While design trends come and go, natural stone remains a timeless and flexible option for many exterior applications including cladding, paving, and hardscapes. It is important to know how the material chosen for an exterior project will perform under a variety of circumstances, conditions, and uses.
From an overall sustainability perspective, natural stone has a lower environmental footprint than precast concrete. This is due to the minimal resources used to quarry, fabricate, finish, and transport natural stone.
Sintered surface is sometimes marketed as sustainable because it contains natural materials. But as you will see from the manufacturing process described below, the use of an energy intensive manufacturing process gives sintered surface a much larger environmental footprint than natural stone.
Porcelain is produced to emulate the beauty and veining of marble. But as you will see, the use of many materials and additives and the energy intensive processes involved in its manufacturing create a much larger environmental footprint for porcelain than natural stone.
Engineered quartz is sometimes marketed as a sustainable, natural material because of the quartz in it. However, as the process of manufacturing engineered quartz depicted demonstrates, that is not the case.
Natural stone adds value to any project through its sustainability properties. Stone—a single-ingredient product — is one of the most sustainable building materials that can be specified.
Learn about the career of a successful stone sculptor, Chris Miller. He enjoys the entire process from design and planning to the physicality of working with natural stone.
In a world of bytes and bites, the next generation of artisans is still studying with mallets and chisels and doing its part to carry over an ancient trade to another century.
The sparkly aesthetic comes from mica minerals, which are nature’s glitter.
Architects and designers can find all they need to know on this resource page from Natural Stone Institute.
Search the archives of technical papers, case studies, and more information published by Natural Stone Institute.
Your source for finding natural stones from North America. Browse by type, color, use, and quarry location.
Members of this trade association conform to a strict code of ethics. The quality of their work meets Natural Stone Institute and other industry standards.
How 2 stone companies foster a love for natural stone among local students.