Natural stone is awesome for your home - kitchen counters, flooring, patios, walkways and more. Learn the different types of natural stone, benefits, cost and applications.
Natural stone can be used in many parts of your home and it’s very popular these days. Our featured image above shows natural stone veneer siding. You can also incorporate different types of natural stone inside and outside – countertops, vanity tops, flooring, patios, siding, firepits, walkways, planters and more.
This epic natural stone guide sets out the different types of stone, benefits of natural stone, cost ranges and applications for each type.
Table of Contents
- Natural Stone Types – Pros & Cons
- Benefits of Natural Stone for the Home
- Natural Stone Price Ranges and Applications
Natural Stone Types – Pros & Cons
Sandstone consists of two most resistant organic minerals to the climatic & weathering process, i.e. 25% feldspar and 90% quartz grains. The clastic sedimentary rock, found in sedimentary basins throughout the world, broken into small fragments and then cemented together to form sandstone. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar’s tomb & Red Fort (India), Cawdor Castle (Northern Scotland, U.K.) are the proof of the everlasting beauty of sandstone.
- Presence of organic minerals makes it a vigorous material.
- Being a rock, it comes naturally from the mountain and have unique texture.
- Sandstone may lead to liquid stains, mold and bacterial growths because it is prone to water absorption.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock whose formation takes place by the breakdown of rocks, shells, skeletal fragments of marine organisms like coral, and mollusks. It mainly comprises of calcium carbonate – CaCO3. Fort Scott (Kansas, USA) and The white town (Landon) symbolizes the durability of limestone since ages.
- Involves cheap installation in comparison to marble and granite.
- Natural Aesthetics and rustic appeal make the place pristine.
- There is no dilemma about the durability of limestone, but one should avoid its usage in heavy traffic area.
A shale-sedimentary rock is put under the extensive pressure and heat to form a slate stone type. Volcanic ash and clay plays an important part in the formation of this finely grained and foliated stone. The roofs of the Guildhall (Landon) and Saint Leonhard’s Church (Germany) made from the slate stone.
- The core feature of slate stone is its waterproof and stain resistant nature.
- Being a hard-wearing material, can apply on any type of flooring.
- Slate flooring can be colder in winter, but proper bedding prior to installation can reduce this issue to a great extent.
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock and its formation take place after the quartz-rich sandstone coverts under the tectonic process of metamorphism. Thus, makes the stone hard and non-foliated. A historical federal office (United States) constructs with quartzite stone type.
- Perfect for outdoor surface as it is resistant to ultra-violet (UV) rays.
- Needs less maintenance than marble.
- It is hard and stiff material, but still installers recommend sealers and cutting boards when specifically apply on the countertops.
Travertine also comes in the category of sedimentary rock and recognized from the its pitted holes and troughs surface. Precipitation of calcium carbonate due to deposit by mineral springs helps in its formation. Travertine quarries are basically located in the countries like Middle East, East Asia, North America and South America. One of the world’s largest bridge, Tonto Natural Bridge was made from travertine stone type.
- It contains soft colors or hues in its spectrum.
- Durability and longevity make your place last for years to come.
- Because of its porous structure, the stone can get stains easily. But one can use sealers to prevent the spills.
- Not suitable in cold areas as it does not resist heat.
Calcite or dolomite, the organic re-crystallized minerals leads to the formation of marble. Marble has been in use since ages in the construction of monuments, sculpture and buildings. Taj Mahal (Agra, India) depicts with marble.
- Crystalline sparkle and eye catching properties make it a famous choice.
- Translucent material allows light to penetrate through it and makes it glossy.
- Polished marble can cause slips and falls.
The magma crystallized under the Earth’s crust and gives birth to granite. This igneous rock consists of quartz, alkali feldspar and plagioclase feldspar. Various minerals are present in it that forms the basis of its texture and color. University of Georgia ( U.S.A.) constructs with a granite stone.
- Tenacious material for applying in the heavy traffic areas like driveways.
- Heat-resistant makes it an ideal material for countertops.
- One of the most expensive natural stone.
Do you prefer classical style or a modern look for your place? Well, whatever it is, the below-mentioned traits definitely going to help you a lot in choosing an ideal material. Let’s throw some light on the various characteristics of that guides you out in your decision-making process.
Benefits of Natural Stone for the Home
1. Compressive Strength:
Compressive strength refers to the amount of load or one can say a crushing load that building stone can bear, especially in the case of flooring material like flagstone or floor tiles. One should always remember to check the strength of the product they are going to buy. Stone with the high compressive strength is always preferred. The person handling the project can ask for the stone test reports showing compressive strength under standard ASTM C170.
2. Bending Strength:
Bending strength refers to the amount of bending load which determines by the modulus of rupture and flexural strength. One while choosing material for wall series like stone veneer or ledge stone, needs to go through the test reports that comply with the standard ASTM C99 (for slate-ASTM C120) and ASTM C880 respectively. In this case, the low bending rate is a positive symbol of solid natural stone.
3. Density of Stone:
Density reveals the unit weight of natural stone by standard ASTM C97. The different rock base has varied densities. Probably, a stone with higher density is the trademark of its hard and robust nature. It is vital for the person to know the right stone density who is going to design the structure to support the stone.
4. High Grip:
While selecting a decorative building stone, it is essential to pay due consideration to the texture and surface finish. There is no point in opting a product that does not offer physical properties of slip and moisture-resistant. Either its bathroom or a pool deck, nature’s stones give high gripping to the feet and prevents slippery accidents. In case of indoor tile applications, it soaks the water and makes the area humidity free.
A counter top material in the kitchens or BBQ must be heatproof as well as dirt-resistant to work comfortably. Kitchens slabs of home, hotels, restaurants, etc. expose to the heat and remain unclean most of the time. Nature’s stone is heat-resistant and easy to wipe off.
Being a part of society, it’s the duty of the place owner to follow the laws & regulations for building construction. The green attribute is the significant factor in this regard. So, choose the stone for your place whose production as well as fabrication process is purely water-based and free from chemical substances and contribute to the environment.
7. Cost factor:
One had many innovative ideas in mind at the time of starting the construction, but has to trim those ideas due to the budget issue. That’s not the case with natural stone. These are cost-effective and suit one’s pocket easily. There are various stone brands that give the product at wholesale prices and Stone Universe Inc (SUI) – The natural stone supplier in Texas is one among them.
8. Durable & Long-lasting:
Durability is the key factor to consider while investing in the land. Nature’s stones have given the evidence of their durability since ancient times. There are many old age monuments and historical buildings that are still standing well. Sustainability leads to longevity. Thus, nature’s stone application gives strength to the place to withstand weather conditions for centuries.
Everyone wants their place to look ideal and unique, and it is only possible if the material shows variations in the texture and color. The interesting fact is that “No two nature’s stones are alike.” Its inclusion and variety is the part of its natural beauty. Thus, imparts real appeal to the place.
Last but not the least, the external appearance of the surface leaves a long-term impression on the viewers. Moreover, the place you are constructing is your reflection. So, put the best into it. Just like the beauty of Taj Mahal in India & Guildhall in Landon, the appearance of your land will be eye-catching for many years. While sandstone, limestone gives an elite edge to the outer area, travertine & slate makes the interior portion stylish.
Natural Stone Price Ranges and Applications
Quick view on top ranked natural stones products, measurement, pricing policy and applications:
- $28/sqft -$30/sqft
- Vanity tops
- $10.50/sqft -$16.10/sqft
- Pool edges, planters, fire pits, stairs, corners
- $0.28/lbs – $0.36/lbs
- Walkways, staircase, pool decks, gardens, terrace, BBQ, fir pit surroundings
- $5.80/sqft – $8.05/sqft
- Patios, walkways, pathways, backyard, front yard, decks
- $14.70/pcs – $15.00/pcs
- Garden, lawns, parks, outdoor passage
- Flat: $7.20/sqft – $10.15/sqft
- Corner: $8.70/lft – $11.65/lft
- Siding, cladding, fireplaces, pillars, columns, backsplashes, step risers
- $8.95/sqft – $11.85/sqft
- Driveways, pathways, walkways, parking, garage, fire pits, outdoor kitchenette
- Panel: $8.05/sqft – $5.05/sqft
- Corner: $9.05/sqft – $6.05/sqft
- Façade, wall, pillars, columns, backsplash
- $5.50/sqft – $5.60/sqft
- Kitchen, bathroom, foyer, pool surroundings, walls
**Note:- Above mentioned prices of ledge stone vary on the basis of cement and non-cement backing
When the part of natural stone installation comes, people are keen to know about the installation cost. Well, methods and actual costing depends upon the various elements such as the installer, type of finishes and quantum of area. Its better to follow the installation methods and procedures of the Marble Institute of America and The tile Contractors Associations.
Still, below are some of the estimates:
- Slab ranges from $150 to $280 per square foot.
- Flagstone patio costs between $15 and $30 per square foot.
- Cobblestone – Installation Cost $425.00 – $435.00 per square foot.
- Thin Stone Veneer – Installation Cost $625.00 – $735.00 per square foot
Final Words: “It’s not a cup of tea to keep on renovating the living place.” So, be wise and choose the best. Next time when you step out in the market for buying natural stone for any sough of improvement, keep these traits in mind. You will surely be going to fall in love with your place for the numerous years to come.