Natural stone catches the eye

Facing stones and mosaics made of natural materials are becoming increasingly popular, including in Finland. Kiilto provides reliable fixing solutions for Aitokivi products.

For centuries, natural stone facing has been used to enliven both exterior and interior surfaces in many countries. In Finland, however, the use of facing stone for indoor applications, for example in saunas, is still relatively novel.

According to Suomen Aitokivi Oy Marketing Director Viivi Vuorio, natural stone is now making a breakthrough also in Finnish houses.

“Natural stone fits in well with the general trend towards naturalness. It makes it easy to create impressive and durable surfaces cost-effectively. The job can be completed in one go, and natural stone doesn’t need much maintenance”.

Suomen Aitokivi Oy is a specialist importer and wholesaler of natural stone products for both indoor and outdoor use.

A little chunk of exotica

According to Aitokivi’s Social Media Content Creator, Laura Raittinen, the growing popularity of natural stone is a direct result of the worldwide travels of Finnish consumers.

“In many countries, tourists can see the skilful use of natural stone in restaurants and hotels, for example. With natural stones, it’s possible to give the home an exotic touch inspired by one’s travels”.

One advantage of natural stone is its versatility:

“Natural stone is also well suited to the simple and understated Nordic interior decorating style, and can be used to create eye-catching details. Stone is also a timeless and soothing element”.

Stone products that are particularly popular in Finland include Dark Stone and Black Quartzite, as well as Cloudy Gray, which is very well suited to the Nordic style.

Among Raittinen’s own favourite products is Sandstone, due to its warm beige tones.

“It brings to mind the white beaches of the Maldives, and sun-scorched desert sand”.

Applications galore

According to Vuorio, natural stone is commonly used to create an intensifying effect on an end wall, for example, or on part of a façade.

“Popular applications are intermediate spaces in kitchens and walls behind sauna stoves, for example”.

The finished stone elements are fixed in place in close contact with each other. Because there are no seams between the individual stones, the result is a pleasingly unified whole.

Fixing agents from Kiilto

Installing natural stone is easy, Vuorio says, as long as the person doing the job has the knowledge for it and understands what fixing agents to use.

“Regular cementitious adhesives won’t do – specialised fixing agents are needed. When facing a wall behind a sauna stove with natural stone, heat-resistant cementitious adhesive and a stable substrate are essential. For outdoor applications, Finland’s wonderful seasonal changes must be taken into account. For example, fixing agents must be frost-resisting”.

Suomen Aitokivi Oy recommends Kiilto products for attaching their natural stones.

Kiilto Highflex S2 DF Laattaliima adhesive for ceramic tiles is suitable for stone facing behind sauna stoves, and also outdoor and other demanding applications”.

Kiilto Premium high-strength elastic adhesive is great for indoor purposes. It’s very easy and quick to use, without any mess. The adhesive is only extruded onto the stone surface to be fixed to the wall."

Installation tips from professionals

In Vuorio’s view, one reason why Aitokivi and Kiilto form a natural partnership is that both companies have their products available in the same stores.

“Although we don’t have our own store network, our products are sold in hardware chains, such as K-Rauta, Hartman and Värisilmä”.

Vuorio has a special tip when it comes to darker facing stone products.

“Kiilto Highflex S2 DF Laattaliima adhesive for ceramic tiles can be darkened by using Kiilto’s black tile grout. This means that even if some tile adhesive remains even after washing, it won’t be a big deal”.

More installation instructions can be found on Aitokivi’s website, and by contacting Kiilto professionals.

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