November 29, 2020

NATURAL STONE TYPES

NATURAL STONE TYPES

 

SEDIMENTARY

METAMORPHIC

IGNEOUS

CALCAREOUS

Limestone
Onyx
Travertine

Marble

 

SILICEOUS

Sandstone

Quartzite
Serpentine
Slate
Soapstone

Basalt
Granite

* This is not a complete list of stone types, but a compilation of the more common varieties

 

STONE CHARACTERISTICS

Limestone:

Often has grain formation changes, iron spots, pit holes, and streaks or spots of calcite. May contain fossils or shell formations.

Onyx:

Can be translucent. Vulnerable to chemical and mechanical attack. Used for decorative applications.

Travertine:

Has pronounced anisotropic properties. Generally contains holes.

Sandstone:

Resistant to chemical and salt deterioration. Used as an abrasive non-slip surface. Generally more porous than other dimension stone.

Marble:

Highly prized for aesthetic values. Relatively uniform crystal matrix: some marbles have large crystals while some are very fine (< .5mm).

Quartzite:

Breaks across grain, not around grain. Very durable material that withstands weathering well.

Serpentine:

Wide range in quality and performance due to diversity in mineral content. Hardness varies from 2.5 to 5 on the Mohs scale.

Slate:

Exceptionally pronounced anisotropic properties. Has a cleavage quality that allows it to be split into thin sheets.

Soapstone:

Commonly has a “soapy” or slippery and soft feel. High chemical resistance. Often treated with mineral oil to enhance the color and veining. High heat resistance and heat retention properties.

Basalt:

Some varieties are good for wet environment applications. Highly resistant to abrasives

Granite:

High density. Highly resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and weathering. Can be nearly isotropic to mildly anisotropic.

 

 

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This handout was developed as a reference tool for the ‘Natural Stone 101’ presentation as developed by the Natural Stone Institute Education Committee. www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/ceu

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