Specialists in stone and tile care, Stone Doctor has expanded its business and launched a consultancy service called Stone Consultants Australia. Founder and principal consultant Simon Gabriel believes consumers of natural stone face common, recurring issues relating to selecting, procuring, fabricating, installing and maintaining these surfaces.

For example, incorrect decisions resulting from inaccurate advice resulting in unsuitable natural stone selection. These choices can be based mostly on aesthetics or emotional needs and the selected stone may not be suited for its application. Simon also believes there is a tendency towards inferior grades.

There can be improper handling of natural stone from the time it is manufactured and shipped to untrained tradespeople working with it on-site, and the material is left to idle in external conditions.

Poor installation practices can occur when preparation of sub-surfaces are not done properly, the wrong choice of installation consumables is made, underestimating the porosity of materials, and when options for pre-sealing are not considered.

Temporary protection may not be implemented after installation so that stone surfaces are scratched, chipped, etched or cracked during construction. Incorrect cleaning products and techniques can also leave potentially damaging effects on natural stone.

At the same time, the application and choice of the wrong type of sealers can permanently damage natural stone surfaces. Guidelines on maintenance and after-care of stone surfaces are generally not provided by suppliers or contractors.

Stone Consultants Australia is offering a solution to eliminating or mitigating risks associated with these common issues with natural stone. It says its extensive industry experience and expertise can provide impartial and independent advice, as well as end-to-end project management with specialised trades for installation. It has buying power and deals directly with overseas stone producers and local importers along with continuity and after-care services.

It believes it is best suited to collaborate with architects, builders, interior decorators and home owners.

The consulting services can range from one module to full project management (turn key solutions) and quality control throughout the procurement cycle. To find out more, please visit the Stone Consultants Australia website.