If your Project requires Rhombus Corners, talk to us at Norstone, and we will help achieve your dream design.
Today's Architects love to push the boundaries, and in the case of Rhombus Corners, these are also changing shape. Traditionally, corners are 90 degree vertical structures, but sometimes designs call for sloping (Rhombus Corners) rather than sheer vertical angle. Luckily, this complex effect can now be installed using our high quality Natural Stone cladding systems.
As the photos above show, with skilled tilers, Rhombus Corners can be installed using the Norstone Classic Rock Panel™. We already offered our time-saving interlocking fingerjoint corners, and now our rock panel cladding system can also be applied to angled corners for sloping walls and vertical stacks such as this chimney.
If your Project requires Rhombus Corners, talk to us at Norstone, and we will help achieve your dream design.
Norstone® are renowned for manufacturing market-leading natural stone cladding with a versatile range of different stone types, colours and finish effects. In this new deep dive series of blog posts, we are going to reveal more about our natural stone materials, focusing on each type and giving you in-depth important information about the stone’s origins, qualities and special features that mean it fits the Norstone high quality stone cladding range.
In this first instalment, we will be looking at EBONY BASALT. An absolute showstopper, the jet black colour and ultra-smooth polished finish puts this basalt stone cladding on a par with marble and other high end natural stones for desirability. As the darkest stone we source, Ebony Basalt is a premium level product for deluxe applications not afraid to be bold with colour in the traditional sense. The precision honed finish and the dark colour of the stone combine to create a polished effect. Ebony Basalt cladding is available across our AKSENT™, LYNIA™ and PLANC™ stone cladding tile ranges.
So, what is EBONY BASALT made from?
According to open source scientific data, Basalt can be defined as a mafic (dark coloured) extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of magnesium-rich lava exposed at or very near the surface of a terrestrial planet or a moon.
More than 90% of all volcanic rock on Earth is basalt. Basalt is a key component of oceanic crust as well as the principal volcanic rock in many mid-oceanic islands, including Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Réunion and the islands of Hawaii.
Basalt is often referred to as being ‘out of this world’, and that’s actually a very accurate description – because scientists have discovered Basalt can be found on the Moon and Mars. Much of the Moon's surface is underlain by basaltic lava flows and flood basalts. These areas of the Moon are known as "lunar maria." Olympus Mons is a shield volcano on Mars. It, like most other volcanic features on Mars, was formed from basaltic lava flows. It is the highest mountain on Mars and is the largest known volcano in our solar system.
Basalt is also related to Gabbro, known commercially as ‘Black Granite’. The key difference between the two rock types is their grain size. Basalt is the fine-grained equivalent of gabbro. It is fine grained because the magma cools very rapidly when it flows out onto the surface. This is because Basalts are extrusive (magma erupted to the surface) igneous rocks that cool quickly and have fine-grained crystals. Gabbros are intrusive (magma crystallises below the surface) igneous rocks that cool slowly and have coarse-grained crystals. Gabbros often tend to contain greenish mineral elements whereas Basalt is more neutral (darks, blacks, greys) which is another reason we at Norstone prefer the finish and style of basalt.
What are the Natural Qualities of EBONY BASALT?
The word basalt comes from a Latin word meaning “very hard stone”. Though basalt is typically a dark, black rock, weathering can lead to a variety of colours – at Norstone we only source Ebony (black) and Grey Basalt.
Basalt commonly features a very fine-grained or glassy matrix interspersed with visible mineral grains. It is a hard material but is very workable and ultimately hard wearing when used in posed applications such as veneer or cladding. Our ebony basalt is sourced from basaltic lava formed eons ago, this basalt is darker, denser and finer grained than many other stones including granite or marble.
Basalt is used for a wide variety of purposes. It is commonly crushed for use as an aggregate in construction projects. Crushed basalt is used for road base, concrete aggregate, asphalt pavement aggregate, railroad ballast and many other ‘industrial’ applications. Basalt is also cut into dimension stone such as cobble stones. Thin slabs of basalt are cut and sometimes polished for use as floor tiles, building veneer and even monuments. Basalt has always been used historically, it can be seen for example on paving stones in the city streets of Rome, Italy.
What makes EBONY BASALT such a good choice for Norstone stone cladding?
The Basalt stone strips that feature in Norstone’s AKSENT™, LYNIA™ and PLANC™ series of cladding tiles are honed to a smooth surface leaving a silky finish which is matte in appearance and silky smooth to the touch. Basalt stone offers natural longevity making it a worthy investment for adding value to your home.
Because the stone is so dense and fine-grained, it cuts with supreme precision. In fact, the product is so seamless, to find the joins can be something of a “Where’s Wally” exercise (can you spot them in the wall photo below?). This is a bit of fun but emphasises how difficult it is the find the joins once properly installed – the seamless facades you can achieve are incredible.
8 reasons EBONY BASALT is ideal for stone cladding projects:
Please note: Basalt is a naturally porous stone and therefore it easily attracts and retains oils, dirt, and other contaminants. Norstone UK recommends that you treat EBONY BASALT with a water-based penetrating natural stone sealer to keep the tiles protected, clean and low maintenance.
So, that was our first deep dive of the series – we hope you learned some valuable ‘nuggets’ of information about basalt in general and our very own EBONY BASALT in particular.
If you are curious about basalt as a cladding material, you should really consider ordering a sample so you can see and feel the finish and colours firsthand – you cannot fail to be impressed by basalt!
For more inspiration, check out our project galleries to see some fantastic examples of ebony basalt stone cladding design projects.
Sources / credits: Wikipedia / Geology.com / open.edu / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lucasartoni/14351679721/
At Norstone, we pride ourselves on the unparalleled quality of our stone cladding and the extremely high standards we adhere to for both sourcing and manufacturing our natural stone cladding panels and stone veneer tiles. Backed by our incredible customer support and technical advice services, we offer our customers a full 360º turnkey experience and do our upmost to make the stone cladding installation process quick, simple and frustration-free. With our long warranties provided in conjunction with our designated substrate and adhesive partners, our clients also know that they have the peace of mind of calling on us at any time if any issues need attention.
So how did Norstone come to be synonymous with stone cladding?
Founded in 2003, and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Norstone has become the byword for innovative and premium natural stone products around the globe. Over the past 17 years we have grown and expanded with expansive market presence in North America, Asia, Australasia and Europe.
Why is Norstone a market leader in stone cladding systems?
Norstone’s early and ongoing success is built on a number of factors which combine to deliver an unbeatable combo of superior product and outstanding technical expertise.
First and foremost, our products speak for themselves. We rigorously control the quality and provenance of our materials and the entire manufacturing process, from quarry to finished product, is managed directly at our modern production facility in South East Asia. There are cheaper alternatives, but you cannot substitute our premium quality without compromising the end result.
Secondly, we are always looking to innovate and surpass ourselves. Not content with sitting on our laurels, we constantly look to deliver new and innovative ways to use natural stone products with ease and simplicity. Our passion is to introduce the beauty and impressive benefits of natural stone so you can better understand it’s amazing inherent attributes and how it will enhance your environment.
Thirdly, the installation methods and corner systems we have developed over the years have received very positive feedback from professional installers around the world. We back up our 360º commitment with ongoing support and we also assist with project scope to make sure that the right materials and substrates are chosen, and your stone cladding project turns out perfect. Within the UK, we also provide substantial warranties when the cladding is installed to our technical specification with the appropriate fixing materials.
Finally, Norstone are also driven by firm commitments to both labour welfare and the environmental impact of our products:
So Norstone cladding is the best?
Norstone’s unique rock panel system has been installed in some of the world’s most prestigious architectural projects and is often specified by architects and commercial designers. Our track record demonstrates that our cladding panels deliver outstanding results in a myriad of projects, from commercial environments to high end residences.
The superior ease and speed of installation combined with natural stone of the highest quality make Norstone the stone cladding of choice for architects, designers and builders all over the world.
What are the key features of Norstone stone cladding?
Norstone – heritage and future
We’ve already proven our pedigree with outstanding performance and innovation since we started in 2003, and as a forward-thinking company, we have many new ideas and design concepts in the pipeline. We’re very excited for the development of Norstone in the years ahead – we hope you will join us on our journey.
Stone Cladding expertise acquired through experience
Norstone have been a leading manufacturer and retailer of quality natural stone veneer cladding systems since 2003. Our market-leading panels, along with finger jointed corner systems have proven to be an incredibly popular choice for both homeowners, architects and civil / commercial projects alike.
As the years have passed, so has our range evolved. From our original, classic Rock Panels™, to our super sleek, honed Aksent™ panels, we have innovated within the stone cladding marketplace time and time again. Recently, across our major retail markets (Australia, USA, UK) we have introduced with great reception new materials and finishes, of which the beautiful natural Lava Stone has proven to be a show-stopping, conversation starter whenever it has been used.
Unique stone cladding designs with PLANC™
So, what else could we develop to fulfil our client’s requirements and exceed expectations? Well, we answered the call of more creative freedom with the introduction of PLANC™, our loose stone plank system. Available in highly desirable shades of monochrome from silver quartz to deepest black ebony basalt, PLANC™ is also a perfect canvas for our hugely popular Lava Stone finishes, available in Platinum and Graphite colourways. Lava stone, which is formed from molten lava that cools slowly, has a truly unique surface texture with interesting bubbling, pitting and colour textures.
The true beauty for those seeking a unique, signature look is the complete flexibility the PLANC™ system provides; you can easily pick and choose individual plank strips and combine them as needed. The large format PLANC™ stone rows are all uniformly sized (with two narrow and one wide strip per set: 60mm/80mm/140mm x 800mm long), allowing designers to mix and match the colours and finishes and create coherent, stylish patterns should they wish to. We have seen graduated strips, vertical bands, symmetrical, asymmetrical or staggered patterns from creative designers & architects
We have seen some stunning installations of PLANC™, from modernist villas and smart LA residences, to commercial feature walls, fireplace surrounds or even kitchen backsplashes.
PLANC™ Cladding: precision engineered for streamlined install
Norstone PLANC™ large format stone cladding strips are made from 100% natural stone, meticulously sourced from hand-picked quarries and fabricated at our factory in Vietnam to the highest standards for the most demanding markets around the globe. PLANC™ cladding can be used on both internal and external projects, making it suitable for wet areas and also freeze/thaw applications.
We have designed and manufactured PLANC™ to be a highly calibrated system, best set in a dry fit marble style installation without grout joints over flat vertical surfaces. It can also be laid in vertical arrangements, and is also suitable for a more standard, grout joint look where desired. PLANC™ is also designed to allow for easy corner installations, for more information please read about PLANC™ corners.
With lava stone finishes in particular, it is advisable to consider pre-sealing PLANC™ stone strips prior to installation as this will greatly reduce the amount of maintenance and care of the stone cladding over its lifetime – additionally it makes cleaning off installation mess such as excess adhesive a much more straightforward process. We recommend that PLANC™ cladding strips should be sealed with a penetrating water-based sealer, we have a choice of 3 sealants….Rapid Drying Stone Impregnator, Lavaseal and Norseal H20 for our Norstone Range. We will advise which one to use upon ordering. Please remember, that small application tests should be conducted before application, to determine its suitability.
What are the best stone cladding applications for PLANC™?
Norstone PLANC™ stone veneer loose strip system is ideal for:
What would you create with PLANC™ stone cladding strips?
The long linear format of Norstone’s PLANC™ system allows the designer to apply texture, pattern and colours to walls in ways only dreamt of before. PLANC™ is not restricted by the ubiquitous brick bond pattern used for fixing stacked stone panels, instead allowing the designer and contractor to collaborate on layouts that will be unique and stunning in appearance – we can’t wait to see what you will do with PLANC™ on your project.
We're always on the lookout for great projects that use Norstone's high quality cladding in real-world projects. In this blog, we are focusing on Parr Construction, based in Stockport, who have recently completed the High Lane project, above.
An ultra modern property with an imposing scale, the High Lane house is a very attractive design with a well chosen palette of materials and finishes. Our fantastic slimline charcoal Rock Panel™ cladding is complimented with quality stone cills, contrasting with crisp white K-Rend. The sophisticated façades on the property are further enhanced by seamless Cedral cladding and a luxurious cantilevered lead roof (have a look at the project photo gallery below to get the full effect).
The final result is stunning - we're sure you'll agree.
The Parr Construction team have expertly installed the rock panel cladding with brilliant detail and attention, making sure it is an integral part of the overall project, as well as giving the property a standout wow factor upon arrival.
You can find out more about Parr Construction's services and latest projects over on their Facebook page and also on their website, http://www.builderinstockport.co.uk/
We are world famous for our Rock Panel™ cladding systems, from the original XLS, to XLX, slimline SL and also oversized XLV - but what if big just isn't big enough?
Our incoming MAXI Rock Panel™ stone cladding is the ultimate in rugged, textured stone cladding tiles, with a large, even layout for a very easy to assemble finish. Shown above in sumptuous charcoal, this cladding is for the bold who favour a strong expression of style, who dare to ask for more.
A chunky look, combined with chunky textures give this cladding a stand out effect that is bound to wow all-comers. As with all of our industry leading Rock Panel™ cladding systems, you benefit from Norstone's renowned style, high quality natural stone and craftsmanship - combined with long life warranty when installed in conjunction with Norstone and partners.
You can order now; for expression of interest, please contact us for more details.
One of our clients recently contacted us with the following lovely feedback and also gave us a very helpful guide to how they installed Norstone Rustik™ Stone Cladding to an expansive garden wall at their property:
"I apologise I have not got in touch with you sooner, I have some time off at the moment to catch up and send you our photos and brief blog of our finished Rustik™ Stone Cladded wall. We have had such great feedback from everyone that has seen the wall and my wife has had a local magazine wanting to come over in the New Year to do a piece on our property where we will be recommending the stone from Norstone."
The client's real-world installation guide:
Firstly I fitted a capping on top of the block retaining wall with a 100mm overhang, approximately. This was so I could allow a Led strip to be fitted underneath without being seen.
I then tanked the retaining block wall with a tanking slurry to damp proof, giving the wall two coats and left to dry completely over a 2 week period, I used KA tanking slurry.
I then mixed adhesive with latex additive to make a durable adhesive. I then serrated the wall using a 10mm notched trowel. I buttered the back of the rustic stone panel with a thin layer of my adhesive and applied to the wall using pressure.
I was coming off of a level floor so I used 4mm spacers to put the first line of panels on so they wouldn’t sit on water. I just worked my way up the wall, applying the key stones as I went.
Some of the panels were slightly sizey so I had to adjust using an angle grinder. Once the job was complete, we allowed 24 hours to set.
We applied 2 coats of natural stone sealer on the stone to hopefully prevent any future greening, so far so good. It made the stone look slightly darker, which we liked and brought out all the stones natural veins also, which I think gave it more character.
This is a Project yet to be completed however the use of Ochre XLV, Softens and compliments a high end build.
Here in these pictures is a perfect example that demonstrates how Norstone Cladding can transform common features normally considered eyesores, such as garaging, into a focal point of an architecturally inspired home.
The gallery here shows how the cladding Rock Panels™ not only incorporate the garage into the design, but rather it becomes part of the overall gorgeous design of this new build. This is done solely through the use of Norstone Ochre XLV stone cladding.
These three pictures have been taken at exactly the same time and yet, you can see how the different light changes the look of the Ochre XLV stone cladding. With the direct sunlight, the Ochre XLV has a soft Cotswold Sandstone effect, while in areas of no sunlight, the Ochre XLV embodies the more rustic hues, mixed with soft burnt orange, with a light contemporary grey. It is truly a masterpiece waiting for its new home owners to also enjoy and no doubt, enjoy bragging rights.
We at Norstone truly take pride in our Guaranteed and Warrantied installations, bring new joy but more importantly, new design concepts into the ever increasing usage of stone cladding for premium modern external design.
Have you ever looked at a textured stone wall and wondered if it’s actually made of stone? The answer is probably modern stone cladding. Stone cladding is a refined or thin layer of natural/artificial stone, which is applied to an interior (or exterior) wall, to give the effect that it is made entirely of stone. Natural stone is preferred for a more authentic, rustic and durable finish.
Stone cladding itself is said to date back to the late 19th century – historically stone veneer panels were even used in Rome alongside the outside structure of the coliseum. Over the years, cladding has come a long way from this, and is constantly improving.
Stone is just one of the many materials used for cladding, but you may be wondering what cladding actually is and what’s its purpose.
The definition of cladding, is that the material is designed to be used as an almost ‘second skin’ to a wall, for decorative reasons.
The decorative element speaks for itself as it’s very pleasing on the eye. It gives an element of class to any room and is different to your standard wallpaper or panelling.
When it comes to choosing cladding, there are many types of materials available, such as:
How much does stone cladding cost?
The cost of stone cladding will be determined according to numerous factors; from how much you need, the material you’re using and the labour time it will take to fit. Although stone sits at the higher end of price in comparison to the other materials, it goes with the saying “you get what you’re paying for”. Natural stone costs between £49-100/m2.
The best way to calculate your costs is to take measurements of the are you wish to clad, then find your desired stone cladding panel system. By working out the size of the cladding fitting onto your surface area, you can achieve a rough estimate. You can also send these measurements across to Norstone for a quote if needed, just to get a more realistic answer.
Even though natural stone cladding may come out slightly higher in price, the benefits certainly outweigh the cost.
The benefits of Stone Cladding
Stone cladding will dramatically change the look and feel of any wall, pillar, column or surface it is applied to. Its elegance speaks for itself when you see the stunning appearance it portrays. Because natural stone is so unique it can either go down the road of no two colours are the same to being a complete block colour. Because stone gives off such an exceptional look, you can have the option of so many colours and textures that it will completely transform the space you’re using it for.
This is a no brainer here, as we all know how tough natural stone is as a material for reference, Norstone cladding is crafted from Quartzite, Marble, Basalt, Lavastone and similar which are inherently durable). This is particularly important if you are using it on a well-used area, such as a fireplace. If you are constantly kneeling or arranging tools around this, you are less likely to cause any damage to stone cladding.
In addition to this is, if you decide to use it on an exterior wall, stone cladding is robust and can withstand the effects from all forms of nature. Come rain or wind, your stone cladding is there to stay. It’s even fire resistant, which is a great added benefit.
Because of its robust nature, you can literally use stone cladding anywhere. Whether this if for a fireplace, outside exterior or even a bathroom, stone cladding has got you covered. If you’ve got a vivid imagination, you can have your stone designed to fit any area in and out of your home. It can be made to fit around your needs, with a spectacular finishing effect. Commercial real estate and architects have been using the stone cladding solution for a few decades now and now it has become a rapidly growing popular choice for homeowners too.
It’ll increase the value of your property
As previously stated, natural stone isn’t the cheapest of cladding, but it's an investment that could pay off further down the line. By choosing natural stone, it may assist you in realising your resale expectations of your property if you decide to sell. Because of its environmental factors and durability, it’s a benefit for potential buyers to invest in.
If you’re using in on your exterior walls, it may enhance your property and add ‘kerb appeal’.
It’s easy to maintain
Norstone will generally recommend that the cladding be treated with a easy to apply water based sealant, both internally and externally as this will keep the cladding in pristine conditions and greatly reduce the need to clean and maintain the surfaces.
Natural stone is quarried not made, so no two pieces are exactly the same - this unique beauty will give you a finish that no one else has. Because stone comes in all shapes, sizes, hues and tints you can expect a lovely variation across a surface, although you may prefer to opt for a honed stone cladding finish (this process smooths all the cladding panels and will greatly unify the colours if you prefer a highly uniform finish). Regardless of your choice of natural stone material, a clad expanse will really make your walls stand out, no matter what room you use it in.
How thick is stone cladding?
This can be down to what material of stone you wish to use and what manufacturers advise for the area you’re using it on. For exterior and interior walls, natural stone cladding may be up to 35mm thickness.
What is stone veneer?
It is often used in conjunction with stone cladding. This type of stone is used as the same purpose as cladding, but usually for cosmetic repair areas. It often differs to stone cladding as it is made to be more lightweight and easier to handle. It is commonly made to be easier to cut and to fit certain areas.
A wonderful modern private home, built with a perfectly restrained palette of darks, greys and charcoal. Norstone XLS Rock Panel cladding features extensively, inside and out. The photo gallery demonstrates the harmonious combinations of charcoal cladding, metal panel cladding and more streamlined tiled cladding. Combined together they build a strong look of contrasting textures, all united by the monochromatic colour scheme.
Applied to the outer walls, in particular around the main entrance, the highly practical cladding panels and corner units allowed the architects to achieve statuesque column styling with ease. Internally, the XLS charcoal makes a stunning statement when combined with the ultra modern floating glass staircase - it is also used in the swimming pool area, casting intriguing reflections on the water surface and grounding the space well.
Designed by Helyer Davies Architects, this stunning contemporary build is well worth exploring:
advantages of our rock panel system
The leading stacked stone cladding brand
POOLS AND WATER FEATURES
ROCK PANELS XS
ROCK PANELS XLV
SLIMLINE SL ROCK PANELS
ROCK PANEL CORNER UNITS
BASALT IL WALL TILES
BASALT 3D XLX WALL TILES
STONE CLADDING PROJECTS
PRET A MANGER, ST PANCRAS
MANOR HOUSE, BERKSHIRE
LUXURY VILLA, CYPRUS
APARTMENT, WALL STREET, NY
NEW BUILD, WORTHING
NEW BUILD, KENT
CARE HOME, SURREY
SUSANNA FOO RESTAURANT
LUXURY APARTMENTS, SURREY
EPA, DENVER CO.
EXCEL HOTEL, LONDON
CONCERT HALL, ROCKPORT USA
STUDENT VILLAGE, LONDON
HIGHGATE CLINIC, LONDON