An Introduction to Different Types of Natural Stone

Choosing the right kind of natural stone for your home or office can be quite overwhelming, what with all the wide choices of beautiful natural stones available today.  Natural stone can add that sophisticated and timeless element you’re looking for.

The formation of natural stones began millions of years ago. As rocks and other organic elements in the earth’s surface combined with heat and pressure, some of these precious minerals were pushed to the surface and formed mineral deposits.

There are three types of rocks, namely Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. Igneous rocks are formed from the “solidification of molten rock material” or magma. Sedimentary rocks are formed through the “accumulation of sediments” or organic materials. Metamorphic rocks, on the other hand, have been “modified by heat, pressure and chemical process usually while buried deep below Earth's surface” giving it a different mineralogy, texture, and chemical composition than those of other rocks.

Igneous Rock

  • Granite

Granite consists of magmatic rocks that are formed when magma is cooled. Known to be the most recognized igneous rock, it can be distinguished through its grains that are large enough for the naked eye. It is composed primarily of minerals like quartz and feldspar and is known as one of the hardest natural stones available. It is also stain,  scratch, and burn resistant due to its density. Flooring, countertops, and bathroom tubs are ideal uses for granite.

  • Basalt

Basalt, like Granite, is formed through the cooling of magma. Unlike Granite, its cooling process is relatively rapid, making the crystallization process shorter. The appearance of Basalt consists of fine grains and is usually found in dark colors. It is typically dense, although some have holes where the volcanic gases have escaped. Applications of Basalt include flooring, building veneers, and monuments.

 

Sedimentary Rock

  • Limestone

Limestones are formed through the accumulation and compression of fossils and stone fragments. Commonly found in shallow bodies of water, it holds up well to exposure against the elements. It has a smooth granular surface and is usually available in neutral tones. Ideal uses of limestone include bathrooms, fireplaces, countertops, and flooring.

  • Sandstone

Sandstones are also formed through the accumulation of other rock minerals to streams and rivers, cementing them together. It is mostly found in shades of light brown or red. Being weather-resistant makes it a perfect material for walls and flooring.

  • Travertine

Travertine is formed when hot spring water penetrates limestones beneath the ground. The unique designs of travertine make it one of the most popular stones in the market. It can be found in earth-toned colors and is often used in both indoor and outdoor projects.

 

Metamorphic Rock

  • Marble

Marble is formed when limestone is subjected to heat and pressure. Color variations of marble include white, gray, pink, yellow, and blue. Marble is soft and is easily scratched or etched by acids making it more suitable for bathrooms, fireplaces, and studies. It can also be used in floorings and staircases.

  • Slate

Slate is formed through various layers of clay or mudstone resulting in its attractive, split, layered appearance. Slate can usually be found in varying shades of gray. Due to its durability and appearance, it is often used for flooring, roofing, and landscaping.

  • Soapstone

Soapstone is primarily composed of talc and is usually soft, making it prone to scratches. Its extreme density  prevents the absorption of liquid and stains. Color variations of soapstone include gray, blue, green, and brown. Its resistance to heat and chemicals make it  a popular material for kitchen countertops, sinks, fireplaces, wood stoves, flooring, and wall tiles.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

  • Kitchen Countertop
  • Entryways
    and Floors
  • Bathroom
    showers and Sink
  • Outdoor
    Decks and Patios
  • Staircases
  • Statues
    and Busts
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Onyx
  • Slate
  • Limestone