Over the past few decades, natural stone has quickly become one of the most popular building materials for home renovations as well as new build amenities. Whether it be for countertops, showers, backsplashes, patios or other features, stone has consistently been a solid investment. However, with that popularity comes a fair share of myths and misconceptions that we just hate to see floating around out there without proper context.
So here are a few common myths as well as some realities to keep in mind when considering natural stone for your new build or home improvement project:
1) It Stains Easily:
While staining is a big concern when choosing any building material – especially for countertops or floors – it isn’t as big an issue with stone as some might lead you to believe. Worst case scenario, lifting and removing most stains is a pretty simple process if they do occur, and they are easily prevented by maintaining a proper seal on your stone – which will also help with other headaches in the future that we’ll cover below.
2) It Won’t Last:
This is a confusing one to hear. Won’t last compared to what? The wooden beams that will eventually succumb to either moisture or dry cracking? The concrete foundation that will eventually crack? The stone used to make your countertops didn’t form over the past millennia under intense heat and pressure just to break down over a few decades of use inside your home.
The truth is that natural stone is one of the most durable building materials you can choose for your home, as evidenced by the ancient architecture still standing today in places like Greece and Egypt for us to admire.
3) It All Looks the Same:
Whether you’re looking for a solid neutral color or something more vibrant with an interesting pattern, there are virtually endless possibilities to be found in natural stone like granite or marble. Depending on the mineral content, you can find slabs of stone in surprisingly vibrant shades of red, green, blue, pink, and just about every combination of brown, tan, grey, black and white that you can possibly imagine.
4) It Isn’t a Good Investment:
Natural stone has consistently remained in high demand over the past few decades, and can even be the deciding factor in a sale. One of the first lessons of real estate building and investing is that the best value comes from investing in the kitchen. Watch one of the many house hunting shows on TV and you’ll see that as a consistent theme, along with the fact that natural-stone countertops and features are almost universally held in high regard.
5) It’s Hard to Maintain:
You ever hear the saying that the best defense is a good offense? That is definitely the case with stone countertops. While it’s difficult to harm the structural integrity or functionality of your natural stone, it is possible to stain or dull the surface through etching or hazing.
While granite, marble and travertine are certainly tough materials, acidic chemicals like vinegar, wine and lemon juice can chemically etch the surface, marring that stone’s finish. By using a properly formulated sealer, you’re giving your stone its first line of defense against these issues to help ensure that it stays looking good for the lifetime of your home.
By remembering to seal your stone and using specially formulated stone-safe cleaners like Granite Gold Daily Cleaner®, a simple daily or weekly routine is all you need to keep your stone looking its best for years to come.
6) It Won’t Stay in Style:
Being that stone has been used in design and construction for thousands of years, it’s difficult to imagine that it will suddenly fall out of favor over the next few years. In fact, due to increases and advances in mining, we’re seeing more and more natural stone being used in new builds and remodels due to its wider availability.
Natural stone is about as timeless a building material as we can think of – both in terms of style and longevity. How many wooden ancient Greek buildings do you see around?
7) It’s Too Expensive:
Many homeowners assume that stone is out of their budget. While granite, marble, slate and travertine are certainly high-end building materials, their cost has dropped considerably in the past few decades. This is largely due to quarries opening up in previously overlooked areas, such as Brazil and other South American countries.
This is in stark contrast to the belief many hold that marble and granite can only come from Italy, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. These days natural-stone slabs are falling in line with manmade, engineered materials like quartz or even some laminates and tile.
Have more questions or concerns on how to care for your natural stone? Consider reaching out to our team of stone care experts with more than 50 years of stone-care experience at 1-800-475-STONE. Be sure to check out our full line stone care products to make sure you’re doing your natural stone justice.