There is no question that street appeal can sell houses, which is why Block contestant (and architect) Steph knew she wanted the best possible exterior elements on their house.
Steph and husband Gian, a start-up worker from NSW, worked with the CSR team and Cursio Tiling to create a spectacular point of difference for the front façade of House 4, using PGH Bricks, Pavers & Stone’s new range of cultured stone cladding.
Adrian Cursio of Cursio Tiling laid the stone as a cladding over the original brick chimney, as well as the front age as a feature of the new fencing. The product chosen was PGH Stone Fieldstone in Gilded Sand, which perfectly complemented the ‘Japandi’ style chosen by the couple for the interior of the house.
“Initially, they were supposed to have a picket fence,” explains Adrian. “But Steph wasn’t going to have that. She wanted to do something a bit ‘out there’. She hated the original chimney they had. It was just a blond brick chimney, which looked pretty old school. And she was like, ‘I’m not going to be having that; there’s no way’. That’s why they chose the stone and it looks really, really good.”
This was Adrian’s first time installing the PGH Stone and he was super impressed with the product.
He said it was a bit like doing a jigsaw, effectively stacking the stones, intertwined with one another. “There’s no grout or fill; we had to make up some little pieces to go in between it all, which was quite easy to be honest,” he says.
“It looks really nice; so effective in the end, and you couldn’t tell that they weren’t solid rocks. There were people stopping on the street to take photos every minute. They couldn’t believe how effective it was.” “I didn’t know if it would make an impact on the streetscape, but it definitely did.”
However, when it’s part of The Block, installation was not easy – the timing was super tight and installation had to be done while the roof was being completed around the tiling team.
“We had to fight all the time to get it finished,” explains Adrian. “I had to argue with the builders who wanted to get the scaffold pulled down. We were working on the scaffold alongside the roofers. Then, when we finished I had to take the scaffold down in order to do the landscaping – it was just unbelievable. This was crazy pressure, but we still managed to do a good job.”
Victorian-based Adrian and his brothers Anthony and Gino have been working with The Block since 2019, starting with helping a couple of contestants who were desperately looking for a tiler.
“We were just going to come and do one day, to get them out of strife,” he says. “We went in, did a day’s work for them and got them out of strife and over the line. And I’ve never looked back since then. It was fantastic and I really enjoyed myself. I probably should have said no, but then we wouldn’t be part of this whole thing. I don’t regret it.”
Ever since, the Cursio brothers have been working for different contestants (plus host Scott Cam in 2022), as part of The Block ‘family’. The three brothers are all directors of the family company, along with their father, who started the business back in 1974 in Italy.
“We’re third generation tilers,” says Adrian. “We made a promise to our ancestors and everyone to keep the legacy going.”
And when The Block stops filming, the connections continue. As part of The Block family, the Cursio Tiling team has done a lot of work for contestants of previous years, many of whom have set up renovation and building businesses across the state.
“Pretty much every contestant who’s done The Block and needs a tiler finds our number and want us to do their work, which is fantastic,” says Adrian. We’ve done some of the judges’ places as well.”
About PGH Stone
PGH Stone is a collection of manufactured stone veneer products that offer a great alternative to wall tiles and other forms of cladding, for a unique, natural stone look and feel. Suitable for internal and external use, PGH Stone is cast from moulds created using actual stone pieces, displaying the same textures, colours and patterns found in real stone masonry. It is available in a selection of natural-looking stone finishes and formats
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