STONE TYPES



gran·ite/?granit/
Noun: ~A very hard, granular, crystalline, intrusive igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar.
~Used in similes and metaphors to refer to something very hard and impenetrable.
While the Earth cooled three types of rock were formed; metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous. Granite is in the category of igneous rock. Igneous rock was created deep below the surface of the earth when the magma cooled.
Granite is composed of the following minerals:
* Feldspar (50% or greater)
* Quartz (25-40%)
* Mica (3-10%)
Granite is a strong stone because its mineral grains have grown tightly together during a very slow cooling period. The quartz and feldspar that compose it are harder than steel. This makes granite suitable for indoor counters & floors/ walls, outdoor buildings or paving stone/ street curbing and outdoor kitchens..

Marble
Noun: A hard crystalline metamorphic form of limestone, typically white with mottling or streaks of color.
Marble is a metamorphic rock made out of limestone. When limestone is subjected to tremendous pressure for a long time (like if limestone is buried under a lot of other rock or an ocean) it gets squashed into marble. Marble is more beautiful than limestone and tougher. Marble is usually lighter in color (White Carrara), cream (Crema Marfil), and dark/ light brown (Emperador dark/ Deano Real). It is mainly used for bathrooms countertops and accent tables where it is not being used harshly in everyday activities.
Difference between marble and granite:
They are both stones. They are both natural products, which means there can be variations in color and pattern- no single slab is the same, and sometimes what you see in the display is not very close to what you actually get delivered- that’s why we recommend you hand pick your slab for your project. Both come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Both can be stained by oily or highly colored foods. So both require resealing every once in a while (it seems like yearly is the usual rule- we offer a spray can that is 3-in-one; cleaner, polisher, and sealer.) Both are relatively heatproof, but a protective hot pan is recommended anyways.
Granite is a much harder, stronger stone than marble. It resists impacts and scratches. It is also resistant to acids like tomato juice, lemon juice or vinegar. Marble is simply calcium carbonate, just like chalk, but in a compressed and crystallized form. So acids can etch the surface permanently (And it will fizz, just like chalk in vinegar.) And it (Marble) cracks and scratches more easily. Some marbles have very little pattern (some are completely pure white) so stains and marring stand out more. Granite typically has a complex of spots or patches of many colours and shades which make staining less visible.
Marble has a look that is possibly more elegant and luxurious. It has extremely fine crystals, which create a snowy or satiny look. On some, the colors and patterns can be quite dramatic. Granite tends to have larger crystals. This creates a coarser, more sparkly look. Both come in a range of colors and patterns- not a single slab is the same!
This said, for hard everyday use, granite is a better choice..
Marble is higher maintenance and less durable.

Soapstone (also known as steatite, or soaprock) is a talc-schist., which is a type of metamorphic rock. It is largely composed of the mineral talc and is thus rich in magnesium. It is produced by dynamo-thermal metamorphism and metasomatism, which occurs in the areas where tectonic plates are subducted, changing rocks by heat and pressure, with influx of fluids, but without melting. It has been a medium for carving for thousands of years. Soapstone also contains varying amounts of chlorite, mica, quartz, and iron compounds. The stone is non-porous, so the surface will not stain at all- which means, soapstone doesn’t require any sealing. Talc, a very soft mineral, will scratch easily- yet is a very durable stone. The use of wax is optional, it is there if you want to bring out the dramatic pattern and a darker color of the surface. While aging, the stone itself will become darker and will develop a patina. The application of wax will wear out with everyday use and you will have to re-wax the surface again, if you want to keep it up, waxing is applied every couple months. Soapstone comes in gray colors with white or darker veins, as well as shades of green- when wax is applied, the slab becomes much darker and a dramatic pattern is revealed. Very beautiful transformation, from light gray to dark-deep green..

Travertine
Noun: White or light-colored calcareous rock deposited from mineral springs. Travertine is a natural stone material from the limestone family. It is made of calcium carbonate and is usually found in the form of deposits near warm or hot springs. Because travertine is such a porous material, it should be sealed before use in construction or renovation projects. It is most commonly used on floors, in showers and tub surrounds as well as in exterior decor. Never use cleaners that contain vinegar or citrus oils on travertine. Even water can be harmful to the texture of travertine if it is allowed to sit on the stone for long periods of time. Some travertine stones are harder than others. Although the hardness varies, it will still scratch. It’s not as soft as soapstone but it can’t compete with the hardness of granite.
Travertine is available in different colors and finishes, from natural, neutral colors such as creamy white and beige to tan and reddish brown.
The different finishes include honed, polished and tumbled. Honed travertine is smooth, but unlike polished, it has a matte finish. Polished travertine is smooth, but buffed and polished until shiny. Tumbled travertine has a rougher, textured finish and often has rounded corners for an antique look. Honed finish is most commonly used.

Quartz Stone – manufactured in a factory.
Engineered stone slabs are made of mainly quartz (about 93%) which is an extremely hard mineral in nature- giving quartz its strength. In addition, resin and other components that keep it together and various colors pigments for diversity in color. Some factories add glass and recycled materials to the mix adding beautiful characters and patterns to the already artistic slab selections. Quartz come in variety of colors and shades, more recent man-made stone is made to mimic granite or marble patterns giving the customer the same look as natural stone yet is care free and is much more durable. The resins helps these counters be and stay stain and scratch resistant. The quartz slabs are super strong, non porous, are maintenance free, repeated patterns, sparkly, as well as solid red, white and black color slabs.  Quartz slabs are becoming more and more in demand- especially the ones with white and gray pallets. The only downfall on quartz, just like any stone, is that it is not chip-proof. Quartz is subject to chip if objects hitting edges, particularly at sinks or dishwashers area, are hit with hard force. The factories like Caesarstone are now offering honed surfaces on most of their polished slab selections. Silestone Quartz slabs come in polished surface, but they had just recently launched a Suede finish, it is a new, unique finish which is like a ‘leathered’ surface but less dimensional due to the tight pattern of the stone, a softer appearance with little reflection, another word would be ‘caressed’.
To clean quartz surface, just use soap and warm water, easy.
 
(Information copyrighted from YKMarble inc web & google pages, Copyright © 2003 – 2011 Conjecture Corporation, Copyright © 2005 – 2011 Natural-Stone-Interiors.com)
 
 

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