You are very numerous to question us on these 2 terms, here is some information that may be useful to you in your choice:
The reconstituted stone… you said “stone”?
The “reconstituted natural stone” and even more the “reconstituted Burgundy limestone”… do not exist !
“Reconstituted stone” is an abusive and misleading denomination used by almost every manufacturer to make the consumer believe that he buys natural stone, that is not true.
Finally what is the so-called “reconstituted stone”?
These “reconstituted” products (which would be preferable to name “false stone”) are a mixture of:
granulates of stones (gravel, crushed, pebbles)
+ binders (cement generally)
+ adjuvants (resins, adhesives from the petro-chemical industry)
= So it’s concrete>, so far from the natural stone so touted…
These products are mixed in concrete mixers and cast in moulds.
The moulds are then vibrated to remove the air bubbles from the concrete mixture and then are dried.
This process allows to reproduce in series and identical an element derived from an original moulding (usually the original is made of natural stone).
Its resistance to outdoor weather is hardly appreciable and varies according to the manufacturing process of each brand.
Unlike natural stone, false stone products do not crystallization and do not produce their natural cullet (calcium carbonate) which is the natural process of protecting limestone natural stone.
The very low production costs make it a product favoured by the distributors (DIY sector or modern trade – Carrefour, Wal-Mart, Tesco…)
And don’t forget that the manufacture of cement (main constituent of mortars and concretes) by its particularly energy-consuming mode of production, in particular cooking at very high temperatures, is one of the major contributors to the greenhouse effect and to the air pollution.
What is it?
It is a limestone of freshwater sedimentation.
It is recognizable thanks to its numerous holes.
Where did it come from?
Turkey is the main producer-exporting country in the world.
It has for 15 years supplanted Italy, of which many famous buildings are erected in travertine.
Why is it so cheap?
Extraction and production techniques in Turkey are roughly the same as in Burgundy.
The first difference is: the Turkish State, by heavily subsidizing the travertine stone production sector to settle for export (as the Chinese State for solar sector in China which everyone has heard about) has allowed to endorse the principles of standardization and “globalization of consumption”. Direct consequence: the low prices and the uniformity of the finishes and the formats proposed in travertine.
The other notable differences between the methods of extraction/production of travertine compared to the stone of Burgundy are:
– the costs of opening and operating quarries and the lack of obligation to refurbishing quarries after extraction,…
– lack of environmental standards (waste reprocessing, water reprocessing,…)
– the low cost of salaries and social taxations,
– safety at work,…
All these elements involve costs of at least 3 to 5 times lower than in Burgundy.
And the quality in all this?
The Turkish travertine has the particularity to offer several qualitative options:
-the 1stchoice (difficult to find because very few holes: the most expensive)
-the 2nd choice (most common choice in France with serious dealers)
-the 3rd choice “when it’s cheap, it’s the third choice“. On can recognize it through the presence of faults and holes in very large quantities (which must be clogged with mortar when laying).
In any case, always check the quality of all the slabs in the pallets of your order.
What about honesty?
One last thing: some unscrupulous dealers of travertines, even some very well know with shops and websites, sell travertine as if it was a stone of Burgundy.
It is enough to see on the search engines companies that advertise like LaPierreNaturelle.fr which is only an Office in a pavilion in Isère making the intermediary between a production unit of travertine in Turkey displaying shamelessly that it is the stone of Burgundy or the company Francepierre Sud which sells travertine and also a stone of Morocco grey by telling customers that it is of the stone of Burgundy.
In case of doubt, contact the Association Pierre de BourgogneAssociation Pierre de Bourgogne who can inform you.
The Comptoir des Pierres participates in the creation of the geographical indication for the stone of Burgundy.
This will allow you, in a few months, to be sure of the provenance (traceability) and the quality “Pierres de Bourgogne” by bringing you the guarantee of products exclusively made in Burgundy by controlled and certified manufacturers.