Stone Italiana was established in Verona in 1979 and is today a leading-edge manufacturer of recomposed quartz and marble surfaces. Over the years, Stone Italiana’s production has been a reflection of a new way of perceiving and using stone, something much like a semantic revolution. Stone Italiana has rediscovered qualities which are found in the natural world, such as uniqueness, non-repeatability and variety, yet it never tried to imitate nature. Rather, it has drawn inspiration from it to develop brand new materials that offer improved performance to an ever more discerning market. Research is Stone Italiana’s way of being and interacting with ideas, design and intuitions. However, there can be no research without experimentation and this is a top priority at Stone Italiana, through all production steps, from aesthetic considerations to product performance.
Stone Italiana has an on-going commitment to producing surfaces with enhanced mechanical strength, reduced thickness, weight and always experimenting with new colours and textures, while trying out mixture compositions and grades tailored to the Customer’s needs. Thus, innovation and technology are the key factors of the quality culture that has always set Stone Italiana apart.
Quality and Customer Satisfaction
This is the standard Stone Italiana uses to implement a business management and quality management system aimed at guiding business processes and improving the efficacy and efficiency of both production systems and performance. Stone Italiana’s goal is to gain and also increase customer and end-consumer satisfaction through a continual process of assessing and analyzing the company’s business performance.
The elements that make up Stone Italiana’s Quality Management System are:
- Focus on customers and the market;
- Management of company resources in terms of people, equipment, technology, research & development, know-how and staff involvement;
- A process-based approach to every operation, whether internal or involving external parties;
- A systemic approach to business management;
- Operational control over critical processes and performance monitoring using process indicators;
- Continuous improvement;
- Decisions based on sure facts;
- Mutually beneficial relationships with customers and suppliers.
This is a voluntary certification which Stone Italiana uses to implement an Environmental Management System ensuring careful use of base materials, monitoring of emissions into the atmosphere, management of chemicals and monitoring of environmental risks.
Through its Business Management System, Stone Italiana plans, schedules and monitors the following activities to protect the environment both inside and outside the company:
- Constant commitment to detecting any substances that may be harmful to human health by identifying all the hazardous materials released into the environment during the manufacturing and preparation of semi-processed and finished products. The solvents used during our production processes are within the permitted limits for pollutants discharged into the atmosphere and for air quality both during the manufacturing stage and when the final product is used. No toxic metal components are used.
- Strong focus on reducing and monitoring VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions: VOC emissions are calculated and measures are activated and kept active in order to reduce these emissions both during the manufacturing stage and when the final product is used. We achieve this by:
- Monitoring and measuring emissions in compliance with Italian law;
- Purchasing substances with lower VOC content;
- Performing chemical analyzes in the workplace and medical check-ups on workers.
- Use of renewable resources in the place of non-renewable resources;
- Continuous focus on using materials with recycled content: Stone Italiana is constantly committed to analyzing ways to reuse materials left over by manufacturing processes in order to create new, innovative materials for worktops, floors and wall cladding;
- Recycling: we set up initiatives to encourage product recycling, such as enabling solid waste materials to be reused as road surfaces, by handing them over to qualified professionals in compliance with the relevant legal directives;
- Labelling, certification and life cycle assessments for every product and material;
- When purchasing base materials, selection of the materials to purchase giving priority to those which ensure environmental sustainability or greater conservation of natural resources;
- Purchase of FSC-certified wood.
Occupational Health and Safety
OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) is a voluntary certification which Stone Italiana uses to implement an Occupational Health and Safety Management System.
The benefits of integrating health and safety into the overall business management system can be seen in the improvements in:
- the efficacy and efficiency of production cycles; the greater quality of the products and services provided;
- the reduction of the environmental impact of manufacturing processes;
- the optimization of the resources dedicated to safety;
- a reduction in the number of man hours lost to injury and illness;
- curtailment of damage to buildings, machinery and production caused by accidents;
- great staff loyalty to the company;
- in less problem areas being identified by the inspection authorities;
- and the creation of a responsible image for the organization.
The NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) is the largest organization in the world in the realm of assessing and certifying the products and materials destined for contact with foodstuffs and their suitability for coming into contact with foodstuffs. The NSF mark, synonymous with public health, is recognized around the world as a symbol of the high standards of safety of all the products it certifies, meaning that customers can rest easy when purchasing anything with NSF certification.
Stone Italiana’s materials have been awarded the prestigious NSF/ANSI Std. 51 mark (National Sanitation Foundation – Food Equipment Materials), guaranteeing that they are safe for contact with foodstuffs. They fulfil the strict chemical analysis criteria for the certification, proving that the materials used to manufacture them meet international food safety requirements.
In the USA, suitability for contact with foodstuffs and the use of food additives are governed by chapter 21 of theCode of Federal Regulations, (CFR). This chapter is handled by the DA (Food and Drug Administration U.S.A.) which, by awarding the NSF 51 certification, guarantees that Stone Italiana surfaces are “food contact proof” and therefore suitable for use as kitchen worktops in contact with foodstuffs.
NSF 51 certification consists of:
- Initial Type Testing (ITT) and periodical testing of samples of Stone Italiana materials at NSF laboratories in the USA;
- Yearly spot inspections at the Stone Italiana production plant in order to assess the processes for receiving base materials, colourants, additives and resins, and to ensure the traceability of the batches of all the components declared in the formulations both at the mixing and the finishing stage.
Food Contact Materials
In the European Union, food contact materials are governed by Regulation (EC) no. 1935/2004, which lays down the general principles for all materials that may come into contact with foodstuffs.
This Directive contains two distinct positive lists of all the monomers and additives suitable for food contact; it establishes an overall migration limit (OML) for substances composing the material that may come into contact with foodstuffs and that are released by the product into the food (which may depend on the temperature of use) of 60mg/kg, and for some substances lays down even stricter specific migration limits (SML).
The formulations used by Stone Italiana are specifically designed for food contact and make use only of the substances contained on the positive lists mentioned above. The company, boosted by the UNI EN ISO 9001:2008 certification awarded to its Quality Management System, ensures that the production processes are managed and monitored in compliance with criteria that guarantee that the objectives declared regarding the food safety of the surfaces (OML under the permitted levels) are constantly attained and that the principle of traceability is adhered to. Therefore this type of product follows a production procedure dedicated to guaranteeing top standards of quality, with strict monitoring and tests carried out throughout the process.
Stone Italiana materials are safe for both people and the environment: they do not contain or emit volatile substances such as VOCs, which is why they have been awarded the prestigious GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD GOLD certifications.
All the surfaces produced by Stone Italiana for use as flooring and wall treatments have been declared “low emitting”. In indoor environments and schools, they help keep indoor pollution levels to a minimum and therefore meet the strict criteria imposed by the GreenGuard certification programme.
GREENGUARD certifies the products and materials used in the construction of buildings; the requirements and criteria for emissions tests reflect the parameters for construction and protect the health of all those who use commercial spaces.
The GREENGUARD GOLD certification concerns the materials and construction tools used in schools and healthcare facilities. Recognising that children and the sick are more sensitive to chemical pollution, the Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) has developed a certification programme with even tighter VOC emission limits than those set for commercial spaces.
Products with GREENGUARD GOLD certification meet the requirements set by the State of California for use in schools and healthcare facilities.
In order to ensure that VOC emissions stay within the accepted limits over time, Stone Italiana materials are periodically tested at the GREENGUARD laboratories in the USA; this way it’s guaranteed that volatile substance emissions will continue to respect the strict criteria set by the organization.
Conformity with the European Standard
European Union Regulation 305/11 stipulates that building work must be planned and carried out in such a way as not to endanger the safety of people or goods. To this end, Stone Italiana SPA guarantees that its flooring materials comply with the European harmonized technical standard UNI EN 15285:2008 on “Modular Tiles for Flooring and Stairs”.
The Declaration of Performance (DoP) is made by performing initial and periodical ITT tests (which must be carried out by an accredited laboratory) on each family of products. Stone Italiana keeps implementing and continuously documents its Factory Production Control (FPC) system designed to ensure that during the floor tile manufacturing process all the necessary controls to guarantee the conformity of the products with the performance parameters set by the CE standard are carried out.
Stone Italiana materials’ suitability for use
Stone Italiana has also been awarded the prestigious French certification Avis Technique and holds the technical application document AVIS TECHNIQUE 12+13/14-1688: this is drawn up by two panels of building industry experts. It deals with materials made using innovative techniques, and certifies their suitability for use. This certification is issued by the French organization CSTB only after rigorous laboratory testing and assessments carried out through inspections of large amounts of flooring supplied and laid in recent years in places such as shopping centres, lobbies, skyscraper landings, etc.. Avis Technique establishes that the materials are fit for the use they have been designed for, defines their technical features, decides whether they comply with the applicable legislation, and ensure that they are laid correctly using suitable binders.
Stone Italiana materials have been found to have unique characteristics in conformity with the standard:
Floor tile formats
Stone Italiana is the only company in the world awarded the Avis Technique certification for the 60×120 format; this means that Stone Italiana can supply large-format floor tiles that fulfil the technical requirements laid down by the strict French legislation.
Floor tile thickness
Stone Italiana is also the only company in the industry awarded the Avis Technique certification for the 1cm-thick tile. Thickness is crucial in the flexure bending test, where the material’s ability to flex and therefore bear heavy loads is measured. By reducing the thickness of the material, its load-bearing capacity could be adversely affected; however, Stone Italiana’s material, tested at a thickness of 1cm, fulfils all the requirements laid down by the standard.
This is a functional classification system that certifies whether a certain flooring product is suitable for use in a certain room for a sufficient and reasonable time. Every private, commercial or public room with predominantly pedestrian traffic is classified on the basis of the stresses to which it is likely to be subjected, expressed as follows:
U = represents trampling wear
P= (punching) represents the mechanical stresses the floor is likely to be subjected to
E= represents the presence of water on the floor
C= represents the amount and intensity of chemical substances that may damage or leave stains on the floor
As far as the “U” category is concerned, Stone Italiana’s quartz materials achieve a level 4, the highest-performance classification.
Regarding the “P” category, the products in the Quartz range in the 30x30cm and 60x60cm formats have been awarded P4 classification, the highest possible level for resistance to mechanical stress for recomposed materials. It should be noted that the P4 classification means the flooring is suitable for use in rooms where heavy-duty cleaning and maintenance equipment is in frequent use. CSTB has drawn up a list of the different types of rooms with pedestrian traffic where P4 classified flooring is compulsory. These include:
- Shopping centres
- Train/bus stations
- Entrance lobbies (in cinemas, theatres, etc.)
- Student residences
As for the “E” category, the level 3 achieved by all Stone Italiana’s materials in quartz and marble is a guarantee of their top performance in terms of water absorption.
Concerning the technical feature classified under the letter “C”, which determines the resistance of the materials to chemical agents, Stone Italiana’s Quartz range has been assigned the top classification, C2. French legislation requires that the flooring in certain rooms must absolutely have C2 classification. These include:
- Public healthcare facilities
- Train/bus stations
- Shopping centres
- Student residences
With its “Quartz” and “Quartz with inserts” range, Stone Italiana fully conforms to the requirements laid down by French law regarding this technical feature.
Fire resistance EN 13501-1:2009
All the colours in the Stone Italiana recomposed quartz range of thickness between 1-1.3cm, and those with a polyester resin content ranging between 7-11%, meet the requirements for the A2fl-s1 classification for use as flooring laid by being fixed with a bi-component glue. This means that they are non flammable materials.
In 1993, the certifications and certification bodies of the Professional Associations for Industry and Commerce of the Federal Republic of Germany established the e “BG test and certification body BG-PRÜFZERT”. This federation is made up of the certification bodies of the expert commissions appointed by the occupational health and safety institutes belonging to the German professional orders.
Stone Italiana has BG-PRÜFZERT certification for its standards of surface flammability, which conform to IMO (International Maritime Organization) standard IMO FTPC parts 2 & 5. These cover:
- Smoke-tightness, in other words the potential emissions of toxic fumes that could escape if the flooring materials and wall treatments used in shipbuilding caught fire;
- The flame-spread characteristics of the materials used in shipbuilding.
All Stone Italiana’s materials in recomposed quartz meet the requirements for the A2fl-s1 classification for use as flooring laid by being fixed with a two-component glue. This means that they are non flammable materials.
Similarly, they fulfil the criteria laid down by the standard UNI EN 13501-1:2009 regarding their suitability for use as construction elements used for walls and ceilings.
The test methods of the EN ISO 1716:2010 and EN 13823:2010 standards have led to Stone Italiana’s recomposed quartz coverings attaining the A2-s1,d0 classification.
Indoor Environmental Quality
LEED® – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is the rating system used to classify buildings according to their environmental sustainability. The system was developed by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) and is a points-based system where buildings are assigned credits for how well they meet specific environmental requirements according to the materials used in their construction, the technologies they employ and the design and construction techniques used. Points are awarded in six categories:
- SUSTAINABLE SITES
- WATER MANAGEMENT
- ENERGY AND THE ATMOSPHERE
- MATERIALS AND RESOURCES
- INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
- DESIGN AND INNOVATION
The overall performance of the building is obtained by adding together the credits awarded in each of the six areas. Performance is sub-divided into four levels:
PLATINUM, GOLD, SILVER, CERTIFIED
By supplying its materials, Stone Italiana can help towards gaining LEED credits as it produces materials with recycled elements (identified with the Recycling Components mark) and employs reusable materials such as wooden, plastic and cardboard packing. Our materials also preserve indoor air quality because they are free from VOC emissions and formaldehyde.