Stone waterjet products have been in the market for a long time but are recently making a stronger impact on home and building interior renovation projects.
Waterjet medallions, mosaics, and borders are created using the same technology. They serve a functional purpose such as being part of the flooring, and they can also be stylish decorations.
But while all of them can be the next staple of a structure, these three can be confusing if we just start to know them.
We decided to write this article that will be all about stone waterjet medallions, mosaics, and borders. We will be answering and tackling the following questions:
- What are they and what are their differences?
- Can we only install them on the floors?
- How are they created?
- Why is it called “waterjet”?
- Where can we get trusted suppliers?
If you are still confused about this product, please read our article “What Is Waterjet Medallion?” before going forward on this one.
What Is Waterjet Technology: How Does It Work?
How often have you heard or read the term “waterjet” next to a stone product?
Did they explain how this technology works and why factories like Sinodec use it for meticulous cutting?
From the name itself, waterjet technology means a machine that uses water to do its purpose; this can be for cutting or cleaning. In this article, we are talking about cutting equipment. The latter can also be:
- Pure waterjet. The machine only uses water to cut mainly soft objects like rubber or fabric.
- Abrasive waterjet or abrasive jet. The machine uses water mixed with an abrasive—usually garnet sand—to cut hard materials like natural marble.
Since we manufacture medallions, mosaics, and borders, we use the abrasive waterjet machine. Now, here comes the powerful part.
The equipment has a pump that produces water at a minimum pressure of 60,000 pounds per square inch (psi). We usually increase the latter and apply 94,000 psi. Imagine how strong that is especially since we use a nozzle with a tiny hole.
The cutting head of the abrasive waterjet (the water’s place of final passage before cutting) has the following parts:
- The jewel orifice made of diamond or ruby meets the water coming from the pump. Its diameter is one of the controllers of the machine’s kerf or the width of the equipment’s cut.
- The abrasive inlet that connects to the jewel orifice; is where the garnet sand or any applicable abrasive comes out.
- The mixing tube meets the high-pressure water and abrasive and mixes them together. Its diameter also determines the kerf of the equipment, the same as the jewel orifice.
- The nozzle with the thin hole where the water is mixed with the abrasive comes out to cut the natural stone or any other hard material.
Of course, the surface where we cut natural stones is XYZ cutting table.
- The X is for the x-axis which represents the horizontal direction.
- The Y is for the y-axis which represents the vertical direction.
- The Z is for the height or the up and down motion.
The table has a computer numeric control (CNC) to direct the cutting process. But we don’t just use the CNC alone. We have the following to precisely cut the natural stone into a specific shape of pieces of a mosaic, medallion, or border.
- Computer-aided design (CAD) software that we use to create two or three-dimensional drawings (2D or 3D).
- Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software that translates the CAD into a numeric code or the G-code that the CNC interprets.
- Nesting software (normally together with the CAM software) that takes the cuts that you want to perform using the machine and arranges them to the material so we can use the latter efficiently.
Why We Use Abrasive Waterjet Cutting for Stone
1. Easy to operate. As we have mentioned, waterjet machines use CNC to control the cutting process of the material which is stones.
Once we have inputted the 3D or 2D design of the CAD, and the CAM has translated it into a G-code, the CNC will start working like it has its own mind.
2. Cuts through almost any stone. A waterjet machine helps us materialize our mosaic, medallion, and marble border designs no matter how complex. In the Mohs Scale of Hardness, the following measurements for the stones we use are:
- Marble – 4
- Limestone – 3.5
- Granite – 6.5
Despite being hard and thick, the equipment can give us any shape we input via software.
3. Provides precise finish. In a waterjet mosaic, for example, we will need different shapes to create our goal image. We will combine the pieces so the shapes of each should be cut precisely in both size and appearance.
What is great about a waterjet cutting machine is it can accurately slice through the stone to produce intricate shapes. For instance, we can achieve clean internal cut-outs.
4. Provides smooth stone edges. Another advantage of using an abrasive waterjet machine is it can cut the natural stones while leaving them with smooth edges.
Because of this, we usually no longer need to spend extra time for a second finish. If the latter is necessary, the time we will spend on making the edges uniform will still be less.
5. Promotes efficiency. Utilizing an abrasive waterjet machine makes Sinodec’s workplace efficient. We can manufacture medallions, mosaics, and borders with excellent quality in a short amount of time.
Getting to Know Stone Waterjet Products
Now that we know what waterjet technology is and how it works, we will now dive into the products we create using the machine.
1. Waterjet Medallion
A medallion is a centerpiece that typically comes as round, but it can also be a square or in other shapes. The middle is filled with either intricate designs, a symbol, or even written words.
The designs can be for aesthetic purposes of the area or representations of the structure’s cause—an example can be a logo of a company or a family crest. The latter is an old custom dating back to the 11th to 17th centuries, but may still be an important legacy to some.
Many of you may be wondering if we can only install waterjet medallions on floors. While that is one option to put the medallion, we can also choose to place them in other areas.
Places to Install a Waterjet Medallion
- Floor. This is a common location for medallions, especially in places that receive many visitors. It can be hotels or commercial establishments that have their logo on the surface.
For residential places nowadays, waterjet medallions are usually a form of art (e.g. Mandala art) that matches the theme or color palette of the interior.
- Ceiling. Ceiling medallions were common back in the Victorian era. They surround a light fixture above, making them a magnet of attention.
Medallions back then were made of intricately-sculpted plaster, usually in plain colors. Today, we can be more complex and colorful using natural stones.
- Marble Table. We can use waterjet medallions as tabletops, especially for coffee or bistro tables that will also serve as a room’s highlight. With the stone’s resistance to spills and dirt, the medallion will be a functional decoration.
- Wall. Waterjet medallions can be the art that will give life to your walls. It can be inside an office where people spend their entire day working, and they can look at the wall and see vibrance.
- Door Arch. If we designed our doors to have an arch, we can also install a waterjet medallion at the top for minimal accentuation. The details can be simple and we recommend neutral colors so it is not too dominating. Certainly, other designs such as marble molding is also a good choice for the door frame. “How to Choose the Best Door Frame?” will help you.
Kinds of Medallions
To further explain the beauty of waterjet medallions and to avoid future confusion, Sinodec will enumerate its three kinds.
- Mosaic. We know it can be quite confusing, but think of it like this: we can have a waterjet medallion by combining small pieces of stones to create a specific design. And this style is called a mosaic in art.
Although keep in mind that a medallion is a centerpiece. If the mosaic is no longer a centerpiece (e.g. the entire floor is made of mosaic) then it can no longer be considered a medallion.
The tiny pieces can be any stone that passes the quality standard, but we often use marble because of the rich choices of colors and veining patterns.
- Intarsia. This is a type of waterjet medallion where we use stones that are cut in clearer dimensions. If a mosaic uses small pieces of materials, then intarsia is like a jigsaw puzzle.
You can almost see the supposed outcome of the medallion through the pieces if it was the intarsia. This is also the usual way how Sinodec manufactures waterjet medallions.
- Marquetry. This kind of medallion is almost similar to intarsia. The only difference is in marquetry, we use thin materials or veneers as the pieces.
Waterjet medallions made using the marquetry technique are usually wooden, but we can also use lightweight stones or thin slabs. You can read this article “Top 5 Applications of Waterjet Medallions” for more ideas.
Best Waterjet Medallion Designs
- Mandala Art. In Sanskrit, Mandala means “center.” This design of a waterjet medallion will be a circle with a central point, surrounded by uniform patterns that are usually geometric.
- Octagram. A classic medallion design is a star with eight sides which we call an octagram. In Egyptian mythology, this symbolizes deities or the Ogdoad. But in general interpretation, an octagram illustrates life.
- Roman Guilloche. Guilloche is a pattern of two ties or ribbons interlaced with each other, forming a two-strand braid. This is a popular ancient Roman pattern and a timeless style for our stone waterjet medallion.
- Floral Vault. This is an ancient Roman pattern containing a flower with only four petals. The flower is surrounded by other designs, normally by geometric patterns with a curvature.
- Floral Scrolls. Scrolls reached their limelight during the ancient Greek and Roman eras, and they were particularly found in columns too. This medallion design is feminine in form and has many curvatures, especially at the tip of each line.
2. Waterjet Mosaic
A waterjet mosaic is a form of art or architecture, where we create a design using small pieces of materials. The latter are commonly natural stones cut by a waterjet machine.
The art of mosaic goes a long way back to the ancient civilizations, with Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek being the most notable.
During the third millennium BCE, the Mesopotamians started incorporating mosaics into architecture by using clay cones with pointed ends that they embed onto the stone columns. An example is the Stone-Cone Temple of Uruk, located in present-day Iraq.
In the 5th century BCE, the ancient Greeks started incorporating mosaic art into their homes, particularly on the flooring and walkways. The color palette of their mosaics was greyscaled, but they later discovered green and red pebbles.
The mosaic art spread to the neighboring regions that used their own resources, materials, and culture. However, it was the ancient Egyptians who discovered the use of tesserae.
A tessera is a small piece of hard material such as stone, wood, or glass. It is cut into a cube or other regular and uniform shapes. It was also the Egyptians who first used glass tiles in a mosaic.
In the past, mosaic art was a symbol of wealth and status in society. But today, almost anyone can install and customize a waterjet mosaic in their homes and buildings.
Places to Install a Waterjet Mosaic
- Floor. While waterjet mosaics can be on any floor, we recommend them in the bathroom as a stylish addition. They can be the “rug” beside your bathtub or in the middle of the open space.
- Walkway. We can install a waterjet mosaic in a backyard or garden walkway for a minimalist detail. A public sidewalk can also be decorated with the same product.
- Wall. A wall with waterjet mosaic tiles can uplift any room. We recommend the design be something that matches the interior and the owner’s taste.
- Backsplash. This can be in a kitchen sink, bathroom vanity, or fireplace. Instead of a plain backsplash, a waterjet mosaic made of marble tiles can protect the walls from splashes, as well as decorate them.
Kinds of Marble for Waterjet Mosaic
We listed some marble stones that we can use to manufacture our waterjet mosaic. Their colors range from neutral to chromatic colors.
- Volakas White. A white marble with grey or brown veins, this is one of the most-used neutral colors for waterjet mosaics. An alternative to it can be Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuary.
- Crema Marfil. It has a creamy beige background with yellow, white, cinnamon, and goldish veining patterns.
- Nero Marquina. A black marble with white veins, it is also a neutral color that we need on the palette.
- Valentina. This marbled color is unique and beautiful for waterjet mosaics. It has a mixture of baby pink, forest green, and white.
- Rosso Marquina. The burgundy background and white veining pattern of Rosso Marquina is a chromatic color that will complement neutral ones.
- Azul Bahia. This is a deep blue color with white veining and a touch of green. For mosaics with complex designs, Azul Bahia can provide an astonishing appearance.
- Forest Green. The metallic to the light green background and brown veins can give us a mosaic that is both neutral and chromatic.
Best Waterjet Mosaic Patterns
- Hexagonal. In this geometric style, the small pieces will have six sides that we can combine to create a bigger design. We can also install them plainly, without having an image output as a goal.
- Intricate Leaves. This design is pure beauty as the plain color but intricate shapes of the leaves will transform your floors.
- 3D. Exclusive to Sinodec, this design contains vertical rectangles with a three-dimensional effect. We recommend this to walls as a simple portrait decoration.
3. Waterjet Marble Border
Similar to our first two waterjet products, a marble border normally goes hand in hand with medallions or mosaics.
As its name denotes, marble borders act as perimeters to an already existing floor art, adding to the details and signifying the end of the design. In ancient Roman architecture, wealthy families have intricate houses with expensive stone floorings.
The floorings had lavish medallions or mosaics, and they were “bordered” by marble borders. Ancient Roman patterns range from simple to complex, but all added elegance to their places.
Today, we manufacture marble borders with waterjet technology as well for quick but quality results. While they usually surround a decoration, we can also install them as a stand-alone feature on the floors, especially if we are aiming for a minimalistic look.
Places to Install a Waterjet Marble Border
- Floor. The common location for marble borders is the floors. Since the latter takes up a wide space, it can be the center of attention.
Installing waterjet borders as delineators is a unique idea to designate the place of objects inside a house. For example, a square space with borders in a living room means your sofa or your small coffee table must only be inside it.
If we have our kitchen 2 feet close to the living room, then we can use a stylish marble border in the middle to create an idea of separation.
- Wall. Marble tile borders can be a complementary feature if you have plain walls; a single line in the middle of the wall will be enough as a detail.
We have no limitations in the design, although we recommend that it either matches or jives with the interior.
- Wall Skirting. The purpose of skirtings is to protect the gap between the lower part of the wall and the floor. Usually, they are of plain colors or patterned if we are using stones like marble.
But if we want to be more creative, we can use waterjet marble borders as skirtings as well. We have different designs to choose from and we can also personalize them to fit the interior.
- Ceiling. A ceiling medallion with a waterjet marble border will jazz up the area, especially when the space of both the area and ceiling is large.
When choosing a border design, consider not only the interior but also the chandelier, if you have one. While borders and chandeliers both look elegant, over-decoration might not turn out well. Here are some Popular Marble Floor Border Designs for Reference.
Best Waterjet Marble Border Patterns
- Double-Line. This design has two lines on both lengths: a thick line and a thin one on top. If we simply want to accentuate the walls or delineate the space on the floor, we can incorporate this style.
- Ribbon Lace and Palmette. A simple ribbon lace outline with a fan-shaped leaf or “palmette” at the far end. This waterjet border design is best in entryways, welcoming visitors with elegance.
- Floral-Edged. This is a simple border with three thin lines with different colors merged together. The intricate flower is on the edge and it has veins and leaves intertwined. This waterjet marble border design is best for luxurious establishments such as hotels.
- T Meander. An ancient Roman pattern, this design is literally filled with the letter “T” connected with each other below in a straight line.
Although the style is of Roman origin, we can incorporate it with Mediterranean or contemporary minimalist interiors.
Why You Should Incorporate Waterjet Products in Architecture
1. They add depth to the room
Incorporating a marble medallion or mosaic that complements (not necessarily matches) the interior’s color scheme adds a beautiful contrast to the room. It also gives us something to look at, other than the movable objects we might display.
2. They are durable
We often use marble for our waterjet products. Aside from its fine looks, it is also one of the most durable natural stones.
Marble is a firm stone. Its compressive strength or its resistance to breaking under compression measures 80 to 140 N/mm2, with 100 N/mm2 being the required standard.
Although its compressive, tensile, and flexural strength will vary depending on the thickness and quality of the slabs, we can be assured that marble is a sturdy material that will not compromise your floors or walls.
On top of this, marble also has resistance to weathering especially when we perform adequate maintenance and we apply the right finish.
3. They are customizable
As we have discussed at the beginning of this article, the waterjet cutting machine allows us to slice through stone slabs and produce different shapes, no matter how complicated.
We also shared six of the possible marble stones that we can use that have different colors and patterns. Guess what? There are more design choices on the plate since marble is a complex stone itself.
4. Marble can help you save on electricity bills
Waterjet marble products are energy efficient because they are excellent insulators. This means that they can retain the room’s temperature despite the weather changes outdoors.
Your air conditioner and heater won’t have to work twice as much with a marble medallion centerpiece of mosaic floors (that goes with the walls too!).
5. We can apply them anywhere
Waterjet medallion, mosaic, and border are not limited to floors. We can be creative and incorporate them literally almost anywhere. Some examples of places where we can install them are:
- door arch
- door frame
- swimming pool floor
- walkways and pavements
Although, if you are going to use them on the floor, we advise you to get a honed or tumbled finish. Polished floorings can be slippery and will be dangerous, especially for wet areas like the bathroom.
How We Customize Marble Waterjet Marble Products
1. Choosing and preparing the materials
Once we have finished meeting with the clients about their design expectations of the waterjet marble products, we now have to pick the materials that we will use.
For waterjet medallions and borders, we use marble slabs that correspond to the customer’s color preferences. The customer may also accompany us to see the quality of the stones.
On waterjet mosaics, we use surplus materials for the small pieces. Sinodec ensures that these surplus materials are intact and fit to become mosaics.
2. Creating the computer-aided design (CAD) of the waterjet marble product
We use CAD software to create a three or two-dimensional design template for the waterjet product to guide the cutting processes. It promotes efficiency and accuracy, as the geometric properties and shape of the particular part will be of even and equal measurements.
3. Consulting the client
It is essential to let the client see the finished CAD design template before we proceed to cut the parts in their specific shapes and sizes.
This encourages transparency on both sides—the factory and the client. Also, there are instances that the latter will change its mind and tweak the design once they see the CAD template.
There can be design edits at this stage until the client expresses their approval.
4. Letting computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) do its work
As we have discussed, CAM software is more on the numerical side of our technology. It interprets the CAD design into a numeric code or the G-code that the CNC in the waterjet machine interprets.
Normally, CAM software also does the nesting. It arranges the pieces that we want to cut into the plate (the material we will use). This is so we can utilize the material efficiently and we can avoid putting too many spaces between the cuts.
5. Cutting the marble using the waterjet machine
After the CNC reads the G-code, the waterjet machine can start cutting the marble into the desired shapes.
One thing to keep in mind is we place the marble upside down. The front part is under for precaution, so the cut won’t affect the beauty of the stone (although, waterjet cuts are seamless!).
6. Supervising the waterjet machine
The CAM software can control the cutting process in all aspects, such as the following:
- Cut flow settings
- Cutting speed
- Cut and pierce heights
- Other necessary adjustments
However, it is a protocol to keep watch over the machine while it does its work, to ensure that everything is in order and according to plan.
7. Putting the waterjet product parts and pieces together
This is the stage where we arrange the waterjet product pieces together. For a marble border, we put the parts in order and glue them together using transparent adhesive.
For a waterjet medallion and mosaic, we arrange them in a mosaic tile mesh. A mosaic tile mesh is made out of woven fiberglass. We use this to pre-place the product pieces, especially if we manufacture in bulk.
Since we supply tile markets, we create pre-made products so people may just purchase a design they wish to install by themselves or with the help of an expert.
However, we can also perform direct placement, such as laying out the mosaic pieces directly on the floor, for example. It will depend on the project demands, but Sinodec has capable professionals to perform the task.
Top Factories in China for Waterjet Medallion and Mosaic
In the previous parts of this article, we have explained:
- What waterjet products are;
- The advantages of using them, and;
- How they are made.
Now, we are going to give you suggestions for Chinese company suppliers of waterjet medallions and mosaics for your project or your business.
China is a melting pot of natural stones of different kinds, especially marble. So, it is not a coincidence that stones are one of China’s main export, and it has some of the best stone factories for waterjet medallions and mosaics.
On the other hand, if you are looking for waterjet marble borders, check out this article that we wrote containing the 10 best Chinese suppliers.
1. Xiamen Sinodec Building Material Co., Ltd.
|Location||No.51, Panlong Road, Shuitou, Fujian, China|
|Contact||86 186 9562 0381 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Contact Person||Ms. Julia Wang|
Xiamen Sinodec Building Material Co., Ltd., popularly known in China as “Sinodec” is a stone factory that specializes in marble products, including ones made with waterjet technology.
It has a broad design range that includes simple to intricate mosaic pieces, like small marble flowers evenly put together.
2. Quanzhou Allonly Stone Co., Ltd.
|Location||613-2, Building 9, Donghai Cross Border Ecosystem, Donghai Street, Fengze District, Quanzhou, Fujian, China|
|Contact||86 180 4614 1236|
Quanzhou Allonly Stone Co., Ltd. manufactures flooring and decoration products such as waterjet medallions.
It creates marble medallions that will leave people in admiration once they see the floors, ceilings, and even walls.
3. Sparkle Design & Decor Co., Ltd.
|Location||Room 507, Qixing Chuangzhan Building, Industry 3rd Road, Qixinggang, Baiyun District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China 510400|
|Contact||86 191 2863 2339|
Sparkle Design & Decor Co., Ltd. is a classing choice in a factory if we are looking for a wide product range.
Its marble medallions are of antique Roman origins but are definitely a must-add to a living room floor.
4. BFP Industry Co., Ltd.
|Location||502f, Block C, Yingdali Science and Technology Digital Park, Futian Bonded Area, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China|
BFP Industry Co., Ltd. is both a stone factory and trading company that merged in 2008. Its marble mosaics are noticeably using light colors that feel cool to the ambiance. They have mosaic tiles that have a transparent effect.
5. Guangzhou Sarhang Stone Solutions Limited
|Location||Zengcha Rd. No.787, Floor 12, Office 1213A 510080, Baiyun District, Guangzhou, China|
|Contact||86 135 7026 0954|
|Contact||Mr. Ken Huang|
Guangzhou Sarhang Stone Solutions Limited is another top choice for a waterjet medallion and mosaic supplier. They sport waterjet products as their specialty along with other stone architectural elements.
A waterjet cutting machine is an equipment that we use to create elaborate waterjet medallions, mosaics, and marble borders. These products are functional decorations that we install in a building’s different parts since the ancient periods.
With marble’s quality characteristics, we can create medallion centerpieces that depict a symbol or mosaics with intricate and repetitive patterns. Surrounded by a marble border, it transforms a room luxuriously.