Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Best Stone Floors for Bathrooms

Stone flooring is one of the most popular materials for use throughout the home, including in the bathroom. Many people worry, however, about using natural stone in a damp environment like the bath. And while it is true that in some cases stone may etch or stain if used or cared for inappropriately, there are many other instances when natural stone can be the perfect flooring for the bathroom.

Hyde Park Victorian

The key in using natural stone in a damp area, is understanding when and where problems may arise. For example, using a polished marble on the floor of a bathroom used by young, potty training children may result in etch marks on the floor due to the acids in urine. For homeowners in cases like these, a honed stone may be the better fit. Likewise in the shower area; people who like to dye their hair dark or funky colors may find that a light colored marble or limestone floor will absorb the color over time, while a dark granite floor holds up better.

With these few examples aside, however, natural stone can make a great flooring for the bathroom area. Stone is naturally slip resistant due to the many pores on its surface. Impregnating sealers used to help keep the stone from staining also increase slip resistance, making stone a great choice for slippery areas.

Stone is also extremely versatile, working well in a number of bathroom styles, such as:

  • White Thassos quartzite on the flooring of an all-white bath
  • Blue Celeste quartzite for a water-themed room
  • Black and white octagon and dot marble mosaics for a retro bathroom
  • Silver travertine for an exotic or spa themed bath
  • River stones for spa and Zen-style bathrooms
  • Verde Luna for a wild, contemporary bathroom done in natural colors

In addition, all white marbles work particularly well in small bathrooms, keeping the area light and visually open.

If you’re looking for a beautiful, versatile flooring for your bathroom, consider natural stone to do the job.

Gray Granites for Your Kitchen

Gray is the hottest color in interior design at the moment. Together with its partner color, greige, gray is turning up everywhere from floors to walls to cabinets, and now even countertops. The appeal of gray for interiors is the fact that it’s neutral, yet pairs so well with a number of other shades and tones. Gray can be warm or cool depending on its undertone, and works well with blue, green, brown, white, and black, giving you lots of options for the rest of your décor. If you’re thinking of going gray in your new kitchen design, consider one of these gray granites for the counter.

University Park Remodel

A lot of people don’t associate granite with the color gray, thinking instead of either marble or soapstone. And those that do think of granite often also think that they need to use a honed Absolute Black to get the color. This is not true, however; there are several beautiful gray and greige granites that can add a lot of character to your design.

Antique Ice is a light gray granite with a lot of visible quartz and some white veining. It has a large granular pattern, which adds some interest, and a cool undertone to help it work with white cabinets or a cool-toned wall color.

Bianco Antico is a granite that falls closer to the greige end of the gray spectrum. A mix of gray and gold tones, this granite will help you stay neutral, while adding warmth to the design. Pair it with natural cherry cabinets for a beautiful contrast.

Gold and Silver granite makes a nice choice for homeowners that want something a little bolder in their kitchen design. Predominately a light silver-gray in color, it has a dark, rich golden brown vein running through it. This granite will work well with natural wood cabinets, white cabinets, or a mix for a more modern design.

If you want a truly neutral granite, consider Silver Gray. This cool-toned gray stone is threaded with white veins, perfect for an otherwise white kitchen that needs a little depth.

Think of these granites for your kitchen if you’re embracing the new gray trend and get a beautiful stone to complement your design.

The Best Stone Flooring for Mudrooms

More and more homeowners are turning to mudrooms as a way to contain outdoor belonging and make the transition to the indoors easier for everyone. With cubbies, benches, and lots of storage the mudroom is the hottest room to have in the house right now. With all the coming and going, however, as well as the type of use the room is sure to get, you need a flooring that will hold up to the abuse that’s sure to come. For that reason, many people look to natural stone as the durable, attractive choice for the room.

LAKE ELMO GREEK REVIVAL FARMHOUSE

Not all stones are created equally, and not all stones will be appropriate for use in a mudroom. Some softer stones such as limestone or marble may etch, stun, or scratch over time, which can detract from the look of the room. There are many other stones, however, that are perfect for use in the mudroom, hiding dirt and wear beautifully, while blending right in with your style.

Slate tile is one of the best materials out there for the mudroom, particularly multi-color slates from India, China, or Brazil. These naturally cleft, ungauged tiles have a multitude of colors in their surfaces, so they hide scratches, dirt, and other wear. Any minor marks that do show up are easy to remove with a little mineral oil, and the number of different sizes and colors available means that you can easily create a unique flooring that matches your décor.

Flamed granite is another good choice for mudroom floors. Flaming removes the weaker particles from the stone’s surface, so what remains is incredibly hard and durable. The light texture of a flamed stone means that the floor will be non-slip, ideal for those who live in wet or icy climates. Any granite can be flamed, but the most common stone to find in this finish is Absolute Black, which has a deep, uniform gray color when flamed, perfect for contemporary homes.

For those that want a more worn or country look for their mudrooms, consider tumbled travertine. While technically a limestone, travertine’s naturally porous and hole-filled surface means that it hides wear and dirt better than other stones. Choose a dark-colored stone like Travertine Noce in any size or shape to create a mudroom floor with a lot of character.

Stone flooring is beautiful and can last for years when properly maintained. Complete your mudroom with a stone floor to get the style and the durability you need.

Using White Marble in a Neutral Design

Increasingly, more homeowners are beginning to turn to white for their kitchens, looking for a clean, neutral backdrop for their kitchen design. And with a white kitchen, comes the desire to use a white countertop as well to help achieve the look. While there are many white granites available, however, nothing quite matches the beauty of a neutral white kitchen the way that marble does.

Miami Glamour

White marble has a softer look than granite, both because it is a softer stone by nature, and because of the way that the veins move in marble versus the more crystalline look of granite. Whether you choose a classic Bianco Carrara with soft gray veins, or you want something a little warmer like an Imperial Danby, white marble matches the look so many homeowners are looking for when they choose to install a white kitchen.

The key to truly utilizing marble in this space, however, and getting the soft, neutral look that you’re after is to contrast it with a few dark tones in the space. This is because the combination of white cabinets and a white counter can often lead to a sterile look if not balanced in the right way.

One method of balancing the white marble may be to use a dark-colored hardwood on the floors. This will make the marble seem to float in contrast to the darker plane below it.

Another method may be using a darker-colored counter on an island in the center of the room while the white marble is used on the perimeter. A walnut wood counter, for example would add the contrast, making the marble look crisper and cleaner by association. Or, if you want a more subtle look, using a gray marble such as Bardiglio can offer some balance without a stone contrast.

More and more people are turning toward white kitchens as way to create a neutral design. Complement your white kitchen with a white marble countertop to complete the look.

Mixing and Matching Stones

There are a lot of different types of stone available for flooring, counters, and walls. And choosing one does not need to mean forgoing the others. Many people like to mix two colors of the same stone, such as two colors of granite on kitchen counters or two colors of marble for a bathroom floor, but it’s equally fine to also mix types of stones as well. Mixing and matching the stones you choose for your home can add a lot of versatility and interest to a space.

Historic St. Paul Kitchen and Mudroom Addition/Renovation

The kitchen is a great place to mix stones, particularly if you’re a baker. For the perimeter countertops that see a lot of use, opt for more durable granite. Then for the island counter, consider a softer marble that’s perfect for rolling out pie crust dough.

The key to mixing the two stones is to make sure that the colors stay complementary to one another. For example, if you love the classic look of Bianco Carrara marble, opt for a gray or black granite for the perimeter such as Pietro or Absolute Black. Or, if you enjoy color, consider Costa Esmerelda granite with a softer Ming Green marble. Just be sure that you coordinate the actual slabs, as natural stones do have a tendency to vary in color, tone, and saturation.

It’s also possible to mix varying stone tiles as well. In this case, why not have some fun with finish as well as with the stone? For example, a naturally cleft slate pairs beautifully with a polished marble, as the light will hit the two stones differently, letting the marble shine. Consider adding a border of marble mosaics to a slate entryway to dress up an otherwise rustic floor.

Or, if you’re opting for a style with more variation, consider mixing a wide range of different stones in all the same size and finish. For example, a fun bathroom floor might include octagons of Absolute Black, Bardiglio, Blue Celeste, and Ming Green for a mix of granite, marble, and quartzite that has depth, interest, and a lot of color.

Consider mixing and matching your natural stones to add even more depth, beauty, and versatility to your home.