With a number of different styles and characteristics to consider, choosing the right natural stone slab for your Toronto home can seem like a daunting task. Before making your purchase, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the benefits and characteristics of a number of different types of natural stone. Being well-informed and knowing your options is the first step to finding the best possible type of stone for your home.
Consider Your Options
There are a number of different natural stones to consider, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Some of the more popular choices include marble, limestone, and granite.
Taking a Closer Look
Marble – Traditionally used as a material for construction and sculpting, marble has long been recognized for its beauty, durability, and heat-resistant properties – making it ideal for use as kitchen countertops, tabletops, flooring, and walkways. Marble’s patterning, veining, and semi-translucent appearance has made it a popular choice for those looking to add a more decorative feel to their home. While marble is extremely durable, it’s still much easier to cut than other types of natural stone, ensuring a much smoother process when it comes time for installation and fabrication. A porous stone by nature, marble can be sealed to prevent water or oils from penetrating its surface and causing blemishes or etching. It’s recommended that homeowners avoid the use of acidic cleaning solutions, opting instead for a mixture of warm water and baking soda applied with a soft cloth.
Limestone – A very hard and durable stone, limestone has been used as a building material for thousands of years. Limestone has become an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking a more rugged feel while still looking to create an elegant, luxurious atmosphere. More porous than marble, it’s recommended that limestone be put to use inside the home where it can’t be affected by natural elements. Often available in earthy colours and tones, homeowners have traditionally chosen limestone for flooring and even tiling for bathroom walls. While it can be sealed to help prevent water and oils from seeping inside the stone, limestone is not recommended for use as a kitchen countertop due to its porosity and tendency to etch or stain. Special care must be taken when dealing with acidic liquids such as coffee, wine, or soft drinks, as they can react with the stone, causing the surface to permanently etch.
Granite – Often used as a material for kitchen countertops, granite is considered to be one of the most historically popular building materials. Known for its colourful flecks, deep colours, and opaque appearance, granite is available in a spectrum of colours, including rose, mahogany, charcoal black, and tropical green. Granite’s high density means that it is able to withstand significant weathering, making it suitable for outdoor use. Dirt can often simply be removed with the use of soapy water and a brush. The majority of granite countertops do not require sealing; regular cleaning of the countertops after meals is usually enough to prevent staining.
It is worth noting that while natural stone often requires sealing and upkeep to keep it in pristine condition, some homeowners tend to appreciate the rugged look of wear that can accumulate on the stone over time.
With a great deal of difference between each type of natural stone slab, Toronto homeowners should take the time to visit a showroom, see the products firsthand, and learn about the necessary upkeep and maintenance before making a final decision.