Stonemasonry

 

 

 With significant experience and skill ensuing from an extensive history in the stonemasonry industry, Architectural Stone offers a wide range of masonry services which can be tailored to suit the individual needs of client or project.

Sourcing a variety of natural stone from both British and international quarries, Architectural Stone boasts an experienced in-house team of designers, machinists and stonemasons with the sophisticated skills to manufacture, design and install exact to your specifications.

We have a capacity to accommodate large scale masonry projects for new builds and landscaping, but we also take pride in smaller masonry requirements. Our stone supply services encompass restoration and repairs; conservation; stone cleaning and re-pointing; bespoke hand-carved masonry; installation of cladding and walling stone; and more.

Masonry works are carried out in both a traditional fashion as well as through use of our technologically advanced tools and stone manufacturing equipment. Our Cardiff workshops are complete with skilled craftsmen, optimal machinery and lifting gear. Used in conjunction with our water recycling plant, we are able to guarantee accurate, safe and efficient production of high quality stone products.

MASONRY SUPPLY

 

 

 We offer a wide range of natural stone products, from bespoke hand carved masonry and one off replacements for stone restoration and repairs. To large scale supply of masonry for new build and landscaping.

We select and source stone both nationally and internationally to meet the requirements of your project and we work with many different natural stones including:

– Granite

– Marble 

– Limestone

– Sandstone

– Slate

Our masonry workshops are equipped with the latest modern high tech stone manufacturing equipment, lifting gear and water recycling plant, which ensure accurate, safe and efficient production of our masonry products.

FACADE CLEANING

 

 

Architectural Stone are experienced in the cleaning and restoration of traditional masonry, ecclesiastical buildings and monuments as well as historical and listed properties.

The approach to cleaning a structure can vary as a number of factors can determine the most appropriate method. We are able to use our long-standing expertise to advise clients on the extent of requirements and the most suitable techniques for the cleaning of stone works. Our aim is to minimise the impact to the stone work while successfully restoring the structure to its former glory.

Some of the masonry cleaning techniques we specialise in are:

– Water Cleaning

Nebulous spray, also known as intermittent mist spray, is one of the gentlest methods of stone cleaning – it involves low-pressure water washing where the aim is to apply the minimum amount of water for the minimum duration to soften the dirt. This in turn enables the dirt to be removed by scrubbing or other relatively gentle techniques. The equipment can be tailored to suit specific requirements including automatic timers, versatile booms and flow-meters. Nebulous spray can be used to remove carbon sulphation, dirt and grime.

– Steam Pressure Cleaning

DOFF is a steam based stone cleaning system. It is unlike any other steam system as it can achieve temperatures of 150°C at the nozzle end. The operator is able to vary the pressure and temperature to remove many types of paint or biological matter. The steam/superheated water will remove algae, moss, fungi, spores and other biological matter. This means that there is then no need to use a chemical biocide during the removal process or as a protection against further biological activity.

Thermatech is a similar but alternative steam pressure cleaning system – the new modular 110v superheated water equipment has a number of new features that make it very versatile including improved safety features. It is easier to manoeuvre on site and with the additional recovery module it can be used internally.

– TORC

TORC (previously known as JOS) is a stone cleaning system then creates a gentle swirling vortex consisting of low air pressure; a small amount of water and a safe fine granulate such as calcium carbonate. This system allows the cleaning of facades without the use of chemicals. As a result it is particularly useful for intricate or delicate surfaces and may even be used on glass or other polished surfaces as the fine media prevents scratching and discoloration. The removable nozzle cone is interchangeable so that a larger cone can be used to clean large areas such as ashlar or a smaller nozzle cone can be used for more intricate detail such as an elaborate capital or rustications.

– Wet Abrasive Cleaning

Wet abrasive cleaning uses a combination of water, abrasive blast media and compressed air to remove a range of coatings, corrosion and residues. Adding water to the mix of traditional abrasive cleaning methods is beneficial because it can be used to trap the dust created during the blasting process, consequently giving environmental benefits. Another advantage of introducing water is to provide an additional cleaning agent which can reduce the presence of chlorides and salts on the blasted surface. Water also has a lubricating effect minimising wear on the internal components of the blast equipment reducing the expenditure in maintenance.

– Poultice Application

In stone cleaning, a poultice is a chemical suspended in an inert medium that is used to draw out and dissolve deep-seated contaminants and staining from the surface of masonry and sculpture. The active chemical ingredient can vary depending on the type of cleaning required, but the most common poulticemedium to suspend the chemical is clay, although paper, cotton fibres and other materials can be used. This mixture of clay is then applied to a pre-wetted surface and covered with plastic film to prevent the poultice from drying out. The poultice is then left on the surface for as long as necessary while the cleaning chemicals within the mixture begin the stain removing process. Once the process has finished, the surface is then rinsed with water and appropriately neutralised to remove any excess soiling or cleaning residue. Poultices are normally associated with small scale cleaning but they are potentially useful for the general cleaning of building facades. It is often selected for very detailed facades where more control and care is required in the cleaning procedure.

– Paint Removal

Using a mixture of both alkaline poultice application and the DOFF steam cleaning system, we are able remove stubborn paint from masonry and restore the natural stone to its original appearance.

Restoration

 

 

Architectural Stone boasts an impressive history of working with natural stone for nearly two hundred years. 

We are hence able to use our expertise to advise on the extent of repairs which are required, as well as suggest the most suitable materials, treatment and method for restoration. 

In addition to this consultancy service, our skilled stonemasons possess extensive experience in sourcing and crafting natural stone products to efficiently complete any restoration project.

Several on-site restoration services include:

– Defect and condition surveying

– Structural alterations and specialist repairs to external facades

– Re-pointing and mortar repair with re-constituted stone mixes or lime based mortars 

– Piece-in repair on new stonework with carvings to match original details 

– Facade repairs after cleaning

– Fixing of bespoke masonry replacements

CONSERVATION

 

 

Architectural Stone are practiced in carrying out masonry works using a wealth of traditional stonemasonry skills and materials.

Specialising in the conservation of traditional masonry facades, historic monuments, ecclesiastical building and listed properties, we take pride in prolonging the life and integrity of architectural heritage.

Some conservation methods employed by Architectural Stone are:

– Re-pointing using lime putty

– Application of lime wash

– Re-rendering using traditional lime mortars

– Stone matching

– Consolidation of existing masonry

INSTALLATION

 

 

 Architectural Stone boasts an impressive history of working with natural stone for nearly two hundred years. 

We are hence able to use our expertise to advise on the extent of repairs which are required, as well as suggest the most suitable materials, treatment and method for restoration. 

In addition to this consultancy service, our skilled stonemasons possess extensive experience in sourcing and crafting natural stone products to efficiently complete any restoration project.

Several on-site restoration services include:

– Defect and condition surveying

– Structural alterations and specialist repairs to external facades

– Re-pointing and mortar repair with re-constituted stone mixes or lime based mortars 

– Piece-in repair on new stonework with carvings to match original details 

– Facade repairs after cleaning

– Fixing of bespoke masonry replacements

BESPOKE CARVING

 

 

 Our skilled in-house banker masons expertly carve intricate detail to exacting design specifications.

We can produce anything from stones with simple chamfers to tracery windows, detailed mouldings and the more classical architectural building masonry. 

When working a stone from a sawn block, our masons ensure that the stone is bedded in the right way so that the finished work sits in the building in the same orientation as it was formed on the ground.

The basic tools, methods and skills of our banker mason have existed as a trade for thousands of years and been passed down through the generations of our family business.

Fireplace & SURROUNDS

We offer a full range of predesigned natural stone fireplace surrounds. Our designers have produced a number of classical styles to suit multiple client needs, all the while retaining an ambiance of elegance. Once our clients have picked their preferred style, we then produce a made-to-measure surround to fit their fireplace and install it.

We also provide an entirely bespoke fireplace surround service – unique creations inspired by our clients imaginations, enabling them to see their idea become a reality. This service can range from a modern contemporary design to intricate period carving. Whatever the specification, we can accommodate our clients to suit their needs. Our services include design consultation, supply of natural stone, stone carving, and installation of the fire surrounds – We are present throughout the entire manufacturing process.

MATERIALS

LIMESTONE

 

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that contains a high percentage of calcium carbonate. It is formed by the accumulation of shell, coral, algae and fecal debris overtime through the rock formation process. There are many types of limestones available, whether they are French or German imports or quarried here in the UK. However, the most commonly used in South Wales and the West of England are:

– Bathstone

Bath Stone is an Oolitic Limestone comprising granular fragments of calcium carbonate. Originally obtained from the Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines in Somerset, its warm-honey colouring gives the World Heritage City of Bath its distinctive appearance. An important feature of Bathstone is that it is a ‘freestone’, so-called because it can be sawn or ‘squared up’ in any direction, unlike other rocks such as slate, which forms distinct layers and is unsuitable to carve.

– Blue Lias

The Blue Lias is a geologic formation in southern, eastern and western England and parts of South Wales. The Blue Lias consists of a sequence of limestone and shale layers, laid down between 195 and 200 million years ago. Blue Lias is useful as a building stone, and as a source of lime for making lime mortar. Since the mid-nineteenth century, it has been used as a raw material for cement, in South Wales, Somerset, Warwickshire and Leicestershire. Occurrences of Blue Lias can be found in buildings local to its source as well as the local churches and cemeteries (where it is traditionally used in tombstones). It is popular in modern-day surroundings where it is still used in the construction of new housing developments and extensions for existing buildings in conservation areas. Blue Lias is mainly used in flooring, walling and paving slabs – both coursed and layered. It is evident too in the making of flagstones and cobbles.

– Portland

Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The degree of cementation in Portland Stone is such that the stone is sufficiently well cemented to allow it to resist weathering but not so well cemented that it can’t be readily cut and carved by masons. 

 

Portland Stone is favoured as a monumental and architectural stone.  It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major public buildings in London such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. 

Limestones are not consistent in colour – Portland is almost white in colour, Bathstone is more creamy gold in appearance and Blue Lias is grey blue. It is assumed that all stone is quarried, however, the interesting fact about Bathstone is that at present it is mined rather than quarried like Portland and Blue Lias.  Limestone has been extensively utilised as a building material. The city of London is mainly built from Portland stone, as well as Cardiff Civic Centre. When you arrive in the City of Bath, the majority of buildings are made of Bathstone including some of the city’s most famous landmarks – the Royal Crescent and The Circus. Due to its characteristic, Blue Lias is mainly used for walling throughout South Wales and South West England.

granite

Granite is a common type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock which is granular and coarse in texture. This rock consists mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar.

This mineral composition usually gives it a red, pink, gray or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.

Granite is the rock most often quarried as a ‘dimension stone”‘ (a natural rock material that has been cut into blocks or slabs of specific width, thickness and length). Granite is strong enough to bear significant weight, hard enough to resist most abrasion, inert enough to resist weathering and can be polished to a brilliant standard. These characteristics make it a very desirable and useful dimension stone.

MARBLE

Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of recrystallised carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.

Metamorphism causes variable recrystallisation of the original carbonate mineral grains.  The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals.  Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a pure limestone or dolomite protolith.

The characteristic veins and swirls of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone.

Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.

SANDSTONE

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that contains minerals the size of sand / rock grains. There are many types of sandstones available. However, the most commonly used in the South Wales and West of England are:

– Welsh Pennant

– Forest of Dean 

– Yorkstone

– Red St Bees 

Sandstones vary in colour, Welsh Pennant is blue / grey with red oxides. Forest of Dean colours vary considerably depending on the seams of the quarry. The colour finishes available are blue, red and mixed colour of brown / grey. Yorkstone is a buff golden colour and Red St Bees is red with slight veining. Sandstone is quarried and some still use the traditional plug and feathered method.  Sandstone is a hard stone – it is often used for paving, walling and copings. Yorkstone, Forest and Red St Bees work well for cladding and are aesthetically pleasing.

Slate

Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock. It is derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock which is composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism.

Slate is most commonly known for its use as a roofing slate, although it can be used for interior and exterior flooring, stairs, walkways and wall cladding. Tiles are installed and set on mortar and grouted along the edges. Chemical sealants are often used on tiles to improve durability and appearance, increase stain resistance, reduce efflorescence, and increase or reduce surface smoothness.

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029 2067 2825

Office Location

285 Cowbridge Road West, 

Cardiff, South Wales, CF5 5TD

Open Hours

Mon-Thurs: 8.30am – 5.30pm, Fri: 7.30am – 4.30pm, Sat-Sun: Closed