Before we get into which type of natural stone makes for the best use in home décor, we should first define what natural stone <em>is</em> ...
Stone, in its natural form, is a mineral deposit that has molecularly bonded under heat and pressure, and different minerals combined with different geologic processes create various kinds of stone. Popular stone types used in home décor include granite, marble, limestone, slate and soapstone, as well as some subtypes of these stones.
The list of natural stone is large, so we’ve taken the liberty of focusing on the most popular based on design preference and sales. (NOTE: Cost for these stones is often comparable, but will always depend on your location, the stone's quality, installation and machining.)
Granite is the granddaddy among natural stone types used for building and design. It’s scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant, antibacterial (to a degree) and comes in an impressive palette of patterns and colors. It’s also very tough and is used as often indoors as it is outside.
Most people associate marble with luxury, and rightfully so. Its translucent color and elegant striations has made it a coveted natural material for centuries. Even so, it is somewhat soft and vulnerable to acids, and therefore not as durable as granite, particularly for kitchen use.
Travertine is a popular type of limestone used often in exterior cladding, countertops and flooring. It’s very durable and can come in a variety of subtle, earthy color variations, but since it shares marble’s calcium carbonate base it is also susceptible to damage from acids.
It’s fair to describe soapstone as durably soft, as ironic as that may sound. It can scratch easily, but it’s completely stain-resistant, heat-resistant and those scratches are usually easy to buff out. Color choices are limited, but those that are available are generally well-regarded.
Like soapstone, slate is soft while still possessing strength in its resistance to stains and heat. The other neat thing about it is that it can be split into thin sheets, which makes it more versatile in its application. Some slates fade while others do not, but the color palette remains fairly wide.
<strong>So, which is the best natural stone for use in your home décor?</strong>
Of course, it depends on your needs and personal taste, but here’s a sound piece of advice: Your budget is a deciding factor, but you shouldn’t let it be <em>the</em> deciding factor. Natural stone is a commodity with a lot of variables and you may be surprised at what you find if you look around.
<a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes this review was helpful, and invites you to vote on your favorite natural stone below.