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Using Stone Inside vs. Outside: What’s the Difference?

Interior vs. Exterior Stone | Imperial WholesaleStone is a common material used in many home renovations. It’s a popular material because it complements any room and any area quite nicely. For example, stone looks great on an accent walls in living rooms, on exterior fireplaces, and even surrounding pavers leading up to the home.

However, before putting stone in any area of your home, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Specifically, it’s important to know the difference between using interior vs. exterior stone. Follow along as we reveal what you need to know about the two.

What is stone?

Before jumping into the difference between interior and exterior stone, we thought we’d first set the stage as to what stone is. Stone is a material that many homeowners are drawn to. It’s a material that’s reliable, durable, and easy to maintain.

When many people envision stone, they picture something that encompasses a rustic feel, much like our Rustica Collection. While this is accurate, stone equates to far more than this traditional setting. Today, stone is divided into four different categories:
  1. Sedimentary stone
  2. Metamorphic stone
  3. Igneous stone
  4. Man-made stone

1. Sedimentary stone

Sedimentary stone is formed from organic elements such as glaciers, rivers, and plants. The most popular sedimentary stone you’ll see for home remodels include limestone, sandstone, and travertine.

2. Metamorphic stone

Metamorphic stone begins as one type of natural stone and is then transformed into another stone through the process of heat, pressure, or minerals. This transformation causes a crystalline formation, which changes the stone’s texture and color. Common metamorphic stone includes marble and slate.

3. Igneous stone

Igneous stone originates from volcanic materials, such as magma. When magma arises from beneath the Earth’s surface, the liquid transforms into a stone after cooling, which is referred to as igneous stone. The most popular igneous stone for home renovations is granite.

4. Man-made stone

Man-made stone is made exactly like it sounds—by man. Man-made stone is made of materials that aren’t found within nature, including stone chips and cement.

Using stone outside

There’s a variety of outdoor stone available on the market, and many that’ll work with the design and feel of your home. How are you to select the most appropriate stone for your project? That’s where we can help. When using stone outside, we recommend considering the following:
  • Hardness
  • Durability
  • Porosity
  • Non-slip


Exterior stone should be hard and dense. Stone that’s too thin or fragile may break, chip, and wear down from the heat of Arizona’s sun. Granite is the hardest natural stone. It’s very resilient and has been shown to stand the test of time. We also recommend using slate or travertine. Slate and travertine are hard materials that are common for exterior flooring. Plus, they’re both visually appealing, as no two slate or travertine stones are alike.


Similar to hardness, it’s also important to pick an exterior stone that’s durable. If the stone is going to be placed in an area that’s uncovered, make sure it’ll be able to withstand falling tree branches, wind, rain, and excessive heat. Porcelain and concrete stone are both great, durable options.


When installing stone outside, make sure your materials aren’t too porous. If stone is too porous, it’ll absorb water from your pool, rain, and other miscellaneous spills. This causes the stone to wear down over time, something that’s avoidable with non-porous materials.


Finally, we recommend considering exterior stone that’s made from non-slip materials. Non-slip materials provide comfort and safety to you and your guests, assuring there are no accidents around your pool deck. We recommend stone that have a lot of natural texture, as the texture provides great grip. In addition, stone that is small in size that require a lot of grout provide a non-slip surface because the grout works as a texture.

Using stone inside

On the other side of the equation, there are certain things to keep in mind when using stone indoors. We recommend taking the following criteria into consideration:
  • Location
  • Color
  • Texture


Stone has a harsh nature about it. The look of it will most likely take over the design of any given room, which is why location for interior stone is key. Take time to envision how stone will change the look of your room. If you’re alright with the stone taking center stage for your room’s design, we’d say you’re ready to install.


When incorporating stone inside, it’s also important to think about color. Many natural stone have a (yup you guessed it) natural color to them. This includes colors in the clay and brown families. If you’re comfortable with this coloring throughout your home, natural or sedimentary stone is right for you.

If you’re not the biggest fan of natural stone colors, we recommend incorporating man-made stone and stone that have a lighter color to them. Also, consider using a very light color grout. These elements will help lighten up the design of your room, without having to sacrifice the look or quality of your materials.


Finally, take texture into consideration when installing stone indoors. Natural stone with an organic, rigid texture are beautiful. They help make a statement in any given room. However, they may not be the best type of stone to install on your floors or your countertops. For example, texturized, stone floors can cause you to trip or stub your toe. Similarly, texturized countertops can become frustrating when your cups, bowls, and dishes won’t seem to stay put. Be sure to think this through before installation.

The final verdict

Stone looks great anywhere. It’s a durable, reliable, and aesthetically appealing material we recommend to many different homeowners. However, before incorporating stone on the interior or exterior of your home, it’s important to carefully consider a set of criteria for both locations.

Remember, exterior stone should be hard and durable, but not porous and slippery. On the other hand, interior stone should be placed in an ideal location, in the right color, and with the right texture for it to be the star of the show.

With that said, if you’re ready to begin your home renovation, contact us at Imperial Wholesale. We’ve been in the flooring industry for more than 40 years and know the ins and outs of stone. We’ll help you select and install the perfect stone for any occasion and location, whether interior or exterior.