What are the common types of natural stone?

Here is some helpful information about common types of natural stone and considerations for using as tiles in your home.


Note: All natural stone needs to be sealed before it is grouted or used to avoid staining. 


Marble is characterised by veins running through the stone and is available in a wide range of colours. It is soft and more prone to scratches and staining. It is available in slabs or tiles and is recommended for interior use only. Most commonly used for bathrooms, fireplace, benchtops and commercial applications such as feature walls. Marble always requires a stone sealer.


Limestone has a very uniform look, texture and structure. It often features fossils and shells and ranges in colour from light beige to grey and brown tones. Limestone is very porous so requires a sealer. It is suitable for use on floors and walls.


Travertine is a form of limestone and comes in various colours ranging from light creams and browns through to red tones. The stone can be cut in two directions that create quite different and distinctive looks. The classic vein cut has a very linear grained effect and has pits in the surface, that may be filled by the manufacturer. The cross-cut travertine has a more consistent, uniform background with a movement that almost looks clouded. This stone requires sealing and is recommended for bathroom floors and walls and outdoor tiling. 


Granite is the hardest natural building stone available. It has a very dense grain which makes it durable and stain resistant. Maintenance is low due to its stain resistance, scratch resistance and colourfastness. Colours range from light neutrals to pure black. Granite is suitable in all applications.


Sandstone is a very soft stone, available in warm off white and mostly used as pavers. Sealing is required.


Slate has a naturally textured surface which makes it non slip. This can be used inside and outdoors and is often used as fire surround. Black slate is common but it is also available in grey with earthy brown and green tones.

To learn more about natural stone vs. ceramic and porcelain tiles, and the range that TileHaus carries, read our blog here.