There is a wide range of long lasting natural stones to choose from for your home interior and exterior such as marble, onyx, sand stone, serpentine, slate, soapstone, travertine and quartzite. Choosing the right natural stone for your home is a very personal decision like choosing an artwork or a piece of furniture. All natural stones have their own characteristics and strengths and some are more suited for certain usage around the home. Therefore, it is important to choose the right stone for your home to ensure its functionality apart from being a means of decoration.
Natural stones are available in a beautiful spectrum of colours. For instance, colours on granite and marble range from soft beige and pink, classic black and white to rich red, green and multi-colour. Marble traditionally has swirls and veins of colours, while granite has a flecked or pebbled appearance. Unlike the repetitive uniformity of man-made materials produced by machines from the assembly line, natural stones are slowly formed over millions of years beneath the earth surface with each carrying their own characteristic with a unique effect when used.
The stone you choose depends on your personal preference and the overall interior space. For example, white is a popular colour choice for flooring as it does not stand out too much, allowing more focus on the furniture. However, for a more appealing space you can choose a darker coloured flooring to feature the flooring as the center of attraction.
Marble is a popular stone but it is not ideal to be used as a kitchen countertop due to its low scratch and stain resistant properties. On the other hand, granite and quartz are preferable due to their high durability and life longevity.
There are several finishes available for natural stones and new ones created regularly to meet consumer demands, for instance: polished, honed, leathered, bush hammered and antiqued. Finishes are important as they preserve the luster of the stones, making them capable of withstanding years of wear and tear.
Grinding, sanding and buffing produce a high gloss, mirror-like surface. It is the most popular finishing for marble, as it enhances the colour and markings of the material. This gives the stone an elegant, rich and a glossy shine look. However, it can only be used on crystallized stones. It is best used for wall coverings and inappropriate for stone flooring due to its low slip resistance value.
Grinding and sanding produces a smooth, yet not glossy finish. The result is a satin smooth but unreflective surface. It is highly recommended for internal stone flooring.
The process of texturing granite or marble to make it less glossy. It requires a relatively low level of maintenance and is pleasant to the touch. It is only available for certain varieties of marble and granite.
A natural stone finish is achieved by the application of a hydraulic bush hammer to the surface. A bush hammer is a specialized stone-working hammer which creates a smooth stone surface with small indentations. This produces a non-slip surface that lightens the colour and dulls any pattering found in a stone’s natural state.
The stone is tumbled with sand, pebbles and etc to create a weathered aged finishing. It usually dulls the colour of the stone and creates an artistic effect.