What is natural stone?


Editor: Sarah Leeming (27/10/21 6.11:45)

With everything that has happened in the last 18 months, many of us have put our heart and soul into improving our homes and gardens. This has either been the place that we have loved or hated during the many lockdowns! With travel being effected for many of us, any disposable income has seen many of us updating or even redesigning our homes and outdoor space!


Faced with an exciting decision to improve our living space, it can also become a daunting one, with so many options! Cost is always one of the main factors, especially when undertaking any bigger project. Not wanting to pick the wrong material, ensuring that what we choose doesn't date and will stand the test of time, is also things that we think about! Many of us will only be able to redesign our home or garden once, as this mammoth task can often work out expensive!

As a supplier of natural stone, we wanted to put together a guide to help you. We believe by understanding the science behind natural stone will help you to fall in love with this beautiful and unique product. 

So what is natural stone?

Ethan Mason offer two different types of natural stone paving, sandstone and limestone.
Sandstone is made up of many layers of sedimentary rock and debris that has been compressed together over millions of years. This stone is then ethically quarried from the ground and cut into paving slabs. Our sawn sandstone range is polished, which creates a smooth surface. All of our paving is calibrated, making them easier to install.

Limestone is known as a 'softer' natural stone, this does not mean in strength, it just means in appearance. Limestone has been formed from marine particles and debris and because of this has more of a rustic appearance. 

This natural material is naturally porous, meaning that liquids etc.. will soak into the stone easy. 

Natural stone contains a natural alkali. This is a natural element that attracts external dirt and algae particles, namely from its surrounding environment.

Every natural stone paving slab is different! No two paving slabs are the same! So this important to bear in mind if you are looking for a paving solution that is more uniformed - because natural stone is far from that! You can see this from the different blend or mix of colours, the veining or patterns that appear within each paving slab. 


Because each paving slab is different every paving slab's internal ‘structure' will be different. This means that naturally some paving slabs will be more porous than others, .i.e. some will soak up water quicker than others and other paving slabs will be naturally more dense than others, meaning that some paving slabs will hold rain water on the surface for longer eg. puddles. 


All natural stone contains iron. Some ranges will naturally have more iron content than others, ie EM Silver. The iron will only become apparent if any acid product is used on the paving (we highly recommend that this never happens) and the harsh wet/cold weather draws the iron to the surface of the paving. This will appear as a rust staining on the surface of the paving. This is nothing to be worried about as this is a natural occurrence and can be removed using the appropriate stain removing solution. 


Where do we source our paving?

All of our natural stone paving slabs are ethically sourced from Kota in India. Our fantastic network allows us to provide our customers with premium natural stone paving. We believe that it is important that you always consider where your natural stone has been sourced from, and that the paving you are purchasing is fit for purpose!

Ethan Mason natural stone adheres to the BSEN 1314 (British standards for paving) and are tested for Density, Porosity, Water Absorbency, Flexural Strength, Compressive Strength, Slip Resistance, Abrasion and Frost Resistance, so our paving will stand the test of time!

Is Natural Stone expensive?

You will find that natural stone is not an expensive product. When taking on any garden make-over project the installation of the paving will be where most of the cost occurs. Many people do attempt to install the paving themselves to keep costs down, however, we would always advice that you do your own research and seek professional guidance before undertaking such a complex task.

Is there any disadvantages to purchasing natural stone?

Many people love natural stone because of its uniqueness and beauty, however because it is a natural product it will require a higher level of maintenance and cleaning. However, saying that, most materials used externally will require some level of maintenance because of the harsh weather within the UK. 

Fall in love with Ethan Mason Natural Stone

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