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Shading in Natural Stone

Shading in Natural Stone

Shading in Natural Stone is an inherent and desired characteristic. Let’s get that point across very early in this post. Like snowflakes and people, it is safe to say that no two pieces of stone are exactly alike. Even if two slabs were cut from the same block the visual results will differ. Therefore, we suggest that all stone users should celebrate and embrace these variations by turning them into the focal point of a design plan.

First, let’s review what produces these variations. No matter how you twist it, turn it, or spin it, they are a product of nature. According to the  Natural Stone Council, “many things affect the ultimate graining and coloration of natural stone including underground springs, mineral deposits, earth shifts, temperature, natural solutions in the earth, and pressure these elements receive over time.” Although man attempts to emulate nature’s creativity, “there is no way to duplicate these naturally occurring factors in a laboratory.” These conditions produce the unique veins in marble and the grains in granite. These veins vary in shape, size, concentration, and thickness, and thus create movement. Stone can be fine, medium, or ccoarse-grained creating variations in texture.

Regardless of the genesis, it is important to know how the marble, granite, limestone, or other natural stone will look when it is in place. Let’s consider a few points to aid in the thought process.

  • Color: The range of color available in natural stone may be the opening for any conversation on the product. After all, color is one of the single biggest factors in any design scheme. Beyond basic beige and white, there are values of brown, gray, green, yellow, peach, black, rose, blue, etc., etc. Each color family ranges within itself to produce even greater character.
  • Size: The size of the stone element and the space it is covering is significant. The tile shape can both minimize and maximize shading.
  • Lighting: This may seem obvious….but sometimes not so much! Shading is easily influenced by lighting conditions, so be mindful.
  • Location: Perspective matters. Think about how you’ll be seeing the stone. Floor? Wall? Top? Consider this point, please.
  • Pattern: Pattern makes natural stone visually interesting. What impact do you want the stone to convey? Are you looking for something subtle or more dramatic? Pattern and shading can play well together or they can conflict and clash!

Shading in natural stone implies a certain degree of integrity. Thanks for reading.

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