Natural stone, the sustainable option
Did you know that natural stone is not only very attractive, but also very environmentally friendly?
In the past few years, the University of Stuttgart has carried out research into the environmental impact of the use of various floor covering materials. The following types of floor covering were compared: natural stone, ceramic, terrazzo, fitted carpet, laminate, parquet and PVC. The entire structure of the floor (screed, mortar, etc.) between the various materials was also compared, using the same set-up in each case so that the impact of the type of floor covering alone was studied. The aim of this study is to compare the various types of floor covering over a 50-year period of use, in both a commercial and a private environment.
This study indicates that natural stone has clear environmental benefits compared with other materials such as ceramic, PVC, laminate and carpet. Natural stone is a material that has formed over several million years and it can be used as a construction material more or less in its natural state. No extra energy is required to produce the material. As a construction material, natural stone does not contain any hazardous substances and can easily be used in contact with food, for example. It does not release any toxic substances in the event of fire and is virtually non-combustible. The enormous freedom and numerous possibilities in terms of sizes, shape, colour and structure, as well as the wide variety of surface finishes demonstrate the versatility of natural stone.
Advantages of natural stone as floor covering:
- No energy needed to develop natural stone; it is formed by nature. (It does not have to be fired, mixed, etc. like ceramic, terrazzo.)
- Natural stone can be reused. Windowsills, floor tiles, doorsteps, etc. can be employed again in new buildings. In addition, natural stone can be ground to form granulates and aggregates.
- Natural stone has an exceptionally long useful life. Existing natural stone coverings can easily be sanded down to look as good as new again.
- Natural stone does not contain any hazardous substances and can therefore easily be recycled.
In addition, we at Potier Stone provide a perfectly easy-maintenance natural stone thanks to our XQUISE surface finish.
The detailed study (in English) can be consulted via the DNV website (www.natursteinverband.de) Translation by Dr. Kristof Callebaut.
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