Using natural stone in construction is a universal way of making a home look stylish. Whether it’s used on the interior or the exterior, it can upscale an entire house. Because all stones differ from each other there are many unique ideas waiting to be used.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways to use natural stone. Some of these ideas, you might not have expected. At the end of the day, if you’re unsure about which stone is right for the job, you can always ask your tile supplier and they’ll help you out.
Why Should You Use Natural Stone?
Natural stones can last for many years without showing any wear or tear. They still retain their aesthetic quality despite regular use. On top of this, they’re easy to maintain so they can keep their natural shine with minimal polishing.
It’s difficult for natural stone to get any abrasions and it also requires a great deal of force to break it. Based on these reasons, it’s clear that it has extended longevity and can add to the sturdiness of your house.
It’s Environmentally Friendly
In order to mine natural stone, you don’t need to use an excessive amount of energy. The entire job from quarrying to processing doesn’t cause any chemical wastage and there are no harmful substances released that damage the environment.
Because this stone occurs naturally, mining it doesn’t strip any environmental resources. Every bit of stone can be used as well so there’s no wastage. It also doesn’t cause any health issues.
No two pieces of stone are the same. Patterns and markings will differ from stone to stone so you have the freedom to create remarkable designs. Marble, in particular, allows for very unique, stunning displays because of the variety in vein patterns that run through the stone.
Best Types of Stones You Can Use in Construction
There a several types of stones that are ideal for construction. Some of the best ones are:
Granite: Granite is a very useful stone because it’s very strong and it’s abrasion resistant. As a result, it can be used in a variety of ways, from counters to pathways. It can also be polished to a high sheen so it has added attractive value. Although it’s harder to work with than many other stones, it’s ideal for stability and foundations.
Marble: Marble is not as durable as granite because it’s very soft and also prone to abrasion. What makes it special is that it is available in a variety of different colors so it’s useful if your primary focus is on beauty. Because it’s soft, it’s easy to work with which is why it’s a popular material for statues and stone features.
Limestone: Limestone is stronger than marble but softer than granite. For this reason, it’s durable but also easy to work with. As a result, it’s been one of the most popular construction materials for decades. It also has a beautiful, natural color which makes it ideal for interior decoration. Limestone is also commonly used in cement.
Slate: Slate is very finely textured which means that it can be cut into thin sheets and these can be layered on top of each other. Note that it can become brittle if it’s sliced too thinly. It’s also very waterproof, making it ideal for roofing, showers & plating circuitry boards.
Sandstone: Sandstone forms in layers so it can occasionally be unstable but it’s able to resist abrasion quite easily. Because of its grainy texture, it can’t be polished but it’s useful for creating interesting designs in your home. It’s also useful if you want anti-slip floors.
Top 10 Uses for Natural Stone
Natural stone floors are a stunning way to upscale a house. They can be used in the interior and exterior of the house which allows you to embrace your creativity by alternating stone:
Granite tiles are very durable which makes them more expensive to work with, but the final result is classy and pristine. They’re also not prone to acid damage, so floors won’t be stained by substances such as coffee or cleaning detergents. Although marble tiles have the same high-end effect, they’re prone to abrasion and acid damage, so they might need regular maintenance.
Sandstone & limestone tiles are an alternative pick if you’re looking for floors that are more affordable to install. They’re also suitable if you're hoping for a more natural look that maintains the integrity of the stone.
Feature walls are becoming design must-haves and using natural stones to create one can be impactful while still including a touch of nature. By discussing potential options with your architect or designer, you can create a variety of unique designs that clients can boast about to their guests.
Because these walls don’t get a lot of contact, they’re less likely to be worn down by abrasion damage, so you can use stones that are highly textured without fear that they’re going to crumble from extensive use. The cladding process even has the benefit of adding insulation to the house, which keeps homeowners warm during winter.
Slate tiles are ideal for roofing, not only because of their attractive appearance but because they can be overlapped in order to create a more watertight surface. This is useful to prevent any leaks in the home owner’s house. It’s also more cost-effective than using other waterproofing tools such as relying on paint or sealant.
What also makes slate tiles effective is that they’re durable. As a result, they can withstand a variety of weather conditions and won’t need frequent repairs. Although slate roofing is more expensive than clay or concrete tiles, it’s environmentally friendly and more appealing in appearance.
Fireplaces constructed from natural stone are elegant and a lot more sustainable than ones made from other materials. This is because natural stone has better heat retention, so it can absorb heat and release it over longer periods of time. Each stone type has different properties that can benefit a fireplace, such as:
- Marble and limestone are good at absorbing heat so the stone remains warm
- Granite is suitable for conducting heat which means it gets warm quickly
- Basalt and soapstone are decent for storing heat so your fireplace will still emit heat after the wood has stopped burning
Because natural stone is efficient when it comes to creating warmth and maintaining it, it’s a more economical option as heat is able to spread throughout the house more effectively. Natural stone is also durable, so the longevity of the fireplace is extended and it requires little to no maintenance.
Granite has been a long time favorite material in contemporary kitchens because of its luxurious finish. It’s easy to slice into long slabs and has a high shine once it’s polished, so your countertops mimic the natural stone as closely as possible. Because granite tiles are available in many colors, from deep blues to crimson reds, it’s also suitable for any kitchen design.
is a cheaper alternative to granite, but occasionally tends to scratch or easily stain by acid burns. But any natural stone can be used for countertops. Even slate offers a durable option that can be placed in a variety of unique designs.
Marble is a very soft stone, which makes it easy to mold. For this reason, marble bathtubs are popular ways to make bathrooms more lavish. Unlike porcelain, ceramic or enamel tubs, marble won’t chip so it’ll maintain its styled appearance. Clients can even select how deep or wide they want their tubs as well as the unique colors and patterning they prefer.
On top of this, marble is also water resistant which makes it easier to clean than other tub materials. Higher bathtub walls also eliminate splashing, which also preserves the floor tiles. Adding matching marble sinks ties the room together well.
Tubs aren’t the only part of the bathroom that could do with a natural stone makeover. Granite and marble tiles are useful for creating elaborate stone displays on shower walls and are also easy to clean & maintain. Using light colored tiles can also make your shower feel larger.
Before using natural stones in a shower, it’s important to note:
- Make sure the spaces between the stones are tightly sealed to prevent any leaks.
- Don’t use polished or smooth stones on the floor of your shower as this can cause you to slip. Textured stones will give you more security.
- The more stones you use, the more difficult it will be to clean between the small spaces.
If you tile the shower correctly, it can be a long-lasting space for the client to relax and it will add value to the bathroom. Why not consider building a stone shower outside as well? This is ideal if there’s a pool on the property as it gives guests a place to wash off after a swim.
Many people might consider surfacing the pathway around the pool with natural stone to create an organic, environmentally friendly design. This can have beautiful results, but it’s also beneficial to use natural stone tiles for the flooring of the pool.
Granite tiles are useful because of their high water resistance and textured ones prevent any slipping. Selecting darker tiles also helps your pool warm up faster because they’re better at absorbing heat from the sun, which makes the absolute black flamed granite tile an ideal option. On the other hand, limestone tiles offer a more cost-effective option for the pathway around the pool.
Water features not only make gardens more intriguing, but they bring more natural flair into highly structured areas. Using natural stones to build or pave water features, increases environmental charm. If you’d prefer, you can even use natural stones to design a fish pond or build a boundary wall that’s easy on the eyes.
Zen gardens have been shown to encourage relaxation and are meant to be built entirely with natural materials that are environmentally friendly. This is an ingenious way of creating a calming atmosphere while still creating an elaborate garden.
Natural stone can be a creative way to design splash backs behind kitchen sinks in order to prevent any damage to the wall paint or lead to the growth of mold. The waterproof qualities of marble and granite tiles make them ideal. On top of this, they have universal appeal so they’ll always be trendy and they’re often more affordable than mosaic options.
Not only does natural stone look stunning in a house but it’s environmentally friendly and durable. With so many potential uses for natural stone, you can create a high-end home that is unique and trendy.
Every tile company will have a variety of designs to select, meaning you can have fun with your creativity. It’s a means of bringing nature indoors while still being sophisticated, so are you ready to let nature in?