Natural Stone – What are the different kinds and their uses?

Natural Stone – What are the different kinds and their uses?


There are various types of natural stones that are more commonly used for flooring, wall tile, outdoor living rooms, fireplaces and decorative purposes. Some of the most well-known ones are,  cantera, limestone, marbletravertine, and onyx. There are a wide variety of stone colors, shades, finishes, sizes and edges available.


How to choose the best natural stone for your project?


Choose the best natural stone for your project is strictly a matter of taste and your a professional contractor should be able to give you options according to your lifestyle,   decoration, architecture style and budget.

Each type of natural stone has unique characteristics that make them harder, softer, translucent, honed or shiny.

Depending on the stone application, there are some design preferences of some type of natural stone over another. Some will not be suitable for high traffic areas (e.g. Travertine) but will be perfect for wall application and others are decorative natural stone  (e.g. Onyx), which are suitable for interior walls and custom applications.


Here are the names and definitions of some of the more popular natural stones:

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”1″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″]Prized for its timeless style, texture and high-gloss polish along with a rich palette of beautiful colors from ivory to red and grey even black, marble has a place almost anywhere in the home. Available in solids or  veined varieties, marble may be carved or sculpted in many ways, making it one of the most versatile decorative stones: tile, fireplaces, wall and flooring tile (slabs and tile, fountains, vanities (sinks and mirrors, counter tops), table bases, pots, etc…

Often seen as a symbol of luxury, modern technology brings beautiful marble products even to budget-conscious homeowners.

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”4″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″]Valued for its banded, pitted “distressed” appearance, travertine adds rich, distinctive character to a variety of indoor and outdoor building projects. Its patterns and veining were formed by hot spring water percolating through underground limestone. When used for interior applications, travertine is often filled with cement, grout or resin and sealed to create a smooth, stain-resistant surface. It is available in various finishes and edges. It’s common uses are flooring, wall tile, table bases, vanities,  etc…

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”3″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″]A translucent stone with a glossy, polished surface, onyx is composed of crystalline silica, it’s  a semi-precious stone. Often found in caves, onyx is formed by the slow flow of cold, carbonated spring water. Onyx is available in pastel shades of yellow, brown, orange, and white. It’s most common uses are slabs, tiles, table bases, lamps, scones, fireplaces, wall tile (tiles or slabs), decorative items and a wide variety of applications

Cantera is a sedimentary stone that comes from the riverbeds of Mexico.

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”2″ display=”basic_thumbnail” thumbnail_crop=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″]It is used extensively for architectural columns, moldings,fountains, fireplaces, sculptures,pots and planters tiles, flagstone, stone veneers, balustrade systems,  and more. More about cantera…

  • Slate

Formed over thousands of years of sedimentary deposit and compression, slate splits naturally into beautifully textured layers.

The various shades of slate products – brown, yellow, dark gray, pink, lavender and more – may even occur within the same piece of stone. Durable and stain-resistant, slate products are often used for flooring, stone veneer and flagstone for landscaping or wall tile.


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