21 Jul 2023
In a world filled with continually evolving design trends and materials, there’s been a radical shift towards natural materials. Unsurprisingly, natural stones are finding their way into most building and landscaping design trends of 2023, owing to their timeless allure and distinctive characteristics. From ancient architectural marvels to modern-day masterpieces, natural stones such as Travertine, Sandstone, Limestone, Marble and Granite have always held a special place in the building and construction industry.
However, there is a significant difference when it comes to premium quality natural stones and their standard or commercial counterparts. This difference lies in the surface quality, density, durability and overall aesthetic appearance of the stone. In this blog, we will establish why investing in premium quality natural stones takes the crown over substandard alternatives, and how can it be a game changer in transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary.
Natural stones are extracted in sizable quantities in different parts of the world. The quality or grade as it is commonly called, distinctly varies with the place it is quarried from.
Presently, three different grades of natural stones are available in the market- premium, standard and commercial, each with its distinctive qualities and characteristics.
As the name suggests, premium grade is the finest and most premium quality natural stone. It has the most consistent thickness and colour variations and a uniform appearance overall. Premium quality stones have minimal and smaller pores and can be used both indoors and outdoors in different finishes. In a honed and filled finish, it is popularly used in indoor areas such as kitchens, living rooms and office lobbies whereas in a honed and unfilled finish, it is a preferred choice for outdoor settings for patios, alfresco and pools.
Standard-grade natural stone is also described as second-grade stone. In terms of characteristics, it has an imperfect surface appearance with bigger pores and less colour consistency all through the stone. Although the thickness and cuts are uniform, additional fillers or finishes are required to enhance the appearance. While installing, this quality of stone requires more grouting to achieve a unified and neat appearance. Standard-grade natural stone is commonly used in large-scale industrial projects or sprawling landscapes. This quality of natural stone is not the preferred choice for homeowners.
This is referred to as the third-grade quality of natural stone and has inherent flaws. The cut and density of the stone are inconsistent with large visible pores on the surface. This grade of stone has many design limitations and requires supplementary installation and maintenance costs. A polished or honed finish is difficult to achieve on this surface as the stone has a highly rugged natural finish. It is unfit for indoor use and is more suitable for outdoor spaces. However, it is the cheapest quality and homeowners do not prefer to use it.
Natural stones are the epitome of nature’s true artistry, and premium quality natural stones are the best example of her beautiful craftsmanship. These stones are meticulously hand-selected after numerous levels of rigorous quality checks resulting in quality, consistency and minimal porosity that cannot be replicated artificially. When it comes to premium quality natural stones, whether it's the intricate veining of Marble or the tough appearance of Granite, each stone has a story to tell, adding a touch of authenticity and natural grandeur to your design space.
On the contrary, commercial or standard-grade stones lack the unique patterns, veining, and colour consistency displayed by premium stones, often appearing with large pores and a mediocre exterior.
The extraction and processing of premium quality natural stones involve the highest level of craftsmanship. From quarrying the large blocks of stones to cutting and finishing them into perfect slabs or sleek tiles, each step demands meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that every stone meets the highest quality standards.
On the contrary, stones that fail to qualify for the quality benchmarks are further segregated into standard and commercial quality depending on the number of defects and flaws.
One of the foremost reasons to invest in premium quality natural stones is their exceptional durability and longevity. These natural stones are sourced from the finest quarries and undergo comprehensive processing and inspection. As a result, they are remarkably resilient and hence ideal for high-use areas and outdoor applications such as patios, walkways, pools and gardens. With minimally visible pores, these stones have a dense and robust structure that is built to last and withstand the rigours of outdoor areas. Moreover, they require minimal maintenance to retain their beauty and structure for decades, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
On the contrary, commercial or standard-grade stones have thousands of open pores that absorb relatively more water and moisture when installed outdoors. This weakens their structure over time and makes them prone to chipping or crumbling.
Premium natural stone has its distinct character, where each piece of the stone tells a unique story. Whether used in flooring, landscaping or feature walls, premium stones impart a distinct personality to every space. The organic and consistent variations in colour and the effect of natural veining give these stones depth and personality and help you design remarkable spaces.
In contrast, commercial or standard-grade stones display extreme colour variations, with large size pores and lack the visual impact that makes each piece unique.
While the initial cost of premium-grade natural stone is higher, it is a long-term investment for your property with benefits that far outweigh any short-term savings. Premium quality stones do not require any extensive installation costs and can retain their density, durability and appearance for years, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements.
While commercial or standard-grade stones may seem like a cost-effective option in the beginning but require high installation and maintenance costs eventually. Since the surface appearance of the stone is not as appealing as the premium quality, they need various finishes and processes to conceal their flaws. High amounts of mortar and grout are used during installation to set the stones in place. Moreover, due to their average structure and density, they require frequent maintenance and repairs, proving to be a costlier option in the long run.
When you invest in premium natural stones while building or renovating your property, it significantly enhances its value. The rich appeal and timeless elegance of these stones make any space more attractive to potential buyers. Premium-grade stones not only add value but also leave a lasting impression on everyone who witnesses their allure. By choosing premium natural stones, home and business owners can enjoy a higher return on investment and earn a competitive edge in the real estate market.
In the comparison between premium quality natural stone and commercial or standard-grade alternatives, the former emerges as an evident winner in every aspect. From timeless beauty to superior durability to excellent craftsmanship, premium quality natural stones offer an array of benefits that set them apart from their counterparts.
Investing in premium quality natural stones is a wise decision that transcends fleeting design trends and any short-term savings. It not only raises the aesthetic value of a space but also adds immeasurable worth to the property. By choosing premium quality stones, builders, landscapers, designers and homeowners can ensure peace of mind along with stunning and lasting project results that stand the test of time.
*Disclaimer: All information and advice given above in the blog are to the best of our knowledge. Please reconfirm at your end before execution.