Understanding Reclaimed Stone

There is a large emphasis on using not only natural materials in the home today, but also on using green or eco-friendly materials as well. In cases like stone where the material must be cut from the ground, some homeowners find it more environmentally conscious to purchase reclaimed stone, rather than new material. Reclaimed stone has a beauty, patina, and history that new stone won’t have right away, but it also has some other considerations that homeowners need to be aware of before purchasing it.

Reclaimed stone is any material that has already been used in another setting. Old farmhouses in France are a very popular source for limestone pavers, for example, and many people wanting an environmentally friendly stone paver for their home will choose these. The pavers may have been in use for a hundred year before being pulled up and shipped to their new location, and because stone is so long wearing, the pavers often have another hundred years or more left in them.

The biggest problem with using reclaimed stone comes from the fact that you can’t be 100% sure of what you’re getting. Each lot is very unique, and most of the lots need to be purchased sight unseen, so you may think you’re getting gray Beaumaniere Light, when you get dark orange Camargue instead.

The other issue concerns lot size. If you need more stone than the source you’re getting it from has, you may need two or more lots. Each of these lots could be radically different from one another, necessitating a dry layout and blending of the stones to help even out the color differences. At the same time, if you need more stone later on to make repairs or add on to a room, you may not be able to find the same stone again.

Finally, reclaimed stone may have stains or wear patterns that cannot be removed. These are part of the beauty of the stone, but homeowners who aren’t expecting this may be surprised or disappointed.

Using reclaimed stone is a beautiful way to get natural stone into your home in an environmentally conscious way. Be aware, however, that you need to keep an open mind about the stone you may be receiving, and be prepared to embrace whatever it is.

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