The environmentalists of the stone architecture industry are figuring out ways to use their resources to continue their efforts in improving Mother Earth. It has been discovered that a lot of stone design companies are disposing of tons and tons of excess rock every year. In other cases, homes are being knocked down or renovated where the stone used in the design will be thrown out. When this happens, the stone inevitably goes into landfills.
Why does this matter? When we dispose of granite, whether it’s extra unused material or the byproduct of a house or building, we are throwing away money. As clients, we spend a lot of money to install granite fixtures in our homes be it countertops, floors, fireplaces, or stone accents. Stone is a precious resource for many reasons.
Stone is durable, indestructible, and ultimately a very valuable material in construction and interior design which is why it comes with a price. Given that it is indestructible, that leaves little reason to throw it away into a landfill where it will sit and take up space. The money and time you put into constructing with granite will be buried in the landfill right next to the granite itself when it’s thrown away.
Recycling granite is the newest thing to hit the stone design industry. More and more industry experts are catching on to the notion that saving unused granite and reusing it is creating a new industry in and of itself. Recycling granite vastly decreases the amount of it going into landfills and recreates the product into new countertops, floors, pathways, fixtures, and structures. Consequently, new jobs are created. Employees and businesses are needed to gather, build, sell and install the recycled granite.
As more people learn of these opportunities, the recycled granite industry will begin to benefit many people. The more companies that embrace this practice, there will be more jobs created and an improving economy. Most importantly, the cost of recycled granite is more affordable than the original product. Instead of throwing money away, use it to benefit the environment, the economy and your wallet.
Going Green seems to be the latest and greatest way to do just about anything these days. Using natural stone in interior design and exterior home construction is just another way of following the trend. Many people will tell you that there’s countless benefits of using natural stone products like being environmentally friendly, beneficial to our health, and durable; but one question that doesn’t get addressed enough is, “How?”
- Environmentally Friendly- Opting to use natural stone rather than synthetic material can benefit the environment in many ways. In its natural state, it does not require the use of energy or power for production. As a result, pollution is not generated in the creation of natural stone, and we’re saving energy for the Earth. Natural stone also has a thermal mass which naturally insulates, saving energy that would be needed to cool or heat a home.
- Durability- Rock is known for its indestructible qualities. When choosing between construction materials, keep in mind the ability of stone to withstand rain, wind, snow, hail, fire and heat. Further, when stone is used to build interior structures like countertops, it is not easily scratched, stained, or burned.
- Health Conscious- The natural state of stone means that no chemicals or synthetics are added to it. We should always be conscious of the material we’re using to build the place in which we live. This is the atmosphere in which we’ll spend a lot of our time and the air we’ll be breathing each day. Using natural material, especially stone, will lower our chances of ingesting airborne chemicals and having long-term health effects.
- Cost Effective- Considering its durability and the negative health effects we’re avoiding, we are saving money as a result. In the event that your kitchen counters or floors are made of a damageable product, you will inevitably find scratches and stains that you’ll need to spend money to fix. Also, breathing in contaminated air from synthetic material inside the home may result in paying for doctors visits and prescriptions. Meanwhile, using a natural, indestructible product will lower the chances of these scenarios.
It’s no secret that granite countertops are all the rage for kitchen and bathroom interior design. Durable, low maintenance, eco-friendly, and heat-resistant, granite offers countless perks to homeowners and tenants. Incorporating stone features into your home adds value and style to any living space, so why stop at granite?
There are some especially amazing stones to transform into countertops that are comparable to granite; case in point- quartz and onyx. Aside from their appearance, quartz and onyx are very different from one another. What makes one of them great is opposite of what makes the other great. Here are the details of each, and you can draw your own conclusions.
Quartz is a stone that holds a lot of similarities to granite. It is low-maintenance, carries a natural stone appearance, and is virtually indestructible. There are a couple of major factors setting quartz apart from all other stones, however. Quartz is manufactured from a mix of mostly quartz stone and a bit of polymer resins rather than molded from stone slabs. Also, it can be created in just about any color imaginable. This is a huge factor for customers.
It’s indestructible factor eliminates the possibility of stains, and opens doors for warranties. It’s also not porous at all, leaving the countertops much more sanitary than those that can soak up bacteria. This is something you can’t get from other stones.
Onyx is an elegant, translucent stone that is rare and exclusive in its availability. Onyx can be known to be fragile and require more upkeep. The gain, however, is the beauty and rarity of onyx. It is more expensive, but it’s justifiable solely based on its luxurious appearance.
Given that it is a more fragile stone, a more careful consideration is given to the onyx product chosen for homes ensuring its quality. Of all of the stones used for interior design, onyx is used most commonly for its aesthetically pleasing qualities rather than its durability. Who doesn’t like living life on the edge for the sake of the best countertops in town?
When spouting off all of the great things about your home, granite usually tops the list especially in reference to countertops. If you’re not adding granite countertops to your kitchen, consider yourself late to the party. On the other hand, granite holds a lot of value and will therefore increase the value and appearance of your home. Why should we limit that to just kitchen counters? Here are some alternate ways to use granite throughout your home.
- Floors- These days, carpet is growing more scarce in some cases and is only found in the bedrooms. Living rooms, kitchens, entryways, and dining rooms are adapting a smoother, more solid texture. Not only are non-carpeted floors easier to clean, but they give a sleek finish to the interior design. Granite floors, or even just granite accents to a stone floor, provide elegance and taste to any floor.
- Basin/Sink- Kitchen countertops aren’t the only ones to embellish in the house. Bathrooms are another style-driven, household room that people tend to put a lot of detail and work into. Whether you’re hoping to mold just a basin or the entire countertop, granite is a great way to go. Just as in the kitchen, it provides sophisticated detail while its neutral colors leave plenty of room for creativity and decor.
- Fireplace- Your home’s fireplace also doubles as an altar of sorts, in that while it’s burning, everyone is turned towards it and hoping to receive its warmth. Fireplaces tend to be areas in the home that we want to put a little extra work into. Using granite to form a fireplace mantle– or even a decorative mosaic on the mantle– is a great way to incorporate a beautiful, stone finish.
- Backsplash- While we know countertops usually take the cake in granite usage, what if we switched things up a bit? The backsplash is another very significant kitchen feature. In pinpointing all of the ways granite is a good candidate for countertops, we can say the same for backsplash. Challenge yourself to get creative by leaving granite off the countertops and instead incorporating it into the backsplash for a memorable and distinct kitchen.