There are so many choices in the natural stone world that it can be overwhelming for some us of when it comes to choosing that perfect stone. Colors, patterns and the different types of stone add to a tremendous amount of options. So, how do you know which stone is the right stone? Color, use and you.
This is really a matter of choice and the look you want to achieve. Bold reds, chocolaty browns, forest greens, vivid blues, golden yellows, and basic whites or blacks. The color range of stone is infinite. Stones also have different patterns. There are speckles, veins, swirls, and even monochromatic schemes. Formal, old world, comfortable or homey... all of these looks can be achieved with Natural Stone.
Tip: Lighter colored stones are usually sealed whereas darker colors aren't. Darker natural stones show fingerprints, oils and smudges easier than the lighter colors.
Ask yourself, âWhat is the stone used forâ? Some stones are more appropriate for countertops while others are more ideal for accents. An active household with children and pets will benefit from a more forgiving and durable stone. If itâs just you, your selection isnât as limited.
Take a quick look at the most common stones and their general properties.
Granite is by far the most popular. There are hundreds of colors and patterns to choose from. The looks achieved can be modern and minimalist, formal, warm, bold and exciting. This is also one of the most durable stones for kitchen countertops. It's used for flooring, tables, bars, fireplaces and on interiors and exteriors.
Limestone is soft and earthy. Itâs generally lighter in color and may contain fossils of marine animals. Limestone varies widely as to how absorbent (porous) it is and acidic substances will etch limestone. Care must be taken with cleaning products and foods or beverages containing acids. This stone is used on interiors and exteriors for things such as sinks, vanities, fireplaces, and accents.
Marble is full of swirls and veins. There are also hundreds of colors and patterns to choose from. Itâs softer than Granite so it will scratch easier and acidic substances will etch marble. A busy kitchen isnât the place to use a Marble countertop. Other uses include vanities, floors, pillars, and accents. This stone is also used on interiors and exteriors.
Onyx Marble is an exotic, swirly, unique, expensive, and delicate stone. This beautiful stone is usually translucent. Kitchen countertops are a definite no. It will scratch even easier than Marble and acidic substances will etch it. Onyx Marble is mainly used for very light traffic areas or as an accent piece. Fireplace surrounds with back lighting look incredible.
Travertine is an earthy stone. The beiges, browns, and ivories are soft and inviting. The properties varyâ¦ some Travertine is extremely hard and dense whereas others are softer and will absorb moisture. Travertine is not resistant to acidic substances and will etch. This Natural Stone is used on interiors and exteriors. Sinks, floors, vanities, and accents are some other uses. A polished stone feels formal while a tumbled Travertine evokes a comfortable old world feel.
Slate is a deeper, darker colorâ¦ picture grays, greens and muted tones. Itâs a great choice for flooring because of its natural slip resistance. Other uses include roofs, counter tops, vanities, hearths and accents. This rustic old world stone is also used on interiors and exteriors.
Soapstone is usually greenish or grayish colored and very durable. Some soapstone has swirls, veins, and speckles while others are a little more monochromatic. This is another old world stone which is a great alternative to Granite. Itâs resistant to stains, acids and heat. The biggest down fall is that it will scratch easier than all other Natural Stone. But, you can easily repair it with a little mineral oil or sand paper. Soapstone is used for things such as hearths, fireplace surrounds, countertops and accents. Itâs âfamousâ for âholding in heatâ.
The most important part of the decision making process. What colors are you drawn to? Do you prefer a lot of movement such as veins and swirls? Or, is a monochromatic scheme more to your liking? AND, do you love it? Look at stone in person and then choose a stone that you absolutely love. You will live with it for a long time.