Natural stone is quarried in the form of huge blocks, some weighing up to 20 tons. These blocks are cut into slabs generally 3/4" or 1-1/4" thick and the desired finish is applied. The slabs are then carefully crated and shipped to fabricators worldwide who process them into the final product. Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling, natural stone offers you unparalleled beauty, permanence, and uniqueness–and adds true value to your home.
Because stone is a natural, not manufactured, product, no two pieces are exactly alike, which means each finished countertop, wall, floor, mantle, or sill is distinctive. And, unlike synthetic imitations, natural stone can be three-dimensional and used as columns, statuary, balustrades, doorjambs, and even furniture pieces. When used in exterior applications, natural stone has also proven superior to manufactured or engineered products in withstanding the effects of nature
You have many options when it comes to beautiful, long-lasting natural stone for your home’s interior and exterior: granite, limestone, marble, onyx, sandstone, serpentine, slate, soapstone, travertine, & quartzite. Choosing a natural stone for your home is a very personal decision, much like selecting piece of furniture or artwork. While there are scores of natural stones to consider, some are better suited than others to particular uses in and around the home.
An excellent choice for kitchen countertops, Granite, quarried from the mountains of Brazil, floors, and other heavily used surfaces P the U.S., India, and dozens of other countries, is one of the most popular natural stones on the market. Available in a striking array of colors, granite’s durability and longevity make it ideal for kitchen countertops and other heavily used surfaces, including table tops and floors. While some synthetic surfaces scratch easily and melt under hot cookware, granite resists heat. Granite offers an impenetrable surface from which bacteria can be easily cleaned and it is typically not affected by citric acid, coffee, tea, alcohol, or wine. It is also nearly impossible to scratch, and with proper cleaning, will not stain under normal use (ask your professional contractor about “impregnating” sealants available to further improve resistance to staining). A leading consumer magazine recently compared granite with engineered stone, ceramic tile, laminate, butcher block, and other manufactured surfaces. Granite received the highest overall performance rating as a kitchen countertop material.
Natural stones are available in a beautiful spectrum of colors. Colors in granite and marble, for instance, can range from soft beige's and pinks and classic black-and-whites to rich reds, greens, and multi-colors. Marble traditionally features swirls and “veins” of colors, while granite has a flecked or pebbled appearance. Unlike the repetitive uniformity of materials produced by machine or assembly line, natural stone’s varied appearance has wonderful character and creates a one-of-a-kind effect everywhere it is used.
There are several finishes available for natural stone and new finishes appear in the market regularly to keep pace with consumer demand. Some examples include: polished, honed, leathered, brushed, and antiqued. Ask your natural stone fabricator or designer about the pros and cons of the different finishes for your project.
The harder the stone, the more it resists abrasion. Granites are typically the hardest of all stone types. Using a softer stone simply requires the homeowner to use gentler cleansers and more frequent dusting to prevent scratching. Consult with your contractor about the stone you have selected and its intended use.
Granite slabs in a bundle