Your history teacher might have told you that the Stone Age began some 3 Million+ years ago… But experts in modern kitchens design tells a different story…
… The Stone Age has just begun!
A combination of demand, expanding production and improvements in technology are making today the new Stone Age. For kitchens and bathrooms (check out or custom cabinetry service here) the selection of stone surfaces, both natural and manufactured is exploding. New producers, technology and competition are driving prices down. Manufactured stone now has physical characteristics, color and design possibilities that no one would have believed just a few years ago.
So what are the 3 most profound developments To Modern Kitchen Design??
1. In 1963 Marcello Toncelli conceived of the market for manufactured or compound stone.
He formed Breton, a company to develop and build equipment for manufacturing stone slabs and blocks from quarry waste. Their patented vibrocompression vacuum technology still sets the standard for the industry.
50 years later the company remains under the control of the Toncelli family and continues to develop and refine manufacturing processes to remain at the cutting edge of manufactured stone industry. Dozens of Breton equipped plants around the world now produce manufactured stone for local and worldwide markets.
2. China, India and Brazil have become major stone exporters.
Starting as a source for natural stone used in graveyard stones for markets in Japan, Korea, America and Europe, China has been expanding its production to include indoor home products such as countertops, sinks, fireplaces and tiles.
They are also producing an increasing amount of manufactured stone. Shandong, Fujian and Guangdong provinces have become centers for high quality stone products. China has a virtual monopoly on natural stone exports to Korea and Japan plus strong sales to North America and Europe.
In South America, a number of areas have become increasingly important suppliers of natural stone. Stone from the Brazilian province of Espirito Santo accounted for more than half of the country’s natural stone exports.
Brazil is also the leading supplier of granite stone for the US kitchen counter market. The greatly expanded production capacity of China and Brazil has helped to stabilize prices of natural granite.
3. Modern resin and reinforcement technology has allowed the use of nearly 100% of quarried stone.
Waste that previously accounted for a large percentage of quarried stone is now being incorporated into a variety of manufactured stone products that provide an environmentally responsible alternative to natural stone slabs.
Exotic granites and other natural stone that was previously too brittle to quarry because of inherent fissures and imperfections is now infused with slow curing epoxy resin. The resin is able to seep into even the smallest micro-fissure to stabilize the stone. Stone slabs that would have previously shattered during quarrying can now be extracted safely.
Very exotic natural stone is often sliced into thinner slabs and mounted onto a backing material such as glass or steel. This makes beautiful natural stone much more widely available and at a lower cost than ever before.