A slab of natural stone can make an incredible impact in your home, regardless of the way it is used. Much of the time, stone slab is used as a countertop material in modern kitchens and acts as a way to add to the overall value of a home. However, there are a couple of other ways to use stone in this form to create an interesting accessory for your house.
The Beauty of Slab Furniture
There is no end to the countless ways that designers express their creativity, and modern furniture design is no different than any other medium. Experimenting with different fabrics, textures, surface finishes, and purposes has been the standard when it comes to recent furniture collections from Denver, Colorado to New York.
Although wood has generally been the material of choice to create popular furniture because of its natural charm and the ease of working with it, there is actually a rich history of people who have preferred to use stone slab to construct their furniture. In fact, cultures as old as the early Romans had a deep appreciation for the beautiful furniture that could be created by carving stone into exquisite and detailed designs. In those times, it was not unusual for an artisan to spend months to intricately carve the pieces by hand.
Furniture designers today can benefit from technology that allows them to construct amazing stone slab furniture more easily than ever before. With the help of equipment featuring water jets and diamond tipped blades, virtually any design can be carried out, even pieces that require extremely precise measuring or detailed cuts.
In a sense, this technology has also changed the public’s ability to access unique and original furniture, and we see more and more people choosing innovative designs that are much different than traditional classic pieces. Many designers have chosen to use slab in combination with other popular materials to create an interesting contrast and symmetry in their pieces, and stone has been shown to work well with everything from wood and metal to glass. This flexibility is usually linked to the fact that the organic nature of stone ensures it can complement any other natural element used as a construction material.
A popular example of this dual design in furniture is created when a table is constructed with a stone slab top supported by a wood or metal platform underneath. The resulting look is a mix of luxury and originality from the stone and a sense of strength and stability from the metal or wood foundation.
Beyond its beautiful and artistic nature, furniture made from stone slab is functional and practical as well. The nature of stones like marble and granite is to be durable and can be seen on a basic level in the way they were formed. Because these slabs are a product of intense processes that formed them over time deep below the surface of the earth, they can easily be maintained to handle the normal wear that can damage other materials. In fact, stone can outlast materials like metal, which will corrode over time, and glass, which is easily broken.
Using Slab in Stairs
A beautiful staircase can add a touch of elegance and charm to any home, and their importance goes beyond just looking nice. As a major way to get from one area of the home to another, they are both an integral part of a home’s architecture and a way to add unique style to the space. Regardless of the style used to construct a staircase, it remains one of the most memorable elements of any home when it has been carried out well.
Much of the time, our eyes are naturally drawn to an interesting staircase, and we can also appreciate the texture of the stair banister and tread without even realizing it. The tread of the staircase, which is the horizontal surface of each step, is where designers and architects are now using stone slab. Although a great choice for countertops, the durability and surface of stones like granite and marble can be equally appreciated in many ways when they are used as stair tread.
On one hand, the appeal is purely based on the beauty of the stone because slab can be found in almost any color and pattern, making natural stone a flexible way to complement any style. However, using stone slab for this purpose is also functional. Using an unpolished stone as the tread of your stairs offers a naturally slip resistant surface that is as safe as any other material. Further, it creates a durable surface that ensures your staircase will have a long life in your home, without requiring a lot of maintenance from you to keep it looking beautiful.
In contrast to stone, using carpet or wood as the tread in your staircase will likely require a higher level of maintenance, and these materials tend to me much more susceptible to damage from scratches and stains.
When stone slab is used as stair tread, it is actually installed in the same way that you would install a slab countertop. Also similar to stone countertops, a variety of stones can be used to construct the tread, including marble, granite, and travertine. Again with the use of modern tools, technology allows us to cut stone slab easily to accommodate a variety of shapes and even curved or spiral stairs.
Surprisingly, stone slab can also be cut and used for the riser of your stairs, which is the vertical space between two consecutive steps. This feature is usually considered more decorative as this area of the stairs does not endure as much wear as the surface area of each step. However, having another way to use stone slab is encouraging home owners to use their creativity with varying colors and patterns to create even more originality in their staircases.
Using stone slab in the home will always be popular because it is beautiful and practical at the same time. Further, as technology expands to make it even easier to work with this form of natural stone, designers will likely find even more uses for it throughout the home.
Limestone is a type of sedimentary rock which is produced from organic material that settles on the foundation of lakes and sea beds. This organic matter is typically comprised of things like shells or coral that exist in warm and shallow environments. In fact, fossils are often found in limestone, revealing the type of biology that was present at the time the rock formed.
Additionally, limestone can be formed by an evaporation process in which water that contains calcium carbonate, a main ingredient of limestone, evaporates, leaving deposits of the material in its place. This is the process by which incredible stalactites and stalagmites are often created on the floors and ceilings of caves.
The rock which forms is softer than other types of stone often used in the home, like granite, and its porous nature makes it highly susceptible to erosion from acidic agents and water as well. Over time, this erosion has actually led to the creation of cave formations and incredible limestone landscapes that are evident now in almost every corner of the world.
Overall, limestone represents only a small percentage of all existing sedimentary rocks, but its uses are quite plentiful. Applications for limestone can easily be seen in everything from its use as filler in commercial products like paint to its frequent use in homes as construction material, flooring, countertops, and landscaping.
Variation in Limestone
Limestone can form under a variety of different scenarios, and the rock often presents a wide variation in the materials that combine with calcium carbonate to create it. We are left with materials that, although incredibly different in their appearance and use, are all limestone on a basic level. The variation in limestone is so great that you may already be quite familiar with the stone without even realizing it.
Some of the most common types of limestone include:
Uses of Limestone in the Home
Overall, limestone is known as a very durable stone, and many favor it over other materials for the construction of buildings and homes. Further, because limestone is so diverse in its formation and appearance, it has become a favorite among homeowners for its design value as well. In fact, homeowners local to the Denver, Colorado area may see even more limestone that those in other areas of the country, due mostly to the abundance of the stone within the state.
Limestone is frequently found in the home, but the most traditional applications for limestone include countertops, flooring, walkways, and landscaping.
Using limestone as a material for countertops is incredibly popular with homeowners for a couple of different reasons. For one, it is available in an impressive range of colors, and homeowners often find that limestone can offer them colors that other natural stones cannot. It is also a very resilient stone and is often less susceptible to damage from scratches than other countertop materials, making it ideal for a kitchen surface.
When used as a countertop material, it is necessary to treat and seal limestone properly to protect it, as its porous nature and sensitivity to acid may increase its potential for staining. Additionally, the tremendous weight of limestone often adds to its cost, making it quite expensive at times and frequently priced over other stone countertop materials.
Homeowners find limestone appealing as flooring because it offers a distinct, rugged look that can add a lot to the design appeal of any space. However, because it is a relatively soft stone, it is often suggested for use in areas with less traffic to keep it from damaging quickly. Additionally, its sensitivity to acid should again be managed if it is intended for use as kitchen flooring.
More and more people are choosing limestone as a walkway material because it is fairly simple to use, and it tends to last for a number of years. Further, it has the ability to absorb water quickly and easily, which makes it safe as a walking surface near pools.
When used as flooring or in walkways, limestone is also a convenient stone; the way in which it is quarried helps to create uniformity in its color which ultimately adds to its feasibility and appeal as a tile.
Liquid limestone is an alternate version of limestone which is also used in walkways. Essentially, this product is a combination of limestone and various materials that create a concrete like substance that can be colored to match the style of any home.
The uses for limestone outside of homes do not stop with walkways, and it is frequently found as a landscaping material in other ways. It can be used in everything from the construction of patio surfaces and driveways to decorative cladding on the exterior of a home.
Oversized limestone blocks are also popular in the construction of fences and retaining walls and are even commonly used as a foundation in garden beds.
There is a tremendous amount of diversity in the many uses of limestone, and it can be found in both commercial products as well as serving many functions in the home. For homeowners, its popularity is certainly due to the huge variety of limestone available which makes it easy for one to find a limestone with the appropriate texture, color, and overall design appeal to suit their particular needs.
Granite polishing is a popular topic because it is such a common material in homes and commercial buildings all over the world. As a diverse stone, it comes in a variety of textures and colors, but it is always viewed as a luxurious material, regardless of its use. It is also incredibly durable, and a polished finish provides a contrast in the physical strength and natural beauty of the stone, making it all the more appealing.
Surprisingly, granite polishing has such an impact on the beauty of the stone that it is often the first thing recommended to homeowners trying to sell their property. Staging often involves removing clutter from countertops and then polishing the surfaces to a high shine. The small investment it takes to have a professional come and properly clean and polish granite surfaces is minimal when compared to the value that is perceived by prospective buyers.
In a way, the density and durability of granite can make it more difficult to work with, especially when it comes to cutting the stone and in the case of granite polishing.
Polishing on a Large Scale
Similar to marble, the variety of granite stone comes from all over the world and produces stone with depth in its color and characteristics. Granite polishing is used to provide the deepest, richest colors within the stone as well as to reveal the natural contrast and structure of the patterns it contains.
Granite polishing often takes place on a large scale before the stone ever reaches its final destination. However, before polishing can take place the stone must go through the cutting process, in which large, mechanized saws are operated to cut pieces of slab from the raw stone.
These saws are actually diamond edged, which is necessary to cut through the tough composition of the granite. Once the larger, diamond edged saws have created smaller pieces of granite that are a bit more manageable, smaller bridge saws are used to produce their final shape as tile, flooring or countertops.
After being quarried and cut into smaller pieces of granite, the stone is sanded and polished by large machines that use abrasive discs made of metal or silicon carbide bricks to produce a gleaming, almost reflective surface that is smooth to the touch.
Polishing does not take place on stones with a honed finish. This type of stone, which reveals a matte surface, is not buffed to a high shine like polished granite. Although it does not require polishing, this type of surface is not recommended for use in things like kitchen countertops, as the honed surface is much more susceptible to damage from staining and is considered more challenging to keep clean on a regular basis.
Polishing Granite in Your Home
On a smaller scale, polishing granite is often done to restore the original beauty of the polished stone after it has lost some of its luster over time. This is typically done by professionals, although granite polishing tools are sold for DIY enthusiasts. In either case, the method recommended to polish granite is made up of several steps that need to be carried out by someone with knowledge of the stone and its properties.
Beyond restoring the beauty of the stone, many people don’t realize that granite polishing is actually important for the health and longevity of the stone as well.
Any stone contains pores, including granite and marble. This means that liquid materials can easily be absorbed into the stone, ultimately causing stains and damage that will weaken its structure over time. The only way to keep this from happening to your granite is to ensure that it is fully protected by sealing, polishing and cleaning the stone.
The first step to ensuring the health of your granite is actually cleaning the stone. This should always be done with a soft cloth or towel, using water or a cleaning agent designated for granite stone surfaces. You should never use cleansers that contain bleach, vinegar, ammonia, or fruit extracts because they can erode your granite. The entire surface should be rinsed and dried completely on a regular basis, but this step is also required before any sanding or polishing takes place.
Making sure your granite is properly sealed is more important than anything else. Without the appropriate sealant, there is no barrier between your granite and any moisture that comes in contact with its surface. It is also important to remember that sealant is not a permanent treatment, and you will have to have your granite resealed approximately every one to two years to ensure that your stone is being protected.
Polishing Protects Your Stone
There are further steps you can take to keep moisture from seeping into your granite in addition to having your granite sealed. This is where polishing becomes important as a method of protecting the stone.
Granite polishing usually takes place by applying a polishing agent to a small area on the surface of the stone. The polish is then buffed in a circular motion with a pad or soft towel until it starts to shine. This process is repeated until the entire area has been properly polished and is revealing a high shine.
Essentially, polishing provides another layer of stone protection because it can help fill imperfections that might exist in the stone’s structure prior to being sealed. Without being properly polished, it is possible to permanently damage the structure of the stone or cause staining that is difficult to combat.
Because not all granite is made of exactly the same materials and contains slightly different properties, it is difficult for the average homeowner to determine exactly how their stone will react to any type of stone maintenance. Beyond regular upkeep, it is best for most people to ask for the advice of experts when it comes to sealing their stone, making repairs or granite polishing.
If you are a home or business owner in Denver, Colorado, you can trust the Marble Polishing Experts to help you with any of your natural stone needs, including granite polishing and sealing.
As a way to use natural stone in your home, it is hard to beat granite for a variety of reasons. Not only is the stone beautiful, it is also incredibly useful and has dozens of applications. Further, it is a durable, solid stone that has the ability to last for years upon years, making it especially popular for kitchen countertop surfaces and flooring among other things.
The Journey from within the Earth to your Home
Granite forms much differently than many of the other stones we’ve discussed, and many people appreciate the unique look it has as a result. Essentially, the rock forms when molten material is pressed between layers of rock and heated to extremely high temperatures. As the rock forms, pressure causes the material to mix with other elements present within the earth, which vary from one area to another.
The differing amounts of materials like quartz, mica, and feldspar and the way they are combined give granite the wide range of recognizable patterns and colors that we all love.
Today, rock quarries produce the granite that formed so deep within the earth, and it is eventually cut and processed for commercial needs. Depending on the ultimate destination for the granite, it may be sold as a slab or developed into tile. Regardless of its final form, each piece of granite is typically evaluated in terms of its strength and grade and polished before it ever makes it into your home.
Why We Love Granite
People tend to flock toward using granite in their homes because it is a relatively easy way to add the classic beauty that so many of us want. Fewer natural stones are more beautiful and can provide the wealth of variety available in granite slab or tile in terms of color and pattern choice. Further, using the stone can instantly add value to your property and is actually considered an excellent way to contribute to the strength of your home’s construction when used in flooring.
Once it is installed, caring for your granite can be reasonably easy when compared to other surfaces. The way the stone was formed ensures that it is incredibly resistant to heat and damage. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most durable natural stones available.
How to Use Granite
If its beauty and durability haven’t convinced you, also consider that granite can be and is used in almost any area of the home that you could imagine. Overall, it’s incredibly popular and can be used for nearly any purpose.
It is commonly used for both commercial and residential purposes, mostly in the form of granite tile. Commercially, you may notice that granite is frequently used in hallways and lobbies in a way that seems both functional and decorative. This is certainly the case due to the public’s association to granite with endurance, toughness, and professionalism.
Likewise, in residential use, granite brings along its reputation for evoking a feeling of elegance and sound design that can be used to complement a variety of styles anywhere in the home.
Both granite tile and slabs are often chosen for countertops, and it is also common to see tile used for a backsplash in the kitchen as a way to incorporate granite as a decorative element. Many people choose to incorporate the stone outdoors as well, using granite tiles that have not been polished to create a unique path or patio surface that further adds to the appeal of the area as well as the value of the home. Smaller pieces or even leftover granite may be used in fireplaces, vanities, and furniture, and even less amounts of the stone can be used to create coasters, cutting boards, and other home accessories.
Before Installing Granite
Despite the many reasons there are to use granite in your home, like anything, there are some considerations you should make before and after you install it. If you intend to use granite tile, the following guidelines will help you in the process.
An expert in natural stone should also be able to advise you on the proper sealant for your granite as well as the best way to clean and maintain your stone. They should be able to guide you in choosing the best cleaning and polishing agents that will help you maintain the beauty of your granite over time.
If you already have granite, here are a few quick tips to keep it looking great:
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to discuss your current granite or plans for installation with an expert who can help you avoid mistakes that could cost you time and money. For those in Denver, Colorado, the Marble Polishing Experts can give you the best advice on anything related to keeping your granite healthy and beautiful for as long as possible.
As popular as it is, marble can be especially mystifying to people who have never used the stone in their homes or fully understood how to properly care for it. As such, there are a lot of conflicting ideas about the best ways to maintain the beauty of marble and recognize scenarios that might require restoration or marble repair.
How sustainable is marble?
As it turns out, marble is actually a very resilient and versatile stone, and it can be used in more ways than you might imagine. And, with the proper care and attention, it may be relatively easy to avoid the need for marble repair. In fact, marble is so versatile and practical; it is commonly used on a large scale in commercial constructions in addition to its frequent use in kitchens and other areas of the home.
In fact, people all over the world have long relied on marble to clad their walls, tile their floors, and function all over their home, and the stone has certainly come through in terms of its sustainability. Because it can be sensitive to abrasive materials and acidic agents, some have a distorted view of the reliability of marble. Repair may be necessary at some point in the life of your marble, but the stone itself is known to hold up remarkably for generations.
You can personally take certain steps to keep your marble looking great and prevent some need for marble repair by maintaining your marble and making sure the appropriate sealant has been used for your particular use of the stone.
Can marble repair be avoided?
Because marble is a porous stone, anything that spills on its surface has the tendency to seep into the pores and into the interior of the stone. This doesn’t just impact the appearance of your marble; it can also damage the texture and weaken the surface of the stone over time, making it more likely to chip or crack and require marble repair.
A proper sealant can protect the surface, and in some cases, it is necessary to have a sealant that settles into the stone’s pores to protect it further from damage. Using the best sealant for your marble is crucial to extending the life of the stone and safeguarding it against damage for as long as you can. A professional can give you expert advice on whether or not your marble is sealed properly and how you can best protect your stone.
When it comes to keeping your marble clean, one of the easiest and most meaningful things you can do is to remove gritty substances and dirt from the surface of the stone on a regular basis. Over time, these materials can impact the appearance of your marble by causing tiny scratches on its surface. Simply removing them by wiping the stone with a soft cloth or damp mop can make a world of difference in the life of your marble.
Additionally, you should always clean spills as soon as possible, especially those that occur with agents that typically stain marble, like fruit juice, red wine, and coffee. This should become a routine reaction even with properly sealed marble. Along the same lines, you can keep the surface from weakening over time by steering clear of acid based cleaners that tend to cause deterioration.
When is marble repair necessary?
If you intend to install marble and are not familiar with its features, you should know that all marble is porous to some degree and also contains patterns that may look like tiny cracks in the stone. The majority of the time, these patterns, or veining as it is called, are simply the result of the minerals and other substances that combined to create the marble. These properties of marble should have no impact on your need for marble repair in the future, other than its porosity being a good reason to seal the stone to ensure it can hold up against traffic and moisture in the environment.
If you have marble that has become stained for any reason, you may need some type of restoration services to improve the look of the stone instead of marble repair, which typically fixes damage to a stone’s surface like cracks or chips. However, treating stains in marble is highly dependent on what caused it in the first place and the severity of the staining. This is another task best left to a stone expert, as they would be able to advise you on what is necessary to improve the look of your marble.
Can I do my own marble repair?
According to the Marble Polishing Experts in Denver, Colorado, a very slight scratch in the surface of your marble may not require marble repair, if your marble is not cultured. Occasionally, these can be buffed away using a soft cloth and some elbow grease, causing the marble’s sealant to soften and disguise the appearance of the scratch. Marble repair for damage beyond the scope of a light scratch is generally not suggested to the average homeowner. Many people, who attempt their own marble repair, end up causing damage or end up unhappy with the way their results look.
When the surface of your marble has been cracked or chipped to a larger degree, you certainly need marble repair, something that should only be handled by a professional. There are many techniques and a variety of products that can be used to help repair marble, and an expert will be able to determine the right process to fix the damage in your situation.
A professional should be skilled in filled any crack or chip in the surface of your stone, blending the repair with the rest of the stone, and advising you on sealing or maintaining your stone from that point. Further, when it is properly cared for, any work done by a professional to repair damage in the surface of your marble should last as long as you have the stone.
Marble Polishing Experts is a woman-owned business in Denver, Colorado with years of experience in marble restoration, granite restoration, flagstone, limestone, travertine, terrazzo, and tile and grout cleaning. Looking for stone experts? Call us today!
Marble Polishing Experts
2550 S University Blvd
Denver, CO 80210
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