HARD TO PASS UP
Practical guide to stone
If you’ve been looking for a natural, hard material with unsurpassed beauty for your walls, counter tops, or floors you’ve no doubt considered stone. Its attributes are many. Not the least of which are, stone flooring’s cool surface is perfect during the warmer seasons and it doesn’t give refuge to dust or allergens. Now that you’re sold on the idea, all that’s left is deciding what kind of stone is best for your home and décor.
Granite is an igneous rock formed by volcanic activity. This naturally textured stone is resilient, strong, non-porous and resistant to slips which makes it perfect for those heavily visited areas in your home especially where water is present, i.e. kitchens and bathrooms. This highly popular stone comes in a wide variety of unique color choices to enhance any location.
Limestone is formed from sedimentary materials (i.e. coral and shells). It’s a perfect selection if your goal is to achieve a more uniform color. Another advantage of limestone is that it has texture options. It can be sanded for an elegant and refined look, or machine-tumbled for an earthy, worn appearance. Keep in mind, this stone is porous and must be sealed every few years, especially if you’re considering it in places where acidic liquids may have direct contact with it.
Marble is another porous stone that requires a little maintenance, but the effort is well worth the sophistication and formality this stone brings to a space. It’s available in a variety of colors, hardness, and some are actually more stain-resistant than others. Because marble is easily scratched, you will want to seriously consider where this stone will perform best to retain its beauty.
Slate makes an excellent statement for classic rustic décor. Usually dark gray, green or soft red slate is as lovely as it is interesting due to its inconsistent shapes and textures. This dependable, low maintenance stone requires little more than mopping with a warm water and a cleaning solution to retain its prestige and longevity.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock formed by carbonate materials in surface and ground waters as well as hot springs. One might say that mother nature rocked out on this one! Travertine is undeniably beautiful and the variety of colors and finishes it comes in makes for a unique creation wherever it’s placed. Do keep in mind, in order to keep travertine in its gorgeous state will involve a good sealer and promptly cleaning up any spills, as this rock is a porous one.
- The size of pores in a stone (porosity) will determine how strong it is and how resistant it will be.
- If you plan on installing stone in a high-traffic area like your main bath, kitchen or laundry room, it’s best to go with a hard, dense non-porous stone.
Whatever stone you decide upon will be sure to increase your home’s resale value. But until then, enjoy! It is practical, beautiful, and long-lasting which makes choosing stone too hard to pass up.