Natural Stone Trends Increase Rent Potential in Multifamily Spaces

While the multifamily space design continues its love affair with natural stone, the upscale trends in selection, style and situation continue to take on monumental shifts in the New Year. For modern home appointments using organic materials that are sure to increase upsell opportunities and rent values, MIA + BSI: The Natural Stone Institute has compiled a first look at the trends predicted to dominate construction and design.

Classics and Surprises

For the more sophisticated taste, soapstone’s unpolished look is a stark contrast to the traditional sheen of marble and granite. PHOTO: Dorado Soapstone

For the more sophisticated taste, soapstone’s unpolished look is a stark contrast to the traditional sheen of marble and granite. PHOTO: Dorado Soapstone


In many markets, the multifamily dwelling truly represents survival of the fittest. Renters consistently not only expect a higher grade of materials, but they watch for those materials to be used in ever-ingenious ways. Natural stone delivers a bevy of unique benefits for multifamily space design: the sustainability of organic materials, a unique look of class and beauty, and—perhaps most important—a wide selection of materials for the discerning taste.

From warm and energetic earthen tones to the refined and peaceful impression of neutral shades, this year’s hottest natural stone options serve to connect the multifamily space to nature’s brilliance.

  • Marble: Perfect for bathroom counters and flooring—or as a wall accent or fireplace setting—marble conveys elegance and class.
  • Granite: This igneous, crystalline rock is the Earth’s second hardest stone—a feature that makes granite a solid choice for kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
  • Limestone: One of the trendier natural stone options, limestone features unique embedded patterns that give any surface a personality of its own.
  • Soapstone: For the more sophisticated taste, soapstone’s unpolished look is a stark contrast to the traditional sheen of marble and granite.
  • Quartzite: Known for its neutral tones and unique sparkle, natural quartzite is a go-to choice for bathrooms, kitchens and wet bar areas.

Tints and Texture

With so many available options, natural stone with custom appointments open up an entire world of design possibilities for creating a multifamily space environment that turns heads.

The following are a few of the ways natural stone can be used to create a stylish look and maintain integrity:

  • Colors: The addition of bold geometric designs certain types of natural stone provide, complemented with a muted wall color, has the potential to open up a room and create a focal point to lure in a future renter.
  • Finishes: Optional natural stone finishes include polished, honed or leather to bring about a more tactile and textured finish to flooring.
  • Treatments: Protecting outdoor natural stone investments include water repellents that increase stain resistance of marble, limestone and other calcareous surfaces against the elements.

Multifamily design-build professionals are finding ever-creative ways to extend natural stone trends beyond the traditional kitchens and bathrooms. PHOTO: MSI

Multifamily design-build professionals are finding ever-creative ways to extend natural stone trends beyond the traditional kitchens and bathrooms. PHOTO: MSI

Natural stone is still a widely popular choice for kitchen and bathroom spaces, but multifamily design-build professionals shouldn’t count out the many other applications that can offer upselling capabilities.

Unique Spaces

Multifamily design-build professionals are finding ever-creative ways to extend natural stone trends beyond the traditional kitchens and bathrooms. As one might expect, the effects of organic materials in unique spaces often prove striking enough to win those early, pricey purchase decisions.

“Multifamily renovation projects using natural stone are finding their ways into feature elements—such as bar fronts, elevators, columns, and staircases—and in exterior veneers and hardscapes,” explains Rob Barnes, president and CEO of Dee Brown Inc., a Dallas-based firm that is an MIA Accredited Fabricator and Commercial A Contractor.

It’s precisely these types of uncommon appointments that catalyze renters’ creativity and spur them to lock in early and pay more to get the multifamily spaces that speak to them.

Learn More about MIA+BSI

MIA+BSI: the Natural Stone Institute serves more than 1,900 members in 55 countries who represent every aspect of the natural stone industry, offering them a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development, regulatory advocacy and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness in the industry and the design communities for the promotion and best use of natural stone.

About the Author

Amy Oakley

Amy Oakley is the communications manager at MIA + BSI: The Natural Stone Institute.

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