INDIAN STONE PAGE
Indian stone is the most popular choice of stone for our customers last year, And the reason being its in-expensive and very attractive, but we like to give a balanced opinion on the stone as well as the choices and colours available
WHAT IS INDIAN STONE
Indian Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed essentially of quartz grains cemented by siliceous, felspathic, calcareous cementing matters. The durability and strength of these rocks depend on the cementing material. The best quality sandstone, for building purpose, should be of fine grain and uniform texture. Sandstone is the youngest of the quartz-based stones, which eventually turns into quartzite as the sandstone is subjected to heat and pressure. Textures within the sandstone layers such as cross bedding, ripple marks, and mud cracks, are clues to the origin of the layers as shallow, inter-tidal or delta sediments. The colours of sandstone depend on the mineral contents and impurities in the sand. Generally, the sandstone is available in red, beige, pink, green, grey, brown, yellow, mint, teak, and in rainbow colour.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Sandstone was a common building material in India for larger structures, before reinforced concrete came into use in the middle of late 1800's. Nevertheless, it is still put into various purposes such as for flooring or as paving materials since they are dug out from the ground in individual layers. Some sandstone is honed for a smoother finish and used for both interior and exterior applications. It is also used as flagstone for residential applications.Cuddapah Black is one of the most popular limestones that are available in black. It is generally used for exteriors as well as interiors. The main attraction of this limestone is that it is quite hard and is used in extreme temperatures. This stone is quarried at Betamcharla, District Cuddapa, and Andhra Pradesh.
The Garden Surgery use reputable companies to provide our Indian stone, we have been successful in providing a good quality product at a reduced rate. We also know that the stone has been sourced from a non-child labour quarry's, which is good for fair trade.
THE REAL COST OF SOME STONE
The real cost of Indian stone lies with the people who work day and night in the quarry, for as little as £3 per day, and from these quarries cost cutting companies in the uk source there own stone at the cost of lives, so make sure the company gets the stone from the right places. below is a report by the BBC to highlight the real Indian stone trade...
The global building boom and the fashion for smart interiors has created huge demand for natural stone.
In the past few years this has been fed by a booming export trade from countries where rock is plentiful and labour is cheap.
India is among the most rapidly growing sources of granite, slate and sandstone.
But now questions are being asked about the cost to the environment and the human toll for workers.
Highly-polished kitchen worktops and gleaming stone cladding in the washroom were once the preserve of the very rich, but now, thanks to the exploitation of new sources, the price is plummeting.
In the UK, natural stone has been vigorously endorsed on gardening and interior design television programmes, the resulting appetite increasing granite imports from India to Britain eight-fold in the past five years.
Some quarries are a dangerous place, but everything is cut my hand a tradation england seems to of forgotton
POOR SAFETY SYSTEMS
Our investigations into how the stone was being produced focused on Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
People have found it easy to just walk into the forest and start mining
Environment Support Group
The first quarry we visited was north of the city near Mount Shivaganga.
The workers there were completely without protection for their hands, feet or eyes, and spent their days splitting blocks with hammer and chisel.
Their pay is around £1.50 ($3) a day.
Twelve migrant workers slept in one room. Most were once farmers who had been driven from their land by drought.
Despite the tough work, low pay and health and safety standards illegal in the West, there was little sense of misery or desperation.
The next stop had blocks of stone about the size of a camper van piled up ready for export.
Chipping away at them was a man with one leg. He had lost the other in a quarry blasting accident.
He still worked knocking off the rough edges.
There was more evidence of management here and our inquiries about pay and conditions resulted in few answers and being escorted off the premises.
Quarry near Bangalore
Indian quarry workers have little safety equipment
The following day we travelled south of Bangalore and walked into a granite quarry where old women and children were breaking rocks.
We spoke to one family, all nestled under a windbreak in a dusty bowl.
It emerged that the father had taken a loan at the beginning of the year from the quarry's owners and had to work until it was paid off.
This is what is known as bonded labour and leaves the family tied to the job.
The father told me he would be returned by force if he tried to quit.
Once again, despite the harsh conditions, the family showed great dignity and resilience.
They do not like living in a quarry but they have to eat.
Children working splitting rocks
THE COST TO THE EARTH
Leo Saldhana of the local Environment Support Group said quarry owners were taking advantage of people's desperation by employing children and paying low wages.
India exports around 14,000 tonnes of granite a year
He also warned that many new holes were being illegally dug in forest parks.
We saw one mine amid the jungle where giant blocks marked for export were waiting to leave.
"People have found it easy to just walk into the forest and start mining," Mr Saldhana said.
"Obviously it means the government has failed in regulating... and senior bureaucrats have colluded to just look the other way when this has been happening for the last five or six years."
We tried to get a response to those accusations of corruption from the government in Bangalore but a mixture of refusal and confusion thwarted our plans.
So what should the concerned stone buyer do?
Neither the workers or the welfare groups want shoppers to abandon Indian stone, but they want us to ask the right questions, seeking guarantees that it was quarried without child labour and environmental destruction.
But clear answers will be scarce - little stone is bought straight from the ground but more often through dealers who source from across the country.
So consumer pressure will not eliminate the abuses, but greater awareness encourages the business to clean up its act.
Most Indian stone comes in around eight different sizes, And at The Garden Surgery we used a computer to generate a patio plan to get the best random layout, so to avoid to many straight lines.
Below you can see a collection of images which showcase most of the Indian stone colour shades, We will be able to provide you with samples of most stone types.
KOTAH BLUE (SLATE)
RAJ GREEN OR BLEND
MODAK PINK in a circle
Indian stone also provides a great range of stone circles all hand cut with all types of sizes from 1.5 metres to a full 3 meters, they can be used as stand alone features or integrated in a main patio.
FOSSIL MINT CIRCLE
RAJ BLEND CIRCLE
MODAK PINK CIRCLE
FOSSIL MINT CIRCLE #2
COBBLES AND SETS
We at The Garden Surgery use cobbles and sets to great effect, they provide a great mow strip around the garden, also useful in creating paths, and providing good garden definition they come in a wide range of colours but, golden brown has been the most popular choice
GOLDEN BROWN COBBLES WITH FOSSIL MINT PAVING
GOLDEN BROWN COBBLES MAKE CLEVER EDGING TO THE GARDEN
A ARRAY OF DIFFERENT COLOURS
EASY TO USE CUBE SIZED BLOCKS