Quality and quantity of the stone chosen are important as these will affect the cost of your build or renovation. Considerations:
Finish will be determined by the purpose of the stone and the type of stone chosen. Marble can be polished to a high gloss whereas sandstone cannot. A marble vanity in a bathroom would look appealing with a high gloss, whereas an outdoor, sandstone area would be better left matt or textured to enhance slip resistance. A low sheen finish is practical for a high traffic area, whereas a high gloss is ideal in a low traffic area and in a shower. Considerations:
Maintenance is an important consideration, as it will determine the true cost of the stone. If the correct stone is chosen with an appropriate finish, cleaning and maintenance will be manageable and affordable. If the wrong stone and finish are chosen maintenance could be costly and ineffective. If design aspects override practicality then maintenance costs must be budgeted for. A high gloss finish may be desired on a marble floor in a foyer with high foot traffic therefore the cost of regular polishing or resurfacing must be taken into account. Marble benchtops subject to etching from acidic substances and staining from oils may need more regular polishing to retain its appeal. Considerations
Kitchen areas are subject to constant spillage of acidic substances so they require stone that is hardwearing and resistant to absorption. Marble will etch with acidic substances, which are often found in the kitchen. Granite is scratch and heat resistant, virtually non-absorbent once sealed, resistant to most chemicals and a better choice for the kitchen than marble and limestone.
Bathroom areas are subject to the build up of soap scum, oils, dirt and mineral deposits from water so they require stone that is fairly resistant to absorption and can be easily cleaned. Smooth surfaces such as polished marble, limestone or granite are ideal. The size of the tile is also important, particularly where drains are located. Small tiles are more easily laid when the fall towards the drain is steep.
Outdoor areas will weather if exposed to constant sun, rain, pollution and chemically treated pool water so a stone that wears well, is slip resistant and has a matt finish such as sandstone is ideal.