window sills and surrounds from stone

Opinion: best material for window sills and niche decoration


Windowsills are just the right architectural elements for which both natural stone and artificial stone suits so well. For interior windowsills all types of stone are perfect. For exterior windowsills in Northern climate zone, granite is the best material in natural stone category, and sintered stone is the most suitable in the category of artificial stone. Stone is durable, scratch- and damage-resistant, so a stone windowsill will maintain its excellent appearance for years. Stone windowsills do not need to be painted, protected from impacts or scratches, and when renovating the building, they do not need to be replaced. The variety of stone patterns is almost endless, so with a little imagination, you can create a unique interior or exterior of the house just with the windowsills.


Interior windowsills may seem insignificant, so the simplest material is often chosen for them, and they are painted white. Use your imagination - these are simply untapped opportunities! Marvelous stone windowsills can give life and lift the spirit of your home, and significantly contribute to the overall interior style. Just think how the setting sun's rays will romantically glide over the bright, elegant marble surface in the evenings! Or perhaps the reflection of the sunrise on the windowsill will magically highlight the colors of quartzite, awaken the gleaming granules of granite, or blend into the playful travertine patterns?


The windowsills and the space under them can be practically utilized, especially if there is a beautiful view outside the window. By slightly widening the windowsill in the bedroom, it can become an elegant minimalistic table, where it's pleasant to read or sip a glass of wine. By turning the windowsill into a continuation of the kitchen countertop, it can serve as an extended workspace. A wide windowsill with a great view outside can become a fantastic home bar without taking much space. Beneath the windowsill, you can cleverly arrange a bookshelf or a living room console. And now imagine how all these interior elements will delight your eye if you choose your favorite colors and patterns.


Besides natural stone, artificial stone windowsills, such as engineered quartz, ceramic or porcelain, also look stunning. If the window is set in a slightly recessed niche, a vertically lowered front edge of the windowsill, completely covering the wall beneath the window and extending to the floor, looks stunning. For this purpose, a light marble or granite slab with cloud-like patterns can be used to visually extend the room space to the skies. Stone with soft green or brown tones can bring the room closer to the ground, merging with the forest or meadow seen outside in the distance. 


Although stone windowsills are more of an aesthetic than a practical interior element, when actively used, they may become stained. This happens because all natural stones are porous and absorb liquids. For example, water dripping onto the windowsill from plant pots can cause lime and dirt stains on the stone. To prevent this from happening, new natural stone windowsills are best impregnated immediately. This is a simple procedure: all you need to do is buy a stone impregnator, rub the windowsill with it, and let it dry. Impregnators penetrate into the stone pores and remain there, preventing other liquids from entering. Over time, the impregnator washes out and evaporates, so the procedure needs to be repeated.


Natural stone windowsills should not be cleaned with strong detergents. Marble, travertine, or onyx windowsills are particularly sensitive to all chemical agents. Detergents can break down the structure of natural stone, dissolve calcite particles, damage the stone's gloss, and change its color. Some natural stones, such as travertine or sandstone, can also change color due to UV rays. UV rays reacting with chemical cleaning agents can further intensify the effect. Granite is more than other natural stones resistant to detergents and exposure to sun, its color is unlikely to change. However, it is recommended to clean natural stone windowsills only with products specifically designed for stone.


Artificial stone can also be chosen for windowsill production. Practical options include ceramic or engineered quartz windowsills. Artificial stone slabs not only perfectly mimic the patterns of natural stone but are also thinner. The thinner finishing material is a big advantage. Due to the thinness of the slabs, artificial stone finishes are lighter than natural stone and take up less space. This way, you can not only save one or two centimeters of interior space under the window or on the wall but also reduce logistics and installation costs, which affect the final price of stone windowsills. Artificial stone materials are non-porous, so they do not need to be impregnated. There is less chance that their color will change over time due to the influence of ultraviolet rays.


If you plan to use the extended windowsill as a work table, it is better to make it from acrylic solid surface - the table top will not be as cold as stone. It will be pleasant to work at such a table even in a cool room. Solid surface is also a good choice if you plan to use your windowsill for sitting. Solid surface has even more advantages when making a windowsill: it is convenient for integrating a sink into the windowsill without joint marks; it is easy to carve holes for warm air vents to come out from the radiator beneath. Acrylic solid surface can also be carved into elegant radiator covers (see photos).


Solid surface windowsills look one-piece and seamless, regardless of their length, width, or shape. For example, a long windowsill connecting all the room's windows can also be a single tabletop joining several work areas. It can even be the top of a set of cabinets running along the entire room. Such furniture looks neat and uniform, without any visible joint marks. Solid surface is particularly convenient in irregularly shaped or small room window sills, where the space has to be compactly utilized, especially if there are protruding corners, pipes, or rounded architectural details. Solid surface is excellent for solving the problems of irregular windowsills.


Windowsills can be adorned with straight, rounded, or profiled edges. Various edge milling methods are suitable for natural stone windowsills. For artificial stone windowsills, such as ceramic or porcelain, the range of edge choices is narrower. This is because natural stone is a full-volume material (the stone pattern is visible throughout the thickness), while the inside of ceramic slabs is usually monochrome. Additionally, ceramic slabs are thinner. Such a windowsill will look better with a straight, minimalist edge or artificially widened straight edge. All windowsill edges can be thickened as much as needed. A thickened windowsill front edge gives the impression that the windowsill is made out of a thick slab, but in reality it can be just 10 mm or 20 mm inside. The cheapest windowsills are straight-edged.


A desirable feature for outdoor windowsills is low porosity. Natural stone is porous and absorbs moisture, so stone windowsills outdoors need to be protected from mold, moss and fungi. In Northern climatic zone, granite is the most suitable stone for outdoor windowsills - it best withstands moisture and temperature changes and is less porous compared to other stones. Slate also has lower absorbency. Granite and slate are easy to clean and maintain. Granite is suitable for outdoor windowsills of buildings of various styles.


Sintered stone, also called ultra-compact surface, is a very suitable artificial material for exterior window sills, especially in modern-style buildings. As all artificial stone materials, it is non-porous, so it does not stain and does not absorb moisture. Non-porous artificial stone surfaces are hygienic, bacteria and mold do not grow on them. The advantage of these materials is also the thinness of their slabs, and at the same time, relatively low weight. Sintered stone is the most resistant in the category of artificial stone. It is insensitive to extreme heat, cold, rapid temperature changes, and scratching. Windowsills made of materials like Neolith, Dekton, or Lapitec will last a lifetime and maintain their appearance.

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