Gray is the latest darling of the natural stone sample requests we at SPI are receiving from architects and designers. I’m confident the Gray push is not being driven by a popular book series but rather by the complex subtleties and richness found in natural gray stones.
Gray comes in a variety of stone types such as limestone, granite and slate. The most prevalent requests are Gray limestone. The color palette ranges from a light silver gray to shades of bluish gray. Some may be more consistent with light veining and grain movement such as Indiana Gray or a stone with lots of movement like Jura Gray which has a gray background with dark grayish blue veining. For the softer side of gray with dimension is Azul Bateig which is soft gray with subtle dark gray/bluish swirl movement.
The typical gray granites will always have some additional colors such as black, white, or tan as part of their pattern. Gray can also be create from black granites based on the applied finish. One architect wanted the look of flannel gray (think men’s slacks). The perfect solution was taking Absolute Black and sandblasting it which created a soft, monochromatic flannel gray tone with a textured finish. Another client desired a gray stone with reflective elements as it was going to be installed alongside metal panels. Impala Black granite with a sandblasted and brushed finish brought out the sparkle of the stone and the color combination was a hit.
I could go on and on about the individual nuances, shades, grain patterns, and richness of the many gray stones but the bottom line is…… Gray is a player in the building design community.