From fireplaces to feature walls and outdoor paving to stone showers, natural stone is a versatile material that can be used throughout the home. Not only is it a sustainable alternative building material, but it’s a beautiful addition that can elevate the design of your home. Natural stone has withstood the test of time and has proven itself as a reliable material that won’t go out of fashion anytime soon.
When choosing the right natural stone for your home, there are a few things to consider before making your selection. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important factors to weigh up so you can pick the perfect stone to best suit your home and needs.
The use and location
The location and purpose of the stone is the first thing to consider. Each stone has a varying texture, feel, consistency and porosity. If you’re selecting a stone for the bathroom, for example, you wouldn’t choose a stone with high porosity as it will absorb water and be prone to cracking over time or water damage.
It’s also worth considering whether the stone will be exposed to sunlight, water, heat, and temperature changes, whether it’s being installed in a high-traffic area or for decorative or functional purposes. Each of these factors will narrow down which stone is the right fit and will work best for its intended use.
Does it match?
Different stones will change the feel and design of the space, making it chic and more inviting with warmer or lighter stone hues or sophisticated and dramatic with darker or cooler shades.
Therefore, it’s essential to consider the feel you’re aiming to create with the natural stone and which stones will match that design and feel. One way to achieve this is by taking samples home to compare against the current furniture, decor, walls, or flooring.
Know the absorption rate and hardness of the stone
The absorption rate indicates how porous the stone is and can suggest the general durability of the stone for the chosen space. For example, a stone with a higher absorption rate is more prone to staining and would be less suited as a kitchen benchtop unless it is correctly sealed.
Depending on where you live, if some stones are exposed to drastic temperature changes, including freezing conditions, they may crack and would therefore be less suited to outdoor spaces.
Further, the hardness of the stone is important to consider, as you wouldn’t select a gentler stone to be installed in an area with a lot of foot traffic, as this would wear the stone down faster.
The finishing touches
Deciding on the right finish will depend heavily on the purpose and where the stone is located in your home. For example, if the stone is used as a feature wall, the finish will be for aesthetic purposes. But if the stone is being used as flooring, it will be for functional reasons and appearance.
Here are some of the finish options to consider:
- Sawn Finish: Creates a rough, irregular texture helping it to be non-slip. This type of finish is suited to wet and outdoor areas.
- Honed Finish: This finish uses grinding and sanding to create a smooth satin finish with a dull to a light sheen. This finish is suitable for use indoors and outdoors.
- Sandblasted Finish: For this technique, sand and water are blasted at high pressure to remove imperfections and roughness. The result is a smooth stone with a beautiful, faintly granular texture. The texture makes it slip-resistant and better for use in wet areas
- Polished Finish: Similar to the honed finish, a polished finish is worked until the stone is glossy, smooth and uniform. It can be a great way to finish a kitchen benchtop before it’s sealed.
- Brushed-hammered Finish: The tool used for this finish forms indents in the stone, creating a rustic, sculpted look. For this reason, thicker slabs are used when this finish is applied.
There are many alternative stone finishings that can be applied. If you’re unsure which is best for your home, speak with one of our friendly specialists.
Use a trusted resource
Using a trusted natural stone distributor and stonemason is the only way to ensure you receive high-quality materials and workmanship. Wilmoore Allstone are expert stonemasons that have worked across countless projects throughout our 12 years of operation. If you’re considering a natural stone addition to your home with Wilmoore Allstone, you can rest assured that you’re being looked after by the best.
Get in contact today and be one step closer to making your natural stone dreams a reality.