Ballarat Stone is an Australian owned stone cutting and processing partnership, strategically placed one hour from suburban Melbourne, in Victoria’s ‘bluestone belt.’ We specialise in custom cutting stone blocks, tiles, pavers and cladding for anyone wanting to build with stone.
We’re master stonemasons and sawyers, who love sharing what we’ve learnt over the years. We will intelligently advise and work with you, regarding the smartest mix and use of various types of Australian and imported architectural stone, for any residential or commercial project.
Our Ballarat edge location is just down the road from the last remaining Victorian dimension sandstone quarry, Grampians Sandstone, in Dunkeld. Grampians Sandstone has been acknowledged as one of the world’s most beautiful and durable sandstones and - though it is a rare and demanding stone - we love working with it, as the result always justifies the effort.
Ballarat Stone are also a partner in Australian-Chinese stone processor and quarrier, “Stone of the World”. This partnership enables our clients to cut out the middlemen and purchase custom processed stone for large and mid-size residential and commercial projects, direct from our international quarrying and processing partners located in Asia, Africa and South America. For more information regarding directly importing stone for your project contact us here at Ballarat Stone or visit www.stoneoftheworld.com.au
Ballarat Stone processes and custom cuts large bluestone boulders and pieces of raw sandstone directly from the quarry (known in the trade as ‘dimension stone’) into finished sawn stone for any project.
With many years of experience in stone processing and finishing, we know stone and only process and source the world’s best building stone from the world’s best quarries.
Purchasing and processing stone from long established Australian and international friends and partners, ensures that building stone supplied by Ballarat Stone is consistent in quality and will be readily available for future project additions.
Unlike mass produced tiles and pavers, our custom stone blocks, lintels, sills and cladding are cut exactly to architects’ and clients’ specifications, for each individual project. Building with stone is not only exotic, but also practical, as stone (especially local Australian stone) is one of the most environmentally friendly, bushfire safe and lowest carbon footprint building materials available.
The low temperature conductivity and natural beauty of stone also makes it a wonderful option for building ‘reverse veneer,’ feature walls - where the stone is laid on the inside, rather than the outside of a timber or steel frame wall - in order to magnify the benefits of its thermal mass and reduce heating and cooling costs.
From commercial and residential buildings to civil and civic projects – from new homes and extensions to creating distinctive and functional landscapes - Ballarat Stone can custom cut stone blocks to within 2mm tolerances.
Some popular sawn block sizes for residential buildings are;
Some clients, builders, stonemasons and bricklayers prefer block heights to match the height of a brick and mortar. For example;
Ballarat Stone routinely works with clients, builders, stonemasons and architects to ensure that finished stone size is optimal in terms of providing the least waste stone and the best value for budget.
Split face blocks add a further artisan hewn finish to any wall or building and provide subtle contrast to sawn stone blocks, sills or lintels.
Like sawn blocks, split blocks tend to look best when blocks of random length are laid in a wall, as this adds to the authenticity of the stone being a product crafted and adapted from what nature has provided, rather than being cut to identical lengths on a production line.
Split face blocks look equally impressive when laid as either an interior or exterior wall.
Custom sawn stone sills and lintels complement sawn block walls, but are often also used to provide a ‘finished’ look to random walling stone.
‘L’ shaped, sandstone, bluestone or granite ‘quoins,’ or corners, not only provide a more elegant and traditional look to external brick or stone walls, but like sills and lintels, they can also be used to add contrast, by mixing and matching differing stone types and colours.
Random or drystone walling adds natural beauty to any residential or commercial project. Unfortunately though, not everyone has the time to sift through piles of field stone or quarry rubble to find usable pieces of the right size and shape for stone wall building. Splitting the stone on site by hand is time consuming and backbreaking work and also carries the task of disposing of waste or unsuitable stone.
Ballarat Stone supplies stonemasons, builders, bricklayers and anyone wanting to build their own stone wall or home with pre-sorted and sized, ready to lay, sandstone walling stone. This magnificently coloured sandstone splits easily along the grain or ‘bed’ saving time and money, while enabling a consistent finish to be obtained.
For clients seeking the advice or services of a professional stonemason, being stonemasons ourselves, Ballarat Stone has a good knowledge of ‘who’s who’ and is happy to refer you to honest, reliable and skilled tradesmen, relevant to your project type and location. This ensures your project is quoted and advised professionally from Day 1 and assists you to choose the stonemason that fits your aims and budget.
Stone is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials on the planet, outperforming bricks, concrete, steel, laminates, composites, etc, in almost every aspect of sustainability.
This is due to the fact that dimension stone comes straight from the earth and undergoes very little processing, other than sawing or splitting to its finished shape. It does not need to be assembled, blended, baked, heated or forged before use, significantly reducing its carbon footprint.
Building stone is inert, contains and releases no harmful emissions and when no longer required can simply be returned to the earth. Old and redundant dimension stone quarries, because they are stepped like Roman amphitheatres, usually fill with rainwater over time to become water reservoirs, providing summer havens and bushfire refuges for wildlife and a ready water supply for aerial firefighting.
Stone is also durable. Appropriately selected and processed building and architectural stone will endure in its original state, centuries after concrete has cracked, bricks have crumbled and steel has rusted away. Most stone is also denser than concrete or brick, providing far better thermal mass as an insulation material, particularly in Victoria's increasingly harsh and changeable climate
Quarrying for building stone is one of the most ancient human skills, yet all of the collective stone quarried over millennia has barely scratched the surface of the planet - and the supply is virtually inexhaustible.
For Australia, we believe that building stone quarrying and processing represents an environmentally friendly, long term and hitherto underdeveloped industry for both employment and export dollars.
For developing nations, particularly those that are resource poor, the architectural building stone industry represents the first opportunity for many to earn an export income, while adding to the amazing array of building stone available on the world market.
Perhaps all of the above are the real reasons we are in this business. We simply love our product.
At Ballarat Stone, we are ‘green’ in our core beliefs, work practices, professional and personal philosophies – doing what we can within the realities of small business. Like most of the architects and clients that we consult with, we care about the world that will be left for our descendants and work honestly and hard to reduce the impact of ourselves and our business on the planet.
In fact, we’re learning as we go, that being environmentally conscious actually saves us money and improves our business. We:
- Recycle the water we use in processing stone (the dam at the rear of our factory now has frogs in it!)
- Use every scrap of stone that we process (no waste disposal)
- Have reduced our emissions and power bills by constantly looking for ways to be more energy efficient (simply, good business).
Much of our incoming and outgoing deliveries are now back loaded (this saves our clients and freight company, money, fuel and carbon footprint).
Of course, we’re realistic enough to know that we still have a carbon footprint and we will continue to work to reduce it. We’re also conscious of the fact that we’re an employer in a regional area, providing work for our employees and therefore also have a responsibility to grow our business sustainably and employ more people (we hope to start a new apprentice in early 2015).
We have faith that governments will eventually and efficiently do the ‘big stuff’ regarding sustainability, that we can’t easily do (we sometimes write them letters about it!) such as alternative energy sources and water harvesting, so that we can all know that our collective impact on the planet is reducing.
Ballarat Stone custom cuts and processes a variety of local and imported stone, including Grampians Sandstone and Ballarat Bluestone from Australia, as well as exotic stones from Asia, Africa and South America.
Our favourite stone in the world - and we are privileged enough to be located not far from the source! Grampians Sandstone is uniquely beautiful, varying in colour from a creamy white through to rich fawns, ochres and reds, and all from the same 150 year old quarry. Unlike most sandstones it is extremely fine grained and carries little banding or obvious striping.
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The area surrounding Ballarat was once volcanic, making Victorians the beneficiaries of a ready supply of beautiful and natural basalt which we know as Ballarat Bluestone. While our local farmers curse these ugly duckling paddock rocks, we harvest and process them into beautiful bluestone blocks, tiles, pavers, steppers, cladding, furniture, etc.
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Ballarat Stone are Victorian sales agents for Australia’s best limestone quarry, based in Mt Gambier and producing the purest and whitest limestone blocks. The stone is consistently a snowy white, without the colour variation and blemishes often present in other limestones. Mt Gambier limestone’s thermal qualities as a building material substantially exceed those of bricks - and even better, a square metre of this magnificent stone can be laid for the same cost as a square metre of bricks.
An added bonus is the stone’s incredibly low carbon footprint. The simple nature of extraction and processing, not only saves substantially over the cost of other stones, but creates minimal greenhouse gases.
Ballarat Stone can supply beautiful, creamy, white Mt Gambier Stone cut to size and ready to lay for interior and exterior stone walls. These lightweight, but durable, fossilised blocks are composed of prehistoric corals and marine life - ancient sea creatures and shells that are still visible in the face of the stone.
Mt Gambier limestone has been waiting approximately 20 million years to be cut from the earth and brought to life in smooth sawn and rockfaced limestone feature walls and timeless stone houses. Limestone rockface and sawn blocks, lintels, sills and even limestone quoins, are all available.
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Sandstone and bluestone walling and landscaping rock add beauty and character to any project.
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Ballarat Stone custom cuts and processes a variety of local and imported stone. Although most of our work is in Sandstone and Bluestone, we also process and supply, Marble, Granite, Travertine, Limestone & Onyx for a variety of applications.
Our latest stone projects, new products, commentary, offers, suggestions, stonemasonry advice, etc.
Ballarat Stone has recently custom cut bluestone blocks for Melbourne City Council, as part of a safety upgrade of a number of Melbourne’s iconic laneways.
The blocks are the original, classic, old Victorian bluestone paving blocks that have been lifted from the City’s streets and lanes, sent to Ballarat Stone to have one side of the bluestone sawn flat, then returned to Melbourne for re-laying.
A few ‘work in progress’ pictures of these magnificent stone pitchers before and after are attached.
The aim of this project is to maintain the original beauty of this remarkable and beautiful Australian bluestone, while creating a safe, even surface for pedestrians, bicycles, etc. The bluestone kerbing and pitchers will be laid once again in their original location over the next few weeks.
Ballarat Stone’s innovative and collaborative method of producing sawn stone has resulted in a significant $ and time saving for the client and we have been proud to play our part in the history of Melbourne’s urban landscape.
Ballarat Stone has recently supplied 400 square metres of sawn Grampians Sandstone crazy paving to Northern Grampians Shire, for the forecourt area of the new Halls Gap Hub. The use of this iconic, locally quarried and cut sandstone offers a safe and aesthetic pedestrian surface, as sandstone is renowned for its slip resistance.
The unique hardness and fine grain of Grampians Sandstone also means that the stone is easy to clean with a pressure cleaner and will wear well for many years. Grampians Sandstone’s light tones and high silica content means that the paving absorbs less heat on hot summer days than darker stone - reducing radiant heat and providing a cooler surface to walk on.
Needless to say, use of natural stone that has been quarried and processed locally within Victoria not only supports local employment by all concerned and keeps money in the Victorian regional economy, but also carries a lower carbon footprint than imported stone that has not only travelled from quarry to processor, but has also clocked up many miles at sea.
Ballarat Stone thanks and commends Northern Grampians Shire for their environmental responsibility and support of Victorian regional industry.
For mid and large size residential and commercial building projects where the price vs quality equation is a critical consideration, Stone of the World enables clients to direct purchase container lots of unique, bespoke stone - from some of the world’s most exotically located quarries – direct, through our partner processing facility in Xiamen, China. Stone types available include sandstone, bluestone, marble, limestone, travertine and granite.
The economics of this remarkable new way of doing global business, means that your selected stone can be inspected by you, your representative (or even by us on your behalf!) at the factory in China, before it is finally approved, paid for, containerised and shipped to site, almost anywhere in the world.
Cutting out the various shadowy middlemen,‘value adders’ and dealers has benefits both ways, as it has also enabled us to export high quality, Australian quarried and processed stone, to China.
For more information on this new “direct to source” method of stone sourcing, visit our partner site at Stone of the World or contact us directly.
Our in-depth knowledge and broad expertise comes from many years working with architects, builders, specifiers and retail clients on a wide variety of commercial, residential and landscaping projects. We're here to help you with the advice, help and products you need. We look forward to hearing from you.