Keep your Natural Stone looking like new: The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Natural Stone

When it comes to home or commercial improvements, natural stone is a great investment! You can use natural stone for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications. With simple care and maintenance, your natural stone can last for a very long time.

Before you get ready to clean natural stone, it’s important to know its composition. There are two categories it can fall into; siliceous stone or calcareous stone.

  • Siliceous Stone is primarily composed of silica, another name for quartz. It’s very durable, easy to clean, and acid resistant. The most common types of siliceous stones are used for kitchen applications. Well-known types of siliceous stone include granite, slate, quartzite, soapstone, and sandstone.
  • Calcareous Stone in comparison, is very sensitive to acid. This stone is composed of calcium carbonate and should be cleaned with different cleaning products than siliceous stone. Common types of calcareous stone include limestone, travertine, onyx, serpentine, and various marbles. This type of stone is commonly used for tiles and floors.

The beauty of using natural stone is that it never goes out of style. Follow our complete list of dos and don’ts to preserve the timeless look of your natural stone!


DO use the right cleaning products: Many people are not aware of the chemicals contained in most household cleaning products. Popular cleaning solutions like blue Windex contain ammonia. These types of acidic solutions can lift the protective sealant of your granite leaving it exposed and vulnerable to stains. Before cleaning, check with your natural stone installer or local natural stone expert to ensure you’re using the right product for the job.

DO use coasters for drinks: Just like cleaning products, citric or alcoholic beverages can damage your stone.

Do use cutting boards: While granite surfaces are hard and resistant, you will want to avoid cutting citrus fruits such as lemons or even tomatoes. Their acidic content can damage the sealant on your natural stone, and you can also damage your knives.

DO dust your natural stone surfaces regularly: Dust accumulates on every surface, and natural stone is not the exception. To guarantee your natural stone always looks its best, make dusting part of your weekly cleaning tasks.

DO clean up spills as soon as they happen: While the sealants are there to help protect the stone from getting stained, they will not be able to protect the surface if a corrosive substance is left for a long period of time.

DO use soft brush bristles, cloths or sponges to clean your stone: To avoid damaging your surface or the sealant, it is also very important to use soft products that won’t scratch the surface. Cleaning natural stone should be easy, so you probably won’t need to use strong actions or coarse cleaning utensils.


DON’T use alkaline cleaning agents: This type of cleaning agent contains bleach and ammonia. These products are frequently used for cleaning windows, mirrors, and other kitchen surfaces.

DON’T use vinegar or general-purpose cleaners: Many people use vinegar as part of DIY cleaning solutions. In the case of natural stone, vinegar and other general- purpose cleaners can be just as harmful as bleach or ammonia.

DON’T put hot elements on top of natural stone: While most natural stones such as granite are not damaged by heat, the sealants might weaken if they are exposed to hot elements for an extended period.

Don’t place beauty chemicals on top of your natural stone: Products such as nail polish remover, perfumes, or even hair-dyeing products can damage your surface.

Don’t assume your natural stone is sealed: While it is very likely that brand new natural stone is sealed, it’s always important to check when you purchase. Natural stone that is a few years old, might need to be resealed. 

Making sure you follow these steps can significantly help you improve the lifetime beauty and value of your natural stone. We always recommend you share this checklist of important maintenance tips with the people who will be utilizing and cleaning the areas where there is natural stone.

Sealants can help protect your natural stone, however, since this is a naturally occurring product, each block or slab used in construction is different. Once the slabs are cut, they can have a different composition and present different characteristics. The Natural Stone Institute of America recognizes sealants provide great benefits for natural stones, but they also warn some sealants have been known to react poorly to different cleaning products.

If you need assistance with a natural stone project in the Pittsburgh area, make sure you contact the experts at Cirigliano Natural Stone & Masonry.

Specializing in extensive masonry repair and rejuvenation, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build, as well as complete restoration options, rely on us for Stone Masonrypointing and repair. We also offer general masonrystone repair, and more.  

A Guide to Finding the Right Outdoor Brick Fireplace

Outdoor brick fireplaces allow you to take advantage of your outside areas all year round. A fireplace in your backyard will invite you and your family to spend more time in the outdoors. They can transform patios into warm and cozy entertainment areas for the fall and winter months, and they can also become the perfect focal point for a summer hangout spot for your friends and family.

Adding a brick fireplace to your outdoor patio will help broaden your living area and increase the value of your home. The fireplace should match the existing landscape as it will be a focal point where all other outdoor furniture pieces are centered.

Brick fireplaces can range from elegant to simple styles; the aesthetics will depend on your own taste and budget. If you’ve already decided to add an outdoor fireplace there are a lot of factors you should consider. Use this guide to understand all the available options and narrow down which brick fireplace is right for you.

What you need to know about Outdoor Brick Fireplaces

  1. The fuel type for your outdoor fireplace.

There are different types of fuel you can use for your outdoor brick fireplace. Depending on which type you chose, this will give you more freedom when you determine the location. These are the options you can choose from:

  • Wood Burning Fireplace: Traditional fireplaces are wood burning. These allow you flexibility when it comes to choosing their location in your patio since they are freestanding structures. For this type of fireplace, you will need a smoke chamber leading to a chimney with a spark arrester.
  • Gas Burning Fireplace: You will need to have your contractor find a gas line you can tie to the fireplace. This will limit the locations you might choose. Dealing with a gas line may increase the overall cost of your project. These do not require a chimney and only need a small vent or pipe.
  • Propane Burning Fireplace: Just like the wood burning fireplace, a propane fireplace can be located anywhere in your backyard. Similar to your barbeque grill, all you will need is a propane tank.


  1. Choosing the right location for your outdoor fireplace.

You’ve probably already given some thought to the location of your new outdoor fireplace. However, there are certain elements you should always keep in mind before committing to a specific location.

  • Safety: It is crucial to keep safety in mind. Make sure the area will be clear of fire hazards such as hanging branches, bushes, dry grass, decks, wires or nearby buildings. You should also plan ahead and verify you have a nearby waterspout or a fire extinguisher.
  • Smoke: Pay attention to the prevailing wind direction to make sure this will not become an issue for you or your neighbors when you use the fireplace.
  • Size: While the size may vary depending on the style you chose, it is important to have additional room around the fireplace to accommodate seating and other outdoor furniture.
  • Accessibility: Making sure the fireplace is easily accessible is important, since this will likely become a gathering place. The traffic areas should be clear of obstacles for both comfort and safety. This will also help determine how often this place will be used.


  1. The structure of an outdoor brick fireplace.

Thee are three main components that make up the structure of all outdoor brick fireplaces.

  • The Base: The base should be a solid and reinforced concrete slab. This will be built according to the type of soil, the extreme temperature conditions, the dimensions, and the weight of the fireplace.
  • The Firebox: The firebox will be determined by the type of fuel you will use. The fireplace could burn wood, gas, or propane. Each type of fuel will have different requirement. The firebox will be the part of the fireplace that contains the fire itself. For safety, every firebox should be lined with brick.
  • The Chimney or Vent: This part of the structure will also depend on the type of fuel used. Wood burning fireplaces need chimneys for the smoke and ashes produced. Gas or propane fireplaces only need exhaust vents.


  1. The design of an outdoor fireplace.

There are a lot of designs available to chose from. Choosing the size and design of the brick fireplace will be determined the size of your patio, the frequency of use, the heating aspect, and your entertainment needs. If you are not sure where to start, look at your own home and its architectural style. This will help inspire your decision.

These are some of the most popular outdoor fireplace styles available.

  • Traditional Fireplace: This style of fireplace is typically made of brick. The firebox is usually arched, and they also feature a rectangular oversized mantel. This style goes well with colonial, craftsman, and ranch architecture.
  • Southwest Fireplace: This type of fireplace uses stucco on the exterior wall. This allows it to get painted generally in earth tones or get decorated with ceramic tiles. Their appearance can include a stair-step structure or a rounded “kiva” style structure.
  • Modern Fireplace: These outdoor fireplaces use a geometric, clean line design with sharp angles. They can be built with industrial materials.
  • Mediterranean Fireplace: These fireplaces are simple structures similar to southwest style fireplaces. The differentiating factor is the exterior decoration with colorful tiles or rustic stone elements.


  1. The bricks used in the fireplace.

The bricks used for building outdoor fireplaces are fire-resistant; they also give your outdoor fireplace a timeless character. Brick is made of clay which is naturally found in almost every state. They come in a variety of colors and textures you can chose from. The biggest benefits of using bricks is the variety of patterns you can create with them, the durability, and weather resistant properties.


  1. The regulations to build an outdoor brick fireplace:

The regulations to build your outdoor fireplace may vary depending where you live. You can usually find out what these are by asking your local fire department. Since the fireplace will be close to your home you will want to make sure it doesn’t become a fire hazard. Once you’ve figured out the location, and the height of your fireplace, check the local ordinances to find out what special permits are required before you begin the construction.

Brick fireplaces are great ways to improve your outdoor areas. They will give your home a very inviting look and they can be a very valuable addition to any yard. Cirigliano Natural Stone & Masonry located in in Pittsburg can help you install the perfect fireplace for your home.  If you have any question about outdoor brick fireplaces or you need a quote, contact us.

Specializing in extensive masonry repair and rejuvenation, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build, as well as complete restoration options, rely on us for Stone Masonrypointing and repair. We also offer general masonrystone repair, and more.  

What Are the Different Types of Natural Stone Masonry?

So, you’ve decided to add natural stone to your home.

Maybe you and your spouse have chosen fieldstone or granite, agreed on the exact location of your structure, and picked out complementary furnishings. But why do you find yourself getting different mockups from individual contractors and companies?

The problem is that stone masonry is a broad term. As a textbook definition, it only refers to stone units bonded together with mortar. This meaning doesn’t cover methodology, an aspect which can radically alter the appearance of a natural stone structure or façade.

Don’t worry! You won’t need years of expertise to understand the various construction styles (besides, we’ve got you covered in that department). Let’s go over the different kinds of stone masonry, so you can attain your ideal home environment.

There are two primary types of stone masonry. And many, many subtypes.

As with most subjects, a hierarchy of organization exists in stone masonry. Most of the industry’s work can generally be classified into the two following categories:

  1. Rubble Masonry – As you might’ve inferred from the title, rubble masonry uses undressed or rudimentarily dressed stones that resemble building rubble. This style was one of the earliest forms of stone masonry, and can be seen in both ancient structures and modern, rustic homes.
      • Due to the variability of natural stone’s shape, wide joints are often used to compensate for a lack of uniformity. While not necessarily as structurally sound as other forms of masonry, rubble masonry provides eye-catching texture and pastoral charm.

    Alair Minar Structure

  2. Ashlar Masonry – A more expensive form of natural stone masonry, this type requires finely dressed stones that are level with each other and mostly homogenous. These stones are then laid in cement or lime mortar, in the style of a traditional brick structure.
    • The refined shape permits thinner joints, which are subsequently applied with a uniform thickness.Ashlar masonry is more common in towering monuments, architectural buildings, arched bridges, and more. Finely dressed stones usually have right-angled edges running parallel to each other.Ashlar Wall

What are the main subtypes of rubble masonry?

  1. Random Rubble Masonry – So, this kind of rubble masonry is not random per se. In fact, stones have to be chosen with meticulous precision in order to fit together properly. The reason? They’re completely undressed (“raw” from the ground), or knocked into rough shape with a hammer. Though raw materials are cheaper as a result, the process requires more time to ensure pressure is distributed over the maximum amount of lateral area, while avoiding long vertical joints.
  2. Square Rubble Masonry – Square rubble masonry still has that rough-hewn look which all rubble masonry shares, but the face stones are squared (approximately) via hammer or chisel dressing. They can be coursed – a term referring to lining up the horizontal joints evenly throughout a structure – or uncoursed.
    • Coursed square rubble masonry is more common than uncoursed, often employed in the construction of public building, hospitals, school, markets and government institutions.
  3. Polygonal Rubble Masonry – Do you enjoy variety and complexity? Polygonal rubble masonry might be a good fit for your home or business. In this subtype, stones are hammer dressed into an irregular, multi-faceted shape with straight sides.
    • This style is most commonly associated a number of Central and South American ancient civilizations, such as the Incans and Mayans. It’s regarded as a strong, resilient building method, since it contains trace elements of the arch –  a shape known for its tensile strength.
  1. Dry Rubble Masonry – Essentially, this is random rubble masonry without mortar. It requires a sizable amount of expertise with little reward, since dry rubble walls are prone to falling over. We don’t recommend building a dry masonry structure over six meters.

What are the main subtypes of ashlar masonry?

  1. Rough Tooled Ashlar Masonry – In rough tooled ashlar masonry, the bed and sides are chisel-dressed, so as to be smooth and even. Then the face is made rough with various tools. The result is a visually-striking, coarse surface with the strength and uniformity of a brick structure or wall.
  2. Rock-faced Ashlar Masonry – Also known as quarry-faced ashlar masonry, this method is similar to rough tooling, except a chiseled strip (around 25mm wide) spans the perimeter of every stone. The rest of the face is left as it was found at the quarry.
  1. Chamfered Ashlar Masonry – Chamfering the edges of stone adds a degree of dimensionality to stone. The perimeter of the exposed face is chamfered at an angle of 45 degrees to a depth of 25mm. 
  2. Fine Tooled Ashlar Masonry – One of the more cost-prohibitive options, fine ashlar masonry necessitates each stone be cut into a uniform size and shape, mirroring a rectangular prism. This allows perfect horizontal and vertical joints with adjacent stones.
    • While it’s easily one of the most beautiful types of ashlar masonry, the style has fallen out of favor, due to its relative expense and the prevalence of artificial stone.

Specializing in extensive masonry repair and rejuvenation, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build, as well as complete restoration options, rely on us for Stone Masonrypointing and repair. We also offer general masonrystone repair, and more.  

What is Masonry?

Anyone who is interested in constructing a beautiful, durable and low-maintenance home or other building should consider masonry. The term may be familiar. But what, exactly, is masonry?brick masonry

Masonry is defined as the building of structures from individual units. These units are often laid and bound together by mortar. Common materials of masonry construction include adobe, brick, cast stone, concrete block and glass block. Other masonry materials are natural stone such as granite, marble, limestone and travertine.

What determines a high-quality masonry job? Your choice in materials, to be sure. Natural stone is thought to be more attractive than brick or concrete block. Workmanship, as practiced by the mason or bricklayer, is important. Also, the pattern in which the units are assembled will affect beauty and durability.

Here are some fast facts on masonry:

  • Brick and concrete block are the most common types of masonry. They can be weight-bearing and used to hold up a roof, for example. Or, they can be a decorative veneer.
  • Masonry veneer walls are usually built from clay-based bricks. These are often installed on one or both sides of structural walls which, in turn, are made from wood or concrete blocks. In this context the bricks enhance the look of a building, and not it structural integrity.
  • Structural or weight-bearing walls are usually built from blocks of cinder concrete (i.e., cinder blocks) or ordinary concrete (i.e., concrete blocks). These masonry walls are often faced with veneered brick masonry or stucco. For factories, garages and other buildings where appearance isn’t important, block walls stand alone and are only painted.
  • Masonry walls will not burn. The use of materials such as blocks, bricks and stones can protect a building from fire.
  • Masonry surfaces are extremely hard. They resist projectiles such as debris picked up from hurricanes or tornadoes.
  • Masonry materials are heavy. Most brick, block or stone walls must be built on a strong foundation like reinforced concrete to avoid settling and cracking.

The Art of Masonry

brick masonry fireplaceA mason or bricklayer can bring artistry to any project. One with a practiced eye, for example, can put together walls, fireplaces and other structures of uncommon beauty by fitting pieces together purposefully. Different stones can be used with great effect. Bricks can be laid in any number of pleasing patterns. Then, too, arches and other structural shapes can be readily crafted with masonry.

Masonry: Another Definition

Masonry or Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest secular fraternal organizations. Its members are concerned with moral and spiritual values. While its origins have been lost to time, some believe the organization arose from the guilds of stonemasons who constructed the cathedrals and castles and of the Middle Ages.

Specializing in exterior natural stone additions and repairs, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build and extending to your full satisfaction, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more.  

Designing with Natural Stone

Combining durability and elegance, natural stone is a popular design choice among architects, builders, decorators and homeowners.

One other advantage when designing with natural stone? It’s unique. Unlike mass-produced building materials, no two natural stones are alike. Each stone displays distinctive coloring, grain and density. The uniqueness of stone products assures users. They know that when creating with it, no other building or home will have the same look.

Here are some considerations when designing with natural stone:

  • Natural stone building products come in slabs, tiles or mosaics. It’s also available in individual stones. Choose pebbles or even boulders!
  • For interior designing, natural stone is popular for bath and kitchen countertops, kitchen backsplashes, floors, fireplaces and more.
  • Outdoors, natural stone is often the choice for fireplaces, floors, patios, stairways, walkways and walls.
  • Pebbles, small stones and mosaic tile designs create one-of-kind floor and wall decorations. In fact, mosaic tile designs in natural stone are a great way to add geometric shapes. Use them in modern interiors or with outdoor living spaces.
  • Natural stone not only enhances beauty; it also adds value. It’s an investment that will last for years. It may also increase resale value when it’s time to move.

With types of natural stone should you use? You’ll want to consult with your natural stone supplier or natural stone contractor. But here are some suggestions.

  • Designing with granite. Durable and versatile, it displays small mineral flecks and offers endless variations. Granite resists heat, scratches and stains.
  • Designing with limestone. It’s the choice for those who are designing natural. Common uses include flooring, backsplashes and fireplaces. Limestone is also used as cladding for interior and exterior walls.
  • Designing with marble. It’s a classic selection, often showing stunning colors and wonderful patterns. When polished, marble stone is smooth, dramatic and lustrous.
  • Designing with quartzite. A popular choice for countertops, its elements are light in tone. Quartzite colors range from pearl white to gray.
  • Designing with travertine. A beautiful stone, it’s a common building material because of its durability and versatility. Travertine can be used almost anywhere in a home.

Specializing in natural stone additions and repairs for exteriors, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more.

What is Natural Stone

Natural stone refers to products quarried from the earth. Used as building materials and decorative enhancements, popular types of natural stone includes granite, limestone, marble, quartzite, slate, travertine and onyx, to name a few.

natural stone on a homeAsk someone to describe the benefits of natural stone and they’re likely to begin with beauty. After all, the look of countertops, fireplaces, floors, patios, stairways, walkways and entire homes is often enhanced with natural stone.

But, beyond appearance, there’s much more that makes stone an attractive choice in building materials! Consider these other benefits to natural stone:

  • Natural stone is durable. Practically indestructible, it withstands fire, hail, heat, rain, snow and wind. What’s more, when stone is used on countertops or as tile on floors, it resists scratches, stains and burns. That makes it a popular choice in well-used rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. It’s also often the pick for high-traffic areas like hallways and family rooms.
  • Natural stone is efficient. Stone has a thermal mass that naturally insulates. Homeowners save energy (and money!) that would otherwise be needed to heat or cool a house.
  • Natural stone is environmentally friendly. People who choose natural stone over synthetic materials benefit the earth several ways. A natural product, stone does not require energy for production. The result? Pollution is not a by-product of the production of natural stone.
  • Natural stone is easy to maintain. When properly sealed, it’s relatively simple to care for. Cleaning and maintenance vary by application, but you’ll begin by keeping your natural stone free of debris.
  • Natural stone is unique. It’s a one-of-a-kind natural product that sets a home or stone building apart from others. Density, veining and shading or color can vary from one box or shipment to another. Its uniqueness makes it a favorite choice of architects, builders, designers and homeowners who are striving for something special.
  • Natural stone is versatile. It’s available primarily in tiles and slabs, but in an almost infinite array of colors, sizes and types. Granite, travertine, limestone, marble and slate are just a few of your many options in natural stone.
  • Natural stone is affordable. Compare natural stone to other building material options and you may be pleasantly surprised. Highly durable, it lasts for years. What’s more, it’s an investment that can bring good returns in the long run. In many instances, stone can improve the resale value of a home.

Specializing in exterior natural stone additions and repairs, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build and extending to your full satisfaction, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more.

The Process of Installing & Sealing Natural Stone

While re-sealing your natural stone flooring can count as do-it-yourself home maintenance, the initial installation and sealing is another story.

Installing Natural Stone

A talented amateur may be able to handle an inside job like installing tiling in a bathroom. But for outdoor natural stone projects such as fireplaces, floors, patios, stairways or walkways, you’ll benefit from the specialized expertise of an experienced pro. They should be able to:

  • Accurately estimate the natural stone and other materials you’ll need — minimizing costly material overages or inconvenient shortfalls
  • Prepare the site, which may include moving grass, shrubbery or even trees
  • Excavate the location and prepare the bedding for the natural stone, if necessary
  • Move large and extremely heavy natural stone slabs safely — and without breakage
  • Measure, cut, fit and grout your floor and stone tiling
  • Level your outdoor natural stone flooring, walkways and more
  • Adhere to plans so that your finished project looks like the approved design

Sealing Natural Stone

Inside, sealing stone tiles offers protection against moisture or staining. But, it’s important outdoors, too. And, not just on flat surfaces.

Stone on the outside of your house should still be sealed to help repel water. Why? Natural stone absorbs moisture. It’s constantly expanding and contracting depending upon the amount of water it soaks up. This expansion and contraction can stress the mortar joints over time. The result? Cracking or shifting of the joints.

As with installations, a do-it-yourselfer should be able to handle sealing on smaller, inside natural stone projects. Outside, rely on your natural stone contractor to take care of sealing at time of installation.

Re-Sealing Natural Stone

With high-quality sealers, the average application lasts three to five years. However, in high-traffic areas, you may need to reseal natural stone more often. One simple test? Put a drop of water on the stone. If it beads off, then your stone is sealed and does not need to be re-sealed at this time.

Specializing in exterior natural stone additions and repairs, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build and extending to your full satisfaction, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more.  

Cleaning Natural Stone Do’s and Don’ts

There’s no denying the incredible beauty of natural stone. Of course, the fact that marble and other stone offers a unique look and delivers years of enjoyment adds to its attractiveness in the eye of many home and business owners!

Natural Stone StepsIt’s a popular material for fireplaces, floors, patios, stairways, walkways and other outdoor applications — which means it’s exposed to the elements, likely to receive a lot of traffic … and needs occasional cleaning to keep its beauty at its best.

The good news? For all the toughness associated with natural stone, it’s remarkably easy to clean and maintain! Some tips:

  • Do dust-mop stone floors or sweep regularly; sand and small stones can mar a good finish!
  • Do clean stone surfaces with stone soap or a mild detergent.
  • Do completely rinse with clean water after washing and dry stone surfaces.
  • Do blot up spills immediately; time enables them to sink in and become stains.
  • Don’t use cleaners that contain acids such as bathroom or grout cleaners or tub-and-tile products.
  • Don’t use abrasives such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers on natural stone.
  • Do use pH-neutral cleaners to remove mold and mildew. Conduct an internet search for the many commercial products available, or ask your natural stone contractor for a recommendation.
  • Do flush outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas with clear water and a mild bleach solution to remove algae or moss.
  • Don’t ever mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas!
  • Do use plain white vinegar or lemon juice (which are mild and natural cleaners) to remove hard water stains. Remove any stains regularly as the longer they are allowed to sit, the more difficult they are to remove. For older stains, larger areas or heavier concentrations, contact your natural stone contractor for help. And, be aware that stronger substances including acid can do much more harm than good!
  • Do apply a weather sealer and water repellent on your natural stone after cleaning, to help it last in the summer sun and the long winter snow and ice.

Natural Stone WallA final tip? Periodically inspect your exterior natural stone for structural defects, deterioration or staining — perhaps in the company of your natural stone contractor. With the right cleaning and care, you’ll enjoy your natural stone for years, if not decades, to come!

Specializing in exterior natural stone additions and repairs, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build and extending to your full satisfaction, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more.

Benefits of Natural Stone

Natural Stone WallNatural stone products or other alternatives? Whether building new or updating, home buyers and commercial building owners quickly come to the fork in the road when considering materials for fireplaces, foundations, patios, stairways, walls and walkways.

While cement, engineered or faux stone, tile and other materials gain consideration, there’s no denying the appeal of natural stone. “Stone does not break down and can stand the test of time. Stone features are there for the long haul, which you cannot say for other materials,” says Jan Johnsen, principal of a design/project management firm and author of “The Spirit of Stone.”

So, what’s the attraction of granite and its popular cousins such as limestone, marble, quartzite, slate and soapstone, among natural stone options? Their benefits include:

  • Affordability: When assessing the cost of natural stone, consider durability, lifespan, uniqueness and quality. These characteristics make it clear that natural stone is often more economical in the long run.
  • Environmentally friendly: Choosing natural stone can benefit the planet. Because stone does not require energy for production, pollution is not generated in its creation.
  • Durability: When homeowners or designers choose construction materials, they should keep in mind the ability of natural stone to withstand hail, heat, fire, rain, snow and wind. What’s more, when stone is selected for structures like fireplaces and outdoor kitchens, it’s not easily burned, scratched or stained.
  • Economy: Because natural stone is nearly indestructible, you’ll forego the potential expenses of repairing scratches and stains that often occur with other materials.
  • Color: You’ll chose from bluestone, flagstone, granite, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate and travertine, among many other natural stone options! And given the wide selection of types let alone the uniqueness in shades and grains from piece to piece, your design possibilities are almost endless! As a result, the natural beauty your selection should be viewed and approved before purchase and installation.
  • Flexibility: Granite and marble slabs as well as other natural stone choices can be tailored to meet the needs of homebuilders, designers and architects. The only limit to the choice of natural stone is your imagination!
  • Care: When properly sealed, natural stone is remarkably simple to clean and maintain. What’s more for many, the appearance of natural stone improves over time!

Natural Stone PathOne more key benefit to nature stone? Value. According to, “Outdoor renovation projects with the highest return on investment” posted at, an exterior improvement can add curb appeal, deliver a feature you love … and increase the value of your home.

The article reports, for example, patio additions van have a return on investment or ROI of 30 to 60 percent, fire pits as much as 150 percent, and outdoor kitchen as high as 200 percent!

Specializing in exterior natural stone additions and repairs, Cirigliano Masonry serves home and business owners throughout the Pittsburgh area. From design to build and extending to your fulll satisfaction, rely on us for brick masonry, pointing and repair as well as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stone masonry, stone wall repairs and more. Contact us today!