Pool Magazine - Podcasts for the Pool Industry

Achieving a Luxurious & Natural Aesthetic With Coral Stone

March 26, 2024 Pool Magazine Season 3 Episode 10
Achieving a Luxurious & Natural Aesthetic With Coral Stone
Pool Magazine - Podcasts for the Pool Industry
More Info
Pool Magazine - Podcasts for the Pool Industry
Achieving a Luxurious & Natural Aesthetic With Coral Stone
Mar 26, 2024 Season 3 Episode 10
Pool Magazine

It's a fact that contemporary homeowners who want to achieve a luxurious aesthetic in their pool and outdoor living environment are looking to coral stone. The stone formed organically under the sea over thousands of years is renowned for its beauty and durability.  Jorge Larrauri of Coral Stone USA, a popular quarry and manufacturer of coral stone tile, pool coping and pavers explains what makes this particular stone so unique. He also discusses why many of today's discerning pool owners are opting for a coral stone pool deck due to its unique low heat retention and non-slip properties.

See the article in Pool Magazine: Coral Stone: Achieving a Luxurious & Natural Aesthetic 

Tieleman Pool Technology
Tieleman Pool Technology has been engineering movable pool floors and pool lifts since 1970.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

It's a fact that contemporary homeowners who want to achieve a luxurious aesthetic in their pool and outdoor living environment are looking to coral stone. The stone formed organically under the sea over thousands of years is renowned for its beauty and durability.  Jorge Larrauri of Coral Stone USA, a popular quarry and manufacturer of coral stone tile, pool coping and pavers explains what makes this particular stone so unique. He also discusses why many of today's discerning pool owners are opting for a coral stone pool deck due to its unique low heat retention and non-slip properties.

See the article in Pool Magazine: Coral Stone: Achieving a Luxurious & Natural Aesthetic 

Tieleman Pool Technology
Tieleman Pool Technology has been engineering movable pool floors and pool lifts since 1970.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

[00:00:00.000] - Tieleman Pool Technology
This podcast is sponsored by Tieleman Pool Technology. Experts have predicted that Tieleman movable floors are going to take the pool industry by storm. So are you a high-end pool builder who wants to expand their business and increase sales with this luxurious pool solution? Then don't miss this opportunity as Tieleman Pool Technology is looking for dealers in the United States. Learn more about us by visiting our website at tieleman.eu.

[00:00:28.040] - Pool Magazine
Thanks for joining us on another episode of Pool magazine podcast. Today, I'm chatting with Jorge Larrauri of Coral Stone USA. They're a quarry producer, importer, and distributor of natural Dominican Coral Stone tile, slabs, trim, pool copings, pavers, and more. It's a pleasure to have you with us today on the show, Jorge.

[00:00:47.960] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Thank you. Thank you so much for having us. I appreciate the time.

[00:00:51.300] - Pool Magazine
Before we dive headfirst into our conversation, I thought a good place to begin with today's discussion would be if you just introduced yourself to our audience, gave us a brief overview of who Coral Stone USA is, what your specialties are, and how long you've been servicing the pool trade.

[00:01:09.510] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Sure. Coral Stone has been around for 18 years. We're going on 19. We specialize in tiles, pavers, as well as architectural stone for residential and commercial applications. We've been servicing the pool trade for quite some time, actually. Eighteen years ago, we started, and we've specialized in pools for about 16 of those years.

[00:01:32.600] - Pool Magazine
There are a lot of different stone and tile companies out there that carry products that are specifically tailored to pool and outdoor living. What really sets your company apart from others in the industry and other types of similar products out there on the market?

[00:01:47.060] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
As a company, we pride ourselves on our customer service. We work closely with the architect, the designers, as well as, at times, the homeowners themselves to provide not only a unique product, but to provide and create what they're looking for exactly. Our goal is to achieve a unique and modern design through working with the architects and the designers during fabrication.

[00:02:12.410] - Pool Magazine
What are some of your flagship products that you offer?

[00:02:15.280] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Our most highly sought products would be our Select White. The Select White is more of a modern application. It's very sleek-looking and trending more towards a high contrast, basically. It's either sometimes it's very white or clients are going the other direction and dark. Our flagship would be that white, that Select White. We also have our more rustic Coral Stone, which is we call our Gold.

[00:02:39.700] - Pool Magazine
I've seen the white used quite a bit. I mean, it looks and feels very rich. The folks that I've spoken to have said that that stone is appropriate for all different types of decor styles, whether you're going for a luxurious finish or an upscale look or a relaxed style. I mean, the material is timeless, and I've seen it in many of today's backyard swimming pool applications.

[00:03:03.120] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Yeah, I can agree with you. We really service both ends of the spectrum. If you're going for a high-end luxury look, your Coral Stone Select White can fulfill that need. As well as if you're going for a laidback tropical look, Coral Stone can fulfill that need as well. It really depends on what you're going for as well as the design. The design is very important. Certain sizes and certain details in the stone can affect the whole look and the whole ambiance of Coral Stone.

[00:03:30.310] - Pool Magazine
Could you give us an overview of the type of pool-focused products and services that you guys are offering today?

[00:03:37.560] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Sure. We really focus on paving because Coral Stone has features and properties that gear it towards paving. We specialize in servicing pool decks, creating beautiful pool decks, and just trying to help customers achieve the look of their pool deck.

[00:03:52.620] - Pool Magazine
Now, do you have a showroom or a place where people typically meet with you to look at different products and selections?

[00:04:00.130] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Yes, we're based in Florida. This is where our home office is, but we have a showroom here. Clients can come and take a look at our different types of Coral Stone, different designs, different applications that we've had with previous customers. We also will be opening up at the end of March 2024 in Southern California, specifically. They can go on our website and check out our locations, and they can visit us at either one.

[00:04:27.870] - Pool Magazine
Well, I know you guys are based out of the Dominican Republic, but on the state side here, you guys are at a high LA of Florida, right?

[00:04:35.460] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Correct. Yeah, it's an industrial zone here in Miami. This is where our warehouse is, and this is where we stock and hold inventory for projects.

[00:04:44.530] - Pool Magazine
Well, you're certainly carrying a premium product. We know that stone is definitely a higher ticket item that usually comes with more exorbitant cost, but that doesn't seem to be a real factor with consumers nowadays who are focused on having the best. Why do you think stone decking has become a preferred option for those building a swimming pool in their backyard?

[00:05:05.570] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Well, to be honest with you, and quite frankly, our Coral Stone is very competitive, even with artificial products. You can find plenty of materials that are being used for pool decks. However, in terms of price, Coral Stone is very competitive in the natural stone market, and it's becoming a preferred option for consumers for two primary reasons: low heat retention and it has a non-slip surface. Even when it's wet. So even, let's say as a homeowner, if you have a pool, you're not always in the pool, per se, or enjoying the pool itself. Most of the time, you are lounging around the pool or having guests over in the pool area. That low heat retention creates a cooler environment in general for your guests and for yourself. A lot of our clients request Coral Stone for that reason. They don't always see themselves using their pool, but it's a nicer environment when you compare to other materials on the market to lounge and relax with guests or enjoy a social event. To speak to the non-slip surface due to the calcium-rich properties that Coral Stone has and the texture it creates for a surface that's non-slip.

[00:06:15.020] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
That applies to residential homes as well as commercial projects. A lot of our commercial projects, we reduce their liability when we can confidently guarantee a non-slip surface for high traffic areas or for a lot hotels that we do.

[00:06:31.700] - Pool Magazine
I think you hit on a good point there. I think it's one of the products that I see used widely in areas that are going to have high traffic. Maybe you could speak to that a little bit.

[00:06:41.840] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Of course. When you're dealing with high traffic, several things come to mind as a developer and as a homeowner or hotel owner. When you're dealing with high traffic, you want to make sure that your guests can walk safely, comfortably, and can move around without having to continuously look down at the ground and make sure they're not stepping on a wet spot that's going to cause them to slip or injure themselves. The non-slip surface is also, it's important to everyday homeowners because there's family living in these homes, whether it's children or elderly individuals, we ensure a certain level of safety when it comes to homeowners having their children in and around the pool, as well as having the grandmas and grandpas coming over. They can also feel safe and they can walk nonchalant constantly around the pool, even when it's wet with Coral Stone. A lot of our commercial projects, we supply Coral Stone so they can create an environment where their guests are more comfortable. We've had hotels that attest to that.

[00:07:43.130] - Pool Magazine
I see a lot of commercial applications on your website. I mean, who are some of the clients that you work with on the commercial side?

[00:07:50.230] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
We work with a variety of clients. Many of our clients that are hotel developers are in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Grenada, Turks, Caicos. We work with a variety of developers out there that build hotels for luxury use and vacation. Plenty of homeowners are looking for options that aren't projecting a lot of heat. Many of homeowners are looking for options that have low heat retention. That way, they don't have to be jumping around the pool looking for wet spots to cool their feet. It's more of a comfortable option. There aren't many natural and eye-catching stones on the markets with the properties that have low heat retention. Many natural stones are very beautiful in look. However, they can get uncomfortable to walk on in places like Arizona, Las Vegas, where temperatures can get extreme.

[00:08:42.000] - Pool Magazine
Having you in Pool magazine to connect with our readers and listeners is terrific. But tell me, how is Coral Stone USA partnering with the rest of the pool industry?

[00:08:51.160] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
If the readers and listeners go on our website, they can see who we're partnered with. However, some notable partners would be Genesis. They're education for anyone in the pool industry. They teach plenty of classes on aspects of stone, on certain methods of installation and new products that help with that. We also partner with the Pool and Hot tub Alliance, as well as the Architectural Institute of America. We work closely with all three to connect with a diverse group of people and professionals in the industry to better our product, better our knowledge of the industry, and to evolve as times evolve.

[00:09:29.730] - Pool Magazine
All right. Can you talk about trade programs or specific trade pricing that may be enticing to our listeners?

[00:09:36.200] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Sure. We offer different trade programs and different trade pricing for developers and builders. We work closely with them to negotiate a number that's in the interest of both or all the parties involved. We're very competitive in that market. Our business model is focused on providing trade prices and working with the industry closely to provide a reasonable pricing. In terms of bulk pricing and large-scale Coral Stone, we can work with said developer or builder to achieve a price that's comfortable for both.

[00:10:05.310] - Pool Magazine
Well, I know Coral Stone is a hot ticket item right now, specifically because it's renowned for its durability and natural beauty. But can you elaborate on the sourcing and the manufacturing process of your products? I know it's pretty unique.

[00:10:20.250] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Sure. Just to touch upon that durability, a fun fact about Coral Stone is, Christopher Columbus actually built a palace in Dominican Republic out of Coral Stone. And today, it's still standing in great condition, and it's actually protected by the UNICEF, and it's known as a World Heritage Site. But in terms of sourcing, our query is in the Dominican Republic, and we focus heavily on selecting high-quality blocks as a part of our quality assurance procedures to ensure that the end customer gets the best possible core stone that's going to last and it's going to look great for years to come. To summarize it, we'll cut large blocks, say 8 to 10 feet long. And from those blocks, we then select certain portions of the block to match our client's needs. In terms of fabrication, pretty much, I like to say we can cut what our clients can dream. We have the machinery and the capabilities to do so, and we take our manufacturing process seriously. So there's no divots, there's no chips or inconsistencies in the stone. We try to be highly detailed and specialize in whether it comes to architectural stone or your everyday papers.

[00:11:31.450] - Pool Magazine
I know sustainability is a big concern right now in the stone industry. How does Coral Stone USA ensure responsible sourcing of their products?

[00:11:40.100] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Coral Stone, it is a product that is mined. Historically, Coral Stone was actually underwater. That's where it gets all its beautiful shells and fossils. In terms of sustainability, we have several protections. Dominican Republic itself has an agency dedicated to focus on businesses and queries like ours to protect the environment and to not be harmful. So we have a variety of procedures that we follow. In terms of everyday machinery, we keep that up as much as possible and as efficiently as we can to avoid any mishaps with machinery or any leaks of anything. We also replant to keep the process going. So sustainability is a hot topic, and we don't go by conventional mining practices either. We don't use any blasting methods or anything like that. We carve and cut into the blocks and into the ground to avoid any blasting procedures.

[00:12:34.890] - Pool Magazine
What are some notable pool projects or installations where Coral Stone USA products have been used? And what were the challenges or successes that you encountered in those applications?

[00:12:48.220] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
One of our notable pool projects is actually our staple in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic. Plenty of custom work around the Infinity pool. It has the Coral Stone borders as well as the Coral Stone stairs are all custom works. And the bench as well is a unique bench, and it's completely natural Coral Stone. You can tell the different contrasts that the Coral Stone allows for between the grass and the pool itself. One of the The challenge was fabricating all these custom works and custom pieces took time in a lot of detail, as well as the treads, the stair treads. If you look at the stair treads, it looks like one continuous pathway. That beautiful look was a challenge because we had to ensure that each of those stair treads and the stone was carved and fabricated to perfection in terms of sizes. But the success story, I mean, speaks for itself. It's a beautiful home and the quality and the luxurious look of the home is a success story because the Coral Stone influences more than a lot in this home.

[00:13:50.530] - Pool Magazine
Yeah, I could see why it's such a go-to product on the high end. I mean, it matches the overall esthetics of the home itself and looks like it's one continuous piece. You a lot of backyards that look tacked on, specifically when they're using stone products that don't really match the esthetic of the home. But I think I see in the photo that you're talking about, you're talking about that huge vanishing edge pool that overlooks the sea and has It's almost like a three-level backyard. You have the spa on the second level, and then there's a dance floor or a sun deck on the third level. But it's all natural stone. It's all coral stone. It's a really beautiful project.

[00:14:28.910] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Yeah, all the stone looks continuous. The stone aligns with the other parts of the design to perfection. Another is the Pompano Beach project that we were involved in. That is a beach here in Florida, and we provided them with custom benches and paving along the boardwalk of Pompano Beach. A challenge that we faced with that project was actually in transportation. Delivering large scale blocks and benches can be quite a task, especially in those high traffic beach areas, but we were able to get it done. Not only that, we created special crates to ensure proper delivery of the stone. That was a really big challenge for us, especially with the weight of the coral stone and the size of the benches. But on the bright side, today it's in great condition. Its durability has been unmatched, and we look forward to seeing it years down the line. Another success that we had with that particular project is that even in the saltwater condition, in front of the beach, where most materials tend to rot and tend to disintegrate over time, the Coral Stone is still doing very well. And in terms of the paving, Pompano Beach sees thousands of people a day, and Even with its high foot traffic, it's maintained.

[00:15:47.740] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
It's a really good condition, a very good look, and it's in great shape.

[00:15:52.900] - Pool Magazine
That's a really beautiful project, Jorge. Thank you. Moving on, what ways does Coral Stone USA stay ahead of those design trends that are coming out? How do you evolve your products to match customer preferences in the market?

[00:16:08.660] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Great question. We try to attend as many shows as possible. These trade shows not only provide perspective, but they open our minds to other possibilities with Coral Stone. In terms of design trends, a big one we take a lot of information from is the AIA shows, where we get to speak with different architects in different sectors. And in different regions. We talk to them about how Stone is evolving and the uses of Stone and customer preferences. Today in 2024, we're really looking at how customers want very sleek look. We've developed and we've progressed our filled and honed finishes on the different types of Coral Stone to provide a sleek look while maintaining that natural aspect and the natural details of Coral Stone. Our customers are very satisfied, and we see a trend with the filled and honed. We see increased uses in interior and exterior applications with the filled-in home.

[00:17:05.320] - Pool Magazine
Well, looking towards the future, I mean, what innovations or developments can we expect from Coral Stone USA? How do you envision your company's growth and impact on our industry?

[00:17:16.210] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
So towards the future, in terms of innovations, we'll be developing more colors and more finishes on the stone. In terms of our company itself, we're opening up on the West Coast to service not only California, but Arizona, Nevada, and those hot regions where Coral Stone can really be used and have an impact.

[00:17:39.080] - Pool Magazine
Terrific. Jorge, I really appreciate you getting together with us to talk shop today and to give us a little bit of overview about what Coral Stone is and how it's being used in the pool industry. Thanks so much for stopping in and lending your expertise today.

[00:17:54.070] - Coral Stone USA - Jorge Larrauri
Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate the time, and I hope I was informative.

[00:17:59.590] - Pool Magazine
Well, that's all the time we have left today. Make sure to like, subscribe, and follow, and we'll catch you next time on another episode of Pool magazine podcast.

[00:18:07.800] - Tieleman Pool Technology
This podcast is sponsored by Tieleman Pool Technology. Experts have predicted that Tieleman movable floors are going to take the pool industry by storm. So are you a high-end pool builder who wants to expand their business and increase sales with this luxurious pool solution? Then don't miss this opportunity as Tieleman Pool Technology is looking for dealers in the United States. Learn more about us by visiting our website at tieleman.eu.


About Coral Stone USA
Coral Stone Products
Why Has Coral Stone Decking Become a Preferred Option?
High Traffic Durability
Who's Using Coral Stone?
How Coral Stone USA Is Partnering With The Pool Industry
How Coral Stone Is Sourced
Ensuring Sustainability
Noteworthy Projects
Keeping Ahead of Trends