Stone compass anchors residential design

March 12, 2007
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Accretia Flooring Accents recently designed and fabricated a 16-foot marble and granite medallion for the driveway of a private residence in Chattanooga, TN.


The medallion was cut from slabs of Absolute Black granite, Tropical Brown marble and Saint Cecilia marble, while the stone surrounding the compass features 16- x 16- x 1 ¾-inch pieces of Ravena travertine.

During an informative presentation, Susan Sherry, a natural stone design consultant, discovered Accretia Flooring Accents (AFA), just the company she was looking for to design a large 16-foot marble and granite compass for a private residence in Chattanooga, TN. This element is the centerpiece among the many stone features of the home.

Originally, the homeowner wanted to use large brass letters for the compass, so they would stand out against the surrounding natural stone. Through design consultation, the homeowner later decided to use black granite letters, based on the durability of natural stone, cost comparison of stone and brass, and also to maintain the marble and granite flow throughout the compass and the surrounding natural stone in which the compass was to rest, according to Rinda Myers of AFA.

Soon after the initial introduction between Sherry and AFA, the designers received an aerial view sketch of the driveway layout and some rough dimensions. Myers said that in just two weeks, Sherry and AFA representatives decided on design alterations, color choice and material use. After final decisions were made, AFA was challenged to program the numerous functions required for the waterjet machine to precisely cut 1 ¾-inch-thick pieces of marble and granite.

 



Brass letters were originally considered for the compass, but it was later decided to use black granite based on the durability of natural stone, cost comparison of stone and brass, and also to maintain the marble and granite flow throughout the compass and the surrounding natural stone in which the compass was to rest.

The medallion, designed by Michael Soward, an in-house designer with AFA, was cut from slabs of Absolute Black granite, Tropical Brown marble and Saint Cecilia marble, supplied by Architectural Granite & Marble, Inc. (AG&M) of Nashville, TN. The stone surrounding the medallion is comprised of 16- x 16- x- 1 ¾-inch tiles of Ravena travertine, which was purchased through A & A Global Supply of Atlanta, GA.

According to Myers, due to the size of the compass, the medallion had to be built in sections at a time to verify the accuracy of the puzzle-like pieces, and it took a total of 120 tiles to cut the outline around the medallion. After pieces were approved, they were individually wrapped and placed into crates for secure shipping.

Tim Malo of Dakota Tile, Inc. planned out and installed the driveway design; however, due to some alteration in the location where the compass was to be placed, AFA also became involved with the installation process.

According to Malo, the entire stone installation for the driveway lasted for approximately three months with a total of four workers on the job. The stone was installed using a traditional 1 ½- inch mud bed mortar on a cement foundation.

AFA also waterjet cut stone for sea life mosaics, including fish, sharks and turtles, which were installed in an exterior water element. The fan-shaped motifs surrounding the colorful mosaics feature 5/8- x 5/8-inch pieces of travertine with a 5/8- x 5/8-inch Honey Onyx band around the curved outer edge. Both materials for the fan-shaped mosaics were manufactured by Original Style Ltd. of England, and distributed by Louisville Tile Distributors Inc. of Chattanooga, TN.

The intricate stone details provide a dramatic backdrop for the residence, and the home itself was also built with a range of natural stone, including textured cladding as well as intricate pieces at the surrounds.

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