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. Contact our Adelaide-based team of product evaluation experts today.
If you want to build confidence in your stone product and be assured of its fitness for use, having it tested and evaluated by experts in the field is a must. Appropriate testing will determine the properties of the material and give you insight into thickness requirements for various paver formats for it to meet relevant industry standards or load requirements.
At Stone Initiatives, 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.
Whether you’re a designer, manufacturer, supplier or builder, our ceramic tile testing services provide reliable data and relevant insights for the benefit of your product or project. Work with us from the selection of the ceramic tile, right through to use 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. Our team assists owners, architects and conservators in developing the knowledge necessary to produce an informed conservation plan.
We specialise in testing and evaluation of building stone and related materials such as historical coatings and mortar products. In addition to historical stone analysis, our heritage services include determination of the physical properties of other building materials, selection/sourcing of replacement stone for use in historical structures, and analysis of historical mortars, lime washes and other finishes.
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.
Testing is the starting point for determining the suitability of a specific stone for a particular application. This can include testing the strength of the stone by determining its resistance to crushing and bending; testing the stone’s wear resistance and slip…
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…
Stone Initiatives is the best when it comes to testing and review of materials. Jim and his team are very professional and accurate. As a supplier and installer we work very closely with Stone Initiatives to give our clients the best support and feedback when it comes to stone selection for their project. They provide top-quality work that is always delivered on time. I highly recommend them as they are a very professional service and always keen to provide feedback and assistance.
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.
How is stone evaluated?
At Stone Initiatives we spend time upfront learning about your project and the stone product to be evaluated. This important step gives us a solid understanding of what we are testing, at what thickness and size, for what and where it will be used, and what you’d like to achieve by using this particular type of material.
Representative sampling is very important – if we’re testing your product for a particular project, it’s best to test from a batch that is going to be used, at a relevant thickness and finish. Ship your samples to our NATA-accredited laboratory in Adelaide, or we can perform some tests on site in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, across Australia and internationally.
Product evaluation experts
With decades of knowledge and experience in product testing and evaluation services, we’ve developed a suite of in-house testing methods to help determine fitness for use. These include various tests for strength, water absorption, slip resistance, abrasion resistance, stain resistance, durability and petrographic examination.
We also choose relevant tests from the range of Australian and International Standards that are most appropriate for your job, taking into account your specific project specifications. Once the testing has been completed, we work with you to ensure you understand what the test results mean and how you can use the results for the benefit of your product or project.
Learn how our stone testing and evaluation services can support your project – get in touch.