house exteriors with stone and siding

10 Common Types of Stones for House Exteriors

10 Common Types of Stones for House Exteriors

types of stone for house exterior

There is something unique about stones that makes them one of the best materials for building construction. They are so versatile that they can be used for both the interior and exterior construction of a building.

Construction stones are obtained and processed from massive solid rocks that are usually igneous and metamorphic.

Each rock has different element constituents responsible for the distinct characteristics possessed by each stone. They help to give any building a majestic and elegant look.

And when it comes to choosing the best type of stone for your house exterior, there are a handful of them to choose from. They vary in size, texture, quality, and price.

In this article, we shall be explaining some factors that you must consider before choosing a stone for your exterior and the best types of stones ideal for house exteriors.


Factors to Consider Before Choosing Stones for Your House Exterior

  • Price

Stones are more expensive when compared to other building materials. Marble, granite, and flint are some of the most commonly used and expensive sets of stones. So, you must endeavor to have the right budget before going for any type of stone.


  • Durability

Most stones for construction often provide durability, toughness, strength, resistance against fire, and exceptional beauty that surpasses any other material for house exteriors.


  • Ability to withstand strong climate

Some stones are heavier than others. You have to ensure that the building can withstand the weight of the stone you choose. Strong weather and climatic conditions often have a great impact on some stones. Hence, you must be able to determine the stone that can withstand the climatic condition of the location of your building.


  • Stone type

Even though most stones are natural, some are manufactured. This eventually results in some stones having differences in properties and components when compared to other stones.

These differences are highly concealed that only experts or individuals with the knowledge of these differences can distinguish one stone from the other.

As it is with other building materials, there have been a series of innovative ways to improve the quality, appearance, and other features of different stones. The most important of these innovations is the weight. Transportation of some stones is pretty hard due to their heavyweight, which limits their usage in areas that are farther from where they are.

The advancement in technology has successfully provided stones with finer texture, appearance, and durability, making them ideal for various uses.


Best Types of Stones for House Exteriors

1. Granite

types of stone for house exterior

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This is a very popular type of stone that is commonly used for most building construction. It is one of the hardest stones in the world after diamond.

Granite is largely resistant to moisture, heat, and scratch. This makes it suitable for all purposes ranging from exterior design of houses to interior designs like wall coverings.

It can remain unchanged for years due to its ability to adapt to different climate conditions. Granite gives the exterior of a building a skinny and luxe appearance. This is why people who love to make their houses appear rich and elegant often go for granite.

Houses with granite coverings are highly durable and can be a great investment in the long run because they require low maintenance. Granites are recyclable stones that can be reused for other building purposes in the future.


2. Flint

types of natural stone for house exterior

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It is a common stone used for the construction of churches, farmhouses, and other constructions in England for ages. Its ability to be cut and modified to any pattern makes it ideal for making different designs. This is in addition to its existence in varieties of solid colors such as gray, blue, and black.

As typical of many stones, it strongly resists weathering and, as a result, provides buildings with high durability and toughness against harsh conditions.


3. Quartzite

types of natural stone for house exterior

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This is similar to marble in terms of appearance and strength. There’s, however, a slight difference between them.

The exceptional feature of quartzite is its crystalline sparkling structure. This is evident in its frequency of usage mostly for interior design. It gives a bright sparkling effect when used as wall coverings for interiors and exteriors.

Being one of the world’s strongest elements, it greatly withstands temperatures, chemicals, and stains. Also, quartzite requires very low-cost maintenance because it doesn't easily attract stains or cracks.


4. Limestone

types of stone for house exterior

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Aside from its usefulness as a basement for cement, it is also used for exterior house designs. One special feature of limestone is that it can be cut and sculpted into different shapes due to its fine texture.

It provides comfort to the occupants of a building by reducing heat and cooling off the environment because of its high thermal stability. Another benefit is that it is eco-friendly.

A great drawback of this stone is its porosity. Limestone weathers naturally; it scratches and stains easily. This downside makes it unsuitable for use for certain purposes.


5. Travertine

types of stone for house exterior

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One unique feature of travertine is that it is one of the most beautiful stones that exist in various nice colors like pink, blue, orange, and beige. It is often used for different areas like exterior walkways, and tiled floors.

Travertine has cavities that usually get filled with grout by builders during construction to add to its durability and prevent cracking.  It is resistant to heat, pressure, and wear. As a result of this, it's ideal for frequently used places that generate a lot of heat like kitchens, fireplaces, and swimming pools.


6. Marble

types of stone for house exterior

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Just like granite, marble is a luxurious natural stone used in architecture for elegant interior designs. Marbles are the most suitable materials that can be used to build luxury and prestigious buildings.

They have a translucent and smooth texture that requires extra care during installation. This eventually helps to give breathtaking beauty. The translucency properties give them the ability to transmit light even from a considerable distance, making them ideal for monuments.

Their special feature is having various appearances and colors. Hence, one can make beautiful designs in any form and pattern for different purposes with marbles. They are non-porous; water cannot penetrate them or cause them to disintegrate due to freezing. 


7. Sandstone

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As the name implies, this is simply a form of stone that developed from sand to stone. It possesses a reflective nature that shines brightly when exposed to sunlight. This feature is the reason why people mostly use it for their home exteriors.

Sandstone is effective for use in areas where water is used regularly. This is because it's slip-resistant. It is commonly used in lawns, gardens, and bathrooms. And like any other stone, it is highly durable and strong.

Another unique feature of sandstone is that it maintains its color even under exposure to harsh sunlight. It requires no maintenance cost as it can be cleaned with just plain water.


8. Gneiss

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Distinctly characterized by an uneven distribution of minerals resulting in bands with various widths, gneiss possesses alternating light and dark bands of minerals. The bands can either be straight, chaotic, or wavy.

Its alternating light and dark bands of minerals give it a unique sparkling brightness. The alternating bands appear in different colors such as black and white and black and pink, which are mostly dark or mostly light.

Gneiss is a tough, medium to coarse-grained metamorphic rock that can be sheared into blocks and slabs ideal for use in different building projects. The stone can even be polished to make it more attractive for use as an architectural stone.

Gneiss is widely used for flooring, wall decorations, gravestones, facades in buildings, ornamental or garden decoration, bathroom and kitchen countertops, among others.

Unlike other natural stones, gneiss is not eco-friendly. This makes it unsuitable under certain conditions.


9. Slate

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Slate is widely used for numerous building purposes. It is used for roofing, flooring, cladding, and making billiard tables. It is arguably highly durable and strong. As a result of its weather and pollution-resistant properties, it is widely used for landscaping projects both residential and commercial usage.

Slates can be modified into thin sheets while retaining their strength and rigidity. Their low water absorption property makes them an ideal material for tiles in bathrooms as well as in roofing.


10. Steatite

types of stone for house exterior

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It is also commonly referred to as soapstone because of its soapy touch. The stone naturally exists only in shades of gray colors.

Steatite is relatively more porous than other stones like marble, limestone, and granite despite its soft nature. It is the most ideal stone for chemistry lab countertops because it greatly resists the penetration of impurities that can result in stains. It is equally used for sinks, wall tiles, and other interior uses.

Although the stone is often used for housing and electric insulators due to its high durability, it is one of the best stones for home exteriors.


Why Stones?

Stones are unique natural elements that are widely used in buildings for interior and exterior constructions. They give buildings impeccable and unique beauty. Although many of these stones are expensive, they require low or no cost maintenance in the long run.

Houses that use stones for their exterior decorations are highly durable, have great resistance against unfavorable conditions, and stay intact for decades.

Stones are the perfect building material for exterior house designs, especially when you’re concerned about durability, longevity, functionality, and beautification.

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