of natural stone is Granite?

Granite is one of the world’s toughest stones! An igneous rock formed over millions of years from extreme heat and rapidly cooling volcanic magma.

Granite is second strongest to diamonds and some Quartzites.

Granite Slabs Row

Uses for Granite?

Diverse and durable, Granite can be used decorative or functional! Granite benchtops and granite bathrooms are hugely popular in family homes. Granite is a popular stone choice for outdoor areas in Australian homes for BBQ areas and outdoor table tops.

Outside of the household, you’ll find Granite used for anything from tiles, paving stones, building construction, bridges to tombstones.

Why should you choose Granite?

It is dense, durable and very resistant to chemicals and acids! It offers the beauty of natural stone with less maintenance and will add value to your home. Granite comes in a limitless range of colours, and loved for its speckled appearance given off from small shiny flecks.

There are some great retro looking granite slabs here at Victoria Stone, with Uba Tuba Granite making a real comeback!

Uba Tuba Granite Benchtops

A typical Uba Tuba Granite benchtop look. Photo credit: bestdesignideas.com

How do you maintain Granite?

It’s true, most Granite applications require little to no maintenance. But, to see your Granite benchtops live out a lifetime and prevent liquids from absorbing in, have it professionally sealed at least once after installation. Granite benchtops will buy you a little more clean up time in between spills than marble benchtops but do wipe them up as quickly as possible.

Our friends at the Granite Benchtop Company recommends this fail-safe method for caring for your granite benchtop.

How to clean granite benchtops

Granite Benchtops require little to no maintenance, a dream clean!

Special considerations when shopping for Granite?

Granite benchtops are more uniformed compared to heavily veined natural stones. If you’re a homeowner or architect in Melbourne that prefers the solid, consistent look, then this could be the stone choice for you.

We know now that Granite benchtops will withstand household battles more than others, but did you know that granite is stronger than a knife? Always use a chopping board to keep your knives in good condition.


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Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone
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Quartz V Natural Stone

Shopping for a new stone benchtop for your kitchen? There are a lot of stone options in the Australian market these days, which is great! But it all drives down to two options. Man-made (aka reconstituted or reengineered stone) Quartz V Natural Stone.

Are you looking for indoor or outdoor application? Do you need a stone benchtop to withstand a hectic lifestyle? Are you wondering which will add more value to your home? Have a read of this super informative article from Phillymag.com & Colonial Marble & Granite for a quick crash course in the differences and similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Similarities, Differences and When to Use Each

When you’re opting to swap out your old bar or kitchen countertops for something new, there’s a lot to consider. First, you need to think about value and quality — are you willing to pay a little extra for quartz or natural stone, which has more staying power than laminates and can also help raise your property value? Aside from being a good investment for your home, natural stone or quartz are durable enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of extreme cooking and regular family gatherings. So, if you’re ready to make a valuable upgrade to your living space, here’s what you need to know about quartz and natural stone countertops, and what you should expect out of your install.

First, a briefing on both:

  • Quartz, in its natural state, is found in large crystals or small, sand-like grains. Once mined, the stone is mixed with man-made materials, like resin, which allows for a cleaner cut and more scratch and stain resistance. Quartz is one of the most popular materials for counters and backsplashes, due to its durability and antimicrobial, non-absorbent properties. Colonial Marble offers one of the widest varieties of quartz in the country, from the extremely durable Q Quartz to ECO, which is made mostly of recycled materials and comes in a variety of hues and textured patterns.
  • Natural stone is a bit less malleable than quartz but withholds a snowflake-like individuality that makes it truly, naturally unique. Sourced straight from the earth, natural stones like a soft-coloured limestone or bold marble show off raw patterns, flecks and textures that quartz can only mimic through manmade mixing. When it comes to choosing a timeless, on-trend look, Arctic Cream graniteBianco Venatino marble and Lagos Blue limestone are three (literally) solid options.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite

The differences between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz is fused with resin and other polymers, and does not need to be sealed regularly. Natural stone, however, may require yearly sealings to maintain its smooth look and durability. Additionally, this material makeup is less prone to chipping than natural stone.
  • Since quartz is mechanically engineered with naturally mined materials and binding resins, cleaner cuts are available. It’s because of this that quartz is considered extremely design-friendly.
  • When opting for natural stone, it’s a good idea to go with an “eased edge,”. It gives the stone a thick cut look that helps to play up the natural texture and marbling.

The similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz and natural stone are both extremely heavy. Due to this, it is important to work with a professional during installation. The team at Colonial Marble will not only help with installation but can provide samples, quotes and even a Kitchen Visualizer to help you decide just where to make your upgrades.
  • Natural stone and quartz do not always hold up to extreme weather conditions, making indoor installation the preferred method. Planning on installing an outdoor bar or fireplace? Make sure your granite or marble surface is safe from hard rain and the scorching sun.
  • Historically, the price of quartz and natural stone, like marble, seemed out of reach for many. But, as granite, marble, quartz and stone countertops become increasingly trendy in today’s homes, materials are becoming more and more affordable.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite2

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite


Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quatrzite matte stone

Curious Over A Quartzite Benchtop

What is Quartzite? How is it different to Marble? Read on into the world of this natural stone and why we recommend a Quartzite benchtop for your kitchen in Melbourne.

Keep an eye out for some coloured  Quartzite benchtop beauties that we will be bringing in from Brazil in the new year!


What type of natural stone is Quartzite?

Quartzite is often confused with Quartz, a man-made produced stone, engineered from resin and quartz chips tinted with various colours.

It is a metamorphic rock that is the result of sandstone and the mineral quartz being put under extreme heat and pressure within the crust of the earth. Its changes are a slow process resulting in an altered appearance of rich colours and patterns that are formed as a result of different conditions.

Colours range from white to black, with shades of blue, green, yellow and brown. A slab can appear grainy because of its formation from sandstone through recrystallization of Quartz grains. At least 90% of a Quartzite stone slab is Quartz.

Quartzite kitchen benchtop

Uses for Quartzite?

For a long time, it was commonly used for bricks and other building materials. It became very versatile in construction, used for strong materials to flooring to decorative wall coverings and recently has become very popular for kitchen benchtops.

This contemporary house in Cologne, Germany was built in 2016 out of grey Quartzite stone. The stone is so diverse, it flows systematically through the interior, cladding bathrooms, the whole of the swimming pool area and many of the home´s floors. Read the full article here.

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quatrzite matte stone

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quartrzite matte stone

Quartzite is awesome for an outdoor stone application. It has very low water absorption rates. It is very resilient to staining from leaf and debris. And it has a high resistance to slipping thanks to its textured surface.

Why should you choose Quartzite?

Interior designers love a quartzite benchtop for the look, builders and homeowners love it for its durability!

It comes in lots of popular varieties, like White Macaubas, Mother of Pearl, Taj Mahal and La Dolce Vita. Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we will be specialising in a big range of exotic coloured Quartzite, bringing it in from Brazil to Melbourne.

It’s heat resistant and naturally strong. 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 buy you a bit more time to clean up before the stone starts to etch if it comes into contact with acidic materials.

How do you maintain a Quartzite benchtop?

Although it is heat resistant, any prolonged heat exposure can cause problems.  Just avoid that by using trivets, hot pots, chopping boards! Avoid etching by keeping common household items that are notorious for etching away, like lemons, fizzy drink, and red wine. Etching is basically the surface damage in the form of a dull mark on natural stone.  It happens when acidic substances come into contact with natural stone that contains calcium carbonate.

Sealing will depend on the type of Quartzite you have, ranging from not having to be sealed at all, to resealing every year or so, to regular sealing. Check with your stone fabricator which category yours falls under! Adding a stone sealant will give an extra layer of protection.
Just like with any other natural stone surface, clean up spills quickly, using a damp, soft cloth and a mild spray disinfectant if needed.

Consider picking a honed or leathered finish over a polished finish – they are more forgiving on etching and stains! Honed benchtops aren’t as reflective as polished and are smoother and flatter, which helps to prevent etching. A honed finish on harder stones is much more durable for benchtops in your kitchen.

Generally there is a lot less maintenance in comparison to other natural stone, yet still with the look of marble!

Leathered Blue Roma Quartzite from Victoria Stone Gallery

Our Blue Roma Quartzite looks striking in a leathered finish.

Special considerations when shopping for Quartzite?

Quartzite comes in soft or hard variations, sometimes the fabrication can be more expensive when it’s harder to cut through. Always check with your preferred fabricator if they have worked with it before! A Quartzite benchtop offers a lifetime of unique look alongside practicality, give it the professional installation and fabrication it deserves!

 


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More About Marble

More about Marble

Thinking about buying Marble for your benchtop in Melbourne, Victoria? Here are some fast facts to get your shop on! Find out some more about Marble.


More about Marble

What type of natural stone is Marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock. It forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism. This video of marble quarrying in the Italian Alps shows some neat footage of how marble can be quarried.

Carrara Italy – marble quarry in Fantiscritti valley. Marble works of Miseglia. Apuan Alps mountains.

Uses for Marble?

White Marble has been used for centuries in classic sculptures to construction. You might recognise it in such works of art like Michaelangelo’s, David, or the Taj Mahal, even recently in modern-day photo shoots like the one campaigned by NZ brand Lonely Lingerie where woman modelled next to Carrara Marble. Marble is commonly used in Melbourne in the bathroom, kitchen benchtops – Where the Kitchen starts, splashbacks or reception counters. Don’t let the characteristics of Marble scare you away from using it in your home! Read our post on Marble & 5 Facts Nobody Will Tell You.

Why should you choose Marble?

It’s beautiful and timeless. Homeowners and Melbourne stone fabricators sometimes shy away from marble being one of the softer natural stones and more prone to etching and stains. The right care will maintain it and you’ll have a stunning marble benchtop, adding value to your home. Read this amazing story on Natural Stone at home? How much is it worth – who knows how much value your marble benchtop or marble bathroom may bring you!

How do you maintain Marble?

Be sure to seal your marble benchtop every one to two years. Protect your marble benchtop from vinegar and citrus’. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners on your marble benchtop.

 


Check out our Marble catalogue.

Christmas and New Year Hours at VSG

Christmas and New Year Hours

It’s been a great first year here at Victoria Stone Gallery.

We’ve met a lot of new people and sold some beautiful stone slab. Now we’re excited to bring you some new marbles, quartzites and granites in the New Year! We will be available by appointment between December 18th-22nd, and wrapping up on December 22nd and reopening on January 15th, 2018. Have a great Christmas and New Year!

OUR STORY

Victoria Stone Gallery opened in March 2017, lead by a father and daughter team. After wholesaling and fabricating in New Zealand for 20 years, our founder, Chris, moved to Brazil to be at the forefront of new and exciting natural marble and quartzite discoveries. Chris spends his days travelling the world sourcing and trading natural marble and other exotic stones, suppling New Zealand, America and Brazil. In 2017 he fulfilled a dream of opening a marble and granite wholesaler in Melbourne, Australia. And So Victoria Stone Gallery was born. We operate from one site in the South East suburbs of Melbourne, where we have our offices, showroom and warehouse. Our small team are all knowledgeable, friendly and love working with stone slabs.

MISSION FOR 2018

Our company mission is to bring a range of unique and speciality natural marble, granite and quartzite slabs to the market. We believe there is a stone out there for everyone. We aim to cover variety in cost, colours, finishes and stone types – while never compromising on quality.

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Azul Macauba, a blue Quartzite used in this state of the art pool
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Blue Quartzite Beauty – A Pool House

A Beautiful Sight, the Blue Quartzite.

We love our selection of blue Quartzite stone slabs at Victoria Stone Gallery. Check out this pool house we came across. Designed by a New York architect Rafael de Cárdenas, for a mid-19th-century English country manor.

Cárdenas’ approach to architecture and design “sees it apply form and materials to create spaces with distinctive atmospheres”. Blue Quartzite marble, the perfect distinctive material to use.

Azul Macauba, a blue Quartzite used in this state of the art pool

“Given that the pool house was going to be its own building, the main thing was to make it feel like a destination.” said de Cárdenas. “Something quite distinct from the main house, that would draw on and complement its surroundings.”

Other natural stone included in this state of the art pool house is on the walls and the floor around the pool. Botticino marble tiles makes up the floor, treated with an anti-slip rullato finish on the floors.

Azul Macauba, a blue Quartzite used in this state of the art pool

The book-matched Azul Macauba quartzite, creating the intense blue colour of the pool really caught our eye!

Quartzite is an increasingly popular choice amongst homeowners, designers and architects. Not to be confused with  Quartz – the man-made material created by mixing crushed stone with colour and resin to form an engineered slab. Quartzite is formed by naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It starts out as sandstone and evolves over time under intense heat and pressure. Look out for exotic patterns of pinks, greens, reds, brown and blue quartzite that mainly come from Brazil.

Check out our evergrowing Quartzite collection. We have plenty more arriving in the new year! Our favourite blue quartzite is our Blue Roma. We currently have it available in a polished or leathered finish. Read about some other alternatives to marble.

Watch this video of Azul Macauba being quarried in Brazil.

Azul macaubas

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Read the full article on dezeen.com

 

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Photo of Maison du Danemark House of Denmark in Paris. Green stone bar top reflecting marble trends.

Marble Trends 2018 sees Resurgence of the Nineties

With the minimalist look becoming outdated, we predict a resurgence of the nineties in natural stone slabs. Expect to see a return of coloured slabs of greens, pinks and browns amongst marble trends. Taking a turn in looks, plain cabinetry is now being complemented with statement bench-tops.

These are the predicted marble trends.

Melbourne-based interior designer Lauren Li of Sisällä Interior Design attended the 56th year of Milan’s Furniture Fair and noted,

“Marble continues to be the preferred material for kitchens, however, the look is now decidedly more discreet, with little Carrara seen this year. Instead, we saw green and brown marble used.”

“Instead we saw green and brown marble used. Gone is the 40 or 60mm thick stone bench. Marble benchtops were as thin as possible, often using a shark-nose profile to appear to float over the cabinets. Sometimes the edge wasn’t visible at all, with the bench sunken into the cabinetry,” Li says.

Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we are excited to bring you some new and exciting coloured marbles in the new year.

Check out the rest of Milan’s Furniture Fair 2018’s biggest design trends from this here

Image sourced from DesignBoom.