Finishes evaluation

The Finishes Evaluation Department encompasses slip resistance testing, stain resistance testing and sealer evaluation (among other relevant tests). When it comes to selecting a stone finish, there is far more than aesthetics to take into consideration. Our materials testing specialists can help you match the right products with your project, and create flawless surface finishes that are fit for purpose.

Types of surfaces we test and evaluate:

  • Internal and external flooring surface
  • Roadways
  • Office lobbies
  • Pedestrian areas
  • Stone benchtops
  • Splashbacks and other kitchen surfaces
  • Bathroom vanities
  • Swimming pool surrounds
  • Sports courts
  • Other surfaces

An effective testing program prior to installation will minimise the problems that can be encountered with the use of dimension stone, such as decay, staining, slip incidents and structural failure. We can ensure your surfaces meet relevant slip resistance standards; assist in appropriate sealer selection; advise on your product’s stain resistance, abrasion resistance, strength and other important properties; and we can design a comprehensive testing program to ensure total quality control of material used during a project.

Our specialised consultants test to meet Australian Standards and relevant building code requirements, while also taking into consideration important aesthetic desires relevant to your specific project. In addition to pre-installation testing, we can also troubleshoot any challenges you may have with existing floor and surface finishes.

Slip resistance

Stone Initiatives has wide experience in slip resistance, both in product testing and litigation. Our team can test for the slip resistance of your existing project on site, anywhere in Australia, or you can send surface samples to be slip tested in our NATA-accredited lab here in Adelaide. You can find more details on our dedicated slip resistance testing page here.

Stain resistance and sealer evaluation

At Stone Initiatives we have developed a Stain Resistance and Sealer Evaluation Standard that allows you to choose the best products for your surface. We test and compare the effectiveness of sealers on your stone product, catering to the exact needs of your flooring or other surface depending on its proposed use. Stone Initiatives can provide advice on sealer selection, or we can test your choice of sealer.

Which tests do I need for my surface?

Testing regimes vary depending on the proposed use of the stone finish. For example, for a stone being used for bar counter tops, we would typically recommend tests such as strength, water absorption/density, loss of polish and stain resistance. While for a stone being used as flooring, we would include other tests such as slip resistance, abrasion resistance and impact resistance. In a wet area like a bathroom, we might include a durability test (resistance to salt attack) particularly if stone is being used within the shower alcove. See below for an outline of relevant tests.

Above: Resistance to salt attack test; adhesion pull-off test; wet pendulum instrument on site; slip resistance testing; stain resistance testing; abrasion resistance testing.

Tests relevant to Finishes Evaluation include:


  • Water Absorption and Density (ASTM C97)
  • Modulus of Rupture (ASTM C99)
  • Stain Resistance (SI-STAIN)
  • Durability / Resistance to Salt Attack (AS/NZS4456.5) – particularly relevant for wet areas such as bathrooms and in public areas such as lobby floors.
  • Slip Resistance (AS4586 App A)
  • Abrasion resistance – relevant for stone being used in a high traffic area.
  • Loss of Polish (resistance to scuffing) – this is a change in gloss test, used for floors in replace of abrasion resistance for a domestic-type area. Used to show the stones susceptibility of scuffing, scratching, or polishing up. Not always tested; depends on application / location.
  • Impact Resistance – Internal (AS4459.5) – not always necessary. Shows susceptibility to stun marks from dropping of heavy items or from stiletto heels or similar.


  • Water Absorption and Density (ASTM C97)
  • Flexural Strength (ASTM C880) or Modulus of Rupture (ASTM C99)
  • Stain Resistance (SI-STAIN)
  • Durability / Resistance to Salt Attack (AS/NZS4456.5) – particularly relevant for wet areas such as bathrooms.
  • Loss of Polish – occasionally tested, depending on the application and location.


  • Water Absorption and Density (ASTM C97) – not always necessary.
  • Modulus of Rupture (ASTM C99)
  • Stain Resistance (SI-STAIN)
  • Durability / Resistance to Salt Attack (AS/NZS4456.5) – not always necessary, however, sometimes tested on stone being used in wet areas such as bathrooms.
  • Loss of Polish – not always tested; depends on application / location.
  • Impact Resistance – Internal (AS4459.5) – not always necessary;  mainly tested on bars or benchtops.

In addition to the above lists, other tests can be completed depending on the location of the installed stone. For example, if the stone is to be installed within or surrounding a swimming pool or spa, our team might recommend including other tests such as dimensional stability and chemical resistance. For some stone types, we might recommend a petrographic examination to identify any unusual features or minerals within the stone.

Not all tests are always required – tests are recommended based on the individual stone type and application. Get in touch to discuss your product or project, or for queries relating to floor finish evaluation, stone specification, stone staining and sealer selection.

“We all love the look of a beautiful granite benchtop or a spectacular marble feature wall, but choosing stone finishes for your project can be complicated. Many factors impact the choice of a stone finish beyond the desired aesthetics. At Stone Initiatives we work with our clients to ensure the stone finish they have chosen is suitable for the proposed application and if needed, we recommend solutions to any issues that may arise along the way.”

— Kate Tonkin, Materials Testing Specialist, Finishes Evaluation Services

Why choose us for finishes evaluation?

Our reports are about more than just numbers – we provide scientifically backed insights and useful results that are easy to understand. Working with us can save you time, help to reduce risk and enable you to make the right choices for the success of your project. Our staff have more than 30 years of experience in finishes evaluation for tiles, flooring systems and other pedestrian surfaces. We are skilled and experienced trouble-shooters backed by a laboratory that can provide additional services related to pedestrian surface finishes – this makes solving problems and minimising risk in your project quicker, easier and stress free. See more reasons here.

Have questions? Need a quote? Get in touch.