Natural stones are the blessing of Mother Nature. You bring natural beauty by using natural stones in your spaces in & outside of the home. Natural stones are soothing eyes upon looking at it, relaxing upon touching, and energizing while living with it.
Of course, the right decoration and utility come with the right selection of stones. However, out of dozens of different stones types, it is confusing to choose the right type of stones in the right combination for homeowners. It is where they need expert consultancy, and we are aiming to provide the same here in our blogs.
In due course, we have given you some outlines in the posts “12 Things to Consider When Choosing Natural Stones for Your Home” and “Things to Consider While Buy Natural Stones – Shopping Guide” as well as other similar blogs. Today, we are going to give you at least 15 useful tips to select the right natural stone for your construction projects.
Tip 1 – Know the Origin of Natural Stones
At first glance, the tip seems weird for an ordinary homeowner but may prove highly useful in making a smart decision from a technical point of view. Geologists usually classify the natural rock formation in three different processes.
- Igneous rock formation
- Sedimentary rock formation
- Metamorphic rock formation
You can find more details in “How Natural Stone is Made – All You Need to Know” post. When you know the origin, you will have insights about the content of the natural rocks and properties of the natural stones.
Tip 2 – Know the General Classifications of Natural Stones
However, in general terms, we can classify stones as siliceous stones and calcareous stones. It saves us from complicated technical classification during the practical applications. The construction industry professionals usually classify natural stones into two major segments based on the predominance of the content. Those are siliceous stones and calcareous stones.
Siliceous stones have silica/sand in a high percentage of all content types. Thanks to the presence of quartz and other minerals, siliceous stones are stunning in look. Variations in colors, grains, veins, and patterns are enriching them a lot. High strength due to hardness, density, and other durability factors render them the best choice for exterior applications.
Calcareous stones are rich in calcites/calcium compounds. They also consist of organic and inorganic substances, which they acquired during the rock formation process like sedimentation.
Thereby, they are porous and relatively soft on working in the construction process. Moreover, marbles like stones are rich in color variations, grains, veins, and exhibiting different patterns. So, they are the best candidates for interior decoration in different areas, including floors, walls, columns, and sills.
However, marbles are easily getting stains and acid-sensitive. So, it has limited usage in the kitchen like areas. Marbles also demand care and regular maintenance against siliceous stones.
Tip 3 – Know the Different Forms of Natural Stones
Commercially available natural stones have different forms. For the sake of ease, we can segregate stones in two major forms: whole stones & crushed stones.
- Cubes – Stone Cubes are using as structural elements in different projects. In dry-stone walling, they are the main element.
- Slabs – Stone slabs are thicker than stone tiles. The majority of countertops are made from the slabs of tailor-made sizes.
- Tiles – Stone tiles are called dimensional stones and available in standard sizes and shapes like square, rectangle, or round.
- Veneer – Stone veneer is thin slices of natural rocks. It is a modern concept to decorate walls and other vertical elements.
Naturally Crushed Stones:
Nature breaks the stones with climatic factors. By natural means like water and wind, natural transportation occurs. Thus, naturally crushed stones form.
- Gravels – Gravels are the smallest natural stone aggregates found in regular and irregular shapes. Different types of gravels are act as decorative elements in interior places while as structural elements in exterior spaces.
- Pebbles – These are bigger than gravels and used in similar fashions as the gravels. Landscape decoration looks beautiful with different colors of gravels & pebbles in a combination.
- Cobbles – These are mostly human-made crafted stone pieces and useful in exterior paving applications like walking paths, driveways, and paving patios.
- Boulders – Water features and similar decorative applications need smaller to bigger sizes of boulder stones.
Tip 4 –Define Areas for Natural Stones Installation
You must select the types of natural stones based on the areas where you want to install them. For instance,
- Interior of the Home
- Outside of the Home
- As structural Elements
- As Architectural Elements
Softer and calcareous types of stones are the best candidates for interior applications. Most of the siliceous and rough & tough types of stones can prove a superior choice for outdoor and landscaping applications.
Tip 5 –Select Right Natural Stones Finishes
The stone surface finishing treatments are determining the utility of the stones. Polished and glossy stone texture is appropriate in a living room like a low utility, but most impactful areas to impress your guests or home visitors.
Coarse surface treatments are good to go for slip prone areas like wet places and outdoor spaces to create anti-skid surface texture. However, you must know the basic types of natural stone finishes, such as:
- Bush Hammered
Take the help of stone consultancy to get the right selection for each area individually.
Tip 6 –Select Appropriate Colors in Natural Stones Installation
Colors have direct impacts on the human psyche and practical utility of the space. For instance,
The brighter colors reflect the light rays more than darker colors. It makes the ambiance vibrant and energetic. The bright ambiance creates a spatial impression and lets us feel the space larger than the real psychologically. Outdoor kitchen, patio, and decks are places where brighter colors suit the most.
Various countertops, floors, and walls in high utility areas like kitchen, bath, and washrooms are prone to various staining. Spills, dirt, and chemical contaminations are high in these utility areas. If we use dark colors in the stone installation, it can hide stains, watermarks, fingerprints, and dirt to some extent. So, try to set dark-colored stones in such areas.
Tip 7 –Select Natural Stones Considering Various Impacts
Stones get damages due to various impacts like hit by objects, high foot traffic, structural loads, earthquake-like natural disasters, and accidental or intentional damages by humans.
Most outdoor areas, façade, living room, kitchen, and playing rooms for children are receiving different kinds of impacts more often than rests of spaces. Therefore, you must look at stones with high strength and durability properties to lay in such areas.
Tip 8 –Select Natural Stones Considering Climatic Factors
Most of the interior areas have fewer impacts of different climatic factors, but outdoor spaces have high chances. The cold, heat, humidity, water, sunrays, frost/thaw cycle, and similar climatic factors directly or indirectly affect the lifecycle of the natural stone and its appearance.
You must consider these climatic factors based on the weather in your region while making the stone selections for different areas. Many stone types are harder and studier than soft stone types, which can be the right choice for outdoor areas and semi-open areas in your home.
Most of the siliceous stones except slates are sturdy to withstand the climatic changes. Similarly, limestone and travertine like calcareous stones can prove the choice for exterior applications besides the internal uses.
Tip 9 –Select Natural Stones Considering Various Chemical Effects
Excessive humidity and water can create corrosion as well as fade the stone appearance.
Acid rains and acidic chemicals can damage the stones more in the case of calcareous stones and less in siliceous stones.
Sewage, soaps, and carbonation bring drastic pH fluctuation and damage the stones permanently. So, select the appropriate stone types considering such chemical effects and try to apply the right sealing or coating treatment as a preventative measure.
Tip 10 –Select Natural Stones Considering Your Design Theme
Colors, textures, and patterns are components of the stone design theme running across your property. Let interior & exterior designers or architects to decide these factors while making the selection for buying natural stones.
- There are various effects, such as rustic, casual, inviting, warm, and elegant, with natural stones.
- Different stones have different colors and hues to be fitting in your design theme. Experts can help you in due course.
- Different sizes and shapes give layout patterns, while natural stones have built-in patterns born by grain size, grain colors, and grain styles. The same goes true for veins, fissures, and other surface patterns naturally come within the stone mass. Learn about such styles and go creatively.
Tip 11 –Select Natural Stones Considering Aesthetic
We already know about grains, veins, and surface patterns existing in the natural rocks. We know how different types of cuts and surface treatments can bring all to make stones appealing. These all create an aesthetic appeal when you use the right combination of natural stones in your living spaces.
Tip 12 –Select Natural Stones Considering Home Value
Aesthetic appeal and durability of natural stone are the merits of overall home value. If you have invested enough and smartly, you can get high values of your property with the pace of time.
Tip 13 –Select Durable Natural Stones
Compressive strength, flexural strength, hardness, modulus of rupture, specific gravity, density, porosity/absorption, and abrasion resistance are metrics of durability. Such technical knowledge can help you to make the right selection of stones for you or your stone consultants.
There are simple tests to measure the durability of natural stones, and you can apply with simple tools or consult the team at World of Stones USA to help you out in making the right choice for the durable stone types for you.
Tip 14 –Select Easy to Maintain Natural Stones
Home maintenance includes regular removal of dust & dirt through different methods of cleaning, sealing or coating the stone surfaces, and replacement of damaged stone pieces.
Stone finishes determine the ease of sweeping and washing while chemical sealing eases the overall cleaning as well as stain removal. Calcareous stones are acid sensitive while siliceous stones can tolerate pH fluctuations to some extent.
Similarly, outdoor paving and other stone applications demand durable types of stones, and they also need frequent maintenance programs to keep look-n-feel intact. In short, you have to prepare your home maintenance program keeping the natural stone types used in your spaces, and expert advice can make a lot of difference.
Tip 15 –Make Cost-effective Choices of Natural Stones
The budget is the prime priority in each construction project. Therefore, we used certainly ask about the budget of natural stone installations and the cost of stone products. Due to the improved scenario of market and technologies, we can get natural stones at highly competitive rates against other construction materials.
We have multiple choices to make within a budget. It means you have to look at other pros and cons of selected natural stones and should make up your mind. For instance, white fantasy granites are the cheaper choice when marble proves the softer choice instead of costly quartzite. You can get the best of both worlds, sturdy stones like quartzite and stunning beauty of marble!
We Can Help You in the Selection Process.
World of Stones USA is offering free of charge stone consulting services to help newbies, and even seasoned contractors find some complexities of large project confusing. Our stone experts can weigh the pros and cons of each stone type and can suggest the best products for your projects.
Would you like to place your requirements and get instant help through a phone call or on instant messenger?