Natural stone countertops are a beautiful addition to any home. Unfortunately, many homeowners shy away from using these materials because of the many myths circulating about how hard they are to care for or how much they cost. Are you afraid that natural stone will drain your summer vacation fund or require endless cleaning and polishing? Don’t let these myths keep you from using some of the most beautiful and solid materials for your home:
1. Natural Stone is Too Expensive
It’s true that it once was too expensive for the average person to afford. With advances in technology and transportation, natural stones are more affordable. They vary in price based on availability, demand, and overhead charges. But, natural stones are available at a variety of price points.
Compare prices of different slabs with manufactured materials. Be sure to ask about the replacement timeframe as you can be replacing the cheaper countertops five times more than their stone counterparts. When you consider the lifespan of natural stones compared to manufactured materials, the slight increase in cost upfront will pay off over the infinite years of use.
2. Natural Stone is Scarce
Again, this myth stems from the past when searching tools and quarrying was a difficult and dangerous process. Transportation was also inadequate and slow for large, heavy stones. Today, exporting stones is significantly cheaper comparatively and easy. Advances in quarrying have also increased the availability and variety of natural stones. Because of this, more countries are exporting, increasing the supply and keeping the prices competitive. For example, Italy used to be the primary supplier of your granite, but now China, India, and Brazil are all exporting it. Bottom line, if you want natural stones, the earth isn’t running out soon.
3. Natural Stone is Delicate
This myth stems from the thin slicing of stones to make tiles or incorrect placement of them in increased weight-bearing spaces like driveways. Minerals and high pressure within the earth form these rocks and stones, making them hardy. If you maintain the stone preparation and finishing standards, natural stone is one of the hardest substances on earth, especially as a construction material.
Natural stones are so popular in the kitchen because they are incredibly heat resistant. Heat is more likely to hurt the sealant, not the stone itself. Repairing minor surface damage, like burns to the sealant or scratches, can be easily solved with a fresh seal or some buffing and polish.
4. Natural Stone is Difficult to Maintain
Unfortunately, this myth probably keeps the most people from choosing a natural stone. Just like with any building material, there are specific instructions for cleaning. For the most part, a daily wipe-down with a microfiber cloth and some water to keep the dirt and grime from settling is all you need. Certain chemicals and substances can harm your stone or sealant if you don’t take care. However, regularly sealing your stone, depending on the type, and cleaning your natural stone slabs will keep them looking incredible.
5. Natural Stone is Just a Fad
The beauty of naturally occurring stones is that no two are the same. There are variations in colors, patterns, grains, sizes, and even shapes for your unique design. While it may be true that certain colors and patterns are more popular at certain times, some varieties are timeless. Work with a natural stone supplier to get a classic style that won’t lose its popularity over time.
6. Natural Stone Doesn’t Work in Certain Climates
While this may be true for stones used as exterior building materials, this myth isn’t true for your home’s interior. Additionally, these stones are made for nature and thrive in specific outdoor environments. For example, slate is the preferred roofing material in many areas. Marble works well in high-temperature regions due to its innate coolness. Finishing methods are essential for non-slip or waterproof surfaces in yards and around pools. It comes down to your stone selection and how it’s prepared. In many cases it does fare well in more extreme climates.
7. Natural Stone is Only For Countertops
While natural stone has a popular choice for countertops in recent years, many ancient buildings and monuments are constructed entirely from stone. Like the climate myth, it comes down to selecting the suitable stone with the proper preparation to ensure it withstands the demands of where you want to use it. You can use natural stone for:
- Bathrooms, showers, or entire wet rooms
- Fireplaces and Mantels
- Kitchen Backsplashes or Full Accent Walls
- Swimming Pools
- Patio Areas
- Yard Pathways
The list could go on as natural stones are highly durable and versatile building materials.
Most of these myths started with some truth, but they have not stood the test of time. Natural stone can be used in various climates, both in and outdoors. They are incredibly hard-wearing, long-lasting, and won’t go out of style. It should be easy to find options within your price range to add exponential value to your home. Hopefully, with these myths debunked, you can find the perfect natural stone for your next home project.