Architects pinpoint the weak spots of natural stone: price and ease of cleaning

Water seeping into flooring tiles is a constant source of anxiety because the stone become darker.

German Natural Stone Association DNV conducted a market analysis of marble, granite, and other popular types of stone

How is the image of natural stone in the eyes of architects, what do they like or dislike in the material?

Anybody working in the branch can answer these questions – or, more to the point, anyone selling stone can provide a pre-conceived answer based on his or her experience with architects or mere assumptions.

But now tangible data is at hand based not merely on points in case: The German Natural Stone Association DNV (Deutscher Naturwerkstein-Verband) commissioned a market analysis directed at architects in Germany. They were asked to convey why they use stone, or, conversely, why they refrain from building with stone.

The study was specifically aimed at the use of stone for flooring, but any other use would have rendered the same result based on the image stone has in the eyes of architects.

The most poignant are reasons why stone has a dubious image. These are the areas the branch must work on in order to boost the image of stone.

The two points of contention are price and ease of cleaning.

As far as the price is concerned, the results of the study provide answers and DNV is quick to provide an accompanying strategy: always accompany price with longevity to prove value for money.

Another argument is that natural stone can be reclaimed like no other material and that the beholder never tires to look at it.

But as far as cleaning goes, the branch obviously needs to make good some short comings of the past. Word has it that „cleaning natural stone = complicated procedures“.

Nothing could be farther from the truth:
∗ Granite is no more complicated to clean than e.g.: concrete;
∗ Should there be special requirements, then natural stone can be pre-treated to make it resilient;
∗ Of course, some types of stone are not suitable for some uses. The list can be somewhat lengthy because vendors often omit to mention that some types of stone are unsuited for some implementations.

Reiner Krug, CEO of DNV sums up: „Architects are unaware of the wide gamut of stone types so problems spill over and sully the entire branch.“

But the study also showed some of the strengths of stone as was to be expected: as far as beauty and decorative effect are concerned, stone is Nr. 1 in the eyes of architects. So stone is the material of choice e.g. in the reception area of hotels or entrances to hospitals or clinics whereby for shopping malls ceramics and terrazzo are the material of choice.

Natural stone received high marks for longevity, recycling and sustainability.

The study was commissioned in February 2019 and carried out by Heinze Market Analysis. 240 architects and planners in construction of dwellings and other sectors from Germany took part. is, by its own acclaim, „Germany’s leading information platform for building products , company profiles, architecture“.

Detailed results of the analysis bearing the title „Welche Bodenbeläge haben bei Architekten die Nase vorn?“ (Which Building Materials are Favored by Architects?) can be downloaded from the DNV webpage in German language.

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(16.08.2019, USA: 08.16.2019)