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Author: Stonehunter

Designing with Surface Finishes: Elevating Aesthetics and Functionality


In the realm of interior and exterior design, surface finishes play a pivotal role in enhancing both aesthetics and functionality. Whether you’re designing a home, commercial space, or outdoor environment, the choice of surface treatments can dramatically impact the overall look and feel of a space. In this blog, we’ll explore the art and science of designing with surface finishes, highlighting how these choices can transform ordinary surfaces into works of art. 

The Significance of Surface Finishes

Encompassing a wide range of treatments applied to materials such as wood, stone, metal, concrete, and ceramics, serving several essential purposes:

  1. Enhancing Aesthetics: Surface finishes can add texture, color, and pattern to surfaces, elevating their visual appeal. They create visual interest and contribute to the overall design style.
  2. Improving Safety: Some finishes, like non-slip coatings on floors, a bush hammer, or sandblasted stone finish, enhance safety by preventing slips and falls. These finishes are especially crucial in commercial and public spaces.  
  3. Adding Functionality: Surface finishes can also enhance functionality by making surfaces easier to clean, more resistant to scratches, or more suitable for specific tasks.

Popular Surface Finishes

  1. Honed Finishes: Honed surfaces have a matte or satin appearance with a smooth texture. They provide a subtle elegance and are often chosen for countertops, flooring, and bathrooms.
  2. Textured Finishes: Textured finishes add depth and character to surfaces. They can range from subtle patterns to dramatic textures, such as Etruscan Texturetm, providing visual interest and tactile appeal. Textured finishes are popular in wall coverings, pavers, tiles, and exterior cladding.
  3. Anti-Slip Finishes: These finishes prioritize safety, especially in wet or high-traffic areas. They incorporate slip-resistant materials or textures to reduce the risk of accidents. A bush hammer surface finish is ideal for residential or commercial step treads.

Design Considerations

When designing with surface finishes, consider the following factors:

  1. Design Style: The choice of finish should align with the overall design style of the space, whether it’s modern-contemporary, traditional, industrial, or eclectic.
  2. Functionality: Determine the intended use of the surface. High-traffic areas may require more durable and easy-to-clean finishes, outdoor step treads will require a more textured finish for safety purposes, and decorative elements, such as accent walls, can benefit from unique textures and patterns.
  3. Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance required for the chosen finish. Some finishes may need regular cleaning and sealing, while others are virtually maintenance-free. For example, we don’t recommend a bush-hammered surface for interior flooring because it is difficult to clean inside.  Outside, it can easily be hosed off.
  4. Color and Material Compatibility: Ensure that the finish complements the color palette and material selection in the design. A harmonious combination enhances the overall aesthetic. When a natural stone surface is bush-hammered or sandblasted, the stone becomes lighter in color. 


Designing with surface finishes is a multifaceted endeavor that blends aesthetics, functionality, and practicality. These finishes have the power to elevate the look and feel of interior and exterior spaces, making them more inviting, safe, and durable.

Whether you opt for polished elegance, natural authenticity, or textured character, surface finishes offer a wide array of design possibilities. By carefully considering the style, functionality, maintenance, lighting, and material compatibility, you can harness the transformative potential of surface finishes to create spaces that are both visually captivating and highly functional.

Gothicstone Surface Finishes
Chart – suggested finishes for the various landscape applications
Cream travertine mini split face building facade veneer
Split Face

Travertine Tile Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between travertine, limestone, and marble?

Limestone is the youngest of all these stones. Limestone is a sedimentary stone usually found in ocean beds. Typically, limestone is not interesting, however, most of the buildings around the world (i.e.: Washington, DC, Empire State Building) have been built with sedimentary limestone. It is the most common building material in the world. Travertine is a type of “morphed” limestone, but it is created from Artesian wells which means lime has been deposited by water. Travertine is an excellent use for any indoor or outdoor area because it never gets hot (no metal content in the stone), it is twice the strength of concrete and is non-slippery. Travertine is durable for any application both commercial and residential – it is about 50 million years old. Marble, on the other hand, is about 100 million years old and is perfect for the same applications as Travertine. Since marble is older, it typically will be “veinier” and less “wild” than the travertines.

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Introducing Terrazzo pavers to our product line offering CUSTOM DECOS and sandblasted LOGOS which can be specified for any size project and to accommodate any size budget.

This is NOT “poured in place” Terrazzo…. which is quite common, on elementary and high school floors back in the day and big in institutional construction implementation. Terrazzo materials are available for commercial, institutional, and residential projects.

Finishes, Custom Decos and Logos

ADA-compliant products are also available in a multitude of colors and formats. Standard surface finishes are polished, sandblasted, and honed. Any design can be submitted. Below are some of our popular “stock” options.

Examples of our Terrazzo Pavers

A LARGE COLOR selection is available other than what is shown below.


CONTACT US for a quote and/or to discuss our Terrazzo Pavers

Reference: Terrazzo Wikipedia

SALE: Grey Limestone Pavers and Tile in stock!


SEAHAZE SEAtm Grey Limestone Pavers-TileTreads-Coping

  • SEAHAZE SEAtm Limestone 18x36x2cm, $3.99 /SF
  • SEAHAZE SEAtm Limestone Treads-Coping, 12”x48x5cm, $13.00/SF
  • SEAHAZE SEAtm Limestone Treads-Coping, 16”x48x5cm, $14.00/SF

In stock and ready to pick up at our Bridgeport, PA warehouse or we can arrange delivery. Limited availability while supplies last.

Also, Special pricing on ALL project orders placed before August 15. Delivery 8-10 weeks.

Contact Us for a quote or to discuss your project.


Everyone Loves Bluestone

But not all are created equal!

Gothicstone SEAHAZE SEAtm is a Bluestone quarried in the Atlas Mountains of northern Morocco. Several other countries quarry Bluestone, like Belgium, Germany, France, Vietnam, China, and the USA. By comparison, the notable difference between PA/NY Bluestone and SEAHAZE SEAtm is that SEAHAZE SEAtm Bluestone is characterized as a limestone whereas the PA/NY Bluestone is characterized as a sandstone. And, typically, limestones stay cooler than sandstones.

8 Reasons to choose Gothicstone SEAHAZE SEAtm Limestone for your bluestone pavers.

The Technical Differences

  1. Limestones typically stay cooler than sandstones. Therefore, an additional benefit to using SEAHAZE SEAtm Bluestone over the PA/NY option for copings, pool decks, or any outdoor hardscape areas.
  2. PA and NY Bluestones are quarried from sandstone deposits. And commonly suffer from chipping, delamination, and flaking due to the way the deposit is formed in striated sedimentary layers.  The striations (layers) do not commonly occur in limestone deposits.  For this reason, the SEAHAZE SEAtm limestone is easier to work with and will retain its natural beauty without the delamination issues that can be quite common with the PA and NY Bluestones.
  3. Due to many of the advantageous technical characteristics of limestone plus a more exacting manufacturing process, SEAHAZE SEAtm Limestone is often less expensive to implement compared to Bluestone originating from PA and NY.
  4. These Limestone pavers are greater than 5,000 PSI compressive strength. They can be used in most industrial applications.

The Aesthetic Differences

  1. We produce extra-large format pavers which are available according to your specifications. Example sizes are 18×36, 30×30, 24×48, 48×48, and varying thicknesses according to your project needs (2cm/3cm/4cm/5cm/6cm/7cm, etc.). We work with you to determine the best thickness and surface finishes for the best technical and aesthetic balance in your hardscape design.
  2. These limestone pavers cut beautifully and are processed with more precision and accuracy than the typical PA and NY Bluestone processing plants can produce. The resulting aesthetic is the ability to “butt install” the pavers or tile without extra-large grout joints.
  3. All SEAHAZE SEAtm products are available for your patio, pool deck, driveway, interior stone flooring, and general building projects are pavers, slabs for countertops and wall caps, step treads, block treads, coping, cladding, tile and driveway pavers or cobblestones.
  4. Finishes varieties: Suregrip Moleskintm – a mechanically sandblasted surface; Etruscan Finishtm – bush hammered with a mechanically sandblasted secondary finish applied; Tumbled; Honed; Bush Hammer – mimics the ancient art of point chiseling/texturing the surface of the stone.   A great combination of textural visual aesthetic and tactile interest without being too aggressive, and yet it significantly raises the coefficient of friction (for those who have that concern); Micro Bush Hammer – a finer more delicate version of the above. 


Contact us for your free project value engineering consult.

Blogs that may be of interest:


SEAHAZE SEA Limestone 30x30x3cm Project Inspection
SEAHAZE SEA Limestone 30″x30″x3cm Pavers


Gothicstone produces custom stone solutions – the piece parts of the whole project are produced together for a turnkey solution. No more trying to figure out what pool coping, treads, or wall caps will go with your pavers. Consequently, with our distinctive selections of materials, colors, surface finishes, and sizes, we can easily personalize your client’s outdoor living spaces.

We collaborate with our clients from cradle to grave

We collaborate closely with our clients from cradle to grave. In other words, we work with our clients every step of the way to ensure their success and the success of their projects. Therefore, in all projects, we make sure that we understand where the material will be used and how installed so we can make recommendations for size, thickness, and surface finish.

Free value-added consulting services

Many clients have designs or complexities in their projects that require an expert source for the best ways to engineer a solution. Gothicstone provides free value-added consulting services.  For instance, we assist in planning, designing, selecting, value-engineering, and installing techniques for natural stone.

Custom stone solutions example

A Tennessee client wanted a particular grey color stone for their lower pool deck, outside entertainment areas, and house-level patios. We consulted with the general contractor, pool builder, and architect to determine the size of the large format stone to produce. Consequently, through reviews of drawings and discussions regarding installation methods, we recommended 30″x30″ pavers. Subsequently, this size paver minimizes the number of cuts and wastes across the 6500-square-foot project.

It was cost-effective for the client for us to produce 3/4″ stone for the upper patio areas (wet-set installation). Similarly, we produced 1 1/4″ paver thickness for the lower pool and entertainment decks that were going to be dry set. With the size of the pavers being 30″x30″, the thinner pavers were going to be a lot easier to install! A bush hammer surface finish was added to the 30″x60″ steppingstones for an optimum non-slip finish. Grate drainage pavers, for water overflow, were added to match the pool deck pavers. The copings are 40″ in length and the outdoor shower slabs were cut to exact custom sizes for easy installation.

Contact us to start the conversation about your next project and how Gothicstone can help you achieve your goals!

Silver Travertine Color Selections

Silver Travertine color selections are typically a mixture of light and dark silver-grey with beige and white colors. Gothicstone is promoting two Silver Travertine selections for better project specificity. Silver Travertine Toadflax selection is the mix of the quarry, as mentioned above, and the Silver Travertine Gunmetal selection which is all silver and grey with little if any beige or white. Both selections have lots of movement in the stone – it is primarily the coloration that is the difference.

Silver Travertine color selections make a difference for your project!

Specializing in custom project productions, we think it is critically important to have the best selection of materials, surface finishes, and custom sizes of pavers, treads, copings, wall caps, countertops, and cladding so we can produce exactly what you need for your client’s project.

See our complete product portfolio of materials, colors, surface finishes, and applications.

Radius Coping, Treads, and Wall Caps are not custom for us!

Just send us the drawings! The dimensions range from 6×12 to 24 x 72 (or higher) but we produce according to the project requirements so, about any size is possible and standard in our productions.

Smart Solutions

We specialize in ‘smart solutions’ designing safety (in particular, surface finishes with a high coefficient of friction) into the implementation and end-use of our products. New surface finishes such as Micro Bush Hammer, SUREGRIP MOLESKINtm, Hand-Chiseled, and, Etruscan Texturetm add soft and subtle interest without changing the material itself.

Cleaning & Sealing Natural Stone – Limestone, Travertine, Marble

Cleaning and sealing a natural stone (limestone, travertine, or marble) pool deck or patio is less maintenance than its wood counterpart.  Stone sealer and cleaner products are very high-tech and require minimal maintenance to keep your natural stone looking like new over the years.

Cleaning natural stone on a regular basis:

  • Use any non-caustic degreasing agent (mild dish or hand soap) mixed in warm water. Agitate/scrub with a broom.
  • Use Stain Proof Alkaline Cleaner, formerly Oxy-Klenza™,
  • Power washing with residential strength power washers (ie: 3000 PSI or less) is recommended. 

Minor restoration cleaning (mild surface etch):

This treatment will renew the original look of the stone surface and make the color ‘pop’ and is only recommended occasionally (maybe once every several years). Not in lieu of regular cleaning.

  • Dilute muriatic acid 10 parts water to 1-part store-bought muriatic acid.
  • Hose down the entire stone surface.
  • Pour diluted mix and move it around with a broom or rag mop – consider doing it in 10-15 square foot overlapping sections.  Don’t let it sit in one place without moving and agitating it.  The acid will neutralize after 10-15 seconds. Be sure to follow all safety procedures (eye protection, rubber gloves, etc.) as with any caustic material. However, this weak solution of diluted muriatic acid will not attack the skin under normal circumstances.  Additionally, after 10-15 seconds of contact with the stone the acid will be neutralized (100%, more or less) and not harmful to plants, shrubbery, pets, etc.  
  • Finish by rinsing the surface with clean water.

Sealing natural stone when dry-set installation:

For a dry-set installation, it is not necessary to seal the stone.  However, sealing the stone with a high-quality penetrating sealer does provide some attractive benefits.

  • If you choose to seal the stone (to prevent staining that can naturally occur with any masonry product) we recommend ICP brand products; ‘Stain Proof’ sealer and cleaner products.  Please be sure to follow all recommendations stipulated on this page for optimal results:  
  • Another benefit is the additional ‘locking in’ effect that the sealer has on prolonging the natural coloration of the stone. Over many years, the stone can fade slightly due to acid rain and other environmental factors. 
  • NOTE: Do not use concrete paver sealers – they are formulated as topical sealers. They can be very slippery and appear as an undesirable shiny coating on the surface.  Furthermore, the topical coating traps moisture. It doesn’t allow the stone to “breathe” (which is important for all natural stone products). 
  • NOTE 2: If you choose to purchase sealers from a “big box” retailer, be aware that (even within the same brand name) you will get a lesser quality product. The “big box” retailers force the manufacturers to make less expensive (lower quality) versions for them under the same brand labels. 

Sealing natural stone when wet-set installation:

  • It is best to seal the stone BEFORE grouting as the sealer also acts as a “grout release” and will make the grouting process faster and easier.
  • Please be sure to follow all recommendations stipulated by the sealer manufacturer. If using Stain Proof, please follow the recommendations on this page for optimal results:  
  • NOTE: it is important that you do not use concrete paver sealers! They are formulated as topical sealers. It can be very slippery and appear as an undesirable shiny coating on the surface.  Furthermore, the topical coating traps moisture. It doesn’t allow the stone to “breathe” (which is important for all natural stone products). 
  • NOTE 2: If you choose to purchase sealers from a “big box” retailer, please be aware that (even within the same brand name) you will get a lesser quality product, as the “big box” retailers force the manufacturers to make less expensive (lower quality) versions for them under the same brand labels. 


We do not receive financial compensation, nor do we bear any responsibility for the use (misuse) of these recommended brand products.

Direct inquiries to:

Outdoor Pavers

With a history in building and value engineering, we can facilitate the requirement for large quantities of outdoor pavers in home remodeling and commercial projects. A supplier for hundreds of projects over the past 25 years, we can offer expertise in the selection and application of natural stone tiles and pavers.

A Source for Outdoor Pavers, Countertops, and Tiles

Our staff is available to discuss any size custom project. Engineers will be able to answer questions about order amounts, value engineer considerations, and suggested installation considerations. We recommend grout, sealant, and preparation of surfaces, as well.

Choose limestone, marble, or travertine outdoor pavers to complement other building materials, home decor, and even the surrounding environment. Discuss your other construction applications such as driveways, outdoor kitchens, and/or retaining walls with us for optimum design and value engineering.

Natural Stone is a top choice

Natural stone outdoor pavers are becoming a top choice in pool deck flooring for their quality look and easy care. Limestone, marble, or travertine pavers give any pool area an upscale appearance that will last for decades. Consider matching pool coping, wall caps, and stair treads for further visual continuity. About 12 different surface finishes are available in our product portfolio to enhance the textural or aesthetics of the project.

Likewise, kitchen remodels are a primary design consideration for both indoor and outdoor cooking and entertainment. Each area can incorporate floor tile or pavers, countertops, and a fireplace facing the same material. Limestone and travertine are tested for up to zero degrees Fahrenheit. No chipping or cracking when used outdoors.

Gothicstone produces natural stone to your specification for optimum design and value engineering. We offer more than 300 choices of building products to satisfy important components of your project. 

Check out some of our projects for ideas.  

Some of our most popular materials and colors.

Concrete Pavers vs Natural Stone Travertine Pavers……You Decide!

10 Reasons why select Natural Stone Travertine, Limestone, or Marble Pavers vs Concrete Pavers.  

#1 REAL natural stone travertine pavers are less expensive than faux-stone concrete look-alikes….and have a much better look and enduring life span.
#2 ASTM* Tested – twice the strength of concrete.
#3 Stays Cool Underfoot unlike man-made products or slate.
#4 Great for all exterior (pools, patios, driveways) and interior spaces (kitchens, bathrooms, countertops, basements).   Copings, treads, and wall caps are all readily available in various thicknesses.
#5 ASTM* Tested – high co-efficient of friction for a non-slip surface.
#6 No Maintenance – no need to seal or coat (especially, if dry-set pavers).
#7 ASTM Tested for freeze/thaw compatibility in northern climates.
#8 Retains its natural beauty forever! (They are over 50 million years old).
#9 Does not scuff or degrade like patterned concrete or stamped asphalt surfaces (asphalt and concrete get extremely hot).
#10 Fashion-forward look with timeless beauty.


Limestone is the youngest of all these natural stones, a sedimentary stone usually found in ocean beds. Typically, limestone is homogeneous in color and most of the buildings around the world (ie: The Parthenon, Empire State Building, Lincoln Memorial, Pyramids, The Great Sphinx) have been built with sedimentary limestone. It is the most common building material in the world. It is a great choice for a more contemporary or modern design. It has 5000+ compressive strength and is great for all applications, including driveways.


Travertine is a type of “morphed” limestone, but it is created from Artesian wells which means lime has been deposited by water, which is why Travertine has such a varied movement in the stone. It is about 50 million years old. Travertine makes an excellent natural stone material choice for any indoor or outdoor area because it never gets hot (no metal content in the stone), it is twice the strength of concrete, and is non-slippery. Travertine (and limestone) are durable for any application both commercially and residential.


Marble, on the other hand, is about 100 million years old and is perfect for the same applications as travertine and limestone. Since marble is an older natural stone material, it typically will be “veinier” and less “wild” than the travertines. Like all stones, marble is used for interior flooring, wall veneer, pool decks, patios, driveways, and wall cladding in both commercial and residential applications.

Check out our colors, surface finishes, and applications