Natural stones, as the name implies, are products of nature and extracted from the Continental crust of the Earth in form of blocks. From these blocks slabs are cut with varying thicknesses and finished in a wide variety of ways. As an example, polishing highlights the colour and unique properties of the stone, while leathering results a pleasing to the touch textured surface. Using different techniques and mechanical processes, natural stone can be adapted to interior and exterior applications.
Granite is an igneous rock and it forms from the slow crystallization of magma. It has a medium to coarse-grained texture and is composed mainly of quartz, feldspar, mica and other minerals. Due its mineral composition it is tougher and more resistant to stains, acids and abrasion than marble or limestone.
Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock and it forms when silica-rich sandstone is altered by metamorphism. Unlike marble, which is mainly formed of calcite, this rock type is quartz based, therefore it is tougher and more resistant to stains, acids and abrasion. With its Mohs hardness of 7, quartzite is one of the hardest natural stone material used in the dimension stone industry.
Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock that forms when limestone or dolomite is subject to heat and pressure (metamorphism). It is composed primarily of the mineral calcite and unlike granite or quartzite it is less hardwearing and more porous.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate. Depending of the formation process limestone can be classified as an organic or chemical sedimentary rock. Popular limestone colour is cream or ivory, but as with most natural stones it is available in various colours.
Slate is a fine grained, homogenous, foliated metamorphic rock and it forms through low-grade regional metamorphism of clay or volcanic ash. Slate is mainly grey in colour but it also occurs in shades of green, red, black, blue, purple and brown. Due to its very low absorption of moisture it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.