Natural Stone Information

Basic Stone Info

This is basic stone information to help you select the type of natural stone which might work best for you. A quick read will give you a general idea of the differences in stone. You'll have an idea of what to expect from the stone you decide on.

Cold Springs Granite Quarry

Color is very important in stone selection. It's personal and it's fun. Color makes a statement.

But before browsing through colors, know what to look for when selecting a natural stone. What fits your lifestyle.

The color, the texture, or the look you want may eventually outweigh the benefits of using another stone type. That's fine as long as you know what to expect from the natural stone you choose.

So, what do you look at before colors?

  • Basic mineral composition. The type of stone that's right for YOU.

  • The rate of absorption. In other words... will it stain easy?

  • The hardness of the stone. Will it scratch?

  • Finally, think about how you intend to use the stone.
These Four Measures will give you an idea of what to expect and help you narrow down your stone choices.

1. Stone Information on Mineral Composition

Natural Stone is classified into TWO MAIN categories by their mineral composition:
Siliceous stones and calcareous stones.

Choosing The Right StoneSiliceous stones are composed of silica or quartz like particles.

These stones will have a greater resistance to acids, such as orange juice and carbonated beverages. They will also have a higher resistance to high alkaline detergents.

This means they will NOT etch or show marks and dull spots as easily - IF EVEN AT ALL - as calcareous stones. Over all, these stones are pretty durable and easy to maintain.

Siliceous stones are used on interiors, exteriors, commercial flooring, exteriors for buildings and are usually great for countertops. They tend to stand up to the use and abuse of an active household.

Examples of siliceous stones: granite, serpentine, slate, soapstone, and quartz-based stones.

Calcareous stones are composed mainly of calcium. These stones are also durable. But they are more sensitive to the acids found in alcohol, lemons, citrus juices, colas and vinegar.

Etched From WineThey are also more sensitive to strong alkaline detergents found in some cleaning products. This means they will usually etch rather quickly or show dull spots.

In general, these aren't the best choice for kitchen countertops or areas of frequent use and abuse.

If you decide to use a calcareous stone, make sure to use stone friendly cleaners to prevent etching and dust more often to prevent scratches.

Examples of calcareous stones: limestone, marble, onyx, and travertine.

2. Stone Information on Porosity

The rate of absorption tells you how easy your stone will stain. Natural stones with a high rate of absorption will stain easier than stones with a lower rate.

Porosity refers to how open or how many small holes are in the surface of the stone to allow liquids to penetrate it. Porous stones will have a higher rate of absorption. These stones need to be sealed to help repel staining.

Not all stones are prone to staining! How do you know if the ONE you have is? How do you know if and when you should seal? Here's an easy way to know.

3. Stone Information on Hardness

Hardness levels vary quite a bit when it comes to Natural Stones.

The hardness is determined in part by the mineral composition and by the density of the stone. Granites generally have good hardness characteristics as do SOME limestone and marble.

How do you know how hard your stone is?

Look at Moh's Scale of Relative Hardness. This simplistic scale was invented in the early 1800's to measure the hardness of minerals.

You could also get a 'general idea' of how well your stone choice would stand up by dragging a knife blade across it or tossing your keys on it a few times. Definitely do this one before you buy it! You DON'T want to do this one on your installed stone. Get a scrap and test.

All in all, the harder stones stand up better to frequent use and to heavy, hard and sharp objects. Therefore, harder surfaces would have fewer scratches, if any, over time.

4. Stone Information on Intended Use

Common Sense.

Yep, simple common sense! Sometimes we see a stone, fall in love with it and all RATIONAL goes out the window! Not such a great idea when we plan to live with the stone for awhile.

For Example: You're replacing your kitchen countertops and absolutely love the look of Crema Marfil. If you have a bunch of boys, a couple of dogs, you cook every night and you work full time, you might want to rethink this choice.

There are granites which are more durable and don't require the same maintenance as this stone will in your kitchen.

On the other hand, if you like the aged look, this may be the perfect stone for you.

Regardless of the type of natural stone you choose, it's beautiful, unique, and durable. Natural stone will last your lifetime and more. Choose wisely. Choose what you love.

Add Shine

Erase Scratches

Get Rid of Mold and Mildew

Get Rid of
Mold & Mildew
Repair Etch Marks

Etch Marks


You'll find More Help On Choosing Stone Below:

Marble Tub Soapstone Countertop Onyx Wall Granite Countertop

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