granite and marble wine barYou have many options when it comes to beautiful, long-lasting natural stones for your home. Slate, granite, marble, quartz-based stone, and limestone, just to name a few. Choosing a natural stone for your home is a very personal decision, much like selecting wallpaper or artwork.

While there are scores of natural stones to consider, some are better suited than others for particular uses in and around the home. This guide can help you explore your options and offer guidance on the right stone for the right home project.

Factors to Consider in Selecting a Natural Stone:


Natural stones are available in a beautiful spectrum of colors. Colors in granite and marble, for instance, can range from soft beiges, pinks and classic black-and-whites to rich corals, greens and multi-colors. Marble traditionally features swirls and “veins” of colors, while granite has a flecked or pebbled appearance.
Unlike the repetitive sameness of materials produced by machine or assembly line, natural stone’s naturally varied appearance has wonderful character and creates a one-of-a-kind effect everywhere it is used.


Natural stone can be polished, honed, or flamed for a distinct appearance:

  • A polished finish has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and marking of the stone.
  • A honed finish is a satin-smooth surface with relatively little light reflection.
  • A flamed finish is a rough-textured surface.


The harder the stone, the more it resists abrasion. One measure of a natural stone’s strength is its Measurement of Hardness (MOH) rating, on which 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest. On the MOH scale, most marbles rate “3” and quartz-based granites rate “7.” Using a softer stone simply requires the homeowner to use gentler cleansers and more frequent dusting to prevent scratching.