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Construction stones in demand
Source : The Hindu Published On : 2012-09-15 City : Erode

Construction Stones in Demand

Popularity of building materials is important in the real estate market since shops tend to promote what sells more. An alternative material, possibly equally good, would find it difficult to break into this circle and would either end up with low sale volume or higher price. Flooring has been a witness to such trends, where few materials bag most projects.

Andhra Pradesh is home to varieties of construction stones, including Tandoor, Bethamcherla, Shahbad, Cudappah and such, which make excellent floors. Most of them derive their name from the place of origin and are transported across South India based on orders.

In principle, these Andhra stones cost much less compared to marble and granite, yet provide strong and durable floor finish. All of them come in small sizes, take good polish, have narrow joints, stay fresh even in shelf life and come in different colour too.

Tandoor

Tandoor is more commonly used, and comes with in grey or green. It commonly comes in 2 ft. x 2 ft. size, and slight size variations are possible. The slabs are laid on the sub-floor made of mortar and a semi-dry mix of cement and sand, to a perfect level, followed by machine polishing. They never appear over-shining, hence maintain a natural feel even after polishing, going well with buildings made of natural materials.

Tandoor is a hard material, hence popularly used in public buildings and houses. It is prone to scratches but can be used in all conditions and areas including kitchens and outdoors.

But if the outdoor floor gathers water, the only way to clean would be with dry mopping. So, the key is to ensure good rain protection.

Bethamcherla is a marble look-alike stone slab, hence popularly nicknamed as Bethamcherla marble.

The material comes mainly in golden brown and buff grey colours, though a few colour variations are also available. Being tiles, popularly in 10”x10” size, there would be many joint lines visible.

The stone tends to be thicker even as floor slab, up to two inches thick, where prior floor level calculations become important. Because of the thickness, the edges need to be cut at an angle to achieve a narrow joint. No two adjacent stones will look exactly alike, unlike marble; hence the floor gets a beautiful pattern.

Slabs with golden shade appear very rich when laid across a large area.

Recently, special machine-cut thinner floor slabs have also been available. If it is beneficial, the owners can call one agency for both supply and laying, reducing inter-agency problems.

 

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