June 7, 2016

Bookmatching is the practice of matching two (or more) stone or marble surfaces, so that two adjoining surfaces mirror each other, giving the impression of an opened book.

This stunning Bookmatching effect is achieved when a block of veined marble is cut into slabs (similar to a loaf of bread being cut into slices). Slabs are cut and numbered in a systematic order (1,2,3, 4…etc.). Book matched means that the first slab in a block is polished on one side and the slab right next to that is polished on the back side. If these slabs are laid out end-to-end, the pattern continues from one slab to the next with no break in the pattern. This creates a mirror image impression, much as the wings of a butterfly reflect each other; book matching looks equally amazing in both contemporary and traditional settings.

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Bookmatched natural marble and stone is a notoriously expensive product as the process required to manufacture it is time-consuming, labour-intensive and wasteful. The bookmatching technique can only be carried out using the finest quality marble, that which has defining attributes of clarity and definition, such as Statuario Venato, which has a clear white base and a few, very pronounced strong brown/grey lines. It’s much more inexpensive cousin, Bianco Carrara, does not work well for bookmatching, as it is too scattered and shallow in it’s veining and colouration.

Due to the colossal expense of bookmatched natural marble and stone, we don’t see it very often. However, there was great excitement stirring at David Scott HQ a few weeks ago, when we did our first ever bookmatching project – not using marble – but tiles! Inkjet Technology has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years and bookmatching is the new chapter in the marble effect story.

We have been supplying marble effect porcelain tiles for the last decade and every year, they keep on improving so much, that now, no one can tell the difference between the tile and the real thing.  We have spoken in detail about the benefits of using marble effect tiles as opposed to natural material before – See Natural Marble Versus Marble-Effect Tiles. Tiles are much less costly, more practical in terms of maintenance and much easier to fix than their natural counterpart.  Now, bookmatching technology brings the icing to the cake in terms of marble effect tile production.

Many tile manufacturers have experimented with inkjet technologies aiming to create bookmatched marble-effect tiles for some time – and most have failed.  There are now a select few suppliers who have launched bookmatched products and our favourite is by the Italian inkjet specialists, Rex Ceramiche; they are very impressive:

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Bookmatched tiles from the Rex i marmi range clad on bathroom walls

Bookmatched tiles are priced at a premium, due to the extra costs in production, but we think they are worth it (and they are still nowhere near the gargantuan prices of the real thing!).  There is no need to clad a whole room in this material, indeed bookmatching is like a piece of art and should be treated as such; a fireplace feature wall, a kitchen splash back or a small cloakroom floor could be completely transformed using a relatively small quantity of this material.

We think bookmatching will be the next big thing in the world of tiles. So you know where you saw it first….

Here are some nice examples of bookmatching to tempt you… . Talk to any of the David Scott Team on 02890 232136 to find out more.

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