Everything we do is made to order to your specifications and in the stone of your choice. We want you to enjoy the whole experience from choosing your new granite or quartz worktop to using it in your kitchen.
Please take a little time to understand the process, so that we ensure that there are no misunderstandings or disagreements on the way. Everything that we've put here equally applies to ordering a vanity unit or shower tray for your bathroom.
We've split the process up in to the various stages, so that you can easily access each part of it. Click on the topic that you are interested in to read more.
You can download a copy of our Terms and Conditions here
Understanding Natural Materials
Colour Variations & Sampling
The colour and veining of natural stone varies depending on which part of the seam or mountain it comes from. With some stones it is possible to have a wide variation within one slab, for an example see the picture below of an Azul Bahia Granite slab with close ups of two very different samples taken from it.
We are happy to provide you with small cut samples and we will try to inform you when a stone is subject to large variations, but please do not base judgements on a sample if a particular shade or veining is important to you.
We have a large selection of slabs in our showroom and you are welcome to come and choose the exact slab that will be used for your project.
Choice of stone
Please be aware that not all stones are suitable for all uses. Limestone and some marbles are softer than granite and should not be used in areas of heavy wear and tear. Even granite is porous and can stain. We will sell a range of Lithofin for your stone and can advise you on which to use.
Pitting and fissures
When stone is being formed small bubbles and cracks can occur within it. We will fill these as necessary before they leave the factory.
stoneCIRCLE offers a vast range of products and bespoke stonemasonery using natural stone from all over the world. We aim to hold in stock as many of the most popular types as possible and can source others as necessary. However over time quarries cease to operate rendering a particular stone unavailable. We always advise our clients of any such risk factors during the design phases so that the project can be completed without interruption.
We will happily provide estimates and advice on any project and can let you know in advance if there is anything in the proposed plans that could cause us difficulties in manufacture or installation.
In order to provide accurate quotations for a kitchen worktop we need a clear plan and to know the following:
- Areas that require worktops
- Hob and sink cut outs with type of cut out and whether polished or not
- Edge profile
- Material type and thickness
Please bear in mind that the front and back rail for cut outs should be at least 50mm depending on the material and thickness used.
It is best to email us the details of the project rather than ring as it enables us to provide more accurate quotations.
All prices are quoted ex-warehouse and are subject to VAT. We will quote for delivery, templating and installation separately.
Deliveries and Collections
We use a number of different delivery methods and we will choose the appropriate one to ensure that your stone reaches you in perfect condition, on time and at reasonable cost. Of course, if you have a suitable vehicle, you are welcome to collect from us at the Shothanger works in Basingstoke. Goods collected at the works are then transported at the individual's own risk. Please ring to check on opening times.
It is best to place your order as soon as possible so that we can schedule it in and avoid any unnecessary delays. We do need an official written order before we can proceed.
We need the following information on your order:
- The job reference - name of customer, site, telephone number and our quotation number
- The type of material, thickness and whether you need upstands
- The type of edge profile and any cut outs required such as sink and hob for a kitchen worktop
- The required templating and installation dates if there are restrictions
- The address of the installation
- Your contact for the job, if it is not you personally
We will send you back an order acknowledgement clarifying any missing details if necessary. Please send it back with the required information so that we can confirm your templating date. If you do not receive an order acknowledgement, we may not have received your order so please get in touch as soon as possible.
Please ensure that you add in at least 10% to cover for cuts and breakages if ordering tiles.
Preparing the template
If you wish to make the template yourself, please bear in mind that we will work from prepared templates as long as they are in wood or plastic and are detailed enough for us to use. We cannot use cardboard or paper templates due to the nature of our manufacturing process. Please also note that we do not install to other people's templates, so if you want to us to do the installation we will need to prepare the template as well.
If we are doing the templating, it is imperative that the site is properly prepared when we arrive. If it is not, we may not be able to prepare the templates and in any case it will result in delays.
Please make sure that you or someone who knows the details of the project is on site as we will need to clarify details.
Any change to the details of the original order made on site must be signed for and a new quotation will be provided where necessary.
We need the following to allow us to prepare a successful template:
- All base units must be level and fixed in the final position
- Wall finishes must be complete and should not change between the templating and installation dates
- Wall battens should be securely fixed where required.
- The sink and hob should be on site with a template if possible and their positions highlighted. Undermounted sinks need to be fully supported in the base unit.
- The position and number of tap holes should be made clear
- Where site joins are required (to be agreed on site)
- We will also recheck all previously communicated details, i.e. material, colour and thickness, upstands, edge profiles, sink cut outs and drainer grooves
Production & installation constraints
We can make most things in stone but there are some constraints depending on both the type of stone and the conditions on site. So please bear in mind the following:
- We manufacture to a +/- 2mm tolerance which is the industry standard.
- Individual pieces of granite with cut outs should ideally not exceed 2.5m in length.
- Extra large island tops and non ground floor sites will require extra labour for installation
If we feel that there are any potential problems in manufacture or transport once we have viewed the template we will highlight these to you and suggest changes. If you still wish to proceed then any breakages in manufacture or transportation will be at your own risk and we reserve the right to charge for them.
Changes in material at this stage may lead to delays if we do not have the material in stock.
stoneCIRCLE offers an installation service for most of the stone 'slab' work such as kitchen worktops and wall cladding. For tiling we know local tradesmen in Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey and will recommend one in your area with whom we have worked previously for you to contact directly.
We work to a 5 working day lead time between templating and installation provided that any additional information that we require is returned in a timely fashion.
We will arrange a time for the installation to go ahead with you. This is likely to be either an am or pm slot. If the fitters are likely to be late for any reason we will advise you by phone as soon as we can.
We need the following:
- Adequate lighting so we can see to do the job
- Vehicle access close to the building entrance as stone is heavy
- Power on site as we will be finishing the hob cut outs on site to avoid breakages during transit - please let us know in advance if there is any problem with dust on site, so we can make alternative arrangements.
- All units to be properly fixed so we can install the worktop safely. Failure to do this prior to the installation date may result in the installation being aborted and you being charged the full installation fee, if our installers have to wait for too long.
- Someone with the authority to sign off the job after inspecting the worktops. We need to be told at this stage if there is any problem at all with the installation, as we will not be held responsible for any defects or damage that have not been pointed out or occur later. Please note that if you sign the form to say that the job is satisfactory you will be charged if you later change your mind and we have to return to site to sort out any problem which would have been obvious at the time of installation. So please take the time to check the work carefully before signing.
Please note that if tiling takes place at a later date, you should not let your tiler rest his tile cutter on the worktop as this may well scratch it.
You can find out how to maintain your stone on our Care & Maintenance page.
Things to Bear In Mind: 1. Stone is heavy
At typically 80kg per square metre for 30mm thick slabs, there are obvious constraints on the size of slabs that we can handle and install. We always try to minimise the number of joints but there will be times when size, access and installation considerations will determine the maximum size of the pieces that we produce.
Things to Bear In Mind: 2. Stone is brittle
The compressive strength of stone is good but its tensile strength is low. If you bend it, it will crack. For vulnerable stone we resin bond strengthening rods into the stone to impart additional strength.
Things to Bear In Mind: 3. Stone is porous
A common misconception is that stone, particularly granite, is non porous. In its natural state stone is porous and a sealer is required to keep it stain free.
Where a client intends to use stone for a shower tray or in a wet room, we recommend that the area is made waterproof prior to the installation of the stone. If it is tested and does not leak before the stone is fitted, it is unlikely to leak afterwards. It is also important to choose the correct tap and 'dress' the waterproofing into it. This will ensure that any moisture that does pass through the stone or its joints is routed into the drain.
Where stone is to be fitted to the walls of wet areas such as showers, we recommend a tile backer board which is itself waterproof. These are specifically designed to maximise the adhesion of the stone to the wall and will provide the best long term result.