To most people, stone is all the same. But say that to a geologist, architect, designer or builder and they’d probably laugh at you. The truth is, not all stone is created equal and there are different categories and unique types of natural stone that have a variety of functions and styles. &nbs ...
Natural Stone Types
To most people, stone is all the same. But say that to a geologist, architect, designer or builder and they’d probably laugh at you. The truth is, not all stone is created equal and there are different categories and unique types of natural stone that have a variety of functions and styles.
Natural Stone Materials
For centuries, marble has been the building block of royalty, used in palaces, monuments and temples around the world. It’s elegance and beauty is just as alluring today, popular in homes that aren’t shy about showing off.
Marble is a pattern-oriented stone, meaning they have a mostly white, black or grey background with a unique patterned heart in the middle.
Travertine is a type of natural stone that is located near hot springs and limestone caves, caused by limestone absorbing calcium carbonate from the surrounding environment. It’s durability and impact resistance make it perfect for heavy-use surfaces like your kitchen and bathroom floors.
Travertine is available in many different shades, cuts and textures, each one streaked with a unique and exotic burst of colour. The size, colour and type of this pattern depends on the way the stone is cut.
With a vein-cut, you’re cutting against the natural grain of the stone, showcasing the banding and linear lines of the veining in the rock. This type of cut yields dramatic explosions of colour. With a cross-cut, your cut line is along the grain, revealing flowery, circular, and cloud-burst-like patterns.
If you’re a budding palaeontologist, you might be interested to know that your favourite natural stone is created by the fossilized shells of ancient sea creatures. Limestone is a sedimentary rock made up of calcite and the shells and skeletons of invertebrates.
Despite its macabre origin story, limestone’s unique texture, light colour and impressive strength make it highly sought after in construction and design, especially Fossil Grey limestone.
Its majestic appearance makes it a popular material for floors, walls, decorative trim and veneers.
Granite is an intrusive igneous rock, or in other words, a type of natural stone caused when volcanic lava pushes up between two rocks and then cools. As a building material, granite is loved for its impressive durability, sandy texture and strong resistance to dirt. You can find granite in cathedrals, bridges and other public buildings.
In home construction and decoration, granite is used in paving, tiles and as a material for kitchen countertops. With an expert polish and finish, even coarse granite can feel as smooth as glass.
Quartzite is a type of metamorphic stone, meaning that it was once a different type of rock altogether and was transformed by intense heat and pressure. In the case of quartzite, it was once sandstone but now a versatile and incredibly strong natural stone.
Quartzite can be used to cover walls, as roofing tiles, flooring, stair steps and like always, in the kitchen. Naturally water resistant and stainproof, quartzite is a favourite amongst designers due to its high strength, extreme toughness and a diverse range of colours.
Onyx has to be one of the most curious and mystical of the natural stones. Actually a type of layered quartz, onyx is formed through the accumulation of silicates, minerals and hot volcanic gases. Onyx, along with some types of marble are the only type of natural stone that can be translucent.
This natural stone can be used for flooring and interior walls, giving a stunning signature look to your home or office. With a range of beige, cream, white and pastel tones, complete your luxury look with onyx natural stone
Once used as a way to recycle old stone offcuts, terrazzo or Ceppo di Gre is a rare natural stone quarried from the Lombardy region in Northern Italy. Terrazzo is comprised of broken fragments of marble, quartz, granite, glass and other minerals cemented together by a fine-grained matrix.
Widely used as flooring, in bathrooms and high traffic areas like paving in commercial buildings, terrazzo is popular due to its durable, stain resistant texture. Terrazzo creates a budget-friendly solution despite being an on-trend luxury finish.
Dolomite is the exquisite look of marble at a fraction of the cost. A sedimentary stone, dolomite was formed when limestone was altered by magnesium and calcium-rich groundwater.
Sharing similar qualities to limestone, dolomite has some outstanding features including high durability, ease of cleaning, light pastel colors and uniform faces. Many dolomite slabs come with attractive and vivid veins on their surface, enabling them to form a beautiful contrast with darker surfaces.
Even harder than marble and just as opulent when polished, dolomite is the interior designer’s choice for stylish natural stone.
What is bluestone? You can be forgiven for not knowing as bluestone represents in excess of twenty different rock varieties. While bluestone is more common in walkways and pathways, the durability of this natural stone makes it a great choice for steps, driveways and other paving projects.
Ever versatile, the beautiful texture and colors of bluestone makes it suitable for both indoors and outdoors.
Natural Stone Finishes
The surface of natural stones can be finished in many ways including polishing, honing, flaming, antiquing or tumbling. The type of finish is chosen according to the colour and characteristics of the stone. Everything from a rough, textured non-slip floor tile, to a high-gloss wall tile – you’d never guess they all began as the same stone.
Natural Stone Types
There are several natural stone types to meet the needs for different applications.
Rectangular stones are suitable for paving. Travertine and limestone are the best choice for constructing pavements due to their hardness and resilience. The use of rectangular and square shapes is perfect for the French Pattern (Opus Romain) and the layout style of Opus Incertum styles well with different and irregular sizes of natural stone pavers.
Rectangular and square natural stones tiles are perfect for covering floors and walls. They are available in various sizes, cuts and finishes.
Recent design trends lean towards solid slabs for kitchen countertops. A rectangular piece of natural stone with your chosen finish can add class and elegance to any kitchen.
The best way to experience the beauty and opulence of natural stone is to see it for yourself. Visit one of our showrooms or get in touch via email or phone call, our expert natural stone specialists are only too happy to give you the best advice available.