GPH Champion the ‘Stonemarket’ Stone Standard: why it’s important to buy good quality natural stone

As the warmer weather approaches, you might be starting to turn your attention to your garden. If you’re thinking about a garden makeover, you may be considering garden paving and there are a lot of brands and styles to choose from. That should be a good thing, right? Well for some people, the choice is overwhelming and it leaves the customer wondering what’s the best decision to make.

Choosing the right paving for your garden really matters and if you get it right, you’ll be able to enjoy the rewards for many years afterwards. A well-designed and installed garden patio can transform an outdoor area and add significant value to your home. In fact, alongside making over your kitchen and bathroom, paving your garden can be a reasonably inexpensive way of adding many thousands to the sale price of your home.

GPH are purveyors of good quality products and as such, is a proud stockist of Stonemarket products (Stonemarket only supply to independent builder’s merchants). So, who are Stonemarket?

Stonemarket is one of the leading UK manufacturers of garden paving products who pride themselves in exceptionally high standards as all sandstone products exceed the British stone standard. All Sandstone products will:

  • Be frost resistant
  • Have a maximum water absorption of 1.7%
  • Have a flexural strength of no less than 12.9mpa
  • Exceed the base technical levels outline in the British Standard, BS 7533 Class 2

Putting these standards in contextIf a stone loses strength or starts to fall apart when subjected to repeated frosts (a crucial characteristic in the harsh British climate), then it isn’t fit for purpose. You can purchase a Stonemarket product knowing it’s frost resistant.

The higher the water absorption percentage, the higher the chance the stone has of quickly going ‘green’ with algae growth. This won’t happen when you buy a Stonemarket product because the most water it can absorb is 1.7%.

The higher the flexural strength number, the stronger the stone and the less chance it has of breaking or cracking under pressure or in transit. At no less than 12.9mpa, you can depend on your Stonemarket product holding its strength.


Helping hand: questions worth considering before making a purchaseWhen selecting paving, it’s worth considering the following 4 questions:

  1. Is the sandstone CE marked and can the values be proven with an actual test report which is less than 2 years old? If not, you are not competing against a product that meets the British Standard.
  2. Is the water absorbency of the sandstone less than 2.5%? If not, it has a greater chance of going green quickly and will be harder to maintain.
  3. Is the flexural strength of the sandstone more than 12mpa? If not, it has a greater chance of turning up damaged, broken, or cracked or breaking during installation.
  4. Has the sandstone gone through frost resistance testing? If not, it could degrade quickly and is likely to fail once installed.


Derek Cowan, Area Sales Manager for Stonemarket said: ‘We are proud to be at the cutting edge of hard landscaping product development. We want to offer customers the best possible experience at every step of the journey. We appreciate people may be investing quite a bit of money and time into transforming their garden and we are strong believers that this is an outlay that should only be paid once!

Sourcing and buying good quality natural stone is essential to safeguarding the longevity of your garden. Once installed, the look and quality of the products should last a lifetime.

GPH stock all of our main products from granite, limestone and marble to sandstone, slate and natural paving. The beauty of visiting a GPH branch in Inverurie, Westhill or Stonehaven is that you can see the landscaping products in situ. It’s often difficult to visualise what certain products may look like laid down but by visiting one of these branches you can take a look around in your own time and make some decisions.

We have a very handy tool that you can download from our website that can assist you to create your perfect outdoor space’.

You can find out more about the patio paving planning tool plus access some free guides here.