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Material Basics

Guide to Natural Stone Installation and Maintenance

Picking the Perfect Stone: Natural Stone Range

When it comes to modern design, there are numerous stone materials and finishes to choose from. Natural stone offers a unique aesthetic and wide variety but can be daunting.

What is Natural Stone?

As the name implies, natural stone isn’t man-made. Instead, it comes from products that people have quarried from the earth. People have used these types of materials for millennia as both foundational and decorative elements for buildings. People typically use natural stone in tile formats or fabricate it into countertops and vanities.

Each type and variant of stone is the result of mineral compositions and geological processes that have been taking place for eons. There are three primary rock types, each forged by physical changes, whether melting, eroding, cooling, compacting, or deforming:

  • Sedimentary rocks form from pieces of previously existing organic materials. Geologists divide sedimentary rocks into three types: clastic, organic, and chemical. For example, chemical precipitation forms limestone.

  • Metamorphic rock – These rocks have morphed from their previous state due to intense and long-standing pressure or heat. There are two classes of metamorphic rocks: foliated and non-foliated. For example, granite is a foliated rock, whereas marble is a non-foliated rock.

  • Igneous rock forms through an intense heating and cooling process. Granite, diorite, and obsidian are natural volcanic igneous rocks.

What Are Types of Natural Stones?

Currently, there are several different types of natural stone available. Each one has its own unique properties that differentiate it from the others. Varying qualities include color, texture, absorption, luminosity, veining, porousness, and grade.

Common natural stone types include:

1. Marble is a famous and luxurious natural stone known for its classical and stylish look. People commonly use this smooth and pretty stone for sculpting and building, often associating it with Roman and Italian styles. A marble tile will add sophistication and elegance to a kitchen countertop or stone floor. The only drawback is it is prone to staining, discoloration, and it is expensive.

Popular Marbles:

2. Granite - A natural igneous stone, granite is a popular cast stone choice and widely available natural stones in use today. It’s incredibly durable and hard, meaning there’s little to no maintenance or upkeep required. This combination of beautiful aesthetics and ease of use makes it ideal to use in all areas, especially the kitchen.

Popular Granite:

3. Limestone - As one of the most diverse stones on the market, limestone balances durability with a style, making an optimal natural stone for both indoor and outdoor projects. A sedimentary rock, pure limestones are white (or almost white). Impurities like sand or iron oxide can give it different colors and textures.

Popular Limestone:

4. Travertine – A type of limestone, travertine is a sedimentary rock that is often mixed with calcite to give it the unique swirls and movement associated with its distinctive character. It has a soft touch and fibrous appearance, which makes it ideal for floors and bathroom countertops.

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