Natural stone can be used in numerous ways, from the smallest craft projects to constructing entire buildings. Some of the more common uses for natural stone include fireplaces, patios, and flooring. Marble, flagstone, and limestone are often found in both ancient and modern construction. Stone is sometimes chosen solely for its beauty and texture, but durability is also an important factor.
Marble is an expensive natural stone used in a variety of ways, and can be purchased polished or unpolished. Typically pink or white, most marble is streaked with black or gray veins. It is used for flooring, walls, and fireplaces. Marble is sometimes used in furniture, for instance, some dining tables and occasional tables have tops made of marble. Marble is somewhat high maintenance and is generally not suitable for kitchens, as it is sensitive to acids found in some fruits and juices.
For homeowners who like the look of marble, but cannot afford its price tag, granite is considered a good option. Granite can be polished to a high sheen or left in its natural condition. It is extremely durable and comes in a wide variety of colors. It is a good choice for countertops and flooring.
Outdoor uses for natural stone include pathways, patios, and garden walls. In addition, outdoor furniture such as benches and tables can also be made of stone. Flagstone, also referred to as “fieldstone,” is commonly used in outdoor settings. It is typically less expensive than marble or granite and is considered very durable. Flagstone is also used in interiors for flooring and fireplaces.
Various types of stone have long been used to create outdoor ponds. Typically used for constructing small fishponds, natural stone is becoming popular in swimming pool construction. Swimming pools made of natural stone typically blend in with an outdoor environment much better than pools made of gunite or vinyl. These pools are usually more expensive to construct than other types of pools.
For centuries, natural stone has been used to create entire buildings. Granite, limestone, and marble are sometimes used in home construction, but because of expense, few people can afford these homes. Fieldstone is considered an affordable alternative. Fieldstone construction typically involves joining the stones with mortar, then the stones can be stacked or used as a facing. The cost of constructing homes of natural stone is generally more expensive than other types of construction; however, the durability of stone should probably be considered a balancing factor.