Today there is a common desire among homeowners, builders, and designers to create beautiful and sustainable homes. The search for the perfect product or material is never ending. Natural stone has become a popular choice for many home design projects because it is not only durable and long lasting, it is beautiful as well.

Using natural stone also contributes to caring for the Earth. Because it is used in its original form, it does not require the use of any other products to make it. Not to mention, natural stone is completely recyclable.

Natural stone is also unbeatable when it comes to care and maintenance.

Because natural stone comes in so many varieties of colors, patterns, and textures it can be used to create any design look you are after from rustic to contemporary. This means that you can also easily change your look without having to replace floors, countertops, or bathroom.

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There are many types of natural stones but some of the most common for interior design are granite, quartzite, limestone, marble, travertine, slate.

Natural Stone: Granite

Granite is probably the most well-known natural stone. Granite is a very textured igneous rock. It is comprised of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. This intricate combination lends to the many color and pattern variations that granite has.

Granite is very durable and long lasting. It can be stained, pitted, or cracked so some care is required on your granite surfaces.

Natural Stone: Quartzite

Quartzite is an extremely hard non-layered metamorphic rock that originates from pure sandstone. Sandstone is converted to quartzite through extreme heat and pressure deriving from tectonic plate compression. It is most commonly found in white to light grey, but there are braver choices as well.

Quartzite is harder than granite and more durable.

Natural Stone: Limestone

Limestone is a unique natural stone that is made up of fragments of marine life like coral and mollusks. This makes for a very grainy and textured surface. Limestone is found in two main color classes – buff creams and light browns.

Limestone is one of the easiest natural stones to work with as it cuts easily.

Natural Stone: Marble

Marble is another non-layered metamorphic rock that is transformed out of limestone through a recrystallization process. Marble is found all over the world and comes in multiple variations. Marble comes in a variety of colors from muted to bold. Most people associate marble with a stark white background with light and dark grey veins running through it.

Natural Stone: Travertine

Travertine was very popular for tile in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Originating in Italy it was a sign of wealth and elegance.

It is a form of limestone that is deposited in and around hot springs and mineral springs. These conditions foster rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate which spawns the travertine.

Typically, travertine is most commonly found in whites, creams, beiges, and soft browns.

Natural Stone: Slate

Slate is a very simple, non-complex natural stone that is a derivative of shale. It is very durable and hard enough to scratch glass and metal. Unlike granite it is not porous and therefore completely resistant to staining.

It is very recognizable because it is found only in darker shades of gray.

When you are considering new countertops, floors, and/or showers and baths take the time to sample each of these natural stones to get the right look and use for your project.