Natural stone, the premium building material in residences, comes from dozens of nations. It’s quarried in huge blocks, cut into slabs and crated carefully. Subsequently, natural stone is shipped to fabricators worldwide.
Natural stone is sturdy. It’s far superior to engineered and manufactured products in withstanding everyday wear and tear. Discussed here are the diverse types of natural stone that can enhance your living space.
Natural Stone #1: Marble
Marble, the premier building material for several beautiful projects throughout history, adds an element of sophistication to your home. Its splendid appearance, ease of maintenance, and unrivaled engineering characteristics make it an acclaimed choice for foyers, vanities, floors, countertops, thresholds, furniture, tub decks, windowsills, fireplaces, showers, and walls.
Marble enjoys a natural association with tradition and luxury because of its delicate veining and raw beauty. Marble enhances your living space by bringing an air of elegance into your home. Since marble is quarried worldwide, it’s available in an unparalleled selection of varied patterns and colors.
Serpentine, labeled green marble, offers a marble-like appearance. You can use it for your kitchen counter because it’s not sensitive to common kitchen spills, especially citric acid. You should care for marble as you would a first-rate wood finish. Cleaning up spills on marble floors and using coasters on marble table tops will preserve this stone’s natural beauty and elegance for decades.
Marble is available in innumerable polished or honed finishes. You can opt for a rustic or antique finish too. The gleam of light reflecting off a polished marble surface creates an aristocratic look and a regal elegance that’s always in vogue. In contrast, honed marbles with their matte finish present a distinctly relaxed atmosphere in your home. Nevertheless, the sophisticated style is still retained. Brushed or tumbled marbles present a rustic look that’s reminiscent of ancient architecture.
Natural Stone #2: Granite
Granite, one of the most acclaimed natural stones, is quarried in dozens of nations worldwide. It’s available in a striking assortment of colors. Granite’s longevity and durability make it perfect for high traffic spots in your home. It’s ideal for kitchen countertop, table top, and floor too. While most synthetic surfaces are not heat-proof and scratch-proof, granite resists heat and everyday wear and tear appreciably. This natural stone’s surface is impenetrable and not affected by alcohol, tea, citric acid, wine, or coffee. Granite easily beats ceramic tile, butcher block, engineered stone, laminate, and other manufactured surfaces as your home’s first choice kitchen countertop material. Granite’s exceptional strength makes it the automatic choice for your home’s exterior applications such as curbing, paving, and cladding.
Granite offers you permanence, freedom from deterioration, and a vast selection of enduring colors and textures. Only sapphires, rubies, and diamonds are harder than granite. This attribute makes granite the first-choice material for countertops in your home. Beyond color, granite also presents you numerous options for the surface finish. The natural reflective shine is achieved after hours of polishing with varied grits of abrasive diamond pads. Rough surface finishes include bush-hammered, sandblasted, and flamed. Honed granite offers a classic style by curtailing the glare in brightly lit areas. Conversely, the matte honed finish offers higher slip resistance. The latest craze in homes is suede finished granites.
You can mix and match diverse finishes of granite in your home to create a unique appearance by adding texture and depth.
Natural Stone #3: Limestone
Limestone, widely used in construction, occurs commonly in nature. This hard and durable stone is used in countertops, flooring, exterior paving, and interior as well as exterior wall cladding. Limestone is predominantly available in neutral colors such as beige, cream, mushroom, blue gray, and gold. Limestone lasts for decades. It holds up well against the elements of nature. The inclusion of intermittent shell fossil, pencil thin veining, and subtle shade variation make limestone a sophisticated option that truly enhances your living space.
Limestone can be easily shaped into elaborate carvings because it’s easy to cut. A floor of understated limestone tiles in your home creates a smooth, minimalist appearance.
Natural Stone #4: Travertine
Travertine, a type of limestone, is the most acclaimed natural stone for exterior paving, wall cladding, and curbing. It’s used in interior flooring too. Travertine is formed in places lying in the proximity of hot springs. The mineral composition of travertine is identical to that of marble and limestone. The small cavities inherent in Travertine were created due to the escape of gasses through the stone.
Travertine is unique because a block of stone can be cut perpendicular to the bedding plane. This cut labeled as vein cut exposes a linear pattern. The same block of stone can be cut across the bedding plane. This cut is labeled as cross cut and reveals cloud-like designs in the stone. Travertine is available in a range of earthy colors: golden hues, browns, gray shades, and creams. All these colors coordinate perfectly with literally any design in your home.
This natural stone’s variety of finishes presents you numerous options—each style being unique. Currently, honed travertine is popular and offers you plenty of options to enhance your living space. Travertine’s trademark cavities are filled during processing. A cement grout is used for this. The stone is then buffed to a non-reflective smooth surface that’s ideal for your home’s flooring.
Travertine is available in slabs, mosaics, trims, and tiles. You can use them in unique ways in your home.
Natural Stone #5: Soapstone
Soapstone is extremely dense—denser than even granite. Household liquids don’t affect soapstone, and it does not stain either. Nevertheless, since soapstone is soft, its surface scratches easily. Common uses of soapstone include fireplace surrounds, bathroom vanities, kitchen countertops, stair treads, and stoves. It’s also used for chimneys, fireplace facings, patio benches, garden walls, and at poolside.
Bakers and cooks value soapstone because of its smooth, dense surface that’s soft and perfect for rolling pastries. A soapstone sink and countertop enhances your living space and creates a classic look as well. Soapstone tolerates extreme heat. This attribute permits cooks to set hot pans directly on its surface. Since soapstone is chemically inert, it is non-reactive to harsh chemicals. This natural stone darkens naturally over time and appears even more alluring.
Natural Stone #6: Slate
Slate, an acclaimed flooring material, is used for exterior paving. It’s also used in fireplace facings, kitchen countertops, roofing, and table tops. Slate is valued for its natural appeal. It’s being used in residential construction since times immemorial. Slate is easy to quarry. Other favorable attributes include economical price, hardness, density, slip resistant qualities, and chemical resistant properties.
Slate is a metamorphic rock that has a layered structure. These layers are cleaved into separate, thin sheets. In the Americas, slates are mostly monochromatic. Yet they’re versatile. When it comes to style, slates complement almost anything in your home. Slates quarried in Africa and Asia are colorful. This color variation suits large spaces because the natural mottling of slate makes your space more intimate.
When layers of slate are pried apart, the exposed surface is colorful as the minerals trapped between two layers are exposed. Hence, slate is available in many colors including copper, green, brown, black, red, charcoal, gray, and plum.
Although slate has superior slip-resistant qualities, it’s not suitable for regions where the freeze-thaw cycle is extreme. And since most slates are susceptible to scratches, it’d be ideal to use this stone in horizontal applications in only low traffic areas.
Natural Stone #7: Onyx
Onyx, labeled the “princess” of the stone universe, is renowned for its translucency as well as gem-like attributes. It’s a sedimentary stone formed in caves due to mineral deposits. Onyx makes the finest focal point of attention in any room, and you can use it as the exclamation point anywhere in your home. Backlighting magnifies its breath-taking splendor. Onyx is available in colors ranging from stunning blues to honey colored neutrals, white to greens, and red to gold.
Onyx is the most fragile natural stone. It’s vulnerable to chemical as well as abrasive deterioration. Therefore, you can use Onyx for vertical applications in your home. Onyx is available in tiles and slabs.
Natural Stone #8: Quartzite
The most striking natural stone slabs are quartzite slabs. Its vast range of patterns and colors will leave you breathless. This stone leaves even designers puzzled. The Creator must have been jubilant when creating this stone. Quartzite is exceptionally chemical and abrasion resistant. It’s hard and dense as well. This metamorphic stone is formed when quartz grains belonging to sandstone re-crystallize. This durable natural stone is suitable for varied applications including kitchen countertops. Some quartzite varieties are available in tile format.
Whether you’re remodeling your home or building a new one, natural stone presents you unmatched beauty, uniqueness, and permanence—and truly enhances your living space. Since stone is a natural product, not a manufactured product, no two chunks are exactly identical. This attribute of natural stone implies that each finished mantle, sill, wall, floor or countertop is distinctive. Natural stone is three-dimensional, whereas synthetic imitations are not. More importantly, natural stones can be used as furniture pieces, doorjambs, statuary, balustrades, and even columns.