A new building project is all about making that perfect first impression, right? Yes, the architect’s drawings need to impress developers and buyers. The construction must be solid with proof of excellent workmanship to impress. What can help all role players in a new development? Natural stone such as marble or limestone slabs, tiles and more.
These stone products carry many benefits with them, making it easy to impress new buyers, a developer or the business commissioning a new office building. To know which stones to pick—or to help your client decide on the finer details of the construction—we compiled a checklist for you.
The 9 favorite stone types for modern construction are listed below. Take note of their benefits and discover new ways of using them. It’s the classic approach to create the ultimate in 21st century luxury homes.
What Makes a Stone Valuable?
If you have to convince someone that you’ve made the right choice in including it in a building plan, some background information may help. How do you justify using one stone rather than another? And what makes the natural approach better than other popular options such as concrete?
Natural stone, whether they’re used for countertops, backsplash tiles or even exterior tiles carry many benefits the modern homeowner is after:
- Aesthetic beauty
- Low maintenance
- Environmentally friendly production
The 9 stone types we mention below are all known for adding some or even all of these characteristics to buildings. You simply have to determine which is the best for your specific application.
9 Natural Stone Types to Consider for Your Next Building Project
Our summaries will give you a quick rundown on what makes each stone valuable, but also discuss where they can be used. Thanks to modern design styles and high tech tools you can do so much more with natural stone than ever before.
#1: A Marble Slab
You only have to look at the Taj Mahal to know that this is a must-have on your building materials shopping list. Marble is timeless and durable so using this as in your structure will ensure long term quality developments.
Creating a durable structure doesn’t mean it has to seem clinical though. The striking colors and intricate natural designs seen in marble tiles or slabs can add warmth to any room.
You also don’t have to limit yourself to using marble for structural purposes only. The beautiful patterns make it ideal as décor too. A decorative tile or a marble statue could be just what a room needs to enhance the overall look. Think of Michelangelo’s statues that still draw crowds of tourists and you know this is a winning substance to work with.
The ultimate bonus: marble has never gone out of fashion for the past few centuries. If you want your luxury home to be adored by inhabitants for decades to come, this is your solution.
#2: Granite Slabs and Tiles
As mentioned, each natural stone carries different benefits to the next. What is granite’s claim to fame? Durability.
Did you know that it’s one of the hardest natural stone types around? Therefore, if you’re building a luxury home in a place where you know the elements will give the home some beating, granite could be your answer. If the structure is located in an area known for rough rain or sand storms you can use granite tiles outside without the risk of them quickly getting damaged.
In addition to this, granite makes sense to use inside luxury homes too. You want the space to present well to visitors. Thanks to its stain resistant properties and the fact that granite tiles won’t easily chip, rooms will always look pristine.
Granite’s application is also diverse. If you want to use it as a theme throughout the home—an excellent decorative approach—you can implement it as counter tops, decorative tiles, pillars and more. If you want to create safer spaces, such as less slippery areas where it will be safe for children to play, granite is a better option than marble.
As with marble, granite’s durability doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice aesthetics. It’s a gorgeous stone that most homeowners find attractive.
Important tip during construction: add a sealant to improve stain resistance and to keep maintenance low.
This natural stone may be a bit lesser known but should be used on more building projects. If there’s one word to describe it, it’s ‘interesting’. It’s engaging to look at and even its origin is quite unique. It makes it the ideal substance to add some originality to a modern home.
Firstly, if you want to create a modern, minimalistic look, this is probably your go-to option. A travertine floor tile is one of the lightest ones you’ll find on the market today. It’s practical for another reason as lighter hues make it easy to let smaller spaces appear large. For smart design in new developments travertine works.
When it comes to the decorative use of natural stone, travertine can also be valuable. As mentioned, travertine’s origin is unique because it actually comes from limestone; but it’s limestone that didn’t quite complete its entire transition of turning into marble slabs.
The outcome of this process includes tiny irregularities. These holes don’t mean it’s a low-quality stone to use. It’s still extremely durable. We think these tiny pits add attractive texture to travertine stone objects, adding character to the rooms you use it in.
It’s a light stone available in many different hues ranging from white to silver tiles and many others. You can add luxury to lower cost projects since this stone gives you excellent value and volume for your money.
The benefit of many natural stone products is that you can use them in almost any application. If you get access to large quantities of a certain stone, you can often use it in various rooms and even outside, keeping costs low while creating attractive modern homes. With flagstone this is true once again.
This is a type of sandstone that has been popular for centuries. You’ll find it used in structures ranging from floors to walls and even as roofing. It’s also a popular option for paving.
#5: Limestone Slabs
You may pick the stone of a new home according to the amount of maintenance that will be required. If you know occupants won’t mind investing some time in maintaining surfaces, limestone is a safe option to consider.
As with most natural stone products limestone is easy to clean. However, it’s more porous than some others on our list, which requires more care. Homeowners need to ensure they maintain it if they want their polished limestone flooring to impress visitors every time they walk through the front door.
Why invest in something that requires a little extra work? Because few other natural stone products will visually satisfy as this rock. Look closely and you’ll see outlines of shells and other fossils captured inside the stone. This can instantly give a room unique character, support a marine or historical decor theme or give a room a decorative feel without spending much.
Since it’s available in a range of hues from beige to gold to black limestone tiles you can use it in modern homes no matter your color scheme. You’ll find a limestone tile that matches with most other modern building materials whether it’s concrete, glass or steel.
Don’t confuse this substance with Quartz. Quartzite is a natural stone, but the quartz slabs and products you find on the market will be a mixture of:
- Polymer resins
- Color pigments
Quartzite itself is a popular option if the new structure is for someone with some artistic flair or who loves showmanship. If they want to showcase that side of their personality in a home they’ll love this rock that’s can sparkle in sunlight. That makes it a bit more decorative than granite while still being a practical natural stone for tiles and more.
Slate has been around for centuries and was often used as slate tiles as many builders appreciated its durability. However, there’s no reason it can’t be used for structural or decorative applications too:
Yes, this stone is reminiscent of classic architecture but as many homeowners appreciate old time features incorporated into new luxury homes, slate is still a viable option. This is especially applicable if you’re building green homes. Slate has some insulating properties which will help regulate the temperature inside the building. This requires less air conditioning and therefore helps save energy. For the modern home buyer, this is often an attractive selling point.
It’s also a natural product with very little wastage during the production process. That’s another very advantageous fact when building structures for today’s environmentally conscious society.
This isn’t as much a stone to be used for building structures, but definitely to be considered when it comes to the decorative aspect of the space you’re creating. Because you can get onyx stone in almost any color it’s easy to create the look you want when other natural stones fall short.
You can be daring and use slabs of this stone as part of the new structure, as was done in Villa Tugenhadt in the 1930s. Thanks to an onyx wall, almost no décor is necessary inside. The sun shining through the colorful slabs creates enough beauty by itself.
Sandstone is well known and with good reason. You get a wide range of hues to pick from so it’s easy to match sandstone floor tiles to other features in a modern home. It’s been part of the construction industry for centuries, even in prehistoric times. There’s no sign that it will disappear off the scene as it carries too many benefits.
Sandstone is popular because it’s easy to carve. If you want to create a unique look with intricate details, this soft natural stone is ideal. Though it’s soft it doesn’t make it less valuable as a building resource. Sandstone won’t weather easily so you can use it inside or outside and it will present well for years to come.
Here’s the best thing about using natural stone now in your building project: you get long term benefits too. Limestone slabs, granite tiles and other natural stone products will impress for years to come. It’s been popular in construction for decades—even centuries—so the trend won’t disappear soon. That means you’re leaving a legacy of structures that will be adored, even for generations to come.
Do you have questions about specific natural stone products? Leave your thoughts below and we’ll get back to you.