Several types of stone are readily available today. Each type has its own unique quality and suitability. Some of the most popular varieties are:
Granite contains three main minerals – quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase feldspar. These minerals make granite white, pink, or light grey. Granite also contains small amounts of dark brown, dark-green, or black minerals, such as hornblende and biotite mica.
Granite is one of the oldest, most durable and most respected of building materials. It is typically the hardest of the dimensional stones and withstands the elements very well. It is best for kitchen countertops because it is scratch, stain and heat resistant. It is also suitable for flooring or paving, wall cladding and all other types of countertops. Granite is suitable for either exterior or interior applications.
Slate consists mainly of grains of mica and quartz, plus small amounts of chlorite, hematite, and other minerals. Most slate is grey to black in colour, but the rock may be red or purple, depending on its mineral content.
Slate is one of the world’s oldest natural products. The building industry uses slate for roofing and flagstone because the rock is weatherproof and long lasting. It is also used to trim the fronts and lobbies of buildings. Slates are typically used for flooring, roofing, and countertops. Most slates are suitable for interior and exterior applications.
Limestone is a type of rock made up mostly of calcite, a mineral form of calcium carbonate. Most limestone is grey, but all colours of limestone from white to black have been found.
Limestone makes an excellent building stone because it can be carved easily. It is typically used for flooring, wall cladding, vanity tops, furniture or ornate stonework.
Sandstone commonly consists of sand sized grains of quartz, feldspar, and other minerals. It may also include organic matter or rock fragments. The minerals that cement the grains include quartz, pyrite, or calcite. The colour of sandstone ranges from cream, grey, red, brown to green, depending on the cements and impurities in the sand. Brownstone, reddish-brown sandstone, was once widely used to build houses.
It is typically used as flooring or paving materials. Most sandstones are suitable for both interior and exterior applications.
Marble consists chiefly of calcite or dolomite, or a combination of these carbonate minerals. Marbles are basically metamorphosed limestones. It has similar characteristics to limestones and is typically used on the same applications. However, marbles are almost always more aesthetically valuable and available in much wider ranges of colours.
Marble has long been highly valued for its beauty, strength, and resistance to fire and erosion. It is a rock widely used in buildings, monuments, and sculptures. Large blocks of coloured marble are used for columns, floors, and other parts of buildings. It is suitable for wall-cladding, roofing, flooring and all other interior and exterior applications.
Quartzite is a stone composed of grains of quartz cemented together by silica. It is a firm and compact stone with a body harder than marble. Its color is a blend of light and dark greys and silver with flecks of quartz lending a sparkle.
Quartzite is a durable stone which is primarily used for interior and exterior floors; however, it may be used for wall-cladding, roofing and other types of interior and exterior applications as well.
Travertine is limestone that has been formed over a long period of time. The product is porous with many visible holes. It is available in colours ranging from ivory to golden brown. The holes and cavities may be filled with matching portland cement, coloured epoxy, or polyester resins or left unfilled for a more rustic appearance.
It is normally used for flooring, wall cladding, vanity tops, fireplace surrounds and furniture.