I have a thing about stone and marble and stone I won’t lie, it’s probably a bit weird. I get ridiculously excited when thinking about choosing slabs for kitchens, cuts for bathrooms and tiles for just about anywhere else. I could lose days gazing at striations and stroking smooth, cool surfaces…
So now that confession is out the way you can image my excitement when I was invited down to Stone Age to have a nosy around their factory full of 90 different floor, wall and worktop finishings as well as their offcuts out back. Just call me a kid in a candy shop why don’t you!
(note the bevel edge, marble sink of dreams to the right, in this picture 😍…)
Stone Age have been in the stone game since 1988 when founders Jo and Richard O’Grady opened their first shop in Fulham selling just limestone tiles. Over 30 years they rapidly diversified now knowing everything there is to know about all marbles, quartz, porcelain and even wood (a partnership with Root London). They work with amazing stones forming them into basins, baths and bespoke shapes, even water etching designs into those smooth surfaces… it’s just heaven to anyone that loves all this sort of stuff as much as I do!
I, of course, jumped at the invite to get my marble loving self to Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire to meet current co-owner Gary Walters and see where all their cutting and templating takes place with in-house design teams and about every marble cutting machine known to man. Here in the large, newly re-finished warehouse, they make all sorts of bespoke pieces in a matter of minutes with all their nifty marble gadgetry. It may as well be magic!
For a bit of a stone buff wondering around their selection, I was surprised to find they were touting flooring and worktop offerings that were totally new to me. Firstly a Verdigris porcelain tile that can be cut to any size, looks just like aged copper and would look AMAZING as a feature wall with a copper bath. Secondly, I also spotted faux marble porcelain tiles that I had to peer at like an old lady who’s lost her spectacles to note the difference between it and the real thing. They are the best I’ve seen yet!
It’s little wonder really why we are working with Stone Age to create some final touches for this renovation. Some vanity toppers with offcuts and also our kitchen worktops in Quartzite, a stone I only discovered a few months ago which combines the striations and natural patternation of marble but the resistance (when it comes to staining) of quartz. A total win in my book after we stubbornly learnt the hard way that Calacatta marble, although beautiful, is very difficult to look after in a kitchen. I’m told by Gary however, that if you go for a honed finish (non-shiny) rather than a polished this helps enormously with marking from acidic spillages and makes it much more kitchen friendly, white wine or gin anyone?
Stone Age is exactly where you need to go if like us, you mix and match and do things a little differently when it comes to your home interiors. Our reclaim vanity unit will get a marble topper and built-in bathroom cabinets will also get the marble treatment. Lastly, we are creating our own sort of vanity shelf unit complete with sink and a special kitchen island. Gary, and Stone Age as a whole have been brilliant offering advice and just being generally really flexible to help us achieve our vision!
If you’re about to start a project or feel like a little revamp they have a beautiful showroom in Parsons Green, Fulham where you can go and dribble over their slab samples. There’s even free parking thrown in! I’ll also let you in on a couple of little secrets…
- If you go to the ‘Wharehouse Sale‘ section of their website they have massively reduced, end-of-line marble and stone tiles, marble basins and more. I have my eye on these beauties.
- If you go and order from their Parson’s Green showroom they currently have a 15% discount for new customers and 20% discount on engineered wood flooring from Root for new customers. The wood is especially good as it comes all pre-sealed and it clicks together so no need to find a tradesman, you can fit it yourself!
Now I bet you’re pleased you read this to the end aren’t you!