Selecting a stone for a design project is a reflection of one’s personal taste. Although there are unlimited choices, some stones are more specifically suited for particular uses. Some stone choices are:
GRANITE – MARBLE- TRAVERTINE-QUARTZITE- QUARTZ- ONYX- LIMESTONE – SOAPSTONE
Granite- Most often from Brazil, Spain, India and China, these natural stones are hardest second only to rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. An ideal choice when performance, color, texture, and ease of maintenance are of highest importance.
Marble- A metamorphic rock found primarily across Europe and India. Color & rue beauty intensify over time with use. Typically, softer than granite, it tends to stain, etch and scratch more easily. Commonly used for fireplaces, bar-tops, backsplashes, and bathroom designs.
Onyx - An exotic stone, forming a wide variety of colors: red, yellow, brown, green and the most famous, black. Predominantly used as a statement piece, light accent, or as a backsplash in kitchens and bathrooms.
Limestone- A sedimentary rock that give the stone a natural, organic element. Static coloring makes it a good choice for flooring, interior & exterior wall cladding, fireplaces, and backsplashes.
Quartzite – A hard metamorphic rock which starts out as sandstone & is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure. Its density makes it mostly resistant to erosion & volatile weather. Pure quartzite is usually white to gray and can be used to cover walls, as roofing tiles, flooring & stair steps but is often simply used for decoration & countertops.
When choosing your natural stones, here are a few things to consider:
The incentive in using a natural stone over a man-made engineered product, is the stone’s ability to have a varied color spectrum, adding character and versatility to your design.
Things to consider when choosing your stones are:
- Elements of the room’s main use
- Atmosphere you wish to project
- Surrounding color palate of your accent pieces and furniture
Since stone is a product of nature, each stone will have its own character which will add to the overall dynamic of the room.
The harder a stone, the more resistant it is to abrasions. A heavy traffic and higher usage area will require a denser stone. Choosing a softer stone would require frequent cleaning and dustings to prevent scratching. The amount of time you wish to dedicate to cleaning and caring for your natural stone should be considered during the selection process.
The stone’s finish will also affect the overall characteristics of your design.
Polished: Glossy surface that will reflect light and more greatly emphasize the color and markings of the stone. Recommended for walls, countertops, and flooring.
Honed: Satin-smooth finish with slight light reflection. Preferred for floors, thresholds, and heavy traffic areas.
Flamed: Rough textured surface used mainly on granite floors & tiles.
Consult with a designer or stone representative to bring home the best products for your design.