Monday, July 30, 2007

The Pool - Harrah's Atlantic City

The dog days of summer are upon us and we all could use a nice relaxing dip in a cool luxurious swimming pool with a tropical rain forest decor. If this strikes your fancy then take a road trip to Harrah’s casino in Atlantic City. They have just finished renovations to the casino to include a large swimming pool addition. The swimming pool addition is called “The Pool – Harrah’s Atlantic City”. A bit of an understatement for such a grand project. The pool area includes palm trees, waterfalls, a swimming pool, a spa and Jacuzzi, plenty of tropical vegetation, linen gazebos for light dining and privacy and of course some elegant stone paving and coping provided by Stoneyard.com.

They chose a mix of my yellow brown and yellow pink sandstone pavers. The stone was installed in a random 45-degree offset pattern. This means that a square looks like a diamond as you walk through the pool area. This is what helps give the area its rich elegant look.

The coping, caps and accent pieces are fabricated with 2-inch thick red sandstone with rocked edges. This deep color helps contrast the pool and vegetation while complimenting the pinkish hues in the sandstone pavers. I think it is an excellent choice for the project.

I have included a few of the pictures to wet your appetite. If you have the need to see more it’s as easy as a quick trip to Atlantic City to see it in living color. My brother Jerry just got back from Harrah’s where we were exhibiting for a show last week, and he says the “The Pool” is magnificent.

If you don't want to make the trip to Atlantic City, just visit my Design Center where I have posted many more lovely pictures of the project. Enjoy "The Pool" at Harrah's either in person or compliments of Stoneyard.com.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New and Improved Buyer's Guide

My Buyer’s Guide is one of the most popular sections of my website. I have made a few changes to it to make it user-friendlier and also to provide more information to all of you.

It is very easy to use. All you need to do is enter your zip code and choose a category from the list. Each of the categories has a number at the end of it. This number tells you how many listings there are in that category. Choose a category and you will go to the list of qualified professionals in this category. Some of the categories include masonry, landscaping, building, architect, landscape architect and landscape designer. These are a few of the categories that I have listed. Because I have had such a demand to be listed in the guide, many more categories for stone and stone-related professionals are listed in the guide.

I have four groupings for all of the categories. The four groupings are Contractors, Suppliers, Services and Stoneyard.com Dealers. This helps organize the categories so you don’t have to spend a lot of time searching for professionals.

The professionals that are listed on the guide tell me how much of an area they are able to service. Therefore, the professionals that appear on your search have already agreed to provide their service or product in your area. This will save you time finding the right professional for your stone requirements.

If you are looking for quality natural stone products, the best category to start with is Stoneyard.com Dealers. This category contains the listing of dealers in your area that sell my stone products. Make sure you tell them that you found them from Stoneyard.com’s new and improved buyer’s guide. They will be happy to help you with the natural stone products that you are looking for to complete your project.

If you haven’t tried the guide recently, give it a test run right now. Let me know what you think of the improvements. I think you’ll enjoy the new look and feel.

If you are a stone professional and haven’t signed up to be listed on the guide, please give Aimee Mcgarry a call at 800-231-2200 x 11. She will be more than happy to help get you signed up. I am getting over 9000 searches each month from the guide, so you should see activity right away. I’ll lead the horses to your watering hole; it’s up to you to get them to drink.

Take advantage of this great tool that matches natural stone needs with natural stone professionals.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

NE Square and Rectangular Building Veneer

Do you like the look of uniform cut stone for your home or place of business? If so then you are going to love my square and rectangular stone veneer.

Square and rectangular stone veneer starts off as the same gathered stone that I use to make my other veneer products. I collect this stone from farms and fields throughout New England and bring it to my facility in Littleton, MA. It is then sorted into the different types of stone products that I provide to you everyday. Square and rectangular veneer requires one additional step which is cutting the stone into roughly square and rectangular pieces in my stone splitter. This saves the mason a lot of time cutting and shaping the stone. The mason only needs to trim the material and install it to create your unique stone project.


Each piece of the square and rectangular veneer is different. There are a broad range of sizes, textures and colors that add to the allure of the stone. Take a look at the picture above and you can see the differences in each piece. This project shows the weathered face of the stone, concealing the full palette of colors. If you prefer more of a range of color, then build the structure with the split face exposed. This look will give you colors including white, beige, brown, green, gray and black. Many pieces have a combination of colors due to the minerals included in the formation of this quartzitic stone.

This stone is a great choice for your veneer project because it is a very dense, durable and similar to granite in strength. The difference between granite and fieldstone is that the fieldstone weighs 15-20% less than granite. Talk to your mason about this and see his eyes light up when he finds out he needs to handle 20% less weight and still produce the same amount of work in a day. He will be happy and you are going to love what he creates for you.


If you have more questions regarding my square and rectangular veneer, give one of my sales representatives a call at 800-231-2200. They are very knowledgeable and can help you with your stone requirements.

If you would like to see more pictures of my stone, visit my design center at Stoneyard.com.

Finally, if you are looking for a stone professional in your area check out my new and improved buyer’s guide at Stoneyard.com. I am getting over 9,000 searches every month from stone consumers looking for qualified stone professionals. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’m sure you’ll find that it is a valuable tool in helping you complete your next stone project.

Don’t settle for anything less than natural stone veneer for your next stone project.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Efflorescence

Where does efflorescence come from and how do you remove it?

I spoke to a customer about white stains on their stonewall. After reviewing the construction procedures and pictures, we determined that the stains were caused from efflorescence. Efflorescence is present when water-soluble salts are allowed to travel to the surface where the water evaporates, leaving the salts behind. They can be in the form of white powdery stains or if allowed to build up on the surface the salts will create a "crystalline" efflorescence.

Both of these problems can be removed. The white powdery stain can be removed a lot easier than the crystalline. To remove the white stains try cleaning with clean water and a stiff brush. If this doesn’t work then an efflorescence treatment cleaner will be needed.

I found a good website that has cleaning products for efflorescence. It is http://www.aldonchem.com/. Check out their Step 2 FAQ’s and Problem Solving section for advice and products to use to clean efflorescence from stone products. They have a product for both the powdery white stains and the crystalline stains.

Crystalline stains will require more work than cleaning with water. This is because the salts have been allowed to build up and have created crystals on the surface. When using a cleaning agent to remove the crystals here are a few tips:

  • Don’t use strong pool acids or muriatic acid. A much safer hydrochloric acid mixed with cleaning agents is just as strong and much safer than muriatic acid.
  • If you hear a “fizzing” sound when cleaning, then it is efflorescence. If not it is another problem.
  • Although hydrochloric acid is safe, it is recommended to not let it contact any vegetation.

When all of the crystals have been removed you may need to clean the surface with a cleaning agent that removes the white powdery stains. Check out the above website for both of these products.

If these products do not remove the white stain, then the problem is not efflorescence. It could be mineral deposits that have come in contact with the stone from the outside. These deposits will need other cleaning agents, but similar to efflorescence can be removed from the surface of the stone.

When the stains have been removed the stone can be protected from future efflorescence by sealing the stone with a penetrating sealer.

This step-by-step procedure should take care of most efflorescence problems. If problems persist and you are convinced that efflorescence is the problem, contact the manufacturer for more details on how to deal with the stains.

Let me know how these steps work for you. If you take some before and after pictures you can send them to me at sales@stoneyard.com. I’ll include them in my design center so that they may be helpful to others in the future.

Friday, July 06, 2007

New England Fieldstone - Thin Veneer Ledgestone

Here's my latest video on New England Fieldstone. It features my thin veneer ledgestone.

This is a great product when footings are not possible, or too costly. Easy to install.

Upgrade the look of your home or place of business with the unique look of New England thin veneer ledgestone. This product cannot be replicated by any other stone product. It is a one of a kind!

Call my sales representatives at 800-231-2200 and ask them to send you out a sample of the ledgestone so you can evaluate it for yourself.