There are many things to consider when choosing the material for your project. Some of the important considerations are highlighted below. This should be used as a guide to help get you started. You should always discuss your final decision with one of our stone professionals to insure that it meets your needs.
Movement or Pattern
The pattern, color and veining of stone can vary significantly. Options range from solid colors to exotic movements and patterns. This choice is largely a matter of personal preference, however you do want to make sure that your stone pattern fits with the other elements of your project.
There are three main types of finishes for natural stone:
- Polished - Stone polished to a shiny, glass like finish. The finest and smoothest finish available. Popular for it’s rich, elegant look. However, on darker stone, this will show marks and fingerprints easier.
- Honed (aka Satin) - This is a softer, matte type finish created by stripping the stone of its polish. A great option if glare is an issue. This type of finish cannot be applied to all materials, so check with our professionals if you are considering this finish.
- Brushed (aka Antiqued) - This finish is created by processing the surface of the stone with diamond brushes, leaving a textured, leather type, feel. Looks great in a variety of design styles, from rustic to modern.
- Natural stone is porous - it requires sealing on an annual basis. Resealing is fairly easy and can be done with an inexpensive sealer in a matter of minutes. It is a simple wipe on, and wipe off process.
- Engineered stone is non-porous - it does not require resealing. It is virtually maintenance free.
- Maintenance of all stone is relatively easy - however, there are some everyday care considerations that should be followed. Please read our Care and Maintenance General Guidelines and Do's & Don'ts to learn more. Depending on the intended usage of your stone, some of these care guidelines may be an important factor in your choice of stone type.
Natural or Engineered Stone
From a quality perspective, there is little reason to choose one stone type over the other. They are both quality products and either would be a good choice for your project. Generally, you should choose a stone that best fits your specific needs and looks great.
Some things to consider are:
- Engineered Stone should not be used outdoors. Continuous exposure to UV light can cause discoloration of the stone.
- Some engineered stone is not as heat resistant as natural stones, and manufacturers recommend that hot pots and pans never be placed directly on the surface.
- Vinegar, bleach, ammonia and general purpose cleaners should not be used on natural stone.
- Some natural stones are more prone to staining or etching and not suitable for all applications.