A form of limestone, travertine offers the classic veined and variegated patterns of tumbled stone for a warm, comfortable look; its soft, earthy hues maintain a strong connection with the natural world. Travertine is distinguished by its pitted surface. People using travertine will often fill these small holes with epoxy for a smoother look; others choose to ignore them, enjoying the antique, weathered appearance the stone acquires over time.
Soapstone, like marble, is a metamorphic stone, although it cannot be polished to marble's high sheen. It can also scratch and gouge like marble, but its natural resistance to chemicals, acid, water and heat has made it a favored kitchen countertop for hundreds of years. Sanding is recommended to remove scratches. Applying mineral oil tends to deepen soapstone's color to a rich, veined, charcoal gray.
Over recent years slate has found its way out of its blackboard, pool table, roof tile stereotype to become a new contender for interior use. Slate is almost completely non-absorbent and non-porous so that, unlike most natural stones, it does not require sealing, making it ideal for use in wet areas such as showers, patios, drives and pools. The stone is available in a wide range of colors, and typically comes with a matte finish