If you have ever visited the Apple Retail Store in Sainte-Catherine, you may have noticed the floor. Every Apple store’s stone tile floor comes from the same Il Casone quarry in Italy, and that is a fascinating story.
The quarry is in the heart of a geologic region known as Pietra Serena. The sandstone is characterized by its general uniformity of color, a blue-tinged grey with subtle crystallization. It has been a popular building material for centuries and can be seen in buildings from the Florentine Renaissance as well as modern architecture.
Apple stores are known for the unbroken expanse of the perfectly matched polished sandstone floors, creating an orderly backdrop for the interaction between technology and customer. This is accomplished with a combination of modern technology and ancient craftsmanship.
For the 500 or so tiles needed in an average mall store to allow for possible breakage, all the stone comes from the same carefully selected block of sandstone. The huge block is cut from the mountain, trucked to the factory, and precisely cut into smaller sections until the final tiles are 760mm x 760mm x 20 mm. These are laid out in the warehouse and colormatched to ensure the least amount of contrast to neighboring tiles in the final installation. The expert craftsmen at Il Casone grade each tile according to specific characteristics like color, tone, and grain. Each tile is labeled with its exact position in the grid.
A shipment of 20 or more wooden crates of the final product is shipped from the port of Livorno, Italy and takes about 11 days to reach North America. Then it is off the boat and on to the final destination to be meticulously laid out according to the master plan.
You may not be able to put the same exact tiles as Apple does in your store, but you can put the same quality of tile on the floor of your business. All it takes is coming into one of the Éco Dépôt showrooms and looking at our selection of retail tile flooring in Montreal.