Design

All about the blue stone of Hainaut

Christine Fleurent

As a building material imperishable in and out, the blue stone of Hainaut is appreciated throughout the house: flooring, countertops, bathrooms, fireplaces ...

It is called "petit granit" or Soignies stone. Limestone rock of sedimentary origin exploited in Belgium, the blue stone of Hainaut is composed of 96% of calcite (calcium carbonate) and shelters many marine fossils.

From gray to black ink

The stone of Hainaut is naturally gray, with bluish tints. The finishing work provides a range of colors, from light gray matt (when the material is rough sawn or bushhammered) to shiny black and deep (when the stone is polished with very fine abrasives ).

The price ?

From € 45 per m2 for a simple finish, type outdoor pavers, € 90 per m2 for a more elaborate look. Regardless of its appearance, the blue stone has the same qualities: non-porous, it resists stains and supports freezing and temperature variations. Like any limestone, it is sensitive to acidity: the maintenance is done with a neutral soap. To prevent possible acid attacks (lemon, etc.), the work surfaces can be saturated with linseed oil or edible oil.

Asian competition

The Chinese and Vietnamese stones (the latter being the closest aesthetically) are sold 30 to 50% cheaper than the Walloon stone. In cause, reduced extraction costs, of course, but also the lack of qualitative sorting. When the quarries of Soignies commercialize only about 20% of the stones extracted (the rest being valorized enconcassage), the Asian quarries export the entirety of the extractions. The key, unevenness of hues and cuts and less resistance (including frost).

Which address ?

The quarries of Hainaut offer slabs of standard format (from 15 x 15 to 80 x 80 cm) in different finishes (sawn, flamed, chiseled, old-fashioned, etc.). For tailor-made projects, you must contact a local marble manufacturer (list on www.carrieresduhainaut.com).