Home » Indian stone in the U.S.: A decade of change
In 1993, the stone industry in the U.S. found itself in a time of transition. The large-scale architectural projects that were predominant during the 1980s had all but dried up, and stone suppliers were looking for new avenues for selling. At the same time, stone-producing companies in India were being equipped with state-of-the-art machinery from Italy, and they were geared for exporting their unique stones around the world. Ultimately, the American market became a major target for Indian stone exporters. U.S.-based companies first took in granite tile, followed by slate tiles and then slabs and cut-to-size work. Today, India is the leading exporter of slate to the U.S., and it is the third largest exporter of granite to the U.S., behind only Italy and Brazil.
Although growth was gradual during the 1980s, Indian stone became more and more prevalent in the U.S. marketplace over time, and it began being specified for both residential and commercial applications later in that decade. One of the first major suppliers of Indian stone in the U.S. was MS International, now based in Orange, CA, which supplied Premium Plus granite for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, during the early 1980s. But this high-profile project did not necessarily open the door for Indian granite as a building stone at the time, according to Manu Shah of MS International. â€œBlack granite was popular in monuments, but it wasn't until the late 1980s that black slabs and tiles became popular in the construction industry,â€ he said. â€œUntil then, no one wanted black in their home. People were treating black as the color of death.â€
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