Natural stone offers transcending beauty and durability, which makes choices like limestone, granite, marble, travertine, and slate preferred options in many floor and countertops designs. But how do you know which stone is right for YOU? Many clients face this dilemma when selecting materials for their home improvement project. They often turn to us for advice. Here is a quick guide to help you decide.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU?
TREND, COMFORT, PRACTICALITY, or all of the above? It all begins with YOU. Before investing in a pricey design and exotic materials consider YOUR lifestyle and personal circumstances first.
To fully appreciate the unique qualities of natural stone let’s look at the origin of its creation. There are three kinds of rock formations which are used for the carving of stone tile.
Sedimentary rock is formed when layers of biological deposits have been compacted and crystalized over time in the presence of water. Igneous rocks have crystallized from the cooling and hardening of volcanic magma, or lava. Metamorphic rocks are formed when other types of rock (igneous or sedimentary) are exposed to high heat and pressure within the Earth’s crust.
TYPES OF STONE
Limestone a sedimentary stone known for its smooth surface and its soft white and neutral shades. It’s highly durable material that creates an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere. Limestone is not recommended for outdoor use as it absorbs water easily. Suggested use: Kitchens, baths, living areas, and hallways.
Travertine is a much softer type of limestone that is extremely porous. Formed in underground rivers travertine is smooth and comes in many earthy tones. It tends to scratch and stain easily, therefore sealing is highly recommended. Suggested use: Kitchens, baths, living areas, and hallways.
Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that is extremely durable. Its vibrant colors and unique texture make slate an exceptional flooring alternative. Suggested use: Kitchens, living areas, hallways, and entryways.
Granite is an igneous rock and probably the hardest natural stone of all. It comes in variety of colors and patterns, and if properly sealed it can be resilient to stains and won’t absorb liquids. Granite can be used in countertops, or tile for flooring and wall accents. Suggested use: Kitchens, baths, living areas, and hallways.
Marble is metamorphic limestone formed by the recrystallization of original carbonate minerals. The result is uniquely colored marble varieties characterized by a mosaic of veins and swirls. Marble is harder and more resilient that traventine but also needs sealing. Be mindful when using it outdoors as it absorbs water, and is prone to stains and scratches. As granite, marble can be used in countertops, or tile for flooring and wall accents. Suggested use: Kitchens, baths, living areas, and hallways.
Because natural stone is derived from the earth, there may be variations in color and quality, so research options carefully. To minimize mismatched areas order enough material to complete the project in one shipment. Get an extra box, or two for later repairs. Discuss the alternatives with your tile contractor, and ask for supplier recommendations and more precise square footage for each area.
We work with local suppliers, and would gladly share our design ideas and product recommendations with you. Call us if you are thinking of remodeling and like to discuss options.