The familiar stone types that are used today are
identified through four categories: Sedimentary,
Metamorphic, Igneous stone and man made.
• Sedimentary stone came from organic elements
such as glaciers, rivers, wind, oceans, and
plants. Tiny sedimentary pieces broke off from
these elements and accumulated to form rock
beds. They were bonded through millions of years
of heat and pressure.
Limestone: Mainly consists of calcite. It does
not show much graining or crystalline structure.
It has a smooth granular surface. Varies in
hardness. Some dense limestones can be polished.
Common colors are black, grey, white, yellow or
brown. It is more likely to stain than marble.
Limestone is known to contain lime from sea
Sandstone: Is a very durable formation of quartz
grains (sand). Usually formed in light brown or
red colors. Categorized by the most popular
sandstone bonding agents such as silica,
calcium, clay, and iron oxide.
Soapstone: A very soft stone made of a variety
of talc. It is a dense mineral that wears well
and is often resistant to stains.
Fossilstone: Considered a limestone that
contains natural fossils such as sea shells and plants.
Travertine: Usually a cream or reddish color. It
is formed through the accumulation of calcite
from hot springs. It contains lots of holes that
were formed from water flowing through the
stone. These holes are often filled with
synthetic resins or cements. Requires lots of
maintenance if the holes are not filled.
Classified as a limestone and a marble.
• Metamorphic stone originates from a natural
change from one type of stone to another type
through the mixture of heat, pressure, and
minerals. The change may be a development of a
crystalline formation, a texture change, or a
Marble: A recrystallized limestone that formed
when the limestone softened from heat and
pressure and recrystallized into marble where
mineral changes occurred. The main consistency
is calcium and dolomite. Ranges in many colors
and is usually heavily veined and shows lots of
grains. Hardness rates from 2.5 to 5 on the MOH
Marble is classified into three categories:
1. Dolomite: If it has more than 40% magnesium
2. Magnesian: If it has between 5% and 40%
3. Calcite: If it has less than 5% magnesium
Slate: A fine grained metamorphic stone that
formed from clay, sedimentary rock shale, and
sometimes quartz. Very thin and can break
easily. Usually black, grey, or green.
Serpentine: Identified by its marks which look
like the skin of a serpent. Most popular colors
are green and brown. Hardness rates from 2.5 to
4 on the MOH Scale. Contains serpentine minerals
has lots of magnesium, and has an igneous
origin. Does not always react well to
recrystallization or diamond polishing.
• Igneous stones are mainly formed through
volcanic material such as magma. Underneath the
Earths surface, liquid magma cooled and
solidified. Mineral gases and liquids penetrated
into the stone and created new crystalline
formations with various colors.
Granite: Primarily made of Quartz (35%),
Feldspar (45%) and Potassium. Usually has darker
colors. Contains very little calcite, if any.
Provides a heavy crystalline and granular
appearance with mineral grains. It is very hard
material and easier to maintain than marble.
Yet, it is still porous and will stain. There
are different types of granite depending on the
percentage mix of quartz, mica and feldspar.
Black granite is known as an Anorthosite. It
contains very little quartz and feldspar and has
a different composition than true granite.
• Man made Stones are derived of unnatural
mixtures such resin or cement with the additive
of stone chips.
Terazzo: Marble and granite chips embedded in a
Conglomerate: Marble chips
embedded in a colored resin composition.
Cultured or Faux
Marble: A mix of resins that
are painted or mixed with a paint to look like
sandstone, quartz stone, granite
moasic stone, cultural stone,
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