Natural Stone Institute announces stone of the year

Oberlin, OH, March 10, 2020—Tesoro Bianco marble by Granitos Zucchi has been chosen as the 2020 Natural Stone Institute Stone of the Year. The stone will be featured on 2020 member certificates, membership code of ethics, and association marketing materials throughout the year. 

Tesoro Bianco marble by Granitos Zucchi is the 2020 Natural Stone Institute Stone of the Year

Tesoro Bianco by Zucchi is a stunning and luxurious white marble quarried from a special site in the southeast region of Brazil where its small vein of pure white natural stone is found. Tesoro Bianco is a rare kind of marble composed of 80% dolomite. It is one of the densest and most resistant marbles found in South America. Its dominant pure white color palette is balanced with occasional light blue crystals and is suitable for interior and exterior applications.

For more information onTesoro Bianco and the Natural Stone Institute’s Stone of the Year program, visit

Artistic Tile debuts stunning new natural stone slabs

Artistic Tile rolls out a collection of stunning new natural stone slabs, with three emerald-kissed slabs leading the march.

Verde Tifone is a celebration of the entire spectrum of green, in marble slab. Green shades swirl around the surface: the bright freshness of willow in spring, the precious richness of emerald, the deep, dark pines of a northern forest. Verde Tifone offers an energy that is remarkable and utterly unique in the world of marble. Quarried in Iran, stocked in 2cm polished.

Verde Tifone

This fascinating slab features a dazzling variety of green veins – bright to deep – intertwining with inky black, playing across the characteristic milky-white background so prized by those who love Calacatta marbles. Calacatta Verde offers the luxury project an alluring but discreet flare of color, retaining a classically neutral appeal enhanced by the occasional sparkle of golden pyrite. Stocked in 2cm polished.

Calacatta Verde

Amazonite is a striking cerulean green mineral whose rarity and watery beauty have been noted for generations. Its very name evokes a sense of the exotic, and the slabs


Cosmopolitan’s rich color flows from effervescent sangria to flaming orange to palest silvery pink, with inky merlot veins providing striking counterpoint. A 2cm polished Quartzite from Brazil, Cosmopolitan has one extra feature – when back-lit, it shows off a dazzling translucence, ideal for vertical and horizontal applications alike.


Quarried in Brazil, Patagonia granite has a soft beige foundation with bright splashes of transparent material and large floating clasts. Stocked in 2 cm and 3 cm polished slabs.


For information, visit

Artistic Tile unveils Tessuto mixed finish stone mosaic with a woven look

Tessuto replicates the intertwining intricacies of multi-color woven fabric on a grander scale. This stone mosaic pieces together eight different marbles, limestones, and onyx; Thassos, Smoke, Sable Onyx, Bardiglio Imperiale, Azul Cielo, Grey Foussana, Bianco Onyx, and Grafite. The culmination is a remarkable woven pattern that feels fresh, but familiar. V3 shade variation. Stocked in 14-1/16″ X 14-7/16″ interlocking sheets. For more information, visit

Tessuto mixed finish stone mosaic from Artistic Tile

Antolini presents Louise Blue quartzite

Antolini has consistently drawn from the creativity Mother Nature has to offer, while continuously remaining a leader in stone processing. Antolini has perfected the elegance of natural stone through Haute Nature. A new Exclusive Stone from Antolini is Louise Blue, a quartzite with a delicate and empowering nature.

Antolini’s Louise Blue quartzite

The captivating structure of this stone glides through the interior of this dining room gives a serene presence. The pearl contrast of the living space embraces the hues and tones melting together.

Antolini’s Louise Blue quartzite exhibits swirls of color.

Louise Blue is a pure exhibition of all nature’s wonders devised into one. Incorporated into this stone is an array of colors swirled together, creating a full natural fantasy of hinted shades of dawn, the rising sun, crystalline emerald-green waters, massive plots of mountains and rock, and illimitable forests. This quartzite, a work of art created by the heart of the earth, is a symbol of unintentional creativity that’s been alive much longer than mankind’s imagination. The intrinsic qualities of this natural stone makes Louise Blue one of Antolini’s more inspiring stones, bound to catch the eyes of others in almost any setting. 

Antolini’s Louise Blue is the fantasy of nature in swirls of color that enlighten the truest artist’s palette. The Mediterranean aqua hues settle into a deep green emerald tide as colors bleed into one another like delta waters. Emanating freshness and a playful radiance, it demonstrates an artistic aesthetic.

Natural Stone Institute Completes 26th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

Oberlin, OH, February 11, 2020— The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for two homes with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. To date, Natural Stone Institute members have been involved in twenty-six completed homes.

Natural stone and fabrication services for Retired Army Major Jeremy Haynes were provided by MARVA, Virginia Marble & Granite, Washington Marble & Granite, and BMJ Stone. 

The Gary Sinise Foundation RISE program dedicates a smart home to US Army MAJ (Ret.) Jeremy Haynes on January 30, 2020 in Fairfax, Virginia.

Growing up in Albany, Georgia, Jeremy Haynes watched the horrific events of September 11, 2001 unfold from his Marine Corps JROTC class. That day, he vowed to serve his country. Jeremy went on to earn a scholarship to Georgia Military College and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He deployed to Afghanistan, leaving at home his two children and then-pregnant wife, Chelsea. On a mission in Kabul on August 5, 2014, an Afghan Military Soldier shot Jeremy four times, including once in his back. The shot to his spine severed Jeremy’s vena cava and 80% of the nerves to his lower extremities, paralyzing both legs. He has faced a long and painful recovery. One day, Jeremy wrote “I WILL WALK AGAIN” on a sheet of paper. He stared at that paper for hours and every day after. Now, through Chelsea’s inspiration to heal, Jeremy can stand and walk for short periods with adaptive equipment. This specially adapted smart home will allow Jeremy to continue to progress in reclaiming his independence.  

59 Natural Stone Institute members have donated their time, products, and services to this cause since 2016. A list of all donors can be found at Stone companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to contact Pam Hammond at [email protected]

Natural Stone Institute Announces 2019 Pinnacle Awards

Oberlin, OH, February 5, 2020— The winners of the 2019 Pinnacle Awards were announced during the Natural Stone Institute Awards Ceremony at TISE in Las Vegas, NV. Twenty-two projects were honored with Awards of Excellence. The 2019 Grande Pinnacle Award was presented to Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (New York, NY) for their work on 7 Bryant Park. 

The carefully detailed stone-clad lobby of 7 Bryant Park is the result of an extraordinary effort to procure exactly the right materials and achieve the highest level of craftsmanship. This thirty-story office building in Midtown Manhattan makes the most of its proximity to an important green space with a sculpted facade overlooking the park. The defining element of the design is a pair of mirrored conical forms carved out within the rectangular massing of the tower at the corner facing the park. The conical motif is repeated in the ground floor lobby through the arrangement and detailing of the stone elements. Mocha Crème limestone is used for the walls and Moleanos limestone for the floors, with accents of Calacatta Caldia marble and Jet Mist granite. Limestone was chosen as the primary stone for its warmth, richness, and light tone, with more richly grained white marble and black granite adding contrast.

Stephen Falk (Stone Truss Systems) accepted the Grande Pinnacle award on behalf of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners during the Natural Stone Institute Awards Ceremony at TISE. He is pictured with Veronafiere’s Chiara DeLuca and 2019 Natural Stone Institute president Greg Osterhout (Northern Stone Supply).

Executed with pinpoint precision, this project delighted the jury, who also loved how the conical wall motifs and the triangular floor panels meet on point. They admired how the concave curve of the limestone panels reflected the mirrored conical motif within the exterior façade, and stated that the project exhibits superior stock control in unforgiving lighting conditions, showcasing texture and craftsmanship. 

The full list of 2019 Pinnacle Award winners is as follows. To view the award brochure with information and images of all the winners, visit

Grande Pinnacle

7 Bryant Park

New York, NY

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners 

New York, NY

Architectural Carving/Lettering/Sculpture

Arizona State University Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center

Washington, DC

Las Vegas Rock

Jean, NV

Mosque in Shali City

Chechnya, Russia

FHL Kiriakidis Group

Drama, Greece

Commercial Exterior

Church Street United Methodist Church Expansion

Knoxville, TN

Tennessee Marble Company

Friendsville, TN

Grande Arche de la Defense

Paris, France

Polycor, Inc.

Quebec City, Canada

Hartford Connecticut Temple

Farmington, CT

Dan Lepore & Sons Company

Conshohocken, PA

Oklahoma City LDS Temple

Oklahoma City, OK

IMS Masonry

Lindon, UT

Elberfeld Mall & Train Station

Wuppertal, Germany

VM Kaldorf

Titting-Kaldorf, Germany

Commercial Interior

100 Bishopsgate

London, England


Carrara, Italy

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Tampa, FL

Booms Stone Company

Redford, MI

Dallas High-Rise

Dallas, TX

Dee Brown, Inc.

Richardson, TX

Frost Tower

San Antonio, TX

Camarata Masonry Systems

Houston, TX

Public Landscapes/Parks/Memorials

Drexel Square

Philadelphia, PA

CED Stone North America

Montreal, Canada

Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue Streetscape

Coral Gables, FL

Earl Jackson Architecture Workshop

Allenhurst, NJ


645 Fifth Avenue, Olympic Tower

New York, NY

Continental Marble

Bohemia, NY

Christ Cathedral

Garden Grove, CA

Carnevale & Lohr

Bell Gardens, CA

LondonHouse Hotel

Chicago, IL

Galloy & Van Etten

Chicago, IL

Saint Catherine of Siena Sanctuary Alteration

Trumbull, CT

Bybee Stone Company

Ellettsville, IL

Residential—Single Family

Boch Garden Pavilion

Norwood, MA

Kenneth Castellucci & Associates

Lincoln, RI


Cold Spring, MN

Piero Zanella

Verona, Italy

Hinsdale Residence

Hinsdale, IL

Galloy & Van Etten

Chicago, IL

L.A. Residence

Los Angeles, CA

Carnevale & Lohr

Bell Gardens, CA

Private Residence 

Highland Park, TX

Dee Brown, Inc.

Richardson, TX

The Natural Stone Institute would like to thank the sponsors of the 2019 Pinnacle Awards: Marmomac (Grande Pinnacle Award), MAPEI (Commercial Awards), GranQuartz (Residential Awards), and Coldspring (Renovation/Restoration Awards). 

Protecting your investment in Mother Nature with TLC

When working with natural stone, all the rules you know about porcelain tile can be immediately discarded. It’s imperative to know the stone, know the finish, know about the stain, and know what you are getting into. What works for porcelain tile does not necessarily apply when working with products created 100% by Mother Nature.

The Natural Stone Institute states that natural stone can be classified into two general categories according to its composition: siliceous stone or calcareous stone.

Understanding the key differences between these can help avoid costly damage to the product and to your reputation as a knowledgeable contractor!

Types of stones

Acid etching in Veona Rosso.

Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. These stones include marble, travertine, limestone and onyx and can be classified as acid-sensitive. They are sensitive to acidic substances such as coffee, lemon juice, vinegar, and bleach, all of which can very often leave a natural stone surface etched.

Common sense dictates that by using acidic cleaning products, acid-sensitive stones could very well become damaged. Therefore, these stones should ONLY be cleaned with a neutral cleaner! Before applying any product, always test it on a section of stone not being used, or an area that will not be in plain sight.

Etching on marble counter.

Non-calcareous (siliceous) stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz-like particles. Types of non-calcareous stones include granite, slate, sandstone and quartzite. For the most part, these stones tend to be very durable and most are acid-resistant. Be advised, some of the more exotic stones have veins of calcium calcite, which can make them acid-sensitive. Whereas acid-resistant stones can generally be cleaned like porcelain tiles, I recommend to always test first via the small aforementioned exercise.

Now that you know your stone, let’s discuss the surface finish of acid-sensitive stones.

  • Honed finishes on acid-sensitive stones can withstand alkaline cleaners. 
  • Polished acid-sensitive finishes can be dulled by strong
    alkalines; again neutral cleaners are the best option.
  • Testing is ALWAYS your best option.

Removing stains without harming the stone

Rust stains on marble.

Let’s review a few types of stains. Identifying the type of stain on the surface is the key to ultimately removing it without harming the stone. Refer to the manufacturer labels when choosing the right cleaner for your stone and the stain.

Organic stains: These are caused by organic products such as fruit, tea, dirt, leaves, wine, cooking oil, and even animal droppings. Other stains can occur due to the growth of fungi, algae, mildew and other microorganisms. Generally speaking, these types of stains appear on outdoor pavers or inside a bathroom/shower stall and other wet areas.

Carrara marble with rust.

Inorganic stains: Paint, cementitious grouts, cements, rust, soap scum and other non-organic sources can cause serious staining to natural stone features, especially if not cleaned up quickly.

Preventing and removing grout haze

Last, let’s discuss grout haze on natural stone. One of the top, vexing problems is cementitious grout haze on acid-sensitive stones. 

How do we prevent grout haze on acid-sensitive stones? The only way is to always seal the stone, BEFORE grouting. This is a vital, cardinal rule – always seal an acid-sensitive stone before grouting. The use of a normal sealer will suffice.

Cement residue on stone.

What do you do if grout haze does appear on an acid-sensitive stone? Here, we need to work with a neutral cleaner and the mechanical action of scrubbing. Scrubbing is important. If the stone has a natural finish or is honed, you can use an alkaline cleaner to remove an epoxy residue. 

Before and after marble cleaning.

From granites to limestone, from marbles to slate, Mother Nature has truly created some of the most beautiful surfacing material on our planet. We’ve pulled it from the earth and brought it to life through exquisite tiles and slabs, which adorn our floors and walls across the globe. Keeping stone material in its most beautiful state takes just a few simple steps to understand what you are working with, and then learning the proper protocols to bring them back to that beautiful condition. Taking simple steps to read the recommendations, using the right products and not skipping any steps in doing so can ultimately mean that customers are happy, there will be more money in your pocket, and chances to be called back on a regular basis are optimized.

New Documents Available in Natural Stone Resource Library

Eighteen new “Queries & Quandaries” articles have been added to the Natural Stone Resource Library. Authored by Natural Stone Institute Technical Director Chuck Muehlbauer, the articles originally appeared in the association’s member newsletter, The Cutting Edge. A wide variety of topics are covered in these articles, including tolerances, stone anchors, testing flexural strength, and countertop overhang limits.

294 documents are now available for download via the Natural Stone Resource Library, including technical bulletins and modules, Dimension Stone Design Manual chapters, and resources from other industry associations, including the National Building Granite Quarries Association and the Indiana Limestone Institute. All documents are available free of charge. Since launching in 2015, the Library has seen over 225,000 downloads. The Natural Stone Resource Library has become a trusted resource for stone companies, architects, designers, and construction professionals.

Access the Natural Stone Resource Library at


ILCO launches LiteCore natural stone composite panels

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., May 29, 2019  Indiana Limestone Company (ILCO), a leading supplier of natural limestone building products, today announced the launch of its LiteCore panel system. The new system provides the timeless look of natural stone in a lightweight, modular panelized system that combines high performance, design flexibility and labor-savings.

LiteCore panels are available in a variety of natural stones including limestone, granite, or marble. The natural stone veneer is adhered to a high-performing aluminum honeycomb backing and fiberglass mesh that results in a 1-inch panel that weighs 80 percent less than solid dimensional stone panels, while boasting 60 times more impact resistance. Additionally, the predesigned panels are available in standard-sized units, do not require mortar or complex design layouts, and install easily.

Duffe Elkins, VP of Operations for ILCO, says the LiteCore panel system is a natural progression in product innovation to meet the unique challenges of modern construction.

“Our LiteCore system truly allows construction teams to have the best of several worlds with high design flexibility and labor-saving installation combined with the classic aesthetics and resiliency of the highest quality natural stone,” said Elkins. “Additionally, the system can stand extreme freeze-thaw cycles and has the ability to serve as a rainscreen for added performance that allows building designers to address concerns around moisture management.”

LiteCore panels system comes standard with installation hardware that allow the panels to be securely attached to the building substrate for fast and easy installation.

In late 2018, ILCO became part of Polycor Inc., the largest natural stone quarrier in the world. The group owns over 50 quarries and 17 manufacturing plants across North America and Europe.

For more information, visit



Natural Stone Institute press release: 2019 Stone Industry Education Series

The Natural Stone Institute and Stone World magazine are pleased to announce the schedule for the 2019 Stone Industry Education Series. Stone Summits will be held in ten cities across the United States.

The ten Stone Summits scheduled for 2019 will cover a wide variety of topics relevant to natural stone fabricators, including maximizing shop efficiency and profits, using metrics to measure success, understanding OSHA safety regulations, and creating a plan for finding and retaining top talent. 2019 Stone Summits will be facilitated by a team of experienced industry leaders including GK Naquin (Stone Interiors), Tony Malisani (Malisani, Inc.), Duane Naquin (Stone Interiors), and Eric Tryon (Premier Surfaces.)

Participants who register by February 1 will receive a 20% discount. For more information, please visit

2019 Stone Industry Education Series:

February 28

Texas Stone Summit: Analyzing Shop Performance

Arizona Tile

Dallas, TX

March 21

California Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms

Pacific Shore Stones

Modesto, CA

May 2

Utah Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms

Arizona Tile

Salt Lake City, UT

May 23

Connecticut Stone Summit: Stone Shop Management

Boston Granite Exchange

East Haven, CT

June 13

Ohio Stone Summit: Knowing Your Business


Cleveland, OH

July 11

Missouri Stone Summit: Stone Shop Management

Universal Granite & Marble

St. Louis, MO

July 25

Virginia Stone Summit: Knowing Your Business


Virginia Beach, VA

September 19

Michigan Stone Summit: Analyzing Shop Performance

Universal Granite & Marble

Detroit, MI

October 10

Florida Stone Summit: Stone Shop Management


Tampa, FL

November 7

Washington Stone Summit: 12 Business Axioms


Seattle, WA


About the Natural Stone Institute

The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing every aspect of the natural stone industry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 nations. The association offers a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at

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