It seems like these days natural stone has been pushed aside for man-made products that boast durability and ease of maintenance. These are both wonderful qualities that benefit the homeowner for obvious reasons but, what if you love natural stone? Are you supposed to feel guilty for wanting it-and even daring to install it? I’m here to officially give you permission to use natural stone in your remodel.
Let’s be honest, there is nothing like the REAL thing. And even if that porcelain tile looks like marble you know and I know that it isn’t. Those quartz countertops that “mimic” marble pale in comparison to the real deal, no matter how much they insist it is “realistic”. If you’re a purist (like me) and appreciate the character and beauty of natural stone then you have every right to use it in your project!
Now let me be real with you for a moment. Stone has its shortcomings, but if you love it, like anything else you love, you accept those shortcomings and work-with-reality. Stone can etch, fade, and wear over time, it is a living product, not a static one. It will patina, it may chip, it may even stain if you don’t care for it properly.
Natural stone should be sealed upon installation and resealed periodically (every 5-10 years) you should never use harsh or acidic chemicals to clean your stone. Use a stone cleaner and or warm water and dish soap with a soft cloth. Wipe up anything that could stain as soon as possible. And bear in mind the stone will patina. Next time you’re in a train station, church, museum, or bar with natural stone, look at the patina and the wear and see if you appreciate the nuance and beauty of it. Traffic in your home should be lower so this will be an extreme example.
You must treat your stone just as you would any other luxury item in your life. You wouldn’t toss your Prada suit in the wash- you’d take it to the right dry cleaner. You wouldn’t service your Lamborghini at jiffy lube- you would take it to a certified mechanic, and you wouldn’t treat your natural stone like it was vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain.
As I said before if you really, really love natural stone, then go for it! If durability and low maintenance are what is most important to you, then opt for a man-made alternative. It all comes down to what you value and what aesthetic you desire. AMEN