The beauty of natural stone for home projects is unmatched. Here are some characteristics unique to each type of stone, along with some guidelines on which type of stone works best for various projects. For more information about natural stone for your project, feel free to visit our showroom and talk to our experienced design staff.
The term granite is used to cover a group of related stones that formed in the earth's molten mantle about 2 billion years ago. As this extremely hot liquid cooled, it formed a crystalline, granular structure, hence, the term "granite." Granite and other like stones are formed of hard minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and mica, which are fused together into a very hard stone that is ideal for kitchen countertops. It is found in many mountain ranges throughout the world.
Available in a striking array of colors, granite ranges from subtle to exotic and from very light to very dark. One of the attractions to granite is that no countertop will be exactly like another one - the unique beauty of nature becomes part of your home.
There are essentially two styles of granite slabs: consistent and variegated. Consistent granite contains somewhat of a pattern throughout the slab. The crystals tend to be smaller and more compact. Variegated slabs have movement or veining. Veining creates a swirling design in the slab, predominantly of a different color than the rest of the stone.
Granite also comes in several finishes-from a high polish to honed or brushed.
Durability is a compelling reason to choose granite for your countertops. It has a toughness that surpasses any other countertop material. Bacon grease, fish marinade, cranberries, Dijon mustard, tomato or grape juice, and wine will not stain granite if promptly wiped with warm soapy water. While some synthetic surfaces scratch easily and melt under hot pots and pans, granite resists scratches and heat. It will easily outlast every other element in your home.
Granite is also an excellent choice for vanities, floors, hearths, tabletops, and other heavily used surfaces.
Have questions about granite? Check out our FREE REPORT – 9 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing a Granite Countertop. Just signup for your free report on our home page!
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of mainly calcite that retains a high polish. It is found in mountainous areas throughout the world.
Marble is ideal for foyers, bathrooms, floors, fireplace surrounds, hearths, and tabletops. Marble is very durable, however, we do not recommend it for kitchen countertops. It has the propensity to etch and scratch under heavy use.
Marble adds sophistication to your home, and its style and durability contribute to its timeless beauty. Discriminating homeowners have been using marble in their homes for thousands of years!
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of the mineral calcite. The beauty of some limestone is in the appearance of shell and coral fossils. When these organisms died, they formed calcite deposits that hardened into limestone over millions of years.
Limestone provides a soft, endless beauty and is often used for bathroom vanities, showers, tables, fireplace surrounds, and floors.
Travertine is a porous or crystalline mineral form of calcium carbonate and has a similar appearance to limestone. The minerals were deposited in layered formations by hot and cold spring waters. The pores may be filled and the stone polished, or left untouched.
Some deposits of travertine can be found in the Western United States, however massive deposits exist in Tivoli, Italy. Mexico is also a prominent source for this stone. Various quarries around the world provide subtle colors such as light brown, cream, peach, and soft red.
A timeless, "Old World" look is achieved in using travertine. It has gained tremendous popularity in this country as a choice for flooring and kitchen backsplashes.
Soapstone is a stone of talc composition with a soapy feel. It is a popular request for kitchen countertops and has a nice matte look sometimes with soft veining. Soapstone is an excellent choice for countertops, tables, fireplace surrounds and bathroom vanities.
Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that tends to split into thin, smooth-surfaced layers. Black Pennsylvania slate has been a staple in our service area for hundreds of years. Blue and gray slates are also easy to find. The world, though, supplies fabulous colors of slate to us. Multi-colored slates from Africa and China are spectacular when used in floors, showers, fireplace surrounds, and backsplashes.