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The Timeless Appeal of Natural Stone in Modern Design

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The Appeal of Natural Stone

Without a doubt, people love natural stone, and its uses in modern design are almost endless.  The variation available makes it an easy choice for people of all different styles, preferences, and even budgets.

However, there are a few considerations that should be made with any kind of natural stone, and there are also things to think about that apply uniquely to individual types of stone.  The most popular choices today are granite, slate, marble, travertine, and limestone, and each has their own challenges and appeal.

Things to Know about Natural Stone

If you love stone and want to incorporate it into your home, there are a few things for you to know, regardless of the particular stone you choose.

The first is often seen as a benefit of choosing natural stone, and it is simply that anything made from stone will include natural variations in color.  These variations are all a consequence of the natural formation of the material, and they result in some of the most beautiful patterns and striking colors that have ever been imagined.

Additionally, anytime natural stone is used for any setting, it should be sealed properly to protect it against moisture, stains, and damage.  This may be especially true when it is used in outdoor spaces, where environmental elements can cause cracks and other damage in unsealed stone very quickly.  Depending on the stone you choose, you should be able to get advice as to how often it should be sealed and how to complete the process.

Finally, if you plan to install stone outside, it is important to talk with an expert in natural stone to determine whether your particular climate will impact the beauty and required maintenance of your favorite varieties.  The weather and conditions in Denver, Colorado may be better suited for one type of stone for your particular use over another.

With a clear understanding of all these things, you can look more closely at the most popular types of natural stone to find out which ones may work best for your project!

Granite

Granite is a stone made from molten rock and is known as an incredibly dense and durable stone.  In fact, it is ranked as the hardest of all the natural stones listed here.  In terms of appearance, granite can be found in a wide range of color, including shades of black, brown, gray, yellow, and green, and its spotted pattern is easily distinguishable from other types of stone.

Granite conveys both professionalism and elegance, so it is found just as often as a material in high-end commercial buildings as it is in residential properties.  It may be used in the form of tile, countertops, cladding, vanities, and other accessories.

The greatest challenges associated with granite may be its hardness and weight, which make it a challenge to cut the stone as well as install it in large pieces.

Slate

Slate is formed from the compression and heating of mostly soil and clay over millions of years.  It can be found in a range of finishes, from flat to highly polished, and color is often variable as well, even from within the same batch.  It is known for being more slip resistant than other stones and having a size and shape that make it easy to use after it has been cut.

This stone conveys a warm and comfortable feeling, making it incredibly common for use in floor surfaces in residential properties.  Slate can also be used as cladding and in outdoor projects in some climates.

As far as potential difficulties, slate can also be quite heavy and may not be suitable in all regions for outdoor use.

Marble

Marble is created from the accumulation of natural materials brought together by the flow of water underground.  The resulting natural stone is characterized as smooth, and the minerals that compose it create beautiful colored veins that seem to flow through the rock, providing a hint toward its liquid beginning.

Because it has often been used in the creation of sculptures as well as in the construction of ancient structures, it is often associate with the arts and seen as a classic, ageless material.  In homes today, it is frequently used in flooring, countertops, backsplashes, and vanities.

It can be seen as a difficult stone to use because of its vulnerability to acid, making it somewhat hard to maintain in kitchen environments.  However, its patterns and the wide range of colors available make the inclusion of marble in any home personal and valuable.

Travertine

Travertine is formed in a similar fashion to marble because they both developed from the movement of water underground.  However, the formation of travertine is more commonly associated with freshwater areas and hot springs, in contrast to marble, whose formation is a result of great pressure and extreme heat occurring far beneath the surface of the earth.

This key difference in development gives travertine the recognizable pores and creamy white or tan color that it often displays.  Because it was frequently used as a building material in ancient Roman and Greek societies, it is somewhat associated with feelings of majesty.

Today, travertine is used in a variety of ways, including as flooring, countertop material, pool surroundings, patios, and other home accessories.  As it is similar to marble in formation, its challenges are similar as well, and it requires some maintenance to keep in top shape.

Limestone

Limestone is another natural stone formed from material compiled via water sources, but this stone is mostly comprised of organic material which has settled at the bottom of lake or sea floors.  In fact, fossil traces can often be seen in limestone, offering a clue as to how it was formed.

The result is a natural stone that is known to be durable and provide a distinct look in a variety of colors.  In appearance, it can mimic the look of both marble and travertine, but its composition tends to be less porous overall.  

Limestone conveys a distinguished and strong feeling for many people, and it is often used as a material in floors, cladding, and paved surfaces.  Although it is less difficult to maintain than marble and travertine, its challenges are similar.

Choosing a Natural Stone

Any one of these stones can provide an excellent material for use in your home, and they all provide their own distinct beauty.  When trying to choose a natural stone, it is best to consider the style that appeals to you, the environment the stone will be used in, and the convenience of using each stone for your purpose.

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