The luxury choice of stone for many is still marble, however a lot of homeowners are starting to now ditch this precious rock for other substitutes. Why? Because whilst marble may look the part, it’s got a few physical flaws that don’t make it the best practical choice when it comes to countertops, floors and bathroom fixtures. It scratches and stains easy, causing it to age poorly. On top of this, it’s also expensive. If you’re looking to add stone to your home, here are a few alternative materials that are certain to provide both aesthetics and practicality.
Another high-end choice of stone, granite offers a durability that’s unmatched. Unlike marble, hot pans won’t leave a mark – neither will it scratch easy. Granite is most often used for countertops due to its toughness. Its major drawback is that any glassware or ceramic crockery that you drop on it will instantly shatter. Other countertops may be more forgiving and let objects bounce, but drop something fragile on granite and it’s unlikely to survive.
Concrete may be most commonly linked with ugly outdoor construction, but when used in interior design it can often be a luxury material on par with marble and granite in appearance. Concrete’s main advantage is that it’s totally man-made and can be moulded into any shape and dyed to match any shade. On top of concrete fixtures, there are all types of furniture out there such as concrete tables. Concrete is also an excellent material when considering a heated floor. It can however feel very hard underfoot and is prone to cracking over time.
Quartz generally has a white appearance like marble. Similarly expensive, it has any properties that marble doesn’t such as being non-porous and scratch resistant. Those looking for an easy-to-clean version of marble may be best off choosing quartz. It does however easily mark when exposed to a hot pan or baking tray, which is something to look out for.
Soapstone is most easily identifiable for its milky, powdery look. It’s one of the softest stones to touch out there and is very easy-to-clean, making it great for bathroom fixtures and flooring. Being soft, it is however very easy to scratch and dent making it less appropriate in a kitchen. It’s much cheaper than stones such as marble and quartz however, making it a good choice for those on a tight budget.
Slate is another popular choice of stone. It’s most often used for roofing and is non-porous and easy to clean. It can be ideal for flooring, offering a rustic feel. It’s also very affordable compared to other stone types. Like soapstone however, it’s not very durable and is prone to splitting and chipping. This can make it less effective as a countertop choice, although it can work well in a bathroom.