Calibrated natural stone paving has become an industry standard over the past 4 years but it wasn't always that way. Indian sandstone paving is a prime example. Go back 5 years and Indian Sandstone was always supplied in variable thicknesses of 25-40mm. Nowadays the industry standard thickness of sandstone paving is 22mm (London Stone decided to be a bit different and make all of our paving products 25mm thick). So why did this change take place? There are a few reasons why calibrated paving has become the norm. One reason is to save costs on shipping. When Indian stone was 25-40mm thick, we would see on average 400m2 stuffed into a shipping container. Now with paving being calibrated to 22mm we see as much as 550m2 of stone per shipping container. This extra volume significantly reduces shipping prices for importers. Another key reason behind the move towards calibration is the mechanisation of the stone industry. Calibration is a process that has to be carried out by machine which not only allows for a more consistent product but also de-skills the work. De-skilling has many benefits, it reduces labour costs and a creates a bigger pool of potential labour.
Still on the subject of calibration but adding a slightly different twist I wanted to share with you some of the calibrating work that London Stone carry out at our depot in Berkshire. We often get requests from our clients to calibrate natural stone down to very precise thicknesses. This usually happens when a client is trying to match in with an existing piece of stone or the height of the finished paving is pre-determined by something unique to that project. Its a service that we carry out with Yorkstone and Portland stone paving and is often done for large step treads and landing stones. Calibration is a lengthy process to carry out, especially on hard stones like Grey Yorkstone Paving and is a process that we usually carry out overnight on our automatic machinery. In order to calibrate stone we use large calibrating wheels that can accurately calibrate material down to within precise tolerances of +/- 2mm. Here are a few pictures of the calibrating process.