Is Natural Stone Too Expensive?

Natural stone is beautiful and comes with a certain cost. But the question is: how much? Generally, natural stone is used more for external projects due to it being pricier than internal products like timber, vinyl or carpet. Sure, natural stone can be used for internals, but this will depend on your budget. 

The major advantage is that natural stone will last the test of time – sometimes even longer than the home that it was built around.  The trade-off is between the initial investment and how long it will last compared to other alternatives like ceramic, porcelain, concrete and timber. 

The installation of timber may be a similar cost to stone installation but requires much higher maintenance. Timber has to be re-oiled every 6-12 months and re-sanded every five to six years, depending on the wear and tear from its surrounding environment. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are cheaper to install but must be on a concrete slab. The disadvantage is that if something heavy falls on these tiles, they may break and require replacement.

Over the long term, natural stone can be more cost and time effective than other alternatives. For example, we recently spoke to a client whose poolside sandstone had been around for 40 years. That is quite a long time and suddenly now, the initial investment in stone can sound quite promising. 

Advantages of using natural stone can include:


Essential for outdoor projects. Natural stone withstands the constant exposure to elements like weather, animals, children and gatherings over time. Other alternatives may last, but perhaps not as long as stone would.

Colour consistency over the long term

Good quality natural stone will remain a consistent colour over many years. Think about it this way: the stone is thousands of years old, so what’s a few extra decades? Sure it may go slightly lighter or darker over time with the surrounding environment, but the colour should remain the same.

Natural stone can also increase the value of your home. 

Like any renovation, increasing the functionality of the space, installing better quality materials, and giving the space a facelift can all add to the value. Effective enhancements may include patio areas, walkways, stairs, feature walls or driveways.

One factor to consider with quality, is pricing. Poor quality material will be cheaper than good quality material. This is one reason why there could be a significant price difference with the same material between different suppliers. Travertine is a perfect example of this price difference. Travertine by nature does have holes, however the poor quality travertine will have larger and more frequent holes and good quality travertine will have fewer and smaller holes. There is more in “Everything you need to know about Travertine ”.

Another cost to consider is sealing. We recommend that all stone should be sealed to help prevent against staining. Sealing the stone also helps with cleaning and maintenance. The product we recommend is called “Drytreat Stainproof”. It is a one-time application and lasts 15-20 years. Different brands will have varying lifespans before needing to be re-sealed. Make sure to check this before making a decision. There is more on this in the article “Does Stone Need To Be Sealed?”.

You may think that natural stone is out of your budget, but it is good to weigh the cost of the other alternatives, their lifespan, and the maintenance that is required. Over the long term, stone may be a more affordable option.