With so many building materials available today, it can be a challenge for homeowners to choose the right options for their home projects. As consumers become more eco-conscious, however, natural materials are gaining a foothold. Let’s look at one of the most popular natural materials being used both within and outside of the home – natural stone – and explore just a few of the reasons it’s a go-to choice for today’s builders and homeowners.
Wraparound Bianco Antico granite island – image courtesy of M S International
Natural stone is one-of-a-kind. Created by nature, natural stone is available in a virtually endless array of colors and patterns. As a result, no two slabs will ever be the same. This uniqueness is a big part of natural stone’s appeal – consumers don’t have to worry about ending up with a countertop, for example, that looks just like their neighbors’ countertop.
Natural stone is eco-friendly. The energy used to craft natural stone products is far less than that required to produce manmade alternatives. And, no chemicals are used during processing. At the end of its useful life, stone can be recycled, or salvaged and repurposed. Larger stone remnants are ideal for a bathroom vanity, bar/buffet top or custom tabletop. Smaller pieces can be used as trivets, cheese boards and coasters, or pieced together to create an interesting backsplash.
Natural stone is durable. Consider the Egyptian pyramids, the Coliseum and other stone structures that have withstood the test of time. Stone has been a building material of choice for thousands of years not only because it’s beautiful – but because it’s made to last. Moreover, natural stone ages well and develops a patina with time, imbuing it with character and distinctive qualities not found in manufactured products.
Natural stone is versatile. Natural stone not only complements a range of decor styles, but can be used for a wide variety of applications – both indoors and out. Popular indoor uses include countertops, backsplashes, flooring, fireplace surrounds and accent walls, while favored outdoor uses include fire pits, outdoor kitchens, fountains, pool surfaces and landscaping elements, just to name a few.
Natural stone is easy to care for. When properly maintained, natural stone will keep its beauty for years to come. Most stones can be cleaned with mild dish soap and water. Simple precautions such as avoiding abrasive materials, placing coasters under glasses, using trivets under hot dishes and quickly wiping up spills go a long way in preserving this natural wonder.
Natural stone increases resale value. Natural stone is one of the few building materials that will never go out of style. In fact, few other materials match its elegance, durability and permanence. As such, many consumers are willing to pay a little extra for the luxury of owning a home that features the beauty of natural stone.
For the 604 Second Street renovation project, home improvement pros James and Morris Carey wanted to install countertops that would be practical, beautiful and resilient. That’s why they chose Bianco Antico granite countertops for the home’s kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. Granite is not only a dynamic stone, with a variety of crystals and interesting colorations, but it’s also very durable, hard to scratch and even harder to stain. All of these things make it a great choice for any surface in a house.
Choosing the stone, however, is only part of the equation. Because properly fabricating and installing countertops requires very specialized skills and a high degree of precision, it’s important that homeowners choose well qualified companies who are active in their industry trade association and who adhere to industry standards. That expertise will give homeowners peace of mind and help to protect their investment.
Whether building a new home or renovating an existing one, opting for natural stone is a solid choice that will deliver enjoyment for years to come.
For more information on natural stone, visit www.usenaturalstone.com.