Category Fashion & Style

nero-pizzara-riven-slate-bath

Every stone has its own beauty, texture, colour or pattern. From the timeless veined marble, through the rustic travertine and versatile granite and slate tiles, there is a stone for any room and every taste. What is even better, is that there are various natural stone tiles in one colour family so if you are fan of a certain shade, you can easily decorate your home with it. 

Today, we are going to focus on the black varieties of natural stone tiles and how you can use them for various interior and exterior projects. One of the tendencies for 2018 is to have your kitchen decorated in black, so if this is your favourite colour, you are on the right track. Here are some of the most popular black stones that you can incorporate in your design: 

 

Black Extra Granite 

black-extra-granite

One of the popular dark stones is Black Extra Granite. If you choose these tiles for your bathroom, you will end up with a gorgeous luxury retreat. The combination with white bathtub and sink is an eternal classic, however, you can also choose a more dramatic shade – such as red. The overall look of the black granite tiles is suitable for a contemporary décor. In addition to the bathroom, this stone is suitable for the kitchen – both for a counter top, kitchen island or flooring; for the living spaces or for the entrance. Depending on the purpose, you can also choose a specific finish of the tiles. Polished is a good idea for walls or counter tops, while honed or antiqued is perfect for the floor.  

 

Minster Black Antiqued Limestone 

minster-black-antiqued-limestone

Limestone is more often associated with its tanned, creamy colour and rustic look. Nevertheless, the Minster Black Antiqued Limestone is another excellent option for those who prefer darker shades. The best surface finish for this type of tiles is antiqued as it adds to the natural beauty of the stone. The tiles are perfect both for walls and floors and can be used for interior and exterior projects. The black limestone will add charm and mystery to your bedroom and will become a perfect accent wall in your dining hall or living room. The stone is also a smart idea for your patio design that will make your house look rather different. Strange as it may sound, the black tiles are also a good solution for smaller premises like utility rooms, toilets or entrance areas. If properly combined with a lighter stone, be it of the same type or different. The pattern is also of great importance, so make sure to choose the right one depending on the purpose and size of the room.  

 

Nero Pizarra Riven Slate 

nero-pizzara-riven-slate

Slate tiles are quite versatile and can be utilized in many projects both indoors and outdoors. The Nero Pizarra Riven Slate comes in different shades of grey and black and is the perfect wall tile. The riven finish accentuates the natural look of slate. This stone can be used all around the house – from the bathroom to the bedroom and is one of the most suitable options for patio flooring as well. Each tile incorporates different shades, which breaks the monotonous look of an all-black room.  

 

Nero Pizarra Riven Glacier 

nero-pizzara-riven-glacier

If you are looking for an interesting accent wall, then the Nero Pizarra Riven Glacier is for you. These tiles are perfect for both interior and exterior projects. Their riven texture makes them an unique addition to your kitchen or living room and an interesting bed overboard for the bedroom. 

 

Mezzanotte Honed Marble 

mezzanotte-honed-marble

Even though the Mezzanotte Honed Marble cannot be described as classically black, it is a perfect option for those who prefer mixed darker shades. A beautiful combination between grey, black and white, this perfect stone is suitable for virtually any renovation project in your house. Turn your bathroom into a cozy retreat or add a bit of nuances to your black and white kitchen. The honed surface of the tiles makes them great for flooring even in wet premises. Add to that the longevity and timeless beauty of marble and you have a luxury finish for any of the rooms in your home.  

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White Natural Stone Tiles for Your Home Design

 

 

white-natural-stone-tiles

In our next article dedicated to the monochromatic design, we are going to look at the other eternal colour – white.  

White natural stone tiles are suitable for any premises in the house and are also a good solution for outdoor projects. No matter if you decide to arrange the entire room in white, combine white and black tiles or use white only as an accent here and there, you need to know what kind of natural stone you can find in this colour. No doubt, the first that comes to your mind is marble, and that is logical – the greatest variety of white tiles are marble tiles. There are, however, some other options that you can select from. The most notable ones are limestone and quartzite. 

Below, you will find a brief review of the best white natural stone tiles, their suitable finish and where to use them for great results. 

 

White limestone tiles 

white-limestone-tiles

Limestone is a sedimentary rock, which has a very broad usage. It is mainly popular as a building material and has its place in architecture. Limestone comes mainly in grayish nuances or tan/cream colours, however there is a shade that can be classified in the group of the white natural stone tiles – the Pietra Plano Extra Limestone. These beautiful tiles look in its best with a honed finish. They are suitable for a great range of interior projects and can be used both for floors and walls. The Peitra Plano Extra Limestone can be your choice for a white kitchen or bathroom, and you can also refresh your entrance floor or utility room with it. The tiles are an excellent accent for a dining hall or a living room as well.  

 

White quartzite tiles 

white-quartzite-tiles

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that is formed as a result of tectonic compression from pure quartz sandstone. It has many usage as a decorative stone since it is quite hard and when crushed it can be used even in road construction. Pure quartzite is usually white or gray but due to the presence of iron oxide or other minerals it can be found in various nuances – pink, red, green, yellow, blue and orange.  

When considering decorative white quartzite for your renovation, we suggest the White Quartzite Riven Glacier. These tiles with their uneven riven finish make beautiful accent walls both for interior and exterior projects. The tiles can be also used as a flooring option and will look great in rooms such as the kitchen, dining hall, bathroom and even the bedroom. They are also suitable for high-traffic areas as the hallway, the utility room or the toilet. Even though quartzite is not in the spotlight as other more popular stones like limestone, granite or marble, it won’t let you down if you choose it for your next refurbishing.  

 

White marble tiles  

white-marble-tiles

Last but not least come the marble tiles. Here you can enjoy great variety of tiles and finishes that can be used both in interior and exterior projects. Having a marble bathroom is a great idea, and why not make it bright and shiny white with some wood accents, for example? The white kitchen is also an eternal classic and having a marble kitchen island is the perfect focal point of this highly-used room.  

There are many types of white marble tiles that you can choose from and no doubt the most famous ones are Carrara and Calacatta marble tiles. Here are a few suggestions, including this all-time favourites: 

  • Calacatta Marble Mosaic 

 

Mosaic tiles are a great possibility for stunning walls and floors. Being able to choose between honed and polished Calacatta marble mosaic meand that your options are unlimited. The white base intertwined with delicate grey and gold veining will add glamour to any room. You can use the mosaic tiles as an accent, as a backsplash or have your entire kitchen walls covered with them and imagine that you are living in a fairytale or another epoch.  

  • Caria Luna Tumbled 

caria-luna-tumbled-marble

These tumbled marble mosaic tiles are yet another alternative to the more luxurious Calacatta mosaics. The tiles are suitable for interior projects and can be applied both on walls and floors. You can use these white tiles in every room around the house, starting from high-traffic areas as the kitchen and the entrance and moving through the bathroom to the living room and the bedroom.  

  • Italian Carrara Marble 

italian-carrara-marble-white

Here, you can find many varieties when it comes to the size of the tiles and their finish. Carrara marble is perfect for creating modern and contemporary look to any new project as well as for renovating a timeless classic. No matter what your tiling project is, you can find the right tiles for you. Polished, tumbled or honed, these tiles can be used inside and outside. Add a wow effect to any room by selecting any of these two more specific Carrara marble tiles: 

  1. Italian Carrara Marble Polished Diamond Mosaic 

diamond-mosaic-white-marble

 

2. Italian Carrara Honed Mini Brick Mosaic 

mini-brick-marble-white

These mosaic tiles live up to their high-quality reputation and are perfect for feature walling or panels along a great abundance of other uses. 

Carrara marble is a welcomed stone in any room. If you want the perfect solution for your kitchen, bathroom or living room, all you need to do is find your white marble tiles and let your imagination and interior design affection do the rest. 

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faux-marble

Image Source: Stylecaster

Have you been wondering why marble is so commonly used both for private and public buildings, as interior and exterior stone. While it is true that it is a very durable natural stone that has been used since ancient times for construction and decoration, it is also a fact that today it is one of the expensive stones on the market. So, the secret of its common use lies in the fact that part of the marble we see is actually not authentic. Faux marble is gaining popularity, especially for bigger public projects, where costs need to be curbed or among homeowners, who cannot afford the real stone. 

If you are curious to learn a bit more about the different types and techniques used to create faux marble, check the article below. 

 

Types of faux marble 

Marble is probably the most imitated stone by far. Generally, there are three main types of faux marble that are used for home refurbishment: 

  • Faux stone – this is a polymer made of resin and marble pieces. It resembles the natural stone but lacks its depth and shine. On the other hand, it doesn’t scratch or etch so easily as the real natural stone and is therefore preferred for areas as kitchen tops.  
  • Painted laminate – the laminate tiles are painted in a way that mimics the look of marble. If you want a fabulous floor resembling that made of natural stone, this is one of the options. Laminate is cheaper and easier to install compared to marble tiles.  
  • Faux marbling or marbleizing – this is a special technique for covering the surface with paint that resembles marble.  

You can choose any of the options above, depending on the project you have in mind. It is possible to combine the different techniques in order to achieve the result you are looking for.  

 

What is faux marbling? 

marbleizing-paint

It turns out that faux marbling or marbleizing is the most common technique used to replace real marble. This is special faux painting that turns the surface into a “polished marble” slab. It is most often used on wooden furniture and is actually quite easy to achieve. 

The first thing you need to do is sand the wooden surface so that it becomes rough. Thus, the paint will adhere to it easier. Then you need to clean it from the dust using a tack cloth. Afterwards, you can create the marble surface in just three steps, using only sea sponge, paint and a detail brush. Here is how to achieve your polished marble table in no time: 

  1. Paint the faux surface 

Choose the colour of marble you want to mimic. Then use at least three different nuances in order to make it look real. You need blobs of each shade on a plastic plate so that you can dip the sea sponge into them. Once the sponge is wet, dab it onto the surface of the table. Smear the paint to recreate the look of the natural stone. Let the paint dry.  

  1. Add veins 

Once the faux surface is ready, use a detail brush to draw the veins. Dip it into diluted white or black paint (depending on your main surface colour) and add lines that mimic the marble veins. Let the paint dry.  

  1. Seal  

Make sure that both the surface paint and the veins are dry before proceeding with sealing the table top. In order to make the faux marble shine you can apply a coat of high-gloss polyurethane. It will protect the surface and give it the depth and sparkle of real stone.  

You can apply faux marbling to almost any surface and even have entire walls painted in it. The advantages of this technique is that it is easy to do and will not cost you much. It is an excellent way to renew your old furniture and add a classy feel to your interior.  

 

How to choose between real and faux marble? 

Based on the above said, both real and faux marble have their pros and cons. So, the question of whether to choose the natural stone or its replica cannot have just one simple answer. The two main factors that will play a role in making the decision are price and purpose. 

  • Price 

Real marble is more expensive than faux marble. It will also require some additional maintenance and regular sealing in order to keep it in its best form. It is also better to hire professionals to install your marble tiles rather than do it yourself and this will add costs to your overall project. On the other hand, however, marble is a timeless classic and once your house is decorated with it, the stone will increase its overall value. Besides, marble is extremely durable, so you won’t need refurbishing any sooner.  

  • Purpose  

If you are aiming at serious refurbishing and you want more permanent results, then you need to go for authentic marble. The natural stone is mainly used for floors and countertops and it is one of the best solutions for kitchen islands. Therefore, if you want durability and style, we suggest that you select the natural stone for these projects. 

Faux marble, on the other hand is a great solution for decorative accents such as columns, furniture (mainly table tops) and even walls. The advantage here is that you would be able to change the look pretty often. Faux marble is also a great solution for some projects, which are hard to achieve with real marble.  

 

How to recognize real marble? 

Quite often people have trouble distinguishing between marble and other natural stones. There are some types of limestone and granite that look quite similar to certain types of marble. One of the ways to tell one from the other is by using acid. Since marble is a metamorphic rock made of recrystallized calcite it reacts to acid. The calcite in it starts to bubble. Visually, you can also differentiate the marble from the other stones by the calcite in it. When you look at the edge of a marble slab, which has not been treated in any way, you can see little flashes from the large calcite crystals in it. You can see how to recognize marble easier.

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sustainable-architecture-natural-stone

 

The concept of sustainability has entered almost every aspect of our life. We try to establish and grow our businesses in a sustainable manner, support local and international sustainability initiatives and naturally think of a sustainable architectural environment. In line with that, the ideas of green building and sustainable architecture have emerged.  

Both ideas support the effort to build in a way that has a minimum negative impact on nature, using recyclable and renewable materials, while at the same time this reduces the construction costs. There are many sustainable materials that have entered the market in the last few years and offer innovative solutions. However, there is the ultimate sustainable material that has been in use for centuries now and has proven its qualities – natural stone. Let’s have a look at the options of sustainable building and why natural stone is one of the best options you can choose from.  

 

Types of sustainable materials 

When we are talking about sustainable materials, we need to differentiate between three main types depending on their usage. Thus, we have: 

  • Sustainable building materials – in this category we can include natural materials as stone and wood, as well as a great variety of newer solutions, such as sustainable concrete, solar tiles or wool bricks. The latter are developed by Spanish and Scottish researchers by adding wool and a special polymer extracted from seaweed to the brick clay. The bricks made in this way turn out to be extremely suitable for the wet weather in Britain.  
  • Sustainable isolation materials – the idea is to have completely reusable and recyclable materials, such as cellulose, which do not generate waste but are extremely efficient at the same time.  
  • Sustainable paints, wood treatment or sealants – the move here is towards natural substances that do not harm the ozone layer and don’t contain any chemical products.  

The best way of all is to combine the three types of materials in order to achieve your ultimate goal of green building.  

 

Why natural stone is sustainable? 

Building in a sustainable and nature-friendly way requires some planning in advance and a few additional arrangements, however the pay-back in a long term is worth all the efforts. Besides, using natural stone is an easy way to stay in line with the idea of green building while at the same time have a beautiful and long-lasting final product. This is due to the intrinsic qualities of stones like marble, travertine, granite or limestone. In addition to that, the Natural Stone Council has developed a series of best practices concerning stone extraction, transportation and other activities that can help in achieving sustainability. It has also presented a few case studies and compiled a series of life-cycle datasets that promote the usage of natural stone. Here are the main ones. 

Natural stone features  

As a product of mother nature, stones are earth-friendly. Besides, they possess a series of qualities that make them a preferred material for both interior and exterior designs. The most important features of natural stone are: 

  • Long life-cycle 
  • Durability 
  • Resistance  
  • Recyclability 
  • Great variety of usage options 
  • Attractiveness 
  • Abundance of colours and shades 
  • Easy to maintain  

When you combine all of the above with the fact that natural stone is abundant in nature, you can easily realize why it is such a preferred material. The best proof of natural stone qualities are the numerous buildings made of natural stone in ancient times that still amaze us with their glory: The Great Pyramids, The Coliseum, Taj Mahal, etc.  

In addition to that most of the quarries of natural stone are in exploitation for centuries now and still there is sufficient stone to serve us for centuries to come. One such example are the famous Carrara marble quarries. 

 

Best practices 

When the above-listed qualities of natural stone are combined with the best practices for their extraction and transportation, the desired effect of sustainability can be easily achieved. The following guidance documents were prepared by the Natural Stone Council to help the industry achieve its ultimate goal for green building and sustainable architecture in all its stages.  

  • Best Practice: Water Consumption, Treatment, and Reuse 
  • Best Practice: Site Maintenance and Quarry Closure 
  • Best Practice: Solid Waste Management 
  • Best Practice: Transportation 

 

Case studies 

In addition to the best practices, the Natural Stone Council has developed a set of case studies, which outline different qualities and possible usage of natural stone.  

  • Case Study: Application of Green Building Certification Programs to Natural Stone 
  • Case Study: Durability of Stone Flooring in High Traffic Areas 
  • Case Study: The Use of Reclaimed Stone in Building Construction 
  • Case Study: Solar Reflectance of Natural Stone 

All of the information above makes it easier to realize why natural stone tiles are the best solution both for large-scale and small projects at industrial or residential level.  

 

4 main benefits of sustainable design  

Sustainable design and the usage of natural stone for institutional, commercial and residential projects has many benefits for both the environment and the population as end users. All of the advantages can be combined into four main groups: 

  1. Reduction of energy use by 245 to 50% 
  2. Reduction of CO2 emissions by 33% to 39% 
  3. Reduction of water usage by 40% on average 
  4. Reduction of solid waste by the astonishing 70% 

The integration of natural stone both for interior and exterior solutions not only helps for the achievement of the above-mentioned benefits but also adds beauty and longevity to the buildings. The good news is, that natural stone is not only a classic material but it is also cost-efficient. While in the past it was considered a luxurious and expensive option, now it is quite affordable. You can browse through a great range of natural stone tiles and check the sales offered in order to get the most suitable stone for your project.  

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