Natural Stone 101

Ready to get that new project underway, but not sure what material to choose for your countertops? Natural Stone 101 will give you all of the info you need to make the best decision and pick the perfect stone for your next project.

Granite

Granite is an igneous rock often mined from volcanic basalts, which means this stone is tough! The extreme heating and cooling process of magma gives this stone strength and durability. The feldspar, quartz, and mica found in granite allow a variety of patterns and colors making it the most popular choice for countertops. It is important to use a sealer and cleaner that is safe for natural stone to keep your granite in good condition!

Quartzite

This crystallized sandstone has the look of marble, but with extra durability. Quartzite is usually found in white and gray shades, but other minerals like iron can add color variation. This scratch and stain resistant stone is the perfect choice for customers who want the look of marble with minimal maintenance!

Limestone

Limestone, the foundation of many of our favorite rocks, like marble and travertine, this sedimentary rock is composed of calcite, crystallized calcium, clay, and aragonite. It is not uncommon to find skeletal fragments and fossils in limestone, and it is available in a variety of colors making it a great conversation piece for your home. Limestone usually has a simple and consistent pattern without veining or variation. Despite being a dense stone, limestone does require maintenance and sealing when installed in your home.

Marble

Despite being a softer, more porous stone, with the proper maintenance marble is an excellent choice. Marble is a metamorphic rock meaning calcite and dolomite, the minerals found in limestone, are crystallized and “morphed” from limestone into marble. This gives marble the beautiful gray veins and white backgrounds we often seek out when designing projects. Because this is a calcium based stone, marble will react with acidic substances to cause etching. Marble can be polished, honed, or leathered and the different finish options are also something to consider when choosing a stone As with any natural stone, it is important to use a sealer and cleaner that is safe for natural stone and become educated on how to maintain marble.

Travertine

Is a type of Limestone formed near hot springs. This stone requires similar maintenance as marble, but is often found in warmer, earth tone colors and is usually a honed or nonshiny finish. Travertine is most commonly used in bathroom applications and outside as pavers and pool coping.

Soapstone

Another type of metamorphic rock, Soapstone is mostly composed of superheated and compressed talc. Remember your black desk in Chemistry class? It was likely made of soapstone, a natural stone with an ultra-low absorbency rate. It can be found in a variety of colors such a white, black, and charcoal, making it suitable for many design applications. This material is softer, but the honed, non-polished, surface can constantly be resurfaced and oiled periodically to deepen the color and veining, depending on the desired look.

Because there are so many options available, it is important to talk with your sales rep and be sure you are selecting the best stone for your lifestyle and your design.