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 Quartzite

Natural Quartzite

Natural Quartzite Surfaces

You may have already heard of it and you may not have. But one of the most popular natural stones used as a countertop material today is quartzite. You might be inclined to conclude from the name that it is the same as engineered quartz. However, they are very different materials. In this post, we will consider the properties of quartzite and how those properties translate into advantages and disadvantages. Along the way we will examine some of the need-to-knows about fabricating this intriguing stone. Additionally, we’ll talked a look at what is needed to care for and maintain natural quartzite surfaces.

How Quartzite Is Formed

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that has previously been sandstone. Its change occurs through pressure and heat from the Earth. This process causes the grains of sand as well as the cement that binds them together to recrystallize. As a result, the grains become a network of interlocking grains having tremendous strength. Thus, quartzite is born. You may be wondering how that makes it a different type of stone. Quartzite is different from sandstone in that the grains are so strongly interlocked that the grains will break before the bond that holds them does. This is the trait that distinguishes true quartzite from sandstone.

Uses for Quartzite

Quartzite is used for a number of applications. It can be used for any of the following:

  • Stairs
  • Flooring
  • Countertops
  • Roofing Tiles
  • Wall Covering
  • Road Construction (Crushed)

The item in the list above that is becoming more and more common is kitchen countertops. Because quartzite is such a durable material and projects a tremendous beauty, it is surging as a countertop material. This is no doubt due to its marvelous characteristics. Let’s see some of those now.

Characteristics

As we have briefly considered, quartzite is a type of stone that forms to have a strength that is much stronger than it had in its previous state. This natural stone resembles natural marble but is free from some of the disadvantages that come with marble.

The appearance of quartzite resembles that of marble so closely that some have actually purchased a slab that was labeled quartzite only to find out later that it was actually marble that had been mislabeled. In fact, in order to be completely sure that a particular slab is actually quartzite and not mismarked marble you should test it.

Usually quartzite is lighter in color but it can be one of many colors. It will, like marble have some color variations and veining of darker colors.

Quartzite’s Benefits

We said earlier that quartzite is free from some of the disadvantages that come with marble. The benefits of quartzite reflect that truth. Quartzite is a very hard stone. Hence, it is scratch resistant. As a result, installing natural quartzite as a kitchen countertop makes sense because it can hold up to the everyday wear and tear of the traffic and use. Quartzite is also heat resistant so it will be able to endure the temperatures that other materials may not be able to withstand. Finally, the visual beauty of the material is another benefit of this stone.

Cutting Quartzite

Quartzite’s hardness does mean that fabricators have to be mindful when working this material. Because it is so hard, you cannot simply grab your favorite diamond blade and begin cutting quartzite. There are specific blades that have been designed to cut very hard materials like quartzite. For example, on good quartzite blade is the Grey Leopard. Good quartzite blades are aggressive enough to cut through the material and at the same time actually cut the stone instead of chipping it as it cuts.

Drawbacks of Quartzite

One of the disadvantages of quartzite is something that many natural stone surfaces face. Quartzite is a porous material. This means that raw quartzite will absorb water readily. The absorption rate of quartzite varies from one stone to the next. Some quartzite is more porous than others and thus absorbs more quickly.

Think about the implications of that. A stone that absorbs liquid is at a higher risk of staining. Hence, companies have developed stone sealers that drastically slow the absorption rate. The solution then is to keep a quartzite countertop or other surface sealed by testing it periodically with an absorption test. If it soaks up the water, resealing it with an effective impregnating stone sealer can correct the issue.

Care & Maintenance

Caring for natural quartzite stone surfaces is not complicated. In fact, if you are attentive to the absorption by testing it every so often and resealing it where it is needed, that is half the battle. The other half of the battle is cleaning it in such a way that you do not destroy the seal that you put on it. Using a cleaner that has been formulated for natural stone is recommended. By using non destructive cleaners and keeping the surface sealed, you will give yourself the greatest opportunity to get any potentially stain causing spills cleaned up before it can discolor you stone surface.

In conclusion, quartzite is an intriguing natural stone material that is tough and beautiful at the same time. It is not indestructible, but it can, with a little bit of attention be a stone surface that yields years of performance while looking as good as the day it was installed.