Residential Natural Stone
Stone is one of nature’s greatest gifts. No two pieces are alike, which offers you the opportunity to create a unique and personalized space in your home. Many like it because it adds distinction and value to a home; others prefer it because it is a synonym of durability when proper maintenance is given.
They are used for interior flooring, countertops, wall covering, and fireplaces to exterior walkways, patios, and facades. Some of the most common stones used for residential interiors include granite, marble, slate, travertine, limestone, and sandstone. For natural stone to be used as flooring, countertops or even walls, the stone needs to be hard enough to withstand chipping and breaking during normal use and even the occasional accidental bump.
Natural stone can be custom cut to most any size and shape through a specialty fabricator. The edge finish for natural stone floors and countertops is basically a customer design preference. There is a wide range of edge styles for countertops and fireplaces including rounded, bullnose and half-bullnose.
Natural Stone Finishes
The secret for achieving the natural stone look of your dreams is in the finish. The finish is what will give the stone a desired look and surface texture. There are four main types of finishes:
- Polished produces a shiny, smooth-as-glass finish and the impermeable surface that brings out the brilliant colors and grains with a stone. Polished surfaces are ideal for low-abrasive areas like walls and vanities.
- Honed gives the stone a smooth and soft appearance. Honed finishes reflect very little light, which hides scratches better than polished surfaces.
- Tumbled gives a rough texture with a more rustic look used often in marble and limestone.
- Thermal or Flamed Finish produces a rough surface through intense heat. The heat sets off the rapid evaporation of moisture and causes the crystals within the stone to explode, resulting in a heavily textured surface. This surface offers the best slip-resistance.
When cleaning any natural stone in your home, always watch out for harsh chemicals. They should not be used on any stone because their high pH will damage them. It is always recommended to consult with an expert the appropriate care beforehand.