With the growing demand for green building and sustainable architecture, the use of natural stone in commercial projects has risen. While it might be common to see other man-made materials, such as artificial quartz and engineered porcelain, used in commercial projects due to their costs or how easy they are to install, natural stone is still the best product on the market due to its versatility. While you are limited in what you can use certain manufactured products for, and if they are solely suited for exterior or interior design, commercial natural stone comes in a variety of forms that are perfect for a wide range of commercial uses and are not only sturdy and durable but additionally beautiful.
What is natural stone?
Natural stone is a term used for a type of building material. In nature, natural stone refers to organic rocks quarried from the earth and used for decorative purposes. This rigid and compact nonmetallic material is formed by altering minerals under the influence of heat and pressure and is made over the course of thousands of years. As pressure, erosion, heat, and expansion transformed the earth's crust into massive rock beds, they created the locations where natural stone was most commonly found in abundance. These rock beds are quarried to get large amounts of natural stone for building projects.
Most popular types of natural stone
While there are multiple varieties of natural stone that exist, there are a few kinds that make for much better building materials than others. Not all natural stones are created equal, and these are the most common ones used commercially:
- Sandstone: As the name suggests, this sedimentary rock is characterized by the sand-size grains of mineral, rock, or organic material that compose it. Due to the strength of sandstone, you can use it for flooring and paving outdoor areas or buildings. Additionally, the polished version of sandstone is very eye-catching which makes it perfect for ornamental features on projects such as fireplaces.
- Marble: This elegant stone comes in a wide variety of styles. It makes for an eye-catching building material due to the different colored veins shooting through its pale exterior. Marble is commonly used for flooring, stairs, countertops, and other projects where you seek beauty. Unfortunately, this stone is known for being relatively soft and thus gets scratched up or chipped easily, requiring regular maintenance.
- Granite: A spotted igneous rock made out of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase, granite is known for its speckled appearance and is one of the hardest natural stones available. It is also hard to replicate granite since its unique appearance and no two slabs look identical. Granite can be used for far more than countertops and backsplashes and is sometimes seen in larger-scale projects such as paving and bridges.
- Limestone: This sedimentary carbonate rock is composed mainly of lime, hence the name. Most limestones have a granular texture and come in various colors, from pale white to dark gray. Limestone is a soft rock that can be shaped and carved with unique and exciting designs. Additionally, the uniformity of limestone's appearance makes it a popular material for flooring and walls.
- Travertine: This form of limestone is only found near mineral springs. The Colosseum in Rome is actually made from this beautiful stone. Due to its porous and soft nature, travertine usually has to be sealed in commercial applications; however, its colors and patterns make it a very eye-catching and unique material.
- Slate: Since this fine-grained metamorphic rock is formed of clay or volcanic ash, it often has a dark or gray appearance. Slate absorbs minimal moisture and is durable and heavy-duty, making it a long-lasting and low-maintenance material. For that reason, it is popular to use slate on projects where there will be a lot of traction or use, such as flooring or roofing.
The versatility of natural stone
Natural stone can withstand heat and cold well, making it a great choice for interior and exterior projects. It also has a naturally beautiful look that will either instantly upgrade or easily complement the building or structure it is being added to. Due to the numerous types of natural stone with varying properties, colors, and textures, it is suitable for interior design projects. Moreover, it is a durable material resistant to stains, wear, and tear, making it an excellent choice for large-scale and commercial uses such as for natural stone architecture. These factors make natural stone a highly versatile material.
Speaking of versatility, natural stone comes in many forms such as natural thin stone. As the name suggests, natural thin stone is natural stone that is cut into thinner slabs. You should go for the thinner option when you are doing interior applications of natural stone where your projects need to be sleeker or lightweight. Natural thin stone can also be used for large scale commercial building exteriors where the weight allowances are limited by the height of the building. The thinness of the stone makes it lightweight and the sturdiness of the natural stone makes it a great option for whatever exterior projects you need.
Commercial projects and applications where natural stone is best
Natural stone can be used in various projects outside of countertops and countertops. Since stone is a relatively hard material and one that is quite durable, it is good to use stone where you can. From entryways to flooring, natural stone is a beautiful material that creates gorgeous statement pieces that will stand the test of time.
Natural stone such as gravel and decorative rock is also excellent for projects such as commercial roofing as it can endure harsh weather conditions without wearing down rapidly. Not only does it look beautiful and add a natural and rugged look to your roof, but you can rest knowing that your roof will be able to stand the test of time without needing continuous repairs. Similarly, natural stone is a popular choice for projects such as indoor or outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, and barbeques. The stone not only gives these features a sleek modern look but is also very functional, as it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down and is very easy to clean.
Natural stone is a durable, low-maintenance building material that can be used to create beautiful pieces in commercial settings. It is versatile and comes in various forms, colors, and patterns. From marble to slate, the options are endless when it comes to natural stone, and it is easy to find the perfect stone for whatever project you require.