When you’re embarking on a home remodel or new build, it’s crucial to pick the right materials — after all, you want to love the way a project looks for years to come. Of course, of your materials, one of the more significant selections will be stone. But, with an endless number of options, how do you know which stone to choose? It all comes down to the look you want, the durability you need, and your budget.
Natural stone is quarried from the earth in blocks, processed into cut slabs or tiles, and then transformed into countertops, walls, floors, and more. Different colors and patterns in stone are developed by minerals that have formed deep within the earth over time. The mineral make-up also determines the relative hardness of any given stone. Examples of popular natural stones include but are not limited to: granite, marble, limestone, quartzite, and coral stone.
Because of its hardness, low absorption, and resistance to high temperatures, granite is popular for countertops, floors, and other heavily-trafficked areas. In addition, granite is resistant to most household chemicals. Because of its hardness, it is also highly resistant to abrasion and scratching. Granite colors vary significantly from more expensive exotic blues and reds to more affordable traditional color palates. At Marble Of The World, we proudly stock hundreds of colors of granite.
Another option, limestone, ranges from light to dark earth tones and works well for fireplace hearths. It is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of calcium and varies from fine grain to smooth. One type of limestone, coral stone, ranges from light cream to dark beige and is heat resistant.
Admired for its veining, marble is popular for bathrooms, foyers, floors, walls, and hearths. It is becoming more popular in the kitchen; however, it is not as durable as granite. In addition, it is vulnerable to abrasion and acidic solutions such as lemon juice, tomatoes, red wine, and vinegar, which can etch the surface and require continuous maintenance.
Quartzite is one of the most durable natural stones made up of 100% natural quartz grain, with hardness and resistance similar to granite. As a result, quartzite has become a prevalent choice for countertops due to its visual similarities to marble and its greater durability.
Learn about other natural stones, including onyx, travertine, soapstone, and more, on our products page.
Engineered stone is a manufactured product, while natural stone comes from the earth’s surface. A combination of natural elements and man-made materials combine to create a vast array of color and pattern options. In addition, engineered stones can be customized during manufacturing to achieve the same look as natural stones without requiring as much ongoing maintenance.
Marble Of The World’s engineered stone products includes quartz and porcelain, as well as semi-precious stones. Semi-precious stone slabs are made of rare gems and crystals and bound with a resin. Many are semi-translucent and can be backlit to create ambiance.
Quartz and porcelain are top-engineered surface choices due to the range of styles, colors, and low maintenance properties. Porcelain is often chosen due to its ability to mimic other hard surface materials, including natural stone, wood, and concrete. Porcelain is ideal for flooring, walls, patios, pool decks, and pavers.
Quartz is another option to consider, gaining in popularity due to its nonporous, durable make-up and attractive veining options similar to marble. Top brands of quartz, including Radianz, offer over 30 colors and patterns, ideal for countertops and bathroom vanities.