If you’re considering stone for your fireplace surround, you have a number of excellent options.
Natural stone is one of the most popular materials for fireplace surrounds for a number of reasons. First, because the fireplace is often the focal point of a room, aesthetics are key. Stone fireplace surrounds are available in a wide range of colors, patterns and textures that can match any interior design style.
In addition to design versatility, natural stone also offers a high level of durability. From its heat tolerance, to it’s hard, scratch resistant surface, natural stone can handle the rigors of day-to-day use.
Lastly, value. Natural stone may cost more than low-end fireplace materials, but overall it’s an exceptional value. It will require fewer repairs, it will last longer, and because it is a premium material it can add value to your home.
Here are a few stone choices to consider for your fireplace project:
Perhaps the most popular option for a fireplace surround, granite is one of the most durable materials you can buy. It’s extremely scratch resistant, unlikely to crack or chip, and it has good heat tolerance.
Granite is suitable for gas or wood burning fireplaces. The stone does require regular sealing, but it is relatively low maintenance and easy to care for. You’ll find hundreds of unique colors and patterns in granite slabs, sure to fit any design aesthetic.
Slightly more expensive than granite, and not quite as durable, many people choose marble because of its timeless beauty. It’s an elegant stone that has been associated with quality for centuries.
Marble has excellent heat tolerance and can be used with wood burning, gas or electric fireplaces.
When properly cared for Marble rarely suffers from stains, cracks and chips. Typically available in white, and light colors, marble will require more cleaning than darker stones, such as granite.
Limestone doesn’t fit every design style, but it is a beautiful stone with an earthy, rustic feel. It is also one of the less expensive stone options.
Like other natural stones, limestone is very durable and has good heat tolerance. However, this stone should only be used with electric or gas fireplaces. Like granite, limestone requires regular sealing to prevent stains, but when properly cared for it can handle a great deal of abuse.
Limestone fireplace surrounds are available in neutral colors, often light cream colors or tan and on the darker side light browns, whites and grays.
A durable, hard material, slate offers a darker color options, such as reds, greens, blacks and grays. This option is a little more expensive than limestone, but less than granite.
Slate is typically characterized by an uneven surface, so it has a more rustic look. Slate is resistant to heat, but only appropriate for gas and electric fireplaces, the heat from wood fires can be too intense.
Slate is able to fit almost any design style thanks to the many color and texture options.
If you're thinking about a stone fireplace surround, visit our showroom to see these and other options.
Marble and soapstone are often used in luxury home design. Both stones are suitable for kitchen, bath or bar countertops. While they both offer class and elegance, the color and style of the stones are likely to be the deciding factor for most consumers.
Marble is generally white or grey with darker gray veins. While there are some black marble products on the market, they are less common than traditional marble, and often not available locally. Traditional marble is known for its brightness, and shiny finish.
Soapstone is darker than most marble, and it often darkens further with age. Color choices are limited to the gray/charcoal family. The surface is far more muted, and it doesn’t have the same glossy feel of marble. While soapstone fits well into modern and elegant designs, it is much more rustic and worn in appearance. Soapstone is not used as frequently for countertops as marble or granite, so it tends to give rooms a very unique feel.
Neither of the stones are ideal for heavy abuse. While they are both fairly durable, they are usually selected for their visual impact and style over durability. For high traffic areas, consider granite or quartz.
Marble and Soapstone Comparison
So which will you choose? If you’re going for a more natural look, and like a darker, flatter finish, you’ll probably prefer soapstone. If you design calls for a brighter, more traditional elegance, marble might be the way to go. If you’re in the process of choosing between marble and soapstone, visit our Wichita showroom to browse some samples. Or feel free call us at to learn more about which countertop material might be right for your project.
Granite and Marble are both all natural stone materials, they are similar in many ways.
Marble is a higher-end product that requires more care than Granite, however it offers a timeless elegance that is hard to match.
Visually, the patterns and color variations you see in Granite are small flecks, compared to swirling lines in a Marble. Marble’s color has more of a fluid feel, while granite is more random. Marble offers a cleaner, brighter feel, while Granite is more earthy and modern.
If you’ve narrowed your selection down to Granite and Marble, here’s what you need to know to decide which countertop is right for your home.
The main difference between Granite and Marble for many people is simply about the desire for an elegant luxury product that is more rare (Marble), compared to a more practical stone with less of a high-end feel (Granite). Both countertops are durable, and can last for decades when properly cared for, so either is a great choice.
Generally Marble is better suite for areas that will get less abuse such as bathrooms, accents or areas designed for baking. Granite is a more all-purpose stone that will hold up better in busy kitchens.
However, even though Marble is more expensive and more difficult to maintain. With proper care, it provides a timeless beauty that Granite cannot match. For this reason, Marble is often used in high-end applications. Marble Is known to raise the value of a property. If you’re willing to take the extra care to maintain your countertops, Marble is suitable for most homes.
Granite is more practical for high traffic areas and large families. It’s one of the most commonly used materials for higher-end countertops. While not a unique as Marble, it’s popularity speaks to its quality and durability.
Consider how your family will use your countertops over the years and give us a call if you’d like to start comparing the two products in person. We have a large selection of Marble and Granite in our Wichita showroom. 316-946-0530
If you’re looking for kitchen, bath or bar design ideas, take a look at our Granite and Marble galleries here.
Granite and Quartz are both great choices for a kitchen, bathroom or bar countertop. The two materials are very similar in price and durability, and choosing often boils down to a few personal preferences.
If you’re looking for a more traditional, elegant look or if you like more varied and unique patterns, you’ll prefer Granite. The only cons with Granite are that you have to seal and polish the countertop about once a year, so there are some maintenance costs. High-end and exotic Granite slabs can also be very expensive.
If you want a more modern look, or countertop that require less maintenance, you’ll like Quartz. Quartz countertops aren’t as resilient to heat though, so you’ll have to exercise a little care with very hot objects.
Pricing variations in both types of countertops occur depending how many slabs are required, customizations and the number of cuts required, edge treatments, color and grade.
Granite and Quartz are currently (2019) the most popular countertop material for new homes and remodeling projects in the U.S. Either stone is a great choice and most homeowners are very happy with their selection after they’ve learned which option best fits their home design, budget and lifestyle.
If you’re looking for design ideas, take a look at our countertop galleries, or visit our Wichita showroom to get some ideas.