There is little doubt that natural stone makes a beautiful hearth for any home’s fireplace. Grit stone, limestone, travertine, sandstone and fossil limestone are all common natural stones that hearths can be made from.
Commonly natural stones are machine cut to manageable common sizes and sold for this purpose and other similar ones. Often, the same companies that cut the stone for your hearth can also cut thinner natural stone tiles to go on window sills and other accents around the home to compliment your natural stone hearth.
Different Natural Stone Looks
Often times people think of haphazardly placed stones when natural stone hearths are mentioned. Although roughly laid irregular natural stone is a look that many love, it is not the only option. Natural stone hearths also include smooth sculptured single piece hearths that appear to be all carved out of one large stone. These offer a completely different look and feel to a home than that of the haphazardly stacked stones that some of you first imagined.
Look online or at your local building supply store for different types of natural stone hearths. You may be surprised at the number of different designs and options available.
Making a natural stone hearth for your home can be a do it yourself type job for the experienced DIY person but, be warned, it is not for the novice average home owner. You need to have some workmanship skills with stone mortar and or tile to do such a job. If you have no experience in such matters, you should probably leave this job to the professionals. There are many companies that will come to your home and do great work.
Hiring a Professional
It is best to know something of a contractors past history when hiring for such a job. Ask to see their portfolio. A skilled stone layer who is proud of his work and has the proper experience will no doubt have a photo album full of pictures of past work that they have done.
If you search for a skilled laborer online, many will post their portfolios online with many pictures of past jobs they have done. Look at their work and ask questions about certain ones you like and see if they sound like they know what they are talking about. Make sure they just didn’t copy the picture from someone else’s site.
Make sure the professional is certified and insured. A sure sign of an amateur is when they have no insurance. You can also become liable when an uninsured worker becomes injured on your property. A big mistake!
Picking a Stone
When choosing a particular stone for your fireplace hearth, there are a few things to take into consideration. The first is color and texture. You want to choose a color and texture of stone that mathces the rest of your room. Or do it the other way around.
Some people will choose the hearth stones first and then design the rest of the room around it. A natural stone hearth can be a strong center focal point to your room. That is why sometimes it is best to choose the rest of the room accents based on the hearth.
Limestone: Limestone is a very earth stone that has been used for many decades inside of home for fireplace hearths, window sills and around doors. Limestone is normally finished by honing or sand-blasting. It is usually not polished, has a uniform color and a porous texture.
Granite: Granite stone comes in a wide array of colors. It has a very solid, speckled look to it. While granite can be used for hearths, it is a much more versatile stone that can also be used outdoors and in a larger number of applications around the home. It is a very sturdy stone.
Quartz: Quartz maybe consider less of a natural stone as it is partially man made, but is made of all natural materials. It is composed of about 50% quartz and limestone and sometimes other natural stones. It gives a more consistent color and texture than that of granite.
Marble: Marble often comes in an even wider range of colors and offers beautiful, highly sought after veining that gives it its unique look that only marble has. Part of marbles splendor is in its irregularities. The inconsistent veins and patterns in the stone offer something interesting to look at. Marble has been used in homes for centuries and has become a symbol of status and class.
Being one of out favorite subjects on this site, we could go on forever about different type of stone and their application, care and designs, but that is enough for now. We have covered the four basic types of natural stone available and hopefully given you some inspiration to seek out new and fun ideas for your home’s natural stone hearth.