Many options for beautiful, long-lasting stones
You have many options when it comes to beautiful, long-lasting natural stones for your home’s interior and exterior: slate, granite, marble, quartz-based stone and limestone, just to name a few. Choosing a natural stone for your home is a very personal decision, much like selecting artwork.
The harder the stone, the more it resists abrasion. One measure of a natural stone’s strength is its Measurement of Hardness (MOH) rating, on which 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest. On the MOH scale, most marbles rate “3” and quartz-based granites rate “7.” Using a softer stone simply requires the homeowner to use gentler cleansers and more frequent dusting to prevent scratching.
While there are scores of natural stones to consider, some are better suited than others for particular uses in and around the home. This guide, along with your architect and stone contractor, can help you explore your options and offer guidance to determine the right stone for the right home project.
Granite is resistant to mold and mildew and virtually impervious to hot frying pans, abrasions, stains, chips and dings. Their lasting durability assures you of functional use for years to come.
Marble traditionally features swirls and “veins” of colours, while granite has a flecked or pebbled appearance. Marble generally comes in lighter colours versus granites and is best suited for furniture surfaces, floors, bathrooms and low-traffic areas.
Quartzites are amongst the hardest and durable natural stones. They tend to come in lighter colours resembling the colour pallets of marble and limestone, however, often times their MOH hardness is even higher then granite (up to a level 8). We recommend this material for all surfaces including high-traffic areas such as kitchen counters and vanities. It must be noted that on average this material is more expensive compared to other stones.
Composite Quartz such as Caesarstone are man-made products that are predominately composed by grinded natural quartz. These products come in a wide variety of colours and patterns and tend to have a more uniform and consistent look compared to natural stones. These products are extremely durable and we highly recommend them for all surface areas.
Onyx is chosen for its incredibly unique beauty and depth. We recommend these materials for furniture tops only, as it is a fairly delicate stone. We often use this material to create backlight feature pieces. See backlight onyx for more details.
Similar to marble, limestone and travertine come in lighter cream colours. They’re typically sold with honed or leathered face-finishes. Being very porous materials they’re often more vulnerable to absorptions. We therefore discourage clients from using these materials in high-traffic areas such as kitchen counters. However, we recommend using them for kitchen backsplashes, vanity tops and furniture surfaces.