Selecting a stone
When it comes to selecting elegant, enduring natural stone for your home, you have options including slate, granite, marble, quartz-based stone, soapstone and limestone. And like selecting the home itself, it’s a personal selection—which variety talks to you? However, it’s not just about what looks good. Some varieties of stone are better suited than others to particular uses. The experts at Richmond Granite Countertops along with your architect, designer and, or builder can help you explore your options and provide guidance to the right choice for any project in and around your home.
Natural stones are available in a beautiful spectrum of colors. Colors in granite and marble, for example, can range from soft beiges and pinks and classic black-and-whites to rich corals, greens, and multi-colors. Marble traditionally features swirls and “veins” of colors, while some granite has the same appearances. 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.
Natural stone can be polished, honed, or flamed for a distinctive appearance:
A polished finish has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and marking of the stone. This finish is typically used on walls, furniture tops and floor tiles, countertops as well.
A honed finish is a satin-smooth surface with relatively little light reflection. It is generally preferred for floors, stair treads, thresholds, and other areas where heavy traffic will wear off a polished finish.
A flamed finish is a rough-textured surface used frequently on granite floor tiles.
The harder the stone, the more it resists abrasion. One measure of natural stone’s strength is the Measurement of Hardness (MOH) rating: 1 the softest and 10 the hardest. On the MOH scale, most marbles rate a 3 and quartz-based granites are a 7. Using a softer stone simply requires the homeowner to use gentler cleansers and more frequent dusting to prevent scratching.
Ideal for foyers, bathrooms, floors and hearths
Marble is found in the mountainous regions of Canada, Italy, Germany, Spain, the US, and other countries. Because of it’s beauty and elegance, marble is a popular choice for countertops, floors, foyers, fireplace facings and hearths, walls, and windowsills.
Marble adds a sophisticated element to your home and its wonderful appearance, superior engineering characteristics, and ease of maintenance make it a natural choice for floors, wall coverings, table tops and bathroom walls, floors, vanity tops, tub decks and showers.
Marble should be cared for as you would a fine wood finish. Using coasters on table tops and cleaning up spills immediately will preserve marble’s natural beauty.
Another option for marble-loving homeowners is using serpentine for kitchen counters. Sometimes called the “green” marble, serpentine is not a true marble but offers a marble-like look. And because it is magnesium-silicate based, it is not sensitive to citric acid and other kitchen spills.
An excellent choice for kitchen countertops, floors, and other heavily used surfaces Granite, are quarried from the mountains of the US, Brazil, Canada and dozens of other nations is one of the most popular natural stones on the market. Richmond Granite Countertops has one of the largest selections of granite slabs in Staten Island N.Y. area
Available in a stirring range 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 is also one of the most bacteria-resistant kitchen surfaces, and it is 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 us about 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.
Because if it’s exceptional strength, granite is well suited for exterior applications such as outdoor kitchens.
Travertine, Limestone, Soapstone, Sandstone and Slate
Beautiful enhancements for your home, inside and out
Travertine, limestone, soapstone, sandstone, and slate are other examples of natural stone frequently used in residential applications.
Travertine is a type of limestone and other of the most popular natural stones for interior and exterior wall cladding, interior and exterior paving, statuary, and curbing.
Limestone is widely used as a building stone because it is readily available and easy to handle. Poplar applications include countertops, flooring, interior and exterior wall cladding, and exterior paving.
Soapstone is growing in popularity. Popularity uses include kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, stoves, and stair treads. Care and maintenance is easy, but different than other stone types. Contact your stone supplier for instruction.
Sandstone is frequently used for fireplace facings, chimneys, garden walls, patio benches, and at poolside.
Slate is a popular flooring material and sandstone and slate are often used for exterior paving or pavers. Other slate applications include kitchen countertops, fireplace facings, table tops and roofing.