Natural stone is a popular surface choice all over the world.
It has the magical ability to transform a space into a memorable one.
And who wouldn’t want that, right?
But, there is a vast array of natural stone choices out there, and this product has its own set of traits, characteristics and understandings.
There are also performance considerations and revelations about how the natural stone will look once it’s installed.
Thus this section.
It’s all about things you should be aware of, keep in mind, and just plain know, before your shopping phase leads to purchase time.
So read on about this natural wonder called stone.
Learn all you can, let yourself dream a little too, and keep asking yourself: “is this surface solution the right choice for me?”
The beauty of natural stone is that no two pieces are ever the same.
Each piece of stone has its own natural characteristics such as colour, veining and markings, as well as hardness and porosity.
Your bench top or floor is truly unique and completely individual. Exclusive.
A natural stone bench top or tile floor begins with giant pieces of stone that are mined from the earth and transported to factories where they are cut into thin slabs or individual tiles.
Each slab/tile is different, displaying the affects of the physical course of its ancient history.
Depending solely on Mother Nature, and Father Time, each slab/tile cut from the stone might look completely different from the next.
Veining and crystallization may be abundant in one, yet non-existent in another.
Appearance may vary from slab to slab/tile to tile, but that only adds to the elegance, charm and magic of natural stone.
Variations in natural stone are to be expected and, frankly, enjoyed.
So the samples you view can have completely different veining patterns or colour variations compared to the stone installed in your project.
Also, please remember that it is not possible for you to hand select your natural stone.
You should be aware that irregular markings, lines, veins and crystallization are not cracks or imperfections, but rather a natural part of the stone’s beauty.
Think of them all as forming the “personality” of your bench top or floor.
Additionally, if you select a combination of natural stone products, of the same colour and type of stone, for different areas of your project, they will not match.
And no natural stone product will have a perfectly smooth surface. Even after the bench tops or tiles are polished there may be small chips or pits that may be apparent in different lighting.
Being a natural product, natural stone tiles will vary more in thickness, squareness and length compared to man-made stone tile.
As a result, once your natural stone tile is installed, it will not be a perfectly smooth surface from tile to tile.
Finally, natural stone also varies in hardness, which is the scratch resistance of a mineral. Talc is the softest mineral and diamond is the hardest.
This is important when picking a stone. Make sure to consider what types of activities will be taking place where the stone is installed in your project area.
For example, you would not want to install a soft, porous type of stone floor in a high traffic area.