The Technical & The Pratical
a) In Geology, a metamorphic rock made up largely of calcite or dolomite.
b)In dimension stone, a rock will polish and that is composed mainly of calcite or dolomite and rarely serpentine.
Marble, the most commonly referred to natural stone, is typically polished but also available in honed and tumbled finishes.
Ranges from fairly “soft” to (somewhat hard) as natural stone go. Massive array of colors and visual textures. Light commercial or normal residential use, typically not suitable for very high use or very high traffic areas (many exceptions). Not suitable for kitchen counter installation. The term is sometimes used (incorrectly from a technical standpoint) to include all natural stones.
a) In technical Geologic terms, igneous rock with crystals or grains of visible size and
consisting mainly of quartz and sodium or potassium feldspar.
b) In dimension stone, crystalline silicate rock with visible grains therefore, includes other igneous rocks that are not granite in the strict sense.
Granite are the densest of the natural stones. Typically polished but also available in honed, or flamed and other finishes. “Hard” to “very hard” as natural stone goes and therefore suitable for use both commercially and residential in very high use areas (few exceptions). Commonly used residentially on kitchen counter applications.
Rock of sedimentary origin composed principally of calcite or dolomite or both.
Limestone is a typically “soft” natural stone most often honed but depending on density it can be polished. Very soft to medium, as natural stone goes. (Few exceptions) Generally quite porous. Suitable for light commercial and residential use.
Its use in medium to high use areas is discouraged but can be achieved with proper monitoring and maintenance. Not suitable for kitchen counter installations.
Variety of limestone deposited by hot or cold water as cavern fillings including stalactites and stalagmites or as accumulations at hot or cold springs.Travertine usually included in the general grouping of marble. It is characterized by naturally occurring pits and fossils in the stone material, filled during the manufacturing process in the case of polished travertine. This characteristic fill typically yields a (semi polished) material.
Medium hardness as natural stone. It is suitable for medium commercial and residential use.
Some travertines are also available in unfilled form.
A banded, varicolored form of quartz. Characterized by its translucency.
Onyx is almost strictly a decorative stone. It’s typically a high cost and fragile material which make it unsuitable for most usages. Beautiful but should be considered.
(Soft) as natural stones go. Limited to vanities or low use areas for residential.