Thousands of years ago, the Egyptian pyramids that majestically sit upon the western valley of the Nile were covered in limestone. Likewise, architects and stonemasons of the Roman Empire chose marble to line the floors and walls of interior spaces within imperial buildings. These days, natural-stone materials are often found in the most luxurious American homes. At a time when advanced resins and fiberboard materials are increasingly being used to develop tract housing projects, home builders are still using the following stone materials in luxury homes.
Marble is limestone that underwent a geologic process combining various crystallized minerals. Marble floors are the epitome of luxury flooring. They require careful installation and dedicated maintenance, but their regal look makes them worth the investment and upkeep. White marble floors are perfect for rooms and other living spaces intended to impress guests.
Granite is a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom counters due to its attractive and durable texture. This type of natural stone is not as slippery as marble, and granite care is easy to manage.
The rustic look of slate makes it ideal for courtyards, swimming pool areas, summer kitchens, and garden paths. Slate is available in tiled form, but irregular pieces can be used to decorate columns, splashes, and walkways. Reddish slate is recommended for homes built in the Spanish Colonial or Mediterranean Revival styles of residential architecture.
When limestone is cut, sanded, treated, and sealed, the look achieved is shiny and unique, particularly when the outline of seashells and corals can be glimpsed on the surface. Like marble, limestone is very porous and requires special care.
A type of limestone that did not quite complete its metamorphic process to become marble, travertine is crystalline and colorful. Uneven pieces can be used for decorative construction features such as lining columns or back splashes.
When sandstone that is rich in quartz is subject to tectonic pressure, the resulting iron oxide mixes with various minerals to form quartzite, a hard metamorphic rock that can be treated to make shiny floor tiles or cut for a rustic look that is crystalline and attractive. Quartzite quarries are abundant in parts of Arizona, and there are a wide range of colors and designs.
Foyers, sunrooms, and other living spaces that transition from indoors to outdoors are ideal for flagstone flooring, one of the most natural looking textures available for luxury residential construction. Unlike the other stones listed above, flagstone tiles are rarely uniform, and thus they are often chosen by interior decorators who wish to completely transform a room with a bold look.
Bathrooms in luxury homes typically have showers made of natural stone, which needs to be cleaned with a high-quality granite shower cleaner. Granite Gold Shower Cleaner® is safe to use on granite, travertine, slate, and other types of natural stone. To learn more about our stone-safe products and receive tips on natural-stone care, reach out to Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE.