How to select floor and wall tile stones for a spa? The case of Costa Diadema

Enthusiasm and the desire to take on a great challenge and succeed: supplying several materials to produce a good portion of the floor and wall tile stones for "Costa Diadema". This is what set the mood, in 2013, for the division of our engineering department in charge of developing projects for the naval industry, who was appointed by Fincantieri to prepare a quote for the new Costa Crociere cruise liner flagship. This was an interesting experience not just for the undoubted prestige of the job, but also for its particular complexity in terms of material sourcing.

Indeed, the specifications which the shipbuilder provided envisaged the use of 15 different granites for the flooring, staircases, counters, bathroom vanity tops and back-lit columns inside the spa area of the new ship. We were familiar with the majority of the materials requested, as we had already used them in other projects. So initially our experience led us to confirm the validity of the choices made by the designers for the various intended uses, which is a consulting service we insist on offering during this phase based on our expertise. For the remainder of the materials requested, we immediately began our search, relying on our network of suppliers and quarriers, whom we have picked and consolidated over the years.

During this selection process, we had to make use of all our resources, working in synergy with our raw material partners, with whom we worked hard on two fronts:

This teamwork enabled us quickly to select and option the purchase of the best quality materials available on the market at the time, for every single material required. We must emphasise the fact that we are talking about the best quality materials available at the time of order. Marbles, stones and granites are natural materials, and they are not always available nor is their quality always foreseeable. For this reason too, the advice of an expert consultant is vital at the time of selecting the materials at source.

Subsequently, we focused further on the granites which we hadn't ever worked with before. We wanted to test their response to processing, before we began production. In addition, before cutting the selected blocks, we ran a series of tests, in-house and in a short space of time, to check that the grain and shades of all the granites picked were in keeping with the architects' requests. Considering how important this project was, the project Management asked us to present a mock-up of each area for the builder, with the related granite specified, and here are some impressive pictures to illustrate it.

This was an industrial job tended with craftsmanship skill, our way. The large quantities of energy spent on the job were entirely worth it in seeing the satisfaction at delivery of the finished job to Fincantieri within the agreed time frame, and the thrill of inspecting the site when installation was completed in August 2014, and last but not least when seeing the first sensational official pictures of the flagship at the launch.



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