Knowledge about Natural Stone – Materials and Suggested Uses
An igneous stone formed from the cooling and crystallization of molten magma far below the earth’s surface. Granite is characterized by interlocking silicate mineral crystals which form over thousands and even millions of years. Granite is the hardest of the dimensional stones and exhibits an extremely high compressive strength. Granite can maintain a high polish for a very long time and resists a wide range of chemicals. It is ideal for use in commercial and residential applications as well as interior or exterior work.
Granite Uses: Flooring, Countertops, Entries, Fireplace Hearths and Surrounds, Backsplashes, Bathroom Finishes, Vanities, Decorative Furniture Tops and Bar Tops.
Granite Project Uses: Monuments, Exterior/Interior Cladding (wall facing), Landscaping, Stair Treads, Blocked Stone.
A metamorphic stone derived from limestone or dolostone (high in magnesium). Marble is composed primarily of calcium carbonate/calcite minerals. They can range from very fine grained to coarsely granular and can be found in every color imaginable. Marbles are relatively softer than granites and may exhibit sensitivity to acidic liquids and some household cleaners.
Marble Uses: Interior Entries, Interior Walls, Flooring, Countertops, Hearths, Backsplash, Bathroom Finishes, Vanities, Decorative Furniture Tops and Bar Tops.
Marble Project Uses: Monuments (see climate restrictions)** Exterior/Interior Cladding (depending upon climate), Stair Treads, and Blocked Stone.
A metamorphic stone derived from silica sand and is the most chemically stable of all the dimensional stones. They are extremely resistant to chemical weathering and are ideally suited for exterior or interior applications. Quartzite is a very dense, hard, non-permeable stone and will generally have a very consistent coloration with a glassy appearance.
Quartzite Uses: Countertops, Entries, Fireplace Hearths and Surrounds, Backsplashes, and Bathroom Finishes.
Quartzite Project Uses: Monuments, Exterior/Interior Cladding (wall facing), Landscaping, Stair Treads, Blocked Stone, and Flooring.
A sedimentary stone made up of calcium carbonate/calcite minerals. It is formed on the ocean floor when marine organisms extract calcium carbonate from sea water and from corals, shells and skeletons. As these structures accumulate on the ocean floor they become consolidated to form limestone. This is why we often find evidence of shells and fossils in limestone. Limestone is widely used in commercial and residential applications.
Limestone Uses: Interior Walls, Flooring, Countertops, Exterior applications (see climate restrictions)**, Blocked Stone, Hearths, Entries, Backsplash, Bathroom Finishes, and Tabletops.
A metamorphic stone formed from the consolidation of very small particles of weathered or eroded granite deposited in layers on ancient lake bottoms. It is therefore, made up of silicate minerals and is resistant to a wide range of chemicals. It exhibits a very wide range of colors and lends a rustic or contemporary design depending on the application.
Slate Uses: Interior Walls, Flooring, Countertops, Exterior Applications (see climate restrictions)**, Blocked Stone, Hearths, Entries, Backsplash, Bathroom Finishes, and Tabletops.
A dense crystalline form of lime carbonate usually deposited from cold water solutions, such as in caves deep in the earth’s crust. As these solutions drop from the cave roof they form structures, such as stalactites and stalagmites, which exhibit “growth rings” seen in the translucent onyx. Onyx has an elegant look and can be found in a spectacular array of colors. Onyx can be “back lit” in windows, vanity tops and cabinet fronts for a dramatic look.
Onyx Uses: Alternative to glass used in windows, Countertops, Tile, Bathroom Finishes and Table Tops. (see climate restrictions)**
**CLIMATE RESTRICTIONS: Natural Stone can be used in a variety of ways, including exterior projects. However, care should be taken in climates that have very high humidity and “freeze/ thaw” conditions. In cold climates where moisture can penetrate stone and freeze, it will then expand and slowly erode or crack the stone. More permeable stone should be carefully sealed and moisture prevented from penetrating the stone. It is always best to use a stone that has very low permeability in these environments.
Notes: This information is for your reference only and should not be read, treated or understood as professional advice. When you use natural stone products for your projects, please always seek professional advice regarding stone application.