The Irish Blue Limestone producers operate to an agreed classification and quality control standard that guarantees a consistently high quality material irrespective of the company supplying the stone.
It is important to remember all the companies are working a naturally formed deposit which includes subtle variations in colour and appearance between the individual beds within each quarry as well as between the quarries. The choice of finish will also change the final appearance of the stone.
Four simple steps will ensure what you expect is what you get!
The sample photographs and descriptions in this guide are the starting point for the choice of material. They provide a realistic indication of the typical appearance of the finished stone and details of the suitability of the finish for any application.
Having decided on the finish, it is important to make sure that the actual stone matches expectations. The companies can supply small reference test pieces but where extensive use of Irish Blue Limestone is being considered for a project, it is essential not to rely solely on the test samples.
It is possible to arrange to view larger panels of current production runs of the chosen finish. These give a much clearer indication of how the Irish Blue Limestone will appear in the project. The subtle interplay of colour, texture, minerals and fossils which makes the material so desirable often only becomes apparent when larger areas of the Irish Blue Limestone are examined.
It is also important to remember that numerous beds are present in each quarry and they all give rise to slight changes in the appearance of the finished stone. If some feature of the larger sample is not quite right for the project discuss it with the producer. Certain aspects of the material may be a natural characteristic that cannot be changed but the company may be able to offer stone from other beds that will be closer to what is sought for the project.
The Irish Blue Limestone producers are all concerned that if their materials are chosen everyone is completely satisfied with the final result. Following the steps outlined in this section for the selection of stone and finish is the only way of making certain that reality matches the concept.