Stone Initiatives is the only NATA-accredited laboratory in Australia that specialises in dimension stone. We offer fast and reliable slip testing, dimension stone evaluation, heritage services and more, working closely with the architectural, conservation and building industries. Our reports are more than just numbers – we provide scientifically backed insights and useful results that are easy to understand. Work with us to save time, minimise risk and make informed choices for the success of your product or project.
Make the most of your dimension stone resource. Comprehensive testing and evaluation of all dimension stones provides data to determine the suitability of the stone for proposed uses.
Our testing regimes and wide experience in floor finish evaluation enable us to provide customised solutions that match the right stone with the unique requirements of your project. We’ll help you create a flawless finish.
Our NATA-accredited one-stop testing and consulting service is an asset for the ceramic tile industry. Work with us from the development of the ceramic tile, to the utilisation of the tile at the project level and beyond.
We specialise in the analysis of historic coatings, mortar and cement products. Testing and evaluation programs can be compiled from a wide range of tests conforming to standard procedures.
Heritage architecture, just like ageing humans, requires regular examination and maintenance to ensure optimal performance in its environment. Our qualified, experienced team of multidisciplinary professionals can attend to the needs of your precious buildings and help produce an informed conservation plan.
We provide objective and independent Expert Witness services related to the selection, installation and use of stone products and related infrastructure. Our testing is backed up by an externally audited quality-assurance system, providing added confidence in court.
When dimension stone is used for building construction without full knowledge of its properties, problems such as cracking, spalling, staining and decay can occur. The natural variation and uniqueness that makes the stone so appealing can also bring about variability in physical properties. We can help.
Stone Initiatives’ capability covers a wide range of Australian (AS), American (ASTM) and International (ISO) standards. We have the knowledge and flexibility to develop in-house test methods for non-routine or unusual projects.
Principal and Chief Consultant
Jim Mann is the principal and chief consultant at Stone Initiatives. He founded the company in 2003 and has since then guided its growth and development into a leading international dimension stone and materials testing company.
Materials Testing Specialist – Finishes Evaluation Services
Kate Tonkin oversees the Surface Finish Evaluation department, encompassing slip-resistance, accelerated wear, stain-resistance and sealer selection. She is motivated by seeing how the effective use of dimension stone contributes to outstanding building projects.
Materials Testing Specialist – Heritage Services
Mark Milevski is a geomaterials scientist with an interest in heritage and conservation. He has a Bachelor of Science (Geology, Geophysics and Applied Geology) from the University of Adelaide and a Certificate II in Construction.
Quality Systems and I.T. Coordinator
Graham Baggs supervises the quality systems and information technology administration and maintenance at Stone Initiatives, and assists with more complex testing projects. He has a background in information technology, surveying, cartography and conveyancing.
Scientific Officer – Finishes Evaluation Services
Tom Baggs is a geomaterials scientist with an interest in petrology and petrography, involving the detailed study of the composition and structure of rocks. He has a Bachelor of Science (Mineral Geoscience) with First Class Honours from the University of Adelaide.
Media and Communications Manager
Mary Mann is a communications specialist with more than fourteen years of experience in media, journalism and editing. She has a Master of Editing and Publishing from Monash University and a Bachelor of Media (Journalism) from Southern Cross University.
Analysis of a sample from a 1930s Melbourne monument reveals the fascinating stories that can be discovered through mortar testing for heritage conservation projects. Article by Mark Milevski At Stone Initiatives, we receive a wide range of mortar types for…
The use of asbestos has been banned in Australia since 2003, but did you know that it can be naturally present in dimension stone such as some marbles and granites? Whether you’re a stonemason, quarry person, builder or scientist in…
A helpful guide for maintaining premium floor finishes: How to clean natural stone flooring without damaging the surface and what to do when there’s a spill. Article: Jim Mann The golden rule for maintaining a premium floor finish is ‘as…
How does salt affect the durability of dimension stone, and when is serious damage likely to occur? Explore the Australian/New Zealand Standard for salt durability testing and get expert insight to help you prevent salt attack damage in your next…
For Jim Mann, testing is about more than just numbers, and a rock is not simply a rock. The principal of Stone Initiatives says that every piece of natural stone is as unique an individual as a person is; we…
The availability of large-format natural stone pavers at affordable prices has resulted in a dramatic increase in their use. Find out why good-quality paving often deteriorates prematurely and why sealers are not a substitute for using the right stone for…
I can honestly say that in the past 15 years of working with Jim and the team at Stone Initiatives, I have never had a bad experience. I have always found them good to work with, and their technical experience and advice have really helped with many projects we have completed in the past.
We have more trust in the results we receive from Stone Initiatives [compared to other labs], as Jim and the team tend to have a deeper understanding of what we are trying to achieve or want to get out of the testing or analysis. We have recommended Stone Initiatives’ services to both clients and builders.
Working with Stone Initiatives has been a very positive experience – all queries are dealt with professionally and promptly, the quality of the work is 10/10 and the timeliness is spot-on.
The principal, Jim, is one of the most experienced – if not the most experienced – dimension stone experts I have dealt with. Having worked around the world, he is up there at the top. I have no hesitation in recommending Stone Initiatives for any project that is considering stone as a cladding material.