Natural Stone: Quality and Selection

Are you a homeowner undertaking a building project? You may be wondering which natural stone to select. After all, these stones vary greatly in color and quality, depending on the mineral composition. In addition to decorating your countertops and floors, natural stones can make your building more durable. But this aspect also depends on which stone you select. Understanding how the stones vary will help you make a better selection. Let’s explore the various types of natural stones and how they differ. Natural stones fall into two main categories, siliceous and calcareous.

Siliceous Stones

Siliceous stones contain silica which is more resistant to acid and high alkaline detergents. As a result, these stones are durable and easy to maintain. They’re better for building kitchen/bar countertops because they can withstand acidic juices and alcohol. Examples of these stones are granite, chert, and quartzite.


Granite is the hardest natural stone, making it suitable for interior and exterior buildings. It’s water and stain-resistant. These attributes make it a perfect choice for kitchen countertops as it doesn’t react with chemicals. Furthermore, it comes in multiple colors and is suited to high polishing. Also, you can get this stone in various types of finishing.

Calcareous Stones

These stones contain calcium, which is sensitive to acid, and strong alkaline detergents. They’re porous and more challenging to maintain than siliceous stones. They’re not suitable for kitchen counters since they etch easily. To make these stones durable, you can seal them and use a more gentle detergent when cleaning. Examples of calcareous stones are travertine, onyx, marble, and limestone.

Limestones and Travertines

Limestones and travertines are more suitable for non-wet places, such as the living room. Their versatile texture, tone, and colors help to bring peace and relaxation to the room. They’re available in beige shades, gold, tan, and yellow. You can get them in colors and textures that complement the furniture in your living room.


Marble is a metamorphosed limestone. Most marbles have light colors, but you can also find them in yellow, pink, blue, and black shades. The stones have a granular or granoblastic texture, and they’re easy to polish. You can use marbles as floor tiles, stair treads, and on any surface where you need bright colors. But since they react with acid, the stone will need extra care and maintenance.

Selecting Natural Stone

When selecting natural stones, you should consider:


The best thing about natural stones is that they come in multiple colors. You can find black, white, blue, and green, to name a few. And since the color is natural rather than artificial, they create lasting beauty in your house.


Natural stones can be brushed, flamed, honed, polished, sandblasted, tumbled, or bush hammered to give them a unique appearance. Most people prefer the polished, glossy surface for countertops, walls, and floors. A rough surface is ideal for the bathroom and wet areas.


The stone’s density and mineral content determine its hardness. Hard stones tend to resist scratches. Therefore, they can maintain good looks for a long time.

One Final Thought

Today’s consumers have many choices of natural stones. Each stone has different properties that give it a unique appearance. When choosing natural stones, consider your personal preference. But keep in mind that some stones work better than others in particular uses. Therefore, consider the intended application as well.