Incorporate Natural Stone

Incorporate Natural Stone Into Home

How to Incorporate Natural Stone Into Your Home’s Design

“Sure, natural stone is a nice feature. But how can I incorporate natural stone into my home’s design without breaking the budget?” It may be that you have asked yourself that very question a time or two. Or, you might be wondering how you could answer that question if you are a fabricator. In this article we will consider some simple ways that natural stone can be worked into and existing home without gutting the house and doing a TV show-like renovation project.

Why Natural Stone?

One of the biggest reasons for choosing natural stone in your home design is that it has the potential to increase the value of your home. This might not be new information to you. In fact, there are many articles online that effectively lay out the reasons why natural stone adds value to a home. We found one article by simply doing a search online for why natural stone increases your home’s value and found this article talking specifically about granite. However, the principle applies also to other stone types. But after learning this, some think that they cannot have natural stone surfaces because they cannot afford gut the house and replace it with all new materials. The good news is you don’t have to. Let’s look at some simple ways to incorporate natural stone into a home via small remodeling projects.

Bathroom Tiling

One project that can be small enough to fit most budgets is bathroom tile. Incorporating natural stone into a bathroom or bathrooms can be fairly straightforward. And you may be surprised at the amount of tile you find that is made from natural stone. There are a number natural stone tile types available.

The combination of a small room size paired with the diverse options means there is a pretty good chance that one could either perform this project oneself or hire someone to do the work on a modest budget.

Vanity Counterop

Another project that fits the criteria of being small enough to complete on a small budget is that of a bathroom vanity. Again, bathrooms are small and doing an install of a single vanity top can be a simple way to incorporate some natural stone into your home without having to go on a show like The Property Brothers to have the whole house remodeled.

One type of stone that some find is beneficial for bathroom vanities is marble. The elegant look and the delicate characteristics make this natural stone the choice for some. However, be sure you familiarize yourself with marble so that you can care for it properly. In fact it might be wise to research marble care and maintenance so you know what to expect.

Kitchen Back Splashes

There are other smaller sized projects available for incorporating natural stone into your home and increasing appeal. One such project is right in the hub of family activity; the kitchen. A natural stone back splash for the kitchen is not a large project and it could be completed in a one or two day window based on the experience of the installer and how long the workday is. But what kinds of natural stone materials are preferable for use as a back splash material?

Travertine tiles are one example of a natural stone material that can be turned into a beautiful kitchen back splash. Tiling patterns and ornamentation also can “step up” the appearance of the back splash.

Kitchen Countertops

If your looking to add something even more striking and your budget can take it, you may decide to take on something a bit bigger but more noticeable too. Kitchen countertops from natural stone are little bit larger in scope, cost, and time. however, the wow-factor is bigger too. Since the cost is higher, it might be beneficial to hire a professional to take on this project though since a mistake could be costly.

There are many natural stone materials that can be use for kitchen countertops including:

Again, it is always a course of wisdom to do your research on any natural or engineered stone that you are contemplating using. Doing so will ensure that you are not surprised by a characteristic or trait that you did not anticipate.

So there you have them. Some practical ways that you can incorporate value-boosting natural stone into your home without breaking the bank. You can choose one or more of these projects and transform your home or the home of your client if you are a fabricator or installer a little at a time.

Natural Marble

Natural Marble

Natural Marble Surfaces

One of the oldest materials used for a variety of architectural projects is marble. This natural stone has been the material for everything from floors to statues. Its unmistakable elegance is the highlight of many structures the world over. The beauty of this timeless stone is so appealing to so many that it is used in private homes around the globe. What are the characteristics of natural marble? What is it used for? And, what are the advantages and disadvantages of natural marble? In this post, we will explore the answers to those questions.

Marble’s Composition

This attractive natural material is composed primarily of calcium carbonate in the form of calcite. There are some marbles that have other minerals in them but the primary mineral in the stone is calcium carbonate. It is a metamorphic stone that has been transformed from limestone to its current state through high heat and tremendous pressure. The appearance of natural marble is one that shimmers and glistens because of the calcite (crystallized calcium carbonate). This makes it very shiny when it is polished.

Characteristics

Marble is a natural stone that has very distinct qualities and characteristics. It is a relatively soft stone when compared with other types. It occurs in various shades and ranges in color. However, the purest marbles are completely white. Having fewer mineral contaminates renders the stone white since that is the color of the main mineral calcite.

Uses for Marble

People are surprised to learn that marble is used for so many things. Government buildings, statues, staircases, floors, countertops, and more. This natural stone is rich with historical value and it is easy to see why. Natural marble has an elegant beauty that draws people in. A charming strength that is both delicate and sturdy at the same time.

Marble Building Façades

In the United States a number of government buildings are constructed using marble. One example is the United States Supreme Court Building. Note the following quote taken from Wikipedia on its Supreme Court Building page:

The public façade is made of marble quarried from Vermont, and that of the non-public-facing courtyards, Georgia marble. Most of the interior spaces are lined with Alabama marble, except for the Courtroom itself, which is lined with Spanish ivory vein marble. For the Courtroom’s 24 columns, “Gilbert felt that only the ivory buff and golden marble from the Montarrenti quarries near Siena, Italy” would suffice.

So one use for natural marble is building façades. But there are other uses for marble.

Marble Sculptures

Sculptors use marble a lot as a sculpturing material because it is such a soft stone. Sculptures made from natural marble are in museums and art galleries all over the world.

Marble Countertops

Although marble will need a bit of extra care when used for a countertop, many consumers believe it is worth it. Kitchens are high traffic areas and those that select marble for the kitchen must be mindful of the fact that it needs to be treated delicately and maintained regularly.

A more common place to find a marble countertop is in bathrooms. Bathroom vanities and countertops are a fit for such an elegant stone. Additionally, since there are fewer stain causing liquids there than in a kitchen, the maintenance routine is easier to keep up with.

Cutting Marble

Fabricators work with marble using specific diamond tools designed for cutting soft stone. For example, one diamond tool supplier offers multiple blades that are marketed as marble blades because of the blade’s design. Furthermore, since marble is a soft stone, fabricators find that some blades “clog” up becasue of the waste that gets cut from the material. Having enough water and a blade designed to let the debris clear out contributes to a high performance blade.

Marble’s Benefits

The advantages of marble are primarily in its beauty. Marble is matched in appearance by very few materials. The testimony to this is the fact that engineers are trying to mimic this work of art performed by nature. Yet, they have not been able to reproduce it exactly. It also coordinates with many of the design styles of iterior decorating.

Drawbacks of Marble

The biggest disadvantage of natural marble is the thing that makes it so appealing. The calcite in marble is easily dissolved by acid. This means that any acidic liquid that comes into contact with a marble surface will immediately begin dissolving the stone. This is called etching and it leaves a dull spot on the stone’s surface. Thus, owners of marble do well to be mindful of where in the project marble is used. Additionally, natural marble requires specific cleaners and regular sealing. Applying sealer does not prevent or protect marble from being etched, but gives the owner a bit more time to clean up the eroding liquid before it does too much damage.

Care & Maintenance

There is no substitute for quick reaction times when it comes to a marble surface. Keeping the acid from the stone is the best way to keep etching from happening. Additionally, sealing marble with an impregnating sealer will ehlp to keep colored liquids like olive oil, and salad dressing from getting into the pores and discoloring your marble.

In the end, marble is a timeless natural stone material that is the material for many diverse projects. It is a stone possessing beauty, durability, and luster. It though, like many other materials, has some drawbacks that must be considered when used as a surface material. However, with a bit of forethought and some practical wisdom, having and caring for this extraordinary stone is well worth it for many.