The Blue Limestone of Hainaut is a noble and natural material with origins dating back 345 million years, when our region was covered by tropical seas. The fossilised aquatic fauna and flora – crinoids, deeply rooted in the mass of microcrystalline calcite – have become, due to sedimentation, a very homogenous and dense limestone rock with colours varying from grey-blue to grey-black.
Each piece of stone is a gift from nature and is unique. The visible presence of fossilised crinoids gives the Blue Limestone of Hainaut® its incomparable character and charm and is also proof of the authenticity of this local stone, which is more resistant than other stones of similar appearance. Observe the stone from close-by, touch it and compare it. The authenticity of living matter that can be felt through the stone makes all the difference.
Its local presence
As if to reinforce its exceptional character, this blue stone can only be found in one specific carbonated geological vein. This particular vein runs from east to west across Belgium, underneath the Channel and all the way to Ireland but comes close to the surface in the region of Soignies, in Hainaut, headquarters of the Belgian production.
This blue stone is extracted from depths where it has been protected for thousands of years underneath several geological layers. Nowadays it is to be found at a depth of 75 metres. In order to reach it, we must first remove 25 metres of silt and clay layers which are valorised by external business partners. The second protective layer consists of 50 metres of greyish limestone, called ‘râches’, and it is also an important secondary product, as it is upgraded by specialists in gravel and granulates. Finally, at a depth of 75 metres, we encounter the most precious of rocks: the Blue Limestone of Hainaut®.
The Blue Limestone of Hainaut® is an exceptional material which will enhance any interior and exterior with taste and character:
- Living and natural material, each shaped stone is unique.
- Compact and solid, this stone is very resistant to wear and compression.
- Non-porous, so water, temperature differences or inclement weather won’t get hold of it.
- Unalterable, this stone does not suffer from the effects of time. On the contrary, its surface wins a patina over the years that tells the story past generations, adding charm and character over time.
- Timeless, the blue stone lives on through eras and styles.
- Its large range of shades and textures gives you a wide choice, perfectly adjusted to your style and tastes, be they contemporary, design, classic or ‘cottage’ style.
- Decorative and very agreeable to touch, it can be used on floor, wall or furniture, both inside and outside, to enhance your surroundings.
- Its style and character also ensure it harmonises easily with other materials such as wood, glass, steel, brick, natural stone, pebbledash, etc.
- The Quality Label ‘Carrières du Hainaut®’ is your best guarantee. Our selection is rigorous, strict and without compromises.
A responsible and sustainable choice
The Blue Limestone of Hainaut is in many respects an ecologically responsible choice. To choose blue stone is to choose an exceptional material that is quarried locally, thereby avoiding long transport times that cost energy and money. It is also encouraging traditional know-how and ensuring local employment. Finally, it also means respecting the environment. Blue stone is the ultimate sustainable product: solid, non-porous and therefore with a very long lifespan. Several iconic architectural references bear testimony to its durability. Blue stone can be recycled and re-used.