Versatility of Stone
In addition to granite countertops and marble vanities, natural stone is useful in a variety of other uses. The durability and strength of granite allow it to be used in ways that wood, plastic, or even concrete would not hold-up as well. For centuries, granite and marble have been used to make household goods, furniture, and art. These natural stone items have the longevity to outlast their owner’s lifetime. Natural stone including granite, marble, travertine, and onyx have natural properties that allow them to resist daily wear-and-tear while aging gracefully. Stone can also be fabricated in several different finishes making it easy to select the right choice for a particular use or to achieve the right look. In addition to keeping the natural finish, their versatility allows them to be easily polished smooth as glass, honed with an eggshell sheen, or even made rough to help with slip resistance.
Common architectural elements made from solid stone are marble staircases, marble moldings, granite countertops, and travertine tiles. Marble staircases are often seen in historical and governmental buildings. Although many times paired with wood and metal railings, they look stately when completed with marble balustrades and railings along the treads and around the landings. Other architectural elements that add character include marble window sills, marble columns, and marble door casings. Popular interior finishes used in many homes today are granite countertops and natural stone wall tile in subtle-patterned marble, travertine, and limestone.
Products for everyday uses are made from marble and granite. Items such as vases, bowls, tombstones, and pestle & mortars can all be carved from granite. Since they are available in so many different styles and colors, granite and marble are also used in furniture making, especially as furniture tops on buffets, coffee tables, and dining room tables. Many kitchen items are made from marble because it’s dense, easy to clean, and maintains its temperature. Some of the most popular items are pastry boards, rolling pins, handles on serving utensils, and cheese boards. A growing trend in bathroom design are vessel sinks that are mounted above the countertop and can be carved from either granite, marble, travertine, or onyx. Due to the nature of stone, the sinks can then be finished in many different ways to achieve a certain style. Granite vessel sinks can have a honed finish on the inside and a rough textured finish on the outside. Travertine vessel sinks are usually honed both inside and out, and marble and onyx are most commonly polished.
Outdoor kitchen granite countertops are growing in popularity since they hold-up to the weather conditions and are easy to clean. In addition to countertops, granite is used in many other landscaping elements such as pavers, columns, and steps. These built-in granite elements add great value to an outdoor living space or backyard and deliver an authentic sense of nature that concrete does not. Outdoor granite furniture and decorative items wear better in comparison to other materials with its longevity and durability. Some outdoor granite examples would be fire pits, benches, tables, fountains, and sundials. Another natural stone that is popular to use outdoors is marble. Carved marble sculptures done in both realism and abstract styles have been fixtures of gardens ever since man first started carving marble. Granite and marble can be used in a variety of ways that make life easier with its low maintenance and high durability.