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Is natural stone a good choice for home use?


YES. It's a terrific (not to mention beautiful) material to use in all areas of your home. Knowing the different types of stone, their finishes and applications will help you to make an informed decision on which stone is the best for your project.


What are the different finishes for stone?


There are many finishes and options available. Here are the most widely used:

  • Polished - A high gloss surface.
  • Honed - Smooth with squared edges and without a polished surface.
  • Tumbled - Lightly tumbled to achieve rounded edges and a surface that is not as smooth as honed.
  • Antique Tumbled - Medium tumble edges and surface to achieve a slight rustic look.  Cobbled or Distressed - Heavily tumbled edges and surface to achieve an aged or ancient look.
  • Brushed - Acid washed and wire brushed for a smooth textured surface.
  • Flamed - Blow torched for a rough textured surface.


Does stone stain?

YES. All natural stone can stain and etch (a dull spot in a polished or honed surface), including GRANITES.  Sealers DO NOT prevent staining as they are a moisture barrier only, yet they will help to give you a small amount of time to wipe up spills. It is nearly impossible to prevent staining or etching, but serious stains can be almost completely removed and any etching can be resurfaced if either is truly bothersome to you. To help keep a perspective on choosing to use natural stone, remember the following:

1. For centuries, many European countries have used natural stone from floor to ceiling, inside and out. The stone becomes stained, cracked, pitted and that is why we love it! These characteristics only make it that much more beautiful.


2. Because natural stone is quarried from the earth and not "man" made, it is improbable to ever find two exact matching tiles or matching slabs for that matter. One slab may even look different from each end of itself. That is also the beauty because each piece is different, but when pieces are put together as a whole it is a masterpiece!

3. Natural Stone is timeless.  Natural Stone will last longer than any of us will. There are centuries old castles, made of 100% stone and still standing today!

4. It is a natural resource that will never run out.

5. The more it is used, the faster "Patina" (light sheen on the surface) will develop. The "Patina" will also aid to prevent staining to a lesser degree.


What is the best natural stone to use in my home?

It is really a matter of choice and the look you want to achieve. These are questions to ask yourself when making your decision:


- Is it beautiful to you?

- Do you love it?

- Could you live with it for years?




Granites usually have a "spattered" or "swirled" grain and can contain many colors (minerals). Generally, granites have a polished finished and have a "busy" look, but to keep up with current trends, more manufacturers are producing honed (smooth & unpolished) and flamed (rough textured) surfaces.


Granites may be purchased in slab and dimensional tile form and can be used in almost any application. It has become ever popular as it is being used frequently in newly built tract housing, apartment/condominium complexes and commercial buildings. Granites are imported from many countries and have just as many colors and sizes to choose from.


A note in using polished granite is to know that it can be slippery to walk on until a patina builds on it.  As with any other commodity, natural stone is also graded for quality standards. Be wary if it is extremely inexpensive. The price ranges in granites depend on the color, rarity and where the stone comes from. The "blue" stones, containing minerals/gems such as sodalite are usually in the higher price ranges.




Most people are familiar with marble in many uses. From Greek statues to Roman baths, marble has been used for centuries in just about every possible application, both interior and exterior. Marble has the same general properties of limestone and can stain, etch or scratch, but it only becomes more beautiful over time and use.


It is readily available in just about every color, size, finish and texture known to man. Most marbles have a veining of a mineral throughout them and are generally thought to be from Italy, but it in actually it is quarried from all over the world.


Tumbled marble has become extremely popular in the United States in the last few years for backsplash, flooring and shower areas. Prices range dependent upon the rarity, color and country of origin.


A couple of drawbacks to marble to be aware of:
1. Green marbles containing serpentine need to be installed in water areas with specific setting guidelines that your installer should know of as water can warp and break apart green marbles.

2. Polished marble can be slippery to walk upon until a patina has built up on the surface.


Can a stone design be used or mixed with other kinds of materials?


Absolutely! The possibilities are endless. You can incorporate natural stone with ceramic, porcelain, glass, and terracotta. Anything you can think of, even mixing different types of natural stones together.



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