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Gas information sheet 53: The suitability of reconstituted stone as a fire resistant facing material

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This gas information sheet provides information about the suitability of a material like reconstituted stone as a fire resistant facing material.

Reconstituted stone (for example, Caesarstone) is a popular product used in various domestic and commercial surfacing applications involving kitchen and bathroom worktops, flooring, and cladding.

While the product is highly durable and entirely suitable for these applications, it is usually made of reconstituted stone bonded with a flammable polyester resin. This makes it unsuitable for protecting combustible materials (like plaster walls, noggins, and studs) in a kitchen splash back or similar application.

Necessary fire resistant facing material qualities

When assessing a product for use as a fire resistant facing material, always refer to Australian Standard (AS/NZS) 5601.1, Appendix C – Fire Resistant Material and Acceptable Methods of Protection of Combustible Surfaces. This standard specifies the:

  • necessary qualities for fire resistant materials
  • thermal and physical properties suitable for a facing material to protect combustible materials.

For example, acceptable methods in a domestic situation for protecting combustible surfaces require non-flammable facing materials like:

  • tiles
  • toughened safety glass
  • sheet metal of a specific thickness and matched with a specific type of backing board (for example, a gypsum-based wall board or fibre cement board with a specified minimum thickness, depending on the type of facing material being used).

Materials proposed for use as fire resistant facing materials that are not already considered by AS/NZS 5601.1, Appendix C, must be independently tested for compliance with this standard.

Further information

Contact ESV’s Technical Information Line on 1800 652 563, or email gastechnicalenquiry@energysafe.vic.gov.au.